This interview with Anjou was conducted in 2002. Sadly, Anjou left terra firma in 2012. She inspired us to be the best we could be.
Anjou MacPherson was a one of a kind. Co-founder of Goldzone Group and Renaissance for Leaders, Anjou was a “muse of possibilities” for everyone who was fortunate to meet her.
1. Can you tell us something about yourself and your background?
I was born in Northern India where I remained until age three. My early life was an eclectic tapestry integrating many cultures, languages, religious and spiritual practices, political structures, and education systems. I spent most of my formative years in Canada.
The next stage in my life was a self-directed effort to fit into a Western/American view of success. I graduated from University with a degree in Business Administration. I successfully married, built my dream house in the suburbs of Calgary, bought a lakeside cabin for weekends and holidays, cars, boats, etc. At the same time managing an upward climb in my career in the Oil & Gas Industry. The success happened but it was someone else’s idea of success so at 28 I left the marriage, the career, the city, and the possessions and moved west to Vancouver.
Vancouver was liberating and the perfect place to begin the adventure of self-discovery which naturally lead to a passion for supporting people to reach their full potential. The next fifteen years were filled with extraordinary experiences, people, and places. I have had the privilege of working with and learning from the top people in the human potential and personal development industry, Native American and other indigenous shamans, spiritual masters and visionaries, and most important tens of thousands of my clients and students from all over the world. In recent years, I have worked in the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, London, Ireland, Denmark, and Bali. I have been blessed with calling the San Juan Islands, Hawaii, and Bali home.
My partner and I are currently based in the United States, spending a lot of time in Bali at our retreat house overlooking the magical ocean. I am taking some time out to finally write about what I have discovered and learned along the way. At this time, we work with a very limited number of clients.
2. What experience or encounter in your life has influenced you the most?
The experience that influenced my life the most was a non-profit project I lead in the mid-nineties. The project was designed to educate people about whales and dolphins in captivity by producing a music video and involved over 300 people. This experience was the essence of selfless service, teamwork, and the greatest aspects of humanity and our connection to nature. I was humbled to the core.
> Listen to Lolita Essence of Freedom music below:
Written by Anjou MacPherson, a CD featuring: Olivia Newton-John, Tim Wheater, Paul Gilman, Shuar Indians (Ecuador), Gyote Monks (Tibetan), Anjou MacPherson, and others.
> Read about the project in the press:
> Watch the Lolita Hold On Video Below:
3. What are the highlights of your personal and professional life?
The highlights of my professional life would include heading up the 200-company task force in the Oil and Gas Industry, producing the music video for the whale and dolphin project, and producing a global leadership forum.
The highlights of my personal life would be a vision quest in New Mexico, a three-month adventure on my yacht in the Pacific North West, my current partnership/relationship with Harrison.
4. Which of these highlights are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my current relationship because it is a true partnership that reflects back to me the accumulative results of my life’s journey.
5. What is your idea and definition of success in life?
Success for me personally is the integration of the spiritual/sacred side of myself into the details of my everyday reality.
6. How can you achieve this success?
You can achieve this by being present, actively working on yourself through education, experience, and discipline in all areas that are important to you. By appreciating and paying attention to the beauty in all things and especially the beauty of your thoughts and feelings. By being responsible for your own prosperity and well-being. By doing whatever it takes to have more money, time, and energy than you need so you can enjoy the experiences and people in your life. By leaving everyone and every place more beautiful than when you arrived. Also by serving as many people as you can.
7. Who do you think are the great talents in your field?
My field encompasses a synthesis of many areas and many of the great talents are invisible magicians behind the scenes, however here are a few well-known people who I think are very talented in their fields and have impacted my journey:
- Stuart Wilde- Metaphysics/Human Potential
- Louis Hays- Healing and Wellness
- Deepak Chopra- Wellness/longevity
- Kathlyn & Gay Hendricks- Conscious Relationships
- David Spangler- Spiritual Empowerment/Mystic
- Carlos Castaneda- Shamanism Wisdom
- Peter Senge- Organizational Management
- Marcia Weider- Dream/Life Purpose
- Loy Young- Personal Development/Relationships
- Robert Pante- Image and Presentation
- Daniel Goleman- Emotional Intelligence
- Warren Buffet- Investments/Business
- Harrison– Leadership/Business/Human Potential
8. Which person, living or dead, do you most admire and why?
The Oxford Dictionary defines admiration as regard with approval, respect, look up to, idolize, venerate, worship. I do not seek nor give admiration. The only part of this definition that I can relate to is the word respect.
Also, there are a few persons I respect and honor greatly, and if I were to have to choose one it would be His Holiness The Dalai Lama because he is the living essence of Compassion.
This is a quote from the Norwegian Nobel Committee in 1989 when The Dalai Lama was awarded The Nobel Peace Prize: “The Dalai Lama has developed his philosophy of peace from reverence for all things living and upon the concept of universal responsibility embracing all mankind as well as nature.
9. Which person, living or dead, do you identify with most?
I find anyone’s identity a limitation on my spirit; therefore, I am constantly growing and re-inventing my own identity to best serve the present moment. I like to take the qualities that I respect in another and leave the rest. I am constantly receptive to learning from everyone I meet, read about, watch movies, etc.
So I can say I identify with The Dalai Lama’s compassion and playfulness, Martin Luther King’s equality, Gandhi’s Humility, Sophia Loren’s beauty, Oprah’s realness, My father’s logical reasoning, My mother’s generosity, and so on.
10. What failure, if any, have you encountered so far and what are some of the lessons that you have learned from them?
The breakup of my first marriage was the failure that had the most impact on me. My own parents are still together and I certainly married with the intention of forever, so it was at the time a shattered dream.
I have encountered many failures and many successes and have learned so much from both. My philosophy has always been more focused on the experience of life, rather than singular events. I trust that everything that happens is an essential part of the experience. Our results are constantly guiding us. I used to be devastated when the result was incongruent with my ego’s expectation, now I have learned to use the result as an undeniable truth about each situation. When failure shows up, something has to be changed within the situation and also myself.
Understanding human nature and behavior is a large part of my work and in large part of my lessons have become my teachings. The biggest lessons from my failures are compassion for myself and others. Understanding my failures has led me to now experience much more success overall.
11. What do you regret most about your career in life?
I do not regret anything at this time. I am very blessed and at peace with both.
12. What is the single thing that you have learned in the past one-year?
What it means to be in true partnership, personally and professionally.
13. Do you have a personal motto? What is it?
“Be Here Now!” It is so seductive to wander into the glory of the past or the lure of the future and the only place of power is in the present moment. Being here now requires feeling our experience, intimacy, and connection to our humanity and ordinariness, to the details of everyday living and knowledge that this is sacred and special.
14. How do you improve yourself in your own personal development and continue to stay constantly motivated?
I have designed my life to constantly inspire this in others and myself; motivation is a natural by-product of this. I read books, surf the internet, attend seminars, use multimedia, travel all over the world, stay vital and healthy, dance, spend time in nature, meditate, and most of all work on creative projects.
I also have coaches, consultants, and healers that I work with regularly all over the world. I think the key is doing whatever it takes to acquire more knowledge and experience. My own personal investment in this area is close to USD$1M so far, and I would do it again without hesitation.
15. What would you advise others who desire to excel in your discipline?
I would say be willing to invest your time, energy, and money in yourself. It is the best investment you can make. Continually educate yourself, expose yourself to different places, people, cultures. Begin by mastering one area at a time and find the right mentors and resources. For example, the body is one area, so take a course in physiology, read health magazines, exercise, eat healthily, etc. Master your emotions, your mind, and your spirit. There is no shortcut, to optimizing your full potential as a human being and it is a very personal journey. In the beginning, you have to force yourself into the discipline and then it becomes more integrated into life. The greatest challenge is resisting the ego’s desire to sabotage you because mastery of your potential as a human being is the biggest threat to the ego. That is why most people are amateurs who dabble in this area as long as it is comfortable and convenient and quite close to the beginning. There is great liberty and freedom for the few that are willing to step past the comfort zone.
16. What do you like most about your work?
What I like the most is the diversity of people and places. I love that I am passionately interested in what I do and that my work is an integral part of my life.
17. How do you relax?
Some of the ways that I relax are by being in nature, listening to music, taking a bath, dancing, cooking, watching movies, meditating, being with friends.
18. What do you hope to do and achieve in the next one-year from now?
One year from now I will have completed creating some other products and services to support even greater numbers of people with their journey.