We had the good fortune of connecting with Sandra Mack and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sandra, how do you think about risk?
Taking risks has played a major role in everything that I do. I see how in our society “risk” has a more negative connotation and most people expect undesirable consequences instead of the potential of an even bigger reward. At some point in my life I noticed that whenever I have those moments of courage and leap, life and the universe reward me in big ways. I started to act more boldly and followed that path. I’ve learned that in the end it’s more about ‘managing’ risk instead of taking risks. When you manage them you fully trust yourself and believe that in this given moment it is the right thing to do and you simply bet on yourself. Isn’t this the best bet you can make?
So while risk for sure carries the possibility of a negative outcome, at the same it carries the hope of something beautiful, success, your greatest reward and opportunity. I decided to believe in the positive side of it and learn to trust my gut feeling and intuition while making sure I also educate myself. Risk sometimes is also just a lack of knowledge or information. It pushes us to leave our comfort zone and expand, this way you minimize risk and it makes taking the leap a lot easier.
Interestingly enough, in Chinese the word for risk is constructed of two symbols, “danger” and “opportunity”. In the end it comes down how you see the world and what your perception is. You choose.
I had to take the risk when I moved to the US from Europe. While being on a vacation here in Los Angeles I got a career opportunity. I just said yes. There wasn’t much time to figure things out like visa, etc.. My intuition told me to do it, I trusted myself enough that whatever will unfold, the universe has my back. I flew back to Europe, packed two pieces of luggage, canceled everything and boarded the plane to Los Angeles – one way. All this happened within 3 weeks. I’ve been here since then. Best decision of my life. It’s been a wild journey but the risk was worth the reward. I came home and back to life.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business and new brand is dedicated and inspired by all the amazing women in my life. I started in the middle of this pandemic. It’s called ‘Women of the Galaxy’ – a lifestyle brand inspiring you to live your legend, shape a new era of female visionary leaders and enter the way of intentional living to create an extraordinary life. This happens through retreats, monthly events in LA, a free conversation series on IG and an upcoming apparel collection. More is in the making. It’s just the beginning.
For me as an introvert it felt hard sometimes to step up my game, I was holding back, playing small, dealing with past trauma. It took me a while until I noticed that my own journey carries the gifts to inspire others and my power already lies within me, that introversion can be power. That I can be seen, heard because of that.
My experience along the journey helped me to deepen my purpose and see what spectacular beings we are and now I want to pass on what has been given to me by those women who shaped my journey. It’s about expansion, radiance and self-expression to experience life boldly and come to life.
At the same time I ran another business called HIDEOUT (www.hideout.la) which is basically a creative space that offers brand & website design, creative strategies, mentoring and consultation for creatives and newbie entrepreneurs.
I sometimes feel like a paradigm shifter. I think this might be something that sets me apart. I like to question things, reflect deeply and find unique ways to manage life and business. I like to live with the sense of wonder and believe that we have the right to do things our way, that every day is a new revolution to create on my own terms. I sometimes have an intense way of approaching things and I like to take risks but at the same time those experiences become beautiful tools for others where I can help them to discover their own answers within and guide them whatever they dream to achieve. From dream to vision, from vision to action into reality.
I guess this is also what I’m most proud of: My willingness to push through no matter what and that I chose the journey of full self-expression and bringing my vision into existence. I’m proud of how I handled the challenges of moving countries and restarting life, the courage that I was able to leave behind what wasn’t serving me to make space for the real dream that is coming into reality now.
I would say my biggest drivers to get where I am today were and still are courage, intuition and doing the deep inner work. They became my habits, a natural embodiment of who I am while pretending like everyday is the endgame giving all I’ve got. Each day is an overcoming of something at some point. I think the unsexy truth is that we all face hardship and trauma. Not playing things down but I had to stop “enjoying being miserable and caught up in my pity story”. The moment I decided to not wait to be saved anymore – the game changed.
Like for most of us – it never feels easy, but it can BE if you decide to integrate the right level of humor and joy. You can cry but still laugh at the same time. You can choose to not take things too seriously. What helped me the most was to accept the duality of life. There is always dark and light, the moon and the sun… we need the other side to even be aware of the other one. I focused on the little things in life that I was grateful for and noticed how much of them I have in my life and then all of them together became big and actually filled a huge part of my life. Life started to feel easy.
In addition to that, I stopped being an overachiever and ended the hustle. Relaxation is key to let ideas, creativity and flow find you instead of forcing things. This is how work and business began to feel easy too, while it still is a battlefield. But that’s the journey.
All in all I would say the biggest lesson learned is that your wildest dreams will challenge you the most, you need to have the willingness and commitment. Life, business, everything is not just a goal we aim for, the moments count. You are not part of your business, your business is part of YOUR life. Life wants to be experienced, so do the things that make you feel alive – good and bad. Even a good cry makes you feel alive. Feel all of it. Don’t suppress it.
Saying all this, it’s important to me to highlight that this brand is truly dedicated to all the women (and men) out there. The ones who see each other beyond “their mess”, flaws and hardship without labeling or judgement. We are so good at being hard on ourselves and we forget that we are full of magic. Like a galaxy. We are a large group of stars, an assemble of brilliant souls here to create and inspire, just be and do life together.
I believe it’s time for a huge shift in the world, the narrative, the way we think and live, and question the norm. We were holding back for so long and now it’s about expressing ourselves. Life itself should be your vision board.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First, I have to say I truly enjoy the simple things in life and when everyone else is outside, I try to find the hidden calm spots to relax which turned out to be the rooftop of the building I live in. So first I would take my friend there for snacks, drinks and a long catch-up while watching the sunset and the hills at Griffith Park or the Downtown LA skyline on the other side. Alternatively we would head to Figaro for the daily happy hour at 4pm on Vermont.
In the mornings we would head out for a morning walk to Maru Coffee on Hillhurst. My favorite coffee place. Then I would take my friend on a ride on Sunset Blvd. starting in Los Feliz heading west all the way down to the ocean to give a sneak peek and feeling of all the different parts of LA.
Self-Care days are well spent at Remedy Place in WeHo followed by dinner at Pura Vita, the most delicious vegan place.
To add a bit of adventure I’d hit up JustTrek, an amazing and fun hike enthusiast to lead us through one of LA’s beautiful hikes and connect with nature.
I would finish up the week with a short trip to Joshua Tree to escape the city for a bit and close it with a final ride on the PCH and Malibu private beach moments including sunset.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Where do I begin? There are so many. Let’s start with my favorite books: I love “Becoming Supernatural” by Dr. Joe Dispenza, becoming familiar with his work and understanding for my whole being has been mind blowing. Must read. You have to take the look inward before making changes “outside”.
Another gem is “Living in the light” by Shakti Gawain. It’s all about following your intuition. Why seek something from the outside when you’ve been gifted with the best built-in compass within.
Besides that I love poetry by Brooke Solis and Brianna Wiest. Their art is a balm for my soul.
Then there is my tribe of women in my life that surrounds me daily, lifts me up and believes in me when I forget. Especially in a year like 2020 my own circle of people has been essential for personal growth and pushing through the hard times. My new brand / business actually wouldn’t exist without them. I couldn’t be more grateful for Nicole, the embodiment of a female leader that I aim to become and grow into. She’s been an amazing mentor.
Francesca Sipma, my Breathwork Coach helped me release a lot of past trauma and step into my potential to execute on my vision and purpose in this lifetime.
Last but not least, my best friends. Especially one, Yvonne Szefer, who I met right when I arrived here and our friendship grew into a strong, deep bond. She welcomed me in the most loving way, made me feel at home in a city that can be overwhelming and a kind of jungle sometimes. Besides that she introduced me to the healing powers of reiki, meditation and so much more. She has impacted my life in so many ways.
In terms of organizations I’d love to give a shoutout to Brit Bronson and spaceMVMNT: https://www.
She is doing such an amazing job spreading the word about the importance of mental, emotional and physical well-being, a topic that often seems so heavy, but actually can be so joyful at the same time. She’s a powerhouse and inspires me daily.
I’d like to finish up the list of shoutouts with the person who made me leap the most – Jules Hough. A job opportunity with Kinrgy was the initial reason I ended up in the US. Sometimes it takes just one person, a tiny moment where someone sees you, offers you a chance to make things right. It ignites a fire in you and suddenly you’re in the midst of your biggest change in your life. Like I said, I came home and found a place where it also feels like that.
Chris Frara https://www.instagram.com/chrisfraraphotography/