Mel Nahas is a funny, smart, and curious spirit with an incredible story that is bound to inspire anyone who hears it (or reads it). She is the Co-Founder of Conscious City Guide (CCG), a curated guide to conscious events and experiences around the world that help people reconnect with themselves, their community, and the planet.
We were curious to hear the story and inspiration that sparked this idea.
According to Mel, the idea for CCG came from an amalgamation of life experiences, from living in Sydney to LA, a personal interest in conscious living and her experience working in the music industry for over a decade. Mel lived in Australia in her 20s and worked in the music industry where she met and was exposed to a wide range of inspirational artists and creators at the top of their game. She told us that “The inspiration for CCG was born out of my own curiosity for things I was interested in, as well as everything that I learned, saw and experienced working in the music industry.”
CCG started as a blog, about eight years ago, when Mel moved to LA. “At the time, it was the height of fashion blogs. I was consuming and reading all these fashion blogs but I was curious about this conscious lifestyle and there was nothing at that time that presented a conscious lifestyle in a design-driven, beautiful way. So I just started a blog.”
Nowadays, CCG is a well-established platform that has sold over 100,000 tickets worldwide.
A Wealth of Life Experiences that Led to a New Path
Mel was born in Indonesia, on Bunker Island, she was adopted and lived until recently in Australia where she worked in the music industry. Next, she moved to LA to continue her pursuit of a career in the music industry, managing musicians and artists.
This was also about the time when she decided to leave the music industry and started pursuing other endeavours (like the blog that would later become CCG). Moreover, the change was rather sudden, and happened in “a moment of ultimate clarity”, as Mel puts it.
“It was just this moment of ultimate clarity. It was presented to me like a pin drop and a chapter of your work here is done”.
Once this seed was planted and she had experienced this revelation, she got to work producing her first wellness retreat in Italy, with the help of a few supportive people in her life. The retreat was a success (it sold out), she took on a few different projects that paved the way to CCG and having her own business.
While the decision to quit the music industry and move onto something new without a rigid plan may seem rushed to some people, Mel speaks to the power of surrender and when things intuitively feel right. “My belief is that if something is right and if something feels in energetic flow with you and your design, the universal energy is going to rush to support you.”
The Role of the Community (Soundboards, Mentors, Expanders)
Mel is the kind of person that finds inspiration in others. During the course of her time working in the music industry, Mel cultivated genuine relationships with the people around her and a lot of the people she worked with carried over into the process of creating CCG. These people are, as Mel calls them, important soundboards and mentors who helped her achieve projects that she could never have thought possible on her own.
For instance, when she decided to quit the music industry, one of her main supporters was her boss at the time (Mel sees him as one of her trusted soundboards even nowadays). She also received help and support from friends and business collaborators. In fact, Kiki Falconer, Mel’s co-founder at CCG had previously worked together in the music industry, though in different departments (Kiki in design, and Mel in production), so there is value in connecting with people from other teams, you never know when you will need a co-founder with a different skill to complement your own.
Besides amazing people in her life, Mel also draws inspiration from pioneers in other industries. She tries to keep her eyes open to new thoughts and ideas that could provide a different point of view and ultimately influence and shape her own work.
Ultimately, Mel believes that her biggest soundboard is the unseen advisors that help her channel the best ideas that fit her unique position in the world.
“I think we are just channels and vessels for the ideas to come through and that, in the best way that we uniquely know how to, can make those ideas manifest. That collective consciousness is my biggest soundboard and I have that daily dialogue with that.”
Practice & Mindset Tools to Stay Grounded
We asked Mel to share a few tips and tricks that keep her grounded when things get hectic.
As it turns out, she doesn’t believe in hacks or tricks that can miraculously solve the craziness of today’s world. For Mel, “the beauty in life is the journey and the experience.” She also believes we need to be patient and surrender to the timing of the events. In fact, she is working hard on taming her own impatience, which is why she uses various practices to stay grounded.
The tea ceremony (a Taiwanese practice derived from the ancient Chinese and Taiwanese ceremony) is one of these practices because it is a mindful form of meditation.
“I do this pretty much every single morning before I turn on my phone. I get out of bed, put on the kettle, take the dog out then sit down and do tea.“
Lastly, Mel shared that 2020 was a difficult and trying year for her business and the CCG team. As most events were shut down or uncertain, CCG had to refocus and shift perspective. Yet another lesson that we need to be open to change as the world changes, while vision is important (in both life and business), you also need to stay open to new experiences and new paths.
In summary, we learned from Mel that opportunities can present themselves in the most ingenious ways and it’s up to us to recognize and use them. Keep an open mind and allow space for new thoughts and ideas. That’s the way we can truly grow!