Twenty-six: Introducing seeCHANGE

I’m excited to announce seeCHANGE, a series of candid conversations with guests around the world, on what goes into making major shifts. My hope is that through these conversations we can shed light and on the invisible steps toward seismic change, making change more accessible to everyone.


What does it take to make “It” happen?

What does “It” even mean for you?

How do you take the leap- overcome the fear?

Two years ago, two strangers - Alex, a recovering TV writer-producer from LA & Akiko, recently-divorced fashion strategist from Tokyo - met on a week-long retreat. Two cultures, decades, life stages separated them, but they, along with the other men & women gathered were united in the universal quest to answer those questions.

The connection sparked and dimmed as they went on to reinvent careers, travel the world, forgive exes and make seismic changes in their lives. Two months ago, they reconnect and found they still have questions. Here we are now.
— from the flyer for our first event, to take place in LA.

seeCHANGE is launching in Los Angeles in October. But it didn’t start out that way.

My friend and somewhat-sister Lena invited me to come to LA to speak about my work. She’s a great walking ad for my coaching practice and had introduced me to a number of clients. While I was grateful and excited about the opportunity to share my story and to talk about my work, I was a little intimidated by (and maybe feeling a bit unworthy of) her fiery enthusiasm. I wondered whether my work was actually THAT impactful. I was grateful that she thought so, but asked myself whether I could deliver at the level of her steadfast enthusiasm. I knew that by no means my own story is not the definitive story of choices and change- it just happened to be mine.

This gave me the idea to treat my story as one of many stories of change. This also gave me the framework to tell my story not as a monologue, but share through dialogue. I invited my friend and fellow coach/consultant Alex Cooley to interview my story out of me. Asking Alex to interview me gave me the idea to collect more stories by inviting more changemakers to share their stories of change- for themselves and for others.

And like this, a talk series was born; Alex christened it seeCHANGE. We now have the beginnings of a way for us to stop, share, and see the steps we take in creating change. Often the steps that are crucial remain untold and remain invisible in the quick versions of our stories. Sharing the invisible steps brings me back to the idea that “seeing is believing”, and “if we can dream it, we can become it - if we can see it, we can create it.” Turning the invisible parts of our powerful stories visible makes change more accessible to more of us.

In our first talk, Alex will ask me about the relationship between creativity, the design process, and desired life changes

- and how these ingredients launched different parts of me in new directions. (Namely work and relationships, two areas that I’ve long considered as self-defining.)

More from our flyer, on Alex and me:

“For 15 years, Alex Cooley produced & wrote your favorite TV shows - Colbert Report, Community, Madam Secretary - before asking herself… is this it? So she took some baby steps - journaling, meditation, retreats before quitting the business to travel in search of her purpose. On the road, she volunteered at a Thai animal rescue, meditated with Tibetan monks and sold a TV pitch to Swedish television (old habits die hard). Fresh off those revelations, she now uses her neuro-linguistic programming coaching to support mission driven people in excavating their brand identity and her storytelling skills to teach people how to craft a great story.  For her, brand identity is a personal journey.

As a creative, Akiko Mega guided brands like Issey Miyake and Maison Margiela through growing pains, was a sherpa to CEOs; played the good wife to the outside world. But those roles did not fulfill, even when she hit their highs. So when she walked away, her friends and family were concerned and puzzled. Akiko had no answer- except for that it just felt right. Once she took the time to really see- she saw she’d learned to step out of old patterns, tune out noise, listen inward, and make aligned choices. She learned to meditate in the faraway hills of Sri Lanka, and also at home. She trained to help others create their own changes through curious non-judgemental inquiry, radical honesty, and action. She took on her maternal family name-  Mega- in honor of her grandfather, a latent change and peace maker.

Akiko still works with growing pains. As Founder of The Mega Center for Integrative and Whole Wellness, she helps her clients birth their vision while bringing hers to bear. The Mega Center is nestled in the evergreen mountains of Niseko, Japan and will open its doors in 2019 for people to come together to learn new ways to see, create, tell, show, and share transformation- in short, to reinvent and offer choice.

Akiko is happy to launch seeCHANGE, a repository of stories that sheds and shares light on the process of personal change and the impact it has on ourselves and our communities.”

I hope you’ll check in with us from time to time, and join us on our journey to seeCHANGE.

Heartfelt thanks to Lena, Geren, Leana, Sara, and Alex for your enthusiasm around Wellness for Everyone, and for helping me to bring this to life.

Akiko Mega