Mozella Perry Ademiluyi, Coach, Author and World Citizen, Urges You To Discover the Power of Your Own Story, Explore It and Share the Magic

by Anne Holmes on February 6, 2015

mozilla portraitA “mile high” NABBW welcome to Mozella Perry Ademiluyi, who besides being a successful mountain climber, is a poet, writer, and global storyteller who is able to reach across borders with meaningful conversations through her speaking engagements, writing, and creative retreat tools.

Mozella is passionate about making an intentional contribution to the enrichment of our 21st century world and encourages us to use the positive power of our life stories as a means to enlighten and transform our global village.

As Mozella explains below, her life began in Miami, Florida, where she lived a life many of us would recognize, filled with spelling bees, piano and ballet lessons, YMCA camps and Vacation Bible School.

But at age nine, everything changed for her when her father followed his dream to live in Africa, by accepting an offer to establish an international YMCA in Jinja, Uganda.

There, his goal was to enhance educational and leadership opportunities for local youth. They arrived in Uganda in October 1962 – just days after Uganda had gained its independence.

Suddenly Mozella found herself living a life of totally unexpected experiences, including:
  • Integrating into a British expatriate school
  • Experiencing the blend of African, Asian and European cultures
  • Finding hippos feeding on mother’s vegetable garden
  • Afternoon teas and posh school uniforms
  • Desks with inkwells for our pens
  • Prizes for poetry recitals
  • Bike rides
  • Climbing whatever we could find
  • Boarding schools in Kenya
  • Train rides
  • Forbidden midnight feasts in the dorm
  • Irish nuns,
  • Shakespeare
  • And a red dirt hockey pitch!

As she says, it was a truly memorable educational experience, and  her love for literature, poetry and travel began in those early years in East Africa.

Later years were spent in Nairobi, Kenya, and Lagos, Nigeria, as well as London, and Washington, DC. In DC, Mozella attended Howard University, eventually graduating with a law degree.

Today, Mozella’s rich background allows her to bring a ‘global point of view’ to retreat and workshop audiences around the world. Through her company’s workshops and seminars, she encourages us to consciously explore new possibilities and design the change we seek in our personal and professional lives. She also teaches us how to ‘discover’ the real power in the underlying lessons of our existing stories and how to create new ones.

love is a mountainAfter climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and reaching 15,000 feet in celebration of her 50th birthday, Mozella established her retreat-focused company Love Is A Mountain.

According to the company website, “LIAM’s” mission is to provide time and space for global-thinking women around the world to express their authentic voices, rewrite their stories, and create transformative change in their lives and communities.

“Love Is A Mountain”, is also the title of her first book, which was, naturally, inspired by that same 50th birthday ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

She says her vision for her firm is that each attendee “imagines walking through this beautiful earth, discovering the power of your story, exploring it with others and sharing the magic of it all!”

The metaphorical significance of mountains and the natural world, as “master teachers” of critical life lessons, is a central theme in Mozella’s work. She is an engaging facilitator and imaginative speaker who inspires her participants and audiences to reach their own transformations. Mozella Mountain book

We caught up with Mozella recently, and asked her our favorite “Voice of Baby Boomer Women” questions, and this is what she told us:

Using one paragraph, tell us a bit about yourself?

I grew up and lived in East and West Africa for more than 25 years because my father fulfilled his teenage dream to live and work on the African continent. Originally from Miami, Florida, I left the United States in 1962 at the age of nine.

I am an attorney by training, however through my work – retreats and workshops – I teach individuals (primarily women) and encourage them to create intentional change in their lives by discovering the transformative power of their stories, imagination and beliefs to manifest new possibilities.

Tell us about your family; married, divorced, children, grands, boomerangs or parents living with you, etc.

I am married with three birth sons, one earth son and several other adult children to whom I am “mom” or “Aunty Mozella”. My family considers themselves ‘citizens of the world’ having lived in Africa, Great Britain and Europe. They can always come home!

What is your favorite childhood memory that is reminiscent of growing up in the 50s, 60s or 70s?

I spent a lot of time playing and exploring outdoors – So, climbing trees and creating outdoor adventures and hiking are amongst my favorite childhood memories. Who needed electronic gadgets then?

What qualities do you have that speak of our generation of women?

I have an ability to gather family and friends together to enjoy each other’s company through creative and wildly fun ways. I have the gifts of connecting and communicating.

What inspires you?

I love the feeling of making a difference in the lives of others – there is such joy in sharing stories that encourage women to really be who they are and do what they came here to do. Anytime I’m fulfilling both my passion and my purpose, I am inspired by the opportunity and privilege of doing so.

What brings you the most pleasure in midlife?

Working and creating empowering experiences for women – especially helping them create more playtime in their lives.

Do you have any interesting hobbies?Moz_MachuPicchu

I love mountain hiking. I have climbed Machu Picchu, The Gros Piton in St. Lucia and Mt. Kilimanjaro twice: once when I was 50 (and we made it to 15,000 feet before having to turn around) and once 10 years later (we made it to the peak – 19,280 ft)

Do you have a favorite book or movie? If so, tell us why it’s your favorite.

I love movies that ‘fill the heart’ and although I can’t say that The Sound of Music is “my absolute favorite” it certainly is the movie I’ve watched the most – since childhood – and one that I never tire of seeing again…can you imagine I still cry every time I watch it?!

Do you travel and if so, who are your favorite travel partners and where do you like to go?

I love so many parts of the world – I travel with my family, my husband, and friends at times. The Far East, Bali, Turkey, Hong Kong, London, Italy, St. Lucia and Kenya are amongst some of my favorites spots in the world.

Do you practice preventive medicine? Please elaborate.

I am so ‘sold’ on preventive medicine – and so is my family. I believe that a healthy life-style is an intentional, proactive choice that reaps huge rewards in the way we feel and interact in our world. Our choice of food, exercise and outlook determines the quality of life that we actually enjoy.

What do you stress about?

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all that I ‘choose’ to do – especially when I find that I’m not practicing what I preach to maintain a healthy balance! Often I have to stop and course correct. I am not my best self until I get back to the “yes” of my daily rituals. Sometimes, I also worry too much about what others think. Just do it is a mantra I have come to love!

Is it important for you to retain your youthful looks, and if so, to what degree are you willing to go?

I’m willing to exercise to stay fit – I am willing to cleanse my system, eat well, meditate, pray and maintain a healthy, active outlook on life. That’s it – as much as I’d love to look and feel as vibrant as I can – I’m not willing to pursue any artificial (scientifically induced) means of doing so. So, the Serenity Prayer becomes critical for anything that I can’t change naturally!

Have you re-invented yourself, and if so, how?

Yes, although I am trained and qualified as an attorney, I didn’t waste too much time letting go of what no longer served me. I now pursue work that is aligned with my innate talents and purpose for being. Sometimes we go in a round about way to get to where we want to be …

Do you plan to retire?

Retire 🙂  ?

Are you doing anything to GO Green?

I think it’s so vitally important that we are consciously aware each day about the choices we make that impact our environment. For me, this means being vigilant about the use and proper disposal of paper and plastics. It also means choosing more natural options that support my health and the health of our earth.

Can you pinpoint major turning points in your life that led to your life’s work/play at midlife?

Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro twice in midlife has ramped up my desire to have as much play AND work as I can joyfully embrace. I find myself wanting to not just be more, but to do more too!

Do you still have unfulfilled dreams, and are you doing anything to accomplish them?

I find myself in a phase where my dreaming and imaginings are ongoing – that I am always at one place or the other in the fulfillment of them – it’s an exciting and intriguing journey to be on and I intend to keep moving until it isn’t possible or desirable to do so anymore.

How do you make a difference in the lives of others, your community, your world?

I strive to make a difference by sharing the ‘work’ I do in the world. To the best of my ability, I provide services and resources to others. I volunteer my time to teach “wealth literacy” to youth and their families – teaching them the basics of financial literacy and how to adopt a mindset that helps create well-being in their lives.

Who has had the biggest influence on your life and why?

My parents. It took a lot of faith and sense of courage and adventure for my father, who at the age of 33, fulfilled his vision by leaving the United States with his young family to a continent that was largely unknown to him. My mother embraced these changes, shared his passion, and adapted to a whole new life away from home. They changed our lives by introducing us to cultures, people and places that included not just Africa, but Europe, Great Britain and Asia as well.

My father was my living example of the power of thought and the way he lived his life has provided the foundation for the way I live mine.

If you were to have a personal mission statement, what would it be? Feel free to be as serious or fun as you choose.

Create great stories, turn them into dreams, add a healthy dash of belief, determination and intentional actions. Serve others, have fun watching sunsets, climbing trees, and mountains ~ enjoy a better life.

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