A Mindful chat with Leonie Lepenos, founder & CEO of MAATÏ MAATÏ
When you meet Leonie, the first thing you feel is her amazing, positive, loving energy. She is the creator of MAATÏ MAATÏ, and an expert in all things Meditation and Energy Healing, that she teaches in her Online Coaching Courses. This is an inspiring, powerful chat with her.
We thank you for being here, Leonie! It’s a real pleasure to have you on LIVE LIKE A HEROINE. Firstly, we’d love to know the story behind your gorgeous brand, MAATÏ MAATÏ. What was the inspiration behind such beautifully crafted spiritual objects?
Thank you so deeply for having me! Well, this is quite a long story, I try to shorten it a bit! I would like to start with our slogan, which is spiritual luxury - I created this term already during the product development and this is our philosophy on which the entire business operates since our launch 3 years ago. Each of our products supports a charitable organization based on its design and 10% of the proceeds are automatically donated. I wanted to prove that material and spiritual luxury are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and in fact can complement each other beautifully! For me, there is so much involved in the idea of “spiritual luxury” – it’s an entire attitude, a value system, a way of life... it is Luxury for the Soul. Because besides all these aspects of doing good, donating to charity partner projects, producing sustainably and fair....these products are crafted to fulfill your soul, to raise your vibes! Because YESSSS, it is OK to buy something nice for yourself and to be spiritual at the same time! Living a life in abundance – limitless! Beautiful things and aesthetic harmony make us happy. Is that superficial? Absolutely not! I am firmly convinced that colors, unique designs, and noticeably good quality is something that moves us deeply. Colors speak to us subconsciously. Beauty is something that makes our hearts beat a little faster and something that makes us aim higher. Yes, I do believe that joy is contagious. Sometimes through the simplest things in the world, sometimes through the most beautiful. Spirituality can be lived and interpreted in a modern and contemporary way. To strive for the best of the best – to aim for the highest – and be connected to one’s self, one’s soul, the inner light. That is spiritual luxury, what MAATÏ MAATÏ stands for. And there is also a story behind each of our products. Some are even energized and I channeled every single design in meditations - so the inspiration somehow found me. In general this brand found me, it came literally to me. I sat there, meditated and got this whole idea, the whole business plan channeled through! So what I had to do was only trusting - and bringing this concept directly from the universe into this world - it sounds freaky, I know - but that’s how it has been... And fortunately I was too curious, so I just did it. I quit my job and began. And that was the beginning.
What are the challenges of creating sustainable goods?
In general: You have to think about EVERY SINGLE DETAIL, it is crazy, really. But it is so worth it! And developing this kind of sustainable premium cork yoga mat was intense – this is where I startet and it was a completely new technique, but I always knew it will work one day, even though no one else did. But I think the biggest challenge for me was to combine sustainability with aesthetics back then. Because nobody understood what I wanted! Four years ago, when I started to develop THE MATS by MAATÏ MAATÏ, there existed only sustainability OR aesthetically designed pieces, but not together. Sustainability with a modern approach was really rare. So this was real pioneer work and I couldn’t be happier that I finally made it after almost 1 year of intense product development together with the amazing cork farmers and manufacturers in Portugal. I love to see how the market appreciates these values more and more as the world is changing and especially in the fashion, beauty and lifestyle industry there is a transforming movement towards a sustainable future now. Finally!
You are not only MAATÏ MAATÏ founder & CEO, but also Energy Healer, High Life Coach, Meditation Trainer, Ascended Master Medium, and Soul Reader. What is the best piece of spiritual knowledge you could share with our readers?
This is a super complex topic of course - and we steadily grow and rise by getting to know ourselves better and better and reconnecting with ourselves on a deeper level. It is a journey, not one thing we do and then it’s done (would be amazing though 😃)! But what I repeat all over again and again in my 1:1 coachings and healing sessions: Allow yourself to put your truest self first - be your soul‘s best friend! I mean who else could that be? Only you - this is you. This is your chance, your life, your decision - and it is an active decision (and a daily training) to be happy, to be grateful, to choose the good, bright side of life. And this does not mean to not deal also with the darker, challenging parts in life - do the inner work, embracing also challenging situations and seeing your darker parts clearly to transform them! But always keep in mind to choose the light, decide actively for the good life, be your best friend, care for yourself, nourish your soul and love unconditionally - and first of all: yourself. This is healing.
What is your approach to self-love and self-care?
For me self-love is like the base of spiritual growth. First of all it is super important to understand that self-love is not egoistic at all - it is about being in the pure energetic state of love, starting with yourself. This includes self-care automatically for me- when you really begin to love yourself, your care for you naturally. When being connected with yourself, you set boundaries, you know what’s good and healthy for you (including nutrition, movement, work life balance etc): All these things do not need any descriptions or „fancy titles“ anymore - it just happens naturally. You know who you are and what you want in life, what’s good for you. And then - you spread this feeling of inner love all over in step 2 - to give the world the best of you, not the rest of you. And yes! You are the best version of yourself when being in the state of unconditional love! And that’s why self-love isn’t selfish at all, but healing of your environment and this world, too! It’s all about the energy we spread :)
Has your approach to beauty and appearance changed and evolved over time?
Yes! Totally! Actually I use far less Make up than some years ago - I think this was also my process of self love over the last few years: accepting my purest self 100% - and shining it from the inside out! Not needing to „hide“ or cover myself anymore..But also: I nourish my self, my skin, my body much more - only with natural and plant-based products of course. For example I do use also raw olive oil from my own olive trees in Greece (I am half Greek and my family lives there) - I love the feeling of knowing and seing exactly how the ingredients grow over years, this gives me the feeling of being connected with Nature, being nourished by Mother Earth herself.
What is your favorite way to take care of yourself?
Checking in every morning: I start my day by actively connecting with my self. I have developed a game-changing morning ritual, which connects mind, body and soul and which levels up the frequency. Afterwards I meditate to prepare my day consciously. That’s the best thing to take care for myself every single day. Of course there might be situations throughout the day when I feel I disconnected - but then it is much easier to take just 1,2 minutes to reconnect when you are already „tuned in“ from the morning.
What about exercise and wellness?
Much needed and definitely a must for me! This is also a part of self-care for me personally. But I am never too strict to myself in terms of exercising - I practice yoga regularly (yin and yang styles - passive and active ones like vinyasa etc.) and I enjoy massages circa 2 times per month. What’s important to me: I listen to myself and my body and do not push too much. There are some days I prefer the softer restorative yin classes and that´s okay, I accept that. I mean we have enough stress and performance optimizations everywhere around these days - so I take it easy - Movement and Wellness yes, but there is no need to run daily 10 km or so....Having fun, slightly moving, getting back into flow - that’s enough in my opinion.
What does your nighttime routine look like? Do you have any sleep tips?
I do a gratitude exercise every evening before going to bed: I reflect and focus on the good things, that happened throughout the day. I thank mentally the people, who made this day that special. For me it is also super important to sleep in a peaceful environment. I have some crystals in my bedroom and I love to have fresh flowers next to my bed - sometimes I enjoy to sleep to crystal bowl sounds (audio files) or relaxing music. Oh and most important: I put my phone far away from my bed before sleeping! :)
Your go-to breakfast. Why is nutrition so important for our spiritual self?
Ok - in this point I will officially fail haha... to be honest in the morning I am the happiest girl enjoying my cappuccino right after my spiritual morning routine - and that’s it. Then I‘m going to have a nice walk in the forest with my dog, having my first calls and eat afterwards...eating whatever I feel like that day - I am not taking things food wise too strict... I eat what I like and feels good for my body - so far I never had issues with that - I think the point is much more to going back to enjoy eating again. To celebrate food and to eat consciously - I am not a friend of all those thousands of diets and counting calories etc - I think we have to relearn to enjoy food again without hard feelings! There‘s too good, healthy yummy food to restrict and limit ourselves all the time. And when being conscious, you know exactly what works for you - your body will tell you. You just have to listen.
Ok, let’s talk beauty now. Your bathroom: more is more or Marie Kondo? What skincare products are you loving at the moment?
Hum. The funny thing is: my bathroom looks like more is more - but really beauty routine wise I am like the Marie Kondo in person! Water and Balinese raw coconut oil, sometimes my greek family’s olive oil - that’s it during the summer time for my daily life....But I definitely have to try the Muse&Heroine partner products! :)
What are the three beauty products you always have in your handbag?
😄 I really don’t have even 3 with me - a lip butter ... nothing else🙈
The place you go to find inspiration?
I go for a mindful walk in the forest - into the woods, without my mobile, without someone else, without anything - completely pure - only my dog Noula is allowed to join :). In nature I always find myself. And then the inspiration flows through me naturally. I got inner messages and images easily when being connected and feeling pure.
Meditation and yoga can sometimes feel intimidating, especially for those who have never tried it. Any ice-breaking tips?
Sure! I guess the biggest problem is, that people have this outdated esoteric image of meditation. That´s not what modern spirituality is about! In my opinion meditation can be anything - it doesn’t has to be sitting in lotus pose for 3 hours having an „empty mind“ - everything you do consciously is meditation! Begin for example to walk mindfully - all alone in nature, step by step, feel every step you take consciously, being in the moment, see these flowers, the trees... It’s all about being in the moment and becoming conscious. Being creative can be a great tool to meditate, too! So paint! Or sing! Or dance! Meditation for me is to feel ourselves, to connect with our souls. Feeling that there is much more than our thoughts and our monkey mind. Behind all that you find yourself. Oh and Yoga - yes... I think that’s normal - give yourself 5 times, 5 classes of yoga. It’s not easy in the beginning and It takes some time to become friends with yoga :) So I recommend 5 times - afterwards you still can decide if you like it or not - be patient with yourself, like you were when you learned how to ride the bicycle as a child. You learn something completely new - give yourself time. Slow down. Yoga is always a journey.
And last but not least, any advice for someone who`s looking to build a life that they love?
Well... just do it! You have this one life, right? So you have this one chance - right now! What are you waiting for? There won’t be the perfect timing - and there won’t be this one idea, THE ONE concept, that is loved by everyone - there will always be critic and doubters...the more people you may ask, the more opinions you will hear. Stop talking to too many people about your life - it’s your life, not theirs! This would just distract you from your truest self – because you have it within already. Everything - and also the answer for how to build your personal perfect life. It´s already there waiting for you. Allow yourself to step into the good life, dare to do so! So if you love an idea and believe in it- go for it! Believe in yourself! YOU have to be that one person, no one else. And then grow - step by step, getting there - it doesn’t have to be perfect in the beginning, by step one, it´s a journey…but you have to take that one step into the right direction. You just have to begin somewhere... and the time is now. Take that step. Now.