London PE Readers Meet-Up (Aug 21, 2011) – Pictures and Afterthought!
Hi everyone! 😀 The Personal Excellence London Meet-up went ahead as planned on 21 Aug – and it was a complete blast! 😀
Many readers in UK turned up, and we ended up filling up over half of the cafe’s seats! Believe it or not – We even had readers outside of UK who happened to be traveling in UK in the moment (Shabnah from Australia, and Girija from India), and took time out to attend the meet-up. We also had readers living outside London who traveled all the way into the city for the meet-up (Bob, Catherine, Tom and Emilie from Cambridge, and Imelda from up Gloucestershire, which is in the south-west of UK!).
All in all, we had a fantastic turnout of 15 people, and it was a great Sunday afternoon spent together in a lovely vegan cafe.
For those of you who missed the meet-up, check out the pictures below:
VitaOrganic Cafe, at 74 Wardour street in the heart of vibrant and funky Soho
The interior of the cafe. It’s a nice, small and cosy cafe – we took up over half the cafe that day! We most definitely helped to boost their sales for that day.
Group shot #1 (Clockwise, from left to right): Shabnah, Bob, Tom, Lyndy, Emilie, Catherine, Deepa and Girija
Group shot #2 (again, clockwise from left to right): Hanna, Robert, Adrienne, Imelda, Justina
Me and Shabnah – she practices medicine, and lives in Australia. Can you believe it – She happened to be in London for a holiday, which happened to fall right in the middle of our UK meet-up date! How serendipitous is that?
Justina (very spunky and savvy lady from Lithuania), Imelda (sweet angel from Indonesia – currently working in UK), Hanna (born and bred in London, with a passion for yoga – she’s participating in 30BBM now too 😉 )
We hung out from 3pm (the scheduled meeting time), till 7pm. I reached at 3:35pm unfortunately (my deepest apologies to everyone who came on time) because I was coming over from a separate gathering (in Hammersmith), and had underestimated the time taken to get to the cafe in Piccadilly Circus. Of course, getting on the wrong train on my way over didn’t help as well. -_-‘ (Still getting the hang of the railway and tube systems here)
Luckily, all the readers were such lovely angels and mingled among themselves until I arrived.
Aubrey (PE reader and my very lovely hostess for the first 3 weeks of my London stay! She came later and hence wasn’t in the group shot in the beginning)
Such a sweet family shot! Bob (Dad), Catherine (Mom), Tom and Emilie are a family, literally. All of them read Personal Excellence – a truly conscious and growth-oriented family! ♥ They live in Cambridge (up north) and drove all the way down for the meet-up!
To be honest, I had an amazing time talking to everyone. Everyone started off introducing him/herself as part of ice breaking, after which I spent about 10-15 minutes addressing the group. After that, I attended to each person individually as I wanted to get to know everyone up close and personal.
We covered all sorts of topics – both Personal Excellence and non-Personal Excellence related. Personal Excellence related topics included how they first came across PE, how long they’ve been reading the blog, their favorite articles, what they liked best about it… and non-Personal Excellence related topics include sharing about themselves, their background, what got them started on their growth journey, their biggest passions today, their aspirations for the future, etc.
Me and the very lovely Deepa, who has been practicing law for a decade. She’s very cosmopolitan – lived in Paris for over 20 years, followed by Chicago for a few years, then now London. Traveling makes the world seem so small!
Deepa and her lovely mom, Girija. Girija first started reading PE, and then shared it with Deepa just about a month ago. What amazed me about Girija is that she’s passionately pursuing personal growth at her age, where most will just sit back and stagnate. She’s a golden example for all of us to follow!
Me and Girija again
Me and the sweet, softspoken Hanna. Hanna has a deep passion for yoga and spirituality and wants to set up a blog in this area in the future. I told her that she should definitely go for it!
Bubbly Adrienne (from US, Boston, and now staying in London) and her boyfriend, Robert
Me and Justina again. Justina is a very sweet-wise and well-read individual – she came with ready questions, all of which were very well thought-out.
Thank YOU to all of you who took time off and came to the meet-up. All of you are absolute angels, and I had such a wonderful time talking to each of you – Shabnah, Bob, Tom, Lyndy, Emilie, Catherine, Deepa, Girija, Hanna, Robert, Adrienne, Imelda, Justina and Aubrey.
I wished I had more time to speak to everyone individually and get to know you better, but at the end of the day I’m immensely grateful that we got the chance to see each other, and the universe somehow brought us together in this world of 7 billion people. I really couldn’t have asked for more.
Separately, some readers in other EU countries (Amsterdam, Germany, France) have been requesting me to do a meet-up when I revisit the countries. I’ll really love to, actually. It all boils down to whether we can amass enough people to be honest (I’d say at least 5 to proceed with a meet-up) – My sense is that the Personal Excellence reader base in Germany or France is smaller vs. UK (as not everyone knows English there) and the readers are a lot more scattered (since Germany / France is quite large), so it’s tougher to do it there.
Either way, I promise all of you that I’ll do a holler out on Personal Excellence the next time I drop by the countries. In the meantime, my wish is to continue to grow Personal Excellence and extend its reach to all corners of the world, such that we can have meet-ups everywhere we go! 😀