Meet Meghan Wills, founder of MindfulnessMeghan and recipient of Founders Fund’s Ideation Stage, $1,000 fund:
Who is Meghan Wills?
Meghan is a certified L1 and L2 Unified Mindfulness, Mindfulness Coach in Ottawa, ON, Canada, with a background in human resources, hospitality and philanthropy actively supporting Children, Youth and anti-discrimination related initiatives in our communities. Meghan is passionate about inclusive and accessible wellness and mental health support because of her own continued experiences as a multi-racial Black Canadian Woman (she/her) with a Jamaican heritage. Mindfulness is accessible to harness in our emancipation of mental slavery; it empowers self-awareness, self-mastery and equanimity.
What is the ultimate vision that you have for MindfulnessMeghan?
To be a successful dedicated, (full-time,) mindfulness coach providing services, tools and practices, including meditation, coaching, and training, in the Ottawa area and eventually Globally. My unique approach to coaching will align with clients, (individual, workplace, and group settings,) that seek practical, holistic and accessible wellness practices intersecting with anti-racism, anti-discrimination and the overall reduction of suffering within humanity.
Finally, my vision includes infusing mindfulness practices in support of self-mastery, belonging and inclusion into all levels of academia, (including research,) leadership and human resources, (public & private sector,) psychology and mental health, social work, health care and children/youth support.
When asked “What are things about yourself or your business that you were told has to change in order to fit into the traditional mould of a successful entrepreneur? How have you begun to overcome them?” Meghan responded:
The largest barriers were credentials, lack of representation of Black practitioners/teachers and how mindfulness is portrayed due to a more white centred perspective of it in North America. I was told often I needed to have certain credentials specifically in psychology or an MBSR certification, to be valuable, successful and worthy of entrepreneurship in general but in mindfulness as well. I didn't really receive anything more regarding feedback to change that wasn't intentionally sought out by me with aligned mentors that understand the specific challenges black women entrepreneurs face. I only started being more strategic and intentional around who I spoke with and what I applied for after receiving majority of the same responses from non-black advisors. Being able to release the expectations that I am going to be able to do it on my own and that everybody will understand what is common sense to me, was and has continued to be the support to overcoming these barriers. Humility, integrity, intuition and self-trust have guided me to have courage in the face of fear and doubt; they have also guided me to a wonderful community that have become my tribe in encouraging and supporting my vision. It became incredibly apparent that most of the barriers I experienced were due to internalized restrictive beliefs and this pushed me further into my mindfulness practices and compassionate boundaries to continue to uphold my self-care and self-love. The barriers around resources, (and this includes financial support) I was able to overcome by seeking information on my own through my tribe but also researching and networking.
Why did you decide to join the Founders Fund?
I honestly joined the founders fun for mentorship and support not expecting that I would be a finalist and recipient. The consistent scheduled support in webinars, training, mentorship etc, that was offered by specifically successful black business owners was very attractive and inspiring. I honestly did not access as much as I wanted to, especially once COVID-19 started affecting our communities.