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Emily Williams


Travel and Transformation Inside Our Bora Bora IHML Experience

Emily Williams

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We're a media, education and lifestyle company that supports you in elevating every area of your life. I started IHML in 2014 out of my own desire to love myself and my life. Welcome. We're glad you're here.
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When you blend travel and transformation, there’s no telling what massively positive shifts are in store. So when James and I started brainstorming how to make Bora Bora an IHML reality, we desired more than just a luxury retreat. From the moment our attendees set foot off their boat on this indescribably beautiful (and remote) island, we wanted them to embody a new level of change. More importantly, embrace a refreshingly well-earned reality.

“It’s your responsibility to make the most out of this life, be the best person you can be. So the legacy you leave behind is something that you are gonna be so proud of and that your family and the people around you are gonna be so grateful for.” — James Williams

This IHML Experience was special for numerous reasons. Not only was it a first for our clients, but for us as well! I’ve been desiring to see this South Pacific paradise for myself forever, but this specific trip has been snowballing since 2017. Bora Bora is this oasis some people dream of visiting, fantasizing about making it a retirement or late life travel spot. But why should we force ourselves to wait for that type of energizing experience? James and I are all about collapsing timelines, and this opportunity made for the perfect catalyst! And when we’re presented with the opportunity to experience travel and transformation, we surely make it happen.

To ensure our passion for travel and transformation was going to benefit our clients (and us), we had to assess the common themes in entrepreneurship… especially in ambitious women! The constant hustle, lack of self-care, and struggle with self-belief were common, detrimental denominators. We craved something truly immersive, a way to show these women what’s really possible when they step into their best selves. And that demands a release of the mindset that doesn’t serve their passion, purpose, and strategy. Who knew that travel and transformation were such an iconic duo?

Our days spent in Bora Bora proved that anything is possible when you allow yourself to step into the opportunity. Which is why we’re taking this IHML Show episode to talk about the shifts we ourselves experienced, our client’s shifts, the importance of self-belief, and what the future holds for IHML Experiences! This one set such a high standard, we can only imagine where this movement will go from here. Travel and transformation are taking on a whole new meaning here at I Heart My Life!

Paradise can be a very real possibility for you— if you set out on the journey to find it!

In This Episode:

  • [0:20] The first thoughts of inspiration for IHML to take on Bora Bora.
  • [4:27] James and I describe our arrival and first moments in Bora Bora plus what came up (amidst other big changes).
  • [8:41] These are some of the massive transformations James observed in our clients!
  • [10:36] I share my favorite moment in Bora Bora (plus a client’s major shift).
  • [13:07] James harps on the importance of recognizing your achievements.
  • [16:42] I opened up the conversation with James about the cruciality of self-care for ambitious women and entrepreneurs.
  • [21:21] The power of being present, according to James— and a particular hotel staff member who embodied it in every sense!
  • [26:45] Tune into the next phase of IHML Experiences (and what inspires this level of travel and transformation)…
  • [34:13] James has a message for those of you struggling with worthiness.
  • [37:44] Where you can start applying for upcoming IHML Experiences!


“As with everything, it was a sign of something very, very important, which I’ve come to realize that I Heart My Life’s intention is always impact first. So the best possible experiences and experiences that are gonna have the greatest possible outcome as the number one priority” — James Williams

“I do think from the outside looking in, like, it was a bit risky to, um, you know, sign the contract and move forward with this, not knowing how many people we were gonna get in our program and get at the actual experience itself. And, um, you know, like you said, it does require some courage, but I really believe that if my heart is calling me to do something, there is a reason for that.” — Emily Williams

“There was a tangible kind of energy. You could feel it even flying in then finally landing and getting there. You know, I think we both know, yes, this is going to be incredible, not just for the clients, but for us because it was so far outside of the bubble of our lives, of the world which is so full of information right now.” — James Williams

“And I think the word that kept coming up for everyone was just paradise because it is so secluded and every hotel has their own island essentially. And we kept saying, it’s kind of like Disney world, but it’s what Disney world tried to recreate. And this is actually natural and the real thing.” — Emily Williams

“I was actually being interviewed by somebody else recently and he hit the nail on the head and he said, okay, so what you’re telling me about these experiences, it basically sounds like 50% of the transformational work is done just by them signing up and then the rest happens and the actual place itself.” — Emily Williams

“When people show up and come to a new place, like that’s something that’s so beyond what they thought would be possible for them, at least for most of our clients. And it really is that whole experience of, of your vision board coming to life. That is life-changing in every sense of the word.” — Emily Williams

“The commitment to such a huge experience that in itself was hard to get to is a metaphor for the goals and dreams that we have in life.” — James Williams

“50% of the work had been done because all they were left with was the best version of themselves. The most inspired version that had the ability to pick out the voices that were in alignment with the truth of where they wanted to go.” — James Williams

“The environment we put ourselves in is a huge part of personal work. You know you’ll spend a lot of time making your home look the way you want it to look, you buy the clothes that represent you, all of these things. So when it comes to progress, the deepest work, the work on ourselves, all of these things aren’t changing. So yet you want to be this bigger version of yourself, but you’re trying to do it in this environment that still represents where you are, not where you want to be. It makes the growth so much easier, so much more powerful when you consciously put yourself in a curated, intentional environment of abundance. That is food and fuel for their growth.”  — James Williams

“What we’ve found is that entrepreneurs come to us thinking they need a business strategy or marketing or whatever those tangible things are and tangible in terms of the business sense. And what we realize is they actually need to slow down. They need the mindset work, they need to take better care of themselves.” — Emily Williams

“It’s the most important thing because you could have the best marketing team in the world. You could have the best strategist, the best quality of material in the world for whatever it is you do or sell. But unless you, as the leader of the company or of your life, is capable of showing up as that best person every single day, then all of that stuff is never gonna be as powerful.” — James Williams

“ A big theme for me over the last few years is recognizing I run a company,  I Heart My Life. And there were many, many periods where I didn’t feel that way. And I was so about the work that I was doing and it was very unbalanced and so really starting to implement rest and recovery, but things that also fuel me and bring me joy.” — Emily Williams

“You and I have talked about it many times since returning back to Texas, we just ask ourselves: how can we bring Bora Bora and the way that we were and the way that we showed up and what we experienced back into our reality here? And that’s always the goal for us. We’re very aware that when people attend events and retreats, it’s great while you’re in the room, but then what happens when you get back into real life?” — Emily Williams

“It’s your responsibility to make the most out of this life, be the best person you can be. So the legacy you leave behind is something that you are gonna be so proud of and that your family and the people around you are gonna be so grateful for.” — James Williams

“The online space has so many benefits, but being in person, it just creates a deeper level of connection. And we saw that firsthand at our Bora Bora retreat.” — Emily Williams

Links & Resources

Follow the I Heart My Life Show on Apple Podcasts 

Subscribe to the I Heart My Life Show on Spotify

Connect with Emily:

Emily Williams Website

Emily on Instagram

I Heart My Life Website

I Heart My Life on Instagram

I Heart My Life on Facebook

I Heart My Life on LinkedIn

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