Sitting in a treehouse in the jungle of Tulum, Mexico, you can find former nightlife & hospitality executive Apollonia Keys Martinez – Lifestyle & Reinvention Specialist – who says the key to life is focusing on your personal wellbeing & development.
With a 20+ year background in developing lifestyle brands, Apollonia shares a universal view on the effects of society, business, and self in this new paradigm and how companies are now seeing the importance of investing in the overall health of an organization. The latter is done by implementing wellbeing as a key pillar to operating in high-intensity environments that need to begin from the inside out.
Apollonia, formally Known as Anne-Marie, takes us on a ride through the different planes of existence, reminding us that all is connected, as above so below.
Before we begin. You have recently changed your name, correct? From Anne-Marie to Apollonia? Why the name change?
Yes, I did. I decided I wanted to be called by a name that I believe suits who I am today and not by the name I was given; but the one I choose to be called.
When I moved to Mexico I truly embodied this new name (which I had been using for years, by the way, at the gym and at Starbucks!) and wanted to be called this as I was in the process of my own personal evolution and it felt good.
What is reinvention in the new paradigm?
“Reinvention in the new paradigm” is a branding formula to transform and reinvent any individual or company from the inside out. It’s about defining the SOUL purpose from a heart-centered place that weaves experiences and passions together to create, do, and have what feels right and serves the highest good of self, society, and the planet.
You created Conscious Concierge Tulum that aims to apply lifestyle experiences that weave spiritual, cultural, and wellness practices to the entertainment industry. What kind of experience does this bring to practitioners?
I am bridging the gap by providing a service that supports the overall wellbeing of an industry whose entire culture is built on entertaining others, therefore sometimes having no sense of reality. These experiences are designed to awaken and help heal the over-worked and over-achiever.
Based on your expertise in both the global Hospitality and Entertainment industries, what measures need to be taken by the industry as the first step towards a significant sustainable change?
The first step is providing employees access to wellness programs relevant to the industry they are in. For example, being a former hospitality professional came with years of long working hours, people-pleasing, and poor habits that affected my emotional and physical state. By wanting to provide stellar service to our customer experience, I neglected my own health and eventually burnt out.
You’ve taken part in Oprah’s 2015 “Belief” initiative to raise awareness on global awakening and human connection. How did that experience help you through your own self-awakening journey?
To be honest with you, I got that opportunity after walking into AGAPE Spiritual Center in Los Angeles when I cried in the arms of this Reverand named Caroline. Then, she invited me into her office to see her and shared her personal story, which was similar to mine. That actually opened my eyes to see I was not alone, although I felt I was.
Agape Spiritual Center was founded and is led by Reverand Michael Beckwith of the book “The Secret.” Most of the community who attend are spiritual healers and lightworkers who worked in entertainment at one time or another. So, the eclectic mix of people who are all one in the same as they are all “seekers” on the path to help make this world a better place.
What was the personal revelation you had that led to you embarking on this journey? What challenges did you face along the way?
It was quitting my job and leaving behind the lifestyle and image I had created for myself with the fear of being forgotten if I did. But my heart knew I didn’t belong in some of the environments I was in as my spirit was yearning for deeper meaning and connection. I just didn’t think it was with myself. This was the beginning of my personal journey to self-love.
Not everyone can/is open to having a moment of revelation or awakening like the one you had a few years ago; why is that? What needs to be initiated first for one to come to that realization?
Aahh, well, most people are not ready to see the truth or accept it, so instead, they allow the distractions of life to keep them from ever truly living a life they deserve. For them, there is no “time” to notice that there is more to life than the material world and they keep up with this “race” to no finish line. It’s not until we are forced to stop that we are faced with looking at ourselves; most people don’t even know who they are, and when they become aware, they lose this “identity” of who they think they were.
The key is to surrender, accept and then learn who you are, then learn how to love and take care of yourself, which is ultimately our only job: to be well.
In what ways did your spiritual awakening affect your relationship with your clients?
Well, I lost some and then gained many. I got really clear about my values and belief systems, which helped me identify the types of clients I wanted to work with.
What is your secret to fusing wellness and personal development in the corporate and entertainment world?
My secret is being myself. I learned a long time ago that my commitment to my growth would rely on me being my authentic self. I speak from the heart, which has nothing to do with my education or career experience. Before, I hid being authentic and conforming to “fit in” or be “accepted” by my peers; but my integrity and values were always strong. Therefore, that part never changed. I have always spoken up about what I believe in and realized some don’t because they are afraid.
You have to keep it real and be confident about what you believe in. I want the people I encounter to know that being better is an inside job and that we are all going through the same challenges in different ways.
Can you tell us a bit about your Intuitive Lifestyle Design program and its objectives?
This is special. I created the Intuitive Lifestyle Design Program to empower and support one’s personal journey to self-realization. It is a 6-month program that focuses on developing new habits and practices through conscious living using emotional and spiritual intelligence as the foundation—incorporating the Gene Keys teachings, consciousness, metaphysics, quantum healing, health & nutrition, and wellbeing.
What are some of the common obstacles women in the nightlife hospitality industry face throughout their journey? What has your role been in empowering & bringing change to them?
Being objectified and then having to get into your masculine energy to protect yourself and prove your worth and opinion in the boardroom. But I believe that this has changed for the better as the divine masculine is waking up to the divine feminine and how vital her role is.
I have been very vocal with women in the industry about how we have to take care of one another and encourage each other to grow and still have a leading role in our careers without compromising our integrity or reputations. I have mentored many women whom I believe to be phenomenal human beings. I do my best to be who I wish I would have been growing up.
In your opinion, what is the best way to remain connected and in balance with one’s authentic self and values, even in the most volatile and stressful industries and practices?
You have to believe there is more for you and choose what is worth compromising your health & wellbeing for, which, for me, is nothing. If an environment is stressful, finding healthy practices and work-life balance doesn’t affect your personal life.
This is why it is so crucial for companies to incorporate wellness programs that support their employees.
In your opinion, what added value can more women bring to the table to the practices of ethical business? How can this impact international corporations & industries in the long run?
Women’s added value to the corporate world is to embody their feminine energy. This is how we reclaim and step back into our power and lead with grace.
How do you manage stress and avoid burnout?
I have a daily practice that comes first no matter where I am or what I am doing. My practice consists of meditation, walks in nature, listening to music, dancing, envisioning exercises, talks with God.
I do not put anything or anyone before me, as I now understand that if I’m not good, I am no good for anyone else.
What piece of advice would you give to any woman start-up?
Get to know yourself. Learn your patterns. Heal. Always choose YOU first. You are all you’ve got.
What’s next for Apollonia Keys Martinez?
I’m ready for a family and to welcome in love I can share with a partner. I have also been writing a motivational memoir about my life. I believe it’s important to share our stories as you never know who you could be inspiring not to give up.