Mapping Your Path into 2024
What could be possible if you had a map and a destination tailored for YOU rather than aimlessly wandering into the New Year with half-baked resolutions? What if the journey felt FUN, joyous, and spacious, with a sense of CONNECTION to yourself, and to others, as you make real strides towards what lights you up?
Set yourself up for success in the New Year starting now.
Give yourself permission to explore, flourish, and thrive.
Take off the pressure. Find focus.
Enjoy the ride!
It’s about defining your own way, taking steps toward the life you want, and getting things done with ease and flow.
The FUN kicks off Oct 6th! 🚀
YOU ARE HERE.
Where do you want to be?
Maps help get us where we want to go. They give us the confidence to explore and to get lost, to find our way back, and reroute where needed. Use your map as a tool to help you make decisions, or detours, as you gain perspective of the new lands you’re uncovering. You can get anywhere when you do.
- Exploratory maps
- New exercises for your personal toolkit
- Your own mini guidebook to refer to when things go off course
- A word, theme, or mantra to carry you forward (your guiding force)
- New friends + support system
- A new, empowered mindset!
It’s time to be intentional.
Every month we’ll unlock new insights through creative exercises as you build your toolkit for life. Join the global community as you carve out time for you, and what you want out of your futures. MYP is time for you to reflect and come back to what truly lights you up. ✨
There is power to doing this work in community and knowing you are not alone. This is the vibe you can expect, along with direct support with Anne along the way:
IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES.
ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
3-MONTH WORKSHOP + COMMUNITY
Kick-off: Oct 6 🚀
If you’ve never experienced Street Wisdom you’re in for a treat! All you need is your feet to guide you as you experience a few “tune ups” that will help you tune into the world around you before taking a question into the world during the “quest.” It’s great for finding new solutions to anything you’ve been struggling with. It’s a great tool for business or life!
Street Wisdom can be experienced anywhere, at any time (the audio prompts are free on Spotify). Even inside your home. September 29th you can experience it to the next level during the World Wide Wander when free walkshops will be offered around the globe, but in person, and online. (I first experienced Street Wisdom online and spotted Keanu Reeves!)
Even if you don’t fully know what you’re signing up for, I highly recommend giving it a go!
P.S. Mapping Your Path into 2024 is currently enrolling! The fun kicks off Oct 6th. Don’t miss out!
We’ve become so dependent on phones do we even know how to read maps any more? And when was the last time you made your own map? In this FieldTrip we’ll be getting lost and making your own hand-drawn maps. (NO artistic ability required.) Maps are an amazing tool to help give you clarity on where you want to go. In this Make A Map! FieldTrip we’ll be using them to help us unlock our imagination, embrace our inner child, and dream.
Participants should bring paper and their favorite pen (it’s good to have a ballpoint pen on hand too). Bring a banana to map on too (trust me)! This is an all-inclusive workshop—an orange, lemon, or other untraditional thing to map on works too.
✨WHAT TO EXPECT✨
✔️ Disconnect and engage your creative juices in analog form
✔️ We’ll be making 2 maps in the course of 1 hour. This is a fast-paced workshop, but the joy comes from creative constraints.
✔️ Anyone who is open to sharing will be invited to share their maps! Prepare to be surprised and delighted. (Use #MakeaMapFieldTrip to share online)
Sign up for FREE on CreativeMornings to join the FieldTrip on Sept 12th!
WHEN: Sat, 2 Sep 2023 14:00 – 18:00 BST
WHERE: CitizenM Tower of London
When was the last time you were in a room with strangers? When was the last time you took the time to connect with others? With yourself? With where you’ve been and where you’re going?
CONNECT THE DOTS is an interactive, creative workshop about connection. Using creative mapping and data visualisation alongside other visual strategies, we’ll explore our worlds from different perspectives and directions in a way that gets us out of our heads and onto paper. Together Anne and Stefanie will draw upon their superpowers to help you discover new connections, patterns, and reconnect with yourself.
You’ll walk away from the analogue workshop with three concrete exercises to help you stay connected moving forward. It will be hands-on, interactive, and participatory as you uncover patterns in your life. All you need is an open mind to join: no creative, artistic, or data visualisation skills are required!
This workshop is perfect for you if you’re:
- Looking to stir up your creative juices
- Interested in building some new skills
- Curious about how data visualisation can help you understand yourself through mapping your closest relationships
- Are open to making new connections and meeting new people
- Looking for an excuse to disconnect from screens
- Want to do something fun and for yourself
What you can expect / topics covered:
- How to get out of your head and think differently
- Data collection as a reflective practice
- Visualising your closest connections through drawing
- Pattern spotting
- Creative mapping exercises
By the end of the workshop participants will:
- Make new connections in the room
- Have laughed and enjoyed themselves
- Gain new insights from their personal data
- See the bigger picture and new visibility on their next steps
You’ll be able to apply the skills and exercises you learn in this workshop to other aspects of your life. Prepare to unplug, have some fun, and connect the dots!
Materials will be provided. Keep your eye out for an email the day before the event with the pre-work to ponder. (We promise it’s easy!)
This is a rare opportunity to join Anne and Stefanie in the same room together (where you can also expect beautiful views over London). Space is limited.
About the workshop leaders
Anne Ditmeyer is a Paris-based creative coach + workshop facilitator who uses her design background to encourage creative exploration through mapping exercises (including making people map on bananas!). Past clients include CreativeMornings, Adobe, Parsons Paris, and Louis Vuitton. She is best known for her workshops Write Your Own Rules and Mapping Your Path. Her work has been featured in Forbes and Psychologies Magazine. You can find her at anneditmeyer.com, pret-a-voyager.com, and @pretavoyager
Stefanie Posavec is a London-based designer, artist, and author exploring experimental approaches to communicating data and information to all ages and audiences. Her work has been exhibited at major galleries including the V&A, the Design Museum (London), the Centre Pompidou (Paris), and MoMA (NYC), where her work is also in the permanent collection. Her latest book (with Miriam Quick) is I am a book. I am a portal to the universe. Previous books (with Giorgia Lupi) include Dear Data and Observe, Collect, Draw! You can find her online at stefanieposavec.com and @stefpos
Sign up on Eventbrite to grab your spot for Sept 2. It’s also a great excuse to travel if you don’t live in London ;)
My 7+ year dream of attending the magical masked Bal de Versailles lived up to everything I’d hoped it would be, and more. I already shared the behind-the-scenes of preparing for the Bal de Versailles, but I know you’re dying to see what the ball was actually like. It was MAGICAL. ✨
Watch this (and make sure you turn the sound on):
View this post on Instagram
The official Bal doesn’t start until 11pm, but guests can arrive starting at 9pm for the fountain and music show. This is open to the public as well (with tickets), so we definitely underestimated how many tourists would be there fun. It took us awhile to get through the initial gardens and fountain near the Chateau because tourists would ask us for photos. We took tons of photos too as it was completely surreal!
The perk of arriving earlier is you have better light (the sun sets around 11pm in June in Paris). It also meant you could clearly see the incredible spectrum of outfits! Best people-watching EVER and people truly looked amazing. If you’re going to go, why not go all out?
The fountain “show” really is music playing with the fountains on. Not much of a show. Around 10:30pm the fireworks started (along with fireballs!). Some of our group arrived later so they got cool photos with the fireworks up by the chateau. My friends I was with by the time watched down closer where they were setting off the fireworks.
When the show was over, the tourists headed home, and the rest of us headed up to the Orangerie where the masked ball took place. It was so cool to get the overhead view of where we were going. There’s a big stairway to head down, and then you walk along a row of illuminated palm trees to the grand entry.
This year’s theme was “space” which you noticed a bit at the entry and some early acts, but didn’t seem to carry through beyond that. There were some pretty impressive costumes of the performers who were part of the entry area. It was a true experience!
Friends who had been in the past had suggested getting VIP tickets, and now I understand why. It’s nice to have a place to sit and take a break. It’s not only hot outside, it’s hot in the costumes, so it does help to pace yourself if you want to make it sunrise breakfast.
My group had regular admission tickets, but by a magical twist of fate got gifted 9 VIP spots the week of the Bal (you receive a wrist bracelet after your ticket is scanned that gets checked when you enter the space). It was sweet having an easy meeting place, own bathroom, bars, and the real appeal: two free coups of champagne (which we dubbed thimbles because those glasses definitely didn’t hold much), and a buffet! Also VIP guests had some truly incredible costumes!
Having food was definitely good for keeping us going. While you’re at a Bal at a chateau one is probably imagining elaborate silver chaffing dishes and a big spread. These were more small bite sized foods you could pop into your mouth. You never knew what was coming next. You weren’t actually sure what you were eating either (not ideal for vegetarians or people with food allergies as nothing was labeled.) Still every time I was in the area, I’d try to get a bit of extra fuel for me.
My only “complaint” of the evening is the lack of water. It was hot! Not unbearable but definitely summer (and it had been sweltering earlier in the day). You were expected to buy bottles of water, which were 7€ a pop. Most of the bars poured the bottles into cups. Our bar seemed to give us the bottle. Some friends would then refill that bottle in the bathroom. While the bathrooms were quite nice for temporary bathrooms, they weren’t actual bathrooms, so the water was not marked potable nor non-potable (no one got sick so think it was good!).
The whole food and drink system worked by a token system (“les jetons”). You could buy a pack there. I ended up only spending 35€ on tokens for the entire evening. Basically soft drinks were 1 token, and alcoholic drinks were 2 tokens. Our VIP free drinks helped. (There are fancier upsells as well with a guaranteed table and unlimited champagne, but I actually preferred the VIP area; the other levels did give you a view of the stage and performers). I was grateful I paced myself with the alcohol because it meant I enjoyed myself more and could make it all night.
The music went all night. Every hour (or maybe twice an hour?) there were main stage performances. They all had a different theme. Some were more acrobatic, others were full on dance. They were fun.
It was great the windows and doors were open for fresh air all night. We often navigated between the dance floor and the VIP area outside so we didn’t have to battle the crowds. I never made it too far without running into one of my friends too, so I ping-ponged between groups all night which was great fun.
Those without VIP would enjoy the cushioned areas along the window wall of the dance area, or have a seat in the garden (chairs or on the grass). Throughout the night you definitely found people asleep! (VIP had the best area for naps too.)
The ultimate goal is to make it to sunrise. Much of our group opted for sleep before then. I’m glad I made it. After the final musical act they announced that coffee and croissants were being served. It felt like a rite of passage!
Alas, the sunrise was more like the lights gradually coming on outside in this epic movie set we’d spent the night in. There was no actual sunrise, at least not one that we spotted.
To complete the experience, I somehow convinced my friends to take public transportation home. We’d taken a van to the event—the right move, especially given the heat and we surely would have been paparazzied! We even had our own carriage of the train—shockingly a 6:30am train [RER C] on a Sunday is not very crowded ;) There were earlier trains, but it was about an hour between trains, so it’s just good to check on Google to make sure you’re not sitting at the station forever. We enjoyed a slow stroll to the station. Versailles is a very charming town.
It most definitely was a night to remember.
For years I’ve dreamed of attending the Bal de Versailles, an all-night masked party in the style of Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette in the gardens and Orangerie of the Chateau de Versailles. (I have my friend Sara to thank for writing this Marie Claire article that planted the seed.) Despite a few misfires in past years, it somehow feels fated that the year I would attend also happens to be the 7th anniversary of my getting my French citizenship. Vive la France!
Before I get into the nitty-gritty of planning, first I must point out this is not an event that you half-ass. It’s not the kind of place where you feel like you’re dragging people along to go with you (although I’m fairly certain that they’d still have fun). You want to go with people who are just as—if not more—enthusiastic about going as you are.
For my “crew” it all started shortly after Christmas when my friend Shweta and I were talking and realized we really wanted to go and bought our tickets. We spread the word amongst friends, and it soon became clear who was ALL IN. It also became clear that the anglophones were far more into this hoopla than my French friends. I extended the invite to friends overseas, but knowing the likelihood they’d come was slim, but I wanted to ask and there were some close calls. (Apparently, there are a lot of folks who travel just to come to the event.) Thankfully, we were all enthusiastic enough to get our tickets before they sold out a couple of months later.
Before I knew it I had a posse of HELL YES friends who were in. Most of them didn’t know each other, but that didn’t stop them from wanting to join anyway. I realized it’s what I love doing in life—connecting awesome people. So the first order of business was starting a WhatsApp group. This became fun when we started finding our dresses, but also thinking about details like masks and wigs.
We’d only be in touch sporadically in the months leading up to the Bal, but I found great joy in the ridiculousness of this planning. It was immensely helpful having something fun to look forward to during the winter months.
I first went to the costume shop, Sommier & Fils and reserved my dress in mid-February. I went to Sommier in Passage Brady in the 10th because two friends who’d attended the Bal in the past had told me they were the best. (The Versailles website did include a list of costume places.) I thoroughly enjoyed the bizarreness of this experience. I felt like I time travelled by walking into a high school (or theater) costume room and I wasn’t totally sure how it’d unfold. It also was one of those experiences where doing it in French just added to the surrealness of it all.
When I walked into the shop guy handed me a photo book (think 1980s plastic photo album) with lots of dresses while he was helping someone else. It’s funny I picked a favorite but it didn’t matter when he took me to the back to see what they had. None were actually the dresses in the book!
He pulled at least 5-6 dresses (at the shelf I had been yes, no, no way, yes to decide). And brought out a couple others later based on what I liked. For women the only thing that matters is the size of you’re top. The length of dresses can be adjusted (hemmed or lengthened, which is included in the price—you just have to know to ask! The other thing you tell him as he pulls dresses is your budget (think they run ~50-200€). (Make sure you request a bag too! It’s in matching fabric.)
The changing area was rather spacious, so you easily could go with a friend or partner. You’re amongst other eras as you try things on (and there’s clearly more storage nearby in the passage.)
I fell in love with the first dress I saw but it was a bit tight. I decided that it was too long of a night and I wanted to be able to breathe. (It was a rich brown color but honestly looked like vomit colors in the lighting 😜). Another one I liked was hot pink but velvet + a flannel under skirt—so that was a hell no when I remembered that there was a heat wave last year during the Bal. A yellow one was too short, and I didn’t realize at the time it could be lengthened, but I didn’t love it enough. I wanted to LOVE my dress, and I was willing to splurge given how many years I’ve been waiting to go to this event.
For women, dresses come with an underskirt. I could have chosen between 2 varieties, rather than with the two side hip ones. I went with the one-piece hoop, but it’s also what worked with my dress. Overall the dresses are shockingly heavy! And they always go over your head (I almost got stuck a couple times when I forgot that). I also definitely needed help from the shop guy to tie and untie me. The other perk for women is dresses are so long that you can wear sneakers underneath! My friend Mark’s shoes don’t look as comfy! We also get bags that match the dress in the same fabric.
The initial dress I selected ended up being on the more expensive end, but I didn’t mind the splurge. I paid a 40€ deposit (will pay another 140€ when I pick it up — you can pick it up the day before or day of). A few weeks later I was chatting with another friend going and I realized I still wanted the first dress I tried on—the one that was too tight. On a third visit to the store, I tried it on again and realized as long as I didn’t hook the waist hook I could actually breathe. And it made me very happy. It conveniently was cheaper, but most importantly, made me feel good.
Hair-wise, I was keen for a wig, but I found the wigs shockingly hideous—on me at least. I ended up making an appointment at a salon to curl my hair, and also made a last-minute online purchase for a Marie Antoinette style wig hoping it’d arrive in time. I’d heard from past bal-ers that wigs are hot! In the end I was thrilled with my hair that my friend did, even if most of it was hidden by my mask.
The shop had masks you could both rent or buy. I tried on a few, but knowing I had months, I decided to wait. But tried on a few. One had a giant feather. By a stroke of luck, when I was home I found a mask in my bedroom that my mom had that worked perfectly with my dress.
I didn’t expect to spend 1.5 hours at the shop, but got a kick out of all the same. It’s more fun when you can grant yourself the luxury of time. There’s more choice the earlier you reserve, but also know that there are more options in their storage. A lot depends too on your size.
The week of the Bal I called to confirm when I could pick up my dress. I thought it was the day or the day before, but he asked me for the date on my receipt and checked and told me my dress was ready and I could pick it up any time this week and it’d be less crowded. (There was a guy trying on his outfit in the shop, so clearly there are last-minute rentals too.) I paid a 600€ deposit (I’d forgotten about that detail, but was grateful that some of my doctors make me pay with a check, so I had one on me), and left with my dress boxed up like something from a 1920s department store, and I was on my way.
As for getting ready, do it with friends, it’s far more fun! I also needed someone to lace me up. Luckily one of my friends did my hair (there’s a hair donut under there + tons of bobbypins and hairspray)! We took a van to Versailles because it was hot and we needed space with our hoop skirts (we took the RER/metro back for kicks!). MakeupbyJoleen is a fun account to follow and she does professional hair and makeup for people attending the ball.
Stay tuned for a follow-up post about the actual ball… It did not disappoint!
Anything is possible.
– Annie in Washington, DC
– Michelle in Australia
- Exploratory maps and new creative exercises for your personal toolkit
- Supportive habits that support you in a way that you work best
- Accountability for self and through others
- An incredible support system through community (+ likely some new friends too)
- Actual progress on the thing you want to move the needle forward on
Kick-off workshop June 2
JOIN LIVE FRIDAY, MAY 26 AT 5PM CET/PARIS
(OR SIGN UP TO RECEIVE THE LIMITED-TIME AVAILABLE REPLAY)
This 30-minute mini workshop is a BYOB – Bring Your Own Banana — event!
🍌✨ See what magic you can unlock. ✨🍌
Tell all your friends!
For all the information, sign up here!
WHAT IF you allowed yourself to be who you want to be?
WHAT IF you did things in a way that feels true to you?
WHAT IF you were free to explore a playground of possibilities?
You CAN play by your own rules.
It’s time to follow your curiosity.
You don’t have to do it alone. Together we’ll work on mapping our own paths, harnessing the power of the collective in the company of an incredible global community. Open yourself up to another way, new possibilities, and FUN.
MAPPING YOUR PATH:
Moving Your Way
3-MONTH WORKSHOP + COMMUNITY
February — April 2023
It all kicks off Feb 3!
ANYTHING is possible.
(Yes, even in 3 months! The secret is in the small steps. They all add up!)
The Feb–April 2023 Mapping Your Path is all about exploring the magic within to ignite what’s always been inside of you and itching to get out. This is about creative play, experimentation, and exploration, as we take intentional time to connect and reflect. We’ll see the blocks, fears, and limiting beliefs that have been getting in our way and rewrite the old stories as we step into our true, authentic selves.
It’s time to get out of your head, stop overcomplicating things, and make peace with not having it all figured out. You know there’s something more for you in this life — you can feel it. You don’t have to wait anymore. Now it’s time to take the first step.
This is not your typical workshop + community.
Mapping Your Path is a place where you get to show up unabashedly as yourself. You get to show up imperfectly. This experience is designed for people with real lives and busy schedules. You don’t have to do it all. There are various ways to connect.
Monthly workshops and reflection sessions are recorded, so you can watch live or catch the replay (this allows participants around the globe to join!). These sessions are designed to unleash your creative juices. You’ll get to feel like a kid again and PLAY. There’s time to work on the exercises during the 1.5hr sessions.
The monthly small group connection calls with Anne + 5-6 mappers are always a highlight for MYPers and allow participants to connect on another level. You get to sign up for a day/time that is convenient for you.
Along the way, there’s also a truly incredible community (on Slack) where you can come to be inspired, ask questions, share resources, and connect with these truly WONDERFUL humans around the world. Think of this as a cool café where you can pop by at your convenience, and stay as long or as short as you want. There’s no pressure to follow every conversation. It’s all here to support you wherever you are now.
You’ll walk away with:
- Exploratory maps
- New creative exercises for your personal toolkit
- Your own mini playbook to help keep you on track
- Your best self (seriously! We’ll work through an exercise where you learn about yourself through others.)
- New friends + support system
- A new, empowered mindset! (We’ll be busting down those blocks!)
You’ll leave the 3-months feeling:
- Progress and pride around the steps you’ve taken (especially the small ones)
- Gratitude and joy
- Greater ease and peace around where you are and where you’re going
- Inspired, alive, and energized
- A new sense of what is possible
- Surprised (in a good way) by what you uncovered about yourself
- New clarity
The fun starts Friday, February 3rd!
Space is limited.
As a bonus for signing up, I’ll be offering everyone who signs up for this round of MYP complimentary access to my Write Your Own Rules (self-paced) workshop. (Even if you’ve already taken it, it’s always a good idea to review your rulebooks.)
Don’t miss out! Sign up today!
This week I ventured to the Champs-Elysées to check out the larger-than-life Yayoi Kusama painting the original Louis Vuitton flagship with polka dots. You can’t help but pause to look up and smile and see what’s going on.
It’s clearly part of a larger campaign, as there are posters around the city with black and white photos with colorful dots. It’s definitely eye-catching, and playful.
And like all metaphors for life, it’s definitely worth exploring different angles.
I didn’t have a chance to venture to Place Vendome, but there’s an animatronic version of Kusama in the window.
I first experienced Yayoi Kusama’s work in Naoshima, a small, yet magical island in Japan where there was one of her signature yellow pumpkins, so it was fun to see her “pop up” in Paris, as she leaves her mark on the iconic French fashion house. Her work is an excellent reminder to invite joy, play, and color into our lives.
If you’re looking to live larger, bolder, and embrace a style of life all your own, get ready. The next 3-month cohort of Mapping Your Path opens for enrollment this week!! It’s all about living into your true, authentic self, and having FUN along the way. It’s about playing by your own rules—not how we’ve been conditioned in life. When you learn to live in a way truly aligned way, that’s where the magic happens! ✨ You don’t have to wait for permission. It’s already within you!
Whether you’re painting the town, or learning to rest, there’s no one path for us all. I’ll be there to guide you along the way, and help open your eyes to new possibilities ✨