Meet our Founder, Gina Murdock
Writer, Speaker, Yoga + Meditation Teacher, Community Organizer
Hello, I am glad you’re here!
A few years ago I was skiing to a backcountry hut outside of Aspen, Colo. where I live. I was listening to Simon Sinek’s book “Start with Why”. I love the silence and tranquility of nature and feel there is no better antidote to the stresses of our daily lives than to get outside and breathe in the mountain air, but on this day I felt called to turn on this book while I was skinning up the track. I had started several organizations since moving to Aspen back in 2010. The first one, Aspen Yoga Society, was born out of my desire for connection and unity among the various yoga studios and teachers in the valley. I didn’t know anyone when I moved to Aspen (except my future husband Jerry), but I was a practicing yoga teacher and remember feeling this sense of isolation and competitiveness within the teachers and studios in the valley which shocked me. I felt it was the antithesis of the intent of the practice I loved. For me, yoga was about unity and service and personal transformation and I was evangelical about it! I had had a concussion after a car accident in 2007 that led me to quit my job as a journalist and take up yoga in the first place (which strangely led me to where I am today so I can say I am grateful for that crash, can you relate?) Yoga became my savior, the only thing that made me feel like “me” again. For giving me back my life, I am devoted to it forevermore. Yoga has been an incredible pathway to knowing my own heart and soul and to building a sense of community within the place I live and beyond. Gratitude for the practice doesn’t quite capture the depth of my feeling for it, but it’s a good start.
I hosted a myriad of events under Aspen Yoga Society during my early years in Aspen including a focus on bringing yoga and mindfulness to The Aspen Institute which was a dream of mine. I have always been inspired by, and led by, “The Aspen Idea” which I learned about when I first came to town and felt immediately connected to in a deep and visceral way. This “idea”, coined by Walter Paepcke the visionary founder of The Aspen Institute among various other wonderful things, is that Aspen is a place that can nourish and connect mind, body and spirit. He also said, “Aspen is a place where the human spirit can flourish” and I believed that and felt it deep in my bones since the day I moved to town. There is magic here. It is alive in these mountains, within the forest of trees, the river’s and valley’s; surely that magic was alive in the place I was skiing not too long ago thinking deep thoughts based on Sinek’s prompting, “What’s my Why?”
The intention of Walter Paepcke and his wife Elizabeth and the vision they had since the 1940’s for Aspen as a place to nourish mind, body and spirit is alive inside of me and led me to start The Aspen City of Wellbeing (ACW) in 2014 after an auspicious meeting with world-renowned author and teacher Dr. Deepak Chopra who became my mentor. With Deepak’s help and through an extensive process of community organizing we endeavored to create an actual “City of Wellbeing” in Aspen where we would measure and improve wellbeing for all people. After a few years of this incredible work, ACW created an event called “Lead with Love” in 2016. This event was hosted at The Aspen Institute to honor the Paepcke’s and their vision and was meant to give people a felt sense of wellbeing, connection, joy and tangible tools to become heart-centered leaders. This event (which also happened to be my 40th birthday) was a huge success and the name Lead with Love name stuck and eventually became the name of our 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization.
To me, Lead with Love includes all of the energy and intention of both Aspen Yoga Society and Aspen City of Wellbeing (ACW) with a much broader, global reach and a kick ass name that inspires me, and hopefully lots of other people, to do just that every day.
After running this organization for a while and breaking away from the singular focus on wellbeing that we had wth ACW, I knew Lead with Love had a greater purpose. Hearing Sinek’s inquiry that fateful day on skis I discovered my “Why” and in that the why of our organization.
“We exist to shift culture from fear to love.”
It struck me like a bolt of lighting. I was hooked. This was mine. This is ours. This is the call of our time.
From that exquisite moment walking on skis in the snowy wilderness of the Hunter Creek Valley, I knew what my purpose was and the purpose of this organization that was born from my heart as a vehicle to give back and make change. This organization is a vehicle for us all to be the change we wish to see, to choose love over fear each moment, and to have the awareness and support to do so. We are now not an individual, but a team and we are devoted to this mission every day as we actively choose love in the way we lead personally and professionally and inspire others to do the same through events, workshops, retreats and trainings. This is the call of our time.
Gina Murdock Bio - Gina Murdock is an Aspen, Colo. based writer, yoga & meditation teacher, inspirational speaker & community organizer. She is founder of the Aspen Yoga Society, The Aspen City of Wellbeing, Lead with Love, The Love Ninjas and the Mind, Body, Spirit Rx content brand. Gina’s mission is to shift culture from fear to love from the inside out. All of her endeavors are intended to help people thrive and find joy and freedom in mind, body and spirit. Gina and her husband Jerry created and support the Mind, Body, Spirit Series at The Aspen Institute hosting speakers and events to raise consciousness and honor “The Aspen Idea”. Murdock has a Master’s Degree in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica with a special emphasis on consciousness, health, and healing. Gina is a certified Chopra yoga and meditation teacher as well as a certified Bikram and Vinyasa Flow yoga teacher and retreat guide who teaches internationally. Gina is also a published author and inspirational public speaker known for humor, enthusiasm, authenticity and vulnerability.
Gina is passionate about optimal wellbeing for the planet and people and leading from the heart. Her absolute belief is that we always have a choice and we can choose love over fear when given the tools and creating the awareness to do so. Gina is a founding member of Dr. Deepak Chopra’s Self Directed Biological Transformation Initiative and has willingly submitted her body to science to prove the effectiveness of mind/body practices on optimal health! Gina is an active board member of the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES), The Center for Living Peace, The Aspen Brain Institute as well as an advisor to The Chopra Foundation and CTZNWELL. Gina is an International Editor at Origin Magazine, a contributor to Mantra Yoga and Health Magazine, and an ambassador for the mobile well-being platform Jiyo. Gina lives by these mantras: “Let the beauty you love, be what you do.” (Rumi); “Be the change you wish to see in the world” (Gandhi); and “WOOO-HOOO!” (Gina)