We’re Boiling down a few delicious thoughts from last month’s WANT: Women Against Negative Talk panel in Malibu with founder – and TCM go-to gal – Katie Horwitch. We love these reflections on staying true to our self as life’s highs and lows roll by…
Last month, I had the immense pleasure of gathering a panel of women I love for a beachside get-together in Malibu with WANT women from all over SoCal. Lynn Chen of The Actor’s Diet, Jordan Younger of The Balanced Blonde, Audrey Bellis of StartupDTLA and WorthyWomen, and Rachelle Tratt of The Neshama Project all jammed with me on everything from overcoming obstacles on your journey, how to learn from naysayers, and how to tackle ghost worries and turn fear into faith.
I knew I’d love learning from these game-changing women, especially in this incredible setting – over green juice nonetheless. What I didn’t expect was how each person attending would inspire me beyond measure. Sitting in silence in my PJ’s hours later, I was stunned by the impact. Here were my five biggest lessons from the day…
connect meaningfully: The relationships we have with each other are a direct reflection of the relationships we have with ourselves.
Community-builder extraordinaire and WorthyWomen founder Audrey said it best: Our connections with others are intricately tied to the way we view ourselves. It’s a conversation I have all the time with women looking to make new friends as adults: It’s hard. And we are starved for genuine, soul-stirring connection. The question is, if we’re all thinking the same thing, then why aren’t we all just finding each other and frolicking off into the land of besties – nay, soulies – somewhere?
Whether we’re fiercely independent or thrive in groups, it’s easy to blame others for the reasons why we’re not moving forward in our own lives. And on the flipside, the easy-to-grab focus on superficial gains and surface-level commonalities (we both like movies! we both like tacos! #bff) is leaving us starved for true connection even when we think we’ve got it. But at the root of it all is the relationship we have with ourselves. Are we honoring ourselves fully, both our highs and our lows? Do we respect our own choices and stand by ourselves through thick and thin? It’s nearly impossible for someone else to have your back if you don’t even have your own.
What was incredible about this weekend was that every single person in attendance came with a wide open heart, an eager mind, no filter and no judgement. Very few of us knew each other going into the day, but somehow, as we gathered under the springtime sun and laughed/cried/empathized in unison, it felt like we’d all been strategically chosen to be together in that exact place at that exact time. And that’s the power of honoring who you are at your core: You’ll find others who honor it, too.
Just say yes: Say yes to what’s actually happening instead of waiting for what isn’t.
As I’ve described before, I am a recovering people-pleaser and a current emotional sponge. I’ve craved permission, validation, someone telling me that the path I’m on is right/admirable/acceptable/okay. I’ve doubted myself into inaction too many times to count and internalized it to the point of paralysis. I’ve missed opportunities because I was waiting for a sign, not realizing that signs don’t just pop up if you’re not open to finding them.
Lynn got super raw and talked about her career, her attempt to get pregnant, her father’s death – and at the core of it all, landed on the invaluable piece of wisdom that we need to say “yes” to what is actually going on in our lives instead of sitting around preparing for something that isn’t. We toil away prepping our bodies for a season, we put off projects because of what might happen six months down the line, we don’t go on that date because we’re moving and they’re here and oh my god how would it ever work so why even bother? There are way, way too many instances for each of us, in our own unique ways, that we put our lives on hold and wait for that “Okay, all clear!” from the universe. Instead of waiting for those signs, we could be spending that time actually making shit happen. When we do this, it turns out, everything seems to fall into place. Even though we had no clue what that “everything” would even look like.
stay positive: Sometimes optimism isn’t about seeing a silver lining; it’s about knowing deep down that you’ll be okay.
When Jordan was being viciously attacked online (trust me when I say it’s horrible stuff), she didn’t mask her feelings in mantras and she didn’t not internalize what was going on. As she shared with us, sure, some of the comments were/are laughable – but many were downright frightening and a threat to her safety. It would have been easy to rip her blog off of the Internet or go AWOL, but she knew in her heart she was meant for more than that. And with a lot of help and a lot of self-awareness, she was able to continually remind herself, “Yes, I will be okay.”
Maybe you haven’t dealt with bullying or death threats like Jordan unfortunately has, but I’ll bet money that you’ve had something not go as planned – maybe not go your way at all. Hell, maybe you’ve hit what’s felt like a personal rock bottom. If I have learned anything from the women (and men) I’ve met through WANT, it’s that nothing is ever insurmountable. I’m not saying it’s easy, or automatic. But that knowing, that sense that you will be okay, no matter what happens – that is the kind of potent positivity that gets you to the other side.
take the reins: You are the only one who can make your life happen.
No, not a mentor. No, not a romantic partner. Nope, not a friend, not a family member. No one else can make your life happen but you. The biggest tragedy is inaction – putting out that spark of a flame we all have inside us instead of fanning it and making it blaze.
The reason I love Rachelle is that through incredibly tough times, she’s always come back to her intuition. We’re all intuitive beings – yet sometimes we get distracted and ignore that pull in our gut and heart to do the thing that makes us feel absolutely iridescent. The “have-tos” and “shoulds” come in and dance with the ghost worries and they screw us over, convincing us that the pull we feel is less than worthwhile. “Other people have better ideas than you do,” the negative voices say. “Who do you think you are taking up space and thinking yours are just as good?” The ghost worries chime in, telling us it’s too risky, too dangerous. If we take a cue from someone else, it’s a whole lot safer. If we take that cue, then it’s not on us.
But here’s the thing: that cue never comes. And even if it does, we’re not stepping into our own lives, we’re just assimilating into someone else’s. Rachelle’s words were a powerful reminder for me to claim my space, own my power and step into my own light – because waiting for someone else to make it easier also means I’m putting myself on an endless hold.
keep BELIEVING: Fearless is when the fear is less than the faith.
Okay, this one’s my own. If there is one huge lesson I’ve learned through my life, through WANT, and through orchestrating this past weekend’s festivities, it’s that “fearlessness” is not about being unafraid. Because if that was so, then there would literally be no one out there who is truly fearless.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many things trigger that “fearful” part of my brain on the daily. Traffic that threatens missing a class I’m teaching. Interviews with people I admire. Tough conversations with Jeremy, friends or my family. Financial worries, life-purpose worries, I-said-the-wrong-thing-and-now-that-person-will-hate-me-forever worries. I’m an HSP – Highly Sensitive Person – so I’ve found that I can either accept my fear or I can acquiesce to it.
I respect my fears for what they’re trying to tell me. I honor them for their reminder of my values and goals. But I do not accept them as constants in my life, nor do I give in and let them take over. Yes, I know I’ll always have things that make me afraid, but my fear barometer will always be changing. My definition of “fearless” is when my fear is less than my faith.
It always happens, I’ve learned. The faith will always outweigh the fear, eventually. It’s just that sometimes, we don’t give it the chance – I sure haven’t, at times. Moving forward fearlessly, to me, is the act of pursuing that faith, even if it’s a small glimmer. It’s working towards those hours, days, and moments when everything seems to just click – the times when all the shaky transitions, all the nights wondering what the eff you’re really supposed to be doing with your life, all the instances in which you feel like too much or too little somehow meld together and remind you that you are just right, just the way you are.