The WANT Woman: Lauren Bille of Cycles + Sex and The Big Quiet
We talk about our Through Line a lot on WANT: the common theme in everything you love and the common goal in everything you do. An alternate way to think about your “purpose,” looking at life through the lens of your Through Line makes things a lot less about what you do and a lot more about why and how you do it.
The best part of acting based on your unique Through Line instead of what you think you “should” be doing?
It gives others permission to do the same.
By leaning into your fullest potential, you create a domino effect that helps others follow suit.
Lauren Bille’s Through Line is the kind that creates a major chain reaction wherever she goes: she facilitates experiences for people to connect and reflect deeply with themselves and others, so muchso that it spurs them into action.
Lauren’s passionate about equality, social impact, building meaningful communities, and shifting cultural paradigms. She’s a master at bringing people together to activate their inner activist. With that kind of Through Line, you’re bound to make shift happen no matter what you do.
Lauren is currently a partner at The Big Quiet, where she helps organize mass meditations (mass = literally thousands of people) in iconic locations like Central Park and Madison Square Garden, and a co-founder of Cycles + Sex, an event that gives people the kind of education, tools, and empowerment on sexual, menstrual, hormonal, and reproductive health that we wish we would have learned in health class.
She’s spent the last 15 years working on social justice causes like race, gender and class politics, education policy, immigration resources, sustainable food, climate change/its effects on third world countries, and democratizing mindfulness. If you’re part of the WANT community here in NYC, you might remember her from our How To Activate Your Inner Activist panel back in February, where she dropped some major wisdom on everything from owning your privilege to mindfully engaging on social media.
So many of us are looking to make a difference in our messy world right now. Lauren is proof that change starts not with the WHAT, but the WHY. We create the meaning in our own lives.
Name: Lauren Bille
How you’d know me (occupation or role): Partner at The Big Quiet , Co- Founder of CYCLES + SEX
What I love about myself (and why): Love comes naturally to me. I’m good at loving people. Also I’m really childlike in spirit.
What is your definition of “positivity?” Seeing things through a lens of gratitude, hope and trust.
When did you start to love yourself – did you have a self-love “turning point?” When I was 17 I was given some tools to deal with life that helped me to see that my probs were of my own making. Essentially I was very self centred. Having low self esteem is just as self centered as having too much pride. It’s all ego.
Once I could see that, I had the opportunity to seek humility and a life when I think about myself less and think of others and how I can be of service more. When I try to live this way- I feel good about myself. It’s a daily practice. But truly, whenever I am very upset, it has to do with me and my thinking about myself.
Low self esteem is just as self centered as too much pride. It's all ego. - @laurenbille Click To Tweet
How/where negative talk shows up in my life: It shows up when I’m tired, hungry, not taking good care of myself. And taking care of myself involves lots of diff things. It shows up as pain, fear, wanting to give up and run away, feeling less than (again this is all self centered and ego- like the world revolves around me)
When I talk negatively about myself, it’s usually… I don’t want to type it or say it out loud because it’s putting it into the universe, and manifesting. All forms of I’m not good enough, which can be broken down to I’m not loveable.
When others talk negatively about themselves… I show them love and then help them think of adding to the world. Watching others talk negatively about themselves shows me how self centered it is.
It baffles me that women still… Get liposuction, fake tan, straighten or perm their hair, don’t leave the house without eye liner. It’s wild all these things we do for the approval of men. Of the systems of beauty set up by men and reaffirmed by women who conform to them. I still conform to them.
I wish that more women… Were brave and honest and bold and independent. Were truly themselves. Let their natural beauty be revealed.
The coolest thing about women is… They are the most powerful. They have the solutions to all the problems inside themselves. Together (tribes of women) they are like the ultimate eternal force of nature.
My favorite way to shift a negative into a positive: Remember that it doesn’t matter! It’s all my thinking! I create the meaning in my life. So I try to look at the big picture, stop being so self centered, pull out of the fear and ego, and be grateful.
My top female role models: Fannie Lou Hammer, Angela Davis, Alicia Keys
Men can help women crush their negative talk patterns by… LISTENING to us. Becoming aware of patriarchal systems. Making choices not to conform to society’s beauty standards. Stepping aside to raise us up.
Favorite negativity-busting activities: Being with powerful women. Creating. Serving causes I believe in. Exercise. Sleep. Meditation.
Fave self-love ritual: To do all these things: Foot bath with special essential oils, water or tea, good tunes, pause and feel grateful
Favorite feel-good food(s): Water. Smoothies.
Favorite movie(s) to watch when I’m feeling down: Rom-coms
Favorite empowering book(s): Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart. Anything by Brené Brown
My feel-good playlist:
Nirvana Unplugged (lol)
Neutral Milk Hotel
Advice I would give my
…4 year old self: there’s nothing to be scared of
…14 year-old self: same
…24 year old self: same
5 Things, personal or professional, on my bucket list:
• Make lots of money
• Run for office
• Be a part of revolutionary social change
• Experience revolutionary romantic love
• Build successful businesses that do good for the world
My best tip on self love: Treat yourself like you are a friend or a child who you love so much, unconditionally. Think of what they may need, what’s best for them.
When I truly love all of myself… I take good care.
Right now, I am most excited about… Working with incredible people to shift culture and make positive social impact.
My body is: Healthy and grateful.
Three words to describe me: Brave. Curious. Childlike.
Current mantra: “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” -Dylan Thomas
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