WANTcast 054: On Publishing A Book, Believing In Yourself + Saving The Planet with Ashlee Piper of Give A Sh*t

WANTcast 054: On Publishing A Book, Believing In Yourself + Saving The Planet with Ashlee Piper of Give A Sh*t

the WANTcast

Wanna get a book published, but nervous you might not have what it takes? Wanna save the planet, but too busy shaming yourself because you don’t know if you even recycle the “right way?” Ashlee Piper’s got you covered.

Ashlee is an eco-lifestyle journalist, TV personality, and author of the new sustainable living book, Give A Sh*t: Do Good. Live Better. Save the Planet. Her work has been featured in and she’s a regular contributor for Glamour, Refinery29, The Washington Post, NBC, FOX, and more.

In this episode, Ashlee breaks down ALL the real-deal step-by-steps of getting a book published by a major publishing house (yep, even if you don’t have “connections” or tens of thousands of followers), how an idea can evolve over time to become what it’s actually meant to be (everyone needs a first draft in life!), and how we can all do our part, no matter WHAT our life looks like, to give a sh*t and save the world – literally.

Publishing a book wasn't easy. There were a lot of defeats and rejections. I could have stopped when people said no, but I always felt compelled to keep going, because it needed to be out there. - @thelilfoxes Click To Tweet
Listen on iTunes | Listen on Stitcher | Download | Support the pod by shopping on Amazon

Show Notes:
Subscribe to the brand new monthly version of The Good Word!
Ashlee’s Website: www.ashleepiper.com

Buy The Book: www.ashleepiper.com/book
IG: @ashleepiper
FB/Twitter: @thelilfoxes
Ashlee on the WANTcast Season One

Today’s sponsor is S.W. Basics! This all-natural skincare brand is one of THE. BEST. in the biz – and every single product contains a grand total for five ingredients or less. They’re all about simplicity, sustainability, and super-inclusion – no skin-shaming allowed. I’m currently OBSESSED (seriously.) with their new hydrosols aka floral waters, especially the Lavender and Orange Blossom ones. Use code WANT at checkout for 15% off your order at swbasicsofbk.com...and then thank me later.


Like this episode? I’m so glad! Sign up for The (Good) Word, WANT’s weekly email love letter, at womenagainstnegativetalk.comleave a review on iTunes (the more reviews and five-stars, the more our message is spread), share it on Facebook, tweet it out on Twitter, or post it on Instagram. Be sure to use the hashtags #WANTcast, #womenagainstnegativetalk, and/or #WANTyourself!

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On Becoming Real: One Woman’s (Not-So-Conventional) Journey To Motherhood

On Becoming Real: One Woman’s (Not-So-Conventional) Journey To Motherhood

Community Love Motivation + Inspiration WANT Women

When it comes to bliss, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula: we’re all looking to find our bliss in some way, shape or form. Enter Venice Beach based life coach and yoga teacher, Mary Beth LaRue. A sought-after yoga pro in the Venice area, Mary Beth is also the co-founder of Rock Your Bliss, a mash-up of life coaching, goal crushing, and yoga both on and off the mat. Rock Your Bliss’s mission is to inspire others to live their best lives through the power of yoga, coaching, and community. Along with her BFF Jacki Carr, Mary Beth helps others bring action to their intentions through personalized life design, asana, goal coaching, and brand creation that encompasses every aspect of your lifestyle and values. 

Something else incredible about Mary Beth? She’s chosen foster-to-adoption as her path to motherhood.

MB has been sharing her – and her husband’s – experience with foster adoption and their son, who she referrs to as “Baby A,” on her blog since her journey began last year. I am so touched by MB’s journey with Baby A. Sharing as openly as she does about all the mental, emotional, and logistical highs, lows, and everything in between…well, it’s so damn beautiful, and SO damn needed.

So many of us feel the pressure to make a choice about how we want our “family life” to unfold, and make a choice by a certain benchmark (whether it be age or life stage). And what’s more, no matter WHAT choice we choose, it seems as if everyone has an opinion about it.

It’s incredible and inspiring to see a perspective on how to build FAMILY that doesn’t involve the most stereotypical options. If only there were more people sharing their stories that fit outside the parameters of pregnancy, maybe women wouldn’t feel so pressured to make a either-or decision. There are so many ways to build a family and create a loving household, whether it involves one person or five, shared DNA or soul connections.

Whether you choose to have children or be child-free isn’t the point. Just like it isn’t about being married or single. Republican or Democrat. This or That. It’s all about sharing as many stories as we can so we can feel empowered making the life choices that we know are right for us. Because so many others are making choices that are right for THEM. Choices we might not have even known were possible. Isn’t that what life, and “rocking your bliss,” is all about? Sifting through, finding what resonates, and building upon that?

Mary Beth’s open spirit and raw courage are infectious. Her wisdom and words draw you in. And I am so honored to have her sharing the story of how her unconventional journey to motherhood began here today on WANT.

I was never sure if I was meant to be a mama.

Actually that’s an understatement. I felt immense doubt around motherhood.

I cried in a lot of hotel rooms when my best friend and I would travel for work.

“I don’t know if I’m ready,” I’d say, tears running down my face. “I don’t know if I want to.”

She’d hug me and say, “Then don’t.”

Don’t get me wrong. I love my friends’ babies to the moon. I love my friends’ round bellies and ability to eat all the nachos. I even thought decorating a nursery would be fun. But the rest of it? I was unsure.

I’d close my eyes during vision meditations where I was supposed to see my life and I just couldn’t see “it.” Whatever it was. That was challenging when at least half the room experienced major waterworks talking about their perfect baby and my best friend pictured her three flannel clad children summiting a mountain.

That being said, after a few years of marriage, my big bearded honey of a husband (who was so meant to be a dad and had talked about it on our second date) and I started to “try.” We are in love but we are kind of lazy together too, so I was not exactly a “peeing on sticks” and “sex around the clock” kinda gal. I figure if it was supposed to happen, it would and I’d trust that the universe had my back on this one.

We tried. We kept trying. I bought some of those sticks. I peed on them. I took vitamins. Still nothing.

Okay universe, I know I said I was unsure, but now I’m kind of pissed.

Fast forward to this past spring. I’m in some stupid outfit that I think is “mom-like.” I’m in a stuffy doctor’s office with my husband and clutching his hand for dear life. It’s a fertility center and I don’t like anything about it. After many tests, the doctor told us that there was a chance we could get pregnant but it was pretty small. He immediately ushered us into an even smaller, even stuffier, room to show us pamphlets about IVF and other means of becoming pregnant.

He told us that we could begin these fertility treatments as soon as the next week. Not even five minutes later, a woman shows up with another folder of paperwork about how to pay for said IVF. I was overwhelmed and in tears. We hadn’t been trying that long. We hadn’t seen a naturopath. We left. Matt drove us to our favorite ice cream shop and we sat outside eating massive cones at 2 pm.

I looked at him and said, “Should we just say fuck it and move to Bali? Just the two of us?”

He looked at me and shrugged. Maybe, he said.

The further and further we got away from that office the more I realized that this was not how I wanted to grow my family. But something else had started to bloom in me. That I was actually meant to be a mother.

Matt and I were on a walk on a Saturday afternoon when I asked him, “What do you think about adoption?”

He looked at me with big eyes and said, “I think it’s beautiful.”

I smiled. “Yeah, me too. Really beautiful.”

I noticed the way adoption made me feel in my body. Vulnerable but open. Soft but sweet. Strong yet tender. It made me feel the way I do when I see my dad’s eyes crinkle up with laughter. The way I feel when I’m really connected to others – sometimes in yoga classes, sometimes at church when visiting my parents, sometimes in nature. I felt it in my bones and knew it to be true. For me. For us. For this little human out there. I could close my eyes and picture every curve of their sweet, little face. Picture the moment the car drove up and a social worker placed this baby in my arms.

I didn’t feel this way when I thought about the other ways of becoming a mom. To be completely and utterly honest, I didn’t even feel that way when I thought about myself as pregnant. It felt right, like soulmate-right, and it made sense to me why I couldn’t picture it before.

 

I was trying to picture what someone else’s version of motherhood and family looked like, and Photoshop my face on a dream.

 

Life happens like that. It’s so easy to feel when something is wrong, when something is not for us, not ours. And it’s also so easy to stay in that place of lack, of not ours, of feeling empty. That day in the doctor’s office was a gift as it opened up another path full of possibility and heart opening and transformation. Thank God we kept asking the questions, thank God I kept feeling the word “mama” in my body, thank God for a partner who was willing to ask the questions too. There was no trying anymore, no struggle or effort, everything that happened before brought us to the clearest moment. This, this, is how we were meant to be parents.

Fast forward to a few weeks later. We’ve met with a student of mine who is foster adoption lawyer. She had been coming to my classes for years, front row, front and center. Because life is like that and will not let you miss the important people that will change everything for you. We’ve talked to parents who have adopted privately. We’ve talked with parents who have foster adopted. We’ve met with a foster adoption agency. We’ve made a big, scary, beautiful decision: we are going to become parents through the foster system of Los Angeles.

Life will not let you miss the important people that will change everything for you. - @marybethlarue Click To Tweet

They tell you that in the foster-to-adopt world, there are no guarantees. They tell you this, and they tell you again, and then they have you talk to other foster parents who tell you: There are no guarantees. You open up your home and a little heartbeat comes inside, and there is no knowing if it will be forever. That being said, I’d be hard pressed to find anything that is absolutely, 100 percent guaranteed in life. I have found peace in this. Matt and I are strong, that our home can hold this level of uncertainty in the floors and in our hands, the whole point is to love and provide safety and what an honor to do so.

I handed a nurse my foster parent paperwork at a physical I needed to get certified. She looked at my paperwork, looked up and said, “I’m sorry.”

“Excuse me?” I said.

“Can you not get pregnant?” she asked.

This was the first of many insensitive comments I’ve heard and will continue to hear, I’m sure, but they pale in comparison to the amount of support we’ve received. And I looked that nurse square in the eyes and said, “I think you meant congratulations, not sorry. This is exactly what we want to do and exactly how we want to become parents.” I meant every single world.

That brings us to today. We’ve filled out mountains of paperwork. We’ve delved into our past and talked about our future. We’ve completed weeks of classes and met the most amazing future parents and social workers. We’ve learned about burn marks and trauma and what will be asked of us. We’ve baby-proofed our home. And in a few days or weeks we will receive a phone call and we will say “yes.”

We will be parents. To our forever baby? Maybe. But no matter what, we will love up this little angel with all we have.

Is it risky? For our hearts, for sure. But damn, if that isn't the point then what is? - @marybethlarue Click To Tweet

In our training with Extraordinary Families, a social worker explains that as an adult the loss should fall on us. These babies, these children have experienced enough trauma and pain in their short lives. We are adults and we have cobbled together tools and coping mechanisms. We have family. We have friends. We have a yoga practice.

Are we scared? Of course.

Is it risky? For our hearts, for sure.

But damn, if that isn’t the point, then what is?

I was born for this. We were. And I can’t wait to walk alongside you on this journey, my love.

 

‘Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’

‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit. 

‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’ 

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’ 

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.’

Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit



For more resources on foster adoption and to read more by Mary Beth on mindfulness, gratitude, being a mama, and more, visit her site here.


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WANTcast 053: Thinking Out Loud: On Inspiration vs Aesthetic, Curiosity vs Criticism, The Amateur vs The Pro, and (so much) More

WANTcast 053: Thinking Out Loud: On Inspiration vs Aesthetic, Curiosity vs Criticism, The Amateur vs The Pro, and (so much) More

the WANTcast

It’s Friday, and it’s time for some THINKING OUT LOUD. If you’re new here, our THINKING OUT LOUD WANTcast episodes are very loosely structured solo episides of me riffing off of whatever thoughts are on my mind lately.

I often pair them with an Instagram post so you can follow along easy-peasy. Here’s the one that goes with today’s episode.

On deck for today:

– The difference between following inspiration and following an aesthetic

– Being a tourist in your own city and what kinds of life lessons that brings up

– Being a good person vs making sure a lot of people THINK you’re a good person

– Body pride + mental well-being

…and SO much more.


Today’s sponsor is S.W. Basics! This all-natural skincare brand is one of THE. BEST. in the biz – and every single product contains a grand total of five ingredients or less. They’re all about simplicity, sustainability, and super-inclusion – no skin-shaming allowed. I’m currently OBSESSED (seriously.) with their new hydrosols aka floral waters, especially the Lavender and Orange Blossom ones. Use code WANT at checkout for 15% off your order at swbasicsofbk.com…and then thank me later.


Like this episode? Shoot me a comment on womenagainstnegativetalk.comleave a review on iTunes (the more reviews, the more our message is spread), share it on Facebook, tweet it out on Twitter, or post it on Instagram.Be sure to use the hashtags #WANTcast, #womenagainstnegativetalk, and/or #WANTyourself!

pic: patricia peña photography

A Brief List Of Things To Apologize For.

A Brief List Of Things To Apologize For.

Body Community Most Popular Posts Motivation + Inspiration Shift Of Power Work

You do not need to apologize for who you are.

You do not need to apologize for:
Your hair.
Your clothes.
Your makeup
Or none.
Your reserve

Or none.

You do not need to apologize for your ideas,
Or your dreams

Or the way you see potential when others refuse to look anywhere but the other way.

And oh! you don’t need to apologize for the way people treat you,
Or to the ones you could not save.

Their missteps are not yours to correct.

The Sorrys and “My-Bad”s, they exhaust and they diminish
They pilfer your treasures and rob you of reason.

Just like to Cry Wolf
Trains you into an anxious state,

To Cry Sorry
Is to always assume that dis-ease is your fault.

You do not need to be sorry for your Words
OR your Silence
And not even the Words your Silence so obviously implies.

The only thing,
ONLY
THING

You ever need to apologize for,

And the
ONLY
ONE

You need to apologize to,

Is not being yourself

To yourself

In a world that so wants you to be anonymous because it’s easier that way.

 

WANTcast 052: On Expanded Consciousness + Entrepreneurship In The Digital Age with Ksenia Avdulova of Breakfast Criminals + Woke And Wired Podcast

WANTcast 052: On Expanded Consciousness + Entrepreneurship In The Digital Age with Ksenia Avdulova of Breakfast Criminals + Woke And Wired Podcast

the WANTcast

Ksenia Avdulova is a FORCE to be reckoned with in the digital world. Ksenia is a speaker, social media strategist, and founder of @breakfastcriminals, an award-nominated digital platform known for its influential online presence and offline experiences that merge food and mindfulness. You’ve probably seen her gorgeous acai and smoothie bowls on Instagram in her signature “heart bowl.”

Ksenia‘s conscious social media methodology, Hashtag Mindful, is rooted in the idea that social media is a tool to share our message, expand our success, and create a positive impact. She has been a workshop leader and speaker at the United Nations GirlUp summit and other empowerment-centered events and retreats around the world. Ksenia is also a featured marketing teacher on Skillshare and co-founder of @crystalcriminals.

In her podcastWoke and Wired, Ksenia and her guests have unfiltered conversations about expanded consciousness and entrepreneurship in the digital age.

Ksenia has created something REALLY special through Woke and Wired. After binge listening to the first few episodes, I was immediately certain that this is the missing piece we need in a wellness culture that values spirituality over practicality, and a business culture that values the bottom line over looking inside. I am so inspired by these intelligent and nuanced conversations that Ksenia leads with such grace, ease, and mindfulness. There’s truly nothing else like it.

Whether you’re looking to use the internet to build out a business, stumped on how/when to monetize, curious what goes on behind the scenes (and screens) of influencers, or you’re just wondering how the heck to stay grounded and centered in our Like!-Post!-Share! culture, this is a conversation you’re going to want to come back to over and over again.

Grab a pen, take notes, and come hang with us.

WANT Ksenia:

Be clear on what you want, then let the universe decide when you're ready to have it. - @breakfastcrmnls Click To Tweet
Listen on iTunes | Listen on Stitcher | Download | Support the pod by shopping on Amazon


Show Notes:

Woke + Wired Podcast
@wokeandwired
@wokeandwiredpodcast
Breakfast Criminals
@breakfastcriminals
YouTube
@crystalcriminals
Skillshare course
GirlUp.org


This episode of the WANTcast is sponsored by LOLA, a female-founded company that believes women shouldn’t have to compromise when it comes to feminine care products. Their line of of organic cotton tampons, pads, liners and sex products is made by women, for women.

Unlike other major brands, LOLA products are 100% natural and easy to feel good about. No BS, mystery fibers, or doubts about what’s going in your bod. Plus, LOLA products come in a simple, customizable subscription. LOLA will deliver exactly what you need, exactly when you need it. Pick your products: Choose from organic cotton tampons, pads, or liners – or add a box of each! Sex by LOLA products are gynecologist-approved to maintain a healthy pH balance (and keep sexytime sexy).

The best part? You do good with your purchase. For every purchase, LOLA donates feminine care products to homeless shelters across the U.S.

For 40% off all subscriptions, visit mylola.com and enter promo code WANT when you subscribe!


Like this episode? I’m so glad! Sign up for The (Good) Word, WANT’s weekly email love letter, at womenagainstnegativetalk.comleave a review on iTunes (the more reviews and five-stars, the more our message is spread), share it on Facebook, tweet it out on Twitter, or post it on Instagram. Be sure to use the hashtags #WANTcast, #womenagainstnegativetalk, and/or #WANTyourself!

 

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Breaking Out of Self-Doubt

Breaking Out of Self-Doubt

Body Community Love Most Popular Posts Motivation + Inspiration Shift Of Power Work

SELF-DOUBT IS A HEAD TRIP – doubting ourselves, doubting what we deserve and doubting what is real. When we feel a lack of control, when the outcome is uncertain, or even when we latch onto a vague remark, that’s when self-doubt rears its ugly head. It’s a fluttering in the chest and an unsettled stomach; it’s a pounding headache and a gust of wind sending us into a dust-filled spiral.

Self-doubt is a form of armor, I’ve deduced. When I start to doubt myself – my capabilities, my relationships, my character – I formulate questions or negative statements in my mind to protect myself from hurt or disappointment. Because if I’ve thought of it first, I am prepared. Disappointment won’t come as a surprise, I tell myself, because I have made the doubt a part of my truth.

I am sick of it.

~

I am sick of doubt, and how utterly exhausting the process is. I’ll feel the fluttering in my chest and start to devise little tests…tiny ways to see if what I am receiving is deserved, or if I’m actually properly suited for the task at hand.

I do it all the time. And I know I’m not alone in this.

It’s like essay writing in a high school English course: a thesis statement can’t just stand alone, so we create supporting evidence to prove our point. We fall in love too fast for our own liking, so we place our partner on a tightrope and look for signs that it’s “just not right.” We’re offered a new job or responsibility that’s a tad bit scary and outside our comfort zone, so we jump to the What-Ifs and Screw-Ups at the opposite end of success. If we’re looked at in *That Way* or talked to in *That Tone* or described as merely “Nice” instead of “Amazing,” the same unanswered question always arises: Am I good enough?

It’s so simple to say things like “Just get over it,” “Don’t worry, be happy!” or my personal (and least-effective) fave, “Haters gonna hate!”

But the truth is…I will never advocate to “just get over it,” because I know that feeling exists for a reason.

With doubt comes a drought of self-worth. But every drought is accompanied by a fantastical rain.

So why should it be any different when it comes to our souls?

As uncomfortable as it can be, we need to let doubt run its course – yet simultaneously and consciously work through it. By learning how to deal with those pangs of self-doubt, their duration and impact will naturally become less and less. Yes, we DO need to experience it all – but if we allow doubt to fill our minds with every possible outcome as a means of protection, we miss out on growth and experience. We shield ourselves from hurt, yes – but then what? The would-be thrill of joyful success is replaced by mere relief of a changeless plan.

I don’t know about you, but I refuse to live my life simply “relieved” that there were no bumps in the road.

~

Doubt is a matrix in which lies the root of our purpose. We doubt what we’re best at and what makes us unique. 

And so when we start to doubt, it’s simply a sign we’re not grounded. We’re losing our footing in who we are.

Doubt is a matrix in which lies the root of our purpose. Click To Tweet

When you feel yourself jumping ahead and creating supporting examples for your thesis statement of “I Am Not Enough,” dissociate from the situation at hand. Feel the doubt and the instability, then act on the polar opposite: What makes you feel most grounded and at your best? Is it talking to (or texting with) friends or family? Watching movies? Singing to yourself, baking a pie, simply strolling and soaking in the eclectic architecture around you? Whatever it is, do it. Do it now, for at least ten minutes straight. And I promise you, by the end of those ten minutes you will feel that there is no one better to be than who you are in this very moment.

Is it a distraction? Kind of. A quick fix? Maybe. But sometimes we need something other than big-time soul questions, because sometimes those are questions we’re not in a headspace to answer.

I get asked questions all the time about how to shift your self talk “for good,” like there’s one definitive answer and a simple solution that works for all. But it’s way more complicated than that. Some of us respond better to asking deep, strategic questions right off the bat (see this list for my go-tos). Some of us need a physical reminder of our worth before the questions can even come. Doing something that makes you feel your MOST grounded and at your best – feelings that doubts tries its hardest to hijack – is the simplest way I know to make a positive, proactive shift in the moment to remind you of who you really are (and that person is pretty awesome). The big thoughts and soul questions come easier when we can look at our reactions through a proactive lens.

The big thoughts and soul questions come easier when we can look at our reactions through a proactive lens. Click To Tweet

I am slowly learning to shed my armor, and realizing that the only protection I need is a good sunscreen and a wide umbrella. I’m planting my feet and realizing that the more certain I am about what makes me feel good from the inside out, the less I allow doubt to deplete my self-worth. Because it’s been tapping into my reserves and sucking me dry for way too long.

My spirit is about to be awakened once again, and I can’t wait. Grab your umbrella and join me.



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