The WANT Women: Tricia Huffman on Honesty, Hardcore Zen, And Effing The “Shoulds”

The WANT Women: Tricia Huffman on Honesty, Hardcore Zen, And Effing The “Shoulds”

Community WANT Women Work

Positivity is seeing things for what they are but choosing to find the good in all of it. -@beingtricia Click To Tweet
I’m always inspired by women who’ve done their own thing and forged their own path. Especially when they’re functioning on pure passion. And especially when they’ve left something familiar and safe to do so.

Tricia Huffman‘s been there…twice. First, leaving her secure office job to follow her passion of working in live music production – and second, leaving her successful music production job to follow her passion of living your best life. Neither of which, by the way, were kick-started by anything but pure heart and an unwavering belief in herself that she could.

Tricia wasn’t just a leader in her industry, she was one of the only women in her industry. By asking lots of questions, following her heart, and having a hunger to learn, Tricia went from selling shirts at the House Of Blues to literally running the show on tour for pretty much every big-name artist you’ve heard of…you name it, she’s worked it. As a woman working in a male-dominated field, Tricia always made sure to stay down-to-earth, empathetic, and thirsty for knowledge. Six years and countless worldwide tours later, Tricia was successful, well-loved, and had created both career and community. On the outside, she was living the dream. And on the inside, she was loving it.

And then, something happened that changed her perspective: her father passed away suddenly.

After taking time off from the road to sit and reevaluate life, pursuing what made her healthy and happy, she realized that she had an intense pull to help others do the same. She wanted to do something more with her life: to help everyone live passionately and purposefully. When she went back on tour with that intention in her mind – to help musicians (who are often worn down by rigorous touring schedules, performances, and don’t always have self-care at the forefront of their minds) stay healthy, happy, and yes, joyous while on the road. It was Jason Mraz (at the time, she was his sound engineer and tour manager) who ended up feeling so good as a result of her coaching that he told his team, “I don’t know what Trish is doing…but I want her doing this for us all the time!”

I’m not risk averse in the least, but change is usually something I approach with caution. I ease into transitions, aware that I’m sensitive to shifts and can get overwhelmed by the delicate balance of mourning the loss of what once was + celebrating the newness of what will be. And sometimes, when I’m not in my most self-aware and self-loving state, this caution can slow me down almost to a halt.

People like Tricia inspire me because they are actual living proof that following your passion and sense of purpose always works the way it needs to – even if the vision morphs along the way. Now coaching others both one-on-one and in groups, she’s got a whole line of products to go with her biz, including her Own Your Awesome affirmation deck and a little poster I love about Doing The Wants:

joyologist

Tricia’s career trajectory and life is a master class in this.

Meet your Joyologist.

WANT TRICIA.
joyologist


Name: Tricia Huffman


How you’d know me: Your Joyologist


What I love about myself (and why): My honesty. I have always been honest and with that have always been my true self. Honest to others and myself. Why? Because that is a real challenge in today’s society. We are so overcome with fear of what people will think, we are afraid to be honest. -@beingtricia Click To Tweet


What is your definition of “positivity?” Seeing things for what they are but choosing to find the good in all of it.


When did you start to love yourself – did you have a self-love “turning point?” When I was 15. I had lots of undiagnosed pain and other medical problems and was a freshman in high school and dealing with all of that pettiness and my parents weren’t happy. I felt very alone and unloved and contemplated ending it all. I decided if I was going to end it, I may as well give myself one more chance and live my life, my way, not caring so much about everyone else and choosing to love myself. That it didn’t matter what everyone else was doing I could love myself.


How/where negative talk shows up in my life: I have a pretty good handle on seeing it come up in my mind… I teach people how to tune into it themselves so they can transform it.

But, it still comes up. Right now it comes up most with my new endavour of an inspring merchandise line. I am so eager to get it into stores worldwide and get a ton of exposure, so I have to keep acknowledging myself for all of the progress I am making instead of wanting the big end goal right now.

via @beingtricia, Instagram
via @beingtricia, Instagram

When I talk negatively about myself, it’s usually… Very quickly thrown out and converted into affirmations, and ackowledgment.


When others talk negatively about themselves… I call them out on it and lift them up.


It baffles me that women still… Talk so badly about their physical appearances.


I wish that more women… Would love and appreciate how amazing they are, right now, as they are.


The coolest thing about women is… Our ability to be so many things at once. We don’t have to fit into a box. We can be amazing mothers, teachers, leaders, and express ourselves outwardly by what we say, do and even wear.


My favorite way to shift a negative into a positive: Remembering that I have the power to choose how I see it all and what I choose to do with it.


My top female role models: Amanda de Cadenet, Lena Dunham, Amy Poehlor


Men can help women crush their negative talk patterns by… calling them out on them (with love) And not just saying “Oh no honey you aren’t ____,” but saying, I don’t want to hear you talk that way about yourself.

joyologist


Favorite negativity-busting activity: getting out into the world. Even running an errand. Gets me out of my head and reminds me that we all are going through things. It makes me more compassionate.


Fave self-love ritual: walking and really just vegging out and watching good tv and not feeling an ounce of guilt for it!


Favorite feel-good food(s): This vegan gluten free mac and cheese recipe I love to make…But really love a good kale salad and roasted kabocha squash


Favorite movie(s) to watch when I’m feeling down: Romantic comedies


Favorite empowering book(s): Hardcore Zen by Brad Warner and After the Ecstasy, the Laundry

after-the-ecstasy-the-laundry


My feel-good playlist: I don’t have one! Lately I am into dancey pop driven songs..I think spin class got me hooked on that.


Advice I would give my…
…4 year old self: Never stop seeing the world in wonder.
…14 year-old self: You are perfect as you are.
…24 year old self: Keep following your heart.


5 Things, personal or professional, on my bucket list:
1) To be a mother – currently happening.
2) To get my affirmation deck into Urban Outfitters.
3) To be able to run my inspiring merchandise line and be a present mother.
4) To be able to retire (I don’t have an active retirement fund).
5) To show my children some of my favorite places that I was lucky enough to visit around the world. Definitely Italy.


My best tip on self love: Do affirmations in the mirror. It is uncomfortable because it works.


When I truly love all of myself… Everything falls into place


Right now, I am most excited about… The baby I am expecting!


My body is: Strong


Three words to describe me: Real, alive, present


Current mantra: I am a badass!

joyologist


WANT YOURSELF:
Tricia inspires me to follow my heart and take risks, and now I want to hear from you. What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken? What did you learn?

#SelfieEmpowerment: The Case For The Selfie

#SelfieEmpowerment: The Case For The Selfie

Body Community Motivation + Inspiration Shift Of Power

I’m kind of possessive over my iPhone – namely, the “Photos” app. No way is anyone allowed to scroll through without my finger at the helm, no chance anyone’s going to catch a glimpse of my photo library without my consent, because I’ll be shielding it from view like I’m hiding a top secret government code (or hoarding Quest bars, either or). Because my phone is a vortex into a land of emotional duress, a land of unseen joy, a land of pleasures and painful moments documented and catalogued into Years and Collections and Moments. Yes. A land full of selfies.

Social media allows even the most inconspicuous of us a certain level of visibility, whether you’re Joe Shmoe working at the local convenience store or Jessica Simpson on a yacht in St. Bart’s jet skiing like a boss. With visibility does come responsibility. But I’d like to argue that it’s not a responsibility to show our most ethical, morally sound, G-rated selves. Rather, with social media comes a responsibility to show our most fiercely authentic, actualized selves – the darkness AND the rainbows.

selfies

So let’s talk selfies. Selfies showcase one of two things: They’re either an authentic expression and representation of someone’s full self, or a plea for validation and a representation of someone desperately trying to belong.

Just like body image campaigns tell us to love our bodies, period, I’ve seen commercials and essays and advertisements telling us we need to unplug and live in the moment, period. Some of them are actually quite moving; they’re great – but just like there’s a lot more to loving your body than just saying you do, there’s a lot more to living in the moment than just unplugging.

For some of us, technology, and therefore selfies, help us live in the moment. Instagram Culture, at its best, gets us noticing beauty in a whole new way – allowing ourselves to be so moved that we want to catch it for later. Where we get in trouble with technology is when we’re tied to what’s going on outside of our immediate surroundings: checking Facebook, scrolling through SnapChat, liking and retweeting instead of raising our heads up to face that world that’s right at the tip of our noses.

Selfies can help us live in the moment, helping us document a moment of sheer bliss or even utter confusion at the world around us. Maybe even the days we feel “fat” or “dumb” or so confused by life we can barely make sense of which way is up. Selfies can help us look for the beauty in ourselves, and can even help us analyze our darker moments or the days we’re not feeling so great. Selfies can give us permission to be so moved by who we are in that moment that we want to catch it for later so we remember what that feels like.

The flip-side of selfies comes when we’re so tied to what is going on outside of us and we post trying to prove a point, get more likes, or get social proof that we are doing something right…instead of doing it right for us, and feeling confident in that knowledge.

I am an unapologetic selfie-taker. They’re a tool I use to help me stay authentic. I use them not to fabricate a character out of myself or to show only my “pretty” days. I use them to keep me honest, and keep me remembering what it feels like to be in awe of who I am, rainbows and darkness, all-inclusive. Maybe some people won’t believe that. Maybe some people will choose to judge me for it. But that’s okay – because those selfies aren’t really for them at all. They don’t have to believe. *I* believe it.

selfie

I’ve heard people say that selfies themselvsies (see what I did there) are the problem. But they’re not – they’re just a vehicle for whatever the selfie-taker is experiencing inside of them. When artists started to paint self portraits, did their contemporaries say their society was turning into a culture or narcissists? When men and women started experimenting with flash photography and brownie boxes, did their peers deem them shallow and vain? (I mean, maybe, but it obviously wasn’t the end of human connection.) It’s not about the image itself – it’s about the intention. 

If we shifted the way we approached selfies, both as participants and as voyeurs, I honestly think we could make a big shift happen in this tech-heavy world. If we viewed selfies as a vehicle for empowerment – of others and of ourselves – can you imagine the example we’d be setting for younger generations who would grow up knowing no differently?

Next time you take a selfie, ask yourself: Does posting this empower you, fascinate you, make you feel something inside – or does it carry the weight of likes and follows you hope you’ll get on the exterior?

There is nothing wrong with craving love and attention. Don’t we all just want to feel seen?? The judgement around selfies is at the level of unnecessary catty-girl-shit: our lens focuses in on what’s “acceptable” and what’s not “acceptable” instead of what might really be going on under the surface. I don’t think it’s helpful to do away with the selfie…I just think we need to find other ways IRL to address that very human need for connection and belonging. And when we’re brave enough to share our fullest selves, we’ve got to let that shine, for us and us alone.

The reality of our world is that not many people are going to set this example – it’s a small minority who have the courage to share their full selves and full authentic expression. It’s our job, rather, to BE the example. Not just for others – but for ourselves. Because in those darker moments of our days, it’s helpful to have a solid practice of full authentic expression already there in our toolkit.

A selfie, whether you share it on social or hoard it on your phone like I do, can be a visual reminder that you’ve been through the good and the bad before, you’ll be through it again, and you have the ability to turn things around for yourself where you see fit. It’s not our responsibility to be perfect, but it is our responsibility to be raw, vibrant, and 100% unfiltered-ly real.

selfie


WANT Action Plan:
Get on board. Post your selfies with the hashtag #selfieempowerment and #WANTyourself – and let’s see if we can help make social media a more authentic, more vibrant place for everyone else following along. Join me?

 

Girl Powered: My 5 Career AHA! Moments From This Weekend

Girl Powered: My 5 Career AHA! Moments From This Weekend

Community Tips + Tools Work

Those freakin’ Girl Scouts. They know just how to get you.

And no, I’m not talking about Thin Mints.

Image(2)

I am maybe one of the biggest girl’s girls you’ll ever find. I live for uplifting other women, and forming sisterly bonds is a sacred act to me.

I had the kind of 48 hours this past weekend that left me breathless, and gave me five a-ha moments I know I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life. Since you were all there with me in spirit, I knew that this week’s WANT post needed to bring that back around so it could maybe change your life, too.

I thought I was going just to speak on a panel. A panel with five other powerhouses, at the place for all biz-minded girl’s girls, The IPSOS Girls’ Lounge at SXSW.

Instead, I went and got my life changed for the better – on and off mic.

Here were my five biggest career AHA moments of the weekend – plus one extra for good luck:

katie horwitch1) True success is inclusive. The thing that blew me away most about everyone at The Girls Lounge was how open and down-to-earth they were. It was truly like talking to close girlfriends, aunts, cousins, sisters, etc. The breadth of success in the room every single day was nuts – we’re talking major VCs, CEOs, CMOs, experts in their field – it was like a real-life love-child of one of those 100-most-influential-women-in-business lists and one of those 30-under-30-up-and-coming-entrepreneurs lists.

And yet there was no ego or hierarchy. I realized that success doesn’t put you above anyone else – it allows you to connect with others on a very deep level. When you’re not trying to prove your worth or status, it’s really attractive to others. And moreover, fuels your own self-respect. No matter where you are in your career, if you’re inclusive and not exclusive, you’re already succeeding…even if you don’t realize it yet.
ipsos

2) Forget networking – focus on friend netting. I spent almost all of my time at The Girls Lounge because the women I was meeting were people I was bonding with on a very real level – about things that barely had to do with business. Like really does attract like.

I’ve got to be honest: I don’t attend a lot of typical “networking” events. No, I don’t stay home and play Friends roulette** with a bowl of kettle corn in my lap (at least not every night), but my time and freedom are two of my most valuable assets. And it’s because most of the time, I don’t feel like my time is best spent faking-it-till-I-make-it on a purely superficial level. It reminds me of the times I would want to get “in” with the popular girls at school, but they ditched me once they found out I was, you know, human.

My boyfriend Jeremy is my same personality type, and is a whiz at what I used to think of as networking. One day, I commented, “You’re a genius at this! How do you work this magic of yours?” And that’s when he introduced me to the world of friend netting: viewing “business”-related conferences and events as a place to discover new friendships. Instead of focusing on talking to the “right” people or “enough” people, friend netting is about having those one or two really authentic conversations with people you feel like you’d actually hang out with in real life. Because, surprise – good people like to do business with other good people, not with their good business cards or resumes.amanda-decadenet

3) It’s okay to stay in and recharge – even if everyone else is out and about. SXSW is kind of like that week before you start college and all the events, organizations, and parties are happing simultaneously and at full-force. Imagine that, but bigger. Much, much bigger. There are panels, conferences, workshops, concerts, screenings, happy hours, dinners, and things I don’t even know how to start to describe going on until, like 3am.

When you find yourself in situations like this, when seemingly-everyone’s socializing and there’s seemingly opportunity everywhere, it’s so easy to pressure yourself into running around like a banshee (banshees that run) to attend every single point of interest and meet as many people as possible. I’ve fallen into that trap before, and was determined not to let it get the best of me this time around. Turns out, staying in, reflecting, and getting a full nine hours of sleep made it possible for me to bring my A-plus game to every interaction I had over the weekend.

When you take the best care of yourself for you, you can be your best self for others. Everyone is different; the trick is being honest with what kind of self care YOU need to bring your game-face to the world. You will meet who you are supposed to meet and be where you’re supposed to be.

Net-net, there’s nothing wrong with spending the night with a Whole Foods salad bar box on your bed and a Kevin James movie marathon on TV.
11053832_10103238645235841_3925137399439835126_n

4) Authenticity IS work-life balance. The very first question Amanda asked all of us was, “What is the one quality that makes you your most authentic self?” A deceptively tough question. What is it that makes Katie KATIE no matter where she goes or what she does? What is my personality’s through line?

My most authentic quality is that my soul is 72, but my spirit is 7. My authentic self is unbridled, deep-reaching enthusiasm. I’m playful on the outside, soulful on the inside. Young in my heart but old in my blood.

I’ve been told in many instances I “need” to tone down my enthusiasm or play it cool – but by navigating those instances and tapping into the nuances of why I’m the way I am, I’ve developed a life I love that feels balanced to me, at least at this point in time. I say yes to where I can be me and no to where I absolutely can’t.

Some people might define work-life balance by the external things: working a job and being a mom, having time for hobbies and taking care of your health, stuff like that. But what I realized this weekend is that no matter what your external looks like, if you’re acting from your authentic self at all times, your own personalized version of work-life balance will fall into place.dyllan-mcgee

5) Share and share alike – success isn’t built on being stingy. The mastermind behind this entire shindig? Shelley Zalis – one of the most well-respected women in business today. I got to bond with women I’ve admired for ages, meet new sources of inspiration, and friend-net all kinds of new, genuine friends. No matter how incredibly successful these women were, they were all open about their process, at the ready with advice, and took others’ words of wisdom to heart. Everyone had something to teach, and everyone had something to learn. The more externally “successful” the person, the more of an open book they were.

Of course, we all have a threshold and I’m not in any way advocating being without boundaries. The main point is: Success is built on collaborative generosity. We are all so uniquely different, and if we can help lift each other up, then that’s when we can make real change. As Shelley said on one of the panels – “If we’re all the same, then why does there need to be so many of us?” We can all fight for a collective cause, yet it’s the nuances we bring to the table that are actually going to change the world.shelley-zalis

Oh, and the Girl Scouts? Well, at the very end of our panel, a troop of Austin Girl Scouts hung around to chat. Out of the blue, one of them stopped me on my way out and exclaimed, “Ok, I just gotta say – you are, like, really beautiful! Really, really beautiful.”

Besides my heart melting right onto the floor (hello, emotional puddle of love), what struck me was how eager she was to compliment me. If she’s instinctively uplifting others at fourteen years old – imagine what she’ll be doing once she’s twenty. Or thirty. That, to me, was the biggest Aha! of them all: that change is happening right here, right now. The more we give, the more we get.
10982032_10103238632940481_1828826511035014510_n



WANT Yourself Action Plan:

In the comments below, tell me:
What is YOUR most authentic quality?

Heads up! Next week’s newsletter and post will be out on Wednesday to spice things up. If you’re not signed up, get on that right now by clicking here – would hate for you to miss out!

Cover photo and quote photo credit: Sara Christopher Photography
**Friends roulette: a game in which you pick a random season of Friends, then choose a random episode number. Then you watch it.


Never miss a post. Ever. Sign up + join the WANT movement:

You’re Invited: Join WANT at SXSW 2015!

You’re Invited: Join WANT at SXSW 2015!

Community

I’ve had a hankering to attend South By Southwest in Austin, Texas for years. The film fests! The music extravaganzas! The entrepreneurial spirit!

Little did I know that my very first trip to SXSW would be to speak there. And as a bona-fide WANT Warrior, you’re the first to be invited.

On March 14th 2015, I’ll be speaking on Amanda de Cadenet’s “Authenticity. For Real.” panel at the IPSOS Girls’ Lounge along with some truly incredible women.

Think Makers founder Dyllan McGee, Talk Stoop’s Cat Greenleaf, and Girls’ Lounge founder Shelley Zalis.

We’ll be talking confidence, self image, inspiration, motivation, and what it takes to be authentic (for real) in all areas of your life.

All this will go down from 4pm-5pm at the IPSOS Girls’ Lounge, the place at SXSW for like-minded women to ignite sparks that drive real change.

Down to hang? There’ll be a beauty bar, foot massages, confidence coaching sessions, workshops for female entrepreneurs, and more – plus a “She-J” spinning tunes while you relax and bond with a whole new gaggle of gal pals looking to connect with like-minded entrepreneurial spirits like you.

Full disclosure: When I was asked to speak on this panel – hosted by one of my all-time favorite conversation starters, by-the-by – I leapt at the chance (I’ve never been one to “play it cool” when things genuinely excite me). The power we have as women when we build each other up instead of tear each other down is so much stronger than we realize.

How incredible it is that, at one of the largest conferences/festivals in the entire country, there is this place that supports the power of our collective voice. The power of collaboration, not competition. To be gabbing with these four other powerhouses about how we can collectively change the world through authenticity and self-actualization gets my heart feeling all tingly inside.

Just so you know, I only promote and say yes to the brands, events, and causes I deeply believe in, in my heart of hearts – it’s just how I do things. This weekend is sure to be a life-changer for anyone who feels the need to make a difference in this world just by being themselves.

Heading to SXSW for the weekend and want to come join in the fun? Here’s everything you need to know:


WHAT:
Authenticity. For Real.
The Conversation with Amanda DeCadenet
featuring Stacy London, Katie Horwitch, Dylan McGee, and Stacy Nadeau

WHEN:
Saturday, March 14th 2015
4PM-5PM

WHERE:
SXSW Interactive
3rd Street & Trinity Street
Austin, Texas

JOIN IN!
Download the invitation by clicking through here
Don’t forget to come and say hi – I’d love to meet you!


ABOUT GIRLS’ LOUNGE: The Ipsos Girls’ Lounge is the go-to destination at the largest industry conferences in the advertising, marketing, media, research and technology spaces. We advocate for each other, support one another and ignite sparks that drive real change. For more, visit The Girls’ Lounge on Twitter, Instagram, or their website. See you on the 14th!

 


Never miss a post. Ever. Sign up + join the WANT movement: