WANTcast Episode 025: On Manifesting It All + Waking Up Fully with Sarah Britton of My New Roots

WANTcast Episode 025: On Manifesting It All + Waking Up Fully with Sarah Britton of My New Roots

Body the WANTcast Work

Who else is excited for a brand new year?!

I know that a lot of people are saying things like “2016 sucked!” “Good riddance 2016!” “Go home, 2016, you’re drunk!” etc etc. And yes, there were some crappy moments. But it’s important for us to remember how much GOOD there was within the last twelve months as well (personally ending with some great news I reveal on the pod).

So here’s where I’m at: I’m choosing to look at 2017 as the year where we sort of, as one of my role models Glennon Doyle Melton says, sift through the crises of 2016, sift through the muck of last year, and then take what we have left over – the stuff that really counts – and just build on that into the stratosphere.

sarah britton women against negative talk

Today’s guest is the perfect person to help us move forward fearlessly into a new era. Today’s guest is Sarah Britton – author, holistic nutritionist, certified nutritional practitioner, and artist (you’ll hear why later in the podcast) who’s based in Copenhagen Denmark. She is the creative force behind MY NEW ROOTS, an award-winning food blog featuring original recipes that taste great, look beautiful, and boast incredible health benefits (ps, she’s been doing this since 2007 – so she really is the food blogger OG).

In this episode we talk about overcoming obstacles, manifesting things in your life and how important it is to be mindful of what you wish for, how Sarah completely revamped her relationship with food, and three things that ANYONE can do to remove what Sarah calls the fog from your life and wake up FULLY. I’m talking super simple things that don’t involve going to a fancy store, searching for some weird gadget on Amazon, or overhauling your life – these are small tweaks that anybody can make no matter what your lifestyle. Basically, this episode is all about how to realize and actualize how good you’re meant to feel on a day-to-day basis.

Verdict: Sarah is the perfect positive voice to help us ring in the new year. (added bonus…her voice is like buttah.)
We're only given the challenges we can overcome. - @MyNewRoots Click To Tweet

WANT SARAH:

Listen in iTunes | Play in new window | Direct Download

SHOW NOTES:
Order Naturally Nourished now!
My New Roots
Facebook
Instagram
Gourmet Print Shop
Facebook
Instagram
Esther Hicks
Jessica Murnane on the WANTcast
Laura Wright of The First Mess

How To DIY Your Own Planned Freak-Out

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Like this episode? Shoot me a comment below, leave a review on iTunes, share it on Facebook, tweet it out on Twitter, or post it on Instagram. The more you share, the more Sarah’s message can be heard. Be sure to use the hashtags #WANTcast, #womenagainstnegativetalk, and/or #WANTyourself!

WANTcast Episode 021: On Adrenaline Addiction + Forging Your Own Path with Jordan Younger of The Balanced Blonde

WANTcast Episode 021: On Adrenaline Addiction + Forging Your Own Path with Jordan Younger of The Balanced Blonde

the WANTcast

I always remind myself that no big choice I've made has failed me yet. - @balancedblondie Click To Tweet

Chances are, you’ve heard of Jordan Younger, akaThe Balanced Blonde.” Maybe it’s because of her best-selling book, Breaking Vegan. Maybe it’s because of her lifestyle blog that’s literally read by thousands of people worldwide weekly. Maybe it’s because of her adorable clothing line, or uber-popular social media channels…

…Or maybe it’s because you saw her on virtually every morning news circuit two years ago, when she “came out” to her readers saying her intense focus on healthy, vegan living had spiraled her into an eating disorder. One that had zero to do with veganism but everything to do with the way she was using the label to mask her unnatural obsession with eating as “pure” as possible. And one that, subsequently, made her the target of intense hate and even death threats from people convinced that she was speaking ill of the vegan community.

In reality, nothing could have been farther from the truth – or the real Jordan behind the news headlines and blog posts. Only 26 years old (as of today! Happy Birthday, Jordan!), Jordan’s transition from The Blonde Vegan (her former blog name) to The Balanced Blonde made her a wellness “It Girl” virtually overnight. She’s managed to navigate both the highest highs and lowest lows of being in the public eye with grace, humor, and integrity, all while unapologetically being, well, herself. She is bubbly like champagne, kind to the core, and just as enthusiastic about championing others’ success as she is when it comes to pursuing her own. She takes her work seriously but takes reactions in stride, and treats each person she meets like a new friend in the making. In a scene that’s becoming almost overly-saturated with a wellness-elite vibe, Jordan is a breath of fresh air and true authenticity.

After years of “knowing” each other from afar and running in so many of the same circles, Jordan and I finally got to met at the WANT Moving Forward Fearlessly event back in April. She crushed it (check out the recap here). And she’s become a cherished friend ever since.

WANT-April2016-211

What I love about Jordan is that she doesn’t apologize for being who she is, and she doesn’t tailor herself to fit other people’s liking. We share countless similarities – from our history with Orthorexia to our blogging backgrounds to our Libra birthdays – and I know I can always speak candidly to her about both the exciting moments and, well, b.s. that comes along with starting up your own purpose project from scratch.

The thing about Jordan is that while she’s gotten a lot of outward success in a relatively short amount of time, what impresses me the most about her is how completely transparent she is about her journey getting there, how she was feeling at the time, and how she currently navigates the extremes that come with both being a highly creative and driven person. It’s a lot easier to take risks and pivot when you’re lesser known or just starting out at whatever you’re doing, but once you’ve got all eyeballs all on you, it can be tough not only to take those risks in the fist place, but also manage the reactions of others you get in response to those risks. She’s able to laugh at herself, is incredible self-aware, and takes it all in stride without throwing out the sensitive parts of her that have made her so magnetic to so many people.

In this episode we talk about adrenaline addiction, the fear of success instead of fear of failure, finding the work style the works for you, how Jordan has learned to manage both the highs and lows of her business while staying true to herself, being a leader when you still feel like you’re learning, and forging your own journey even when it’s tempting to compare yourself to other people in your age range or career field. We also talk about some of her not-so-traditional health and spiritual adventures, the latter of which starts off with us laughing about it, but ends with a lesson all of us should remember about believing what we can’t see.

I can’t think of a more perfect, pragmatically positive person to kick off Season Two of the WANTcast.

WANT JORDAN:

Listen in iTunes | Play in new window | Direct download

Show Notes:
The Balanced Blonde
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Snapchat
Breaking Vegan
E-book preorder
Jordan at WANT’s event in April
That time she was on Chelsea Handler’s Snapchat
Miranda Alcott
Orthorexia, Explained

WANT to support the WANTcast? Click over to Amazon via this link, then shop as usual. I will receive a small-but-meaningful kickback, which means we can invest in things like sound editing, new equipment, and more. No extra charge to you. Easy as that!

Like this episode? Shoot me a comment below, leave a review on iTunes, 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!

the-balanced-blonde-quote

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FEAR/LESS: On Making Shift Happen + Moving Forward Fearlessly

FEAR/LESS: On Making Shift Happen + Moving Forward Fearlessly

Body Community Love Tips + Tools WANT Women Work

You know those hours, days, moments when everything seems to just click? Those times when all the shaky transitions, all the nights wondering what the f 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 to remind you that you are just right, just the way you are?

That’s what this weekend was for me.

On Saturday, I had the immense pleasure of chilling beachside with fifty WANT Women from all over SoCal: eating delicious food, drinking wine and green juice, soaking up sunshine – and most importantly, diving in, digging deep, and discussing what it means to truly move forward fearlessly in life.

Yes, I was there to play hostess at the most perfect venue ever (Creative Visions Foundation out in Malibu – check out that view!), moderate a killer panel of power women (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), and hopefully be able to inspire at least one person by adding my own voice into the mix. What I didn’t expect was how each person attending would inspire me beyond measure, in ways I wasn’t even able to describe until I was sitting in silence in my PJs hours later, stunned by the impact.

Here were my five biggest lessons from the day:

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My relationship w/ you is a direct reflection of my relationship w/ myself - @audreybellis Click To Tweet
1) 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. One of the all-time most popular posts on WANT is the Making Friends As An Adult piece, and I’m not too surprised why: 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.

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Say yes to what's actually happening instead of waiting for what isn't. - @mslynnchen Click To Tweet
2) 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 this weekend 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.

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It doesn't have to be sunshine+rainbows, but you've got to know you'll be okay - @balancedblondie Click To Tweet
3) Sometimes positivity isn’t even about seeing a silver lining – it’s about knowing deep down in your core 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 on the fact 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. Not saying it’s easy, and not saying it’s 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.

rachelle_tratt
If there is something that lights you up, GO DO IT. No one will do it for you. - @neshamaproject Click To Tweet
4) 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. As she told us, 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 a pull, the have-to-should-dancers say. Who do you think you are taking up space and following yours? 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 to 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.

fearless
'Fearless' is when the fear is less than the faith. - @katiehorwitch Click To Tweet
5) 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 – a Highly Sensitive Person – so I’ve found that I can either accept my fear or I can acquiesce to it.

I choose neither.

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.

And 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 f 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.

women against negative talk

HUGE thank you to M Café for the delicious lunch spread, Beaming for the juices and sweets, ONEHOPE Wine for the for-purpose Pinot, Sauv, and bubbly, Meghan Gallagher and Creative Visions Foundation for the most unbelievable space in the world and for making the process an ocean breeze, S.W. Basics/Pure Vida/Luna/Barnana/Philosophie for a swag bag that set the bar high – to Lynn, Jordan, Audrey, and Rachelle for shining your light and being the very best first WANT panel I could have ever wished for and completely blowing me away with every single word – and to YOU, the WANT peeps, for being the reason this community is as powerful as it is. I am eternally grateful.

All photos by the amazing Cortnee Loren Brown


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The WANTcast Episode 004: On Accepting What Is + Making Huge Shifts with Actress/Activist/Blogger Lynn Chen

The WANTcast Episode 004: On Accepting What Is + Making Huge Shifts with Actress/Activist/Blogger Lynn Chen

Body Community Love the WANTcast Work

Trust your intuition. And know that your intuition is going to change. - @MsLynnChen Click To Tweet
Happy November!

This is the time of year we’re usually the most contemplative about where we are in our own lives, and it’s for that reason I’m so excited to introduce you to today’s guest.

Lynn Chen is an actress, activist, and food blogger who is serving up some major inspiration to me lately. She’s been seen in countless TV shows and films, serves as an ambassador for the National Eating Disorders Association, and has not one but TWO blogs. The Actor’s Diet, which Lynn started in 2009 as a sort of journal to help her make peace with her food after years of eating disorders, it’s now one of the most influential food blogs on the web, with some of the most longevity at that. (it’s also got a podcast, the Actor’s Diet Podcast) Her other blog is Thick Dumpling Skin, a phenomenal body-image blog that’s centered around the Asian American community.

(You can also read her WANT Woman spotlight here – she’s already a WANT vet! :))

lynn-food


So I don’t do TOO much heavy editing with these episodes, but I’ve got to say that this one was tough. For all the right reasons. We ended up talking for close to two hours – and Lynn shared so much of herself that I really, really wanted to be mindful I was doing each word and thought and story and lesson justice.

Lynn is in a majorly transitional time in her career right now, and that can be really scary – you’ve built your identity being one thing, and then you decide to change course entirely. I don’t care what kind of career you’re in or what your life looks like, it’s something we all experience…but we usually hear people talking about it AFTER it’s happened. Lynn’s in the thick of it.

We dive deep in this episode, but the one theme that kept popping up was learning how to accept what is, and then moving forward from there. We talk about the way blogging’s shifted over the last six years, Lynn’s choice to move away from acting and why success isn’t always what it seems, the lessons she learned while she was trying to get pregnant, and the unexpected strategy she’s used to cope with everything from the sudden death of her father a few years back to her long history with eating disorders. We also talk about rejection, comparison, and how to make your mark by being exactly who you are.

If you’re struggling with any sort of transitional time in your life right now or have ever experienced a huge life shift, I really think this is going to speak to you. 

WANT LYNN:

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Show notes:
Lynn Chen
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Youtube
Lynn’s WANT Woman spotlight
The Actors Diet
Thick Dumpling Skin
Saving Face
NEDA
My sound guru Roger Bellon
WANTcast theme by Christopher Given Harrison

Like this episode? Shoot me a comment below, leave a review on iTunes (the more reviews, the more Lynn’s 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!

The WANT Women: Ashlee Piper On Being Heroic, Living Electrically, and Reclaiming The Good

The WANT Women: Ashlee Piper On Being Heroic, Living Electrically, and Reclaiming The Good

WANT Women

Being eco-chic and health conscious is super trendy right now. And that’s not a bad thing – but honestly, it’s not the best thing, either (I’ll let you read up on why HERE).

Just like with any trend, there emerges an elitist crowd preaching their perfectly manicured Instagram posts and power poses. It’s hip to be green – but the exclusiveness of the wellness world can sometimes be a turn-off to people who are curious, want to dip their toes in, but have no clue where to start. And let’s be honest, others making you feel guilty about that one bag of microwaved popcorn or two bottles of Corona is not the way to create habits that last in the long run.

I know. I’ve been there.

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As much as I’ve tried, my skin just doesn’t have that dewy gleam reminiscent of jojoba oil and fairy dust – and many mornings I prefer to work out in the t-shirt I slept in the night before instead of my fancy stretchy mesh “athleisure” ensemble. I’m of the camp that thinks superfoods are super fab, but if your focus isn’t on eating enough healthy staples to begin with, there’s no amount of bee pollen that will catapult you into holistic glowy-ness. I curse accidentally, I snort when I laugh, and I’ve definitely eaten kettle corn for dinner more than once (being kind here) in my adult life. This doesn’t mean I’m not always striving to be the very best and most vibrant self I can be.

It’s people like Ashlee Piper that feed my curiosity to live more sustainably, eat more kindly, and all the while, make me feel okay being exactly who I am and where I’m at at this very point in time.

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Ashlee Piper is, simply put, eco-badass at its finest. As the founder and Editor In Chief of The Little Foxes, Fashion Editor at Thoughtfully Magazine, TV personality and brand strategist, Ashley meets her readers and viewers exactly where they’re at and moves forward from there. She invites them into her ethically sound, cruelty free, vegan-fabulous lifestyle to join in where they see fit.

Ashlee’s not about forcing her ways onto anyone, but she is about living a conscious, compassionate, fearless life that helps everyone and everything around her rise and flourish.

Her tone is infectious, her knowledge is impressive, and her attitude is inclusive. She’s my go-to for living well with both class and sass. And I’m so thrilled she’s here sharing her wisdom here today – everything from body image and apologizing to effing the fear and reclaiming the good.

WANT ASHLEE.
AshleyP4

 

NAME: Ashlee Piper


HOW YOU’D KNOW ME: Editor-in-Chief at The Little Foxes, columinist for Refinery29 and other outlets, Creative Director, Fashion Editor at Thoughtfully Magazine, TV personality, and brand strategist dealin’ with all things vegan, cruelty-free, eco-friendly, and minimalist.


WHAT I LOVE ABOUT MYSELF (AND WHY): Isn’t it funny that even when presented with this question, I start to demure my initial impulse of answers? I love that I’m fearlessly friendly, and generally courageous.

I’ve left lucrative careers without a net, moved cross-country on a whim, set up roots in new places without knowing anyone, stopped a busy 6-lane highway to save a rabbit that had been hit by a car. I try to live life following my inner compass of what feels right and damn, living like that can be scary and exhilarating and requires getting comfortable with the unknown.

I love other things about myself, too, but I think the element of moxie in my life has really brought the most magic and passion into my days.


WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF “POSITIVITY?” It’s like a muscle. Being positive when things are going smoothly is pretty dang easy. Staying optimistic when the shit hits the fan is way more difficult, and something I’m always working on. It requires strength to redirect your thoughts, courage to trust that the challenges will pass and are leading to something infinitely better, lightness of being to laugh it off and know that tomorrow is a new day, and a solid sense of the bigger picture (which I certainly struggle with at times).

AshleyP5


WHEN DID YOU START TO LOVE YOURSELF – DID YOU HAVE A SELF-LOVE “TURNING POINT?” I think this is an ever-evolving process for me (and likely everyone else, too?). I started understanding myself better when I turned 31. I left my 10-year, established career to explore what contributions I could make in the animal rights field, and it was through those challenges of redefining and getting back in touch with who I was and what I stood for that really helped me see and appreciate myself.

Doing television has also been a constantly changing lesson in accepting and loving myself. TV’s not the most forgiving medium and watching my segments has made me more appreciative of myself.

As far as a turning “point” goes – I guess I’ve had none and many, if that makes sense. Every relationship or business dealing where I haven’t felt appreciated or acknowledged has certainly acted as a mini turning point, helping me to get a better sense of what I want and deserve.


HOW/WHERE NEGATIVE TALK SHOWS UP IN MY LIFE: Oh, everywhere. I, like most people, can be extremely tough on myself. So, even if I give something my all or do something well, I have to combat that impulse to find fault in the littlest things.


WHEN I TALK NEGATIVELY ABOUT MYSELF, IT’S USUALLY… About how I look or something I’ve done that didn’t pan out the way I planned or hoped. Instead of accepting that, hey, sometimes you can give something your all and people still might not want to hire you, book you on their show, give you a shot at writing an article, etc, I can tend to personalize it. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become better about understanding that life is more about showing up, giving it your best, and adapting to the outcome; and the pride isn’t necessarily in the outcome, but in the endeavoring.

Life is about showing up, giving it your best, and adapting to the outcome. -@thelilfoxes Click To Tweet

WHEN OTHERS TALK NEGATIVELY ABOUT THEMSELVES… I try to acknowledge their feelings, but then build them up. Sometimes logic works remarkably well to show people the reality of their situation. Like, the unpacking of “But look what’s working here” helps to take the weight out of something relatively small that has somehow wormed its way and taken center stage in someone’s thoughts.


IT BAFFLES ME THAT WOMEN STILL… Apologize all the damn time. That’s something I’m really working on – ridding my dialogue of unnecessarily apologetic language. I mean, a legit apology when merited is always a good thing, but we demure on everything; it’s been ingrained in us from a young age.

I read a great article about how women need to stop using the word “just” – as in “I just wanted to circle back on this” in a work conversation, etc. We’ve been taught to qualify our statements and it’s completely unnecessary. We’re here, we’re valid, we have rockin’ ideas and the wherewithal to execute on them, and there’s no need to be preemptively sorry about that. And you know what else? We’re human. We’re allowed to make freaking mistakes. I don’t know why women’s mistakes are so often weighted more heavily than those of men.

ashlee-piper-quote1


I WISH THAT MORE WOMEN… Boldly acknowledged and promoted their achievements and the achievements of others. Since when is it a boastful thing for someone to humbly say, “I did a damn good job” or, “I’m proud of myself”? I think once we begin to acknowledge our own greatness, we can also effectively see it in others without feeling threatened.


THE COOLEST THING ABOUT WOMEN IS… Our resilience.


MY FAVORITE WAY TO SHIFT A NEGATIVE INTO A POSITIVE: Gratitude. It changes perspective, gets the good energy flowing, and shows us the reality of abundance that we’re all living. When I’m feeling blah or not enough, I write down everything I’m grateful for until I feel better.


MY TOP FEMALE ROLE MODELS: Ann Richards (she’s probably my favorite of all time. So smart, so southern, so sassy, so charming, and so damn effective), Elizabeth Warren, Nawal El Saadawi, Sandra Bullock, Amelia Earhart, Diane Von Furstenberg, Cate Blanchett, Betty White, Mary Kay Ash, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Holmes, Oprah Winfrey – I could seriously go on all day.


MEN CAN HELP WOMEN CRUSH THEIR NEGATIVE TALK PATTERS BY… Supporting us and providing opportunities for us to continue to rock the world. We’re all in this together and let’s face it, we can all afford to be kinder, more generous, more supportive of one another.

We can all afford to be kinder, more generous, more supportive of one another. -@thelilfoxes Click To Tweet

FAVORITE NEGATIVITY-BUSTING ACTIVITY: There are quite a few – chatting with family or friends; cuddling my dog; taking a jog outside; listening to a killer playlist; making out with someone adorable; gratitude; getting all dolled up with no particular place to go.

Also, for a both physical and symbolic reasons, I find exfoliation totally satisfying. I get into the shower, scrub my dry skin with something gritty and fabulous smelling, and rinse off. It’s like a metaphor for shaking away the bad and making way for the good. You feel brand new.

AshleyPiper


FAVE SELF-LOVE RITUAL: I come from a long line of women who use a hot bath as a nightly ritual. It’s such a part of my life that a bathtub (preferably claw foot) is my #1 request when looking for apartments. I get the essential oils, candles, and a good book going and immediately feel more balanced.


FAVORITE FEEL-GOOD FOOD(S): Avocado toast; Vegan Mac and Cheese; Some kind of wonderful homemade soup or bisque; Pasta with pesto; there’s a bakery in Dallas, Texas that makes these unbelievable vegan kolaches. If I lived nearby, those might top the list of comfort food binges.


FAVORITE MOVIES(S) TO WATCH WHEN I’M FEELING DOWN: Elizabeth; Cinderella (I have no shame for my mega-love for the new live-action one. It’s so pretty and SO GOOD); Never Been Kissed; Legally Blonde (works every single freakin’ time).


FAVORITE EMPOWERING BOOK(S): You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero; Anything by Tony Robbins or Victoria Moran. And anything on minimalism – less stuff = freedom.
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MY FEEL-GOOD PLAYLIST: Here it is on Spotify!


ADVICE I WOULD GIVE MY…

  • …4 year-old self: Stay as kind and inquisitive as you naturally are. People will tell you you’re “too sensitive,” but that is exactly what makes you wonderful and will lead you to your passion for righting injustice.
  • …14 year-old self: Learn to love your body beyond size and weight on your own terms. I spent so much of my teens allowing bullies’ and boys’ opinions of me (which were usually negative because I was chubby, flat-chested, with braces, and a bawdy attitude to defend against criticism) to define who I believed I was, which led to me inwardly hating myself and medicating with food on the daily.
  • …24 year-old self: Fuck the fear. Of people, relationships, loneliness, bosses, love, travel, of things not going according to plan, doing something wrong, making a mistake, misspeaking, things beyond your control – all of it. I’ve always been brave, but spent a good amount of my life making bold moves with fear in my heart. I now see that fear in most instances was completely ridiculous and just sapped the joy and confidence from the experiences.

5 THINGS, PERSONAL OR PROFESSIONAL, ON MY BUCKET LIST:

  • Write a book on minimalist and eco-lifestyle. 
  • Be a regular correspondent on a national TV show (Ellen, hook it up!).
  • Have my own national eco-lifestyle TV talk show.
  • Meet my match and have/adopt children and animals like whoa.
  • Run for and win a national political office where I can rep animal-, people-, and planet-friendly policies while wearing awesome pantsuits and a serious bold lip.

MY BEST TIP ON SELF LOVE: Remember that however you are feeling in the very moment, everyone feels that way sometimes. Even the most seemingly beautiful, together, accomplished, mega-Instagram-followers person combats feelings of failure, doubt, inadequacy, fugliness, etc.

This really hit me when I was speaking at an event just this past weekend and this incredible woman – someone whom I’ve admired from afar for years – told me upon meeting when I said, “Oh man, you do so much. You’re such an inspiration” that she “felt like a failure.” This incredible, bright beacon of a person feels like a failure, too sometimes!

So, yeah, you’re not alone and you’re allowed to feel the bad, but it is your responsibility to get up and out of those feelings and reclaim the good. And gratitude really does work wonders to help anyone regain perspective on how we’re all living really freaking charmed lives.

AshleyP


WHEN I TRULY LOVE ALL OF MYSELF… Life feels electric. I’m fearless. I walk taller and smile brighter. I’m more generous because I’m feeling and totally believe in the abundance of the universe. I have an endless reservoir of ideas and energy. I’m less likely to be mired down by the minutiae and bullshit and soar above to keep that good feeling going. When I truly love myself, I am better at loving others, accepting things for what they are, and everything feels possible.

When I truly love all of myself...life feels electric. I'm fearless. -@thelilfoxes Click To Tweet

RIGHT NOW, I AM MOST EXCITED ABOUT… upcoming TV segments and speaking opportunities and the book I’m working on. I never quite know what’s around the corner, but I always anticipate something good.


MY BODY IS... Bodacious. Wise. Seasoned. Strong. -@thelilfoxes Click To Tweet

THREE WORDS TO DESCRIBE ME: Ebullient, intuitive, compassionate.


CURRENT MANTRA: Be Heroic. My father has said this to me throughout my life and I absolutely love it. It always fills me up and gives me strength.

ashlee-piper
Be heroic. -@thelilfoxes Click To Tweet

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The WANT Women: Liz Brinson of Swirl Girl Army

The WANT Women: Liz Brinson of Swirl Girl Army

Body Community Love WANT Women Work

In my moments of despair, I try to smile and focus on the goodness. -@swirlgirlarmy Click To Tweet

Question: what would you do if you found there were virtually no women like you to look to for guidance?


If you don’t have the example, BE the example. And Liz Brinson is the example.

If only Liz had been around sooner – I truly believe this world would look a whole lot different.

Liz is the founder and CEO of Swirl Girl Army, the world’s very first platform that empowers girls of multi-ethnic, multicultural backgrounds to celebrate who they are.

Being a “swirl girl” herself – her gene pool is a rad mash-up of many different ethnicities, including Korean, Seminole, and African-American – Liz was astounded to find absolutely zero outlets for women that celebrated having a mixed heritage. And so, in true WANT woman fashion, she decided to take matters into her own hands (hmm, sound familiar?).

Fast-forward to the here and now, and Liz has become a fave of the likes of Teen Vogue and ABC, has interviewed fellow Swirl Girls such as Tatiana Ali (#yes.), and founded her own hilarious-as-all-hell YouTube channel to share her wisdom on beauty, fashion, and simply doing you in a world that likes to pressure you to fit into a finely crafted mold.

Why do I love Liz? Because there’s no one like her. Her advice is spot-on and soulful, her humor is silly and never at the expense of anyone else, and even though her brand is focused on the “Swirl Girls” of the world (aren’t we all, in some way?), her outlook and voice are always in-clusive, not ex-clusive. She is downright infectious. Read on to see what I mean.

WANT Liz.
liz


Name: Liz Brinson


How you’d know me (occupation or role): I run the world’s first online lifestyle ​publication for multicultural girls,​ called Swirl Girl Army. I started the website as a way of celebrating the faces not fully represented in everyday mainstream media. I also wanted to create the role models that I wished had ​existed when I was growing up, and highlight how multifaceted and awesome we women can be – more than just pretty face​s​!


What I love about myself (and why): Probably my playfulness and sense of fantasy towards life. It’s something that is pretty precious to me and something that I try to protect.

As a little girl, I always feared it when adults would comment to each other how much they admired “how creative” their children were. I made a promise to myself then that I would do my best to always keep the “magic” in everyday life alive.


What is your definition of “positivity?” Wearing a smile on your face when it feels impossible, keeping a healthy sense of humor, offering yourself hopeful and helpful solutions that prevent you from dwelling in the sadness, and amplifying the goodness in your life.

My mother recently was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer and stage 1 uterine cancer last year and I’m not going to lie, it’s been an emotional rollercoaster. But in my moments of despair, I try to smile and focus on the goodness. That’s always the first step and there’s a science behind it. When you smile, the physical muscles involved will send a neural message to your brain that will activate a positive feedback loop that reinforces joy. Afterwards​, I’ll feel more capable of making better choices conducive to getting me out of the rut. It takes work but is​ always worth it in the end.

Also, having a happy, shiny music playlist conducive to dancing your heart out helps too.


When did you start to love yourself – did you have a self-love “turning point?” My mom instilled independence and self love in me very ​early but then my impressionable self endured high school and was highly influenced by mainstream media’s standards of beauty and optimal weight. I was definitely impacted by that in terms of setting unrealistic weight goals for myself. I would say my second turning point was probably when I met my fiance, D.A. It’s really powerful having someone else in the real world reminding you how awesome you are everyday.


How/where negative talk shows up in my life: Sometimes, I get bummed out when I go shopping and the stuff doesn’t fit me. I’ll say, “I need to lose weight” or “Geez, I’m getting fat!”

Now I just buy better tailored clothes.

liz brinson swirl girl army


When I talk negatively about myself, it’s usually… …that time of the month.


When others talk negatively about themselves… I try and bring up what I personally love about them.


It baffles me that women still… Give birth to life! Such a remarkable feat.


I wish that more women… Realized how powerful a force we are when we cooperate and work together. I also wish we celebrated, uplifted and complimented each other more everyday. Women are incredible creatures!


The coolest thing about women is… So many cool things! we give life, we are great listeners, we are selfless, we are sexually powerful, our power, our brains, our empathy, the list goes on…


My favorite way to shift a negative into a positive: Imagine a positive alternative. Dwell there. See where it elevates you. Repeat until satisfied. Pass it on.

swirl-girl-army


My top female role models: My mom, my mother-in-law, and my room mate.
Famous role models: Oprah, Eleanor Roosevelt, Michelle Obama, MIA, Joan Rivers, Nina Simone etc.


Men can help women crush their negative talk patterns by… *cue the music* “Try A Little Tenderness”


Favorite negativity-busting activity: Some of my personal tricks are…

– Smiling.

– Arranging flowers.

– Surrounding myself in vibrant colors or wearing YELLOW.

– Taking a Spin class or exercising in the morning.

-Throwing on some salsa or singing in the shower.

-A simple spa day.

– Actively seeking beautiful things/people/animals.

– Doing something new and unfamiliar. We all know that humans by nature are creatures of habit. How many of us order the same damn toppings on our pizza? (I’m the first to raise their hand) or drive to work using the same routes? I try my best to complete at least one task that challenges me or makes me feel ALIVE. (I recently even made a point to UNDERSTAND snapchat which is a feat I am very proud of since that interface is akin to navigating through a labyrinth with blindfolds on.) but back to my original point, sometimes people need a little refresher from their daily routines. The beach (or any body of water) helps me clear my head of static thoughts or negative feelings. That’s why I always love beach towns. The people there are fluid and dynamic like the water they’re near. Stay dynamic, evolve and keep your freshness alive!


Fave self-love ritual: Buying flowers! I will spend a half hour carefully picking out the perfect assortment of flowers. I’m not a morning person, but if I see a gorgeous arrangement of flowers, I’m immediately re-energized and upbeat. Flowers have such a healing, restorative effect on me.


Favorite feel-good food(s): Noodle soups and Korean Stews with warm rice.


Favorite movie(s) to watch when I’m feeling down: I love a powerful chick flick. So Anne of Green Gables is definitely a favorite mood booster.

Little Women reacquaints me with my fearless 13 year-old self with dreams of changing the world, falling in love and making a big impact. I have a deep emotional connection to that movie and whenever I re-watch it, I feel empowered again.

Also, any Steve Martin flick. He always makes me laugh.

liz brinson swirl girl army


Favorite empowering book(s): Right now it is: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott.


My feel-good playlist: Salsa and Cuban music!


Advice I would give my…
…4 year old self: Don’t be ashamed of your Korean heritage.
…14 year-old self: Tear out those extensions and rock the fro, Liz!
…24 year old self: Don’t be so hard on yourself.


5 Things, personal or professional, on my bucket list:

  • Making sure my mother gets the best possible alternative forms of care (i.e, immunotherapy solutions) once the chemo has ended.
  • Scaling Swirl Girl Army and collaborating with more awesome companies and brands like Teen Vogue and Disney.
  • Learn how to play the harp.
  • Learn more cooking recipes.
  • Plan my wedding!

My best tip on self love: Get rid of past hangups and remove negative thoughts. Yoko Ono once said, “Try to say nothing negative about anybody. A) For three days B) For forty-five days C) For three months. See what happens to your life.” I 100 percent back this statement.


When I truly love all of myself… I know peace.


Right now, I am most excited about… Season 5 of Game of Thrones!


My body is: my temple.


Three words to describe me: Bubbly, goofy, and fun-loving.


Current mantra: I have a few–

“Never give up on a dream just because of the length of time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” – Earl Nightingale

“Do all things with kindness.”

“What we love determines what we seek. What we seek determines what we think and do. What we think and do determines who we are – and who we will become.”

swirl girl army


WANT Action Plan:
(1)What piece of advice or part of Liz’s journey resonates with you most?
or…
(2) What is your favorite negativity-busting activity?


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