One Year Ago this week,
I moved across the country.
I moved with my then boyfriend, now fiancé, future husband. I moved with my then purpose, now career, future calling. I moved with no expectations, some trepidations, and an enormity of determinations.
One Year Ago this week I fulfilled the choice to choose my life. I could have said no, I could have said wait. But it’s easy to say no when you should say yes, just like it’s easy to say yes when you really should say no.
One Year Ago this week my heart started beating a little faster, and my mind started to go a little slower. The pace around me started to move quicker but the pace inside me started to calm.
One Year has brought so much to the forefront and sunken so much into the background noise. The things I thought mattered some matter less, and the things I thought mattered most matter way more than I thought they did.
It’s crazy to look back a photos and feel the shift One Year has brought. Was it because of my age? Was it because I was ready? No, I don’t think that was it. I think I wrung all the lessons, all the love, all the heartache and heart-aid out of my surroundings – and the only way to grow was to shift my perspective. Through a turn of the kaleidescope, it’s amazing how the same-old can become completely forgeign all over again. Through a different lense, it’s amazing how many things become dimmer than you knew them to be.
Or maybe both at once.
I don’t think we need to change our physical surroundings to see a shift in our lives, but man oh man did it help me. To think our opinions are ultimate or our perceptions final is to be naive and stubborn. Here, I realize that while your word is your truth, it’s also his, and hers, and theirs, and it’s how we all come together that breeds true enlightenment.
Marianne Williamson says, “It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” And that’s true. But it’s also what ILLUMINATES us. The light and the dark together. And what’s more, how we all move in tandem. It’s not just our light or our darkness, but the way our beams bounce off one another.
In my dreams, I always lived in New York City. A thriving Broadway career, an apartment in I Don’t Even Know Where. In my dreams I didn’t know how anything fit together, I just knew the One Thing of my success led the way. In my realities, I am here. I rarely visit a Broadway stage (something I DO want to change in Year Two) but I’ve found the stages that suit me best. In my realities I cannot quite believe how seamlessly it’s all flowed, how I managed to fight for a sense of community and actually achieve it, how I managed to fight for a career and actually own it, how I managed to fight for a lifestyle of river runs and sweet potato fries and Adventure Sundays and yes – I’m actually in the adventure every day.
And I am in it, I think, because I’ve always been fighting for it, not against it. I’ve learned how to be malleable but true to my heart. I’ve learned how to bend but not break.
And most of all, I’ve learned that challenge begets change, but also begets truth. In my life thus far, I’ve asked for truth and learned how to see it as my ally. Even the truths I would rather not see. Even the truths that hurt. I ask more questions instead of fighting against the answers that pain me. I have fought for a life that rings true each day, and in One Year I now see it before me. It’s not something I take lightly or take for granted.
Spoiler: Relationships are not supposed to be easy. With cities, with people, it’s all the same. You’re supposed to push each other, but in the best way. You’re supposed to help each other see the best in themselves but also the misalignments. Ultimately, you’re here to help one another not only recognize your values but live them out loud. In what you say, in what you do. You’re here to be the bridge between seeing and believing. Between dreaming and doing. And that is not easy work.
And, ANOTHER SPOILER, the work isn’t work to MAKE it easy. It’s work to beget more intricate and nuanced work.
It’s trust work. It’s truth work. It’s the best work ever.
And so here I am, One Year After packing the boxes and shipping the bins. One Year After that feeling of readiness and maturity but also of complete surrender. It has not been easy, and it hasn’t always been fun. But it’s been soul-stirring, and it’s been soul-lifting, and it’s brought me in touch with a deeper layer of myself I didn’t even know was there. And anyway, I don’t want easy. I want right.
To grow, we must stay aware. And to stay aware, we must stay awake. And to stay awake, we must challenge ourselves to displace our gaze. If you always ride the same waves, you’ll never truly see the spectrum.
Once you learn the thing, once you get the stuff, once you master the immediate, where do you go from there?
One Year Later, I’m living the answer:
You exhale fully, slowly, and calmly, and you shift the kalediscope.
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We’ve known each other for over a year, WANTers. We’ve learned what it means tolove fully, we’ve redefined what it takes to move forward fearlessly, I’ve even let you in on the lessons I’ve learned from a little “too much” sideboob. We’ve become like family – the kind of friend family you choose, the one you can swap tips and tricks with and ask even the most personal of questions without batting an eye.
So I’m going to let you in on something I’ve told only a handful of people, something I am still mildly ashamed to admit yet fully accept as my own: I am a naturally jealous person.
Ok, so maybe I am not really the *jealous* type anymore, and maybe I was never the overly jealous type even when I WAS jealous. But my childhood was sprinkled with moment of envy, and my adolescence and young adulthood speckled with pangs of that type of yearning that almost resembles resentment if you let it.
I am a naturally “jealous” person. And I know you get it – because I know you are too.
Let’s break it down: we throw one word, “J E A L O U S,” around in multiple scenarios. However, there are actually TWO instances we stick under the ambiguous “jealousy” blanket:
True jealousy, by definition, is a reaction to the threat of LOSING something you have.
Envy, however, arises when you find yourself LACKING something someone else has.
For most of my life, I would beat myself up for feeling these “jealous” feelings. I would not experience them often, but I was (and am) such a highly sensitive being that when those feelings would kick in, my heart and mind would go into major SHAME mode. I would scold myself for being such a “bad” human being, for thinking negatively and harboring ill feelings. I was told jealousy was bad, and so I was ashamed of these instinctual reactions I was having.
Not to mention the fact that they just didn’t. make. sense. considering who I was. I was taught humility and kindness. Lifting others up (figuratively) was my favorite pastime. I delighted in celebrating the successes of others, most of the time way moreso than celebrating my own. So why were these “bad” feelings showing up and crashing the party?
In reality, very few of those instances were actual jealousy. Sure, I was jealous when I went to Disneyland in 1993 and was worried Minnie Mouse might like the other kids more than she liked me. I was jealous in elementary school when my best friend was paired on a team with another girl, fearful that they’d become new best buddies (note the through line of uncertainty – we’ll get to that later). But most of the time, what I thought were feelings of “jealousy” were actually envy: a strong, strong desire to be in the position of someone else. To have something. To do something. To BE something.
Jealousy and envy are natural and healthy, yet in this culture of constant competition, we’ve come to associate them with negativity. And if jealousy or envy ever bubble up to surface level (you know, where other people could ::gasp:: potentially see them), we’ve learned to mask them in words of judgment, malice, or pretending like we know better or even that we don’t care.
That’s how the relationships are hurt. That’s what happens when it goes bad.
But what if both jealousy and envy were ways to lead us to our true calling, help us reach our fullest potential, and access our deepest desires?
There is a saying that goes “Jealousy works the opposite way you want it to.” And it’s true: without a sense of control over your own jealousy, it pushes people away, squelches opportunity, and is one of the most effective forms ofself-sabotage.
Yet learning to harness your jealousy can actually inform you of an important missing link, the most important element in any relationship (including the one with yourself): trust. When there’s trust, jealousy cannot be present, at least for very long. They’re like night and day; neither can exist while the other is around.
Of course, we’ll sometimes get jealous-seeming pangs even though full trust is present, but that’s us confusing jealousy with a type of yearning to be in on the action: ENVY.
Envious moments are little gifts from the universe, informing us of our most sacred desires and all the potential we have within ourselves. Maybe a friend got an amazing new job, or left her old job to go solo, or has finally launched the business she’s been talking about for years, or decided to take time off for herself and see where life takes her. Maybe your brother decided to rent that cool minimalist loft, or your sister bought her very first house (with a full-on backyard). Maybe you see a couple walking together on a warm summer night hand in hand, randomly breaking out into skips or dance parties for a few steps. Your heart grabs in your chest a little and you think, that is what I want.
Does it mean you’re a bad person and wish failure upon the others? Far from it.
But something resonates with you: a glimpse of what your life could be like if you were to be fully, wholly expressed in the way you were uniquely meant to be.
Find yourself prey to your own jealous mind? Here’s what to do…
1.) Determine if you’re actually jealous, or if you’re envious. To reiterate, true jealousy is a reaction to the threat of LOSING something you have. Envy, however, arises when you find yourself LACKING something someone else has. Are you afraid of losing or wanting something you’re lacking? Or maybe a little of both?
2.) If it’s jealousy, ask yourself: What about my situation is leading me to feel a sense of distrust? If you’re jealous, it might be time to sit down and have a heart to heart – with others or with yourself. What about your situation is leading you to feel a sense of distrust? Is it a missing link in your connection? Or…is it a story you’ve been telling yourself, one that’s keeping you in a place of possessive hostage-holding? Maybe it’s just that you are scared of loneliness. Recognize the areas of wariness in your life, whether externally or internally – then either take immediate action to establish dependable trust,or (if you’re weaving stories for yourself or afraid of being alone) be brave enough to internalize all the signs around you that let you know there is nothing to worry about.
3.) If it’s envy, ask yourself: What about what this person is doing – or who this person is being – is attractive and enticing to me? When you find yourself envious of a friend, coworker, family member, or even stranger, ask yourself – what about what this person is doing or who this person is being is sparking my envy? It could be what it looks like from the outside (the actions they’re taking or the connections they’re forming, or it could be emotionally based), or how happy or complete they seem to be. These are all clues to accessing what YOU truly want out this life: they type of work you do, the type of relationships you have, the type of impact you make and existence you long to lead. We only feel envy when we feel we are capable of the same. These strategically placed clues are signs that you have it within yourself to have everything you desire.
It might seem like envy is the more… productive of the two. But don’t be fooled. The thing with envy is that you can’t let it fester. It’s like a carton of milk with an expiration date – your envy needs to be used or be chucked, or else it’s gonna stink up your whole damn fridge. When envy is left unchecked, it runs the risk of turning rancid. Envy can pave the way for resentment if we’re not careful. It’s way less emotionally risky to to react to a threat than respond to an opportunity. So if we get too used to living a “stuck” life filled with wanting what other people have, our easiest self-defense becomes viewing the success of others as a threat to our own worth. Which is very rarely the truth. There’s space for everyone in this world, whether you believe it or not.
I am blessed to have some pretty talented, driven friends in my life, ones who are constantly accomplishing something new (in real life, not just on Facebook). I am president of their fan clubs and celebrate their amazingness to the fullest.
I also find myself envious from time to time. These feelings aren’t mutually exclusive, nor do they need to be. I’m not jealous of their circumstance because I feel no threat. Yet I am envious of the aspects I know I long to set free within myself. And so I am so glad they light a fire inside me and set the example. My friend Shelley Zalis, founder of The Girls’ Lounge, taught me the phrase “If you can see it, you can be it.” I’m so glad there are people out there who have either shown me what can be done, or inspired me to grow the ladyballs to be able to do the same for someone else.
When I left my full-time job last year (exactly one year ago!) and shared it with you all on here, I mentioned how my drive and enthusiasm had played a big part in letting me know it was time to go. What I failed to include is that, in the hidden crevices of my heart, I’d also gotten so envious I could no longer ignore it. I saw people in my field accomplishing things, personal and professional, that I wanted for MYSELF too. But instead of letting the envy fester and turn sour, I let the reality of my longing sink in. It wasn’t about anyone else. It was about ME. Watching others step up their game and own their full selves – and watching myself react to those displays of courageousness – was like a call to action. No one else was waiting for the “right” time, so why was I? Because I was able to identify my envy as productive, not destructive (and not jealousy), I could use it to guide me in the right direction.
We all deserve a life that’s lived to the max, a life filled with love, success, abundance. What this looks like differs for each person, and is sometimes hidden in a murky haze of dreams and ambition. When you see someone else moving forward fearlessly through the blur, it means you can too. Clear the smog and debris of distrust – then allow those beautiful moments of yearning to help you see an endless horizon all your own.
WANT Yourself: Now that you know the difference between jealousy and envy – do you ever feel them? Maybe one more than the other? How have they helped you in your life – or how have you kept them in check? Let’s take the shame out of the game and start being proactive together in the comments section below…
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I didn’t know what I would do. I didn’t know where I would be. But I knew, in my heart, I was here to make a difference. And to me, there was no better indication that you’d “made it” than seeing your name beside 29 other change-makers who were yet to hit the 1/3rd of life mark.
If I’m being honest, I really wanted to be a 25 under 25. THIS would have really been making it, I thought. Some people have quarter-life crises. I’ll have a quarter-life celebration instead!
But really…if I’m being TRULY honest…I was really hoping that by some miraculous turn of events…I’d beat ’em all to the punch and score a 20 under 20 spot. THESE were the “fresh-faced youth” that were “changing the world;” the ones I knew would be leaders that lasted my lifetime. I remember being at sleep-away camp when I was 11 years old, and literally tripping over a copy of my bunkmate’s Teen Magazine. I looked down and locked eyes with the cover stars, the “Teens To Watch.” I’ll be like them one day, I told myself…
I think all ambitious kids do it. Probably moreso if they’re a creative of some sort. I was an early bloomer in a lot of ways. I was drawing faces and shapes before most of my friends could hold a crayon. I devoured books and educational cassette/video tapes, which got me enunciating eloquently before I even knew what either of those words meant. I instinctively looked inward instead of facing outward, and I had a habit of self-examining even when it was scary to do so.
But when it came to stereotypical “success”…I don’t know. Most of my life, success had always been defined as being “the best” fill-in-the-blank. The best artist, the best singer, the best actress, the best daughter, the best partner, the best friend, the best at life. There were only two kinds of people – the prodigies and then everyone else. If you’re not striving to be a wunderkind, the world asked me, then what was the hell are you even doing?
And so being successful, for me, became more about being liked than being myself. I tied my worth to my praise, and my praise to my victories, and my victories to my worth, and back around again. If I could only make one of those Under lists, I thought, I would have concrete proof I’d “made it.”
Welp, I’m one day away from 30, and I’m not on any under-30 list. I’ve passed through 25, 20, and teendom, and in no age range or scenario have I ever been touted by anyone as someone “To Watch.” I’m yet to know the feeling of a global pedestal, and if Oprah or Forbes hasn’t called by now, there’s not a good chance they’re gonna show up in the next 24 hours.
What I’ve gotten in the last thirty years, though, is way better than my name on some list of people roughly around my own age (and the subsequent pressure you inevitably feel to maintain that “buzz” as you move from Person To Watch to actually being watched). I’ve built a person. A living, breathing, beautiful, flawed, brilliant, WHOLE person. Instead of being caught up in accomplishments, I’ve built a solid base of fulfillment. My refusal to conform to what might be normal – everything from career plans to dating – has brought me the kind of success you can’t see. The kind of success that stops me in my tracks and makes me think, “Holy crap, how did I even get here?” That sort of success isn’t tied to a paycheck, a person, or a nod of approval. It’s the kind of success that only I really truly know, because it’s the feeling of knowing myself on such a deep level that I know I can weather both the highest highs and the lowest lows.
That’s not to say entering my Third Decade comes without butterflies, though. I remember when I was ending my freshman year of high school, I feared entering into my sophomore year and blending into the crowd. I was known as one of the “cool” freshmen (read: not-actually-stereotypically-cool-in-the-way-freshmen-think-they’re-cool) in the theatre clique, and feared that my unexpectedness was what made me exciting. Without being known for being way more “mature” than a normal ninth grader, what was I?
Now, the same types of fears bubble up – I’m just more mindful about how I approach them. My ties to the idea of “youth” are not so much linked to the aging process as to whether or not I’m still…cringe…special. Almost all my close friends are a good five to fifteen years older than I am. I’ve been told my entire life that I’m an old soul and so much more mature “for my age.” So what happens now? What if I blend in? What am I if I’m no longer an exception to the rule?
I’ll tell you what I am. I am not held back, that’s what I am. I am not using my age as a crutch or as a reason someone else should like me. I know now I can fill that head-and-heart space with something much more productive to love about myself. I am not my age, I am my soul. I am not an exception, I am my own rule.
I might not be leaving my twenties on any fancy-schmancy list, but honestly, I don’t care anymore. I don’t need a list to approve of my trajectory, and I don’t need to feed into the idea that in order to be Great, I need to be The Best. Because really, there is no “Best.” And as Sarah Robb O’Hagan brilliantly states in this video, this sort of “Participation Award” culture of awarding greatness by decade creates a false notion that there IS actually a Best and that Best is on a timeline, one that’s becoming increasingly shorter.
I want to live on my own timeline. And I want to live the life that’s the Best for me. End of story.
In the meantime, I have learned a few things to get me started…
30 Lessons In 30 Years: A Non-Exhaustive List
1) ASK FOR HELP, and take people up on their offers when they offer to help. I’ve learned that if I don’t know how to do something…it’s not that I WON’T do it, but I get tripped up over not knowing HOW to execute, it’s that I move SO slow. There’s a difference between moving slow and being cautious, and moving slow out of fear. I move slow out of fear. I finally came to terms with my natural way of being, but instead of sulking about it, I now immediately do something to counteract it. Now I know that just because my default is to act one way (slow, fearful, solo), doesn’t mean I need to make a drastic change to move forward in work or life…I just need to ask for help when I’m feeling on shaky ground.
2) In the words of the musical Rent, FORGET REGRET. Regret is a useless – and fabricated – emotion. How absolutely freeing it feels to live without regrets. Regret, to me, is a byproduct of a forgiveness and empathy deficit. When you’re able to forgive and have empathy for others, you’re able to learn forgiveness and empathy for yourself (and vice versa). You realize you were making the best choice you could in the circumstance you were in. LISTEN: On Listening As Service With Ben Mathes
3) If you own or lease a car, know the dates and costs to anticipate. Smog checks (your DMV renewal will have a notification on it – all you need to do is find a gas station or service outpost that says “Smog Check” and they’ll know what to do), drivers license renewal, car payments, and if you’re leasing, disposition fee. Knowing these won’t make the costs go away, but they WILL make you a lot less surprised when they pop up (and provide a little more impetus to keep some “shit happens” money lying around).
5) Keep a journal. A written, pen-to-paper journal. Write notes back and forth with your friends, and save them when you can. They’re like relics of who you once were and how you came to be.
6) Friendships are born EVERYWHERE. Don’t worry about so much about making your closest friends in your age group, career field, school, what-have-you. Community can come from ANYWHERE. And also, It’s okay not to have a stereotypical “best” friend – or a lot of friends. You will find your people, but only if you’re committed to being your own “person” above all else (instead of trying to fit in with someone else). READ: Being Afraid Of The Friends That You Need
7) Be kind to people – all people. Or at the very least, empathize, because we’re all human. Cynicism, backstabbing, manipulating, and just plain making fun of others are all things that get under my skin. I’ve been on the receiving end of all four, and more. It was hard to be kind sometimes. But kindness has always gotten me farther – and doesn’t leave me with that sick feeling in my stomach that I’m sending out negative energy to someone else in this world. Pettiness and negativity fester in the body, and letting them live out in the world is very different than letting them GO. You can be kind to people while still being firm, direct, and self-protective. Kindness is only a liability when it’s an excuse to not stand up for yourself. Saying no and being kind are not mutually exclusive. Speaking up and being kind are not mutually exclusive.
8) You can appreciate the advice of those you love without feeling like you should (or NEED to) take it. The people you love want what’s best for you. And what’s best for you is usually the least risk-averse option. Or maybe it’s not the least risky, but it’s the option they’d do in your position. Or maybe they wouldn’t do it per se, but it will lead you to be the person THEY want you to be. It could be a parent or a romantic partner. What is right for someone else isn’t always right for you, and vice versa. That doesn’t mean either option is “wrong.”
9) “Vulnerability” is your greatest asset. Show your entire self to the world.
10) The reality of the situation at hand is different than the emotions you associate with it. Feel it all, but learn to separate the two.
11) Learn to listen to your body, even when it would be easier to listen to a friend, or magazine article, or even a doctor. Tapping into how my body feels has been one of my biggest successes of my life so far. Your body never lies.
13) Read things that make your brain flex, listen to music that makes your heart hurt, watch films that make you think deeply. It’s exercise for your soul.
14) Love is so much more complicated than it seems. Surface level compatibility is awesome, calling you out on your shit should be a given. You want someone who is in the ring with you no matter what – sans jealousy, codependency, or worst of all, conditions.
15) In the words of Michael Pollan, “Eat real food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” The only modification I have to this is…don’t let society tell you what is too little or too much. Our bodies are ALL different – different activity levels, physiological make-up, etc. – so we all need different amounts of energy to live our lives. READ: Defining Diet On Your Own Terms
17) It’s okay to not want to let go, or be scared to let go – but don’t be so scared of the unknown and the other side of letting go that you DON’T let go. Just because you’ve invested in something for a really long time doesn’t mean you’re indebted to it.
18) Be proactive, not reactive.
19) We all learn the same lessons, just not at the same times.
20) Family, blood AND chosen, are the most important. What constitutes family? They’ve got your back no matter what (and you’ve got theirs).
21) The hardest (and scariest) things to do are usually the right ones.
26) When it comes to your career, do you. If you want to switch jobs, cool. If you like working in an office, cool. If you work better from home, cool. If you’re someone who thrives off of multiple odd jobs for maximum happiness, amazing. There is no one archetype for professional (or personal) success.
27) You don’t need to do what everyone else is doing. Do what’s right for you. And just because someone else is doing it (and you’re not) is not a reflection on your worth as a human being.
28) Don’t drastically change something about yourself to follow a trend. Physical or otherwise. Very thankful for my thick eyebrows now, but I wasn’t in 1998.
30) Your life is not a clock to beat. Remember those game shows where participants would have to rush through a maze while there was a clock counting down the seconds in the background? Way too many of us live our lives that way. Everyone is on their own unique path. Just because your friends are getting married or having babies or are CEOs of their businesses DOESN’T mean you have to “keep up” by checking off those boxes yourself. When you honor your own timeline and move forward fearlessly on that path, your life opens up in ways you’d never ever expect.
WANT Yourself: Which one of these lessons resonated with you the most?
If you’re over 30, what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
And under-30s…what’s the ONE thing you want to work on the most in this decade you’re in?
Shoot me a comment below – I’ll consider it my birthday present :) I love you all.
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As you probably already realized…this episode is a little different. It’s just me today. I’m gonna try something new. It just so happens that by the time a lot of you listen to this, it’ll also be my 30th birthday. I decided that today, I’d jam about 30 lessons I’ve learned in 30 years. I know. A little headline-y. But hey – I always love reading those lists, and hearing what others have to say about the lessons they’ve learned, so I thought maybe you’d like to, too.
Honestly, as I was thinking about it, there is a LOT of overlap in the lessons I learned in season one of the WANTcast, so it seems fitting to honor the end of Season One with this episode. Some of these are pretty deep (think body image and life choices), some are a little more trivial than others (stuff about smog checks, for example), but in the moment, they ALL feel huge.
My hope is that this can help someone else through their first three decades – and maybe, just maybe, set the tone for what kinds of lessons open up to you from here on out no matter what decade you’re in.
Like this episode? Shoot me a comment below, leave a review oniTunes, share it onFacebook, tweet it out onTwitter,or post it onInstagram. Be sure to use the hashtags #WANTcast, #womenagainstnegativetalk, and/or #WANTyourself!
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If you’re anything like me, your entire experience from freshman year of high school to senior year of college was a massive lesson in self-discovery. Never before are you not only forced to think for yourself, but learn how to delicately balance that newfound independence with the expectations of the world around you. Those eight-ish years of school are really the years you start to meet yourself as you really are, in all your high highs and low lows. It’s liberating. It’s stifling. It’s fun. It’s scary as all hell.
For the most part, we feel like an anomalies. How on earth others could be feeling the exact same pushes and pulls as we are completely baffles us.
If only our younger selves had known we were not alone. If only we’d realized that other girls our age were experiencing the same exact things. If only we’d had I AM THAT GIRL.
Emily Greener is the CEO and co-founder of I AM THAT GIRL, a global movement inspiring girls to be, love, and express who they are through education, content, and community. She’s been Emily and the IATG crew have taken their movement off-line into communities all over the world, motivating girls from SoCal to South Africa to live the lives they were meant to lead, judgement-free.
Emily originally came to Los Angeles as an aspiring actress with a hunch: she knew she wanted to make major change and influence the world, but had no idea just how far her bright personality and can-do attitude would lead her. In one of those beautiful moments of kismet, Emily met now co-founder Alexis Jones at a random LA party, and was immediately hooked on this idea Alexis had to create a platform – and, subsequently, world – in which young women collaborated instead of competed. The platform was called I AM THAT GIRL.
Fast forward to today, and IATG reaches literally millions across the world. The IATG website is chock-full of empowering content created both by and for users, yet what’s mind-blowing about this movement is how it’s resonated IRL. IATG’s local chapters not only create the community we so crave while we’re trying to find our way in the world, they provide a safe, fun place for girls to express their thoughts freely and realize that no matter our backgrounds, successes, or struggles, we’re all in this together. And their focus on young women between the ages of 14 and 22? Can you imagine if you’d had this kind of supportive space to just be yourself all throughout high school? Game changer.
As we’ve discussed over and over here on WANT, fearlessness is not the absence of fear – it’s when the fear is less than the faith. Emily leads the IATG tribe with humor, humility, radical self-love, and the kind of unshakable fearlessness that inspires others to do the same in their own lives.
Sound like someone you’d want in your tribe, right? Emily wants you in hers. Read on for Emily’s inspiring thoughts on curiosity, complexity, and the choice we all have to not only be positive, but really own that power. She is bold. She is visionary. She is THAT GIRL.
Name: Emily Greener
How you’d know me (occupation or role): Co-Founder, CEO I AM THAT GIRL
What I love about myself (and why): My curious nature and adventure seeking heart, my desire to keep growing and learning and being humbled.
What is your definition of “positivity?” Being positive is a choice to create and embody a perspective on the world (and any given situation) of magic, miracles, and optimism.
When did you start to love yourself – did you have a self-love “turning point?” I have always both loved myself and simultaneously had fears, doubts, and insecurities. And I’m pretty sure that is a lifelong reality to exist with both. I would say the ratio of more love for myself than not happened when I started seeing my therapist. I call her my heart doctor. She taught me how to feel all of my feelings which opened up a huge space to love ALL of me, not just the “good” parts.
How/where negative talk shows up in my life: When comparing myself to others
When I talk negatively about myself, it’s usually… quickly resolved by remembering our values of I AM THAT GIRL
When others talk negatively about themselves… I remind them what there is to love about themselves.
It baffles me that women still… tear each other down.
The coolest thing about women is… our tendency to connect and feel multiple complex emotions all at once.
My favorite way to shift a negative into a positive: Picturing myself or others as a little kid = instant compassion and love and joy
My top female role models: Michelle Obama, Oprah, you know… the usual ;)
Men can help women crush their negative talk patterns by… reminding them how powerful they are.
Favorite negativity-busting activity: Picturing myself or others as a little kid = instant compassion and love and joy
Fave self-love ritual: Being in nature
Favorite feel-good food(s): Ice cream
Favorite movie(s) to watch when I’m feeling down: Pretty Woman
Favorite empowering book(s): Half The Sky
My feel-good playlist: Oldies
Advice I would give my… …4 year old self: I love you …14 year-old self: It’s okay to cry …24 year old self: Hold on tight, you’re about to embark on a crazy roller coaster that will help you become so much more of who you are.
5 Things, personal or professional, on my bucket list: A trip around the world, and African safari, owning a boat, wine tasting through the south of france, building the most powerful movement of girls in the world
My best tip on self love: Look at yourself in the mirror for 60 seconds every day and tell yourself all the things you wish others would say to you.
When I truly love all of myself… I feel most connected to my purpose on this planet
Right now, I am most excited about… camping this weekend (and my new vespa)!
Today’s guest is the lovely Ashlee Piper.Ashlee Piper is a political strategist turned vegan and eco-lifestyle expert, writer, and TV personality whose work has been featured in/on Refinery29, Apartment Therapy, Women’s Health, Reader’s Digest, Mirror Mirror, Mind Body Green, VegNews, Vegetarian Times, AOL, NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX News, to name a few. Piper is also a brand strategist and influencer for some of the world’s most ethical and innovative companies.
One of the things I love about Ashlee is her versatility and mad smarts. I’m fascinated by Ashlee’s background as a political strategist and creative consultant, and how that has led to her building a name for herself as an “eco-lifestyle expert” over the years.
In this episode, we talk Ashlee’s winding career journey that ultimately led her to where she is today, how to pivot both personally and professionally when what you had or who you were no longer serves you, the importance of listening to your intuition and how to discern whether it’s your gut talking or if you’re being triggered, how personal and professional brand can, and maybe even should, be one and the same, and the social media frenzy to keep it hashtag-authentic vs. actually authentic.
We also talk about how to push through when you’re afraid of taking chances and asking questions, self-promotion, and how to deal with that nagging question we all get at one point or another: What Will People Think Of Me? She gets me a little more chatty than usual when we start talking about intuition, and at one point got me revealing a story about a time that I was trying to convince myself that I was following my intuition, but I really wasn’t – a story that I probably would have been more comfortable just writing about and calling a day (because, I don’t know, it’s less vulnerable than saying it out loud?), but I’m so glad that she turned the tables a little on me, because it opened us up to an even greater conversation around what it really means to be happy.
Whether you’re feeling solid in your career, romantic life, and personal life or you’re feeling like you’re on shaky ground somewhere in the mix, I can guarantee this episode will have something for you to take with you into your day and into your life, and make you even 2% more positive and proactive in being the you YOU know you’re meant to be.
Like this episode? Shoot me a comment below, leave a review oniTunes(the more reviews, the more Ashlee’s wisdom is spread), share it onFacebook, tweet it out onTwitter, or post it onInstagram. Be sure to use the hashtags #WANTcast, #womenagainstnegativetalk, and/or #WANTyourself!
Photo cred: Amy Mokris
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