Woman Wednesday: Rachel


Q and A with Rachel, Atlanta, Georgia

“When you learn to manage your mind, you can do anything!”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I’m passionate about being authentic, showing up as myself, and sharing that with people. I love showing people how to use their own authenticity in business. It’s what I believe to be the secret to success. Overcoming all the limiting beliefs that are keeping people from showing up as their authentic self! I’m also passionate about meditation and learning. It’s how we keep a balanced life filled with purpose and excitement. I’m currently working on helping entrepreneurs build and scale their businesses so they can help their people in powerful ways!


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in the DC-metro area. I was one of a handful of Jewish kids and struggled with feeling like I didn’t fit in. I went to Syracuse for my undergrad education and NYU for grad school. I studied social work and have always wanted to help others. I burnt out quickly in social work and broke into the fitness world. I started my first business at age 24, as a private 1:1 trainer. In 2010, I opened my first yoga studio, and opened my second in 2014. All of these experiences have led me to where I am today, helping others with their businesses.


Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: The most valuable thing I have learned is the power of your thoughts. How they create every result you have. That when you learn to manage your mind, you can do anything!


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism is standing for women’s rights and women leaders. Showing up as an example for other women.


MORE FROM RACHEL: I currently live in Atlanta, Georgia, with my two kids and three stepkids and my amazing husband.

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I’d love to connect with you! 🙂

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Woman Wednesday: Brie


Q and A with Brie, Burnsville, MN, USA

“I don’t want to be known for what I look like, and I don’t want to be treated any differently just because I am a woman.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: There are a lot of things I am passionate about. One is my job. I started my career as a correctional officer in a large metropolitan jail in Minnesota. While I loved the setting and population, I decided to leave to pursue higher education and a career in psychology. Thereafter, I earned a master’s and doctorate in clinical psychology, and I worked in several state and federal prisons throughout my training. Now, I work as a forensic psychologist. I complete competency, criminal responsibility, civil commitment, patterned sex offender, and risk assessment evaluations. My work consists of reviewing police discovery (e.g., crime scene photographs, video and audio recordings, legal documents) and other records, interviewing defendants, administering and interpreting psychological tests, writing a report, and then testifying in court as an expert witness. Recently, I started a private practice, through which I also provide supervision, serve as a business consultant, and review research proposals. Given that my work can be mentally and emotionally draining, I maintain balance with activities I am passionate about. Specifically, I always need to have both physical and creative outlets. For example, I train in boxing and Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ) and I have another business as a freelance makeup artist. Other things I am passionate about are cooking, traveling, salsa dancing, and gardening.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My parents started a business planning performing tours for high school music groups when I was three years old. My father brought my sister and me on the road with him and taught us about the business from an early age. This has hugely impacted my life, as I am now a business owner myself. The business also allowed us to travel as a family. By the time I was 18 years old, I had visited all 50 states and dozens of countries. Aside from travel, however, my parents made sure we were exposed to other cultures, customs, and languages. We had very close friends from Nigeria and three exchange students (they were from Mexico, Argentina, and Poland). I, too, studied abroad twice, spending a semester each in Mexico and Spain. I also backpacked around Europe for one month. I feel so fortunate to have had these opportunities. Travel has taught me independence and confidence. I have gained a new perspective in life and appreciation for what I have. I also learned the value of speaking another language. My goal is to always have traveled to at least as many countries as I am years old.  Another significant and related aspect of my childhood was cooking. My father loves to cook and he shared his love of it with me. It was something we often did together. He cooked two new dishes each week, and often, we tried foods from all over the world. Cooking for friends and family brings people together and is an act of caring and giving. It was also way I could connect with my Italian heritage and explore other cultures.


Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: I hold several important lessons with me. One is to be humble, ask questions, and always be open to feedback. At the same time, however, know your worth, believe in yourself, and walk the world with confidence. Despite holding a doctorate in clinical psychology and being considered an expert witness in court, it took me a long time to feel confident. I always assumed there were so many other, more experienced clinicians than I. Likewise, it has always been hard for me to ask for the compensation I deserve. Nevertheless, you have to be your own best advocate. Second, as an introvert, I hated the idea of networking. It felt so disingenuous. Inevitably, however, most career opportunities arise via word of mouth. Also, it doesn’t have to be inauthentic. Form friendships, reach out, ask questions, and make an effort to stay in touch. Third, it really is a small world. This is especially true in my field. There are only two state agencies that employ forensic psychologists, so we all know one another. This is also the case throughout the country. Therefore, it’s so important to comport yourself professionally and never burn any bridges.

Your reputation matters. Fourth, I have learned I must always find balance. I have taken on a lot of endeavors and am always busy. I work full-time, own two companies, have several side gigs and contracts, develop professional presentations, write manuscripts for publication, and am seeking board certification. I also dedicate my time to several hobbies and need to set time aside for my family, my friends, and myself. This is a constant juggle and I am often overwhelmed and exhausted. It’s important for me to stay in tune with those feelings, self-care, and prioritize so I don’t get burned out. Lastly, I am always pushing myself to do things that scare me or that I don’t believe I can accomplish. Whenever I have doubts, I want to prove to myself that I am capable of achieving what I set out to do, even if it’s hard. As a result, I have earned a doctorate, started two businesses, run an ultra marathon, gone skydiving, and gone scuba diving in narrow cave passages, among other things. It is my perseverance in the face of self-doubt that I am most proud of.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: When I was younger, I hated dresses, the color pink, and anything else I perceived to be “girly.” I felt that the only way I could establish myself on equal footing with the boys and find acceptance was to reject my feminine side. As an adult, I have always worked in male-dominated environments and participated in male-dominant sports (e.g., hockey, mountain biking, boxing, BJJ). This led to a lot of inaccurate assumptions, unwanted attention, and unfair treatment. Being told I couldn’t do something because I was a woman was also a frequent occurrence. An ex-boyfriend once told me I couldn’t be a forensic psychologist, and my uncle told me girls don’t play hockey or box. Unfortunately for them, I like to challenge people’s assumptions and prove them wrong, so I did all three. As a correctional officer, my male co-workers didn’t think I was capable of performing my job as well as they were. I was dismissed as just filling a quota and I was the subject of sexual harassment. When I resigned from my position, they admitted they made bets about how long it would take before I cried and quit. Despite making a significant effort to dress professionally and conservatively while working in prisons, my physical appearance was the topic of conversation. People were always surprised when I told them where I worked, as if I didn’t fit the mold. I once had a female supervisor suggest I wasn’t even like the other female correctional officers because I didn’t play hockey (I did). Similarly, on the mats, men did everything they could to prevent being beat by a woman or they were patronizing. I don’t want to be known for what I look like, and I don’t want to be treated any differently just because I am a woman. Therefore, I am particularly interested in paving the way for other women working in correctional environments or joining male-dominated sports. My goal is to help women garner respect, rather than be patronized or objectified. I make it a point to try to address these issues whenever they come to my attention. I want to challenge people’s assumptions, or at the very least, advocate for what I believe in. I also want women to be able to both embrace their femininity and find success and respect in male-dominated arenas. As cliché as it is, I had to learn to accept myself, rather than trying to prove my worth or and what people expect of me. Who I am is a quiet, unassuming makeup artist who is trained in mixed martial arts and interviews murderers for a living.


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Woman Wednesday: Aina

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.            


Q and A with Aina, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

“The very gifts that God instills in us are not for us to keep to ourselves; it’s to go out and share that very gift to the world!”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am passionate about anything that will get me out of the bed the next day without getting paid to do it. As a curator of many things, I find myself anticipating the next BIG thing and/or project that I can get my hands on.

My passion normally comes from things I share an interest with, such as becoming an owner of Bona Fine Kisses Cosmetics, an all-vegan cosmetic line, which I absolutely loved because I’m a huge makeup/lipstick lover. And it didn’t hurt having a bachelor of science degree, which allowed me the experience to hand-make all my lipsticks! I’m also very passionate about the community of women, and how every day we find more and more ways to unite and support one another. Being the face of Sip N Seal Sist’HER Women’s Empowerment Circle on Facebook has empowered women from all over and myself to overcome fear and to begin living their best life!

 

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And by being apart of such a well-rounded women circle, it allowed me to recognize my talents and that I needed to share whatever those talents consisted of with the world and so, I did!

I now have the total confidence to wake up every day and do what I love, and that’s bake! I am now using my talent that I was afraid to share with the world because I was afraid of the unknown…I am pleased to say that I am now known as “The Cheesecake Lady,” a home baker serving delicious gourmet cheesecakes to people from all over! 

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up the youngest of two siblings and was raised by a phenomenal single mother in Oklahoma. Growing up, my mother made it her duty to provide for her children as well as providing us with the best life possible that money couldn’t buy! I was exposed single-handed as a child to see and know what “hard work” looked like as my mother showed me what being resilient looked like at an early age. 

That same resilience that my mother had was instilled in me to never give up no matter what, to always keep God first in all that I do to truly experience success…it’s been a stepping ladder for me ever since!

 

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Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: Just go for it! Whatever it is that keeps you up at night, is worth trying! The very gifts that God instills in us are not for us to keep to ourselves; it’s to go out and share that very gift to the world! 

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: A tribe of women in a variety of different shades, color, height, weight, etc come together to support and encourage the female woman!

 

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Woman Wednesday: Maria Tan

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.        


Q and A with Maria Tan, Entrepreneur Coach, Philippines

True abundance isn’t about what you have. It’s how comfortable you are being you, doing you, and staying you.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I love making the impossible possible–turning “crazy ideas” into reality. 

Born into an entrepreneurial, immigrant Chinese family, I was wired into the “work hard, stay in your place, be practical” mentality.

 

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Pictured: We had the “work hard” mentality but HUMOR was a big part of our lives! Here I am in my early twenties with my parents and siblings.

 

Anything outside the norm wasn’t accepted and everything that had to do with dreaming differently wasn’t encouraged. Hobbies, passions, interests that didn’t result in direct payout/profit were kept as such. Little effort would be put into something “frivolous” like playing the piano or theater arts. As a result, I grew up with such a scarcity mindset and lots of self-limiting beliefs. 

 

What’s curious though, I inherited my ancestors’ entrepreneurial skills and was making money from the age of 6 by buying and selling stationery and confectionary items, dried foods, and other things I could sell. Later, I was selling my services as a teacher and consultant. For someone so “young”–I had my choice of clients and was paid above the market rate.

 

 

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Pictured: Me facilitating a communications workshop in Taipei, Taiwan. 

 

But I felt something was missing. I needed to BE MORE and think beyond what to sell next and how to make more money. I talked to my mom about the meaning of life and she pretty much dismissed my question as something frivolous and overreaching. I can’t blame her though–she comes from a generation where having a white picket fence was the dream). After that talk, I went even deeper into depression. I was living my life void of any life. I would go from one task to the next and have no memory of doing so. 

 

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I was honestly contemplating to end my life, but something in me said: “I can’t give up on myself–life has got to be better than this.” I went full-on into exploring my spiritual gifts and somehow I embraced being an empath. When I talked to people, I just knew which buttons to push to help them talk about what really mattered to them. Today, I am able to combine that spiritual gift with my talent in teaching, consulting, and seeing the big picture. 

 

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Check out my homepage: https://www.maria-tan.com/

 

I now coach “Misfits”–people who feel like they can’t conform to the norm and what’s expected of them, to turn their “deepest desires” and “crazy impossible dream” into reality. I help elevate their lives by guiding them in creating an eco-system around who they are and what they offer. 

 

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Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know? 

A: True abundance isn’t about what you have. It’s how comfortable you are being you, doing you, and staying you.

I’ve made money from an extremely young age. In fact, making money comes easy to me because I’m good with people and I can sell lots of things. When I was selling my products and services to anyone who wanted to buy, I was working day and night. The money came in fast. But my scarcity mindset back then simply drove me to doing more and feeling disconnected with the part of me that knew I was meant for more.

 

I couldn’t enjoy the money I made and was so concerned about how other people saw me and my means. I made monetary decisions out of the fear that people would look down on me and think I couldn’t afford something. What should be a blessing became a burden. Only after I embraced my spiritual self and embodied a more abundant state of being did I fully appreciate life and find joy in my existence.

 

This may sound like a cliche, but the moment you embrace the totality of who you are, the money will come anyway. So be you, stay you, do you. There is no one like you and the moment you appreciate that about you, the rest of the world will! 

 

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Pictured: This was a big milestone in my life. Since 2013, I sat on different boards and committees of non-profit organizations (Rotary Club and the International Women’s Club). But nothing brought me more honor than being part of an education foundation in 2018. I was a recipient of scholarship since I was 11 until about my college years. To be part of this education foundation was me paying it forward. 

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: I was actually brought up in a matriarchal society. Even within my extended families, women are held in high regard. In fact, women can be so strong and as capable as the men in my family, but they wouldn’t be dressed down for “failure” as a male would.

 

When I left my home country (the Philippines) to pursue my tertiary education is when I saw the favorable treatment to men. I was harassed by a male professor and when I asked an administrator where I could file a complaint, I was strongly suggested not to. The reason was simply “You’re female and you’re from the Philippines. In this country, people listen to males, especially those that came from a developed country.” 

 

I never felt more violated than the moment I heard that. And I vowed since then never to let my nationality or my gender get in the way of empowerment. Feminism, for me, isn’t about equal rights. It’s about mutual respect and compassion. That country had “equal rights” but the societal beliefs then were programmed against women.

The way I was brought up, women are heard. When a woman isn’t happy, the entire family walks on eggshells. Women are loved for being caring and nurturing, for thinking of everyone’s needs, and for being non-linear in their thinking. Women are respected because they make life easier. 

That, for me, is feminism.

 

Connect with me! I’d love to chat with you! 

Maria Tan is an Entrepreneur Coach for Misfits (people who don’t like to conform to the norm), Multipassionates (people who are extremely multifaceted and multitalented), and Millennials (people born between 1981-1996). She helps her clients create an eco-system around who they are and what they offer. She’s taught more than 1000 people from all over the world! Connect with her on IG (@maria_k_tan) and check out her website (www.maria-tan.com). 

 

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Woman Wednesday: Helen

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.        


Q and A with Helen, Phoenix, Arizona

“Cherish every moment with loved ones as much as possible and also go for the dreams, feel through the fears, and make moves anyways.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: Great question! I am most passionate about the inspirations all around us and through us in this life experience. I’ve come to a point in my life that it doesn’t matter where I’m physically at, whether that be at home, at work, at a business event, in traffic, at a social event, etc; that I have the opportunity to inspire others through pure gratefulness of being alive in that moment. The thing that most ignites my passion is music. When I hear music, my heart gets excited and my body just wants to move. I often remind myself of pain and suffering around the world and of my own trials and tribulations to keep me humbled and grateful to keep moving forward. I’m consistently working on creative projects simultaneously that can inspire people from all walks of life to keep moving forward themselves.

 

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Click here to watch her awesome video!

 

The passion has always been in me since I was a kid. I foresaw myself as a teacher of some kind one day, I just didn’t know what kind. It’s been an amazing ride to see the visualizations from childhood come true throughout the last ten years. I have been public speaking since 2008 and in 2018, I became an international author of my book, Nothing Sexier Than Freedom. I have two businesses, Sexy Freedom LLC and The Wild Movement LLC, which I co-own with my business partner, Sara Brooke Wolf. I’m also the host of my podcast, Sexy Freedom Media Podcast which is on 8 platforms, including Spotify and iTunes and is on it’s second year.

 

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Click here for video.

It’s crazy to think all of these were ideas or suggestions I’d heard to “try out” and then I did and that’s how it all came into existence. Currently, Sara and I are only weeks away from leading our fourth retreat, Wild Woman Alaska and only months away from leading our first co-ed all inclusive Wild Movement Mexico Retreat.

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I think the best way to describe my younger years is to say that it was unpredictable. My mom was a free spirit, a gypsy woman, a dreamer, and a fighter. She raised five kids on her own when she fled my abusive dad. My dad was a drinker, party animal, very strict, but also a teacher in his own way. Although there was much suffering and pain in my childhood, both my mom and dad played a vital role in my belief system. I dropped out of high school, got married, and had a baby. I eventually realized how important school was and got my diploma. My education really came from my love for books. Self-learning and self-study have been my education for life. The first time I ever finished a program from beginning to end without dropping out was Yoga Teacher Training in 2015. Yoga definitely was the tipping point for me. I was already in the process of writing my book and even included a whole chapter of the challenges I faced while in the program. I have now combined my personal experiences, rituals, and yoga practices by leading retreats in tribal yoga, warrior awakening, and self-development.

 

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Click here for second video. 

 

Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know? 

A: I’ve learned that everyone has their shit. Everyone has an ego. Everyone has intentions, desires, and choices. It was a valuable lesson to suffer because it taught me how to be truly thankful for love around me and how easily it can be taken away. Therefore, cherish every moment with loved ones as much as possible and also go for the dreams, feel through the fears, and make moves anyways.

 

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My full story is written in my book, Nothing Sexier Than Freedom. I hope it continues to inspire as it has been, for people to live courageously sexy, wild, and free.

 

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: I think the best way to explain what feminism means to me is more in visual action than in words and the best visual I can give is my mother. She was molested, she was beaten, she was a single mother of five kids, though she fell, she got back up and kept moving forward. Two years ago, my only brother took his life and I watched my mother take the biggest heartbreak of her life. Once again, though she fall, she got back up- this time on her Harley Davidson bike, at 60 years young, she rides long distance into the wind as the wild free gypsy spirit she has always been. She is courageously uplifted, self motivated, and determined to live her life the way she chooses no matter what anyone has to say about it. To me, my mother is and has always encompassed what feminism means—freedom.

 

 

For more information about me:
Helen Edwards, International Author & Entrepreneur
Book Available on Amazon & Barnes N Nobles

 

Connect with me! I’d love to chat with you! 

Comment below!