I had the great honor of being interviewed by Editor-In-Chief Cassandra Kerr on her website, For, She Is You, which is an incredible digital platform that celebrates women in all their diverse and magical glory. I hope you enjoy the interview republished below, and visit her site as well.
How would you describe yourself in one word?
What would you tell your 10 year old self?
Ten was the year I started noticing my thighs. The year I started noticing girls whose hair didn’t go crazy with curls when they started going through puberty. The year I fell for my first “him” and felt completely unseen. I started to define myself by my intellect. I thought that If I could be the smartest, I could be the best, which meant I was worth something.
I would tell that 10 year old girl that instead of retreating to your brain, go into your heart and nurture yourself until you feel whole from within instead of seeking validation externally.
What is your outlook / philosophy on life?
Your thoughts control your feelings; your feelings control your physical experience; your physical experience control you world.
The greatest revelation I’ve had in the last five years is realizing just how much control I have over how I feel and how I live. When I’m mindful of my thoughts, and push myself to practice gratitude, happiness, and a positive perspective, my feelings body and overall life experience follows suit.
I LOVE the concept of Fred and Far and everything it stands for. Can you share a little bit about your journey and how the self love pinky ring came to fruition?
Two years ago I was on the brink of collapse as a working mother with twin toddlers. I had lost complete sight of who I was, what my purpose was, and how to be happy in my own skin. Because I love jewelry, I decided to buy a new ring for a new finger – my pinky, and wear it with the idea that each time I looked at it I would be reminded to prioritize care for, know, and love myself. Within a few months, I was transformed. The impact was so powerful I thought it might help other women as well. The origin of the Self Love Pinky Ring is deeply personal and profoundly simple. What would happen if every woman in the world loved and cared for herself, and then used that love to connect with and support other women. The community we’ve built is as much the core of our mission as the ring and choosing yourself.
What is your self love pledge to yourself?
My self love pledge is the same pledge we ask each Fred + Far tribe member to sign. Together we pinky promise to choose ourselves, honor ourselves, and remember ourselves on a daily basis.
The single best piece of advice you have ever received and how has it shaped you
Anything is possible. My parents taught me this. I was born in Iran and my parents left everything behind to bring me to America for a better life when I was less than a year old. It’s not always easy, but I feel grateful to live in a place where it’s possible to pursue your dreams, and continually re-define your future. My ability to start Fred + Far as a working mom in her 30s is a testament to that.
Something you don’t tell yourself enough?
Get up, put your electronics down, drink water, move your body.
In your opinion, what is true strength of character?
The curiosity and flexibility to continually grow and become a more authentic, inspired, and capable version of yourself.
As such a beautiful advocate for self love, why is it so important to teach young girls to love themselves?
I’m fortunate to have twin four-year-old daughters, Stella and Violet. Through them, I have already started witnessing the micro interactions that define a woman’s sense of worth from a young age. From groups of girlfriends who leave others out, to the challenging “us vs. them” dynamic between boys and girls. So much of their happiness can precariously depend on others unless I teach them on a daily basis what it means to practice self love and self care.
How do you cultivate self love and what do you do to combat negative self-talk / self-doubt?
For me, cultivating self love started through committing to acts of self care. From working out to finally lose the baby weight, to seeing a therapist to learn more about what makes me tick, or even getting a blow out weekly so I can feel beautiful. Once I started devoting time to myself it became more natural to feel good, and when you feel good self love inherently blossoms
To combat negative self talk and self doubt, I take great care to recognize my thoughts as I’m thinking them. When self doubt takes over, instead of letting that thought become a feeling thats buried in my body, I question it, discover the root of it, and commit to a course of action and through pattern that will relieve me of it.
Your all-time-hands-down-favorite self love ritual?
Every morning I put on my self love pinky ring and take a moment to think about why I’m wearing it that day. Not only am I checking in with myself, I’m infusing the ring with intentions – that carries me through the day.
How do you define kindness and why do you believe in it?
Kindness is opening your eyes and heart so you can recognize opportunities to give, and then giving exactly whats needed without expecting anything in return.
I believe in kindness because it is the energy that connects us all and has the possibility to bring balance to the world.
Practicing kindness should begin with oneself. When you’re kind to yourself, you’ll be in a position to be kind to others.
What is the kindest thing someone that has ever done for you?
My best friend believed in me enough to help me start Fred + Far.
In your opinion, what can you can do for someone who you may notice is directly experiencing unkindness?
Witness them instead of looking away, and when you can – stand with them, and for them.
Why do you believe it’s important for girls and women to stand together, support, champion and build one another up rather than tearing each other down?
The future of the world depends on it.
If you had a ‘MY 3AM MIND’ notebook, what would we find on it?
When I’m at peace, you would find nothing. When I have anxiety, the running to do list in my mind that I refuse to write down.
How do you deal with stress?
By caring enough to identify whats causing it, and committing to making changes. Whether the change is a shift in my perspective, or in my circumstances.
From your experience, do you have any wisdom to impart on networking and ‘putting yourself out there’?
Last week I was having a conversation with my four year old daughters about making friends. One is feeling very neglected and alone at school. The other looked at her and said, “If you want to play with someone, why don’t you just go up to them and say ‘I want to play with you.’” There is a really powerful networking lesson there. Identify who you want to play with, and play with them.
Life is too short to tolerate….
Bad energy.* (this may result in lost or paused relationships if you truly practice it – but it is worth it)
What real advice can you offer on believing in yourself and following your dreams
Believing in yourself and following your dreams are not all or nothing propositions. You start, you take a step, you take another step, and eventually you look back and realize you’re getting somewhere. For me, having written and published a book, started two businesses, and survived a brief career as a litigation attorney, the best place to start is by doing something that is completely within your hands. Whether its starting a blog to share your voice or creating art to share your vision. You don’t have to have a business plan with every detail plan sketched out to start a business. All you have to do is have an idea to get started, the magic is in your commitment to seeing it through.
If you had 1 minute to talk and be able to reach and inspire every single young girl and woman around the world, what would your message be?
This is my role as a woman, and especially as a mother of daughters:
To teach that self love is sacred, and self care is survival. To show that we are born whole and all the love we need is within our own hands. To model what it means for a woman to choose herself, each and every day.
So women, this is my invitation to you:
Reclaim yourself. Belong to yourself. Redeem yourself.
Carve out a moment to delight. To discover. To be.Remember yourself.
You’re the catalyst. You’re the cause. You’re the one.Engage in yourself. In life, in love, in health.
Shed the weight – of uncertainty, of pain, of disappointment, of pressure.
Commit to something better.
Your favourite quote that always inspires you?
“Your self love is a medicine for the earth.” by Yung Pueblo
Republished from www.forsheisyou.com.