While I was creating my new course, Happily Ever After: A (Self) Love Story (juicy details on that to follow!), I decided that I needed to find out what makes some of the women whom I admire feel their most abundant, walk the world their radiant best. And because we're all in a community of supportive sisters, it seemed only right that I share their inspiring, hilarious, and often resonant responses with you. Every few weeks, I will introduce you to someone whose work and spirit have been life-changing for me, and hopefully you'll find yourself touched and motivated, too.
Moorea Seal has been a huge inspiration to me for quite some time. She is a blogger and jewelry designer, a (quite famous, almost 900,000 followers!) Pinterest maven and the curator of the most perfect online shop, as well as a brand new boutique in Seattle. I dare you not to fall in love with her after you read her interview and visit her sites!
JW: What is the most magical thing that has ever happened to you?
MS: I think the most magical thing that ever happened to me was during a summer when I was my most broken and vulnerable. One of my dear college friends, Patrick, was killed in a bike accident right before I left to go work at a camp and I wasn't able to attend his funeral or mourn with my friends in Seattle. I had known many people before him who had died, but his passing felt like it brought up everything for me, every mourning I had experienced and every person I had lost.
But I have two experiences that were so powerful and healing for me during this time. First was when he visited me in a dream. I was swimming in the ocean, my favorite place to be, and the waves were incredibly rocky. I could see just the top of his head swimming in front of me, guiding me with his beautiful big blue smiling eyes and curly hair. The happiness in his eyes made me feel like wherever he is now, he is joyful and at peace. I felt so comforted when I woke up, knowing his presence would guide me through tumultuous waters for the rest of my life.
The second experience was when I was meditating with my high school kids that I was leading at the camp. One of the other counselors put on one of Patrick's favorite bands and I closed my eyes to free my mind of all thought. Suddenly, with my eyes closed, I saw a deep dark indigo color and a flash of bright blue just out of my line of sight to the upper right. I had this immediate feeling of experiencing Patrick's presence so fully and I just broke down in tears and had to open my eyes. It was incredibly moving sensing so powerfully the presence of someone who had passed away. And I felt joyful knowing that he would visit me while I was at my most vulnerable, honest, open, and peaceful state.
JW: Who has been your greatest influence?
MS: My grandmother has been my greatest influence. She was an extremely determined, wise, and ambitious woman. She was definitely the Matriarch of my family. She never doubted herself, her will, and her strength and she knew she could do great things for others with her skills. She started the first three bilingual schools in the LA area. And the Nationwide English as a Second Language Program is based off of the program she created. She was a Spanish teacher. She did incredible things for refugees in the LA area, especially the Thai community. At her funeral I was blown away by the amount of people there, the diversity of people there, and listening to all of their stories of how my grandmother helped them moved me so deeply knowing they were and are as much as a part of her family as I was and am. She was head of the PEO and the Red Cross at various times of her life in Long Beach, CA and worked with them up until she was unable to walk. She expected the best out of others and of her self, a tough cookie and a sweetheart and believed everyday was a day to get dressed up. Everything I do, every choice I make, every way that I try to improve the person that I am and every kind act I seek to do for others is because of her.
JW: How do you deal with negative self talk?
MS: The best way I have learned to deal with negative self talk is to contradict my inner thoughts with healthier outward words. At age 18, I was so incredibly depressed and filled with self hatred on top of being bullied by my peers my freshman year of college. I started to sleep in until 4pm everyday to avoid those bullies and stayed up till 6am getting my homework done. I hated myself for my looks, my acne, my glasses, my shy and introverted personality, you name it. I hated that people called me "that weird girl with big boobs" or "that artsy girl with big boobs." I felt so depressed, alone, and embarrassed by myself. The cracking point was when I was writing a song about what it feels like to experience depression. When I was getting towards the end of the song I realized I couldn't end it on lyric that is still so sad and depressing and dark. I realized I had the choice to make my song end on a hopeful and positive note and lyric. And just like the song, I had the CHOICE to make my life better. I started making myself to say "I love myself" out loud every day. At first, it felt impossible to do and untrue. But as I forced myself to look in the mirror everyday and say it out loud, watching myself with all of my flaws saying I love myself, I started to care less about the flaws and more about the bigger picture. My flaws weren't changing, but I was changing my perspective, learning to take things like my looks that shouldn't be the main focus of my attention out of the spotlight. I learned to love myself in spite of any little nit picky things about myself that I wanted to change. My perspective changed from constant beating myself up about any little thing to, screw it! There are more important things to focus on right now! After awhile, anytime someone would tease me about anything, I would just say with a air of nonchalance, "eh whatever, I love myself." And to this day, I still keep myself in check whenever someone teases me or when I am starting to nit pick myself by halting my inner chatter by remembering, "eh, screw this, I love myself!"