2016 was about balance, but this year the topic on everyone's mind is wellness. Sure, they go hand-in-hand, but we're widening our gaze.
Which is why we gathered at Topshop at the Grove LA last night to chat with Lizzy Okoro, the founder and EIC of BUNCH Magazine, Christina Topacio of Jig + Saw, Maya Washington, also known as Shameless Maya, and Tara Sowlaty and Jessie De Lowe co-founders of How You Glow.
The conversation veered from finding boundaries while pushing yourself to the bigger picture of wellness as vibrancy. Here our 5 of our favorite takeaways.
1. SHARE YOUR IDEAS
There is a fear that if you share what you're working on, someone will come along and snatch it up.
Lizzy Okoro says it isn't so. "Tell everyone your idea, no one will steal it," Lizzy told the audience. It keeps you accountable.
Christina echoed the sentiment. "If someone steals it, it was never yours to begin with; it was never going to pop off."
2. THE TECH ADDICTION IS REAL
Jessie, who in addition to How You Glow, works as an Art Therapist says that she's seen an upsurge in social media and tech addiction, and that it's not going away any time soon. To combat the blue screen haze craze, the glowing gal and mama-to-be practices a phone free bedroom. She doesn't have a bedside table, which makes keeping her phone out of her room at night easier.
"I don’t bring it in bed with me, it’s not allowed. If you don’t look at it right before you sleep and right when you wake up, there is 20 minutes of clarity," Jessi shared. She also urged attendees to find healthy boundaries in how, when, and why they are consuming content. "The digital world isn't real," she said, while acknowledging that it's still an integral part of our lives and businesses. "You can't see it and you can't smell it," she said about digital, making it all the more important to get outside.
3. FIGURING OUT HOW TO 'THROW IN THE TOWEL'
Most of the women on panel had the ah-ha moment when they knew they had to leave one job to focus full time on their passion.
Christina recently shut down her blog of ten years, Profresh Style, to focus full time on her new Jig + Saw venture. "The money can't be the driver of any entrepreneurial dream," she told the crowd. "You'll always fall broke." Lizzy, who was working as a school admin during the day and BUNCH at night, had her moment when she knew she couldn't do both. "I was sucking at being an employee, sucking at BUNCH, I wasn't a good friend, a good girlfriend, and at that point I realized, I had to go." Qualifying, "Well, 'go' in 6 months, I couldn't afford it."
The Editor in Chief added, "When you literally. just. can't-- all the time, that's when it's time."
Jessie kept it simple but straight-forward. "If your job is making you physically ill," she shared, "it's time to go."
5. ABANDON DANGEROUS THINKING
Lizzy brought up the cult of busy and hashtag glorifications that take us down the dangerous rabbit hole of wanting to work all the time. "#sleepwhenimdead," shouldn't be a thing. She was burning the candle at both ends when a friend told her, "Listen, if you take a night off, go to the movies and your business fails, you need to get out of that business." It stuck with her.
Maya, who's social experiment with Shameless Maya and "shamelessly" promoting herself for 365-days was an act of truly accepting her whole self, told the crowd to "be aware of what’s trending, but be aware of what works for you."
"It’s so easy to get caught up in the hype, but you’re going to lose," she said.
5. ACCEPT 'VICES'
The How You Glow gals are all about balance. Working out, eating healthy, and indulging. Jessie shared with the audience that they should "build in allowed vices, so it doesn't feel like you've messed up."
Paraphrasing Picasso, Tara told the audience one of her favorite pieces of advice is to "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist."
6. WITHOUT RISK... NO REWARD
Maya brought it home telling attendees, "You gotta give up to gain."
"I had to give up so much," she shared about her career. "Personal relationships, sleep, everything came at a cost. So you need to evaluate what your priorities are, but also really examine yourself. You are in control of your life."
We are heading to NY next Thursday for at Work + Wellness panel at Topshop Soho. Get in on the convo and RSVP now! Space is limited.
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