Who would we be if we weren’t afraid? What would our lives look like if we pushed aside our greatest fears and let curiosity lead the way? Today we’re wrapping the Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire series with one of the world’s greatest teachers on how to live in the beauty of freedom: award-winning writer and all-around good human, Elizabeth Gilbert. Liz has opened her life and poured her lessons generously into masterpieces on creative living like Eat, Pray, Love and Big Magic, plus her latest work, the gorgeous novel City of Girls. Today Liz feeds our souls by giving us permission to throw away words like “passion” and “purpose” and “balance” (which, let’s be honest, are stifling) so that, instead, we can lower the stakes and allow ourselves the delight of discovery.
Have you ever wanted to be part of an actual book club? One that actually reads the book instead of just providing classy cover for wine drinking? (well, okay, there’s still a *little* wine drinking) Then seriously, you need to join the Jen Hatmaker Book Club! Every month, Jen sends you one of her favorite books (along with a box of goodies!), and sits down with the book’s author for a podcast that’s exclusive for members . . . until TODAY! Because the April author of the month is none other than one Ms. Jennifer Hatmaker, who wrote a brand-new book you may have heard a little something about called Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire. So to celebrate, Jen and her ride-or-die girlfriends Trina, Shonna, and Jenny hopped on Skype to talk about all the hard lessons and laughs they’ve had as they’ve lived out the pages of Fierce together. Jen and the gang talk about how they met, which friend can claim eternal credit for pushing Jen into creating a sphere of influence, how they’ve learned to love their bodies and make friendships last and trust themselves to create a life that’s worthy of the women full of fire they’ve been called to be.
SIGN UP for the Jen Hatmaker Book Club today at jenhatmakerbookclub.com!
Fierce women are all around us—we are them, we raise them, we’ve been mentored by them. But lifestyle expert and entrepreneur Camila McConaughey takes that to a new level by cultivating a loving, open, supportive community called Women of Today. The ultimate example of a fierce woman, Camila moved independently from Brazil to the U.S. at only fifteen, determined to take the world by storm. After stumbling into modeling, Camila hustled, and she hustled hard. She lived her life to the very fullest, experiencing all she could, because those life moments are things that can never be taken away. She clung to faith to keep the discouragement at bay when things got hard, and she prayed diligently for God to reveal her bigger mission: “You take me where I’m supposed to go.” She’s a proponent of the spirit of trying, the experience of living, and innovating in every way possible, and she’s on the show to share what magic can happen when we’re comfortable and confident enough in our own skin that we can turn our efforts to the other women around us who need to be lifted.
Our next “Fierce” guest is coming in hot! The dynamite leader of the Own It Academy, Jordan Lee Dooley, takes the mic to push us to ponder what our true dreams really are and how we can start to own them—even if we have to take steps outside of our comfort zone box (or the box that others have put us in!). And Jordan doesn’t just talk about chasing dreams—she’s a woman who walks behind her words. Jordan reveals how she forged her own path from Etsy shop owner to business educator, author, and podcaster by daring to take chances and try different career paths as she honed her gift for communication. And Jordan realized as she gave herself permission to try new things, she kept herself open to discover all the seemingly random skills weren’t meaningless—they could be woven together to create a phenomenal career to help women all over the globe. Jordan and Jen talk through what it means to pivot well and why finding our passion actually isn’t the biggest task of our lives—it’s recognizing what our skills are, and using them to contribute help humankind flourish. Jordan reminds us that our job is not to accomplish things—it’s to leave behind a legacy of relationships and love as integrated women who know themselves and help others know themselves, too.
The For the Love world is totally upside-down today, y’all. Jen is a guest on her own podcast, and gets interviewed about her new book, Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire, by the ever-so-magical Melissa Radke! Jen reveals the first outlier women who made lasting impressions on her: watching how they lived in her own skins in a way that didn’t fit the template Jen had been prescribed from her conservative upbringing. The two talk about growing up in the church and the messaging they received about who they should be as women, and the hard work of pushing past those boundaries to become the women they were designed to be. Listen as Melissa pulls an “Oprah” on Jen, how some of Jen’s words made Melissa “mad,” and how they both are learning to discover who they are and how to love every part of themselves (and we can too). Finding a sense of belonging to ourselves, uncovering who we are and what we want, is the start of the journey to becoming Fierce, Free and Full of Fire.
Our next guest in our Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire series is—get ready—Queer Eye’s delightful design guru Bobby Berk. Bobby walks us through the backstory we’ve all gotten glimpses of on TV: how he left home at 15, after realizing he was gay and knowing he would struggle against rejection and hatred in his small hometown. This began a tough journey where he worked multiple jobs, slept in his car, moving to Denver then eventually NYC, where he worked his way up at various design retailers before opening his own acclaimed design business. Bobby gives us the inside scoop on the nail-biting process of becoming part of the Fab 5 (and why Jonathan thinks Bobby would be the first to go in a zombie apocalypse!), and what gives him joy and fire being part of that crew and changing lives around the globe. Bobby tells us there’s enough love and success to go around, and in the spirit of reversing lies we’ve been told about ourselves, Bobby refuses to accept that we all aren’t capable of success. As Bobby’s story illustrates, we can make our dreams happen if we freely and fiercely go after them.
On the best days, people are, well, a lot. They have feelings, they have opinions, they have needs—and as “responsible adults,” we have so many people relying on us at one time that sometimes it can feel like we cannot crumble, because who on earth knows what would happen if we did? Add in a virus, some upended lifestyles, extroverts and introverts forced indoors together, and well . . . let’s just say we need some guidance on how to get through this pandemic with our sanity intact. Thankfully, one of Jen’s favorite experts is here to lend a hand (and when we say favorite, we mean she’s quoted the book he co-authored Boundaries in *at least* six of her books): psychologist and NYT bestselling author Dr. John Townsend! Jen and Dr. Townsend go deep into all the pressure points we’re seeing in our relationships right now: how parents can walk teens through their hard feelings, how to spouses can learn to talk through their frustrations (especially since introverts and extroverts are responding so differently right now), even how to draw boundaries in a house where you’re stuck with a bunch of other people. Dr. Townsend’s chock-full of practical tips on how to emotionally care for ourselves and our loved ones well, even during a crisis.
We’re THRILLED to launch our new “Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire” series, and our first guest lives all three of those traits in such an inspiring way. Glennon Doyle is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Love Warrior and Carry On, Warrior and she’s back with her rawest book yet: Untamed, which explores how women untangle themselves from the lies they’ve been told about their bodies, their voices, their minds and their places in the world. Glennon’s also an activist, and she’s the founder and president of Together Rising, an all-woman-led nonprofit that has raised over $22 million for women and children in crisis. Glennon recounts her own “untaming” through an unblinking examination of her upbringing, her first marriage, and her struggles with an eating disorder and alcoholism. She encourages all of us to examine what we want and implores us to lean into those things—not letting anyone tell us that what we want isn’t achievable. Glennon believes that because what most women want is true and beautiful, if we chased all we wanted, “dreams would be realized. Corrupt governments would topple. Institutions would fall so that we could rebuild lives and relationships and nations that are built on justice.”
Closing out our For the Love of Women Who Built series, we have Meredith Walker, the Co-Founder of Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, an organization which is dedicated to helping young people cultivate their authentic selves. They emphasize intelligence and imagination over “fitting in.” Meredith Walker began her television career producing the Peabody and Emmy award-winning Nick News with Linda Ellerbee, and then went on to head up the talent department for Saturday Night Live, where she met and became fast friends with Amy Poehler. They shared tales of their own upbringings and dreamed about how great it would be to create something to help girls get through their own awkward teen and pre-teen years. They started Smart Girls with a “mix of great planning, and luck, and not planning,” and now they help girls all over the world navigate the choppy waters of adolescence. Meredith shares her personal story of following the “unscripted path” and encourages those of us who have had an unconventional life’s journey to embrace what we care about and recognize the value we add to our world. ?
You spoke—we listened. Sara Cunningham was your nominee from the tribe for the last episode of our “Women Who Built It,” series and we couldn’t be more thrilled to hear about what she is building. When Sara’s son came to her with the decision that he was going to live as a gay man on his 21st birthday, Sara’s life went into a tailspin. After 20 years in the church and actively “praying the gay away,” with and on behalf of her son, she was at a crossroads. Her search for resources as a Christian mom turned up very little, but her research on the data and statistics out of the LGBTQ community devastated her. The rejection she saw from families, churches, and communities was more than she could bear. She needed to begin the work of accepting her son, and she started by getting involved with Free Mom Hugs. Showing up at a Pride Rally with a homemade “Free Mom Hugs,” button, she simply gave out hugs—some to young people whose own mothers hadn’t hugged them in years. Whatever your beliefs, you will want to hear Sara’s moving journey and her mission of spreading healing—not only to a community who often feels marginalized—but to their families in the church who are looking for answers. ?