Episode 144 | November 27, 2018

Claiming Your Joy and Your Truth with Molly Mahar


A Personal Note from Orion

What’s your purpose in life? This question may seem like it requires some deep thinking atop a sacred mountain somewhere in Tibet, but the answer is, luckily, much closer than that.  At the end of the day, your purpose is finding what brings you joy, and living your life authentically in a way that fulfills that joy.

So, do you know what brings you happiness? What makes you thrive and glow from the inside out?  Relationships, travel, hobbies –  there are plenty of ways to enable your inner fulfillment. Once you do, you can claim your joy and start living your life without fears, regrets, and full of bliss.

My guest today is all about happiness and joy. Molly Mahar is the Founder of Stratejoy, an online community for women reclaiming joy in their world. She teaches everything you need to know about claiming ownership of your life and your truth, so tune in to get started on your own journey.

 

About Today’s Show

One of the things that I love the most is when clients are happy and when my clients feel like they are progressing and that their life is changing because we work together. One of my favorite things to hear and I heard it from at least a couple of clients, is that their kids are asking them, “Who are you talking with? Orion?” They’re like, “Yes,” and the kids are like, “This is so cool because every time you talk with Orion, you are so much happier,” and they’re all for it. If the kids are supporting their moms having been coached by me, I’m so blessed because it’s a ripple effect. When a woman is happy, when a woman is fulfilling her destiny and honoring herself, then her kids are benefiting. It’s a ripple effect. Everyone around her benefits and she brings more of her light into the world. Your light and your joy are the most important things because at the end of the day, you don’t take anything with you other than how much you loved and how happy you were. Time is precious. I want to invite you to focus on happiness, to focus on what you can do, to focus on all the good things that can and will happen in your life from a place of joy.

Sometimes when you feel down, you can just jump from feeling down to being completely blissful. You can take little steps and you can make yourself feel a little bit better. If you make yourself feel a little bit better every day, before you know it, you will find yourself living a blissful life. When you are in a state of joy, good things manifest. You manifest things when you’re thinking bad thoughts and you manifest things when you’re thinking good thoughts. It’s a discipline and it’s a skill that you can learn to focus yourself on what’s good. Just by you being right here, right now, you are already taking a step to leveling up. You want to level up every day. You want to find the blessings every day because this is your destiny, to be happy, to spread joy and to share your light with the world. My guest is all about happiness and joy. Her name is Molly Mahar. She is the Founder of Stratejoy, an online community for women reclaiming joy in their world. She is a coach, entrepreneur, mama and adventure-obsessed with taboo topics, designing personnel experiments and the power of sisterhood. She’s definitely my kind of girl. She teaches everything she knows about claiming ownership of your life and your truth. You will enjoy this. It’s going to be just another right moment in your day.

Molly, welcome to Stellar Life podcast.

Orion, I am happy to be here. Thank you for having me.

Thank you for being here. Why don’t we start by you telling us a little bit about yourself?

I am the woman behind an online community called Stratejoy. It is for women of all ages from all places who are interested in reclaiming their joy. I’m very into joy, I have it tattooed on my arm. It’s not like the fizzy, “This ice cream cone is going to make me happy,” kind of joy. It’s how am I building my life around the things that I most care about, honoring that piece of the authenticity of your life. I have been coaching, teaching, leading retreats and writing my life story online for almost ten years now. I’m like a gray old woman on the internet but in reality, I’m 37.

In reality you are a beautiful, radiant, colorful woman online and in person.

When a woman is happy and is fulfilling her destiny and honoring herself, then her kids are benefiting. Click To Tweet

That’s me. I’m the helm of this wonderful community and we gather in all sorts of different ways, like being in monthly circles. We’ll pick a topic that is vital to our lives as modern women, whether that is pleasure or whether that’s purpose or power. We’ll spend an evening tuning inward, seeing how we’re feeling about pleasure in our lives right now and what’s working and what’s not. That’s like a little sampler platter of my bigger course that I teach in the world called Reclamation.

What do you find that women are struggling with the most?

The things I myself probably struggle with and I see in my coaching practice in our community the most is twofold. One, there’s this idea that we have to struggle alone, that whatever we feel overwhelmed with or underwhelmed with in our life, that we are somehow admitting that we’re not doing it right, that we haven’t got it figured out, that our shit’s not together. If we say, “I don’t know how to manage caring for a small child and keeping my sex life going. I’m tapped, I got zero.” People don’t say that out in the real world. I see that happening. We suffer alone or we find shame in the vulnerability or the pieces that are hard for us.

This is probably a big piece of what I teach. I have a lot of achievers in my circles in my life, people who are incredibly gifted and so powerful and used to getting the gold stars and doing things right. They hit that point in their life where the path isn’t so clear or those expectations that they’re following hits them like, “What am I doing? This is not my life. I don’t know what I want but I know it isn’t this.” It’s learning that balance to turn away from the prescribed path or the expectations of your partner or your parents or your work mentor and claiming your own life, your own expectations, like pulling them back into yourself. Learning that and then being able to self-source or self-validate instead of relying on those gold stars or that whatever you sold your business or you got the giant promotion to figuring out how to be a self-sourced woman.

Were you ever a lone wolf in discovering how to cooperate, create teams and have other people help you?

We suffer alone and find shame in the vulnerability or the pieces that are hard for us.

 

Yeah. I created Stratejoy for myself at the very beginning years ago. I was the epitome of an overachiever and people-pleaser. Tell me how to succeed here and I will throw myself under the bus to do it. A piece of me loved that. I can achieve in that way. I have a lot of masculine power to tap into and there is something satisfying in that achievement for me. I totally hit the point where I was 27 or maybe 26, I was like, “What the f*** am I doing with my life? I’ve got all the awards. I went to the Ivy League school. I’ve got the job in the city that I wanted. I’m managing big sexy events in boutique hotels in Seattle downtown. I wore fancy suits and the whole thing.” I was like, “This is not what I’m supposed to do with my life.” I had a moment of clarity. I’m on the bus in the dark, in the rain, getting my giant latte at Starbucks with my pumpkin scone flicking on my computer at [7:30] in the morning going, “What went wrong? This isn’t my life.” I called it my quarter life crisis. I was not old enough to have a midlife crisis, but I tore up my life. I’d listen to that call of, “You are meant for something else,” and I didn’t know what it was. I did have to rely on a lot of other people. He is my now husband but at the time, my boyfriend, we decided to escape our lives for a while and did the whole super cliché, “Let’s travel around the world.” It did give me the space to think about why I was here and what I was meant to do.

When I got back to Seattle, I knew I wanted to work for myself. This had never been a part of my growing up. I was not exposed to this, so I had to figure out who were the women who owned their own businesses. How do you do that? What do you do with that? What does that mean? I totally surrounded myself with mentors and friends who were on similar paths. That was probably my first real taste of building an on-purpose, conscious community to lift myself up. I’m not needing to do it alone, being okay with being the beginner and making mistakes. I see that a lot when people are transitioning any piece of their life, whether it’s a workpiece or maybe entering motherhood or renegotiating the romantic relationship. There’s this whole other world of people who might do it different than it looks on the surface. That was important to me and something I always remember in crafting our own communities or circles or events of how do you surround yourself with people who help you rise up and who are brave enough. Maybe they’ve walked the path before who can say, “It’s okay to be in uncertainty. It’s okay to not know what you’re doing here. We’ve got you. We’re not going to let you fall.”

Where did you guys travel in the world?

We spent three months in Central America and then jumped down to Peru and Ecuador for another month. We flew over to Europe on a whirlwind European tour. We went down to South Africa for a month. Then we went to India for a month and then Southeast Asia for the last bit of our year.

I travel a lot myself. I spent five months in Israel where I’m from. It was awesome. From there, we went to Finland and Denmark. We spent ten days in Egypt and I went to Romania and Hungary. It was cool. I love traveling. For me, just taking those five months semi-off, it gave me perspective because I did my own seminar there and in three hours, I saw women changed so fast. I was like, “I need to get off of my ass, move forward, do bigger things and use my gifts.” I relate to what you’re saying about being alone and trying to do it all on your own, which is like what I do most of the time. I’m opening myself up to connecting with more women and trying to collaborate. For me, there is an issue of trust. How do you build that trust?

At the end of the day, you don't take anything with you other than how much you were loved and how happy you were. Click To Tweet

We’re trained. I can give you my whole theories of why and how the patriarchy trains us to compete instead of collaborating. A woman separated is less powerful but women together, we are super scary and strong and we are going to change the world. Regardless of why it happens. There is this piece that we are more comfortable and connecting. It’s very easy to bond with someone over how much you hate your boss or how hard toddler sleep training is or, “Our son has this teacher who gives too much homework.” There is something that women are used to bonding over the crap. I don’t know if it’s we don’t want to shine or we’re scared that we are bright, that we don’t belong. There is a piece that we’re trained to only talk about the crappy things and whine to each other. We don’t even realize it until someone says, “There is another way to do this.” I was at a summer camp for women that I lead. I get to spend five days in an intense community and we talked about this. How do you trust that someone has good intentions? How do you come in and shine your brightest light and not be scared that you’re going to be too much?

That’s what happens to me a lot. I have a big persona and I feel like even with my friends around me, when I shine bright, they’re either like, “Come and join me,” or are afraid. When you grow, it’s almost like when somebody is doing diet and this family member’s like, “Have that cake. We don’t want you to lose the weight and be in your true power because then we wouldn’t know how we live in relation to you,” something like that.

In your path and your journey, there will be some people who can’t pack it or they’re not going to stick around. That is a sad piece but it’s also a necessary piece.

Did it happen to you?

Yeah. I have a lot of friends from my past who are not interested in anything that I do. This is not their world and I had to make my peace with it. They think about Stratejoy and what I do in the world as my job, like the way that they’re a marketing manager or they’re an architect or whatever like, “This is just Molly’s job.” That’s not how it feels to me. It’s not how it feels on the inside, but that’s okay. We can talk about it like it’s my job like, “How was work?” “Work was fine,” and that’s just going to be the level of our friendship. It’s built more on past versions of ourselves. Moving forward, I’m not okay with that. That’s not what I want as I seek out new relationships. I’ve moved twice as an adult and so I’ve got to recreate my in-person circles, my in-person friendships.

There is no version of you being too much for someone. That’s not on you; that’s on them.

 

I knew what I wanted and what I wasn’t willing to put up with now. I see this in a lot of my clients. My best friend, my neighbors don’t want to go deep. They don’t want to talk about what we call heart space, not just the what of their headspace like, “I’m busy and this is going on and I’m leaving for Spain.” “How do you feel about it?” That crap open question. Sometimes you have to figure out who’s going to come along for that first part of your life and give them a little bit more of your personal resource, your time, your energy, your attention and let go of some of the relationships that aren’t going to support you in that next phase. There is no version of you being too much for someone. That’s not on you, that’s on them. That’s okay and I’m not going to judge them for it, but it doesn’t need to dim your brightness.

I attended an event, the Yom Kippur, which is the holiest in the Jewish tradition and there is a custom to do something that is called Tashlikh, which means you go to a place with water and you shake your clothes symbolically to release your sins to the water. I was attending a women’s circle on the beach and they just took the spiritual aspect of that and it wasn’t about releasing your sins. It was about releasing any toxic thoughts or any pain or anything bad that happened in the last year. You release it to the water and connect to the light. We were sitting together all wearing white. There was this lady in the middle that was doing the Tibetan balls and all kinds of instruments. There was this one singer who was singing and we were all singing with her. We sang the song, Hallelujah. It was beautiful. We had this ritual where we wrote down things that we didn’t want and we burned it. It was very ritualistic, very beautiful. It was a beautiful night on the beach.

I wrote a post on Facebook on how grateful I was to attend that. I attended that with my sister, which was even greater. I wrote my mission, which was my mission for years now and it’s slowly evolving with my goddess group. Some community around still are alive but it’s not a full-on community as for now. I wrote on Facebook that my dream is to create a global community of women who love each other and support each other. I see the value of it and the responses that I got were powerful. I feel like women these days are raising their hands and saying yes to coming together and yes to sisterhoods and yes, there is something deeper. With your tribe, with your sisterhood, with your community, how do you see that?

I feel like one of the things that I imagine Stratejoy doing or Reclamation, the ten-month course that I teach. I think of it as a training ground for your real life because we have this very happy online, talk about the hard, scary, deep thing. I am such a secret keeper for women’s lives. I know intimate details of hundreds of women’s lives. There is this safety they feel because this is their Stratejoy tribe. This is our special magic. It almost feels separate from real life. The piece that I am very interested in watching evolve for my ladies, for my women is this is our ground zero. This is our training ground. We spend ten months together practicing how to share vulnerably both the bad and the good. I understand this in my head, but how do I practice it in real life? What does that look like in action? I’m going to say I love my body, but then what does that mean when I show up to the plate? What does that mean when I look through a photo album that just came in? What does that mean when I show up naked in my bed? I get it. I love my body but how do you practice that?

One of the pieces that we all need to drop into is, “Yes, I’m on board with sisterhood. Yes, I’m on board with supporting women. Yes, I’m on board with having vulnerable, honest conversations.” Practice in a safe space and now go do that where it’s harder. Go do that with your partner when you’re fighting about how to load the dishwasher. Go do that with your kid’s teacher when you disagree with the way that the bullying is being handled. These are life skills that we’re learning. We practice in a very safe place and a lot of it is about being honest, saying how you feel in the moment without expectation that someone else is going to be able to solve it for you but owning your desire, owning your conflict, owning, “This is not okay with me. You crossed a boundary,” and being able to voice it which is harder than it sounds.

When you are in a state of joy, good things manifest. Click To Tweet

Another layer of it is what I experience being with women, women’s circles and sisterhoods and I freaking love it. I also know that when you go through a powerful experience or you are super open, the transition to the real world needs to be a little different. If you just attended a retreat where it was all about your sexuality and being open and vulnerable sexually, you cannot take this openness to the real world as is. There is some filter that you have to put on. When you vibrate on this level let’s say sexually, people can get the wrong message. You have to understand you’re coming from a place where you did deep work and you were in probably a different vibration than most of the people around you that are in a less awakened state. I don’t believe that awakening is something that just happens and you’re like awaken for life. It’s like awakened states where we get into awakened states and then we drop. Then we do the work and we got into higher awakened states. You just experienced a super high awakened state and some people are still sleepy. It’s not about dimming your light, but it’s about making sure that your fire will not burn your environment.

I wonder if that feels more for others or for you. I’ve had women experience that and they come back from a retreat, especially in-person gatherings and try to explain what happened or tell someone a story about the magic. Then it loses magic because the response is, “It sounds weird to me.” I wonder if that dimming is to protect your own.

It’s for your own boundaries. It’s almost like I do a meditation where you open your chakras and they look like beautiful flowers. It opens up and swirls around and then at the end of the meditation, you close those flowers just so the negative energies from the outside world cannot penetrate you when you’re so open because there is a balance.

We underestimate our ability to operate differently in the world. I am in a very safe, privileged place. I am a money-making white woman in America. It can’t get much better than that. I guess that I could be a man, but I don’t want to. I understand this is from a privileged place of safety where this is not the case for everyone. I do think that we can be the trailblazers, we can be the person in our small town who does radiate a little bit brighter, whether it’s pleasure or power. It will attract some people and it will repel others. That part is not our business or at least the way I live my life and working on. What you think of me, your opinion of me is not my business.

Logically, I get it. Your opinion of me is not my business, but then somebody has a bad opinion about me or say something that is judgmental and I’m like, “Why? Love me. I’m lovable. Please love me.”

That’s your word right there. You just laid it out for yourself. I am totally vulnerable. I’m a little emotional.

I wanted to ask you about emotions and the strategy for joy. What I know is that being joyful does not mean that you don’t experience sadness, fear, anger or frustration. You have to experience all your emotions. From that, climb the ladder of your emotions and get into joy but it doesn’t mean that you want to push your emotions under the carpet. We’re happy. Everybody on Facebook is happy and everybody on Instagram are so beautiful and happy. It’s on a surface level, especially as women, we are emotional beings. What’s your approach to handling emotions and getting into joy?

It was Brené Brown who did this piece of the research or at least brought it to my attention. This is my experience. If you are numbing your sadness or your anger, you are numbing your joy, just like the ability to truly feel your emotions. Not to be scared or controlled by those states, I feel like that is one of the ways. I literally call it feeling my feelings. As I feel the states that I’m more uncomfortable with, I’m totally down with sadness, despair, disappointment. We’re good. I know how to operate there. I am not as comfortable with anger. That is more my edge of letting myself feel it and embody it. If we avoid this, you’re setting yourself up for a deep dive into a dip. One of the things that happen when you avoid those hard feelings is you are setting yourself up for the deep dive into the dip.

For me, joy is embracing all of the emotions but also getting the value to the things that bring you that pure sense of meaning, contentment, happiness or connection. Everyone has maybe a different word for the state they most enjoy. Mine happens to be the word joy. That’s the one that’s most appealing to me. I’m definitely not a person who is like, “Just have a positive outlet. Put on the rosy glasses.” That can be useful, but I also think that we can’t fool our deepest selves. We are complex human beings who are going to have a juxtaposition of experiences, some the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. For me, joy is about embracing that wide range and be fully present to your life and not trying to skate on the surface. It’s going deep to joy, going deep to despair, going deep to your gifts, going deep to your vulnerabilities and not being afraid of that.

What brings you joy?

A woman separated is less powerful but women together are super scary and strong. They are going to change the world. Click To Tweet

The easiest access points to joy for me are connections, an amazing conversation with someone. I’m the person who talks to strangers. Even a kind word to the stranger on the bus or the barista behind the counter brings me joy. Music and nature are other pretty easy ways for me to drop right in. I get outside. I live up a couple of houses from the beach, so I go put my feet in the ocean or hike to some version of a summit. Being outside is very good for my soul. I am also the crazy person in my minivan driving my kids around who is jamming out to whatever song I’m obsessed with that day, totally singing and dancing because that does an easy access for me into joy. Those are the three go-tos for me. What are your access points to joy?

For me, it’s something that I started. I did act a long time ago, but this year I started improv and I like doing a funny improv. I’m quite funny when I open up. I like character work. I like to enjoy improvisation. Another thing that I discovered is that I can paint and I didn’t know. I did my first painting and I was like, “Who just did that? That was amazing.” Being with people, being with friends on the beach, sipping cocktails and enjoying the sunset is one of the things that bring me joy, hiking nature. I love dancing. I like belly dancing and pole dancing. I like martial arts. I like training in the gym. I like stretching. I like so many things. I like reading good books. I love my cat, I love my husband, I love my family, I love my friends. I love life. 

A lot of things bring me joy. I am an emotional human being and sometimes I get into bad emotions, but I don’t get stuck. I am like a cork. I float up. That’s how I see myself. The practice of gratitude and looking at the glass half full is super powerful. Sometimes it’s hard, especially when it’s that time of the month. When you refocus your mind into gratitude and you’re focusing your mind into what’s good in the world and what you have rather than what you don’t have, that’s the most powerful thing. Especially living in LA where some of the society and the living here is quite superficial and people will look at the car you drive, the brand that you wear and how much money you have in the bank and the house that you live in and judge you by that. It’s important to drop down to what’s important, which is who you are, the value of who you are and the beauty of who you are and concentrating and focusing on love and connection between you and others, you and yourself and you and you are divine. 

That sounds like that’s your purpose statement in life right there. We’re working on purpose. I’m seeing everything through the veil of purpose.

What’s your purpose? 

If you are numbing your sadness or your anger, you are numbing your joy.

 

It’s to celebrate my life authentically and then the side note is to inspire others to do the same. It’s big for the celebration, which is gratitude and practice for me, the authentic piece. What I like, just own it. I made this purpose statement years ago when I was starting Stratejoy. I am not sure I connected the word inspire as much anymore but the piece that does pull me right now is the word truth. I try very hard to tell what’s going on with me in real time, especially as witnessed in the online world because in LA, there’s a lot of superficiality going on. I don’t dim my light when things aren’t going well, but I also don’t blow smoke up people’s ass when things are going poorly. I will tell you the truth. If you asked me, “Molly, how are you?” I will take a moment. I will take a deep breath and I will give you a real answer. I’ve trained myself out of, “I’m fine,” because generally fine is not the answer that I’m feeling. I’m feeling some much more complex emotion and I will tell you what that is.

How do you feel right now? 

I feel lit up because I love the connection. It’s one of my happiest states. Getting to answer deep questions about things I care about makes me feel very connected to why I’m here.

I want to talk about confidence. Were you always confident? It sounded like you are always pretty confident. How do you increase confidence? How do you step into your greatness and overcome fear?

I don’t think you ever overcome fear. Fear is going to be a constant companion for anyone who is living on the edge of their life, pushing their own boundaries. I don’t think you get to a place where that’s easy and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. There’s this image from Liz Gilbert that I heard her speak of when I go to a conference or a workshop with her. It was like, “Fear just goes in the passenger seat. Do you want to drive?” You say, “Yes, I see you, fear. We’re going to do this anyway. Don’t touch the radio, hands off the wheel, I’m driving. You can take along the ride with me.” That’s how I think about it in my head. I like being scared. I enjoy that edge. I’m a thrill junkie. Physically, I like to ask big, scary asks. There is a piece of me that gets joy from being scared. To me, that signals that we’re doing something. That isn’t to say I don’t crash after the scary thing or have to do a lot of self-talk to get myself through. The advice that I give or the thing that I teach a lot in my courses is this idea of holding the strong intention and seeing expectation. There’s only so much we have control of, so many things we have no control over. The pieces that you do, whether that’s the piece that you’re creating, the way that you’re going to make the ask in the business sense, the offer, the way that it looks, the way that you write about it, those things you can control.

It's not about dimming your light, but it's about making sure that your fire will not burn your environment. Click To Tweet

Concentrate your time, energy and attention on that piece instead of becoming obsessed with the final measure of how many of those sold or did that Tinder guy swipe the correct way on you. You can’t control that. You can’t become reliant on those external pieces to tell you who you are or how you’re doing. You have to drive that. That is the whole turning away from the external validation, both the bad and the good. As Tara Mohr says, “You have to release the dependency when people love you and also when people hate you and turn inward.” I feel like that’s a big piece of confidence, that self-sourcing. The other piece is the “I don’t give a f*** what you think about me” piece. It isn’t always true in all situations, but that’s when I trained myself over years of understanding futilism.

How did you train yourself? What did you do? What is that “I don’t give a f***” training? What is this? 

If I am trying to manipulate your response to me, then I am not standing in my power or being who I am. If I’m more concerned of coming across a certain way to you if I’m trying to get you to think that I’m this thing, then I’m not being me because I am spending my energy thinking about how it would be received. I want you to think I’m cool, smart, super successful. That is not standing in my skin. That is not telling the truth of my life. That is trying to manipulate a situation that I don’t have control over. I don’t know if there was like a lightning bolt of clarity probably being out in the online world and realizing the number of ridiculous things people will latch onto about you and you’re like, “Really? You want to pick me apart for that? I can’t control the fact that that’s the school that I went to.” There’s nothing I can do about it. I’m not going to waste my time and my energy, my life force, my care around that. It’s not that I don’t feel it. Sometimes there’s some tension in my online life versus my real life. I did a series called Sensual Selfie Challenge that my friend was putting on. It was outside my comfort zone and I love being naked. I’m all good with that. Posting these photos online, I was like, “I’m right on the edge. Here’s something that scares me.” I’m going to do it anyway, but I had to do some self-coaching around. What if someone in your real life from school pickup sees that? They did. My parents saw that. My in-laws saw it. I decided, “I don’t care. Judge me but this is who I am. It’s all good.”

I’m redesigning my website. I haven’t started yet but then I’m thinking about exactly what I want to do and how I want to do it and all that. With the photo shoot, I want to have more outgoing, more provocative photos that are more sensual. I don’t want to be like everybody else. I want to be like me. My edge is like, “Am I going to put those photos out?” Not naked or something, but sensual and a little less proper I guess.

I don’t know if this is going to be helpful for you, but when we operate in this world or whatever you want to call it, personal development or consciousness or whatever your angle is, just by the choice that we have made to be creators. For you, your podcast or any offerings and for me, all the ways that I teach and gather women online. Because we put ourselves in that position, I feel one of the things we do is live our life out loud as an example. Some people will be repulsed by that and turn away. That’s fine. You can use me as your stick of, “I would never do that.” The women that need you or the humans that need you, the people who are going to gather, they see that as a statement of bravery, of softness, of sensuality perhaps and we need people to show us alternate ways. If you’re going to sign up for that, just say, “Yes, I’m signing up for this.”

You can’t become reliant on the external pieces to tell you who you are or how you’re doing. You have to drive them away.

 

What are the things that you said yes to in your life that surprised you? 

I truly try to tell my real-life stories in real time to my community, to my newsletters, especially women in my courses. I go once a week on a Facebook Live for them and I try to capture the moments that you don’t generally see. I released this new offering and then I had a giant vulnerability hangover. In the middle, I’m going to freak out and I’m like, “I’ve got to Facebook Live this. You’ve got to see this. I’m freaking out.” I said yes to letting people see the things that other people might try to hide or I got a lot of advice in the beginning that it was too much. You can’t be in a place to share what you’re going through until you’ve processed it or until you’re further away from it. I understand why, but that’s more of a self-protection measure and I feel safe. I feel safe to show the messy piece. I’ve signed up to narrating in real time and there’s no question that’s going to make me uncomfortable. It might make me uncomfortable, but I’ll still answer it from money, from embarrassing things that you’ve done.

What was the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done?

It’s the one that I always tell because people know who she is. This is embarrassing and traumatic honestly for me, but I’ve processed it way back at the beginning of Stratejoy, maybe the first year, I don’t even know if I had a website. One of my friends and mentors was putting on this big women’s symposium in Seattle and it was for women business owners and Danielle LaPorte was coming to speak. This was at the very beginning. Desire Maps hadn’t come out and she might have still been carrying way back. She was onstage with a couple of other business mentors and they were going to do workshops and people’s businesses with them. These people had been selected in advance. Danielle and the other judges or whoever they were had already reviewed their website. They knew about this.

Fear is going to be a constant companion for anyone who is living on the edge of their life, pushing their own boundaries. Click To Tweet

At the last minute, one of the people dropped out. They didn’t want to get up on stage and do this out loud. My friend, Melody said, “Molly, I know that they don’t have all your stuff, but would you like to come up on stage in front of 300 people and explain your business and have them give you some feedback?” I was like, “Yes,” I feel very naïve and I’m thinking that sounded like a wonderful idea for exposure. I didn’t understand what was going on. I got up on the stage and I told them my idea for Stratejoy and what I was doing to help young women like the quarter-life crisis, but Danielle totally shot me down. It was like, “Why don’t you work with high schoolers? They might be able to look up to you.” I’m sure it was fed from a place of love that she said, that is how I heard it. I held it together just long enough to get off the stage into the bathroom where I promptly sobbed my little eyeballs out.

That was not doing the embarrassing. That was being brave and being crushed by somebody who doesn’t get you, even though she’s more broadly a good person, but even good people make mistakes. Good on you for not taking it in and moving forward and creating what you created. You could have been that person who will have listened to her and stopped Stratejoy and move on to doing some more sexy parties. This is amazing. 

She’s been a lovely advocate for me since then in other ways. I don’t say this to spare the truth. This moment that stands out in my mind and you’re right, I could have taken that as, “This is never going to work.” What I told to myself was, “I need to do a better job explaining what I’m doing because I still feel very strongly about what I’m doing. I didn’t do a good job communicating what that was.” That’s what I remember taking with me afterward of how to process this for one of my heroes at the time. I don’t get that embarrassed.

What are your three top tips to living a stellar life? Where can people find you, connect with you, join your community, do whatever you have to offer and fall in love with you? 

One, however this looks for you, please give yourself time to listen to your own wisdom. Whether that comes in through body knowledge, if you’re a somatic person, so dance and yoga it up and take the great hikes. Listen to the wisdom that your body holds. I’m a journaler. I get a lot of my downloads through free writing. Be aware that you are very wise. You know so much about what you’re here to do and how you’re supposed to be operating in this lifetime. Listen to yourself. Figure out how you communicate with yourself and then listen. Time, space, silence, self-knowledge, self-awareness, that is my first tip. My second tip is the theme of this call is whatever you can do to honor your life instead of trying to please or validate or live up to someone else’s expectations. Listen and then let yourself live a life that is true or authentic to you.

Being joyful does not mean that you don't experience sadness, fear, anger or frustration. You have to experience all your emotions. Click To Tweet

Think about what your society, what your upbringing, what your partner, what your kids, whatever external pressures you feel. Examine them for what they are and accept the ones you want and reject the ones that are not a fit for you. You’re brave enough and strong enough to do that. The third one, I’m going to throw a plug for joy. Whatever your version of joy is, life is messy, things are hard and there are disasters that we can never avoid simply because this is life, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t find the joy in the mess. It doesn’t mean that you can’t have gratitude for what you do have, the blessings that are bestowed upon you. Live from there. Lead from that piece of attitude and everything gets easier, juicier and better when you let that joy lead.

Where can people find you? 

Everything is on Stratejoy.com. Online, my community is @Stratejoy. I am on Instagram. My personal Instagram with babies and beach shots and all that is my name, @MollyMahar. Instagram is a great place to find me or Facebook, the Stratejoy community lives there.

Molly, thank you so much. It was awesome and I appreciate you being on the show. 

It was my pleasure. Thank you for having me.

 

Your Checklist of Actions to Take

✓ Let go of the thinking that you have to suffer alone and that vulnerability is a sign of weakness. You have the wisdom and power to live your life at best and authentic to you.
✓ Have a crystal clear vision of the path that you want to take. Never let other people’s expectations limit you from reaching your true and highest potential.
✓ Listen and reconnect to your own wisdom. Ask yourself, “Am I following my true purpose?”
✓ Surround yourself with like-minded individuals. Find a mentor or a community who shares the same passion and intention like you and work towards collaborating for the same purpose.
✓ Make peace with the fact that you can’t please everybody. Sometimes to move forward, you have to let go of relationships that no longer serve you.
✓ Practice self-love daily. Have an honest and vulnerable conversation with yourself, partner and the people around you.
✓ Embrace your emotions. Allow yourself to truly feel the feelings even if it’s uncomfortable.
✓ Find out what brings you joy. It can be as simple as going on a hike, reading a book, or having a conversation.
✓ Recognize that joy is about embracing the highest and the lows and being fully present to your life and not trying to skate on the surface.
✓ Achieve a higher awakened state of joy and truth by joining Molly’s Stratejoy and Reclamation.

Important Links:

About Molly Mahar

Molly Mahar is the founder of Stratejoy — an online community for women reclaiming joy in their world. She’s a coach, entrepreneur, mama + adventurer obsessed with taboo topics, designing personal experiments, and the power of sisterhood. She teaches everything she knows about claiming ownership of your life + your truth in her 10-month online program, Reclamation.

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