It’s the last month of 2018 and I have some catching up to do with my #WCW series. So for the month of December I am going to feature a new woman crush of mine every week! The Women Crush Wednesday hashtag and social media trend is nothing new. But I am trying to reclaim that title not just for half naked celebrities or women you actually know nothing about. The women I crush over are using their womenhood, their voice and their passions to make our world brighter. I have some incredible women in my life so I am honored to share them with you. I hope you find them as inspiring as I do.
Meet Lauren aka “Elle”
Lauren and I met at our annual business conference in Nashville three years ago. From the moment I met Lauren I knew I wanted to be her friend. Her personality is infectious, her smile quite literally lights up the room and she has the insane talent of making best friends with everyone. We instantly clicked but as soon as we met I was off to Australia and Lauren was living in Pennsylvania at the time. Luckily, with the nature of our online business and our partnership with the same company, we still spent a lot of time together on video chats, business meetings, phone calls and of course, social media support.
Quickly I realized Lauren was not just an ordinary “work friend.” She is like a missing part of me. We bonded over the fact that we were both classroom teachers as our day jobs. We both were passionate teachers who really loved teaching but also couldn’t deny the flaws in the school system and the general dissatisfaction we had with pursuing a career in a classroom forever. Lauren called me while I was living in New Zealand and we had a really long discussion about her gut feeling she wanted to move to Florida. I encouraged her to take the risk, what’s the worst that could happen? She did and she flourished and I got the chance to visit her a couple times before she just recently moved on to her next adventure. I’ll let her take it from here.
- What do you think makes a woman worth “crushing” over?
Confidence for sure! When a woman knows who she is, what she wants and has standards for who she will give her time to, it is hard not to crush over that type of energy!
- What do you do for a living? What is the most challenging part about it?
I was a teacher for over 10 years but then was introduced to an opportunity to live wherever I wanted, work based on my schedule, get paid based on effort not time, and pick my coworkers! Needless to say, I left teaching and am happy with my new job! The most challenging part is explaining how happy this shift in careers has made me! It’s hard to put it into words!
- Who are three women that you look up to and have inspired you the most in your career/life?
My mom for sure, Oprah, and Chalene Johnson.
- What is one topic you wish more women knew about on a global scale? Why?
Sounds basic, but self worth. I feel like so many women do not value their skills, their beauty, or opportunities. You have strengths and skills that no one else has but we are taught from an early age to be humble and modest. We don’t give credit to our talents and hone in on those areas.
Also, your beauty! How full is your makeup drawer, your closet of clothing, how many times have you looked in the mirror and rather than picking out the positives, ripped yourself apart in regards to the areas you don’t like? If we could just retrain our society of women to not want to be like to woman in the magazine but to vocalize why your own beauty is so profound, I think not only women, but men, would revel in the confidence and power that is released.
So the next time you stand, looking in the mirror, with nine outfits that didn’t make the cut surrounding you on the floor, remember that you are a gift to whoever you see today, may their eyes be blessed with whatever you decide to present! Oh, and opportunities!! Do not be afraid to take a risk and push yourself out of your comfort zone! If you aren’t happy with the job you are in, get a new one. Feel like you have lived somewhere too long, MOVE! Feel like you have outgrown a relationship, forge a solo path for awhile and get to know yourself again! The scariest steps and the ones you are meant to take and grow from. It breaks my heart to see women become content, complacent and settle.
- What advice do you give to women who feel that they are constantly surrounded by drama in their group of friends?
Personal Development. When you work on highlighting your strengths and try to find the positives in all situations, those people that are filled with drama no longer fit in your life. They fall away because you are not the same person you were when you were friends with them. You are actually happy.
- Do you believe being a strong woman with a passion for her career takes away from a woman’s ability to be a loving partner/mother/friend/sister?
Not at all! I feel like you feel you have a purpose which is attractive to your partner, you are a strong role model for your children, and you inspire your friends. Now don’t get me wrong, you need to create balance, but when done correctly, you can have your cake and eat it too!
- What is something you are really excited about currently in your own life?
Freedom!! I feel like I was one of those women who created a timeline of expectations for my life, full of societal benchmarks. I would get down on myself if I didn’t achieve a benchmark based on my mental timeline. It would cause stress and a feeling of lack of control. It wasn’t until I let life happen, gave energy to being happy and getting to know who I am rather than who I am supposed to be with, did I feel truly free. I have gotten to know myself, my interests, and released the control reigns.
- Why is self love an important part of being a modern day woman?
It is the core of life. You need to love yourself before you let anyone else love you because you dictate the standards in which you must be loved. If you have no standards, you will accept anything and that is where pain seeps in. You are the captain of your own ship. You determine what love means to you and how you are willing to give and receive it.
- If you could have a lunch date with any woman on the planet, who would it be?
Oprah, I just want to pick her brain!
- How can anyone reading this keep up with you and what you’re doing in the future?
My main wave of connection is Instagram at the moment. My main mission in life is to inspire and empower women to be their best self and to become 1% better than who they were yesterday! I would love to connect with you and hear your stories and thoughts! Find me at @elle_deal.
Bonus: What is one question you have for me?
Describe a moment that you felt glowing, like pure happiness, almost an out of body glimpse of joy.
I think the happiest moment I have ever had so far is the moment I received the letter stating that my visa had been approved for moving to England and officially starting my life with Harry over here. I will never forget that day. My mom and I waited in the living room the entire day and knew the package with the decision was coming but didn’t know what it said. When the UPS truck arrived outside, I nearly collapsed in my mom’s arms. When I opened the letter and read “Your visa application has been accepted!” The happy tears instantly started flowing because it was something that was causing me so much stress and heartache for so long. That silly piece of paper meant that I could start my new adventure with my man and I couldn’t have been happier. I’m sure you felt similar Lauren, when you just got your good news of being hired for your new career as a TV host! I’m so proud of you!
I have had more than a few heart to hearts with my dear friend, Lauren and every time we hang out I am reminded the incredible power of having positive people in your life. The last time I visited Lauren in October she was going through immense changes in her life and I knew the Universe sent me there to be there for her. I’ve actually had this interview (along with a few others still to come) waiting to be published and I felt like this was a perfect time to celebrate you, Lauren at the beginning of such a big new chapter of your life.
I’m so excited for your next adventure, Lauren and you constantly inspire me to SHINE my light as bright as possible. I am lucky to be your business partner, friend, fellow people loving, high vibing cheerleader and I can’t wait until the next time we can take on the world together and take 784 photos in one day. You are a light in my life and a light for so many others. I know this is just the beginning of the ripple effect you will have on the world. Keep SHINING, Lauren! You are the very best lighthouse.