How to look good naked: author interview
Sometimes people get in touch with me and ask me to review their books on my blog and, you know, being a writer and all, I really do want to say yes, but then I look at their book and I think 'hmm, 6 Easy Ways to Improve Your Digestion?* This isn't really a good fit ...' and I have to say no thank you very much.
But that's not the case with this book. How To Look Good Naked: Exposing Yourself to the Real You is funny, real, well-written and timely. (Plus the authors have been influenced by Brene Brown, who I think no-one can really be influenced enough by.)
What is Ignite Your Truth?
J: It really is a passion project for Courtney and I. When we met and discovered just how much our life goals were in alignment, we immediately jumped to "why aren't we doing this together?". So, we combined our strengths that balance each other out well and launched this movement to bring women into the truth of who they really are and that our past does not define us. Our long term goals really envelop changing the whole world through truth.
C: Our company is all about authenticity. Getting real, and being bold in our passions and in who we innately are. We do weekly podcasts, blogs, have an online community, speaking events, women's retreats, and of course the start of our new book series, "Not So Lady Talk" which begins with "How To Look Good Naked: Exposing Yourself to the Real You."
What inspired you to start the series titled, "Not so lady talk? And to write the first book in the series, "How To Look Good Naked?"
J: Courtney and I talk all day long online through instant messaging. We share ideas, random thoughts to work out, you know...like all best friends and business partners do I'm sure. One day we kept trying to define why we want to do things differently. I had come across a blog talking about why women's groups are so boring; the sharing of recipes, crafts and the light conversation of "lady talk" doesn't interest our generation. The term "lady talk" stuck with us and led us to give birth to the series concept. We encourage everyone into authenticity and that requires us to have some not so lady like conversations. So, to take the series and develop the tough conversations we all need to have and remove the filter to get to the real stuff.
C: This book is really an exposing of our true selves and the journey's we have taken to getting to the truth of who we are. It's not always pretty, and it's very humbling. However, we wanted to be transparent in that journey so that other women would see and believe that they are not alone, they have grand purpose, and are unique and empowered.
What is next in the Not So Lady Talk Series and in the direction for Ignite Your Truth?
J: I'll let Courtney answer on the what's next. As for our direction, I think we are still really wanting to strengthen the community we are building first and foremost. But, we both definitely are excited about the speaking engagements that are ramping up in 2014; including the first Ignite Your Truth retreat in the spring. We want to redefine for our generation what women's retreats, conferences, groups, outreach...whatever you want to call it...looks like.
C: Our next book is going to be a 15 day Relationship Detox book. In our outreach we have been overwhelmed in the past few weeks with women who are struggling in their relationships. Jen and I decided that it's extremely important to us to listen to our followers and to focus on their needs and this is definitely a need right now. Women who are struggling with their relationships and searching for answers will find a place of understanding and hopefully our stories and lessons will resonate hope with them.
What makes your message of self discovery unique, considering how many self-help books are available in today's market?
J: I think for one, we don't play around. If you ever have a conversation with Courtney or myself, you will quickly learn that we get to the heart of the matter fast. We so fully believe in everyone's value that we don't want to waste one more second of that person knowing just how valuable and loved they are. The other distinct difference in our books or speaking is our transparency. We bring our very personal stories into the mix so people can engage and relate quickly. When someone can make the emotional connection to your story, it gives them hope that the process can work for them too. We have walked out all of the things we talk about. We have lived the examples. It is not text book or theory; it is survival guide built around actual events.
How did the two of you overcome some of the issues that your book covers, for instance, what inspired you to begin to break through the layers of roles and labels in your own life?
J: For me, it was either give up and die because life sucked that badly. Or, press on for the sake of my family. My inspiration came through my faith that I have a Creator that doesn't hold my mistakes against me. I had to go back and address all of the guilt and shame in my life and the root issues for my poor choices. I had to own my story including the things that are embarrassing and hurtful. Forgiveness was a major factor in overcoming my situation and nothing short of accepting a lifestyle of Grace was going to do it.
C: I second that. There was a time in my life where giving up was an option. It took several years of hard work to overcome a lot of the issues I'd never had the courage to face about myself and my past. This book is the raw truth of those years, and I share it in the hope that other women who are considering giving up will know that they aren't alone and there is a way up and out.
You tell several personal stories in your book and state that everyone has a story and that story matters. Can you explain that?
J: A lot of times we want to run from our stories because we carry guilt or shame with them. We need to encourage each other to embrace our stories and that we are the author's of the chapter's yet to be written. Our past gives us a rich history to draw from that can encourage others and provide us with new tools and skills. Our stories serve others and builds communities of change. There is freedom in owning your story...it cripples fear and returns the power to you.
Your book is faith based, do you think that women who may not have the same beliefs as you will still get something from the content?
J: Absolutely. My truth rests solely in God and the message of Love and Grace. Not religion. So while I operate from that truth for myself; I can still share the universal message of love and forgiveness for all mankind. While Courtney and I have a few moments where we put it all out there...we do take care to use words that remain open to universal truths. At the end of the day, truth is truth. And the light of love, forgiveness and acceptance will break through any darkness in life. The tools we provide others to walk through their journey's with are practical, proven exercises or affirmations.
Check out Jen and Courtney's latest podcast here:
*this is not an actual book... but it is indicative of some of the titles I've refused.