Indie sits down with influencer and skincare guru Michael Ahmad to talk about his clean living journey, handling adversity and Michael's passion for orchids (the reason why he loves them is so inspiring).
Welcome to coming clean with indie lee a podcast series about living with passion, acting with purpose and being fully present. I'm your host, Indie Lee and on today's episode, I am so excited I get to interview Michael Ahmed beauty educator, digital creator and dear friend, Michael, I'm so excited to have you on the podcast. Thank you so much Indie. So excited to be here. I'm actually really excited about this. I am really nervous because this is the first time I've done this via up as I drop everything all over the place done this via FaceTime, but you know, difficult times calls for you know, trying to wing it and figure this out differently. Yeah, what a great time to connect to I know how are you doing with this new pandemic and being
Kind of sequestered.
I hate the term, social distancing. I am now using it physical distancing, because we shouldn't be socially distancing. Yeah, absolutely, we should be socially connected.
It's, you know, it's interesting. It's not a linear progression, this process of and this pandemic, I think some days are up, some days are down.
I really, it's really revealing the cracks. And I think our collective social masks. I think a lot of us conflate our identities with our routines, and so to be taken away from those routines feels incredibly destabilizing. And I think it implies larger conversations about identity. So it's kind of interesting having to reconnect to who we are when we're stripped away from all of our, you know, our defense mechanisms or coping tools. So it's kind of interesting. Yeah, they call this like the great pause. And I couldn't agree with that more. I mean, this is really a time for us to pause and figure out who we want to be. Go.
Going forward. And I think in experiences like this, we get to recreate who we want to be going forward and what we want our life to look like going forward. I was saying the other day on mindful Monday, I realized I needed, you know, an air quotes so much and truly wasn't a need. It was just a want. And what I need is very different. For me, it's kind of getting back to my roots. Also, I've been spending a lot of time in the greenhouse doing a lot more meditating. I'm not exercising, and I'm making excuses for it. And I'm allowing myself to make excuses for it. But that stops today. Like I've, I'm not feeling as good as I should be physically. And I'm like, you know what, because I have to move. Yeah, I've been watching, you know, you do it. You're like, every day you're inspiring about this. But you know, but I think it's important to demystify it because I don't want to do it every day. It is it's habitual. It's the behavior that I've gotten into the rhythm of and I know that my body relies
I find it it's one of the few controllables that I have in this environment.
And, you know, cortisol is the chemical response in our body that we don't physically exert it. It kind of poisons us. So I know that I'm not my best when I am being poisoned, so I have to just handle it. Alright, so I guess it's time for me to cut back on to the
performer. Okay, the biggest paperweight that I have in the house because I haven't gotten my God. No, I know, please, I had a choice of do I want to pull out his reformer, do I want like a infrared sauna? And I said, Oh, I'm gonna get into great shape. So I decided to get the
hashtag. I can't even believe it. So you know, it's interesting. I realized today, you know, the day we actually quote unquote, met or was connected. We're connected. Was it today? Nope.
When was it? It was on your wedding day.
Oh, my gosh, that's so true. Ah, that's right.
Is that nuts? No, that's so that is so not. It's interesting because I always tell the story of how we connect it to people because I think it's so charming, but I, I guess I never put two and two together that it was the actual day of my wedding. It was so I for those listeners out there, I was visiting Nordstrom. And it was in Colorado, right? Yes. And yeah, it was in park meadows. And I went and just kind of go to all the nordstroms I tried to meet the team there because they really are the feet on the ground boots on the ground when we're not in the store. And so I love to meet everybody. And so I got there and they said, Oh my God. You know, Michael is so upset because he's not here today. But he really loves your products and he really wanted to meet you. But he's getting married, like, well, that's a good reason for him, not to me.
I was like, well, they're like, Well, you could FaceTime me. I'm like, Why? It's his wedding day. They're like, No, no, no, no, it's fine. So I don't remember if I actually recorded a video or we facetimed but it was on your wedding.
Yeah, I remember you actually did both. I got a FaceTime from one of the other managers at Park meadows. I didn't realize you were on the other line, I obviously wasn't able to answer. And then you followed me on Instagram and sent me a video. And that's how we connected. And now look at us. I know but it was I lost my mind because at the time I was an assistant department manager in Nordstrom. I was infatuated with the entire line, I had been really embracing my clean beauty conversion.
I fell in love with the entire line and I was telling everyone about it. I got everyone in the department to rally around it. So when I found out that you were going to be there and I couldn't meet you, I lost my mind. I was thought that that was such a treat. And look, you know, it all ended really well because as a result, we've actually become good friends. Yeah, it's that's what I love about social media and what I'm doing and going into stores as you make these incredible relationships, that you probably never would have had that connection.
before and it allows you to stay connected to them in ways that well, when I was young was not possible because there was no internet because I'm old. But
But, I mean, we are able to stay connected, whether it's via texting or you know, chatting back and forth on comments. But then when we're in a city where we know each other, you know, is going to be there, we make it a point to meet up. So we don't skip a beat. It's, it's kind of cool. I think it's, I actually think it's quite beautiful. And you think when you really put it together and you say how people meet these days, and the relationships that you can make that are deep bonding relationships. And they're really first developed over social media.
Yeah, I mean, it's remarkable this tool can be it's a tool that can be distancing but it's also a tool that can bring incredible intimacy between people, which I think is so lovely. It's all about how you use it. And to your credit, nd it's a it's a very unique practice that you engage
So regularly with your community directly, I mean, you're the one who's answering the messages, you're the one who is connecting with everyone. So I think that our meeting is very serendipitous and beautiful. But it's also a testament to the fact that you're on the ground doing the work, you're meeting people, you're, you're filtering the feedback you are connecting. And I think that's so special. Thank you. I love what I do. And you know that I mean, this is so much more than products on a shelf for me, and I think that's true for I would, I would say a large portion like significantly majority of those in the clean space is this was done for a very different reason. It wasn't products on a shelf, it was to create change, and to create community and I'm lucky to be in I'm really lucky to be in it. So tell me how did you get into this? And this being the beauty space like and then how you became the bearded Beauty Bible, so which is his Instagram handle, which I will give you at the end it will be in show notes, but you have to follow him. Not only for
His education, but his positivity and oh my God, His like, he doesn't even mean it. But his comedy is fantastic. Like it's so spot on. But how did how did you get into this?
You know, it was, it was a very odd journey, and I kind of landed in the beauty space.
My backstory is I when I was really, really young, I started off as a professional stage actor when I was around what? Yeah, I was, yeah, that's what I did as a child I my very first mainstage production I was Timmy and Timmy the tooth. It was
a very strange backstory. But I started off kind of as an actor.
That's what I eventually pursued my degree in education at the University of San Diego. But when I was around 1718, I started modeling, and of course, through the process of, you know, meeting people and doing things, I got a lot of exposure to different beauty products and different beauty practices, which I thought were kind of interesting.
When I was 2000, I don't even know how old I was. I started a pop music alter ego. So I released two studio albums. I did that. And that also turned me into
loving this podcast already. It's I mean, it's a really bizarre, complex narrative. But through all of these creative endeavors, and through working in music, and through working in modeling and stage, I, there are so many discourses about beauty there are so many specific practices, so many levers that people like to pull, misinformation, good information. And after doing that, for years and years, you know, I wanted to take a step back from the industry because I was feeling like it wasn't healthy. So I said, you know, I'm gonna take all of this information that I've gleaned over these various lifetimes and these various things and try to mobilize them and give people a way to properly navigate beauty more effective way.
So really, that was where beautiful bearded Beauty Bible came from. It was intended to kind of leverage
All those learnings from all of those different industries and share them with people so that they could make more informed choices of consumers.
And that's Yeah, that's kind of how it was born. I was working at Nordstrom at the time. And that kind of exposure is really interesting. When I was working at Nordstrom, I developed really aggressive cystic acne, which was, I had had perfect skin my whole life. I didn't know where it came from. And it took me a long time to connect the fact that when you are in the beauty space, and you're constantly bombarded with samples and new products, and unregulated toxins in those products, your skin reacts a very unique way. And it took about two and a half years for the cystic acne to resolve because they didn't know what was causing it.
And I think the humbling and sad reality is so many people say well, what is it that I need to use to fix my skin? What is it that I need to use to fix everything all the time, like they think there's a magic pill or there's that one ingredient and they forget that
Every body is completely different. So what's going to be for you? It's not gonna be the same for me. Yeah, no, keep going. This is cool.
Absolutely, I think it's, it's peculiar because people want that magic pill. But at the same time, it's so often not what you need to be using. It's what you need to just continue from use. Once you remove the barrage of toxins, your skin heals.
And that's where my clean beauty awakening was. Interesting. Our ad tech counter manager at the time Her name was Ashley kept encouraging me to use this specific face oil. And I resisted it and I was like, I don't know, natural beauty isn't I don't need an essential oil, Honey, what I need is like some aggressive, something to get rid of.
So I kind of thought it was a joke at the time. But as soon as I switched over to using that product, my skin of the cyst went away within a month and a half. And then my skin completely resolved within three months. And that was the turning point. For me. That was when I was like, Oh my gosh, I've been causing this problem in my attempts to resolve it.
So yeah, just that paired with the backstory of experiencing all of these different subsets of beauty made me just really want to
offer resources to support and help people. And you are I mean, for those of you who don't follow Michael, which you need does, again, another huge plug in it isn't a plug in because you do these one minute reviews, which I didn't think it was possible to talk that fast and get that much education in one minute. But you break it down in a way that everybody can understand and it's sort of like that. Oh, okay. Yep. Okay, that's what I need or that's not what I need that. How did you start even that like, and how long does it take you to film each one I just need
what I started doing one minute reviews because I just wanted to meet the public where they are, which is right now we're a little bit add. We're impatient, and we want the information. We want it fast.
So I, that's how it was working with consumers to you know, people want to, they want to know exactly what a product does, why they should buy it and they want to be able to get that information as quickly as possible. So I just started filming these one minute reviews to convey it as concisely as possible.
And they you know, sometimes they come very easily it'll take me one or two takes to nail it. And then there are times where I'll pick me and maybe 6070 tries
mindful Mondays I'm like, oh, and I like channel your inner Michael channel your inner Michael stout done and Nope, click because I have this impression and I make this up in my head. You know, in the absence of information we make it up that you get it done in like two takes.
Well, I wish that was the case. A lot more if that were true.
Oh my gosh. And by the way, so true. Just a side note on the cystic acne. I had it like it was incredible. couldn't touch my face for years for years.
Then I went to using one oil and my my cystic acne completely changed and like the end people like oh you know if you have acne you shouldn't be using and couldn't be farther from the truth it's not using the right oil as you know and making sure it's noncomedogenic but it was it was just like that and I've never gone back so yeah I'm so with you on that. So your online presence focuses a lot on the 360 approach to wellness right you're you're talking fitness, you're talking self care, you're talking music like things, you know, just rants which by the way to me is an approach to wellness to because you're letting off steam or you're expressing yourself and you're enjoying yourself so to me that is a form of wellness as as having a drink with friends every once in a while. how all those aspects like are like those are all very independent thoughts, right? So you have your most comedy things when you're joking about your rants, what you would say to just
you know, your wellness and then you show us your Tarot
cards which I really want to read in one day, that's a plug. Hopefully he'll say yes. And then you're showing beauty. So it's all over. But but they're so independent. Right? How did that awakening happen for you that you're going to bring all of that onto your channel? And when I say channel, you pretty much live on Instagram. Yeah,
I would say,
discovering the connectivity and the reliance of each of those elements came from failing miserably at each one independently.
I do think, you know, you can't really address your the quality of your skin without addressing your nutrition and you can't address your nutrition without discussing your fitness. You can't. You can't address your fitness if you have low spirits and no energy to do it. So you really have to address kind of the internal dialogue with yourself.
If you try to address one piece of this beautiful, interdependent, cyclical puzzle, and you'll never you'll never arrive where you're trying to
Go. So I think it's important to really find the connective tissue between those things. They seem so disparate. And I do think that they're presented as such independent, mutually exclusive concepts, but they are all intimately tied and linked. Yeah, I mean, I completely relate because I think that just like for me, the brand has been about lifestyle for you. This is about lifestyle and lifestyle isn't just one thing. You're not just a fitness influencer. You're not just this, you're all things. And I don't think anybody is just one thing. You just have done such a wonderful job of showing all of it to everybody on a very authentic way and sharing who you are and being vulnerable to when you're frustrated with something. Because I know listen, you and I both have had people saying not some nice things. Sometimes people get very heated and you address it in a way that thank you for this but no, yeah, and
you disarm people too, but you don't
Even though you do an idiot rants because I just love your rants, like that's my favorite thing. I'm like, oh my gosh.
Like, and our team like, Okay, he's just going on a rant, you got to watch this, but you're doing a disarming way that is not attacking, but it's like, Hey, listen, this is who I am. This is why I'm doing if you don't want to follow me, Don't follow me. This is why I'm passionate. And it comes across actually loving in some sense to. So like, kudos to you, Michael, for being able to do that, because it's hard.
Yeah, you know, it's easier some days than others. You know, people can oftentimes be
I don't know, sometimes the feedback isn't constructive. And it's not offered to have a conversation. But yeah, I think it's important. If you if you're not going to stand behind what you say, 100% if you're not going to really feel vindicated and strongly about the content you're creating and the message that you're conveying. I just don't think that there's really a point in saying it, so it's, it's okay.
If I had a button right now, I would be hitting it. I probably is somewhere on this bar board I'm using I should probably label it. But hell yes.
Yeah, yes. take a stance. And it's hard as a brand. It is hard. Like as, as I'm a boy, I can imagine. Yeah, to really be very careful. But I'm passionate about what I'm doing. I think that's part of, you know, that's part of what this podcast is all about your passion. And I'm passionate about empowering others. And I, I maybe it's my Libra side that I see so many different sides to it. Like and of course my people pleaser person as well. But it is it's don't say something unless you feel strongly about it. And I'm also about if you have nothing nice to say don't say it.
Yeah, like, it's like, you know, that that book by Robert Fulghum, you know everything I need to know he learned in Kindle
garden. It's so true if we got back to that basics, boy, wouldn't Instagram be a much happier place. But how do you handle? Like, when you get that strong post or you're hit something in terms of adversity, adversity? How do you handle it?
Well, I think
I think the first stage in that process is really assessing what's being said.
Sometimes people can have a gruff demeanor about them, but have the best intentions. So you can always
you can always tell if
a conversation is being started or if a comment is being made because someone lacks clarity because they are seeking to discuss and even if it's not aligned with my perspective, especially if it's not aligned with my perspective, I will engage with and value every opportunity to converse. However, there are oftentimes people whose again, objective is not to engage in conversation is to demean
The little attack. And when I've assessed that, that is someone's starting point, that's the jumping off point for negotiation, then there is no negotiation, I will not engage, I will not indulge that behavior because nothing good stands to come of it. And I mean, this is it's a learned behavior. I've learned to not do that. Because in instances where I have, it leads you down a rabbit hole into nowhere and it ends up kind of evoking not the best part of yourself because you're positioned in a way where you feel defensive and you feel angry, and how could somebody, why would they? And it takes you to a place where, you know, not the best of who you are. No, don't do it. And for me
when someone does that, my because I'm a people pleaser. I want to I take it personally, like for me, it's like a personal attack. Oh my god, I hurt them. What do they do wrong? How am I going to make them like me again, and as a brand and as somebody
who's out there in the public? And people don't really know this. I mean, you and I've had the conversation. I'm very shy, even though my persona is out there, but I actually am an extroverted introvert.
I take it well, how do I fix it? How am I going to make it better for them. And what I realized and over time is that this is really has nothing to do. It has nothing to do with me. This is just them pushing their agenda on something they saw or something that I might have triggered or they're just having a bad day and they might not like my shirt. And you know, they're gonna they're gonna comment. Yeah. But you've done such a great job with it, because I know you've gotten a lot of it.
And I just think you've done such a beautiful job and the way you handling it, or Thank you so much. And I do think it's important to something you just said about like, what did what did I do wrong? What did I do to hurt them? I think it's such a beautiful and unique impulse for people to look
work when these things happen, you know to say what could I have done differently? Is there a possibility that I stepped out of line? Let me let me come through what I've said and see if I said anything inflammatory or potentially hurtful.
But when I find myself spiraling through that process, is it interesting to say, Okay, if the other person was looking inward this much what they have ever written such a nasty, hateful comments, would they have ever sent me a personal message? And the answer is no. So we can stop looking inward if they're not doing good.
Thank you. Everybody is taking notes on this because that's so true. That is so true. And
yeah, I need to look at that a little bit more. I'm lucky I'm really knock on wood. I do not get a lot of hate. I don't know. I'm hopefully this is not that inviting for people to choose that and maybe it's just because I put it out to the universe, but I don't. But when I do, I take it so personally, and I go write down exactly what I said. And I never you know, I have to look at that. A little
I'm gonna be putting like notes for myself. Go back to minute this on my podcast with Mike. Because I really it's hard in the moment you we have that neat gut reaction too. So a little something that some people don't know is you are actually the education executive for one of the world's leading cleaning brands, one that I absolutely love
or before but now just called herbivore right?
Because I always see it and I'm like it's just as herbivore thing. So herbivore botanicals which,
you know, I think Alex and Julia are two very special human beings and I have so much respect for them and so much respect for the brand. And it's one of the brands that I also have on my vanity too. And I love and I love buying it because it makes me happy to buy and support other brands. So how did you go from where you were right? So it
Were you were truly educating in terms of being, you know, at Nordstrom to now, you know, education executive. Yeah. You know,
I was working at Nordstrom I was getting again, I was in the process of my clean beauty awakening, fell in love with indie I fell in love with herbivore. And I started creating a lot of content around it. And I did a full brand product review from herbivore.
And it was peculiar because we had a brand rep in the store who worked for a different company that kind of vanished from our store. I had no idea where they had gone
and then I discovered later that they became the hiring manager at herbivore but before I knew that, I saw the posting on Instagram, I applied for the job.
And he's the one who ended up reaching out to me he was like a funny story. I know. It's crazy. He was like, how such a small world how funny that I'm now the hiring manager for herbivore.
So he actually saw my product review video. He showed it to the founders.
And then I connected, interviewed and secured the position, which is awesome. I started off as the education executive and then I am now the National Education Manager, which is really exciting. That's incredible. That's incredible. Yeah. So lucky to have you. So lucky to have you. And listen, and I know you feel lucky to have them too, because like our brand,
I get the sense and this is just a sense that they are they also feel like their team is their family.
Absolutely. Alex and Julia are really remarkable. They're their methodologies, the process of creation, everything they do is, it feels like a family and a community of artists.
It is wonderful to feel valued every day. It is wonderful to ethically stand behind what we're doing.
And I think you can empathize and understand this better than most people.
Oftentimes in the beauty space, people will use humanity as a marketing tactic. They do the right thing now.
Because it's the right thing to do, but because it's gonna look really good on a billboard somewhere.
Yeah, but having the interface with Alex and Julia and being able to work side by side with them. It's so beautiful to know that they they care. And the remarkable thing is
people don't even see half of what they do, because they're not doing it to glean any sort of about the industry or generate appearances. They're doing it because it's the right thing to do, which I think is so beautiful. No, well, that's why I love the brand. And that's when I saw that when you went to him like that was a really smart hire. That was her crane. And I saw you and I was like, that is so perfectly matched. So perfectly matched, because I do get the sense from from you know, obviously I've met them and spoken with them and been on panels with Alex. They're also a little bit like us, I would say probably more or less more.
As a very well well, like you and I both are what most people are starting to get that from me but I'm pretty freakin blue I'm a Buddhist I've been practicing Buddhists for over 20 years
I love that they I mean it's it's not like it's not on brand for my brand but that's not a tenant of our brand whereas I do feel that it is a tenant to theirs with crystals and how they're bringing it in. So I think it's so cool to watch that unfold and see as they bring out products, you know, they're talking about the crystals and powers of the crystals and to me it speaks to me because I have a I have right over there you can see it but a dish of crystals. I have my office just like I paint plants throughout my office.
And I think right now that's what people need. I think more people letting their their whoo freak flag fly is important because I think that we have closeted it for a while.
Cuz we thought that you have to be a certain, you know, corporate stereotype. And that's not. That's, that doesn't I don't think that I think the paradigm is shifting.
Yeah, and it's beautiful to see it becoming more universally practiced because everyone, everyone's a little woowoo. And I don't know it's far be it from me or anyone really to,
I don't know, be disparaging towards something that gives someone strength or nourishes their spirit. It's like, whatever form it takes, whether it's a card, whether it's a crystal, whether it's little animal figurines, on your tchotchkes in your house, whatever inspires you and makes you feel better and more capable, by all means. practice that.
So how did you get into tarot cards? Because I have to ask because I'm gonna do a reading for me cuz
totally Well, okay, good. I'm actually reading
I've actually been reading Tarot since I was about 11.
It sounds so silly, but I was really into the original term theories. And I'm talking Shannen Doherty
you know, the original of seasons one through three. But I was really drawn to that realm. So I just wanted to start reading. And it's
it's interesting because
for me, it's a people like to really think, do you really think that spirits are drawing the cards and speaking to you? And
that's not really that question. Neither here nor there. For me. I think what it is, is
it's a focal point, it's a vessel, it's a way to focus energy. So whether there are spirits on the other side of some realm, pulling the cards for you to communicate, or whether it's all happenstance, but meaningful messages are being imparted and helping you make more constructive choices or be a better person. Who cares? You know, it's like that. Do crystals really vibrate or do you really think they make you but it's never
It's not here nor there. Do they make you better? And do they make you feel more empowered?
Is there a way through the phone because that's how like that's
the universe is always listening, right. And again, that's not saying that the universe is channeling and having you pulled that card either. But I do think it listens with intention. So when you pull various cards, or you have a mantra that you meditate to, or you have crystals, that you believe in that exact thing that focuses your mind to be present, and be mindful of that thought, and thoughts become belief.
And wave becomes reality. Whatever that reality looks like for you, that becomes your life. So I think that's I mean, that's what the law of attraction is about. I mean, and you can have that in every different religion, every different spiritual practice, but that's really what it is. It's being present and it's being mindful and
shifting your mindset to, to focus. Because I think, personally that we are so out there in terms of bombarded with so many different things, whether it's you know, our work life, it's our home life, it's what's on social, it's what's coming on the news, it's what you're watching, and we're so radiant in our thoughts out there. And we're not necessarily as focused as we can be. And I think it's when we have that focus where your true power lies. And that's when you can manifest things because you're focusing on you know, whether it's the universe's then bringing it or you're just seeing it because you're focused, who knows, you can call whatever you want, but i think that's that's what I've always thought tarot cards were about and is bringing focus into what you're seeing in your life and letting you see, oh, well that could mean that for me, and that's what how I'm going to interpret it.
Yeah, and it's interesting because I read for myself every single morning I have for years know that on social and I love that
it's interesting because the same messages when I when there's a lesson that needs to be learned when there is an obstacle that I'm going to face regularly. It is remarkable how concise and clear the universe's in articulating that to me, it does not mince words, it's
it's peculiar how clear the message is
and how, how loudly it will be reiterated until you hear it. So, again, whether that is me assigning meaning to the card because it's something I know it's an opportunity, or whether that is you know, a larger force or the universe revealing a message to me it's
it does definitely change the trajectory of my day. It changes how I interact with people, how I perceive the world around me, and I think that's
helpful. It's incredible.
Well, I agree. And I think that whether you're doing through playing tarot cards, or you're doing it through meditation, the universe is going to show you exactly what you need to see if you're willing to look at it, and you're willing to be present to it. And I think that's what these are, are. These are tools. Yeah, these are various different tools that we have in our, you know, little toolbox to use to help us stay focused, present, mindful, however you want to say throughout your day and throughout your life and stay consistent in that.
Absolutely. It's so interesting because I interact with a lot of different people who are like, I just, you know, I'm feeling down because I'm not getting what I want. And the logical progression of questions then is, well, what is it that you want? And they oftentimes struggle to answer the question. It's, it's all about AML. It's like taking a bow and arrow with your eyes closed and trying to hit a bull's eye if you whether you're using cards, whether you're using crystals, whatever tools are at your disposal, if you never take aim at the things that you want, if you don't take inventory of what you're
Dreams are what your goals are or what inspires or stimulates you. You can't expect it to manifest because you haven't really haven't really ever really or declared, yeah, you. You're not aiming at anything. So where are you gonna land? That's what I think you know this I had a vision board right when I first started the company, I had this huge vision board and I put on the retailers that I dreamt of one day having, and this was back when I was literally still doing it at farmer's markets. And I have actually accomplished every retailer on the vision board.
And it's incredible, and that's why I think it's such a powerful tool. Do I think because I, I printed logos and I made clippings that all the sudden, you know, the universe had this intergalactic shift? I don't know, maybe. But I think what it was is that I was fully focused on achieving a goal. I knew where I was aiming,
and I never let that out of my sight.
I did it in a very positive way.
And then I also relate to how it was going and realize, sometimes I have to go backwards to go forwards and realizing that that's part of the process too. That's okay. So tell me a little bit. I know we are because you're one of our first guests. In fact, you are my first guest.
Honor Well, I happen to think you're You are just a true beautiful soul, and very safe for me. And just very introspective and just just brilliant To be honest, as well. And I just love having conversations and I said, this is who I would love. But we're so we're developing like, you know, okay, what are the three things I want to ask at the end of every interview? So these are my three, right? I know, I forwarded them so because I don't want anybody ever to come like well, she's gonna ask me. But it goes with why we have this podcast right? Which is all about what I call the three P's passion, presence and purpose. So
What's your current inspiration for passion right now?
Oh gosh, it's gonna have to be
okay. Yes, yes, yes, yes. Okay for those who don't know I didn't know where I was gonna put this in Little known fact that Michael is an orchid influencer like he is he has a YouTube channel that's Michael's orchids it has over like, it's close to 69,000 subscribers. And some of his videos have millions and millions of viewers. So that is amazing. You're like orchid influencer whisperer. Yeah, it's
it's funny because it's like a it's a quiet part of my backstory. It's not something I really put on my business card, but it brings me the most joy. And I kind of wonder if that's why it brings me so much joy. It's not there's no pressure around it. It's my secret passion that I just do for my spiritual wellness now sorry.
But I think the
reason my orchids inspire me so much is
they are their little microcosms of humanity, it's really interesting to see how they behave and respond to certain situations. You know, when an orchid doesn't have the ideal conditions, it stops blooming, but it does invest in it, the vegetative growth, it put down more extensive roots because it says, you know, if I can't bloom right now, I'm going to do the foundational work to make sure that I have the energy to support to eventually be beautiful and really bloom in this wave.
All these beautiful attributes about myself. And it's interesting because
every morning after I do my reading, I kind of walk around and I miss my orchids and I check on them and look at their growth. It's,
it's incredibly reassuring, especially in this time, especially being an implied shelter, to see
them do the work and to see them actualized and to see them reach these incredible pinnacles of beauty to learn to appreciate them when they're not
Bloom it's um,
I don't know. It's like it's a beautiful metaphor, a constant reminder. They are just so so stunning and and there's something I do think that there's something to be said when you've been growing a plant for years. You get it to bloom. Very difficult plants. It's a feeling of some advocacy. No, I am not an orchid whisperer. I'll be honest with you.
In the greenhouse, I'm not so good at that. You know, I do find that people fall into you can totally learn it. People fall into schools of thought my husband Justin, he is very much the plant cultivator. He's great with growing gardens. He's great with all of those things, but I think he has more of a passion for it. For some reason, I just choose difficult plants.
It's the challenge. I think also, I do think that for you, okay, so now we know what your inspiration is, and you're passionate about what's giving you purpose right now.
Oh, goodness. Um, I think it's something that I said earlier in this podcast is regret.
What's giving me purpose right now is redefining my identity, independent of
tangible resources and routines and
personal connections. It's, this is a incredibly challenging time. But it's also an incredibly generative time because we are quite literally in an echo chamber with our own thoughts.
So I think what's giving me purpose right now what I'm really working on is
finding out who I am when I am not a gym goer, finding out who I am when I am not currently going.
Yeah. And that's a defense mechanism in a lot of ways. I think, who am I when I am not the National Education Manager, who am I when I am not the you know, all of the things that I do are not the things that I am. So it's really forcing me to take inventory of my personhood and say, Well, now that everything's gone, what's left And who is this and make peace with that?
I think that's given me the most personal purpose right now. And I think it's something that we're all facing and probably not saying, but I think we have the perfect time we were talking about this earlier, this is the perfect time to work on us and allowing the planet to work on itself.
We're seeing so much of that so much evidence of beauty out there. That hasn't happened in years because we're basically pot hitting the pause button on what we've been doing to the earth. So I love that. So I feel like we're all trying to figure out who we are. And then what does normal look like for us? Deep down. So then what are you practicing in order to stay more present in this?
that will be episode.
Absolutely. No, you know, I'm joking. But it's, I think what I'm practicing at the moment is really the art of imperfection. The Art of leaving things incomplete.
The Art of being periodically sloppy. I
was really, really true. Yeah, you know, it's interesting because I
I'm one of the people who fills my calendar. And then it's like, I just don't have time to breathe. I feel overwhelmed. But it's, it's a product of my own creation and it's, it's been this way forever, you know. And you always say to yourself, okay, once I finish this thing, and once I check this off my to do list, then that'll be the time I breathe. But the reality is, is
I still seldom allow myself to breathe because there's always going to be something you have to add to your to do list. Once you check something off, something else is going to take its place. So when I say practicing the art of imperfection, the art of leaving things in complete, I mean, really being at peace with the fact that the work is never going to be done. And you should just take a moment. Breathe. Have a drink,
watch a TV show, watch a movie with your husband.
You know, yeah, it doesn't always have to be intense forward momentum. And while that is incredibly admirable, you have to, you have to temper that with something that's a little bit more inactive.
It's challenged and challenging for myself too. It's hard. I have used the word defense mechanism a lot during this interview for some reason, but I do think that we hide behind buisiness oftentimes, we, we don't still know. And it's the people that struggle to be still that really, really needed the most. And I will say, this is a takeaway for maybe people like you, and I do think it's important to customize the message because, you know, I, I love the word, self care. I do. I think that those are phenomenal. And I think that they're all very important. But it's interesting when you see people who are incredibly inactive and who struggle to manifest the things that they want their life say, Well, I'm doing self care, it's like, well, that's great. You should continue to invest in self care, but maybe find more intensity, find more momentum.
A little bit more urgency in your world. So Brian, maybe we need to calm down but maybe brothers No, no apcera yet there's there's some, there's some balance here and you have to have a little bit of both. And because I think you and I are so similar and going, going, going going What's next? What's next? What's next? It's really hard to slow down. The hardest times for me there's a reason why Monday is greater than Friday for me, you know the saying for me, Monday's my favorite day of the week. I don't love weekends. I love weekdays because I love my team. I love the activity. I love that anything and everything is possible. And by Friday, I'm like sad if there's like a true level of depression because it kind of stops. And I don't know what to do with that. Because I don't feel I'm as productive and I do think this time has allowed me to to take stock of that and think why. Why is that? I've also had to learn to be okay with other people where other people in are in this and by that I mean my family. So my 20 year old son is home from college.
Because, you know, they basically said, okay, your online learning so we he drove home from Colorado, and he's not as neat as I am. That's all I'm going to say.
So there's that and you know, he's on a completely different circadian rhythm to So, dude, what are you doing waking up at two? And I have to get used to that and I can't force my agenda on him. And you know, same thing with Emily and that, you know, then I've got the little one Samira was like, okay, you know, she comes into my office at nine in the morning. Okay, can you put me up on Skype? And what's my teacher one I'm like, Oh, my God, you know, so I think it's figuring out how also to live in that right now. with there being so many different personalities in my house. Wow.
Yeah, it's but you know, I do think that it's happening for a reason. I think there's a universal agenda at work one I don't know yet, but I think we're gonna find out soon.
And it's you know, it's interesting because I do I recognize that this is an incredibly challenging time for people tactically, you know, just in terms of survival. And one of the things that I've been hearing from some of my friends,
some of my family is like, it just feels like I'm being I feel like I'm being punished. It feels like, you know, this is, this is so much to bear right now. I do think that there's something to be said about the fact that
you're being lovingly redirected by the universe, even your worst case scenario does not mean you're being punished. If the thing that you fear the most comes to fruition, it's because you're being gently nudged to maximize your potential in a different way. I really believe that in my heart, so I do think it's important to in the middle of this very destabilizing and scary and oftentimes uncomfortable time to take back to take stock of the fact that the universe is always trying to maximize our potential and that one way or another, we're gonna be okay. Yeah, I do. And I and you know, I think that
The hard part for people is they feel that they don't have any control. And the truth is we do have so much control, because you ultimately you have control of how you think and what you do.
And, you know, and I think that from that incredible things can happen to and even from being just in your home. I mean, look, I created this in my kitchen, this business in a time of, you know, a complete uncertainty for me. And I think that there are a lot of lessons to be learned from this. But I do think it's also very difficult when you're being told you can't do something. And I agree it's there's so much uncertainty financially for for people. And I also know that like you, I'm very blessed. I have a house that safe. Not everybody has that. Yeah. And that that can be very, I can't even imagine and so I am learning to be so even though I say I'm blessed to really count my blessings and really think about what that means that I it is a pretty
Have alleged to have a house that I can shelter in place with. It is a privilege to have food that I can eat and keep my kids safe.
And so what I'm trying to figure out is how to how what will be a way for me to help those who don't.
So that's what I've kind of been thinking about lately, too. Well, sir, I've loved this. I have fun. I had so much fun. It's always fun to do. So thank you. So tell the everybody who's listened to I now know is in love with you just as much as I am. Where should they find you? How can they find you? What's the best way to interact, etc.
I tend to be the most present on Instagram, which is at the bearded Beauty Bible. You can follow me on YouTube, which is youtube.com slash the bearded Beauty Bible.
And yeah, and if you're interested in my orchids at Michael's orchids, I'll make sure all that stuff
The show notes Michael, thank you so much. I loved having you. We'd be I love being here and I love you so much. So thanks for listening to Episode Three of coming clean with indie lay. If you enjoyed this episode, please give us a five star rating. Of course leave any comments and reviews that you have. And subscribe to us on whatever platform you listen to your podcasts and if you have any suggestions for upcoming guests or questions for me, you can write to me at coming clean at indie lead calm again that's coming clean at indie lead calm. Look forward to talking to you next time on coming clean with indie Lee
Transcribed by https://otter.ai