Episode 22

full
Published on:

1st Feb 2022

Self-Love and Second-Guessing Society's Definition of Success // with Lacey C. Clark!

In this episode, writer, cultural producer, storyteller and empowerment speaker, Lacey C. Clark!, shares her story, why empowering girls is important to her, and how we can help our daughters feel empowered through their teen years and beyond.

Lacey discusses:

  • How to ignite the spark of self-love 
  • Focusing and celebrating strengths
  • How to shift from comparison thinking
  • Her biggest piece of advice for parents
  • And more!

To learn more about Lacey C. Clark! and her work, visit www.phenomenally-u.com, or follow @laceycclark on Instagram.

Other references:

  • Episode 7 of Know Them, Be Them, Raise Them:  “10 Phrases to Empower Your Daughter” by Wendy Snyder of A Fresh Start Family, which talks about focusing on one thing that your daughter can celebrate, as a step towards feeling more confident

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Transcript
Lacey C. Clark:

Success, beauty, love, et cetera, can be what you own.

Lacey C. Clark:

Define for yourself what these things mean and own it.

Lacey C. Clark:

And that's what self love or phenomenality is.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

hello all, welcome to Know Them, Be Them, Raise Them.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

A show to help busy, mindful growth-oriented moms stay informed

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and inspired as they navigate their daughters tween and teen years.

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I'm your host Carmelita Tiu.

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Join me each week to hear from experts, authors, therapists,

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coaches, moms who've been there.

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And I'll read a curated selection of articles with the

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author's permission, of course.

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Most episodes run about 20 minutes or less.

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Be sure to follow or subscribe and follow @knowberaisethem on Instagram.

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So my guest this week is Lacey C Clark.

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A writer, storyteller, cultural producer, empowerment speaker and

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world traveler also known as a Ms.

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Phenomenal, everywhere.

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With wisdom, grace and passion, Lacey inspires women of all

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ages, including tween and teen girls to stay true to themselves.

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Her beliefs in self-love and empowerment are reflected in her thriving brands.

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Phenomenally you phenomenal everywhere.

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And a Sisters' Sanctuary.

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Collectively the brands impact the world by providing inspirational messages,

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laced with self-esteem boosting content.

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Lacey has a program specifically tailored to college bound teen

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girls called Phenomenally you.

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It's eight s empowerment system highlights several areas to discuss

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with girls, to help them navigate life in college and beyond.

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Even though it'll be several years before my daughters reach that point,

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I found Lacey's personal story and insights to be engaging and helpful.

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And I think you will too.

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Here's our conversation.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

So let's jump right in.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

What got you started on the path of focusing on young women's empowerment.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

I'd love to hear a little of the backstory.

Lacey C. Clark:

Sure.

Lacey C. Clark:

So,

Lacey C. Clark:

my journey as a young woman was me being inundated with images from media that

Lacey C. Clark:

made me feel insecure and inferior.

Lacey C. Clark:

Like I couldn't ever live up to what they were saying I should be.

Lacey C. Clark:

I had the media that was so impactful in my life as a young person growing up.

Lacey C. Clark:

And that was really influential on me questioning what does it really mean to

Lacey C. Clark:

be, you know, a "it" woman and as I was consuming the media specifically media

Lacey C. Clark:

that was highly sexualized for women.

Lacey C. Clark:

I was trying to figure out what, where do I fit?

Lacey C. Clark:

Because I never really kind of had this sexy model type.

Lacey C. Clark:

That wasn't really my thing.

Lacey C. Clark:

You know what I mean?

Lacey C. Clark:

I was like, oh my gosh,

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yes, I have to jump in and say, not seeing someone

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that looks like someone you want to be.

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That's really, uh, it's a little bit of a mind bender.

Lacey C. Clark:

I realized as I evolved and became more of who I, who I was to

Lacey C. Clark:

become, it was really about me finding my own voice and my own presence and my

Lacey C. Clark:

own stance . I realized that not only had I struggled, but people who come up

Lacey C. Clark:

after me struggle with the same concepts.

Lacey C. Clark:

And so I wanted to create a place where young women can cultivate self love.

Lacey C. Clark:

It was really about creating a sanctuary from all the negativity and

Lacey C. Clark:

the negative words and the things that people say about women and young women.

Lacey C. Clark:

So that's what I, that's the journey of how and why started.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

You know, what's wonderful is that you

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had these feelings of insecurity and not knowing how you fit in.

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And then somehow were able to overcome those feelings and then go on from there

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to, um, want to help others who are experiencing similar issues or challenges.

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So, how did you overcome those low self-esteem feelings and

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depression or insecurities

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? Lacey C. Clark: Um, a lot of it

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finding my voice or this thing that made me great or phenomenal.

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And so, a lot of times we compare ourselves to "The definition of being a

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woman is to have this Coke bottle shape."

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The definition of being a women is to look like this, right.

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And I think that those things are beautiful, you know,

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that they have their places.

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Right.

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But there are also other experiences.

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And so for me, it was about finding what made me feel like I was a whole being.

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And what I had to offer was my voice.

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And I went to school for theater.

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I went to school for drama, and I was all into the arts.

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It was, understanding all of those things about myself and learning,

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those things about myself, um, that helped me to understand that I

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have something to offer the world.

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So that's what helped me overcome the, what if I don't look like this or do

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this, or be this the way they say I should do it, then I'm not valuable.

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You know, there's, um, I had a previous

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episode with a guest that I actually read a blog post of hers.

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She's a coach.

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One of the things she said was, telling your kids that they need to feel,

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like a hundred percent beautiful.

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It can sound fake if it's a blanket statement, and so for

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them to tell themselves, I am perfect, it may feel false to them.

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So a way to get your kids to feel that self love it, it resonates

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with what you were saying with find a thing that they can be proud of.

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Find a body part that they love.

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They may not love their whole body, but maybe they love their eyes.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

So I love that you say similarly, with your life, you can acknowledge that you

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don't, fit, whatever society's saying you should look like, or you should be like

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or your grades should look like et cetera, but find those things that you love,

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that give you a sense of fulfillment and, and be that, be passionate about that.

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Be proud of that.

Lacey C. Clark:

And learning You have the power to define what

Lacey C. Clark:

those things mean for you.

Lacey C. Clark:

Um, because when you look at a society and a culture that says, this is one way

Lacey C. Clark:

of being, and when you actually expand that way of being, success, beauty,

Lacey C. Clark:

love, et cetera, can be what you own.

Lacey C. Clark:

What is it that feels organic and true and honest?

Lacey C. Clark:

Define for yourself what these things mean and own it.

Lacey C. Clark:

And that's what self love or phenomenality is.

Lacey C. Clark:

It's "I'm defining my success.

Lacey C. Clark:

I'm defining my self, my self image.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

I love that.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

So, I guess, what, what advice would you give or have you given to the

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teen girls and, and tween girls too?

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Like, it's just some core tips that, you know, if you could talk to your

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

younger self, what are you saying to her?

Lacey C. Clark:

Good question.

Lacey C. Clark:

I just want to keep edifying the self-love concepts, because I think

Lacey C. Clark:

that it sounds kind of esoteric, right.

Lacey C. Clark:

You know, Valuing loving, honoring embracing yourself.

Lacey C. Clark:

Now, what does that mean?

Lacey C. Clark:

It means that as a young person, you are in a dynamic of, peer

Lacey C. Clark:

pressure and social dynamics, right?

Lacey C. Clark:

Like, okay, well, where do I fit in this area and what makes sense here?

Lacey C. Clark:

And I think a lot of times when we're in those kinds of places, the big

Lacey C. Clark:

thing specifically for young women, specifically for women is comparison.

Lacey C. Clark:

I'm not as fill in the blank as the next person.

Lacey C. Clark:

So my advice would be about really embracing what is there to love about me.

Lacey C. Clark:

And learning what there is to love about me is what you Edify, lift up.

Lacey C. Clark:

Again, I have Phenomenally U, which is an eight S empowerment

Lacey C. Clark:

system for girls who go to college.

Lacey C. Clark:

One of the S is sisterhood and the sisterhood S is important, because it

Lacey C. Clark:

says that you can actually compliment another woman as opposed to compete.

Lacey C. Clark:

That means if that young woman is good or that young girl is good at, I don't

Lacey C. Clark:

know, let's just say braiding hair, and another person is good at styling.

Lacey C. Clark:

could actually come up with, a whole image consultant

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experience, you know what I mean?

Lacey C. Clark:

Because wow, this person does hair.

Lacey C. Clark:

This person does fashion and we work together , so it's that kind of

Lacey C. Clark:

thinking as opposed to, oh my gosh.

Lacey C. Clark:

She's so good at dressing . I'm whack at fashion.

Lacey C. Clark:

Okay.

Lacey C. Clark:

Well, you may not be great at fashion, but you may be great at nails.

Lacey C. Clark:

Or this person maybe great at science and this person may be good at math, or this

Lacey C. Clark:

person is you get where I'm going right in

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

100 percent.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Yeah.

Lacey C. Clark:

The point is, look for opportunities to compliment other

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young women, older girls, and so that's part of the S of sisterhood.

Lacey C. Clark:

It is not about constricting and competing because if you're not great at painting

Lacey C. Clark:

or you're not great at singing, no need to compare yourself to your weakness.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Right.

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And, and I'd say that probably even goes for whether you like something or not.

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You know, there might be something that you don't like to do.

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And, and if you compare yourself trying to do something you don't like against

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someone who adores it and wants to do it all the time, it's just kind

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of an unhealthy situation, right.

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You're being inauthentic and showing up for you.

Lacey C. Clark:

Right.

Lacey C. Clark:

And you think, yeah, you're totally being inauthentic, and you think

Lacey C. Clark:

that, that thing that you don't like to do, that that's the thing to do.

Lacey C. Clark:

It's like that may not even be the thing to do.

Lacey C. Clark:

So the point of the matter is it's like, again, grabbing onto your

Lacey C. Clark:

authenticity, I love that you said that, you know, grabbing onto what

Lacey C. Clark:

feels organic, or cultivating what feels or cause you may not necessarily

Lacey C. Clark:

know as a young person, you know what I mean, but cultivating that.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Mm Hmm.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

So this is a good segue into , you mentioned the empowerment system and the

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eight SS, uh, what led you to work with, or focus on girls who are transitioning

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to college and those later teen years.

Lacey C. Clark:

Great question.

Lacey C. Clark:

My work in general, over the course of the last 20 years, um, really had different

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niches of young women and teen girls.

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The whole point was empowering young women.

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But I actually wanted to target college and college bounds of population

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because, they are the next leaders.

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I wanted to actually help young women be, private successes,

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so it's the whole picture.

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Oftentimes, we have a lot of women who say, you know, we're chasing that career

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carrots and now that I'm all of these things that they tell us is success...

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How do we feel about our whole experience as a woman?

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Do we feel proud - if we are parents, are we healthier parents?

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Do we feel whole and healthy around being a wife, like this is the

Lacey C. Clark:

whole experience of being a woman.

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And so I wanted to focus on creating women who are private and public successes.

Lacey C. Clark:

that's the journey for the college bound girl.

Lacey C. Clark:

And so that's the general gist of why targeted that population.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

You know, it's so interesting cause I, I really

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think that hopefully there's a shift that we as women and we as a society

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are leaning into, but for so long.

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I remember feeling like in high school and in college, these are the boxes you

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checked to be considered successful, but none of it had to do with how did I feel?

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Did I have boundaries?

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Was I emotionally balanced?

Lacey C. Clark:

Yeah.

Lacey C. Clark:

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host: It's mental wellness.

Lacey C. Clark:

So bravo to you for identifying this.

Lacey C. Clark:

And I, I have chills thinking about like, it's so important.

Lacey C. Clark:

Thank you.

Lacey C. Clark:

Thank you so much and I think, the whole woman, right, they didn't never

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taught us about the whole woman.

Lacey C. Clark:

So the definition of success, you know, were trying to compete, and

Lacey C. Clark:

this is what they say we should do.

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And then we do that and oh am I a success yet and do, and be like all

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of these things that we're taught.

Lacey C. Clark:

And so the eight S empowerment system provides a framework to help, um,

Lacey C. Clark:

parents and young women pull from, um, the S's as inspiration and as

Lacey C. Clark:

a blueprint and a launching point.

Lacey C. Clark:

So that eight S experience, like you said, talk about sisterhood.

Lacey C. Clark:

We talk about self respect.

Lacey C. Clark:

We talk about success.

Lacey C. Clark:

We talk about smart.

Lacey C. Clark:

We talk about social media, we talk about service.

Lacey C. Clark:

Uh, so it was like all these S's that, um, when you talk about what kind of

Lacey C. Clark:

lifestyle you want to lead you want to check back in and say, well, do I

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feel like I am practicing self respect.

Lacey C. Clark:

If I make this decision, do I feel like I'm in integrity, um, with how

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I'm navigating my relationships.

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And so the mom and the parent can pull out an S and use that as a point of

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conversation for the week, Hey, how was self-respect for you this week or today?

Lacey C. Clark:

You know, how was that smart for you today?

Lacey C. Clark:

We talk about safety and the first important part about safety and how

Lacey C. Clark:

has to do with self-love is intuition.

Lacey C. Clark:

Right?

Lacey C. Clark:

That's a serious thing for women, the intuition, and

Lacey C. Clark:

being able to trust our gut.

Lacey C. Clark:

But because sometimes we don't have that cultivation or we're told, or

Lacey C. Clark:

that's why you should listen to that.

Lacey C. Clark:

You know what I mean?

Lacey C. Clark:

We don't really trust ourselves.

Lacey C. Clark:

Right.

Lacey C. Clark:

So oftentimes we can feel energies and we can feel things that are coming

Lacey C. Clark:

if we are conscious of ourselves.

Lacey C. Clark:

So stuff like that.

Lacey C. Clark:

So it's an opportunity for parents and young women to really have a

Lacey C. Clark:

framework as they continue to evolve.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

I think, as a parent, I hear you talking about these

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

concepts and all of them, I'm like, yes, that's so important to talk about.

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But the things that happen in life, whether it's their activities or

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their schoolwork, or my own personal stresses or family drama, all of

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that gets in the way of kind of remembering to have these conversations.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

So I love that you've created this framework.

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Because yeah, I see one of my goals as a mom is to introduce these ideas to

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my daughters, but it does feel a little piecemeal sometimes like, "Oh right.

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I read an article about dating and consent," and then I'm like, well, okay.

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I'll tell them about it someday, and then it hasn't happened yet.

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And that was a year ago, you know, so I can see the value in a, in a

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framework, which is, which is awesome.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

So, is this like a online course?

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Is it a book?

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Is it something that the teens take or the parents take?

Lacey C. Clark:

Thank you for asking that question.

Lacey C. Clark:

So actually the end-user is the girl.

Lacey C. Clark:

It's several different, uh, components.

Lacey C. Clark:

So there's eBooks and insight from phenomenally U ambassadors who actually

Lacey C. Clark:

went through the 8 S empowerment system about how they were able to

Lacey C. Clark:

use it on college campuses themselves.

Lacey C. Clark:

Um, so it's eBooks, video series, affirmations so that young woman

Lacey C. Clark:

could put her headset on and hear some affirmations, um, there's worksheets.

Lacey C. Clark:

The way that I would suggest using it, if that, you know, you can actually buy

Lacey C. Clark:

the ebook, consume it as a parent, um, and then, you know, pull out talking

Lacey C. Clark:

points and then you can actually give the ebook to the young woman and then

Lacey C. Clark:

she can pull out, um, talking points and you guys can continue to exchange.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Okay.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Um, something that came up for me was, have you noticed anything, or

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have you learned anything that you think parents or moms could do to help

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support their daughters in this journey?

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

I'm just curious if there's, uh, just kind of learnings you had from

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your teens like, you know what, I wish that my mom did this, or I

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

wish my mom didn't do this and that.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Yeah.

Lacey C. Clark:

Great question.

Lacey C. Clark:

Love that question.

Lacey C. Clark:

The first thing that came up for me was listening.

Lacey C. Clark:

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host: Like seriously, listen.

Lacey C. Clark:

Right?

Lacey C. Clark:

Yeah, but I think the thing that you to keep saying is really

Lacey C. Clark:

powerful is that as a parent, um, you are in this survival mode, whether

Lacey C. Clark:

that's food on the table and, you know, Hey, didn't you learn about this?

Lacey C. Clark:

Didn't I teach you about that, Hey, don't do that.

Lacey C. Clark:

You know what I mean?

Lacey C. Clark:

And so I would just say that I think all humans love to be seen and heard.

Lacey C. Clark:

Right.

Lacey C. Clark:

All humans love to be seen and heard.

Lacey C. Clark:

And I think that's not different for your daughter.

Lacey C. Clark:

So I think, um, you know, ask some questions or get some answers

Lacey C. Clark:

that may be on her heart or trying to, you know, come from her heart.

Lacey C. Clark:

I would say if I reduce everything, I would say, listen, create opportunities

Lacey C. Clark:

to listen, um, create opportunities to really hear what she's processing

Lacey C. Clark:

and thinking about the world.

Lacey C. Clark:

Um, you know, I think when you create that space, that soft place, that vulnerable

Lacey C. Clark:

place, that, um, authentic place for you to listen to what she has to say, I think

Lacey C. Clark:

it just strengthens the relationship.

Lacey C. Clark:

Mm.

Lacey C. Clark:

So good.

Lacey C. Clark:

I'd like to wrap up with an affirmation or quote that you'd like to leave

Lacey C. Clark:

with the listeners, something that stands for what you believe

Lacey C. Clark:

in, or is maybe just a favorite.

Lacey C. Clark:

Hmm, I gotta go back to self-love again.

Lacey C. Clark:

You're worthy of your, of your own love.

Lacey C. Clark:

You're worthy of your own love.

Lacey C. Clark:

And I think a lot of times, specifically, as women as girls, you know, society

Lacey C. Clark:

conditions us to love everyone else.

Lacey C. Clark:

Um, and to like give first to everyone else.

Lacey C. Clark:

And I would say we are worthy of our own love.

Lacey C. Clark:

So the love that we put out in the world, or the giving that we put out

Lacey C. Clark:

into the world breathe and really give that same love to ourselves.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

What a grounding thought to end with.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

I'm so grateful to Lacey for generously sharing her story and wisdom.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Here are my key takeaways from our chat.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Number one, society, and the media will send your daughter all sorts

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of messages about who she should be.

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Help her find something she identifies with something about herself or a skill

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or an activity that she feels proud of.

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That makes her feel good.

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That spark can help ignite and fuel self-love.

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Number two.

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Remember that we get to define what success, beauty love, et cetera.

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Look like.

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Our culture might tell us it looks one way.

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But we have the power to change that definition.

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Define for yourself what these things mean and own it.

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Number three.

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Comparison is a mind trap for many women and girls.

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Try to shift comparison thinking towards thoughts of "What

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is there to love about me?"

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And encourage your daughter to do the same.

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Number four.

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Teach your daughters that we can compliment each other rather than compete.

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Celebrate, not just their own strengths, but others' strengths and see them

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as opportunities to collaborate.

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This concept is covered in one of the eight S's inLacey's Phenomenally

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You -the S of sisterhood.

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Number five.

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Lacey's best piece of advice for parents is to really listen.

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All humans love to be seen and heard.

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So create opportunities to really hear what your daughter is processing

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and thinking about the world.

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And number six.

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As moms as women, we often love others first.

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And prioritize other's needs.

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So take a moment to recognize the love and generosity you put out into the world.

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And give that to yourself.

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If you're interested in learning more about Lacey and her work.

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You can visit a phenomenally you.com.

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That's phenomenally hyphen than the letter u.com.

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She's also on Instagram at Lacey C Clark.

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Lacey is spelled L A C E Y.

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then the letter C then Clark.

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These links are in the show notes as well.

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Thanks for listening.

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Your support means the world.

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If you liked what you heard, remember to subscribe, share with a friend and leave

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a review on apple podcasts or Spotify.

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If you're on Instagram or Facebook, follow @knowberaisethem or look up

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knowberaisethem for inspirational quotes, tips and reminders to help

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you show up for yourself and your daughter, the way you want to.

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And feel free to DM me with comments, questions, feedback,

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or if you just want to say hello.

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Again, I'm grateful for you.

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And applaud you for listening.

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And here's to strong women -may we know them, may we be

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About the Podcast

Know Them, Be Them, Raise Them
Helping moms be & raise strong women
Are you a growth-oriented, mindful and busy mom who wants to raise strong daughters? Me too!

Tune in for short episodes (under 25 min) filled with inspiration, insights and actionable tips from experts, moms who’ve been there, and host Carmelita Tiu (a mom of two girls herself).

Hear about timely (& sometimes tough) topics: boundaries, self-care, creating safe spaces, self confidence, intuition, negative patterns, body positivity, friendship, body image, gender stereotypes, stress, and more.

Follow @knowberaisethem on Instagram for more info.

And here’s to strong women -- may we know them, may we be them, and may we raise them.

About your host

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Carmelita Tiu

Service, creativity, and human potential -- these things inspire Carmelita Tiu as an attorney, podcaster, creative, educator and parent. After receiving her art degree and law degree, she worked as an attorney at The Oprah Winfrey Show and OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network for several years, then pivoted to the design and advertising world. She's also held adjunct professorships at DePaul University and Columbia College Chicago, and served on the boards of numerous cultural and community service organizations.

As a curious and committed mom to two daughters, Carmelita recently launched the podcast, "Know Them, Be Them, Raise Them," a show that informs and inspires mindful and growth-oriented moms of girls -- so they can show up for themselves and their daughters the way they want to. "Know Them, Be Them, Raise Them" is on all the major podcast platforms, or head to knowberaisethem.com.

Though she's based in Chicago, she's currently looping around the U.S. with her family for the 2021-22 school year -- a bucket list dive into memory-making, hyperfocusing on the family, and pouring into passion projects.