Wounds We Don’t See: Q&A With Founders of Moredinary + Certified 10

Moredinary and Certified 10 are teaming up for Think This Way! Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win a ticket to the event after reading this Q&A.

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love & affection. ~Buddha

You can Google self-love and find a wealth of quotes. But loving yourself is a concept that takes years, guts, and next-level courage to truly harness in everyday life. There are two women leading the charge when it comes to empowering other women to love themselves, accept their flaws, and bask bravely in their true selves. Those two women are Roconia, founder of Moredinary, and Yetti, founder of Certified 10. In a few weeks, the pair will team up for their first joint event, Think This Way, a workshop that will equip women with ways to reshape negative thoughts and transform them into something much more positive. In this Q&A, they each discuss what sparked them to create their organizations, what they hope attendees get out of Think This Way, and why it’s so important for women to come together in person for these sorts of events. 

1) Tell us a little bit about your own self-love journey.

Roconia: I wouldn’t exactly call it a self-love journey. 1. Because I don’t really use that term and 2. because I didn’t  wake up one day and decide to embark on any kind of  journey. But in recent years I kind of realized I was alive and decided I should treat myself as such.

Yetti: Well it’s pretty short, and a tad a bit cliché. I learned to berate myself at a fairly young age. Berating turned into self-mutilation. Self-mutilation turned into a stint at the hospital, and after realizing that years of being shitty to myself wasn’t working out so well, I figured I’d try something new. I’ve been experimenting with this self-love thing ever since.

Roconia Price, founder of Moredinary
Roconia Price, founder of Moredinary

2) What sparked you to create Certified 10 and Moredinary?

Roconia: In a way both you and Yetti helped spark the beginning of Moredinary. Moredinary is something that I’ve always wanted to do, I just didn’t have the words to describe it because it wasn’t an occupation I could find in a career handbook. With Moredinary, I get to utilize every single one of my best skills from writing to event planning to creativity to building genuine connections. I’d say the idea for Moredinary was officially sparked at your event last spring, Mimosas & Men. With the help of Yetti, and her passing all of her Mimosas to me, I’d officially decided, then and there, that I was going to get started on my organization. I’ve been in a frenzy ever since.

Yetti: February 16, 2016. I didn’t want another woman to feel as lost, or as sad, or as empty as I did that day. I didn’t want this to be something my little sister ever felt. We learn how to add and subtract in school, but we’re not taught to take care of our self-esteem, or our mental health. We go to doctor offices or the hospital when we are physically wounded, but what about the wounds you can’t see?

That’s pretty much it. That’s why I created Certified 10. To fill a void the world refuses to acknowledge.

3) Roconia, Moredinary envisions a world where every woman is exactly who she wants to be–mentally, physically, and professionally. What do you think that will look like for our society and what is the top way women can get to that state on a personal level?

I think it looks like women getting up every morning and putting on whatever they want–be it a bowtie, a skirt, a dress, or pants–and going about their day without regard to societal norms and the pressure they place on women to be a certain way.

On a personal level, I think it starts with belief. If a woman believes she can, God help the (wo)man who stands in her way.

3) Yetti–Part of the Certified 10 vision is for every woman to celebrate, own, and love her individuality. Of those three actions (celebrate, own, and love), which do you feel is the most difficult to do and why?

Yetti, founder of Certified 10
Yetti, founder of Certified 10

Oh, boy. They’re all hard to do because they all pretty much go hand in hand. To love yourself, and I mean to truly love yourself, it also mean you own and accept bits and pieces of yourself that others do not understand, that society has taught you to hate, or that you have neglected for whatever reason. Owning what you bring to the table and what you are worth means you celebrate your existence and things about you that are different, or stick out like a sore thumb. It’s you practicing self-care, which brings you right back to loving yourself because that is the ultimate way to self-care. They all go together, and are all very much difficult to do, but not because they’re daunting tasks, but because if you fail at one, you will eventually fail at them all.

4) Why is it important to move beyond the online world and host live events for women?

Roconia: There’s a certain connection that you can only get in person. You can’t  feel the electricity in a room through Google Hangout.

Yetti: Because everything is better in person, let’s be honest here. Writing about it doesn’t have the same impact as watching someone be about it. Not to mention with the live events Certified 10 and Moredinary put together, one of our major goals is to foster a community women feel comfortable in. I think it was you who actually said it best in a “snail mail” letter, that you appreciated the intimate setting of the first Back 2 Basics event. You can’t create that kind of setting on the Internet. You just can’t.

5) What do you hope attendees gain from Think This Way?

Roconia: I hope that women gain a new appreciation for their thought life. I hope they find the activities that we do at Think This Way to be applicable in their everyday lives. And I really hope they gain a new friend. I know some amazing women coming to the event.

Yetti: Honestly, I hope we can help them see the beauty and the benefits in a positive mind. After this event, I want our attendees to feel absolutely in the wrong when they have a negative thought about themselves. I want that thought to feel uncomfortable. I want them to continue questioning negative thinking and then correct it. Out with the self-deprecating, in with the celebrating. I’m also hoping they leave feeling like they have a close-knit community they can always count on.

6) How do you envision Think This Way building on the previous momentum you both have generated with the Back 2 Basics series and She Who Believes?

Roconia: I see Think This Way building on women’s betterment in one of the most important areas of their lives: their minds. I think this will help women get on their way to being as Moredinary as possible.

Yetti: I never really thought about it, but I do hope this won’t be last time we see these beautiful women. Like mentioned before, we’re a community. I hope they see this and come back for more.

Yetti, of yettisays.com, provides the average twenty-something-year old with the uncensored truth sometimes served with a side of wit, sarcasm, and a few curse words. She’s also founder of Certified 10, the organization and movement teaching women to fall madly and deeply in love with themselves. Twitter | @yettisays + @thecertified10
Roconia \ruhCONNuh\ (n.) a beautiful balance between blessed and broken. Founder of Moredinary. Creator of Ever So Roco. Storyteller. Revolutionary. Twitter:@eversoroco Website: Ever So Roco

Love what you’ve read from these ladies today? Enter below to win a free ticket to the Think This Way event taking place on Saturday, March 19 at noon in DC!

And, don’t forget to chime in during the Think This Way Twitter chat tomorrow, March 2, at 9 p.m. EST using the hashtag #ThinkThisWay.

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Decide What People Will And Will Not Speak Into Your Life.

I’m going to tell you a few things you probably already know. In 2013, Beyoncé’s eponymous album sold 430,000 digital copies within 24 hours. On December 16, Apple announced that Beyoncé was the fastest selling album in the history of the iTunes store. As of a few weeks ago, Beyoncé has sold more than 2 million albums and been declared double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Now I’m going to tell you something you may not know. Because, I did not know this until a friend brought it to my attention a few weeks ago.

In 2003, former New York Times journalist Kelefa Sanneh reviewed Beyoncé’s debut album “Dangerously In Love” under the headline: “The Solo Beyoncé: She’s No Ashanti.”

Sanneh’s review said that, “If Beyoncé has a mirror-image rival, it’s Ashanti.” I dropped $130 dollars on a ticket to Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s “On The Run” tour this summer. The last I saw Ashanti, she was doing a quick show on Good Morning America, belting out a song that has not yet seen the light of an airwave’s day.

Mirror-image rival.

The most holy shit moment in the piece is when Sanneh writes:

“Maybe this album is merely a misstep, and maybe Beyoncé has yet to record the brilliant solo album that people expected. Or maybe it’s proof that she isn’t quite as versatile as she seemed. She’s a strong and independent singer, no doubt, but maybe she seems strongest and most independent when she’s got a posse behind her.”

In that assumption, the former is clearly more accurate than the later. In 2003, Beyoncé had not yet recorded the brilliant solo album people expected. But, by 2013, Beyoncé was recording brilliant solo albums that people could not even begin to expect. By 2013, Beyoncé was single-handedly changing the way albums were unveiled, demanding that album releases remain hallmarks in a music artist’s history. By 2013, no one was thinking about Beyoncé’s posse and whether or not she needed them behind her. Destiny’s Who?

This is not another Beyoncé think piece. But, when I poured through that 2003 NYT review a few Fridays ago while waiting for my sister at dinner, I just thought “What if Beyoncé read that review and stopped there? What if she took these words to heart and truly believed that she could not be as strong or independent without a posse behind her? What would that mean for her, for music, for entertainment?” I read that piece and immediately realized everyone in life has their version of a Kelefa Sanneh.

I don’t write any of this to discredit Kelefa Sanneh’s journalistic prowess. After all, reviews are reviews. We can only write the present, not the future. In 2003, Kelefa Sanneh wrote what he knew. But, I’m a writer, and, you know…metaphors. We like them. Even Kelefa Sanneh has some Kelefa Sannehs in his life.

The Kelefa Sanneh in your life is that person who tries to short-circuit your future. It’s the person who tries to speak something into existence without the full understanding of your vision. It’s the naysayer. The cynic. The non-believer. The person who just can’t see it. The person who knew you way back when and tries to use that knowledge of your former self against you. The person who scoffs that you’ve become “brand new”. The person who wants to pull you back down into the mud with them. The person who can’t stomach that your world is bursting and bright and full of promise.

Who is your Kelefa Sanneh?

Every day, people speak things into our existence. It’s our choice what stays and what goes. When people say, “One day when you hit it big…” I let that stay. When people tell me I’m a naive fuck, I let that go. When people say they’re proud of me, I let that stay. When people say I’ll never feasibly make a living from writing, I let that go. When people say, “I can’t wait to read your book,” I let that stay. When people smile patronizingly if I mention that I have a blog, I let that go. When people say my words pushed them to keep writing, I let that stay. When people say writing about feminism isn’t original, I let that go.

I’ve learned I have to deliberately decide what stays and goes. Because what goes is often what’s most memorable and what stays is often what I want to laugh off. What stays is often times what I want to retreat from, my knee-jerk response being a self-deprecating comment as I cower away from stepping into my own strength. I’ve learned that deciding what energy stays and goes often times means deciding who stays and who goes. Positive people and positive vibes are rarely independent of one another. It’s hard to keep assholes around hoping they will wish you well. I’ve learned that I can’t let the words of my Kelefa Sannehs drive or wreck my journey. Barns don’t get to determine how high skyscrapers can rise. And, I’m the Rockefeller Center in this bitch.

So, I’ll ask again: Who is your Kelefa Sanneh?