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Christina Dunbar is a communication expert and performing speaker that embodies full self-expression in all that she does. She is co-producing and starring in her 1st one-woman show in September 2013.
Christina is co-creator of the Bye Bye Good Girl Movement and founder of ChristinaDunbar.com. She has been named the “catalyst for badassery” and through her retreats, mentoring circles, and stage performances she ignites other artists, leaders, and entrepreneurs to find their voice, share their message, and become visibility vixens. Enjoy her exclusive Business Heroine interview…
BH: What is Badassery?
Christina: Badassery is about owning ALL the parts of ourselves as women; the sexual AND spiritual, the fierce AND kind, the shadow AND Light. Badassery is about honoring that we as women are not one thing, or one way, or one note. Badassery is about visibility; it’s about owning our right to take up space on this planet and be seen and heard. Badassery is about trusting our intuition. Badassery is for people who feel weird, wrong, and wild. Badassery is permission to be you.
BH: When did you realize you were a badass?
Christina: I discovered my badass when I discovered my Good Girl—the nice, sweet, kind girl also had an equal and opposite self. And She was sexual, powerful, funky, free, adventurous. The first step in my own healing journey began with the awareness that I was NOT one thing. Giving myself permission to own the seemingly opposite parts was the next step. And then CHOOSING which parts I wanted to embody was the final, freeing step.
I stopped judging so harshly. I stopped denying. I stopped repressing.
I am anger and sweet
I am messy and neat
I am love and don’t f*** with me, if need be
I am vulnerable and closed off if I don’t like what I see
I am nice and I hold boundaries
I am strong and open emotionally
I cry if I need to grieve, I paint with passion when I need to express
I scream with abandon when I’m caught up in stress
I am spiritual and sexy
I pray and I shimmy
BH: I’m addicted to your blog. You talk about shedding the Good Girl shame, rolling-on-the-floor giggle fests, and even “butt breathing.” Your raw self-expression is so liberating, even just reading it seems to awaken an inner badass in myself and, based on the comments on your blog, other women as well. Is this part of your master plan?
Christina: One of the clearest messages I received during a meditation was, “When you freak your truth, it gives other women permission to do the same, yo!” (yup, my meditative spirit speaks in urban, hip-hop, slang at times).
What I know for sure is that we as women can’t trust the media or society to dictate how we want to BE in the world. And so where is it safe to look? Where can we get permission? From other women. So when a woman uses her voice, feels empowered around her body, takes risks, and shares out loud—she gives other women permission to do the same. So if my blog does that? Then, yes it’s part of my master plan : )
BH: You work with women on visibility. What does it mean to be visible, and why is it important?
Christina: Visibility is about having the courage to own your right to be seen and heard. Everyone craves being truly seen and heard, but it is especially important for the artistpreneurs, badass biz chicks, and visionary women I work with. They must stand up and stand out if they want to get their message to the masses. Visibility is the number one block I hear women quote time and time again as THE stopping point from expanding. And it comes in different forms—what if they think I’m a fraud, what if no one likes me, what if I offend someone, what if I get too much attention—these are all common fears. And when they take over, the message gets watered down, intuition is replaced with logic, and the essence of a woman’s true voice gets lost. But the TRUE voice, the secret voice we wish we could speak from is the voice that people are dying to hear.
It gives you visibility. It gives you depth. But most of all, it gives you freedom.
BH: You’ve talked about this being a time of healing among women. What are the wounds in need of healing, and what is the solution?
Christina: The shame wounding is big. Brene Brown writes so beautifully about this and she says that shame is this idea that something is wrong with me.
For women shame hits in a few core areas:
Our bodies and our sexuality
Our voice and our right to speak our opinion
Our mothering skills
Our money stories– which are tied to our worth
When shame hits us, what we do is clam up about the area of shame. We try to hide from it, ignore it, and not speak about it; because if we feel that something is wrong—why would we want to acknowledge it? The slippery slope that ensues is hiding the shame, feeling more isolated, which feeds fear and doubt, which feeds the shame. Isolation and fear totally support shame. So if isolation feeds the shame, you can guess what heals the shame…
Sharing the stories that you’ve made up about yourself.
Sharing in sacred sisterhood.
And forgiving, forgiving, forgiving. Seriously, do whatever you need to forgive yourself. Write a letter to your spirit. Cry. Release. Create a ritual around it. Forgive yourself for the stories that our culture creates about women. Forgive yourself for being loud. For being sensitive. For being weird. For being sexual. Forgive yourself for having an opinion. For having a voice. Even if it’s a high-pitched-sounds-more-like-a-little-girl-Kristin Chenowith kinda voice. I totally have that voice. It’s so funny. But memorable! And now, I use it.
BH: How did you realize you could build a thriving business from being a poetress, performing speaker, and catalyst for badassery?
Christina: Permission. That’s the word I keep coming back to into my journey and with the work I do with women around being visible. Giving myself permission to own ALL of me has been huge in my business. For so long, I tried to be “the coach” and fit into one box. But that’s not me. I am a self-expressive being. And once I gave myself permission to honor the truth of me, I started to create a business around that. In acting, we call that working from the inside out. So instead of looking around at what everyone else is doing or what everyone else is preaching, it’s about going inward and trusting that voice.
BH: What is the best business decision you’ve ever made?
Christina: The best life and business decision I ever made was receiving massive support. I have two mastermind groups, a fellow mentor that I meet with once per week to mastermind on our next steps, and many women in my life that I admire and can speak to when I’m moving into a new direction in my biz that feels scary.
BH: What’s the biggest mistake in business you’ve ever made?
Christina: When I first started out, I invested thousands of dollars into a website before I had a really clear message. I was so new to it all and wanted to have this amazing site and graphics—but I needed to explore, to play, to experience more before I could really put that into a website message. I don’t know if I would call that a mistake, but I would definitely tell women that are just starting out to give themselves time to deepen into their message before they invest thousands into a site.
BH: What’s the best piece of advice you can give to an emerging Business Heroine who desperately wants to unleash her Badass self?
Christina: Start exploring the different parts of you and become aware of the truth that you are not one thing. Honor your right to self-express as you. The real you. Cuz no one –not anyone– can compete with the real, true. You.