Life / The Refined Collective

The Refined Collective // Love


She leaned over and asked, “Do you want to meet a guy or not?”

My best friend can be so annoying sometimes. “Of course I want to meet a guy” I replied.

“Well, you’re not going to meet him on this dance floor. No guy is going to have the guts to come up fo a swarm of girls dancing in a circle,” she said.  (She had a point.)

Because I’m stubborn, I ignored her advice. After all, why should I stop doing what I want to do just to meet a guy? Shouldn’t a man like me because of who I am?

Then again…. she’s the one with an amazing boyfriend, and I’m the one who’s single.

I reluctantly asked why she thought I needed to get off the dance floor in order to meet someone. She explained that while it’s not impossible to meet someone in between my Beyonce and Justin Bieber dance numbers; it is just unlikely.

She had me look around the room. We were at a gala in the city, and there were well over 100 people.

I noticed there was a clear distinction between where the men were and where they were not. Those of us on the dance floor were mostly women — women who were either married or in a serious relationship. Every once in a while a guy would dance with his significant other for a song or two, then he’d shuffle off to grab a beer and talk about whatever guys talk about.

I quietly slid off my high horse. “Teach me your ways, oh wise one” I teased.

She reminded me that it takes guts to go up to a woman you don’t know and strike up a conversation. And if the woman is in a dance circle surrounded by 25 other women…. Well, forget it.

I realized she was right.  I have never met I guy I was truly interested in on the dance floor.

So what now?

Her advice was simple: make eye contact, smile and wait. If you see a person you’re might be interested in, do that, and wait. He’ll come and find you.

It sounded too easy to actually work, but I begrudgingly agreed to try her advice. We left the dance floor, walked around the room, and found a few guys that seemed like a maybe. Finally we looked at each other and laughed. She was the first to say there wasn’t anyone who seemed like a great fit for me. I sighed with relief, and we pranced back out to the dance floor.

But even after that night I felt challenged to try this whole eye contact thing out.  At first it was NOT easy.

Why does looking another human in the eyes feel so vulnerable?

Why was I so resistant?

Even with all the inner dialogues that kept rising to the surface,  I committed to making eye contact with a man I found attractive at least once a day.  Here’s what I noticed:

  • It was easy for me to look into the eyes of guys that weren’t threatening or intimidating to me aka guys I was not attracted to at all.
  • BUT, when it came to a man that I found attractive, I would find my eyes to the ground, or doing anything to avoid his eye contact.  Why though?  I started to experience that I avoided eye contact when I was afraid of rejection.   And I avoided eye contact when I thought there was ‘no way a guy like that, could like a girl like me’.

I started to notice some other things too:

  • Just because you look someone in the eyes does not mean you want to marry them or have their babies.
  • It’s not embarrassing or shameful to let another person know that you think they’re cute.
  • Not once did I die from looking a man in the eyes whom I found attractive.

The more I practiced it the more I noticed, and the more I got the opportunity to shift the inner dialogue for myself.  Every moment is an opportunity to grow if we choose it to be.

I get asked ALL the time ‘how can I put myself out there’, ‘how do I navigate the dating world?’

And I tell women to do this all the time:  for one week practice making eye contact with a man you find attractive each day.  And smile.  See what comes up for you?  Because things.will.come.up.

Don’t judge yourself.  Simply notice.  Notice what you feel resistant to.  Notice what you feel afraid of, where the insecurities start to rise.  And see how you can shift those perspectives for yourself.  One of my mentors says no one has a bad day when they find out someone has a crush on them.  And it’s true.

So my invitation for you this week is to try it out for a whole entire week:  make eye contact and smile.  And see what happens.



This post is in collaboration with The Refined Collective Series. Be sure and check out the other ladies in this wonderful group Kathyrn McCormick, Sarah Shreves, Lauren Scruggs, Yvette Jain, Jessi Green, Jackie Viramontez, Jessica Hoffman



021: How to Connect with Your Vision and Purpose with Joel Brown and Kat Harris


Joel Brown is based in Bali, Indonesia and has such a powerful vision for the world. His business is Addicted 2 Success motivates people to pursue their vision in life. He has worked alongside greats in the field like Tony Robbins, Gabby Bernstein, Simon Sinek and Gary Vaynerchuk. He sees potential and actively serves people to reach beyond that potential. In this episode, we talk about vision and purpose for his business, God, himself, and others.

Coming in To His Own

  • Trust me, you’re going to want to move to Bali after listening to him talk about it.

  • He challenges others to find their priorities and makes sure their actions are in alignment with their vision.


“People who aren’t clear on what their values are, they say yes when they really want to say no. They only think about it after it happens and go ‘why didn’t that feel right?'”


What Is Your Vision?

  • For a lot of people, there has to be a major mindset shift that gets them to stop thinking of immediate desires, and get focused on their long-term goals.

  • “If you’re clear on your vision, you start living an intentional life.”

  • Once people achieve this, they find and create a greater purpose for their life.

  • He remembers the vision framework taught to him by Jordan Belfort as being particularly powerful. He has used that framework to create his own personal philosophy that he uses to guide himself and clients to achieve their 10-year vision.

  • Joel doesn’t want to look back on his life and see that he wasted his God-given potential. He feels the same for others.

Take a Chance

  • Joel acknowledges that when you take a look at all that it costs you, you will realize that it isn’t worth it to be held back, and that there is a greater life to be lived.

  • “You fuse with it. You think ‘this is a part of me’ and it becomes a part of your identity.”

Fear to Fun!

“When you are living intentionally, you have to negotiate with your mind.”


  • He finds this reflected in the way he switched up his workout routine–the physical manifests the spiritual and internal. Someone told him it’s like you’re hitting a roof as the workout progresses and once you get there you have to fight the urge to rest and break through the roof.

  • “I was pushing myself past my mind because my mind starts to panic. After you break through that, your body calms and relaxes.”

  • “I believe when you match fear, now is the opportunity to turn fear into fun.”

  • Joel and I are so on the same page, you guys. The physical is profoundly connected to the spiritual.

  • “The enemy uses fear to bring us into doubt. The more doubt you remove, the more your faith increases.”

Origin, Meaning, Morality + Destiny

  • Joel believes everyone has to test their beliefs against four things: origin, meaning, morality, and destiny.

  • When you can identify these disconnects, you can make the shift to align with your beliefs.

  • “So many people adopt beliefs and don’t know why or where they came from. If you really want to start making good decisions in your life, you have to challenge your thoughts.”

Joel’s vision in life right now is to make an impact in the lives of as many people as possible. He is currently hoping to empower those in third world countries with his programs. How incredible is he? You can keep up with him and his work on Instagram, Facebook, and on his website where you can put in your email address and get his video series delivered to your inbox!


This episode is brought to you by the free PDF guide called “Moving Through Fear.” It is full of resources that I hope will help guide you through rejecting the lies in your life and finding the truth.



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020: I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness with Austin Channing Brown


Thank goodness for internet friends, you guys. Austin Channing Brown is a leading new voice on the intersection of racial justice, faith, and black womanhood. I recently read her book I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness 
and let me tell you, it is covered with notes, highlighter, underlining, and all the things. It also made it to the top of Amazon’s Top 20 Best Sellers list! Austin invites others into a dialogue through her writing, her speaking, and her workshops.
Beyonce and Faith
• The first time I stalked Austin on Instagram
and saw that she hosted a workshop on Beyonce and faith, I knew we would be best friends. (Anyone else bummed they missed out on this?)
•She hosted this workshop at a music and faith conference after realizing how much Lemonade was packed with faith.
• The visual album also shared the story of black womanhood in a major way.
•”She didn’t just kind of feature black women. She went all the way there.”
I’m Still Here
When her book first came out, it went out to Amazon reviewers and the reviews were not pretty.
• After her husband told her Austin, would you change one word? Is there anything you would change to have this reviewer like the book?” she realized the answer was no.
•The book allows white readers to confront some of their own behavior and allows black readers to maybe identify with parts of Austin‘s story.
Diversity v Reconciliation
•People play a numbers game with people of color, using them as “sprinkles” instead of bringing them in to the core.
•This creates a guise of diversity when it remains wholly lacking in diversity where it counts.
•”We are whole human beings.”
• The key to stopping the “token” behavior is bringing in black people who can change the culture that is catered to white people.
Austin remembers the chapel services at her university lacked the music and influence of other cultures. Instead of introducing a single black hymn, they brought in a pastor who could bring power and influence to the service.
“There are places. There are moments. There are institutions. There are people for whom I’m hopeful. But if I broaden it out to the entire country, I have zero evidence that by the time my son is grown he won’t have to deal with this.”
Even in the absence of hope for the country’s eradication of racism, she puts in the work to bring about change.
She looks at photos of ancestors, some of whom were enslaved and feels a duty to them.
“I have work to do whether I feel great or not. That is my privilege. My privilege is being free.”
On Being a Spokeswoman
•There is an immense pressure put on black people to be the spokesperson for the entire community.
•Her book focuses on her personal story as a black woman, but it invites others in the black community to share their experiences.
“It gives people a starting place as opposed to ‘this is how it is’.”
Paul Laurence Dunbar’s We Wear the Mask
is an important piece of work in Austin‘s life. She remembers a teacher who brought this work into the curriculum in a way she had never experienced.
•She is grateful for the way he expected the white students who filled the class to unpack the poem, and it’s themes the way she had been expected to do the same for white authors.
•She remembers being engaged in the work and feeling understood by the work, but her teacher never put on her the responsibility of sharing her thoughts with the class.
•”He didn’t make me the temporary substitute teacher on race.”
To Hell With Good Intentions
outlines that good intentions are often based on assumptions.
“We don’t suddenly become all about our race because you decided to introduce diversity into the class.”
I’m Still Here
•We, as a nation, place so much importance on our history, but fail to give everybody’s story the same attention.
“All of our stories are tied together at one point or another. When we go back to the beginning, it helps us understand how we got here.”
•We talk about the fear white people have being called racist. Years ago, they saw that as perfectly normal.
“When we embrace that we are still learning. That’s the journey. We point out areas where we can go. We commit to it and we laugh that we haven’t realized it before.”
Y’all, this interview was full of so much wisdom and laughter. I hope it was transformative for you. This episode is brought to you by Austin Channing Brown’s discussion guide for her book I’m Still Here! Click here to access a free resource guide from Austin Channing Brown as well as well as some videos. How incredible?!


Check out this episode!