039: Saying Goodbye to Fear


Hey there, friends! I’m here today with a solo episode of The Refined Collective!. Let me know what you think of solo episodes and be sure to DM @therefinedwoman if you have specific topics you want me to talk about!

Yoga is constantly a metaphor for my life. How I show up on my yoga mat is how I show up in all other areas of life. Recently, I was sitting in a yoga class and I have to say I was feeling good about my performance that day.

The beautiful thing about yoga is that in any given class there are students who are trying yoga for the first time and students who have practiced yoga every day of their lives. There are advanced versions and beginner versions of every pose.

We got to a particular posture and I found my limit for the posture. But then I heard my yoga instructor’s voice right in my ear: “C’mon. Let’s go. Go further.” I shook my head no. He doesn’t know my body’s limits—I do. But he insisted.

I trusted myself and pushed further. I thought, “Wow, I’m stronger than I thought.” As he walked away he said, “Why are you holding yourself back?” By the end of class, he had encouraged me to push my limits two more times. And he was right every single time. “Why are you playing so small? You’re stronger than you think.”

Nobody in that class was telling me where to stop in a pose—I wasn’t being limited by anyone but myself. This leader had the audacity to point out that I was playing small. You need people in your life to drag you out of your comfort zone, even if it makes you angry in the moment.

“No one is telling me no but myself.”

If you’re going to make progress in areas of your life, you have to ask yourself ‘Why am I holding myself back?’

A few years ago, I took on the challenge of memorizing a long poem and performing it at a large event in New York City. I had memorized this poem so well, I knew it like the back of my hand.

The night of the event, I get halfway through the spoken word and freeze. I could feel my palms start to sweat. I started from the beginning… and it happened a second time. I stood there deciding if I should just run out of the building and never look back. Finally, one of the lines came back to me and I just picked up from that line and finished the spoken word.

After I finished, I felt so embarrassed. I thought I would never be invited anywhere as a speaker every again. I wanted to rush out, but I was the host of the event.

Over the course of the night, people came up to me and said how much they loved the spoken word. I expressed to every single one of those people that I messed up.

My best friend had to take me aside and remind me that nobody noticed I made a mistake, and if they did—they didn’t care.

Fear has as much power as we choose to give it. After I moved through this experience, I decided I would book two speaking events where I would perform this spoken word.

Fear doesn’t have the final say. It’s possible to acknowledge the fear we have and our past while not letting it be in the driver’s seat of our lives.

You are called to a purpose. But you have to say goodbye to the fear.

You can go further than you think.

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Hey, single ladies— are you frustrated by the dating world? This episode is brought to you by my free guide called “6 Tips to Activate Your Dating Life with Intention and Clarity.” These resources helped propel me from sitting on the couch to out on a date. Head over to Bit.ly/trwdating to check it out! With you on the journey.



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038: Wait, Pray, Love with Jessica Shakir


Jessica Shakir is a motivational speaker, celebrity hair and makeup artist, and beauty expert. Her passion is to help you use your voice to unveil truth and beauty. She is a dear friend of mine and we recently got to get together at my apartment to have some fun photoshoots and sit down and chat for the podcast. We talk about waiting for marriage, waiting for love, and praying to God.

Praying for Others

    • Jessica and I are both prayer warriors, praying for others, praying for celebrities.
    • She reflects on her experience working with Eminem, who was thoughtful and engaging the entire time they worked together.
    • “Lord, anoint the works of my hands. Help me to be a light, help me to reflect your love, even without having to say anything about the Bible or Jesus.”
    • As she was praying this before walking into her job, she remembered that she had been praying for Eminem for five years before the job. Her friend had asked her to.
    • “I wasn’t in the habit of praying for people I didn’t know.”
    • She began to pray for him every time she heard his music, praying that God would send the right people into his life to point him to Heaven.
    • “God used me to answer my own prayer.”
    • She remembers at the end of the job telling him “God bless you.” He was taken aback. He thanked her sincerely and said, “God bless you, too.”

Prayer + Love

    • She reflects on her wedding day and her vows to her husband, “It was an honor to wait for you, Vincent.”
    • “In that moment, I thought, “Dang, I wish I could delete all the times I compromised… I wish I could delete all the times I didn’t trust God more.”
    • She talks about her experience as a woman who waited to have sex until she was married at 36 years old. “It was powerfully intimate and wildly free.”
    • Though she was a virgin on her wedding day, she still experienced shame.
    • “My biggest regret is not trusting God more.”
    • She and her husband decided to not even share a single kiss until they were engaged. “It made every touch so magical and meaningful.”
    • They met at a Super Bowl party and once she found out he loves Jesus, she started crushing hard.
    • “I knew he would be in my life forever and somehow he would change it.” Seven months later, they were engaged.

A Season of Waiting

    • She recognizes that the time of waiting can be the perfect time to group in your faith.
    • “The only reason I can be this happily engaged is because first I was happily single.”
    • She recognizes all of the personal growth that she experienced during her waiting and how it all led her to where she is now.
    • “Every chance I got, I chose to feed my hope.”
    • She recognizes that you have to build muscles of integrity and waiting. “You can’t build muscle without pushback and rest.”
    • We share how we both spent time journaling and writing to our future husbands.

Jessica reflects Heaven to me and I just feel brighter after talking with her. I hope you feel the same way. You can keep up with Jessica on Instagram at @jessicashakirbeauty and at her websites: www.JessicaShakirBeauty.com and www.MyBeautyBFF.com.

Hey, single ladies— are you frustrated by the dating world? This episode is brought to you by my free guide called “6 Tips to Activate Your Dating Life with Intention and Clarity.” These resources helped propel me from sitting on the couch to out on a date. Head over to Bit.ly/trwdating to check it out! With you on the journey.



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037: Unpacking Toxic Masculinity with Mike Aidala


I’ve been so excited to chat with Mike Aidala. Our schedules finally aligned and we got to chat about physical fitness, toxic masculinity, transformation, and fostering healthy dialogue. I’m so challenged by all of his words. What if life wasn’t as hard as we made it out to be?

Focusing Inward

    • He decided after college that he would focus on strengthening his whole self and becoming the best version of Mike Aidala.
    • “I always knew that I had a real passion for helping people.”
    • He notes that his Instagram feed is a combination of strength training videos and more emotional and spiritual movement videos, like yoga acrobatics.
    • “I really love emotion and diving into the why behind everything I do.”
    • He enjoys athletics, but he is driven by the emotion behind all of the activities. The connection he feels to the movement.
    • “How can I better be completely engaged in this moment?”
    • Mike notes that lifting somebody into the air isn’t all about strength, it’s about developing trust and an emotional connection with whoever you are lifting.

Celebrating Wins

    • Sometimes we can get so caught up in the big picture that we forget to focus on the small everyday tasks and achievements that get us to where we want to be.
    • “That’s a dangerous word: only.”
    • We need to celebrate the wins more. We can see room for improvement everywhere, but we’ll never feel accomplished if we don’t see all we have achieved.
    • “When you fail, you’re growing.”
    • Instead of a typical gratitude journal, Mike likes to write down every day, “what went well and why.”

On Fitness Goals…

    • “You don’t really want to lose ten pounds, what you want is maybe your kids to like you, be engaged with your husband more, have better community with your friends. You think losing 10 pounds is going to get you those things. What we focus on is giving you confidence, showing you you’re strong, building your self-esteem. Before you know it, you’ve probably lost the ten pounds anyway, but that isn’t what you come back for, you come back because of the feeling you have.”

Toxic Masculinity

    • We discuss toxic masculinity—something a lot of people love to talk about.
    • “Being masculine isn’t toxic,” he says. Masculinity can be toxic, but it isn’t inherently toxic.
    • He recognizes that men do want to learn and be better in areas but being yelled at does not foster that change. We have to dive in to the hard conversations.
    • Mike wants people to be open with each other. Open to criticism, open to discussion.
    • Men and women can create better relationships with each other if they just communicate what they want.
    • We talk about the danger of using the word ‘should.’ “‘I want you to do this’ is a lot harder to say than ‘you should do this.'”
    • He encourages men to reach out to the women in their life and ask how they can support them.

So, friends, what if you sought to understand the people in your life? What if you learned to listen? What if you practiced supporting others?

You can keep up with Mika at @mike.aidala on Instagram and his website at mikeaidala.com where you can find his training programs.

Hey, single ladies— are you frustrated by the dating world? This episode is brought to you by my free guide called “6 Tips to Activate Your Dating Life with Intention and Clarity.” These resources helped propel me from sitting on the couch to out on a date. Head over to Bit.ly/trwdating to check it out! With you on the journey.


Kat Harris

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