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… and it’s people who may not even know they’re struggling with their identity because they’re afraid to own it or they’re afraid to tell people what they’re up to, because they’re afraid that people might tell them they’re crazy or silly…
– Robin Finney
Darla LeDoux: Hello and welcome to today’s episode of Retreat And Grow Rich, the podcast. You are in for a treat today. I’m here with the fabulous, talented, beautiful Robin Finney. Hi Robin!
Robin Finney: Hi Darla!
Darla LeDoux: Thank you so much for being here.
Robin Finney: I am so excited. That’s an honor.
Darla LeDoux: Guys, those of you who are listening, we are going to get deep about the transformation available through travel, specifically international travel, and through getting in front of the lens and doing photo shoots. So I know some of you listening are likely, already doing retreats. You maybe have taken people out of the country, or maybe you’re thinking, “Oh, I’d really love to, but I’m feeling pretty nervous about that.” We’re going to talk all about Robin’s adventures all around the world, and the transformation that just leaving home creates as we know, but especially leaving the country and going somewhere where you’re really out of your comfort zone. And we’re also going to explore how you can incorporate photography into your retreats and experiences in a way that transforms people. So Robin is an expert at doing international travel and actually doing photo shoots in different countries while she’s there.
So I’m super excited about this. Let me just say, I’m looking at the formal bio, Robin. Robin’s a writer, solo world traveler, international speaker, and model. She’s also a retreat leader, and she teaches others the confidence to own their pace, beauty and what they really want in life. Let’s dive in, should we?
Robin Finney: Yes, let’s do it.
Darla LeDoux: Okay, so first of all, Robin, I just want to have a conversation about travel. Now, you’re a nomad officially now, and I’ve known you since before you were a nomad. Talk about that pull to travel and how that’s evolved for you in your life.
Robin Finney: Yes, so I’ve been traveling pretty much my whole life. As a child, my family would go on cross-country road trips. We grew up in Tennessee and we had family in New Jersey and Colorado, and so we would all hop in the van and my dad would pick every year we’d go Southern route, Northern route, middle route, like just pick an area. And so I covered a lot of states and just started developing wanderlust from an early age. And when I was in college, my sophomore year, I studied abroad in Vienna, Austria and that was my first time out of the country. And it really opened my eyes to diversity and different cultures and showing me that there’s not one way to live. Because I think a lot of times we have this view that the American life is the American way, and the only way.
Darla LeDoux: Yes.
Robin Finney: And it kind of crushed that for me and I thought, “Oh wow, there are different ways of living.” And from there I just started traveling even more, and I developed a work to travel mentality and I would use my vacation every year during my corporate job to go to another country, or another continent, and just explore more and more.
Darla LeDoux: And what do you think it was that kept you coming back for more?
Robin Finney: There’s something so exhilarating for me when I enter a new place for the first time. I don’t know, it’s something I feel way more present when I’m experiencing a new place, because everything is new. I’m seeing it with fresh eyes. I feel like I’m really adapting my childlike sense of wonder and looking at even a tree, something so simple that we see everyday, I can see it when I’m traveling and see a different variety that I may not have seen before, and I’m looking at it with new eyes. And so it just really invokes that… a sense of wonder for me.
Darla LeDoux: It’s so fascinating because transformation is all about presence. The more present we can be with whatever is going on for us, we can heal it. And as a leader, the more present we are with our retreat attendees, the more healing that happens. So I love that connection between travel and presence, and that totally resonates, and I’ve never thought of it that way before. That’s awesome. So, you’re in your corporate job and using all of your vacation to travel internationally, and first of all, did people think you were crazy?
Robin Finney: Well, a lot of people lived … They always say, “Oh, I live so vicariously through you.” And there’s always this like hint of fear around the thought of going outside of the country. So it was a little bit of excitement, a little bit of fear. And they would always ask how I could afford it, because I think so many people have this concept that travel is expensive. And so it’s been interesting because I noticed through the years as I was, I went to Jordan one year, and came back and people were like, “You’re going to the Middle East. You went to the Middle East. What is wrong with you? And so it allowed me to kind of open people’s eyes to show them that it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, that there’s good and kindness and beautiful people wherever you go. And also just kind of squash some of the notions around travel being expensive and inaccessible.
Darla LeDoux: Yes. What was your strategy? How did you afford it or how did you answer them when they said that?
Robin Finney: Well, I would say, it comes down to a lot of times it’s what you value in life. And I would say, Well, you like partying on the weekends. Not that I would call people out, but on their lifestyles, but use it as an example. Like you have no problem spending $100 in one night on drinks. I use that $100 to go towards a plane ticket.
Darla LeDoux: Awesome. So you’re traveling, you’re getting a taste of different countries, you’re enjoying this wanderlust. Talk about leaving your job.
Robin Finney: So it’s no surprise that I got the hint to, or the nudge, to leave my job on a meditation retreat. And that’s one area where people did think I was a little crazy, was using my vacation time to go on a retreat.
Darla LeDoux: Interesting.
Robin Finney: Yes, they were kind of like, “You’re going to Guatemala and you’re going to be on a retreat?” And it kind of sparked a lot of questions around that. So I think that was interesting to notice how it’s like people were wanting to see adventure, and when I started choosing meditation and retreats, it was causing people to ask different questions and look at what I was doing differently. And it was my very first, I had been on a mini retreat before, but this one was my very first like extended retreat, it was a seven day retreat. And on the very first day after a meditation, I got so clear that I was playing it safe in life. And for me, safety looked like staying at the same job for over a decade, always living with roommates, never being on my own, not committing, not being in a relationship or dating. And it was just kind of a cycle I was noticing in my life.
Darla LeDoux: Wow. What was it about that retreat experience that helped you know that?
Robin Finney: I wasn’t like in tune with meditation that much, so it was very new for me and I was just, again, it peaked this childlike wonder and curiosity within me and helped me see, “Oh, there’s not one way to experience spirituality and to get messages.” So that, it was new for me, in that way, and that it could be easy because we… on the first meditation and here I am, I’ve already got a clear sign.
Darla LeDoux: Wow.
Robin Finney: So it was eye-opening for me.
Darla LeDoux: Yes. I think it’s really interesting, Robin, that people didn’t think you were as crazy to go to Jordan by yourself as they did to see you go on a meditation retreat. And that wasn’t that long ago?
Robin Finney: No, it was two years ago.
Darla LeDoux: So I find that really interesting, like a pulse on our culture, because within my microcosm of my world, people love going on retreats.
Robin Finney: Right.
Darla LeDoux: Yahs. So we still have a lot of work to do as leaders, and getting more visible and really helping people understand the benefits.
Robin Finney: We do. And it’s even lately I’ve even been thinking that people shouldn’t have to use their vacation time to go on a retreat.
Darla LeDoux: Yes. Wouldn’t that be great if it was a company benefit?
Robin Finney: Yes.
Darla LeDoux: I love it. Make a difference for sure. So you left your job, you recognize you were playing it safe and… Talk about that decision to go nomadic.
Robin Finney: So I had met people through my travels over the years who were kind of free spirits and traveling. Some people had home bases, some are just living in different countries, some were backpackers. So I was exposed to a lot of different types of travelers, and I really think I’ve been a nomad at heart my whole life, because I didn’t really have a traditional home growing up. We grew up in an unfinished house and I slept on a couch in my basement. And it wasn’t until I was almost a senior in high school that I moved in with my grandma and I actually had a bedroom with walls. I was like, “Oh, what a concept, a kid having walls and a door that I close.” And so I think that I just never really had that sense of home and the way that many others experience it. And I began to find home within me, and I would notice it when I traveled that it really didn’t matter where I was in the world. I could still be at home as long as I was tuning into myself, and being comfortable with myself, and enjoying my own company.
Darla LeDoux: Amazing. So Robin, you take people on solo journeys where they can take their own trip and explore within. And I know you also, you just led a retreat, which we’ll talk about, and you’re combining those things and you have a retreat coming up in 2020 in Spain.
Robin Finney: Yes.
Darla LeDoux: I want to kind of play off this concept of finding home within me, what is available for people taking trips out of the country by themselves first of all, or with a group, that really helps with that sense of finding home within me? Because I find that is what people are seeking really underneath all of the pains and benefits we can talk about as retreat leaders – that’s what we’re really seeking.
Robin Finney: Yes, and it’s so true because even with travel, not to go off of that topic, but even with travel, I realized that for many years I was using it as an escape, to get away from myself and my home life, and it was when I learned to tune into myself that I realized that I could even be where I lived in Dallas, Texas, and still feel that sense of home. Whereas before, I didn’t feel, I only felt that sense when I was traveling. But for most people, home is more, I think in many ways, it’s more of a physical entity. It’s like your house, it’s where you live. And when you learn to find home within yourself, it’s more of an ownership of who you are, finding the confidence to talk to people wherever you are, and the ownership of really owning where you are, what you’re doing and how you show up for others in the world.
Darla LeDoux: Now you book photo shoots when you travel.
Robin Finney: Yes.
Darla LeDoux: And we’re going to give you a link to check Robin’s work out, but they’re just stunning and each one is very unique. Like each country has a different vibe and a different … In my assessment of it and viewing the photos, each one’s very different in the vibe and the theme. How did you get interested in that?
Robin Finney: So it was, again, it was a transformational experience for me. I was working with Ashley Woods and before she even started her retreat business, she’s a photographer and she was offering a celebration photoshoot. And ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had a dream of being a model and doing a photoshoot. And I specifically had a vision of doing one in an abandoned warehouse. I don’t know why, but I just had this like high fashion profile vision in my head. So I hired Ashley and we did a coaching session beforehand and she had me select three words that I wanted my photos to embody. And so I selected beauty, freedom and joy. And after the photo shoot I was just blown away when I got the photos, because I realized one, just how negatively I’ve had been viewing myself in photos, how critical I was, how I would get into comparison mode and compare myself to others. And when I saw my photos, it was the first time that I felt like I really saw me.
Darla LeDoux: What did you see in yourself? Can you remember?
Robin Finney: Yes, I remember being very emotional when I got back, when I got my photos back, and it was the first time in my life that I looked at myself and I was like, “Wow, I’m really beautiful.” And I’d never thought of it or thought of myself that way before. And I was able to tap into my inner beauty and it just, I don’t know, it opened up a lot for me. And so I kind of, when I started doing international photo shoots, it started just as a hobby and something that I thought would be fun to do in another country. And again, it was when I got into the experience, I was learning to step into confidence in a new way and own myself, and my beauty, and my looks, and my style in my way. And even just walking down the streets when I’m having a photo shoot and people are looking at me and wondering, who is this person? Especially most of the places I’ve had photo shoots, I’m very white. I stand out compared to where I go. So people start asking questions, and they want to know, who is this person? What is she doing? And it just, every single time I just feel like I’m stepping more and more into my own self.
Darla LeDoux: That’s amazing. Why is the photo shoot so pivotal for transformation?
Robin Finney: Oh, that’s a good question. I think one, it gets you, I mean, in your head oftentimes, and even when … I remember when I had professional makeup done for my photo shoot in Mexico, and that was the first time I had had professional makeup, and I looked in the mirror and I was like, “Oh, this isn’t me. Who is this with the fake eyelashes and red lips?” But then it was like, “No, this is me. This is fun. I can kind of play with this.” And I think it helps to embody yourself in different ways that you may not have seen possible before, and experience life through your eyes, but it feels like you’re experiencing it through somebody else’s life.
Darla LeDoux: It’s almost like, I think I’ve heard this before, as you know, I’m married to a photographer so we share ideas, but I think I’ve heard the idea that the lens is like a person, right?
Robin Finney: Mmm-hmm.
Darla LeDoux: That it’s like bringing this other presence to the situation. And one of the things that I know heals, is that witnessing, really being seen by another person.
Robin Finney: Yes.
Darla LeDoux: Now when you travel internationally, and I’m guessing there are people listening who have either done photo shoots on their retreats or would love to, because it really is transformational. And I’ve done, over the years I’ve had, as you know, I like surprises. So, I’ve had surprise video shoots, or photo shoots, as part of the retreat experience. Actually as we’re recording this, I have a retreat next week and we have a studio rented to do some shoots, not necessarily website photo shoots, but more of a transformational shoot. And my wife does nudes also, so the transformational aspect of that. If someone is thinking, “Okay, I want to do a shoot on retreat for my clients and they’re traveling out of the country, for me, that I might travel with a photographer, but that might make me a little nervous to pick someone. So what’s that been like for you, and what have you learned about maybe differences or commonalities in choosing photographers around the world?
Robin Finney: Yes. So it’s really been an interesting journey. It started out with word of mouth. I just kind of asked some friends if anybody knew of a photographer in Mexico, and then somebody referred me to someone and then I did the same in Columbia, referred to a site. And this is for me where content comes into play, because I will read about the photographer, and then I go and look at their photos, and I see how they stage their people and how they photograph the people working with them. Because I’ve just learned to see what looks authentic to me versus what looks manicured. And I never want to hire somebody who’s going to be over-editing and taking away my essence. So I think it’s key to do that and do some research. And then also I have a conversation with the photographer beforehand and before I even book them, and I tell them what I’m up to, and what I’m creating, and what I want my photos to embody. And that conversation, you’re either going to get it in the moment or you’re not. And if they don’t get it, then I thank them for their time and I find someone else.
Darla LeDoux: And then you had to have a lot of these conversations to find the right person?
Robin Finney: I’ve actually been very lucky. Most of the places I’ve gone, I’ve hired the first person that I’ve reached out to.
Darla LeDoux: Nice.
Robin Finney: In Spain, it was a little different. I reached out to several different ones, and that’s also where my intuition comes into play, because just in having conversations I can just get a sense, and I’ll check in and ask like, am I meant to work with this person?
Darla LeDoux: Yeah, I know one of the things I’ve heard you talk about Robin, is that you tend to just attract awesome people when you’re traveling. So you mentioned your intuition. How do you recommend people approach that when they travel? Because a lot of times I watch people travel and they’re very guarded. And people are on edge a lot of times when traveling. How have you been able to attract amazing people in all of these countries and have a beautiful experience?
Robin Finney: I fully believe that you match the energy that you put out in this world. So if I’m having a bad day or I’m in a bad mood, and it’s just, it’s one of those cycles. Like the other day I was hitting every red light and it was just one of those days. And it’s kind of like when I’m in that zone, things aren’t going to go the way that I wished for them to go. And I think when I’m traveling, one, I have that sense of childlike wonder and I’m carrying that with me, and I’m looking at life through that perspective. So I think when I’m out I’m just like hopping along. I’m happy. I don’t know, I just look at people, I ask questions, I’m not afraid, I’ll go up to people, if I see somebody doing something that I’m curious about, I’ll just go up and strike a conversation. And I also trust is a big area that comes into play and it’s asking to be matched with people who can, I guess, match your energy and who you can match theirs. And I also just carry this. I want to make a difference wherever I go. And one of my favorite things to do is, if people are staring at me and looking at me like, who is this person? I just smile back and it throws them off. Every time they’re like, “What? Okay.” And I just keep walking. So, I really think it’s just as learning to be you, no matter where you are in the world.
Darla LeDoux: But Robin, most people don’t know who they are.
Robin Finney: I know. I still don’t know who I am.
Darla LeDoux: But I think a really good segue. So a lot of the things you’ve been talking about lately are around really owning who you are.
Robin Finney: Yes.
Darla LeDoux: So what’s the journey for that, and what’s your commitment around that?
Robin Finney: Ownership has been key for me this year and it was actually when I was on a trip in Spain and Portugal and Morocco recently. And before I went to Spain, I was so excited and I thought I’m going to get an apartment. I’m going to ground myself for a bit and really hunker down and start focusing on my business. And then I got on the plane and I cry for the first two hours of the flight, and I started journaling and I thought, “Okay, well, this isn’t how I thought my trip was going to go and then I…
Darla LeDoux: How was your seatmate doing?
Robin Finney: I was lucky to have my own row in that flight. But airplanes are actually my best place for crying and thinking. So I’ll always just, if somebody asks how I’m doing, then I’ll just go with it. But that’s the energy that my trip started with, and it turned into this whole, like, soul-searching experience and journey. And what I kept noticing was that, I was running from my identity, and it’s like I knew what it was that I wanted to do and who I wanted to be, but I was afraid to fully step into that and own that person because she was very different than the person that I’ve lived my whole life.
Darla LeDoux: How so?
Robin Finney: I call myself a chameleon, sometimes where I’m very good at. I don’t like conflict. I’ve designed a life of not having a lot of conflict. So I tend to, wherever I am, if somebody is talking about a topic or something, then I’ll just kind of edge my way in there and conjoin right into the conversation. And then I also hold, but I notice myself holding back because I’m like, “Oh, I can’t say that because this group of people, they wouldn’t understand it, so I’m not going to say that.” And so a lot of that was just really, it’s like a flashlight was shining brightly on those areas of my life. And I knew that in order for me to really step forward into these new phase of my life, then I had to let go of that notion of pleasing everyone and also get that the world’s not against me, and it’s not out to get me. So even if I do run into people who may not agree with me, it’s not the end of the world. And so it’s been a lot of work through that lately.
Darla LeDoux: How was the trip then? So when you got to Spain?
Robin Finney: So I checked into…
Darla LeDoux: I feel like we need like a hashtag, airplane crying. Like maybe that could be a recommendation. [laughing]
Robin Finney: [laughing] Yes. And it’s so funny too, the reactions I get when I tell people that, they’re like, “Oh you cried?” I’m like, “Crying is one of the best releases.”
Darla LeDoux: Yes.
Robin Finney: But it took me a while to get there, and I used to pride myself on never crying, like maybe only once a year. And so, because I always associated crying with weakness. So I moved through a lot of that.
Darla LeDoux: I know when I really started transforming, and as you know, I had taken a training in corporate, but then I did the landmark curriculum and once I first started crying, it was like I cried for a year straight.
Robin Finney: Yes. At everything.
Darla LeDoux: Anything would be deeply either moving or distressing.
Robin Finney: Yes. It’s like once you open the flood gates, just keep going.
Darla LeDoux: Yes.
Robin Finney: But I designed it where, when I was going to Spain, I knew I’d been running around crazy all summer and I knew I needed to slow down. So I joined a yoga retreat in downtown Barcelona. And so I was getting back to just learning to slow down and tune into my body. And so that was really great way for me to start that journey and just allow myself time and space to kind of let go and just allow whatever emotions were coming up to come. And at the end of the retreat I had an energy clearing massage. It was specifically around clearing your chakra with the owner of the retreat. And she told me afterwards that my heart and my sacral chakras were blocked. And it was something I knew. I knew that, but it was hearing it from someone who didn’t even know me. And I’m like, “Oh great. Okay.” And so she told me, she said, “You don’t allow yourself to feel.” And she said, “So a lot of stuff, don’t be surprised if stuff starts coming up for you, and just allow yourself to tune into it.” And I did. And it was to the point where I was suppressing a lot of anger, and I’ve been suppressing a lot of anger most of my life. And it was coming out of my sleep. I met some friends in Portugal after that, and the a couple nights we shared a room together, and I talk in my sleep sometimes and they said, “Robin, you are yelling in your sleep.” And…
Darla LeDoux: Gettin’ it out.
Robin Finney: They were like, one night you just yelled, “Fuck!” And another night they were like, I called somebody a bitch, and I’m like, ” Man, I don’t know.” And they were like, “We don’t know what was going on with you.” But I knew that my subconscious was like, “Okay, if you are not going to let this out, then you have no choice where it’s going to get out.”
Darla LeDoux: Nice. Awesome.
So Robin, you’re hosting retreats for women who want to own who they are.
Robin Finney: Yes.
Darla LeDoux: And that can be done traveling on their own with a custom designed experience, because a lot of people aren’t as brave as you are, or don’t know your secrets for finding amazing people and places, or you’ll go with someone as part of their solo travel experience. And in particular, I know you’re going to be in Spain for a while, so that would be a great place for someone to meet you. But then you’re also doing retreats. You just did one, you had a mini photo shoot. Can you talk a little bit about, first of all, as the person leading the retreat, what have you learned that surprised you?
Robin Finney: So one, it surprised me how easy and natural it was for me. And I think it’s definitely, it opened my eyes to, again, kind of just like overlooking my identity in that way and not owning it. So I was just really present that I really have a gift for holding space for others and leading them in conversations that allow them to be heard and seen. And so that was really special.
And also just seeing women who were new to transformation, and there were a couple of women on the retreat who this was their first retreat. And so it was really just a unique experience to see them unfold. And like one woman went from not having any hobbies or knowing what she wanted to do, she was bored all the time, lonely, and so we started exploring some things that she could take on, and by Sunday night after the retreat was over, she texted me and said, “I just got a blog domain. I’m going to start writing.”
Darla LeDoux: Wow!
Robin Finney: And that was not even on her radar before the beginning of the retreat. So it was really awesome seeing that, and also just knowing that whenever I can get out of my own way, that’s when the magic happens. Because when I’m just having conversations with people and holding space for them, then that’s where my heart is leading, and I’m not in my head.
Darla LeDoux: That’s awesome. And it’s great for anyone listening. I find that to be true more often than not, that the people who are drawn to lead retreats find it to be more easy and natural than they expected. If you can let go of that idea that it should be a certain way or there some level of preparation, or materials, or something that you should have done better and just be in that presence of the retreat, it’s easier than most people think, really.
Robin Finney: Yes.
Darla LeDoux: Yes. I love that. And I’m not surprised. [laughing] Amazing. And then the photo shoot aspect, how did that add to the experience for people?
Robin Finney: So one thing, every retreat that I have been on myself, I always take a before and after photo, I’ll just do a selfie, and that’s something I think as retreat leaders that…
Darla LeDoux: That’s such a good idea. We don’t do that. I don’t know why.
Robin Finney: I think it’s such a beautiful gift, and to offer someone. Because you can see a difference.
Darla LeDoux: Yes.
Robin Finney: And so that was the very first thing I did when the women got there. We had them get their permission and then I said, “Can I take everybody’s photo?” And so I took their photos and then the next two days, it was a two and a half day retreat, so we split up and I took each person one-on-one and spent about 20 minutes with each woman and ask them what they wanted to embody, and how they wanted to feel. So we would find places that kind of made them step into what it was that they were looking for. And then afterwards I edited the photos and sent them to each of them. And it was a really beautiful way to show people, like, another side to them that they may not have otherwise seen through fresh eyes. Because at the beginning of the retreat I was like, “Okay, I want to take everybody’s photo and do before.” And there was a lot of like, “Oh, you’re not going to show these to anybody, are you? I don’t want it.” [laughing] And then by the time we were doing the photo shoot, it’s like they were throwing leaves in the air and dancing and jumping and having fun. And it was totally different. And so I think that’s something I would recommend for other retreat leaders is just…
Darla LeDoux: Yes!
Robin Finney: … even if you just do a before and after photo, just…
Darla LeDoux: That’s such an amazing tip. Amazing. So what else is next for you? What are you excited about?
Robin Finney: So I’m really excited about Spain. I’m meeting somebody next week who, when I was there, I met a tour guide there. And so I’m getting together with him in person. He’s actually going to be in Dallas, and so we’re going to talk about plans for Spain, and I’m really excited about, I’m already envisioning the women that I want to come on the experience with me, and just how the experience will go, and photo shoots will be part of that. And it’s an experience to have people step into their confidence and just travel in a group setting while also holding space for them, that they’ll have the courage to step out on their own for an afternoon and kind of learn to embody some of those things. And then also just continuing my own journey of traveling all over, and doing photo shoots, and really want to continue to connect with people that way and use my photos to shine a positive light on all of the places where I travel. And also just continuing to hone in on ownership. And I’ve got a course that I’m going to launch around owning just, ownership in general, like owning your own pace, owning your inner beauty, your outer beauty, competence, what it is that you want. So really expanding upon that. So I’m excited because I’m finally like, “Wow, okay, I’m owning it. I’m learning that I can do this.”
Darla LeDoux: Yes. So people who would be interested in Spain could expect a shift around really owning themselves, is what you want?
Robin Finney: Yes. And then just and confidence. Confidence is a big part of the work that I do as well.
Darla LeDoux: Robin, I’m really curious because it can look, I think from the outside like, “Oh, okay, I’m doing all these trips. I’m taking all these beautiful photos and then meeting these amazing people.” What’s been the hardest part for you of owning it?
Robin Finney: So I actually just…
Darla LeDoux: That’s been the hardest in your struggle.
Robin Finney: Yes. It actually just came to me a couple of nights ago. I was awoken from a bad dream and like I was teaching a yoga class and nobody was paying attention to me. Nobody was listening. They were like, “We can’t hear you. What are you saying?” Or people were goofing off and I was getting really frustrated, and I woke up and I was just sweating. And all of a sudden the thought came to me, “No one will take me seriously.” And I realized that, that statement has been running me. And one of my biggest fears in really launching myself is, I’ve been afraid that I’ve been stepping my toes in the water and then pulling back, and that when I step out again that people are going to be like, “Oh, is she for real this time?” And so that, I’ve been sitting with that the past couple of days and just recognizing that it’s just fear. It’s just another clever way that fear’s trying to stop me from shining my light.
Darla LeDoux: What qualities or characteristics that are natural to you, have you been afraid to share, because people wouldn’t take you seriously?
Robin Finney: Leading. I was a support person for many years in my job because I gave up leading. And I think that was part of why the yoga came up, because I’m leading. I was leading a room and it was still very real for me that people won’t take me seriously. And so being in the spotlight, that’s a big part of that. And I think that’s the same with my photoshoots is, it’s putting me in the spotlight and the questions that came to me also as I was writing all of this out was, or one of the statements was, “I’m afraid that either people won’t take me seriously and I’ll never get there, or I’ll get there and they expect more for me, and then I won’t be able to meet their expectations.”
Darla LeDoux: It’s a lot of pressure.
Robin Finney: Yes, a lot of pressure.
Darla LeDoux: Yes. Do you know when you decided to be a support person rather than a leader?
Robin Finney: Yes. I think it was after high school. I was the president of my speech team for many years and I didn’t make it to the state finals tournament, and I felt like I let everyone down and that if I couldn’t make it, then how could I lead others in making it?
Darla LeDoux: And just like that, “I guess I’m not a leader?”
Robin Finney: Right.
Darla LeDoux: Yes. It’s so beautiful to see that you can shift that and take that back and step in the spotlight.
Robin Finney: Right. Yes.
Darla LeDoux: And I’m guessing that’s a similar journey that your clients are on.
Robin Finney: Yes. And it’s people who may not even know they’re struggling with their identity because they’re afraid to own it or they’re afraid to tell people what they’re up to because they’re afraid that people might tell them they’re crazy, or silly or…
Darla LeDoux: Yes, I think a lot of people are resonating with that. I hear that quite a lot.
Robin Finney: Yes.
Darla LeDoux: Yeah. Beautiful. Robin, how can people stay in touch with you?
Robin Finney: Yes, so I’ll make it simple. My website / social media handle is Wandering Aunt, and you can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, my blog and website, and I’m constantly posting on my story. I post every day on my Instagram stories, so you can always see where I am and what I’m up to and what I’m doing in the world.
Darla LeDoux: And if they go to your main website, they can get on your newsletter where they’ll get your blog and they’ll be able to see when you have space for clients and all of that, right?
Robin Finney: Yes.
Darla LeDoux: If someone gets a hit that they want to meet you in Spain, what’s your email?
Robin Finney: Keep it simple. You can do email@example.com.
Darla LeDoux: Perfect. Perfect! Robin, thank you so much. And everyone, go follow Robin on Instagram! So at minimum you can get some beautiful photos in your feed. It always brightens my day to see where you are and what you’re up to and the posts that you share. So, thank you so much for sharing. Guys, consider incorporating a photo shoot into your retreat. I know this isn’t a service that you necessarily offer Robin, but I’m sure someone could book a session with you and get help with that on how to do that.
Robin Finney: Yes, absolutely. And even I partner with retreat leaders as well, so if anybody wants to have that as part of their retreat, then I’m happy to actually come on retreat.
Darla LeDoux: Come in and organize it.
Robin Finney: Yes.
Darla LeDoux: Fabulous. Ooh, juicy. Thank you so much. Thanks everyone for being here and we’ll see you on the next episode. Bye everyone!
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