Featuring the Big Dreamers, Believers, Creatives and Entrepreneurs.
The Life Lovers, Spirit Seekers and Thought Leaders.
The Everyday Inspiring women who are creating change in the world in a small or BIG way through their vision, lifestyle, and business.
Today’s Change Maker is the gorgeous Robyn Gooding who is the founder of girls4girls nonprofit movement and soon to be released Unsubscribe magazine.
This woman right here is who I think of when I see or hear the word change maker.
She envelops all of the qualities listed above and so many more. With a deep understanding of life from her own personal experiences, Robyn has taken those knowings and has set about changing the world with integrity + grace.
I am so excited to share this incredible soul with you and let her uplift and inspire you through her experiences + insights. Please welcome the beautiful Robyn Gooding…
What does living an inspired lifestyle mean to you?
Living an inspired lifestyle for me is about staying grounded and humble, focusing on authentic connections with others and importantly with myself, and passionately creating something meaningful- whatever that may be.
How do you create change in your life and/or business?
I just do it. I don’t think too long about decisions – I have a really strong intuition and I always follow it, even when it’s a difficult decision or when the timing doesn’t seem totally appropriate. I trust that inner voice guiding me and I believe that jumping right in is the best way to get started. I’m not really a perfectionist- I have high standards and expectations but I think perfection is wildly overrated. Therefore, I’m not too concerned with failing or other people’s judgements. I really love the entire process and I make room for the mistakes and growth along the way without being hard on myself.
What challenges have you faced along the way?
Too many to count. I have faced financial challenges- this one is a biggie because it’s easy to make excuses for not following your dreams due to financial obligations. I have had to confront my own fears and insecurities, which is another biggie because you need to believe in yourself first and it’s easy to get intimidated or overwhelmed in the midst of change or chaos. I have had to confront my own weaknesses and learn how to create a supportive community around me who can complement them and provide wise counsel I can trust. In non profit you would be surprised how cut throat it is because all the NGO’s are your competition, not only the one’s working in your field. I have never really seen things this way because I support any NGO that is sincerely providing support to others and I am usually their number one cheerleader. But I have definitely come across other NGO’s who are more cut throat than big league businesses, and there was a time where I paid too much attention to their negativity. Now I simply run my own race and support everyone doing the same!
When did you first know you were meant for something more and how did you take the leap?
I don’t think I chose what I do as much as I feel like it chose me. I grew up in Africa and witnessed a lot of things at an early age that most children in the developed world couldn’t even imagine. How can you see more, know more and not want to do more to help others? I started really small, supporting sexual survivors in simple ways and organically more people have jumped on board. I think that each of us is called to do something wonderful in this world, whether that’s in your own circle or in a bigger capacity and so collectively, the people I have surrounded myself with and those who support sexual empowerment are integral to the success of anything I have done. I feel immensely grateful that I can give back to others and be a defender of the most vulnerable, because their lives are equally valuable and witnessing them realizing this revelation is one of the most powerful things I have ever experienced. To give someone a voice, that is the most beautiful thing in the world to me.
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
This one’s easy for me – I would want everyone in the world to feel that they are truly “free”. Freedom, is priceless. Democratic freedom, intellectual freedom, emotional freedom, freedom from violence and judgement and injustice. The fight for freedom on all levels is one of the most important ones in my opinion.
If you were to give one piece of advice to someone who is ready for more but holding back through fear of the unknown, what would it be?
There comes a time where the risk to stay tightly in the bud is greater than the risk to blossom. It may sound cliche but it has resonated with me profoundly. For everyone, there comes a time where it hurts more to not try than it does to fail. You will know when you’re at that tipping point, and when you find yourself there, I promise the unknown is a lot less scary than the stagnation of your comfort zone! Just do it!
Is there a person or experience that inspired change in your life, if so who and what?
Wow, there are so many inspiring people in my life, many of them ordinary people that are too humble to even consider that they are inspiring. I am inspired by people who are honest with their words and actions, who don’t get caught up in other people’s opinions of them, who fearlessly pursue their dreams even when others laugh at them, and who are not afraid of hard work and commitment. There are so many young entrepreneurs making cities innovative and creative and vibrant in fashion, food, tech, design etc. I love all of their tenacity and zest! They inspire me to keep trudging along in my own industry and to have fun with it rather than getting too focused on the serious aspects. The most beautiful moments of my life have really been the simplest ones, and I always bring myself back to those moments – staying present and enjoying the journey because life is beautiful and offers so much more than that feeling of crossing the Finnish line.
What are your top 3 ways to stay inspired?
1. Remaining present is really important for me. It’s easy for me to start worrying about things in the future, so I have to constantly remind myself that all we have is now and to celebrate the present moment without fear of the unknown future. This allows me to remain in a state of gratitude which is critical for happiness.
2. De-cluterring my life – in terms of my head space, my time commitments, my relationships etc. Making an effort to keep everything simple and authentic.
3. Surrounding myself with beauty – beautifully hearted people, beautiful places, beautiful food, beautiful nature… beauty in all its forms elevates my creativity and triggers most of my “aha moments”. I can’t think in a sterile environment, so no matter where in the world I find myself I need to create a beautiful space.
What is one thing people don’t know about you (it can be something fun, a fear, or something close to your heart – whatever you would like to share)?
As an immigrant to Canada, there was a time where my parents didn’t even have more than one hundred dollars in the bank. As the eldest, I would take my brothers around the community centres to look under all the vending machines for extra coins so we could save up for treats! I would then take those treats and create “candy stands” in the heavily immigrant neighbourhoods, and sell them to the other kids for a small profit so that we could save the profit and buy ourselves even better treats. For my 12th birthday I asked my parents to buy me a cash register, so they found an old one at a garage sale and bought it for me which took our little candy business to and entirely new level! I loved being able to create something out of nothing even at a young age, and this entrepreneurial spirit is very much a big part of who I am today even. I used to be embarrassed about my family’s poverty at one stage, and now I am ashamed that I ever felt embarrassed. Looking back, even though my family had very little, we were so close and truly nurtured our family bond through the challenges we faced. I’m so grateful for that because my family is my everything and a decade later, even though our financial situation has changed, we are still inseparable.
I absolutely love connecting with Robyn and getting to know all of these beautiful insights into her life, passions + beliefs. A couple of my biggest takeaways were:
- I love how Robyn said she felt like it wasn’t so much her choose but rather what chose her. That is what I call your true calling.
- Robyn’s advice on knowing when staying tightly in the bud is a greater risk than to blossom resonated so much with me too. That is the key to moving forward.
- Wow hearing Robyn’s share on one thing most people wouldn’t know about her was really moving. I loved being invited into her story like that and talk about inspiring!!!
I’d love to hear what your biggest takeaways or inspirations were from Ange’s interview? Please share away in the comments below.
Robyn is a heart-fuelled writer, photographer, adventurer and storyteller. Petite and spirited, idealistic and intellectual, she is hopelessly in love with the Earth and its people.
With a tendency to break rules, colour outside the lines and rebel against conformity, Robyn has found herself living an unconventional life.
Born in South Africa, she holds a Canadian passport, has a home in Tokyo, Hawaii and Vanuatu, and is completing her Masters of International Relations through a University in Germany. As president and founder of Girls4Girls Charitable Association, she focuses on empowering women to use their voices and explore their choices. Especially when it comes to sex and their sexual experiences.
When she is not pursuing her passion of empowering others, you can find her dancing on a table, sipping on tea or tequila or sharing her musings on life, love and travel with others on her blog!
And find out more about how you can be a change maker too by heading over to the Girls 4 Girls Website.