Here’s a mega dose of self empowerment from a woman who “takes slabs of her heart and shares it with the world.” Janne Robinson walks the walk, with a covetable lifestyle — traveling frequently, working three to four hours a day, surfing every morning — and an inspiring voice that reaches thousands through poetry, writing workshops and mentorship programs. Below, her secrets to living authentically — along with self-love lessons.
Let’s talk about female empowerment and self-confidence.
How we do one thing is how we do all things. I think the most humbling and best way to talk about body image is with the term "meat bag." Because literally with genetics and DNA, we come out in all different shapes, sizes and colors — our boobs and our vaginas and our legs, all the parts of us, look so different. We can go on diets and can we can shift our bodies. We obviously can’t get taller, but there are ways to manipulate and shift our bodies to fit into whatever we think is the definition of beautiful. In reality, we’re born with our own metabolism, we’re born with out own genetics, little bones or big bones, and there’s so much beauty in really surrendering into that. Focusing on my first statement: how we do one thing is how we do all things — confidence in our bodies, or personality, or sense of humor or who we love or the work we create is all the same thing. Being at home in our bodies and having that confidence is being at home with ourselves.
It isn’t actually about the body. It doesn’t matter if we’re 105 pounds or 255 pounds. It’s a choice we make to (on some level) soften on love with the genetics and what we’re dealt in our meat bags and our soul cards. When we go to a place of scarcity and fear of something being more beautiful, or we need to be this or that — that's the place where we feel threatened and insecure.
Any tips on how one gets to a point of ease and comfort in their own body?
One of the most physical things we can do to be at home in our bodies is to spend time naked. Sleep naked, walk around in the day light naked (if you live alone), or find time to stand in front of the mirror and look at your body and notice what kind of dialogue you have. If you’re focusing on the negative, create a positive dialogue. Stand in front of the mirror every single day and choose something you like about your body: "I have this birthmark, and it's kind of strange and I really love that" "or I really love the beauty mark under my left breast.”
Write a list of positive affirmations about our bodies. If you need to, write ‘I am beautiful, I am whole, I am bodacious “ on the mirror so that every time you look at it, you can read it. Most of our thoughts recycle each other, so if we’re looking at something a bunch a times, we start to register it as truth in some part of our brains. Affirmations are a beautiful thing, psychology-wise, to give ourselves.
What's one of the biggest challenges up against self love?
Any mindset of comparison — in how much money we make or our bodies or anything else. Any comparison comes from a place of fear and scarcity and not-enoughness. Approach everything you do — even when we get dresssed or what we put in our bodies — from a place of non-comparison.
Easier said than done. How can it actually be done?
Physical self care, not because how you want to look. I surf one or two hours a day, and I go to yoga three or four times a week, and I go hiking and do none of those things from the physical contribution they’re going to give me. All of that is well being and self care. Another great way to install self-love is to stay active. When we feel insecure, we’re in our heads; it’s cerebral so any kind of physical care, whether it's running or swimming or surfing, really drops us into our physical self and grounds us. There’s physical, mental and spiritual well care— it's great to read self-growth books and inspiring articles, but we have to ask what are we actually doing physically to take care of our beings.
What kind of self-love do you apply in your daily life?
Taking time to floss my teeth or put coconut oil on our bodies, shaving legs or taking time to get waxed — all of that is self love. Even creating time to put lotion on our bodies before running off to work is self love. So I create time to not put on makeup or straighten my hair, but I create time for self love — like actually brushing my teeth for three minutes and flossing my teeth or taking green supplements not because I want to loose weight but because I know my body will thrive and radiate with the nutrition it needs.
How did you become a poet and writer on female empowerment? When did you know that you wanted to do this?
When I was in grade three, I wrote a story about a hamster that had three wishes, and it got published. I traveled for years in my adulthood and thought I wanted to be a journalist or tour guide and then I started to write around 19. I came back to writing and started to take myself seriously and started submitting articles to get published four years ago. Since I was little, I was writing poems and at grade three and four would sit at the table and write cat, fat, sat —rhyming poems and song lyrics. It's something that's always been there, but I’ve tapped into a deeper level in the last few years, and that's when my business really got started.
So what is your business and how did you achieve this lifestyle you love?
I break down the core of my work: "the why" is to empower people to live their truth. The "how" is transparency in all that I do. I'm not a writer or a poet — that’s part of my "whats." But I write poetry and articles, I mentor and coach both women and men to be more authentic in their lives and to let go of heaviness and shift to things to they want to do but need permission to get to. I'm usually the permission-giver and tell them to yes — go travel to Italy and eat pizza. I give people permission with my writing, coaching, public speaking, workshops and retreats and spoken word videos. All of those things I strive to do aren't because I want to try to fix this world or help people. I think by living my life in an authentic way and talking and writing about it, it creates permission or makes people realize that they want that authenticy or that things are out of alignment. I basically take slabs of my heart and share them with the world.
What's living in authenticity to you? What's the quickest way to learn this?
Give yourself permission and check in often. My friend Kyle once said “Whatever is heavy in your life — let it go.” I said, “What if this and what if that....” and his answer was simple: “Let it go." I think those are the things that are out of alignment — it’s that business person you talk to for 20 minutes but it feels like four hours. It’s sucking the life force out of us because we actually don’t want that job. Give ourselves permission to really feel when they truly aren’t authentic and sit well with you. Your job takes so much of your time — it’s like a relationship and like a human being in your bed. If that job showed up, would you allow it into your bed? Would you allow it into your space or would you just say, "Sorry, man, I’m not into threesomes"? We need to have the space for YES relationships, businesses and friendships instead of just filling it with anything or what wants us or money. Being able to check in and giving ourselves permission to shift out of things that don’t feel good and take extra energy is most important. Take risks and go for the things that give joy and light. Authenticity is you and you can’t do you wrong. People just got to be themselves.