“… self care comes first”
CLAUDIA CHAN is the founder of ClaudiaChan.com and the creator of S.H.E. Summit, a global women’s leadership and lifestyle conference that brings together outstanding women from over 100 countries to empower themselves and reach their full potential.
Feminine Collective’s Cinzia Brandi attended Claudia Chan’s S.H.E. Summit, this past June. During the summit, she sat down for a one-on-one interview with Claudia Chan, to gain some insight on the woman behind the empowering summit. She asked Claudia to elaborate on the importance of self-care and the tagline of ClaudiaChan.com “lead your optimal life.” Claudia openly shared with Feminine Collective her passions, her life purpose and the beginnings of her umbrella company S.H.E. Global Media. Claudia shares her morning ritual for success, her exercise regime, and her 3 tips to stay healthy.
Q: Hi Claudia. Thank you for taking the time to meet for an interview for Feminine Collective. I know you are busy so let me jump right in. What is this whole self-care thing about? Can you shed some light on this for our readers?
A: Self-care to me is the most important thing! Women have the hardest time doing it because we tend to take care of everyone else first and our forever growing to-do list. Before you know it, months or years have passed where we find ourselves disconnected from our goals and dreams, or not even knowing what those are. That is exactly why we need to constantly find a space to step back and ask ourselves “what do I really want and are my actions aligned with getting me to those goals.” That is self-care but in order to have this… we need self-love. We have to believe we are worthy enough to deserve to BE the priority. It’s rather irrational if we are not because when are not happy, everything we serve (career, families etc) will not get the best of us.
Q: What does self-care look like for you? I would love to hear your self-care plan, and I’m sure our readers would too.
A: I have a morning ritual to get my day on the optimal track. I have a green juice and meditate for 5-10 minutes. In my meditation, I recognize and honor things I appreciate in my life, such as the house I’m living in, my family that supports me to my accomplishments. The longer I meditate, the better day I end up having. This meditation sets my mind in a new state. It’s intentional versus reactionary. I add other intentions such as, “What kind of day do I want to have? Do I want to be productive? Do I want to be happy, successful? …” It’s really a matter of just setting these intentions. I also try to practice yoga on most days and use YOGAGLO, a website and an app. It has a lot of classes from 5 minutes up to a full hour. I love it as I can choose from various teachers, styles, durations, and I can take a class from anywhere.
Q: What does your day look like? Do you plan out your day like you plan your morning routine?
A: Yes, the morning rituals are a part of the daily plan, and the day is planned out in my google calendar. I try to even schedule lunch, dog walks, exercise to other “personal task blocks.” This way I am making those tasks equally as important to business tasks which is easy to lose sight of. I’m not perfect at it so time blocks get shifted often but the important thing is they’re on the calendar and will get done.
Q: ClaudiaChan.com’s tag line is “lead your optimal life.” Can you tell me a little about what you mean by an “optimal life?”
A: Leading your optimal life means living your potential. It means getting all areas of your life (family, career, health, finances etc) in their ideal shape. I believe when women invest in themselves holistically, they will then truly rise, thrive and change the world. One yoga-inspired exercise I practice to lead my optimal life has a 3 step approach based on the heart, mind and body:
- I ask my heart, “What do I want?” I forget about what people think, what I should be, or I should have or should do. I focus instead on what my HEART really wants in the long and short term. I try to do this review every 3 to 6 months to update my goals and evaluate how I am doing.
- Once I am clear on my goals, I ask “How am I going to get there?” This is when I rely on my MIND, intelligence, and experience to define the activities that will get me there. For example, what partnerships, resources skills do I need? How long will this take and what is the schedule of actions?
- Then it’s a matter of taking action in the BODY. This is when I must discipline my body to work, move and activate my plan. That can require a diet that gives me energy, meditation to manage stress or follow physical rituals that keep me on track.
Humanity has to frequently pause and ponder whether their current activities are aligned with their goals.
Q: You mentioned planning the S.H.E. Summit when you talked about phases. What is your schedule around the summit?
A: Once the Summit is over in May/June, summer becomes a rejuvenation and recharge time. In this period I have the space to be creative and vision for what I want and for the business. It’s a great time to update my goals and see what is and isn’t in alignment. Sept we are back in the game and start planning and fundraising for the conference and other new business initiatives.
Q: How did you envision the S.H.E. summit?
A: My goal with S.H.E. Summit, was always to make it the most accessible and transformational women’s empowerment conference that any woman with a computer or smartphone can have access to. In 2010, when the idea came to me, I found other conferences and organizations rather inaccessible, hard to find, elite or expensive. SHE Summit is a big tent event for all women’s movements and missions (their leaders, organizations, followers) to convene, connect and recharge to take new leaps forward. The 80 speakers/26 sessions at our June summit gave women not only advice/stories for their career and lives…but also expanded their consciousness of women’s issues. SHE Summit is the global event to celebrate and accelerate gender equality. Women make up 50% of the world’s population, and yet we represent 70% of the world’s poverty. Massive action needs to be taken and we must have the full participation of all women in the world to care about their gender. If we all cared more about women and girls, and took action (this includes getting men involved), we would accelerate equality. And if women were leading alongside men as equals, I wholeheartedly believe the world would be more safe, sustainable, and economically thriving.
Q: You are passionate about a lot of things. Is there one thing you are more passionate about than everything else?
A: I’m passionate about many things but my faith is probably the most significant. I’m a spiritual person, and I believe that God has given everyone a purpose, along with skills and experiences to achieve that purpose. Our job is to discover our purpose and see all trials and triumphs as things that happen for us and not to us.
Q: What kept you going? You said people didn’t understand what you were doing. Wasn’t that hard to push forward without a business model that people understood?
A: We gain wisdom by going through challenges and obstacles in life. Building a business requires undying patience and courage. To stay in the game and not give up, you must know that what you believe in exists. In the midst of obstacles and challenges, wisdom sprouts! It is in the darkness, that you find yourself—find who you are. You learn how tough you are, who your tribe is, and who you can count on. The most valuable things I have learned have come more from the obstacles than the successes. Suffering (I use an extreme word intentionally) helps us connect to the greater purpose and the greater meaning. It helps us create a deeper relationship with the universe. Talking about these issues honestly and openly is just the beginning. To do all this we must believe we are worthy and cultivate self-love. Self-love combats insecurity and self-doubt which are the bad feminine traits. I feel women need to take more extreme measures with self-love and undergo what I call self-love revolution. More on that in a future article 😉
Q: Claudia, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule here at the S.H.E. summit. And thank you for sharing so many incredible tips. Anything else you would like to add for our readers on their journey through life?
A: It was a pleasure Cinzia. I hope all women who read this begin practicing self-love.