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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Wendy Watkins: Celebrate You's WOMAN OF THE YEAR

by Cyrus Webb

With everything going on in the world we all need something to celebrate. The organization Celebrate You decided in 2020 to honor a women who were making a difference with their platforms and shining a light for all of us. In 2021 they crowned their Woman of the Year: Wendy Watkins. 

As part of the recognition Conversations had a chance to talk with Wendy on all of its platforms including now the magazine. After a delay due to the magazine's uncertain direction we are excited to share my one-on-one with Celebrate You's Woman of the Year Wendy Watkins. 

Wendy, 2021 started off pretty good for you, being recognized as Celebrate You’s Woman of the Year. How does it feel to have your work being noticed and appreciated?

I feel like a 20-year overnight success, and that is amazing! My life’s work is ‘to be the spark that lights your fire for positive impact’, so to be recognized by my peers for contributions in the area of mental wellness is over the top exciting. This experience has fired up my passion to share the importance of mental wellness, even if you do not have a mental illness. 

 The timing is ideal to step through the doors this opportunity is opening up to create more awareness  and  eradicate the stigma of mental illness, particularly depression and anxiety.  I feel honored, grateful and blessed to be on this path.

Have you always known that you had something that was meant to be shared?

That could be the only reason I’ve lived a life of extreme highs and lows. These experiences made me the woman I am today, and the ideal person to share this message. 

I’ve always wanted to be a ‘rock star’. When I was a young girl and my family was together for the holidays, I’d want to be put on a talent show for the adults. I have never met a camera or microphone I do not like. 

 Unfortunately, my grandparent’s belief was that children should be seen and not heard. That stifled my desire, but my passion and commitment never went away.

How did you get to a place where fear didn’t stop you when it came to pursuing your goals and dreams?

Who said that fear did not stop me? Fear has stopped me in my tracks a multitude of times. It is having resilience and tenacity that allowed me to embrace faith and desire to make a positive impact for others. This allowed me to put fear to the side and get on with my purpose and passion. I see fear as Fantasized Experiences Appearing Real.  Our thoughts are all made up. I have an MSU, and so do you.  We all Make Stuff Up, so why not make up the good stuff?

The first large event I hosted in Atlanta, I was terrified that no one would attend. When those thoughts appeared, I would reach out to my coach or mentor to remind me of what I forgot; that I did not have to be perfect to make a positive impact. I forgot that if I mess up on stage, no one but me knows. I forgot that when I come from my heart with pure intention to inspire people to create their best life, there is less room for fear to show up. 

When I remember that it is not about me, that I am the spark that lights people’s fire and that they will take the information and use it accordingly, the fear subsides and resilience kicks into overdrive. 

Remembering that pursuing ones goals and dreams is a marathon and not a sprint is essential to  staying focused on the impact.  

I love that! As a speaker, coach and author you are continually pouring into others. Where do you go to be refreshed?

Upstairs and outside! My day begins with Wendy time to increase mindfulness.  This includes yoga, meditation and journaling – some days just one of those rituals, other days all three.

 I walk my dog, Eli daily and we enjoy the beauty and promise that being in nature provides. When the weather is good, I move my office outside. I just purchased an electric bike, so I can ride these hills in Atlanta, with a lot more ease! When I’m in nature, I am replenished. 

Another essential piece of my self-care is talking and laughing with my girlfriends regularly.

I mentioned Celebrate You in the beginning of this conversation. How did you find out about the online group, and what has been the benefits for you?

I met LaWanna Bradford when she was the chapter leader at the Womens Prosperity Network.  I walked into that room and felt like I was with family. The CY’s group and their message of women celebrating women and wellness so resonated with me, especially because it was not just about physical health and financial success. That was refreshing.  CY is a holistic and diverse group that is aligned with my values, so being with these ladies brings me joy and fulfillment. 

Each month I have the opportunity to share information to support  mental wellness on a panel with LaWanna and other CY ladies. The variety of information that is available for all of us to be our best selves, is priceless. And, who does not love being a Queen amongst other Queens?

As someone who has found success herself, what advice do you have for others about pursuing their own goals?

Your first step is to gain clarify your definition of success. Once you know where you’re going, it’s essential to find ways to enjoy and celebrate the experiences you have on your way to your destination. We love to travel, and I’ve found that talking and dreaming about the trip is often as fun as the trip itself. 

Along this journey, you’ll get to make many decisions. Having a Values Compass to guide you is most beneficial.  When you honor your values, you’ll experience the most fulfillment. It is that satisfaction that’s the fuel in your tank. You may get lost, i.e., experience setbacks and perceived failures. These can be deeply disappointing. Once you get pass the disappointment, you can use this fertile time to uncover the lesson learned. Failures are opportunities for us to grow and shift something on our journey. 

Be easy on yourself , especially with your self-talk. Instead of beating yourself up for not getting it “right”, talk to yourself as you would your best friend or child. The way you explain things to yourself matters!

 Life is more than just making money. Yes, money does provide safety and security, but it does not provide sustainable happiness. Surround yourself with people that are smarter than you. Ask for help! Hire a coach (shameless plug) and other professionals that are good at the things you are not proficient in. increase your Success Karma by hiring others to do what they are good at, so more people hire you for what you are good at.  Last but not, least, share your success with others either through your time, money or wisdom. M&M’s are so much more fun to share, so is your sweet success. 

Congratulations again, Wendy. How can our audience stay connected with you?

If you like gifts, visit to receive my latest edition of 10 Succes s Hacks for a Flourishing Life. 

As for Social Media: 

IG @WendybWatkins

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