Ep. 131 – Roya Mattis: Bringing Joy and Unity Back Into Our Lives.
Rob: All right, good morning, good afternoon, good evening to all of our Becoming Your Best podcast listeners. I’m Rob Shallenberger, CEO of Becoming Your Best Global Leadership. Excited to have you with us on this podcast today. And we have an amazing lady with us. She’s familiar now with Becoming Your Best, what we’re doing, but I’ve told her about the listeners and how you’re all over the world and how amazing you are.
So I’m going to give you a chance to get to know Roya today. I’ve been so impressed with her. I actually met her only about three weeks ago and just a little background on Roya and I’ll let her tell more of her story, but what I know about her is, number one, she’s been very successful with Mary Kay. And if you’re going to be very successful in that particular world, you need to be an amazing person. You need to be a person that people love to be around. She has incredible energy and what I really loved and why I wanted to invite her onto this podcast is because she has this idea about a movement that I feel would be a very powerful movement. I’m going to let her tell us a little bit more about that. But before we do, welcome Roya and if you wouldn’t mind just sharing a little background with our listeners about who you are and your background and just a little bit about you.
Roya: Oh, sure. Well, thanks for having me on, Rob. What an opportunity, what an honor. I know you take your listening audiences seriously and that all you want to do is to give and so here we are, partnered together to give more of ourselves and to pray that it makes a difference to someone, is my prayer. So thank you for having me. Gosh, my journey with Mary Kay cosmetics started when I was in my 20s. I used to run hotels. I worked 80, 90 hours a week. My parents taught me great work ethic. My dad actually had to start all over. We lived in another country and he lost everything in the war with four children. They had four children in five years so you can imagine.
The gift to me was to see the ability to just dig in and come back and take care of the people that you love. And also, it harbored a responsibility in me to do what I had to do and my parents never asked me to but I just never wanted to burden them financially. So, I worked really hard in school and made sure that I paid for as much as I could. When I graduated, I was given a great job as an assistant general manager of this property that happened to be number 1 out of 2000 properties nation-wide. So this young kid is totally in charge of a pretty big deal space. I used to work 80, 90 hours a week, week in, week out, Rob, and I loved it. It was on salary, so the more work I did, the more work they gave me. I happened to get engaged to my now husband, Noah, of almost 19 years.
Roya: We had gone to high school together so I wasn’t out socializing. We met there but we didn’t date there anyways. So he asked me to marry him and I thought, “Oh my gosh, either I’m going to be married to this hotel or married to him. What am I going to be now when I grow up?” So, my soul was searching. I don’t know if you or anyone listening has ever felt like you need to make a change but your life circumstances are so harried and so busy that you can’t even fathom thinking about something else. Your feet hit the floor, go through the day, your head hits the pillow and you do it again. It’s that cycle.
So, I was thinking about it but not doing anything about it. I walked into my divine appointment. I didn’t know it was going to be my divine appointment. I was called by a sister property for cookie dough of all things. I went to deliver it to them on my way home after my normal 16, 18-hour day and there, there was a huge group of happy, huggy, sparkly Mary Kay people, much like I’ve become.
I did what any normal woman would do, I think. I tried to avoid them and I went as fast as humanly possible through the crowd. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a woman trying to outrun another woman in heels, but that was me and I won. I saw one bouncing toward me and she asked them to go get me from behind the front desk wall. I came out with my arms crossed and I told them they had 10 minutes to tell me whatever it is they wanted to tell me. See, my perception was, these women were so excited about lipstick and eye shadow every day. I was like, how shallow.
I turned down three sales jobs out of college. I never wanted to do that. I grew up with three brothers. I had two eye shadows since the eighth grade. So there was no real glamour in our household and I had some really challenging female relationships up into that point. Some really heartbreaking, cat clawing, back stabbing stuff so I mostly all guy friends. The last thing I wanted to do was hang around a bunch of women. I was so impressed more than anything else with how they treated each other. I observed them in the lobby. They didn’t know I was watching and watching and I thought, “Wow, this culture of how they treat each other is so beautiful so if nothing else, I’m going to learn to look cute at a discount and meet some great people.”
So, that’s how it, kind of, began, and why now, why this Segway? I just want people to know that I’m completely loyal in my role as an independent National Sales Director with Mary Kay. Been in the company, working here for about 17 years. But, I got this calling. This calling of a need and I feel like it’s almost like, I don’t know, if you see someone starving and you have food, you can’t deny to give it to them. You have to do that. So this is a bridge. It’s simply a bridge, SHE-ness, is what I call it to building women and helping women and helping society beyond the beauty case. It’s my give back. It’s my passionate help to heal pains and navigate some potential dangers that I see as being ahead. You know, Mary Kay Ash said, “If one more woman today realized how great she really is, it’d be a great day.” And that’s my mission in Mary Kay and that’s my mission in SHE-ness.
Rob: Yeah, well great background. You know, one thing that’s interesting is we’ve got a lot of listeners, men, women, old, young, seasoned and young, across the entire spectrum. It’s interesting. We had this initial conversation, you and I a couple of weeks ago. As you initially started talking, you were talking about these women’s movement and then we had a conversation, as you remember, as we were trying to articulate what it is that you are doing and what does this look like and how you describe it. One of the challenges is, when we say something like women’s movement…You know, on the phone what we talked about is almost there’s muddy water that exists.
Rob: You have these two political parties, the Republicans, the Democrats and it’s almost like they’re going to vote in opposition to each other no matter what the issue. It’s not even about the issue. It’s just, I’m going to vote the opposite of how they vote. When we say women’s movement, it’s almost how murky the waters are in that world as well because there’s been some people who’ve been so passionate about it that they have distanced themselves in our culture and they’ve taken such a radical viewpoint on one side or the other. It’s almost difficult to have a discussion. I mean, someone says the word “Women’s Movement” and all of a sudden it’s polarizing.
Roya: Yes, you’re right.
Rob: You know, you have one group on one side and they say, “Oh, here we go again.” Then you have a group on the other side that says, “Yes, we need more of this.” Then as you began to describe what it really is, it’s much more than that. And I thought this is something that people really need to hear about because it involves both men and women. It involves the workplace and it’s not just “This women’s movement that has become very muddy.” It’s much deeper than that and each of us plays a role in this.
So, tell us more about this, and we’ll call it a movement for now, as you’re articulating what that is. But tell us what it is that you have for your vision and why you’re doing it, because at first, like I said, I was like, “Oh, another women’s movement.” But boy, as you started to describe it, it took on a whole new life and meaning and there’s not a lot that exists out there like that right now and so I felt like it was very powerful. So maybe you could just describe that.
Roya: Sure. I kind of see this, Rob, as I’ve been traveling now across the country and deeply working with women for about 17 years. I just see a pain there and with this big shout out now, you right, about women’s movement, I see a danger ahead. Anything in extreme has its danger and it’s benefits and so I see this as the third phase that we’re going through right now, the female revolution. The first being suppression in the U.S. and the second being “We want it all, have it all and do it all and yet we’re still dissatisfied.” So, we women have it all and I want them to actually enjoy it. I’m here to help women tap into both parts of herself in an effort to heal her pain and give joy back to the women and also give it back to the men. We crave great relationships. This is what we’re looking for.
I want to give the women back to each other and the men back their women and this movement I call, SHE-ness. It’s an embrace of the freedom of “She”. The fact that the women’s world movement is in full effect, we’re arguing for what has become increasingly uncomfortable. The lack of balance is showing up in everything from finance, religion to planning and politics and relationships. And in much of the developed world, we have undervalued feminine energy and we’re attempting to reclaim it and where I see the reclaim as a potential of it going into the masculine, conquering.
Like, what you described as polarizing effect in a way that is not inclusive of being feminine. Our dominating, masculine society values drive and direction and segregation and domination which we need for success and strength. Listen, I’m clearly a driver. There’s nothing wrong with that, but the strong feminine movement can be beautiful if we pay attention. If we don’t pay attention, we’ll morph into this unhappy society that’s tense and further emasculating men.
Rob: Which a lot of people have done right there. That was the initial conversation we had. You know you said women’s movement and suddenly it’s this thing where it’s almost women versus men.
Rob: You know, we’re going to claim our right and then you got these two parties and there’s a polarizing gap between them.
Roya: It’s unintentional bullying and imbalanced society.
Rob: And what you’re saying is totally different than that.
Roya: I’m sorry, yes.
Rob: So it’s just from both sides and neither side really ends up winning in that particular case. There’s not a shared vision. That’s why I love what you’re saying because it’s this vision for both. This empowerment for women so that they feel true joy, happiness and achieve their fullest potential. At the same time, so that men can get their women back and can have this fulfilling relationship together with those women who feel empowered and have their own individual identity.
Roya: Inclusion of men. I believe it should start with feminine pride not feminism or male domination.
Rob: Yeah, so describe that a little bit. What do you mean by that?
Roya: Well, the benefits of feminine energy brings a multi-faceted type of energy and it’s ease and presence and it’s about understanding while the masculine energy is stable and secure and focused and commanding. We both have masculine energy inside of us and we both have feminine energy. If we don’t have feminine come more predominantly valued out, we won’t find the nurturing and the appreciation of each other in the way that we could without the feminine. The feminine is by nature aware of collective growth and without it, we can risk emotional depths and reduced intimate and passionate connection.
So, the third phase is harmoniously going back and forth, Rob, within those energies. So for example. If your primarily feminine, it doesn’t mean that you’re a woman, but if you’re primarily feminine, the root core of where we feel most satisfied is in that feminine energy. And if you’re primarily masculine, the root core of where you feel most satisfied is in the masculine energy. So, what I notice, personally, as a driving woman is that I operated so much in the driving winning masculine energy which has become so valued in society that my relationship was suffering, I was feeling tense and I didn’t know why. I feel I should have been grateful. Why am I not grateful? I have all the opportunity in the world and yet I feel frustrated.
Then you either end up with a relationship where you’ve got a really masculine guy that’s now fighting you and you’re arguing all the time and at the end of the day, quite frankly, if he’s primarily masculine and you are the core of feminine, he’s going to win every time because when a man walks off a battlefield, he leaves it behind. When a woman walks off, she carries it with her.
Rob: Interesting insight.
Roya: Or you have a super nice man and he’s going, “I want to accommodate you. I want to love you. Whatever you want honey, whatever you want.” And then she’s starting to dominate and she gets whatever she wants and she’s no longer sexually attracted to him. He’s totally emasculated and now you’ve got this challenge in the home and dissatisfaction. And without awareness, I didn’t even know that I had this need to conquer and a need to be held. I think there’s so much of that in women that we have been denying of ourselves and therefore we’re denying our men the opportunity to hold us and to then celebrate when we want to win because we feel like we’re doing it together rather than opposing forces.
Rob: Can I just give you one example from my observation of this and it’s such a great insight that you’ve seen. I’ve seen both sides of the coin on this. When I’ve opened the door for my wife, I had a person come up to me and say, “That’s so amazing that you still open the door for your wife.” I’ve had, now very rarely, but I did have a person a couple of years ago be critical of opening the door for my wife. You know, “She can do that for herself.” As if it’s her exercising her woman’s right.
Rob: That’s an example of the polarizing side of it…
Roya: It is. It is.
Rob: Where allow us the opportunity to serve the other person, you know, to do that and she can still become and achieve everything that she wants to. And we have those balances, you’re talking about this energy, this balancing energy rather than this one that makes the other subservient to it.
Roya: Yes. So I want to talk to my high-powered women for a moment, as an achieving woman, we’ve got to go out and hold our own in what it is we want to achieve in our workspace, in our life space, let’s say you’re running a home even. You’ve got to be able to have that point A to point B mentality. There’s got to be a space and a place that you value letting it go. I remember sitting in the middle of a Tony Robbins event and he asked all the primarily feminine women, and this is just in 2014, it wasn’t long ago, to please stand up. I remained seated and I’m watching all these women move in a feminine way and I’m thinking, “I want to do that.” Meanwhile, I’m tense. I have no idea why I was operating and feeling agitated a lot and my personal marriage was suffering and I’m with all these other high achieving women and we’re having the same conversations.
It took me a full-on, almost, year to realize I am not primarily masculine, I am actually primarily feminine but I’ve been operating in this inaccurate energy because that’s what I thought I valued the most. So, if I’m speaking to any of those women, my hope is that you ask yourself the question, if my body if I am feeling tense and I don’t know why, is that a signal to me that I’m operating primarily in the wrong energy? And if I learn how to access that feminine part of me, will everything start to become a flow instead of a push in my life? Once I began to access that Rob, my life has become more of a flow rather than a push, and women are attracted to it and men are attracted to it. This is what we’re supposed to do. Ebb between the two and attract each other into our spaces rather than demand it.
Rob: Yeah, which is so unifying.
Rob: It’s the exact opposite of this polarization. It’s this unifying that comes together with that. It’s awesome. So let me ask you a different question. How did your experience with Mary Kay lead to this idea and where would you love to see this go from here?
Roya: Well, that’s a great question. You know, Mary Kay is actually the basis of where the thought of the tribe came from. Mary Kay has been such a healthy tribe for me that I never truly experienced outside of this phenomenon. It’s not in a lot of places. It is in places but it’s not in a lot of places and I personally benefited from these confident, kind, female relationships. Prior to that, I had mostly guy friends but since the beginning of time, we as women have been wired to be a part of a tribe. So if you look back at cavemen days, cavemen, the men went out independently hunted or with one other guy you barely spoke to. To stay quiet to get the hunt, to get the kill. The women stayed in a circle and half of them looking in on the fire, the other half presumably looking out for danger and community was built.
As society has progressed, at least in the U.S. or in more developed countries, have become so rigid on being independently capable that we don’t even remember or realize that the tribe for women allows us to breathe free. There’s a sense of relaxation and there is a craving for me that I didn’t even know I had to have female relationships. So as I’ve traveled across the country, I see the pain. Women desperate for healthy tribes and I’m watching the dangers and the extreme of this women’s movement right now and I see them grasping and not quite reaching it and I knew that I was being called to help.
I don’t pretend that I have all the answers. So I do know that I am being used as a vessel of connection of brilliant minds around me. I continue to be loyal to my Mary Kay tribe first that I’ve developed and my vision is that along with these brilliantly connected minds and sheness, that we’ll develop this community of helping to teach women to navigate the flow between masculine and feminine. High powered women, we need to be taught how to access, even find that part of ourselves. If we’re feeling burden and intense, I want to teach that and for women that feel that they don’t have power, that has felt lost and undervalue because you’re primarily feminine, teach you that assertive, masculine side that’s not abrasive.
And when women connect with each other, themselves and men, my dream is that we lift the boxes off the stereotypes of you’re only this way or you’re only that way and have pride in feminine traits again without being sexualized and to see this conversation, you know, all across the country from morning shows and afternoon broadcasts and skill-based workshops and kitchen table conversations. I do it see it, Rob, as a movement that can heal us from what we’ve been unconsciously dying from and that’s boxing ourselves into one form of person. I think, we think that if we are sometimes tough and sometimes soft, we’re being incongruent to ourselves. May I give you one last example on why I believe that this is important to flow between the two?
Rob: Yeah, absolutely.
Roya: If we look at toddlers and we watch a toddler find a butterfly, for example. They’re so gentle and kind and loving with that butterfly. You watch them say, “Oh, it’s so cute, it’s so beautiful.” The next minute that toddler stomps in anger and throws themselves on the floor and screams and cries. Do we think that toddler is being incongruent to themselves of do we realize that they are actually being completely authentic? As we grow, somewhere along the way, we decide that we are some kind of identity and once we decide to find that identity, it’s my experience that we run in that identity, in that lane all the time to remain congruent with ourselves when truly, at the heart of each of us, there’s different parts that must be accessed in order to fully realize the richness and depth of our self.
And for a woman we’ve been denying the pride and the feminine flow and the relaxation and the inclusion that comes with that energy. Our men could completely thrive from allowing ourselves to weave into both. And for men as well. Sometimes we need them to dive into the feminine energy on occasion and we’ll fully access our potential as a society that way.
Rob: Yeah, so interesting the things you just said there. As you know, from our conversations, Roya, we’ll do leadership seminars, keynotes around the world and interact with a lot of different people from C-Suite executives to frontline employees and everywhere in between. I’ve heard people say in the past, you know, “I can’t change. This is who I am.” Well, we know that’s not true. Neuroplasticity would prove that false. You know, the old adage you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, false. Neuroplasticity would show that we can actually rewire our brains and our thinking. So, you’re talking about this identity that we’ve taken on and that’s so true and it’s so hard to break. Sometimes through that mindset, because we see through this color lens and that lens through which we see may or may not be painting an accurate picture of what the true reality is around us. It’s our colored lens that distorts an accurate view sometimes of reality.
So we ought to introspectively, each one of us, look internally at that and ask and I hope the men on this podcast have really been paying attention because this is just as applicable to us in how do we treat our spouses if we’re married, how do we treat those we work with, you know, of the opposite gender. And what does that look like? That yin and the yang, the back and the forth because it’s so critical that both people tap into those different areas. I love what you’re saying.
So as you’re talking about this identity that we take upon us and sometimes it’s matter of seeing, number one, you know what, maybe there’s changes that we can make that will help us live a better life, be more successful in our professional and personal lives. Number two, people are always craving something they can specifically do. So I’m confident there’s people listening right now that are introspectively looking into their own lives and thinking, you know, how are their relationships? Have they swung the pendulum one side of the other? Because we all know relationships.
There’s someone who I know very well who was a lady who lived in a relationship where she was dominated for years and didn’t say anything. She felt like she had no voice. Finally, she stood up and she walked out of the house for about four weeks, a temporary separation. That changed the relationship and it was the first time she ever stood up to him. You know, they’re back together and the relationship at this point is 10 times better than it was. I don’t know how it’s been since then but I do know it’s 10 times better than what it was because she finally stood up.
At the same time, there’s other people who I know who both parties were so strong. You know, the woman or the man had such a strong voice that it never allowed them to have that deep relationship. What you’re talking about is finding that balance, that yin and the yang, the pull and the push that brings people together. What’s something that someone could do right now in their lives? Women or men, either one. What’s something that someone could actually go do this morning, this afternoon, whenever they’re listening to this podcast?
Roya: Gosh, Rob. There’s so many things that you can do but the first thing is to…Why don’t I give you…Can I give you…I apologize, my mind just went a million places. Number one is to acknowledge. Acknowledge that we are evolved. So this audience that’s listening to you now, they’re growth minded. Let’s start with the people that are willing to grow, think and get better than they were yesterday. The way I see it is that we had to biologically box things in order to make society palatable and manageable for us. What I want to challenge you to think, number one is, I’ve evolved past that need and I can see a human being as this human being rather than labelled into one specific space and place.
If you’re a high-powered woman, I actually want to offer you five tips that I can send that allows you to access that feminine part again. For the masculine, you may want to see these five steps to help the feminine in your life and to celebrate it when she attempts, because it’s an attempt at first until it begins to grow into a habit. That would be the first thing is realization.
Rob: So you’re offering those five steps which is great. I’m sure a lot of people would like to see those. How could they get those?
Roya: I have a gift. So they can simply go to my website, www.she-ness.com which is, S-H-E-dash-N-E-S-S. So she-ness with a dash, Embracing She. She-ness.com and simply hit the subscribe button. They’re going to get a welcome email and then we’re going to send a gift for listening to this podcast and the gift will be, The Five Steps to Accessing your Feminine Energy.
Rob: I’m curious what they are, so I’m going to go and subscribe.
Roya: Do it, what are the five steps? And that’s just the beginning. That’s just the beginning. This is a place that I’ve experimented with a lot of women and has allowed them to reconnect with that part of herself and a lot of them didn’t even know it was there. They were curious to find out if they actually had what we were talking about within them, this need, this desire of feminine flow and these five steps helped them to access it and the freedom and the joy you watch come over a feminine face is amazing. It’s amazing. So that’s my gift to you and those five steps.
Rob: That’s very kind of you, so I encourage everybody to go subscribe. I’m going to. I’m going to have my wife do it and then a couple of our team members, have them do it. You know, what can you ever lose by seeing that? If nothing else, it can just help you see the blinders that we all have to a certain degree. We all have these blind spots and one of the common traits amongst great leaders is there’s a humility and willingness to get better realizing that we all have these blind spots and trying to remove these blind spots as much as possible. So, one more time that website, Roya.
Roya: www.she-ness.com with a dash and you can find us also on social media at Continuing the Conversation, Sheness tribe, no dash. Sheness tribe on any social media feeds and we continue the conversation. We’re looking for other’s voices and I would love, Rob, for your experiments to come back and share with us what did work, what didn’t work because this is truly a collection, a collection of amazing like-minded people that are looking for flow rather than a push in our lives that we’ve been craving and for reconnection to both parties, to men and women.
Rob: Well, thank you so much Roya for being on our podcast. Great insight, been a wonderful conversation and, so applicable to so many of us as people around the world and so thank you for being on our podcast. Grateful to have you here. We will stay connected and work side to learn more and watch this grow. Roya is in the process of writing a book, developing workshops around this, so there’s a lot to come down the road in the upcoming six months to two years and we’ll be excited to watch this as it continues to grow, Roya.
Roya: Thank you, Rob. Thank you for allowing us to begin the spark of this connection. Thank you.
Rob: Well, so nice to have you on our podcast and to everyone that’s listening, remember that one person can make a difference and if you haven’t already done it, go get the book at becomingyourbest.com and start looking at the 12 principles and see how some of those 12 principles apply to this conversation with Roya because it’s amazing how across the board, great leaders produce great results. And what Roya has just been describing are some of those principles. You know, having that vision and learning to communicate and being true to character. So grateful for you on this show, Roya. Have a wonderful day to our listeners and we’ll talk to you again next week.