01 Apr robin korth.
mother. sister. daughter. wife. lover. writer. speaker. philosopher. mentor. business owner. co-conspirator at times. heart-holding friend.
I recently stumbled across an article entitled “My ‘Naked’ Truth” in the Huffington Post. It was about beauty and aging. After reading it, I felt compelled to call the author to discuss the pressures society puts on women and our physical attributes. Her message struck a chord with me and I wanted to get her thoughts on how we can create a more accepting environment for how women age.
When we spoke, I shared my appreciation for her article and how it resonated with me. I confessed that I was a size 2 in my twenties and moved into a size 4 in my thirties. Yet, I always felt like I was always just 10 pounds overweight. (Ridiculous, right?) As 40 approached, I could feel my size 6 jeans tighten around my thighs. My God, where will I be in my fifties? The pressure is too much! (I recognize that this was a first-world conversation. But I am obviously not the only one talking about this madness.) I shared this insanity with a complete stranger. And she listened. I went on, “I can’t help but wonder… why am I so concerned? Is it the constant bombardment in our media or am I actually worried about the health of my heart or the cost of a new wardrobe? Why all this social pressure and what can we do to stop this craziness?” I asked. Robin listened to me like we were old friends and then she gave a response that I have thought about every day since our delightful conversation. She thoughtfully said, “Stop participating in it.”
A brilliant reminder.
Allow me to introduce you to a woman who has seen and done it all: addiction. love. loss. pain. bulimia. recovery. aiding and abetting. forgiveness. Robin Korth is a motivational speaker, author, and warrior. She has a message of self love and forgiveness… and thousands are listening.
You are an author and inspirational speaker. Additionally, you offer mentoring services. How did you choose the life you lead and was it a conscious decision? And why is having a mentor so important?
The life I lead now is pretty much a “divine accident,” the result of me finally claiming my soul. I do what I do because it feeds my spirit and enhances every thought I have, every word I speak and write. I decided to come awake in my own life because I was literally dying to. It was either choose an inner-directed life or go down in flames within a paradigm of living that was killing me.
Once I set my heart and mind to the path of discovering the “more” of a spiritually-directed life, I let the genie out of the bottle, and the mystery and magic began. There is so much more to living than we are taught to believe. What most of us are handed—what I was handed—is an understanding that that life is lived from the outside-in, that there are rules and constants and goals and “models of success” that will make us happy.
This is total error and a belief in limited living. What I know is this: We are meant to live from the inside-out, self-loving and self-discovering all the time. We are glorious, amazing and powerful creatures, we humans. Our inner drive to live and understand, to know, love and laugh—our intuitive push to seek, feel, cry, hunger, ache, learn and share ourselves—is the purpose of our journey on this Earth. And in knowing this, I choose to share this potency and gift of my joy-calling soul with laughter and love, generosity and grace, because I cannot NOT do this now.
Over the last eight-plus years I have always had a mentor, a woman or man who has walked the road I am putting my foot to before me—someone I respect and trust to tell me the truth. Mentoring is a soulful relationship of two people who share the journey and sometimes switch places. As a mentor, I am always gifted in learning as I witness and support the person I am mentoring.
Mentoring is a confidential interaction of allowing, listening and conscious openness of spirit. There is a “sweet spot” of co-creation that occurs in the mentoring process, one where hearts catch fire as ideas and intuition come into full reality. When looking for a mentor, I always look for someone with that sparkle in their eyes and an inner joy to their smile. I choose to never fly solo because being a role model for myself just doesn’t work. I want someone to tell me their truth and allow me to tell them all of mine. Because in this sacred space of honesty between two souls the mystery and adventure of life is a shared and mighty blessing.
Was there a fork in the road that distinctly determined your lifestyle/career?
I was dying of alcoholism and was too scared to kill myself. It was either get sober and find God or continue to live in hell for 30-35 more years. I chose to walk out of hell.
You have suffered from bulimia, severe alcoholism, and you lost your baby daughter to disease. On top of that, you lived underground assuming a fake identity and were then prosecuted for aiding and abetting a known fugitive. You have had a lot going on in your lifetime, and much of it was caused by and created by pain. How did you develop the courage to get through the pain?
These events, choices and outcomes were the result of my soul going into hiding at a very young age. The smoke-and-mirrors of my family home and the “reality” of our modern-day world simply made no sense to me. They never really have. So, I “escaped” an intolerable existence by numbing myself with food and alcohol. They were the way for me to survive living in a place my soul never fit into. Doing what I call my “outlaw years” of undercover work, fugitive living and walking on the edge was a perfect place for me—I didn’t have to follow the rules of “regular” living at all.
In the beginning, my courage was simply a refusal to die and a determination to endure the pain. It was either keep moving or call the game over. I chose to keep moving—using the eating disorder, alcohol and later on, the addition of drugs to numb and distract myself. Doing the brutal inner work of self-honesty and self-forgiveness that turning my life around required, taught me that it’s not about the courage to fight, struggle and survive. It’s about the courage to surrender, accept and choosing to purposefully think, feel and act differently.
Do you believe in God? If so, how do you have faith when you have encountered so much despair?
No, I don’t “believe” in God. I KNOW God as the miracle of my breath and the pulsing beat of my heart. This a huge difference for me and an ever-widening place of self-understanding, gentle strength, laughter and dancing joy. My journey into the soul of God—into my own soul—began in the quiet and honest-crying rooms of a 12-step program. Since December of 2006, I have been on an amazing adventure of plowing my spirit ever-deeper into the loving power that called me into this life. And, it’s a ride no one ever even told me was there—and available to me all the time. Each moment of my living is now one of seeking curiosity, ever-unfolding insights, burgeoning love and generous joy. My God keeps morphing into a deeper piece of my own “beingness” as I go further into the co-creative love that drives this living universe I am blessed to know as my home.
I have heard you say, that alcohol and drugs are the answer, not the problem. Can you explain this concept?
This is one of the biggest misconceptions we have about addiction. Whatever we are addicted to—food, sex, gambling, drugs, prescriptions, alcohol, shopping, work, exercise —isn’t the problem for us. We see it as the ANSWER. Why? Because this behavior makes us feel better! We have a hole in our soul–in the core center of who we are–that we are trying to fill up with something from the outside. The biggest hole we all have is that we do not truly love ourselves. The hole we are trying to fill is where a self-loving and self-knowing “I” belongs.
We are not taught to honor, cherish and love ourselves first–in all things. This is creates a HUGE emptiness in our cultural models and inter-personal relationship dynamics. That we are taught to love others first is a soul-killing mistake. This belief system denies us the self-loving wonder of our divinity and potent beauty as reflections of the loving power that created us.
When I love myself, I am loving my God—for I am His image and echo. When I have this love of self firmly in place, I cannot help but shine my spirit in open compassion, generosity and kindness to all I encounter. I have no emptiness in me, no needy holes that I must stuff food into, fill with booze or try to cram full with sexual excess. I am whole, I am holy and I am able to be soul-generous and giving within all of my life.
Alcohol, food and drugs killed the pain of my un-self-love for 32 years. Then they started killing me. I had no clue that they weren’t the problem, that I wasn’t bad, somehow flawed and a terrible person. I was a brave person using the only tools I knew to survive. When they stopped working, it was my choice to either continue living within my addiction to the very end, which would eventually be a too-early death–as is the end for most addictions, including food—or I could choose to change. I could tear apart everything I thought was true about myself and about life as I was living it. I could begin to heal myself by turning on my soul as I began to really learn and love who I am—and who I get to decide each day I want to become.
We all know aging is a great challenge in our society. From a painful experience you authored an article in the Huffington Post entitled My “Naked” Truth. Why do you feel this topic garnered so much attention?
I was stunned by the response to this article. I went viral and was translated into more than 30 languages. I also received more than 4000 personal responses to it. I think “My ‘Naked’ Truth” garnered so much attention for one simple fact—I told the truth. I was willing to expose a deeply personal hurt—and a cultural and social hurt—to the world. I also stayed completely within my own truth and did not take pot shots or make judgment calls about anyone else. I claimed how I felt, what I thought and what I chose to do with self-honesty and grace. I chose to claim the beautiful truth of my aging body with naked courage and honoring self-love.
What are your thoughts on reversing society’s unhealthy and unproductive behavior towards women and the aging process?
We are doing it to ourselves as we choose to participate in the behavior. Women are the ones bowing to the pressure of external and harsh models of how we are “supposed” to look. When we stand up and honor the power and grace of who we are—at every age—this hurting of ourselves will stop. This “stopping” will naturally and powerfully occur as we purposefully and consciously claim LOVE OF SELF as the only needed basis for our worthiness, wholeness and joy.
What has been your greatest lesson learned?
I am always at choice and I am “the expert” in my own life. I get to create it, love it, laugh it and live it—or I can hate it, deny it, anger it, destroy it or let it slip by un-done. This life is my gift and it belongs to no one else. And, it is my responsibility and joy to choose what to do with it—within every moment.
What is your best advice on how to live a graceful life?
Live a “grace-filled” life and everything else falls into place after that. When we turn on our souls, the adventure begins!