It's Wise Women Wednesday, each week I interview a woman that I believe is inspiring, living abundantly and following her passions. These are all women who live a life of abundance and bring creativity into the world.
Q. Who are you? What is your background?
A. I’m Gale. I grew up lacking a strong sense of self, as a twin I often looked for ‘otherness’ to define me. I’ve always loved telling stories in my head, but they were never out of the ordinary. Today, I am still drawn to stories of real people and their interior worlds. I suppose in that way I still look to others, but now I view that as a strength.
Q. What is your work?
A. I’m the founder of She Explores, a website and podcast for women who are inspired by time spent outside. Most recently, we also started a second podcast called “Women on the Road” that’s hosted and co-produced by Laura Hughes. My work is podcast creation and (lots of) editing, writing, taking photos, managing social media, reading, responding to emails, courting sponsors, bookkeeping, and head scratching (problem solving). I’ve also made a short film. Of the different mediums I’ve worked with, I’ve enjoyed audio the most so far for its intimate quality and ability to build connections through headphones. I love elevating the voices and work of other women in the creative outdoor community and beyond.
Q. What is one project you are excited to be working on right now?
A. I have a couple of projects coming out in early 2018 that are still in the works. Both highlight artists and entrepreneurs and will *hopefully* reach a broader audience than the She Explores community. I wish I could write more than that but my hands are tied!
Q. What is one thing you've done recently that's scared you and took courage, but you're glad you did?
A. Back in September, I taped a live podcast at No Man’s Land Film Festival in Colorado. Public speaking is always scary - the involuntary physical responses put out there on display. I was thankful for the wonderful guests on stage who joined me in that vulnerability and helped create a show that was a joy to relive through the editing process.
Q. What is the work you most want to be doing and are you doing it? If not why not what's stopping you?
A. I want to be researching and broadcasting more in-depth stories through the She Explores podcast. I want to improve the audio quality and do more field recording. I’m slowly getting there, but time is holding me back. It feels like such a cliché to say that I need more time. I don’t have kids, I work on She Explores more hours than I’d like to admit and yet I still don’t have enough. It’s embarrassing. I keep asking myself, “how can I do better?” but I’m starting to wonder, “How can I treat myself better?” too. It’s a delicate balance.
Q. What would you tell your high school or college self?
A. I would tell my college self to raise her hand in class. I would also tell her to tell her friends when she goes out on long winter night walks around the reservoir. It’s selfish for her to think that no one notices. And it’s stupid to wear headphones. I would also acknowledge that you are depressed a lot, that you wouldn’t go on those night walks if you weren’t looking to escape yourself. I would say that it’s OK for you to feel this way, you don’t have to hide everything from everyone. You’re still here. There will be more night walks and you’ll rarely feel cold. Snow lit up by streetlamp will always be magic.
Q. What's one piece of advice or motto you love and use in your daily life that you would like to share with my sweet readers?
A. My friend Liz Song once told me, “everyone is doing the best they can at any given moment.” I think about that when I feel like I’m falling short, or when I’m frustrated with the news or interactions with others.
Q. What keeps you creating when you don't feel like it?
A. Deadlines, both real and imaginary. It’s not a sexy answer but one of the tricky parts of creating is that you could keep tweaking and tweaking. If I know I have a certain amount of time to get a podcast done, I work right up to that deadline and then I let it go.
Q. What's your favorite yoga pose?
A. Warrior II
Q. How do you live a life of abundance?
A. I wouldn’t say that’s a constant for me. Sometimes I’m shallow and petty, sometimes I’m competitive, sometimes I’m incredibly hard on myself. In those moments, I’m taking in an abundant way that hollows me out. I think my whole self, the one that fills me up, is curious and appreciative of the little things like cribbage nights with my partner and the way light fills my apartment and how amazing the world smells just below treeline.