Ep #122: How to Start Living More Truthfully with Dayka Robinson

How to Start Living More Truthfully with Dayka Robinson

There’s nothing more important than your life, and we all deserve to live an amazing one. But so many of us aren’t showing up as our higher selves because we’re afraid of conflict and uncertainty. Today’s guest is here to show you how to stop living a lie, and start living a life full of personal integrity and truth. If your life isn’t working for you right now, Dayka can help you change it!

Dayka Robinson is a nationally recognized interior designer, world traveler, creative director, writer, editor-in-chief & truth-teller. Whichever hat she’s wearing, she’s known for working with women and reminding them to step off the beaten path to live more authentically. She’s here today to explain why we should all be living in alignment, and how to show up as our most honest selves.

Tune in this week for a refreshingly honest episode where we’ll discuss why we need to stop minimizing what’s not OK and start living more truthfully. We’ll talk about how to maximize this one life we’re living and share some questions to ask yourself if you want to start living a better, more aligned life. If you show up in the right way, everything else will show up exactly how it’s supposed to. Get out your notepad – you’re going to want to take notes on this one!

If you want to keep this conversation going, you have to join my free Design You Podcast community on Facebook. We have great conversations over there about the podcast episodes and our podcast guests are in there too! So head on over and I’ll see you there! 

What You'll Learn From This Episode

  • Why thinking about death (however morbid it might seem!) can help you become your most honest self.
  • How to trust yourself enough to follow your intuition.
  • Why you need to stop comparing yourself to other people.
  • How to acknowledge whether your life is working for you.
  • Why you are not responsible for other peoples’ reactions.
  • How to align with your true self.

Featured On The Show

Full Episode Transcript

You are listening to the Design You podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 122.

Welcome to the Design You podcast. A show where interior designers and creatives learn to say no to busy and say yes to more health, wealth and joy. Here’s your host, Tobi Fairley.

Hey, hey friends. Today we’re telling the truth. That’s what I said when I brought my friend Gail on, we were telling the truth about the design industry. But today we’re telling the truth about ourselves and about our lives.

I’m so excited for you to hear this episode. It’s with my friend, Dayka Robinson and she is just an honest, straightforward, amazing creative woman. Let me tell you a little bit about her specifically. She’s an interior designer, she’s a world traveler. She takes people on guided tours and all kinds of trips that are amazing. She’s a creative director, she’s a writer. She’s an editor-in-chief of her own magazine. And as her bio says, she’s a truth teller. And I absolutely love that.

So whichever hat she’s wearing, she really known for working with women and reminding women everywhere to live honest lives by telling the truth, taking up space and stepping off the beaten path. And that is exactly what we talk about in today’s episode. And in fact, I talk very little in this episode, which is kind of funny, because it’s hard to get me to be quiet. But I was just so mesmerized and drawn into this conversation with Dayka, really this masterclass from Dayka about how to really, really step into your truest version of yourself.

So I can’t wait to listen to this episode multiple times. I know it’s going to be one of my favorites for a long time. And I hope that even if it’s uncomfortable for you to listen to, because it is, it’s uncomfortable when we really start looking at ourselves in this very, very honest way. But even if it’s uncomfortable I hope that this episode just cracks you open just even if it’s the tiniest bit for you to start to really understand where you’re out of alignment, what you’re saying yes to that you really don’t want to.

And how you could be showing up as the most honest and true version of yourself, because I think that space, living in that way is really what we’re all looking for anyway. So get out your notepads, friends, because this one is a note-taking kind of episode. Enjoy this conversation with Dayka Robinson.

Tobi: Hey, Dayka. Welcome to the Design You podcast. This is going to be a wild one today. It’s going to be good.

Dayka: Thank you for having me.

Tobi: I’m so glad you’re here. Okay so here’s what we’re talking about today. We’re not even going to beat around the bush; we’re going to just jump right in. Here is what we’re talking about. We are talking about how to know if, or get in line with, I guess is the way to say that, integrity with yourself, how to know if you’re in integrity with yourself. And this is a big conversation and we’re going to go all over the place, which is going to be really fun.

It’s kind of like part art and sort of a practice and it’s a lot about intuition and it’s really exciting to watch you go through this process, and it’s really inspiring. And that’s why I want you to talk about this today, because you don’t hold back, and I think that’s so beautiful. And that’s what we’re talking about. So tell me about that. Tell me about this, what do you call it? It’s like a journey you’re on, is that too silly? How does this show up in your life?

Dayka: You know, for me, number one, thank you for all of that. For me it is a journey but it’s also like this is the work of my life. So I always say too, there is no separation between work and personal, the work is personal. The personal is political, it’s all the business is personal, there is no separation. And so what I’m doing in my business really just mirrors the journey that I’m on in my life. And so that’s why I don’t have to kind of dig around for the next thing.

I can look at what’s popping up in my life, because the big question for me is, my ultimate thing is making sure that my measure of success is authentic, and real, and honest for me. That I am not trying to be the Dayka version of Tobi, which is never going to fucking work, and that I am in integrity, personal integrity with myself. And to also be clear of what does that look like? We have these benchmarks, and these goals, and success and all this kind of stuff.

But to me I don’t think that there is enough conversation, whether it’s men, women, in general, especially in our western culture, about how to really know when you’ve hit the mark of what does personal integrity look like in your life? How do you know when you’re in alignment? What is going to be that signal? Or are we just trying to compete and get what everybody else does? That doesn’t work.

Tobi: Yes, I love this conversation so much because as people heard a little bit in my intro about you and they’ll learn as we talk, if they don’t already know you. And you do a lot of things. You’re an interior designer. You’re a world traveler. You take people on guided trips. You coach people. You have a magazine. You do all these creative things; those are kind of just your vehicles and what you show up with in the world, which is really cool. And that’s part of this, it’s like what do I want? What do I want to do? How do I express myself?

But I think you’re right, I think it’s such a deeper conversation. And I think that so often we’re not even close to a deep conversation, we’re skimming across the top of the water on Instagram or somewhere.

Dayka: It’s always funny, because I have my little really close group of friends who I’m very intimate with. And my thing is always like it’s hilarious to see everybody wants community, but then you don’t go out anywhere. You’re not being honest. You lie about what’s going on. You don’t share about what’s happening in your life. And then everybody’s online, half the people are talking about they want community, the other half is talking about they are introvert.

It’s very funny, and again, so sometimes it’s kind of like stuff is just coming out of people’s mouths. And I don’t know that they are really clear about what they’re saying and how to get to what they want, really passionate. I mean telling the truth is one of my really, really big things, because one of my anchor things, because my belief is like if you can’t tell the truth to yourself, then you’re never going to know. Kind of when you hit the mark. Or I always say in a different way of like, “You lie to yourself and then you get mad when other people lie to you.”

Tobi: Yeah, so true.

Dayka: And even I’m very into spirituality and energy and stuff. And so really that person is an energetic match for you. You lied to yourself first. You tried to tell yourself that you wanted to work that job, that he was going to be a good partner, a good husband, that you wanted to have kids. All these different things, especially as women, that we do because there’s so much pressure to fit the mould and go according to the timeline.

And when you continue to lie to yourself about that, that’s the thing of whether you believe in God, universe, whatever you want to call it, spirit. It’s like the lessons that we come here to learn are always your lessons. And until you learn them they’re going to keep coming back in different ways. And so just kind of like at some point we have to start saying, “Okay, this is the third time, fifth time, seventeenth time that I’ve been going through this.” I need to make a different choice this next time.

Tobi: Right. I love that. So how do we start to do that? And some of us are a little more inclined to it than others. For me I can relate to my enneagram helps me see that I’m an eight and I’m really into that whole concept of truth telling. Yet, even at that there’s so often we’re lying to ourselves. We may be more about honesty than some people, or being straightforward by nature, or by practice, or by habit. But there’s still always a lot of things to excavate and unearth and to face. And you have to be intentional about doing that. You’re not just going to naturally do that, right?

Dayka: No. I mean I think the work never ends, it’s like we’re an onion and you peel back one layer, and then there’s another layer to go, and another layer to go. For me, and this sounds morbid, but just stay with me for a minute. I think a lot about death, I pay attention to it a lot. And it’s so funny how even that, I kind of gave my disclaimer in the beginning. But everybody thinks it’s morbid. I’m like this is just a fact of life, you breathe, you live, and you die, those are the things that you can count on.

And so it’s this thing that none of us want to talk about, but I think a lot about. If my life were to end and if I only had two more years, do I want to be doing this? Do I want to be having this conversation? Do I want to be friends with this person? Is this how I want to be loved? Do I really want to live here? Do I really love this work?

And I talk to even my mother about that and it’s like, yeah, she’s like, “Don’t say that and don’t bring that up. I don’t want to think about you dying.” But I’m always like, “Mom, listen, the way it normally goes according to our ‘plan’ is the parent goes before the child.” Everybody doesn’t get to be 95. Everybody doesn’t get to be 82. And sometimes I’m like, we are kind of making plans against borrowed time that we haven’t been given.

And so for me that’s kind of that first part of how do I start having an honest conversation with myself starts with if my – this is very direct and it’s how I speak. So it’s like if the plug was pulled tomorrow, would my spirit look back at my life and myself and be like, “Oh God, girl, you did what you wanted to do, this was it, you paid attention to what was important?”

Or would it be like, “Damn, I spent too much time watching Real Housewives in Beverly Hills? Or I went back and forth trying to be petty or nitpick? Or I hated that job and I wish I just would have had the courage to just tell them, “I don’t want to be spoken to like that?”” Or to say, “I like you, there’s nothing wrong with the relationship but at the same time I feel like we could be doing something better.” And the difficult thing, to your point about the work is nobody else can do it for you but you.

I have to ask myself those questions. And I mean you can ask me and I can answer, but the reality is only I know if I’m lying. I know if I’m trying to impress you. And so it’s like, listen, if everything is great, if this is how you want to be living, this is what you want your story to be, fantastic. But I guess the statistics say that most of us – and again, at least, you know, I travel a lot so I always try to make sure I’m talking about western culture.

Most of us in a western culture, that’s actually, that’s not the case, we’re not happy, we’re overworked, we’re exhausted, adrenal fatigue, overweight, loving men and women that we don’t want to be in relations, you know, all these kinds of things. So it’s just kind of like do you just stay here and complain? Or do you try to figure out, damn, this is a big ball of thread that I have – a big ball of thread that I’ve tied together, how do I start unwinding it?

Tobi: Wow, it is so good, that moves me so much. And just, honestly, I mean it kind of makes me speechless, which is hard to do, because I like to talk as you know. But that’s really landing with me and I hear you so much because you’re so right. And people have lived – I don’t know, it’s like we think there is a moment somewhere out in the future that we’ll suddenly start being our actual true self, right?

Dayka: Right. I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s the matrix, it’s the fairytale thing. And so I mean that is part, you know, I speak directly. I love curse words, I think that they are important and I’m not a person who just curses to be cursing. But I think it’s important to get people’s attention sometimes. Because my thing is that whether you believe in reincarnation, not, whatever it is you believe in, this is the only time you will be here in this body as this person. So what do you want to do?

I think there’s a quote about that, kind of, “What do you want to do with this one magnificent life,” or something like that. And it’s like, okay, do we start thinking about, you know, I’ve just turned 41; do we start thinking about that at 45? Do we start thinking about that when we have half a million dollars in the 401(k)? When is it enough? And then the target is always moving. And so as I have started out, I remember being 25 and sitting in an office, like I can’t do this the rest of my life. I haven’t worked a corporate job since I was 25.

I went to hair school, I went to real estate school. I ended up buying a house. And then in the process of designing it, launched a blog, became a designer, went through that whole process. And then I got to the point where even that felt a little small for me. I got an autoimmune disease, as my body started to change and I’m working with people in their homes and realizing this couple thinks that I can design a new master bedroom for them, and that’s going to make up for their communication problem, like look good for that, kind of you’re trying to use other things.

I feel stuck, let me just cut my hair, that sounds great, and it’s going to make you feel good. You know what I mean? For two weeks, a month. But then slowly that pit in your stomach is going to come back because that’s your intuition kind of talking about, girl, you know you’ve got to do more than this, you know what’s not. And the easiest thing is to change the outside, get a makeover, change your clothes, dye your hair and go out into the world.

The internal work, and it’s work that nobody’s, you know, nobody really – you see it at some point, but you have to do the work for a while before it starts to overflow out of you.

Tobi: Yeah. And you have to be willing to be very uncomfortable to do the work.

Dayka: Yes. I mean because that is the whole thing about truth telling. Could I have forced myself to stay working in the corporate job? And I would have had the regular accolades, and I would have been able to go to – I went to HBCU, I went to Spelman, so I would have been able to go to homecoming and measure myself up against the way everybody else is measuring themselves. But then again we get to the end, that question about kind of is this you really being in integrity with yourself or is this you trying to play the game?

Tobi: Is it true that, you know, we do a lot of that stuff and then it falls really flat and it didn’t feel like we thought it was going to feel. And we thought, when I got the man, or the baby, or the business, or published or whatever, then I was going to be happy and then we’re not. So is that one of the signs that we’re not in alignment with ourselves?

Dayka: Absolutely. Absolutely. But that goes back to the thing of you have to be telling the truth. I can look at you from the outside and see you’ve done this and you’ve done these show houses and this book, and this, all these wonderful things. And I’m telling myself the story, oh my God, Tobi’s life is amazing and she’s so happy and her family’s beautiful. And inside you’re like oh my God, get me away from these people. You know what I mean, all these different things.

And one of my fundamental beliefs too is like at least for – I believe this about everybody, but I believe you have to smoke what you sell. Meaning make sure you’re not just running your mouth, but you’re actually walking your talk.

So I believe that we are here to be lighthouses for each other because before Me Too became a thing I would always say that of like, “I’m here to let people know, me too. I’ve been there. I’ve stayed in a relationship when I knew I needed to leave. I have played myself doing this. I’ve had this tax problem. I’ve made this mistake.” You know what I mean? And what ends up happening is we get in these moments in our lives that all of us go through in different manifestations. And you end up feeling like you’re alone because nobody’s telling the truth.

And that’s the thing that gets me fired up. You feel like you’re out here alone, because nobody will open up their mouths. So my thing is it’s always my intention and my highest goal to be the lighthouse on the shore when somebody is in the rough water and doesn’t know how to make it, that I can turn the light on. And it’s like I was writing on my Instagram stories earlier answering a question. And joy cometh, joy will come, joy comes in the morning. It might not be tomorrow morning. It might be next month’s morning, you know what I mean?

Tobi: Yes.

Dayka: But we all are looking for somebody to hold our hand and remind us that I’ve been there too. I don’t have children and I’m not in a relationship now. But it’s something I hear from a lot of my mother friends who are like, “I love my kids, but if I could go back, probably.” Some of them are like, “I might not have had kids.” Some of the other ones are like, “I might have done something different on a timeline. I don’t feel like other women really let me know how difficult this was going to be.”

And as somebody who doesn’t have kids I always sit back and think damn, that is a real failure of the community, of your community. You know what I mean? So like, “It’s all better. But the play, the Christmas play makes up for it.” We’re all different, maybe for some women it doesn’t. But I can imagine that those women don’t feel like they have a voice because there’s no place for you to tell the truth. So again, I mean I kind of…

Tobi: I love it so much though because I think you’re so right. And I agree with you so very much that we spend so much time not telling the truth. And I mean part of that is from our upbringings, part of that’s cultural, part of that’s like a good southern girl doesn’t make other people feel uncomfortable. Part of it is – I mean as you and I have had conversations, sometimes it has to do with race, sometimes it has to do with gender, there’s so many reasons why.

But I do feel like we’re in a period of time where not only are things changing to a degree, not as much a degree as a lot of us would like for it to be. But at the very least I feel like we’re almost being called in a bigger way to be honest with ourselves. I mean it’s like there’s a dividing line happening to me right now. And it’s like you’ve got to make a choice, you can either stay in the lie or you can step into the truth, but you can’t just stay in the middle anymore.

Dayka: Stay on the fence, yeah. And people are like, “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.” Is it really, do you really not? I mean, and there’s Rumi quote that I love, I might be paraphrasing but it’s kind of like, “How do you know that the life waiting for you is not better than the one you’re in?” And again, to me it just speaks more to of like I’m really – but even when I work with my coaching clients of talking about core personal values and figuring out what are the values that undergird your life?

What are the things that, you know, I always say, “I should know who you are without you having to open up your mouth and tell me. I should be able to look at your life and see your work and see.” And I don’t mean the design work, you know what I mean? How you like to work, how you’re moving through the world. I should be able to look at your life and not know all the specifics, but to get an idea about how you move, you know what I mean?

If we’re – this will go off on a tangent but I’ll just say it really quickly, this is why it always cracks me up, the single women talking about dating. And it’s like, “Well, tell me who you are. I want him to tell me who he is.” You can tell me that but really I’ll get to know that over time. I don’t need you to give me your résumé. Just let’s talk and you can tell me you believe in health. Okay, well, I’ll pay attention when we’re on the phone to see if you say you’re going to the gym. Or if every time I talk to you you’re talking about eating Doritos and Pepsi.

Like telling me something that’s part of the difficult thing about misalignment. And there was something you said earlier that made me think, you were talking about we’re not really used to the truth. And I feel like I do speak directly. And part of the reason that I do that, I mean it’s just my natural way, I’m not trying to be somebody that I’m not. But part of the reason that I do that too is because I think there is nothing more important than your life.

And I feel like the kindest thing is for me to make sure that I set it to you directly so when both of us walk away from the table nobody is confused. Not kind of like, well, I think she didn’t like it, but she kind of didn’t say, but you could tell she was uncomfortable. No, if I don’t want to be your friend anymore than this has been great, but I think we’ve kind of hit the point where, yeah, we need to go in different directions. And to me that is very loving and kind.

It is hard when people are not accustomed to that and then a date that comes along and then it’s like, oh God, you’re so bulls, you’re so out there, you’re so. I mean is it that I’m so out there or is it that you’re not used to hearing the truth? Those are two different things, just because you’re not used to hearing the truth, it doesn’t make me out there. It makes you sheltered. And again, kind of not used to hearing the truth. So those are all of those, like it’s very hard to, you know, you get to pick your values. You get to pick who you say you want to be in the world.

And then to me the integrity piece is am I in alignment with who I say I want to be?

Tobi: I love it so much. Okay so for people who are like, “Yes, yes, yes, Dayka, yes, I want that, you’re right, I’ve kind of been living a lie.” There’s so many things already. I’m sitting here going, “Yeah, that’s not true, I don’t like my job, I don’t like this, I don’t like that.” Let’s dig a little into the kind of how they first start to make that shift, to really start to be in alignment.

And I think I also want to make sure we talk about this concept you talk a lot about of being wild. And they’re two totally different things. So let’s start with whichever one makes the most sense here. I definitely want to move into kind of you painting the picture to people of what you mean by that.

I mean it’s not the same but it kind of reminds me of the current book by Glennon Doyle called Untamed. It’s not the same thing but it’s a great book. But it has some similarities in that you’re basically saying wild is kind of in a sense. Like you said to me, stepping off the beaten path and having the courage to make the path that is only your path, it belongs to no one else. So if we want to start to become our version of wild and it’s all about getting in integrity with ourselves. How do we go from this beautifully painted façade and then start moving in the other direction?

Dayka: I think the very first, you know, the simplest first question is, is this working for me? No. Yeah, but it’s, well, I did it. No, it’s just a yes or no, is this working for me? If I just take this entire life, all of this stuff, do I – and working means – I feel like the threshold needs to be over 50%. It’s not 51 to 49 or whatever, I just think it needs to be – you need to be in the 80s, 85 and up. Do I feel good about the majority of my life?

And again, you have to be honest with that answer, it’s a rhetorical personal thing, journaling about it is great. And so if your answer is yes, this is a choose your own adventure. If your answers is yes, then you stay on the page of the book and continue to go to where you’re going.

If your answer is no, then the next question becomes what doesn’t feel good? Where do I –I mean and these are all these introspective questions. There’s so many different ways to phrase that question. But it’s also like where in my life do I feel like I have to show up as a smaller version of myself? Where in my life do I feel like I have to show up as a fake version of myself? Where in my life do I feel like – I feel like I’m so serious talking about this.

Tobi: It’s so good though, I’m hanging on every word.

Dayka: I’m so passionate about it so it really is really serious to me. But anyway, I always say that resentment is a really – it’s one of my favorite emotions, which people are like, “That sounds like the craziest thing.” But resentment is one of my favorite emotions because what resentment is actually about is anger. And anger and resentment are cousins, but the thing about resentment is what it really tells you is I’m mad at me under the guise of being mad at you.

I’m making it seem like I’m mad at Tobi. But when I actually dig underneath it, what’s wrong is I feel like I’m being taken advantage, Tobi always does this, I feel like I’m taking advantage, I’m resentful. And so in order to get to, you know, one of the things that I keep on my desk is, I have two versions of an emotions wheel to really make sure that, let’s get out of mad, sad, angry, glad, happy. But think about how you’re actually feeling. How does this thing make you feel? So again, you’ve got these different areas of your life, where am I?

Resistance is a good one too, of like somebody’s asking you to watch their kids. And it’s just like I don’t really taking my kids over to my in-law because she’s always feeding them dairy and repeatedly, whatever that is. Don’t keep minimizing saying, “Well, it’s okay.” It’s not okay, there is a way that we can correct this and part of it has to be – and I think it’s one of Glennon’s quotes. If there is a choice between making – well, her quote isn’t this but the way I always articulate it is, if I have to choose between upsetting you or honoring me, then you’re going to be the one that’s going to be upset.

Tobi: Yes. And so often it’s the opposite.

Dayka: Yeah, absolutely, because it’s like for women there’s always this – we are raised to be ‘nice’ above all else. Be nice, be likeable, how about, I don’t give a fuck if you like me, because I like myself. That’s not something we teach little girls ever. And so we grow up into women and that’s where that resentment and that resistance comes from, because I don’t want to do it. I don’t like it. But I feel like I have to, to get along. I feel like I have to, to have community.

And so that’s the kind of second, you know, I gave you a couple of different versions of it. But that’s kind of the second question of what are the areas where it’s not working? And then I would say from there, we need to define a baseline. So the baseline would be like I said, how do you know if you’re in integrity with yourself?

If we say, one of them is your job. Okay, what would a job that feels good to you look like? And I was writing about this earlier, all of us want to work at a place where we are valued, seen, acknowledged, where our contribution means something. And so we need to start to define.

And I was talking to a friend last night and he was like, “I’m finally getting it.” And he was like, “I’m going to tell you the truth.” And we’re just legit platonic friends but he’s like, “When we first start talking you’re almost asking me to define this. And what does this mean? And wait, what is it?” And he was like, “But now I get it because I always say as Americans we’re very lazy with our language and we just throw, “I’m happy.”” I don’t know what that means, I feel like that’s just a catchword, are you thrilled? Is stuff just kind of – are you content? Give me some more there.

And so if we’re going to start unpacking what you want your relationship to look like, what you want your work life to look like, what you want your home life to look like. Then we first have to create some type of framework so that we can know when we’ve hit the mark. Otherwise what ends up happening is, let me do what Tobi’s doing, let me do what the Instagram influencers. They’re eating grain free; we’re going to eat grain free. Well, if you’re doing eat for your blood type or whatever health. That might not be best for you.

So what does a work environment, does that look like working from home? Does that just look like, I actually love what I’m doing, but damn, they just never give me any credit. Or I’m in the boardroom and I throw out my idea and somebody else is always taking it. I’m always overlooked. Okay, so now you know again that you’re looking for acknowledgement. You’re looking for recognition. You’re looking to be seen. Now we have to figure out what does that look like, how can we, you know, and there’s a whole process to break that down.

So I know it can sound overwhelming, it can sound like a lot but my thing is again, when I’m coaching women, well, this is your life. If you love to be miserable and you’re happy just complaining and your version of relaxing is eating something that you know bloats your stomach, doesn’t make you feel good and watching trash TV. By all means, do it.

And so that kind of loops to wild because my thing has really been clear that my clients, whether it’s design, coaching, retreats, I’m not here to convince anybody of their freedom. You have to choose your freedom on your own and it costs, and kind of looping it to something current.

And not to go too far down this either, but there’s Will and Jada did an interview the other day and there’s all this conversation about it. And I have to kind of checkout because I have very strong opinions and very strong views about it. But very briefly my view is most people don’t even know what freedom looks like. So when they see it they start attacking it. I mean to get into a relationship, to get into a marriage and have to say, you know, to me I always say, “Marriage is an empty box, it is nothing, but what the two people decide that it’s going to be.”

So if we come to the table and we’re in agreement, I don’t really care if Johnny likes it, if Tobi likes it, if Sheila thinks, okay, Sheila doesn’t want to do that, cool. Will and I decide that this works, you know what I mean?

Tobi: Right, yes.

Dayka: It does take some courage to be able to do that. But then the other thing too is if you’re surrounded by people who are constantly critiquing your choices for you, then my thing is, it’s time for you to start getting a different community, because it’s not for you.

Tobi: I love it, yes.

Dayka: And so my thing with wild women is – and that’s what the magazine that I made is called Into the Wild. And so my thing with wild women is stepping off the beaten path. Wild women are women who step and live a life off the beaten path. Because the only way that you know that your life belongs to you, is for you to get out into the wilderness where the path has not been walked. And that doesn’t mean that we might intersect, it doesn’t mean that a mentor doesn’t have anything to offer.

But it’s always my job to take your advice, your experience, your wisdom and then run it through the Dayka filter. Tobi can tell me all day long, and look how I talk about you, like you’re not here.

Tobi: I love it, I love it. I’m a perfect example, just use me.

Dayka: You know, how to be a designer, but you can write out your blueprint for me. But the fact of the matter is I’m not white, I’m not from the south. You’ve been designing longer than I have. You’ve got a husband. You have a daughter. I think your mom lives in the same town. There’s all these things that do not fit my situation.

So when I try to do it then I’m going to look back and then – and this is the laziness again, that I feel like people – Tobi, I mean she told me to do this. But I think she was just keeping some of the truth from me because it didn’t work like that. No, it worked like that for Tobi, because that way was specific to her in how she shows up in the world. Now, when Dayka puts her spin on it we might say the same thing, and maybe I need to pop a curse word in. Maybe I need to do whatever it is, that is unique to me and kind of what I’m here to do.

And so that’s the thing I think about – well, not that I think, but that I know about being wild is the only way you own your life is to make sure that you’re making decisions that are really unique and in alignment with your unique personality. And then that leads us to intuition.

Tobi: Yeah, oh my gosh, it is so good, it is so, so good, and I feel like I’m in a – I don’t know – like a masterclass right now. I’m so on the same page with you but I’m literally soaking in everything you’re saying because it is so true. It’s resonating with me so much, everything. Resentment and resistance like you said are the two key things that really show me. I even know where I feel resentment, which is in my jaw. I know where it actually shows up in my body.

Dayka: Yes, which is so important, I mean I’ve been into, I love bodyworks, somatic therapies, breath work, I think it’s so important because we again are so disconnected from our bodies, that the body is the first sign that there is something wrong. So for me it shows up in my chest and it feels tight. And I recognize that happens before the brain takes over and starts to rationalize things.

So when I start feeling that and I’m driving in the car and I’m like, you know, something happened a couple of weeks ago with shooting the cover of the magazine and the photographer and I were kind of going back and forth.

And she was talking about us reshooting it. And we had a conversation and I got in the car and I was driving to Costco and I realized along the way, there’s that thing sitting on your chest, what is that? And so I’m going through my own thought process, well, what is this about? Well, what is this? And then I realized I don’t actually want to do that, even if she does, I don’t want to do.

And then it all ended up being, you know, I got home and I had already laid the cover of the magazine, so I sent it to her and she was like, “Oh my God, it looks totally different in situ, you’re right, I should have trusted you.” But the thing too is even in those moments, by me showing up as my highest self, which is telling her the truth and telling her, “I don’t actually want to reshoot it, I like it like this.”

Then what she realized is, you know what – and these were her words of kind of like, “I spoke too soon, I should have trusted you. I should have waited or asked you to send me a mockup of the cover before my first thing was, “Let’s reshoot it.”” So she gets to kind of have a realization and show up as her highest self when I do. But if I don’t show up as that person then she doesn’t.

Tobi: Yeah. And as you’re saying that I’m also realizing that so often the reason we don’t is because we’re afraid of conflict. And we think that if I tell the truth there is going to be conflict, they’re going to get mad, they’re going to be unhappy, which that’s not – I mean there may be. And there’s nothing wrong with conflict, but conflict also doesn’t have to be disrespectful, right?

Dayka: Yeah, I don’t have to throw a table at you and rip your hair out, I mean that’s not what – to me, and I always remember an ex didn’t like this. But I always feel like conflict is really important. I think it’s a very important illuminating teaching tool in a relationship because my relationships have been long, eight years. I don’t really do short things. So, honey, it’s easy for us to get along, it’s easy for things to have fun, baby you’re so cute. When you start getting into eight, ten years you start getting into real life stuff.

And so to me what helps to know if you can go – and this is friendship or intimate partnership, what helps us to know if we can go the distance with somebody is how are we handling the conflict? And I kind of talked about that on Instagram of like, “Are you clear about what value you’re bringing to the table? Are you great at conflict resolution? Are you able to laugh at yourself and wear things loosely?”

I mean it’s easy to have fun, if we don’t work through the problems well this shit is never going to work, whether it’s kids, whether it’s money, whether it’s just I just woke up in a bad mood and I’m just not in the mood. It’s nothing to do with you, I don’t even know why. If you’re going to take that personally and then blow up, we can’t go anywhere. And I think again, as women, be likeable, be nice, be pretty, don’t talk too much, don’t talk about your accomplishments too much. I’m the person that’s like take up space, talk about your accomplishments.

How disrespectful to God for – and I don’t personify God as a person, to me, God is an it, not a him or her. But how disrespectful to God for it to give you all of these blessings, and then I don’t want to say anything because I’m going to make Tobi mad. If Tobi is mad, that’s her own work to do. That’s not my responsibility, allow her to. So, again, if you have a choice between disrespecting God or disrespecting Tobi, you choose God. Yeah, that’s about, like now we are back in all of this, and you can see how it circles back together.

And I’m like, here we are again, back at value, you care more about being liked than being true to yourself. And this is – I thought about something while we were talking too, kind of jumping back a little bit. The other emotion that I love that’s really powerful is jealousy. And I created something called the Jealousy Journal because everybody, I don’t want to be jealous, I don’t want to be. Jealousy is actually really powerful and really important.

So for those women who are feeling – women or men who are feeling stuck in your life, you don’t know what’s next, you don’t know. My thing is that jealousy does not mean – I can, you know, so I use the word very freely. I can look at your life and be like, “Oh my God, I’m so jealous of her.” That does not mean I want to be Tobi. It doesn’t mean – one of the people on my list is J. Lo, I do not want to be J. Lo.

But to me what the jealousy does is it’s kind of a flashlight to let you know your soul is saying, “There’s something there that I want to do. There is something there that I want to explore, that I’m interested in.” And so I have this whole process that I broke down and made a whole document about it. But part of the thing is, what is it that you love about them? And then getting to what is it that you can learn? What does it teach you?

And so I think we get caught up in, again, the very lazy narrative is you want to be me. I don’t want to be you. But when I realize looking at your life that makes me realize you know what, actually I do want to live overseas.

You know what, I do want to be able to speak two languages. And I didn’t realize that was important, I was just feeling this thing where I almost didn’t want to look at your Instagram, but I mean… And you can still unfriend a person. But to me there is data, really good data to mine there. So mine it and use it and use that to help you kind of on your path. And so those are all things that wild women would use.

Tobi: I love it so much. I mean this conversation has been so good. And I think what happens, what’s so apparent to me, and I’ve known this in my own life and my own work. Is that everything we spend all of our time buffering, numbing, avoiding, avoid feeling feelings, all these ones, especially the negative feelings. Avoid conflict, avoid making people feel uncomfortable. And then we spend all our time people pleasing and painting a pretty façade and all the things.

So much energy goes into it and what we don’t notice is that the very thing we’re wishing for or looking for, we are consistently and actively preventing every single day, right?

Dayka: Absolutely, absolutely.

Tobi: Yeah, because we won’t feel the feelings, we won’t be in conflict, we won’t let anybody be unhappy. Even just before we got on here, I told you, I was like, “I’m going to be 30 minutes late, I’m having an issue with my teen.” We rarely have them. The main reason we had an issue was because I struggle with allowing her to be unhappy. And a lot of us do this.

We want other people around us, like we take responsibility for their emotions. And the problem with that which I know full well, which is why, like you, I lean into the work is the problem is if we are trying to do all of those things, avoid the negative, only feel the happy, please everybody. Not only do we not do our own work, we prevent them from also doing their own work.

Dayka: And that is the most important thing of like, again, when you show up as yourself, you give somebody else an opportunity to do that. And all of those things are really opportunities to grow into a deeper level. Intimacy is one of my values, so I talk about intimacy in a lot of ways. But again, if conflict is actually a tool to deeper intimacy, if you know how to use it correctly, because I think about my best friend, Raquel, I talk about all the time. And one of the things I always say about our relationship, why it is the way it is, it’s because there’s a deep, deep level of trust.

And you can’t have intimacy without trust, it just doesn’t happen. And a lot of times we want to trust somebody because you’re my partner, because I’ve known you since I was seven. But if you really again kind of get to the feelings inside, I actually don’t. And like you said, kind of if you show up to the work it gives you an opportunity to expand into a deeper, more meaningful, beautiful, aligned and easeful existence. It actually is going to end up making things easy. I don’t have to worry for two hours.

I also love that you messaged me, instead of being like, “Oh my God, I’m late, what’s Dayka going to do?” No, you sent a message, “Hey, I need a couple of minutes.” Well, I’ve had a super busy day, and one of my fundamental beliefs is timing is always divine. So you message me and you’re like, “Hey, I’m going to be a few minutes late.”

I texted you back in all caps, “Perfect timing. Hey, if you need till 5:30 take the extra time.” Because this actually gives me a minute to center myself, lay down, I’d just got in. You know what I mean? So all of that is like, imagine if you wouldn’t have told the truth and shown up as your fuller self in that moment, then I would have been a more drained Dayka. I mean I would have still got on, I would have pushed through, but it’s just nice for me to get a drink of water, close my eyes for a minute.

Tobi: And in the same way what I knew about me is if I jumped on and pretended that everything was just perfect in that moment when I was literally having this very kind of emotional conversation. I was like, “I will not be available for Dayka and this is a very important interview for me and I want it to be our conversation and I want it to be good and right and what it’s supposed to be.”

And so just like we’re talking about, had I shown up and put on the façade and the smile and just been like, “Here I am,” let’s just be, everything is going to be wonderful. We would not have connected and had the intimacy we’re having on this conversation at this level, because I wouldn’t have been available.

Dayka: Right. And then I wouldn’t have been able to feed off it. And this is how it becomes a cycle, and so it’s just kind of back to that thing about intuition, trusting that even though the ‘traditional’ business world says, “No, you said this time, it needs to be this time.” Your intuition and your values are like you know what, actually we need to work through this conflict or whatever this is, so I can get this right. So I can show up better here. And because you’re operating from your intuition it ended up being the perfect thing for me too.

Tobi: Yes, yes. And people have to trust that. I think that’s a beautiful place to wrap up to just say when you honor yourself then you have to trust that what you’re going to be met with is the right thing. And you’ve got to just kind of drop a lot of those stories and the things that we tell ourselves. And just think if I show up in the right way, everything else will show up exactly how it’s supposed to, right?

Dayka: Absolutely. And I would probably take it even a step further and say, honoring yourself is honoring everybody involved. The best way to honor everybody connected to you is for you to first honor yourself.

Tobi: It’s so good, wow, so good. Thank you so much. I told you before, you were like, “What are we going to talk about?” I was like, “I don’t know, I don’t like to know, we’ll just show up, we’ll figure it out.” And it’s kind of like what we’re saying, to me I know when I just show up with people and I’m like, we take 10 minutes and we’re like, “What’s really moving you right now?” We always get to the best conversations, whereas if we had tried to plan and make it perfect, we probably would have been more in performing energy instead of just being super real.

And so I mean you’re always super real, I’m quite often pretty real also. But I really, I appreciate you so much, this was beautiful. And I’m going to have you back because this is just one of the many, many conversations that we can have.

Dayka: My mind is like a mind map, there’s all these different stuff to go on. So, no, thank you for having me and it’s always, you know I always love talking to you and I hope this was helpful to whomever. It’s so important and I believe in it all so deeply and maybe each person can’t do all the work but you can do some of the work. You can do some of the work. And you deserve it, that’s a big thing. You deserve to live an amazing life, all of us do.

Tobi: It’s so good, thank you.

Alright, do you agree? Did you take a bunch of notes or were you too afraid to write anything down? I mean I’m not trying to terrify us from this work really. But I just, you know, it is a different way of showing up for ourselves. And it’s so beautiful when we can stop the people pleasing and we can be honest, and we can really, really lean into what’s right for us.

And I saw, just after we recorded this episode, I saw the very next morning that Dayka posted a quote from Steve Jobs in her story. That was talking about the way to be your most honest self is to think about death, just like she said. And basically saying you’ve got nothing to lose, we’re all going to die. We’ve got nothing to lose. You have no idea when that moment is coming. And so the time is now to show up and live as your most honest self. And that is exactly what she said.

So I hope this inspires you to do that work, it definitely inspires me to do that work. And if you want to find Dayka, you can find her out on social media at Dayka Robinson, she’s on Facebook, she’s on Instagram, all the places. And she’s super inspiring all the time because she always shows up very much as her true self. So check her out there and thanks for listening.

I will see you back next week with another exciting transformational episode of The Design You Podcast. Bye for now friends.

Thank you so much for listening to the Design You podcast, and if you are ready to dig deep and do the important work we talk about here on the podcast of transforming your mindset and creating a scalable online business model, there has never been a more important time than right now. So join me and the incredible creative entrepreneurs in my Design You coaching program today. You can get all the details at TobiFairley.com.

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Hi! I'm Tobi

I help creative women (and a few really progressive dudes) design profit-generating, soul-fulfilling businesses that let them own their schedule, upgrade their life and feel more alive than ever!

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