Gay Girl Dating Coach Mary Malia knows a thing or two about living your best life: the secret is all in your attitude. With a positive outlook and energetic demeanor, Malia is one of our favorite go-to experts for all things love and living authentically. So when we heard she was hosting a global telesummit, Live Your Best Lesbian Life, we had to reach out and ask her to share a bit of her wisdom with YourTango. For Live Your Best Lesbian Life, Malia has gathered a group of truly inspiring lesbian women with a lot to teach and share.
We caught up with Malia by phone to chat about the summit and get to the heart of what makes for a blissful life — for anyone lesbian, straight, and everything in between. And the best part? The summit is still in full-swing, so click here to make the most out of YOUR fantastic life.
YourTango: Can you tell us a little bit about the telesummit? What was your vision when you planned hosting these lesbian women and thought leaders?
Mary Malia: There're a couple of different goals. One is to introduce women to all kinds of amazing lesbians who are living their lives out loud. They're lesbians everywhere they go — they're not in the closet anywhere. To live your best lesbian life is exactly that; being out in a bigger way. One of the ways we learn how to live our best lives is we look around at what other people are doing. We discover role models. We discover women who have given themselves permission to do something that is really outside the box. For a lot of women, lesbian or straight, we were raised in a time where we had to get permission to do whatever we wanted. It's the same in corporate America! We're told what to do and learn to ask for permission. We're not being taught how to think, and that's one of the things I'm really trying to teach to women through this summit. Every one of my speakers is living her lesbian life out loud. She's out in her community, she's out in her work and she's doing something that's focused on LGBT women, and being a resource for helping women have better lives.
[Something our speakers are teaching is the question] "How do I live my best life? How do I raise my standards, my personal standards? Whether it's how I approach my work, my coaching, building a network, even just how I approach my friendships and being with my family. How can I do it better?" As women listen to these speakers, they may walk away with just one golden nugget that changes the direction of their lives so they can become more authentically themselves, more true to themselves.
YourTango: What is that golden nugget? If you could teach your clients just one thing, what would it be?
Mary Malia: That's almost an impossible question to answer! I think in life, it doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman, if you're LGBT or straight. In life, there are only about 12 different problems that we all struggle with. They may look a little different, but at the core, there're only a few problems we all deal with. If I were to give anybody a single golden nugget, I would say "Sit down; write out your vision for your best life. What's it going to look like? What's it going to feel like to be that person every day? Then figure out how to do it." Who do you want to be in the world? Sometimes knowing what we want comes out of knowing what we don't want.
I'm a dating coach, and a lot of dating and relationship experiences end up with us saying "I know what I don't want," but then it's about having the guts to make a declaration about what you do want — and believing that it's possible. Then working toward it, one day at a time. One step at a time. You're going to have to approach it little bit by little bit, but all of a sudden you'll see that you're there. You'll start seeing results. Again, it goes back to "What's it going to feel like to live your best life?" You know it's going to feel good when you get there. When you wake up every morning, the sun is going to feel like it's shining, even if it's not!
YourTango: What is the biggest challenge lesbian women face in life? In love?
Mary Malia: I don't think it's any different from what straight women face. I think it's about communication and staying connected in a positive way. It's the same problem everybody has in relationships! We get lazy, we get stale — we think it's stale — and we focus on what's wrong instead of focusing on what's right. There's always something wrong, but we don't have to focus on that.
In relationships, we get stuck on little things, and we make little things into mountains. We stop focusing on what was so great about that person in the first place. What was so wonderful about her that I really wanted to be with her, and I could see myself spending the rest of my life with her? Where did I get lost? Where does that go? What we focus on gets bigger, for better or worse. What we focus on grows. If you're focusing on the little things you don't like, guess what? They're going to get bigger and bigger and bigger. So stop! Look for little things that you can say to your lover or partner, like "Oh my gosh, what a fabulous smile you have. I just love it when you smile." It doesn't have to be this big thing.
It's gratitude practice; look for little things you can be grateful for. Then that feeling grows and expands. I have a simple gratitude practice myself: When I go to bed at night, I think of three little things I'm grateful for. I will literally just lay there and think "I'm so grateful for my bed. I'm so grateful for sheets. I'm so grateful for how this mattress feels. I'm so grateful for my bed. I'm just so grateful for my bed!" People laugh, but it works. Keep reading...
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