035: After Losing So Much, She Discovered What Truly Mattered with Rakel ChafirBy Arwen Becker | April 6, 2021
Rakel Chafir was 8 months pregnant with her second child and the height of her fitness and coaching career, when one morning she woke up and realized she had completely lost her voice. The vocal polyps that had emerged left her with one option for treatment during her pregnancy – no talking whatsoever, until she could have the surgery she needed several months later. Unable to work or communicate, Rakel and her family relunctantly moved to back to Florence where she would recover from surgery and a year of vocal therapy to regain her voice.
Rakel is a high-performance coach and a world leading body confidence expert who helps women over 40 release the emotional and physical weight that keeps them from experiencing massive success. She’s the author of the bestseller Free Your Body: 7 Steps to Get the Body You Desire and the Freedom You Deserve. She’s also the creator of Fuel – The Body Resilience Training, a high-intensity body and mind practice created in collaboration with an international team of clinical psychologists and neuroscientists.
Today, Rakel joins Arwen for a conversation about how losing her voice helped her learn what truly mattered – and how this experience changed her life. They talk about the power of reframing, the relief that comes with facing fears, how to let go of emotional weight and the need to control everything, and truly love life.
Overcomer Playlist Recommendation
Pearls of Wisdom
- Listen to your body and intuition before making a financial decision.
- Change your mindset. Don’t force things to happen – but allow them to happen instead.
- Be present, show up in your responsibility, take space, and own it.
Tweetables“There's so much freedom when you realize, you don't have to control it all.” - @LIFEwithArwen Click To Tweet “We, the women, get to come before the very outcome with desire.” - Rakel Chafir Click To Tweet “Whatever it is that you're going through right now, there's so much more available.” - Rakel Chafir Click To Tweet “Confidence is the ability to show up in your truth, to tell your story without allowing those fears, those in position, these limiting beliefs to prevent you from speaking up and showing up in who you are.” - Rakel Chafir Click To Tweet “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” - Suzy Kassem Click To Tweet
- She Handled It, So Can You!: An Inspiring and Empowering Financial Guide for Women
- Rakel Chafir’s Website
- Free Your Body: 7 Steps to Get the Body You Desire and the Freedom You Deserve by Rakel Chafir
- Fuel – The Body Resilience Training by Rakel Chafir
- Thrive Global
- Addicted 2 Success
- Best Self Media
- CEO Magazine
- Soulbbatical by Shelley Paxton
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Connect with Arwen Becker
Arwen Becker: I was thinking back to this time period, I was 10 years old, and at the time, we lived across the street from my elementary school in Kirkland, Washington. And one of the things that we would often do at that time is we would take our bikes, and after school or on the weekends, we would go to the school, and we would just ride around in the parking lot. That was just something you did.
And I can remember back when I was 10, because I had the sweetest bike, it was the banana seat bike. And I know some of you out there know exactly what I'm talking about. The big, long seat, and mine happened to be a Pink Panther banana seat bike. So, the Pink Panther’s face was the big long seat. And I just totally chuckled because how many parents told their kids, just like mine, you don't ride this with your friends, but you had the banana seat was purpose built for like two or three kids, but I swear, that's how big it was.
And so, I can recall this one time, friends had come over to my house, and we were heading across the street to the school to ride our bikes. And my dad came out and he said, “Oh, no, no, no, Arwen, you are not riding that bike with roller skates on.” And I was like, “Okay, yeah, I won't do that. I wasn't planning on riding it.” And so, by the time he went back into the house, I'm like, I'm not going to take the time to take these roller skates off, I'm perfectly capable of riding a bike with roller skates on. And so, I headed off with my friends over to the school.
And so, we are riding around in the parking lot, and one of my friends cuts me off. And of course, I put my feet down to try and stop myself, which causes me to completely fly over the handlebars, face into the concrete, road rash on my face, on my shoulder. It was a mess. And yet, I think about that time period and how often times, maybe it's our youthful exuberance, maybe it's being a little bit naïve, we think that we are going to somehow be the exception to the rule, that we can do what other people can't. And sometimes, life gets to this point where it humbles us a little bit. And that is exactly what has happened with the experience of our guest today. And I'm super excited for you all to get to meet and hear her story. And I'm super excited about it, too.
Rakel Chafir is a high-performance coach who helps driven women over 40, woo-hoo, give it up to the over 40, release the emotional and physical weight that keeps them from experiencing massive success in their lives. She's the best-selling author of Free Your Body: 7 Steps to Get the Body You Desire and the Freedom You Deserve. And she's the creator of Fuel - The Body Resilience Training, it's a high-intensity body and mind practice created in collaboration with an international team of clinical psychologists and neuroscientists. She is a world leading body confidence expert and guest writer for Thrive Global, Addicted 2 Success, Best Self Media, CEO Magazine, and many more.
Arwen Becker: Rakel, thank you so much for joining us on the show today. I'm so excited.
Rakel Chafir: Thank you. I love your story about the bike. And I remember, I had the bike too. I didn't go with the roller skates.
Arwen Becker: Because you were probably smart enough to realize that's just plain bad idea.
Rakel Chafir: Probably.
Arwen Becker: Yeah, probably. So, I know we're going to be getting into your story, but why don't you tell us the song that you brought today for us to add to our overcomer playlist, and why you chose that one?
Rakel Chafir: Okay. So, I chose a gorgeous song by Andra Day, and the song is called Rise Up. So, you guys, before I came in, Arwen said, some of our guests like to sing the song, but I would not do that to you for two reasons, one is because it's not an easy song to sing, and two is because she is so awesome, and she sings it so beautifully and gracefully that I just can't, I just can't do it too. I just can do it, but I will read you some of the lyrics because I feel for this podcast and for what women go through and what we face and the challenges we face, they're very appropriate. So, I'll go on and read it. It starts with this:
You're broken down and tired
Hello, how many authors are feeling like that right now?
Of living life on a merry go round
And you can't find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains.
And then, she goes into this beautiful hook of rising up, right. So, it's really to me the way she performs it, and if you do not know the song, please go ahead and check it out and listen to it, because it's incredible. She moves from this place of really capturing the vulnerability of feeling broken, and then listening to that inner guidance system that each one of us has and access in it and elevating itself and literally rising up to a more center ground, the place of freedom, of embodiments, and of truth. So, that's the song with it.
Arwen Becker: I love that song so much. And that has been on my playlist forever and ever, but yes, I picked different songs, like I think I can sing that hook, that is not one of them, I guarantee you. It's such a beautiful song. So, any of you, I'd be shocked if everybody has not heard that song because it's just such a powerful song in so many respects. Well, speaking of powerful stories, I'm really looking forward to hearing yours today. I think it's going to really speak to many women out there. So, why don't you take us back? You were in your 30s, you were pregnant with your second, I believe, at this time, and big and pregnant, so I think late in pregnancy, and some things were going on. So, why don't you start us at that point?
Rakel Chafir: Yes, I was doing really well. It was the moment of my life, I was doing really well. I was pregnant with my second child. I was doing well in my career. I was teaching in some of the most elite fitness studios in New York and working for corporate clients. And I was teaching fitness on a high level, so body and mind fitness, and how that applies to business. So, the body was a big part of what I did, and I felt very connected to that and excited. And I was getting into this phase of mentoring other instructors or younger instructors and having the respect of some of the people who got to rule my life.
So, I was doing really well. My eight-year-old, well, he was four-year-old at the time, three and a half, now he’s eight, and was in private school in New York. I was pregnant with the second baby. My husband was an Italian attorney, and was going through the bar exam. So, he was studying a lot. And I was teaching up to 22 classes per week, lots of workshops and seminars on weekends. And one morning, I just woke up. It was just like any other morning, but I woke up, I turned to my husband and I realized I have no voice. I'm not saying I have a low voice, I'm saying I have no voice. I’m attempting to speak to him to say, what time is that? Or is the baby awake? And all I could do is air coming out, no pain, but zero voice. My voice was gone, there was nothing. And it was such a scary, weird experience because for a moment, like, your brain doesn't register what has happened.
Arwen Becker: Sure.
Rakel Chafir: That’s okay. I'm imagining this. Now, the voice is going to come. Let me just warm up, because I was doing a lot of talking and teaching. So, my voice had been going through lower stages, I'm feeling really fatigued, but it was gone. And so, I pick up a piece of paper and I tell my husband, no voice, we need to call the doctor. Let's do something. Let's go see what's happening. So, he called and canceled my classes and my work. He let them know what was happening. And then, he got the baby to school, and we go to Cedars Sinai. And we immediately see a doctor and then another doctor and then another doctor. At the end of that morning, we find out that I have this vocal polyp that has been created by abusing my voice for many, many days, probably years. And then suddenly, my voice was gone.
And now being eight months pregnant, I couldn't take the steroids to calm it down. I couldn't do the surgery because you’re that pregnant, you can't do it and get anesthesia and going to have a surgery. And so, all I could do was be quiet, and I mean not speak. Now, the point for me, not speak wasn't just not communicate, right? It meant not working, it meant not talking to my little toddler who's having a baby brother. And it's a very– you have boys. Anyway, anybody who has children having a sibling, it's a very vulnerable experience for a first born. And now I can’t talk to him anymore. And he's looking at me like, mommy, why you're not talking to me? Why you're not reading to me anymore? Why you're not speaking to me? He’s three and a half at the time. And my husband explained that to him, but he wasn't really getting it.
And it was so bad that if I walked around, I had to write down on a piece of paper. If I wanted to order a tea and show it to the cashier, saying, I need this. And I noticed in that moment how people are not prepared to respond to any of that. So, I felt completely isolated, pregnant, unable to work and unable to communicate, even with my loved ones. And so, from there, it was already pretty bad, but what I soon came to understand is that after one week and then two weeks and the voice wasn't coming back, is that, hey, I cannot work anymore. And if I cannot work, with my husband going to graduate school and my son in private school, it means I cannot pay for my son's private school or the New York rentals. And if you ever lived in New York, you know it's no joke.
And so, we decided to move back to Europe. Now, my husband had been living in the United States for only four years. For me, it was already 19 years, I felt and still feel more American than Italian. And so, moving back to the country of origin felt like returning to the crime scene in so many ways, because I created my life away from my family and culture. And going back, although I think it is a gorgeous country, going back for me meant leaving my home, leaving my country, leaving my culture, leaving my job. I cannot even write in Italian anymore, and I can’t teach. And there's no studios like the one that they have in New York City, in Florence. How am I going to even provide for my family? What's going to happen to me?
So, we moved back to Europe. And I'm already in pretty bad shape. And by that time, so I lost my voice, I lost my job because I can no longer work, and I lost my home because I had to leave New York and the United States, even if it was temporary. At the moment, that was the idea, it felt like my whole life was over. Then, I mean, that’s it.
Arwen Becker: What were you being told? Sorry to interrupt, but what were you being told by doctors? I mean, were they expecting it was…
Rakel Chafir: No, it was that I had to be quiet for a couple of months, not speak at all, not communicate. Then, after having the baby, I would need to get into a cycle of steroids and then have a surgery and then the vocal therapy. So, it was a very long journey. We're talking about like a full year to regain a voice. And also, I was told, we don't even know what voice is going to come back. So, you will get some kind of a voice back, but we don't know if it’s going to be your voice.
Arwen Becker: Wow. And so, you really had to make these decisions based on the unknown of you didn't know when your voice was going to come back, you didn't know when it did come back, if it was going to even be a voice that fit into the world that you were used to fitting into, right?
Rakel Chafir: Well, it wasn't even making a decision. I felt like I had no choice, but to do that. And on top of it, there were moments of just being completely broken. Like I have this one moment where I see one of my colleagues saying, like, “Will you be able to sing to your newborn?” And just like in that moment, those incidents in your life that you can recall with precision what you were wearing, where you were standing. And I remember looking at her and just feeling the tears coming down my face because even crying or making a noise felt harsh, out of reach. We need the idea of being silenced. It was one of the most vulnerable moments of my life, the idea of…
Arwen Becker: You had just felt so helpless, powerless.
Rakel Chafir: I felt helpless, I felt alone. I felt, why the hell is it happening to me? I felt it's unfair. I was doing so well. Why this now? And I felt unfit as a mother because now, I couldn't provide the support I wanted my little guy to have. And I thought, now, I cannot provide the support that my newborn will need. And the whole initial connection of hearing the mother's voice is not going to have that, my baby is not going to have that. I felt like my life went literally in a matter of a month from being a total success, feel good and happy and fulfilled and excited to this dark place of feeling hopeless, powerless, why me, and just terrified, really terrified, because in that moment I felt like I lost my identity. Now, if you're a teacher. If you're a speaker, and you lose your voice, you lose your identity. That's what I did. I presented, I talked, I communicated.
Arwen Becker: Right. It was your connection, too, I mean, even outside of your vocation, it was your connection to your world, the people who matter to you.
Rakel Chafir: Absolutely.
Arwen Becker: And not having that.
Rakel Chafir: Yeah, absolutely.
Arwen Becker: And then moving away from your support system that you had built up over all of those years, having been in the States for so long and then now moving back to– I assume you were moving back to, is that where you grew up?
Rakel Chafir: Florence. Yeah, it was where I grew up, and it was close to my family. And I moved away from everything, let’s put it that way, like I love my parents, but they are extremely anxious and extremely critical. And so, for me, being in that condition close to them made me feel even more powerless because here I am almost like an infant, like a child around them with the mother talking to you, and you cannot answer back, but I had no option. I had no option because that was the reality of what we were going through.
So, initially, I couldn't accept it. I remember having this one session with my therapist, what I said at a Starbucks, and for the first time, she did something that she would never do, which is allowing me to have an email session, via chat that I never had in my whole career like she did. And so, we are having this email session with her, and I'm realizing when I'm writing this email to her that I have really no option. And something in me in that moment there, clearly, you have no options. Clearly, at this moment, you have no option. Let's honor what you're feeling, but let's go with it because the two options you have available is resist what is happening and end up having to do it anyway or accept what is happening. Do what you can to shift your energy, do what you can to be present to your child, do what you can to build another type of connection, do what you can and see what happens.
So, that was a moment of hope that I felt, like really an inner guidance, a voice that said, hey, you actually do have a choice. It's not the choice you want, which is the choice is to make it go away, and then tomorrow– but you do have a choice. And I do believe we always have a choice. And how we handle ourselves is really being present to the fact that every second is a privilege, and even going through an experience in a non-ideal way is still a privilege.
Arwen Becker: Sure. And we can reframe it at any point. That's important.
Rakel Chafir: It's so important to express what we need and to ask for support. I was leading a group coaching session the other day, and this one woman told me, we got to the end of the session, and I asked several times, who wants to speak next? Who needs to speak next? And they were timid into going after. So, by the time the whole session was over, this woman felt really bad that she didn’t get to speak. There were actually two or three of them. And so, she came up to me, and said I'm really sad that I didn't get to speak. I'm like, you had an opportunity. I challenge you next time to see if there's even if I don't say who wants to speak next, to say I really need to speak. Today, I really need to speak. And we have this idea. We can't let what others think of us or our fear of how others will react. To become more important than what we know needs to come out, and that's something that women tend to do all the time.
Arwen Becker: Absolutely.
Rakel Chafir: Let me just handle it on my own, right?
Arwen Becker: Yep. Or put myself second, just always be secondary. Oh, my feelings, all these other people matter. And that's what women are really good at, helping advocate for other people, helping to support other people, but when it comes to self-support and saying, at this moment, I need something, I need support, I need to be able to get this off my chest, I need to make my feelings known, whatever that might be, and being willing to enter into that uncomfortable space and say, I need to put a hand up and go, I need help right now, I need to talk about this at the very least, and however it's received doesn't negate the feelings that you have at that moment, being able to get it out. That's why therapy is so vital for all of us, I mean, really, to be able to have a skilled person. And I think I just want to say that, too, it's not about just finding some person to be able to talk to, somebody that you can trust, that skillful, that has your best interests at heart, that's not going to make the problem worse, or share your problem with other people.
Rakel Chafir: Totally. That's very, very important. I also want to add something because I think that we, as women, culturally, give value to the speaker of the one that takes care of everybody and put herself last. There is a moral value that we give to that and in a way, it’s not that– I'll go back to the story, but this really came up while you were talking, but in a way, if we’re always the one giving, if we are the one always providing, there was a sense of controlling that. It takes a lot of vulnerability to pull out of the control and be there to receive it.
It’s almost like if you and I are friends, and we go out and I say, oh, well, let me pay. Or let me know what's going on with you. Or let me make sure that you are held and you feel safe, and how can I help you today? Oh, and what's going on with this other thing in your life? Subconsciously, I would feel that if our friendship would end, you'd be the one losing because I was the one giving you everything, but instead, if I place myself in this vulnerability spot and allow you to support me, then I might need you more. And I think there's something that's so key for women. We are afraid of needing someone because we are afraid that when we do, then they won't show up, and we do not want to live that disappointment again.
It's almost like this old trauma of being disappointed at some point in our lives, and we all have been, it shows up again and again and again every time that we need help, and we suffocate the need because we don't want to face, maybe not getting what we need.
Arwen Becker: Sure.
Rakel Chafir: Until we cut it off.
Arwen Becker: Hurt, just potentially getting hurt, yeah.
Rakel Chafir: Yes, 100%.
Arwen Becker: So, you guys moved back to Florence?
Rakel Chafir: We moved back to Florence. I had the little guy, my second baby, who is now three and a half, almost four. And the voice is slowly starting to come back. So, at this point, I can speak but very softly, which I'm already super happy about, because it allows me to communicate, but right as soon as I'm starting to recover with my voice or feeling better, I start getting this deep abdominal pain. And to cut the story short, I find out I have this hernia in my umbilical area, but it's a choked hernia, I mean, the tissues around your bellybutton are dying, there's no blood supply.
And so, I had this terrible surgery that was supposed to be not terrible, but then that's been terrible because my body completely shuts down and has an allergic reaction. And I wake up in so much physical pain that I just think, not another thing. I lost my voice, I lost my job, I lost my home, and now I'm losing my body, my core, the core of who I am, I literally get to a point in every possible way. And the pain was so severe, and they had to put some internal stitches. And I had to lay down on the sofa with my legs up so that I could maintain a 90-degree position to not flex the muscles. So, even sneezing or coughing or doing anything like that felt like somebody was ripping me apart. And I couldn't take any medication because I had an allergic reaction, and, you know, to what?
So, now I'm going through this insane pain, and I'm going through the next phase of what I was doing that day in New York, which was to stop asking why it's happening and understanding that the only way to go through it was to surrender to whatever it happening must be happening for a reason. You know what? And in that moment, I could clearly see how my life had always been about control, controlling the body, helping women controlling the body, controlling my career, controlling where my kids get to go to school, controlling how my kids feel, controlling how my husband feels, controlling that I look the parts, controlling that I sound smart, controlling how my clients felt after working with me, controlling the results. It was all about that. And it gave me this will leave, this illusion that by doing that, I was somehow immune to dealing with the internal turmoil and conflict that existed beneath me. And that in reality, all that pretty put together, a human was very broken and needed a lot of healing.
And so, the moment I surrendered, the moment I surrendered to that pain, and it happened really randomly because I wasn't big into meditation. I was very into active, high-intensity marathon, not meditation, but the only way to control the abdominal pain was to breathe smoothly, to control the breath. And so, I found myself into these days of meditation. And in that moment, during that meditation, I heard an instinct, an inner guidance, what people probably call a download that says, you have a choice, you have a choice. You can choose yourself or you can choose to keep fighting and resisting and trying to rehab yourself to then go back to control it.
And at the beginning, I didn't know what choosing yourself meant, but soon enough, I learned that choosing yourself meant choosing the part of me that always was and always will be the part of me that existed beyond that moment. It's like if I told you the part of you that existed when you were a little girl in that bike and then you wanted to explore the things, the part of you that existed beyond your address and your age and your profession, the self that goes beyond all the attachment that I needed to control, the self that wanted to be seen and held and experience the self that wanted to have a voice, so she had to shut up the other one that was taking the lead, the self that wanted to do more than just help women look good, the self that was determined to help female leaders yield their body image so they could show up fully and embody the truth of who they are, that's the self that was coming up in that moment for me.
Arwen Becker: Wow. My business coach talks about the area of genius, and I'm visualizing that when you're talking about it. She said, she's talking to me specifically, she's like, you have this area which bumps up right to that, where it's really the bleeding edge of your comfort zone. And then you get out of that, and that's the area of genius that she talks about, but then you're like, I'm too scared, and I'm going to come back into this place where I feel like I can control it because that is the unknown, but yet, if there is a place to feel more alive when you are in that area where you're like, I can't control all the pieces of my circumstance, because, oh, my gosh, Rakel, I so relate to everything that you're saying, because I have tried to do that.
I always talked about I thought kind of to this point where I was like my own personal savior, where I thought out of time, effort, energy, and just sheer drive, I could control everything until just like you, I had that moment where it was all the things that I knew to be true, all the things I believed in, were all stripped away. And then you're left with yourself going, what am I supposed to do? This was not how it was supposed to be. And that's where there's so much freedom when you realize, first of all, you don't have to control it all. It's a really nice feeling when you're recognized, I always say that I'm not that important to have to control it all, it's not my job, but I still like to have my things in order, but you can't control everything. And it's a nice feeling of relief when you kind of get to that space where you realize that.
Rakel Chafir: Yeah, it's amazing that the thing that we fear the most, when it happens, it's just relief is there, there's almost this very soft, raw, real experience that goes beyond. It’s the same experience. The only time I could compare it to is, when you have a new baby and you smell the baby beneath the neck and there's a smell of heaven or where you're looking at a sunset that is too beautiful to describe, and you have this moment of going beyond you. And for a moment, you forget that you're this person, and you just become the everything, that for me, when I lost everything, I suddenly felt connected to everything. It was like I am everything. I don't need to be this because I am everything. And it wasn't very logical, as I'm describing it, it was more of a sensory experience, but what I came out of that house is what I began to feel better. I knew I could not go back to that, and I didn't want to go back to that.
And in a way, it's changed me, and it changed my career as well because I came out of that meltdown and breakdown, saying, I have no interest in teaching in elite fitness studios and telling women they should push harder. I have no interest in that. I want to find out what's going on in the brain. I want to find out how we can release the pressure and obtain better results. I don't want to help women get their body back after a baby. I want them to get a body that's even better than what they ever had, even if they are 40 or 50 because who says that they can’t? It was like all the things that were part of this very segmented, fixed idea, what I want in my life to be, were now flowing. There was a lot more feminine energy that I never even knew it existed.
And then I began to see how when we do that in our body, when we allow that freedom in our body, how the results we can get, how the weight, the emotional weight that we carry on ourselves that sometimes materialize the next year when your body can be released rather than forced out. I mean, my whole perspective, my whole system, my desire, so what I wanted to do completely changed, now completely changed, it changed the raw material of who I am.
Arwen Becker: Wow. That is so powerful. Oh, my gosh. That is so powerful because it's not just about having an amazing body. Amazing body is great and everything, but if you have an amazing body and yet you're miserable between your two ears and you don't get to enjoy the life that you have in front of you, what is the point of it all?
Rakel Chafir: Oh, yeah.
Arwen Becker: And to be well-rounded that way, that is so brilliant.
Rakel Chafir: Yeah. Like it's almost to have the best body you need to know you're more than the body, and then allow the body or whatever it is that you want. And this is the same thing that I do in the business coaching or in the body is like you can do anything you want, you can have that fit body. You can build that seven-figure business, but it needs to become the byproduct of who you choose to be, not the condition to feel good enough, right? So, yes, go get that amazing body, look the best you can, but not because you need to in order to feel good enough. You start with feeling good enough, and really embody that sense of worth. And then you allow yourself to be drawn to what's really aligned with that vision so that those results become inevitable. That's the shift of that experience for me.
Arwen Becker: Wow. That is such a beautiful thing. I think just when you said being connected to everything, when you were kind of disconnected from the things that you had really put your trust and belief in and your value in were all ripped away kind of all the same time, and then all of a sudden now feeling connected to everything, and just the richness of living, now being able to have those things restored, your voice restored and your body restored, and getting those pieces back, but yet still being able to hang on to what you've learned throughout that process. It's such a beautiful word picture of so many pieces and so many things. You said, I can't wait to go back and listen to the show because there's so much wisdom and value in what you've said. And the truth is you had to go through a really, really hard time, and a lot of probably very dark moments, dark nights and extended time period, not just a couple of weeks or something like that, really extended time period of all the things that you thought were most important being taken away for a while. And yet the beauty that came after that, that is the nature of going through really hard things and choosing to still reframe it and overcome it. And you've done such a beautiful, beautiful way, oh, my gosh. And you've articulated it in such a beautiful way. So, when you look back at these last number of years, what would you say are those top three things that you've taken away from this experience?
Rakel Chafir: So, the top three things that I've taken away from this experience that I want to share with the woman who was listening right now, whether she's like washing her dishes or fixing her clothes or putting together the things for their business, I wanted to share with her because it's not just about my experience, it's something that I believe and I am determined to communicate and share with every woman out there who’s looking for empowerment and freedom is that we get to come first. We, the women, get to come before the very outcome with desire. So, whatever it is that you desire, those outcomes get to become the natural byproduct of you, not the condition of feeling good enough. This is true for the body, this is true for the business, this is true for the relationship, for the man in your life, the woman in your life, the children, you need to come first, right? So, that's definitely the number one.
The second one that, generally speaking, is not about forcing what we want, but it's about allowing what we want. So, it's not about losing, it's about releasing. It’s not about achieving, but putting yourself in that position and in that consistent action, consistent, aligned action that allows us to get there, because if we focus so much on the actual achievement of the goal, we're also stuck in a very, very small dimension. Like I would have never known what was possible for me if I'd been in New York, and this never happened to me.
We need some time to have that much of a break in our mentality and in our reality to understand that there's so much more available. So, whatever it is that you're going through right now, there's so much more available. What would happen if you were open to the idea of having more available than the option that you're not seeing or thinking about? This is definitely something that was big. And the last one, so many, I had to write them down the three ones, but you asked me because there's so many takeaways. I'm like, oh, my God, what should I say?
Oh, yeah, the third one is that being present and responsible in your life doesn't mean being controlling of your life. Being present and responsible, showing up in your responsibility, showing up taking space, fully owning it, doesn't mean needing to control it, because for me that was the same thing. So, confidence is not so much being assertive or being sexy or being dominating. Confidence is the ability to show up in your truth, to tell your story without allowing those fears, those in position, these limiting beliefs to prevent you from speaking up and showing up in who you are. So, those are the three biggest takeaways.
Arwen Becker: Beautiful. Oh, my gosh. I've taken all of them to heart, there's no doubt about it. And I'm glad you picked those three, because they definitely speak to me, and I know they speak to many, many women out there, too. Alright, so the rapid fire three questions. And actually, before I want to get to this, I want to ask you one other quick question. Just because you talk a lot about your clients and about women, what do you think personally is– what does it look like when women really support one another, when women are supporting women? What does that look like to you?
Rakel Chafir: To me, it looks like magic. To me, it looks like no limitation to what can be achieved. To me, it looks like freedom, true power, and infinite possibility. When women come together, when we drop the lie of comparison, and we recognize that the other woman in front of us is our friend, our sister, our supporter, our cheerleader, our teacher, our student, our loved one, our mirror image, we access the freedom of tapping into who we are as women, which is often hidden by these layers of measuring your worth against her. So, if I'm here and I become present, your gorgeous woman, and I know you are extremely successful and I've become present to the little voice, the little background noise that says, oh, but she's so beautiful, but she's so– it could go on and on, right?
And what I would be missing is your beauty, I would be missing your heart, I would be missing your mission to bring value to women and to let them know they're empowered to invest and to experience wealth and freedom. I will be missing you. So, women coming together means not missing the breaking point. Now, mostly, it's like the truth and the end of all, everything and nothing coming into one. Magic, that's the word.
Arwen Becker: And the power that comes from being in that space where the comparison is not the focal point, where it's like you said, the student and the teacher, because all of us have things to learn, all of us have things that we can give as gifts to other people, that they look at us and go, gosh, I can't believe you can do that, and so, not getting into this comparison space and being able to fully show up as yourself. I just knew you would have a beautiful answer to that. I didn't know it would be that beautiful. That was really remarkable.
Rakel Chafir: No, I mean, I’m just thinking when we drop the– there's a lot of things that lead us to comparison, which is the looks or the achievement. And when we're trying to take that out and I suggest that we do that more and experience the soul and experience the being, it’s such a beautiful experience, like I'm in love with women.
Arwen Becker: Yeah, agreed. That’s beautiful. Alright, so the last three questions. So, rapid fire, we've got, the best piece of financial wisdom you've been given?
Rakel Chafir: Okay. Check your body before making a financial decision. So, I'm not saying just follow your intuition blindly, not saying that, but check your body, because sometimes your body will tell you, oh, that's scary, but it feels aligned, right? Because I'm not into this old prophecy of do what feels good, you can’t just do what feels good. Sometimes, things are the right thing, but they're not super easy. So, check your body and really notice your reaction and learn from that. Use it as an internal compass to make a decision in your business.
Arwen Becker: That's good.
Rakel Chafir: In your finances.
Arwen Becker: Really good piece of advice. So, what about a favorite book and why?
Rakel Chafir: Okay, so my new favorite book is Soulbbatical by my friend Shelley Paxton. And I should have picked my book, but I picked hers.
Arwen Becker: Well, we’ll still have yours in the show notes.
Rakel Chafir: Because everybody, we read it. It's so fun, she's so fun. She used to be the head of Harley Davidson, and she just took some time off and she's just decided to become the soul rebel and express herself and create a movement of rebel souls that express who they truly are in life. And it's just both extremely enjoyable and fun and filled with gems that you can bring back home. So, that's my...
Arwen Becker: Perfect. So, I'm going to definitely download that one immediately. That sounds awesome. And then, a favorite quote?
Rakel Chafir: Okay, the favorite quote, “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will” by Suzy Kassem. Wow. I love that. Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will, and it’s the truth.
Arwen Becker: Yep. That is the truth. No doubt about it. So, how can we all get a hold of you? Tell us all the good details about you. Where can we find you? Anything that you want us to pick up?
Rakel Chafir: Yes. Okay, guys, so you can find me on RakelChafir.com, www.RakelChafir.com. You can also find me on Instagram at Rakel Chafir, and you can just send me a DM. Let's bring social back to social media. Send me a DM. I'm a real human. I will respond. And I'm happy to send you a free gift on anything that you are looking forward to, business or embodiment. I have a ton of free gifts, like everybody on the Internet, and I'm happy to give it to you.
Arwen Becker: Love it.
Arwen Becker: You have been such a beautiful wealth of knowledge. And I am so grateful to have met you, I'm so grateful that you have sewn into my life today and every woman out here listening to you, because what you have, what you are creating in your life of your legacy and being able to share that so generously just really, really, truly blessed my life today. So, I thank you so much for taking the time to come out and talk with us.
Rakel Chafir: Oh, you're welcome. I loved every second.
Arwen Becker: Good. Well, I will look forward to hopefully running to you sometime in Europe, when I find myself there sooner than later. Alright, my dear, well, thank you for coming on the show today.
Rakel Chafir: Thank you.
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