Interview With Robyn Wiley, Author of My Happy Book: a Guided Journal to Light up your Life
We are here today with Robyn Wiley. Robyn is an Author, Life & Happiness Coach, Reiki Master Teacher, Mindfulness Teacher, and Speaker.
At the core of Robyn’s work is her mission to help others get out of their heads and into their hearts so they can live their most joyful, purpose-filled, and authentic lives!
Among her training and experience, Robyn has completed a B.A. in Philosophy, Reiki Trainings from 2009-2017 to the highest level of Reiki Master of Masters, and Certifications in both “Assertiveness Coaching” and Strategic Intervention Coaching” through the highly reputed Robbins-Madanes Core 100 Program.
From 2014-present she has coached 60+ clients, has designed/led 70+ Personal/Spiritual Development workshops, and has published a personal growth book called: My Happy Book: a Guided Journal to Light up your Life.
Robyn continuously seeks training and experience to support her in being the best person, parent, Coach, and Teacher she can be.
Cate: Hi Robyn, and welcome!
Robyn: Hi! Thanks for inviting me!
Cate: My pleasure. This should be fun 🙂 Let’s get started. I find it inspiring that so many people out there are promoting a positive world view and sharing their ideas about how to live happily in the world 🙂 I know you share your own story of what brought you to be a part of this wonderful trend in your journal, My Happy Book: a Guided Journal to Light up your Life–can you share that with my readers?
Robyn: My mission of spreading inner peace, kindness, and joy in the world can be traced back to the deep unhappiness I experienced in my adolescence and early 20s. Growing up, I had zero self-confidence, believing I wasn’t worth anything, feeling like my life had no meaning, and fearing judgment and rejection from others a great deal of the time.
As I approached my later teen years, I started learning about politics and world issues- topics ranging from environmental destruction and poverty to oppression and violence. While on one hand this was good for me (learning about these things took me away from my self-absorbed bubble), on the other hand, I started to obsess about the problems of the world and felt a gigantic weight on my shoulders as if I were responsible for solving it all.
Fortunately, starting at the age of 19, I began to have some epiphanies about life that opened up my mind to a new way of thinking and doing things. I had reached such a high level of suffering that I was open to new ways of looking at things… I was desperate for answers and truth and anything that could bring some relief, really.
Cate: I’m sure this is a feeling many of my readers have experienced…
Robyn: I’d say so! Luckily for me, through a series of events and some deep soul searching, I realized that A. I was something far greater than my body, my thoughts, my past, my grades in school, and my reputation; B. The thoughts in my head aren’t necessarily true, and C. To make the greatest positive difference in the world, I’d have to change myself from the inside out.
As I began to live these truths, I came to get to know myself on a much deeper level than ever before and began making choices that were much more aligned with who I was and who I wanted to be. As I started focusing on finding peace and joy within, I became a lot less judgmental about myself and others, and started to worry a lot less about what I “should” be doing or what others thought about me.
Cate: That must have been very freeing!
Robyn: It was! 🙂 You know, in Buddhism, there’s a saying that we must want enlightenment as much as we want air to breathe. I was in a place where I was willing to do anything to achieve enlightenment, or any degree of happiness. That is the space we must be in to make true positive change.
As I started to make big positive changes within, my external life started to become more joyful and fulfilling as well. The more I started to experience joy, aliveness, passion, and fulfillment, the more I yearned to help others to experience these same states of being. I know what it’s like to be at the lowest of lows, fantasizing about ending my life because it seemed so much easier than living. I also know what it’s like to be on the other side of things, waking up in the morning grateful to be alive and excited to go about my day.
Deep in my core is the desire to be of greatest service in the world as I can possibly be. I used to think it was supposed to look a certain way, like publishing a best-selling book or joining the Peace Corps.
Nowadays, I focus mainly on keeping myself in a good mental, emotional, and spiritual space and letting my inner guidance direct me on how best to serve each day.
Cate: We sound pretty similar in that we both started wondering about Life’s big questions at an early age 🙂 I especially relate to your last comment–about being of service to the world not having to look a certain way. I have never been especially ambitious…so starting a new charity or doing “big things” out in the world never appealed to me. I love that there are people that do such things, but it’s not me. Remember that bumper sticker that was popular for some time–Think globally, act locally? That’s pretty much my “kindness” practice. Locally for me is in my city and state, but even more so I try to enact this just in my daily circle of influence–to any and all that I meet on a given day. I think it’s as important as the big things that people do!
Robyn: Mmm… that is a beautiful slogan that inspires me also. It’s a great reminder of the power of small, everyday acts we can take to make the world better. Takes a lot of pressure off of those of us who feel responsible to save the entire planet singlehandedly! ? It makes the goal of making the world better a LOT less overwhelming and a lot more doable!!
Cate: Yep- Less stressful and effective 🙂
Cate: Okay, next question…What are some of your personal favorites as far as techniques to use to nurture happiness?
Robyn: There are SO many wonderful tools to nurture our happiness, and there is so much research being done on this topic, which is very exciting to me!
Robyn: The top thing I must do to nurture my happiness is to commit to my happiness every single day. To wake up in the morning and remind myself of my intention to make my own happiness and well-being a top priority that day. If I don’t remind myself of this intention it’s so easy to make myself an afterthought, and before I know it, I’m drained, burnt out, and resentful. No good!
Another practice I love is beginning my morning with a practice that slows my mind and connects me to my heart. I like variety, so this practice can differ from day to day. One day, I might practice yoga, another morning I might sit at my altar and watch the birds and animals in my backyard, and yet another day I may pull out a journal and write my intentions for the day. (Sometimes, it’s a mix of all of these things and/or other things). The point is, doing something for myself upon waking up to start my day on a positive, conscious tone that will carry with me throughout my day.
One more thing I’ll throw out there is journaling. I am a HUGE proponent of journaling. I have benefitted from journal writing since childhood, and continue using it frequently to this day. I teach regular journaling classes because there are SO many powerful techniques we can use with journaling- it’s not just limited to free-writing like many people think! I use journaling to free-write sometimes, but I also use it to uncover negative or limiting beliefs that are keeping me stuck, to get more clear on what’s most important to me and what I want to create and experience in different areas of my life, and to connect powerfully to my heart’s wisdom.
Cate: This of course makes perfect sense! 🙂 I’m sure it was the impetus behind the creation of My Happy Book.
Robyn: Oh yes, for sure! Around the age of 19 was when I first had the idea of putting together a journal with prompts to benefit others, but it wasn’t the right time yet. The seed was planted though, and began to sprout gradually over the years.. and at the ripe age of 30, I decided, “Now is the time!” So I sat at my computer daily for 6 months and pumped out some of the most powerful and life changing questions and prompts that I’d come across and developed over the years.. both for myself and for coaching clients/students at my workshops.
I looked around in stores and online at what guided journals were out there, and found, there really wasn’t much. The only ones I came across were generic looking and didn’t get very deep into who we are or what we’re here on this planet to do. I wanted to create a guided journal for people that would allow them to get really clear on who they most want to be and how they most want to live, what they most appreciate in themselves and life, what their talents and strengths are, what they’ve taken away from their life experiences, (both the great moments and the difficult ones), and to figure out how to turn these insights into actionable steps to benefit them in their lives!
Cate: It’s a great tool, your Happy Book 🙂 Do you do any other sorts of coaching or have clients beyond your My Happy Book journal?
Robyn: Oh yes! 🙂 Since 2014, I’ve been offering coaching to individuals and groups, and more recently, to couples and families. I have completed two coaching trainings, one of which was co-created by Tony Robbins and world-renowned psychologist, Cloe Madanes.
Cate: I am not familiar with Cloe Madanes…
Robyn: Cloe’s great! She travels and speaks around the world and is most known for her work with couples, children, and families. She follows in the footsteps of Milton Erickson in using some really creative, sometimes unorthodox methods to help people to make huge breakthroughs in their thoughts, behaviors, and lives! She’s written several books, one of which I’m reading now that I highly recommend called, “Relationship Breakthrough.”
Cate: I’ll have to check that out!
Robyn: Yes, do! So, anyway, I tend to work with clients who are feeling stuck in one or more areas of their lives, who are going through a big life change or transition, and/or who would like support and assistance to make a dream of theirs into reality!
I love getting to work with various individuals of various ages and backgrounds and helping them to get to know themselves on a deeper level, to step more fully into the people they most want to be, and creating whatever it is they most want- whether it’s a better relationship with their parents or partner, work that is more fulfilling to them, a healthier lifestyle and body, or deepened inner peace.
I use a dynamic, integrative approach in my coaching, blending tried and true evidence-based strategies and hands-on tools, along with spiritual principles and practices. I have found from four years of coaching 65+ clients that the people who come to me with open minds who are ready and willing to try new things experience wonderful results and transformations- and often very quickly!
Cate: That sounds very cool! Do you have one story from your practice that you can share with us?
Robyn: Sure, I’ll share a more recent example. I’ve been working with this particular client for a good 6 months now, and I have seen SO much growth in her!! The first day we met, I could see from her face, the way she held her body, and the way that she spoke that she carried a tremendous amount of stress and worry. She told me about the challenges she was facing in her life- challenges in her marriage, challenges at work, but most of all, challenges with her own self-confidence and self-worth. She furthered explained that she’d dealt with chronic anxiety for as long as she could remember.
I knew it’d take some time to help her to make lasting changes in these different areas of her life, but I also sensed we could help her to start feeling better about herself and more at peace pretty quickly as she seemed very ready for change!
I didn’t want to load her up with too many actions too soon, so I asked her to begin one simple practice. “For the next 7 days, I’d like you to wake up in the morning and spend 5 minutes to start your day off in a positive, mindful way. I’d like you to sit down in a comfortable chair with a notebook and pen, and write down at the top of the page, ‘My Intentions for Today.’ I want you to write down any of the concrete actions you want to take, like ‘Go to the grocery store’ or ‘Go on a 20 minute walk.’ I also want you to write down your deeper intentions for how you want to feel, act, and carry yourself throughout the day. For example, you could write, ‘Today I take deep breaths throughout the day,’ or ‘I bring love to all my interactions with other people.’
She wasn’t thrilled about doing this, as she described herself as “not a morning person,” but she agreed to give it a go for the week until we met again.
Now, we met again 7 days later… and the change I saw in this woman’s face, body language, and demeanor was striking! I couldn’t believe I was looking at the same person! She appeared much more at ease in her mind and body, and held herself upright rather than slumping over like the time before. She went on to tell me that she was feeling better than she had for as long as she could remember! She shared that she’d been feeling much less anxious, much more at peace, and was even having an easier time waking in the mornings! All from this one simple practice!!
That one practice she began created a solid foundation to slow down, connect to herself more, and start her day on a positive tone. She has since built upon this foundation and become a much more centered and empowered person and has made some wonderful changes both at work and in her relationships. This woman’s growth has amazed both her and me, and continually inspires me to continue this powerful work with people!!
Cate: Wow– how inspiring to think that one small change can have such a big impact 🙂 I’m sure such cases are very fulfilling for you too!
Robyn: Oh yes!! I wouldn’t be doing this work if it wasn’t helping people on a deep level. It is so important to me to make as much positive difference as I can on this planet. Working with clients like the woman I mentioned above has been incredibly humbling and rewarding… I’m so grateful I took a leap of faith some years back to do the coach trainings and put myself out there in this way!!
Cate: It was a bold move to be sure!
So, who’s your favorite author on spiritual topics? It can be hard to pick just one! I like a lot of old ones–Emmet Fox and Emilie Cady for example.
Robyn: Mmm… that is a difficult question as I’m more drawn to books than authors… and I love SO many books!
Don Miguel Ruiz’s “Mastery of Love” is a long-time favorite, but “You Can Heal your Life” by Lousie Hay and “Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer are incredible works as well. A lesser known book called, “Spiritual Growth: Being your Higher Self” by Sanaya Roman has been instrumental to me on my path to stepping more fully into my heart and inner wisdom!
Cate: Yes, I can be the same way re books vs authors 🙂 But some authors I just love everything they write!
Okay…I know you have a son–does he journal?
Robyn: My son is currently 10 years old and I absolutely adore him. I know all parents say this, but he is incredibly bright and creative, and I just love watching how his mind works and his genius unfolds!
Currently, he’s not so big into journaling, though he has been known to write down his thoughts about life from time to time. When he was 7 or 8, he made a list in his journal of “Ways to be Happy,” which I found quite adorable and inspiring.
His favorite activities at present include riding his bike, playing computer/video games (of course), reading funny books, and creating silly videos. We’ve actually created a YouTube channel together and plan to post regular “silly videos” starting this summer! ?
Cate: What fun! Well, your son sounds like a happy young man 🙂 It’s so interesting with our children…watching them as they grow and develop into their own person!
Robyn: Yes, having children is such an interesting and wild experience! It’s so fascinating to watch as their personalities and interests unfold. It’s been such a beautiful, humbling process to watch this in my son… to see how my words and actions have helped to shape him to an extent, but at the same time, there is a distinct life force within him that ultimately steers his ship. I try to foster his self-trust and autonomy as best as I can… it’s been a great lesson for me in letting go of the need for control!
Cate: Definitely. I love that Kahlil Gibran quote about children–
“Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.”
It goes on to say more–great poem 🙂
Robyn: Yes!! I love this poem too- so on point!! And I think it can apply to our romantic relationships on some level, and to whatever projects we create and bring into the world. It’s not about becoming whole through someone or something outside of ourselves, but about letting the divine life force work through us. It’s counter to what many of us have been taught in this society, but the more we let go of clinging to our relationships, material goods, and projects, the more joyful, free, and alive we feel. And further, the more our presence and work can help others and help to heal this planet!
Cate: Agreed! And this allowing state of mind is much less stressful to boot! 🙂
Cate: Well, it’s been great talking with you! I appreciate your taking the time to share your story with me and with my readers. I also appreciate your efforts to let your light shine out into the world ?
Robyn: Great talking with you, Cate!! Thank you for the opportunity to share my story and thoughts with your followers! Thank you also for your kind words, and for all that YOU do in the world to be of service! You are an inspiration to many! ???
Get Robyn’s journal, mentioned in the interview, at Amazon:
Contact info for Robyn:
Author, Life & Happiness Coach, Mindfulness Teacher, Reiki Master Teacher, Speaker & Workshop Leader
Live with Passion, Purpose, and Joy!
This mug from my shop captures the message of the interview, I think ?