Darcie Brown: “Carve out time for presence”

Carve out time for presence. It’s easy to get caught up in the end goal and always want to be in a different place in your life, but life is happening now, so be sure to tune into and honor what’s happening right in front of you. If you don’t, you’ll likely always been looking […]

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Carve out time for presence. It’s easy to get caught up in the end goal and always want to be in a different place in your life, but life is happening now, so be sure to tune into and honor what’s happening right in front of you. If you don’t, you’ll likely always been looking for more and out of touch with all that’s working for you now.


As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Darcie Brown.

Darcie Brown, JD, MA, LMFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, wellness coach, and creator of Rooted Wellness Collective, a virtual wellness space (launching in February 2021). Darcie is passionate about living a holistic lifestyle and supporting others in understanding themselves on a deeper level and creating a life that makes them feel content and fulfilled. Darcie has been quoted as a wellness expert in Women’s Health, Bustle, Better by Today, and Best Life and has contributed articles to media outlets including Elite Daily and U.S. News & World Report. She lives in San Diego, CA with her husband and their rescue dog, Piper.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The year I was born, my parents launched a financial planning company. They were both teachers prior to changing careers, so it was a big deal for them to take this leap to start their own business, while taking care of two children and paying a mortgage.

I grew up seeing the grit of hard work and also the courage and strength it takes to go after what you want in life, even when it’s scary and uncertain.

When I turned eighteen, my parents and I moved to San Diego, CA, where we still live today. Many of their friends told them they were crazy to move to California in their fifties. But they didn’t listen. They never allowed fear to hold them back, and that’s been a driving in force in my life and the reason I am where I am today.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?

Prior to becoming a therapist and wellness coach, I was an attorney. I was extremely unfulfilled in this career and, after living in Bali for three months and reevaluating my priorities in 2015, I returned to San Diego and enrolled in grad school for marriage and family therapy.

Looking back, I credit my parents’ example of changing careers for giving me the courage to change course even after spending all of the time, energy, and money to become a licensed attorney in California (one of the most difficult states to become licensed).

Now, as a therapist, I am a living example to my clients that you can always change course. Don’t shy away from trying something new or changing careers out of fear that you might not like where you end up. Most decisions aren’t permanent, and saying yes to yourself, no matter how it turns out, will always be something to be proud of and will give you the courage to keep trying and pursuing until you find your place.

Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

The biggest mistake when I first started was focusing on too many things at once. It’s easy to have so many ideas that you want to bring to fruition, but it’s hard to really move forward when you’re spread too thin. When I narrowed my focus both as a therapist and coach, and with my wellness collective, Rooted, I was able to find my audience and gain more traction in building a thriving business.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My father — his drive and passion for what he does fuels me day in and day out. He turned seventy last year and still runs several miles (in the San Diego hills) three days a week and runs his business with just as much passion and vitality as he did when he started it over thirty-five years ago. Sometimes I wonder he gets his energy from! He is almost always positive and solution-focused, and there’s rarely a task that’s too great for him to take on. He’s reliable and a born educator, which makes him so successful at what he does. I look to him as a role model for my own life in that passion is not enough for a business to thrive. You have to have perseverance as well. You have to be a problem-solver and look for creative solutions. There will be obstacles along the way, that’s to be expected, but it’s important to see the bigger picture, and my dad taught me not to lose sight of the end goal. Just keep moving forward.

Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?

A kinder and more peaceful world starts with the individual. My mission as a therapist and coach is to support individuals in their healing process. The more people who commit to doing the work to heal, grow, and transform, the more the world will be filled with people who see the good in others and bring good into the world.

This year, I’m also launching a virtual wellness collective called Rooted, aimed at reaching more people than I can with individual therapy and coaching services. For a long time now, I’ve wanted to create a space for people to learn more about themselves, explore who they are and what they want out of life. Mental health and wellness resources need to be more accessible, and Rooted Wellness Collective was designed with that in mind — creating a low cost (monthly membership is less than 10 dollars) but highly information and supportive space for people to grow and transform their lives and work through common life struggles like anxiety, depression, life transition, and relationship issues. Rooted is a safe place to start to do the work to live an authentic life that is fulfilling and meaningful. (Learn more about Rooted here).

Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.

  1. Carve out time for presence. It’s easy to get caught up in the end goal and always want to be in a different place in your life, but life is happening now, so be sure to tune into and honor what’s happening right in front of you. If you don’t, you’ll likely always been looking for more and out of touch with all that’s working for you now.
  2. Acknowledge small changes. Small changes are the gateway to big changes, so start by recognizing and honoring the small ways that you are saying yes to yourself every day. The more that you recognize and attune to the work you are doing right now for yourself, the easier it becomes to keep making more changes.
  3. Spend as much time as you can away from your phone and outside in nature. This is where you connect with your spiritual self, where creativity often blossoms, and where you get grounded. You learn so much from connecting with nature and disconnecting from the past-faced world that’s at your fingertips with your phone.
  4. Move your body every day. Don’t focus on the number of minutes but on consistently carving out time for yourself. When you let go of the number of minutes or the end goal of losing a certain number of pounds, that’s when you find the joy and purpose in the practice. You tune into the metal clarity, the energy, and the grounding force that movement gives you (just to name a few benefits).
  5. Understand the daily behaviors and relationships in your life that aren’t serving you, and make changes to adjust or get rid of them. Often without our knowing it, our energy is drained by things that aren’t adding value to our lives. Bring you awareness to those things, evaluate why they are draining you, and then make changes as needed. This can be really hard, so don’t hesitate to seek support from a therapist or coach to help you get started.

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?

The movement would be for everyone to work on making small changes in their life each day. As a therapist, I see this so often that people want big change in their lives overnight. And then that becomes overwhelming, and they give up. They underestimate the power of making small changes. I like to say, “Small changes can lead to powerful shifts.” The smaller the change, the easier it will be to follow through, which builds self-confidence and self-trust to help you to keep moving forward and making more and more changes.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

  1. Be open to change and adaptable. In my experience, your vision evolves from when you first conceptualize what your career will be like. You have to be able to adapt and flow through the ways you evolve and your career evolves.
  2. Be patient. Growing a business or learning a new skill takes time. Remind yourself of this often, because it’s easy to get caught up in comparison and become discouraged if you’re not patient with yourself and your own journey. No one starts with it all figured out. It takes time and often a lot of trial and error to figure things out.
  3. Find your support team. Not all support is alike, so find the people who support and encourage you, those who believe in you and will be rooting for you. Also, find a therapist or mentor, someone who is not invested in the outcome like friends and family. While family and friends mean well, they are also biased and can struggle to offer objective opinions. Enlisting an outside support team can help you see the bigger picture and determine the best course of action for you, not for them.
  4. Expect obstacles along the way. When we look at success stories, it’s easy to believe that they happened overnight or that they didn’t have any roadblocks. Everyone does; they just look different depending on the person. Expecting that there will be struggles makes them less overwhelming when they come up because you’re not blindsided.
  5. Define your values and get clear on your “why.” What’s driving you? Why is this work important to you? What’s your fuel behind everything you do? In order for it be successful, you have to be one hundred percent in it and know what will be pushing you forward each and every day.

Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?

This is probably obvious given the industry I’m in, but mental health. I do want to clarify that when I talk about mental health, I’m really referring to whole self wellness. In order to be mentally well, you have to be physical and spiritual well too…and engaging fulfilling relationships. For decades now, there’s been a focus on eating well and exercising, and while those are essential to whole self wellness, we need to expand that view to include spiritual wellness, mental wellness, and nurturing healthy and satisfying relationships with other people. When we are consistently caring for all parts of ourselves, that’s when we’ll feel the most whole, complete, and fulfilled. (I talk more about total wellness with authority magazine here.)

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

Darcie Brown Wellness

Join Rooted, a virtual wellness collective

Instagram

LinkedIn

Youtube

Thank you for these fantastic insights!

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