I am so excited to introduce October’s Powerhouse Interview with this powerhouse babe, Emily Dipple!
Emily is a diligent and highly motivated woman with a passion for empowering and inspiring others. She enjoys writing, creating art, time with her family, and running when she is not busy managing contact center operations for a business process organization. Emily makes health and fitness a priority, following a ketogenic lifestyle to balance her insulin resistant PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). She is most inspired by spending time in nature, hearing stories of those who have overcome great obstacles, and is grounded by close friends and family. Emily has completed six half marathons, and will complete her second full marathon on November 6. She lives in Iowa with her fiance, his daughter, their 2 dogs, and cat.
Ashley: Emily, when and how did you find Fierce Forward? When your fiance’ first asked you what Fierce Forward was, what did you tell him and what would you tell him today if he asked you again?
Emily: I discovered Fierce Forward through my dear friend and FF Ambassador Kim Hill just over 2 years ago when I was in a period of great transition in my life. I had just walked away from a toxic marriage, and was rediscovering who I am, embracing living alone, and designing life on my terms. It was around that same time I began dating my now my fiance. When he asked about Fierce Forward, I told him it was a group of women who came together with a common interest of living more intentionally, and a space to authentically share with one another and build each other up, when so often women tear each other down. I told him the armor was a reminder of the intentions I want to stay in. If he were to ask me again today, I would tell him Fierce Forward comes from within. We each have the power to Fierce Forward in our own way, guided by our Truth, which is unique for everybody. It is staying above the line, and in the process, spending our energy where it aligns with our vision, and not outside of that. It’s getting clear with our vision and values, and doing the work necessary to live a life which embodies them.
Ashley: How have you applied this mantra to your life?
Emily: I could use examples of when and how this shows up, but I will say this. We all have our goals, and we all have the competing commitments surrounding us, vying for our time and attention. Sometimes the competing commitment is not wanting to get out from under the comfortable covers for an early morning workout. Sometimes it’s the unexpected need of someone else that shifts priorities, and sometimes it’s choosing which of the multiple things on the list will serve us the most. I ask myself daily, “How do I want to show up right now?” “Who do I want to be today?” To achieve my balance during hectic times, when I create my “get to” list, I list it out in three domains – Self, Family, and Goal Getting. It reminds me to remember to do something for myself, whether it’s my time in my devotional, a specific workout, a painting, or reading, something for my family, like chores or going to the store, and something that will get me closer to my goals, like planning a run route or working on my writing. It’s easy to find myself in overwhelm, and by breaking my day down into these domains keeps me centered on what is truly important. With that, I also set a daily intention for whatever I want to bring forth more of, a handy trick I learned through the Iowa City Learning Foundation. The armor is such a handy tool for reminding me of this intention. For example, if I want to experience more peace, I will say something like, “Today I will bring forth peace by telling (person) how much I appreciate them.” By setting a simple intention and an action to go with, my awareness of how peace already shows up in my life increases and I can embrace it more fully. It works with anything, love, courage, strength, completion, anything you choose. We are always at choice.
Ashley: You are less than 3 weeks away from your full marathon! What would you say to your future self at the finish line if you were to have a conversation with her now?
Emily: It’s hard to imagine what I would say to my future self at the finish line, besides simply, “Congratulations. Way to love yourself and honor Kyla. You are a true inspiration.” This race carries so much for me emotionally, as I completed my first full marathon last year, but due to my health issues along with a few other factors, my friends and I finished almost last. This year has been about reclaiming my power, and November 6 will be a culmination of the months and months of training to do just that.
Ashley: You run for a cause, for Kyla specifically. Can you explain what it means to run for Kyla and how it effects or has changed your run when you run for her?
Emily: The I Run 4 non-profit organization pairs runners and people with special needs together. I was paired with Kyla, a beautiful 7 year old girl with Angelman Syndrome. Her 23rd chromosome is dormant, and because of that she is non-verbal, has seizures daily, is high energy, sleeping 4 hours a night usually, and is experiences sensory overload, among many other challenges. She has no fear, and because of that sometimes gets herself into dangerous situations, like running across the street without looking. She also lives her life with complete, unabashed joy, bringing a smile to everyone she meets. Caring for her is a 24 hour job, and her mom works out of the home so she can be there for anything Kyla needs. I’ve been dedicating all of my miles and workouts to Kyla for 2 years this month, and communicate with her mother 3 times a week just to check in, see how she’s doing, and tell her about my workout or run. Through this process she and her family have become like a second family for my fiance and me. We got to meet them earlier this year when we went and volunteered for a fundraiser Kyla’s mom coordinated, where over $80,000 was raised for Angelman research. Before I was paired with Kyla, I was very focused on how much I was running, how fast, how far, reaching that next goal, easily forgetting how amazing it is that I am able to run at all. Thinking of the world through Kyla’s eyes, I now experience more spiritual openness and gratitude for the process. I think about what I would want to tell Kyla at the end of the run, what message God is sending in the process. Without Kyla, I believe I might have given up running altogether when my health issues took hold last year, and it has been Kyla who has brought me back from it, reminding me to stay focused on the good, and the greater purpose through it all.
Ashley: What is the one piece of armor that has meant the most to you this year and what has it meant?
Emily: There are so many, it’s difficult to choose just one. Love in yellow stands out, from the April stack, which arrived right at the beginning of Marathon Training. It was when I received that armor that I realized while I can give love, and do so freely, to be true to anything I do, I must first love myself. Yellow is my favorite color, and that message has stuck with me since receiving that stack.
Ashley: You attended the 2016 Retreat, what was the most memorable moment for you while there and what new knowledge or lesson did you take home with you?
Emily: The most memorable for me was when my Bliss charm disappeared from my armor. I have been working on detachment from things, and immediately accepted that my Bliss is mine, whether I have a charm to tell me so or not. The entire Vermont experience was about mindfulness and disconnecting to really get real with myself, and I was in such a clear space, I knew exactly where to go look. It was an incredible moment when I walked directly to the spot under the tree, and there is sat, gently on top of a blade of grass after a night of rain. I was aware that I was able to find it so quickly because I had not entertained any worry over it, and simply went looking guided by curiosity. The lesson I took home with me was that staying present is truly simpler than I’ve made it, and it reaps a great reward. This has shown up in my running, body composition, work, and home life since.
Ashley: What book are you reading right now?
Emily: I am between books, as I just completed, “In the Unlikely Event” by Judy Blume (A wonderful work of fiction – total childhood hero, that author!) In Vermont I picked up, “Conscious Communication”, by Miles Sherts, which I will be reading next.
Ashley: What are 3 ways you show yourself fierce, self love?
Emily: I have a daily practice of acknowledging my body for what it does for me, like thanking my legs for carrying me, and my soft belly for reminding me of my femininity. I get massages once a month, and play music every time I take a shower. From pushing myself outside my comfort zone in my workouts and runs to getting glammed up for no good reason other than hanging out around the house or a girl’s night, I do it because I love myself and want to live my fiercest life. Oh, and I do regular girl’s night with 4 Fierce tribeswomen here in my hometown. :)
Ashley: What are 3 habits that keep you on track to your goals each day?
Emily: I keep my vision board on my refrigerator, where I will spend at least 2 minutes a day with it. Our Fierce sister Nora Rose gave that genius suggestion. I intentionally spend time with it, focusing on the intentions. I read from my devotional to stay in the process spiritually, and ensure I have at least 1 hour before any real activity to enjoy my coffee, set an intention for the day, and find my centered presence.
Emily & Laura at the Fierce Forward Retreat 2016
Ashley: What have you learned this year?
Emily: I have learned to always be learning, listening, and seeking.
Ashley: What will you be doing on this very day, next year, if you continued to Fierce Forward in your life?
Emily: Marathon training has taken so much of my time and dedication in 2016. I have a few other goals which require time focus (an ultra marathon in April, a 75 mile relay in May), getting married in September, and when I think about next year it will be rich and full and I am incredibly hopeful and excited. As so much of what I am doing allows for expansion, I also am served by going inward. By this time next year, I will be investing more time in my blog, art, and other writing, which has taken a back seat to marathon training. I’m grateful for the balance, as I allowed myself to be led by my my health commitment this year, and training for the marathon has taught me so much about life that I would not have learned any other way.
Thank you Emily, for sharing your fierce journey. Please feel free to share Emily’s Interview by using the share buttons below!