It’s Wednesday again and you know what time is! It’s #WCW. Yes, that’s Woman Crush Wednesday!
It’s time to shine a spotlight on all the amazing things women are doing, creating and building in this world!
So on #WCW you can expect to have some real, honest I See You Moments! I See You® Candle and wishes to follow!
Today’s I See You® blog features the compassionate Chevonna Gaylor, Mental Health Expert & Licensed Therapist.
This female powerhouse is a trauma expert and an advocate for women’s rights.
Did your eyes get a little bigger as you read that? See, we told you…..P-O-W-E-R-H-O-U-S-E!
Aside from her private practice and international speaking engagements, Chevonna was recently asked to be a part of the Coachella & Stage Coach festivals team of trauma-informed therapists.
In a recent Billboard article, WOMAN. founders of this movement, shared that this anti-sexual harassment initiative chooses skilled therapists (like Chevonna) to be at festivals to offer a “safe space and site of services that ensure the safety and well-being of anyone experiencing trauma triggers, harassment, misconduct, sexual assault and needing skilled compassionate care.”
This is a throw your hands up, can I get an AMEN, type of movement! And this amazing woman jumped in head first at Coachella to offer her services.
Chevonna is an awe-inspiring woman who offers a phenomenally calm and safe environment for all her clients.
Chevonna is someone who has always been exceptionally supportive and compassionate in every circumstance.
She is a consummate professional with high work ethic, who looks for opportunities to give back and pay it forward.
This is just scratching the surface of this amazing woman, but now you can understand why we wanted to celebrate her today!
Here’s a little more about Chevonna in her own words!
What or who inspired you to create your business? Tell us about your business.
Therapy is my gift. I believe I was born a therapist. In my book, The Emerging Healer, I have a chapter titled ‘Always a Healer.’ I believe that individuals who are truly called to be counselors or therapists have always been the go-to person in their family and social groups. I remember giving advice to older family members as an elementary-aged girl in ponytails and barrettes. I’ve also faced challenges in life directly through family dynamics.
When doing therapy, speaking, teaching or training, I always combine clinical expertise, textbook knowledge and real-life experience. I have been practicing therapy for 15 years. I earned my bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UCLA. I obtained my master’s degree in the State of Illinois and began practicing there. I eventually returned to my home state of California and have been using my gifts here, although I often travel nationally and internationally for advocacy and to promote mental health awareness.
I offer support services to people struggling emotionally, both face-to-face and virtually. I have the privilege and honor of serving people and help them to re-write their story from tragedy and hurt to triumph and resilience. People come to me emotionally heavy and I give them a loving, non-judgmental and skilled space, so they can release the troubles of the world (past and present). My goal is to have each person leave my presence emotionally lighter than they were when we started.
I love working with people that have never tried, don’t trust or don’t like therapy. I also love coaching other mental health professionals, because as you can imagine, this work can be difficult. My book, ‘The Emerging Healer: Adding insight and impact to your mental health work’ offers practical tools for therapists (and anyone else seeking to build better relationships) using an engaging narrative approach.
Who saw you and supported your dreams?
I was born into a village of supportive family, led by my warrior mother. My mother’s support has been sacrificial and unwavering. Overt my lifetime, my village has included family, friends, teachers, mentors and colleagues. Some were in my life for just a season, but each person contributed to the woman I am today.
My most significant support, especially in my adult life, has been my amazing husband. His love lifts me. His honesty challenges me. His smile excites me. My biggest motivation has been my children. They are my passion and purpose. In recent years, I have built a mutually supportive tribe of sisterhood. These are women whose beauty, strength and drive, I admire, which include Ashley and Amy.
What song heals your soul?
Blessed (or anything else) by Jill Scott feeds my soul. She’s my best friend (in my head).
What does it mean to YOU to feel seen?
Feeling seen to me means being loved for my gifts and imperfections. I admire the beauty, wisdom and excellence in other women, while concurrently recognizing myself as a divine original. No one else can be Chevonna and, for me being seen, means being valued for my uniqueness.
What’s your go-to, self-care tip?
My daily self-care often includes: music, a good book, a walk, a hot bath or a glass of wine. Less frequent self-care may include an international experience or exciting local adventure. I live by the mantra: ~Worship Hard~Work Hard~Play Hard~ My faith is more vital to me than the air I breathe. I also have a kick ass work ethic. Lastly, I LOVE travel and adventure
Growing up, did you play an instrument and/or did you participate in any organized sports, clubs and/or volunteer programs?
I recognize the value of extracurricular activities and have seen the positive impact on my children, but growing up I was more academically inclined (a bookworm). My children fortunately had my husband’s musical and athletic skill, because I’m challenged in both those areas.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to stay focused. Don’t be distracted by friends, foes or men that are not worth your time. Be selective about who and what you give your time and energy.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give someone thinking about starting their own company?
I’d advise anyone considering entering the field of mental health, especially as an entrepreneur, to understand that you will have (and OVERCOME) dark days. You will have victories and disappointments, but don’t lose heart during the challenging times. Know that on the other side of the hardship is victory. The world of social media will have people thinking that success is all glitz and glamour, so we may feel isolated when we face hard times. Just know that everyone has low points, they just may not be so open with sharing them.
Chevonna, WE SEE YOU!! We honor your drive and purpose to advocate for the safety and well-being of all women.
We appreciate your ability to consistently offer compassion and expertise to your clients.
We celebrate you for your heart, your gifts and positive impact you make in the lives of your clients and community as a whole.
Chevonna has a warrior spirit. She is one of the most compassionate and encouraging people you’ll ever meet.
We hope you join us in celebrating this amazing woman and the gift that she is to this world on #wcw!