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Tapping Into Our Feminine Power: An Interview with the Co-Founder of HeyMama
Katya talks about the importance of tapping into feminine power for entrepreneurship, spirituality, and self-connection
Below the Surface is an ongoing series featuring friends of Motif, who are on their path to greatness doing things they love. We sat down with our friend, Katya Libin –- an executive coach, entrepreneur, and co-founder of HeyMama, the largest network of working moms. Katya lives in New York with her daughter and partner.
Who are you? Where are you from? And where are you going?
I am an immigrant. I am a powerful, aware, awakened woman that has gone on a beautiful journey to really discover who I am and what matters to me. I am a daughter, I'm a mother. I really am a human being. I focus a lot on “being” in my life over the “doing”.
I'm a person that really craves balance in all areas. I'm a Libra. I am a lovebug. My heart is just massive, and I have so much capacity. The capacity has never been reached, or my ability to connect and love and be just in that delicious space of what it's like when humans really have that energetic connection. That's what I live for. I'm also a community builder, and that love of people and consistent desire to just get to know people in a really beautiful way. To unwrap the layers of who they are, and go deeper is something that I find a treasure in life, and I treasure people so much.
I'm from New York and was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. My family immigrated here when I was three years old, we came over with like, $300, no language, moved to the projects in Brooklyn, and slowly started to really build a foundation and build a life here with this cornerstone belief that my sister and I could achieve anything we set our minds to, that we were meant for greatness. I think that concept of being meant for greatness, and being great, is something I really carry over into my life and into the way that I parent my daughter.
Where am I going? I am going anywhere that the path takes me. I really look at life as just a beautiful adventure. I've been in so much trust and surrender around who and how and what, for some time now. So I really feel like I look for the signs and the signals of where to go next, based on what feels aligned with what I want to create, what problems I want to solve. I think where I've continued to go is just in deep service to women primarily, to relate to people. And I can't wait to see where that takes me.
When do you feel like you're in a state of flow?
I have found so much more of that state of flow by building this company than I did building HeyMama. When I was building HeyMama, I was in a state of deep connection to purpose because our purpose was to lift up and bring together moms and businesses. I felt very driven by the purpose but I was really not in my zone of genius at times.
Now, I feel like I'm really able to operate in my zone of genius, much more. I feel most in flow when I'm coaching because I'm so deeply present and connected to the client that I'm working with. I feel like in those moments, nothing else really exists. I don't want anything else to exist. I just enjoy the act of holding space and deep listening.
Seeing people's greatest potential is so enjoyable. So that's definitely one area that I'm in flow. I find that if I can impact 25 visionary founders a year and pour myself into them, then those women will impact 1000s or millions. That's where I feel like my greatest service is.
I'd say the other area that I'm in flow is when I'm connected to my sensuality and sexuality. In that arena, it's like nothing else matters. It's so powerful and expansive for me. I think there's such a correlation between women that are connected to their pleasure. Our drive, our career, our money, creativity, all flows from that Sacral Chakra.
What if someone is struggling to find that state of flow, what advice would you give to them?
I think first it's slowing down. A lot of times, we are convinced that if we do more, we will feel better. If we do more, we will feel more at peace, right? So if we just keep working and get that extra email in and get that meeting in and get this done. But that peace doesn't come because peace is an internal game, life right now is really an internal game. We're not getting chased by lions and tigers, right?
Luckily, COVID is somewhat behind us. So our biggest existential threat comes from our own mental discipline or our lack of mental discipline and boundaries that we are able to have in our lives. So the flow happens when you give yourself the time to be deeply present. You give yourself space to do things so deep flow will come from more spaciousness. More spaciousness will come from trust and surrender, around how you intuitively schedule or plan out your time better.
Also, the opportunity to just ground yourself in your own energy. Whether that's meditation or whatever other daily spiritual practice, it's pretty hard to get into deep flow if you don't have the time, like the awareness to even know what deep flow was like. So they're all connected.
What does self care mean to you?
For me, self care is honestly being out in nature, and having quiet time in nature. The ideal version of self care to me would be lying down on a picnic blanket in the grass, getting little arm tickles, hearing the birds, reading a book.
When I think about self care, I think about what's going to calm down my system, what's going to help it actually counter the effects of the digital world. I love hot, long showers, with candlelight. I turn off all the lights, put on some really vibey music, and I just take time to be in that.
I don't think fitness is self care, I put that in a different category. Because I don't find fitness always soothing to the system. Fitness is like strength building. It's a basic requirement that we need to be able to keep our bodies healthy. I don't think sleep is self care. That's actually a basic need. Drinking water isn't self care.
I think back to pleasure. Being able to ask for what brings you pleasure is for me a version of self care whether that's a massage, or some cucumbers on your eyes after a long day, or whatever your self pleasure practice looks like. Masks, pedicures, I love beauty stuff. Things like that where you're just sitting and receiving.
I think self care to me is tied to receiving.
What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty to me means a woman who knows herself. A woman who is connected to herself and connected to her femininity, to her body, to her sensuality, I find that incredibly beautiful.
So I feel the most beautiful when I am just really delighted with me. There are obviously external factors like my hair, it plays a big role for me and beauty. I love long hair, I take pride in my hair. But I've noticed on days that it's like going by the wayside, I have to really tap into like, “it doesn't matter, you're stunning”. The one underlying thing that makes people the most beautiful is their smile and their heart.
What are your expectations from the beauty industry?
I have such a clear viewpoint on this. I actually was in the gym this morning and I saw this infomercial for a beauty brand. It just felt like everything that was wrong with the beauty industry. It was a "don't get older at any cost" message. What I really desire for my daughter is - representation of age, showing that women get more beautiful with time, not that we're fighting against time.
Why can’t we just look like you're 50 at 50? What's wrong with looking like you're 50? Let’s reimagine what 50 might look like when you have a great life time. It would be really radical for a company to really lean into that and to show women with graying hair and women with wrinkles. I'm not saying everyone wants to have wrinkles. I'm sure some women don't.
I'm the first to admit, I get Botox, and I am totally comfortable with preventative strategies, but I also look at my face and when I smile, I see lines and I love them. I want us to feel celebrated for the way that we're naturally aging.
And I think we'll see those brands survive, thrive, grow with people and become the brands that people talk about all the time, because they're just truly made with purpose, and they're made really well. That's when people fall in love with products. I want to be really excited about my purchase and align with the values of the brand. Just creating something and shipping it isn't going to be acceptable anymore.
What does the word abundance mean to you?
The word abundance to me is living without fear. It means living without this fear of things not being enough or not happening at the right time, or feeling like you're not going to be able to achieve something because you're scared. Once you can get fear out of the way of abundance, it’s a belief that it's all happening right when it should. There's plenty of it. Abundance to me means deprogramming people from the shortage. The first one being there's not enough time. There's not enough money. I need to be younger. To be more valued.
Those are all things that I feel like really hurt us, especially the time one. Because yes, it's a finite resource. But we get to choose and we get to be in control of that, time doesn't happen to us. We get to structure that. I really am very mindful of any words I use that say I don't have enough time. I never say that. Because I don't want to even put that out there. So I'm constantly trying to live by the belief that I have plenty of time, I get to choose my time. Life is long. I don't like when people say life is so short. It's not short. I'm planning to live to 140 years old, life is long, we have a lot of amazing time.
How does this concept of abundance show up in your life and in your work?
I'm a very powerful manifester. You can't really be in abundance when you're in a lot of stress and anxiety. So, I really try to be in this energy of abundance daily. Through gratitude, through the choices I make, the people I surround myself around, the types of experiences. I try to create abundant experiences all the time.
There's no shortage of anything, anything I desire is accessible. Anything I truly want will come towards me if it's meant for me. This is all deep trust and surrender. I've learned and I'm very connected to God, and I'm very connected to goddesses as well. I find that abundance is sourced from elsewhere, but it comes from within too and I'm able to channel it in a way that actually has a really incredible impact on my life and hopefully on the people that I work with and the way that they feel abundant.
So tell us about your skincare regimen?
I always use your product, I love it. It's really the best face wash that I've ever tried. I just used it this morning. It just makes me feel so good. There's something about it that really leaves my skin feeling amazing.
I use a lot of Korean skincare and a lot of serums. I actually really liked this brand called Lumene, it's a drugstore brand with Nordic ingredients. I have very pale skin so I like that their products are formulated probably for people that are a bit on the fairer side. I love Chill House and am also an investor in Chill House. So I like their oils, they do a great job.
My routine is pretty much wash my face, use one or two serums and then I'll either do an oil or moisturizer, sometimes both, since my skin's a little on the drier side. I tried to do masks a couple of times a week, I try to get facials every once in a while. I try to only wash my skin with cold water.
What do you like most about the Abundance Cleanser?
I love the Abundance Cleanser. I love the branding, I love the smell of the way it feels on my skin. I love the way my skin feels afterwards.