Learning how to conquer your fear can help open the door to self-discovery. I had the pleasure of speaking with Anita Kopacz, former Editor-in-Chief of Heart & Soul magazine about how to embrace who you are meant to be.
Van Buren: Do you prefer Author/ former Editor-in-Chief of Heart & Soul Magazine/Spiritual Psychologist/Pleasure Coach/ Alchemist?
Kopacz: Pleasure Coach.
Van Buren: What is a Pleasure Coach?
Kopacz: My main intention is to help women feel orgasmic. There are so many different blocks that women go through, that make them feel like they’re not worthy of pleasure. And a lot of times it’s very subconscious; whether it’s shame or just not feeling good enough.
Van Buren: Why is it so hard for women to embrace who they are?
Kopacz: What I’ve realized is that young girls, in elementary school thrive, they’re doing better than the boys as far as academically and then there seems to be this switch.
I don’t know what the actual statistics are, but for me it felt like in college there was this switch, all of a sudden it was harder for the women but the boys were thriving. Then you go into the workforce and it’s like, ‘It’s A Man’s World’.
I think that it’s society. Basically, we tell the children what their roles are. Women are home cooking and that’s all they do. I just feel like there are so many different things that go into that.
There are so many people stepping out of the box now. I’m in love with that. I’m seeing it on social media, just different avenues now where people can be themselves and it’s showing us a new way.
Van Buren: Why do so many allow fear to hold them back?
Kopacz: Well, I think that’s natural, it’s human to have the fear. As we step out and do things regardless of the fear; so in courage we realize, this is what I’m supposed to be doing. This feels so great. Why was I scared in the first place? As you keep making small steps, you realize that you’re going to be able to make these leaps and bounds; doing things that you never would’ve thought you could do. You have to start somewhere.
Van Buren: Tell me about a really successful or a high point in your career. What made it so special?
Kopacz: When I wrote my first book, “Finding Your Way,” I was debating on who did I want to write the foreword. It was between Russell Simmons and Michael Beckwith.
I bring in God and the Universe in everything that I do. So, I was just like, “Alright God, send me a clear sign that I’m not going to be able to ignore, who I should reach out to?”
That day I while at my sister’s house, I walk into her room and Russell Simmons book, “Do You” was sitting on the bed. That was a clear sign.
I was like, well how the heck am I going to get Russell Simmons to write the foreword. I picked the book up and I asked the question and I open it up to the middle, and that page said, ‘Anytime you want to reach out to someone who is successful or a busy person don’t stop at once, don’t feel like your bugging them if you keep asking. Usually people in power positions look at people like that and say oh that person’s persistent. They’re going to get somewhere.’
Basically saying keep asking. And that’s what I did. I went to all these places where I knew he would be and I didn’t find him. Finally, I went to one of P. Diddy’s White Party’s and I saw him.
I went up to him and asked, “Russell can you pick a random page from my book?” So he picks “W” for Wisdom and he reads it and he says, “This is like scripture written for today. What do you want me to do?” I was like, “I want you to write the foreword.”
That wasn’t the end. I literally emailed him like 50 times to remind him, but I got it. It was really fun. To bring in the divine always feels fun to me. To just know that if you keep asking and keep trying something’s going to happen.
Van Buren: Tell me about a time when things didn’t work out. How did you overcome the situation?
Kopacz: After I had my third child, I was living in California and I realized that I didn’t have enough money to feed them. So, I was like, OMG! I have to go on food stamps. And I didn’t realize the amount of judgement I had, because I’ve had friends on food stamps, and I never felt any judgment consciously.
But as soon as it was me, I was like I’m a loser, I’ve failed just all these negative thoughts. I went to the office and it was just depressing; people everywhere and kids on the ground it didn’t feel very humane.
I’d never seen any place like this. I’m sitting there and I just start bawling. And literally no one came up to ask if I was ok.
I came home, feeling very defeated. I got the food stamps, but I couldn’t get into that space of feeling like it was a blessing at that moment.
My sister’s friend was over and she asked, “Can I tell you something?” She didn’t know what I was going through. She said, “The spirit is moving me to tell you that, what you’re going through right now is so you can understand the women that you’re going to be helping in the future. This isn’t your end game. So just go through it and get through it.”
I just kept working at what I love and raising my family and eventually I was able to move out of that space.
Van Buren: When dealing with a failure or setback should you spend time dwelling over it? Or, learn from it and move on?
Kopacz: You have to give yourself time for grieving; whatever it is so you can fully let it out, so it doesn’t follow you throughout the rest of your life.
There are people holding on to things from when they were younger. I think it’s important to grieve. Allow yourself that time and then pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move on. See what you’ve learned from it. You can even write down what you’ve learned from it.
One thing that can help with this as well is to not repeat the story to people. If you have someone that you really love and has your back, find that person to talk to, or a therapist. But when you find yourself repeating the same story to so many different people, you’re creating this whole world around you where that’s your story; and that’s not helpful when you’re trying to move into a different space.
Van Buren: What advice would you offer someone that’s struggling with embracing who they are?
Kopacz: For me embracing my inner child has always helped. The way that you can do that is sit with a journal and write down all the things that you loved to do when you were a child. What gave you life? Before we had all of these judgments and fears we all were kids that loved to do things. Then see how does that translate into where you are now. Are you doing any of these things? That’s a beautiful guide post to who you are deep down. Sometimes those things lead to a career, you never know.
Van Buren: Should you try to compare your journey to someone else’s journey?
Kopacz: Never. If you’re looking at other people for inspiration, yes. That way you can see, “What do I want my life to look like?” If you can recognize something in someone else that you like that means it’s already a part of you.
Anita Kopacz is the former Editor-in-Chief of Heart&Soul magazine. She is an award winning writer and spiritual advisor with a passion to see people thrive. Anita has a MA in Spiritual Psychology, is a certified Tantra Coach and is the author of the book FINDING YOUR WAY with the foreword by Russell Simmons. Anita’s intention is to awaken the divine simplicity, pleasure and joy in her life and others.