With asia forbes
Welcome to Living Well — our bi-weekly spotlight on different women that we admire and find fascinating. Our goal is to share an intimate peek into these women’s lives by asking them the questions that allow them to open up about their imperfect truth, whatever that may be.
A beautiful new shop had opened up close(ish) to my house right before the pandemic. It was so thoughtful and special and while shopping, I met Asia who was the creative director for Josephine (the store). So warm, friendly, and obviously talented, I instantly wanted to be friends with her.
I’ve gotten to know her since and what I appreciate about her is her unique and creative way of seeing the world and the intentionality she takes in building her life. Enjoy her thoughtful and wise words, I think you’ll like knowing her too.
If you've done the Values Deck exercise, what are your top five values? Tell us how one of them manifests in your life. What is a decision you’ve made using it to guide you?
Love, Abundance, Connection, Beauty, Authenticity
Understanding how important Connection is to me has been a relief, honestly. Connection to myself first supports my connection to others and to my work. When I prioritize taking time alone to get grounded (even just a few minutes), not only am I able to be confident in my decisions and behavior throughout the rest of the day, but I’m also able to be present for the people around me and connect with them in the truest sense. I used to feel like prioritizing alone time was selfish. The decision that I made a few years ago to put myself first guides me every day. I prioritize about an hour every morning to be alone, usually, once I get the kids out the door for school, or if I know I have a crazy busy day I’ll wake up an hour before they do. I journal, do some low-impact movement, dry brush, shower, and get dressed in silence. It’s the best.
What does a life well-lived look like?
A well lived life is full, rather than busy. It moves slowly in the mornings and is exciting in the afternoons. Nights are fun but end with a good book. It’s an abundance of fresh food from gardens, long days with my people, music, horses, books, art, deserts, forests, and beaches. It’s alone time with my husband and watching our kids take up space as their truest most confident selves. It’s making the world a little kinder and more welcoming alongside like-minded people—collaborating with friends.
My version of success is…
Freedom to come and go as I please. To invest in and support people and causes that I believe in and love. Success is to fully lean into the beautiful pleasures of life on this earth, and share them with others.
In what way are you seeking to grow right now?
I’m always working on showing up as my most honest self, and trusting that the raw, real version of who I am today deserves abundance. To show up in the moment without presentation or needing to wait until I’ve perfected or prepared myself enough. My dad embodies this quality to the fullest. I’m so lucky that I have that kind of example in my immediate family. He is so confident in who he is, flaws and all. That kind of realness has helped him create a life that is truly authentic to him, his art, and also meets his version of success. He is one of my biggest inspirations.
What is one way that you are different today than you were ten years ago?
Oh, man. I give a lot less fucks. I am so much nicer to myself. I don’t try to prove myself to an imaginary judgmental audience, or at least I can catch myself when old feelings or insecurities like that pop up. I’m much more realistic about what is productive, both in my work and in my home life. I have much stronger boundaries with my time and energy, and a clearer idea of what matters to me on a gut level.
Setting aside modesty for a moment, what are you excellent at?
I’m a great cook. I love to cook for my family and friends. I also (think I) have excellent taste in music—we have a lot of impromptu dance parties in the kitchen. I grew up listening to such an eclectic mix of music because of my parents and their friends. My brothers are both musicians, and so are a lot of my friends. I definitely think I am the most fun person to go to dinner or a concert with.
Whose life perspective and way of moving through the world teaches you something about who + how you want to be?
Mary Oliver—I could live in her poems. She found beauty in every little thing, and she never stopped writing or sharing her work. Georgia O’Keefe, specifically her later years on Ghost Ranch. Her life hosting her favorite people with homecooked meals in the middle of her dream landscape with the freedom to create art and be herself. In more modern times, I love watching women like Melissa Wood Tepperberg and Chani Nicholas help people in non-conventional ways while growing their brands organically and authentically.
IS THERE A QUOTE OR MANTRA YOU ALWAYS COME BACK TO?
“What’s the rush.” I tell myself that more than I ask it all of the time. It’s become a statement that has shifted the way I move in the world, especially in my daily life. I spent so much time in my past trying to control and push my way through everything—relationships, career, unfortunate life circumstances. Releasing that need to force rushing through my life and decisions has brought me much more clarity and patience. It’s been more fun to be a participant in my life and let it unfold rather than a controlling stress ball of opinions.
Can you share a book, podcast, or article that changed you in some way?
Gather Together In My Name by Maya Angelou, her second autobiography. The way she was able to share the roller coaster of experiences of her life blew my mind open. Her ability to change her mind and try new things over and over again when odds were constantly against her, her sense of humor, wit, resilience and strong belief in herself are more than inspiring. Even during some of the craziest moments, she still had a way of moving through them with a combination of lightnss and power—with trust in herself. Maya Angelou will never be boring.
You Were Born for This: Astrology for Radical Self-Acceptance by Chani Nicholas. The title speaks for itself. I love astrology. This book helped me understand and accept that I was born with traits that I don’t need to change, I just need to find ways to support and work with them through compassion.
What are you grateful for today?
To have autonomy of my work schedule. I’m grateful that I have found ways to structure my time and energy to allow for quality time with my kids, husband, and friends, while still getting my work (that I actually enjoy) done. So, I guess really, I’m grateful for boundaries!
Tell us about your Creative Wellness Group that’s starting at the end of this month?
I have gone through and truly understand the ins and outs of being a professional creative. It’s really hard to constantly be giving of your ideas and self as any kind of artist or professional creative while also trying to earn a decent income and keep a strong foundation and way of working that is sustainable. Creatives don’t usually want to work in conventional ways, but tend to feel like they have to change who they are in order to live a successful life. My goal is to share the tools that are realistic and that have worked for me and my clients in a supportive group setting—tools that I wish I had when I was starting off as a young starry-eyed creative 20 years ago!
Asia Forbes is a Creative Director and Creative Wellness Coach. She has a 20-year background in graphic design and branding, and a couple of years ago began her training as a holistic wellness coach. She is so excited to currently be working as Creative Director for The Well Lived Woman, and focusing on supporting the launch of the new brick and mortar space in Topanga Canyon this Spring.
Check out Asia’s new offering or connect with her on Instagram.
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