Introduce Yourself. Who are you?
Here’s my philosophical answer: I am a conscious energetic clump of matter uniquely focused into an identity named Emily who is currently occupying a slowly decaying organism while trying to work through self-imposed ontological meanings. Here’s the simple answer: I’m a writer who thinks too much.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t think too much. Just kidding. The best piece of advice I ever heard is that nothing is personal. People do what they do because of who they are. People see and respond to you based on their life experiences. You might have triggered something that caused them to behave a certain way, but the initial cause was there before you came along. Every choice ever made arises out of the environment that created the circumstances for its existence. Unless you created their entire world and circumstances, it’s not about you. They are responsible for their experience and you are responsible for your own.

What message do you think every woman should hear?
Honor your own experience. It doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s. No one else needs to approve it or like it. Your thoughts, feelings, and choices matter just as much as anyone else’s. You are worth the effort. You are worth the time and energy needed for self-care. Just because you have children, parents, friends, or a spouse doesn’t mean they should come before your health and well-being. Love doesn’t mean erasing your identity or needs. 

What do you love most about yourself?
I can explain one thing six different ways so that six different minds can comprehend it. I can meet people where they are and guide them toward a better understanding. I don’t just have the ability to understand but I have the ability to help others understand.

What is the biggest thing you’ve learned along the way?
Self-trust and self-ownership. I’m still in the process of learning both because there are layers and layers. It’s something you’re supposed to learn as you grow into adulthood, but unfortunately many women aren’t taught either. As women we are raised not to trust ourselves. We’re thought of as too emotional or too unreasonable. That’s just another way of saying, “your experience of reality is inaccurate.” That kind of message, especially when it’s repeated regularly, messes with your head. You second-guess your thoughts, your emotions, and your ability to make appropriate decisions. You look to others to guide you because you feel inadequate in running your own life. When you don’t trust your emotions, you can’t trust your experiences. Once that happens, then you are no longer your own. Self-ownership begins when you honor your experiences and claim them as your own without feeling shame.

What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward?
I read and I listen. It doesn’t matter if I agree or not. That’s a whole other function of the mind. I set that aside and I take in information I haven’t heard or thought of before. I try to understand from someone else’s perspective. If I can find an ounce of value in it, I keep that and disregard the rest. Most of the time we hear one thing we don’t like and we disregard the whole thing. We miss out on a lot of growth that way. I listen for the nugget of wisdom. Everyone has some piece of it. You just have to listen for it. 

Which characteristics help you succeed the most?
In business I would say my resourcefulness and my ability to see what others can’t. I will always find a way to make something work. I’m full of ideas and can see patterns in things that others can’t. Also if I give it a good try and it still doesn’t work, I’m pretty good at letting it go. You can’t get hung up on trying to force something to work. You’ll waste time, energy, and money that way. You have to know how much you’re willing to give before you release it and move on.

When it comes to relationships, I would say my willingness to communicate openly and honestly. I’m a pretty self-aware person and I will call myself out on my own crap. I’m always working on myself and bettering myself so I generally don’t make the same mistakes twice. I’m pretty easy to get along with and I will try to make everything fun. 

What do you most admire about your mother? 
She’s unbreakable. She doesn’t stay down for long. She always comes back up tougher and stronger than before. I admire her resolve and ability to get stuff done. 

What’s something interesting or unusual about your childhood that people would be surprised to hear?
I was born in Soviet Armenia in the 80’s and we had Russian tanks parked in our streets as I was growing up. My older sister and I would play on them as if they were large jungle gyms. The soldiers were pretty nice so they would let us to play. The tanks and trucks were always there and the soldiers were usually on a smoke break so they didn’t mind us hanging around. It sounds unusual but it was normal to us at the time. We left in ‘89 just before the collapse. Also my very first memory in life is of drowning when I was 2. That’s pretty unusual as well. 

What can we do in our daily lives to empower the women around us?
First things first, empower yourself. Having a real-life example in front of you is the best way to learn better behavior. Model the behavior you want to see in others. Whether they realize it or not, they’ll subconsciously pick up the behavior cues and act accordingly. 

Second, listen, validate, encourage. Most of the time it goes: judge, pick apart, dismiss. We listen to correct others, to add our viewpoints, or to change minds. That’s not empowering. There’s a way to go about helping someone shift into empowerment that doesn’t involve making them feel wrong about how they felt in the first place. Without feeling heard or understood first, no one is going to follow you into a better emotional or mental state. Once you validate the experience, then the person is more likely to release it and consider another option. If you dismiss it or argue against it, it’ll only make them hold onto their initial viewpoint. 

If you want to empower the women around you, empower yourself. Then, listen, validate, and encourage.

More About Emily

Emily Maroutian is an award-winning author, poet, and philosopher. She is the founder of Maroutian Entertainment, a multimedia company that produces empowering material in the form of books, courses, movies, and TV shows.
Emily has been studying philosophy and personal development for more than a decade and combines her experiences from both fields in her works. She is the author of several books including, The Book of Relief, The Empowered Self, and The Energy of Emotions.