EP13: How “The Most Extreme Introvert Ever” Found Her Voice w/ Moorea Seal of The 52 Lists Project
Barfing onto the internet. Making life choices intentionally rather than oppositionally. Creating books as a secret protest. Helping people change the narrative of their lives. Seeing yourself on paper. Being able to say “Here I Am.” Connecting to our internal drive, our voices, our younger selves, and what matters most, like centaurs.
We talk about all this and more in our interview with the fascinating and insightful, Moorea Seal, so be sure to tune in!
Resources & Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
- House of Pod – A Denver podcast education and recording studio. Tell them Less Alone sent ya!
- Moustache Coffee Club – Use the code LESSALONE for $10 OFF your 1st order
- Miss Freddy’s Digital Backup Bootcamp
- Anna’s free get-out-of-debt guide: DebtFreeRoadmap.com
- Moorea Seal’s Books: The 52 Lists Project, 52 Lists for Happiness, 52 Lists for Calm, 52 Lists for Togetherness, Make Yourself at Home, 52 Lists Postcards: For Connecting with Loved Ones Near and Far, 52 Lists Planner
- @MooreaSeal on Instagram
- Moorea Seal on Pinterest
- Free 6-Step Roadmap to Instant Connection: ConnectionRoadmap.com
P.S. Be sure to Rate, Review and Subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcast player!
[0:00:01.5] AMY MOORE: We are three friends exploring connection. From the coffee shop to the podcast studio. I’m Amy.
[0:00:06.3] ANNA NEWELL JONES: I’m Anna.
[0:00:06.7] ERIN LINEHAN: I’m Erin.
[0:00:13.8] ANNA NEWELL JONES: So, Moorea, I started following you in 2011, I think, when you were doing illustrations and you had an Etsy shop and gosh, you were doing web design. I was just like, she’s doing so many awesome things. I don’t know who she is but I need to follow her. And then we met actually in person at a conference, was it Alt Summit?
[0:00:34.1] MOOREA SEAL: Yeah,I think it was Alt Summit.
[0:00:36.1] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Was it in Salt Lake City at the time? I think it was.
[0:00:38.1] MOOREA SEAL: I think so.
[0:00:39.0] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah. I remember I met you and you were giving out jewelry, your handmade jewelry and I was like, “She is just amazing.”
[0:00:47.9] AMY MOORE: Giving it away for free?
[0:00:49.6] MOOREA SEAL: Hustle as long as I could.
[0:00:52.8] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah. It’s amazing. I think I still have those. I was just like, “Oh, I had wanted to meet you for quite a while.” I was like, “Oh, this is so cool.” You were like a celebrity. Yeah, so it’s just been so cool to be virtual friends with you and be able to have that face, getting to meet you in person in 2013 and just following you through the whole journey of you going viral on Pinterest. Would you say you went viral?
[0:01:18.4] MOOREA SEAL: Yeah.
[0:01:19.2] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, it’s pretty crazy. Then your store and then the 52 Lists Projects and then your vulnerability online with your mental health and therapy. It’s just been so cool to see and I just feel I’m always like, “Yes.” Just cheering you on.
[0:01:34.1] MOOREA SEAL: Thank you so much.
[0:01:36.1] ANNA NEWELL JONES: I’m just so glad we’re getting to interview you and dive into this stuff today.
[0:01:40.2] AMY MOORE: Everybody –
[0:01:41.2] MOOREA SEAL: I’m so excited too.
[0:01:42.5] AMY MOORE: We want you to know we have Moorea Seal on the line with us. We’re super glad that you’re here on the phone calling in and we’re so excited for this interview. I think with what Anna said, Moorea, can you tell us a little bit about your background and obviously our podcast is about connection and we’re super interested in learning about how you connect to your customers and what connection has meant in your life and how your – what your connection is to your own personal achievement and all that good stuff.
[0:02:20.5] ANNA NEWELL JONES: All the questions.
[0:02:21.7] AMY MOORE: We’re going to really –
[0:02:23.0] MOOREA SEAL: We have 12 days –
[0:02:24.9] ANNA NEWELL JONES: I know. We have a lot of questions for you.
[0:02:28.8] AMY MOORE: Well, and you can come back any time.
[0:02:31.8] MOOREA SEAL: In installments.
[0:02:33.8] AMY MOORE: Yes, exactly, exactly. Yeah, if you want to just jump right in and tell us about you, that’d be great.
[0:02:41.3] MOOREA SEAL: Great. Where do I start? I mean, my childhood very much I think has shaped me as an adult, which I think is true for most people. I had a very weird one. Lots of positive, lots of hard stuff, everything in between. Ny parents are American, but we moved to England when I was two and I lived in a rural village of 400 people. My dad was the village priest.
[0:03:05.1] AMY MOORE: Oh.
[0:03:06.2] MOOREA SEAL: Yeah. Surprise.
[0:03:08.7] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Wow. What religion?
[0:03:10.7] AMY MOORE: Priest.
[0:03:11.7] MOOREA SEAL: He’s Christian and he’s Episcopalian.
[0:03:15.0] ANNA NEWELL JONES: You’re all priest.
[0:03:16.5] AMY MOORE: Well, I was thinking Catholic. Yeah.
[0:03:19.3] MOOREA SEAL: No. Yeah. People called Episcopalian as in Catholic light.
[0:03:24.0] AMY MOORE: Got it.
[0:03:25.1] MOOREA SEAL: I am not religious anymore. At the time I was when I was younger, people call it Catholic light, because it’s the smells and the bells, the incense, their robe. If you want to wear one, there’s beautiful iconography. There’s no purgatory. We don’t worship Mary as an icon. Priests can be married.
[0:03:45.8] AMY MOORE: Yeah, I guess – right. Interesting.
[0:03:48.9] MOOREA SEAL: They definitely are more liberal leaning in politics and social sphere. Yeah, it’s different. My dad is both an Episcopalian priest. In England, it’s the Anglican Church. Then he also is a high-level practicing Buddhist.
[0:04:05.3] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh, wow.
[0:04:06.2] ERIN LINEHAN: That’s super interesting combination.
[0:04:08.7] MOOREA SEAL: Yes. Yeah. When he went to seminary school in Berkeley, his seminary was across the street from a Buddhist monastery. He would go back and forth between the two.
[0:04:20.6] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh, wow.
[0:04:20.7] AMY MOORE: That is so interesting.
[0:04:22.4] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Does he still do both?
[0:04:24.0] MOOREA SEAL: Now he’s retired. Both are really core to his spiritual practices. He also has a photographic memory. He can read five books at a time and he used to be a world history teacher.
[0:04:38.5] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh, my God.
[0:04:39.4] MOOREA SEAL: He’s just always learning and always absorbing more information. One of my sisters converted to Judaism. We have a lot of family who are Jewish, so my dad also knows so much about Judaism. He can read Hebrew.
[0:04:55.5] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh, my gosh.
[0:04:56.6] MOOREA SEAL: We have Muslim cousins, so he knows a lot about being Muslim. I just had a very eclectic growing up when it came to seeing different influences in the world within my family, within my dad’s perspective. We’re also living in a rural area in a foreign country that also spoke English. We moved to US when I was 8.
[0:05:21.9] ERIN LINEHAN: Can I interrupt for one second? Was there space for you to figure out where you fit spiritually, or religious? Was there space for that, or you were pushed in a direction?
[0:05:31.4] MOOREA SEAL: Yes and no. I would say both.
[0:05:33.7] ERIN LINEHAN: Okay.
[0:05:35.1] MOOREA SEAL: Both is really a good word for most of my life.
[0:05:39.2] ERIN LINEHAN: Okay. All right.
[0:05:42.3] MOOREA SEAL: I have always felt there are plenty of people who have tried to box me into either/or. Me as a person, I don’t exist in either/or. I’m just in all. Growing up, I went to Catholic school in the US, which is very confusing when your dad’s an Episcopalian priest, or at least you can think for other people to palate.
[0:06:04.7] AMY MOORE: Yeah, sure.
[0:06:05.9] MOOREA SEAL: I had plenty of adults tell me, “Oh, you’re the pastor’s kid. Are you the good one, or the bad one? Are you the devil child or the angel child?”
[0:06:13.2] ANNA NEWELL JONES: What would you say?
[0:06:15.1] AMY MOORE: Both.
[0:06:15.4] MOOREA SEAL: I would say I’m neither. I’m extremely moderate. I’m in the middle. That was really my rebellion as a young person, was instead of trying to fit into what someone told me I need to be, versus the opposite of what they needed me to be, I wanted to try and find my middle ground. I think having a dad who valued multiple religions was helpful for that.
Though there were times when my parents would say they would have extremely rigid, strict rules for who I needed to be and how I needed to grow up. When I was younger, my parents very confusingly beliefs. My great-uncle was gay, so they were very okay with men being gay, but they thought, “Oh, if a woman is gay, it must be daddy issues.” They had these very blanket statement that maybe were validated culturally in early 90s, in the late 80s. Thankfully, now I identify as queer. Took me a long time to understand that, but they have embraced that and my youngest sister is also queer too. Yeah. My upbringing was a lot of strange, harsh differences between cultures from moving to England, to the US.
[0:07:32.0] ANNA NEWELL JONES: When did you move to the US?
[0:07:34.2] AMY MOORE: Eight.
[0:07:34.5] MOOREA SEAL: When I was eight.
[0:07:34.9] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh, eight. Okay.
[0:07:36.0] MOOREA SEAL: Yeah. That really only happened because in England, priests were paid $30,000 a year. For a family of four, we couldn’t survive off of that. My mom couldn’t work at the time. We moved to the US very suddenly and I had crazy culture shock.
[0:07:55.7] AMY MOORE: Yeah, especially rural. Where did you move to in the US?
[0:07:59.2] MOOREA SEAL: I moved to Northern California, a little town called Nevada City, which is about an hour between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe. It looks like Lake Tahoe and has that Lake Tahoe vibe.
[0:08:09.5] AMY MOORE: Beautiful.
[0:08:11.7] ANNA NEWELL JONES: How long did you lived there?
[0:08:14.3] MOOREA SEAL: I lived there until I was 18. Then I had a very dramatic and difficult challenging transition to college.
[0:08:25.5] ERIN LINEHAN: Challenging in which ways?
[0:08:27.0] MOOREA SEAL: My dad had always dreamed that I would – I mean, okay. This is a weird thing about my upbringing too is in England, my dad being a priest meant that he could really float between the classes. In England, it’s a lot more classist society, unfortunately, or at least blatantly, versus the US. There’s a lot of classism, but we pretend it’s not there.
In England, my dad looked around at the different luxuries that different people had in different classes and my dad was like, “Okay, I want my daughter to have as many opportunities as she can.” To him, that meant, “Oh, she should marry a rich man and he’ll take care of her.” Whereas, I from a young age was crazy-driven and crazy-determined to do things myself. My first sentence was, “Me help me.”
[0:09:22.4] ERIN LINEHAN: That’s great.
[0:09:23.7] MOOREA SEAL: That is my personality.
[0:09:25.3] ERIN LINEHAN: Oh, my gosh.
[0:09:26.0] MOOREA SEAL: He teased me about it and my husband teased me about it. My dad’s dream was to have me go to debutante balls in England and to be married off to a nice, wealthy man who lives in a state house in the countryside. For me, that was not what I wanted at all. I went from this super interesting strange childhood in England that was very romantic in a lot of ways for me. We lived at the end of a dead-end street and there were fields all the way around my house. I could go play in the field and dig up ancient pottery.
[0:10:01.4] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh, wow.
[0:10:01.7] AMY MOORE: Wow.
[0:10:02.8] MOOREA SEAL: I would make fairy villages out of these pieces of ancient pottery. I have a really beautiful, idyllic, romantic childhood when I visualize myself alone, but so scared of people. I had a few close friends, but I was your most extreme introvert sensitive child. When we moved to the US, it was a sudden extreme culture change of rural England fairytale life, my dad wanting me to be like Cinderella or something, to Northern California kids smoking weed in the bathroom in third grade at school.
It’s really hilly. It’s not flat like England. There were pine needles. I hate pine needles. It sounds like stuff any weird. Visiting things, I was just like, “Where the hell am I?” Yeah. Yeah, my childhood very much shaped the weird, weird person that I am. Very strange. When I moved to the US, I have a lot of trauma that happened in my early childhood. A girl who I knew in England died eight days after I moved to the US. The girl who sat next to me in my class in my third-grade class at Catholic school drowned in a hot tub. Patronizing
[0:11:23.3] AMY MOORE: Oh, my gosh.
[0:11:25.8] MOOREA SEAL: Then six months after that, my best friend’s older sister was hit by a car and killed. Six months after that, my adoptive grandmother passed away. I just had a lot of death very suddenly early on in my early life. Being a priest’s daughter as well, it’s though I was reserved and quiet, I still was very involved in a community. I’ve probably been to at least 50 to 75 funerals.
[0:11:54.7] AMY MOORE: Oh, my gosh.
[0:11:56.0] MOOREA SEAL: I’ve seen crazy stuff. I’ve seen dead bodies. I’ve seen the different ways that people want to process death and mourning. I’ve been to tons of different types of ceremonies. I just have a very – I feel I have this strangely old-world experience of growing up.
[0:12:19.3] AMY MOORE: Yeah, it sounds like that.
[0:12:20.5] MOOREA SEAL: Culturally than most people who are 33.
[0:12:25.9] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Have you been back to England?
[0:12:28.7] MOOREA SEAL: Yes. The first time I went back – I moved to the US when I was in third grade and then my grandparents who are American, I just have – I can talk more about my weird tiny family. My grandparents knew how hard it was for me moving to the US, so they took me back for two weeks when I was in sixth grade. It was a really beautiful and important thing that I think that I got to do and that they gave me that opportunity to do, to see how life changes when you are away.
I really accepted that. When we were flying back to the US, I just was bawling crying because I just felt like, “Okay, I’m leaving home again.” Like yes, my family is in America, but I’m leaving home.
[0:13:16.9] ERIN LINEHAN: Were you this insightful as a kid?
[0:13:19.7] MOOREA SEAL: Yes.
[0:13:20.3] ERIN LINEHAN: You were. Yeah.
[0:13:22.4] MOOREA SEAL: Yeah. I was a hyper – I mean, I definitely think I am my parents’ child when it comes to being hyper-analytical. Very, very self-aware, but also naive at the same time when I was young.
When I was six or seven, I remember watching something on TV, our TV had five push buttons and two or three of them worked for channels. I remember watching something about this girl in Russia who was a famous painter. She was five. She was selling her paintings for a million dollars, because they were so incredible. I remember being six or seven and looking at that and being like, “Get it together. You’re perfect. You need to catch up. She’s just one year ahead of you. You should be working harder. You could be doing something powerful, but you’re just hanging out playing with Barbies. Get it together.”
[0:14:17.9] ERIN LINEHAN: Right. Was that connected to your move back to the US? Was that part of the way you coped?
[0:14:24.7] MOOREA SEAL: No. That was how I –
[0:14:25.8] ERIN LINEHAN: That’s how you just were. Okay. All right.
[0:14:27.9] MOOREA SEAL: Yeah. Yeah, I don’t know if that’s something I really never have figured out if that’s just – I mean, my first sentence was, “Me help me.” I want to have a business just like my personality. Hyper-introspective and hyper self-improvement focused.
I grew up in a family where I was very isolated as well, living in rural England. My mom’s side of the family, both her parents died when she was in high school and she was an only child. Her grandfather committed suicide and she heard on the radio. Her family is very ethnically diverse, but she’s – in my research of our family, I see how the traumas of our ancestors and her lineage have really cultivated the person that she is now.
Yeah, growing up, I basically only had one side of the family. Living in England, we were really isolated in that little tiny village. I spent most of my time playing in our garden and observing my mom. My dad was usually working. I think my mom is also an extremely intelligent person. She has a genius-level IQ, but socially she can be challenged. I grew up around that and observing and quiet spaces observing my mom, observing my dad, observing my neighbors.
Then I have two little sisters in England. My middle sister was born and then in the US my youngest sister was born. I just was very observational. I’m an INFP, but at the time – I was an INTJ until I was in college.
[0:16:14.0] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Listening to you I’m like, “Oh, my gosh. I feel so similar to you.” I’m also a –
[0:16:18.8] MOOREA SEAL: Yeah?
[0:16:19.9] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah. When I’ve taken the test, I always come back as an INFP. I think I’m actually an ISFP. Anyway, just being reserved to – and then the drive and like a kid. Oh, my gosh. I am just like, “Oh, my gosh. I didn’t realize it’s really good to hear your story.” It’s super cool.
[0:16:39.5] MOOREA SEAL: There’s more humans out there. There’s more to do. [Inaudible 0:16:43.2]. That’s how I feel about, that’s really what blogging taught me and meeting someone like you and all the different other women that I met through blogging, it was the first time that I felt like, “Oh, my God. I’m not totally alone.”
[0:16:57.0] AMY MOORE: That’s awesome. Yeah.
[0:16:58.6] MOOREA SEAL: I just felt such a freak most of my life. I didn’t want to feel bad about that. I just felt I just don’t fit in. In high school, I would just cry to my dad all the time and be like, “I don’t fit in and I can’t make myself fit in.” I can only be myself. That feels the only right thing to do for me, but I just don’t fit in and I don’t feel accepted. I feel odd. I feel weird. I’m confused. Now as an adult, I can look back on that and realize, so I didn’t – I feel every year when it comes to accepting and understanding myself, every year has gotten better.
[0:17:40.0] AMY MOORE: That’s awesome. It sounds like you really work at. It’s not – it just comes naturally.
[0:17:45.7] ANNA NEWELL JONES: We appreciate that. We’re all about the therapy here.
[0:17:51.1] AMY MOORE: Did you start blogging in high school or did you – I know you mentioned at 18, it was a really hard transition. When did you start blogging and really feel that was helping you to connect?
[0:18:03.2] MOOREA SEAL: I did a lot of different – I was very – Where do I even start? I mean, I’ve always been a writer. I started writing music when I was 15 and taught myself guitar. I have always been – When I was younger, I was a bit a journaler. My journals, I think my parents – I think there’s actually a package waiting for me in our storage room, because my parents sent me a stack of papers of just my writing. It had a lot of feelings and I would just write stuff out. It really with that when I was younger of just expression through writing.
[0:18:37.7] ANNA NEWELL JONES: That’s so healthy to process it, get it out of your head.
[0:18:42.6] MOOREA SEAL: Yup. Then in high school, I became an obsessive MSN Messenger chat person with my few friends. I discovered live journal. I was very emo. I had my exes on my hand and start laughing. That was straight edge. Being emo in high school for me was the best cover-up for being Christian. I felt very alternative as a person. I was very progressive, but I was Christian. Being emo was like, “This is perfect,” because you can be straight edge and you’re not supposed to drink and that’s cool, versus in Christianity, you’re not supposed to drink and that’s not cool. I felt safe in that little space. I did LiveJournal. I did Xanga. Have you heard of Xanga.
[0:19:37.6] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Gosh, I don’t know that. Yeah.
[0:19:38.6] AMY MOORE: I don’t know.
[0:19:39.3] MOOREA SEAL: That’s a deep cut guys. That’s my blogging platform from a long time ago. I was on Xanga, LiveJournal. I think I was on LiveJournal when I was 16. Xanga probably around 14.
[0:19:53.0] AMY MOORE: Oh, wow. Okay.
[0:19:55.3] MOOREA SEAL: I was on Friendster before there was MySpace. Then I was on MySpace, then I was on Facebook, then I was on blogging. I’ve just always been very quick to try and jump on whatever new opportunity there is for me to express myself through writing and art.
[0:20:13.9] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Like an early adopter.
[0:20:16.2] MOOREA SEAL: Yeah, like a childhood early adopter.
[0:20:20.6] ANNA NEWELL JONES: When you were in high school, were you also reserved, or did you start to come out of that?
[0:20:25.2] MOOREA SEAL: Yeah.
[0:20:25.8] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh, okay. Then so –
[0:20:27.3] MOOREA SEAL: I was bullied but I also, still had this drive in me of when – I experienced a lot of bullying throughout my life. Being a reserved person, it’s you easily absorb that and you are an easy target for that. At the same time, I still had this drive in me that when people – I would cry all the time. I was super depressed. I had anxiety. I had a lot of trauma. I had PTSD that was undiagnosed. I still at the same time was like, “I’m going to prove you wrong. You can all shame me, hate me or say I’m not going to grow up to be anything, or that I’m making bad choices, or that I shouldn’t trust myself.”
I mean, especially within Christianity, at least now I’m not Christian. I realize so much of my Christian cultural narrative was a lot of gas lighting. A lot of just teaching me to not trust myself, all of the same time intuitively, I was like – I just feel I should trust myself, but I’m being told I should not. I’m being told that I’m evil and I’m being told that I’m bad and that I’m sinful and I deserve to not be alive. I feel I should be? Yeah, so probably –
[0:21:54.4] ERIN LINEHAN: What was that? Can I interrupt you real quick? In terms of trusting yourself, so it sounds like in order to do what you’ve done, I imagine that you need a lot of self-trust for that. Since that was hard and that you were getting messages from your religion, how have you built that in? Or how have you cultivated self-trust within yourself?
[0:22:15.1] MOOREA SEAL: Yeah. I think it really started for me with wanting to – when I was young, I did not want to be alive. I looked at my religion and I would – my dad wouldn’t ever make me read the bible on my own, but I would just flip through it at random and hit – what did I learn today? I just flipped to a verse. I remember being eight or nine and reading, “You’re a slave to sin. But through God, you are set free.” I remember being like, “Wow, I’m inherently a slave to sin and I am inherently bad. I am inherently self-centered, garbage, piece of ish.” I don’t even deserve to be loved. I don’t deserve God’s love, but I owe him because Jesus died for my sins. I must turn all of my value to my religion.
[0:23:13.3] ERIN LINEHAN: Even as you’re saying that now, I feel if you’re experiencing that as a kid, like a fact, and best really feel that in my body like, “Uh.” Those are powerful things to be taught. Yeah. Yeah.
[0:23:26.6] MOOREA SEAL: It’s super intense for a little kid just to turn to the bible and then –
[0:23:30.5] AMY MOORE: Yes. Stumble upon that doozy. Geez.
[0:23:35.9] MOOREA SEAL: To beat it in yourself 8-year-old.
[0:23:37.9] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh, my God.
[0:23:40.6] MOOREA SEAL: There were three verses that really, I basically meditated on as a kid. Unfortunately, that was one of them, you are a slave to sin but through God you are set free. Another one was somewhere in the Old Testament it talks about how the sins of a person affect their future generations for three to four generations. I remember reading that and being like, “Wow, that explains my mom.”
[0:24:14.2] ERIN LINEHAN: Yeah, ancestral trauma stuff is real.
[0:24:16.7] MOOREA SEAL: Yeah. I was a kid when I read that and I really was like, okay, when my mom’s parents were chain smoking; alcoholic, abusive physically, emotionally, their parents – one of them committed suicide, another one was half black, but couldn’t tell anybody. Their people before them, it was like, I just have such a crazy lineage and also a family of so much trauma that as a little kid, I could see that trauma in my mom. I could see my mom crying in the kitchen. My mom would collapse sometimes and I would go rush to help her.
I would realize, this is what the bible is talking about, I think. I think it’s talking about the sins of generations then hurt and impact the generations to come. Literally, I was a seven or eight-year-old, I was like, “This is my mission. I’m the only one who can stop this.” I’m the only one who can end this pattern at the time when I called sin, but now as an adult I’m like, “Oh, this is trauma.” I’m grateful that I read that in the bible and was able to interpret it as what I see it is now.
[0:25:25.8] ERIN LINEHAN: You were eight when that –
[0:25:27.4] MOOREA SEAL: Yeah.
[0:25:28.7] ERIN LINEHAN: Get a high-five, girl. That is pretty amazing. Yeah.
[0:25:32.4] MOOREA SEAL: It was intense really as a little person. I mean, I think what really helped me stick with that intention of living or purpose was the fact that I had two little sisters. I was the oldest and I was alone with my sisters a lot. I needed I needed a lot of care that I didn’t really – my parents did their best, but I needed more care than I got. I looked to my sisters that’s four years younger and nine years younger. I was like, “Okay, I’m going to change stuff.” I didn’t get in touch with care, but I can give this to my sisters. I’m going to help heal them. I’m going to help protect them, so that way I can end this generational curse of sorts.
[0:26:17.5] AMY MOORE: Do you ever talk about that now as adults, or is that –
[0:26:20.4] MOOREA SEAL: Yup. Yup, we talk about it all the time. My sisters both have children now. Even in high school, I’d tell them like, “I feel I’m your other mom. I’m your other mom.” They’d be like, “Yeah, you are. You are our other mom. You also helped to raise us. You protected us.” My parents would ask me for advice on parenting all the time.
Now I look back and I’m like, “Oh, it’s sad.” That’s really sad that I wielded so much power within my family in a lot of ways. To me, that shows the suffering of my parents. My dad will tell me, even to this day, he’s like, “Moorea, you’re literally the only person who can hurt me.” You just have a lot of something in you and it is – it’s just something that I take really seriously and I haven’t found it in anybody else other than my mom. That’s a lot for a young person to hold, but I just view that as like, “Okay, if I do hold power somehow, then I need to use it for good.”
[0:27:27.8] ERIN LINEHAN: Holding all that heavy stuff, how – I imagine, you might have had to do a journey into self-love, through all the work that you talked about. Where is that now? How has that pain – You had all that pain and all those intense things happen that I imagine has shaped a lot of where you are now. How is the journey into self-love, or to self – whatever you want to call that, but what does that look like? Where are you with that now?
[0:27:57.6] MOOREA SEAL: Yeah. I think blogging is really when it started for me. In college, there’s a point where I just basically decided like, “Okay, if I’m alive I need to be pursuing a better belief in myself, a better hope for myself, a better trust in myself,” because I wanted – I really wanted to not be alive when I was 18, because of my family having a lot of people be a suicidal in it, I was like, “I’m never going to do that, because I know how it feels to love and to observe someone who is having a hard time staying alive.” I don’t want to have anybody I love experience that pain. I also don’t think that people who are suicidal are doing that on purpose to people. I just really didn’t want to hurt anybody, because of my own hurting.
Really, when I think that “self-love journey” started for me was in blogging after college, because I always – I have had some incredible friends over my lifetime, but I always felt they accepted me in spite of the stuff that I was. I felt constant shame for who I was. I felt most of my friends growing up accepted me in spite of it. That’s more of my own sorting out as a young person. Probably they did just love me for me. As a young person with a harsh Christian narrative I thought, “Oh, they like me in spite of me.”
[0:29:24.5] AMY MOORE: It was a general, just this love and acceptance from friends that helped you see it in yourself?
[0:29:32.3] MOOREA SEAL: I think it was really blogging. When I graduated and there were no jobs, I had a degree in illustration I was like, “Oh, God. What am I going to do?” I just to output really. I’m someone who can’t memorize very well at all, but I have a lot of ideas that I want to put out into the world.
I think blogging became the space for me to just output, to force myself to make art, to do illustration, to paint, to draw, to sing, to write music, to just write free thought, talk about fashion. It just gave me the space to be like, okay, I felt safe within blogging. I felt there’s no one physically around me to critique me. In this digital world, I can create and I can invest in the Moorea that I want to be.
That was also a privilege of the economic crash of 2008 is I had no job. I was having to start paying my college loans back in six months, so that six-month period between graduating and starting to pay back loans, I just was like, “I just got to output myself somewhere.”
[0:30:51.9] ERIN LINEHAN: Hustling.
[0:30:53.9] MOOREA SEAL: I just got to hustle. Yup.
[0:30:57.2] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, you have that drive to succeed and just – that internal drive. It’s something that’s evident over the years. It’s just like, you’re succeeding, you’re doing, you’re creating, it’s really evident seeing you.
[0:31:10.2] MOOREA SEAL: Thank you.
[0:31:10.9] ERIN LINEHAN: You’ve achieved a lot. I’m wondering about your relationships to success. What is that like? Are you able to experience, lean into the joy of that, or to celebrate what you’ve achieved?
[0:31:23.9] MOOREA SEAL: It’s a challenge. It is a challenge. Yeah. I think what probably makes me different than a lot of people who view success as accomplishment, for me I’m like, “This is just survival.” Blogging was survival. Me expressing myself is survival. I have that internal debate all the time of is this just ego? Am I just so self-absorbed that I’m having to put out all this – just do all these things? Is it a coping mechanism? Is it trying to prove to myself that I have meaning?
I just go on those philosophical quandaries within my own mind all the time and always have since I was little. I think really what it comes down to is survival for me. I just think about a lot of my childhood was just survival mode. That’s where art really came into play for me as a child; art and music. Even today, running a small business is no joke. No joke. I’ve had a lot of successes and I’ve had a lot of things and I think people from the outside would say, “That’s incredible luck.” I would say, “Yes, it was incredible luck.” Great things don’t happen unless you combine luck with hard work. Hard, hard, hard work and sacrifice and being willing to take on challenges.
It’s really hard for me to look at my successes from the outside that I know people do when people come up to me and they’re like, “Your life just seems so fun.” I’m like, “Well, yeah. For sure, there are a lot of fun things, but also, damn it’s hard work.”
[0:33:05.4] ERIN LINEHAN: Well, yeah. You wrote four books in two and a half years, we read.
[0:33:08.9] MOOREA SEAL: Yeah.
[0:33:09.6] ERIN LINEHAN: Yeah. That’s crazy.
[0:33:10.6] ANNA NEWELL JONES: It’s amazing.
[0:33:11.3] AMY MOORE: That is.
[0:33:12.5] ANNA NEWELL JONES: The 52 Lists Project, that is something that I remember you were writing about it on your blog, I think. Then is that how it started? Can you take us back to how it started and –
[0:33:26.0] MOOREA SEAL: Yeah. 2012 to 2013 was a very strange year for me. By 2012, I had an Etsy shop. I was doing blog design. I was doing coding. I was writing music. I was in a band. I was doing fashion blogging. I was nannying 60 hours a week.
[0:33:48.0] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Wow. Just a couple things.
[0:33:49.5] MOOREA SEAL: I worked as an art assistant to a sculptor, getting paid $8 an hour. I was doing literally anything at all that I could do to try and figure out where is my life going. I’m just going to try a bunch of stuff. I think that’s one quality that I – now as an adult realize like, “Oh, I think because of a of trauma and really hard challenges that were outside my control, I learned early on that who cares about failure? Bad stuff is just going to happen all the time.”
The only thing that I can do is stay motivated and push to create positive stuff, because negative stuff is going to happen, positive stuff is going to happen to you, but you are the only one who determines what you manifest in your life, if you will. I don’t really use that word, manifest. It feels a little too out of your control in a way.
I really believe that people are resilient. It’s through your experiences that you realize like, “Oh, I can fail and I can get up.” That’s what I think I’ve been willing to do for most of my life is I’m willing to take really big risks and fail and also try again.
[0:35:06.4] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, it’s super evident. You’re willing to try and to put yourself out there. It’s so cool.
[0:35:12.2] AMY MOORE: What else happened in 2012 to 2013? You were trying all these things and –
[0:35:17.4] MOOREA SEAL: Trying all these different things. I was getting very overwhelmed. I was realizing, “Okay, I have the capacity to do a lot of things, but I’m going to go crazy and I’m going to start to hate a lot of these things if I try and do them all at the same time.” That was my first time in realizing my value did not come from the stuff that I do. It took me probably until three years ago to realize my value is inherent to me no matter if I succeed or not at anything at all.
[0:35:46.7] AMY MOORE: That’s huge. That’s just take a pause.
[0:35:50.9] MOOREA SEAL: That took me a long time to realize. Most of my life it was like, “Okay, I’m just coping, I’m coping. I need to prove to myself that I am valuable. What are the things I can do?” In 2012, that was around the time Pinterest was blowing up. I started using Pinterest when it was in beta mode and used it as collections to create inspiration boards for my design clients. Then I realized like, “Oh, this is like shopping. I’m getting to keep stuff, but I don’t actually keep it and I don’t pay for anything. That’s what I can afford. I’m just going to play on Pinterest a lot.” Then I accidentally amassed a very large following on there. It was the one space that I wasn’t trying to really push myself out there. It was just my play space.
[0:36:42.1] AMY MOORE: Oh, interesting.
[0:36:42.7] MOOREA SEAL: Got a couple – a thousand followers on my blog, got a couple thousand followers on Twitter. I had a sponsor at the time, a shoe sponsor who would send me a free pair of shoes once a month to talk about – they’re like, “What are your steps and all your sites?” I said a thousand here, a thousand there, or a couple thousand there. I went to Pinterest and I said, “250,000.” I thought, “Well, that’s a glitch. I should probably have around 2,500.” I e-mailed Pinterest and they’re like, “No, you do have 250,000. You are one of our five most followed people on Pinterest.”
[0:37:16.2] AMY MOORE: Wow.
[0:37:17.4] MOOREA SEAL: That’s organic and that’s real. I was like, “What?! What?! I’ve been working so hard, so many things.” I’m crying over, not being able to afford a cup of coffee and eating spaghetti every day. This one random thing that I barely pay attention to just blew up. I didn’t even notice.
[0:37:39.2] AMY MOORE: That’s so interesting, especially because it was your – you thought of it as your play space.
[0:37:44.7] MOOREA SEAL: Yeah. For me that was like, “Oh, I can just totally be myself here. Barf myself onto the Internet.” It’s great fun. It’s fun. No one is judging me. What was funny about it too is that my dream career as a tween was to be a museum curator. I would found a museum and I wanted to curate fine art. Very precocious young person. When I went to college, I realized I can’t memorize and that career is never going to happen for me.
Pinterest became this like, “Oh, my God. I get to do something that is connects to a career dream that I had when I was younger,” but in a totally weird different way. In 2013 I was one of the first people on Pinterest to have an agent for Pinterest.
[0:38:30.6] AMY MOORE: Oh, wow. What does that even mean?
[0:38:32.7] MOOREA SEAL: I was approached. Someone found me through Pinterest and there’s just for blogging, just for Instagram. Just for Pinterest now, there are agencies who rep influencers. I was a very early on influencer when they were still trying to figure out the name for it. They called us taste makers, or curators, or –
[0:38:55.4] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Like, “We don’t know what to call you.”
[0:38:56.9] MOOREA SEAL: We don’t know to call you. Then, I guess they landed on influencers. At the time, I did huge campaigns for pretty much any giant brands you can think of. I probably did a campaign for them from Nordstrom, J. Crew, Madewell, L’Oreal, hundreds, probably hundreds of different people I did campaigns with.
[0:39:19.4] AMY MOORE: Were you at that point getting financially comfortable from just those campaigns that you could let go a lot of that other stuff you were trying? Or what did you –
[0:39:31.7] MOOREA SEAL: Yes and no. Because being an influencer was never my goal, or my dream. I didn’t view any money that I got from that as income. I viewed it as money that would fuel the actual dreams that I have. That’s when I really started reinvesting in my Etsy business, which I started with $10. I have no experience in business and I always thought I’m terrible with money. My family always teases me about that. I’m terrible with money. If it’s in my pocket, I’m going to spend it. I didn’t realize that I was becoming an entrepreneur, or a business person until two or three years into it.
[0:40:12.0] AMY MOORE: Interesting.
[0:40:12.8] MOOREA SEAL: I just was like, “Well, I need to survive and I want to do the things that I love.” Whatever way I’m making money should go back into the thing that I want to be doing. Influencing was just like a – I just viewed it as – I don’t know how long this is going to last. I don’t know – now we know being an influencer is so huge in marketing now. At the time I was like, “I don’t know if it’s going to die out. I really don’t want to invest in this very much. I don’t really care.”
[0:40:42.9] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Then did you start your storefront? At what point did you start your storefront and mooreaseal.com?
[0:40:49.7] MOOREA SEAL: Yeah, in 2013. By 2012, I guess I must have had an agent for a year or so by 2012, because I was already really sick of it and I just felt really false and really fake and really – I was doing campaigns only with companies that I genuinely liked. My agency would really push me to work with brands I didn’t walk to. I just felt this is not what I wanted with my life. From a young age, I wanted to be my own boss. Instead, I’m letting people tell me what I should talk about. That’s not me. I’ve never been that way. I decided to partner with my cousin, Reed, who also is a self-made person. He emancipated from his family when he was 18.
[0:41:38.3] AMY MOORE: Like officially?
[0:41:39.7] MOOREA SEAL: I don’t know if he officially ever did. He’s still connected to his family, but he just went out on his own at 18 and just started hustling. Have you ever seen the movie Freedom Writers?
[0:41:53.2] AMY MOORE: Yeah.
[0:41:53.8] ANNA NEWELL JONES: I don’t think I have.
[0:41:55.7] MOOREA SEAL: That is based on my business partner/cousin’s class in LA. If you’ve seen that movie, you will – he has experienced harsh stuff, gang violence as a tween and just a crazy growing up a life as well.
[0:42:16.2] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Serious badasses in your family.
[0:42:18.2] AMY MOORE: Oh, no.
[0:42:19.6] MOOREA SEAL: Yeah, we’re hustling hard. We’re just trying to look trauma in the face and say, “You don’t own me, and we’re going to do bigger stuff and try and help on the way.”
[0:42:29.7] AMY MOORE: That is so awesome. That is so motivating. Yeah, so then the online.
[0:42:38.4] MOOREA SEAL: Yeah. We started the online site in 2013, because I was like, I don’t want to be an influencer professionally. I really don’t. It doesn’t feel totally authentic. We decided to open the online site, because I thought okay, I have almost a million followers at that point on Pinterest. I have people who want to work with me and I have giant brands that are watching me. Why don’t I just do this myself?
If big brands are wanting to work with influencers, it’s probably because they see their power, they see their influence and they could be a competitor, or they could be someone you absorb. I thought, “You’re not going to absorb me. I’m going to try and compete with you.”
[0:43:24.3] ANNA NEWELL JONES: That’s so awesome.
[0:43:25.9] ERIN LINEHAN: That’s great.
[0:43:26.8] MOOREA SEAL: Maybe a little bold and dumb.
[0:43:28.6] ANNA NEWELL JONES: I love it.
[0:43:30.9] MOOREA SEAL: I’d rather just try.
[0:43:33.5] AMY MOORE: Right. You’re not afraid of failure.
[0:43:36.0] MOOREA SEAL: No. No. We started the online site in 2013 and then we opened the storefront almost six months later, only because it wasn’t – an online retail site was never my dream. A storefront was actually never my dream. Writing a book was never my dream. I just have been opened to seeing where opportunities lead and just pursuing the shit out of them.
[0:44:00.0] ERIN LINEHAN: What is your dream?
[0:44:01.2] MOOREA SEAL: What is my dream? My dreams have changed a lot over the years. I would say for a lot of my life, my dream was to live without anxiety. That was it. I just want to live not in fear. I want to live not making decisions based out of fear. My first therapist that I finally went to when I was in college, I had just found out that my family was a lot of quieted things about my family when it came to ethnicity within our lineage. I realized how diverse my family was. I’m a lot of different things. Not just the silly ways of doing genetic testing, but actually, I know the stories of my family and I know what was hidden.
That was really hard for me to absorb. To feel me as obviously, very white person. My white skin has masked all the stories of the people who are more diverse in my family. I felt extreme guilt about who I am, how I looked and how it covers up the stories of my family. I felt like a perpetrator. I just felt terrible.
I also had one of my best friends in college died suddenly around that same time. That was when I finally went to therapy. One of the greatest things someone has ever told me in my whole life was this very intense, scary therapist. She was so tough, but I really respected that. She stopped me one day and was like, “Moorea, I hear you saying everything that you don’t want to be. I don’t hear you saying anything that you do want to be.”
I was like, “Oh, my God.” 21 and I’m realizing in this moment that all of who I am has been defined in opposition of things. Even within Christianity, when adults would tell me, “Are you the good child or the bad child?” I was put on the defense. I had to be like, “I am not that one and I am not that one, so I’m this one.”
I was just always on that defense and living in opposition of things. That’s a normal thing when you grow up around a lot of fear. I see that in culture today with politics. Here in Seattle, there are these groups called the proud boys and there are fascist groups growing in Seattle. There’s other groups trying to grow in opposition to it, called the – what’s it called anti-fascist – there’s an anti-fascist group that is growing in opposition to them. Though I’m a very progressive liberal person, I want to very much stand up and fight for people’s rights.
I also think narrative is so important in shaping how we talk about it within our internal selves and externally. To oppose a fascist group doesn’t mean that you are anti-fascist. I think it means that you need to define yourself by your beliefs, not my being the opposite of someone else’s beliefs.
[0:46:55.2] AMY MOORE: Yeah. Having that space, I feel in today’s culture, to allow people to have rather than just the reaction or the opposition would be a huge benefit to our entire society.
[0:47:09.9] MOOREA SEAL: The things that it can happen and it happens with shifting narrative and that’s really what my books are to me is that my books are my secret personal protest in trying to help people heal in the ways that I’ve had opportunities to heal. I recognize the privileges that I have of getting to even go to a therapist. Most people can’t afford that. I want to try and create books that are going to give people accessibility to switching the narrative of their life, so that they can live the life that they actually want.
[0:47:39.7] AMY MOORE: That is so awesome. Can you tell us the titles of those books and then – I mean, I know we all know them, but more for our audience, so that they can look them up and then get the help that you’ve had and hopefully really find how to love themselves and become their true authentic selves.
[0:48:01.8] MOOREA SEAL: Yeah. Yeah. The first book is The 52 Lists Project. That is like Anna was saying, that was something that I started on my blog. That really was the start of my self-love journey, if you will, self-care journey was realizing that I wrote The 52 Lists Project on my blog and then in a book form, not just to help people, but also to help myself. I needed to have evidence of who I am. I needed to look on paper and say, “Here I am.” When I when I lose myself, when I feel lost, when I feel depressed and I feel anxious, I feel worried. I need a reference point to remember like, “Oh, I’m here. There’s evidence of me and I have created this and I’m okay.” That’s what I really wanted to do with The 52 Lists Project.
I think that’s why it went viral on Pinterest as a digital thing, is that I was just – I was making these lists, list of things you’re grateful for, or list of difficult things that have shaped you for the better. I was trying to reframe my narrative and I think people connected with that, because they wanted to do the same for themselves.
[0:49:06.0] AMY MOORE: Definitely.
[0:49:07.2] MOOREA SEAL: A publisher found me and they wanted to turn it into a book and I thought, “Yeah, we’ll see if that actually can happen.” The first day that the book came out, they only printed 5,000 copies, but the day came it out, it was picked up by Barnes & Noble, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, paper stores.
[0:49:24.3] AMY MOORE: Wow, that’s so exciting and that’s so great, just to think about –
[0:49:28.2] MOOREA SEAL: Yeah.
[0:49:30.0] AMY MOORE: Yeah, think about the reach that you’ve had on individuals to shift their own narrative and really get to know themselves.
[0:49:37.9] ANNA NEWELL JONES: I’ll be out on vacation and stuff and I’ll see your book in little boutique shops and I’m like, “Oh, Moorea.”
[0:49:43.6] AMY MOORE: That’s so awesome.
[0:49:44.8] ANNA NEWELL JONES: It’s so cool.
[0:49:46.0] AMY MOORE: Then what came next?
[0:49:48.3] MOOREA SEAL: It was the storefront – at the same storefront when I was working six days a week as a sales associate, I was riding my luck. The book took off, so within the first six months of the first book, I think it got featured on Oprah’s website and it’s now been featured on all those websites 12 counties. Then after that, it was like, that too just felt this freak combination of so many things of I worked really, really, really hard to get to a point where someone would listen to me.
I mean, that was probably my childhood dream is like, please, will you just take me seriously? Please, will you just hear me? Please, will you just trust that what I say is true and what I feel is true?
[0:50:34.7] ANNA NEWELL JONES: That validation.
[0:50:34.8] AMY MOORE: Then the world heard you.
[0:50:36.3] ERIN LINEHAN: Oprah.
[0:50:37.2] MOOREA SEAL: The world heard me.
[0:50:38.2] AMY MOORE: Yes, that’s so amazing.
[0:50:40.2] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oprah is like, “I hear you.”
[0:50:41.3] AMY MOORE: Yes.
[0:50:42.5] MOOREA SEAL: Thank you.
[0:50:43.2] AMY MOORE: We all know the Oprah effect.
[0:50:45.4] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah.
[0:50:47.2] MOOREA SEAL: So wild.
[0:50:48.8] AMY MOORE: That’s amazing.
[0:50:50.1] MOOREA SEAL: With that book, mean, and with all my books too I’m like, I really want to speak to that little child and everybody who is like, “Please, will you hear me? Please, will you take me seriously?” I’ve done a lot of counseling for younger people. I’m the sort of person that a lot of people open up to and I’ve heard a lot of people’s trauma stories.
I really think it all comes down to your childhood shapes you so deeply. When I meet people now, even when I just meet people in my store, or friends of friends, I think about I want to greet the child within them and let that child know that they are safe with me, so that we can grow together.
[0:51:28.8] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Erin is nodding her head and she’s loving this.
[0:51:30.8] AMY MOORE: I’m about to cry. Yeah.
[0:51:32.6] ERIN LINEHAN: I’m a therapist, and so when I’m like, that’s the work that I love to do with people and then you’re saying that and you write books about that and it’s so beautiful, because the world needs that. Thank you for doing what you do. Yeah.
[0:51:43.0] MOOREA SEAL: Thank you. Thank you for doing what you do.
[0:51:46.9] ANNA NEWELL JONES: What would you tell your younger self?
[0:51:50.0] MOOREA SEAL: What I would tell my younger self is, “You are lovable. You are worth being loved, my little Moorea.” Little Ashely, my original name. In my family, my parents really tried to – I appreciate that my dad would say like, “Moorea, you’re very driven. Moorea, you’re very – you’re talented and you’re driven and you can do things.” While also at the same time, him being like, “I want to protect you. I want you to marry someone who’s going to take care of you and you can be at home and you can be safe.” I could see that conflicts that he had in observing me.
Then I also would hear him validating my sisters by saying like, “You are so lovable. You are so friendly. You are so approachable. Everybody loves you. Everybody wants to marry you. Everybody wants to date you.” I felt this like, “Okay. I can make art and draw and sing, but nobody wants that.” I need to be alone. There, my sisters are the ones who deserve to have love and deserve to be – yeah, that’s it. That’s really the mindset I was in as a kid is like, “Oh, people want me for what I can do, but they don’t want me for me.” Building a business and writing books and creating a bunch of things is a really funny way to act out your child of origin.
[0:53:09.3] ERIN LINEHAN: Sure is.
[0:53:10.5] MOOREA SEAL: Sort through it.
[0:53:11.6] ERIN LINEHAN: Totally.
[0:53:12.7] MOOREA SEAL: The therapist was always like, “Moorea, you are ridiculous. You really recreated your family of origin and you are continually forcing yourself to work through it and that’s beautiful, but it’s intense.” I was like, “Yeah. Wow.”
[0:53:27.8] AMY MOORE: Totally. Totally.
[0:53:30.6] ANNA NEWELL JONES: You mentioned it really quickly, like your name, you were born with the name Ashley, is that right?
[0:53:37.0] MOOREA SEAL: Yup.
[0:53:37.7] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Can you tell us quickly about your name and how it changed?
[0:53:40.9] MOOREA SEAL: Yup. My mom thought Ashley was a very unique name for 1986. Unfortunately, everybody thought the same thing.
[0:53:49.3] AMY MOORE: Yeah, everybody else’s name.
[0:53:51.3] MOOREA SEAL: Yeah. Ashley. In England, Ashley was a boy’s name, so I always was – when I had to go into a hospital to get my tonsils out, they put me in the boys section and I looked androgynous when I was younger. That made me feel terrible. Then when I moved to the US, I remember taking a free tennis class. Six out of 10 girls were named Ashley.
[0:54:12.9] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Whoa.
[0:54:13.4] AMY MOORE: Whoa.
[0:54:13.9] MOOREA SEAL: I went home and was like, “Dad, I hate this name.”
[0:54:18.1] AMY MOORE: How old were you at this point?
[0:54:20.3] MOOREA SEAL: I was eight okay. Eight was a very pivotal year.
[0:54:23.7] AMY MOORE: No kidding.
[0:54:25.4] MOOREA SEAL: Just with US, I hated my name. My mom was pregnant and they were going to name my youngest sister Isabella Moorea. I was like, “Dad, can I please try that name?” Then my dad was like, “You know, your mom was the one giving birth, so she was the one who got to choose your first name. I don’t really actually like the name Ashley very much. If you want to change it, you can give it a go, but you need to talk to your mom about it and make sure that she feels okay with you changing your name. Then also, you need to get everybody at school to call you Moorea by the end of the quarter. I was like, “Okay.”
[0:54:59.4] ERIN LINEHAN: Done. The driver picked up, right?
[0:55:01.5] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Challenge accepted.
[0:55:06.2] MOOREA SEAL: I was very lucky that when I entered fourth grade, I had a one hippie free-spirited teacher at Catholic school. I told her I want to change my name to Moorea. She announced it to the class and said, “Ashley will be going by Moorea this year. Please speak to her as Moorea.”
[0:55:21.0] AMY MOORE: That’s so great.
[0:55:22.1] MOOREA SEAL: Yeah. And, Erin, you know that if you’re a therapist, the value of having one person believe in you and validate your voice makes everything.
[0:55:33.4] ERIN LINEHAN: Yeah, absolutely. Yes.
[0:55:35.2] MOOREA SEAL: Makes the person feel capable. You just need one person to do that. She did that for me and I’m forever grateful.
[0:55:43.8] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Wow.
[0:55:44.3] AMY MOORE: So great.
[0:55:45.0] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Is your name legally changed?
[0:55:48.3] MOOREA SEAL: My name is very complicated. I never legally changed my name to Moorea, because when I had applied to colleges, I had already done grants and scholarships and written essays with the name Ashley, so I thought it’s going to be too hard to try and change that. Then when I got married, I decided to – I have a very, very long name. My name is Moorea Ashley Elizabeth Victoria Louise Goodrich Seal McDaniel.
[0:56:18.7] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Wow.
[0:56:19.4] ERIN LINEHAN: Whoa.
[0:56:20.6] AMY MOORE: That does not fit on a Social Security card.
[0:56:23.2] MOOREA SEAL: Correct, it’s not.
[0:56:24.7] ANNA NEWELL JONES: How many names is that?
[0:56:26.1] MOOREA SEAL: That’s eight. It does not fit on a marriage license, so I have an addendum to my marriage certificate, because my name is too long. I never legally changed. I added my husband’s last name, because I always thought I was going to keep Seale as my last name, but I also am very strong-willed. I felt like, “You know, Max? You are so patient with me and you are so willing to adapt to the things that I want. I would like to take your last name as a way to show you I’m willing to adapt to what you want.”
[0:57:06.0] AMY MOORE: That’s beautiful.
[0:57:06.4] MOOREA SEAL: I want to be on the name space. For us, it’s not a – it’s the man’s name. For us it’s like, this is us sharing.
[0:57:14.1] ERIN LINEHAN: Yeah, that’s cool.
[0:57:15.2] MOOREA SEAL: That’s also how our wedding went to was talking about being – there’s a poem called On Marriage by Kahlil Gibran. It talks about being two pillars of the same temple. That’s how Max and I view ourselves in marriage. We are two individual pillars, but we support the same thing. I am not absorbed by you, you are not absorbed by me. I don’t view us as one. I view us as two people who continually every day choose each other, next to each other and invest in the same thing.
[0:57:46.6] ANNA NEWELL JONES: That’s beautiful.
[0:57:47.1] AMY MOORE: Well said.
[0:57:47.9] MOOREA SEAL: That for me is more romantic than giving in to someone.
[0:57:52.8] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yes. Totally agree.
[0:57:54.3] MOOREA SEAL: Anyway.
[0:57:55.7] AMY MOORE: That is really – yeah, so many good nuggets. I’m just looking at the time here and it looks like we are over our hour, so we apologize for that. Let’s see. A couple things, we want to make sure that everyone knows where they can find you.
[0:58:14.5] MOOREA SEAL: Oh, over the Internet, hopefully. My website is mooreaseal.com and that it holds both my retail site and other things that I do. My Instagram is fairly active, @MooreaSeal. I’m on Twitter, but I don’t really – I don’t have time for Twitter, so it’s mostly Instagram and my website. Pinterest, I’m also @MooreaSeal. My books are all over the place. They’re called 52 Lists Project, 52 Lists for Happiness, 52 Lists for Calm, 52 Lists for Togetherness. Then I have a home decor book called Make Yourself at Home, which is about not only investing in your home, but in yourself.
[0:58:56.3] ANNA NEWELL JONES: So amazing.
[0:58:56.9] AMY MOORE: So great. The storefront, right? The storefront is at 1012?
[0:59:01.4] MOOREA SEAL: Yeah. 1012 First Avenue, Downtown Seattle.
[0:59:05.9] ERIN LINEHAN: Awesome.
[0:59:06.5] AMY MOORE: It’s beautiful. The pictures of the outside. Next time I’m in Seattle, I’m going. Yes. Yeah. We just want to thank you so much. Before we sign off, we do have – Anna’s going to ask you –
[0:59:21.0] ANNA NEWELL JONES: We have a silly question, just to end things on a light note, okay.
[0:59:26.9] ERIN LINEHAN: We’re trying out the questions.
[0:59:28.0] ANNA NEWELL JONES: We’re trying this out.
[0:59:29.0] ERIN LINEHAN: You could see how you like this one.
[0:59:31.1] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Okay Moorea, would you rather be a centaur or a mermaid? I have to say when we were trying to figure out –
[0:59:38.1] ERIN LINEHAN: Wait. Let’s let her answer.
[0:59:40.0] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Well, Amy said it’s no question. I want to know what you to say.
[0:59:44.9] MOOREA SEAL: Oh, so you guys have a guess of what you think I’m going to say?
[0:59:47.8] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Well, Amy guessed what –
[0:59:49.1] ERIN LINEHAN: She thinks what everyone should say.
[0:59:50.9] ANNA NEWELL JONES: She thinks everyone is going to say the same thing.
[0:59:53.4] AMY MOORE: I didn’t mean to be such a know-it-all in this one, okay?
[0:59:55.5] ERIN LINEHAN: I don’t even know what a centaur is, so there we go.
[0:59:59.2] MOOREA SEAL: I was going to say 100% a centaur. I’m definitely not a mermaid.
[1:00:04.1] AMY MOORE: That’s exactly what I said.
[1:00:05.3] ERIN LINEHAN: That’s what Amy said.
[1:00:06.5] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Okay. Apparently, it’s a no brainer. Okay, what’s your reasoning?
[1:00:10.2] MOOREA SEAL: Centaur is so badass.
[1:00:11.6] AMY MOORE: Totally.
[1:00:13.2] MOOREA SEAL: I’m a Harry Potter nerd. I do have a tattoo of Harry Potter, because that is the book that made me feel like, “Oh, there’s a kid who’s on their own and they have struggles and challenges, but they’re going to freaking do it anyway. They’re going to keep going. They’re going to push through.” Centaurs to me sounds like, “Oh, this majestic creature who is out on its own. It also has community. It is complex.” It is –
[1:00:38.4] AMY MOORE: Can run really fast.
[1:00:40.2] ANNA NEWELL JONES: That’s true.
[1:00:40.8] AMY MOORE: Is super strong. Yes.
[1:00:42.9] MOOREA SEAL: So strong, so cool, so smart.
[1:00:45.6] AMY MOORE: Yeah. Just like you. Listen, we are so grateful for –
[1:00:50.4] ANNA NEWELL JONES: So grateful.
[1:00:51.4] AMY MOORE: So grateful for you coming on our show and taking your time.
[1:00:54.7] ERIN LINEHAN: I’m sharing all your insights and your depth and thanks for being with us.
[1:00:58.8] MOOREA SEAL: Thank you.
[1:01:00.2] AMY MOORE: Also –
[1:01:00.7] MOOREA SEAL: For letting me be scattered as I tell the weird stories of my life.
[1:01:04.3] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh, it’s amazing.
[1:01:05.2] AMY MOORE: Welcome to our world.
[1:01:06.8] ERIN LINEHAN: Yeah. Amy has to keep us on track too, so don’t worry.
[1:01:09.4] AMY MOORE: I do my best. Also, for all of us, our goal in this podcast is really to help people feel less alone and find ways to connect and have authentic connection. I think the tools that you have given our world with connecting to self and really connecting to home and all of that, it’s so valuable. Thank you for the work that you’re doing and we’ll be in touch.
[1:01:39.6] MOOREA SEAL: Thank you so much. That is the kindest thing to say and that’s the compliment that makes me feel so grateful to be alive. I really, really, really, really, really appreciate it.
[1:01:52.8] ANNA NEWELL JONES: We are so thankful for you. Yup. Thank you.
[1:01:55.1] AMY MOORE: All right.
[1:01:55.8] MOOREA SEAL: Thank you.
[1:01:56.4] AMY MOORE: Enjoy the rest of your day. We’ll talk soon.
[1:01:58.1] MOOREA SEAL: Have a wonderful day.
[1:01:59.3] ERIN LINEHAN: Thank you.
[1:02:00.6] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Bye-bye.
[1:02:01.3] MOOREA SEAL: Bye-bye.
[1:02:01.5] AMY MOORE: Bye.