This week we hear from my dear friend, Traci Byerly, about her journey to authorship and the divine transformation of stepping into the role of author and life coach. She has a powerful message and mission that can only be described as Spirit-led. As you listen to this conversation, it is my hope and prayer that you are inspired to BE fearlessly and unapologetically you!
Traci Byerly is called to model and promote the experience of healing, empowerment, transformation, and order whenever opportunities arise. Traci and her husband, Fredrick, are co-founders of their success coaching business, Your Chosen Pass at www.yourchosenpass.com. She is a professional life coach who is currently reinstating her International Coach Federation (ICF) credential as an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) before the end of the month. She is also a published author of the book, UNAPOLOGETICALLY Gray. In the book, she uses her gray hair story to bring healing, empowerment, and confidence to those who society says their looks are unacceptable or undesirable. Traci and Fredrick are also gray hair and pro-aging models. The Byerly duo shares four amazing children and one grandson. They live in the Fort Worth, Texas area.
Purchase the book here: https://unapologeticallygray.com
Coaching website: https://yourchosenpass.com
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You are on this earth for a purpose. You want to live a life that matters. So let's get through the fear and the overwhelm and all the crap that gets in the way of you living the life of yours. This is the becoming ourselves podcast where we are fired up about you getting clear on who you are, what you're called to and how to get there. Because the world is waiting for you to show up and own your power. I'm your host, Juli Wenger, a coach, a speaker at Jesus lover and Enneagram two, and a tree shaker. Let's dive into what's keeping you stuck. Because on the other side is a life that's fired up. Today on becoming ourselves the podcast. I have been waiting for this episode for a while. We have my dear friend and sister in Christ, Tracy Byerly on the podcast. And Tracy is joining us for part of our from author to authority series. But it's talking a bit about the journey to authorship and what that looks like. And there is this beautiful alignment that exists in the work that she's doing. And what just lights me up. And these focuses on being boldly authentic on being enough on claiming your enoughness and standing in your enoughness being unapologetic about who you are. And the font authentic about who you are. So, Tracy, welcome to the podcast.Unknown:
Thank you. Thank you for having me here. Hello, everybody. Or as we say in Texas, Hey, y'all.Juli Wenger:
It's been adopting the y'all thing a little bit because Alberta is the Texas of Canada. My husband thinks it's ridiculous, but that's okay. That is be me being boldly and authentically me. Can you tell us a little bit about you, and what what your purpose is.Unknown:
I am a lover of Christ, they number one, but about me, I know that I have been chosen to bring about empowerment, and healing and inspiration in order wherever I go, and who ever I'm with as long as the opportunity presents itself. I am a life coach who is having her credentials pending. Again, let it lapse. And I when I'm getting them back I partner co partner with my husband, who was my co partner and everything marriage, life business, we own your chosen past life coaching company. And we also partner together in the building maintenance service company that existed before we got married. And when we're not working hard, we also are pro aging models. Professional people love us for our gray hair. So we are casted everywhere. And we also have a brand based from the book unapologetically Gray, where we not only sell merchandise, but we are also building branding that promotes aging is a very positive thing because it is regardless of what society saysJuli Wenger:
the countercultural nature of the work you're doing is so important. There's so much pressure and mean I don't know how deep we'll get into all of that later. But there's so much pressure in society to look a certain way. And the the body shaming the expectations of avoiding the whole aging process. Yeah, are there they're heavy. And I mean, I'm 37 and pushing 40. So I not in a space where I've really felt like I had to contend with it much until recently. And I'm starting to notice like the wrinkles and I'm going what is happening and there's that default narrative that pops in right because we've been so trained into it. That's not okay.Unknown:
All I have to say is for people to recognize whether they are adopting a hospice mentality at this age, oh, I've got these wrinkles is gray hair. Let me just get somewhere and slow down and be quiet and be made comfy until it's time to go on to Glory? Or do you live a prosperous lifestyle where, hey, Second Life, the world is the limit. Let me just blow this up and blow it out all the way because I still have life left in me to do so.Juli Wenger:
Yep. Taking your power back. Okay, so we're gonna do something that I think it's really special. And Tracy is going to read us the prologue of her book, to give you all a sense of what, what her heart is, in this whole process and this journey, and it's as she was reading it to me earlier, it just landed that there are there are pieces to the work that you're doing that fall so much more broadly than the aging, transition and the mindset and the to AI approaches powerfully or not and right into society, period into people's experience, period. Because not only do we struggle with all the judgment and the expectations in terms of our appearance or aging, but all of the other shoulds in the stories for here's what your life is supposed to look like. So take it away.Unknown:
Hi love. There is a story behind your distinctive existence, you are chosen to be a wonder. If you do not already know why. You owe it to yourself to learn what makes you so special because you truly are. You are powerful in your own right. Even if you don't feel it, see it or know it yet. You were designed to silence the foolish talk about whatever makes people uncomfortable with you, without lifting a finger. You in Your extraordinarily fashioned way. Have a divine purpose to be exactly as you are. I hope this book inspires you to find your voice, liberty, protection and love for yourself to clearly express your uniqueness and focus on your whole best being. You do not have to be obnoxious to prove your boldness, unless that is just your innate personality. Most people believe they must be confrontational to make their presence known. But that is not necessary for you. We have all heard that saying meekness is great string under control. You are good enough. You have nothing to prove. No more shrinking back or hiding. Do not let the voice of ignorance shut you up. And have the final say about you. Speak up to amplify the best of you live your best life and be unapologetically you find unapologeticallyJuli Wenger:
great. I just feel like I need to breathe that in for a minute. And the being the being versus the doing?Unknown:
Yes. And can we add having on top of that, because we spend most of most of our lives. Because people want to accept who we are, therefore we have to perform. And we have to have possessions to make us who we are. And when looks might start changing. Finances may change careers may come and go. Health may even change. We feel like we're losing something. And I speak to the people who are I'm gonna say in my age bracket because I just turned 55 last month and beyond. Watch what you're doing now because every decision you make now affects what happens to you in your 60s, your 70s and 80s. And everybody wants to blame it on age and poor age No. Is what you did back then. That builds you up to where you are now.Juli Wenger:
So I'm curious about where this clarity came from in your journey.Unknown:
The clarity, believe it or not started with me getting gray hairs. My family, they gray prematurely. It's genetic And there was a time when I was on financial hard times, oh my lord, it was so bad. And I had people saying to me, you know, you really should do something with your hair, you are so beautiful, too beautiful to have all that gray hair, you know, you would look so much more by blah, blah, blah, blah, if you would just dye your hair. And I had gone on a date, and I'd come home after hearing you are so beautiful. You would just do something with that gray hair. And I was in the mirror and I was furious. Like, you know, God forbid, if I get married, and our finances change, or I get allergic to something get sick, and we can't afford this, this is who I am. Better he accept who I am now, and it wasn't about that. It was about me not caving. Because I was on a natural progression. So then that's when it became rebellion against the world, screw the world. And I began to look at my gray as a symbol as a tiara mindset shift. When my mind shifted about my gray hair, people had to also shift around me. And it was then when I begin to learn, it isn't about so much what I have what I look like, by who I am. Because things are changing. And regardless of what happens, this is who I am. And I'm deeper than a role. I am chosen. And once I realized that I was chosen. And I began to watch people's reactions around me because I had changed. I think that was when it was about time for me to write a book. And I didn't even know it, then I that it starts with us, Julie.Juli Wenger:
Always. And I just want to really root into this people had to shift around me. Because don't we see, especially as coaches that work in this empowerment space of helping people to understand Who are you, actually? And what are you here for? And how do you live that out? And how does God see you? Where is your value is coming from? Is it coming from him? Or is it coming from society's expectations? There's so often this tension of what people expect. People expect people expect. And when we change, we start to rewrite social contracts. We start to retrain people, this is how you treat me. And I think it's interesting because we often give so much power and see people give so much power to other people's expectations that they won't choose the change. But you walked it, and you've chose to change. And then people caught up.Unknown:
They did. I do have to say, choosing to embrace your gray hair in a society that says that. It makes me look old. You are flying in the face of opposition. And it takes boldness and it takes courage because it goes beyond accepting a color that has nothing to do with your age, your status in life condition. None of that is just the color. It goes deeper into understanding your comfortability and accepting a life progression and choosing to embrace what society says you should be feeble, invisible, and attractive. Death is coming and you're going to be broke. Rebellion time people, because that's not true. Generally, I propose this question to people all the time. People want in our age and older. All of these they I want to have multiple millions of dollars. I want a great lifestyle. I want to have all these things. But if you are dreading getting older, why should God the universe open up and shower you with stuff when you don't even want to stick around and embrace the light If that you have right now, why are these thoughts really valid? What would happen if you change your mindset? To You know what I am so happy I am here. I'm still here. So I have a purpose. Let me find out what it is so that I can be in position for these blessings that have innately be been put in. As opposed to oh, I'm getting old. I'm getting over the hill. And I'll have that bullish talk. Come on y'all. Preach. Let me take a step down off my soapbox. But if people would wake up and just hear your talk, words have power there is life and death in the power of your tongue. Yes, you're getting up in age. So what? This is proof that you still have more life to live, more impact to make more influence to do? And yes, receive blessings. And yes, correct some of the wrongs that you've done in your past, be it to yourself, and others, you have a purpose to still be while you're here.Juli Wenger:
Deep breaths. Let's jump into the books. So you go through this personal transition this rebellion, this, I'm going to own my gray. And I'm going to find the beauty in it and forget what all y'all think. This is how we're going to roll. And then you said, I think it was time to write the book, but I didn't know it yet. So what shifted that got you to putting the pen to paper?Unknown:
Anybody who knows me and knows me? Well, I was supposed to be writing years ago. If you were to pull out my journals, it's very poetic. And then for some things, it's like FreeBet your own risk. Anyway, I'll never forget. It was April, the first. I came to my husband in April, the first 2018 that came to my husband and I said, it's time to have this baby. And he looked at me. Because, ya know. And I said, it's time for me to write a book. And he's like, okay, April, the first 2018. I had the title. But I didn't know. But I sat down in front of the laptop, and let things just start coming. And when I say that my husband Frederick, who is an amazing Angel from God, he did not stand in the way of me writing this book. He made the way. He did all the cooking the cleaning, he picked up the work that I left behind, took my phone, so that I could focus. I never knew what a sciatic nerve issue was, until I started writing this book because I would be closed up in the room. With the door closed, he would bring me my food, take it out, he held it down. When things would get crazy, he would take me to their family's small ranch in Southeast Texas where there was hardly any phone reception. And it was on June the first 2018 at 1155 sharp, I hit Enter for the last time. And unapologetically Gray had been burned. I often talk about the twin birth of the author. And the book took two months, and it was intense. Labor.Juli Wenger:
I resonate with that, in this process is something that people can't prepare you for. No. And it is a shift in your own personal experience your perception of yourself. It's been we've talked about this in a couple other episodes, but there's been so much heart surgery. And when these books are a God call, yes. The way that he is actively working, not just through you in getting these messages out but in you to make sure that you're ready to be the author It's a it's a lot. It's not always funUnknown:
is not isolation. People who don't understand, I can't be interrupted, I need to be away. And yet you're wanting to interact with people, I'll never forget, it was my birthday felt in the timeframe. My daughter's birthday fell in the timeframe that my focus was on getting the book done by any means necessary. The Holy Spirit made it very clear that this book was not going to be written for me to become famous. But it was a ministry. And there was a sense of urgency to get the book done. Because even in 2018, you saw a spike and all of the gray hair communities popping up. And everybody trying to make their mark. But for me, he had a different plan for me, and that it had to be done quickly. And I can't take the credit for writing the book, when I say that it was divinely inspired. If anybody who knows scriptures very well, and they do read the book, when I say they will hear First Corinthians 127, through 29 weaved in there, and also Ephesians 210. And when I autograph the book, because I do I hear even though I've never met some of these people in my entire life, certain things about them. And let them know that they are a poetic expression, or God's masterpiece, and I'll autograph it with the Ephesians 210. If on lead sometimes, for whatever reason that lead to put the Ephesians 210. But they know that the Holy Spirit is speaking to them. But those two those two scriptures verses are the foundation of unapologetically bright.Juli Wenger:
Isn't it cool how he'll illuminate that. And there are new for me, it's been a lot of Because Romans 12, to have letting God transform the way you think. Yes. And that's been such an important piece of how you think about yourself, how you think about your purpose, how you think about the roles that you're here to fill, like, change what you think. And then you'll learn as well for your purpose for your life or where you're going. Right, which is good and pleasing and perfect. And that second, Thessalonians 111 We constantly pray for you, that God will make you worthy, not you make you worthy, but he will make you worthy of the life you're called to. And so there are those, those foundational pieces that you just keep coming back to and coming back to you and coming back to? And do you ever have those moments where you sit down and you read part of the book? You know, I wrote that? Yes. Every time I did not write that by myself.Unknown:
I didn't. Yes. Actually, I also have to say there was even a struggle with me being authentic to me. When the book cover, I originally at first did not want to have my face on there in color. Because I felt that if people saw my brown skin, they wouldn't want to read it. So there was that wrestle. And I have some beautiful white sisters. They're my sisters. And they're like, if they don't want to see your beautiful brown face on there, then that book wasn't for them anyway. Amen. And it was like yeah, you wrote this to your own self be true. Hmm. So I went with and I am so that that was that layer of pulling off, because I don't know if you know it, but to and I'm sure you've experienced this. It's like yes, we put out these things. But we even learn from our own selves and The message is for us as much as for yes, there's boldness in other ways, so on and so forth. It's the gray hair, but still that fight to be accepting to others and then pulling back the cover and saying, no, no, you are enough. Show it. So yeah, the wayJuli Wenger:
that our inner critic shows up and the process and exactly the stories that we're talking about are the things that we are there to help people work through a pop up. And I mean, that's part of the heart surgery is I'm going to allow this to trigger you so that you can work through it and let it go. Yes. And I mean, I'll listen to every once in a while an episode of the podcast, like, I did that. But it speaks back to me, or I'll read part of the book. And it's like, oh, right, this whole enoughness thing. That's an illusion. It's not even real. And I need those reminders, because I'm still on the journey. So it's a really fascinating process. And I hear you on the authenticity piece, because for me, I thought it was gonna write a secular book. And he's like, no, no, you're going to be bold in your faith. Oh, wait, and the first few chapters, I'm like, huh, are we doing this? Am I you know, because I'm not being that out there. Right. And he's honestly, in the safety of writing the book, it came out. And it was authentically, boldly me standing in my faith that I can't separate from a journey. But he's had to catch me up after the fact, with being more overt out like with people. Yeah. And having conversations with people. And yes, this is what I believe in. This is where I stand, and I can, you know, Spark people and fire people up, but it's a whole thing. So what's it been like since releasing the book? What's that part of the journey? been like for you?Unknown:
surreal? I can't believe and I'm sure you you're, you get this too. It's like wow. was allowed to do this. And make an impact. One of my it, sometimes it's almost like ministry, even we're sowing seeds. We've sold through the book. Sales may peak, and then sales may dip, we hear nothing, no comments or anything. And you're like, what's this in vain? And then you get stories like I have, where one of my besties had someone coming in to help organize a room. And the organizer walked over and said, unapologetically, unapologetically. Great. And my bestie was like, Yeah, what do you know about this? I read that. She's like, Yeah, that's my best friend that wrote, she's the reason why I stopped dyeing my hair. Oh, my gosh. Or an Instagram post where someone messages me and says, Thank you so much for your book. You're the reason why I no longer dye my hair. I feel better about myself. Things like that. And it's just like, Okay, God, you're right. This is ministry. It's not in vain. And for fellow authors, that you might not become a millionaire overnight, make even four or five figures, but just know the seed that is being so the yearbooks as being planted and down the line you are and you will reap benefits don't look at the self. Yeah, continue planting.Juli Wenger:
That, as someone who hasn't made it to the point of release yet, there is for people who are thinking about writing a book, there's so much pressure, all of the resources and the places you look for how do I run a successful book launch, set targets, set more targets, continue to set targets and I'm just like, you know, I think that this is one of those, do what you reasonably can do, and then let God do the rest.Unknown:
Excellent. And I would add to that, what is really your motive for doing this? Because I'm going to say up Run, if you're looking to get rich and be the next Brian Tracy or whoever like that, it can very well be possible that you could be. But if not, then what? Do you hate your whole experience and trash it and say, Oh, it was nothing. You might not be ready for other ship yet? Is your motive to impact change lives bring about awareness. Tell your story. And know that you're sowing like a gardener. And yeah, you cultivate with a little bit of social media with some book. Oh, gosh, it's been so long since I've been the one you know, the, the bullies. Yes. And yeah, the book parties and things like that I missed those. By the way, I'll be getting back to those, here and there. But do it with the heart of service, and not trying to get rich, or become famous. If you do it from a heart of service, oh, this will be the best experience for you ever trust form.Juli Wenger:
Let's maybe wrap up with with this. Because we're talking about the being ready for authorship and intentionality behind authorship. There are people who are listening who feel that pull, feel that call to put their story down on paper and to share that and to create that impact. Are there a couple of pieces of advice or anecdotes that you think would be really helpful for them, and starting the journey?Unknown:
Yes, I would recommend if you have a computer, do a dump. Don't worry at the beginning about trying to organize. Get it out. And when you get to a point where you can't anymore, then begin to start organizing, then, if you're trying to organize while you write, you're going to be a long time at that and you might not get done. So just get it out. Then organize it on Word. And we have the beauty of being able to space it clear down where we start another page, space down, start another page. And then label that label it as your chapters if you know chapter names, use them. Also, if you're really serious about writing, create your time blocks and stick to them. Writing look at it as another part time job. Because it is otherwise, other things will constantly get in place. And you're writing if it you say it's important to you will take a back burner. Know your motives for why you are writing what you're writing. Your motives will come in handy. To help keep you going number one, and number two, you probably won't be asked why did you write this book. You want to be clear in your message. Basically, your motive really is your message. So make sure that it's clear to you. Otherwise, when you say why it won't be clear to the world. Oh, man, there's so many more but those are starters that I can think of off the top of my head.Juli Wenger:
Yeah, you're right. There's there's a lot of lot of pieces and a lot of looking at. How do you as you're wired, as you function set things up in a way that will be supportive. You know, do you need to surround yourself with community? Do you need a specific type of program do you need what are all of those pieces? And that's where this whole series has been fun because we get this context from not just my experience, but from some of my other book writing sisters like you. And it's a really cool journey.Unknown:
it stretches us in ways that I would not have anticipated.Unknown:
I think even cheering people on Like, you know, everybody's at different steps. And for those who have done it to, yes, you can do it. I'm here for you. You know, being that support, it is almost like motherhood in a sense, once you've done it, then you can see other mothers to be, and basically kind of coach them. I am thinking of one other important thing. With the whole book writing things. Sometimes we look for our closest knit families and friends to be there to support us. I want you future authors to be prepared for the fact that they may not. And as a matter of fact, don't look for them. To do it. Just do what you need to do. The right people will be right there to support you may not be the people closest to you, you can remember that. It'll save you a whole lot of heartache. But yes, back to sorry, that was so important to say that's number one. I appreciate it. But just being able to cheer each other on in the journey and support each other. I love what you're doing. And people need to see more of this. So thank you.Juli Wenger:
Thank you for being on and being transparent and sharing your journey. I know you've been an inspiration to me and such a supportive voice as I've gone through this journey. And even before this journey, I am grateful for you and anyone who wants to keep up with what Tracy is up to. We're gonna put a whole bunch of links in the show notes so that you can follow her on Facebook or get involved with our community or so. Thank you.Unknown:
Thank you. Thank you, thank youJuli Wenger:
I hope this episode triggered something in you and got you thinking about your next growth curve. Make sure to check out the show notes for more details and links to resources or people that we've mentioned today. And make sure you hit follow or subscribe and if you have a hot minute leave an awesome review. I would be so beyond grateful. Until next time, be to much DARE YOU