Even though technology is moving faster, digital is getting bigger, and social media is becoming life, Generation Y has the benefit of remembering the pre-Internet days well enough to know that there’s still work to be done in real life. We also have the pleasure of finding that delicate balance between digital disruption and detachment. Luckily for us, we have highly intuitive, light-seeking, dope vibe carrying leaders like Tracy G.
The on-air edutainer from Sway In The Morning breaks down her journey to radio, empowering women to be just as spiritual as they are sexual, and going beyond your comfort zone to really make an impact.
Interview by Melissa Kimble
“So it’s a very very zig zaggy tale – it’s not linear at all,” Tracy G shares about her journey to becoming part of the on-air team for the popular SiriusXM staple, Sway In The Morning. “People have this perception of success just from looking at Instagram or whatever form of social media and it just seems like you go from A to B but there are SO many different stops in between, you know what I mean? But people aren’t just gonna Instagram all of the detours you have to take sometimes.”
Even over the phone, her energy is massive and contagious in the most positive and exciting way possible. It commands attention and flourishes without boundaries.
Dedicated to journalism and with writing being her first love, Tracy started her career journey interning at VIBE and quickly moved up the ranks. Early on, she valued connecting energies, going beyond the persona of celebrities, and getting down to the nucleus of who they are and not who we think they are and she learned that her golden ticket laid in her interview skills. Once the journalism industry shifted to the digital forefront, the media maven had her eyes set on her next conquest and the idea of radio entered her mind.
It was strange that I thought radio, because there’s something slightly narcisstic about that to me, she reveals. When you’re a journalist, you are not in the story – you’re writing the story. On radio you’re very very much a part of the story, you are a factor, you are an element, and you can not be ignored. And I was like do my words hold enough value to be worthy of a microphone?
So like many of us who embark on new adventures, she sought out those who knew her best for more insight.
I literally sent a text message to a bunch of friends. I did radio in college but I had a little too much fun to see it as a career. I asked them, if ya’ll could pick my long road in the world of careers what would it be? Everyone said radio/television.
With people – when it comes to networking – they’re always looking beyond their reach and then feel like they have so many miles ahead in front of them between their goal and where they are. But if you just look at the resources around you, you won’t miss anything. Sometimes people are asking for a dollar and there are four quarters on the floor.
After a period of constantly checking in with her network, she was introduced to key players that put her in front of Music Industry Legend, Sway.
For radio, it’s very much about chemistry so he was looking first for people he already knew. So I wasn’t his number one option. But other people didn’t work out so I guess he was like ‘alright fuck it, let me see who this Tracy girl is.’ I auditioned. And I got it. A year and a half later, here we are.
MK:Since then I’m sure a lot has changed in that past year and half, even in growth, are there any key lessons you’ve learned in this time period while you’ve been at Sway In the morning?
TG: I’ve learned to be responsible for your own energy. Radio is a very different type of gig. If you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, you could essentially get your entire day’s work done with your headphones on. But [in radio] there is no spend the entire day with your headphones on. We’re all in a small studio, so the energy is so palpable, if anyone is feeling off it’s like a fucking virus that will spread. You will learn very very quickly that you have sole control over your freaking attitude, of your energy, of it all and if you really focus on that it will evaporate and you can flip the switch and move it into a different direction. It saves me a lot of bad days. But sometimes, I’m a Scorpio I’m a woman, sometimes I wake up and feel moody but I can’t come in with that. There’s no place for it. Plus how is that going to register on air? I’m the one that’s supposed to break a part everyone else’s moodiness. What the hell am I doing being a goddamn Grinch at 8am?
The other thing – it sounds cliche but it’s true – you can’t judge a book by its cover. The great thing about Sway’s show is that he is very much about the soul, and not about exploiting anyone and really giving you the core of who a person is. So some folks you might think are one dimensional, but they’re not. We really like to peel back the layers because everyone has layers. And even if you don’t fuck with somebody, because that person has layers you can find a layer that you do like. There’s always something that you can find that you like about that person and zero in on it and all of a sudden everything else will fade into the distance – once you’re really REALLY in the present moment. Which means if you’re in the present, you don’t even know who this person is. At all. Versus if you’ve got one foot in the past, one foot in the present, and your past is all of these ideas you think this person is and you bring in all of these viruses in these interviews. I learned to take that artist, whoever is sitting in that chair and take them for what they are right in that moment.
I’m always trying to bring out the best side of someone.
MK:I’ve been playing She’s Beauty and The Beast Nonstop. I know you have such a big passion for personal development, how was this movement born?
TG:Just like you said, I’m a humongous personal development junkie. That is really my shit. I have this insatiable curiosity as to what brings peace to others. I don’t care what type of religion it is, what type of strange morning practice it is, something that you eat, what you don’t eat, whatever it is I just want to figure out the anatomy of inner peace. I’m always wiling to try. As we continue with our lives, as long as your lungs are pumping in and pumping out air, we’re gonna be experiencing things that we never saw coming and you might need another antidote for it because the ones you already got may not work for that particular situation. I’m just trying to make sure my arsenal is nice and full, so I can handle whatever.
I had already been listening to affirmations before that I found on YouTube. I love YouTube so much because that’s how I would find life coaches. I used to have a lot of anxiety and sometimes you can’t depend on humans to be there for you. Not because they don’t want to be there for you, but because your friends have jobs, sometimes they’re fucking their boyfriends, sometimes you’re friends are napping, etc. People are doing things where they are not by their phones – contrary to popular belief – and they cannot be there to change your state of mind. So what are YOU gonna do?
I would just put how I was feeling or how I wanted to feel into YouTube and just find some things that I would rock out on that I could just replay as many times as I need to so I could penetrate my deepest self. The ones that I found, as much as I love them, they just sounded like this white woman wtih long silver hair, sitting indian style on a mountain top with incense floating in the wind. It’s not really a main stream type of deal. It’s not something that’s easily digestible to millennials. One day I was listening to Joel Osteen and in the middle of his sermon he was like ‘I want ya’ll to write down your affirmations’. I said ‘You know what? I’m gonna write down my affirmations, I’m gonna get very very freakin’ specific‘.
There was a point I listened to more audio books than albums – maybe now it’s equal since I got both Kendrick and Cole – but I was like ‘I listen to so many people, I wonder what would it be like if I listened to myself?‘ So with the Pursuit of Self-Love, a lot of those affirmations are ones that I wrote for me and I had some ones that were very specific to what I wanted to achieve and I recorded it and I started listening to them in the morning and I loved it. Whenever I was just feeling my spirit was being caged, I would just reach for it. It was my little go-to pick me up.
One day I was in the office in the hallway where they have all these public computers and I thought I was playing it from my headphones but it was really blasting from the speakers! I had no idea why all these people were looking at me – of course I don’t find this out until it’s done. I rarely feel embarrassed. I’m a really silly and transparent person so there’s not a lot of gotcha moments that come my way but I felt embarrassed, I wanted to cry. And it was SO weird. And I was like I need to dissect this because that type of embarrassment, the specific level has some shame. I think it was because at that moment, I felt so different and so ostracized. And I was like, you know what? fuck that shit! The reason why people are looking at me like this is because they had never heard anything like that. Generally what people do with something that’s new is that they set it to the side until they figure out how to categorize it. People aren’t necessarily open to newness, they’re more so closed off. And I was like alright, it’s my job to make this mainstream.
This stigma behind affirmations or personal development – which I feel like we’re at a high point of it in general – [I need] to make sure it’s not there because our subconsciouses are SO fertile. And you don’t have to be a depressed person but you have days where this random voice in your head is just telling you the worst things over and over again. Even if you say you’re not someone who does affirmations – guess what buddy? Hell yeah, you are. We all say things to ourselves inside of our skulls whether it’s a to-do list or you just caught a glimpse of yourself in the mirror. If you have the wrong things playing on repeat?! Repetition is the mother of learning.
If you ain’t got the right fuel in your car – you could have the illest freaking car in all the land – if you ain’t got the right fuel, and your gas tank is on E, where are you really going? As you get older, people are just more unavailable because we have lives. So it’s like, who do you go to? And that was that. Going back to us being multi-layered, just because you’re spiritual doesn’t mean you’re granola. Just because you’re sexual, doesn’t mean you don’t love Jesus Christ. We have layers! I got baptized in November, I still curse – not saying that’s a good thing – but my point is there’s many branches to our trees. And I know that there’s a woman that wants to quench her spiritual needs just as much as she wants to quench her sexual needs and I just wanted to find the middle ground. Use my voice for good.
It’s crazy, when I was younger my favorite thing to do when I was a kid was to read out loud. I would be like in a classroom – you know how everyone gets a paragraph to read? I would pray ‘please give me the biggest paragraph‘. I was just into the theater of the mind, so it’s interesting that I’m doing it now. I basically just wanted to be that voice for women whenever they need it to drown out the other voice that can be a little bitchy.
MK:Everybody that I share it (#shesbeautyandthebeast) with is like ‘Where did you get this from? We need this!’ We don’t get to see people who look like us – who are talking about self awareness and development. For those who are not really in tune yet with who they are or what they want to become how do you think they can get started?
TG: You are the company you keep. They always say that you shouldn’t be the smartest person in the room but sometimes we don’t have access to that intelligent, exclusive room with all the great beings of the universe. But guess what? You can in a sense, mimic that environment by listening to the right podcasts. I love podcasts so much because I get to basically ease drop on the greatest conversations happening with people that are not on my speed dial right now and hear as many opinions as possible.
For women in particular I think Gabrielle Berstein is a great person to begin with. She’s super awesome and cool, she’s been on Oprah and she has a lot of really dope affirmations and guided meditations. Shameless Maya is another really dope chick, she’s a YouTuber. Women Who Run With The Wolves (By Clarissa Pinkola) is like the lost scriptures to a chick’s soul. That is SO deep and necessary and even if you are polished up real bright and you feel like you’re a pristine example of what it is to be a woman, I’m telling you this will make you levitate. That’s the next step. That is required reading if you have a freaking vagina. And I think also, Jocye Meyers. I love Joyce Myers is who really got me to get baptized – even though I’m a Christian, I feel like life was easier for me once I really gave myself to God and stopped acting like I could do everything my damn self.
A lot of times when people think about spirituality or religion, they feel like it’s just this one on one thing. But, there’s a difference between talent and skill. Talent you are born with but a lot of people waste talent because they do not flip it into a skill. So my point is, you cannot be a scientist you may have this natural knack for science but you are not become a scientist without some teachers, without some schooling, without some aide, without some direction.
You don’t have to mess with everyone in totality but if something is working for a lot of people you better go and explore and figure out why this is working. If you think Oprah is corny and you just don’t wanna do it, well honey if you’re life is crumbling what are you providing that could top Oprah’s diff philosophies on life? Go check it out and explore. No one’s making you sign a blood contract because you Google around or you pick up a book or you go to a service or you go to a guided meditation. be open-minded. I think yoga is awesome as well. Tony Robbins is amazing, The Art of Charm is a great podcast. Really just going beyond. LifeHacker.com that’s all about personal development. Get a notebook that’s specifically for your studies. We have to learn to treat the rest of our lives like school. Because we stop.
We want to learn how to do something but then we just feel like if it don’t come to us then we’re not going to learn it. Or if the right person just doesn’t happen to mention it in conversation then it’s never gonna reach our ears. Be proactive, tell yourself you’re gonna spend an hour a day researching what interests you, and keep a notebook and write it out. There are studies that say we are six times more likely to soak in information when we write it down and it also helps for re-referencing.
Also, just be careful, you can find time to listen to all these things by just being conscious of when you listen to music all the time. For instance, when you’re on the train. Instead of spending an hour on the train listing to Rae Schemmard, maybe listen to them for fifteen minutes but then spend the rest of the 45 min listening to something that’s gonna actually elevate you. That’s bona contribute to your better self. while you’re taking break, like when you’re eating your lunch. I would never binge-watch a show but for myself, I can’t do it because it makes me feel way too guilty because when I watch a show it has my full attention and I can’t get anything done. But with podcasts, you can get so much done! You can do your laundry, you can go out and have all your errands x’ed off your to-do list while you’re listening to this awesome information. Do it for yourself. The universe isn’t just gonna perform magic tricks for us all day, you have to work in collaborating with the universe.
[Tweet “The universe isn’t just gonna perform magic tricks for us all day, you have to work. – @itstracyg”]
Just like when you were in school and you did all the work and someone just tried to come and take the credit, you’d be like no! So it’s like you have to get the fuel and then you have to put in the movement. I have videos that go along with the vision boards featuring my best friend Guerdley Cajus who’s a phenomenal choreographer dancing in it because really subtly she symbolizes the movement we have to put behind these affirmations. Not just listening to them everyday but adding wheels to them or else, what’s the point? When we listen to music, it makes us want to dance. When you had Beyonce’s album, it made you want to go and get yourself a husband. You listen to Rihanna a lot of times, you might wanna have a one night stand. So if you’re gonna listen to affirmations and not do anything it’s like huh? I know you want to do something. That’s the part. You have to have a hand or else you’re just a robot. And you’re the type of robot whose batteries don’t work.
MK: What’s something you want to learn in the very near future?
TG: I’d love to continue to learn from as many people as possible. I’m being very serious about that. I do have really intelligent people around me, especially women who are just fearless and autonomous and go-getters – which is a blessing. But we can always get caught in a comfort zone. And the pot of gold resides outside of your comfort zone. Above all I’d like to become skilled at the art of patience and disciplining myself better before bed and at sunrise so as to gain more balance in life.
Listen to Tracy’s latest audio vision board, Compariholics Anonymous below!
P.S. You can watch the video for Tracy’s first audio vision board HERE.