An Interview with Audrey Hope
By Lyda Whiting
Audrey Hope is a woman with vision and courage. She believes it is time to to see women in a new light, and to embrace the feminine qualities of love and compassion that are the hope for our world. With her partners, Jenna Loren and Mark Hibbard, she created and produces an innovative television show for cable. Enlightening and empowering, “Reel Women” presents topics and experts not otherwise seen on television. Show topics range from history, money, and health, to spirituality, alternative science, and philosophy. Her guest list has included global leaders, authorities in every field, and spiritual teachers such as Caroline Myss, Barbara Hand Clow, Jean Houston, and John Randolph Price. Warm and generous, Audrey Hope is enthusiastic about her life’s journey and the work she loves.
Lyda Whiting: How did you begin this journey?
Audrey Hope: I was working as an actress. It is brutal; Hollywood is all about looks, weight, age. I had all of that to deal with. And I was working in a clothing store part-time. I found there wasn’t any woman who ever thought she was okay. No matter what, every woman focused on what was wrong with her.
LW: And then you read “The Beauty Myth” by Naomi Wolf and “Backlash: The Undeclared War against American Women” by Susan Faludi.
AH: The information in these books opened my eyes. I don’t think women even realize they are brainwashed. We open a magazine and in about three seconds we don’t feel good about ourselves. They say that after forty, a woman is finished. Women get so much better after forty! We get wiser, become more sexual. To tell us we are declining is really a disservice to women.
LW: So you decided to create a positive television show about real women.
AH: One of the things that really bothers me about television, is they don’t really have a grasp of the real woman. They don’t understand her, what really matters to her, what she needs to be really happy.
My plan was to do one show, but the response was amazing. It’s been an exciting journey. The people came by magic; there was never a problem getting guests and doing the show. I always had faith it would work out and it always did. If you stay on your path, the world opens up to support you.
I never wanted to be “that New Age show.” I wanted to be the middle ground between the highest level and those who don’t believe at all. And I became an expert on each guest. I took a month, studied their work, read everything they had written, and really got to know them.
LW: The show’s purpose is empowering women.
AH: I never considered myself a feminist, but I became a feminist. I hate the associations with that word. We need a new word. We don’t need to be hard-core militant any more; we did all the fighting. We need to be soft now. I want to be a well-rounded woman, loving of men.
We don’t need to be like men. We need to follow the essence of who we are. So many women are not nurturing who they are; they are afraid to listen to their hearts. Women are so powerful, so intuitive, and so knowing, but we are not taught to listen. We are taught to go completely away from what’s in us. We are taught not to be the way we are. We have to trust our truth.
LW: Now you are also an intuitive spiritual counselor, working at Passages, a healing center in Malibu specializing in residential treatment of drug and alcohol addiction.
I kept meeting all these magnificent people and they asked me for advice. I sort of got to this point where, you know, you just surrender. I really had no choice, to be honest. My friend, who is an amazing healer, said, “Audrey, it’s time.” I really did that: surrender. I said, “Show me what I am to do” and waited. Everything that was going to happen was going to have to come to me. And it happened magically.
This is a new healing center with new paradigms. They treat the healing of addiction in every way. All these modalities of healing come together.
What I did with the show, I am now able to do one on one. When a person is really happy and strong inside, she doesn’t need addictions, she doesn’t need to listen to the media tell her who she is. When she finds that center within herself, it heals addiction; it heals the core problems.
LW: So counseling is part of the same work as your show “Reel Women.” Is your writing also part of the work?
AH: Yes, it is all part of my spiritual journey. The circle became complete. I write a column called “Hope in the City” in the Santa Monica Observer, and I write for “Awareness Magazine.”
LW: What is happening with “Reel Women” now?
AH: I really think my show is needed. Now it is being retooled for the Oxygen Channel, and will be called “The Source for Women” or “Time for Women.” I’ve spent the last year getting it to a higher level. It will be a source of empowerment for women. If they don’t run the show, I’ll do it myself. I’m not stopping with this.
If you stay in an intention, it carries you through life. If you have a life purpose, then you are on, as Joseph Campbell calls it, the hero’s journey. It is always a choice to take the high road, isn’t it? I’m trusting that the Universe is leading me where I need to go. Nothing that happens is off the path. I was always in my truth. Through the years, I’ve become what I teach: my own natural authentic self.
Audrey Hope is a spiritual counselor at Passages Rehab in Malibu. She is the creator and host of “Reel Women”, a cable TV show dedicated to life-altering perspectives. You may write to hopesvoice@aol
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