#SWW: A Conversation with Terah McGowan

I’ve found some of my community in unexpected ways. One of my favorite recollections is collaborating with the artist and free spirit that is Terah McGowan. Who knew that through co-writing an experience about freedom in sexual expression would come a bond that has affirmed us in the years since then?

After our last performance together on stage, Terah and I had a really profound and right-on-time conversation about being in our 20s. The most amazing part of it is that we were speaking a language only we could understand even though talking about two vastly different experiences. #SelfWorthWednesday gave us the opportunity to share a bit of our common truth in a new way and I’m sharing our interview below.


Samantha V. Richards: How does Terah define self-worth?

Terah McGowan: Self-worth and self-esteem is the same thing. So, I’m at a point where I’m learning self-worth is this measurement that I’m allowing myself to place, but in a more realistic sense. I remember growing up feeling like I had to make sure that I was adequate to be around certain individuals, atmospheres, and energies when that’s not the case. Let me just put it like this: when I’m thinking about self-worth I’m thinking about how I am aligned with the Universe and how I am in this 3D plane. What am I allowing myself to encounter spiritually, emotionally, and physically and how kind I am to myself, right? Being able to speak my truth without feeling like I can’t be truthful. Being my raw and most authentic self as much as possible without feeling like I have to dwindle my light, pretend to be something, or pretend to feel something that’s not true for me, but it’s expected. Looking past the expectations of others, being comfortable with yourself, and being able to breathe in your own space.

SVR: Prior to this definition did you have a different definition? What caused it to change?

TM: Absolutely! The more I expand my mind and the more I make conscious decisions on deciphering what has been thought and what’s to learn... that word changes naturally.

SVR: In moments where your worth is questioned (externally & internally) how do you re-affirm yourself?

TM: I am constantly self evaluating. Conversations with myself are the realest. Asking myself how I am energetically with most encounters... work, relationship, family and so on. I find it so easy to do things just to be “nice” knowing D*MN well that particular request of my time is not for me. I kindly tell myself, “Stop! What do you want?” Simply put I am starting to listen to myself.

SVR: Are there any women who constantly provide a well of tools and reminders for you to draw self-love from where you’re running low?

TM: Of course! I have learned so much from the works of others. Starting at home: my mother, grandmother, and sister. Yes, these are women who just like me are learning themselves as they go. Watching their fails, their moments of self acceptance, gosh I am full already.

In the now they are still active reminders of why worth in general is a priority. I have beautiful spiritual family that are constantly confirming and aiding me in that stride of reaching my higher self. Women like yourself, Sam, have been beautiful treasures. It’s becoming a thing where I find myself comparing and then I get to a point of saying, “Hey... they are reflections of myself and this is why my community is so rich... there is no need.”

SVR: How would you prepare your 15-year-old self to embrace your current perspective about measuring her worth?

TM: DON’T LIE B*TCH... there isn’t a reason to. You are an artist.

SVR: Does self-care/self-worth, the measurement of them both, show up in your work? If so, how? If not, is that intentional?

TM: All of the work I’ve been blessed to create is always with some form of intention pertaining to self-care and value. It must be because without it... the forum of conversation wouldn’t be created towards it. Honestly I’ve been aligned with work that creates the truth within myself to resonate. I can only hope it reaches others.

SVR: Has this current definition of self-worth affected your relationships (platonic and/or intimate)?

TM: Girl, I would be scared if it didn’t... there would be a plethora of bonds that isn’t suited for me. Once you reach certain vibrations within yourself you respond to the nature of demands of others differently. It is because of this word being able to change and expand in definition that I know I can’t give time and attention to everyone the same.

SVR: What would you say to someone not fully aware of their worth yet? What seed could you plant to bring them a step closer to home?

TM: Ahhh, such a magical question.. honestly I would just… be myself, show them my magic, speak my truth, and pass on my knowledge... then ask only of them this one thing which is to pay it forward. Sometimes communication isn’t needed but the act is more words than may ever be granted to share.

SVR: Would you change anything about your journey to Terah’s version of self-worth today?

TM: It would be so easy to yes, real talk I have to say that I wouldn’t be me.. I wouldn’t be the soul that I am currently if I didn’t have respect for my past choices.

SVR: Social media, as great of a resource it is, can also play a part in negating the daily work we do inside to be better. How do you cancel out the noise and re-define it as a tool to push forth the manifestations you need?

TM: React less to the many lenses that society pushes towards us. I am actively always troubleshooting ways to disengage. Haha... social media is grand but it is also a major influence to spiraling. I use social media to share my journey, my thoughts, and my discoveries.


"Thank you for letting me have this thought. Sometimes a change in definition isn’t always visible until it is asked. 

Peace and light." - Terah McGowan


What about you DOY community and visitors - how has your definition of self-worth shifted? Comment below. Let’s start a conversation.