Andrea PenningtonDr. Andrea Pennington is an integrative physician, acupuncturist, meditation teacher and conscious communication specialist.

She is also a #1 international bestselling author, highly acclaimed 2x international TEDx speaker, invited professor at the University of Monaco, and mentor for the Global Institute for Extraordinary Women.

She has also written or contributed 10 books including Time to Rise, and her latest book , I Love You, Me! explores her personal journey from depression to real self-love. Follow Andrea on Twitter @DrAndrea

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I am an American living on the French Riviera running a global media company. My background is as a holistic medical doctor (US trained & licensed) with a focus on positive psychology, sex education and neuroscience.

Because I have worked simultaneously in health journalism (with 4 years as the Medical Director & Spokesperson for the Discovery Channel with appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, LUXE-TV, and more, I have represented global brands in the luxury and lifestyle space for 20 years.

I now help healers, coaches, and therapists bring their message and products to the world through the media in my role as the Managing Director for Make Your Mark Global.

Growing up I felt like a misfit, having so many interested and being very sensitive (and psychic!) and I hid my battle with depression for nearly 2 decades. Once I gave my first TEDx “Become Who You Really Are” I decided that I had to be true to my real self. I was shocked to find out that many other people were also feeling depressed and stressed due to living a lie, or not sharing their truth.

Personally, I’m now on a mission to help millions of people break free from depression and anxiety to live as their Authentic Self with the Real Self Love Movement.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I definitely loved science and biology, and since my mother was also a medical doctor, I thought I would follow in her footsteps. The truth is I would have preferred to pursue a career in the arts! But my father insisted that being an actor or musician wasn’t a guarantee that I could support myself. And I got the sense that the arts were frivolous.

But now, working with both the media and psychology with a focus on conscious communication, I believe my career and life mission are perfectly aligned! I no longer regret not pursuing the arts right out of high school, but it certainly wasn’t planned!

Have you faced any challenges along the way and if so, how did you deal with them?

It has always been a challenge explaining what I do. People like to put others into a box, it makes it easier to understand them. But I have many passions and many talents that haven’t always seemed obvious to others.

I tried to put myself into little boxes, or I would hide certain aspects of my personality or work to try to be accepted. But that proved to be too limited and ultimately contributed even more to the depression I endured.

When I finally reached my breaking point I was desperate for relief. I prayed that God would take my life and that’s what led to a breakthrough. My depression was ended when I had a spiritual ‘out of body’ experience, and all of the anxiety disappeared.

On a typical workday, how does you start your day and how does it end?

Since leaving the high stress life in America I start and end my day with quiet time for meditation and reflection. I lived with the influence of societal ‘noise’ for so long, that I cherish my time to become still and mindful of what my heart and soul really desire for my life.

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you ever had a mentor or do you mentor anyone?

Along my journey I’ve met some amazing people who’ve mentored me and really saw the truth of who I am. It has dramatically added to my confidence and my ability to stand in the truth of who I am.

Now I offer mentoring for those who want to share their work or their message with the world because there is a lot of old programming to get past. And being able to mirror back to my mentees the brilliance and unique gifts I see in them is my way of paying forward the gifts of confidence my mentors gave me.

If you could change one thing for women in the workplace, what would it be?

I would encourage women to embrace their femininity — even in the workplace. I feel that as we’ve denied our emotions to try to be more masculine or to prove we could do things as well as men, we’ve lost a bit of our edge. By tapping into our intuition, feminine energy and poise, we don’t have to prove anything, we can stand alongside men and women in our full power.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

My greatest achievement to date is to raise my daughter with the freedom to express who she really is. She is not hampered by any of the doubt, fear or impulse to conform to the expectations of other which I had. She loves life and is bold enough to express herself already — which makes me so happy!

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

I’m now inspired to share my personal story along with the 5-step Cornerstone Process for building Real Self Love which is outlined in my book, “I Love You, Me!”

I am committed to supporting, inspiring and empowering others on our collective mission to heal holistically, love wholeheartedly and, live authentically. My vision is to impact 1 million people in our global community of heart-centered, soul-inspired, conscious change makers at Real Self Love.