THE HONESTY OF A WOMAN
Words by Michelle Pellizzon, Photos by Martha Kirby
When I first met Jill Willard, I was wildly unprepared.
Warm, comforting, and centering, Jill’s energy could only be described as radiant. We met for lunch at a beachside cafe on a hyper-sunny Californian Friday, and we talked about everything from her kids to the benefits of meditation, to the difficulties of raising venture capital money as a woman.
She gracefully flowed through topic after topic with knowledgeable ease. And unlike so many healers and people in the wellness scene, she was down to earth. She dropped an F-bomb. She ate a cheese sandwich—with full gluten bread!—all while making me feel smart and fun and engaging. We walked out to the parking lot, and the sun beating down on both of us. She looked like a glowing, blonde UVB-charged angel. I was just concerned that my upper lip was openly sweating.
Of course, I thought she was incredible.
I knew, vaguely, of her gifts as an intuitive when we met. But honestly, I don’t like to make a habit of Googling people—which is why I was admittedly ignorant to her reputation. During our lunch date, she casually dropped some knowledge about a guy I was seeing that made me do a mini double take, and mentioned in passing about a reading she’d done for a certain A-list celebrity recently that yielded some surprising answers. Honestly, she’s completely unaffected by her big-fucking-deal-ness.
It wasn’t until I read her book, Intuitive Being, that I really understood the depths of Willard’s power—and her reach. She’s an intuitive and medium on a mission, and she’s used her gifts to guide and aid many powerful people. Jill has advised famous celebrities, the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, the American elite on some of the most consequential decisions they’ve ever made.
And after getting to know her, I’m not surprised that downplayed her gifts on our first meeting. Jill represents the New Healer: one who is divinely tapped in, but still stoically grounded. With one foot in this world and one foot in the spiritual plane, Jill is determined to teach people how to access their own intuition and heal themselves.
When we tap into our own intuitive gifts—which Jill believes we all have—we access the ability to generate a deeper connection with the people around us. We get a clear picture of what the world needs, and how we can uniquely fulfill that need. “If you really are being intuitive, what’s right for you is right for everyone,” says Jill. Intuition always comes from the truth. And in that way, when we really operate from an intuitive place we have no choice but to be ethical, honest, and empathetic to the world around us.
Imagine if all of our leaders could access real intuition, instead of using ego, fear, scarcity, and insecurity as fuel for their decision-making process? (Here’s looking at you, Tiny Hands.)
In addition to her one-on-one work with clients, Jill’s company IM is reimagining what meditation could look like for a modern world. Instead of using meditation for workplace optimization or escapism—oof, I’m personally so guilty of both of these views, sometimes—IM uses chakra-based meditations to help people find more moments of natural ease and peace throughout their days. It’s a beautifully innovative way to encourage people to get to the truth of their intentions, and in turn live more intuitively inspired lives.
When our relationship with ourselves, others, or the world at large are out of whack, it becomes all too easy to unconsciously skew the information that intuition is providing, adding our own twist to it. [...] When we do this, we are not acting as a clear conduit through with intuition’s valuable information flows into or through us. - Intuitive Being
Michelle: Easy question first—what does your morning routine look like?
Jill: I wake up and I always find light somewhere in the room and I start to breathe deeper because I think that really fleshes a nice stretch just in bed for a moment or two, right Ella, and then water on my face. And then, I used to need to wake up and get them breakfast and dressed and play and I’d drive them to school for years, but this past year, their dad has done that so well.
It makes space for me start to meditate and get into a meditative space really early in the morning.
Did you always meditate or … ?
I have, I have probably since I was a little girl just because I learned early to breathe deeply. That’s what kind of what we teach in IM. I learned self-soothing techniques very young. I was a very aware child, I was very sweet and actually became quite quiet but, because I was self-soothing. My parents are lovely, they just were of that generation that just did not understand that emotions are real and matter. So I learned how to self-soothe, and I became highly creative that way.
In the mornings here, I really try not to get dressed right away, I try to make mornings really organic. I believe we check into the body in the morning, just while we’re walking around and moving.
I really am that Aquarian nature that’s not so regimented—I have a few routines but mostly the routine is just to really be in my body and see what it needs, because I think every three to five days our needs sort of flow and change.
Like, I can tell I’m really tired today from how many events and how busy the whole week was, and then what’s going on in the media, and that’s just what’s going on right now, you know, so. Trying to be aware of that. Trying to drink more water, but I honestly forget and then I want coffee first, so ...
I’m the same way—like, I literally have not had water in two days, this is not healthy.
You know what’s funny, where I always get energy if I ever get energy work, it’s in adrenals. And I think it’s too because we really using our executive processing to make decisions, but to use that as a woman right now, you’re really getting in the limbic system and fight-or-flight mode. Or you’re trying to resist fight-or-flight. Just yesterday, I was told that our adrenals are so much smaller than men's, so we can’t operate in a man’s world the same way. A great healer, Jessica, told me that.
She’s an angel, she’s so purely female and in her body, she’s not even originally from here. She’s incredible. She was someone who was really talking to me about adrenals, and she was right. So, you and I are both the same—we’re striving, we’re kind of running with the bulls, but we’re not really meant for it
So, you got in the zone in the morning. Then do you have a seperate work ritual, or does your work kind of ebb and flow?
We have two companies, we do intuitive readings, we’re really trying to help create change for female. So the pattern, well I’m trying to think, I…usually in the week, the week has a theme and I don’t—I don’t man the theme.
I think when you open up this part of your mind, you’re connected to everything and so it’s almost like you have—whatever you want to call it—your fates, your higher self, your angels, your higher intellect, God, whatever you want to call it, that really leads the way. And that’s really how I live, that’s the magic I met.
What do you do to tap into that, to really feel into that?
Breathe deeper. Because when you breathe deep in the lungs, it flushes the limbic system, and that’s the bridge. And then the limbic system tells the brain stem what to do, and the brain stem tells the body. So, that’s how I had natural childbirth because I just knew to breathe deeper and you don’t feel pain the same way and you let the fresh ideas come in. We don’t talk about that three-step, that’s the next book, that’s what we’re just starting. I think you will love the next book. It’s much simpler and different than Intuitive Being.
Focus on breathing while you’re doing work, just for a bit. Inhale, and long pause, and exhale, and pause if you want or go back into inhale, you’ll see what a difference it makes. Our bodies are so powerful. We’ve really forgotten to take care of organic things. Things that are alive.
Do you ever run into mental blocks or roadblocks yourself? I know you’re so practiced at this, but is there ever a day where you’re like, “I just can’t get into the damn zone!”
I love how you say that. I can always get in the zone, but what changes is how fast getting in the zone happens or what comes in. I’m very aware of two, three things that are coming in. I could be healing, I could be a little tired, and I just stay in that. I just really stay wherever I am, because I learned a long time ago that the zone is an illusion in the sense that, if you go hard the downside of that is pretty brutal.
How does being in the zone apply to real life? I mean, why does it even matter?
I think when you are in that zone, that spiritual zone or that being in your body, you draw in everything you need, and I think it’s a form of manifestation that we’re not talking about yet. We’re talking about one aspect of manifestation but not really “Is it good for you? Is it good for everyone around you? Is it good for the planet? Does everyone win?” I talk a lot about that in the book. Like, if you really are being intuitive, what’s right for you is right for everyone.
All of the rituals and things that you do are massively important to your work. Do you think that you could do your work without taking the time to get in these spaces?
No, and I thought about that when we were on the roof, too. You know, I love that you use the term “ritual” because I think if we do a habit or a daily pattern, that’s not how our bodies are made. That’s very left brain to do it every morning—that’s control. Just do it when you need. The body doesn’t know time, it just knows where it is. Does that make sense? So, if you do it one day at 10 a.m. then two more days at noon, that means nothing. It’s just we’re so organized and over-trained in our analytics, we think that we’re going to do better because we do it at the same time every day.
What’s the unique quality that makes you an incredible leader?
Presence, being present. Listening—I think that just goes hand-in-hand with presence. I really am where I am. I think the future is female, and we say that that’s really the right side of the mind. So, right side of the mind is present, and I just protected that side. I just kept it open. And now it’s the dominant side during a time where it’s going to be fun.
How did you learn to do that?
Well, it’s funny, I think I just made that my nature, but I held onto that right side of the brain or held onto that understanding that, maybe because I was more intuitive. I really understood how rich the moment is and what can come in in the moment when you’re really embodied. So, I remember hearing that really early, that consciousness or God’s voice or executive part of the brain talking. I knew if I could get out of my body and think about other things, I’m not going to hear that or be in that. When I was a kid it was hard—I almost tried to fit in more, so I could be more quiet internally so I’d be left alone.
Yeah, you fit in so you could fly under the radar and not be bothered.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned about being a female leader?
Oh, gosh. I’ve learned we’re all one, and I think gender’s not as big of a role as we think it is. There’s so many males that are more in their right brain and connective side, that’s what I’ve really learned. And I’ve really learned that power has been money, and that’s just really messed us up.
I’ve not seen a lot of people give funding to females. They don’t have complete trust that the female will go succeed, where males talk about it on the golf course or over gin and it’s like “Eh, I’ll give you it.” You know? It’s still off, but maybe it’s because intuitively sometimes I hope we’re here because to me, it’s in the now, but society hasn’t caught up, so I hear you. I think it’s coming, but it’s still sludging.
Yeah, dude. Does your dedication to helping other women influence your work?
Ah, it’s everything. It is. So, all my action is how to help fellow sisters and I really do believe we’re all one, so anything I do is for another as well. You really get to see one another and support, otherwise we can become more selfish. So, I just think it’s everything, helping females.
Think of an athlete that overtrains. Because there’s so much cortisol and adrenaline flooding their bodies, they need a lot of extra loving or their bodies break down, their joints break down, they get mean, you know what I’m saying? So, the zone’s just a little more breezy! The breezy zone!
Yeah, you can’t force getting in the zone.
You can’t force it. I think we have about 50% of that control or say when everything comes together, and you get so much done in a day, and you’re in that zone, and things are vibing. If we are breathing, then we can see clearly that the day is going to just be what it is. And often those are the days that lead to such great production, the next day—
Yeah, like the quiet days, they’re really integral to the more aggressive or creative outwardly creative days.
I love the “outwardly”. Exactly. When we heal, everything slows down in the body, we forget that. So if we’ve had an awful date, or a long day at work, or five meetings in a day, the next day, the body does need rest. The organs need rest, the mind. And you can still do, but it’ll just be at a different pace. And we get upset at ourselves like, “Oh my gosh, what am I doing, and I forgot where my pencil is,” but that’s just the body saying, “Just need to replenish.” And we don’t replenish very much. So we’ve had that rule lately of the 24 hour day: eight hours of play, eight hours of work, eight hours of sleep.
And it works! But for so many people, they think, “playing” is going hard at drinks at a business meeting. But you’re still on, you’re in your left brain—and that’s not play. Like, that’s not play. I mean, play really is no schedule: “What do I feel like doing? Do I want to cook? Do I want to sit? Do I want to watch Netflix for eight hours? Seven hours?” Right? So, food for thought there. That’s kind of the rhythm of getting in the zone we’ve found.
So, you really think that when it comes to rituals, people should just listen to their—
—yeah, and like, ok, this feels good to do right now—
—and if I don’t, like, whatever, do a new moon ritual this month, like, it’s not a big deal if I’m not feeling it.
Exactly. Sometimes you’re sitting at home, and the new moon’s right there, and you’re feeling it more to stay at home rather than drive across the city to get to a class with people you do or don’t know.
We’re so mobile now that if you’re doing the same thing daily at the same time, you might be getting on an airplane one day and you might be at the beach the next day. You know, so, it’s just not, I don’t feel, it just shows it’s not realistic to be so regimented—regiment is kind of over.
And we’ve learned so much about so much, and we don’t take much off our plate. We just want to accomplish more and master more—that’s not how it works. You can do one thing at a time. That’s the way it shows the wholeness.
You’re so wise!
Oh, it’s not me! It’s an open part of the brain, let it flow in!
Do you think about that a lot, like, on your day-to-day?
I do, because if we don’t help one another, no one is also, if that makes sense. No one’s coming to save us, and many females have jumped ship and are brutal to other women. We call it the “gang mentality”. It’s like, we didn’t have enough, so we’re all fighting over resources and kind of throwing a steak in the middle of the ring. But we’re not there anymore but a lot of the women haven’t gotten the message and are just so competitive against one another.
It’s so counterintuitive or counteractive to how we are biologically. We’re made to bond, so, with a nest, so if you have a few straws or sticks in the nest that are unkind, it can really mess with the nest.
Do you think that anyone is teaching women how to be female leaders?
Yes, but in the quiet sectors. The midwives, the schoolteachers, the nurses, the unseen. So, I think it’s everywhere in the unseen, and as we know though, because we were talking about adrenals earlier especially females having smaller adrenals not being supported, so the caregivers are overweight or sick or exhausted.
So, I think there’s so much support, but we’re not giving the exchange that’s deserved. So I do think it’s there, but it’s under the radar, and that’s not good.
If we do not take care of ourselves and take care of the caregivers, then that’s why we have the culture we have. We haven’t supported mothering ever in our culture. People say, “Go back to making America great,” I’m like, “When was that? When you didn’t get caught doing your things?” We have to start giving resources to those women. It doesn’t have to be money, it could be time, it could be free counsel, it could be just hearing a woman.
We are really creating a new form. I don’t mean me or our companies, but all of us, and it is so wide open, and then as all this energy is releasing with the whole #MeToo movement, when you think even of people that have been let go from their jobs and how much they made per year, I mean, that’s all money that is going to be released, and where’s it going to go? It should go to support those caregivers. But there’s a lot of old stuff there about not wanting to help another get ahead or, whatever it is, it’s a lot of ego.
Is there anything you’re afraid to talk about?
You’re very fearless—
I’m very fearless. I’ve become very fearless. Well, because I know to shy away from it has made everything worse instead of better, so I’ve really learned that lesson as a female. Everything I say is out of pure love. Honestly, some people are going to find me antagonistic. That’s not it at all; it’s truthful, and loving for everyone.