Episode 035: Erin Levine
Truth is the Highest Form of Self-Care
Erin Levine is the type of human that catches you by surprise. At first encounter, she’s polished, polite, and sweet. These traits are true to who she is and how she operates in the world, but she’s so much more complex and dynamic than the first impression lets on. In my experience of spending time with Erin, I discover she’s a slow burn that gets more fiery with every interaction.
Erin is the founder and CEO of Levine Family Law Group and Hello Divorce, a “modern break up service.” Hello Divorce empowers individuals to navigate the divorce process on their own with easy-to-follow, step-by-step guidance. Her platform is both radical and revolutionary. Hello Divorce meets clients where they are at. All of the lawyers, legal information, and instructions to file for divorce are online, accessible, and on demand, which destigmatizes the process and puts the power back into the hands of the clients. Erin’s goal in creating Hello Divorce is to empower people to manage their divorce with ease, allowing them to gracefully step into the next chapter of their lives.
In addition to providing clients with a transparent roadmap for divorce, Erin and her team provide a holistic approach—offering tools and expertise on self-care, balance, and healthy behavior setting during challenging times. Rather than using fear-based motivation like traditional law firms, Hello Divorce has a process and program that stem from love—helping clients understand how can you fall out of relationship with someone but still hold heartful integrity.
As we begin to explore the topic of fear, I am curious to understand how Erin—who was trained as a lawyer—has been able to hold so strongly to her soft and sweet sense of self. She responds:
“Well a lot of it is plain old life experience combined with working with a wonderful life coach, reading wonderful books, and really actively working on myself and the way I walk through the world. How can I make my world feel more full—but also more easeful—and then how can I share that with my community.”
Erin was inspired to start Hello Divorce because she was a witness in a criminal action and a plaintiff in a civil case as a late teen. She “found [the experience] to be the most disempowering, scary, lonely experience of [her] life, and [she] never wanted anyone to feel that trapped or that scared again.” Creating Hello Divorce is Erin’s opportunity to help lovingly guide people who are experiencing suffering to step into their fullest potential. In Erin’s personal experience of adversity, she notes,
“I feel really comfortable . . . as the underdog. It’s much easier for me to function and let my fierceness come out when people are betting against me, when the odds are stacked against me.”
It makes sense to me why Erin wanted to develop a platform that nurtures people during crisis while asking them to be the best versions of themselves.
Erin grew up in Los Angeles as an incredibly competitive gymnast. Often times she would train for eight hours a day, and she spent more time with her gymnastic coaches than she did with anyone else in her life. She was deeply committed to the sport and the possibility of becoming an Olympic champion. As a young, innocent, and impressionable girl, Erin’s eagerness to please and succeed in her sport made her an easy target to be taken advantage of. Erin was physically, emotionally, and sexually abused by her lead coach for over 10 years. She kept quiet about it throughout her entire childhood, adolescence, and late adolescence. It wasn’t until she heard about her college roommate’s closest friend being raped that she understood what had been happening to her for so many years. Recalling the story she states,
“At that point [in my life] I had very little self-confidence, very little desire to protect myself or my own life. But I did not want to see any other human being experience what I had experienced.”
Erin’s courageous sharing of this story leads us to discuss the power of one’s voice and how challenging it can be in our society to trust the inner voice that lives inside of each and every one of us. After finally understanding and being validated about the atrocious acts that had been done to her, Erin remembers knowing that there were “certain things that [she] needed to do to move on. [She] needed to turn [her coach] in. [She] needed to keep other people safe. [She] needed to find a really good therapist. [She] needed to take care of [herself].” Each act that she took to reclaim her voice and her self-worth was a significant step toward aligning with the vibrant light that had always lived inside of her.
From here, truth is the theme that guides our conversation. As a mother of two small children, Erin proactively teaches her girls to use their voices and speak their truths. In her house, they call truth “the highest form of self-care” and they say “that the truth can’t hurt you. Only the thought of truth can. Truth frees and unbounds your energy.” Erin shares more about some of the reasons that keep us from speaking the truth:
“I think that we jump to the worst when we play [a] conversation out in our head a million times because we don’t want to speak the truth or we’re afraid of what might happen. It affects us in so many ways, [many] of which we don’t even realize and it’s awful and lonely. . . There’s nothing worse for your creativity and your curiosity and your dreams than bound up energy. And that’s really what it is when you don’t speak [the truth]. And then also the fact that you’re disempowering the other person [by] not allowing them to have their own reaction. You’re anticipating what they might say or think by trying to protect them and that’s not really fair either.”
As we come to the end of our conversation, I ask Erin if she has any final comments on speaking truth and using one’s voice as an act of reclaiming one’s whole self. She states,
“If you don’t listen to your voice and if you aren’t curious about what works for you and what feels good for you personally, then you’re really doing yourself a disservice because you don’t get the opportunity to live an inspired, peaceful, well life. And so I think the most magical people and the people that do the most in this world are people that have found their voice and have believed that there is nothing more courageous than living the life that you created.”
Erin is the founder and CEO of Levine Family Law Group and Hello Divorce, a “modern break up service” that empowers you to manage divorce with easy-to-follow, step-by-step guidance and affordable access to a top-notch legal team so that you can confidently move on to that next version of yourself. Erin is also a mom to daughters Zoe (age 5) and Mia (age 2).