Do you feel the desire to find like-minded people to add to your circle? Or maybe you just want to build stronger bonds in your current relationships? In this ON Purpose episode, Jay Shetty and musician, actor, and television personality Kelly Rowland share strategies on building and maintaining relationships.
Rowland has recently reinvented her music career, releasing solo hits like “Coffee,” “Crazy,” and “Hitman.” Well-known for her role as a coach on The X Factor, and as a former member of the music group, Destiny's Child, Rowland values working and living life alongside others.Rowland sits down with Jay Shetty to discuss what she has learned from motherhood and the importance of personal accountability in her relationships. She shares the strategies she uses to build and maintain relationships and how they help her feel strong in life.
The Importance of Giving
Rowland shares with Jay Shetty that she did not have much growing up. She always knew not to ask for too much at the holidays because it was just not possible for her family. She admits she went a little overboard once she had her child. “I went a little crazy with the presents,” Rowland explains to Jay Shetty. “I realized I had to scale it back a bit so my son could understand how important giving is. We all love receiving things, but giving is equally important.”With her second child’s arrival on the horizon, Rowland held a virtual baby shower with a bit of a twist. After spending so much time at home during the pandemic, Rowland realized she had everything she needed for baby number two. Brainstorming what she could do to help others who are less fortunate, Rowland used social media to reach out to all of her followers and ask for donations for Baby2Baby, a nonprofit group that serves 200,000 children who live in poverty in Los Angeles and across the country. “When we are gifted the responsibility of a child and life happens or circumstances happen, I think that it's our job to care for each other as best as we can,” Rowland said to Jay Shetty. “That's what we do over a Baby2Baby, and I just really wanted to do that with a virtual shower.”
Rowland is determined not to raise an entitled, spoiled kid. She strives to instill the lesson that hard work and good intentions are the keys to being rewarded and getting what you want. Rowland is passing the gift of service on to her four-year-old son. She wants him to understand that making a difference in the world requires action. Rowland’s generosity serves as an excellent example for anyone with a desire to give.
Service and Gratitude
Rowland grew up with first-hand knowledge of the struggles so many people face because of her meager upbringing. Her desire to help stems from her family and faith. Rowland learned to be a cheerful giver even at a young age by watching her mom work so hard to provide for her family, “I always watched her give,” Rowland tells Jay Shetty. “I watched her give in the church service. She is the one that solidified the faith-giving for me.” Even though she saw it firsthand, she says she did not truly appreciate her mom’s sacrifices until she passed away.“I had this moment, maybe two or three years after her passing, where I said, ‘Oh my gosh, that's why she did that,’” Rowland explains. “I took this moment, I was quiet, said a prayer, and I told her thank you for the sacrifice.”
Rowland explains she also learned lessons on giving from fellow Destiny’s Child member’s Beyonce’s mom Tina, whom she calls her second mom.
“Mama T is what I call her,” Rowland tells Jay Shetty. “My Mama T was just always giving. Whether it was tithing in church or helping a charity, she was always giving. I had these two dynamics of motherhood and women, and I just feel blessed by that because they both taught me to give and be a cheerful giver.”
Jay Shetty finds it beautiful that even though Rowland started with nothing and despite how her life has changed, it is evident that her greatest joy is still giving, supporting, and serving others.
The Power in a Name
Naming your first baby is something most people put careful thought and care into doing. Rowland was no different. “With Titan’s name, I kept thinking about wanting to give him strength that I felt like I didn't have or a strength that I felt like I was like still working on,” Rowland tells Jay Shetty. “My husband named him Titan, and I thought that was a great name. My husband's father’s middle name was Jewel. I kept thinking about how he was the jewel of our crown and all this other kind of stuff. So Titan Jewel became his name.”
Rowland believes there should be an intention behind what you name your children. Titan Jewel’s name served as a reminder to Rowland that she was built to be a mother. She kept hearing his name before his birth, and it was feeding her life and reminding her she could be strong and that her baby was also strong. Rowland admits she is a student every day as Titan teaches her so much about life. “I just feel like kids are constantly teaching you everything,” Rowland shares with Jay Shetty. “Titan has made me a better person, a better woman. He's made me a better businesswoman. I just feel like he's taught me a lot about love and forgiveness, and it is amazing.”
Shetty agrees it is powerful how the name you give your child can give you strength when you need it.
Rowland explains to Jay Shetty that as you navigate your way through life, the experiences you have, the books you read, the shows you watch, and the relationships you have all teach you understanding. “I do think that you have to have this level of understanding for yourself,” Rowland says to Jay Shetty. “When you see that you do something wrong or notice that there is something that you need to work on, you have to be able to call it out.”
Rowland refers to her marriage as an example. One particular misunderstanding between her husband and herself sticks out in Rowland’s mind. When she became aware of her role in the situation, she knew she needed to address it.
“It was a matter of seeing my mistake and calling it out,” Rowland tells Jay Shetty. “Then it is moving forward, apologizing and having the humiliation to say, ‘It's okay’ and move on.”
Shetty agrees that a powerful lesson can come from addressing things you don’t like about yourself. People are often scared to address those things because they see them as a weakness instead of a strength.
“Take a look at a situation where you're scared of admitting that you're wrong, and ask yourself if it is because there is something you don't like about yourself,” Shetty explains. “Reframe that as a strength, and you will realize that it's not a weakness.”
Rowland adds, “You may not see it at first, and sometimes it takes a while to address your flaws, but when you do finally see it, just call it out.”Give yourself some grace and patience. Everyone makes mistakes. When you surround yourself with patient people, they will allow you that grace when you need to take the time to figure things out.
Benefits of Therapy
This year presented challenges for many people in the realm of mental health. You probably know someone who has been facing a mental health issue. It may even be you. The good news is that mental health conversations are an integral part of people's lives, and people and communities are starting to destigmatize the conversation surrounding mental health.
Rowland tells Jay Shetty she has faced mental health challenges too. Her greatest obstacle has been being self-critical and always talking herself out of things. “I feel like someone told me don't wait to go to therapy,” Rowland explains. “When there's something wrong, just go. I would go when there was something wrong, and so by the time I got there, it was like this ball of yarn. I had to undo all of this stuff from so many years.”
Rowland was fortunate enough to find a therapist who makes her feel understood and heard. “I feel like I'm being heard, and for me, that's what therapy is,” Rowland explains to Jay Shetty. “I feel like I'm communicating everything out. I've had a moment where I've left a therapy session and physically felt like I could have skipped a step.”
Rowland realized you can’t just go to one or two or even five therapy sessions and expect everything to be okay. You need to unravel everything until you get to the base of the trauma. In most cases, that takes a while. “Every day you're going to go through something new, and something else is going to come up, and it's just something else to get past,” Rowland says. “That’s just what life is. That's the beauty of it. Although it is a challenge, you can give yourself some credit at the end of the day.”
It is no secret Rowland values the relationships in her life. In the early years of Destiny’s Child, Rowland embraced the dynamic of boundaries and being able to give and receive love, advice, loyalty and trust within a group of people. The infant stage of Rowland’s she-cosystem was born during this time. “I think that it's the greatest blessing of my life,” Rowland tells Jay Shetty. “My she-cosystem is quite intimate, but it grows. You'll meet someone and realize that they need a she-cosystem. They learn how we need each other as women.”
The she-cosystem is a place where judgment is discouraged. “I find that sometimes as women, we are most hard on each other,” explains Rowland. “I think subconsciously, we're looking at another woman and seeing ourselves or being competitive by accident. I think that's just the way society has done for so long, and it's been a part of control as well. We have to start undoing that because sometimes the relationship is bigger than you.”
When you are creating or adding to your she-cosystem, Rowland advises you to go off your heart and your gut to make good choices on who to surround yourself with. “There are going to be moments in any relationship where that other person may need you at that time more than you need them,” Rowland tells Jay Shetty. “You find the balance of that, and sometimes you may need them more than they need you.”
You can learn a lot from your relationships, and in the end, it is about being respectful and kind.
More From Jay Shetty
Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on “How to Build Stronger Relationships & Find Your People” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at jayshetty.me.
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