Women are often given societal cues on how they should live, show up in the world personally and professionally, and be in relationships with others. For those reasons and more, Aventer Gray, pastor, mentor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist is inspiring women to own their womanhood and power by living life unfiltered through her new podcast, Ave Unfiltered.
Many know Gray as the wife of Pastor John Gray of Relentless Church in South Carolina. Aside from her many titles, she is on a journey to help other women to live fully in their purpose. For years, Gray has been inspiring women from the pulpit and other ministries. Now, she is tapping into a new audience as a podcaster. And she is steadfast about making sure that people get to know the real and unfiltered version of herself when they tune in.
“As black women, we need to share and exchange information so that we can grow and that we can be better for each other and for whatever our purpose is. And not only that, we wear a lot of hats. And by maintaining and balancing harmony and peace inside of our lives, it will allow us to be better at whatever those things are,” said Gray.
In the first episode of the podcast with Devi Brown, Gray shares one of the reasons she decided to make her off-the-record conversations with her close friends public and live an unfiltered life. “I had to step out of the place where people think I am into my actual self and be OK with that.”
Gray admits that it took time to launch the podcast after being encouraged by friends to share freely with others outside of the traditional ways in which she does.
“One of my super close and cherished friends in a random conversation said, ‘Hey, girl, I wish somebody could hear us talk about this, you know?’. When I was deciding about not just this in particular, but just having a moment of fulfillment for myself, I [realized] I don’t want to leave anything that God has placed inside of me untapped and undone,” said Gray.
As Gray promotes women living in their purpose and at their highest vibration, she has a lineup of powerful women joining her. Some of her guests include Devi Brown, Iyanla Vanzant, Ayesha Curry, and LeToya Luckett-Walker.
“I want women who will be just as unfiltered as I am in the conversation,” said Gray.
In the infancy stages of building the show, Gray reached out to Vanzant for prayer she and encouraged Gray to speak out and made the time to be one of her first guests.
“These women know what I’m about. They know what I stand for. And most of them have seen me grow into this. I wasn’t always here.”
“The conversations I feel will push women to stretch themselves to a place where they don’t need to feel validated in any one title,” said Gray.
She went on to say, “The podcast itself is just me saying, ‘Hey, here’s an invitation to this candid, at times humorous, heartfelt, super genuine conversation.’”
Having the courage to be authentic
Being fearlessly authentic and learning to live that way, “My absolute best is being the best me uniquely, fearfully, wonderfully made the way God made me. I have to consistently be me because that’s where I’m most fulfilled. And I want women to understand that sometimes that place will have you misunderstood.”
That is why it is important to be unfiltered which by Gray’s definition means being true to yourself and who you’ve been called to be without all of the embellishments. And, in a tasteful and positive manner.
“I need you to live your best-unfiltered life where you don’t have to shift to the liked or shift to make yourself fit a space that you want to go into. If the space is for you, you are enough,” added Gray.
“The energy that I wish to release is authenticity, transparency, truth, realness, wholeness, harmony, and peace,” said Gray. “And we as women don’t get enough of that because we’re always serving everybody. Our innate ability to relate, to feel, to persevere, to show up to and help is in there. But if we are not doing that for ourselves, we don’t have anything to pull from.”
As women pursue being their best selves, Gray offers this advice, “Give yourself the necessary time and do the work on yourself. And with every opportunity, measure it against your faith. Measure it against who you are and who you’re becoming. At the same time, never leap too fast. Never jump in front of an opportunity that will cause you to compromise your you. In any scenario, if it’s for you, it will come back around without you having to compromise to attain it,” said Gray. “And I will say to keep the Lord at the forefront of your everyday life, dealings, relationships, and your purpose.”
Ave Unfiltered releases bi-weekly on Thursdays and is available on SoundCloud, YouTube, and Aventer Gray’s Instagram.