Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God.  – Romans 12:2 (MSG)

When you think of the Real Housewives franchise, the first word that springs to mind is not “authenticity.” But through her faith and her small-town upbringing, Joan Kelley Walker, one of the stars of The Real Housewives of Toronto, has managed to keep her feet on the ground in a world built on Botox, bling, and backstabbing.

Joan joined the See Hear Love ladies to talk about her role as World Vision ambassador and how she stays grounded in the world of reality TV. She offered some great tips for keeping it real that are useful on or off the red carpet.

Do what you love. Joan has always been able to work in an area she loves. When you do what you love, you tend to be happier and more confident, and can bring your best self to the world. God has given you a unique set of talents and passions: moving your work towards your natural gifts will allow you to live more authentically.  

Be comfortable in your own skin. Through years of interviewing celebrities on the red carpet at TIFF, Joan has learned that the more famous someone is, the nicer they tend to be. When you are comfortable with yourself, you tend to be kinder and more giving to others. God loves and accepts the real you; don’t be afraid to be who you are.

Open your heart. Joan always tries to approach life by opening her heart and allowing intuition to guide her. When you are open to people and situations, and allow that still small voice to guide you, it’s easier to stay grounded.

Remember your roots. Joan grew up in a small farming community in Saskatchewan. She learned the importance supporting and accepting everyone and she translated that into other areas of her life. Joan grew up in a family rich in love and she has been able to extend that gift to others. No matter where life takes you, never forget the value of supporting and accepting the people who cross your path.  

Build your relationships intentionally.  Just because Joan lives open-heartedly, does not mean she is indiscriminate with her friendships. She is very aware she lives in a world where false friends are drawn to her celebrity. Psalm 4:23 urges you to “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Joan keeps a tight inner circle of friends who she trusts, and relies on her intuition when meeting someone new. She trusts her feelings and when she is not sure about someone’s authenticity, she waits for clarity before drawing closer. This is good advice for everyone!

Know your values. When filming Reality TV, there is a lot of pressure to create drama. Joan went into filming Real Housewives with the goals of being herself, keeping her head held high, and feeling good about everybody. Even when people tried to draw her into drama, she refused to badmouth her cast-members. As a result, she forged some new friendships during the taping and has only good things to say about the crew.

Have some non-negotiables. Joan and her husband have a million competing priorities, but they’ve both set some non-negotiables in their lives. They believe in the importance of family, philanthropy, and marriage, and make those things a priority. They have taken service trips with World Vision as a couple and as a family as a way of staying grounded, gaining perspective, and keeping their relationships strong. What are your non-negotiables?

Have Faith. Joan has always felt supported by her faith and that helps keep her grounded. When something is weighing on her mind, she automatically goes to prayer instead of worrying about it. Relying on faith and prayer when life gets a little crazy is always good advice!