Rachel Luna is a Best Selling Author, Speaker, Confidence and Mindset Coach. She helps remarkable individuals just like you get clear, confident and take consistent action, so you can do that big thing you were born to do. She also is the podcast host of REAL Talk. She is not only a survivor of her parents who had AIDS but she is a thriver and on today’s podcast she shares her story about faith and forgiveness.
What do you stand for more than anything else?
She stands for the word of God more than anything else, and try to live her life accordingly. She believes that she is here only because of God. She believes it is a blessing that both of her parents had aids while she did not. Her biological mother died when she was three. Her father gave up her custody to her godmother. So she grew up in between houses, believing that her dad did not love her and everyone she ever loved had gone. Later she found out the reason her dad gave her up was because he didn't have money, and wanted better for her. Long after her father passed away she learned that her godmother wanted to adopt her legally, but her father loved her so much that he could not gave her up for adoption. So the lesson she stresses upon here is to pay attention to the stories we tell ourselves, because they may not be facts. She also says that if there is someone you have discord with and they are still alive, please have conversations with them now, so you do not regret it later.
How did you fight all these odds?
She actually continued to make mistakes, leading her to have two eating disorders in high school. She was anorexic. She would go without eating for days, and when she finally would get hungry, she would binge eat and make herself sick. Her father died during her freshmen year, leading her to fall into promiscuity and alcoholism. She continued to make one poor decision after another. But she did have a small shift and manage to graduate, later joining the Marine Corps. She noticed that she would have small breakdowns, and every time she had a breakdown she was able to calm and rise and have a breakthrough. This went on for a decade. She thinks that what really helped her in that cycle was her first child, because now she had a bigger purpose. She says that when we only think of ourselves we continue to make mistakes that satisfy us only at the moment, without consideration of future repercussions. But when we start thinking outside of ourselves, that is when we can make a lasting impact.
When was your turning point?
For her there was no single turning point in her life, it was incremental. At first, she hated being a mom. She was trying to build her business and wanted to do for herself. Later there was a slight shift in how she felt about her children. The first moment she felt some connection with her daughter was when the doctors thought she had a tumor. There was an innate desire to protect and care for, but not motherly love. She never felt that motherly bond until her oldest daughter was seven, and these little shifts turned her life around.
What are some core principles that you teach?
She teaches how to take faith-based confident action, and by faith, she means faith in what you believe. The first step to it is to separate facts from the stories you tell yourself. Once you do that, you can rewrite the stories. She says that resentment is poisonous. Forgiveness is not for the others, it is for you. She says that in order to move forward, she had to stop looking at things that happened to her, and rather look at things that happened for her because that allowed her to become the strongest version for herself. She says that the time and energy that is spent on the thought of things that happened to you is derailing you from the time and energy that can be focused on moving forward.
How did you become a coach?
It was in 2006, she was in Marine Corps, working overseas in a hospital. She was over $40K in debt and overweight. Her reviewing officer told her that if she lost 10 pounds, she will look better in uniform and he will give her a higher review, even though she was within weight standards. She faced a lot of abuse and discrimination in Marine Corps, but she still loves it because Marine Corps happened for her. Later she also found out that her boyfriend was happily married. Her life was a mess. So she hired a life coach, and as they were working together her coach told her that she had such an amazing story and that she should become a life coach. She found it unlikely at the moment, but because of the encouragement from her coach she did become a life coach later on, and she is grateful for it.
What is your “why”?
She says that there are some people out there who do not yet know why they do what they are doing, they just know they have to do it. For the first five years of her business, she did not know her “why”, she just knew she is supposed to, that she is called to do it. According to her, you do not have to know why, as long as you know you are called to do it. Today she knows that she does it because she truly desires women to live their lives truly self-expressed, to stop fearing from being who they really are. She also says that we do not have one life purpose, we have a seasonal purpose. So if you are feeling like you do not know your purpose, then just think about your purpose now.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Speak your truth. Say what you want to say.
How can we get in touch with you?
You can visit her at rachelluna.biz
She is also active at Instagram @girlconfident
Sarah Austin is one part product manager, one part data scientist, one part marketer, and 100% entrepreneur. She is the CEO and founder of Broad Listening, an artificial emotional intelligence agent, and the chairperson of the board of directors at Coding FTW, a nonprofit organization that promotes diversity and equal rights in the technology sector through education. Her marketing campaigns have been recognized by Wired, NYT, and she won AdAge "campaign of the year." In 2012 she made the Forbes as a 30 Under 30 list for her work consulting for brands including Intel, Ford, Virgin America, Jay-Z, and General Motors. She was also a cast member of the Bravo! reality series, Start-Ups: Silicon Valley.
What is cryptocurrency?
She is a blogger on entrepreneur.com as an investor and advisor to startups. One of the topics she recently covered is about cryptocurrency. Crypto stands for cryptography which means being encrypted. It is a secure way to store information. Blockchain is often associated with cryptocurrency because it is a ledger in which those transactions are recorded. Cryptocurrency is on a blockchain. It is a feature of blockchain technology.
What is the future of businesses regarding cryptocurrency?
She says that a lot of businesses view cryptocurrency as a way to raise investment. But in reality that is not the case. There are companies that utilize blockchain technology to solve various real-world problems, such as in pipe chain management. Cryptocurrency can be the feature of such business, but should not be the sole purpose of that business. She thinks that future is not so much about the cryptocurrency, but more about those businesses and the solutions they provide.
How do you receive payments in cryptocurrency?
She says that she is open to receiving payments for her marketing services and consultancy in cryptocurrency. Sometimes the business is in a different country, so it is easier and faster to be paid in a cryptocurrency when it comes to international transactions. She says that she does not hold the money and invest it, but cashes it out immediately into US dollars, also providing her invoices in US dollars.
What was your first business?
She was 17 when she started her first business, which was Story Today TV, a news production and content business. Following that she started another content company called Pox17, targeting young people interested in the lifestyle of online micro-celebrities, featuring interviews with these influencers and their stories.
What has been your biggest success?
She received a lot of press and recognition when she made the Forbes 30 under 30 list for Pop17. Immediately following that she was invited to star in a reality TV on Bravo called Start-Ups: Silicon Valley, documenting a handful of entrepreneurs and their businesses.
What is the most challenging part of the journey as being an entrepreneur?
It takes a lot of tenacity to being an entrepreneur. Not every business idea is going to work, so falling down and getting back up on your feet to reinvent yourself takes tenacity. But as long as you are learning along the way, nothing is a complete failure, it is a part of the path to take you in the direction where you ultimately need to be.
What is the one thing people often misunderstand about you?
People misunderstood her as a very glamorous and exciting person. She says that the image of her that gets portrayed on television and social media, although a lot of that is real, is not really who she truly is. She considers herself as very basic. Her day to day life is quite wholesome and not glamorous. Working with celebrities like Lady Gaga and Jay Z, being on a reality TV and having a large social media following culminates in a persona that does not truly reflect who she is as a person.
What makes a business successful?
She thinks that the team and the founders are the key that venture capitalists should think about when they try to predict the success of a business.
When you were a little girl, did you think you would grow up and be an entrepreneur?
She thinks that never thought of becoming an entrepreneur, rather that is who she always has been. She was always trying to hustle and make money in creative ways. From lemonade stand, mowing lawns to creating babysitting service, she was always thinking of ways to grow and scale operation, like how she can get the neighbors to pitch in to donate cookies and lemonade for the lemonade stand and how to get neighbor’s kids to work at the lemonade stand to have this thing going for every single day. She says that ever since she was a little kid she has always been an entrepreneur, always looking for ways to optimize and scale.
What is the most worthwhile investment you ever made?
She says that starting a non-profit organization for promoting girls education is the best investment she ever made. When she was running Pop17, her offices was in twitter building located in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco, which is a very low-income inner-city neighborhood with a lot of problems. A lot of startups and tech businesses had their offices there because it is the least expensive region in San Francisco. She thought of how she can create educational programs that can provide young adults internships and jobs when they eventually graduate so that they can, in turn, provide for their families, creating a long-term sustainable community. She is working with this ambition for over five years and considers it the most rewarding experience and investment of her time.
Do you have any mentors?
She started her first business when she was a teenager, and she thinks that she could not have been able to achieve that if it was not for the mentorship and advice of Steve Wozniak. He was such a great and earlier influencer in her life. He even wrote her college letter of recommendation and encouraged her to be an entrepreneur.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Wozniak used to tell her to follow her dreams and believe in herself. He always pushed her to think bigger and to do bigger things.
Tell us how we can get in touch with you?
You can get in touch with her on twitter (@sarahaustin) and also on Facebook (facebook.com/sarahaustin)
Emily Pereira is a yoga teacher, dateless trained writing teacher and spirit nature certified spiritual advocate. Most important to her - she’s a woman who’s for other women. Formerly entrenched in the corporate world and caught in an endless cycle of never feeling like IT was enough, Emily had a much (needed) spiritual awaking that allowed her to recover her dormant creativity. She wrote a novel, learned to play guitar, write and sing original songs, paint large canvasses, and dance in Le Vie Noir burlesque troupe – all after 32 years of believing she didn’t have a creative bone in her body.
It started about eight years ago when she started to question her purpose in life. She would experience sleepless nights, this question would keep her awake all night. She kept on ignoring that inner voice for quite some time but she knew she had to deal with it eventually. She would constantly ask the following question from herself
“When are you going to do something that truly matters to you?”
Although, Emily was doing a lot of things in her life that she thought would bring happiness to her life.
For many people, Emily was living a perfect life. She earned quite a lot of money, would frequently travel around Europe, party on the weekends and wear expensive designer clothes all the time. But deep down, she knew she wasn’t living her purpose, she wasn’t happy but she did not know how she could find her true purpose in life.
Emily’s world crumbled when her partner who she had been dating for five years cheated on her. She dropped weight, developed a strange and rare skin condition that no doctor could explain and eventually moved out from her beachfront home into a small apartment. She lost a lot of her friends who preferred to side with her partner. Back then, she was devastated but she realized this event helped her find her true purpose in life and helped her pursue inner happiness and satisfaction. She met this spiritual teacher, James Stellar who is also the founder of Spirit Nature Healing Centre. During their first session, James made Emily realize that her pain had nothing to do with her partner who cheated on her. It was more related to the illusions she had developed about herself and about the people around her. James asked Emily to stop being perfect all the time and believed Emily tried very hard to fit into something that was completely unaligned with her talents and personality. Emily thought she had to be perfect in order to be worthy of approval, acceptance, and love. In one of her sessions with James, he asked Emily if she was doing anything that was creative and Emily’s response was that she is not a creative person at all. He was amused at her response because he believed Emily was creative yet failed to use her creativity up to that point in her life. He went on to explain that creativity is an energy that is a natural part of being human and she was inhibiting her creative abilities by trying to be perfect and not exploring herself. There is nothing in this world that is perfect, a tree is not perfectly straight, a flower is not perfectly symmetrical. He asked her to stop trying to be perfect and to allow herself to be a beginner. A beginner does not know anything so a beginner cannot fail at anything.
How were you able to make money while still tapping into your creativity?
Throughout this self-exploration journey, Emily still had her job. She was able to explore herself while still having a regular job and earning money from it. She says when something is important for us in our life, we make time for it no matter how hectic our daily routine is. You do not need to change your entire life to explore opportunities for yourself and to discover your true potential. For Emily, it was a gradual progression.
How did you end up living in Costa Rica?
Living in Costa Rica has got a lot to do with her retreats. Her retreats are called ‘The Mermaid Sisterhood’ designed for women and these retreats really allow women to link together giving permission to each other to be in a process that begins with surfing on the beach, then yoga, followed by writing. Emily, from her own experience, knows that writing is a gateway to enhance your creativity. She was leading one such retreat in Costa Rica and on the last day of her retreat as she was sitting on her surfboard watching the sun shine brightly in the sky, at that moment Emily felt like she had never been more happier in her life. She said to her inner-self that one day she is going to move to Costa Rica and live there. A few months later was her thirty-seventh birthday and she took a trip to Costa Rica where she met her future husband on a beach and they surfed together. They started to exchange notes and her husband asked her out for a dinner. Before her return from Costa Rica, her husband asked her to move to Costa Rica with him. Emily took some time, thought about the idea and finally moved to Costa Rica and married the guy who is now the father of Emily’s daughter.
Do you have any advice for someone who wants to be creative but does not know how to start?
It all just comes down to permission. A lot of women are waiting for outside validation, waiting for someone to come to them and tell them they have the potential to do things they want to do. However, the reality is that you have the power to give yourself permission right now. It all depends on you. Stop looking for external validation, take the leap, believe in yourself and grow.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
There are two pieces of advice that Emily would like to share. The first piece of advice that she has been given is to be the beginner, which means to take initiatives in your life, to try out new things and explore your talents and potential. The second best piece of advice is that you are responsible for every single thing in your life. Everything good, or bad that happens to you is because you choose it for you. You are responsible for your own happiness.
How can we connect with you?
You can find more about her from her website.
Her website’s URL is
You can also find a free e-book on her website by the name ‘Unstoppable Woman’.
You can also connect with her on Instagram through the following link.
Jess Edelstein and Sarah Ribner are the founders of PiperWai. PiperWai is a natural deodorant made without harmful ingredients like parabens, aluminum, and synthetic fragrances. It’s certified vegan, cruelty-free, and made in the USA.Their names recently appeared on Forbes 30 under 30.
“Childhood best friends Jess Edelstein and Sarah Ribner bootstrapped a small, artisan natural deodorant brand out of their kitchen. It grew 6,000% in the year after their Shark Tank appearance and has become a cult favorite. 2017 revenues are estimated at $5.9 Million.” - Forbes
How did it feel to be a part of Shark Tank and receive those offers?
Jess says the best part of being in the show was that she got to grow her brand along with her partner and co-founder of PiperWai, Sarah Ribner. The magical thing that happened was that they were able to connect with everyone who watched the show. A lot of people back then had no idea of a natural, aluminum free deodorant. Many people didn’t know we should altogether avoid aluminum free deodorants and a lot of people who knew about it had bad past experiences with natural deodorants.
How did you deal with the massive growth of your business after your appearance on Shark Tank?
Jess and her partner hosted a viewing party to watch their episode. They had family members and friends come over and watch the episode in real time. Jess’ husband made a website marketing their product and they monitored the growth of their product over the weekend as hundreds of thousands of people visited the site. They had the first fifty-thousand orders in no time. The very next morning after the episode aired, they received 10,000 emails from different people enquiring about the product. Jess says to deal with the rapid growth, they eventually had to hire people for customer support and to reply to the massive amount of emails they had been receiving. However, there was an early setback in terms of production because after Jess’ brand gained initial fame, thousands of people signed up for the product and were expecting to get it before Christmas holidays. Jess and her partner had just started their business and they had no way possible to upscale the production and meet this huge demand for their product. As of now, Jess has six full-time team members, a few interns and some other people on contract. Her business has now grown stronger since she has a proper team, they share the same vision like Jess and Sarah.
How did this product get started in the first place?
Back in 2013, Jess had a whole bunch of part-time jobs. She was fired or forced to quit every job she had. She bounced from one part-time job to another. She finally realized she had to be her own boss and become an entrepreneur. She thought it was a time she became in-charge of her own success. She started DIY, made a lot of personal products at home and got a lot of satisfaction out of using something she made herself. At one point she decided she wanted to make her own natural deodorant because she had faced a lot of struggle with chemical ingredients in deodorants that irritated her sensitive skin. She started to think of better ways to stay dry and odor free. She developed this product in her own kitchen using activated charcoal, essential oils, and natural moisturizers. She shared this homemade product with her friend Sarah who was initially reluctant to switch from her regular deodorant to Jess’ invention. However, Jess was able to convince Sarah who took it with her on her trip to South America. This new product proved its effectiveness through the hot and humid weather and Sarah was convinced that this product had the potential to become the next big thing in the world of natural deodorants.
You have had so much setback in your career. How did you manage to stay confident through those arduous years?
Jess believes its more of an unwavering energy and passion to do things she likes to do. She also believes she is a bit stubborn as well and as an entrepreneur, you really have to be obsessed with your brand or product. Jess says she has the ability to forget mishaps and failures and move forward in her life. She believes being resilient is extremely important as an entrepreneur because every day is like a rollercoaster ride.
What is your relationship like with your business partner, Sarah?
They have the exact same goals on how they want their brand to grow. They both share the same passion and obsession with the brand as Jess. They both have this mindset of “no other option but success” that helps them stay resilient and focused on their end product. However, Jess believes that Sarah has a different personality from Jess, their strengths and weaknesses differ but they are always complimentary to each other. They have some arguments, but they always try to think and work in a way that is in the best interest of their brand.
What advice can you give to an entrepreneur who is just starting out in their business?
You need to have that mindset of “nothing but success”. Trust the entire journey, do not give up. There will be setbacks. If a plan does not work, think of something new, try by changing your approach. As an entrepreneur, you have to be relentless and realize the fact that for the first few years you will have to work more than a regular job. But in the long run, it will be totally worth it.
What is the dream you have achieved as an entrepreneur?
Two biggest achievements that Jess has achieved in her career are to appear on Shark Tank and secure a lucrative deal on the show. The second biggest achievement for Jess was when her name appeared in Forbes 30 under 30 list for her success as an entrepreneur.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
She was always taught by her parents to think of long-term success rather focus on short-term goals. Jess thinks this is the best advice she has ever been given and it has helped her a lot as an entrepreneur.
How can we connect with you?
You can find more about her product and order it from the following URL.
You can also follow them on Instagram through the following link
Find them on Facebook via the following link
There are scientific benefits to kindness. It's easy to get caught up in our own feelings especially around the holidays there's a lot of triggers that can go off. We can have our guard up and we while we might want to be kind, we might find ourselves not being kind – or being kind to certain people and not be kind to others. We can have a lot of ideas about how people ‘should’ behave and without even realizing it – we might have a habit or way of treating people or showing up at a Thanksgiving meal.
The first questions is:
How do you want to show up?
Pause and investigate. Am I showing up during the holiday’s how I want to OR am I repeating patterns and behaviors of the past?
We as humans all have the same basic wish and that's the wish to be happy and maintain a peaceful mind especially during difficult times.
Research from Emory University shows that when you are kind to another person your brain's pleasure and reward centers light up -- it's called the helper's high. So what actually happens is you get a burst of oxytocin and the receiver also gets a burst of oxytocin. This is the love hormone and there's a lot of positive benefits that go with it, which is the blood pressure and improving our overall heart and health and it also increases our self-esteem and optimism which is extremely helpful like I said if you're feeling anxious or shy a social situation.
And it also can help with depression. Like most medical antidepressants kindness stimulates the production of serotonin, so that's the feel-good chemical that heals your wounds, calms you down and makes you happy, so there's a lot of science behind this. And it decreases stress, anxiety, and depression. Of course there will be people who aren’t kind to you and those are moments, are opportunities for you to notice and realize that maybe they're struggling or having a difficult time in their life and for you to send them compassion and return your focus on kindness. So if you feel anxious, lonely or disconnected, I highly encourage you to take this practice to heart. It's kind of like weight training that we can actually build our compassion muscle and respond to others suffering with care and desire to help. So I invite you to keep a kindness journal where you write down something that you did that was an act of kindness on a daily basis and just see how you feel, try it for a week, try it for seven days and see how you feel and if you feel really good to continue.
You can get the kindness journal at AnnaGoldstein.com/kind and share it with your friends and family because the gift of giving keeps on giving it really sends a ripple effect and that's how we’re not only going to transform our own mind and that's really how not only are we going to transform our own experience but the world.
So just some ideas; you can buy somebody a cup of coffee, you can get somebody a gift card, you can say we show appreciation, give somebody the gift of gratitude and let's remember that kindness is cool, it's where it's at. And on that look go to AnnaGoldstein.com/kind and keep track of your kind acts. Happy Thanksgiving!
Neeta Bhushan is an international speaker, author and an advocate for emotional confidence. Her goal is to build a global community of progressive thinkers, doers, forward driving movers-and-shakers who are committed to integrating empathy-based solutions in their lives – at home, in the office, and beyond.
Have you always been someone who is highly motivated in your life and an overachiever?
As a daughter of Filipino-Indian immigrants, it was ingrained in her DNA to overachieve and to overdo so she could be validated and loved by people around her. As a kid, she learned that in order to gain validation and acceptance she had to overdo everything. As human beings, we all desire to be accepted and loved and Neeta had this believe ingrained earlier in her life that she could only be accepted by people around her if she overachieves in everything through excessive effort.
What was your childhood like?
As a child, her parents had these unrealistic expectations from Neeta to ace every time in her exams no matter what, to get straight A’s every time. Her mom got sick when she was 10 and she passed away when Neeta was only 16 years old. Her mom’s sickness affected her as a child. It was a disaster for her. She learned very early in her life how to make tea and cook food. She was supposed to entertain guests coming to her home. She got her first job at a tender age of 14. She had to grow faster than other kids. She was in charge of two younger brothers. A year after she lost her mother, her younger brother passed away as well.
How did you manage to deal with those two traumatic events?
She became a part of family therapy and individual therapy. Normally, there is a concept among Asian families not to get in therapy because they find it ineffective. But for Neeta and her family, there was a lot to process regarding the passing away of two family members in a year so they went in therapy. Only when Neeta was somehow able to get grip on her life and process through the grief, she was struck with another tragedy; her father passed away. Her father was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and only had nine months to live. There was a lot of anger and pain for Neeta and she believes she used that pain to utilize as fuel to achieve many things in her twenties. She managed to graduate from dental school and build a million-dollar cosmetic dentistry practice.
Neeta believes she learned many important life lessons and came across many challenges before she turned thirty but none of it was as important and life-changing as the lesson she learned after meeting her now ex-husband. This is when she felt her own life was in danger.
What do you mean by “your own life was in danger”?
She fell in love, got married. She had a first-class dream wedding but she was in an abusive marriage and her husband threatened to take her life. Neeta learned a lot about her life and how she had been living her life up to that point. She realized she was living for everyone else but not for her own self. She realized she had to get out of this toxic relation and live for herself.
What awakens your heart?
When she found her gifts a couple of years ago, recognizing how she ignites inspiration and transformation in other people whether it's through her talks or business workshops, she realized she had been doing it for a long time whether as a dentist or as a teller at a bank or working in retail in a mall. The ability to inspire other people and transform their lives is her greatest gift, her greatest joy and that is what awakens her heart.
You talked about three different mindsets while going through a tragedy. One was the victim mindset. What are the other two?
The other two are survivor and thriver. Survivor is the idea that you have gone through something traumatic and radical. You are still trying to figure out what exactly happened. You are still referring back to that victim state. It means you have not completely healed from the tragedy. With thriver, you are so committed to growth, that you are flourishing after the tragedy. It means you have learned your lessons and you are utilizing those lessons to propel yourself in the forward direction.
How do you teach emotional grit? Is it something that can be taught?
She uses grit as an acronym and she uses it for quite a few reasons. GRIT stands for Grow, Reveal, Innovate and Transform. The idea is that unless we are not aware of our own surroundings and our own decisions, we cannot make better decisions. If we are hit with some challenge or adversity, we can either be resentful or we can learn the lesson in it and change our perspective in such situations.
Can you talk a little bit about your book and what your practice looks now?
Her book titled ‘Emotional GRIT’ was launched about a year ago and became a best-seller. She has been working with a lot of incredible leaders and entrepreneurs using the same practices she talks about in her book.
Do you have an action that can help people going through trauma feel more resilient?
If you are going through something, think about all those life lessons, take a notepad and write down all those instances that you considered a failure in your life. It could be anything from failed relationships to betrayal from friends or failures in business or jobs. It could be anything that has kept you stuck in a particular domain. Write down the learning lessons, what exactly did you learn from these incidents? You need to look at things you could have done better and from there you can start to see your journey.
How can we connect with you?
You can find her on Facebook via the following link
You can also find her on Instagram via the following link
Her website’s URL is
You can know more about her courses, workshops and retreats from her website.
Katie Malachuk is a Meditation Teacher, Mindfulness Instructor and Mind and Life Coach. She has a BA in Women’s Studies from Harvard University, an MBA from Stanford University and MDiv from Naropa University. As a child, her secret dream job was to be a guardian angel. She wanted to help people without their even knowing. Of course, this plan was thwarted by being human. As she got older, she tried to find ways to be useful via traditional roads like education, policy, and business. More and more though, as she paid attention to her own and others' struggles, she saw the world was simply a reflection of our thoughts, attitudes, and feelings. If we want to create real change, we need to start with our minds. Accordingly, she turned her attention to yoga and meditation.
What does it mean to be selfish?
According to her, we as humans are all consumed with ourselves, and we all hold varying views about ourselves in terms of who we are. Selfishness arises from the eroded view of self-identity, making up stories about ourselves in order to make us feel better. Even the motivation behind helping others is often to further those stories to feel good, digging the hole further of being invested in ourselves. Meditation helps by defining a more fluid experience for ourselves. We start to recognize that there are things we can choose to be with and things we can choose to let go. We learn how to take in the experiences or let go of them, just like breathing in and out. And suddenly we become more open entity than before. She thinks it ironic that as we do more investigation into the self, we actually become less self-invested, and more open to the experiences of others.
Often, we hope that endeavors, like job and relationship, are going to bring us happiness, but we only end up feeling same as before. Why is that?
She thinks that it is our responsible and positive endeavor to take care of ourselves and to make a living, but most of the time we don’t feel the way we expected when we reach those goals. That feeling of boredom and anxiety is just a primal response to the uncertainty of life. We try to tackle that edgy feeling by building ourselves up, aiming for a perfect job, house or relationship. But at the same time there are shadow projects of us, such as overeating and addiction, that are destructive to us. So we have this multiple shadow sides, along with our displays of awesomeness, happening side by side. We are trapped in such dualism, and we need to stop wasting our precious time struggling to be perfect self or wallowing in poor self. Take a break and think for a minute of that edgy feeling, and it will start to settle itself. We will realize that we don’t need to do any of those things in extreme when we learn how to actually be with ourselves and be settled, and once we learn how to do that, we learn how to be with others as well.
I crave the silence, but I also end up trying to distract myself in between, like using my phone too much. Why is it so hard to just be? Is it because of that anxiety and restlessness?
She says that we tend to be in a state of restlessness partly because humans are very sensitive beings and energetically very aware and tune into each other, so the world around us proves to be very over stimulating. It takes time to learn to be, to be in a state of non-judgmental awareness, with both mind and body settled.
What’s the relationship between boredom and addictions?
She says that we hold a very narrow view when it comes to addiction, but we are all addicted in one way or the other, such as addiction to exercising or checking your phone too often. These are all well-worn strategies, habitual patterns that we have developed over time to tackle boredom because we are just afraid to just be with what is.
What were you like before meditation? How long you’ve been meditating?
She used to struggle a lot with herself. Her relationship was in turmoil, and her consulting job wasn’t that good too. The only place she would find comfort was in her yoga classes. She later became a yoga instructor, followed by practicing meditation. She now feels more comfortable being at home with herself than before. She is much more interested and open to others. She is much more comfortable with life and being alive. She now exhibits none of the patterns she repeated in the past around disordered eating, exercising and career obsession. She’s also able to employ discipline in a way that gives more freedom, like in her yoga practice, as opposed to imprisoning her, like when she used to have a strict diet and intensive exercise.
Can you talk a little bit about discipline being a path to freedom?
Every person is afraid to be bored, scared to experience that anxiety and restlessness, so it takes a tremendous amount of discipline to let ourselves to actually be with ourselves and to listen to someone else. Discipline can be applied in any number of ways, like to further beat ourselves up, to further alienate ourselves from others, to further compete or we can apply that discipline to being present, and to actually let forgoing the normal habitual thoughts or behavioral patterns that are self-destructive.
What’s the best wisdom you have ever heard?
She mentions that someone asked her teacher how to do an exorcism. Her teacher replied, “Lead a disciplined life.”
Some of our addiction patterns do feel like possession; like the urge to gossip, look up our phone, to eat, to be somewhere, to do something. That does act like possession, and applying discipline to let go of those habits brings tremendous freedom.
What does it really mean to be depressed? You know depression as a collection of symptoms—fatigue, listlessness, feelings of worthlessness—and the source of more than a little pain. But depression is also a signal that something in your life is wrong and needs to be healed. Too often, though, we try to cut off or numb our feelings of depression instead of listening carefully to what they are telling us about our lives. Listening to Depression offers insightful ways to reframe depression as a gift that can help you transform your life for the better.
Can you tell us a little bit about your struggle with depression?
She was an undergraduate when she first experienced depression. Her goals were quite narrow-minded; get a four-year degree, be able to financially support herself and be successful. She went into business major only because of those reasons. She ended up being depressed, not taking interest in the subject and missing her classes. But depression also sparked her interest in Psychology major, and that interest not only made it easy to take her psychology classes but also helped her to realize what she is going to do with her life.
What else do you do to manage your depression?
She thinks of depression as a communication to yourself, from yourself, about yourself. That’s what the title of her book, Listen to Depression, means. Depression can lead to withdrawing from friends and families, losing motivation, not getting satisfaction out of life and being tired all the time. But it also opens up the need for emotional exploration. You end up being more connected to your emotions and begin to challenge a lot of ideas that are guiding your life, making you reflect upon our own values, needs, and interests. By reflecting, she knew that she needed to do what she loves and what internally was rewarding.
Depression can be an opportunity to change your life. What are some tools that you can use to make that transition?
She suggests that the first thing we can do is increase pleasure. It can be simple things like browsing a bookstore, going for a bicycle ride or taking a day off. Behavioral Activation therapy says that when we are depressed, there is a lot of resistance to doing stuff, and people can get better when they overcome that resistance. According to her, pleasure is such an obvious cure for depression. She says that sometimes we have to tear down ideas like seeking pleasure is selfish. Truth is, being a happy person is the best gift that you can gift to yourself.
Sometimes if we indulge too much in pleasure, it can turn into an addiction. What are your thoughts on that?
She says that addiction can be a mask over depression. Some people don’t actually recognize that they are depressed, which psychologists refer to as masked depression. These people are so good at compulsive overactivities, such as compulsive working, overeating or drug and alcohol abuse that they are, unknowingly, covering up their depression. So there is a distinction between healthy and unhealthy pleasure.
Do you think that schools and parents in our community are doing a good job in helping us prepare for life?
She thinks that focusing on grades is a huge mistake. When we talk about good students, we are talking about students that are good at studying. In the real world, what people value and need are brilliant problem solvers and original thinkers who are going to invent things that we never even thought of before, and being good at studying doesn’t really translate to that. So education should focus more on imagination, how to think for yourself and love of learning.
Do you feel that there is a sense of loneliness and shame associated with depression? How can we talk more openly about our inner struggles?
She thinks that the best thing we can do is talk more about depression. She calls it a tragedy that we are so disconnected to the very people that are closest to us because there is a lot of shame associated with depression. She says that shame is not only a cause of depression but a reaction of being depressed. She directly recommends her clients to take a few minutes of their session and start opening up to people. Every time you are willing to talk to someone about depression, you are opening up the possibility of getting help, support and feeling less lonely.
Can you talk a bit about how depression can be a strength and work to your benefit?
She says that as you go through life, the more you create your own rules, the more you realize that you can be resilient and be able to bounce back from tragedies. It’s not about getting something in life or having a narrow goal, it becomes about you been a person who is resilient. You can lose so much or have your dreams fall apart and still be a happy person. You get to be the boss of your brain, and that means you don’t always believe what your brain’s telling you. She says that every day we try to figure out what’s working in our lives and what’s not. Depression is like a front row seat on the list of all the things that are not working. And as you train yourself to be the boss of your brain, and rather than focusing on the things that are not working, learn to focus on what you have to offer the world, what are some successes that you had and what are the reasons for those successes, then you become so much bigger than the events of your life.
Any last words for people struggling with depression on how they can begin the journey of listening?
She advises that when you make a mistake, don’t fall into thought patterns like what did I do wrong or what’s wrong with me. Don’t let yourself to go there, instead give yourself permission to think about yourself; am I okay and how can I comfort myself.
Website: Dr. Lara Honos-Webb
Free Resources for Depression
National Alliance on Mental Illness: 1-800-950-NAMI (1-800-950-6264), //www.nami.org
Anxiety and Depression Association of America: 1-240-485-1001, //www.adaa.org
National Institute of Mental Health: 1-866-615-6464, //www.nimh.nih.gov
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Division of Mental Health, 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636), //www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth
American Psychological Association: 1-800-374-2721, //www.apa.org
Joining us today is the founder of French Kiss Life movement, Tonya Leigh. Tonya Leigh is a Master Certified Life Coach trained by Dr. Martha Beck. She works with highly successful women from around the world who desire to balance ambition with ease to create a fulfilling and meaningful life.
How did you change your life?
She started with a decision to turn her life around. Growing up in deep South in very underprivileged conditions, she wasn’t exposed to ideas like personal development. Learning about personal development radically changed her life. She started to deconstruct this prison that she had built for herself, through becoming mindful and practicing the toolset of personal development on daily basis. She believes that when you have a firm resolve, you can surely figure out success along the way.
When happened once you started listening to yourself and asking yourself different questions?
During this time, she was still struggling with her weight. She went from a size 22 to size 2 by basically starving herself. She says that the way we go about losing weight is going through the process of misery and depression, so when you get to your ideal size, chances are you are still going to be miserable. When she really started applying these tools of personal development and shifted her focus to creating her feelings rather than losing weight, things started to turn around. It’s been over a decade now, and she never struggles with her body anymore.
You help women to live an elegant lifestyle and Joie De Vivre, can you tell us a bit about that?
By elegant she means a life with simplicity and effectiveness. Going deeper, it’s about an elegant mindset, having a clear mind which is very effective.
Joie De Vivre is the joy of living, it’s about being graceful and joyful, even in the face of hardships. That’s what her company, French Kiss Life, support and inspire women to do, injecting style, elegance and Joie De Vivre to their everyday lives.
Do you think women are afraid to live with this Joie De Vivre, elegance and style?
According to her, we are afraid to give ourselves permission. When we start to change and grow, people around us tend to be at disagreement. It’s our choice who we want to be, but the fear of what will people think hold us back. Because of that, we limit our own joy because we are actually afraid of it.
What if somebody feels like they don’t know what they want?
In her opinion, people do know what they want. Maybe they are afraid to admit it, or it’s buried under too much thoughts. As they clear their mind, it becomes obvious to them the purpose of their life. Another practice she recommends is that if you don’t know what you want, write down the list of everything you don’t want and when you try to see the opposite of that, you may find that you do know what you want.
What Parisian women do differently in comparison to American women?
For them, it’s not even an option that pleasure is a part of their life, it is a part of their daily life. She observed that American woman can be very deprived to what she calls true pleasure, which is the pleasure that keeps on giving, feels good and you don’t feel guilty about. It is the pleasure that doesn’t take away from your health but adds to it. For example, a true pleasure would be to sit down and indulge in a beautiful piece of chocolate, going for a massage or sitting by a fire reading a book. False pleasure is sitting and eating three candy bars. It may taste good, but you end up feeling guilty and less energized. That’s one of the things she learned from the Parisian women, which is how to engage in true pleasure that adds to the quality of life.
Can you tell us about the difference in their culture that you have observed?
Most of us are raised with a philosophy of all work and no play, whereas the French culture put pleasure first. They work to live, and not live to work. The other thing she learned is that they really enjoyed their bodies. The French culture embrace sensuality, pleasure and their body. The body is not something to be to hide and to be ashamed of but it’s something to enjoy and to be proud of.
How learning about all of this influenced you as a Mother?
She gave her daughter full permission when she was little to enjoy her body. They had very open conversations around sexuality and sensuality. It was something that she didn’t want her daughter to be ashamed of. She wanted her to feel supported, protected and to be smart. It was very different than the upbringing Tonya herself received, and she thinks that such upbringing is very healthy as her daughter is quite open to her.
What something that you do to cultivate the feelings that you want to embody?
One of her major practices is celebrating everything, all the time, even when it’s challenging. She is a big believer in celebrating life. At any given moment, you can either look at problems, or you can look at possibilities. Through celebrating life, she is living more in a state of possibility than she ever has. It’s like an improv, where someone hands you a story and you have to take it and run with it, without arguing it. That’s for her what celebration is about.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Her mother, a strong and amazing woman, always had this mindset and would say, “Watch me”, and lived up to it.
Tell us how can we get in touch with you?
You can connect with her through her website http://www.tonyaleigh.com. They have a free community called French Kiss Live Club, and a private Facebook group, which is about celebrating being a woman and embracing life. You can join the club by heading to http://www.tonyaleigh.com/anna
Kate Northrup supports ambitious, motivated and successful women to light up the world without burning themselves out in the process. Committed to empowering women entrepreneurs to create their most successful businesses while navigating motherhood, Kate is the founder and CEO of Origin Collective, a monthly membership site where women all over the world gather to achieve more while doing less. She is also the author of Money: A Love Story, Untangle Your Financial Woes and Create The Life You Really Want (Hay House, 2013). Kate and her work have been featured on The Today Show, Yahoo! Finance, The Huffington Post, Refinery29.com, and in Glamour, Red, Prima Magazine, Soul & Spirit, and more.
How becoming a mother changed you and impacted your work?
Becoming a mother has made her humble. It radically changed her perspective about the world and continues to teach her the significance of surrendering and allowing things to happen as they are going to happen as opposed to trying to get them happen the way you want them to happen. After becoming a mother, she was a little lost work wise. Her book, Money: A Love Story, came out in 2013. She loves her book, and it helped a lot of people. But as soon as the book came out she knew that talking about money was not her life’s work. She acknowledges that the first year of motherhood has taught her much about entrepreneurship, about slowing down and following the natural rhythm of nature and our bodies in our creative work. Becoming a mother helped her to discover what she is meant here to do, which for her is working with entrepreneurial moms.
How do you view your first book now?
She speaks more about time now. She used to be obsessed with productivity but has realized in the last few years that the point of life is not to put as much in our day as we possibly can. Many similarities can be seen between the way our culture has poverty mentality around time, and the way so many of us have poverty mentality around money. She used to speak about money, but now she is beginning to explore how that’s true with time as well, like how we can actually expand time and create abundance in our relationships. That is a new frontier for her and what she has been teaching about lately, just as she used to talk about money.
Time and money are the two biggest mental obstacles the people face, and you have touched both of those topics and explored it in terms of abundance perspective as oppose to lack perspective. Can you tell us more about it?
She says that each of our lives has limits, but within those limits, we can expand things through the way we perceive them. The theory of relativity shows that how fast the things go is relative to the observer. Because of that, the same amount of time spent enjoying the things we cherish will appear a lot more different then the time spent worrying over something. Our experience of time can shift based on what we are doing. Perspective changes everything, and just as our perspective around money, our experience of an abundance of time can change profoundly based on our perception. Seeing people that have too little but they are still in content with their lives can change our perspective a lot.
What’s your take on culture, how we are changing as woman entrepreneurs?
We are a part of our culture, and because of that, we can change it. We have been brought up to believe that growth is about addition, it is about adding more knowledge, watching more videos, attending more seminars. In reality, as her friend Danielle LaPorte once said, growth is about deconstruction. It’s about removing the layers and seeing what you truly are when you take it all away. Your experience of life should be based on your internal experiences and not around chasing the external factors. When Danielle LaPorte, after her recent book launch, couldn’t make it to the New York’s Time list, she was devastated and realized how much success is taking up too much space in her life. So, the lesson here is that it’s ok to slow down from time to time. What matters the most is how you feel about yourself at the end of your day.
Why do you think women, in particular, are great entrepreneurs when they become moms?
The entrepreneurial journey is incredibly similar to the motherhood journey because nobody is telling you how to do it. You have to be innovative and think on your feet. Mothers are intuitively good in that, so they tend to be more successful when they step into entrepreneurship.
The other things mothers are good at is that they are wired to be aware of multiple things at the same time, like what’s going on with everyone in the room, how they are all feeling and how can we come up with a solution that could serve every single person, which matters are a lot when you are an entrepreneur.
Let’s start talking about Cycles and what Origin is really about?
Origin is her membership for mom entrepreneurs or nurturers. It’s for women who are innovative and willing to work outside the system. They are associated with nurturers, whether they are caring for the community, their children or other loved ones. She wanted to create a space for women to come together and talk about the ways they can grow their business and thrive as mothers without just working harder. The culture has taught us that the only way to succeed is to work harder, which is not exactly true. Sometimes the harder we work the more we are making it worse. She suggests that we should take inspiration from mother nature instead. Just as there are four distinct seasons, there are four distinct seasons for a woman throughout the month. Women are most productive when they acknowledge all these four different energies, and begin to plan their time and projects accordingly.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Read your baby not a book.
How can we get in touch with you?
You can find her work on katenorthrup.com.
If you are interested learning more about Origin you can go to origincollective.com.
She is also active on Instagram (@katenorthrup)
Racheal Cook is an award-winning business strategist who believes entrepreneurship doesn’t have to be so complicated. Through her signature online mastermind Sweet Spot Strategy, she helps women entrepreneurs to simplify business and amplify results by designing a business around what works best, for you. A sought-after speaker on entrepreneurship, marketing, and productivity, Racheal’s work has been featured on US Chamber of Commerce, Female Entrepreneur Association, Smart Passive Income, and more. She’s also the author of the Amazon Bestseller books Fired Up & Focused and Your Business Sweet Spot.
You talk a lot about designing your business around your lifestyle and about finding your business sweet spot. What is your sweet spot and how did you find your business sweet spot?
There are so many people who are making things too much difficult for themselves. In her view, we don’t need to make it hard on yourself, and that’s where our sweet spot comes in. Your sweet spot is where your strengths and passion meets the people you are here to help and when you tap into that, suddenly things become easier because you are working in your zone of genius. She started to realize that not everybody is a natural planner the way she is because it is her zone of genius. She also worked the hard way for quite a while but once she started listening to people she realized that the biggest roadblock they are having is the one she could easily remove because it was crystal clear to her what needed to happen, and chances are that’s where your sweet spot lies too.
You mentioned that your sweet spot comes naturally to you and can easily be overlooked because you don’t think much of it. Then there is the question of turning that into a business. What do you think about that?
In her opinion, you can turn almost anything into a business. One other thing she points out that something that is your zone of genius might not be the exact thing you are monetizing but it could just be helping you create a business. Over thousands of businesses, she started to see patterns with her students. The way she operated was different the way other people operate. The challenge of being a teacher is figuring out how do you make everything make sense to different people. She started to see her students are all sort of falling into four groups; the Maker, the Maven, the Mentor and the Mastermind. The Maker are the people who get things done. People hire them because they know that that’s the best way to get the end result. You can teach someone how to cook but they’ll never be as good as your personal chef sitting there doing it. Then there is the Maven. These are the people we all look up to. They build bigger platforms and are the spark that gets people excited and fired up. The Mentor work more intimately and closely with their clients and they tend to be like their personal cheerleaders to get them through the finish line. The Mastermind, which is her personal sweet spot, take in all the information and figure out how to break it down into systems and find out ways they can teach others how to achieve their goal.
What happened when you started working in your sweet spot?
She stopped fighting the thought process she had. She is more of a strategist and once she realized that, she stopped regretting her decisions. The best part of leaning into her natural strengths is that it simplified a lot of decision making, quickly realizing if something is a good fit or not.
When you were a little girl, was it apparent that you are a great planner? Does it make sense looking back?
The skills she applies today were apparent from early on. It’s very apparent going back to middle school, when she wanted to be a professional musician, and all the things that she wanted to do are super related to what she is doing now. She’s always able to stay super focused, which goes back to her practice sessions playing French horn, in a four-by-four foot room, three hours at a time. So, a lot of the skills she learned then are very applicable.
Once you got the MBA what did you do?
Like a lot of her peers, she went into financial consulting, specializing in small businesses. These businesses were all kinds of different industries making millions of dollars. The people were great, but they don’t have much passion for what they were doing. She quickly burned out on that. She was thinking of taking a leave of absence, that’s when her yoga teacher approached her and asked if she could help with her year-old yoga studio. She realized that there may be smaller businesses that she could work with and that opened a whole new world for her. That was her journey from traditional consulting with businesses that she wasn’t excited about to talking to all these amazing entrepreneurs who were really on a mission themselves.
I feel like If I didn’t have a strong connection with my purpose of helping others then I am not sure if I would have continued my business once I had a kid. So, what’s your experience with connecting with your purpose?
She knows that she always wanted to have both business and family side by side. What she loves the most is working with women. She loves seeing and creating this new wave of women entrepreneurs who don’t have to sacrifice. They are making a whole new generation of businesses that are going to change the way women are going to work. The fact that she has a team of these amazing women who are also full-time moms behind the scenes just makes her incredibly happy.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Create a life not just living. It’s important to make time for the things that matter you the most. For her, she always knew that she has to put herself first, which means taking care of her health and well-being.
And any action steps that you like to include in the end?
If you are intrigued by the idea of your business sweet spot then head over to rachealcook.com/quiz. There is a free quiz to help you discover your business sweet spot theme and when you complete the quiz there is a little guide that gives some insight into the best marketing and business design strategies for your particular sweet spot.
How can we get in touch with you?
Podcast: Uncomplicate Your Business
Find Your Sweet Spot Quiz: rachealcook.com/quiz
Jess Dart a certified nutrition coach with a Masters degree in nutrition. She is a National Strength and Conditioning Association certified personal trainer and have been working with clients to improve their health for 15 years. She knows how to get you results and she also understands that we are human. Jess believes you need only a few hours of focused exercise per week, no need to workout for hours every day.
How did you get into fitness and nutrition, and become so passionate about it?
She studied Bio behavioral Health in college and had always been curious about why people think and operate the way they do. She loved her bio behavioral health classes because of her interest in biology, psychology, sociology, getting into yoga and going to the gym. After she graduated, she got more immersed with her gym community, started her blog and was doing Ashtanga almost every day. People started to seek her advice and help, which made her realize that she can make a career in fitness and nutrition. She got her certification in 2003. Later she moved to New York to learn from the best, where she landed her first position in Equinox as a personal trainer in 2004.
How do you guide someone to get a Healthy Plan in place for their nutrition and exercise?
She acknowledges that there is so much information about health out there that it can overwhelming. To plan for nutrition, start by asking a lot of questions, such as what you used to eat when you were a kid. Realize that everyone is different, what works for some may not work for others. Some do great by exercising alone, while others will never exercise unless they do it with a group. Obviously, neither one is better than the other, you just need to figure out what works best for you. Learn to listen to your intuition, which takes time and practice. Often, we just eat to eat, not tasting our food or thinking about the experience. Make a habit of intuitive eating, tasting the food and enjoying the experience of eating. In her view, there is no bad food, eat what tastes good, and what feels good.
Can you give us a sample workout for someone who doesn’t have much time?
She suggests 4 exercises. Set your timer for 25 minutes.
Do 10 squats
15 jumping jacks
10 alternating back lunges.
Let your heart rate get back to normal, and then start again. Keep track of how many times you can go through the circuit. Once the timer goes off you are done. You can do this work out three times a week. Try to get one more set in the last workout.
Is it 80% nutrition and 20% exercise? What’s your take on that percentage in terms of getting actual results?
Nutrition plays such a huge role in her view. Whether your goal is to lose weight, train for a marathon or for an intense CrossFit competition, nutrition is always going to be a bigger component. The exercise component can be thought of as a support to nutrition.
What’s the biggest takeaway from your fitness school?
Eat vegetables, a lot of them and of varying colors. Dark leafy greens are the best. Also drink a lot a water, half of your body weight in ounces, or more if you are consuming caffeinated or alcoholic beverages. Tune into what you feel like eating, what will make you happy and satisfied, whether it’s a breakfast food or lunch food or dinner food. So, in her opinion, keep an open mind regarding food and tune into what you are hungry for.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Her co-manager used to say that “Don’t worry about the other person, you just worry about you”. Don’t worry about what anybody else is doing, focus on your goal and your strategy to achieve that goal, and put all your energy in that because you are only wasting energy worrying about what everybody else is doing.
The other advice which stayed with her was from her father, who once said, “You will figure it out, Jess, you will figure it out”, by which he meant to have faith in herself.
Tell us how can we get in touch with you?
Vibeke Schurch is a Success-soul™ Living Coach who provides entrepreneurs such as coaches, healers and experts with the tools, resources and mindset shifts to have, be and do it all. She is a coach, energy healer, mindset expert and small business wizard with nearly 20 years experience building and growing small businesses. Her focus is to help you tune into your soul’s cravings to create the business and lifestyle of your dreams. When she's not working with her clients you will find her traveling the world, skiing, hiking, doing yoga or exploring beaches in a tropical paradise.
What was it like growing up?
She grew up in Norway. She thought she had a good life, but there was a lot of things going on in her family dynamic, which later resurfaced and manifested itself in disempowering ways. Nevertheless, she was very independent early on and did whatever she wanted to do.
You mentioned some family tension, what do you mean by that?
Her parents never had a loving relationship. Before she was born her mom had a lover. Her dad knew about it, it was sort of an arrangement, resulting in a lot of tension and shame. It was a very disempowering environment. She thinks that maybe that was what prompted her to be independent early on and wanted to follow her own footsteps.
Did someone guide you through the process of realization?
Yes. She was suffering with an autoimmune disease. After she pushed herself so hard that she collapsed, it was a matter of figuring out what to do with her life. She had a business to run and children to take care of. Later she got so sick that she couldn’t go to work, and had to give up the job, not knowing what to do next. Her health was completely deteriorated, so one thing was certain, she had to get better first before she could start thinking about my professional life.
How did you heal yourself?
After quitting the job, she started working with a coach. During the period of about 2 years, she exhausted all her options. She visited all kinds of doctors and specialists, changing her lifestyle and eating habits. During that time, she started reading a lot of personal development and empowerment books, and came up with the idea that she was going to heal herself, and in a matter of two weeks she was back up on her feet.
What did you do after you collapsed?
She went to a holistic doctor shortly afterwards. They took 12 blood tests, 9 out of which were not good. First thing she did was changing her diet, while still running her company and taking care of kids, which didn’t last long and she got worse again. She went several years without eating sugar, even avoiding fruits, but it was still not enough.
After the realization that you have healed yourself, did everything changed after that or it was a process of reorganization your life in a new way?
Because of the health, it was hard for her to grow her business despite several successful businesses in the past. She had made $11000 in the year prior to that. So in the beginning she set the goal and told herself that she can do this no matter what. She manifested in her mind that she is going to make $20000 in a month. Because of that firm resolve, she was later able to make $24000 in about 3 days. That was the leap she was able to achieve once she tuned into using her mind in a different way.
If someone is listening to this, what advice would you give them if they still feel stuck?
First thing you can do is to start reading and learning about it. It’s one thing to read and learn about something and other thing to embody the knowledge. Lot of people have intellectual knowledge but they don’t really believe in it, which is not going to help. It’s a matter of applying that information to create a shift in your life. If you still feel stuck, reach out to someone who can guide you along the way. She acknowledges that she didn’t get where she is today without the help of her coach and others.
What advice would you give someone who is just starting his business?
You might think what you are up against but you don’t. Don’t be shy to ask for help. The biggest mistake people make is not realizing that everyone is different. What works for some may not work for others. The biggest obstacle you are going to face is your mindset. Especially if you are coming out of a corporate, it’s a very different thing to be selling your own services. It brings up all different kinds of insecurities that you didn’t even know you had. But don’t give up just because of that as you can do anything you put your mind into.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
She read the book called The Power of your Subconscious Mind. That was when she realized how powerful we really are. If you don’t believe how the subconscious mind truly runs your life, read that book and it will open your eyes.
What do you remember about that book? What was that little nugget of wisdom?
Through our subconscious mind, we attract and create everything. We don’t know what’s in our subconscious mind but whatever has been programmed there must become reality. If you truly believe in something, it must happen. Working on your subconscious believes is very crucial. The outcomes you achieve are going to be the reflection of what lies in your subconscious mind and so if you can reprogram your subconscious mind you can completely change your life.
How we can get in touch with you?
Feel free to visit her website and learn more about her (http://successoulliving.com/).
There are also free resources there that you can look up to get started
Elizabeth Dialto is here to create an experience that turns your relationship with yourself into one of the most wild, passionate love affairs of your lifetime. She is the creator of Wild Soul Movement a grounded and loving practice designed to get you out of your head and into your body. She meets you where you are and guides you to where you want to be. She learned to love my own body by stripping away at everything that was preventing me from seeing what already was. My mission is to teach you to do the same. It all starts here, with a strong community of women who are _brave enough to stand up and say yes to a new way. Known for her raw, honest, and grounded approach to self-help and spirituality, Elizabeth DiAlto is an Integrative Spiritual counselor, creator of Wild Soul Movement, an author, and the host of the popular Untame The Wild Soul podcast. In 2013, Shape Magazine listed her as a Top 30 Motivator. She has been featured in Marie Claire, New York Magazine, SELF, Shape, The Huffington Post, US News and Health Report, Yahoo! News and many more. She’s a Reiki Master, has completed Energy Mastery trainings with Energetic Solutions, and is an avid student of many spiritual traditions and sacred lineages.
What do you love about being a woman?
What she loves the most is inconsistency. She believes that all human beings, especially women, are an extension of Mother Earth, and just like weather is different from day to day, women are intrinsically very inconsistent in every moment of every hour of every day. She thought this to be very inconvenient but now she fully embraces it and loves this aspect of being a woman.
A lot of people struggle with allowing themselves permission to just be and show up differently. Can you talk a bit about what permission means to you?
Elizabeth doesn't need permission from other people. For her, permission comes from herself and God. A big turning point for her came in 2011. She was about to do something different and she has given her mother a heads-up. What she realizes later was that unknowingly she was seeking her approval because when her mother disapproved she didn't pursue it further. According to her, permission has got to come from within because we cannot please everyone, keeping in view the consequences of our actions and the way we show up.
Tell us a little bit about Wild Soul movement?
Wild Soul moment revolves around the truth that everything you ever needed has always been inside of you. She emphasizes that it's always been like that even in moments when you thought that you are not enough. The program combines sensual movements, yoga, mantras, and meditation aiming to connect to one’s body and to learn to become fluent in what she calls embody language. It's about connecting to your body, building self-love and self-trust in the process and honing to our intuition.
In the Wild Soul Movement, what does soul pertains to?
According to her, the soul is what animates you. Soul has existed long before we came in this physical body and what will continue after this lifetime ends. The soul is an eternal part of you and what you have always been. She also believes that we come with knowledge and experiences from other times and other places. So, in a big picture, the soul is our divine essence.
Did you ever think of becoming an entrepreneur?
At the age of 19, she used to sell Cutco knives. She would go from house to house doing appointments and selling knives. She was quite good at it. That is what gave her the taste of entrepreneurship because she could do as many appointments as she like, making as much money as she wants. Later she realized that she isn't built to work for other people and do something that doesn’t have any positive impact on people.
How has your podcast affected you? Has there been a conversation that made a difference in your life?
She just interviewed Light Watkins yesterday who teaches Transcendental Meditation. He talked about the difference between meditation that's for householders and meditation that's for monks. She always had suspected that there are a lot of practices being shared that are not appropriate for those who are living more complex lives; regular people who go to work and raise families. She now has deeper faith in this truth because it has been validated. So sometimes having external validation helps with faith.
I heard in one of your podcast that you don't want to have kids. You seem so comfortable in owning that and embody it as a woman. Can you talk a bit about being a woman in the twenty-first century?
While imagining, herself having kids or sharing experiences with her friends who already have kids, she doesn't feel any desire to be a mother. There is no resonance in it for her. She also acknowledges that maybe it's because she had never been in a relationship where she had felt the desire to have kids. But because of inconsistency, maybe one day she would decide to have children.
Why Wild Soul Movement? What really moved you with this Wild Soul Movement?
She stands by the idea that everything you ever needed has always been inside of you. Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. All this pain and suffering is because people don't love, honor and respect themselves. She believes that helping others to trust and connect to themselves can have a massive ripple effect. So much injustice and poor treatment of people is based on all kinds of factors that should not matter at all. In a big picture, it's about dismantling these outdated systems like patriarchy and racism for instance. Primarily her focus was on patriarchy, but recently she realized that these things are all married. Ultimately, she wants to aid others to do what they always wanted to do and live their lives to the fullest.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Allow other people to have their own experiences.
How can we connect with you?
You can find her on her website. Her website’s URL is
She is also active on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/elizabethdialto) and Instagram (@lizdialto)
Alionka Polanco is a leading Life & Success Coach for Powerful Women and the author of "Beyond Profit: The Successful Woman's Guide to a Meaningful Life." A graduate of New York University’s Personal Life Coaching Certification Program, she believes true success requires courage. Alionka has helped dozens of women achieve personal success. She has spent the last several years coaching top performers in fields as diverse as ad-tech sales at Google, Broadway stars, and high-level business owners and CEOs from Dubai to Australia, and everywhere in between.
How did that affect you and influenced what you do now?
She is a first generation American but was always upset because she always felt like she was living in two different worlds. She had to be Spanish at home and American at school. Now she thinks that was one of the greatest gifts she had because now she knows how to exhibit different Alionka in different scenarios. Growing up she learned how to advocate for what she needed and she learned to fight for what she needed. She learned at a very young age the art of selling her ideas.
What made you get into coaching? How did you discover this profession?
She did her master in education. She loved teaching and her favorite part about it was helping high school juniors and seniors do planning. She knew she didn’t want to be a teacher at least not in the traditional sense. She took the Myers Briggs assessment test and for her personality type, she discovered she was more suited to counselor/coach. She didn’t know much about coaching and felt like she didn’t want to be a counselor and felt coaching was more suited to her. It was a shorter trajectory and she ended up going to NYU for coaching school. She completely loved it. After her first session, she cried because she felt she was finally doing what she was meant to be doing. She felt like a failure when she couldn’t figure out what she wanted to do. She felt very happy when she found out something that could bring her joy. She was 24 at that time. Coaching is a way of life and it has improved her communication skills even in her normal life.
How did you start your business? What was the process?
She started her business after coaching school. However, before she joined NYU for coaching, she put out a Facebook post in which she told everyone she was starting a new career as a life coach, that she would start school in two weeks and she that she is looking for five clients whom she would coach for free and in the process, practice what she would learn in her coaching classes. She had 45 responses to that post, but she only took five because she had other jobs. Of the five she picked, three people, became her paid clients. She got paid as a coach while she was still learning to be a coach. The first three clients helped her establish herself as a coach and many new clients approached her through referrals from these clients. She officially started her business by launching a website in September 2015 and with the help of a business coach, she could promote and design her programs and earn money from them.
What do you think is a formula or a method to cultivate happiness?
Happiness is a feeling that you can feel in any given moment. In any moment, you can smile. Alionka talks a lot about feelings and emotions in her coaching. She doesn’t believe there is any formula or method to be happy in our lives, it’s just an option we must make for ourselves. You can be happy in almost every moment if you feel you deserve happiness. Think of the easiest way you can make yourself happy in given moment.
What have you transformed in yourself that impacted your life?
Alionka always had one limiting belief about herself and it was the belief that there was something wrong with her. She had many accolades to her name but always felt that wasn’t enough. She realized having this feeling stems from the belief that there was something wrong with her or that she was defective. When she transformed that belief during her therapy, Alionka completely changed as a person. The way she interacted with people changed, her perceptions and her beliefs about success and failures changed.
What does your current business look like?
She runs a business which is mostly virtual. She conducts six events in New York every year and between those events everything is virtual. Alionka mostly works in summers, from Monday to Thursday. Monday and Tuesday is for growing business and she meets and interacts with her clients on Wednesday and Thursday. Now, she is only offering group programs and focusing less on individual programs.
What does living your purpose mean to you?
Alionka used to believe her purpose was to help people to be happy and as she achieved it, her vision grew and she got this opportunity to be on a big stage and that is when she realized her biggest purpose is helping women rise and do great wonders in this world. Her business has taken that direction as well and now it is more centered towards serving women.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
She got this advice from her dad and the advice was to learn to close the loop. Roughly speaking closing the loop means getting things done once you have started them. Whenever you want to do something you must make sure it’s done, do not leave it in the middle, make sure it reaches its final stage.
How can we connect with you?
You can connect with her through her website. Her website’s URL is
Jessie Gardner is an inspirationsist. She combines the latest research in psychology and neuroscience with the magic of inspiration to create experiences where it hasn’t yet sprouted.
She hatched HeySoul in 2014, as a twenty-something working girl crushed by the corporate lifestyle. Jessie was drained, unfulfilled, disconnected and desperate to reconnect to her heart & soul that she had checked at the door and forgot about each day before going to work. She began the search for meaning, self-discovery and a way to reconnect.
HeySoul started with the simple idea that corporate success doesn't define who we are or dictate the happiness and abundance we're capable of experiencing. Jessie began to notice as the job siphoned hours away from my life, started to lose connection with the parts of life that used to make her scream "WOW!" like love, adventure, sense of purpose, health, creativity, gratitude, and so on. After a late night at the office, she decided to do something that gave her chills, challenged by her idea of what she thought she was capable of, and committed to doing something BIG about it.
And in the process, Jessie found that all it takes to wake up from the fog of a false sense of success, yawn of a job, unloving habits in relationships and anything else taking away from life rather than giving to it, is a positive disruption.
It was the art and power of ritual that was the positive disruption that changed her life, empowered her to quit her job in 2016, and pursue HeySoul full time.
And now, Jessie’s work is creating positive rituals to reconnect people who feel disconnected to who they are and want to be. HeySoul is here to introduce the world to a new definition of bliss unlike any self-help resource before it.
The HeySoul box experience is not a gift box - it is so much more. Inside each box are symbolic items that were chosen with great care and intention. With each item comes a modern ritual and small action for you to take that fits into your busy lifestyle and connects you to who you are. Here are the current HeySoul experiences (with many more to come); Love, Creativity, Adventure, Purpose, Calm, Mind + Body + Soul, Gratitude, Joy etc... Each with the goal of creating an experience that inspires you to pause your busy life, engage in quality “me-time” and reconnect with your core, your happiness, and your truth.
Our culture puts a tremendous amount of pressure on us to look or be happy all the time.
It's not really socially acceptable to be sad.
And so we pretend we are happy.
We feel shame about our sadness.
We feel lonely when we are down and think "something must be wrong with me."
It's not realistic for you to be happy all the time.
Sadness is an emotion we all feel.
In this podcast, Anna talks about accepting sadness and what to do about it so that you can stop feeling guilty or wrong for not feeling happy all the time.
This a visualization process to help you remove mental and emotional barriers and create a bright future. So if you’re walking or you’re driving, make sure you do this when you get home and you can be in the comfort of your own home and you can have your eyes closed so you can really receive the benefits of this visualization. It’s really an amazing visualization and I can’t wait to share it with you.
Make sure that you’re seated comfortably with your back straight and relaxed. And gently close your eyes and take a deep breath in through your nostrils and exhale through your nostrils. And again, in through your nose and out through your nose. And one more breath centering yourself; take a deep inhale and exhale, letting your belly relax.
Picture yourself entering a time machine, almost like a little glass helicopter where you can see through it – and see yourself step into this time machine and close the glass door. And you can see in front of you, you can see to the left and to the right and behind you. And we’re just going to take this helicopter back into time at the beginning of your life, starting fairly early on at your earliest experiences.
And imagine as if we’re at the beginning of your life and you’re just sitting there in your helicopter. And everything that has happened throughout your life is organized as if they are records filed one memory next to the other record. And you can see these records all the way up until now.
And go back to the earliest painful child memory that you can remember. Maybe it was when somebody made fun of you, maybe it was when you got a bad grade, maybe when you messed something up or dropped something in your home or you got in a fight with your sister or brother or you had some type of injury. Go back to any painful early memory, and we’re just going to take the helicopter and we’re going to guide it right over that record. And then we’re going to go down as if we have a claw and pick up that record, and then we’re going to throw it out. And what’s left there now is empty space.
And then go to the next painful memory that you had. Maybe it was around food, maybe it was how you looked, or how well you did in school, or maybe it was with your friends or socially. And we’re going to pick up that record. We’re going to go down with our handy-dandy helicopter, and we’re going to reach down with the claw and pick up that record and just throw it out. And now there’s empty space there.
And go to your next painful memory. Maybe it was in a sports arena, maybe it was performing, maybe it was just something that somebody said to you. And we’re going to move our helicopter over that record and reach down and pick up that record and throw it out. And now there’s empty space there.
And one by one for the next minute recall experiences that you can remove that caused you pain or suffering mentally and emotionally. And move your helicopter over that record and reach down and throw it out.
And then again moving forward, sometime in adolescence, high school, college that was uncomfortable or painful for you mentally and emotionally, - maybe it was a relationship didn’t work out … and we’re going to move our helicopter and reach down and throw that one out. And now we have empty space there.
And then we’re going to continue on in some early adult experience; something didn’t work out the way that you wanted it to or thought that it would or had hoped that it should. And we’re going to reach down, pick up that record, and throw it out. And now you have empty space there.
And now what I want you to do is just look back at all of these records. And the places that have gaps, that have empty space because we removed those events and experiences from your subconscious, imagine as if a bright white light was shining through those spaces. Imagine this light getting brighter and that anything from your past that is no longer serving you is just dissolved with this bright white light.
Imagine your past being bright. Make it even brighter.
Fill your whole body up with this bright light, beaming white, and clear energy. Throughout your whole body.
And now as you look towards your future, make your future light up really bright.
Think about and bring to mind an event or experience that you want to manifest. Being yourself fully expressed with nothing holding you back…. What does your purpose look like? Bring it into your attention and see yourself being your best as if it is happening now. What would you be feeling? How would you be acting?
Imagine all the barriers that are in front of you are simply dissolving and all your problems are being solved for you. You’re fully connecting with the truth that’s within your heart… and from that place see yourself connecting with those around you. You are being guided.
What would you be doing? See yourself connecting with others from a place of confidence and certainty. You are NOT a manager of circumstances. You are the creator of your life.
And as you continue to move forward on your path breaking through any fear or resistance that arises, knowing that you have a purpose, connecting with your heart – knowing you are on the path to greatness.
Anxiety is a future worry. To first learn to name when it's arising and recognize you are not present in the moment. To then focus attention on something in the moment, I.e., the Breath. Slowing down breathing. Feeling the belly expand. When we are anxious we are typically breathing in our chest - so to consciously move the breath down into the belly. Or to feel your feet on the ground - your toes are the furthest from your brain so it can get you out of your head.
Transforming Anxiety Process:
When you are anxious - where in your body do you feel it? What happens to your posture? What happens to your thoughts - are they fast or slow? What does it feel like? Describe the sensations in the body. If you could see it as an image, what would it look like? If someone were to walk into the room when you are anxious would they see the image? Where does anxiety exist? Most people say "in my mind" and if it’s in your mind, you have the power to change it. So then they are switching from anxious to empowered. Recall an event or experience when you felt empowered, what did it feel like? How did you hold your body? What do you remember thinking? How do you get empowered (name of person) to show up more often? (Create a trigger).
Emotions are very important in any individual’s life. If we cannot master our emotions, we cannot master our life. They play a big role in our everyday life and in the things that we do and why we do. Whenever we want something external, it is because we want to fulfill some type of emotion, we want to feel something.
Take a moment, pause and see how they are feeling at the moment. This is called the ‘Purpose Pause’. Many times, we don’t notice how we are feeling, we don’t take the time to explore our feelings and to investigate them. We fail to realize we have the power to shift our emotional state and that is what emotional empowerment is all about.
Start investigating your thoughts. Many of us live in a state of autopilot, we don’t even realize if we are thinking something or not. We tend to keep ourselves occupied with past thoughts and it is like telling the same story again and again or playing the same song again and again. We stop thinking. We forget about the origination of thoughts. The ultimate fact is that we are the creator of our own thoughts.
If you want to improve your thought process and thus improve your quality of life, the first step is to become aware of your thoughts, because if you cannot aware yourself with your thoughts, you cannot change them.
Wayne Dyer, an American philosopher, motivational speaker and an author wrote a book ‘Change your thoughts – Change your life’ in which he talks about the same idea. It really starts with you having a self-talk and changing your thoughts.
Anytime you feel negative ask yourself what are you thinking? What story am I telling myself?
Just notice the thought, investigate if the thought is a story. Find out for yourself if the story you are telling yourself is true or not.
Ask yourself questions related to your thoughts. The quality of our questions dictates the quality of our lives. Changing your thoughts can literally change the quality of your life.
Try to look at things differently if you feel like a negative thought has occupied your mind. Do not suppress negative emotions, but when you are in a feeling of pain, try to think from a different perspective. We all have limiting thoughts but we need to work on improving the quality of our thoughts and the first step is to become aware and then investigate and then see what really is true. In the end, replace your original thought with a higher quality thought which is a thought that makes you feel better. It has a profound difference in your life. You will see the difference slowly but it will be very effective.
There is an exercise called the model of human functioning, you can get it by entering your name and email below.
Download the worksheet: annagoldstein.com/results
You start at the lower left corner of the page and mention your negative thoughts, you write about how those thoughts make you feel. Then you write about your behavior because of those thoughts. What actions do you take? Then you talk about the outcomes of manifesting these thoughts. After that you write in the upper right-hand corner what is the result that you want? The result could be anything from getting into a relationship to losing weight, to starting a new business or building a website for your business.
Remember your thoughts are not always true. Most of the times they are something that has been formed years ago, that is not serving you now. You can create new thoughts and transform your life.
Darla Le Doux was trained as a coach while she was employed as a chemical engineer, and loved everything about it. After that experience, she began studying to be a professional coach. But it wasn’t until 10 years later when she realized she need to make a change and started her own business.
Darla LeDoux, founder of Aligned Entrepreneurs and Creator of Retreat and Grow Rich™, is a recovering engineer turned business coach, committed to supporting women on a mission to create a simple multi-six figure business using small retreats. Darla added an additional 6-figures each year in revenue for 6 years straight in business while hosting just a few retreats each year.
Darla was an engineer for about five years and then went into marketing after that. As an engineer, she did product development, doing research to determine what products her company should be offering to their clients. She loved the marketing side more so she shifted to marketing. She was trained as a coach within her company. She worked in Procter & Gamble and they sent her to a training. Her training consisted of different people at different levels of the organization. They were trained to be diversity coach and it was fourteen days divided into three different retreats. Darla felt her life started to change in those three retreats. She was very unconscious before the training. She felt like the tragedies in her life didn’t affect her, the fact that her parents divorced when she was two years old didn’t affect her. The training helped Darla know more about herself. It cracked her shell open, she got to know more about her heart and the wonders of retreat. She realized everyone needed to attend a retreat in their lives.
How did the training help you crack your heart open?
There was this specific exercise Darla did in her training that really helped. The participants in the group took turns to stand in the center of the room, and then tell the truth and share their opinions with the group on different topics. They talked about their biases, about their opinion on men, women etc. Up until that point, Darla never shared her opinion publicly.
How did you find the courage to finally leave your job?
Darla would plan and then get scared and find a job. This happened until her stepfather died, and she got divorced the same year. Her marriage only lasted for six months. Everything she knew she felt like fell away, she didn’t know what to do. Her old ways of surviving life failed. There was something in that failure that helped Darla to go in business and be okay to fail. Most people aren’t okay to fail in business. We always want to look like we have it all together and make sure we don’t make any mistake. We can all relate to the fear of facing failure and how others would think of us if we fail.
How much planning is necessary if someone wants to lead a retreat?
It is different for everyone, she uses a tool called human design and tells her clients to use it as well. It tells a lot about how plans are and how they need to be. She also has an assessment that she does in her retreats that she will be taking online shortly. For someone people, they do not have every segment planned. Many people have plans but do not execute it. They have the order, the outcome they want for their participants but they are just panicking which is obvious. It is not easy not to panic when a group of people come to be with you and to trust that what you envision is going to work for them. It is a vulnerable act. When a group of people comes together you don’t always know how things will go. In her first retreat, Darla had 182 slides. Most people fail retreats because they have too much content to share. She advises people to cut it short and keep it to the point. She teaches six different retreats styles as well.
What advice do you give people when they are not feeling aligned in their lives?
You can always go on retreat because, in your own environment, it is hard to see and find the purpose of your life. The reason why retreats are so powerful is that when you are in different energy, you can see things clearly.
What are you up to these days?
She just released a book titled ‘Retreat and Grow Rich’. She did a mini launch of her book in May and took people through a book study. It took her a while to teach what she was doing in her business. She is an advocate for retreat and retreat leaders.
Can you suggest an action step for someone who wants to go on or lead a retreat?
If you want to lead a retreat, first read the cheat sheet from URL posted below. If you want to attend a retreat, you can email Darla through her website.
How can we connect with you?
You can find her on her website. Her website’s URL is
Find more about retreats from the following URL
You can find the cheat-sheet for leading a retreat from the following link:
Joe Moffett is a former US Marine turned entrepreneur, Peak Performance, and Mental Skills Coach. He is a highly motivated public speaker, Co-Best Selling Author, and entrepreneur. After the military, Joe dove into personal development and worked with thousands of people around the world the help them discover their inner greatness. He made an impact by advancing their life and business. He studied under some of the greatest minds. Through the years of studying and searching for what are the slight edge differences that give one individual more of a competitive edge than the other, Joe has implemented an inclusive framework of how to Master Your Life By Design.
Why did you choose to go into the Marine Corps?
Joe talks about the tough mental conditioning experienced during his time serving as a US marine from a very young age. He saw joining the military as an opportunity to travel the world and to 'give something back from himself.' The skills and mindset gained from years of military training have served him well in life and continue to do so.
How did you get into personal development?
Joe took his coaching to the next level through training up clients until the early hours of the morning inspired by a Jim Rohn quote, “Go help other people create their success and you'll have yours.” But this effort and sacrifice weren't bringing in the ROI at the time. In fact, Joe managed to get into debt to the tune of $30k at one point and realized that changes needed to be made.
How do you discipline the body?
Every day Joe does something that lets his body know his mind is in control. The body is an adaptive machine that can be accustomed to less sleep and other challenges over time. Everything we do is a pattern or conditioning, each of our habits are conscious decisions to do or not to do something. If you choose not to do something, you can also choose to do it.
What’s the first step in mastering your life by design?
You have to have a compelling future in order to stay on the path of self-discipline. If your future looks bland and mundane, it will be difficult for you to stay focused. The need for a 'Compelling Future.'
What are the 5 pillars of 'Master Life By Design'?
First and foremost, health is the foundation. Second is emotional intelligence I.e. the ability to master your emotions. The third is the necessity to master your finances or at least have a grip on them. Fourth is relationships- Joe believes we are all here to connect and to help each other in some form or other. Fifth is a lifestyle- while earning good money and being healthy, you have to be able to enjoy these things, something that requires the time to be able to do so.
Creating A 'Life By Design'
Get rid of the baggage of your past and be clear on what a perfect day in your future looks like. Have a defined target and start to work backward towards achieving it. Consciously create what you want out of life, make your goals not just measurable but meaningful. Take plenty of time to think, plan and build strategies like the people at Google who have special rooms reserved just for thinking.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Don't be fooled by people's exterior, many people look good on the outside but inside, they are miserable. Have realistic expectations.
You can reach out to Joe at
Natalie Berthold is a family constellation therapist (FCT). Family constellation is a technique to find hidden dynamics in a family or a relation that might be a cause of distress in one’s life. Natalie tells about her business in the podcast, what it is like and how she got in this business.
As a family constellation therapist, what is it like to have a family?
It has armed her with many resources and helped her become a better mother and a wife. She is working on family dynamics and solving unresolved issues. She feels it's a blessing and a curse sometimes. It helps her prioritize and eliminate patterns that might have been passed down.
What are family dynamics and patterns? How do you heal unresolved traumas?
Initially, when Natalie would talk about her work in interviews, there was not enough scientific data to back it up. But now there has been so much study on epigenetics and now it has been scientifically proven that the things that happen to our great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents get down to the generations and gets put in our DNA particularly things like trauma or something that is unresolved. Natalie offers therapy that helps to sort out and allocate at every level the stuff that has been passed down to you from your ancestors. A good way to identify that you are inhabiting in past patterns is to look at areas where you are really stuck and you have tried every method to break through but you have not been successful. It probably did not start with you and you are trying to heal with the context of your life which is hard.
How did you develop an eating disorder and how does it relate to your FCT work?
There is a concept in family constellation therapy which is called the orders of love. It is a generalization of how certain dynamics can contribute to certain patterns. As a professional, Natalie knows that each family is unique and different. The struggle to eat healthily can greatly vary from person to person. Natalie shares her own story of how she developed an eating disorder that was triggered by family dynamics and experiences she had. An important factor that led to her disorder was the murder of her aunt, whose body was never found, the culprit never apprehended. There was this huge irreconcilable energy in the family system and Natalie herself was connected with this incident.
Can you speak a little about ‘The Orders of Love’?
‘The Orders of Love’ is a very important component in Family Constellation Therapy. Bert Hellinger, a priest from Germany who was trying to spread Catholicism in Zulu tribe in South Africa gave the concept of the orders of love. He tried to convert the Zulu tribe in South Africa to Catholicism, and the more he tried to convert them, work with them and learn about them, he realized they were way happier than other people. So, he took a pause and started to find the reason of their happiness. As a result, he developed a therapy which talks about a family system where love can both be disrupted and flow again.
How do you work with someone who does not know his or her family history?
A lot of us know a lot less about our family than we think we do. Every family has many secrets and stories. There are many truths and there are many things, which are not true. She kind of gets into a place where there is something the client does know. If you don’t know much about your family history, you can always work on it because it means there is a lot of hidden stuff. You just need to acknowledge that there is a lot of secrets that you can work with.
How did you get into family constellation therapy?
Natalie was totally guided into it. She was a teacher in Argentina and that was a completely different job. She had a debilitating eating disorder back then and had tried everything to deal with it. Natalie had an eating disorder for almost 15 years that nearly took her life. She was teaching in Argentina when she had her first session of Family Constellation Therapy. She found the cure of 15-year battle with bulimia in just one session and that is what compelled her to study this work and then later practice this therapy in New York City.
What does living your purpose mean to you?
Living their purpose is different for every person. Natalie thinks it changes based on your era of time that you are in. Before her daughter was born, living her purpose meant doing more of her work, spending more time in family constellation therapy. Her purpose was mostly career oriented. Now it is more about giving time to her daughter, prioritizing her needs.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
The best advice she has been given is to follow her heart, and that is what she has done in her business and family.
How can we connect with you?
You can connect with her through her website. Her website’s URL is
My guest for today’s podcast is Pat Verducci. She is an experienced writing coach and story consultant. In her long and illustrious career, Pat has written and directed a film, penned scripts for Touchstone Pictures and has worked as a story consultant for Pixar. She has also been teaching screenwriting for past ten years at the University of California.
How did you start as a writer?
There are different paths you can follow to become a writer. Pat was a theater geek in high school, participated in every play, loved reading books and loved doing theater. Pat ended up getting an undergraduate degree in theater and communication but realized very soon it was going to be difficult to make a living working in theater. A part of her always loved to film so she applied to film school and went to the University of California and enrolled in their directing program. An important part of the directing program was to learn about screenwriting and looking at films as an art form from an intellectual perspective. Pat’s favorite classes were screenwriting classes where she got her first taste of being a screenwriter. She graduated from film school, found a job at ABC News and worked there for a while. She was a desk assistant, and had weird job hours and worked late at night so she had plenty of time to write in the morning. She could focus on writing scripts, and that is how she started writing a script that would one day be translated into a film. She ended up writing a feature script that was eventually purchased by a production company. She would then go on and direct a movie for that script which starred Alicia Silverstone. She thought she wanted to be a director who could write as well. But when she had kids, Pat realized directing stuff demanded a lot of time and it was difficult for her to manage so she focused more on writing. In the meantime, she also started to teach screenwriting.
What movies have you directed or been a part of?
Pat has only directed one feature film which is a 1995 film called ‘True Crime’ and it stars Alicia Silverstone and Kevin Dillon in the lead roles. However, she has written scripts for Touchstone Pictures, Disney animation division and also worked as a story consultant for Disney Pixar where she worked with their filmmakers and writers on stories and characters.
What is the Hero’s journey and what does it mean?
The Hero’s Journey is a pattern of narrative identified by Joseph Campbell who was a mythologist and ended up studying myth and fairytales, going all the way back to ancient times and reading all the stories that were written in present time. He discovered that all the stories are same, details are different but the structure is same for all stories. He called it The Hero’s Journey. He was an academic and identified this pattern. There have been amazing people to come after Joseph Campbell. A guy named Christopher Vogler wrote a book called ‘The Writer’s Journey’ and translated the academic discussion of the hero’s journey into his book.
What are the 12 phases of Hero’s journey?
1) Hero starts in an ordinary world, which is his safe place. He is oblivious of the adventures to come.
2) In this phase, the hero receives a call to the adventure where the hero ultimately must step out of his comfort zone.
3) In this phase, the hero refuses for the call/challenge. It is either emotionally or physically dangerous to the character
4) In this phase, a turn of events takes place as the hero decides to act. Usually, a hero meets a mentor who helps him overcome his doubts and fear.
5) In this phase, the hero now crosses the threshold and commits to the adventure. It means the hero has stepped out of the ordinary world to special world.
6) In the special world, the hero faces all sorts of troubles and tests, he must identify who can be trusted, who is the friend and who is an enemy.
7) What the hero want is so special that he now must enter the inmost cave that can reflect an inner conflict or some location where lies great trouble for the hero.
8) This phase is a supreme ordeal for the hero, a physical test or a deep inner crisis. The hero has to overcome all odds to safeguard his existence.
9) The hero emerges victorious from the ordeal and in the process, transforms his personality into a new state becoming a stronger person.
10) Now the hero has to return back to the original world but he has yet to face his final encounter.
11) In this phase, the hero faces his last encounter, a confrontation with the biggest enemy, the results of which are far greater than the hero’s own existence. Ultimately the hero succeeds, destroys the enemy and returns to the original world.
12) This is the final stage where the hero returns to the original world, completely transformed and reborn.
What do you usually write about?
Right from the start of her career, Pat has had a deep obsession with true crime genre. Her first big script and the film leading to the script was also based on the same concept of true crime. Now, Pat is writing a novel that is also crime oriented.
What has been the highest point of your career as a writer?
The moment she realized she was working for Pixar animation studio has been the highest point of her career. She could hardly believe she was in the same room with the creative team of the studio, and that she was collaborating with the filmmakers, and making stories better. Pat says she never even dreamt of being a part of that process and feels lucky every day that she was a part of it.
What does living your purpose mean to you?
Living her purpose means doing what she loves and doing it every single day. Pat says we should pay attention to what lights us up and then make plans to make a career out of it. Acting every day to make it happen is important.
What is the best advice you have been given?
The best advice she has been given is to start before you're ready. To act every day and not worry about the results or think of not making enough plans to take an action.
How can we connect with you?
You can know more about her on her website. Her website’s URL is
She also has a blog section on her website.
Natalie Pierson is a certified personal trainer. Natalie has been a long-time fitness trainer as well and also participated in a figure competition a few years ago. We talk about her life experiences in this podcast and how she ended up traveling to India to dive deep in her own spiritual healing and helping people around her to find their inner self through meditation and praying.
What influenced your decision to participate in figure competition?
She received an invitation from her friends. Natalie had been a personal trainer for two years back then and felt connected to her body. She wanted to see the possibilities she could do with her body and if she could stick to a clean diet for the competition. Natalie hired herself a coach to prepare for the competition.
What did your clean diet look like?
Natalie had a regimented diet plan. She would have timed meals for her. In breakfast, she would eat three eggs along with spinach. Three hours later she would eat four ounces of fish with green beans followed by three-ounce chicken three hours later. Everything was super precise. It was very hard initially but Natalie fell in love with the process later. The actual experience of standing on the stage comes and goes, but the effort that she put in leading to the competition was worth it. Natalie used to train twice in a day, in morning and in evening. She would help her clients in the afternoon as well.
What was it like to stand on the stage and be judged for your external image?
There was a part of Natalie liked it because she worked and trained hard for it. Although at one point she did realize, she started to view herself as an object as well and had to make sure she was in the best shape of herself so people would look at her and appreciate her based on external appearance. Natalie was in the top ten in the competition and performed very well for a beginner.
What did you learn about yourself in the process?
Natalie enjoyed the process of training. Natalie learned that she had the ability to adapt herself per the situation. She realized that when she sets her mind on something, she can achieve it. She realized she could discipline herself and put all her focus on things she really wanted to do. She realized she always wanted to learn more about her core, her deep inner-self and the competition helped her in this regard. The continuous struggle to know more about her core values led her to practice yoga.
What did you do after the figure competition?
Natalie got into yoga practice. She had been doing it for 12-15 years but was not a regular practitioner. She had heard of some of her friends who had traveled to India to learn yoga and she wished she could do the same. She eventually packed her bags and left for India exactly seven months after she had participated in the figure competition. On her arrival in India, Natalie went straight to an ashram and lived there for some time. She left behind her job and her apartment.
What is it like to live in an Ashram?
Natalie met people from all over the world in the ashram. It is like a house where you must do chores. You have certain duties to perform and should not expect someone else to do your work. There is a schedule that you must follow.
Describe a typical day in an Ashram:
Natalie would wake up at 5 in the morning and would follow all the Ayurvedic practices like cleansing her body, taking a shower early in the morning. After that, she would gather with her group in an outdoor courtyard where they would meditate and perform mantra in a group. After that, Natalie used to walk by the Ganga River which was near the ashram. She would connect with nature, and come back around 8AM back to Ashram. In this time, she could go to the nearby shops, prepare food for her lunch or attend lectures by a lady in Ashram. She would talk about Bhagavad Gita, a classic book written in Sanskrit.
How did it feel to come back to New York from India?
It was hard for Natalie to come back because life in New York is a fast-paced life. In New York, you have to make things happen, there is no room for error or mistake. In India, she was taught to just sit and be with herself, learn about herself and it was completely different. She had learned these new tools like yoga and meditation but did not know how she could integrate them into her practice. With the help of a few private clients who had known Natalie from a long time, she was able to resume her practice in Ney York as a personal trainer. Slowly and gradually she started to bring in more yoga elements in her practice and in her personal training program.
What does living your purpose mean to you?
Living her purpose means living authentically and living a transparent life that she is satisfied and happy with. She loves what she does and she thinks that is her biggest achievement.
What is the best advice you have been given?
The best advice for her is to come back to yourself, to come back to your heart. You are responsible for your joy and happiness. The key to happiness is to take that self-responsibility and realize you are solely responsible for your own joy.
How can we connect with you?
You can follow her through her website. Her website’s URL is
You can also register for an upcoming event of personal training from the following link.
12 West 27th St. 9FL. NYC
To Book : (212) 675-9355
235 S. 1st st. Brooklyn
Take a Class with Natalie
Next Event : July 29th
Sacred Sounds Yoga
163 Bleecker St.
Kahlil Gibran - POEM
Read this, and memorized it while in India.
My favorite poem.