Authoring Life Podcast

Practical Inspirations With Mary Jo Lorei



Are you struggling to hear your voice? If you knew how powerful you are, what would you create? In this episode, Mary Jo Lorei, author of Practical Inspirations: Where the Bumper Sticker Meets the Road, leads you to your access points to listen, learn, and act on your wisdom. She suggests that we should bring joy in this game of life no matter if we get bogged down. All we need is to bring in some effort. This episode allows you to tap into your operating system to gain insight and clarity for maximizing your efforts into results. Don’t miss this opportunity and let your mind open, your heart lead, and your most excellent possibility live by tuning in to this episode of Authoring Life with Mary Jo Lorei!

Listen to the podcast here


Practical Inspirations With Mary Jo Lorei

I am super excited to introduce our next guest. Mary Jo has been in my life for many years as a coach, a mentor, and a friend. I have taken her courses on sexuality and femininity, being in your feminine. I have gotten relationship advice and mentorship for many years from this woman. I\’m going to introduce you now. Her name is Mary Jo Lorei.

She\’s an accomplished facilitator, master coach, and self-mastery mentor for all those who seek their next level in life. She has many years of experience working with individuals to achieve their maximum potential, and that\’s the capacity in which I know her. Mary Jo has facilitated dynamic group encounters across the United States, Mexico, Peru, and Canada based on leadership, emotional intelligence, self-development, and relationships.

Mary Jo uses her intuition and deep connection with the human spirit to support others in developing their inner compass and creating energetic, successful lives. We\’re going to be jumping into the book that she published called Practical Inspirations: Where the Bumper Sticker Meets the Road. This is a novelty and a gift book. This is a book that you give to others because Mary Jo uses her gifts and continual development of her skills to forward to all whom she encounters.

By reading this book, you will as well. She is a compassionate mirror, a truth seeker, and is devoted to living vibrantly, dynamically, freely, and all the adjectives we can share. We were jamming on dynamic. I love that word dynamic. That\’s what I call my life now. My life and my business are dynamic because you\’re embracing it all. Mary Jo, it’s great to have you here.

It\’s so good. Dynamic is how I\’d even describe your radiance. You can\’t capture Alicia’s lightning in a bottle. It\’s dynamic, fascinating, and beautiful. It\’s a little bit maybe dangerous. It\’s fun to get close.

I know you and I started working together years ago when you had the inkling of writing a book and now it is done. Tell me, Mary Jo, why did you write a book?

I do want to give one acknowledgment for sure to you. I\’ve always dreamed of it. It was always a fantasy of me. The first step to having one in my hands was when you looked at me and said, “Why not?” When you said it in such an of courseness kind of way, it became a reality then. The journey between that moment and me having the book written was I was a little lost in what my purpose was. Writing the book became the purpose.

The best way I can describe it is I was trying to give birth at the moment of conception like I wanted it done. I was like, “Write a book.” It was clunky and I wasn\’t having fun, so I had to come to Mary Jo\’s heart center moment of what\’s the book going to cause? I got passionate about that because I have been gifted. I had a way of listening when I was younger that I couldn\’t explain but I could hear what other people couldn\’t hear, like what people meant versus what people said.

I jokingly say all three of my careers, I went from bartender to hair stylist to coach and facilitator. I\’ve been a professional listener for many years. That\’s why I wanted to write a book. It’s to have people stimulated to hear themselves. I love inspiration. I\’m a junkie. If you put the needle in my arm, let\’s go. Inspirations everywhere. It\’s so uplifting and energizing and it gets fresh air into the situation.

What I kept noticing is people have theoretical inspiration not know how to apply it. I can read a bumper sticker and I see that coexisting then I yell at the next person that cuts me off like, “When are we going to take that and put it into life?” Once that became clear, that\’s what I wanted to do. It poured out of me. They’re literally practical inspirations, little moments, examples, and paradigm shifts that give one a chance to go and check on, “Is the perspective that I\’m using working for what I want?” In the book, as I take people through opportunities to stop, check in, and hear themselves for opportunities, then also like, “How are you going to use it?”

I want to step back to what you said because what you shared in terms of the book writing process will resonate with so many of my clients and people out there who are thinking about writing a book. It is you want to give birth at the moment of conception and there is that nine-month period. I created a program called Bestseller in a Weekend and everyone was like, “I made 20,000 words.” You\’re going through it, netting it, adding, and changing, and then you\’re living the material. There\’s a lot of it\’s living.

I\’m going through the process now because I\’m writing a book as well. I wrote all 35,000 words then the editor ripped it apart and we\’re putting it back together. Going back to what you were saying of you get to live with the content and inspiration. It almost gets to be embodied and integrated. Going to your book, Practical Inspiration: Where the Bumper Sticker Meets the Road, how can we take these bumper sticker thoughts, statements, quotes, and make them integrated a part of our life? That\’s what you\’re saying because if you honk at the next person, then you have road rage. I want to jump into your book. Give us some practical inspiration.

Having walked with all of these, one of my favorite things about the book is I\’m still using it, not only it starts to sparkle things or things start to bubble up. It\’s also showing me where I was since the last time I read it. Some of the practical ways of life are the paradigm shift. Is this working for me? Change your lens, change your life. The lens I\’m using is often clouded by limiting beliefs, evidence-building, circumstance-driven, or living life by default instead of by design.

When we shift that out into what I want to create, I\’m not some wizard that came up with something new. I took concepts that have been around for a long time and gave them a little different access point. I do like to say clearly that I\’m not a guru. I don\’t want to tell people how to live. What I do know is there isn\’t a way but I know some ways to find your way.

You can get inspired by in this book is you\’re going to hear you more than you hear me. There\’s one dedicated to my mom because she brought to me her massive deck of cards. Midwesterner Indiana always had a deck of cards in her purse. If You were at a restaurant and the table was going to be a fifteen-minute wait, cards came out. If you\’re sitting on an airplane, cards come out. She was buried with a deck of cards.


Hers was, “These weren\’t the cards I wanted but these were the cards I was dealt so let\’s play.” How great is that? I have rocked on that my whole life. I offer that up as, “Think about that. Why do you want to count on the cards instead of being a great player?” A good card player doesn\’t need the cards. They know how to play the cards. She also is part of where I got that joy-mongering from. If you\’re going to play the game of life, play. We get bogged down in the ugh. I\’m not saying it doesn\’t take effort. Being a human being or in a relationship takes effort but sometimes we forget. We\’re playing the game of life, so why not bring that spark of joy into it?

I was telling that to my daughter. Life is a game and we get to play it. It\’s how you respond. Share some more practical inspiration.

I\’ll flip over to a page. Hysterical is often historical. Hysterical is rarely about what\’s in front of me. It is almost always about how this has pushed a button I brought into the situation. When I feel that the temperature went way higher than it needed to or I\’m like Chicken Little that everything is falling apart. I could trace it right back down to when we were a kid and dad lost all the money. We thought life was over. I go back to that not-feeling-safe moment.

Now, when it comes, I feel that coming and you feel the energy in your body. Everybody knows that moment where it\’s like, “I\’m about to go way over the top with my reaction now.” As soon as I feel that things starting going up, it\’s like, “How much of this is what\’s here and how much of that is like, ‘Oh yeah?’” I\’ve been working a lot with clients during COVID. As you can imagine, relationships were strained.

You’re a relationship coach and to me, that is your sweet spot. It’s being able to read, support, ask questions, probe, and provoke, all of that in terms of relationships and getting people to the next level in their relationships.

I now have couples using that language. You push the button, I brought in. Instead of you are pushing my buttons, which means you\’re the one that needs to change and you\’re the problem. No, I want to be upfront for both of our sakes and say, “You push the button, I brought in.” You can\’t push somebody\’s buttons if they didn\’t have any. That awareness of, can we be honest? Your action is stimulating it. Let\’s be mindful of that. Also, it’s hitting a nerve in me that was here before I met you.

[bctt tweet=\”You can\’t push somebody\’s buttons if they don\’t have any.\” via=\”no\”]

That way, I can share my feelings with you instead of making you responsible for them. Get into a relationship where 2 or 1 of the other things I eradicate with all the couples I work with such as letting you know if anybody wants to call me know this is coming. You may not say you make me feel. It’s taking out of any of the languaging because again, you can\’t make me feel anyway. I have a reaction to you and if I take responsibility that way, I\’m hysterical, emotional, and reactionary. I\’m bringing this to the us because I could use some support with it then we\’re on the same team.



I want to get back into the book because it is a picture book with beautiful photos and very much like a coffee table book. Where can people find Practical Inspirations?

Right on Amazon or you can go to It\’s an interesting size book because it\’s 12×12, so it fits in a backpack. It\’s a good journaling book. People have a good time. I\’ve had people reach out to me that said, “Me and my husband have been reading one. We choose one and we read it every day for seven days and then write a little bit about it. We talk to each other about what it stimulated that day.” I did do it beautifully because again, why not?

Why not learn and enjoy beauty at the same time? The gentleman that did the art direction, Chris, was astounding. He was such a visionary and a visual. He understood how to make something visual out of what I was talking about that was nebulous or esoteric. That was one of the most fun parts of the whole book.

That imagery and deliciousness, when he went through it if you pay attention, the first picture is winter and it ends in fall. It goes through four seasons and because it\’s 52, one per week for a year or one every day for two months. You can choose however to do it or you randomly open it up to a page and it\’s usually the one you need to hear as it has been recorded.

I would love to jump into another one that you would like to share with us that you feel like it\’s the one everyone gets to read now.

This is the one everybody gets to read now. Expression is an eye conversation. Communication is a we conversation.

Speak into that.

I find collapsing the two. People express themselves and wonder why they\’re not being understood. If you\’re expressing, it\’s a one-way street. It goes for me out. Expression is important but if I want the expression to turn into understanding, then I go, “I don\’t want to express myself. I want to communicate. I want to commune with somebody else.” Now my expression turns into communication because I\’m paying attention to where I want it to land and what I want to convey.

It\’s not just when I think of self-expression, which is so important. All the many ways people find to do it. I talk to people about the way they are in the kitchen, decorating their homes, and where they take care of their bodies. There are all kinds of ways, like artistic ways and spiritual ways to express yourself. It\’s having your tone out into the world. When I want to be understood, I take that expression now and almost bend it into, “I\’m also responsible for how my listener is listening.”

When I want to express myself with purpose, I\’m going to look into Alicia’s eyes and I\’m going to say, “I know what\’s important to her. I know what our relationship means to me. While I\’m expressing myself to be heard, I\’m going to set you up to win. I want to teach you about me. Permission to say it the way it comes out and permission to edit it or alter it if I didn\’t express in a way that you understood what I wanted to express.” Now, we\’ve moved into we conversation and my expression is now communication.

Beautifully said. Since you\’re supporting relationships and individuals to get to their next level and you do that through facilitation and workshops internationally, do you find that it has taken on a different context, texture, and urgency in the last few years?

Absolutely and I say this from a place of inspiration. Who\’s ever reading, please open your heart and read generously because I\’m going to express myself. I\’m hoping to land an understanding here. We\’re not out of it. Are we “going back to normal?” How do we go back to unknowing what this showed us about ourselves and our world?

[bctt tweet=\”Open your heart and listen generously.\” via=\”no\”]

There are things opening up as far as safety, the lethalness of the pandemic, and the wake-up call that is now starting to become a world that works for everyone that isn\’t so selective and unjust for people of different colors and shapes and all of that. I think there should be some reality check that we get to say, “We\’re still in it.”

This is going to be dramatic, so forgive me but when an atomic bomb goes off, it\’s the next ten years that have to be dealt with. Until nature comes back, the radiation gets eradicated, and new babies are being born, we\’re still in that. We\’re still in the vibration. It was so great because one of the first things I did when the pandemic hit was get on a coach\’s call with you with other people and we sat in here.

I do remember that.

You introduced me, so we’re open to the concept. One of the things that were startling was when the exterior structure got stripped away. We found out how weak our infrastructure was. I was depending on my schedule, on my drive to work, the kids being out of the house for eight hours, and being able to get up close and personal with people. I was depending on all these things, then suddenly, that was all gone.

We\’re still now and what I\’m encouraging people is this is the best time in our lives to get intentional and purposeful with what we want in our emotional, physical and spiritual spine. What\’s the core? What do you want to have so solid no matter what swirls around you again? Here\’s what I do know and what I can count on because that had people in a panic. As I said, it\’s going to be some time until equilibrium is fully restored. That\’s not bad. It\’s just I want to pay attention. If I\’m on a catamaran, I\’m going to walk differently if it\’s tipped up to the side.

For the last couple of years, I, fortunately, didn\’t lose anyone and had the opportunity and the privilege to move cross-country and live in Miami Beach. I slowed down and I\’m still at that pace. My three words are purpose, play, and pleasure. That\’s what I\’m focused on. If it\’s not the purpose and not playful, then it\’s not pleasure. That\’s where I am. Going to a place, lowering my costs, and getting simple, that\’s what it did for me. You said infrastructure, so my infrastructure is peace and being slow.

Do you remember a time in your life when you thought being noisy was better?

There was a time in my life where I thought being noisy was better. I have no interest in going back and everything is working. That\’s the beauty of that. The work that I did with you and I met you through Mastery In Transformational Training in Los Angeles and the Grace Program in Relationships. You being my coach and mentor. I shared and introduced you as I invited everyone in and you have this way about you. I want to acknowledge you. You are so present and do not take anything for granted and are so grateful. You take the juice and the essence out of each moment.

Thank you.

That\’s what I learned from you. Even when I talked to you as we got on the phone. It\’s like the juice and seeing people. You make them feel like they\’re the only person in the room and that\’s a beautiful trait to have while holding space for dozens and hundreds of people. Now with your book Practical Inspirations, you get to serve thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people because they can go to their local bookstore or purchase it on Amazon or First of all, did you have anything to say about it?

I\’m so touched right now. I\’m so grateful for the way our vibrations harmonize. It\’s something I\’ve always appreciated about you and me. We are not always on the same note but we always harmonize. I\’m deeply grateful for that because to me, that\’s a dynamic way of living. I don\’t need another me. I need another Alicia in my life. When we\’re not on the same note, we know how to undulate around each other and find that we\’re there. You\’ve shined the light for me and been my soft place to land. It\’s been a privilege to be yours. That\’s what I\’ll say about that.

We\’ll jump into the speed realm and this first question will maybe get you emotional. What is your legacy, Mary Jo?

My legacy that I\’m generating with all the fibers of my being. When we truly know our own values, we support other people in knowing there and we make a world that works for everybody. It is my passion, my purpose, my vocation, and my joy to remind people. No matter what human experience you\’re having, you\’re a divine being.

In a world that works for everybody, that\’s sustainability. What is your favorite book?

It\’s crazy, A Prayer for Owen Meany.

I’ve never heard of it.

I\’m blanking on the author\’s name. I can\’t believe it. It\’s my favorite book. Also, The World According to Garp. He wrote all the scripts of books. There\’s something about the way they capture this character. It is about fulfilling a purpose and you don\’t realize it until it culminates what you\’ve been reading the whole time. I like to be pretty savvy, so I pay attention, as you said. If I can be delighted and surprised by an ending, every once in a while, I\’ll go back and read it again. There\’s about friendship, family, and purpose in it in a fun way. It\’s a book I\’ll go back and revisit every couple of years.

What about your favorite author? Do you have a favorite author?

If I remember his name.

What are you going to read next? What\’s on your bookshelf or your nightstand?

What I have lined up is I have a nonsense novel that I can\’t even remember the title of and I am working through a coaching manual, a way to look at people\’s perspectives. I have one that\’s in the shoot ready to come in. It’s more about emotional brain chemistry. Emotions are all driven by the chemistry in the brain and I think the more we know about that, the more intelligent we can be with it.

What are you writing next?

One of the things that came out of the pandemic, as it turns out the guy I live with is the one I want to be with, so we\’re tying the knot. With all the fun, I\’m having planning the wedding. Somebody said, “You should do a practical inspiration for brides,” because I\’m doing with the wedding. I\’m like, “That should be it.” I still want to do a collection again because I do love bite-size pieces. I am putting things into a bucket and we\’ll see what it turns into. That\’s what I\’m working on.

That\’s how it begins. How can people find out more about you, Mary Jo? What’s your social media and website?

The website says a little bit about me and it is a great way to get in touch with me. On Instagram, every Tuesday, I put out a Truth Seed. It\’s funny that evolved. That was a gift from COVID and in honor of George Floyd. I was calling him truth bombs. I realized I didn\’t want to be another bomb in the world. I want to be something that grows. Now I call them Truth Seeds, so I plant little seeds every Tuesday. They\’re pretty fun. Again, I\’m traveling around. I\’m doing workshops, so where I\’m at is always on my social media or on my website. That\’s how people can find me.

You can buy Practical Inspirations at or on Amazon. Mary Jo, I\’d love for you to leave a last piece of advice. Plant a seed that can grow in all of those that are reading.

I\’m going to reiterate what I said earlier, only now I ask when you read to relax your shoulders, soften your belly, and take a big breath. You were born whole and perfect. You are 50 trillion cells that will never happen again by birthright alone. You are a one-of-a-kind miracle. No matter how much evidence you gather, no matter how much you resist it, no matter how even your ego wants to get in the way, it\’s never not true. If you start from there, the very next thought, word, or deed is going to be coming from me, a divine, one-of-a-kind, never happening again, being. You wait for your life to unfold.



Thank you, Mary Jo.

You\’re so welcome.

What a way to end this episode. Let that sink in, everybody. With that, I want to thank Mary Jo Lorei for being here and sharing your Practical Inspirations and wisdom with us all. Everyone, thank you so much for being here and we\’ll see you on the next episode. Be well, everybody.


Important Links


About Mary Jo Lorei

\"ALMary Jo Lorei is an accomplished Facilitator, Master Coach and a Self Mastery Mentor of all those who seek their next level. She has over 20 years of experience working with individuals to achieve their maximum potential. Mary Jo has facilitated dynamic group encounters across the United States, Mexico, Peru, and Canada based on Leadership, Self Development and Relationship. Mary Jo uses her intuition and deep connection with the human spirit to support others in developing their inner compass and creating energetic successful lives.

Last year Mary Jo published her book “Practical Inspirations: where the bumper sticker meets the road”. The book is a full tome of access points to listen, learn and act on one’s own wisdom. With so many inspirational sources out there, it can become overwhelming, and even more so without application. The opportunities in these pages tap into the reader’s own operating system, then give insight to and clarity to maximize turning efforts into results.

Mary Jo has completed multiple intensive facilitator & coaching programs, and has studied with multiple spiritual masters and has pursued philosophy and anthropology courses. All of this (and more) helps her unlock understanding of the workings of human beings. She puts out a weekly inspiration called Tuesday Truth Seeds, works with private clients on success in all areas, she facilitates workshops for companies as well as produces her own, and is always creating her next training,

Mary Jo uses her gifts and continual development of her skills to forward all whom she encounters. She is a compassionate mirror, a stealth truth seeker, and is devoted to living vibrantly.

Authoring Life Podcast

The 60 Seconds Fix With Dr. Regalena Melrose



Have you ever been stressed waiting in line for something? Did you ever wish you could destress in just a short amount of time? Well, now it’s possible to destress in 60 seconds or less. The 60 Seconds Fix is the newest book by Dr. Regalena Melrose. It is her response to people who want quicker and easier solutions to their stressful lives. When stressed, there might be no time to see your therapist, which is why Dr. Regalena Melrose has the right tools for you.

Join Alicia Dunams as she talks to this stress and trauma specialist about her book. Learn how your body works under stress and what you can do to alleviate that. Understand that you can’t fix anything in less than 60 seconds, but all it takes is 60 seconds every day to bring your body back into balance.

Listen to the podcast here


The 60 Seconds Fix With Dr. Regalena Melrose

I am very excited to introduce my next guest, Dr. Regalena Melrose. I would love to share with you a little bit about Dr. Melrose. She\’s an author, educator, trainer, and consultant dedicated to providing Self-Regulation Training, SRT, to individuals and groups worldwide. She\’s the bestselling author of The 60 Seconds Fix and Creator of both Brain Charge: The K-12 Curriculum and SRT.

Additionally, Regalena has authored other noteworthy resources, including the groundbreaking books You Can Heal Your Child and Why Students Underachieve. She\’s an accomplished international speaker and consultant specializing in the application of current neuroscience to educational practice and parenting. Welcome, Regalena.

I\’m so glad to be here. Thanks for having me.

It\’s wonderful to have you here. This is a full circle moment for us because we worked on your book, You Can Heal Your Child. How many years ago was that?


I\’ve written five since then, so it has to be a long time ago because I\’m not that prolific. I don\’t work that quickly.

That was such a fun book because I remember we came up with the title of the book. This is the essential question that parents want to be able to access answer, “How can I heal my child?” We are going to be talking about You Can Heal Your Child and the book that I would love to share with the audience called The 60 Seconds Fix. This particular book is a timely response to our collective calling for quicker, easier solutions to our stressful lives.

Keeping up with our fast-paced, technology-driven world stresses us beyond tolerance. We are tired of not feeling good and our kids not feeling good. I\’m excited to jump into The 60 Seconds Fix and talk about other books that you\’ve created. Your commitment to the world is to heal children and heal those children when they turn into adults. I want to welcome you to being here. Thank you.

Thank you so much, Alicia. It is a question that parents have, “Can I heal my child?” It’s the reason that that title was so important for us to come up with, You Can Heal Your Child. Thank God. That came to you in a moment of inspiration. It answers that question. Yes, we can as parents. As committed as I am to healing children, I just celebrated 30 years of doing what I do for a living. What I learned over those 30 years is that it\’s by healing parents that children heal. It is through us.

[bctt tweet=\”It\’s by healing parents that children heal.\” via=\”no\”]

Our emotions, regulations, and capacity as parents are absorbed by our children. The healthier and better off we are as parents, the more they benefit from being in that space, energy, atmosphere, and feeling. It\’s a feeling to be around a parent who\’s healthy, whole, productive, and functional. We can\’t be those things all the time, so we are all being challenged. My commitment is to healing probably the planet because I happen to be a little hopeful. Through us as adults, our children will be healed.

That brings us to my first question. We worked together years ago on You Can Heal Your Child. You are prolific. You write these books. They are dedicated to healing children and adults alike. I want to jump into your next book, The 60 Seconds Fix. What made you write this book?


It was time for a mainstream book. Even though it is the most mainstream, it isn\’t the most recent. I\’ve focused a lot on providing resources to educators and mental health practitioners. I wanted a book that was for your hairdresser and auto mechanic. I have the privilege of doing a wonderful keynote out in Beaumont. That organization wants me to speak to all of their support staff, meaning their technicians and people working in their cafeteria. All of the employees of this organization need to be supported. They need answers. We are all tired of feeling powerless.

That\’s why that title, going back to, You Can Heal Your Child, is so important. You can heal. We\’ve got to get our power back. The 60 Seconds Fix book addresses that for everybody, no matter who it is that is searching or needs relief. What are some simple, effective and on-the-quick side things or tools that I can use whether I\’m working on my job, in front of my child, waiting in line or feeling road rage? I was fascinated by those things and the people that have a hard time waiting in line or being in traffic.

It\’s like their nervous system is highly aroused in some way. In anything, comment or someone not turning on their turn signal sets them off.

That\’s understandable, given everything that everybody has been going through these last few years. People have been pushed to the absolute edge. We don\’t have the time, patience, and capacity to commit to long-term solutions. I don\’t think we do. We need on-the-go, on-the-run, in-the-moment, and seconds-long tools that are effective, not a cheap idea that we can do quickly.

What does work quickly? That\’s what my research was all about. I tested on thousands of people over the years. Can this 60-second toolkit, where we set a timer, and it truly is 60 seconds and no more, can be effective after 1 time, 2 times, 3 times or 10 times? What is it? We set out to do this research and discover that in 60 seconds, in the beginning, when you apply these tools, eventually they kick in 40 seconds, 30 seconds or 20 seconds. It becomes a gestalt where your whole brain-body is used to what you have been practicing for only 60 seconds a day.

It\’s there for you in those moments when you need something that\’s going to kick in even quicker than 60 seconds. It took a lot of determination to find the answers. Can we heal quicker? Is there something that we can be doing that doesn\’t take up as much of our time and commitment because we have so many other things going? We are finding out that yes, there are simple and quick things that we can do a little bit each day so that it builds up inside of us and makes a difference.

I want to jump into some of those tools that we can access anytime, anywhere, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week these, 60-second tools. I want to speak to something that you said. There is this long-term fixing. I don\’t know if you are referring to therapy, inner child work or things that could take months, years, and decades that people invest in. Do people feel it can’t be as easy as 60 seconds?

True. Who can blame anyone for assuming that? That\’s a good assumption to make because we are not going to heal in 60 seconds. We are not going to use this toolkit 1 time for 60 seconds and heal. It is very important to address that. It\’s about the strengthening of neural pathways over time, 60 seconds at a time. We become a master through practice, no matter what it is, whether it\’s playing the piano, going to yoga or some of these longer-term things that are very helpful. Even therapy helps us to question our thought process and make sure that we are challenging some of the debilitating thoughts that run through our heads sometimes.



All of what we need to do is practice healthier habits until those healthier habits are grooved into the structure of our brain. Once we are able to do that, then we get somewhere with short, quick, and accessible tools that we\’ve practiced. They are kicking in. It is quick and easy. There\’s a payoff. The thing is that we want and need a payoff for our effort. What I don\’t want is for people to feel that the effort they have to make is carved out at least 1 hour, 3 times a week, to go to a yoga class that\’s 7 blocks away. They have to find a sitter.

It can be complex to get to therapy regularly, to a yoga class or that basketball game because you are on a team. Thank God. It helps to play basketball as often as you can if you are trying to de-stress that way. I\’m very interested in how much easier than that can it get. How much quicker, easier, and more accessible can it be? Can it just be while I\’m sitting right here with you? Can it be when I\’m doing the dishes and have to make my son\’s lunch? Can it be where I\’m in my home or in bed? Can I learn something that\’s going to help me fall asleep so much easier than having to do something more complex?

Those are the things I got curious about. As one of those busy people that was juggling it all, I was struggling with my stress levels. I have genetic conditions that challenge my capacity to handle stress. There are genetic components, biological components, and hormonal components for those of us that are going through menopause. There are all kinds of components to this. How is it that I could find something doable and practical? I\’m wired that way. How can I make this the simplest and the most practical for people? I compiled a lot of stuff, and it turns out you can get it into something simple and effective.

What are some of your top ways to self-regulate? When people are feeling stressed, and their nervous system is aroused, what are some of these tools that are in your book?

Here\’s where it\’s a process of. It\’s a process of stealing, paying attention to all the research, listening to all the brilliant people, trying everything, putting it together, and going, “I\’ve pulled everything from all these different wonderful places.” Putting and using them together turns out to be powerful. It’s that word gestalt, where the totality of the tools is bigger than any one tool on its own.

A medical doctor, for example. They\’ve said it to many people that I\’ve worked with over all these years. If you are having trouble falling asleep, wiggle your toes and pay attention to your feet. The more you pay attention to your feet, and you wiggle your toes, you start to lower your heart rate and blood pressure. You are bringing your energy down. It\’s fascinating.

If you go to get your blood pressure taken and don\’t remember to uncross your legs and put your feet flat on the ground, then you get a higher blood pressure reading. You are in a higher state of stress, agitation, activation or whatever word you want to use. A good nurse who knows his or her stuff is going to say, “Could you uncross that leg for me? Get those feet flat on the ground.”

Learn about breath and the importance of a breath going in through your nose as opposed to your mouth. Unfortunately, when people don\’t know their stuff, they may say to somebody quickly, “Take a deep breath. That will calm you down.” People start taking deep breaths but they are breathing in through their mouths because they are having an anxious, panicky moment. When we do, we often gasp in through our open mouths because we are in distress.

Breathing in through your mouth continues the activating anxiety-producing physiology in your body. The deep breath needs to go in through the nose. That triggers a branch of our autonomic nervous system that starts to slow everything down again. It starts to lower heart rate, blood pressure and glucocorticoids, which is a fancy word for stress hormones like cortisol or adrenaline. I pulled, put things together, did the research on them, set the timer for 60 seconds, and collected data to see if this was effective or not.

[bctt tweet=\”Breathing through your mouth continues to activate the anxiety-producing physiology in your body.\” via=\”no\”]

Can all of this combine to be something that works that quickly in moments of distress? It turns out that yes, in fact. Even now, if you notice your bottom and your chair, this is my favorite thing about this with old kids, young kids, and students who have to take tests, all they have are themselves, a pencil or pen, and the chair they are sitting in. You can wiggle your toes, breathe in through your nose, and focus on the chair that\’s right there offering you support and find the part of you that feels the most anchored either to that chair or maybe it\’s your feet on the ground. Do that for a few rounds. It only takes 10 or 15 seconds.

It doesn\’t take long for you to start to notice that when you focus on the support, you are getting from your chair, you wiggle your toes, breathe in through your nose, and there you are in a test-taking situation bringing down the anxiety you are having from taking that test. It has been a miraculous discovery that has been a joy to share. You can do all this on my app. There are audio and video resources on there. Go to my Instagram. My Instagram was hacked, and I have to start over. I will do weekly little videos taking you through yet another helpful tool. It turns out that we can\’t talk ourselves out of it.

It\’s almost like a bodily solution that needs to happen. It’s not a mental solution. It’s breathwork, meditation, and movement. We can\’t think ourselves out of it because our thinking brain will take us in all different directions.

It is the thinking brain that gets hijacked when we are in distress. We don\’t even have access to a very healthy thinking brain. They call that stinking thinking. When we are in distress, that\’s what happens. It\’s hijacked and will take us down a black hole of yuck. We got to go into these sensory tools or this body solution because that is where the heart is racing. It\’s the body that\’s making you think you are about to have a panic attack and die. You got to soothe the body. This toolkit is about sensory tools for bringing the body into balance.

As you were going through the breathwork of breathing through the nose, out of the mouth, the feet firmly placed on the ground and feeling supported by the chair that I\’m in. I sense my whole body calming through that moment. What I love about this is that when our amygdala is hijacked or aroused, we don\’t have access to the therapist down the street. That’s $300 an hour. At that moment, we only have access to our bodies and ourselves. We can tap into these tools that you are sharing anytime, anywhere, and any place 24/7. They are free.

They are there for you when you are waiting at the bus stop, waiting in line at the grocery store or driving in the middle of traffic and somebody is giving you the finger. They are there all the time. That\’s why I have found it so rewarding and exciting to know that it\’s something I\’m giving people that is always right there right now for nothing. They are secretive and private. Nobody has to know that you are doing that for yourself.

I find that very helpful for a lot of people who are self-conscious or have shame issues. For a lot of the people that I work with, there is this loading of shame that a lot of us feel in this world of social comparisons all the time, and there’s so much pressure. I don\’t know how young people are doing it.

We both have one child. When I worked with you, my daughter was probably 10, and your son was 6 or 7 years old. We were getting caught up with where they were. Something that I have been doing for the last several years is I do a lot of leadership development work. I start my training grounding in meditation. I did one for the military. I led them through a visual meditation.

What happens is when people come into the room, they bring all this energy and stress. They got cut off by so and so to ground and be able to receive the learning of the day. This woman was crying in the meditation. She said she felt very vulnerable and stressed as she came in. It’s that slowing down moment. I always look towards you. What I remember when we were doing You Can Heal Your Child is that you would take children with ADHD, ADD, and learning disabilities into nature to heal them. That was part of the tool.

I teach that in my training. I say, “Take a MENTAL health break.” M stands for Meditation. E stands for Exercise. N stands for Nature. T stands for Talking it out. A is Altruism, giving back philanthropy work, and then L is Laughing and Letting it go. You have access to that at any time. When you are feeling aroused or stressed, walk on the beach, take a walk in the park or lay in the grass.

You brilliantly did it for your participants. They can do it right here like go for a walk on the beach or lie in the grass. It’s when we don\’t have actual access to it. When we visualize it, we give them visual medication. One of the tools of the 60 Seconds Toolkit is a visual of a place in nature that you love to be, that is restoring, that you have a good memory of, or something you make up, something that would delight you if you could go or some of these wonderful places in nature that we can\’t even get to. They can only show us an aerial view from the helicopters.

When we visualize this, our neurons fire in our brains as though we have the experience. Our brain-body doesn\’t know the difference. Our neurons fire as though we are there. All that brings down our glucocorticoids, stress hormones, heart rate, and blood pressure when we are in a beautiful spot in nature, whether it\’s real or imagined, which I find so exciting and liberating.

You can buy Dr. Reggie Melrose’s book, The 60 Seconds Fix, on and any other bookstore like your favorite bookstore and Barnes & Noble, I\’m sure. While you are there, buy, You Can Heal Your Child. If you are a parent of a young one or an older one, have these tools and access Dr. Reggie\’s brilliant research and studies.

Even though I was supporting you with the book writing process, you were writing the book. We were doing all the publishing and the book cover design. I gleaned this learning from you. Who you be in the world is so powerful. On your email list, I see how passionate you are, especially around the youth, and how important that is as our youth become older. I would love for you to share another tip from your book for people to be able to access a tool and self-regulate at that moment.

Another wonderful tip is about how we feel ourselves separate from all of what\’s going on out there. All of what surrounds us is not us, and we get mixed up. We absorb things and own things that don\’t belong to us and do belong to others. Reestablishing a strong, healthy boundary container that is around us, protects our personal space, and helps us to feel separate from what is outside of us is not me. I see, hear, and feel it but it\’s not mine. I\’m not taking and owning it. I don\’t want it.

In the book are some wonderful tools for how to develop a helpful container and begin imagining healthy boundaries. It\’s tricky because our boundaries are not just something that we speak with our words. It has to be something fully owned and embodied inside of our whole being that, “This is a no. This is not mine. Keep it away from me. If you can\’t, I will.” I know how to make sure to feel separate from what isn\’t me. That takes some work, effort, and tools. These are tools that I lead you through in the app and my writings if you want. Part of you can heal your child. It is all about that.

[bctt tweet=\”Our boundaries are not something that we speak with our words. It has to be something fully owned and embodied in our whole being.\” via=\”no\”]

Here’s another tip I would love to share with parents. Know that they can anchor into their separateness from their child, not disconnection. We are not disconnected from our children. We can be as connected to them as we need to be. We are separate. We have our own bodies, emotional life, and degree of regulation and dysregulation. We certainly wouldn\’t want them to own any of that, would we?

We are having a bad day. We are dysregulated. Our emotions are a little haywire. We don\’t want them absorbing, owning, and taking that on as their own. This container and boundary work are important for us to appreciate that our separateness from our children is extremely healthy and important. It\’s not unhealthy detachment, rejection, disconnection or any of those places that our stinking thinking will lead us to.

It\’s healthy. I want to be my separate human being so that my child gets to be their separate human being. They don\’t need to take on my stuff, as I do better as a parent when I don\’t take on their stuff. We stay more regulated when we don\’t own what\’s theirs. It\’s tricky. It takes some practice and tools. I lead people through that, whether it\’s in my writings or on my website. I have that archive of blogs and newsletters with all the tips on there. Also, my YouTube channel.

Let\’s use this as an opportunity. I usually ask this at the end. There\’s such wealth. I\’m on your email list, and I see your website. I know how prolific you are, the books you are writing, the work that you are doing, and the schools and corporations worldwide. Where can people find out more about your books and all of the resources that you have?

I\’m glad you are asking because so many of them are free, and it\’s a passion of mine. I keep my prices as low as I can. I give a lot away for free because I want people to have this. If you go to, it’s on there. There\’s so much free stuff, low-cost stuff, and stuff that\’s a little pricier because I hold people sometimes for a long time. You can see on there the online courses on.

Also, the YouTube channel, which is free. When you go to YouTube and put in Dr. Reggie Melrose, my channel will show up. It\’s categorized a little bit, and you can tune into what interests you. The app is at your App Store, the Play Store. It\’s called Dr. Reggie Melrose. It\’s all my name. If you use my name, you will get lots of resources. I have been blessed to hear back from too many people to keep track of over these years with what it\’s meant to them. It\’s extremely humbling because, honestly, I\’m the person that needed this. We teach what we most need to learn.

[bctt tweet=\”People teach what they most need to learn.\” via=\”no\”]

We talked about You Can Heal Your Child and The 60 Seconds Fix. Please tell us about your other books.

What a pleasure. Thank you so much. I have a little guide for parents called Hope and Healing, and by the same name, this activities book is called Hope and Healing Activities Book. You have to look on the website for either the guide or the activities book. This activities book is full of what we can do as parents with our kids, as teachers with our students, and as practitioners with our clients no matter what their age.


It\’s a wonderful activities book that helps us do this sensory stuff that\’s so necessary for stress, anxiety, and trauma. If we try to do it with words, we don\’t get merely as far but if we do it with sensation, sensory tools, and body-oriented tools, then we get somewhere with stress, anxiety, and the effects of trauma. That\’s important. The textbook has been used as a textbook in universities and by so many educators all over the place.

This one is published by Rowman & Littlefield. It\’s, Why Students Underachieve, and it is my first book from some years ago. I\’m not going to count the years. This is The K-12 Curriculum. My latest publication is a teacher guide for the curriculum. You don\’t need the curriculum to get over 50 sensory ideas for how to help your students with stress, anxiety, and the effects of trauma over 50 beautiful seconds long things. That\’s a PDF. It was a demand where everyone was like, “We would love something to be an easily downloadable PDF.” You click and download the Brain Charge Teacher Guide. It\’s a PDF. It\’s also available on my website.

At this portion of the show, I like to ask the speed round or ask you questions, and you tell me the first thing that comes to your mind. The first question is, Dr. Reggie, what is your legacy?

I hope it\’s to alleviate the world of its shame. I want to bring people out of shame states and love themselves the way they are. It\’s a big one for me.

Your favorite book?

I am reading Eckhart Tolle’s, A New Earth. I keep reading and reading it.

It’s practice until it is ingrained in us. Your favorite author?

You are going to know the Canadian in me. I\’m from Canada, and honestly, my absolute favorite author is a guy from Toronto, Timothy Findley. One of his best books ever is called Not Wanted on the Voyage. I had to plug it in.

Is it fiction or nonfiction?

It’s fiction and fantasy in the most exciting ways. It has beautiful metaphors and gorgeous poetic writing. He\’s wonderful.

What are you reading next?

I have, Stillness Speaks, which is also Eckhart Tolle. It\’s the tiniest little book and is so profound. It has a few words on each page but has a huge impact. That is the book that I\’m reading that\’s bringing me a lot of peace, joy, and acceptance of myself, just the way I am so that I can be that for others. I hope that people absorb that from me and that it helps them to do the same for them.


Here’s the final question, and I know you are a prolific author. What are you writing next, Dr. Reggie? What do we get to work on?

I am writing my next newsletter blog for the website. It is about my dear best friend in the world who passed during Covid from cancer. She had a long six-year battle but is my hero. She remains my hero. She was a phenomenal healer as well. I\’m writing something beautiful to inspire others. I try to be the best Beth I can be. Her name is Beth. I always try to be the best version I can be of myself that is inspired by her. I want to do the same for my audience. I\’m writing a newsletter blog that I hope will be very helpful to my audience. If people want to subscribe to my website, put your email there. Every now and then, I do not clog up people\’s inboxes.

It\’s only valuable information. It’s to get access to that new newsletter. I look forward to seeing that. I like to ask a question. What\’s one thing you want to leave our audience with?

I hope that what I leave them with is a sense of hope. I don\’t like to look back only to see how far I\’ve come but if anyone is feeling from me a sense of peace and hope that we can keep working on this seconds at a time and we will find relief, more self-acceptance, and self-compassion, that\’s what I would love to impart to people. Being that person that has been on this journey for this long, there\’s hope.

Dr. Melrose, it was so wonderful to interview you for this episode. It’s great to have a full-circle moment with our work together a decade plus ago and to see you thriving and serving the world. I’m grateful to have you.

Thank you, Alicia. I love being here.

Everyone, thank you so much for reading this episode of Authoring Life. See you next time. Be well.


Important Links


About Dr. Regalena Melrose

\"ALDr. Melrose is an author, educator, trainer and consultant, dedicated to providing Self-Regulation Training (SRT) to individuals and groups worldwide. She is a best-selling author of The 60 Seconds Fix and creator of both Brain Charge: The K-12 Curriculum, and SRT. Additionally, she has authored other noteworthy resources including the groundbreaking books, You Can Heal Your Child and Why Students Underachieve. She is an accomplished international speaker and consultant specializing in the application of current neuroscience to educational practice and parenting.

Authoring Life Podcast

Antisexist With Lynn Schmidt



Sexism is real, and it is happening around us every day. When we look at the news, it\’s there. When we go to work, it\’s there. It might even be happening in our homes. Women need to speak up right now. Whether they\’re getting sexually assaulted or being cat-called, women need to speak up.

Join Alicia Dunams as she talks to award-winning author, speaker, leadership coach, and women’s rights advocate Lynn Schmidt. Listen in as Lynn talks about her latest book, Antisexist. Learn how she is helping men and women voice their personal experiences with sexism. Find out why people need to be aware and acknowledge that they might be sexist. Join the fight against sexism today!

Listen to the podcast here

Antisexist With Lynn Schmidt

I\’m very excited to announce our next guest, Dr. Lynn Schmidt. She\’s an award-winning author of six books, Thriving from A to Z: Best Practices to Increase Resilience, Satisfaction and Success won three literary awards as Best Book for Personal Development. Her fourth book, Shift Into Thrive: Six Strategies for Women to Unlock the Power of Resiliency won six literary awards and was listed on as one of the top 60 books about leadership and business written by women.

Lynn\’s career has been focused on developing leaders and Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits and academia. She\’s an experienced executive coach, who assists men and women in creating careers accompanied by growth. Lynn has a passion for helping women across barriers, overcome barriers and achieve success. She is a frequent keynote speaker and presenter at conferences worldwide. Lynn, it\’s great to have you here.

Thank you. It\’s great to be here.

You are a prolific author of personal development books and leadership books for both men and women alike. I want to jump into your book, Antisexist. Let me tell our audience about the book. Antisexist provides men and women with an understanding of how sexist behaviors harm women and girls along with helpful action steps to manage sexism. The book includes powerful stories from diverse individuals that illustrate the global impact of sexism.


It explores the intersection of sexism with other biases, including racism, ableism, ageism and sexual orientation. In the books are tips given to being anti-sexist by challenging sexism, championing women\’s rights and creating equality. What I love about this book, even in your description, is you talk about managing sexism. Before I ask a question about your book, what does managing sexism mean?

The research by the United Nations looked at 70 countries and over about 80% of the world\’s population. They found that 9 out of 10 people, men and women, have at least one deeply ingrained bias against women and girls. It\’s about acknowledging that we all have these biases. That doesn\’t even count the smaller biases that aren\’t as deeply ingrained as we all have. I\’m willing to step out and say, “As far as I\’m concerned, we\’re probably all sexist to varying degrees based upon how we were raised, brought up, the media and all sorts of reasons.”

[bctt tweet=\”People have to acknowledge that everyone is sexist to varying degrees.\” username=\”\”]

The first thing we need to do is acknowledge that and look within ourselves to see, “How do my biases come to life and show up every day around women?” I’ll say I\’m sexist. I know how it shows up for me but I try to manage it. You can never get rid of your biases but once you are aware and they occur in your head, you can manage them and stop them from coming out of your mouth or other actions that you may take in regard to your biases.

That\’s what it means when I say, “Manage your biases.” It\’s acknowledging your biases, becoming aware of them and then managing them. You\’re always going to think it typically but once you think it, it can send off some red flags that you can manage, so it doesn\’t come out of your mouth and impact your actions and others.

I do leadership training as well. In those, our biases are essentially baked in. It\’s about regulating them. Number one is being aware, regulating and then noticing, “I had that thought. Where did that thought come from? Was it something from my past the way I was brought up, the social narrative in which I live?” It\’s important to distinguish that we\’re going to have these thoughts and we have 100% control to be able to manage that. I want you to speak more. Let\’s even go back to the beginning. You have so many books about leadership and self-development. Why did you write this book?

My interest in women\’s issues started when I was a mid-career student returning to get my Doctoral degree. I had already worked in Corporate America for several years. As I rose through the ranks as a woman in leadership development, I started working more with executives. I would see the female executives come and go fairly quickly.

As I started my dissertation research, my topic for that was the factors that derail women\’s careers from the voice of women. What I learned then that was important is giving others a voice because a lot of the research up until that time had been done by organizations asking men, “Think of a woman whose career had been derailed and tell us why,” versus going to the women directly.

Certainly, I admit that it is their perspective but what we want to do is to hear their perspective and give them a voice. From there, I got more involved in working with women\’s issues, groups and rights. My book Shift Into Thrive is specifically for women on things that they can do to thrive when they encounter derailing factors in the workplace or life. I then went in on Thriving From A To Z, which is for everyone about thriving.

This was written during the two years of COVID when many of us weren\’t going anywhere and doing anything out with other people. I started researching sexism itself, what causes it and why it happens. I would wake up every morning, get into reading the news and see so many articles that things that were happening around the world and tragedies that were being caused because of sexism.

What I found when I went to do my research and look further into it is people typically specialize in topics around sexism, which is fine. That\’s important as well. You\’ll find someone who maybe focuses on sexual harassment at work, being a male ally, women in violence or domestic violence and someone who focuses on discrimination in the workplace.



What I wasn\’t finding was one book that gave a full picture of the full impact of sexism on men and women in the world as such and looked at it globally. That\’s what this book became. It started being very different things, sexism in the workplace, all different things and then I said, “It\’s important for people to have the full picture because the scope of the impact of sexism is huge.”

That\’s why I wrote this book and expanded it to look at what I call the four outcomes of sexism. I wrote it because I saw a gap in the literature, the books and even the information being shared out there about the full impact of sexism on women, men and children. I even have information in the book about the monetary impacts on countries and on the world. That\’s why I wrote it. I saw a gap. For me to understand sexism, I needed to pull it all together. I thought, “Everyone else needs to see the full picture as well.”

You talked about the full impact of sexism on children, women, men and the physical impact around the world. What would you see as the most alarming impact?

The most alarming impact is on women themselves and how sexism impacts their earning ability and education. Sexism keeps women from getting full education looking worldwide. Every country is a little different but it impacts that. That then impacts their earning ability and their ability to bring their full selves to the table. It impacts the number of children they have, how healthy their children are and the way their children are raised. It impacts whether or not they end up in abusive relationships. The full circle will impact their earning ability, children and all of these things.

That in turn, not having women fully engaged in the world, jobs, economy and all aspects, impacts countries, earning capability and their ability to be as financially robust as they could be. The impact maybe sounds simplistic but the biggest impact that sexism has is on women and then, in turn, how it impacts them has a huge impact on all other aspects of the world, the economy and everyone.

It\’s pervasive and far-reaching. We almost can\’t see the impact because it\’s so baked in. A few years ago after the #MeTooMovement, one of my clients, who is a sexual harassment attorney, we did a book together. It\’s called What To Say (and Do) When You Are Sexually Harassed. What she brought to the table was very much from an employee\’s perspective. She talked about all the gray areas in between. It has to be pervasive, you need to document and all of that. What I brought to the table in 15% of the book was what to say.

That\’s something that I\’m cultivating even more in the book I\’m working on but it is what to say to be empowered and it\’s the following script. There\’s a line of decency and you crossed it, “I asked that you stopped now.” I share all of this to say as we ended up taking that book down, it\’s not available on Amazon anymore because what we found is that sexual harassment prevention dating, when managers and HR bring it on, needs to be from the manager or the company\’s perspective. We found that they didn\’t like that the book was very much empowering the employee.

It is What To Say (and Do) When You Are Sexually Harassed, so they\’re like, “This is going to be a problem on our hands.” We decided on the positionality of the book, where it came from, the empowerment of employees and powering with their voice. We took it down and did training in corporate. I\’m going to include that in my next book. There\’s a line of decency and you just crossed it.

That\’s powerful because sometimes even the words alone, women or targets of any type of harassment don\’t have access to that. I wanted to share that story because we were talking about how pervasive it is and how even you think people, HR and systems are trying to help you and protect you but they\’re out to protect the bottom line. They want to avoid any type of agency or empowerment amongst targets of sexual harassment.

I\’m grateful for your book to be examining this. I want to talk a little bit about the physical and financial impact that you speak of. How is this impacting? We could even talk about what\’s going on in the world if you\’re open to it. Before we go move on, I want to let everyone know that Antisexist is available on I encourage you to go purchase the book. Are there any other favorite places to purchase the book that you have?

It is available about everywhere online you can look. If Barnes and Noble is your favorite place, or wherever it might be online. You can find it pretty much anywhere. You could always ask a bookstore or a library to order it. It\’s available. My distributor has access to all of those sources.

What\’s another lesson from the book that you want to share, a piece of important feedback or lessons for us to know?

This is my sixth nonfiction book. One thing my PhD program helped me learn is the three aspects of shaping a nonfiction book. When I talked about the book presented the full picture of sexism, what I struggled with for several months and I had a white paper that was pasted over my walls and everything was everything I saw going on in sexism.

That was related to sexism for women. Whether it was on the job, off the job or anywhere in the world, I started creating long lists because I knew I had to create some framework to help make this understandable for people so that they could see the full picture but not be overwhelmed and have me presenting all non-related information.

What I learned as I created this framework is what I present as the four impacts of sexism in this framework. They aren\’t in any particular order but there\’s a microaggression and I have six examples of that. That\’s the slurs, put-downs or things we may take for granted that we say about people, whether it\’s calling someone a Karen or, “Look at me if someone says you\’re having a blonde moment.” Some things are said about women that would never be said about men. They\’re referred to as microaggression but there\’s certainly nothing micro about them.

[bctt tweet=\”Microaggressions are things that are said about women that would never be said about men. There\’s absolutely nothing micro about them. \” via=\”no\”]

From there, the second category is discrimination. How are women discriminated against? You may think about the workplace but I had six categories that I found where the discrimination against women was very significant. It included educational discrimination, health discrimination, workplace discrimination, hiring discrimination, things that led to promotions, those types of things and then sexual discrimination.

The third category was harassment. Initially, someone might go straight to harassment in the workplace but there are street harassment, cat-calling and those sorts of things. Women experience forms of harassment everywhere they go and in everything they do. The fourth category was violence, where I covered six different aspects and types of violence.

People\’s minds might initially go to domestic violence but there\’s coercive control where a woman may never be hit but the man is managing her finances. She\’s not allowed to have credit cards. She may not be working. He has complete control over her. There\’s coercive control. There is domestic or sexual violence. There are various types of violence.

These are the four categories for the framework that show the whole picture. I learned a lot through that. I had to gather so much overwhelming information, simplify it and make it easy for others to understand. The other thing I learned through the dissertation I talked about was giving a voice. The book contains stories written by men and women that are their accounts of how they\’ve dealt with or got caught in the sexism trap.

It\’s their personal experience. I gave these individual voices. In between the data chapters and the chapters that I write specifically to the four areas of the framework are personal stories written by others where they\’re sometimes sharing their incredibly tragic stories about sexism and how they overcame them.

What I have done in my day job for many years is help people write books. I have a program called Bestseller in a Weekend. Writing a book is an amazing, powerful and effective way to codify your framework and how you went through that process. You came up with four sections of your framework and then you needed to research each one of those. Even the process of writing your book supported you in learning more, being able to systemize this content so others can consume it, making you very much an expert on the subject and the author of the book.

This is a fascinating conversation. This is sometimes where the problems of the world feel so vast that there\’s sexism. We probably all have a sexism bone in our body or some thought that we have. I always had an issue with stay-at-home moms. It\’s like you notice and regulate that thought, “What makes you think that way?” Thinking that women that work and this is pervasive in social media or the world media in general, maybe provide more value than women who stay at home. That might be a bias that’s out there. It’s a belief system that we feed into.

What do you say to people who say, “This is the way the world is?” It\’s like a pendulum swing or Roe v. Wade. It passes and many plus years later, it\’s overturned. Also, this penalization that happens in the world like #MeTooMovement. It penalizes to men who are going to hire women or invite them out for drinks after a deal. There\’s a lot of, “It is what it is,” type of thinking. What do you say about that?

Sometimes it\’s talking with the individual to get them to see some personal experiences that they\’ve either had or someone close to them has had that happened because of sexism. You can still do that online and in various ways but there are so many examples. That\’s where people don\’t see the breadths and the overall impact. There are so many ways that sexism impacts women and girls, like talking with someone and helping them see some examples that have impacted their life or others\’ life.

Since I\’ve been writing this book and having this focus, I wake up and look at the news on my phone. I can go to Twitter or anywhere. All of a sudden, I\’ll see tons of stories that are tied in some way, shape or form to sexism. We have what\’s going on in Iran. We have all sorts of things that are happening but every day, you can wake up and see those. As your awareness becomes broader and more open, you start to see it everywhere. That also can be helpful for people as they become more aware. It starts by having them reflect upon some examples of the ways that you might have sexist biases.

What are their sexist biases? Where did those come from? Sometimes it’s talking to people about things that they may take for granted, such as Disney movies. They\’re getting better. The original Little Mermaid was told she had to keep her mouth shut if she wanted to get a husband. It\’s pervasive everywhere. As soon as you can help people, maybe show them a few examples. Maybe then they can start looking and reflecting on the way that they may be surface sexist biases, which they\’ve experienced in their family or the media.

Other things are the data. The data shows that, for example, the percentage of women in management has been 27% for 25 years worldwide. You can look at America and maybe America\’s numbers have bumped up a little over the last few years but if you look at it in totality, it comes and goes a little bit but it\’s been 27% for the last 25 years. Even people that are saying, “It\’s improving and sometimes it steps back,” I start the book with an example from Homer and his writing about the odyssey. That was one of the 1st examples in writing 3,000 years ago when Penelope was silenced by her son because she was a woman.

[bctt tweet=\”The percentage of women in management has been 27% for the past 25 years. \” via=\”no\”]

You can go back to the beginning of time and show examples of sexism. You can look to the present time and show so many examples of sexism. There are always people who are going to be in denial about it and say, “It doesn\’t exist. It doesn\’t happen.” The patriarchy is a system. Both men and women can support the patriarchy like both men and women can support feminism.



As I interviewed and talked with women, the thing that was most shocking to them was when another woman was sexist. I simply try to explain that women certainly be sexist. Most of us are but some women won’t manage or address it because they are writing on the power of the coattails of the patriarchy of men and they feel that will benefit them. I give examples to people that show that it\’s not ebbing and flowing. It\’s there. It\’s deeply rooted and sure it will pop up when women will rise. It\’s been there forever. It\’s there and impacts women in many ways all the time, everywhere.

It\’s part of our daily journey. Our daily opportunity for growth is something that will pop up for us to be challenged by and grow from. I want to jump over to the speed round and ask you some questions, a little bit about what has influenced you. You will tell me the first thing that comes to your mind. What is your legacy?

My legacy is my research and the books. I\’ve always been a heavy reader but that\’s why I write. The legacy is the work that I\’ve done in providing the information that\’s in these books. To help people is their purpose of them.

What is your favorite book?


As far as fiction goes, The Lord Of The Rings series is my favorite book.

Who is your favorite author?

Tolkien because those are my favorite books.

What are you reading next?

It ties to the next book of what I\’m reading next. I love to do fiction, mysteries and some historical fiction. I’m Elizabeth’s fan at that time. I do a lot of reading on that. I\’m beginning to percolate on a book that would be my first venture into fiction. I\’m thinking there’s so much happened to women in the Vietnam era. I\’ve researched and found a few women who were doing some very interesting things during that time. That would be giving them a voice because many may not have heard of them.

I\’m thinking about starting to do some significant research about the Vietnam era towards the end of the 60s and early 70s, that timeframe and tying those pieces together but honing in on women, what they were doing, women\’s rights but also tying that to Vietnam and women who were involved in Vietnam. That would be historical fiction. That\’s what I\’m thinking about next as far as diving and research reading.

Everyone at home, you can buy Antisexist at your local bookstore, wherever you like to purchase your books. Lynn, I want to jump back in. Is there anything that you want to share, anything on your heart something that\’s important for you to share with our audience reading about your book Antisexist and perhaps the state of the world?

I feel it\’s important to acknowledge that we are all sexist in some way, shape or form. The impact on women and girls of sexism is horrific. From microaggressions, discrimination, harassment and to violence, it’s huge and impactful. It\’s important to share that, acknowledge and leave with a statement that is useful to women or even men. You see other men being sexist. It\’s simply to say, “What did you mean by that?” Do that and then pause.

Give them time to respond. When they respond, don\’t respond to the person, unless they said it to you. Respond with, “This is how it impacted me.” It\’s simple. It can take the pressure off of some folks who may feel uncomfortable standing up for themselves and with certain people. You\’re maybe a coworker or a boyfriend. Who knows? You may feel uncomfortable being very direct. “What did you mean by that?” Wait until they explain and then say, “This is how it impacted me.”

I was sharing with you about writing books about conscious communication and scripts. The next book that I\’m writing is called How to Talk to Your Enemies. It\’s about real-time responses and scripts on what to say in all different varieties of circumstances, racism, microaggression, harassment, sexism and conflict resolution. If you\’re open to talking to me more about that and I could perhaps use that script in the book, giving full credit to you and what you\’ve done because that\’s powerful. “What did you mean by that?” That\’s an open-ended question. Everything is not just the words but the tone you use and getting curious.

Being able to share the impact that it created. The second part of that phrase was pausing, letting them respond and being able to say, “This is how it impacted me.” That\’s a powerful script that you came up with. I feel that our responsibility as leaders and people living in this world is that perhaps something that we say can support someone else in thinking about the impact that they make with their words and actions. We get to be a disruption.

There are a lot of people who are saying things because it\’s what they\’ve been saying and what they do. How can we use our words to create change? I\’ll get to follow up with you about our potential interview. That\’s very powerful because the words you use can impact change and that\’s how we\’re going to change the world one conversation at a time. It starts with your book. With that, I would love for you to share how people can find out more about you, your books and the work that you\’re doing in this world.

It\’s available online, everywhere. My distributor has access to Amazon, Barnes and Noble and I’m pretty much anywhere online. If you support a certain local bookstore, you can go in and ask them to order it because the distributor that I use is connected to local bookstores and libraries. People can get it anywhere in those venues. I\’m on a lot of social media sites. I have an author\’s page on Facebook. I\’m on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can find me in all those locations as well.

With that all said, what is one piece of advice you want to leave us?

Be anti-sexist.

It’s wonderful to interview you and learn about the work that you\’re doing and your powerful book, Antisexist. It gets to be talked about. This is something that is not going away and we can make it better each day by how we respond, manage and regulate our biases.

Thank you for having me on.

Thank you everyone for reading this episode. We will see you next time. Be well.


Important Links


About Lynn Schmidt

\"ALHighly accomplished and experienced talent management executive, consultant, and coach focused on helping women achieve success. A results oriented leader with demonstrated impact on improving talent management processes and impacting business results. Selected as one of The Women of the Year in Idaho.

Demonstrated success across multiple industries including telecommunications, manufacturing, retail, technology, financial services, aerospace/defense, insurance, and health care. Global experience in implementing talent development solutions in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Received a Talent Leadership Award at the World HRD Congress in Mumbai, India.

Authoring Life Podcast

Validation Is For Parking – Reclaim Confidence With Nicole Kalil



They say confidence is key. But how can you harness something you don’t fully understand? Let in-demand speaker, leadership strategist, respected coach, and host of the This Is Woman’s Work Podcast, Nicole Kalil enlighten you as she tells us what confidence is all about and how it hinders us from performing our best and attaining our goals. She shares highlights from her upcoming book Validation Is for Parking and the five key confidence derailers and their antidotes to help us overcome our insecurities and be able to step up, bring ourselves out there, and take on whatever challenges may come. So ask yourself, if you had more confidence, what decisions would you make? What risks would you take? What dreams would you chase? Tune in to find out more about how you can build internal trust, reclaim confidence and live your purpose.

Listen to the podcast here


Validation Is For Parking – Reclaim Confidence With Nicole Kalil

How Women Can Beat The Confidence Con

I am excited to have Nicole Kalil here. It’s great to have you.

It’s great to be here. Thank you so much for inviting me.

I want to tell our audience a little bit about you because you come with vast experience. Nicole has a passion for eliminating gender expectations and redefining women\’s work. That keeps her up at night and going in the morning. She\’s an in-demand speaker, leadership strategist, coach, and the host of her own podcast, This Is Woman\’s Work.

She is a fugitive of the C-Suite. She has a corporate background at Fortune 100 company and has coached hundreds of women in business, which gives her insight as to what to do structurally, systematically, and socially, and what is, and what isn\’t serving women and leaders within an organization. What we\’re excited about is your book. It is called Validation Is For Parking: How Women Can Beat The Confidence Con. First of all, where did this book come from? I love the title. Please share where you got that title from.

It’s four hours of brainstorming. I thought people came up with the title pretty early on. For me, I\’d already written quite a bit of the book. My publisher has somebody whose job is to help people with titles. That\’s all she does and she\’s fantastic at it. We had several calls. At the end of the fourth call, this one finally came out and I love it, too. I’m proud of it. Interestingly enough, it was new to me. I didn\’t realize the title isn\’t supposed to tell you what the book is about. The title is supposed to grab somebody\’s attention, then the subtitle gives you a little bit more of a sense of the book. That was learning on my part.

I call it that the title of the book is the noun and the subtitle is the verb. The verb is how people are going to be transformed by reading the book. Let\’s look at your subtitle. It is How Women Could Beat The Confidence Con. I\’d love for you to speak about that, and why did you write this book?

[bctt tweet=\”Confidence has become wrapped up in perfectionism.\” via=\”no\”]

I\’m sure like most authors, there are a variety of reasons, including a personal one. It\’s been on my bucket list forever. I\’m an avid reader. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to write a book. I had every reason under the sun not to do it. I finally said, “I\’m never going to be ready. The time is now.” That was reason number one.

The reason number two was I had read a stat that 92% of business books are written by men. I almost fell off my chair. That disturbed me and my background is in finance. That\’s a male-dominated industry. I learned a lot about being a professional, sales, mentorship, and leadership from a masculine lens. I\’m not saying that that\’s a bad thing. I\’m just saying it is one-sided. As a woman, coming up through a large corporation, it was hard to find my authentic self, my confidence, and my way of succeeding in that company or in that work because I was learning from that masculine lens.

When I read that stat about the book, I was like, “It\’s not just me.” Most women are learning about what it is to be a professional or be at work from a masculine lens. One of the other big reasons is that I wanted to write a business book that was written with women in mind. I hope anybody of any gender can read the book and take good nuggets from it, but I wanted to do something about that 8%.

I\’m competing to support people to write books. My focus is on women leaders. I was talking to a new client. We were talking about the word confidence. She\’s a female leader and an athlete. The world needs more female leaders, female voices, and voices from all walks of life. We need a diversity of voices. I love how you heard that stat. You\’re like, “I\’m going to do something about it.”

The topic of confidence was one that is a personal passion of mine. Mostly because I went through most of my 20s and early 30 with very little of it. It was a painful experience for me. What was interesting about it is that I was at a high level, at a fortune 100 finance company. Nobody on the outside would\’ve ever guessed that I was suffering from a lack of confidence. The way it looked was different than how it was.

It is true for so many of us. The pain that stemmed from living inauthentically and being completely disconnected from my own confidence is what drove me in the direction and the obsession with learning about what confidence is, what it isn\’t, what it takes to build it, and what\’s derailing it. I wanted to pass forward those learnings and experiences with the hopes that any person reading it might connect to their confidence a little bit sooner and faster than if they hadn\’t read the book.



You call it the How Women Can Beat The Confidence Con. What\’s the con about it? I\’m curious about it.

A lot of us don\’t have confidence because we don\’t know what confidence is. The con is that the word itself has been misrepresented and misused so much that we don\’t even know what confidence is. We keep equating confidence, especially as women, to how we look and to what we achieve. For us, confidence has become wrapped up in perfectionism, and that is not confidence.

If you look at the root of the word confidence, the etymology, and I geeked out and went back to the etymology and how it translates in all different languages, confidence means trust. It\’s self-trust. It’s that firm and bold trust. It is almost active. The con is this idea that confidence is something outside of us, or it\’s external, and we need to prove something, achieve something, do something, and be something in order to feel confident. When the reality is that confidence is trust, we can choose at any time we want.

It\’s available to us anytime and anyplace. We get to just call it in and that\’s it. That\’s true. I love that. Let\’s jump into your book. First of all, where can you buy your book?

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, you can go to my website and a few independent booksellers. I happen to live in the town with the oldest independent bookstore in America. It\’s going to be available there, which is cool for me.

I want to jump into some of the lessons in the book. Let\’s dive deep. What can you share with our audience, people reading at home in terms of what they can do to beat and tap into trusting themselves and beating this confidence con?

[bctt tweet=\”Confidence means trust. It\’s firm and bold self-trust.\” via=\”no\”]

The book is divided into three parts. The first part is about confidence in the female experience. It talks about the nuances and the differences. Most of us, as women, how we\’re socialized and what we are told we should and shouldn\’t from more of a career lens, but it is trying to expose us to and think about why women are entering the workforce. The statistics show that we are entering the workforce with less confidence than our male counterparts. We delve into why. The second part of the book is redefining confidence. It is talking about the con and then replacing it with what confidence is, which is trust. I have another definition in there. It\’s more of a working definition.

The third part of the book goes through what I\’ve identified as the five key confidence derailers. To me, that\’s what it is. It knocks us off course, off track, and disconnects us from our confidence. I identify five confidence derailers, and then their antidotes, confidence builders that we can choose anytime we want that will help get us back on course and connected towards what matters and to trusting ourselves. I’m happy to dive into any of the derailers or the builders if you want, but it ultimately keeps going back to how you build trust within yourself.

What’s one that you found the most surprising?

The most surprising for most people that I interact with and me is one of the confidence builders. The confidence builder that surprises people the most is failure, mistakes, missteps, losses, veering off course, whatever you want to call it. It was shocking to me to find out because the reality is that none of us enjoy those moments when we\’re in them. Knowing that they\’re a confidence builder doesn\’t make the experience any more enjoyable.

What we know is that the most confident and successful people are experiencing failures, mistakes, missteps, and losses at least as much, if not significantly more than everybody else. There is a clear connection because if confidence is about trust, it doesn\’t require much from us to trust ourselves when things are going according to plan. When everything\’s working out the way it\’s supposed to, that\’s pretty easy.

It becomes more challenging and then, therefore, more rewarding and a greater learning opportunity is to choose to trust ourselves during those harder times or moments. That was surprising to me. The last thing I\’ll add, too, is that a failure is a neutral event. I know it doesn\’t feel neutral when we\’re experiencing it, but we are the ones that are bringing meaning to these events. The way that we know this is what I might see as a big, huge insurmountable failure, you might look at it and go, “That\’s not that big of a deal.”



I remember hearing somebody speak at a conference and he talked about how he started his business year at a $500,000 deficit on the first day. The whole audience was shocked. For him, it was like no big deal. He still ended up having his best year ever. The point is that it is a neutral experience. We\’re the ones bringing meaning to those experiences. If that\’s true, then we have the opportunity and ability to choose a more meaningful and productive interpretation of it. We could choose to see it as a gift, a lesson, an opportunity, one door closes, so others can open. There are many options available to us. I could go on for days. It\’s the most surprising.

It\’s all perspective. I love that humans are meaning-making machines. We will apply meaning to every event, circumstance, or story that surrounds our life, and this is something important that you point out. One thing I want to ask you specifically about women is what do you think holding women back in your studies, stories, and your personal experience?

What\’s holding women back in a professional environment, for example, from becoming CEOs or in the C-Suite is complex and it\’s not just one thing. I do think our confidence is contributing. We know women don\’t raise their hands, won\’t apply, ask, or advocate for themselves at the same level as their male counterparts. That certainly plays a part in what opportunities, raises, and career trajectory they\’re on, but that is not the only variable. There are other biases, certainly.

One of them, we know that people get referred, promoted, and put on lists based on the relationships they have and the people they know. If the person who\’s making a decision is a male executive at XYZ company he gets referred to somebody on the golf course when he is smoking cigars or from somebody in his club or network, the reality is he\’s most likely going to be referred to or somebody\’s going to be brought to him that looks like him.

Bias, exposure, network, and/or whatever you want to call it are some examples. There are a bazillion more. The reason I focus on confidence is that it\’s the one I feel like I have the opportunity to do the most about or with because I can relate to it and I\’ve experienced it. All the other things are big and complex. I can\’t control whether or not somebody\’s going to choose to try to get a referral outside of their normal network. I can\’t choose whether or not somebody\’s going to work on their biases, but I can choose how much I trust myself and how often I connect to my confidence and live authentically. That is why I go in that direction.

Confidence is an inside job. It\’s something that we can harness and claim at the moment. It is important. We are going to jump into our speed round. This is where I ask you questions and you\’re going to say the first thing that comes to your mind.

[bctt tweet=\”We have the opportunity to choose a more meaningful and productive interpretation of our failures. We can choose to see it as a gift, a lesson, and an opportunity.\” via=\”no\”]

Let\’s do it. I\’m choosing confidence at this moment.

What is your legacy?

To eliminate gender expectations so that we can all live authentically and be who we are meant here to be. Live our purpose.

Favorite book.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.

Favorite author.



I\’m going to say Fredrik Backman because I love so many of his books, but Louise Penny is on the murder mystery side. Brené Brown on the self-development. There\’s Glennon Doyle. I could go on for days.

I get to read Glennon Doyle\’s book. I keep on hearing about it. I follow her on Instagram. I have not read one of her books. That\’s something I\’m going to earmark. What are you reading next?

I just finished a book called The Personal Librarian. It was about the librarian to JPMorgan. She was a Black woman who lived as a White woman and nobody knew. Her legacy is insane and what she accomplished. She was the most powerful woman in the art world, in the world during that time. That was incredible. I had no idea.

That could be turned into a movie. Is that a historical biography?

It is historical fiction, but it is based on their letters. It\’s well researched.

Is it a true story?

[bctt tweet=\”One door closes so others can open.\” via=\”no\”]

Yes. Ordinary Grace by William Krueger is probably my next one.

I love that you have your bookshelf right in earshot and eyeshot. You just launched this book. What are you writing next?

I started writing a different book. My first book was going to be debunking all of the more masculine approaches to living a successful life, the morning routine, 5:00 AM club, the hustle grind, and all the stuff. I was going to target a few of these and debunk them. I ended up going with what I know and what I speak about on a regular basis. I figured my first book should be something that\’s already been well-researched. My second book will be a title yet to be determined, but debunking some of the more masculine.

Where will our audience find out more about you and purchase the book?

The best place is my website, There will be a book section. You can order a pre-order right off there. I would love to have you join my community.

Are you on Instagram as well?

Yes, @NicoleMKalil.

What is one last piece of advice that you want to leave our target audience at home, aspiring authors, people who have written books, and thought leaders?

Confidence isn\’t out there. There isn\’t anyone or anything outside of you that\’s holding onto your confidence like some weird game of Where\’s Waldo? and it\’s your job to figure out who and what has it. Your confidence, whether you\’ve connected to it recently or not, is there living inside of you. You have value and worth. You are the only you there ever has been and will be in the future. That makes you pretty special. It’s that loving reminder to connect with yourself, build trust within yourself, and have that be where your confidence comes from. All the other stuff will be icing on the confidence cake.

Thank you so much for sharing. Go out everyone and purchase Validation Is For Parking: How Women Can Beat The Confidence Con. You can get it on Until next time. Thank you so much for joining us this time. Be well.


Important Links


About Nicole Kalil

\"ALNicole’s passion for eliminating gender expectations and redefining “Woman’s Work” is both what keeps her up at night, and what gets her up in the morning. Well that, and an abundant amount of coffee.

As an in-demand speaker, leadership strategist, respected coach, and host of the “This Is Woman’s Work” podcast, her stalker-like obsession with confidence sets her apart from the constant stream of experts telling us to BE confident. She actually shares how you build it, and gives actionable tools – not just stories – to BECOME confident.

A fugitive of the C-suite at a Fortune 100 company, she has coached hundreds of women in business, which has given her insight into what – structurally, systematically and socially – is and isn’t serving women and leaders within an organization.

Maintaining some semblance of sanity in her different roles of wife, mother, business owner successfully is an ongoing challenge… in whatever free time she has, she enjoys reading and wine guzzling, is an avid cheese enthusiast, a hotel snob, and a reluctant peloton rider.

Authoring Life Podcast

Just What The Doctor Ordered With Dr. Lamia Katbi



People should start being more curious about their health and wellness. Living a happy life is more than just having a good diet and exercise.

Just What The Doctor Ordered: The Five Pillars of Optimal Health is the culmination of Dr. Lamia Katbi’s personal and professional life. Dr. Katbi details how she discovered the path to lifelong change after her own struggles and what led her to long-term change. Dr. Katbi details what happened when she became a victim of what is now known as “job burnout,” a term now more commonplace since the pandemic. Moreover, this “burnout affects many of us, no matter our professions, pandemic or not.

In Just What The Doctor Ordered: The Five Pillars of Optimal Health, Dr. Katbi details how practicing the five pillars of optimal health reversed the burnout and brought about real change in her and how you, too, can practice the five pillars of optimal health every day.

Join Alicia Dunams as she talks to Dr. Lamia Katbi about her book and why emotional health is so important in someone’s every day life. Get her book and start living the five pillars today.

Listen to the podcast here


Just What The Doctor Ordered With Dr. Lamia Katbi

Welcome to another episode of the show where we interview authors on why they wrote a book and why they are sharing their life stories and their lessons learned. We’re taking lessons from the pages into real life. We are interviewing Dr. Lamia Katbi, the author of Just What the Doctor Ordered: The Five Pillars of Optimal Health.

Lamia, it\’s so great to have you here.

It’s so good to be here. Thank you for having me.

I’m super excited about this book. We started it together and did the process that I\’ve been helping people for a long time for almost seventeen years to go from idea to author. That\’s what I\’m going to begin and ask you with. Why did you write a book?

First of all, thank you very much for having me on and for helping me with my idea to go from an idea to a book. This is great. I\’m forever grateful for you and what you have done for me thus far.

Thank you so much. I know when you came to me that you are a doctor specializing in pediatrics. You have had so many lessons from being out in the field, and that\’s what your book is about. Share that with us.

[bctt tweet=\”Living a happy life is more than just diet and exercise. It\’s how you sleep, eat, move, and have emotional health.\” via=\”no\”]

Since I was a little girl, I wanted to be an author. Instead, I became a pediatrician. That dream never left me. It always was on the back burner. It came screaming at me a few years ago and saying, “I need you to come to life. You have this idea and this rich life that you have lived thus far.” I believe everyone has a story to tell, and it was time for me to tell my story. It’s my story about being not just a pediatrician. It’s part of my story about being a human being and the progress and improvement that I have gained over the years.

This book does jump into that. It\’s the lessons learned from you being a doctor and a pediatrician, but also your human experience as well. That\’s what doctors are. They\’re humans. I know one thing that you have learned is that you stand by the medicine. That is what you\’re trained in. You also very much stand for mindfulness, the ability to regulate emotions and stress, and being able to lean on mindfulness tools such as meditation, etc., to put that together with being a doctor. This is your own personal journey and your own personal experiences. What I\’d love for you to share is what are some of the life lessons that you have shared in your book, Just What the Doctor Ordered?

I love science. My background is in science. I believe in science, but at the same time, I do not believe just diet and exercise will make me live a happily ever after life as what we, doctors, promote. I found through my own personal journey and dealing, treating, and guiding hundreds and thousands of people that it is more than diet and exercise. It is how we sleep, eat, and move. It is way more than diet and exercise.

I felt that I always ate healthily, but at the same time, I was not feeling healthy. I exercised a lot, but I was not feeling healthy. I had my own personal issues with illness and I suffered greatly. I saw how my patients are suffering greatly as well. Throughout my journey, I discovered and applied those rules I felt were more than diet and exercise such as sleep. The most important, probably for me, is emotional health.



That\’s what your book addresses. I\’m reading from the back cover of your book. Most of us have complicated relationships with our doctors. We fear them, worship them, and some of us downright don\’t trust them. You changed that. You\’re a board-certified pediatrician. You\’ve been practicing medicine for over 25 years, helping families learn more about their children\’s health, well-being, and the healing power of awareness.

In addition to your extensive medical training, you have faced your own health and emotional challenges. You discovered these five pillars of optimal health. This is what you share in the book. It\’s this beautiful story of your own personal life. That\’s why you bring not only the medical experience but what is important to our overall well-being is emotional health as well.

I do agree 100%. I would love for everyone to eat healthily and move. Emotional health is different than mental health or mental illness. Mental illness is there. It is an entity. I\’m not disregarding mental illness, but there is a difference between emotional health and mental illness. Emotional health is taking care of our everyday feelings, addressing them, and not suppressing them.

To address them is to value ourselves as a human and to take care of our feelings when we\’re feeling sad, happy, embarrassed, frustrated, or resentful. Those are all feelings. It\’s okay to address them. It\’s okay to feel them and address them in a safe way and safe place. I\’m not saying, “Go and share your feelings everywhere.” In my book, I try to teach about sharing your feelings and emotional health in a healthy way, which we can talk about later if time permits.

[bctt tweet=\”If you do not sleep, you are not able to be fully present in your daily life.\” via=\”no\”]

With your book, I know that you have lessons, which are The Five Pillars Of Optimal Health. We\’ll share a few of them during this episode. You also have a beautiful meditation, which I had the opportunity to listen to. You can go to your website, to get access to this beautiful meditation on physical and emotional health. What I\’d love for you to share is to give us 1 or 2 of the pillars of optimal health.

My first one is sleep. Sleep is number one in my book. If you do not sleep, you are not able to concentrate fully. You are not able to be fully present in your daily life. I don\’t think you are able to function at your 100%. Your anxiety may become more anxious because you do not have enough sleep. In my book, when I talk about sleep, it is about how many hours of sleep you think you need.

We all have this misconception that we can function on 5 or 6 hours of sleep because we are all go-getters, and at some point, can pull an all-nighter. Sleep to me is number one. Also, lack of sleep can lead to lots of health issues such as diabetes, obesity, and Alzheimer’s. There are some cancers even related to lack of sleep and sleep disturbances. Sleep is so essential to our being and our health. That, to me, comes before diet and exercise.

The importance of sleep, I know you talk about that in your book. Would you like to share maybe another of the optimal pillars of health?



We already discussed and talked about emotional health. Everyone knows how passionate I am about emotional health and emotional well-being. I talk about mindful eating in the book. Diet is great. Eating healthy is great, but what is mindful eating? Mindful eating, simply put, is looking at your food and chewing your food. You’re eating without distraction, without screen time, and without looking at your social media. It’s having food with loved ones sitting around the table. Use your senses when you are eating.

We\’re going to go a lot more in the book about how to shop and how to choose the food you are consuming. Shop the periphery of the store, for example. That is one of the things we talk about. Also, what are the four macros? Lots of people talk about, “What should I eat?” I say, “The four macros.” The four macros are what we put in our bodies every day. It\’s like protein, fat, carbs, and fiber. It’s a simple fat, but they are there for us to be curious about and explore more.

I don\’t follow any diet. I believe in the Rule of 80/20. I believe in moderation, not deprivation in all aspects of life. When it comes to eating, I am okay. I tell patients all the time, “80% of the time, I eat healthily. 20%, I treat myself.” I don\’t use the word cheating because cheating has that negative meaning to it that makes you feel guilty. I am not about to make people feel guilty. I want them to feel good about themselves. I want them to be curious. I want them to explore more, like, “Is this healthy for me?” What is healthy? There are lots of things out there on social media and the internet. I\’m pro that. At the same time, I’m like, “What can I take from those social media sites or my book, for example, and apply it to my own life to make me feel better about how I eat mindfully?”

That\’s what I love about your book. It\’s accessible and relatable. The 80/20 rule, for example, is not to say, “Get rid of everything.” It\’s 80% to eat healthily and then you can have a treat. In that way, it doesn\’t feel like, “I have to change my whole lifestyle,” because then, no one will change. That\’s why I love Just What the Doctor Ordered because you introduce concepts that sometimes aren\’t talked about with doctors.

[bctt tweet=\”It is important for people to be curious, seek knowledge, have awareness, and make changes. \” via=\”no\”]

There\’s this whole concept of Eastern medicine versus Western medicine or the highly pharmaceutical versus the natural way of being. You bring a beautiful marriage of science and the importance of emotional health, mindfulness, eating healthy, and sleep. Those are things that we can access and do for ourselves. This is why you create such a beautiful relationship between a patient and their doctor in this book. Please tell us where people at home can find out more about you and purchase your book.

I am on Instagram. That\’s probably my favorite site. My Instagram is @DrLamiaKatbi. The website is There is the free meditation that you mentioned, which talks about The Five Pillars Of Optimal Health. It ends with nice and relaxing breathing exercises. Everyone will enjoy it.


Run, don\’t walk to go to I was impressed by that meditation. It was such a wonderful gift. You can go there and find out more about Dr. Lamia and her book, Just What the Doctor Ordered. We\’re going to jump into what I call the Rapid Round. I will ask you questions and you will share what\’s the first thing that comes to mind. We\’ll get started here. What is your legacy?

In my work as a pediatrician, I believe I made a difference in the patients and the families I treated. I honor and love what I do.

What\’s your favorite book?

The Four Agreements.

Who is your favorite author?

Dr. Wayne Dyer.


I know that he\’s quoted in the book. What are you reading next? What book is on your bookshelf?

Still, it is Atomic Habits by James Clear. I keep reading it and re-reading it. I love it. I would recommend it to everyone who wants to build habits. It\’s an awesome book.

I have that on my audiobook selection. It’s a very good book. With that, I\’d love for you to share with our audience at home what is one thing that you want to leave with our audience, like words of advice.

Curiosity. I want to encourage people and guide people to be curious about their health and wellness. I want them to continue to seek improvement and knowledge and have awareness about how we can do things differently and what we can improve in our daily life. I believe it is important for people to be curious, seek knowledge, have awareness, and make changes.


I love that. That\’s what is shared in your book. It’s the power of curiosity in addition to the five pillars of health in Just What the Doctor Ordered. You can go to and purchase it or you can go to to find out more information about the book. Purchase it and download a free meditation. With that, I want you to leave one more piece of advice to our audience at home.

If you use The Five Pillars Of Optimal Health, it is going to work for you. I know it worked for me. I worked hard all my life and my health was affected by it. I was sick for many years. With medication and the help of many professionals, I was fine again. At the same time, I was not fit and healthy the way I am now. I am 58 years old. I am fit. I am healthy. I am mindful. I believe by practicing the five pillars of optimal health, you can change your life the way I changed mine.

Just What the Doctor Ordered: The Five Pillars of Optimal Health is available on Go purchase it and access the tools that Dr. Lamia has used to change her own health and her own happiness. With that, I want to acknowledge everyone. Thank you for being here for another episode of the show. We will see you next time. Be well.

Thank you.


Important Links


About Dr. Lamia Katbi

\"ALLamia Katbi, MD, is a well-known pediatrician in Northwest Indiana who has been helping and guiding countless families raising their children from birth into young adulthood.
Dr. Katbi is an educator and healer who loves guiding families to understand a healthy and mindful lifestyle. This love of healing has led her to write her upcoming book, Just What The Doctor Ordered: The Five Pillars of Optimal Health.
Born and raised in the small Mediterranean city of Latakia, Syria, she attended medical school and finished top of her class. She emigrated to the United States to become American Board certified in Pediatrics.
Additionally, she trained at the prestigious University of Chicago, Illinois, where she completed her residency and served another year as chief resident. Dr. Katbi has three children, and in her downtime, she practices her five pillars teachings through her hobbies, including gardening, nature walks, biking, reading, yoga, and writing.


Authoring Life Podcast

Unleashed With Amber Swenor



Many of us try to contain certain parts of ourselves to become likable to others. We try to compartmentalize each of our identities, thinking they can never coexist with the rest. Our guest in this episode learned how doing this is costing her more than she thought it would. So she began unleashing all of who she is, connecting to her authentic self, and reaping the freedoms and success in her business and life. Alicia Dunams interviews Amber Swenor, the founder and brand strategist of Soul Seed Strategy, about her book, Unleashed: A Been-There, Rocked-That Guide to Radical Authenticity in Life and Business, and her book writing process. Sharing the lessons within, Amber highlights the importance of being who you are and how this will attract the right people who can help you achieve your goals. If you are a heart-centered, rebel spirit and visionary leader, then you might not want to miss out on this conversation!

Listen to the podcast here


Unleashed With Amber Swenor

I\’m excited for our next guest, Wall Street Journal bestseller Amber Swenor. She\’s the author of Unleashed: A Been-There, Rocked-That Guide to Radical Authenticity in Life and Business. She\’s also the Founder and Brand Strategist of Soul Seed Strategy, a marketing firm that partners with small to medium size businesses as their outsource marketing departments. I want to jump in because I know that you are calling all visionary entrepreneurs and rebel-spirited change makers to be able to harness the power of authenticity to create change in the world.

Amber, it\’s great to have you.

Thank you. It\’s exciting to be here.

As you know, I help people write books, and this show is all about talking about not only the book but the book writing process. Why did you, Amber, decide to write this book, Unleashed?

There are a few reasons. One of them is living into my personal purpose truly as someone that has always guided others as a transformational guide. I\’ve leaned into that work a lot in the last few years and also in my journey, being what I consider rebel spirited, sometimes looking around and feeling like I didn\’t see others represented that were like me. I came to understand that I\’m a sensitive overachiever, empathic but also driven. That led to some interesting learning lessons in life and the business journey.

I started my business more on the marketing side but it\’s evolved to work around that transformational leadership development with business owners because what we started to see is whenever things weren\’t working in the business or the marketing, it often had to do with something going on within that person. The more I leaned into that work, and I started seeing it validated in the things I was teaching and how it would work and transform business owners\’ lives. I wanted to write the thing that I wish I would\’ve had a number of years ago when I was walking the journey to understand the blocks that I was having in my business journey.

Tell us a little bit about you and your book because of the subtitle, A Been-There, Rocked-That Guide To Radical Authenticity in Life and Business. Tell us about you. You are unleashed, and you have an unconventional background. Tell us about it.

I grew up with this big vision of seeing a world beyond what I grew up with. I grew up in the Midwest and Wisconsin, a classic hardworking Midwest family. I became the first generation in my family to graduate high school. There\’s a lot of that. It was a part of my journey when you grow up in an environment of lack or where there\’s always struggle.

[bctt tweet=\”When you are authentically who you are in any place, you will finally stop putting on different versions of yourselves in different places.\” via=\”no\”]

I kept going on my journey. I started my professional career working in advertising. I also, for many years, had a rock metal band in which I was the front person. My whole journey in life is I look to understand the lessons and the learning. For me, life and career are not separate. Everything I was learning in one place was impacting the other place.

When I started my business, I had this fear that I needed to keep my musician life separate from who I was as a professional or business owner. I had this limiting belief that people wouldn\’t take me seriously if they knew that I am who I authentically am as a rocker. I love expression, being emotional on stage, connecting with the music, and moving my body. It made me feel like a split person. It energetically drained me.

Eventually, I looked at what this is costing me to try to fit these split identities in all these different places. I fit in all kinds of buckets if you want to put things in buckets. I come from a farming background. I was in athletics. I was an academic. I\’m the metalhead. I\’m a businesswoman. I wrote the book and guided a lot of what I walked in my journey.

Coming to a place of alignment and being unleashed is when you are authentically who you are in any place. I finally stopped putting on different versions of me in different places. The beautiful lesson has been that when I\’m all of me, no matter what space I\’m in, I attract the right aligned vibe of people, whether I\’m a musician, walking at the park or helping my clients. That\’s a bit about who I am.

You talk about that in your intro to your book about having this expression and being that type of kid who rocked out essentially, and your clothing, expression, and who you are now. I would love to dig into your book a little bit and share some of the lessons that you share with your readers. Who\’s the target of this book? Who would grow and discover by reading this book?

Anyone who identifies as a bit heart-centered but also rebel spirited. You might be sensitive and empathic but also highly driven and an achiever. That\’s a unique combination that a lot of people are. Sometimes it can be difficult to feel understood because you have both that heart-centered emotional side but you also have goals and want to be out there on stage, leading your business or speaking. I define them as heart-centered, revel-spirited, visionary leaders.

What is something that they\’ll learn in this book? What is a lesson that you want to share with our readers at home?


They will learn how to recognize where they may be, gaslighting their own desires and authenticity.

Give an example.

When I started my business, I had initial success. I landed my first two clients in the first month. I started to gaslight myself and think, “Who the heck do you think you are that you could be successful on your own? If you are a good woman, you should be collaborating with others.” It means I should have a business partner.

All of a sudden, I had these stories that I had an ego or it made me a b**** if I could be this bold woman leader making money on my own. It led me to go into a misaligned business partnership because the decision was driven by lack and my own fears instead of owning that I had everything I needed to be successful as a business owner. That was a huge lesson on that voice of imposter and gaslighting my own self. That’s a big one.

What else does someone learn by reading your book?

Boundaries are great. In the book, I call it toxic generosity. Sometimes, we think we are being generous and say, “I don\’t want to feel bad or look bad if I come off that committee, I stop being in those friendships or I don\’t have time or space for all these people.” You think you are being generous but it\’s become toxic. It\’s not good for anyone. I teach about helping people recognize the places where you are having some resentment for these things you are showing up for and realizing you have all the power and the choice to put a healthy boundary around that, and it doesn\’t make you a bad person.

Another one is if you are called on a path to do something in the world. If you are a visionary and are starting to identify with that, that means that you are likely going to be the first one doing a thing right your way. You will meet others and communities highly recommended. Look for mentors, friends, and community but being a visionary means you have a unique vision. You must go that way. You must trust enough. This is why I think the journey to understanding ourselves at a deeper level is the best investment that you can make because you will learn how to trust your decision-making a little bit more and keep stepping in. No one is coming to give you the 5 to 10 steps on how to do a thing.

[bctt tweet=\”The journey to understanding ourselves at a deeper level is the best investment you can make.\” via=\”no\”]

Teaching autonomy, boundary creating, and being authentic. Where can people buy your book,

Major retailers, even local bookstores or directly from me. Our website is if you want to order a signed copy from me but otherwise, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or anywhere online.

We are going to jump into the speed round. This is where you answer the first thing that comes to your mind. Amber, what is your legacy?


What is your favorite book other than Unleashed?

The Big Leap.

Who\’s that by?



Gay Hendricks, and it\’s all about the zone of genius and the sealing on limiting beliefs. I love the concept of the zone of genius.

Who\’s your favorite author?

I don\’t have a particular favorite author.

What’s the first thing that came to mind when I said, “Favorite author?”

I thought of an important mentor in my life, which is Darla LeDoux. She wrote 2 books, and 1 of them is called Shift The Field. It\’s how to support your clients in their transformation journey. For me, the connection I made is who I know in real life as a thought leader who\’s educating. It\’s not just the book but the whole package around live events, reading their blogs, and watching their videos.

Why I ask that deeper question is because sometimes, I don\’t know, and something did come to mind but we judged it. Did you initially judge it like, “I can\’t say that because it’s a little rumor?”

I thought about saying that. This is my favorite person in general who happened to write a book. I knew her before she wrote the book. It\’s interesting.

[bctt tweet=\”Every time we edit ourselves, we pull back.\” via=\”no\”]

I love how our brains work. What are you reading next, Amber? What\’s on your bookshelf?

I have about eight books that are partially read. Rocket Fuel, the visionary over here, is leaning into getting that support from my integrator and going back to a few Gary Zukav books. I stand on the spectrum from spiritual to strategy.

What are you writing next? Do you have another book under your sleeves?

I do. Maybe it\’s being started as we speak. It\’s going to be an amazing follow-up to Unleashed.

I\’m excited about this. If you need any support, I would love to help you. I have a program called Bestseller in a Weekend. Anytime someone had a title that was trademarkable, they could create a series or programs, I said, “Never share it.” I have a client who\’s launching her book, and about 30 days before her book is out, we are just seeding it because you cannot copyright the title of the book, and you want to keep that.

Thank you for bringing that up. I do have a series now of my live events, retreats, and things that are all around the concept of this book. That\’s fun and exciting. I\’m booking a lot more talks. I\’m a public speaker booking out months ahead. It\’s from the content of the book, and the book is written for anyone, even if they are not in business. The cool thing is I\’m being booked for a lot of corporate talks, which shows, and I hope anyone else out there who is an aspiring author, how your message can make an impact and ripple effect, even maybe with audiences where you didn\’t know how much it could extend.

The corporations have pockets for speaking. That\’s great that that\’s resonating for them because you have Wall Street Journal bestseller. Now you are going into more booking. I’m fanning the flames with your greatness. I want you to continue doing that. That\’s fantastic. I\’m thrilled for you. What else do you want to share with the readers at home, a lesson from your book, something that you would leave any readers with, whether you are speaking from the stage, on a podcast or on TV? What\’s that one lesson that would resonate with our readers?



Every time we edit ourselves, we pull back. You notice that moment of, “Was it a self-judgment?” We are selling our own selves and our own souls short. The only thing you have to lose is losing out on your own freedom, joy, and authenticity when you don\’t live into being unleashed. When you look at it that way, it becomes a great choice to live into your unleashed, which is living into your authenticity, free of those outside chains of expectation. Those fears and the conditioning is being more of your true self. It is a journey worth taking.

I love how it unwrapped as we even see, “Should I answer the first thing that came to my mind or am I going to second guess it? Especially in the last couple of years, I have been second-guessing myself in many ways about, “Should I do this? Should I do that? Should I put my modeling photos on my business Instagram?” It\’s this whole second-guessing.

To be fully open and fully ourselves is a powerful way of being. You support us with being unleashed. I want to thank you for that. Where can people find out more about you? Where can corporations and other organizations hire you as a speaker? Where can they find the book? Where can people hire your marketing firm? Please tell us. and I have a few businesses but it\’s fun. I think of it like Richard Branson with Virgin. I\’ve got Soul Seed. I\’ve got a few companies within it but the easiest place is the website. It will direct you to all those things you shared, whether it\’s connecting for a consult, speaking or coming to one of our events.

What\’s one thing you\’re feeling now, Amber? What\’s alive in you?

The creation, creating for the future. Something I\’m excited about is a container of work. It\’s not starting for a few months but it involves taking a group of visionaries on a number of retreats around the world. Even though it doesn\’t start for a few months, it\’s present in the energy I\’m holding, and it feels exciting to trust yourself to create in that way.

I’m feeling the energy and the excitement. Amber, I want to thank you so much for being here. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I love how we were starting to create that next book. It\’s such a fun thing to be in real-time here with you now.

Thank you.

You take care, and thank you, everyone, for reading this blog of the Authoring Life. See you next time.


Important Links


About Amber Swenor

\"ALAmber Swenor is the author of Unleashed: A Been-There, Rocked-That Guide to Radical Authenticity in Life and Business; and the Founder and Brand Strategist of Soul Seed Strategy, a marketing firm that partners with small-medium businesses as their outsourced marketing departments. After working in marketing and sales for years, she started an award-winning brand strategy and marketing firm in 2015 as a solopreneur and grew the business to a team of nine and $1M+ revenue, in less than three years.

As a musician, it was important for her to grow a business that would work for her lifestyle and today, she helps badass entrepreneurs to create the same! As a first generation high-school and college graduate, Amber has had her share of money stories, limiting beliefs and bad decisions, all of which inform and empower how she holds the space for leaders to walk their transformation journey. And oh, that voice that pops up that makes you question your big bold ideas? That never totally goes away, but overtime, your empowered voice will become stronger! It’s her mission to help heart-centered leaders rise up into their authority and claim the vision that they have for themself and for the communities they impact!

Authoring Life Podcast

Ignite A Shift With Stephen McGarvey



It\’s easy to point a finger when something goes wrong. It\’s easy to pin the blame on someone else, especially when we give directions, but the outcome is not what we expected. But was it really because they just can\’t follow instructions? In this episode, Stephen McGarvey, best-selling author and Founder & President of Solutions in Mind, discusses the importance of effective communication and how thinking impacts emotions and drives behavior. He also gives a sneak peek into his book, Ignite a Shift: Engaging Minds, Guiding Emotions and Driving Behavior, which reveals the proven techniques that the world\’s most effective leaders are using to motivate themselves and others to excel professionally and personally. So tune in and learn more about communication, positive persuasion, and influencing with integrity.

Listen to the podcast here


Ignite A Shift With Stephen McGarvey

I\’m super excited about our next guest. We\’re exploring between the pages, learning how we can share perspective, purpose, and possibility for the pages of real life. I am excited about our next guest that I\’m going to share with him. His name is Stephen McGarvey. He\’s the bestselling author of Ignite a Shift: Engaging Minds, Guiding Emotions and Driving Behavior. He\’s the Founder and President of Solutions in Mind, a world-leading authority on unconscious communication, positive persuasion, and influencing with integrity.

McGarvey is a Master Certified Practitioner and Trainer of NLP, Neuro-Linguistic Programming. He\’s a Certified Master Hypnotist. I\’m excited to jump in about his books. Let\’s talk about his book, Ignite a Shift. It\’s the ability to persuade and influence as the cornerstone of success. In his book, he speaks about exploring the subtleties of effective communication and highlights the essential fact that thinking impacts emotions, which then drive behavior. This book is an essential guide to communication, positive persuasion, and influencing with integrity. Without further ado, I want to invite Stephen in.

Stephen, how are you?

I\’m excellent, Alicia. How are you?

I\’m doing well and great. I\’m excited that you wrote this book. I\’m excited to into this book. First of all, I like to start with this question. Why did you write a book and particularly this book?

It\’s funny because everybody that asks me seems shocked that I wrote a book. I feel great, too. They told me I was learning disabled. I still can\’t spell to save my life. I spell everything phonetically. A book was the last thing in the world I ever thought I would write. The short answer is it was the demand from our clients. Clients kept saying, \”When are you going to write a book? What books do you recommend?\” I would give them reading lists. The question will come up again and again, \”When are you going to write a book?\” It\’s been a long process and a lot of learning along the way. We hit the number one Wall Street Journal bestseller list and USA Today bestseller.

When your clients were asking, \”Write a book,\” what was their pain point? What did they want you to solve through writing a book? What do they want to discover in your book?

Most of what we do is teach corporations that when you want to change behavior. Facts failed to do that because facts get filtered through the lens of the stories that we have. We need to understand that people\’s beliefs, values, criteria, and the stories they have to impact their emotional state, which drives their behavior.

When we would go into corporations, we do a lot of work in the pharmaceutical industry, biotech, and other industries as well. Word of mouth keeps us busy in those industries. When we would go in and work with clients, it\’s science-based and fact-based. They couldn\’t understand in some cases why the facts are being distorted or changed through the lens or filter of people\’s stories. A clinical trial will come out, 3and it\’s going to change someone\’s prescribing behavior. It\’s things like that.

[bctt tweet=\”The more we focus on what we don\’t want, the more we get of it. Whereas if we train our brain to focus on what we want, we\’ll get more of that.\” via=\”no\”]

It was new for the industry because we\’re coming in with the art of how we communicate when they\’re used to attempting to communicate logic, data, and science. We said, \”The science, logic, and data are important. The art of communication is as important as the facts and figures themselves.\” We talk about things like emotional framing and statistics. You could give the same statistic, but talk about 10% mortality versus 9% overall survival. It unconsciously triggers a different story in people\’s minds, a different set of emotions, and therefore, different behaviors, even though we\’re talking about the same statistics.

It\’s all about how you communicate. Let us dig into the core concepts of the book. I would love for you to share, Stephen, what are some life lessons, leadership lessons, and business lessons that people can learn in your book Ignite a Shift?

The number one thing or the underlying premise is that our thinking impacts our emotions and drives behaviors. In the chapter with a shifted exercise, it’s something to get the reader to go and apply what they\’ve learned. I always say there\’s a big difference between acquiring knowledge. Lots of people buy books and courses. The statistics show that they barely crack the first chapter or go through the first DVD, MP3, or whatever it happens to be. The goal is to have them, at the end of each chapter, go, apply, practice, and integrate it into their behavior as opposed to being at the acquisition of knowledge.

We\’ve done that with every single chapter. It gets them to go and do something different, apply this, learn it, and have fun with it. That\’s one of the key things. That\’s one life lesson. Some of the basics that we\’ve covered are the impact of communication. One of my most rewarding pieces of feedback is when parents come back and say, \”It changed the way I parent. It changed the way I communicate. It changed the way I teach medicine.\” It\’s little things like the fact that the brain fails to process negation. You cannot not think of something.

If I said to a kid, \”Don\’t spill your milk,\” to even process that piece of information or communication, the child has to imagine spilling their milk. It\’s like if I say, “Don\’t think of an elephant.” The first thing your brain has to do is think of an elephant. It\’s getting people to realize that if we want to move the brain and direction, we\’ve got to be clear on what that direction is. What\’s that desired state? What do I want them to think? The second piece is, \”How do I evaluate my communication to make sure that my impact is lining up with my intention?\”

Every parent starts laughing when I say, \”When I say don\’t spill the milk, what do you have to imagine doing?\” They\’re like, \”Spilling the milk.\” That\’s not what I want. That\’s not what I intended. They\’re shocked sometimes that the impact of their communication is different than what their intentions are. They then blame the child, \”The child\’s not listening. The child misunderstood. The child wasn\’t paying attention,\” as opposed to reflecting on, \”Did my communication have the impact that I wanted to have? If not, how do I evaluate the words that I\’m using, my tone of voice, and my gestures to make sure that it\’s in alignment and I\’m getting the impact that I\’m after?\”

That\’s important. In that example of, “Don\’t spill the milk,” what would you encourage your clients to say instead of that?



That\’s the exact question they ask me every single time with every single audience. I always say to them instead of just giving them the answer because that\’s the easy part, I always say, \”What is it that you want to have to happen as an outcome?\” Guess what most of them say right out of the gate.

Keep the table clean.

They say, \”Keep the milk in the glass.\” I always say to them, \”Did you pour the child that glass of milk to have it stay in the glass?\” They\’re like, \”No.\” I said, \”What is it you want to have happened?\” Eventually, you can coach them to get to the point where they say, \”Drink up the milk safely and put the glass back on the table. Drink up the milk carefully and put the glass in the dishwasher.\” Isn\’t that what we want? Notice the difference. When I say to a child, \”Don\’t spill your milk,\” they think about spilling milk, which increases the state of nervousness and increases the likelihood that I\’m going to get the behavior that\’s the opposite of what I want.

Whereas, when I say to a child, \”Drink up your milk carefully and put the glass, cup, or whatever it is back on the table,\” it gets them to visually imagine doing it successfully, which boosts their confidence and increases the likelihood I\’m going to get the behavior that I want. Little things like that have a big impact on parenting and how we communicate with our siblings, significant others, and ourselves. The more we focus on what we don\’t want, the more we get of it. Whereas, if we train our brain to focus on what we want as opposed to what we don\’t want, we\’ll get more of that.

I love that example because, “Drinking your milk carefully and putting the glass into the dishwasher,” is also commanding. My interest in NLP is people like to have instructions specifically on what to do next. There\’s something that\’s commanding around that, but being clear and concise as well.

We have got an entire chapter on exactly that. One of the other chapters in the book is exactly what you\’re talking about. It\’s making sure that we have well-formed outcomes. What does that mean? It means that there\’s a model called SMART. It\’s specific, measurable, sensory-based, and stated in the positive. It\’s almost like a checklist to make sure that the goals we set for ourselves and the goals we coach others to set for themselves are well-defined to maximize the likelihood that we\’ll succeed at them. One of them is making sure it\’s measurable. What are those steps? What is that instruction? What is it specifically that I\’m after and making sure that I word that frame as effectively as possible?

I loved what you said as we started the interview talking about the importance of lived experience versus knowledge because I always say that applied knowledge is power. It\’s the integration and lived experience. How do your clients and readers start integrating and applying the lessons that they\’re learning in your book? How do they do it?

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The end-of-chapter exercises are specifically called Shifted Exercises. It gives them something from the chapter to go and apply. It\’s one of the early stages to set a goal for themselves. We have them map out a current state and desired state. How are they thinking about something? What do they believe? What do they value? How are they feeling about it? What are they currently doing or not doing?

We then have the map of the desired state. What do you want them to think? What do they want themselves to think instead? What\’s the story they want to have instead? What do they want to update in limiting beliefs to? How do they make it more empowering? What do they want to feel instead? What emotional state do they want to be in? What do they want to do?

We start with that strategy and build chapter by chapter on empowering them and giving them tools that they can then move and shift themselves, hence, the title of the book, Ignite a Shift, shift themselves from where they are to where they want to be, do that one step and one day at a time, and hold themselves accountable. That\’s another learning in the book.

It\’s that whole idea of internal versus external locus of control. We refer to it in psychology, \”Do I take ownership and accountability? Am I one of those people that blames everything around me?\” It\’s getting the reader to take accountability inventory of their own thinking, emotional states, and behavior, and taking ownership for, \”I can run my brain. I\’m in charge of my thoughts. How do I do that as effectively as possible?\”

You can get the book on Amazon. Anywhere else people can find the book?

It\’s in any major place that books are sold. They can get it on our website, It\’s available there, Barnes & Noble, big book chains, and anywhere where good books are sold. You\’ll find it there. You can order it on Amazon. It\’s easy as well. I\’ll tell you what it looks like so you can identify the title. It\’s got that number one Wall Street Journal bestseller banner across the top and USA Today. It\’s called Ignite a Shift. For anybody wanting to create a shift in their lives or coach someone else to create a shift, it will give them all the tools that they need to begin that journey.

We\’re going to jump into the speed round now. I\’m going to ask you questions. I want to hear the first thing that comes to your mind, Stephen. What is your legacy going to be?



My legacy is helping and empowering others through these tools. My wife and I don\’t have kids. We support a charity in Cambodia called Ratanak Organization. We do a lot of work and donor support with them. We\’ve been there to see the project. Hopefully, having it live beyond the book and us but having it impact other people\’s lives while we\’re here to do it is the most rewarding thing.

What is your favorite book?

My favorite book has got to be the Bible as a history book. I find it fascinating. Aside from being a religious text, it\’s a historically accurate text and science and more. There\’s an organization called Reasons To Believe. It\’s all a bunch of scientists that look at it from a historical perspective as a history book. That\’s number one. I\’ve got a lot of favorite authors, like Chip and Dan Heath\’s Made to Stick, Switch, Decisive, any of their books, and Gladwell\’s books. In fact, we modeled ours after those books. It\’s filled with stories and interesting facts but communicated through the power of the story.

That\’s what I was going to ask. Who\’s your favorite author?

The Heath brothers are among my favorites. The two of them take academic things that could be very dry and boring and bring them to life in their books through stories. I\’ve read their books, some of them 2 to 3 times. I recommend them to most of my audiences.

What\’s your favorite one?

It\’s Made to Stick and Switch. Those are my two favorites. I\’d have a hard time narrowing it down to one of them because they have different focuses but are both equally good.

[bctt tweet=\”Learn things that will empower you to help others, to make yourselves better, and to accomplish your goals and dreams.\” via=\”no\”]

With that, what are you going to be reading next? What\’s on your bookshelf?

I usually have 5 or 6 books going at the same time. It\’s that ADD. I jump into one and then read it. I\’m reading one in a religious context. I\’m reading one on the historical evidence for the resurrection and mentalism perspective. I do magic and mentalism as a hobby. I\’m reading one on that. I\’ve got one on cold reading that I\’m doing, which is looking at the whole psychic entertainment industry, how they use language, and the way the mind works. The psychology of it is to unfortunately deceive people. That\’s why we talk about influencing with integrity because we need to equip and empower ourselves to know when this stuff is being used on us and how to defend ourselves against it as well.

It is an incredibly powerful tool. I always tell people it\’s like a hammer. You can use a hammer to break a building and a window, or you can use a hammer to build a shelter. It\’s less about the hammer. It\’s more about the individual wielding it. The more we equip ourselves with the knowledge of how persuasion influence works, the more we can defend ourselves against people that are using it with their own interests in mind rather than ours.

What are you writing next? Do you have anything that you\’re working on?

I love stories and the power of stories. I may move in that direction. We had a PhD in Neuroscience editor edit and review it and give us feedback. We had a psychologist edit or review it. We had a good cross-section of people. One of the gentlemen who had a PhD in Neuroscience said, \”Any one of these chapters could be a book in and of itself.\” I\’m looking at this story chapter. My wife and I like traveling a lot. Travel gives us an opportunity to hear people\’s stories around the world. This one\’s still fresh. It got published in July 2022. If we sat down the road of writing another one, it would likely be in the direction of the power of story to bring facts to life.

With that, I want to know, as we start wrapping up, what is one piece of advice that you would want to leave our audience with?

First off, keep learning. Have grit and a growth mindset and keep learning. They told me I was learning disabled. If I believed that, I would never accomplish anything in life. Set goals and surround yourself with people that are smarter than you and have complementary strengths to you. Surround yourself with the right people, set those goals, and one day, one step at a time, you\’ll move in the direction. You\’ll look back and surprise yourself with how far you\’ve come. I never would have dreamed that we would be a number one Wall Street bestseller, and yet here we are.


Congratulations on that. How can people find out more about you, Stephen?

It\’s on our website, Alicia, thank you to you and your readers. I\’m more than happy to send you a link for a free eBook so they can access a free eBook of our book. I\’m more than happy to email and send you that link so you can make it available to your audience.

Thank you so much, Stephen. That\’s awesome. What\’s one thing you\’re feeling now?

I\’m grateful to be having this conversation with you. I love spreading the word. I love getting people to learn things that will empower them, help others make themselves better, and accomplish their goals and dreams. That is so rewarding. I always tell people if somebody gave me a list of these questions to answer in an email, I would be on the phone with our creative writer and say, \”Can you do this with me interview style?\” It\’s because it\’s like pulling teeth for me to sit down and write like that, but doing this and meeting interesting people like yourself who have a passion for learning and helping others is a lot of fun. I\’m feeling a sense of excitement and happiness that we\’re able to have this conversation.

Here we have Stephen McGarvey, the author of Ignite a Shift. You can get it on Amazon or your local bookstore. Stephen, I want to thank you so much for sharing your knowledge, encouraging, and igniting a shift in all of us. Thank you so much for your time.

It\’s my pleasure. Thank you for having me.

Everyone, be well. See you on the next episode.


Important Links


About Stephen McGarvey

\"ALStephen McGarvey, best-selling author of Ignite a Shift: Engaging Minds, Guiding Emotions and Driving Behavior, is the Founder & President of Solutions in Mind, and a world-leading authority on unconscious communication, positive persuasion and influencing with integrity. He has worked with businesses around the world to optimize their performance by helping them understand how their staff and their customers think, and what unconscious elements and patterns drive their behavior.

He is a sought-after speaker, presenting to a variety of international audiences in a myriad of venues, ranging from the American Psychiatric Association Conference to numerous Fortune 500 companies. McGarvey is a Certified Master Practitioner and Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and a Certified Master Hypnotist. Employing the empowering modalities of neuroscience and the latest in behavioral psychology, he hosts The Stephen McGarvey Podcast and is known for bringing contagious enthusiasm and a powerful presence to the professional speaking circuit.


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Authoring Life Podcast

Rise Up: Leadership Habits For Turbulent Times With Ali Grovue



What habits do leaders need to build during turbulent times? Ali Grovue takes a deep look at this on her new book, Rise Up: Leadership Habits for Turbulent Times, which she co-authored with Mike Watson. The book reveals digestible and comprehensive methods for managers detailing how to be an influential force – navigating chaos and crisis in the workplace. With extensive experience in organizational development, coupled with academic and psychological research and personal narratives, Rise Up is an essential guide for any aspiring and current leader.

Listen to the podcast here


Rise Up: Leadership Habits For Turbulent Times With Ali Grovue

I am very excited to introduce our next guest, Ali Grovue.

How are you?

I am good. How are you doing?

I’m doing well. First of all, I\’m very excited about this book because it is all about rising up. It\’s called Rise Up: Leadership Habits for Turbulent Times. Indeed we have been in turbulent times. I’ll share with you a little bit about Ali, then we\’re going to jump in. She is a Senior Consultant at Ignite Management Services, and is an expert in organizational strategy and leadership development with experience as a clean-tech COO, a nonprofit Executive Director, and an officer in the Navy.

She loves the process and innate discipline that drives her passion for personal and organizational development through purpose-driven leadership. We\’re going to be jumping in and talking about leadership with your book, Rise Up: Leadership Habits for Turbulent Times. What I love about this book is you talk about some important distinctions of leadership, which are trust, inquisitiveness, humility, optimism, courage and discipline. First, I want to know from you. Why did you write this book?


I\’ve been thinking about it a lot with the book having come out. I always thought I would write a book. I didn\’t know what it would be about, whether it would be fiction, nonfiction, work-related or otherwise. For me, this idea of writing a book wasn\’t about a particular story that I needed to tell. It was just appreciation and love for books, and writing words and sentences. I always thought that one day there would be a book in my future.

The opportunity came through my work. I\’m a strategy and leadership development consultant. Through our work, we have seen that there\’s a significant leadership gap in organizations. Most leaders don\’t have any formal leadership training. They\’re often modeling themselves off on core examples. We do this work with our clients, but we wanted to find a way to help others and the people we don\’t work with directly understand what great leadership looks like, and the kind of leadership that helps build personal resiliency, and resiliency in teams and organizations. It was my co-author and my desire to help and spread what we have learned in working with our clients to a broader audience.

This is such an important topic, leadership in corporate and culture, and creating distinguished examples of how you get to be, how you get to show up and relate to others. You mentioned writing the book was something important to you. What are some lessons that you teach in your books, specifically leadership lessons?

This is aligned with my co-author and my feelings about it, but also with feedback that we\’ve received. This is for leaders. It\’s anywhere from new leaders to experienced executives who care about the health of their people and their organizations, but it\’s also about being a good person. When you look at some of the habits like trust, optimism, courage and discipline, these are lessons that anyone can take into their interaction, how they carry themselves, how they show up, how they interact with people in their lives, but our focus is on leadership. The biggest lesson before the book even gets into the habits is around motivation and purpose. Leadership can be very difficult, certainly, in the past number of years.

It has been exceptionally difficult. People have struggled and the people who we are leading are struggling, but leadership is always difficult. The book talks about the importance of having a motivating purpose. It’s that why or that reason to get out of bed in the morning and greet the day, and push ourselves to do things that are difficult and uncomfortable, which leaders are often called to do. Having that clear purpose of, “Why am I doing this? Why do I want to be a leader?” is important because you\’re not going to get it right all the time. You\’re going to have those moments of, “Why am I doing this? This is exhausting. This is difficult.” It’s needing to get clear with yourself on, “Why do I want to be in this position? Why is it important to me?” Without that, it\’s going to be difficult to get through those difficult times.

Do you help people with specific tools and exercises on how to get to that why and purpose?

Leadership can be very, very difficult.

We do, and we speak about some of it in the book. We do this with the clients, leadership teams, and individuals and teams that we coach. It\’s going through a process of, “What do I want? What do I really want? Why do I want it?” Leadership in particular is being honest with yourself and holding up the mirror, \”Am I doing this for money, promotion, prestige, power, other people\’s expectations?\” None of those reasons is going to sustain you. It\’s helping clients to hold up the mirror, dig deep and look inside themselves and say, “What do you want? What matters to you in life? What do you care about? What\’s the impact that you want to have? Is it about your family, your kids or something else?”

We’re helping them go through that exercise of understanding their motivation ultimately. Sometimes the answer to that is, “I don\’t want to be a leader. This is not what I want.” Sometimes it can go in that direction. Otherwise, it can go in the direction of helping people get in touch with, “I do care about being in a role of leadership because I want to lift others and because I want to have a positive impact.” That\’s where it becomes powerful. There are a number of questions set in the book that we also use with our clients.

Those questions are something that you don\’t want to address one time in your life. It\’s something that you addressed multiple times.

You revisit it. I do it myself as well. I look at it annually. My broader guiding purpose, thankfully, hasn\’t changed much over time, but you definitely revisit it.

We get into the distinct principles in your book, trust, inquisitiveness, humility, optimism, courage and discipline. Talk us through to give those leaders and people, because we have business owners, small business owners, founders, self-employed individuals and career people, why you came to these six specific distinctions.

There are six habits in the book: optimism, courage, discipline, humility, trust and inquisitiveness. We came to them through our work over the years with clients. Before we used this framework with our clients, it started out as observations of the leaders we work with who are exceptional and do well, and create thriving and resilient organizations, and observing what was it about their behavior that was leading to those outcomes. We’re also seeing our clients who falter or struggle and seeing where those gaps were.



The identification of those habits came through our work and observing the strengths and weaknesses of the leaders that we work with. From there, developing that into a framework and applying it to our coaching and our leadership development work. Seeing the impact of that when people have awareness of what those behaviors look like and do intentional work to improve on the habits where they may be lacking and seeing the impact that has on their leadership.

Some of them are about you and they\’re a bit more internal. Courage would be an example. Courage to stretch yourself, go outside your comfort zone, courage to stand by and stand up for your values. Some of them are more about how you interact with others. That\’s super-critical and relevant for leadership. Inquisitiveness, there are lots of curious people who are interested but they don\’t necessarily demonstrate it, especially leaders, in how they engage with their people. It\’s asking questions, seeking to understand, and making people feel that their input matters. Humility is very similar. It’s recognizing you can\’t do what you\’re trying to do alone. Are you demonstrating that through your actions and how you interact with and engage the people that work for you?

The habits themselves, we think in a way they\’re quite straightforward. They\’re easy for people to understand, which is one thing that\’s great about them. They make sense to people. The difficult part is changing the behavior. They\’re referred to as habits for a reason. It is about habitual practice for behavior change in each of these areas. That changes how you show up and your ability to lift others and maximize their potential in pursuit of whatever results you\’re looking for.

Everyone, you can go and purchase Rise Up: Leadership Habits for Turbulent Times on Ali, we\’ve talked about the high-level content of the book. I want to give some context to it. Can you share perhaps a case study of maybe a company you\’ve worked with or something that\’s in the book on how before they worked with you, they were having an issue, and then they were able to have a powerful transformation that helped them rise up?

There are lots of examples, some positive and some not. Perhaps you might look at them as positive because ultimately, they ended in decisions of, “This isn\’t for me.” That can happen. It happened several times with me, which I think is a positive outcome. One that sticks out for me is I was working with an organization with a medium-sized business in the apparel industry. They were going through very difficult times. There was a new leader who had taken on what was a toxic culture and a dysfunctional leadership team. There was no trust and no respect. There were lots of blame and gossip. It was a very negative environment and the business results were terrible.

This leader had taken on this role somewhat hesitantly. She was asked to take on this role and clearly, she had a lot of doubts about taking it on but decided to do it anyway. When I started working with her, we did a lot of outreach with the staff in the organization to help her understand the perspectives of others. We’re helping her to open her mind to what was going on. The big shift for her was she was looking outward for a long time at what is wrong with the other members of the leadership team. It was, \”They do this wrong. They\’re not doing this.\” There was a lot of blaming the other. She had come in and this history already existed.

Your life can be more. You can have more, and work can be fulfilling and enjoyable. You can find that.

It is natural to feel, \”This isn\’t my fault. There are all these things wrong with the other people in the organization.\” I took quite a bit of coaching work, which was focused on, \”Why are you here? Why did you take this on? What is this about for you?\” She did have a lot of hesitancy in doing it. We’re helping her get in touch with, “I chose to take this for a reason and what is my role in that?” She got to the point where through the process of that coaching, she had a bit of an a-ha moment of, “I have just realized I may not have been the problem. I may not have caused this but I have to be the solution.”

At that moment, she took ownership over the process and worked with the leadership team to change the dynamic and improve those relationships. Our engagement had ended within a few months. We had a catch-up and she said, “It\’s like a different company. It feels completely different.” The shift was that individual leader mindset change. That was the shift. It was her looking in the mirror and saying, “I\’ve got to stop pointing fingers at everyone else. I\’m the leader. It\’s up to me to change it.” That shift completely changed how she show up and how she get into the challenges, and then you saw it in the business results later.

Coming from 100% responsibility and that shift that you mentioned is integral in terms of that particular example. Thank you for sharing. We\’re going to jump into the lightning round. I\’ll ask you questions and you will say the first thing that comes to your mind. The first question is what is your legacy?

I want to help people live more joyful and fulfilling lives. There\’s so much sadness and unhappiness, and people no getting what they want out of life. I want people to know it can be more. They can have more and work can be fulfilling and enjoyable. I want to help them find that.

What is your favorite book?



There are so many. This is hard, but I\’m going to go with the two covers that flashed into my mind. One is The Alchemist and One Hundred Years Of Solitude.

Favorite author?

I don\’t think I can pick one.

The first person that comes to mind.

I’m going to go with the author of The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck. It\’s a fantastic book. Several of those would be on my top book list, so I\’ll go with him.

What are you reading next?

Leadership is about lifting others. It\’s about driving results through others. It\’s helping them find and connect with their purpose and fulfill their potential in the pursuit of organizational results.

I’ll tell you what I\’m reading. I\’m almost done. It is fairly new. It\’s about Churchill and the blitz during World War II. It\’s called The Splendid And The Vile. It\’s historical non-fiction.

What are you writing next? Do you get another book in you or something else?

The very next thing I have the privilege of writing is an article for an HR publication all around the leadership choice, which goes back to some of the points we\’ve talked about choosing to be a leader and what that means. That will be the next thing. I\’ll be getting that out for publication in June. What\’s the next book? We have a similar framework for what creates resilient leadership teams, which is another set of six habits. We have talked about writing that book, but I still think there\’s a creative book in my future. I don\’t know what that is yet. I don\’t know if it\’s fiction or nonfiction. It\’s something not work or business-related. I think something will come. That\’s maybe more like a ten years from now thing.

I love that. Everyone, you can go to Amazon or your local bookstore and purchase Rise Up: Leadership Habits for Turbulent Times. Ali, where can people at home find out more about you, websites and social media?

To learn more about our work and the book as well, you can go to our company website, which is The best way to follow me and keep in touch and see what I\’m up to is through LinkedIn. It\’s my name, Ali Grovue. I\’m the only one that exists. If you punch that into LinkedIn, you will find me. My Instagram handle is the same.

What would you like to leave with our audience at home? One last piece of advice.



Leadership is about lifting others. It\’s about driving results through others. It\’s helping them find and connect with their purpose and fulfill their potential in the pursuit of organizational results. That\’s what this is about, and this is what the habits help you to do. First, the need to embrace that is what leadership is. It\’s not about developing great products or closing deals. It\’s about other people, how you interact with them and the impact that you have. It can be incredibly rewarding and fulfilling, and bring you a lot of joy. It can also be tough. If you\’re going into a leadership role or you\’re in a leadership role, you need to think about what that means. Pick up the book, go through that process of the motivation and the purpose, and get clear on why you\’re doing it and the rest will come.

Ali, I want to acknowledge you and thank you for being here.

Thank you so much. This was a ton of fun.

Everyone at home, thank you so much. I\’ll see you next time. Take care. All the best.


Important Links


About Ali Grovue

\"ALALI GROVUE is a Senior Consultant at Ignite Management Services. An expert in organizational strategy and leadership development, Grovue has served as a clean-tech COO, non-profit executive director and an officer in the Royal Canadian Navy. Grovue completed her degree with honors in organizational behavior from the University of British Columbia and Leadership Coaching training at Harvard University. Her love of process and innate discipline drives her passion for personal and organizational development through purpose-driven leadership.

Authoring Life Podcast

Embrace The Work, Love Your Career With Fran Hauser



Learn how to embrace your work and love your career even in the rough times. Look back at your career and find the parts that you enjoy. Relive those moments and ask what was it that made you enjoy that event? Make your work, work for you.

Join Alicia Dunams as she talks to her guest Fran Hauser about her new book, Embrace the Work, Love Your Career. Fran came up with the idea for this guided workbook when she realized that women all around her were feeling stuck, and there wasn’t a practical yet inspiring resource to help them find clarity and achieve their career goals. The pandemic has driven so many women out of the workforce and left others questioning their paths. Her hope is that her book will help women of all ages to get inspired and become unstuck so that they can thrive in their careers and ultimately live the lives they want and deserve.

Each chapter starts with practical advice and includes prompts and exercises to help readers create their own personal career action plans. Palate-cleansing meditations and coloring breaks conclude each chapter, offering chances for calming reflection. Through simple, inspiring, and actionable tools, this one-of-a-kind workbook empowers women to focus on the things that truly matter, set boundaries, and, ultimately, realize their full potential.

Listen to the podcast here


Embrace The Work, Love Your Career With Fran Hauser

I am excited about our next guest, Fran Hauser. She is a passionate woman about leveling the playing field for all women. She does this through her investing, writing and speaking. Fran has invested in over 30 female-founded companies across consumer tech, media, publishing and wellness. She is the best-selling author of The Myth of the Nice Girl, which has been translated into six languages. It was named the Best Business Book of the Year in 2018 by Audible.

Fran’s new book Embrace the Work, Love Your Career, which is a workbook that I am excited about digging into. It is becoming the go-to for women seeking more fulfillment and joy in their careers. We want more of that. Fran regularly speaks at conferences and organizations. I am excited to have her here in this episode. Fran, it is so great to have you.

Thank you so much, Alicia. It is so great to be here.

I want to talk about the book, get your thoughts about the book, share and go more into it. Embrace the Work, Love Your Career is a guided workbook. Why did you decide to write this book, Fran?

The idea came to me in the middle of COVID. I remember reading all about the millions of women that were leaving the workforce and the millions more that were questioning their career paths and purpose. Frankly, even in my network, my friends, family and colleagues were coming to me one by one saying how much they were struggling.



The pandemic did that to a lot of us. We are going through this existential crisis where we are questioning the meaning of all of the big things and little things in our lives. I wanted to do something that would be helpful. I love to write and create content. I have realized that over the years, I have done so much mentoring and so many talks where I had lots of tips, strategies, exercises, writing prompts and questions that I would ask.

I thought it would be fun to package all of that up into a guided workbook where women could go through the book and do it as opposed to just reading it but doing it, interacting with it and becoming the author of their career. It was a lot of fun to work on. It was very different than working on The Myth of the Nice Girl, which was your more typical 60,000-word narrative book. They are in very different formats. I loved working on both of them but with this one, there was more creativity involved. There is more color and lots of illustrations and design. It was such a pleasure to work on.

You are talking about The Myth of the Nice Girl being 60,000 words and creating a workbook that integrates left and right brain thinking. We can read about things and intellectually understand things but to fully integrate it, be creative, color, draw out and visualize is a more of an integrated experience. This was a great time during the pandemic to launch such a book because people are looking at life from a different perspective.

When you write, you are more likely to remember. It is more likely to stay in your memory. The physical act of writing is important and it is something that we are not doing as much as we used to. When you go through this book, you will want to write and doodle. There are coloring breaks and meditations. I also wanted it to have more of a holistic feel because work is a big part of our life.

It is hard to talk about one without the other. It is all integrated. It has been great to see the response and how women are enjoying it. They are taking it back to their workplace and doing it with their team. I have had a few women ask me if I would do a little surprise drop-in during their book club in Zoom, which has been fun. I love the idea of doing it with others so they are going through it and there is that accountability to each other. That is also a beautiful way to approach it.

It is so natural to automatically go to what is not working, that you often forget to reflect on what\’s working.

Tell us more about the response from women. You shared that you are speaking at book clubs. What are people experiencing? Do you have some case studies and examples?

What is great about this book is that I am hearing from women directly but I am also doing a lot of talks at corporations and conferences. A lot of companies have their women’s ERGs. They are always looking for programming and interesting content. It has been such a pleasure to be able to go in and speak to women in all these different companies. They love the reflection part of it. There are so many exercises in the book. I would love to share one because it is a good example of the type of reflecting that is involved.

There is one exercise where I ask you to go through your calendar for the last month, 2 months, 3 months, whatever works for you. Pick out the meetings or the events that put a smile on your face and then take the time to think about what about that experience was so fulfilling. Was it the type of problem that you were solving? Was it the people that you were working with? Was it the type of skills that you were using? It’s to do the work and understand what was it about that experience that you enjoyed so much and then figure out, can you bring more of that type of work into your career? It is so natural to go to what is not working automatically. “I hate this. I do not like this. This is a burden.”

This exercise unblocks you and allows you to reflect on what are the things that are working for you? When I was at Time Inc., and I had been there for many years, I was starting to feel that itch. I did that exercise. I remember realizing that I loved meeting the startup founders from outside the company. That was something that brought me joy. I was able to figure out a way to do more of that at the company by launching an innovation lab that I ran. That kept me at the company for a couple more years because it was something that I enjoyed doing.

Ultimately, I ended up leaving the company and doing startup investing and advising full-time, which is what I have been doing for eight years. I remember being in that moment of like, “I am not loving my job.” I felt like the bigger my job got, the more administrative it got. When I was able to take a step back, think about it and do the reflection, it occurred to me, “There is this one part that I do love. How can I do more of that?” I love and appreciate that exercise. I am hearing a lot of good things about that one.



I love that you shared that with us because we do get to focus on the positive things and re-engineer and redesign our life to have more of that. Whatever is misaligned, we get to release that because mental health and self-care are so important for us to create sustainability. Whatever we are doing or whatever career we have, it gets to be sustainable. I want to go into a few more exercises and lessons from your book but before that, is this book for career women and small business owners or business owners or all of the above?

When I started working on the book, I was trying to make it be for everyone. I am a startup investor and I also have a long career in corporate. It was not working. I realized that I had to choose. I chose more career women, women who are working in a professional environment, either in big companies or small companies. You know this because this is what you do. You help people write books. It is so important to know who it is that you are writing the book for and to be very targeted. I have heard from founders that they also have gotten quite a bit out of the book.

Whereas the entire book is relevant for career women, there are certain parts of the book that are not as relevant for founders. That was a big thing for me in the beginning. I was writing and was like, “This is not working.” I am trying to make it all things to all people. I was not able to get specific enough and tactical enough. Once I made that choice of getting clear on who my target reader was, it became so much easier to write.

One thing I always say is, “When you appeal to everyone, you appeal to no one.” Even though some of the exercises are helpful, focusing on career women is a gift to them. Perhaps down the road, you will write another book for startup founders since that is a sweet spot of yours as well. For the career women out there who are feeling in a rut, stressed with their job and burnt out, especially with Zoom and everything that has changed so quickly, please share another exercise that will bring joy to them.

We are living in an employee’s market. Millions of jobs are open. We can redefine work on our terms. This is not in the book but this is something that I want to share with you because it is something that is very top of mind. It is something I am talking a lot about with women. Get clear on how you can make work work for you, whatever that means. If it is that you need more flexibility, the hybrid work environment is not working for you or whatever it is, write it down and talk to your manager because you do have so much power. We all do.

As an author, it\’s so important to know who you\’re writing your book for.

Companies are doing a better job of listening. They want to create cultures and environments that work for their employees. Do not be afraid to ask. That starts with being very mindful and thoughtful about what you need, your asks and then having the conversation. There are a couple of other exercises that I will share. One that I love is around, “What do you want to be known for?” It is important that we talk a lot about personal branding when it comes to entrepreneurs and founders but it is just as important if you are working for someone else. What do you want to be known for? What do you want to be the go-to for? When you are the go-to for something, it makes you indispensable.

I remember very early on in my career, when I was in my twenties, I became known for being able to take complicated information and simplify it. I did this one project that I won a corporate award for when I was at Coca-Cola. Everybody knew me as that person. It was amazing because it ended up helping me get promoted to a big job. That was a big stretch for me but I know that it came back to that. Throughout my career, what I became known for changed. I became known for more about my leadership style, being compassionate and the idea of you can be both kind and strong when you are a leader.

Think about what is that for you? What is your zone of genius? What is your superpower? If you do not know what it is, a great exercise is to text a few of your colleagues and ask them. What is the first word that comes to mind when they think of you? That is your brand. How do you feel about that? Is it something that you feel good about and you want to double down on or is this something that you want to change? Being known for something is an important part of being successful.

That is a great exercise. I want to encourage everyone to go over to and purchase Embrace the Work, Love Your Career. It is a beautifully laid-out formatted book. It is a workbook. It is a book to integrate creativity, writing, doodling, drawing and visioning your work and career goals, creating joy and asking for what you want. We are in a place where you can design your work and have power.

We have the power to create it. When you are happy at work, you’ll have more performance and the culture is going to be a culture that cultivates creativity and productivity. You can go over to and purchase. This is a living book, Embrace the Work, Love Your Career. Fran, I would love for you to share perhaps another one of your favorite exercises that are in the book.



There is a whole section in the book on creating time and space. This is so important because you can envision a career that you love and have your goals but if you do not have the time and the space to focus on it, nothing is going to get done. There are so many exercises around creating boundaries and finding that time in your calendar.

One exercise that I love is the idea of creating a to-don’t list. We are good at creating those to-do lists. One of the things that I encourage people to do periodically is to look at that to-do list and make some decisions. There might be a few things that you can move over to your to-don’t list. It is like, “No, for now.” It is not that you are never going to get to it but I will give you an example.

When I was working on this book, Embrace the Work, Love Your Career, it took a lot longer to design it but it took six weeks to write the first draft. During that time, I decided that I was not going to take meetings with founders who wanted to pitch me their businesses. That was on my to-don’t list. It made it so much easier for me to say no because when someone reached out, I could say, “Thank you so much for reaching out. I am heads down writing my book, so I am not taking founder meetings.”

It is not something that they take personally. It is a decision that, for this period, I will not be taking founder meetings. Think about what you can put on your to-don’t list. Sometimes, it is stuff that is not directly on your to-do list but it might be something that is a common distraction. Maybe you are the office therapist or the person that everybody always comes to for help. It is so great to be helpful and generous but you got to set boundaries around that too. Not just looking at your to-do list but thinking about, “What are the distracters, the fillers and the things that are creeping into my day that I can also put on that to-don’t list?”

Fran, we are going to jump into the lightning round. I am going to ask you some questions and you are going to say the first thing that comes to your mind. Number one, Fran, what is going to be your legacy?

When you are the go-to for something, it makes you indispensable.

Turning the nice girl notion on its head.

Favorite book?

Charlotte’s Web.

Favorite author?

Jhumpa Lahiri.


Tell me about her.

She is amazing. She wrote a collection of short stories called Interpreter Of Maladies. She is an immigrant from India. There are all these beautiful short stories about being an immigrant, which I am also. I fell in love with that collection. She has written novels like The Namesake, which was turned into a movie. She also wrote a book called In Other Words, which is written in both Italian and English. She took it upon herself to learn the Italian language because she was so obsessed with it. She is an interesting author. I love following her and her work.

Thank you so much for sharing her with us. What are you reading next? What is on your bookshelf or table stand next to your bed?

I finished The Paris Library, which is this beautiful work of historical fiction. I love historical fiction. It was so good. I have another historical fiction up next, The Magnolia Palace by Fiona Davis.

You are very heavy on the fiction side.


Even though I am a nonfiction author but I love my fiction too.

That is part of creativity. That is something I get to stretch into more. I am a descriptive nonfiction reader. I love these suggestions. Fran, finally, what are you writing next?

The idea of Embrace the Work, Love Your Career for founders is something that I am marinating on. That might be it but I am not sure. I am staying curious.

Fran, tell us how we can find out more about you. Where can we follow you online?

My website is I am @Fran_Hauser on Instagram, Twitter and also LinkedIn.

You can follow Fran on Instagram, that is where I follow her and on LinkedIn. Fran, I would love for you to share one other piece of advice from either book that you want to share with our readers.

The big thing that I would love to share is that you can be successful without sacrificing your true self. That theme runs through both books. This idea of like, “Fake it until you make it,” does not work for me and I do not think it works for most people. When you show up as your true self, whether it is at work or in your life, that is when you are going to feel the most comfortable in your skin and make the most impact.

Fran, thank you for being with us and everyone, thank you for reading this episode. See you next time.

Thanks for having me.


Important Links


About Fran Hauser

\"ALFran Hauser is passionate about leveling the playing field for women. She does this through her investing, writing, and speaking. Fran has invested in over 30 female-founded companies across consumer tech, CPG, media & publishing, and wellness. She is the best-selling author of The Myth of the Nice Girl which has been translated into six languages and was named “Best Business Book of the Year, 2018” by Audible. Fran’s new book, Embrace the Work, Love Your Career is quickly becoming the go-to for women seeking more joy and fulfillment in their careers. Fran regularly speaks at conferences and organizations to help women build careers they love. Much of her current work is informed by 15 years spent in media, where she rose through the ranks at Time Inc. to President of Digital. She lives outside of NYC with her husband and two sons.

Authoring Life Podcast

Life After Yes With Marisol Rodriguez



Some authors are called to use their passion for writing to address a huge problem and invite other people to take action. Marisol Rodriguez is one such writer, and she self-published Life After Yes: A Christian Approach to Choosing Life, Navigating Parenthood and Overcoming Poverty. Joining Alicia Dunams, she shares how she raises awareness on supporting under-resourced women going through pregnancy. Marisol talks about how he inspired a reader to help her publish through a publisher and how she walks the talk by co-founding RENEW Life Center.

Listen to the podcast here

Life After Yes With Marisol Rodriguez

I am super excited about my next guest who is a Bestseller in a Weekend alumni. She has a book out that we\’re going to be talking about in this episode. It\’s a powerful subject called Life After Yes: A Christian Approach to Choosing Life, Navigating Parenthood, and Overcoming Poverty. I want to introduce you to Marisol. She has served in the pregnancy resource center ministry for many years. Her years of experience serving women facing unplanned pregnancies led her to see the many needs and obstacles women in poverty face. Burdened by the struggles that confront these new moms, Marisol cofounded Renew Life Center in 2013 to fill the gap that exists after the services offered at a pregnancy center.

Marisol, you are here to fill the gap. I want to welcome you here on the show.

Thank you. I\’m happy to be here.

I like to start this show by asking the following question. Why did you write a book?

It may not be an answer you get very often. I wrote a book because a lot of people told me to. I never set out and dreamed of being an author, but I kept repeatedly hearing people tell me that I should write about this. What they wanted me to write about was the idea of filling in a gap for women who have faced unplanned pregnancies. I come from the Christian pro-life community where we encourage women to choose life, but we have to go beyond encouraging them to choose life. We have to help them with life after they lose it. That was the gap that I felt was missing. Serving in that type of ministry for so many years, I saw that problem.

I went around talking to people about the idea of helping women after their choices were made, helping them for the long-term with this thing called life and parenting. On top of that, we understand that people who visit a pregnancy resource center do that because they\’re in poverty. Otherwise, they wouldn\’t be seeking free services. They would go to a private doctor. We know they\’re already starting from a disadvantaged position. People kept telling me, \”You should write about that.\” After five years of people telling me I should write about that, I thought I should write about that. I was then introduced to Bestseller in a Weekend.

I hear a lot from authors that they\’re told to write a book. It\’s a calling. We talk about this a lot that you\’re just a vehicle. We are a container for a bigger purpose. These people were pouring into you saying they saw something that you have that gets to be out in the world.

I didn\’t see it but they did. I\’m grateful for all of those folks who encouraged me and prodded me. I\’m grateful to my friend who introduced me to Bestseller in a Weekend because I would have no idea how to write a book.

Let\’s start with that because that\’s great. We\’re going to talk about the content of the book and the service that you create in this world. I want to talk about the book writing process. People told you to write a book for five years, and then you enroll in Bestseller in a Weekend. Tell us a little bit about that process.

When I decided that I did want to write a book, I called my friend and said to her, \”I think I have to write a book. I don\’t know where to begin with that.\” She\’s like, \”I got you. I\’m going to introduce you to my friend, Alicia, and her Bestseller in a Weekend.\” The next thing I knew, I was signed up for it. From someone who never dreamed of writing a book, I feel like I was thrown into the deep end of the pool.

It was such a great process because it made this big scary unknown more manageable. It honed it in a little bit for me. Just because people tell you to write a book doesn\’t mean you know what should be in the book. By going through the Bestseller in a Weekend process, the questions you had developed and answered them, and gave the book shape and form, which I didn\’t have before that. I was like, \”I got to write a book. What\’s in it?\” That helped.

Just because people tell you to write a book don’t mean you know what should be in the book.

You wrote your draft book manuscript over a weekend. After the weekend, how many words or pages have you got?

I don\’t remember the word count but I was below the word count you wanted us to reach. It was at 17,000 words or something like that but I was pretty close. That alone amazed me that I got that far. What I want to add is that I did end up going through Bestseller in a Weekend a second time. You have this thing for alumni that you can attend a second time.

It\’s on the website now, so it\’s on-demand. I had people attend 1, 2 or 3 times to get a refreshment.

I recommend that because the first time was overwhelming because it was my first experience trying to write a book. It helped me a lot. I got the 17,000-word count. I was still low. When I went through it the second time, it was much better because I already had a little bit of experience. Some of the fear was gone. I knew more about what to expect. The second time was the charm. That\’s when the book took form and became a real book.

You attended the Bestseller in a Weekend twice, and the book still needed more work. It took a couple of more months because during the Bestseller in a Weekend, you get your draft of the manuscript, and you want to add interviews, research and editing. Tell us how long after you took that Bestseller in a Weekend a second time to when you got your book out?

It was about six months.

That\’s what I\’m thinking. It was six-plus months in terms of getting your book cover design because we supported you throughout the entire journey.

It wasn\’t just getting the manuscript. It was the book design, editing and layout. It was everything. April 27th, 2022, is the first anniversary of the day it was launched. I intentionally picked April 27th because I said, \”Let\’s do the show on the anniversary of the one year.\”

Your book has been out for a year now. I know you have some exciting news and it\’s still being formulated. How has the response been to your book so far? First of all, you have an organization and a nonprofit that supports under-resourced women going through their pregnancies. You have fundraisers and people in the church community, but it sounds like people liked your book that someone did what?

It has been amazing. The book is on Amazon. I\’m in New Jersey, and there have been people who have purchased my book from North Carolina, Florida, California and even Chicago. I\’ve received donations from that.


Let\’s talk about using your book as a way to fundraise as a nonprofit because I’ve worked with a few nonprofits.

People read the background of why this developed. My many years of experience in that field had me explaining why there is a gap and that there is a gap. A lot of people don\’t even think about that. They\’re like, \”Women choose life and they\’re happily ever after.\” Maybe and maybe not because there are a lot of obstacles and stuff. It helped the Christian community open their eyes to where they can serve more. We were serving well in an area but we needed to serve more. We needed to have a longer approach to those women and men that we serve in that area.

We believe that life is precious. I believe that to be true, but it\’s precious in the woman out of the womb as well. We have to focus on what happens when that precious life is born. How we can support that mother? Christian people read that and it connects to them. They know that to be true. It turns into support for us. Releasing the book has been helpful in getting different people to read the book. One of those readers that read my book enjoyed it so much that he sent it to his daughter in Michigan who works for a Christian book publisher. She read the book and reached back out to her dad. She said, \”This is the best written self-published book I\’ve ever seen.\”

I love that. I know that when she reads through it, she\’s like, \”Wow.\” What else did she say?

She said the layout was beautiful, professional and perfect. The cover and editing were awesome. She said, \”I see a lot of self-published books but I\’ve never seen one of this quality.\” She loved the content and told her father to get in touch with me and see if I was interested in having it traditionally published through a publisher. I said, \”Yes.\”

We\’re going through the process now of writing a book proposal and submitting it to go through her editorial team. It\’s halfway there. We\’re halfway to a contract. I\’m praying that will go forth. It\’s something that I didn\’t even attempt to do myself. A reader thought so much of it that he sent it to his daughter.

That shows the power of a book because you have been doing this work for decades. You are committed to your service to under-resourced women and the work that you do. I want to acknowledge you for that. You then write it in a book because you see a problem. That\’s what\’s important for spiritual leaders.

When you see a problem, it\’s not to just see it. It\’s to see it and say, \”I have a solution to it. I need to expose it. I need to enroll more people.\” It\’s taking on a life of its own. People are reading the book. Now it\’s being exposed to a Christian publisher, and your word is getting out there. It\’s something I\’ve been saying for decades myself. When you write a book, you start a movement and change the world. That\’s what you\’re doing.

Early in this process when we were going through Bestseller in a Weekend and talking, you called me a thought leader. I was like, \”I\’m a thought leader?\” It was funny because I am a thought leader but I needed you to tell me that. That\’s what I\’m doing. I\’m pushing a thought forward. That\’s important. It\’s been such a blessing. I don\’t know what I would have done without you and Bestseller in a Weekend. I don\’t know that this book would exist but it\’s very important. Whatever happens from here forward, I\’m eternally grateful to you and your team for the support they gave me.

I got goosebumps listening to you because I think about the seed planted in you that you\’ve watered and nurtured. Now when you blow the little dandelions, the seeds go out, and the seeds are being planted in other people. They are raising awareness, donating and hearing something that they might not have heard because their particular bias or experience in life is not that way. It\’s like, \”It\’s a simple decision for women to make.\”

Do not to let fear stop you. If there\’s something in your heart that you feel you\’ve been called to do step out in faith, do it.

You have shown through your work that it\’s not so simple. You\’re giving perspective to people who maybe didn\’t see that. That\’s the beauty of that. You\’re doing something about it. There are problems in this world. We can just watch them or do something about them. That\’s what you did. I acknowledge you for that. I see this as a seed that\’s going to continue to blossom into an oak tree.

Thank you. That\’s my logo.

I love that. That\’s powerful.

I still want to tell you that I have gotten speaking engagements from this, unsolicited. We\’re in April of 2022, and I\’ve already been booked for five different speaking events without advertising for that. It made me think, \”Maybe I should create a speakers website,” because I\’m getting requests for that without even soliciting them. I\’m in the process of creating to be able to promote my availability to speak at Christian-type events where they will be concerned about the topic of poverty or pro-life topics or whatever. The book has taken a life of its own and produced so many benefits.

Use this as a coaching moment. Make sure you get yourself on video so you can have a video of yourself speaking so they’ll hire you and buy the book in bulk. That\’s fantastic. Congratulations on those five speaking gigs. That\’s awesome. Let\’s jump in. I love that you shared about Bestseller in a Weekend experience of writing a book and its being in consideration for a Christian publisher.

I want to talk a little bit about some of the life lessons that you can share from your book. I want to get into the content of the book here that you feel could benefit our audience, which is a mainstream audience. They are people who are interested in authors, writing books, and the subject matter. What are some of the things that you learned in writing your book that would benefit the audience at home?

One of the lessons of writing the book was that when I would hear people in the past saying that everyone could be an author or everyone has a story to tell, it was like, \”Maybe.\” I could truly say, “Yes, it is true. I feel like I\’m the poster child for writing a book. I believe I\’m the least likely person to do so. I didn\’t feel I had the skillset or anything to do so and I did. The results have been awesome. One of my life lessons has been if you have something in your heart you want to tell, do it and tell it. I recommend joining Bestseller in a Weekend to do that but do it. If it\’s inside there, it\’s worth telling.

One of the main lessons I wanted to give through my book is to give people a different perspective. A lot of upper and middle-class folks don\’t understand the struggle of being in poverty. It\’s so easy to be judgmental like, “Do the right thing.” It\’s good. I recommend that but we have to see what it costs.

There\’s a cost associated with doing the right thing for some women. Is that a cost we\’re willing to share with them? Is that a burden we\’re willing to share with them? It is. Most people would want to do that. They just don\’t know. If you\’ve never experienced poverty or hardship, you may know that it exists in an abstract way, but you don\’t understand the hardship.

It was interesting. I\’m in consideration to do leadership training for nonprofit healthcare. They interviewed me. When I was looking on the website, it\’s nonprofit. They\’re dealing with under-resourced community members. It said that they work with WIC, Women, Infants and Children program. I had a full-circle moment because many years ago when I was pregnant with Isabelle, I didn\’t have health insurance, and I was a part of WIC.



Even though I was working, I was working freelance for a technology company. They didn\’t offer me health benefits and I didn\’t have health benefits. That\’s a very unfortunate situation to be in. I was also a tender heart age. I was in an unsustainable marriage. It was a tough time. I\’m like, \”This is such an awesome place to be.\” I have that perspective because I was a beneficiary of Women, Infants and Children, which is for under-resourced women.

To be able to come full circle and be asked to be a trainer for this type of organization, I shared my story with them. They were like, \”That\’s what we want to hear. That\’s a great story.\” It\’s perspective. Even though that\’s not my case now, I had that experience in my life. We don\’t truly know things until we experience them. That\’s why writing a book is so important because it opens people\’s eyes. This is something that you may not have experienced, but what does it look like to have empathy? What does it look like to have compassion for someone? Not to walk in your shoes because it\’s not possible. You can\’t walk in other people\’s shoes, but you can see or I could be committed to understanding what that looks like.

I was raised by a single mother in poverty. That was my experience from the perspective of a child. I know the struggle of being a child in poverty with a single mother and her stress, trauma and all of that. It is written from experience myself. You mentioned having compassion. What I want to challenge the reader of my book is to have compassion turned into action and say, \”Now I see the struggle. I want to do something about it.\”

It\’s not just feeling the compassion. It\’s to turn that into action because that\’s where you impact lives. We know there are great social programs out there like WIC, TANIF and food stamps. I could throw out a bunch of social programs but they are not enough. People think, \”She\’ll live on welfare. She\’ll be okay. The baby will be okay.\” They won\’t. They are still living in abject poverty. They\’re just surviving. Our tagline for our nonprofit is, \”Moving families from surviving to thriving,\” because we don\’t want them to just survive. That\’s not good enough.

I believe it\’s not good enough for Christians to say that it\’s good enough for people to just survive. I don\’t think that\’s what God has called us to. He called us to help people have abundant lives. That means spiritually abundant, but also physically and financially abundant. As a Christian woman who believes in the sanctity of life, I would like to see every woman who chooses life for her and her children flourish and grow into big, strong, mighty oaks. That\’s why it\’s my logo. That\’s what I think we should be looking toward as a pro-life community. It\’s not just looking for families to choose life but to look at families choosing life and now having a thriving life. That\’s abundant life.

Everyone, you can go to and purchase Life After Yes: A Christian Approach to Choosing Life, Navigating Parenthood, and Overcoming Poverty. Marisol, we\’re going to go into the lightning round. I\’m going to ask you some questions and you\’re going to say the first thing that comes to your mind. What is your legacy?

My legacy is Renew Life Center, my nonprofit.

What\’s your favorite book?

I\’m not going to say Life After Yes. Is it okay to say that?

You can say it, and we\’re going to have a lot of information on how people can purchase that, or you can share another book.

No one is meant to do everything alone. Every person should get some support, step through fear, and just keep on moving.

I have favorite books but I\’m going to put out there a book called Generous Justice by Tim Keller.

Who is your favorite author?

That\’s a tough one. I have quite a few authors. Because I\’m into the poverty thing and faith-based things, I\’m going to go back to Tim Keller who wrote Generous Justice. He puts out a lot of great thought-provoking material.

I\’ll have to check that out. What are you writing next?

I don\’t know but you\’ll be the first to know.

You have access to Bestseller in a Weekend, so we\’re using that.

We\’re using Bestseller in a Weekend. Part of me thinks about having almost a compilation of stories of women and what they\’ve had to overcome. It\’s stories that need to be heard for people to understand. It\’s great for me to tell other people\’s stories when other folks are sharing their experiences. That\’s important too. That is something I\’ve thought about.

That\’s a great compilation book to give all the women in your chapter. It would be a multi-author chapter book. That way, they can have a sense of ownership and do a big book signing. It could be a fundraising activity. That\’s a good seed for an idea. I like that. We\’ll see how it grows. Where can people find out more about you, your book, and Renew Life Center?

We have a website There\’s a page there for the book as well. You can see and learn about the book there. I am in the process of creating, which will be a website that will feature the book and my availability for speaking at events. That\’s coming up.

Let\’s make sure that Marisol Rodriguez is up by the time this episode is published.


Give me a deadline. When does it air? Let me know.

Run with the wind. I can\’t separate the coach from being the hosts. My daughter is tired of me. She\’s like, \”Stop coaching me.\” I love challenging people to the next level. That\’s who I am.

I appreciate it. Thank you.

You can go to or your local bookstore and purchase Life After Yes: A Christian Approach to Choosing Life, Navigating Parenthood, and Overcoming Poverty. Marisol, I would love for you to leave with our audience at home some sage words of advice, something you want to share off your chest, whether it\’s about the book writing process, your book or life in general. We would love to know.

I would like to tell them not to let fear stop them. If there\’s something in your heart that you feel you\’ve been called to do, step out in faith and do it. There\’s a saying that says, \”When the student is ready, the teacher will come.\” There you go. When I was ready, Alicia Dunams came. My book exists. If it\’s in your heart, step out in faith and do it. The people and the context you need are going to come to you. We\’re not meant to do everything alone. At least for me, it requires a team of support and I got that. People should step through fear and keep moving.

You heard it from Marisol. Step through fear and keep it moving. Thank you, everyone, for reading this episode of the show. Until next time. Be well.

Thank you.

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About Marisol Rodriguez

\"ALMarisol has served in pregnancy resource center ministry for over 20 years. Her years of experience in serving women facing unplanned pregnancies led her to see the many needs and obstacles women in poverty faced. Burdened by the struggles that confronted these new moms, Marisol co-founded RENEW Life Center in 2013 to fill the gap that exists after the services offered at a pregnancy center end.