Resilience. This is what you need to adapt and move forward in life. Real Things Living focuses on resilience and connection with others. Connection leads to ideas, to solutions, and to overall better health.
Brigitte Cutshall's experiences motivated her to focus on what's important and inspire others. She's the founder of Gemini Media and a health advocate. She knows what it means to go from survivor to thriver just like many others. Between beating cancer twice with her intentional approach to health, she was diagnosed with a rare primary brain tumor called an acoustic neuroma.
My favorite takeaway is when Angie Gallagher compares resilience to having a competitive edge, which is a motivating factor that can get you out of a rut.
Angie shares her story of feeling like an outcast where she grew up because she's half Asian and was raised by a single mother. She learned to embrace being different and understood what she was capable of. Don't let words bring you down, be true to yourself and keep creating who you are. She also learned that connecting with others strengthens resilience. We have to be resilient together.
Angie has a Masters in Fine Arts, was a luxury photographer, and is now in a sales and business development role helping others solve problems. Her thesis in college was about living between races, how you're connected to your heritage and how that affects your perspective.
Learn more about Angie on LinkedIn.
"Mental resilience is key." It's not easy dealing with any type of cancer diagnosis, and Grace Charrier was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer in April 2016. That was 4 years ago as of this writing. She has used this time to inspire others and became active with patient advocacy through love and wanting to help others. She also recently published a book about her experience, Impossicant: Quirky Inspirational Tales from a Cancer Survivor.
Grace is a Global Goodwill Ambassador, Patient Leader Advocate, Fight Cancer Global Project Leader, and host of Cancer Convos Podcast on YouTube. The objective of her podcast is to provide much-needed information for patients, survivors, and caregivers....and of course some inspiration!
This was a great opportunity to speak with entrepreneur, Anthony Russo, the founder of Double Down Strategy and #BeTheChange. His goal is to help create a world of positivity with a message of self responsibility. Anthony points out the best way we can help others is to use your talents to empower others.
He's creating systems for empowerment through partnerships with two other charities, Regular Hero and Streetlights Unity Movement. A lot of the motivation was derived from growing up poor with a father who was a compulsive gambler.
Anthony is also an Emcee, Performance Coach and Keynote Speaker. His positive energy definitely shows, and is well-known for his versatility and adaptability. Learn more at Double Down Strategy.
Mary Guillermin has made a lot of contributions over the years to help others. She is an advocate for mental health with the goal to dispel the myth around it. She shares her personal journey around mental health issues and decided on a natural healing approach with no medications. Her calmness definitely shines through the conversation and is an inspiring role model.
One of her projects is a play that she wrote and performed in...what she calls the "One Woman Show"....it's about dealing with manic depression. Mary is also the Director of Communications at the Pellin Institute and they are offering bi-weekly Zoom Forums for support during the Covid pandemic. This has been received very well and people have been surprised that a Zoom call can make them feel better. "An online call is not a substitute for in-person support but is a way that creates a space where you connect with others."
Mary is also the founder of the Femininity Project, another creative endeavor. And she's in the process of co-writing a book about her late husband, "John Guillermin: The Man, The Myth, The Movies." The book is expected to be released in December 2020. (John was a movie director of over 40 feature films in Hollywood.)
Katrine Horn is a Life Coach based in Touslouse, France and her focus is to help women get out of their comfort zone through self-acceptance. We all tend to ignore ourselves while taking care of others. That is normal, unfortunately. Self-worth comes from focusing on who you are, not what you do.
"Create a library of joyful moments you can access." This can help you feel more calm during a stressful time. This is just one of the tips she provided and I love the simplicity of it. Katrine's warm personality definitely comes through the conversation. She previously shared her story at a TedX event in France titled, "Who do you think you are?"
Learn more at https://katrinehorn.com
Paul Sewell, Founder of the non-profit Seven Wells, shares his crazy and amazing journey of the past year. The hardships he and his family dealt with put what they valued front and center, which was their health and to have authority over yourself.
It started with his son being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, then extreme mold was discovered in their Atlanta condo from a roof leak, to having to move multiple times during the beginning of Covid. They literally had to start from scratch after throwing away just about everything due to mold contamination. Paul and his wife's faith helped them deal with all this...to include running the non-profit remotely. He's thankful to have the ability to do that online.
Learn more about Paul at https://enjoyjesusmore.com/
It's not realistic to think you won't have any stress in life. You need to give yourself some grace - some time - to figure things out and deal with changes.
Kristin Herr is a Life Coach and her mission is help women overcome their limiting beliefs. "You work hard. You love hard. You give hard. You do everything with passion and ferocity. Except, you forget one thing. You forget that sometimes you have to work on your own self in order to achieve the greatness you are meant to achieve."
She personally dealt with an abusive relationship in the past, left it and overcame that. Her mother died from cancer around the same time. These experiences made her realize that she was focusing on negative self-beliefs, it was holding her back, and she changed her mindset. Now she focuses on helping other women overcome self-doubt and to believe in themselves again.
Learn more about Kristin at https://kristinherr.com/
Jill Johnson is the founder of Johnson Consulting Services, a professional speaker and the Chief Reality Officer for clients. She is very generous with her time, knowledge, sense of humor, and mentors others on a regular basis.
Lack of confidence holds many people back. Being uncertain of yourself is normal and it just takes time to learn your way through situations. Jill points out that just wishing for something to happen isn't a strategy or tactic. You have to put in effort, do the disciplined work, and be open to continually learn...especially from others. Having clarity of who you really are is also important.
What if there was a way to help build your confidence? Jill's most recent book is "Compounding your Confidence" with the purpose of providing a career confidence blueprint through clarity. You can learn more about Jill at Johnson Consulting Services.
"Which kind of fear are you comfortable with?" This is the question Matt Tanner brings up in his conversation with Brigitte.
Matt is the founder of Same Page HR, which is an HR Consulting firm in Atlanta. He started Same Page after he was laid off in March. This was the beginning of shelter-in-place for our county in Georgia.
Matt is a trusted people-person, provides great advice and claims he is "a weirdo that loves HR." Brigitte and Matt met as classmates (cohorts) during Seth Godin's altMBA-1, the inaugural class in 2015. They both learned a lot about how to "just put it out there", to adapt, and to keep trying.
Everyone's "normal" playlist seems to be out the window right now with the current pandemic and the effect on businesses. We all have some fear - doubting ourselves - and that also is normal. Matt reminds us that "fear" is different for everyone and the questions you ask yourself depends on your perspective. If you are self-employed (a business owner), you often think, "do I have enough clients to keep me in business?" Or if you are an employee, your perspective is, "will I get laid off?"
You can learn more about Matt's endeavor here - https://samepagehr.com/
Brigitte and George Schnitzer have worked on many book projects together over the years. She convinced George to share his perspective of the current state of publishing industry in 2020, which is constantly changing due to tech.
George understands that you need to adapt to survive in an ever-changing industry. PPA (Premium Press America) has realized steady growth using that mindset and has released more than 150 gift/souvenir, mass-market, trade and private label titles. PPA now creates niche-marketed titles for a variety of specialty outlets.
One of the most popular book projects George has been involved with is, "I can't save you, but will Die Trying: the American Fire Culture" - written from a firefighter's perspective.
George is the co-founder and publisher of Premium Press America based in Nashville. The company was established 30+ years ago as a full-service promotion and marketing agency, Specialty Promotions. The company quickly built a reputation for implementing non-traditional book promotion and marketing programs. A dozen projects achieved a #1 ranking on the New York Times Best Sellers list.
You can contact George at email@example.com
What do you do when you have stay-at-home orders during a pandemic? Adapt where you can.
Brigitte and Hannah Cranfill decided to sign up for an online screenwriting class in April 2020 through the Atlanta Film Society. This is where they met - virtually - along with another student, Esha. Hannah suggested to write a short-film and submit it to a "locals only" screening. Esha and Brigitte didn't hesitate. The theme of the short-film screening for 2020 is called "So Bad, It's Good."
As a team, they co-wrote, produced, and directed a short-film...literally at home and updated each other weekly through Zoom calls. The short-film created is called "Adaptations", was produced in less than 6 weeks, and t was unexpectedly selected for screening in Atlanta. It's amazing what you can accomplish working creatively with others. It was definitely a "So Bad, It's Good" situation.
The in-person screening was a drive-in at the Plaza Theatre's parking lot in July. We're still waiting to find out from the Atlanta Film Society when the virtual screening will happen, so others can participate, view and vote.
FYI - The next online screenwriting class is in October with Kathy Berardi as the instructor.
Dr. Shirley Raines is known for being personable, powerful, and prepared. Her first role out of college was as a preschool teacher and that path eventually took her to the role of President Emeritus of the University of Memphis for 12 years. She is also the first woman university president.
Shirley provides a lot of inspiration for others based on her uncommon journey of being raised on a farm to being president of a university. This is because she was determined to make a difference in the community. She leads others to develop their strengths, build productive partnerships, and seize opportunities.
She has written 18 books...15 books for teachers, 2 for children, and 1 for leaders. The most recent book being, "An Uncommon Journey: Leadership Lessons from a preschool teacher who became a university president." Learn more about her at: https://www.shirleyraines.com/
Jesse Iwuji wanted to be a race car driver when he was a young boy and made that dream a reality. Jesse attributes the military training he received to help him be more focused. (Jesse has a lot of energy too.) He also provides some great advice for youth regarding resilience.
Jesse is an American stock car racing driver and officer in the United States Navy Reserve. He played football for the Naval Academy, is an entrepreneur, and currently competes in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series in the No. 34 for Reaume Brothers Racing. You can learn more at Jesse Iwuji Racing.
Fran Biderman-Gross is the CEO & Founder of Advantages, a creative agency that specializes in branding and marketing. She is also the co-author of "How to Lead a values-based services firms: 3 Keys to unlock Purpose and Profit."
Positivity is one of Fran's top core strengths and chooses to look at the glass as "half full." Having a positive outlook leads to another core value and that is being open to possibilities. Dealing with a lot of loss in life has allowed her to view the world in a way to make it better. We all need to adapt and re-imagine our future to help create a new normal going forward based on this unexpected pandemic experience.
Learn more about Fran's book: https://3keysbook.com/
Learn more about Fran's company: https://www.advantages.net/
Mark Simon is known as the Godfather of Storyboarding. He is an author of multiple books and on this podcast episode, he shares the story behind his most recent book, "Attacked! Bullied: Surviving Terror and Finding Justice." This memoir is based on when Mark was bullied by a gang in high school, and the gang proceeded to attack his family too. Mark's story is also about how he became the first person in the country to use a new law holding parents responsible for the violent actions of their kids in a court of law.
Unfortunately, bullying is a common thing and Mark provides great insight and advice on how to handle it. Writing this book took several attempts over the years (at least a dozen times) and Mark found the process very cathartic for him. It provided a psychological relief of being open about this traumatic experience. He is a stronger person because of it. Mark's vivid written descriptions make you feel you are there...you feel the emotions. You can buy the book on Amazon in digital format or in print. Learn more about Mark at http://www.marksimonbooks.com/attacked/
The current pandemic has been a challenge for everyone. It has fundamentally disrupted our personal and professional lives; and it definitely took business owners by surprise and created additional challenges for them. Brigitte speaks with Julie McFarland on what Julie's team has put in place to keep employees and customers safe.
Julie is the President and CEO of McNaughton & Gunn, a privately-owned book manufacturer in Michigan. Adapting to something new, almost daily, can be a challenge and stressful. Julie's resilience has been boosted with daily exercise, including yoga, to help keep calm.
There has been a lot of information to take in and review on what the best approach should be. Each State, each industry, and each business has different challenges. The biggest takeaway is that we need to be empathetic to others and work together to adapt successfully.
You can learn more about McNaughton & Gunn here.
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Self-care is important with what's happening now because of the Covid-19 issue. Brigitte has been studying yoga more because of the overall benefits; and she gets a little yogi with her explanation of pranayama, which promotes deep and slower breathing. Not only does this help relax you, it strengthens your lungs and diaphragm too - both are important aspects for your overall health.
Brigitte wanted to share her thoughts about social distancing during Covid-19 A lot has happened globally since her last blog post, Resilience is your middle name. Many places are being quarantined for example. Social distancing sounds so much better than being quarantined. Take this time, if you can, and focus on a hobby or personal development or how you can help others.
This was recorded before the State of Georgia 'shelter-in-place' directive.
Alisha Carlson grew up in a tumultuous environment and told herself that she was going to be different with her kids. Alisha's resilience empowered her to make changes when needed and focus on what's important to her. She empowers others now and is a non-diet lifestyle coach with an approach to be mindful of your intuition. Learn more at https://alishacarlson.com/
One of the biggest lessons in life that Jesse Todisco learned is your environment affects your habits, good and bad. Changing his environment helped him become a better person. (We shared a lot of laughs in this episode.)
Jesse grew up in the Boston area and witnessed his father's heroin addiction. That was his "normal" and Jesse was selling drugs at one point, even though he knew it wasn't the right thing to do. Jesse joined the military after high school and that changed his life; that new environment helped build better habits. He also understands the importance of self-care, which helps drive resilience.
As an entrepreneur, Jesse innately wants to help others. Jesse has a wisdom of wealth and is the founder of 46 & 2 Wealth Partners. He and his wife also founded a non-profit, Alanna's Angels.
Ido Singer is on a mission to inspire others.
His confidence was boosted after learning to play basketball at a young age in Israel. It wasn't easy for him at first but through a lot of hard work, he eventually played basketball at the professional level. Resilience and learning to adapt to different situations paid off, and Ido's passion for sports led him to be a coach that focuses on creating a positive culture.
Ido is currently the Assistant Basketball Women's Coach at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and the host of One Last Thought Podcast. The podcast keeps things simple - the episodes are 10 minutes or less - and focuses on bite-sized pieces of wisdom and life-changing advice from guests.
He and his wife have 3 young children, twin girls who are 5 and a 2-year-old son. As a parent and the need to travel with the team, helping to raise a family can be difficult and challenging sometimes, but Ido is truly grateful for his wife's support.
You can learn more at https://www.facebook.com/onelastthoughtpod/ or listen here.
Life is constantly changing and Evan Knox understands the importance of learning. Learning new things is what keeps you agile, flexible and strong. He also understands that resilience goes hand-in-hand with running a business and trying to balance life at home with family.
Evan is the founder of Caffeine Marketing and has been an entrepreneur since he was 12; always doing something in some shape or form. Having a business is part of fulfilling his principles and personal mission statement.
His father and grandfather are important role models for him as both were business owners. Evan's father passed away 3 years ago and that was very difficult to overcome.
Evan makes time each day to focus on self-care (proper sleep, nutrition, exercise) so he's not exhausted. He recently started doing jujitsu, which starts at 6am in the morning. This type of workout helps frame his mindset the rest of the day...allowing him to "shoot out emails at a whole new level of confidence" at work.
You can learn more at Evan Knox.
Gratitude is a huge byproduct of dealing with a health issue. And Deva Joy's picture should be placed next to the definition of resilience.
She was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis as a young teen and this limited her physical ability. Instead of being negative about the situation, Deva decided to focus on what she could move and not what she couldn't move. She also chose the perspective of looking at her illness as a relationship, like a marriage. You're going to be together for a long time.
Deva Joy is an author and a psychotherapist for over 30 years. She has some great resources you should check out at Healing Heart Communications.
Tami Green is a Life Coach with a focus on helping others get unstuck to include those with a mental health issue. She developed the "Brilliance Code," a method that you can apply to any problem. The Brilliance Code can be summarized as PIRF (Problem, Inspiration, Resources, Future). Following this "code" allows you to re-frame a situation to make a better decision.
We focused a lot on the word "hope"; which is self-explanatory, right? I also love that Tami highlighted that the word "brilliant" has a double meaning ... meaning you are bright and this brightness shines a light on what's important.
You can learn more about Tami and connect with her at https://tami-green.mn.co/
It's rare to find someone that isn't a dog fan and dogs are one positive thing we have in common with others. As a big dog lover myself, I'm grateful Dee-Marie found find time to be a guest on the Real Things Living podcast. Dee went from being a pilot, to a realtor, to an entrepreneur. She is now the co-founder and CEO of Yogi-Dog, a human grade yogurt for dogs.
Her business partner is Mike Basal...a yogurt maker for 30 years who operates his own yogurt plant. Together they created a treat that is the first of its kind. The creators behind Yogi-Dog have always considered dogs as part of the family, deserving the highest quality and healthiest foods. Their company is based in Pennsylvania and working on expanding to all states. www.yogi-dog.com
Susan wrote an inspiring memoir about the celebration of life and love titled, "Dying Well: Our Journey of Love and Loss." Most memoirs recount the grief and pain of their loss. Susan's book is so much more...it's a love story about her husband, Bruce; and this story can help others understand what's most important when saying goodbye. "Quality over quantity" was the biggest takeaway for Brigitte, the host of Real Things Living.
Susan's mantra in life is simple: "May I see with tolerance; May I speak with compassion; May I live with gratitude." Best advice ever.
Be sure to check out - www.susanducharmehoben.com
"You are responsible for your own brain." Brigitte has a great conversation with Loretta Breuning, PhD and dive into how brain chemicals affect your health and how "the brain learns from rewards." It's important to have confidence in your own strength and how to invest your time the right way. Loretta's recent book "Habits of a Happy Brain" can help you get motivated.
Also check out this site for more info - https://innermammalinstitute.org/
Gary Roe is such an inspiration. He is a grief counselor, pastor, and definitely a strong story teller. He truly understands the importance of resilience and has experienced grief multiple times first-hand. Gary shares what his life was like before the age of 17 - sexual abuse, suicide of a friend, death of his father at 15 are just a few. Those experiences helped define his purpose in life ... and that is to help people. He'll start with where you are, help you recover, heal and grow. Gary is the father of 7 children (all adopted), the author of multiple books, and his most recent project is the Suicide Prevention Project.
Check out his highly recommended website at www.garyroe.com
Keith M. Huber, Lieutenant General, US Army (retired) was very generous in writing the foreword for the book "Expecting the Good" - which is a tribute to Jean-Luc Nash, a badass who had a big heart. Both were West Point classmates (class of 1975); they went through Special Forces training together and remained in touch for decades. Keith emphasizes the importance of doing what's right in any situation, no matter the circumstances. "Have the courage and conviction to accept the consequences." Keith speaks on leadership and ethics on a regular basis. (By the way, Keith is a badass too.)
A great discussion with Brigitte Cutshall and Michael O'Brien about how his near-death experience (after being hit head-on by an SUV while riding his bike) changed his perspective to live a more purposeful life. They also discuss the "value of Freedom" and how we tend to put too many conditions on happiness. Michael is President and Founder of Peloton Coaching and Consulting and is the author of SHIFT. Creating Better Tomorrows: Winning at Work and in Life.
Jill Henning was given 12 months to live after being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer that spread to her lungs. That diagnosis was 18 months ago and she's extremely thankful to be part of a clinical trial which will last another 6 months. She's an example of someone who adapted to a major life-changing event using her inner strength and found a way to move forward. Jill is a powerful voice with a lot of passion. Her motivation is to be the voice for those who don't have a voice, and her advocacy for continued cancer research is laying the groundwork for others.
Brigitte met Jill Henning at the Georgia State Capital through ACS CAN (American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network). Learn more about CAN (Cancer Action Network) at fightcancer.org.
Relationships are not perfect and can be messy at times. Being mindful plays a big part because there are many benefits for your relationships and overall health. The quality of our life is directly related to our thoughts. Being mindful helps develop your ability to love and live a more meaningful life.
Michele is a middle school teacher and a proud parent. Her family had to deal with a major health issue with their daughter, the only granddaughter in the family. The wonderful support everyone provided her during this crisis was a cathartic experience. And Michele's a very popular teacher - "a rock star without the rock star salary" she jokingly references to the low salaries that teachers receive. Michele was heavily involved in acting and theater as a high school student. This expressed her natural story-telling ability and that led to her success in the classroom with students, and she is someone they trust in those awkward tween years. Helping students has become Michele's purpose.
Dr. Michael Rucker's experiences are a great example of resilience. He used to be a tri-athlete and had to stop running a few years ago due to severe osteoarthritis. His younger brother passed away in that same time-frame. That was difficult to deal with, especially since running helped him manage stress in general. He now makes time to focus his energy on the power of fun and writing a book about the benefits of it. If you find joy in something, you will make time for it. https://michaelrucker.com
Donna Seebo was kind enough to let me share our conversation regarding my recent book, "Expecting the Good: Inspiration from a Badass with a Big Heart." Donna provided great feedback and believes the book I wrote about my stepfather epitomizes the best of the best.
Donna's favorite excerpt from the book was provided by Keith M. Huber (retired Lieutenant General, US Army): "Making a decision to do the right thing when it's physically dangerous is difficult. Doing the right thing even if you might get fired because someone else is not as honorable as you are, is difficult. Be a good person and do the right thing."
It's not a sexy topic but something we should talk about. The impact of Alzheimer's on Teresa Valko's family is an eye-opener for many. The experience of having to help take care of her mother the past 15 years definitely changed her life. She is now heavily involved with the Alzheimer's Association and advocates in DC every year, meeting with members of Congress. Teresa's passion for knitting (her form of creativity) helps her focus on the positive aspect of life. You can learn more at https://alz.org. They envision a world without Alzheimer's Disease.
Following a creative endeavor is good for your brain and overall health. Scott is passionate about that and guides struggling creatives to become thriving artists. Running also helps Scott stay healthy mentally and physically, allows him to be present in the moment. You'll also learn that he likes to run around the local cemetery as a reminder that life is short, and you should contribute to life while you still can. :)
Harry is a former paratrooper and disabled veteran who was severely injured in the Grenada invasion (October 1983). Despite losing both of his legs, his attitude of gratitude about life empowers him to stay active and enjoy it. He understands the depths of desperation and despair and loss. His perspective allows him to see what's possible. There are so many opportunities! Harry is a great writer and philosopher as well. https://hardcoreharry.wordpress.com/