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Becoming Your Best Version

Becoming Your Best Version

By Maria Leonard Olsen
Tips for living your best life, by Maria Leonard Olsen & her inspiring guests. Maria is a lawyer/journalist/author who seeks to amplify women's voices to share about their lives, work & life lessons. She graduated from B.C. & UVa Law, and hosts the Inside Out radio show (on D.C.'s WPFW-fm). She served in the Clinton Justice Dept. and has a civil litigation practice in D.C. Her latest book, 50 After 50--Reframing the Next Chapter of Your Life, has helped thousands reinvigorate their lives. Maria has spoken at TEDx CUNY, the Pennsylvania Woman’s Conference and more. See
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Fitness Over 40 With Judy Arazoza

Becoming Your Best Version

A Conversation with Life Coach, Emily Clement
Emily Clement helps people reclaim their personal power and manifest the lives they truly desire. She is a soul-searching joy-creator with a passion for helping others shine. Emily is an inspirational speaker, certified transformational life coach, educator, workshop facilitator and emotional wellness/healthy boundaries expert. Emily was a student of life and business strategist, Tony Robbins, and now works behind the scenes at his events. She will travel with him to New Zealand and Fiji this year to work on another of his events. Emily pivoted from being a full-time teacher (she taught at an all boys middle school as well as at a men's prison, to give a voice to the voiceless) to becoming a full-time life coach. Because of these experiences, she can "hold your hand and kick your ass," she quipped. Emily's work led her to observe that therapy typically is about learning the backstory to determine how a client became who he or she is, whereas coaching focuses on who one is now. She prefers working as a coach to being a therapist because she believes that every time you tell your old story, you recreate it, and she helps clients understand that their history does not dictate one's future. We all can let go of our old stories. She helps clients define what they desire and to identify fears and blockages to achieving what they want. Emily views her client's job as determining what exactly they want. Then they can work on how to get it. She notes that we often are familiar with what is comfortable, but encourages listeners to flirt with the edges of their comfort zone, as a way to build confidence. She earned a teaching certificate and B.A. in psychology from Wheaton College and a M.Ed in counseling from Plymouth State. Emily has taught and traveled all over the world. As a certified life coach, she has integrated her favorite elements from the best of her life experiences---teaching, counseling, speaking, meeting new people, building community and effecting positive change. Learn more about her work at, where she offers free workshops on boundaries and personal freedom, mindset and manifestation.  Emily also offers free connection calls to explore where you are and where you want to be. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook at @emilyclementlifecoach.
August 05, 2022
A Conversation with Margit Novack, Author of "Squint: Revisioning the Second Half of Life"
Margit Novack is an entrepreneur, thought leader in aging and pioneer in Senior Move Management. Margit founded Moving Solutions in 1996, when she was in her 40s. Over the next 25 years, her passion and commitment to serving older adults and their families inspired her team to provide world-class service that earned her awards and national media attention in this then-new cottage industry. She had no direct experience in the field at the time she started her company, but saw a need and sought to serve a vulnerable population. Margit is widely recognized as founder of the Senior Move Management industry. She is the Founding President of the National Association of Senior and Specialty Move Managers (NASMM), chaired the NASMM Ethics Commission and developed industry training. NASMM recognized Margit’s commitment and service by creating the Margit Novack Award for Excellence in Senior Move Management. In 2020, Margit left the formal work world and began a new role as author, speaker and champion of a re-visioned picture of aging. Squint: Re-visioning the Second Half of Life is her first book, which she wrote during the Covid pandemic. Her book is an uplifting guide for the second half of life. Margit’s memoir opens our eyes to the abundant possibilities of later life. She pairs profound and memorable personal stories with larger themes -- downsizing, caregiving, forgiveness, estrangement and more -- and shows that with the right perspective and “re-visioning,” the future is rich with possibility. Realistic, compassionate, substantive and uplifting, Margit’s Squint is a guidebook that leaves us better equipped for the years ahead. She believes that "life will never get better than it is right now," and believes the statistic that a positive outlook can increase one's lifespan by seven years. She notes that, sometimes, we don't know what we are passionate about, and encourages listeners to be on a journey of uncovering your passions, which may change over time. At age 72, she recognizes her desire to be part of a team, so she started a "mitzvah team" of friends to make a difference in her community. She and her team have collected socks for shelters at long term health care facilities, for example. She believes in living with intention, as opposed to a "I'll see what happens" approach, and preaches about the value of intentionality in her book and during public speaking engagements. Kudos for Squint: “Telling it straight about aging and more, it’s a must read, and a must have, for an enlightening and joyful journey.” -- Helen Dennis, Columnist, Author and Specialist on Aging and the New Retirement “A delightful and poignant journey through the common experiences of the second half of life.” -- Teepa Snow, Occupational Therapist and CEO of Positive Approach to Care Margit grew up in Philadelphia, went to the Philadelphia High School for Girls and has graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a great gardener, terrible cook and enthusiastic walker. Margit lives with her husband and three dogs (a retired Greyhound racer and two puppy mill rescues), and divides her time between Philadelphia and Maryland’s eastern shore, where she loves kayaking upwind. To learn more about Margit and her memoir, Squint, please visit, and follow her at: Learn more about host, Maria, at, and follow her at @FiftyAfter50.
July 29, 2022
A Conversation With Danielle Glosser, Who Amplifies Artists' Visibility/Client Volume, and Helps Collectors Appreciate and Obtain Art
Danielle Glosser is the Principal of Client Raiser, a business dedicated to helping artists to increase their client volume and the visibility of their art. Since 2014, she has worked with nearly 200 artists in 20 states across the country in support of their professional goals. Danielle also assists art collectors in exposing them to new work and finding pieces that bring them joy.  She has hosted unique online art exhibitions that have benefitted nonprofit organizations and struggling artists during the pandemic, and brings a passion for social justice to her work. Danielle supports women in the arts and increases exposure of work by artists of color. Danielle’s expertise in strategic planning, project management, research, writing and networking comes from years of working and building relationships in the private, nonprofit and government sectors on social justice issues from inner-city schools in Oakland, California to The White House. She has had several careers, including doing marketing work for the NBA, which have informed her work today on behalf of artists. These professional opportunities — coupled with her personal belief that the arts are central to igniting conversation and enhancing human understanding — moved her to help artists with the business elements of their practice and to share their work with the world. Danielle is a 25+ year resident of Washington, D.C. She has led workshops with over a dozen arts organizations, including the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, ArtTable, Maryland Institute College of Art, Hamiltonian, Transformer, Washington Project for the Arts, Halcyon, Superfine Art Fair, D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Gateway Arts District, VisArts, Washington Sculptors Group, Women’s Caucus for Art, Artomatic, District of Columbia Arts Center, Montgomery Arts Association and Capitol Hill Arts League. She is also a member of ArtTable, which is the leading organization for professional women in the visual arts. She is passionate about art and amplifying artists' voices, and has helped many art collectors and artists fulfill their professional and personal dreams. Danielle offers complimentary sessions to artists and art collectors. Here’s a link to sign up: and to learn more about her work.
July 22, 2022
A Conversation with Consulting Hypnotist, Rachel Strabley
Rachel Strabley is a Certified Consulting Hypnotist through the National Guild of Hypnotists in Nashua, New Hampshire. Rachel studied at the Yale University's The Science of Well Being program. She began her study of hypnosis to help with her own depression and sleep problems, and now uses hypnosis and other modalities to help her clients, who are in the U.S. and abroad. Her youngest child uses Rachel's hypnosis recordings to help her fall asleep! Through hypnosis, clients are able to overcome a lack of confidence, decrease or eliminate fears and phobias, address weight issues, low libido and menopause symptoms, improve relationships with themselves and others, release beliefs that block success, and reduce or eliminate old pain and recurring illnesses. Rachel's primary focus is to guide female entrepreneurs to level up their businesses.  She has enabled numerous businesswomen to increase their profitability and confidence, and to improve their lives overall.  She also has helped athletes improve their performances in their sports of choice. Conducting emotional detoxes with her clients--enabling them to release emotions subconsciously held since childhood--also is part of her practice. Rachel conducts group hypnosis sessions, like a recent offering to a group of realtors to help them improve negotiating skills and attract clients.  She notes that, because one receives only what one is willing to receive via hypnosis, participants take what serves them individually during group sessions. Rachel encourages us to follow our intuition, to ask the universe for what we want and need, and to listen when something gets in the way.  When the student is ready, the teacher will come. Some of Rachel's fantastic offerings on her website, like her "Mini Hypno Boosts," are free.  Learn more about Rachel's work at and follow her at the links below: IG: FB: LI:
July 15, 2022
A Conversation With Cultural Arts Ambassador, International Cultural Arts & Healing Sciences Institute Founder, Musician and Healer, Amikaeyla Gaston
Amikaeyla Gaston is the Executive Director and Founder of International Cultural Arts & Healing Sciences Institute (ICAHSI).  She is a force for change. Proclaimed as one of the “purest contemporary voices” by National Public Radio (NPR), Amikaeyla is a public keynote speaker, performer, educator, and author. She travels the world serving as a Cultural Arts Ambassador for the State Department and is the Founder of the International Cultural Arts and Healing Sciences Institute and co-Executive Director for World Trust Educational Services Organization. With over 25 years experience in the Behavioral Health arena, Amikaeyla has been bringing together artists and healers of all forms and specialties to promote healing and wellness through the arts & activism. She leads corporations, universities and organizations through cultural competency, restorative justice, and racial equity training designed to facilitate, engage and support people in exploring challenging conversations. She does expansive work with political refugees, war survivors and at-risk populations worldwide and is often called into difficult scenarios to offer inter-cultural literacy and deep restorative justice work in support of transformative and peaceful solutions. Her international program of public dialogue is designed to allow different traditions and nationalities to gather together and address issues concerning our communities at large. Her programming has been utilized by the Department of Health & Human Services, USAID, The American Psychological Association, SAMHSA, and the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, taking her around the world doing peace work in Israel, Beirut, Amman, Damascus, Palestine, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, just to name a few. Appearing internationally on television, radio and film, with appearances on PBS, HBO and in the Sundance Film Festival, Amikaeyla is the winner of twelve WAMMY Awards for Best Jazz, World and Urban Contemporary Vocalist, and is the proud recipient of the United Nations Global Woman Award, the Voss Foundation Emerging Women Leaders Award, the Pioneer Award for Exemplary Leadership and Outstanding Service in Social Justice and Advocacy and the International Hero for Peace and Forgiveness award. Her extensive studies with traditional healers and cultural artists around the healing effects of music led to the commemorative Golden Buddha performance at personal invitation by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in India. Amikaeyla uses music as medicine to connect people and to practice cultural diplomacy. "When words defy us, music can touch our hearts in certain ways you cannot otherwise do," she says.  Ami recognizes the power of art as advocacy and has used her art to build bridges by appealing to people's emotions. Her stories are powerful and I feel blessed to have had this tremendous light and change agent on the Becoming Your Best Version podcast. Amikaeyla grew up in Potomac, Maryland, and now is bi-coastal, with a home in the DC area and in California.  She will be performing at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. this fall.  You can learn more about Ami's work at and follow Amikaeyla on social media at @amikaeyla and @Amikaeyla Gaston.
July 08, 2022
A Conversation With Midlife Life Coach, Empowerer, Author and Radio Show Host, Lisa Lucca
Lisa Lucca is the author of Ashes to Ink: A Memoir, a story of heartache and the power of forgiveness, about her narcissistic father who came out as gay, and mother who did not want people to know, in their midwestern town, that she was the straight partner of a gay man. Lisa co-authored an epistolary memoir, You Are Loved, with her partner, Mark Mathias. Her memoir with her husband is a beautiful love story, told over the course of ten years via emails betwee the two that delved into life's biggest issues and the choices that shape our lives.  She also was a #Blogher17 Voice of the Year Honoree (for her blog piece, "Two Roofs, One House"), and is published in several publications and anthologies, most recently in the collection, Crone Rising. Lisa’s weekly public radio show, Live True, has streamed globally since 2019. Her fifteen-year career in the entertainment industry included positions at LucasFilm and in production management on a world tour with Janet Jackson. She reinvented her life during the time in which she was a single mother, and became a life coach when laid off after 9/11. "To make a living, I became a life coach," Lisa says. "To make a life, I opened my dream palette to do my radio show and writing." While acknowledging that change can be scary, Lisa believes that it is more painful to live a life you hate than to search for a life you love. She left her first husband with only $100 in her pocket and with a three-year-old son, and never looked back. She is flourishing in the southern New Mexico desert mountains by living a creative life. Her coaching and speaking focuses on empowering women to live true to who they are, especially in mid-life and beyond. "Do you want to be an 'older woman' or an 'elder woman,'" Lisa asks. Lisa believes that, in our 40s, we learn more about who we are, in our 50s we practice being who we are, and in our 60s we come into our third chapter, in which we can be the creators who no longer settle for less than we deserve. If we do not create--whether it is a garden or a community or something elese of ourselves--we fester. "All of us have the need within us to create something." Lisa Lucca (she/her) Facebook: /lisaluccawriter Instagram: @lisa.lucca Twitter: @lisaluccawriter
July 01, 2022
A Conversation with Creativity Coach and Author, Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts, MSc, helps thousands of writers every year see their creative process more clearly and master their strengths and struggles. She is on a mission to help writers glide past those awkward, painful moments that can stop your writing in its tracks. She can help you stare down doubt, dread and delay, and write with more ease and satisfaction. Julia's new book, Write Without the Fight: Master Your Creative Process to Write with Ease and Satisfaction, was launched in May 2022.  With this book, Julia helps writers gain confidence and creativity in their writing. She taps into the surprising science of creativity to give the reader grounded, proven, easy-to-use methods to find clarity, ideas, structure and to finish their work.  She shares her personal experiences, and those of her clients, with creativity, writing and publishing. Julia is performing a TEDx talk: “It’s Not Just Mojo, The Surprising Science of Creativity” in Summer 2022.  She is also the author of Sex, Lies & Creativity – Gender Differences in Creative Thinking, (Difference Press, 2014), has her Masters of Science in Creativity, and is a trained and certified Life and Creativity coach. Learn more about Julia's work at, follow her on Instagram at @juliadecodes and join her private Facebook group, Write Without the Fight.
June 24, 2022
A Conversation With Hara Allison, Storyteller, Photographer and Host of the "See Beneath Your Beautiful" Podcast
Hara Allison is a storyteller through photography, design and her podcast, "See Beneath Your Beautiful."  On her podcast, guests share stories of adversity and perseverance which inspire, encourage and challenge us. Hara embraces these tough conversations, intimately exploring our loves, fears and hopes with a delicious combination of depth and lightness. One of her most impactful podcast episodes aired on 9/25/21:  "Motherless Daughters." Hara interviewed a dozen women who lost their mothers about the impact the loss had on them.  Hara has found that talking about one's pain can free us of it.  Despite a traumatic childhood, including sexual abuse at a young age and her mother passing away at the age of 46, Hara finally found her worth and wishes that others see their own beauty and the light they were meant to shine. Hara said it took her 52 years to be able to confront her feelings of low self-worth. She also shared that, the more she parented, the more she was able to forgive her parents. Hara's clients believe in her ability to tell their story. From that vulnerability and trust comes honest images that make them feel understood and confident. She calls it an "honor, every single time" to photograph her clients. Her "See Me" photography series is a compilation of arresting photographs of women with the words they self-selected to describe themselves hand-painted on their skin. The 25 women photographed, many of whom she had never met, shared why they claimed the words they chose, and what they were willing to say out loud.  Hara believes that is what is beautiful about a person is the light that shines through them, not their physical characteristics. It shows in her work, and particularly in the See Me series. She also has volunteered to photograph people who are dying. It was beyond her comfort zone, initially, but she wanted to witness them. "All I ever wanted was to be seen," she reflects.  Most importantly, Hara is now open to not knowing. Hara questions everything she thinks she knows. "There could be another answer," Hara says. For more information, check out the links below. Photography: Podcast: FB: IG:
June 17, 2022
A Conversation With Creativity & Innovation Speaker, Author and Educator, Meta Wagner
Meta Wagner is the author of What’s Your Creative Type?: Harnessing the Power of Your Artistic Personality and of the fabulous Substack newsletter, Page Fright, which is a great resource for writers. She is a writing and creativity professor at Emerson College in Boston, and has also taught at Boston University, Wheelock College and Grub Street creative writing center. Meta is the creator of an original model for creativity, the Five Creative Types, and has given talks about it at TEDx, creativity conferences, and corporate events and webinars. Meta has been a contributor to The Boston Globe opinion pages and a columnist for PopMatters, and has had articles published in The Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe Magazine, Wall Street Journal custom content and others. She is a writing coach and writing workshop leader.   Meta inspires creators of many types. She frequently speaks on claiming one's power and drawing motivation from what worked for the masters, like Ernest Hemingway.  Meta helps people understand their creative type, accept it and use it to one's greatest advantage. She admonishes people not to "should" themselves, but to explore their authenticity. She believes in the catharsis of telling one's truth via creative endeavors. Learn more about Meta's work and follow her at the links below. Website: Buy her book: Page Fright Newsletter: Facebook: Facebook author page: Twitter: LinkedIn: Instagram: TEDx talk:
June 10, 2022
A Conversation With Confidence Coach, Writer, Therapist and Mentor, Lizzie Moult
Lizzie Moult is a Confidence Coach, Cognitive Behavioral Therapist and writer, who illuminates the energetic dance between our minds and bodies and what it takes to trust ourselves fully.  She aims to wake up people’s feelings to get them in touch with the boundaries they need to draw. Lizzie is an Australian country gal who broke the rules and dedicated her life to the journey of self-exploration.  She is an expressive, down to earth soul, who leads with heart and seeks to expand minds.  After healing her own stories, beliefs and patterns that kept her feeling small, stuck and prioritizing everyone else, Lizzie is now a radiant and humbling example of how you can turn your story around and do life your own way! Her mission is to empower people to connect to their truth and trust their gut to be able to confidently express themselves fully and freely, encouraging them to go for the life they desire, without self-doubt, hesitation or seeking approval.  Lizzie is passionate about sharing her wild adventures to inspire others to speak their truth and think bigger! Lizzie currently lives and works from her home in Scotland, UK. Links:
June 03, 2022
A Conversation With Erin Mathis, Empowering Style Coach for Women in Midlife
Erin Mathis, cofounder of The Style Core, is a Style Coach for women in midlife who feel stuck in a rut and want to empower themselves to take charge of their future. She helps women up-level their personal style so they show the world who they really are and align their image with the impact they want to make. She applies the same process she used to transform her own image to help her clients reinvent themselves so they can confidently show up as the captivating women they are and tell the world who they are through their look. She has more than 15 years of experience in helping professionals reinvent themselves with the purpose of aligning their image with the impact they want to make. Her expertise includes the following… How image has the power to transform your entire life Getting your brand aligned with your mission How to overcome a midlife crisis and thrive Use your style to become a magnet for new opportunities and success in midlife and beyond Some people might dismiss style transformation as “just a makeover,” but as a style coach, Erin understands how image has the power to transform your entire life. She shares more about this in her TEDx Talk "The Power of Image to Transform Your Life.” From her home town in Northern California, Erin coaches women around the world online through her transformational style coaching program, Your Million Dollar Look.  Erin graciously has offered her free guide My Top 5 Secrets to Up-level your Style to the Becoming Your Best Version audience: Website: TEDx Talk: "The Power of Image to Transform Your Life"
May 27, 2022
A Conversation With Midlife Mindset Coach and Solo Travel Enthusiast, Michela Fantinel
Michela Fantinel joined the podcast from beautiful northeast Italy.  Michela is a life and mindset coach and entrepreneur, based in Italy, who has pivoted a few times in her career and life.  At age 44, she swapped a manager's life for a less ordinary life and became a travel blogger and publisher.  At 56, she started her coaching practice with the mission to help women over 50 step out of an unfulfilling life, get unstuck, set clear goals and achieve success beyond their realistic expectations.  Michela is passionate about healthy living and the art of growing young and sharing her knowledge with like-minded women who are ready to open up to limitless possibilities.  She shares in the podcast about choosing a path that aligns with your values, learning to tune into one's intuition, and discerning out your passions and values so that you can pursue a lift in alignment with them.  She maintains that, once you can determine your what and why, that you can more easily pursue your how.  Michela observes that we are all works in progress, that she strives to work on areas in which she has become stuck, and that she continually asks herself how she is serving others.  She uses mindfulness and varying forms of meditation and healing modalities to address obstacles in her life.  Michela encourage us to ask ourselves, "What is my soul telling me to do?"  Everything is in motion and evolution.  We must embrace change and pace our progress in our individual ways.  Michela helps women in midlife do just that, both in persona and online.   Learn more about Michela (and book a free coaching consultation) at  Learn more about solo travel for women, particularly in Italy and Australia, at Follow Michela at:   FB: IG: LI: See for more information on Maria's work, and follow her on @fiftyafter50 on social media.  Reviews and subscriptions appreciated. #amplifyingwomensvoices #womensupportingwomen #podcast #fiftyafter50 #becomingyourbestversionpodcast #magicfifty #rockytravel #solotravel #coaching #lifecoaching #solotravel #inspiringwomen
May 20, 2022
A Conversation with Tessa Krone, Educator and Co-Founder of "The Open Nesters," Co-Creating Their Vitality in Act 3 of Their Lives
Tessa Krone, MA, Speaker, Educator, Podcaster and Coach, is the co-founder of The Open Nesters Podcast.  Tessa and her partner Amir have a successful podcast in which they discuss the stage of life as kids become adults, as ACT III, or the OPEN, rather than empty, NEST.  They have created new lives for themselves in many ways and, as their adult kids say, they are "living [their] best lives!"  The Open Nesters Podcast (available wherever you get your podcasts) has a mission to empower and inspire others whose children are now adults.  They seek to imbibe this stage of life, ACT III, with curiosity about the new possibilities and surprises yet to be experienced.  Their personal goals are also a part of their mission as they believe that being open minded and open hearted, and connecting more deeply, as well as uniquely, to new experiences and people will keep them healthy and vital.  They welcome others to integrate these goals into their lives, as individuals, and a couple.  Another aspect of their mission is to inspire more fun, exploration and the building of a new community of open nesters around the world.  By hearing about the possibilities others are exploring as Open Nesters, they hope you will be inspired to live at the edge of your curiosity.   Tessa teaches a wide range of offerings around the world, many of which incorporate the aspect of play.  Tessa helps women, men & their partners embrace their sexual desires, and awaken the playful dimension of love, touch, and creativity in and out of the bedroom.   She suggests that we think back to what we used to do to spark joy when we were children, and incorporate those activities into our lives.  Dance, creating art, laughing in the mirror, laughing yoga and playing games are examples.  She observes that, when we laugh, we surrender from our bodies and release natural feel-good hormones.  Because hugging can have similar effects, Tessa created "hum-hugs" as a modality for increasing good feelings.  She had participants, in a recent seminar at a Burning Man event, hug on the left, so that they could feel the heartbeats of the person whom they were hugging, and simultaneously hum while hugging.  Humming, she maintains, neurologically clears space within.  Worth a try! Tessa encourages us to become our best selves by sharing our light with others, and accepting ourselves with compassion.  She suggests we become "permissionaries." See to learn more.  Connect with Tessa on @theopennesters on Facebook and Instagram and search for Stacey Tessa Krone Battat, M.A. on LinkedIn.  To check out some of the resources Tessa mentioned, see  To learn more about her next event that she spoke about during the show, the Radiant Women's Day Long Retreat: Gathering Mothers & Daughters for Embodied Holiness, go to
May 13, 2022
A Conversation With College2Career Academy Founder, Career Coach & Professional Pivoter, Andrea Koppel
Andrea Koppel coaches young people in how to find their professional passions.  She shares, through personal experiences in allowing herself to fail and explore new opportunities, that the best way to finding a fulfilling career is to experiment with different iterations.  It is by working through one's fears that we may uncover our true passions and evolve into the most authentic versions of ourselves. Andrea is a former award-winning CNN correspondent, who followed a path for years along the trail blazed by her esteemed father, veteran news broadcaster and "CBS Sunday Morning" correspondent, Ted Koppel.  Andrea currently is an Ed Tech start-up entrepreneur, career coach, and Founder and CEO of the College2Career Academy, which helps confused college students and grad students find careers they will love.  She urges students to explore the tangible hard and soft skills they have that are applicable to many different career paths. Andrea models for her students, as well as for all of us, how to live a life without regrets.  While, at age 43, her identity was caught up in being a CNN correspondent, she is living a life true to who she is now, a person who had a son at age 40, who has different priorities and who no longer relishes the 24/7 stress of the high-powered job she once held.  She is still "mission driven," but her current work resonates more with her values.  She reframed her setbacks as opportunities, remarking that getting fired as a CNN correspondent was "an incredible gift," because it allowed her to launch into the great unknown and to pursue ultimately more fulfilling positions during various stages in her life.  She was able to explore how to use her transferable skills in different industries.  While the learning curve was sometimes steep, she appreciated the growth she experienced in various positions she tried, and encourages others to do the same. She reminds us that fear is an indication that something is new.  It is an emotion that can trigger a flight, fight or freeze reaction.  Yet it is through leaning into our fears that we evolve.  Andrea learned how to "drop into her heart," as opposed to following her brain's messages in every situation.  She now emphasizes her mental, physical and spiritual wellness, noting that food is medicine, movement is healing, and meditation is more than managing anxiety and stress.  Andrea views meditation as a way to drop into our intuition.  She reads voraciously and encourages listeners to manifest in their lives what they truly want. In 2021, Andrea was named a Top Job Search Expert to follow on LinkedIn.  She is also the host of the Apple TOP 100 podcast, Time4Coffee (on which she has interviewed more than 300 people about how they uncovered their career passions), and founder of Time4Coffee LLC, a company with a mission to empower 1 million students to turn their degrees into careers they will love.  Prior to becoming an entrepreneur and podcaster, Andrea zigged and zagged her way across three different industries.  She started out her professional life as a journalist where she spent 20 years, the last 14 of them with CNN.  She then pivoted from journalism into public relations; and eventually moved into the nonprofit world, leading global affairs and policy for Mercy Corps, an international humanitarian and development organization.  Andrea has a B.A. in political science, Asian studies and Chinese from Middlebury College and never studied any of the industries she ended up pursuing.  Her resiliency, brilliance and insight will inspire you! Follow Andrea's work at and
May 06, 2022
A Conversation With Nationally Recognized Speech and Presentation Coach, Alicia Dara
Alicia Dara is an amazing woman who shared multiple pearls of wisdom with our listeners about how to find your voice, how to become the protagonist in your own story, and even how to truly connect with one's emotions to fully enjoy classical music!  She is a nationally recognized speech and presentation coach based in Seattle. She has helped thousands of people including CEO’s, Global VPs, Executive Directors and Presidential candidates break through blocks, find their Power Voice, and put it to work.  "What we allow is what we encourage," she shares, in describing how she helps women learn how to set appropriate boundaries in the workplace.  Her most popular group training is "Power Voice for Career Women," which helps women strengthen their voices, clarify their messaging and push back against workplace sexism. Corporate clients include Microsoft (where she is a vendor), Amazon, Kimpton Hotels, Planned Parenthood, The Riveter and Carhartt. Private clients include the National Women's Political Caucus, the Female Founders Alliance, and members of Facebook, Merrill Lynch, Seattle Trade Commission, Windermere and Twitter. Alicia is currently working on her first book about strengthening women’s voices in the workplace.  Learn more about Alicia's work and access her fantastically helpful resources, which include YouTube instructional videos about how to be a better public speaker, at
April 29, 2022
A Conversation With Photojournalist & Author of "The Second Half," Ellen Warner
Ellen Warner's career as a photojournalist spans more than 50 years. Her photographs have been pub­lished in numerous newspapers and magazines and exhibited extensively. Over the years, she has developed a specialty of author portraits and has worked for most publishing houses in New York and London. She has also writ­ten travel articles, which have been published in The New York Times and Travel and Leisure in the U.S.A., and in The Traveller in the U.K.  Ellen’s recently published book, The Second Half: Forty Women Reveal Life After Fifty (Brandeis University Press, March 8, 2022), explores, in photographic portraits and interviews, how the second half of life is experienced by women from many different cultures. From a French actress to a British novelist, from an Algerian nomad to a Saudi Arabian doctor, and an American politician, Ellen Warner traveled all over the world to interview women about their lives.  She asked them what they learned in the first half that was helpful in the second, and what advice they would give to younger women.  Their revealing and inspiring stories are enlightening for all readers, and are illustrated by Warner’s stunning portraits, which tell their own stories.  I wrote a review of Ellen's excellent book for The Washington Post:  As I wrote in my review, "Paring away the less essential, being generous, practicing gratitude, staying in the present moment and finding purpose are ways of living urged repeatedly [by the women interviewed for] the book."  Learn more about Ellen's work at
April 22, 2022
A Conversation With Intuitive Spiritual Life Coach, Ulrika Sullivan
Ulrika Sullivan, who is originally from Sweden, is a former scientist turned author, intuitive spiritual life coach, yoga teacher and energy healer.  She is passionate about helping busy women to connect with their intuition, energy and true selves to find inner calm, self-love and life balance so that they can live from the heart with more ease and flow.  Ulrika is the author of Wisdom Beyond What You Know: How to Shift from Being Driven by the Mind to Living from the Heart and Intuition, the creator of the podcast New Light Living - See Your Life in a New Light and founder of the Beyond the Mind membership community.  See for more information.
April 15, 2022
A Conversation With Resilience Expert, Debra Sabatini Hennelly
Debra Sabatini Hennelly was the student government president and my UVA Law School class president for the class of '88.  She teaches organizations ethical leadership, including how to create psychological safety in the workplace, so that employees will feel empowered to speak up, as an early warning about problems that can be prevented and addressed early.  Employee wellbeing is crucial to organizational health.  The pandemic's "Great Attrition," or "Great Resignation," underscored the importance of creating an ethical culture in an organization, so that employees feel like they belong, that their voices are heard, and that they are doing work that matters.  Debbie also penned a book, Presence in Chaos – 365 Mindful Moments, that contains inspiring daily quotes set against her beautiful original photography, and describes how the book grew out of her experiencing burnout and reaching a personal low point in her life. Debbie helps executives and boards create cultures of integrity and inclusion, which are essential to the resilience of organizations and their people. She uses stakeholder-focused frameworks for managing compliance, ethical and ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) risks and opportunities and helps integrate them into operations and culture. She also coaches legal and compliance professionals, helping them lead effectively and develop strategies for personal resilience. For more than 25 years, Debbie has been creating innovative approaches to managing compliance and fostering ethical leadership—from boardrooms to break rooms—with organizations ranging from small entities to some of the largest multinationals. Her expertise is rooted in her multi-disciplinary background in engineering and law, cultivated through her decades of corporate leadership roles and consulting experience. Her passions for learning, teaching and "connecting the dots” fuel her ability to inspire authenticity, engagement and accountability. Debbie founded Resiliti in 2004 (originally, as Compliance & Ethics Solutions), to provide ethical leadership, culture and compliance consulting and training. Resiliti offers a comprehensive suite of services, including holistic risk management, ESG strategies, culture mapping and experiential learning. They help bring to life organizational values and build cultures of integrity that support the perspectives and dignity of each individual in a team and across an organization. Debbie is an adjunct professor in Fordham University School of Law’s Program on Corporate Ethics and Compliance. Debbie spent almost 15 years in legal and compliance leadership roles—AT&T; Lucent Technologies; Avaya; BP; Avon Products; as well as general counsel and chief compliance officer for two privately-held chemical companies, reporting to their CEOs and meeting quarterly with their boards of directors. Her experience holding senior in-house roles in public and private companies, as well as working in two ethics and compliance service providers, has enabled her to acquire an uncommon perspective from both sides of the client/vendor relationship. Prior to her corporate experience, Debbie practiced law with two major law firms in Washington, DC, and New Jersey. Before practicing law, she was a civil and environmental engineer, supervising construction for Exxon. Debbie is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management and the Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics. She speaks frequently at conferences and writes on several platforms.  Debbie earned her B.S.E. in Civil/Environmental Engineering from Duke University and her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.   Learn more about her work at and, and follow her on LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
April 08, 2022
A Conversation With Late Bloomer Living Podcast Creator, Yvonne Marchese
Yvonne Marchese is the host of the Late Bloomer Living Podcast, a professional photographer, mother and wife.  At the age of 48, she realized that she’d bought into a story about getting old that was adversely affecting her health and relationships.  Changing her story about aging inspired her to start the Late Bloomer Living Podcast where she is on a mission to redefine society's ideas on aging and exploring how to live a life by design.  Yvonne believes that midlife is filled with possibility, that it’s never too late to pursue a dream and that the stories we tell ourselves have tremendous power.  Yvonne will present an online event called Midlife Uprising, May 11-13, 2022, which is dedicated to helping women in midlife get unstuck, get inspired and take the steps to bust through resignation and old habits so they can take on new challenges, dreams and passion projects.  The speaker lineup includes experts like Dara Goldberg, Jack Perez, Lou Blaser and me, Maria Olsen.  The summit is built on three thematic pillars--Clarity, Compassion and Courage-- one for each day of the event. Day 1 - Clarity around our automatic thoughts and unearthing our desires for the future. Day 2 - Compassion - Reframing our thoughts with a big dose of self compassion. Day 3 - Courage and taking action towards our desires and goals. Stay tuned to for more information and to listen to this terrific podcast!  
April 01, 2022
A Conversation With Juvenile Diabetes Advocate, Survivor and Thriver, Nancy Gaudet
Nancy Gaudet is a strong, fiercely independent woman who cares deeply and loves unconditionally.  Her story involves doing a bike ride for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to raise funds for children with Type One diabetes, as her son had been diagnosed with it at age nine. It was her fourth ride and she was 58 years old. She completed the 100 miles and two hours later had a massive seizure, landing her in the ICU unit at a hospital in Florida. She spent five days there close to kidney failure and was read her last rites. Fortunately, she has no permanent damage, went through months of rehab, and changed her life. Nancy manages 12,000 apartments and supervises 400 staff for a family-owned real estate company in Boston.  Her greatest joy is her 22-year-old son.  She also is an advocate and fundraiser.  She started and has been running for ten years a monthly support group for other moms, whose children also have juvenile diabetes, helping more than 200 mothers with that effort. Nancy met her soulmate during the pandemic, while working on another fundraiser.  She and her partner were both working on a fundraising project for dear friends.  A friendship formed, and a goal of raising a substantial amount of money to help mutual friends was achieved.  According to Nancy, that first kiss, after months of talking on the phone for hundreds of hours, was just like living in a Hallmark movie.  There was that one singular, slow motion moment when time stood still and two very bruised and battered hearts let the tiny droplets of love seep in slowly.  She believes that there are no coincidences; there are only “God instances.”   To learn more about Nancy's support group for women whose children have juvenile diabetes, email her at
March 25, 2022
A Conversation With Ground-breaking Author, Laura Davis
In her 30+ year career as an author, Laura Davis has written seven non-fiction books that have changed peoples' lives. The Courage to Heal paved the way for hundreds of thousands to heal from the trauma of sexual abuse. Becoming the Parent You Want to Be helps parents develop a vision for the families they want to create. And I Thought We'd Never Speak Again: The Road from Estrangement to Reconciliation teaches the skills of reconciliation and peace building to the world, one relationship at a time.  Laura's ground-breaking books have been translated into 11 languages and sold more than two million copies.  Her new memoir, The Burning Light of Two Stars, tells the story of Laura's dramatic and tumultuous relationship with her mother, from the time of Laura's birth until her mother's death. This story about "two souls who just wouldn't quit each other" provides a no-holds-barred peek at the real Laura--the woman behind the teacher, the facilitator, and author.  Laura's love of words extends into her teaching life. She loves building communities of writers and teaches weekly writing workshops online and in Santa Cruz, California. When there isn't a pandemic, she leads transformative writing retreats in northern California, Bali, Peru, Italy, Vietnam and other international destinations.  Laura lives in Santa Cruz, California with her spouse Karyn and their new yellow lab puppy, Luna. She enjoys swimming, hiking, mahjong, making kombucha, motion theatre, her grandchildren and, of course, writing.
March 18, 2022
A Conversation With Trauma and Life/Leadership Authority, Sara Schulting Kranz
Sara Schulting Kranz is an acclaimed author, keynote speaker, trauma and life/leadership authority, wilderness guide, and executive producer of "Walk Through This,” a documentary feature in production of her healing journey in nature. She is also a single mom of three amazing sons. As a multiple trauma survivor who used nature in her healing and transformational journey, Sara coaches clients, leadership executives and organizations on the necessity and benefits of using nature for mental and emotional health. You will find Sara speaking to businesses, corporations and running executive leadership workshops, in addition to leading healing, transformational and leadership retreats in nature. Sara’s signature land-healing retreat is in the Grand Canyon, where she guides clients to go deep within themselves while being guided into the healing benefits of nature. Her signature water-healing retreat involves kayaking out of Whittier, Alaska, alongside glaciers and surrounded by majestic mountains. All retreats, whether signature or tailored, involve transformational coaching, healing, hiking, adventure, connection to nature, energy work, manifestation, mindfulness and meditation. Sara’s book, WALK THROUGH THIS: Harness the Healing Power of Nature and Travel the Road to Forgiveness, was released in 2020. The documentary, "WALK THROUGH THIS: A Story of Starting Over," has filmed in Black Earth, WI, Los Angeles, CA, and in the Grand Canyon, and will be released in the near future.  Some gems from this extraordinary woman:  Hurt people hurt people, and healing people heal people.  When we speak our truth, we are giving others the opportunity to do the same.  Another nugget:  Forgive yourself.  This is your journey, just as your children have their own journeys.  Find out more at and, and follow her on Instagram (@saraschultingkranz) and Facebook (Sara Schulting-Kranz).  Check out her beautiful TEDx Talk on forgiveness:
March 11, 2022
A Conversation With The Midlife Whisperer, Dr. Ellen Albertson
Ellen Albertson, PhD, RDN, NBC-HWC, is a psychologist, registered dietitian, national board certified health and wellness coach, reiki master, and mindful self-compassion teacher.  Known as The Midlife Whisperer™, she helps women raise their vibration so they have the energy, confidence and clarity to make their next chapter their best chapter.  A bestselling author, inspirational speaker and expert on women’s wellbeing, Dr. Ellen has appeared on Extra, the Food Network and NBC World News and has been quoted in Psychology Today, Eating Well and USA Today.  She has written five books and articles for SELF, Better Homes & Gardens and Good Housekeeping.  Her latest book, Rock Your Midlife: 7 Steps to Transform Yourself and Make Your Next Chapter Your Best Chapter!, provides concrete steps we can all use to improve our lives.  She brings more than 25 years of counseling, coaching and healing experience to her holistic practice and transformational work.  She lives on the Champlain Islands of Vermont with her high-tech, raw-food loving partner, Ken, and her tree climbing Border Collie, Rosie.  Dr. Ellen helps us let go of who we think we are supposed to be and embrace who we are.  Go to for more information.
March 04, 2022
A Conversation With Happiness and Resilience Thought Leader, Gina Vild
Gina Vild is an author, educator, thought leader and speaker on the themes of happiness, living with purpose and resilience. Her career includes more than four decades in which she held senior leadership positions in healthcare, academia and government. Most recently, she served for 12 years at Harvard Medical School as Associate Dean and Chief Communications Officer.  She is known for being a curator of poetry, meditation enthusiast, lifelong learner and mother. Her vibrant approach to life blends academic learning with real-world experiences.  She is co-author with Sanjiv Chopra, MD, (Deepak Chopra's brother) of the successful book The Two Most Important Days, How to Find Your Purpose and Live a Happier, Healthier Life published by St. Martin’s Press. She is at work on her next book on the topic of resilience. She blogs for Psychology Today and shared with us how to mend a broken heart and other interesting tips for living one's best life.  See for more information.
February 25, 2022
A Conversation With Congresswoman, Mom, Nonprofit Founder & Author Marjorie Margolies
The Hon. Marjorie Margolies is the former Congresswoman from the 13th district of Pennsylvania. She's a 25 year veteran of NBC news and the Founder and President of Women's Campaign International (WCI). She's a professor of political science at UPenn and the author of five books, the mother of 11 and the grandmother of 21.  Her son is married to Chelsea Clinton.  Her new book, And How Are The Children? (MacKenzie-Wyatt, January 2022), is a wonderful inside look at the world of an Emmy-award winning broadcaster who adopts hard-to-place refugees from Vietnam and Korea, blends them into a joyful, chaotic household consisting of four stepdaughters and two biological sons and then adds three more Vietnamese boys plus various and assorted family members who stay for 25 years.  Marjorie was the first single woman to adopt from abroad!  Hillary Clinton wrote the foreword to this rich, inspiring book.  Marjorie, who was married to Congressman Ed Mezvinsky while continuing her own challenging work as an NBC correspondent, somehow made juggling eleven kids and a super-sized career seem effortless.  One of Marjorie's adopted Vietnamese children, Vu, now an anesthesiologist, says, "What would have happened to me if my folder had been on a different desk that day."   Marjorie runs WCI, which trains and empowers women around the globe to transform their communities and to take a seat at the table in political leadership, economic development, civil society and conflict transformation. She has traveled to more than 50 countries.  WCI has had phenomenal success, including doubling the number of women in parliaments around the world. She is currently on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, having just completed teaching a course with David Eisenhower on the "First Hundred Days of the Biden Administration." In addition, she has lectured at universities throughout the country on topics like "Dealing with the Media" and "Women Leaders in Emerging Democracies," analyzing the ways in which politics and the media interact. When she was elected to represent the state of Pennsylvania in the House of Representatives, she was the first woman ever elected to Congress from Pennsylvania in her own right. She was defeated because she became the main target of Republicans after she cast the deciding vote to approve President Clinton's budget.
February 18, 2022
A Conversation With Founder of the Lovin’ Midlife Movement, Dara Goldberg
Dara Goldberg is a changemaker, entrepreneur, speaker and the founder of the Lovin’ Midlife Movement. She’s known for her undying passion to make the world recognize women in midlife are invincible–not invisible.  After 15 happy years advising and raising millions of dollars for nonprofit organizations and charitable foundations as a founding partner in a consulting firm, she woke up one morning and realized something was off. This was the pivotal moment–as society told her she was crazy for wanting to leave a perfect job–where she realized there needed to be a change. Now she advocates for and brings together women in midlife to change the way society looks at, listens to and understands them. Appearing weekly on Clubhouse, she has sparked a community of like-minded women who are fiercely proud to call themselves women in midlife. As she sparks conversations about aging with confidence and excitement, she lives in Philadelphia with her husband, two step-daughters, two cats and a super silly dog named Chumley.  See for more info.  You can find her on Clubhouse and Instagram at @daradoesmidlife.  It's a growth spurt, not a midlife crisis!
February 11, 2022
A Conversation With Author, Editor and Professor, Iris Krasnow
Iris Krasnow, a Stanford University grad, became the fashion writer for the Dallas Times-Herald, before moving to United Press International in Washington, D.C. to become the national feature writer.  In her several years at UPI, Iris specialized in celebrity profiles, including Yoko Ono, Billy Graham, Ted Kennedy, Norman Mailer and Queen Noor of Jordan. Iris is the author of Surrendering to Motherhood, the New York Times bestseller, Surrendering to Marriage, Surrendering to Yourself, and I Am My Mother's Daughter.  The Secret Lives of Wives continues her journey as a journalist who chronicles the adult female growth cycle, followed by the publication of Sex After...Women Share How Intimacy Changes As Life Changes. Her newest book was released in 2020, Camp Girls: Fireside Lessons on Friendship, Courage & Loyalty. Her writing has been featured in many national publications, such as Parade, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and AARP publications.  Iris has been a guest on numerous national television and radio programs, including Oprah, Good Morning America, Today, All Things Considered, and has been featured on CNN. Interviews with Iris, and reviews of her work, have appeared in Time, O: The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, The New Yorker, U.S. News & World Report and Redbook. She is the Senior Editor of AARP's The Ethel, a lifestyle and health online publication for women over 50.  Iris is a professor emerita teaching writing at American University in Washington, D.C., where she became one of my mentors, while teaching in the Lifelong Education And Professional Development (LEAD) Program there. She is married to an architect, and they are parents of four grown sons.  Iris helps women get unstuck.  She instills hope in all who are blessed to know her. See for more information.
February 04, 2022
A Conversation With Social Sculptor, Philippa Hughes
Philippa P.B. Hughes is a Social Sculptor and Creative Strategist who designs relational spaces for honest conversations across political, social, and cultural differences. She has produced hundreds of creative activations since 2007 for people who might not normally meet to engage with one another in unconventional and meaningful ways. These relational experiences build social capital, social cohesion, and social discourse. Her practice encompasses a multi-disciplinary approach informed by sociology, psychology, philosophy, political science, history, community organizing, design thinking, creative placemaking, art, and humanities. Philippa, who has been published many times and has spoken on multiple platforms, speaks about how to have better conversations and about using creative placemaking and innovative interventions and happenings to strengthen communities and to increase dialogue between people who might not normally interact. She also speaks about the personal transformation that comes from curiosity and discomfort.  See and for more information.
January 28, 2022
A Conversation With Brain Health Expert, Dr. Andrea Wilkinson
Brain health expert, Dr. Andrea Wilkinson, is helping people find focus, mental clarity and calm through a better understanding of how the body works. She has a Ph.D. in Psychology and has been researching brain health, wellness and mental resilience for the last 20 years. In 2014, she founded, a platform for adults who want to optimize their mental vibrancy and physical energy. Dr. Andrea is also the host of the BrainShape Podcast, a weekly show that covers the latest brain health research and shares tips on how to feel your best. Check out for more information.
January 21, 2022
A Conversation With Author & Storyteller, Ronit Plank
Ronit Plank is a writer, speaker, teacher and mother whose work has been featured in The Rumpus, The Atlantic, The Iowa Review, Writer’s Digest, The Washington Post, The Seattle Times, The New York Times and elsewhere. Her stories and essays have been nominated for both the Pushcart Prize and The Best of the Net and she is author of When She Comes Back, a memoir about the loss of her mother to the guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and their eventual reconciliation. Her short story collection Home Is A Made-Up Place won Hidden River Arts’ 2020 Eludia Award and will be published in 2022 by Sowilo Press. She’s also creator and host of the award-winning podcast, "And Then Everything Changed," featuring interviews with authors, survivors and people in recovery about pivotal moment in their lives and the decisions that have defined them. She lives in Seattle with her family.  See for more information and for links to her book, articles and podcast.
January 14, 2022
A Conversation With Happiness Coach, Barbara Ellison
Barbara Ellison is a speaker, author, host, personality trainer, dream coach and wellness partner. She works with mid-life women who are ready to take charge of their lives so that they can be the best ever version of themselves--the full of energy, well-toned, confident and highly paid version.  Barbara is on a mission to make happiness the norm by inspiring people to lead happy, healthy, financially free, abundant lives.  Learn more at
January 07, 2022
A Conversation With Feng Shui Expert, Patricia Lohan
Patricia Lohan joins us from across the pond in Ireland.  She is a Feng Shui expert, manifesting magnet, alchemist, healer and real-life Irish Celtic Shaman. Patricia is the creator of PowerHouse Feng Shui and Author of The Happy Home: A Guide To Creating A Happy, Healthy, Wealthy Life. She helps entrepreneurs make their homes & businesses magnetic to money, luck and blessings. She shows you what they don’t teach in business school, what lies between the lines, your top-secret tool for success.  She has helped thousands of people across the globe embrace Feng Shui and create lasting changes in their businesses, homes and lives.  She likens Feng Shui as accupuncture for the home.  Patricia has seen first hand the power of the mind, surroundings and inner healing, clearing and aligning everything so it works holistically. She loves entrepreneurship, and has grown three successful startups of her own. Patricia has been featured in media around the world, including The New York Times, CNN, Forbes, The New York Post, She Knows, Essence, Mind Body Green, USA Today and Elephant Journal.  See for more information.  And a great tip she shared:  Ask people, "What's your good news?"  Everyone has something good in their lives.  And that which we focus on becomes magnified.  Let's join her good news movement!
December 31, 2021
A Conversation With Pleasance Silicki, Integrative & Holistic Coaching/Healing & Sacred Arts Guide
Pleasance Silicki is an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Counselor, Holistic Health Coach, Rising Kohenet, Author, Death Doula, Inner Voice Facilitator and Adjunct Faculty at The American University and the Maryland University of Integrative Health. She teaches from the foundations of evidence-based Positive Psychology and weaves the practices of many wisdom traditions including Vedic Wisdom, Mystical Judaism, Earth-Based Rituals and ceremonies, and Somatic Healing. She is the founder of THRIVE, an online self-care class and LOLA, a dynamic community-based in sacred circles and teachings that cultivate liberation and awakening in daily life. Pleasance is the author of Delight: 8 Principles for Living with Joy And Ease and the host of the LOLA Community Podcast. As the founder of lil omm Yoga Studio, the co-founder of The National Kids Yoga Conference, and Septima Clark Public Charter School, Pleasance is passionate about bringing well-being into a variety of communities and connecting spiritual teachings to racial justice. In higher education, she taught Mindful Explorations, Strategies in Stress Management, and in the AU Community Experience program. She facilitates Mind-Body Medicine Skills Groups, Stress Management and Self-Care workshops and retreats.  See for more information about Pleasance's work.
December 24, 2021
A Conversation With Author, Diplomat, Executive and Trailblazer, Lauri Fitz-Pegado
Cultural and commercial diplomacy are the hallmarks of Lauri Fitz-Pegado’s career. She has been a civil servant at the Voice of America and the U.S. Information Agency, and a Foreign Service Officer in the Dominican Republic and Mexico. Appointed by President Clinton, she was confirmed by the Senate to serve as Assistant Secretary and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service at the Department of Commerce led by Secretary Ronald H. Brown. In the private sector she advised countries, corporations, individuals and non-profits as a senior executive at Hill and Knowlton and Gray and Company, and as a partner at The Livingston Group. Lauri also was an executive at Iridium, the global mobile satellite communications company.  With a history of ballet training and performing with the Capitol Ballet, Vassar Dance Theatre and Ballet Santo Domingo, she now has returned to her passions by teaching ballet and mentoring. She applies her communications and public relations skills to promoting artists, and her business and leadership experience to advising dance institutions sharing her commitment to social change, empowerment, and inclusion.  Lauri received her B.A. from Vassar College, M.A from the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and speaks Spanish and Portuguese. She is grateful for the rich contributions her community of family and friends has made to her life story.  For more information, visit
December 17, 2021
A Conversation With Afghan Refugee Assistance Nonprofit Founder, Geeta Bakshi
Geeta Bakshi spent 14 years with the CIA doing counterterrorism work and focusing on the war in Afghanistan, bestowing upon her an enormous responsibility to help protect innocent lives from terrorist adversaries.  Geeta is a second-generation American of South Asian descent and the founder of FAMIL, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Afghan allies and their families resettle in the United States after the evacuation of American troops from Kabul in summer of 2021.  Geeta founded FAMIL, which means “family” in Afghanistan, to help Afghan allies of the United States, just as they had helped Americans in Afghanistan for so many years.  FAMIL is dedicated to assisting Afghan allies and their families in the United States.  They provide comprehensive support to Afghan families, with a focus on employment, education and integration.  Their vision is for displaced Afghan families to rebuild their lives, pursue their dreams and become contributing members of their new communities in the United States.  See to learn more about her important work.
December 10, 2021
A Conversation With Life Example and Inspiration, Alma Chopra
Alma Chopra is an entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, disabilities awareness advocate and life counselor, who has conquered Cerebellar Ataxia, a disorder that causes progressive loss of coordination and difficulties with balance and gait.  Her story is an embodiment of hope, faith and courage in times of darkness and overwhelming uncertainty.  Alma, whose name means "soul" in Spanish, wants her journey to serve as an example. "I am willing to show my vulnerabilities to the world. If it can inspire one person globally, my job is done." Learn more about Alma at her website,, and follow her on social media: Instagram: YouTube: Facebook:
December 03, 2021
A Conversation With Forever Fierce: Midlife Matters Founder, Catherine Grace O'Connell
Catherine Grace O’Connell is an Ageism Positivist, an Empowerment Cat-alyst, the founder of Forever Fierce: MIdlife Matters, a global Facebook Community dedicated to supporting and celebrating the Modern Midlife Woman, and the CEO of MODlife Media, a female-focused message based digital media agency.  She is a Motivational Speaker and the host of the Mastering Modern Midlife Talk Show. Catherine is passionate about inspiring and empowering women at Midlife & Beyond to see aging in a positive light. Women at Midlife & Beyond are the Perfect Storm. We are the first demographic in history to have health and vitality, wisdom and life experience, and a pocketbook to match. We are a fierce creative force balanced by compassion and empathy. Together, we control over 80% of the nation’s disposable income and it’s time we make our presence known! Six years ago, her life looked vastly different. She was a woman who almost lost her life to late stage Lyme Disease, disempowered from decades of trauma and abuse. She had no self-esteem, no passion, no purpose and no future.  Her beliefs changed and her life began to dramatically transform. She let go of who she was told to be in order to become the woman she had always desired to be. She has been on a deeply spiritual path for over 30 years. She has her Masters in Spiritual Psychology and a PhD from the University of Rise Like A Phoenix. She is an energy worker trained in many different modalities. She has studied with some of the top spiritual teachers, mystics and mentors who empowered her to understand true transformation happens from within. She didn’t have a tribe so she created one! Our attitudes, beliefs, energy, patterns, and behaviors in the present determine our future. What we think and believe directly affects how we age. Through her life experience, she has become an expert at Mastering Modern Midlife and it’s her passion to share what she has learned with others.  See to learn more.
November 26, 2021
A Conversation With "The Married Widow" Author, Diane Papalia Zappa
Diane Papalia Zappa earned her PhD in Lifespan Developmental Psychology in 1971. She went on to teach human development courses to thousands of students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, attaining the rank of tenured Full Professor of Child and Family Studies at the age of 30. While in Madison she and co-author Sally Wendkos Olds wrote A Child’s World (now in its 13th edition) and Human Development (in its 14th edition). In 1986, while still a Professor in Madison, she met Frank Zappa’s younger brother, Bob, who was marketing manager for one of her books. They married in 2015. Her latest book, The Married Widow, is available everywhere, and is her reflection on their relationship through the years. It is a beautiful and poignant love story, with inspiration for people who have lost loved ones.  See and for more information.
November 19, 2021
A Conversation With Power Purpose Play Founder, Kavita Ahuja
Kavita Ahuja is an entrepreneur and founder of Power Purpose Play , a global platform dedicated to advancing the personal growth and inner power of women in midlife. She is the host and visionary behind the successful podcast, “The Midlife Reinvention”,  a course content creator, an accomplished writer and a Personal Transformation and Transition Coach. At age 52, Kavita, who also holds a major in Biology and an MBA, left an extremely successful corporate pharmaceutical career of almost 25 years, took control of her health, her spirituality and her personal relationships, and found her next true calling, which is to help women find the power within them to rediscover their purpose and reinvent themselves, regardless of their age or circumstance. She rediscovered herself after the age of 50, and she knows you can too. Her mission is to help you do just that.  “My vision is to give you a glimpse of yourself beyond anything you can imagine," says Kavita. "I want you to experience more happiness, more hope for your future, more excitement for your next journey, more confidence in yourself, and a greater understanding of your true purpose and power in this next chapter of your life.”  See for more information.
November 12, 2021
A Conversation With Tin Can Pilgrim, Lynda Rozell
Lynda Rozell has lived most of her life in Virginia where she earned Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in Foreign Affairs and a J.D. at the University of Virginia. After law school, she joined the firm, Hunton & Williams, as an associate on the Antitrust and Trade Regulation team in Washington, D.C.  She subsequently worked as an Attorney Advisor on the personal staff of two presidential appointees to the Federal Trade Commission. Lynda also has worked as a massage therapist and run a small business providing in-home therapeutic massage for pregnant women. She served in a number of capacities at Tepeyac Family Center, a non-profit ob/gyn practice in Fairfax, Virginia, and the primary program of Divine Mercy Care, a charity devoted to transforming hearts through healthcare. She was married for 21 years and has two grown children and an elderly Chihuahua. Raised Catholic, Lynda fell away from the church for many years. To her surprise, she rediscovered faith as an adult. She actively volunteered at her local parish and parish school as well as serving as a Girl Scout leader when her children were young. In 2018, Lynda retired, moved to Florida, and embarked on her marvelous adventure as a full-time nomad, living in an Airstream travel trailer. She started a travel blog in 2019,, and wrote a book chronicling her transformation to a life as a Tin Can Pilgrim, including her ongoing growth in her faith and in the practical skills needed to live in and tow her Airstream trailer.  Lynda seeks to live out her Catholic Christian faith in her ordinary, everyday life as she travels around the country visiting and writing about shrines, religious sites and the beauty of Creation. She invites others into the community of nomads and wanderers that she has found on the road and shares the signposts that continue to lead her to radical trust in God. She enjoys volunteering and spending time the many friends she has made in her travels across the country.
November 05, 2021
A Conversation With Holistic Energy Practitioner, Ana McKessy
Ana McKessy is a holistic energy practitioner, taking women on a transformational energy journey using meditation, energy healing and coaching.  Through her Facebook group, the Spiritual Gravy Train, Ana leads a community of women and shows them how to improve their energy and their lives through movement, wholesome nutrition, focused relaxation and connection to their inner self.  She provides masterclasses on meditation, breathwork and energy. She also provides one-on-one coaching for women looking to move forward in discovering their true identity and life’s passion so that they can be the best version of themselves!  Having devoted much time towards healing and recovering from her own core traumas and ancestral wounding, she has followed a calling to help other women do the same.  Her energy work is transformative. Single sessions equate to years of therapy. Through Akashic record readings, channeled lessons from higher consciousness and spiritual counseling, she supports women looking to reclaim their voice and recognize their innate power.  If you are looking to get un-stuck and start over again in your career, love relationships, money relationships or any other aspect of your life, she is here to help.  See for more information.
October 29, 2021
Catching Up With Fitness Empowerer, Kelly Howard
For more than 20 years, Kelly Howard has been connecting women to freedom and personal empowerment through fitness consistency, mindset and adventure. She’s changed thousands of lives with her "Fit is Freedom" podcast, courses and events, and is a contributing author to the bestseller, #1 Habits for Entrepreneurs. A serial entrepreneur herself (created and sold four companies), she’s the former owner of Bayou City Outdoors, the largest outdoor activity and social club of its kind. She’s helped thousands of women enjoy and flourish on hiking, biking and kayaking adventures worldwide. She currently calls Houston, Texas her home, but can frequently be found on rivers and trails across the globe. See for more information.
October 22, 2021
A Conversation with Documentarian, Sky Bergman
Sky Bergman is an accomplished, award-winning photographer. Lives Well Lived is a documentary that celebrates the incredible wit, wisdom and life experiences of older adults living full and meaningful lives in their later years. Encompassing 3,000 years of collective life experience, diverse people share life lessons about perseverance, the human spirit and staying positive in the midst of life’s greatest challenges.  It was screened in more than 200 cities, garnered awards, and is being aired on PBS.  It is Sky’s directorial debut.  Her fine art work is included in permanent collections at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Seattle Art Museum, Santa Barbara Museum of Art and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Her commercial work has appeared on book covers for Random House and Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc., and magazine spreads in Smithsonian, Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, Reader’s Digest and Archaeology Odyssey.  Sky currently is a Professor of Photography and Video at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, CA.  See for more information.  "'No' is just a starting point," says Sky.  As a person who encountered much rejection before her film garnered acclaim and a coveted spot on PBS, this is true, well-earned wisdom!
October 15, 2021
A Conversation With Bold Story Press Founder, Emily Barrosse
Emily Barrosse is founder and CEO of Bold Story Press, a publishing press by, for and about women.  Previously, she founded Bold in Business, a program that teaches professional women to own their power for success in business.  Emily developed her track record of publishing success while working in leadership roles in the publishing industry. She has more than 30 years of hands-on experience signing, developing, and publishing best-selling books. As Vice President, Editor in Chief at McGraw-Hill, she was responsible for a $500 million digital and print publishing list.  In addition to her publishing and leadership expertise, Emily is a keen listener and communicator, and an excellent coach in the area of developing entrepreneurial leaders. She is passionate about working with and advancing women and minorities at every level.  Emily has an undergraduate degree in Communication from the University of Delaware. She lives outside of Washington, D.C.  See for more information.
October 08, 2021
A Conversation with Voiceover Actor and Storyteller, Liz Solar
Liz Solar is a Boston-based voice actor who can be heard on commercials, interactive apps, audio books and corporate narrations for regional and global brands.  She has produced and participated in storytelling events, and produces and hosts the Embark podcast.  Her mission is to share stories--both personal and universal--to promote understanding, empathy and a little more conversation.  Liz coaches reluctant speakers to communicate with more confidence, power and grace.  Her signature talks include "No is Not a Four-Letter Word."  A founder and contributor to the writer’s blog, Acts of Revision, Liz is completing her first novel. She lives in the greater Boston area with her husband and Goldendoodle studio manager, Jessie.  See for more information.
October 01, 2021
A Conversation with Luisa Heymann, Author of Get a Move On!
After a lifetime of being physically active, in 2014 Luisa Coll-Pardo Heymann was side-lined with a broken neck after being hit by a drunk driver. For months she could barely move, so when finally able to resume something approaching normal life, she had to start getting back in shape in teeny-tiny bite-sized pieces; thus, the concept of mini-workouts was born. She soon realized that these were a fantastic addition to her weekly schedule--even once she could exercise normally again--and has kept it up ever since.  If you’re in a similar situation working to come back from an illness or injury, are sedentary and/or tire easily and would like to have more energy, have a scary health problem that you need to get under control, or are just plain tired of being out of shape and don’t know where or how to begin to get your body on the road to better health, Mini-Workouts are a great place to start.  See and for more information.
September 24, 2021
Catching Up With Brave Healer, Laura Di Franco
Laura Di Franco is the CEO of Brave Healer Productions, where they publish world-changing wellness books. With thirty years of practice in holistic physical therapy, a third-degree black belt, and 20 books and counting, she offers powerful expertise and energy that’ll help you leave a legacy with your brave words. In this podcast, Laura shares a few self-healing techniques and her success in making the pursuit of joy a priority every day.  See for more information about Laura's work in helping others share their voices.
September 17, 2021
A Conversation with the Founder of Me Met Me, Nuthan Manohar
Nuthan Manohar, who is located in India, is the founder of Me Met Me, a "Sleep Whisperer," "Happiness Mentor" and "Ayurvedic Perfumer."  Nuthan  is a TEDx speaker on therapeutic perfumery, an adjunct faculty at IIM K (one of the top five management institutions in India, and top 100 globally) for Self Management, an international corporate trainer with clients like Linkedin, Discovery Channel, Indian Navy, Hyatt, and Yoga Alliance.  She has a Masters in Yoga and an MBA. A volunteer movement she had started from her Yoga Studio went on to become a best practice case study acknowledged by UNDP. During the peak of her brand consultancy career, when she was in charge of eleven countries, she faced a host of acute physical and mental challenges. This prompted her to set out on a mission to discover, design and share techniques to restore health and happiness. In 2020, she was able to assist over ten thousand people across the globe to become resilient to stress, stay happy and sleep deep. She is working towards the launch of her personalised therapeutic perfumery brand.  Check out Tune in to learn about how to sleep better and how to increase your happiness!
September 10, 2021
A Conversation with Heather Leah, founder of WithLoveDC
Heather Leah is a poet, teacher, meditation and yoga instructor, children's book author and community organizer living in Ashland, Oregon. She is passionate about bringing people together and creating a sense of community and support. She is the founder of the movement WithLoveDC and the annual Women of the Wild gatherings.  WithLoveDC is a movement to spread love, joy, and acceptance throughout the District. Join us in our mission to make this world a better place; one smile, hug, or random act of kindness at a time.  They hold free pop up yoga around DC, including at the U.S. Botanic Garden.  Women of the Wild is a magical gathering where women of all ages, races, religions, and backgrounds will share a sacred space among trees, rivers, and bird songs.  Heather's favorite activity is to spend time with friends and explore hiking trails in the DC area with her dog, Snoop.  See for more info.
September 03, 2021
A Conversation with Joy Architect, Robin Joy Meyers
Robin Joy Meyers has used her expertise as a molecular geneticist to become a Joy Architect, ICF Certified Self-Mastery Mindset Coach, TEDx & international speaker and author to empower thousands of  women worldwide to amplify their voices, embrace change and thrive through life’s transitions.  She is the creator of the F.E.A.R. Method and author of Alone, but Not Lonely: Reclaim Your Identity and Be Unapologetically You, which was listed among “The 13 Life Coaching/Self Development Books That Everyone Should Read” by Fupping.  Her upcoming book, The Common Denominator, will be released in early 2022.  Robin Joy's TEDx Talk, “The Science of Loneliness and Isolation” has been viewed by tens of thousands and is featured on  Her expertise also has been featured on Hallmark's Home and Family TV show, CUTV News Radio, Thrive Global, Medium and Authority Magazine.  See for more information about her amazing work.  Listen in and learn about the science of fear and loneliness, the importance of alone time, how we each have to validate ourselves (no one else can do it) and how the number one lasting relationship we have is with ourselves.
August 27, 2021
A Conversation with Entrepreneur and Teach Give Inspire Fridays Founder, Barbara Guterman
Barbara Guterman is a seasoned entrepreneur, a passionate business executive, and a veteran community organizer with a desire for creating powerful change. She is a devoted wife and mother to three grown sons who share her passion for business and for giving back. As a consummate entrepreneur for over 35 years, Barbara has launched companies and managed businesses in a multitude of industry segments including telecommunications, retail, franchising, manufacturing, fine jewelry and in internet-based start-ups. Her experience ranges from small business to large scale public corporations and covers many areas of expertise including, management, operations, sales, investor relations, public relations, community relations and external affairs. Her ability to see the big picture and to do whatever needs to be done to achieve that goal is what sets Barbara apart from others. At the young age of 23, Barbara saw an untapped market opportunity in the telecommunications industry and co-created one of the nation’s first competitive local phone companies. At the age of 30, Barbara’s company was the first in her industry to go public and was regarded by Wall Street as a ”leading edge” company. Under her team’s leadership, the company raised over $80 million dollars and grew to over 5,000 employees, providing competitive local and long-distance voice and data services to customers nationwide. She was widely recognized for these achievements and was featured in the September 1995 edition of Forbes magazine as a “Woman with a Mission”. Barbara has the distinction of being the first person to don the cover of Readers Digest, where she was highlighted as a distinguished woman entrepreneur. In addition, she was recognized as Ernst and Young’s 1997 Florida Entrepreneur of the Year, for her efforts in building Intermedia Communications. Barbara received her bachelor’s degree in Telecommunication from the University of Florida in 1985 and an MBA from the University of South Florida in 1993, where she was also named USF’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 1993. . Barbara is currently a Mentor and Partner in several start up businesses and runs a Women’s speakers series called Teach Give Inspire Fridays, a platform that allows women the opportunity to empower themselves, their businesses, their families and their communities.
August 20, 2021
A Conversation with Attorney & GirlsUp Executive Director, Debra Soltis
Debra Soltis is a founding partner of the law firm of Kiyonaga & Soltis, PC in Washington, D.C., where she specializes in employment discrimination, criminal defense and civil rights litigation. Much of her practice focuses on empowering women in the workplace to combat sexual harassment and other forms of gender discrimination.  Debra has been repeatedly recognized by Washingtonian Magazine as one of the best attorneys in Washington, D.C. in employment law and has been repeatedly honored as a SuperLawyer by her peers for her criminal practice. Since 2009, Debra has served as the Executive Director of GirlsUP, Inc, a DC not-for-profit which inspires adolescent girls to figure out who they are before the world tells them who they should be. She is a sought out commentator on issues related to civil rights, criminal justice and the societal challenges faced by adolescent girls and has appeared on CBS Evening News, NPR, ESPN and numerous other media outlets. For over twenty years, Debra was on the adjunct faculty of Georgetown Law School, co-teaching a course of original design on critical film theory with her husband, Paul Kiyonaga.  Debra also serves as an Advisor to the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Debra was formerly an associate at Williams & Connolly, LLP, where she worked on a variety of civil and criminal matters for clients including Effi Barry, The Washington Post and Paramount Pictures.  She is a magna cum laude graduate of Georgetown Law School and is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and Maryland.  She and her husband have four children, two girls and two boys, ranging from ages 14 to 24.  See and
August 13, 2021
A Conversation with Creator of Old Chicks Know Sh*t, Jennifer Arthurton
Jennifer Arthurton, who is based in Canada, is the creator and founder of Old Chicks Know Sh*t, a platform and podcast designed to inspire and support midlife women in chasing their dreams and creating their kick ass next chapter.  Jennifer is an empowerment coach, podcast host, writer and speaker, and having made her own midlife course corrections, she is a passionate advocate of the inherent power and wisdom that women possess at a time when they often feel overlooked in society and doubt themselves most.  Jennifer regularly appears as a guest on blogs and podcasts and as a speaker at marketing conferences, women’s conferences and events. Find out more about at or Old Chicks Know Shit on Instagram and Facebook.
August 06, 2021
A Conversation with Somatic Coach and Resiliency Expert, Jennifer Degan
"Yoga is my medicine," says Jennifer Degan.  Jennifer has 30 years of practice as an educator, counselor, yoga teacher and somatic-based coach. Life brings her great joy and great challenge.  Jennifer is a life-long learner, with the equivalent of two master’s degrees. She is a member of Wellspring Institute of Mental Health Advanced Graduate Study of Trauma. Attachment and the Embodied Mind is her most recent pursuit. She began the transformative process of her life when she was very young. Her spiritual life opened with the death of a sister when she was six years old. She had a supportive family and people around her that helped her understand grief, sorrow, hope and connectedness to something greater, a spiritual connection to the God of her understanding. From the age of three on, she has known this deep connection resides in us, and that we have the capacity to use the intimate and profound happenings in our lives for greater good. Since this experience, she has transformed and grown from other life experiences. She was dropped at age  11 on her back during an Outward Bound program and carried off on a stretcher. That “trust fall gone south” only made her dig deeper into her capacity to push through pain, debilitation and challenge, and find new ways to discover hope. The experience of being dropped was only the beginning; she has since suffered brain trauma and surgery, multiple losses, and falls that keep her getting back up again, curious and aware that caring for ourselves is an important and necessary job to undertake, as we never know what will throw you back, literally! She takes her practice of life seriously. Hope, persistence, deep love and connections are a starting place for her yoga and meditation practice. She encourages all her clients to find their authentic voice. It is from this core source that we gain the most inspiration. Learn more at and
July 30, 2021
A Conversation with Molly Watts, Podcast Host of Breaking the Bottle Legacy
Molly Watts is the author, mentor and podcast host of Breaking the Bottle Legacy. Breaking the Bottle Legacy is dedicated to helping daily drinkers and adult children of alcoholics change their relationship with alcohol.  After living under the influence of her mother's alcohol abuse for most of her life, and loathing what alcohol had meant to their relationship it felt like bitter irony when Molly had to acknowledge her own dysfunctional drinking. She changed her 30+ year daily drinking habit, and was able to create a peaceful relationship with alcohol--past, present and future. She now helps others who worry about their drinking do the same.  You can pick up a free copy of her e-book "Alcohol Truths: How Much is Safe?" to help you determine your own risk/reward analysis for alcohol. Visit to get yours today.
July 23, 2021
A Conversation with Julie Reisler, Founder of Empowered Living
Julie Reisler, founder and CEO of Empowered Living, is a Master Transformational Coach, Bestselling Author, TEDx Speaker, and Podcast Host of The You-est You®️.  Julie has been featured in Forbes, MindBodyGreen, The Chopra Center, and Thrive Global and is the author of the Get a PhD in YOU book series. She is a multi-time TEDx speaker and teacher on the popular app, Insight Timer, with over 135,000 downloads.  Julie is also the founder of the Life Designer® Coaching Certification Academy and Sacredology® Community. Julie has a master's degree in health and wellness coaching and is on the faculty at Georgetown University in their coaching program.  She loves guiding big-hearted spiritual entrepreneurs to be their ‘You-est You’ in their careers and life. To learn more about Julie, go to
July 16, 2021
A Conversation with Civil Rights Activist, Fatima Gul
Fatima Gul Sindhi-American Human Rights Activist and Executive Director of the Sindhi American Political Action Committee (SAPAC).  She has made it her life’s mission to raise awareness about the pressing human rights issues in the province of Sindh, Pakistan. As the Executive Director of SAPAC, Gul has been instrumental in carrying forth the organization’s mission to improve the socio-economic and political rights of Sindhis via political advocacy and education.  Born and raised in Sindh, Gul spent the first ten years of her career as a teacher and counselor helping orphans at schools throughout Sindh, Pakistan. During her time in the education sector, Gul saw firsthand how the country’s school system was struggling to adequately prepare Sindhi youth for future opportunities. Later on, Gul worked in various fields including event management, where she gained substantial experience working with Sindhi media and witnessed the severe and prevalent censorship of human rights abuses faced by Sindhis in both domestic and international mainstream media. Both of these respective roles furthered Gul’s conviction and awareness about issues impacting the Sindhi people and cemented her resolve to pursue a career as a Sindhi-American human rights activist. Gul’s overarching aim of her work is to educate and foster awareness throughout the U.S. about the critical human rights violations occurring in Sindh, including: violence against women and children, religious persecution and enforced disappearances.   Gul’s tenure as SAPAC's Executive Director for over a decade has enabled her to pursue this work. At SAPAC, Gul has conducted hundreds of meetings with United States Representatives and Senators about the situation in Sindh, overseen the successful implementation of numerous community outreach events and aided in the research of developments in Sindh that are often not covered by international media and documenting it in SAPAC’s public newsletter, Sindh Guardian. Moreover, in 2017 Gul gave a presentation at the University of Florida’s Human Rights and Genocide Symposium. In October 2019 Gul was invited to speak before members of the United States Congress during a Human Rights hearing. During her statement, Gul highlighted a number of egregious human rights abuses occurring in Pakistan and how it acutely impacts minority communities, including Sindhis, in the country. A few months later in March 2020, Gul addressed members of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, Geneva, during a special session celebrating International Women’s Day. In her ninety second intervention, Gul brought attention to the abduction and forced conversion of Sindhi girls. In April 2021, Gul collaborated with the Sindhi Foundation, to organize and participate in a 350-mile walk from New York to DC to highlight the intersectionality of climate change and human rights abuses occurring in Sindh and the world. The event attracted support from a number of high profile individuals, such as Noam Chomsky. A short film covering the Long Walk is currently in post-production. Gul looks forward to continuing her work and hopes that her efforts will showcase the strength of the Sindhi people and their rich history as people living together in peace and tolerance.  See
July 09, 2021
Catching Up With Midlife Maven, Nancy Davis Kho
Nancy Davis Kho is a speaker and podcaster whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and NPR affiliate KQED. She is also author of THE THANK-YOU PROJECT: Cultivating Happiness One Letter of Gratitude at a Time (Running Press, 2019). Nancy covers “the years between being hip and breaking one” at and on the Midlife Mixtape Podcast, available on all major podcast platforms. The Midlife Mixtape Podcast won a 2020 Iris Award as Podcast of the Year and was included in Wall Street Journal’s list of 8 Podcasts for Anyone Nervously Facing Retirement. Nancy has been both champion and judge in the acclaimed international comedy-lit improv show, Literary Death Match. More at
July 02, 2021
Fitness Over 40 With Judy Arazoza
Judy Arazoza is a mother, grandmother and wife of her prom date from 38 years ago.  When she became an empty nester, she decided to take on fitness as a project to pay it forward.  She started out as a personal trainer and then became certified in nutrition.  In her early years as a young adult, she was a respiratory therapy adjunct instructor and always had a huge interest in health.  Judy found that physical fitness could not really happen without mental fitness. So she took it a step further and focused on mental fitness before physical fitness with my clients.  She also considers a third aspect to overall wellness--spiritual fitness--which is often overlooked in the big picture of living well.  Judy's goal is to help others improve their lives. Gratitude as a conscious practice is a cornerstone of her approach with midlife women.  Judy's website is and she hosts the "Air Hug Community" podcast.
June 25, 2021
A Conversation with Third Act Quest Founder, Diana Place
Diana Dunbar Place is the founder of Third Act Quest, which helps people design their “third act” life plans or to work through specific challenges and important transitions in life or work.  Her 35-year professional career includes: a decade in Boston with a leading international marketing & ad agency; ten years with America Online (AOL-Time Warner) in the exciting early days of the internet that culminated in a role as senior vice president.  She has also started three entirely different entrepreneurial ventures.  She co-founded Dunbar-Hunter & Associates, a cause-marketing firm (bridging corporations and nonprofits around a range of issues from aids, to homelessness, domestic violence and breast cancer),  launched WonderBlink Photography, a dream she'd had since she was fourteen, and The Global Design Post, an online platform for designers. Though each of these experiences was fascinating, remarkable and expanded her life and my mind, it is what happened around her business career — the little breadcrumbs that I followed — that have driven her, and were “calling” her all these years.  Throughout her life, she has taken on mentor/advisor roles to a range of women, as well as started several organizations including an angel network to serve and connect women.  For a variety of reasons, she never put this personal passion front and center.  Until now. In her fifties, she found herself at powerful transition point.  Despite the coinciding emotional challenges surrounding a cancer diagnosis, closing  her latest entrepreneurial venture, and becoming an empty nester, she was filled with deep gratitude, joy and reignited passion for this next phase of her life.  Third Act Quest is her way of living my passion to support, inspire and connect people as they create their “third act” of life, and helping to empower optimism versus fear and dread, and respect and collaboration versus disregard and disfavor in our culture.  Through retreats, courses, group and private coaching, and a special event series, she can help reframe the experience and perceptions of aging among people of all ages.  Third Act Quest  is working to shift the experience and perception of aging for individuals, in the workplace and in our culture in general; inspiring people to reimagine what it means to grow older.  Importantly as well, she wants to help bridge understanding, connection and mutual support between generations. Email and connect by checking out
June 18, 2021
Catching Up With Late Bloomers' Advocate, Michela di Carlo
Michela di Carlo is a Manchester-based, former feature writer for the most influential Italian national newspaper La Repubblica. She holds an MA in Communication Studies from the University of Rome and is a senior member of the Italian Professional Journalists Society. Michela is a speaker and creator of "Salotto Italiano" (Individual Restaurants Production), a series of charity events in support of the Prince's Trust. She has also hosted several "road-shows" around the UK promoting the Italian way of life. As a late bloomers’ advocate and founder of the illustrated indie magazine, dedicated to discerning and sassy women over 40, she is now on a mission to reset the meaning of midlife, focusing her work on inspirational content to empower women feeling stuck in the second act of their lives. is the first illustrated online magazine on a mission to reset the meaning of middle age. It aims to empower those who don’t let age define them, women over 40 and beyond who need to be seen, heard, and celebrated.  The news and features on lifestyle, food & wine, travel and wellbeing are specially tailored for the late bloomers--those women who are evolving rather than disappearing, open to change, and confident to start a positive revolution at any stage of their life. Check it out at
June 11, 2021
A Conversation with Glass Ceiling Breaker, Karen Cleary Alderman
Karen Cleary Alderman retired in 2020 after a 49-year professional career. That career was diverse, improbable, and broke glass ceilings. It started in academia (6 years) researching and co-authoring three public policy books on veterans, women in the workforce and the transition to the all-volunteer force. She transitioned to federal service (27 years of which 23 years were in the Senior Executive Service (SES)), and finished at Deloitte, the world’s largest private sector consulting firm (15 years). Throughout, it was not just work. She married Kim Alderman in 1973 and raised four children. She joined, supported, and held leadership roles in professional associations including the American Society of Military Comptrollers and the Association of Government Accountants. She is committed to health and fitness, including competitive spring board diving.  Karen currently is a USA Masters 1-meter spring board champion.
June 04, 2021
A Conversation with Michelle Fishburne, Founder of Who We Are Now
Sometimes life turns you upside down, dumps you on the floor, and asks “so what are you going to do about it?” Today’s guest, Michelle Fishburne, believes those are the moments in life that have led her to become her best version. The most recent dump-on-the-floor moment happened in 2020. At the beginning of January 2020, Michelle had a job she loved, she lived in a house she adored, and her youngest was in her senior year of high school. By August 1, Michelle did not have a job or a house and her youngest went off to college. Instead of being afraid, Michelle leaned into the moment and created a version of herself that had been lying dormant for years. Michelle moved into her motorhome in September 2020 and traveled 12,000 miles all over America, interviewing people about their lives during the pandemic. Her project, called Who We Are Now, will be published by UNC Press in 2022. After she submits the manuscript this summer, she’ll be headed off again, all over America, for her next book. Michelle found the best version of herself. Prior to launching this project, Michelle has been a public relations and partnership director for national nonprofits, a homeschool teacher, a newspaper columnist, and an international corporate attorney.  Learn more at
May 28, 2021
May 25, 2021
May 25, 2021
A Conversation With Psychotherapist and Psychoastrology Founder, Lisa Tahir
Psychotherapist, author and healer, Lisa Tahir is passionately committed to working with people to help them heal through all of the senses of the body by utilizing intuition, therapy, energy healing, meditation, Reiki healing, crystal healing, nutrition, sound frequencies, yoga, exercise, podcasting, writing and teaching.  She hosts the popular weekly podcast All Things Therapy, dedicated to promoting personal growth and advancing the conversation on emotional, psychological and spiritual development in a way that’s accessible to people all over the world.  At you can connect with Lisa and learn more about her work including her nonprofit, “The Yes Foundation, INC,” which uses tax-deductible donations to teach children and adults with disabilities to blow and cast glass art utilizing her ADA-compliant and the patented workbench, “The CHAIR-iot.”  Lisa authored the book, The Chiron Effect - Healing Our Core Wounds through Astrology, Empathy, and Self-Forgiveness.  Learn more at  Follow her on social media at @nolatherapy.
May 21, 2021
A Conversation with Author, Chloe Cullen, on Perfectionism
Chloe Cullen is the author of PERF: The Unspoken Flaws in Our Perfect Culture (New Degree Press, August 2021), a book of essays exploring perfectionism in mainstream culture and her own life. From Hamilton to Billie Eilish, from Twitter to Martha Stewart, PERF breaks down perfectionism as a cultural pattern that reinforces hard work and constant improvement in a never-satisfying cycle.  Her work has also been published in TINGE Magazine, Please See Me and other publications. Chloe has worked at entertainment agencies, management firms and production companies in talent representation and development. In May 2019, she graduated from Penn State with her Masters in Creative Writing, her Bachelors in English and her Bachelors in Broadcast Journalism.  Check out the pre-sale video on her forthcoming book: Instagram: @ischloeawriter PERF newsletter:
May 14, 2021
A Conversation with Keyes to the Kingdom Founder and Healer, Amber Keyes
Amber Keyes is a multi-faceted, complex, and dynamic force for good in this world, with offerings that include parenting by design and helping women find their spark. She is the Chief Empowerment Officer of Keyes to the Kingdom and has dedicated her life's work to the revolution of human consciousness.  She integrates her background in psychology, social justice advocacy, and Human Design to help people live their truth and love their lives. She believes that once you can see and accept yourself exactly as you are, the floodgates of opportunity and prosperity open to help you create a life beyond your wildest dreams. When she isn't transforming Human Consciousness through her work with clients, Amber can be found playing ball with her dog, or venturing outdoors with her family.  Learn more at
May 07, 2021
Women Who Help People Who Have Discovered Misattributed Parentage
Right to Know (RTK) educates the public on the complex intersection of genetic information, identity and family dynamics. They advocate for Misattributed Parental Experiences (MPE, NPE), anyone who discovers the person who raised them is not their genetic parent. Their advocacy includes increasing awareness of misattributed parentage experiences (MPEs), promoting access to trained mental health professionals, and changes in the law to reflect the right to know one’s own genetic identity.  RTK has a hotline for people who need help:  (323) TALK-MPE. Alesia Cohen Weiss is RTK’s CXO, Chief Experience Officer. Alesia is a retired RN, Army Veteran, and blog writer. She is a leader in networking for positive emotional support, genealogical research, and education for those impacted by a surprise in their DNA. Due to her own experience from an over-the-counter DNA kit in 2014, she was shocked to her core to find the man who had raised her was not her genetic father. It took Alesia four years of sleuthing to discover the identity of her biological father. Unfortunately, he'd passed years before. After connecting with her genetic family, she discovered four members had brain tumors just like she'd experienced. Had she known she had a genetic predisposition, her doctors could’ve diagnosed her tumor much sooner. Kara Rubinstein Deyerin is RTK's Chief Executive Officer. She is a non-practicing attorney with an LLM in Taxation and a master's in Trade & Investment Policy. Two years ago, Kara wanted to see where in Africa her father's family came from. Her over-the-counter DNA test revealed she was 50% something but it wasn't African. This meant the man on her birth certificate couldn't possibly be her genetic father. She lost her bi-racial identity with the click of a mouse. Kara discovered she was 50% Ashkenazi Jew. The DNA Pandora's box she opened led to an identity crisis. She's a passionate advocate for genetic identity rights. Read her blog about being Unexpectedly Jewish in Seattle.
April 30, 2021
Jack Perez, Founder of Kuel Life, Redefining Modern Midlife
Jacqueline "Jack" Perez founded Kuel Life in 2017. Through her platform, Perez champions change, redefining modern midlife for women through curated content and women-driven brands. The Kuel Life Community grows daily. With over 35 Kuel Category Experts and 35 women-driven brands, Kuel Life offers women an opportunity to "Share, Learn, Shop, and Play with Our Second Act Sisters!" Previously, she spent 20 years at Summit Strategy Partners, a San Francisco-based marketing and public relations firm, where she was a founding partner. Jack brings extensive, deep, start-up experience, having worked with numerous small to midsize companies. She is excited to finally birth her own start-up. Having earned an MBA from the University of Chicago, Perez carries a hard-nosed business understanding to the entrepreneur world. She is fluent in Spanish, and having worked with multiple international firms, has a clear grasp on cross-cultural influences. Jack’s passions include spending time with her son and traveling to exotic, off-the-beaten-path places such as Cuba, Jordan, Zambia, Bolivia, and Zanzibar. An endorphin junkie, Jack is an avid jump roper, Peloton-fanatic and a third-degree black belt in Taekwondo. Learn more at
April 26, 2021
Intuitive Healer and Spiritual Guide, Susan Burrell
Susan Burrell is the author of “Live Your Empowered Life: A 30-Day Journey Book” and she has a thought provoking podcast called Empowering Chats with Susan Burrell that can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart Radio and other popular platforms. Her guided meditations are accessible through the Insight Timer App. Susan is a feisty Scorpio (was even born with the red hair to back it up!) who has navigated life by learning how to listen within to that Divine urge that keeps pointing her in the direction of her life’s purpose even when she can’t see the road. She is a guide in the crossroads of life with a Masters Degree in Consciousness. Susan has been counseling and supporting people in transforming from the inside out for over 25 years. Her methods are proven because she has lived this journey to empowerment. To learn more about Susan and her work:
April 16, 2021
A Conversation with Success Coach, Dr. Nicole Cutts
Interview with my dear friend, Dr. Nicole Cutts.  Nicole is a Clinical Psychologist, Success Coach, TEDx Speaker, author and media commentator. She is also an entrepreneur at the helm of Cutts Consulting, LLC an Organizational Consultancy and Vision Quest Retreats through which she helps women clarify and achieve their Visions of Success. Through her work and book series for women and girls entitled The Adventures of Isabelle, Nicole inspires and empowers people to achieve a more balanced and successful lifestyle. Whether in a corporate board room, classroom or facilitating a retreat in an exotic location, Nicole enjoys taking audiences to the “Aha” moment, helping them identify blocks, spark a change in attitude and behavior and ramp up personal success and happiness! Nicole can be seen and heard frequently on TV and radio. She is also a former executive producer and radio show host on WPFW 89.3 FM in Washington, DC. Nicole received her Ph.D. from the California School of Professional Psychology- LA, where her emphasis of study was Multicultural Community Clinical Psychology.  She received her Executive Coach certification from The Center for Executive Coaching. She also holds a B.S. in Psychology from Howard University. Contact Information:
April 09, 2021
Yvette Bodden, Founder of Awakened-Woman
A rich and inpiring conversation with Yvette Bodden, author and founder of Awakened-Woman As the founder and author behind Awakened-Woman, a digital platform designed to inspire and invigorate females, author Yvette Bodden writes with endless empathy. In just two years, AW has amassed tens of thousands of followers, thanks to a combined 500+ articles centered around celebrity profiles, relationships, love, abuse, motherhood and Latino culture, infused with a signature blend of her pragmatism and compassion. In 2021, she was named one of the “Bella Bosses We Admire” by Bella Magazine. Yvette’s words have also appeared on The Best Holistic Life Magazine, Thrive Global, media maven Arianna Huffington’s portal dedicated to ending the global stress and burnout epidemic, and BELatina News, where she profiles celebrities like Latin Grammy Award-winner Luis Fonsi, television actor, Joe Minoso and ABC's "The Baker and the Beauty, actress, Nathalie Kelly. Since 2020, as part of the AW Empowerment Series, she has interviewed Alexandra Garcia, Google, Jeimy Osorio, Actress & Singer, Heather Fink, CEO & Founder, The Sexiest Beauty, Novi Parker, Actress, Tyler Perry’s Sistas, Amelia Moran Ceja, President, Ceja Vineyards, Kara Goldin, Founder & CEO, Hint Water, Author of WSJ Bestseller, “Undaunted,” Maria Trusa, CEO, Forme Medical Center & Urgent Care, Shayla Rivera, NASA Rocket Scientist / Comedian, Benita Alexander, Journalist, Julissa Prado, CEO & Founder, Rizos Curls, Nathalie Kelly, Actress, Alexa Ray, Canadian Recording Artist, Vanessa Coppes, CEO, Bella Magazine, Lois Robbins, Actress from TV Land’s hit show Younger, Lisa Vidal for AW, Actress from The Baker and the Beauty and BET's Being Mary Jane, Nikki Boyer, Actress, 3-Time Emmy winning Media Personality and Host, Dying for Sex Podcast, as well as Christina Vidal Mitchell, Actress, ABC’s United We Fall. Her debut book, A Journey to Becoming the Best Self (Black Rose Writing)—part memoir and part prescriptive nonfiction, inspired by Yvette’s own post-divorce path from devastation to joy—was published in 2019, and received praise from The U.S. Review of Books. As a single mother based in New York City—a metropolis she credits for her open mind-- Yvette regularly channels her own growth experiences, she has contributed to outlets like SmartCoparent and that focus on personal crises. Ultimately, Yvette’s writing, which seeks to empower and encourage women searching for personalized definitions of success, is an effort to build strong communities through vulnerable and powerful storytelling.  Website: Instagram: @womanawakened Facebook: AWinspires  Twitter: @womanawakened
April 02, 2021
Becoming Your Best Version Podcast Trailer
Hi!  I'm Maria Leonard Olsen, author, attorney, public speaker, mentor and radio show host in Washington, D.C.  I'm here to educate, elevate and infuse your life with inspiration and positivity.  Stay tuned for more!  #fiftyafter50 #becomingyourbestversion #positivity
March 29, 2021