Brick by Yoga Brick: Romy Phillips on Building the Mind/Body Connection

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Romy Phillips is a true Renaissance woman - from her beginnings as an art historian, to dance and movement, right up to today as an interdisciplinary yoga instructor, her focus has been building the mind/body connection within herself and within others.

Find out more about her story and strategies, and her new book in this insightful episode!


Meet This Episode's Guest

Romy Phillips

Romy Phillips, founder and creator of Yogathology, has been teaching yoga since 2001. A former arts administrator from New York City, with a BFA in painting and sculpture from the Maryland Institute of of Art; an a MFA in Arts Administration, from Columbia University. She spent a decade serving a number of roles at prominent arts organizations in New York City, namely the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum. In time, the pressures and stress of work and city life led her by chance to Los Angeles in 1999, where in spite of her artistic pursuits, a life devoted to health took over. She walked into City Yoga one spring day in 1999 and her life took a dramatic turn which led her on the path to becoming a yoga teacher. Now she is a certified yoga instructor who has taught in a number of studios in the Los Angeles area and leading teacher trainings in Tokyo, Japan, China, and Vietnam.

Romy has background in dance and studied ballet, modern and jazz in Baltimore, Washington D.C. and New York City. She has also completed a number of teacher trainings including Anusura and Yoga Works (Lisa Walford & Birgette Kirsten). She has assisted three 200 hour trainings at Yogaworks and has lead five Yoga Works 200 Hr. Teacher Trainings in Tokya & Osaka, Japan (2012-2017), Beijing (2015) and Shenzhen (2016). She has lead the first 300 Hr in Beijing in June/July 2016. Romy has developed a 30 Hr Yoga Forma Intensive that was taught four times at First Ship in Tokya & Osaka. Her first published book was released in July 2018: Yoga Forma: A Visual Resource Guide for the Spine and Lower Back.

Check out Romy’s website Yogalthology here!

Get her book Yoga Forma on Amazon!

 
 Photo by David Gordin

Photo by David Gordin

"Run the River Toward Something”: Scott Edward Anderson on Our True Connection with Nature

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Scott Edward Anderson speaks the language of the earth. His new book Dwelling: an ecopoem encourages us to discover a more balanced relationship - an interrelationship - between human beings and the earth.

He urges us to “give back to the earth what is hers.” He reminds us that the earth doesn’t need us. She will be fine. We are the ones who need to adapt, change and have empathy for the earth. Scott’s beautiful book helps us begin to heal that fractured relationship.


Meet This Episode's Guest

Scott Edward Anderson

Scott Edward Anderson is the author of Dwelling: an ecopoem (Shanti Arts, 2018), Fallow Field (Aldrich Press, 2013), and Walks in Nature’s Empire (The Countryman Press, 1995). He has been a Concordia Fellow at the Millay Colony for the Arts and received the Nebraska Review Award. His work has appeared in the American Poetry Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Cimarron Review, The Cortland Review, Many Mountains Moving, TerrainThe Wayfarer, and the anthologies Dogs Singing (Salmon Poetry, 2011) and The Incredible Sestina Anthology (Write Bloody, 2013), among other publications. 

Anderson founded TheGreenSkeptic.com, which he wrote for ten years, worked for The Nature Conservancy from 1992-2007, and currently consults with conservation organizations and cleantech companies. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, Samantha, and their blended family. Learn more about his work at ScottEdwardAnderson.com and connect with him on Twitter @greenskeptic

 
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Wisdom, Grace & Giving with Songstress Lisa Jason

 Photo by Chris Carroll

Photo by Chris Carroll

Lisa Jason’s life is a tapestry in progress.

A singer/songwriter/performer she is weaving her heart, her words, her experiences, her fears, and her love into the artist that she is today.

“Resistance creates change,” Lisa tells us. Pushing through resistance, dismantling roadblocks of fear, even though scary, can take us to the next mountain top. “Do we need permission to be artists?” she asks. In other words, do we need permission to be who we are?

Her life is a response to this voice of fear we all carry inside. Lisa assures us, “It’s never too late to be vulnerable. Everything’s important when it comes to you.”


Meet This Episode's Guest

Lisa Jason

Lisa Jason is a classically trained singer, songwriter, and performer whose close relationship with music began at a young age. Her unyielding musical passion began when she was a small child, while listening to her mother’s album collection which would prove to become her savior as she coped with the extreme bullying she endured at school .


Lisa co-writes and performs her own one woman shows in New York City. “Bullied to Beautiful”, a show that Lisa co-wrote about the years she was bullied as a child and the music that helped inspire and heal her during that difficult time, with original arrangements by Maestro, Ryan Shirar, that paint the musical backdrop to her story. “If Love Were All”, is co-written with Actor/Director Producer Joshua Morgan, with musical arrangements by Grammy Award winning musical director for the Manhattan Transfer, Yaron Gershovsky, and is a celebration of the music and artistry of Judy Garland, coupled with her search for love and Lisa’s experience of her. Her show "Another Hundred People", shows that it really is never too late to start over, with songs and duets with Broadway's finest, Lisa shares her journey and hopes to inspire others that is is never too late! 
She currently performs at venues in New York City, Feinstein’s 54 Below, The Metropolitan Room, The Laurie Beechman Theater, The Highline Ballroom and Don’t Tell Mama. She has been a Guest Artist with such legendary groups as Huey Lewis and the News, KC and the Sunshine Band, Otis Day and the Nights, The Hooters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the original cast of the Jersey Boys. She has also performed at the special request of Aerosmith and has also sung The National Anthem at Fenway Park. Lisa has also had the privilege of singing with Alan Menken and has appeared as a guest on Dr. Oz.  

A singer and songwriter, Lisa’s song “Beautiful Child”, was adopted by The March Of Dimes organization for their national campaign, and was performed by Lisa and the Cape Cod Symphony at their Pops in the Park concert where she was a special guest. Lisa has recorded three CD’s, one as a collaboration with legendary sound man of Rock, Dinky Dawson, with songs written by Steely Dan founding member Denny Dias. Her most recent CD, “Road to Me”, is a compilation of her own original songs and songs written by songwriters that help guide her on the journey to finding her voice.  

Along with being a performing artist, Lisa has taken her passion for the arts and integrated it into the healing arts.  With her Masters Degree as a Mental Health Counselor, and Dance Movement Therapist, Lisa works as a movement coach with disabled dancers in New York City, as well as working  with women and families who are victims of sexual violence and human trafficking, in addition to her anti-bullying advocacy.  

 
 Photo by Chris Carroll

Photo by Chris Carroll

Lisa's You Tube show called, "It's Never Too Late", speaks to the philosophy that it truly is never too late to live your best life, to try something new and view the world through an inspired and empowered lens.  She also has designed a line of scarves with New York accessories designer to Byron Lars Beautymark, Sheila Gray, that depict words of strength for the wearer as almost a superhero cape.  Lisa believes that everyone has a unique story and walks with the awareness and empathy of honoring this in everyone she meets. She hopes these scarves will inspire others and bring more awareness and support to anyone who has ever felt less than, or afraid to use their voice.  Part of the proceeds from the sale of these scarves benefit anti-bullying organizations, education and advocacy.  

Check out "It's Never too Late to be a Designer" on YouTube!

Connect with Lisa on: Facebook  / Instagram  / Twitter

Weaving a Magic Life with Elisa Pupko

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Treasure Trunk Theater sounds like a place you want to go ~ even if you aren’t a kid. And by the way ~ when was the last time you read The Ugly Duckling - a story that teaches empathy and compassion?

This is but one of the myriad ways Elisa uses the theatrical arts in a space where kids run around and play - all the while learning communication, teamwork, confidence, empathy and compassion!

Started in a rented yoga studio and now with a permanent home in Brooklyn, Elisa lets us in on her success in combining her love of acting and her love of teaching kids ~ and how she juggles being the CEO of a growing company, the mother of a seven month old and the loving partner in a committed marriage. “Excitement helps with mental energy!”


Meet This Episode's Guest

Elisa Pupko

Elisa Pupko is a New York City actress who was born and raised in Seattle, WA. She was bitten by the acting bug in elementary school when an ambitious drama teacher put on a production of Hamlet and cast her as the guard Bernardo. Elisa continued performing through school and quickly fell in love with musical theatre. Receiving her Bachelor's Degree in Theatre from the University of Washington, Elisa studied dance, voice, and women's studies. After college, Elisa landed a full-time acting job in Seattle's Taproot Theatre, where she performed plays on social issues for children around Washington State. 

Since moving to NYC in 2007, Elisa has been performing both on stage and camera. Notable New York and regional credits include "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" at East Lynne Theatre, "The Crucible" at The Gallery Players, "The Children's Hour" at Astoria Performing Arts Center, as well as originating roles in several new musicals including "Vamped" with Left Hip Productions and "A Wonderland" at The Ice Factory Festival

Elisa has also appeared in several College Humor sketches, videos for Howcast Media, and as a host for About.com

In 2012, Elisa founded "Treasure Trunk Theatre" which combined her love for theatre and her passion for working with children. Treasure Trunk Theatre is a nurturing place for children to develop and expand their creative energies while learning valuable skills in communication, teamwork, confidence, and compassion.  Through the theatrical arts, children will learn to use their bodies, voices, and imaginations to express themselves and be connected with the world around them.

When not performing, Elisa can be found in coffee shops, traveling the world, or walking her super photogenic dog, Zoka. 

 
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Crafting the Freedom in Our Everyday Lives with Katharine Hargreaves

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Katharine Hargreaves believes in alchemy ~ as attested to by the name of her website You Are The Magic ~ and Katharine wants to revolutionize the way we learn. A tech designer who grew into a systems thinker and human-centered strategist, Kat connects people with resources and tools that unlock their potential and help them “design their freedom” through the “4C’s” -  communication, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration. “My superpower is designing the conditions and holding the space for transformation to happen.”


Meet This Episode's Guest

Katharine Hargreaves

Katharine Hargreaves is a coach, educator, alchemist, & world builder seeding the future through experiential education, sacred play, storytelling, and systems design. A wild woman and edge walker since birth, Katharine’s path is inspired by complexity, creation, and transformation. Merging ancient spiritual traditions with universal principles of design, her work weaves together the modern and the magical; invoking new paradigms through skillful translation of the Wild Divine. Katharine's coaching practice emphasizes inspirational and accessible techniques that help you live into a larger vision for your life. When you're ready to play on your edge and expand your world, Katharine is the wizard you call.

Click here for Katharine's Coaching Website and for her FEARLESS Workshop

 

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Shattering Mental Health Stereotypes: A Conversation with Dr. Kimya N. Dennis

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Dr. Kimya N. Dennis is a prolific writer, college professor, community organiser, and a believer in interconnectedness and breaking down barriers. Her work combines the worlds of criminology and sociology, looking at cultural differences and encouraging a multidisciplinary approach for all doctors and mental health professionals where diversity is discussed every day instead of in workshops and seminars. 

She wants to shatter the myth in some communities that “only white people have mental health issues,” challenging our stereotypes, assumptions and beliefs about suicide, mental health and depression at every level - from the individual, all the way up to the organisations and institutions who are training the future health and wellness practitioners of tomorrow. 


Meet This Episode's Guest

 

Dr. Kimya N. Dennis

 

Dr. Kimya N. Dennis does interdisciplinary community outreach, consulting, teaching and research regarding mental health, suicide and suicidal self-harm, criminal justice processes and reproductive health and freedom. Dr. Dennis collaborates with community members and organizations. Collaborations include guest posts for Mental Health America of Virginia, interviews for various media outlets, board of directors for The Mental Health Association in Forsyth County and board of directors for Forsyth Futures, both in Winston-Salem, NC.

 

Please visit her website www.kimyandennis.com for more information! 

 

Click here to read her article discussed in the interview: Suicide isn’t just a ‘white people thing’

 

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Living a Holistic Life With Taryn L. Kennedy

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Taryn L. Kennedy, Associate Producer & Director of Online Media for In the Balance talks with Susan in our continuing series "Meet The Team."

“It’s important to have a plan and it’s important to be flexible with a plan.” Taryn’s peripatetic career path supports this wisdom. Acting and theatre called to her in the beginning, opening the door to TV/Radio production and then lighting design. A fear of heights and a desire for a steady paycheck led her into the male dominated world of an energy company, where she climbed the ranks to responsibility and leadership. A longing to travel ultimately took her to Australia, where a love of learning (she’s on her third degree) and a continual commitment to live a holistic life has immersed her in the study of nutritional medicine.


Meet This Episode's Guest

Taryn L. Kennedy

 

Taryn is the Associate Producer and Director for Online Media for In the Balance. She has been working with Susan in various capacities for 6 years and is honored and thrilled to be a part of the In the Balance team. 

In addition to her work at In the Balance, Taryn is currently studying for her Bachelor's of Science specializing in Nutritional Medicine in Brisbane, Australia. She is also part of a pilot program in primary schools that teaches kids about food. Her interest in nutrition, how food is produced, and how food affects the body started over 11 years ago after reading the book, The Food Revolution by John Robbins. 

Taryn also loves to travel and has lived in New York, Arizona, Chile, and Australia.

 

Click here to sign up for Taryn's quarterly nutrition and wellness newsletter!

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Therapists are People too: a Two Part Interview with Susan Lambert

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Switching it up for our listeners ~ In the Balance podcast creator and interviewer Susan Lambert is interviewed by her podcast producer Walker Vreeland!

Therapists Are People Too: Practice & Philosophies

In part one Susan takes us into the world of therapy ~ what happens in “the room,” her thoughts on balancing insight work with how-to strategies and the extraordinary opportunity inherent in therapy ~ to have a “pure, private, sacred relationship that’s all about the client’s wellness.”

Therapists Are People Too: Beginnings, Middles, and the Never-ending Search for Balance

Part two gives truth to the saying ‘therapists are people too!’ as Susan tells her personal story of becoming a therapist. Tune in and get to know the woman whose voice you hear every week on the marvelous podcast series In the Balance.


Meet This Episode's Guest

Susan Lambert

 

Susan is a licensed psychotherapist and teacher whose successful 25-year private practice has included cognitive, insight-oriented and mindfulness approaches with a diverse clientele of all ages.

After gaining advanced degrees in psychotherapy from New York University and in teaching arts from University of the Arts, she began her journey to integrate psychological study with spiritual practice and the arts. The mantra underscoring her path has always been ‘learn and grow with curiosity and focus using the mind, body and heart to thrive in everyday life!'  This is what she shares with others. 

Susan is at the forefront of creating group workshops which are accessible and relevant in their scope and she is consistently expanding the reach of her practice with individuals into the global community through Skype therapy, online courses and live seminars. 

Susan’s studies in yoga and Buddhist dharma, her travels throughout the world, and her immersion in working with people from different cultures continually inspire her life’s work of helping others bring their inner selves to vibrant health and buoyancy. 

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Learn more about Susan's practice as a

therapist on her website!


Meet This Episode's Guest Host

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Check out episodes of Interview with the Artist on the website

and learn more about From Ship to Shape here

Walker Vreeland

Walker Vreeland is an award-winning monologist and radio personality, producer, writer, actor, singer and voice over artist. As a radio personality, he is best known for having hosted The Afternoon Show on 102.5 WBAZ-FM on Long Island, and as the creator and host of the successful podcast Interview with the Artist where he has interviewed such stars as Cyndi Lauper, Joy Behar, Betty Buckley, David Brenner, Sally Struthers, James Frey, Paula Poundstone, Cheech Marin, Sandra Bernhard and Jane Krakowski. He’s also been heard on 92.9 & 96.9 WEHM on Long Island, 103.9 WFAS in Westchester, NY, 96.7 ‘The Coast’ in Norwalk, CT and WEBE 108 in Bridgeport, CT.

As an actor and singer, Walker has worked extensively in theater, film and television. Off-Broadway credits include: FROM SHIP TO SHAPE (2017 United Solo Awards for Best One-Man Musical and Best Direction of a Musical for Milton Justice). Other New York theater credits include: Little Women (with Deborah Gibson & Elaine Stritch), ErostratusJust So Stories (Theaterworks USA), and the award-winning musical revue Our Life & Times (Winner of 1999 MAC and Bistro Awards). 

He’s been seen on MTV, VH1, CBS Daytime (Guiding Light) and his films include: Sex Farce, Thinking Out Loud, and A Beautiful Mind. He is a graduate of Walnut Hill School for the Arts, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Walker was voted #1 Personality in the Hamptons of 2013, 2014 and 2015 (Platinum Award) by Dan's Papers.

Empathy, Protest and Productive Conflict: A conversation with Activist & Author Aruna D'Souza

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“My friends tell me empathy is my superpower,” says Aruna D’Souza, “but I am deeply suspicious of the idea of empathy as a motor for political change.” Protest and empathy is at the center of this conversation between Aruna and Susan.

If we delve deeply into the slogan Love Trumps Hate what will we discover about personal will vs collective will? Writing White Walling: Art, Race, and Protest in Three Acts was a self-education for Aruna - an act of transformation - an exercise in what it means to be an ally “sitting and looking carefully at what people have said, without falling back on knee-jerk arguments like free speech and artistic freedom, caused me to ask - to what extent are these things just shields for us not to talk about racism?”


Meet This Episode's Guest

 

Aruna D'Souza

 

Aruna D'Souza writes about modern and contemporary art; intersectional feminisms and other forms of politics; and how museums shape our views of each other and the world. Her work appears regularly in 4Columns.org, where she is a member of the editorial advisory board, and has been published as well in The Wall Street Journal, Art News, Garage, Bookforum, MomusArt in America, and Art Practical, among other places. Her book, Whitewalling: Art, Race, and Protest in 3 Acts was published by Badlands Unlimited in May 2018. She is editor of the forthcoming volume Making It Modern: A Linda Nochlin Reader, which will be published by Thames & Hudson.

 

Click here to visit Aruna's website!

Buy Whitewalling here!

 

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“Radical Authenticity”: Leslie M. Browning on Sharing Our Stories About Trauma, Dark Times, and Breaking the Stigma of Mental Illness

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Leslie M. Browning set out to understand her own trauma, not to write a book. But, as Leslie discovered, intentions can have their own glorious and wild mind, and she ended up with the powerful memoir, To Lose the Madness: Field Notes on Trauma, Loss and Radical Authenticity, born out of her journals. She and Susan explore the ways in which mental illness, suicide, and the social pressure to “do well no matter what”  hide in the shadows in our culture of ‘informed denial.’


Meet This Episode's Guest

Leslie M. Browning

L.M. Browning is an award-winning author of twelve books. In her writing, Browning explores the confluence of the natural landscape and the interior landscape. In 2010, she debuted with a three-title contemplative poetry series. These three books went on to garner several accolades including a total of 3 pushcart-prize nominations, the Nautilus Gold Medal for Poetry, andForeword Reviews’ Book of the Year Award. She has freelanced for several publications and has a biannual interview column in The Wayfarer magazine in which she has interviewed dozens of notable creative figures such as Academy Award-Nominated filmmaker Tomm Moore, Peabody-winning host of On Being Krista Tippett, and celebrated poet David Whyte. Balancing her passion for writing with her love of learning, Browning is a graduate of the University of London, a Fellow with the International League of Conservation Writers and sits on the Board of the Independent Book Publishers Association. In 2011, she opened Homebound Publications. In early 2018, following the release of To Lose the Madness and the TEDx Talk she presented at Yale University’s TEDx Conference based on her own journey with successive trauma and search for transcendence,Browning founded the RadicalAuthenticity.Community  website, a community of storytellers who, by sharing our own journey with emotional struggle, help to normalize mental illness and dispel the stigma surrounding it. She is currently working to complete a B.A. in Creative Writing with a double minor in Journalism and Psychology at Harvard University’s Extension School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

 
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Falling Back In Love With Living: A Conversation With Katie McKenna About Life After Traumatic Injury

We’ve all used or heard the phrase “I feel like I was run over by a mack truck” ~ said mostly in response to life’s little to medium bumps in the road. Ten years ago Katie McKenna was literally run over by an 18 wheel truck. She lived to tell the tale and wrote a “brave and funny memoir” about it ~ How To Get Run Over By A Truck. The accident not only changed her life. It transformed her life. From Old Katie to New Katie ~ it marked the beginning of her journey to fall back in love with living. “Trauma can define you or redefine you,” Katie says. “My spirit is strong and continuing to grow.”


Meet This Episode's Guest

 

Katie McKenna

 

Katie McKenna is a professional fund-raiser, life coach, writer and motivational speaker living in Brooklyn. She has given talks at high schools, universities, hospitals, medical schools and corporations across the country. She runs a blog called Small Bites and Little Victories and is an expert on the best date spots in New York City. How to Get Run Over by a Truck is her first book.

 

Find out more about Katie on her website!

Order a copy of Katie's book: How to Get Run Over by a Truck here!

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“Connecting Makes My Heart Sing:” A Conversation with the Visionary Laurie Meadoff

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Laurie Meadoff envisions a world without Barriers and Prejudices. From the beginning she was drawn to the power of the arts ~ giving form to feeling, understanding a viewpoint, a story, by walking the shoes, by being that person. She observed how people put down preconceived notions and ideas when they got into a creative space together. Creativity moves us across borders, around barriers, through prejudices ~ “Humanity walks in the room and things shift” ~ Laurie believes in the ‘infinite possibilities’ and her work inspires us with its call to move into Action.


Meet This Episode's Guest

 
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Laurie was Executive Producer and content developer for The American Grandparents Association producing a 13 part PBS series called Feel Grand with Jane Seymour focusing on health and well being. She also produced a web series with Deepak Chopra called Timeless You. Additionally, Laurie was nominated for an Emmy in 2016 as an Executive Producer for The World Cup of Hip Hop, a groundbreaking online global music competition
which was nominated in the ‘Original Interactive Programming’ category. Laurie also consulted for Playing Forward, a Tech company producing interactive and social emotional learning content for kids' entertainment and she helped launch The Vroom. Laurie Inc. and Team makes vital connections for businesses and community engagement strategies.

Laurie served as CEO of Cancer Schmancer, a groundbreaking women’s Health Advocacy organization founded by actress Fran Drescher. Laurie’s innovative work on behalf of women included the creation of Trash Cancer home parties produced by Humana focused on prevention, which reached over 28,000 people. Laurie also worked with her team to create Fran Vans, which screened women in need in both NYC and LA.

Laurie consulted for The Goldie Hawn Foundation with strategic planning for the launch of their social emotional learning program, MindUP. There, Laurie assembled the organization’s board, designed the marketing strategy, and produced a major fundraiser in New York City that resulted in palpable success for the Foundation.

Laurie Meadoff

Laurie Meadoff is CEO of Laurie Inc. and Team, a company designed to innovate connect and activate brands and media from around the world. With extensive experience in executive production, resourceful collaboration, and strategic planning, Laurie masterfully uses her vast network to build bridges and devise projects with significant and resounding societal influence.

Recently Laurie launched Authentik Inc with partners Tony
Krantz and Derrick Ashong. Authentik Inc is an innovation firm based out of NY and LA. Authentik Inc helps top brands stay culturally and socially relevant for the next generation. The team of world-class producers, change agents and millennials work with businesses to revolutionize meaning, message and impact.
 

As CEO of Chat Ventures, she executive produced programming for Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, ABC, HBO Family, MTV and VH1 and a host of international broadcasters. In addition to overseeing creative and strategic vision for the company, Laurie then formulated Chat the Planet, a global dialogue initiative committed to using media and online dialogue tools as a means of breaking down barriers reaching 350 million homes worldwide. As a part of this endeavor, Laurie co-created and executive produced the Webby award-winning series Hometown
Baghdad, which reached three million web viewers in the first week and aired on The Sundance Channel and National Geographic International in long form. With experience filming in South Africa, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Australia, and Jordan, Laurie’s ability to imaginatively and insightfully capture a diverse range of subjects is exemplified. Laurie has spoken globally and was a part of Cultural Diplomacy panels’ for the Brookings Institute in Doha for three years along with speaking in engagements in Hong Kong and India.

Consulting for the Dali Lama’s Connection for Change event, Laurie developed and produced Dinner Dialogues
as a grass roots engagement tool for people to host salons targeted on the theme of wellness. She also helped
produce major events for Deepak Chopra’s Alliance for the New Humanity for several years bringing the world’s
top leaders together for shared dialogue. Also, as a consultant for The Harold P Freeman Institute she was
essential in furthering the mission of Patient Navigation through partnerships with Accenture Strive and other
corporate and grass roots partnerships.

Laurie is the Founder and President Emeritus of The CityKids Foundation. Founded in 1985, The CityKids Foundation has worked to engage and motivate young people from diverse demographics to positively impact their lives, their communities and the world using their voices. 

From Comparison to Inspiration: Curating an Anti-Anxiety Environment with Liz Miles

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“Be in control of social media. Curate your social media life. Change it from comparison and competition to inspiration and challenge.” This is just one of the many valuable suggestions to come out of Susan’s conversation with Liz Miles, a 26 year old “millenial” navigating her life in NYC. Incredibly bright and articulate, Liz talks about her beginning days as an 18 year old college student with anxiety who needed help. She got that help (listen in to hear how) and is now traveling with a tool box full of various practices, ideas, exercises and support. Find out what’s in Liz’s tool box and see what speaks to you!!


Meet This Episode's Guest

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ELIZABETH MiLES

 

As the Director of Australia and New Zealand at the International WELL Building Institute, Liz provides technical resources to WELL projects and WELL Accredited Professionals in Australia and New Zealand, leads the regional expansion of WELL and supports the internationalization of the WELL Building Standard.

Prior to joining the IWBI, Liz was with Delos as a Director on the Solutions team, where she provided consulting to project teams in pursuit of WELL Certification. At Delos, Liz also founded and chaired the Workplace Wellness Committee, where she led the development and implementation of various internal wellness initiatives. Liz's professional background spans both the non-profit and real estate sector, including program evaluation and grant research for an international health and human rights organization, the Heartland Alliance, fundraising and development for Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders, and property management for residential and commercial properties in the U.S..

Among the first to be accredited as a WELL Accredited Professional and having served as the consultant on several of the first WELL projects in the world, Liz brings extensive knowledge and experience in the integration of wellness in the built-environment, and more specifically, expertise in the WELL Building Standard. Liz is also a WELL Faculty, LEED Green Associate, a licensed New York Real Estate Salesperson, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a minor in French from New York University.

Compassionate Care: The Happiness in Giving Service With Jessica MacLeod

Jessica MacLeod, PhD, is the nurse practitioner who takes us inside the world we see in the documentary Invisible Patients ~ a film born out of her years tending to the elderly and gravely ill, people who are housebound and falling through the cracks of our healthcare system.  

Jessica talks with Susan about her personal burnout from  being on the front lines, the obstacles in our culture and in our health-care system that neglect the people who need health care the most, and how the idea of “teamwork” within the hierarchical structure of our medical system is slow in coming.

The five years in service was a steep learning curve for Jessica; joyous, eye opening, and at times overwhelming. She learned about her own limits, the need to balance work/life, and how to mediate the guilt of leaving her co-workers and patients by turning it into advocacy for better care for the marginal in our society.


Meet This Episode's Guest

Jessica MacLeod

Jessica MacLeod received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Fairfield University in Fairfield, CT in 1996. She went on to receive a Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner (2003) and a PhD in Nursing Science (2009) from Indiana University in Indianapolis, IN.

Her nursing career includes bedside nursing on a renal – telemetry unit at a large teaching hospital in Connecticut, a staff nurse at a nursing home for patients with dementia in Grantham, England, and a college health nurse.

As a nurse practitioner she has worked in family practice and a home based primary care practice.

She lives in Evansville, Indiana with her husband James, daughter Eilidh, and sons Calum and Gavin.

 

Visit the Invisible Patients website for more information about the film!

 
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I really just want the audience to see the people I see – how they live, what challenges they face in terms of health, economics, addiction, lack of education. I just want people to know that these invisible patients are here, among us – they’re in our communities, and we need to do more to take care of them.
— Jessica Macleod, Nurse Practitioner, THE INVISIBLE PATIENTS
 

Speaking the Language of Joy with Beate Sigriddaughter

Beate Sigriddaughter is a poet, a writer across genres, a ballroom dancer and someone who makes the effort to “put poetry into practice” on a daily basis. She is an encourager, celebrator and facilitator of other women’s voices through her blog, Writing in a Women’s Voice. She grew up in Nurnberg, Germany reading fairy tales and playing in WWII ruins, learning to read at the age of 6, when she “disappeared” into books.

Her mother (who she honours with her last name) was a “trapped bird” in the conventions of her time, but nevertheless made freedom possible for Beate, encouraging her to go to America at 16 as an exchange student.

Beate recognizes her own daily struggle between gratitude and dissatisfaction, and efforts to create a language of joy that brings beauty to the world, helping us rise above our habitual  language of criticism and negativity. She writes “to make real what is most important” ~ joy, love, gratitude. “Poetry is action,” she says, “to take the most sacred pieces of my soul into practice,” and, she adds with a laugh, “to make peace sexy and exciting!!” Yes! Why not?


Meet This Episode's Guest

Beate Sigriddaughter

Beate grew up in Nürnberg, Germany, not far from the castle, reading fairy-tales and playing in World War II ruins. After graduating from a Lutheran girls high school, she studied at Georgetown University College of Arts and Sciences, which had until shortly before been a Catholic boys college. She graduated 10th in my class with a B.A. in English and Philosophy and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

While at Georgetown University she studied with poet Roland Flint, former poet laureate of Maryland, and befriended late science fiction writer Roger Zelazny and his family.

Beate has published short stories and poetry, several books of poems and novels, and some other not easily categorized books. Some of her publications were under former names, Beate Goldman and Beate Murray. Several of her published short stories were nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She won her first poetry prize in 1983 and the latest two poetry prizes in 2018, with a handful of other prizes in between. In 2017 Beate was named poet laureate of Silver City, a position she shares with co-poet laureate Jack Crocker.

Beate has also spent many years teaching ballroom dance and competing professionally in the American Rhythm division. She has taught ballroom dance at the Aurora Community College, Metro State College and The University of Northern Colorado, as well as privately at Have Dance Will Travel in Santa Fe, and at Booth’s Dancesport Ballroom in Denver, Colorado. 

She has facilitated one of several critique groups of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers for over two years, and was also a member of the International Women’s Writing Guild. From 2006 to 2009, Beate was the fiction editor of Moondance, a woman’s literary ezine. For a time she orchestrated the Glass Woman Prize to celebrate other women's voices, funding the prize with ten percent of her own income.

Beate also hosts a celebration of other women's voices to the blog Writing In A Woman's Voice where she posts poetry and prose written by women or in a woman's voice. 

 

See a full list of Beate's books here.

Find out more about Beate on her website!

 Photo by Cheryl Thornburg

Photo by Cheryl Thornburg

"Even if we are indeed all illusions, then let's make this the best and most beautiful and compassionate illusion possible." 

~Beate Sigriddaughter

Opening Creative Doors: The Joyful Terror of Writing with Laura Harrington

Laura Harrington is an award winning playwright, lyricist, librettist, and most recently a novelist. She chats with Susan about her creative process, the need for beginner’s mind, and her long career as a writer across many genres. She loves opening creative doors that terrify her ~ case in point ~ taking a playwriting course in college with the daunting challenge that everyone must read their work aloud! Going through that door changed her life.

Originally thinking she wanted to be a novelist, she discovered theater, an art form based on her passions of language, literature, words, dance, and music. Likewise, when she won the Kleban award at the age of fifty, she used it to say STOP! to her twenty-five years of working and collaborating in theatre, and decided to write a novel. She is now on her third. She values the joy and creative energy of being a beginner, “knowing too much can be a burden,” so she finds ways to stay curious and in an act of discovery with her writing ~ One of her secrets? She reads everything aloud. “Music is in everything I write,” she says, “My ear is smarter than my eye.”


Meet This Episode's Guest

Laura Harrington

Laura Harrington, award winning playwright, lyricist and librettist, winner of the 2008 Kleban Award for “most promising librettist in American Musical Theatre,” has written dozens of plays, musicals, operas and radio plays which have been produced in 28 states, Canada and Europe, in venues ranging from Off-Broadway to Houston Grand Opera to the Paris Cinemateque. Harrington has twice won both the Massachusetts Cultural Council Award in playwriting and the Clauder Competition for best new play in New England.  Additional awards include a Boston IRNE Award for Best New Play, a Bunting Institute Fellowship at Harvard/ Radcliffe, a Whiting Foundation Grant-in-Aid, the Joseph Kesselring Award for Drama, a New England Emmy, and a Quebec Cinemateque Award. Laura teaches playwriting at MIT where she was awarded the 2009 Levitan Prize for Excellence in Teaching.  She has also been a frequent guest artist at Tufts, Harvard, Wellesley, Skidmore, and the University of Iowa.  She was the 2014 Jack Kerouac Writer in Residence at UMASS Lowell.

A Catalog of Birds, her second novel, published by Europa in 2017, has been praised by The Washington Post, CONSEQUENCE literary magazine and others. Alice Bliss, (Penguin/ Viking) her first novel, widely acclaimed in print and online and a Boston Globe bestseller, won the 2012 Massachusetts Book Award in Fiction. Alice Bliss was published in Italy, Denmark and the UK, where it was a Richard and Judy Book Club Pick. In addition, Playwrights Horizons in NYC has commissioned Alice Bliss, the musical with composer Jenny Giering, librettist Karen Hartman and lyricist Adam Gwon. A workshop of the musical will take place in 2018 in NYC, with Mark Brokaw directing.

 

Find out more about Laura's work here: http://www.lauraharringtonbooks.com

Or click below to purchase on Amazon:

A Catalog of Birds

Alice Bliss

 

 
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Stripping Away Our Masks: Finding Our Common Humanity Through Film with Gabriele Schafer

Gabriele Schafer was born in Germany and from the age of eleven grew up in America. Being “different” at that age was painful; she didn’t fit in, wasn’t accepted by her peers, and longed to return to Germany - and then fate intervened. She was cast as Lady MacDuff in a reading of Macbeth in junior high school.

The warm encouragement she received put her on a life’s path toward acting; Yale Drama School and the co-founding (with her husband) of a socially engaged theatre company, Thieves Theatre (now International Culture Lab).

Through her many years of dedication to acting in film and theatre, her co-directing of ICL, and an immersion in Butoh (a Japanese Dance Form) her motivating force has always been “to communicate and transform by stripping away all the masks to find our common humanity; to leap into the radical acceptance of yourself and the world, to discover that you are enough, just as you are.”


Meet This Episode's Guest

 

Gabriele Schafer

Gabriele was born and raised in Germany, educated and trained in theater in the US.  She is an actor, producer and translator committed to political and social engagement for over 40 years. Since 1980, she has been co-artistic director with her husband Nick Fracaro of International Culture Lab, dedicated to providing opportunities for artists from across the world to explore contemporary issues through jointly created projects. She holds and MFA from the Yale School of Drama and a BA in Criminal Justice from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

 

Find out more about Gabriele from her website: gabrieleschafer.com

And don't forget to check out her theatre company: intlculturelab.org


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“The world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self-awareness.”

~ Annie in “Bull Durham”

Heal Ourselves, Heal others: Transforming Consciousness Through Filmmaking with Gretl Claggett

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Like all good story tellers, actor/poet Gretl Claggett came into filmmaking through her own intriguing narrative. Her main character in a novel she had written had a backstory of childhood sexual abuse. The condition for publishing the novel was to excise that backstory. She said “No.”

After being shut down, she courageously took that story of abuse - which was her own - and made the short film Happy Hour: a beautiful artful film which helps people see  the conscious and unconscious complicity inherent in childhood sexual abuse.

Gretl’s abuse began when she was very young and continued until she was 16, when she finally told her mother. She talks with Susan about how acting saved her life - allowing her to become other people, escape her own reality - and her healing journey through the deep labyrinth of recovery - the difficult work of peeling back the layers of rage and shame, at the perpetrator, her parents and herself.

Gretl’s mission is “to create powerful stories through the medium of film and other innovative technologies that entertain and transform consciousness.” She is well on her way!


Meet This Episode's Guest

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Gretl Claggett

GRETL CLAGGETT (Writer/Creative Director/Filmmaker) hails from Hannibal, Missouri, also Mark Twain’s boyhood home. Her first film Happy Hour — narrated by Julianne Moore — is based on a poem from her book, MONSOON SOLO: Voices Once Submerged (WordTech, 2012).


Happy Hour screened as an official selection at 17 festivals, winning several awards and honors, and garnering praise from Oscar-winning Writer/Director Robert Benton: “Happy Hour is a lush, elegiac film about an extremely difficult subject and Ms. Claggett handles it masterfully.”


The film is now available on iTunes and Amazon in association with a nonprofit campaign: all download proceeds go to a small group of nonprofits whose focus is treating and preventing sexual abuse and promoting healthy relationships.


Gretl wrote and directed Sony's first-ever 4K 360° cinematic music video, which premiered at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show and was featured in Sony’s activation at SXSW. As an actress, she performed at many New York theaters — such as Playwrights Horizons, Circle in the Square, Soho Rep, La MaMa and HERE — and at many regional theaters, including Actors
Theater of Louisville. She holds MFAs in Poetry, Creative Nonfiction and Acting, and is currently casting her next film, STORMCHASER, plus writing her first feature-length script.


When not developing her own projects, Gretl leads award-winning creative on large events, such as Entertainment Weekly’s inaugural festival, PopFest (2016, Downtown LA), and IBM’s Amplify Conference on Watson Cognitive Marketing (2017, Las Vegas). One of Gretl’s specialties is merging live performance with state-of- the-art multimedia.


Gretl is passionate about using innovative technologies to organically tell visceral stories that
entertain and transform.

A Lionheart of Passion: Claude Kerven on Filmmaking

Claude Kerven is a filmmaker, screenwriter, director and teacher of filmmaking. He worked at his university’s radio station and its TV station because it was fun! - and only by happenstance discovered that there was such a thing as a degree in filmmaking - a degree he then got from NYU graduate school. He had much early success; a short film which received a student Academy Award got him an agent, followed by a stint of making short films for SNL.  A turn through Hollywood as a young director brought disappointment, a turn into teaching and parenting brought love. After years of putting filmmaking to the side, he is rediscovering the energy and joy in the creative process by challenging himself with a new genre, a musical! He has sage words of advice for anyone thinking about entering the world of filmmaking as a career. “If you don’t feel you have to do it, it may not be the right thing for you,” he says. “Having creativity is not enough. Being talented is not enough. A huge lionheart of passion and an endless supply of perseverance is needed to survive.”


Meet This Episode's Guest

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Claude Kerven

Claude Kervens’s career began with the debut of his short film, “Candy Store,” which won an Academy Award for Best Dramatic Student Film. In 1982, he directed a series of Afterschool Specials for ABC-TV, including the Emmy Award winning “Starstruck” and the Director’s Guild of America nominated “High School Narc.” Kerven also directed over 25 short films for Saturday Night Live, including the much celebrated “Synchronized Swimmers.” His most recent directorial work, “They Never Found Her,” starred Madmen’s Elisabeth Moss and Fargo’s Peter Storemare. In 1990, Kerven co-authored “Mortal Thoughts,” for Columbia Pictures, starring Bruce Willis, Harvey Keitel and Demi Moore.

Claude's Favorite Movie Quotes

Since I love comedies most of all, here are a few quotes from one of my absolute favorites, “The Sunshine Boys,” written by Neal Simon.

If you’re unfamiliar with the movie, Al Lewis (George Burns) and Willy Clark (Walter Matthau) play a pair of feuding vaudeville comedians (Lewis and Clark, naturally) who performed together for 47 years before finally calling it quits. A network genius then has the brilliant idea of reuniting the duo for a TV special about the history of comedy.

Here are a few of the most memorable lines. There are so many more.

 

Al Lewis: Oh, that Sol Burton. He died?

Willie Clark: Last week.

Al Lewis: Where?

Willie Clark: In Variety.

 

Ben Clark (Willie’s nephew): You’re not supposed to eat pickles. It’s high sodium.

Willy Clark: I spit out the sodium.

 

Ben Clark: I’m getting chest pains. You give me chest pains!

Willy Clark: It’s my fault you get excited?

Ben Clark: Yes! I only get chest pains on Wednesdays!

Willy Clark: So come Tuesdays.

Everything is Deeply OK: Midlife Awakening! with Jett Psaris

Before she wrote her book, Taking the Midlife Leap, Jett Psaris went through her own midlife awakening, where she experienced the depression of her soul’s withdrawing of its energies from the aims and appetites of first adult life. Fifteen years later, after a conscious investigation of her own and her clients’ midlife journeys, she has an understanding of the universal patterns inherent in this crucial transformation. She acknowledges it can be a scary passage, grappling with the profound question - “A part of us has to die to transform and a part of us dies if we don’t. Which part will prevail - what has been or what will be?” Midlife presents us with the paradox of the chrysalis ~ to the caterpillar it is a death chamber ~  to the butterfly it is a birth chamber. In a culture that favors youth and youthful pursuits we are not encouraged to be accepting of death, to embrace slowing down, to sink into silence, to be in solitude. Yet midlife awakening, aka The Midlife Leap, asks us to do just that ~ to enter ‘the hermit stage’ ~  to withdraw a bit, to detach, to retreat from the more superficial, noisier part of life. “The journey becomes one of mystery, not mastery” - a discovery that “Everything is deeply ok.” This is the spiritual awakening available to us in midlife.


Meet This Episode's Guest

 Photo courtesy of www.jettpsaris.com

Photo courtesy of www.jettpsaris.com

Find out more from Jett's website

or follow her on Facebook

Jett Psaris

Jett Psaris’ work is about helping others transform psychologically, deepen spiritually, and cultivate soulfulness in every aspect of life.

She is the co-author of Undefended Love, a Nautilus Award finalist for its “distinguished contribution to conscious living and positive change;” Undefended Love has enjoyed a 5 star rating on Amazon.com for most of the past 17 years.

She has also authored a popular online course about the transformative stages of midlife entitled Taking the Midlife Leap, One Step at a Time. Most recently, Jett has published Hidden Blessings: Midlife Crisis as a Spiritual Awakening, a book that Patricia Holt, former book critic with the San Francisco Chronicle, writes is the “best book on midlife” she’s ever reviewed.