Displaying episodes 1 - 30 of 53 in total

Isaac Bowen: The Space of Aliveness

To close out this season, we’re shaking things up a bit. Writer and producer Rebekah Pahl is interviewing Isaac, and they discuss the starting point of identity, collaboration, evaluating old narratives, feeling for the space of aliveness, and Isaac’s musings on what’s going on here with this whole experiment of existence. As a Wonderer and the CEO of Lightward, Isaac gives careful attention and presence to the evolution of his own identity, as well as Lightward’s—and it’s a treat to hear him unpack why identity is a resonating theme in his life. As this iteration of Empowered Human Academy comes to a close, this conversation is both a fitting bookend and thoughtful framework for the art and exploration to come. There’s so much light ahead! With deep, deep gratitude and joy for what this chapter has meant to us, we give you our very last episode of season 1.

Abe Lopez: The Edge of Newness

To close out season 1, we’re doing something a little different for our final two episodes. Writer and producer Rebekah Pahl is interviewing Abe this week, and then Isaac in the episode to follow. We’ll be reflecting on what this past season of conversations has meant to our own aliveness—and what we’re feeling drawn toward next. Abe and Rebekah discuss the origins of the podcast, what it’s felt like for Abe to uncover a new level of confidence, the liminal space before you know what’s next, developing sustainable patterns for life as an entrepreneur, and the path back to the heart. Consider this conversation a Polaroid of what Abe’s been processing lately— the way he describes the edge of newness that’s coming up for him is inspiring and we hope it might ignite your own curiosity of where life is inviting you, too.

Rebecca Fralick: Stepping Into Integrity

Rebecca Fralick is a chef and the owner of Mara’s Cafe based in Wisconsin. She’s a powerhouse business owner and is crystal clear about her values—she’s only interested in opportunities that deeply align with her intuition. Alongside her business endeavors, she’s also a mom, wife, and lover of plants, sunshine, good coffee, and tacos. Rebecca thinks in flavor profiles and makes decisions with the inner compass of integrity. She’s made it her mission for her insides to match her outsides—and it’s working. She’s only growing more unstoppable, the more she lives what she knows. Throughout this conversation we discuss moving beyond fundamentalism, getting clear about your values, how her business outlived the fail-date she had in mind, the difference between hope that’s native and hope that’s handed, listening to your gut, and surviving domestic violence. Despite the darkness Rebecca’s encountered in her past, the native and very real hope inside her is shining brighter than ever.

Jim Jacoby: Live Your Truth & Let The World Reorganize

During the first chapter of his career, Jim Jacoby built a successful, privately-owned agency pioneering user-centered design in finance, healthcare, tech, and manufacturing. Then, at the peak of his success, he took a step back and commissioned a world-renowned designer to build a revolutionary motorcycle. Jim studied the methods and behaviors behind the process, then codified his findings into a system that could be applied in any industry—giving a modern, 21st century twist to the idea of Craftsmanship. Jim then reimagined a user-centered design firm from the ground up, launched an executive coaching program, and established a fine-dining venue. We first met Jim a few years ago at a Sofar Sounds show in Chicago. He and his partner Molly were hosting the concert, and their home environment immediately drew us in. And the more we’ve come to know Jim, the resonance has only grown. Not only has he moved through some courageous shifts in his career and personal life, but he’s also mined some profound insights along the way. Throughout this conversation we discuss the difference between strength and courage, honoring your truth, and finding patience in the process. Jim’s life is a powerful example of the joy that’s waiting for us all on the other side of honoring one’s truth. We loved this hour with Jim and hope it sparks something in you, too.

Ian Day: Showing Up As You Are

Today’s guest is someone who’s part of our daily life—our dear friend, and Lightward’s Wellness Advisor, Ian Day. We’ve known Ian for almost five years now and we’re so grateful to be doing life alongside him. Ian’s a whimsical blend of wellness knowledge and good-hearted fun—and as you’ll soon hear for yourself, the path to self-acceptance hasn’t been an easy one. He’s done the soul-work of getting quiet inside to discover who he is and to find his grounding in a self-love that’s not up for debate—and he shares that story with us here. Throughout this conversation we discuss engaging life with playfulness, shedding self-consciousness, embracing imperfection, showing up as you are, and his journey to becoming sober. We recorded this conversation a few days before Ian’s 30th birthday, so it felt really significant to enter into that reflective space with him—reflecting on not only how far he’s come, but also the aliveness in how he’s continuing to grow. We love Ian so much and are thrilled for you to hear his open, radiant, and generous heart—as well as some wellness tips sprinkled in along the way.

Thorin Decatur: Learning Is A Constant State

Today’s guest is our dear friend Thorin Decatur— who also happens to be our barber. Whether through his profession or as a present father to his kids, Thorin stays energized by constantly learning. While the overarching societal trend tells us to stop exploring as we grow older, Thorin is actively choosing to stay open by way of compassion and curiosity. He’s a refreshing example of how the expansiveness of allowing ourselves to feel everything far outweighs the safety of remaining in old patterns that don’t fit anymore. Throughout this conversation we discuss breaking patterns of pessimism, creating your own reality, learning what your body needs, setting small goals, fatherhood, compassion as a path to what’s possible, and staying focused on what’s right in front of you. Thorin’s an expansive soul and is bringing so much good to the world simply by being himself. His passion for learning is contagious and it felt really special to capture some of his essence here.

Amanda Ewing: The Journey Is The Dream

Amanda Ewing is a Nashville-based luthier (violin-maker)—and is the first Black female luthier on record. She’s been apprenticing with her teacher since 2018, honing the intricacies of her craft—and there are many of them! On average, it takes about 250 hours and about 56 parts to make a violin. Amanda’s not only keeping a highly-detailed art form alive—she’s also changing the trajectory of a field that’s been strategically exclusive to white males for 500 years. Throughout this conversation we discuss pursuing joy as a pathway to purpose, making your own space for what you want to do in the world, staying grounded in the midst of what you can’t control, using your platform for representation, existing in a space of allowance, and co-creating with your life. Amanda holds a powerfully expansive vision for creating more inclusive tables for people who've been historically excluded. We're incredibly energized by her light—and we're thrilled for you to be, too.

Mladen Rangelov: Creating An Environment of Care

Mladen Rangelov is a product leader and team builder at Shopify, and he self-describes as a life-learner who’s energized by building environments in which teams can thrive. Born in what was then Yugoslavia, and growing up in the middle of a war—Mladen holds a unique perspective on making the most of being alive and leaning into vulnerable and tough conversations, from a place of empathy and positive intent. Throughout this conversation we discuss prioritizing self-care in a leadership role, creating an environment for healthy feedback and debate, reframing deadlines, discerning when to be assertive and when to allow, holding non-judgmental space for differing motivations, leadership as unlocking the potential in others, and care as mutual growth. In the tech space where burnout and turnover rates have been high, Mladen is forging a thoughtful path toward thriving and longevity. Whatever line of work you’re in, there’s a lot here that can be applied to all of life—so we’re thrilled to share this conversation with you.

Yumin Wong: You Learn As Long As You Live

Yumin Wong was born and raised in Singapore, then moved to the U.S. for college—and is now a staff software engineer at GitHub. She’s also the mother of a two-year old and is expecting baby #2 in just a few weeks. Yumin integrates her love for these co-existing parts of herself by exploring the parallels between parenting and engineering—or as she calls it, “parengineering”. Throughout this conversation we discuss growing into confidence, compartmentalizing your work life while still being genuine, learning flexibility, balancing career and parenting, and the lineage of powerful women that she comes from. As you’ll hear in the conversation, Yumin is right on the cusp of a move back to Singapore, so it felt very special to get this snapshot of all the feels surrounding that decision and hear how her mother’s boldness has shaped her into the powerful woman she is today.

Christian Picciolini: Rebuilding With Universal Glue

Christian Picciolini is an award-winning television producer, public speaker, author, peace advocate, and former violent extremist. After leaving the white-supremacist skinhead movement he was part of during the 1980s and 90s, Christian began the process of making amends and creating a new life. He went on to receive a degree in international relations from DePaul University and launched Goldmill Group, a counter-extremism consulting and digital media firm. In 2016, he won an Emmy for producing an anti-hate advertising campaign aimed at helping people disengage from extremism and today he leads the Free Radicals Project, a global extremism prevention network. Since leaving the white-power movement, Christian has helped hundreds of individuals leave hate behind as well. Throughout this conversation we discuss self-forgiveness, redemption, combating misinformation, confronting racism, second chances, holding power accountable, and the universal glue that holds us all together.

Antonia Coffelt: In Lockstep With Serendipity

Today’s guest is the intuitive, the powerful, Antonia Coffelt. We first met Antonia in Chicago a few years ago—and the soul kindredness felt electric from the start. With a master’s in Communications from Northwestern University and a passion for human truth, Antonia engages her work as a host, creative director, and founder from a place of inner expansiveness. Through her practice as an experiential marketing and communications consultant, Antonia guides teams to successfully actualize their ideas. And as a C-suite adviser, thought-leader, interviewer, and market researcher, Antonia helps enable clients to actually feel the data and articulate their experiences through insightful, intuitive, and empathetic conversations. Antonia also shares her presence and perspective in her role as the Director of Engagement for UN Women Chicago. Throughout this conversation we discuss developing tools to navigate reality, discovering your purpose in the human ecosystem, finding play through adventure, spotting aligning intersections in your network, and building intuition within moments of neutrality. “Life in lockstep with serendipity” is the tagline of Antonia’s company, On A Personal Note, and that’s exactly what being in Antonia’s orbit feels like. Antonia is a heart-expander simply by being herself, and we’re so grateful for how she showed up in her full radiance here.

Jedidiah Jenkins: The Devaluation of Certainty

Jedidiah Jenkins is the New York Times bestselling author of two books, "To Shake The Sleeping Self"—which chronicles his bike trip from Oregon to Patagonia, and his newest release, "Like Streams To The Ocean", a collection of essays on ego, love, and the things that make us who we are. Throughout this conversation we discuss letting go of certainty, shifting belief systems, the journey of embracing his sexuality, writing as an exercise to understand the self, and what it means to live with both malleability and integrity. Jed’s brain beautifully oscillates from the personal to the collective—from topics like growing up gay in the church to the future of humanity. He has a gift for assigning language to things that feel scattered and complex until he gathers them into a clear-eyed, yet open-handed, cohesion. We really loved this hour with Jed and are stoked for you to hear it.

Melissa Urban: The Cycle of Truthfulness

The truth-teller and legend Melissa Urban is here, dropping her wisdom—so buckle up. Melissa is the co-founder, CEO, and spark behind the Whole30 program. She’s a six-time New York Times bestselling author, host of the podcast Do The Thing, and is also a prominent keynote speaker on social media and branding, health trends, and entrepreneurship. Melissa is a beacon of light in the world of wellness, and ranks #19 on Greatist’s Top 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness. Throughout this conversation we discuss living in your truth, the difference between intimate vs. personal, examining limiting stories, perception and manifestation, modeling the behavior you want your team to embrace, cultivating contentment in the pursuit, and building a life that lights you up. Melissa truly glows from the inside out—she’s using her platform in powerful ways and is a shining example of how living in your truth is ultimately the greatest gift we can give the world. There’s so much wisdom, truth, and gold in this conversation—we can’t wait for you to hear it.

Linnea Gits: For The Love of Process

Linnea Gits is the creative director at Uusi, a design studio based on the idea that life is worth the meaningful effort, and its reward is one of discovery. Both Linnea and her creative partner Peter have a love of traditional craftsmanship, material exploration, and a search for the essential beauty in everyday objects. We first came across Linnea’s work through a project titled “Materia Prima”—a tarot deck inspired by the periodic table and recently picked up by CB2. After two decades in Chicago, Linnea and Peter have relocated to a small 1890’s wood cabin in a remote part of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. From this remote sanctuary of quiet and respite, they have expansive conversations with nature that are reflected in their work. Throughout this conversation we discuss believing in yourself prior to external validation, fearlessness in creativity, managing expectations, outsourcing help, and cultivating patience in the midst of process. As you’ll soon hear for yourself, Linnea is committed to the slow build of creating more of what she wants to see in the world. Her love for process has led her to some exciting places like working with companies like Herman Miller, Design Within Reach, Chronicle Books, Sharpie, Prismacolor, and most recently, Louis Vitton. It was a gift learning from the way that Linnea sees, what keeps her inspired— and we’re honored that she so generously shared herself with us here.

Deborah Ann Baker: Keeping Hope Alive

Today’s guest is our Denver neighbor, friend, and the owner of Park Hill Yoga, Deborah Baker. As an Iyengar Yoga certified instructor with 30 years of experience, Deborah is sharing her passion for mindfulness and movement through her studio that she’s been running for 25 years now. Alongside her love for yoga, Deborah also has a love for language. She has her Masters in Linguistics, and is fluent in both German and Spanish—basically, Deborah has a love for life and is deeply in love with her own. This past year we’ve witnessed Deborah’s resilience, curiosity, and strength as she’s navigated some health concerns that have put her in touch with the magic of being alive in a whole new way. Throughout this conversation we discuss strength as curiosity, power in the face of powerlessness, the value of human connection, wiring vs. essence, and staying close to hope in the midst of fear and uncertainty. As Deborah’s been navigating a potentially life-threatening reality, she’s devoted her energy to cherishing the life she has right now, in this breath. She’s chosen a life-affirming perspective—one that she so generously shares with us here. We’re moved by Deborah’s passion for life and hope this conversation might be a portal to this wild miracle of aliveness that’s here for you, too.

David Malki !: Craft, Taste, & The Freedom To Make What You Like

David Malki ! is the cartoonist and creator behind Wondermark, the inventively playful and poignant comic that we’ve linked below—so do yourself a huge favor and check it out right after listening to the episode. In addition to his creative endeavors with Wondermark, David was also co-editor of the Machine of Death series of fiction anthologies and is presently the director of games development at Cut.com. Throughout this conversation we discuss developing artistic taste, finding your audience, interacting with feedback, cultivating patience in the midst of process, and deriving your style from your work. Having been at this Wondermark expression for almost 18 years now, David’s made it clear to the universe that he’s here to develop his craft for the long game. He has some insightful reflections on process and building a creative life that he was generous to share with us, and we can’t wait for you to hear them.

Orion Pahl: What Life's Always Been Doing

Today’s guest is someone who’s very dear to us—a frequent collaborator who’s filmed the anniversary videos that we make every year. We’ve shared some beautiful moments in some beautiful places over the years, and today’s episode feels like an extension of one of our many heart-expanding conversations—Joshua Tree, the Rocky Mountains, the California redwoods, and now here, with you. Orion Pahl identifies as an artist, space-holder, and healer. As a documentary filmmaker, Orion is currently exploring themes like cultural ideals, feelings, and rituals surrounding death. His most recent film, Bury Me At Taylor Hollow, won Best Tennessee Short at the Nashville Film Festival. Throughout this conversation we discuss the origin of identity, staying both grounded and adaptable in the midst of growth, and reframing grief as healing energy. In many ways, this hour with Orion is an exploration of consciousness waking up to itself. Consciousness in suspension, curiosity, and participatory evolution. Going off the grid to see what we might find—like exploring the back roads on your way home. Time with Orion is an expansive place to land, and we hope it might be an invitation to lean into your own becoming and growth.

Jennifer Detrich Smith: The Order of Balance

Jennifer Detrich Smith is in the business of making something beautiful. She’s both the mother of two as well as the owner of Birdseye Rule, a magical store located in the heart of Logan Square—and it’s one of our favorite shops in Chicago. We first met Jen at an Enneagram panel she hosted in her space and we’ve kept in touch and kept ordering things from her thoughtfully-curated collection ever since. As you’ll soon hear for yourself, Jen is an expansive soul who’s thought a lot about what she needs to feel centered and optimized so she can stay close to her own creativity. Throughout this conversation we discuss trusting your gut, what truth feels like, rebuilding confidence, defining success, and finding balance amidst a full life. There’s a freeing sense of fluidity in how Jen talks about what she knows—she radiates a rooted confidence but also holds a loose grip knowing that she’s continually evolving. She’s truly delightful and we really enjoyed this hour of exploring what she’s come to know so far.

Jake Nickell: Be An Artist

Jake Nickell is the CEO and founder of Threadless, the nexus of a diverse and expansive artist community that partners with those artists to promote and produce their art. In 2000, Threadless began as a t-shirt design company based in Chicago. Since then, Threadless has grown into a fully remote company with a marketplace of full apparel, accessories, and home decor powered by their artist community. In lifting up the creative expression of their artists, Threadless was an early innovator in the new digital economy, showing the world that business can support art, for the benefit of everyone involved. Today, Threadless hosts over 2 million users and continues to evolve— staying true to their mission of giving the creative minds of the world more opportunities to make and sell great art. Throughout this conversation we discuss flow, simplifying problems to find solutions, stepping back to re-establish your relationship to work, infusing your identity into what you’re making, and the differing energies of making and managing. Wherever you’re at in your own journey— just starting out, taking a step back, or feeling the growing pains of expansion, there’s so much gold here in this conversation and we’re stoked to share it with you.

Agnes Igoye: The Sky's Not Even The Limit

Today’s guest is the effervescent, resilient, and powerful Agnes Igoye. Agnes is Uganda’s Deputy National Coordinator for the prevention of human trafficking and is a Labour Migration Expert at the Intergovernmental Authority on Development. She’s also a Senior New Voices Fellow at the Aspen Institute and teaches an online child protection course at Harvard University. Agnes has both lived through tremendous hardship and lives with contagious joy. At age 14, Agnes fled from the Lord’s Resistance Army when they raided her village. After a narrow escape, she endured the long journey that eventually led her to a camp for internally displaced people. Agnes’s past has carved a deep empathy and determination inside her, which she’s used as fuel for her impressive career path. Agnes was a Fulbright Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow at the University of Minnesota specializing in Human Trafficking Prevention & Policy, and she studied forced migration at the University of Oxford. She also has her master’s in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. Throughout this conversation we discuss nurturing the good in others, how our environments shape us, and finding purpose amidst challenges. Through her work as a mentor at the Clinton Global Initiative, Agnes is actively sharing her wisdom with the next generation and we’re honored she said yes to sharing her story here.

Taryn Van Brennan: Choosing How You Want To Survive

If you follow @abelopez on Instagram, you’ve probably seen me post about my #abeminus100 journey. Four years ago, I set a goal to lose 100 pounds, and it set me on a path that has changed my life forever. And in any journey that involves venturing beyond what you’ve known, you’ll meet guides along the way. Today we’re in conversation with one of my guides, Taryn Van Brennan, the registered dietician I’ve worked with for over three years and who has supported me as I’ve shifted into a new way of being in my body. Rather than prescribing a quick fix to shed pounds, Taryn creates space for people to learn how to take control of their own health and wellness by teaching them the skills to properly fuel and trust their bodies for the long game. Throughout this conversation we explore slowing down, optimizing your survival with food and nutrition, behavioral change, burnout, and sustainability. One of the many reasons why Taryn’s approach is so transformative is because of her emphasis on incremental change. She’s taught me how to celebrate the small wins as new patterns take root over time. We’re so thrilled to share Taryn’s expertise with you here—the way she’s using her knowledge to empower others is truly a gift.

April Gustafson: Opening Doors To Better Worlds

April Gustafson is a data engineer at Spotify and is opening doors to better worlds through math and science. After working as a science teacher for both middle and high school students, April went to grad school for computer science and has kept the throughline of her purpose clear even as she’s pivoted careers. Fueled by the desire to make science accessible to those who have typically been shut out of the equation, April is holding the door open for a more diverse range of perspectives. Throughout this conversation we explore redefining your purpose, grounding your identity in spiritual reality, examining false narratives, and daring yourself to start something new. As you’ll soon hear for yourself, April has a big heart and with it she’s dreaming up better worlds—for both herself and others. We’re grateful for how April shared herself with us here and hope this conversation might spark some curiosity about how your own unique path might be opening up doors for those coming up behind you, too.

Trace Le: The Tension Is A Signal I’m Doing It Right

Today we’re diving into all the feelings with our guest—the artist, writer, and singer known as Trace. Based in LA, Trace has been releasing songs since 2016 when she brought her first project, the "Low" EP, to life through a Kickstarter campaign. "Low" garnered over 20 million streams and opened the door to her first record deal with Ultra Records. Now shifting into releasing music independently, Trace continues to evolve with each new release, lending her voice to raise awareness for anxiety in the music industry and to stop Asian hate. She’s been featured in Refinery 29, Teen Vogue, NYLON, Forbes, and has over 55 million streams across her catalog. She has a brand new song out called “Sucker Punch” that we’ve linked in the show notes— so go listen as soon as you finish this episode. Throughout this conversation we discuss Asian-American identity, the relationship between anxiety and control, staying soft alongside ambition, and creating art from a place of love and calm. We really loved getting to learn from Trace’s insights and wisdom—both just as beautiful and resonant as the music she creates.

Jing Gao: Coming Back To Self

Jing Gao is the founder and CEO of Fly By Jing, a modern Asian food brand that’s on a mission to bring diversity to the natural food space. After being featured in the New York Times right as quarantine began last year, Fly By Jing skyrocketed and has been growing at a rapid pace—and it’s the kind of growth that feels so grounded that we couldn’t help but feel curious about the soul behind the magic. And that’s just what this conversation is: an exploration of the relationship between soul and its expression. Throughout this conversation we discuss listening for inner truth and alignment, Jing’s journey of reclaiming her birth name, carving out solitary time for deep work, and the role of intuition in making business decisions. We talk Enneagram, Human Design, spiritual guides, and what it’s like to embody a public-facing role as an introvert. There’s nothing more magnetic than a human who’s truly claiming all of who they are, and Jing is an inspiring example of someone who’s doing that sacred work. We truly loved this conversation and hope you’ll find some resonance here, too.

Myeashea Alexander: Being Ready For It

Today’s guest is Creative and Science Communicator, Myeashea Alexander. Abe first met Myeashea a few years ago through his work with the Clinton Foundation and has been consistently inspired by her power, perspective, and personhood ever since. Currently based in New York, Myeashea manages the Clinton Global Initiative University Commitment Mentor program. She holds a Bachelor’s in Culture & Media from The New School and a Master’s in Anthropology. Throughout this conversation we discuss psychological safety, building communities where you feel supported and believed in, the dynamic between individual empowerment and systemic structures that stand in the way, and the strength in vulnerability. We’re so grateful for Myeashea’s generosity and transparency in sharing her experience as a Black woman navigating systemic racism in the workplace—an injustice that won’t change unless we face it and talk about it head-on. Myeashea is truly incredible and we were honored she said “yes” to this conversation.

Frances Macleod: Giving Yourself Permission

Today’s guest is an immensely talented visual artist and designer, and our friend, Frances Macleod. Both dynamic and delightful, Frances is an artist who’s continually following her curiosity—and it’s taken her to some rad places so far. With a background in art direction and graphic design, Frances has worked with a wide range of brands and agencies including Barnes & Noble, Coors Light, Chipotle, and even spent time being the designer in residence for Facebook New York’s Analog Research Lab where she worked on projects exploring pattern, process, and paying attention. In 2019, Frances published her first book, "You’ve Totally Got This". Throughout this conversation we discuss practicing patience in the creative process, the value in surrounding yourself with beauty, giving yourself permission to follow your curiosity, and cultivating confidence in your work. As humans who are deeply interested in the creative process ourselves, getting to hear more about Frances’s relationship to her own process was truly enriching—we really enjoyed this conversation and think you’ll dig it, too.

Rebekah Pahl: Life Wants To Be Lived

Today’s guest is our dear friend and writer for the Lightward team, Rebekah Pahl. Rebekah typically writes these intros, but we’re taking over this week so she can get the Full Guest Treatment. We’ve known Rebekah for almost eight years now—our paths first crossed while we were living in California, and we’ve witnessed up close her artistic evolution as a songwriter, musician, and writer. We wrote our wedding vows to her song “Canyons” and have hosted a couple of her living room concerts over the years. This friendship just keeps on growing as she’s now a writer on our team—it’s as if the universe was like, “I’m very serious about your souls hanging out with each other in this life.” We’re having a lot of fun, and I (Isaac) personally feel lucky as hell to see a good friend explore and flex her ability, up close, and in so many ways. Throughout this conversation we discuss forging a creative path with minimal reference points, existing in uncertainty, the dance between action and surrender, finding comfort in mystery when the world feels heavy, and what our souls came here to do. We really loved getting this window into Rebekah’s mind, and can’t wait to keep contemplating the mysteries of the universe over a glass of wine with her once it’s safe to do so.

Rich Holton: Listening Your Way Into Self-Discovery

Today’s guest is our dear friend Rich Holton, who self-describes first and foremost as a listener. As an actor, he harnesses that ability of listening to the world around him—staying close to what life brings to the surface. Based in Chicago, Rich has appeared on Chicago PD and renowned theatres like Steppenwolf, Goodman, and Second City. Rich was our personal trainer for two years while we were living in Chicago, so we got to experience his resilience and dedication to his craft up close. That inner fire and drive he carries is one of the many reasons why we wanted to have him on the podcast. Throughout this conversation we discuss the value of listening, knowing your why, viewing the world as a benevolent place, the message underneath the fear, and working out as a way of choosing bravery when you feel small. There’s a special kind of energy that comes from staying open to believing that the universe is benevolent even as you’re figuring yourself out, and Rich embodies that. We really loved this conversation and we’re stoked to share it with you.

Jonny Mendez & Aimée Mazzenga: Let's Make This Special

In celebration of our 25th episode, we’re trying something new this week—interviewing our first couple! We invited two of our dearest friends, Jonny Mendez and Aimée Mazzenga, for one intimate and lively conversation. Jonny and Aimée have been together for nine years and married for almost five. As artists, they’re both extremely talented in their creative fields. Aimée’s an interior photographer, and Jonny a musician. (Fun fact: Jonny composed the intro music you hear at the beginning of this podcast). Throughout this conversation we explore communication in marriage and partnership, the value of therapy, self-awareness, family of origin, advocating for your inner child, the importance of play, and taking the time to make moments special. We’re huge fans of Jonny and Aimée as individuals as well as the energy they create together. Their relationship is a reminder of what’s possible in partnership when you’re committed to keep shedding unhelpful narratives in order to keep growing into your truest self. This conversation was a lot of fun and we’re excited to share it with you.

Chloe Shovein: Standing In Your Magic

Chloe Shovein is a women’s health coach who thoughtfully supports her clients to operate from self-love and confidence, rather than guilt and shame. With a background in sociology, Chloe brings an understanding of systems and advocates for a holistic wellness approach built to last. Chloe is a bright and multi-faceted light in the realm of wellness, focusing on empowering her clients to author their own goals so they’re rooted in what they want, rather than in the harmful standards propagated by diet culture. Throughout this conversation we discuss behavioral change, vulnerability, pursuing health from a place of self-love rather than self-hate, and the shift from external validation to internal acceptance. We also explore the benefits of outsourcing the things that don’t light you up so you can optimize your energy for what does. Chloe is an inspiring example of what it means to stand in your magic, and how living from a deep, true place of confidence invites others to do the same. We really enjoyed this conversation and are excited to share it with you.

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