My guest this past week on KOWS Wise Woman Storytime was Monique Lessan, known in some circles as the female James Bond. Monique is a licensed private investigator who specializes in the recovery of missing children and adults.
Her path to investigation crystalized for her when she successfully escaped after being kidnapped at the age of 19.Understanding first hand the dire consequences of the loss of personal power and the subjugation to cruel and abusive incarceration and servitude, Monique dedicates her life to the recovery of missing children and to the education and advocacy of a safer world for children and adults alike.
Monique Lessan not only searches for those who are missing, Monique is a fierce advocate and activist speaking out about crimes of humanity- informing and educating; exposing those responsible and empowering the disempowered. She is the voice of the voiceless……..
This is her story and the story of too many children and adults around the world……….
Attaining happiness and the search for joy in our lives has become something of a cultural obsession or at least a dominant attitude requirement in certain circles.Retreats, religious and spiritual practices, choosing country vs. city living, yoga and the quest for a guru are some avenues for seekers.
Step into any bookstore and you will be bombarded with every conceivable kind of book about bringing happiness and joy into your life. Amazon lists 22,368 titles on joyand 18,465 book options for happiness.
Today you can listen to or read personal stories, scientific studies, newspaper and magazine articles all espousing ways to find nirvana. There are books with daily affirmations, and TED Talks offering tools and avenues out of the misery into the light. Neuroscience teaches us how we can re-wire our brains to cultivate positive emotions, inner peace and lasting happiness,
Books have been written by scientists, researchers, journalists, Harvard professors, psychologists and spiritual teachers. Even the Dalai Lama has a book on the topic.
And while it seems quite apparent that many people are searching for this eternal bliss, how often do you actually meet someone who finds it? Are YOU that person? Are you a seeker?
You’ve probably figured out by now the focus of today’s show is about joy and happiness. My guest, as far as I know is not someone who has a book outthere on the subject nor has she written an article or done a TED talk…… yet she is an expert on this topic because she embodies joy in every aspect of her being………her words, attitudes and actions…….her generosity of spirit – her big heartedness, contentment, peace and love.
Want to really learn about joy?Skip the bookstores, magazine articles, TED Talks and instead hang out with Debby Meagher for 5 minutes and you can experience first hand what joy looks, sounds and feels like.When you look into her eyes, listen to her words and watch her, there can be no question that this woman’s inner light shines……andshowersthose around her with unconditional love………. and joy………
I invite you to listen to KOWS Wise Woman Storytime and meet Debby Meagher, probably the most authentically joyful person I have ever known……..
This week on KOWS Wise Woman Storytime, my guest was Lynn Kwitt.Let me tell you a little about the story she told.
Imagine yourself a young child and think what would it look like and feel like to grow up unable to participate in childhood games and activities because the right side of your body just didn’t move the same way your left side did.
What would it be like for you,bright and smart as you were, to not be able to clearly express yourself because it took you longer to articulate your thoughts and say your words?And what would it be like to be called a “Retard” and to be constantly bullied asyour differences became the target of abusive and cruel behaviors and taunts?
And what would it be like to have this physical deficit and have absolutely no idea why you were so different and what caused it?
When my guest today, Lynn Kwitt was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck 3 times, no one at the time had any idea of what this young baby had already suffered in utero.It wasn’t until Lynn was 8 months old that arigidity set into her body ultimately limiting movement and sensation on her entire right side.No one had answers or solutions. Her mother overprotected her; Lynn self-isolated and stayed to herself and as you can imagine this young child became extremely self conscious.
For many people an early beginning like this could lead to a complete shutdown and withdrawal from the world.But not Lynn. Instead of giving up, Lynn eventually sought answersand ways to give new life to her body and spirit as she began a lifelong quest to understand her condition and to find healing and peace.Along the way, she became her own healer and now offers hope and healing to others through the many healing modalities that changed her life.
I invite you to listen to Lynn’s story.
And, if you would like to learn more about Lynn, make an appointmentor contact her, here is her information.
Parents make hundreds of decisions every day. While most are quickly forgotten, some remain indelibly pressed into our minds and some live on in our hearts forever more.
This week on KOWS Wise Woman Storytime, Bonnie Bruinsslot shares a personal story from her child rearing days and offers us all an important lesson on trusting your parental instincts, valuing your relationship with your child and the importance of making the choices in our lives that most reflect and resonate with our values.
Growing up there are cultural conventions, behaviors, even attitudes that are expected of us, often times in direct conflict with how we see ourselves and who we are.
What happens when, your authentic self is in direct conflict with others and society’s pressures to conform?Try as you might, you think differently and want different things and your round peg just doesn’t fit into that square hole?
And then what happens when you think you’ve found the match for your round peg, and you find yourself bumping up against a workforce that undermines, demeans and refuses to take you seriously simply because they deem you to be the wrong gender?What happens when the quality of your work is jeopardizedwithsexist attitudes, prejudices and work place discrimination and your job performance is compromised by behaviors and attitudes that thwart your success in your chosen career?
Diane Masura, my guest today on KOWS Wise Woman Storytime faced these challenges in her early and young adult years. But rather than succumbto feelingsof alienation and victimization, instead went on to create a fulfilling, rich, creative and inspiring life- one that brought her to Sonoma County over 50 years agowhere she has thrived personally, worked professionally and has been a quiet force and non-stop contributing member to our community.
Listen to her story and hear the wise woman lessons that we can all learn from.
Most weeks on Wise Woman Storytime, I invite an elderwoman on to the show to share a personal story from her life. This week, however, my guest is a he rather than a she. While my focus is still on putting the spotlight on older women and giving them the voice and visibility they so deserve, it is not lost on me that there are wonderful Wise Men; and today you will get to hear the story from one such man.
It’s no surprise that I first met my guest today, Shepherd Bliss at a political action about 4 years ago, shortly after I moved to Sonoma County.Although at the time when I was first introduced to him, his name sounded familiar, I was soon to find out that this quiet, soft spoken and gentle soul was a powerhouse to be reckoned with; a positive force for the good of the people; a steward for the planet, animals and the environment; and someone who lives his life by deeply held convictions; never afraid to speak up and speak out about injustices and inequities.
Shepherd is knowledgeable, informed, and a community organizer and activist. But to me, his greatest gift is the kind and gentle spirit that permeates through everything he does and everything he says. When you come from a place of love and connection, your light cannot help but shine brightly,lighting the way for others. That’s the magic of Shepherd Bliss……
I invite you to listen to Shepherd’s story and learn how The Making of an American Radical came to be……
I don’t think anyone can deny that life can be hard and challenging. In fact, it really is impossible to live without experiencing some kind of pain or suffering.
There arethe physical, emotional, mental struggles that we encounter in our various life changes. Some of us have grown up in dysfunctionalfamilies, faced or witnessed, violence, abuse, neglect and felt unloved and uncared about. We struggle in our relationships and career paths and at different times in our lives we may have faced racism, classism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, xenophobic…you get the picture……
It is the nature of the human experience to bump against all kinds of hard knocks and challenges.How we handle these bumps and challenges, the attitude we have towards them and perhaps, more importantly the attitude we have towards ourselves can make a huge impact on the outcome of the event, what happens to us, and who we become as a result of it.
My guest this week on KOWS’ Wise Woman Storytime, Marcia Singer has faced more than her share of challenges throughout her life. A creative, intuitive and visionary woman, Marcia has sought answers and asked questions about the dark and light sides of living. From her inquiry, she has created a unique philosophy and framework that she lives by and offers to others through her writings, workshops, and teachings.Today on Wise Woman Storytime Marcia tells her amazing story of how the deep trust in her inner wise woman, an openness to thepath of facing the shadow and a transformative philosophy for life has, as Marcia likes to say, “turns stressings into blessings” and“Oy to Joy……
I suppose if you asked most people about their childhoods you would get a mix of the good, not so good and maybe even a bit of the ugly.But what happens when the balance weighs more on the ugly? What happens when there are secrets unspoken and an innocent childhood is replaced with the contradiction of growing up too fast on the one hand and an arrested emotional and psychological development on the other?What happens when that unspoken dark past takes its toll in isolation and disconnection and a shadow is cast over one’s ability to live fully, happily and in community with others?
Research shows that the risk factors of adults subjected to childhood abuse are quite high. Physical and mental distress, weakened immune systems, illness, broken relationships, anxiety, depression, and PTSD are but a few of the issues these adult children are likely to face.
But all is not bleak. The good news is that it is quite possible to live a full and constructive life and the possibilityto thrive in life and love and work is a totally reachable goal. Taking that very first step and making the importantconnection between prior abuse and unhealthy adult behaviors is the beginning. Doing the requisite hard work to heal comes next.
Author, renowned speaker, and Research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work,Brene Brown said, “When we deny our stories, they define us. When we own our stories, we get to write a brave new ending.”
My guest this week on KOWS Wise Woman Storytime isFran Carbonaro. Today, Fran no longer denies her stories from her childhood. She has been on a long journey to heal her childhood traumaShe has been owning her past, and her brave new ending includes her original poetry, music and songs. She is here to tell her deeply personal story……..and as I say on Wise Woman Storytime, change the world one story at a time.
George Santayana said, “Those that don’t remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”Seventy plus years ago, World War II ended and the remaining Jews still imprisoned in concentration camps were liberated. Those lucky and resilient enough to survive had the chance to get their lives back or perhaps it would be more accurate to say, start building anew . For those who lived through those times, bore witness to the aftermath, or have watched or suffered through other genocides, we must never forget what happened. We must learn the lessons so that we can mitigate the attitudes, prejudices, fears and politics that allow these atrocities to fester, gain momentum and happen.
While the Holocaust is behind us, anti-semitism and xenophobia are on the rise. We live in a world where “others” are suspect and hatred is passed down from generation to generation while some politicians feed and fuel the fires of hatred, bigotry and fear. Millions of people in Burma, Iraq, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Yemen, Iraq, Nigeria and Syria face ongoing peril and annihilation every single day of their lives. We live in a sometimes brutal world where misunderstanding at best and hatred at worst fuels international crises, aggression and heinous acts against innocent and unsuspecting people as evidenced last week in Paris and Nigeria.
My guest this week on KOWS 107.3 FM’s Wise Woman Storytime, is Frieda Ferrick, the child of Holocaust survivors. Frieda and her sister Chana became junior detectives early in their lives seeking answers to an often unspoken, and silent presence of something dark and sinister not to be shared. Over the years, the sisters pieced together what they did not learn directly from their parents. And so the story of Max and Sophie Lazar’s past was eventually unraveled.
Frieda has published two books, the first, Stories My Family Could Not Tell tells the stories that her family would not or could not speak. More stories are told in her latest book, Stories I Must Tell You. In this book, there is an emphasis on the resiliency of human beings and how healing is always possible even though scars may remain.
Stories I Must Tell You is a compilation of soft spoken, yet brave and powerful messages of courage, hope, love and resiliency. Through poetry, prayers, musings and even a short story, we learn about the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of traumas, and how healing is always possible. Healthy and productive lives can be had.
Stories I Must Tell You is a gentle antidote to a world that sometimes feels unsafe, scary and out of control. It offers light into a sometimes dark world.
We all know that our life experiences shape the trajectory of how we live, work, play and perceive the world. My guest this week, on KOWS Wise Woman Storytime Nina Ayin tells a story from her early adult years that challenged the status quo of her thinking and forever changed her views of life, death and everything in between.
Today’s story begins benignly when Nina shows up at the prearranged time to tutor a young boy. Yet the encounter with the older woman who obviously made the appointment and invites Nina into the home to wait for the arrival of the student, results in some strange and unsettling moments ultimately leading Nina on a life changing path to a new inner and outer world view.
Nina Ayin has a 40+ year career as an illustrator, painter, sculptor, Reiki Master and author. Her first book, Artist as Healer, Stories of Transformation and Healing is a book of case histories of her healing work. Today we talk about her first novel Bleed Through – a fictionalized story of her beliefs about life and the interconnectedness of us all.
To listen to Nina’s story, click on the link below.
Nina shows her art and teaches painting at Artflare in Santa Rosa, CA located in Building 33, Studio/Gallery #106, 3840 Finley Avenue, Santa Rosa