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.
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.
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
For those of us who live in earthquake prone places, it’s been drilled into our heads what to do when we feel the first signs of the earth moving. If you’re indoors, drop and cover, get under the nearest table or desk, cover your head and stay clear of exterior walls, glass and heavy furniture. If you’re outside, stay clear of buildings, power lines or anything else that could fall on you. And when it’s over, hopefully you have that earthquake kit to provide you with food, water, clothing and medical supplies to hold you over until the power comes back on, help is on the way, and order is restored.
But what happens if you’re not trained to know the early warning signs of an impending disaster? What happens when there are no protocols, or procedures or plans in place to mitigate the potential for danger, destruction, injury and death? And what happens when instead of taking cover, protecting yourself and your loved ones, the early warning signs are ignored, disaster strikes and there is no disaster plan in place to fall back on as chaos reigns?
What happens if you are called upon to be a companion and support to survivors seized by overwhelming loss amid complete chaos, massive deaths, destruction and unimaginable grief and despair?
And what happens to your psyche, and spirit? How do you ultimately make sense of this to find your own inner peace, acceptance and trust in life?
My guest this week on KOWS, Wise Woman Storytime,is social psychologist and author ofWho by Water: Reflections of a Tsunami Psybhologist (and other books), Ronna Kabatznick. Listen to this most difficult and tragic story. Learn how through Ronna’s deeply held Jewish and Buddhist beliefs and practices, she was able to give selfless compassion and support to those in need and how she continues to emerge as a different woman with a renewed appreciation for living, a deep respect for the fragility of life and an appreciation and acceptance of the absolute impermanence of life.