Brittany Catton Kirk is the Founder and Executive Director of the Social Enterprise Sunlight Retreats for Survivors, an accelerator for healing for survivors of rape.

After being attacked overseas in 2012, she struggled in her career, relationships and gained 60 pounds as she tried to recover from her attack and Post Traumatic Stress. She looked for a safe place to go and heal but found nothing so she created Sunlight Retreats for Survivors.

Drawing on her ten years’ experience creating award-winning programming for military families and wounded warriors at the San Diego Armed Services YMCA, she set out to create a tangible in-person program to empower survivors with tools, trauma education, resilience training and peer support.

Sunlight Retreats is a change-making program that gives survivors a better way to heal, so that they can rebuild and empower others. 100 percent of the forty participants from the first two retreats reported via anonymous survey that they would recommend Sunlight Retreats to a fellow survivor, 100 percent said it aided them in their healing, and 100 percent said Sunlight Retreats made them stronger.

To learn more about Sunlight Retreats For Survivors of Rape visit https://www.sunlightretreats.org.

If you are a survivor of rape, please do not think you have to suffer in silence or alone!!! You can get resources straight from the website above or send an email through the contact portion of their site.

You can also contact:

The National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673

RAINN25: 1-800-656-HOPE

For individual therapy – resources can be found through Psychology Today: http://www.psychologytoday.com

For on line therapy Talk Space: https://www.talkspace.com/

Please do not think you have to do this alone!!!!

Instagram: @sunlightretreatsforsurvivors

Facebook: Sunlight Retreats For Survivors

Epic recording and sound engineering from Bram Kaprow owner of Arden Rock Studio http://www.ardenrockrecords.com.

Every individual is unique.
Every organizational ecosystem is unique.

Building trust and mutual understanding through the understanding of our unique temperaments:

Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest medical systems, originating in India over 3,000 years ago. The term Ayurveda translates to “wisdom of life,” combining the Sanskrit words ayur (life) and veda (science or knowledge). As a medical tradition, the practice of Ayurveda brings the body in balance to heal itself. However, its holistic principles can also be applied to the unique psychological and physiological elements of individuals as well as to the collective ecosystems of organizations. Cultivating a conscious balance of these elements brings greater vitality, well-being, creativity, and happiness.

The elements of Fire, Water, Earth, Air, and Space offer accessible metaphors for learning how our personal qualities, motivations, and behaviors shape how we relate and engage with others.

Designed and developed from decades of applied learning, observation, and client feedback, Katy Bray and Zeb Severson have created an efficient and effective system that integrates the wisdom of Ayurveda with transformational coaching and skill-based practices that increase self-awareness and drive performance, innovation, and success. They have also created many other resources in the form of published books, workshops, videos, webinars and more.

With this understanding of the temperaments of Ayurveda, we can better understand ourselves and others, creating a more harmonious dynamic for the workplace, family, friends….any dynamic! It is so cool to realize our parallels to nature – once we have this simple understanding, it makes life on this planet earth so much more enjoyable! Ahhhhh harmony…

Connect to their websites below to learn about all of Katy and Zeb’s resources and products :

http://www.leadwiththelightson.com

http://www.livewiththelightson.com

Ian Barry, better known as Poods to his friends, was an extremely gifted athlete that found meditation in movement, an unconditionally kind and creative soul that lived by his words “keep doing your thing and keep being who you are”. On September 27 2012, Ian passed away at 22 years old when he accidentally fell from a bluff. Although it is important to know that his death was an accident and that he was in his element being one with nature (adhering to another one of his mantras – less technology and more nature), Ian’s death is not the focus of this conversation and podcast episode. This is a discussion about living….about how Ian lived so fully and how his parents John and Ali and younger sister Kiva continue to live while they process the grief of losing their only son and brother.

Ian was VERY special and made people that he came to know feel like their “best friend”. He had a quiet, humble, disarming charm combined with an attitude of accepting everyone for exactly who they were without judgment. He truly made you feel better when you were around him. According to his family and friends, his personal struggles simply made him more compassionate and accepting. Ian always tried to see the good in people but never understood acts of unkindness.

This is a story about how Ian’s family channeled his spirit into healing energy for the LARGE community of people he touched also grieving the loss of a friend and special soul. This is a story that is infinite and very much ALIVE. This light from Ian’s heart center, that has been stoked and kept alive by his family and community, has lit and fueled the Rollin’ From The Heart Foundation. It is all summed up in their mission statement:

Providing disadvantaged and at-risk youth the opportunity to participate in skateboarding, surfing and camping in an effort to promote a more active lifestyle and encourage positive choices. By teaming with peer/mentors that share our values of kindness, compassion and acceptance we strive to instill confidence in those we serve so that they can overcome personal barriers regardless of their economic, social or mental health status.

It’s pretty simple really – be kind, be yourself and have fun. This organization provides toolboxes and beams light on the futures of infinite young lives. THIS is a vital, living and moving memorial.

This is the story of channeling challenges into positivity that provides us all with hope rollin’ into the future!

Learn more:

http://www.rollinfromtheheart.org and follow @rollinfromtheheart on Instagram for daily doses of smiles and feel goods

Woody Gutherie song “So Long It’s Been Good To Know You” ( one of Ian’s all time favorites) performed and recorded for this podcast by singer/songwriter John Finkbiner. John is an acclaimed and talented musician and visual artist is a native of Southern California, also with roots in Nashville, TN, and currently lives in Leucadia, CA. Check all his projects out at @johnfinkbinerart on Instagram

If you or someone you know is in need of grief support or resources call your local Hospice! For Hospice resources visit The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization: https://www.nhpco.org/

Rollin’ From The Heart supporters are mentioned in the podcast.  To see all their partners visit rollinfromtheheart.org.

Brixton: http://www.brixton.com

Vans: http://www.vans.com


Ocean photo of Keane by Ellie Hayes Portrait photo of Ellie and Keane by Corey Vilicana.

Keane Webre-Hayes sustained traumatic wounds to his upper body, lost half his blood, underwent at least five hours of surgery, and received 1,000 stitches to repair his torn upper back, shoulder, torso and face, after he was attacked by a shark on Sept. 29 while diving for lobsters. His mother Ellie was on the bluff as the incident was happening. There happened to be several other divers in the water that day that calmly went straight into action and kept Keane alive and got him back to shore safely.

Keane was diving for lobsters with a friend just off the coast of Encinitas, a popular beach city in San Diego County, California, when an eleven-foot Great White shark attacked.

Since he woke up after his first surgery Keane has been adamant about getting back in the water to dive and surf again. “I definitely want to get back out there,” He told his 8th grade classmates, a few weeks after the attack, and he hopes to get back to surfing and skating, “really, really soon”! Keane has been quoting facts and statistics to his mom and the public about how improbable it would be for him to be attacked again. He does this to ease fears others may have about getting back in the water and also to rationalize to his family why it is ok for him to get back in. This young man is SO calm, intelligent, well-spoken and wise beyond his years. He even let me know that he was more at risk of a vending machine killing him than a shark attack (I looked it up and he is right)!!!

Despite Keane’s positivity and eagerness to resume his normal activities, the reality is he has a long road to recovery. His mother Ellie has been SO balanced at letting him own and express his feelings and being a responsible parent, being realistic about their recovery, and learning to navigate a strange new normal.

As we know, most of the deepest wounds are you cannot see, like the ones under Keane’s shirt and the intense and painful emotional wounds Ellie and her family have sustained and are still processing.

Ellie has consistently stated “We are so grateful Keane is alive but we have a long road ahead of us”. Everyone that was a part of that day on September 29, 2018, is on that road to recovery together. This is not just a story about the miracle of survival, this is a story that is still very much alive and is about healing layers of wounds and highly personal processing.

This is the rest of the story.

Click here to support Keane Hayes Shark Attack Survivor organized by Justin Wright.

I love that this episode coincides with the release of my friend and fellow Hospice Social Worker, Cheryl Dienes’ book The Final Dance / What The Dying Teach Us About…EMBRACING LIFE!!

Join Cheryl, Kenn and I for a conversation about the dynamics of death and dying. It is interesting that we are taught, as soon as we are born, to navigate through all general passages of life and development. The one passage that is not part of our developmental education and, that we are all going to experience, is death. If we explore our own experiences and feelings about end of life ahead of time, the conversations are not that uncomfortable and are actually quite liberating. When we process our feelings and beliefs ahead of time, we create a clear open space for being present for processing our raw emotions and or being present for our loved ones for their sacred transition. It is the one thing we will experience that is half physical and half metaphysical. I have had many personal and professional experiences with end of life. EVERYTHING I have learned has been a gift to help be present for myself, others, and for healing during and after a transition of life.

From Cheryl’s book:

I have come to see how important it is to turn toward the end of our life and look squarely at it. We need to learn to accept the inevitability of death. Imagine how different out lives would be if we saw death for what it is, accepted it, and embraced it. Until we do, we will continue to cheat ourselves out of the very gifts that death offers us to illuminate the whole of our lives. These are the gift of clarity about what really matters, the gift of courage to follow our life’s calling, the gift of freedom to authentically speak our truth, the gift of wisdom to let go of what hold us back.

We owe it to ourselves to feed our personal imaginations with images that see death as the natural, non-threatening phenomenon that it is.

-The Final Dance

By Cheryl Dienes, MSW

To purchase and learn more about Cheryl’s book The Final Dance visit www.thefinaldance.com.

To find resources for Grief Support contact your local Hospice. You do not have to be a hospice patient or family member to receive grief support and services through hospice will be little to no cost!

Landscape cover art of me in Big Sur By Kirk Fagergren.

Happy New Year everyone!

Meet John Abate a true beacon of light and hope. John is also a huge advocate for safer roads, believes and practices wellness through nutrition and MSBR (UCSD trained) and….if that is not enough…is the Co-Founder and CEO of JoJe Bars. If you have not tried JoJe Bars, you are missing out – they are SO delicious that it is hard to believe they are packed with all the nutrients your body needs to perform at its best! He is an avid cyclist, outdoorsman and all around super cool and positive guy. He generously took time out of his busy Holiday schedule to record a podcast episode for Grey Matters Now on the first day of Winter Solstice. Winter Solstice is the beginning of new and more light every day and the Holidays we celebrate during this season are all about light and hope. We both felt an urgency to record this ASAP so that John can spread his message of hope through his first hand experiences! A living breathing, walking, cycling, stronger than ever, example of how to manifest hope and healing, provides those fighting for their lives or recovering from accidents and illnesses the tools and light they need to be warriors. He first reached out to me and Grey Matters Now in July as he was interested in having a conversation about mindfulness and sharing his personal journey. I was super intrigued and excited to set up a future conversation and podcast recording. Fast forward to December 15th when John and I officially met through a community cycling event to support our neighbor Roberta Walker who was critically injured on her bicycle when struck by a truck a block from my house and less than a block from Roberta’s on PCH 101. Roberta is one of our communities’ strong advocates for cycling and pedestrian safety and repeatedly stated “it is just a matter of time, someone IS going to get hit by a vehicle here”. Unfortunately, tragically and ironically, she was the one that was hit. John was a speaker and he was the hope component to this “Ride For Roberta” event. John and I connected very quickly and both felt a strong pull from the universe to release this episode ASAP for the New Year!

This episode goes out to you Roberta Walker and my dear friend Jessica Kimbrough and all that know and love you both….keep up the fight- you ladies are a warriors!! While most of the world was celebrating Winter Solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s, both of these strong women, along with countless others, were in the hospital bravely going through and recovering from major surgical procedures to save their lives! Their fight is not over but I am happy to say both women are getting stronger every day!!! John and I’s wishes are that his story provides anyone fighting to be well the extra hope, tools to heal, and the faith that you can come back even stronger than before!!!

JoJe Bars http://www.jojebar.com

UCSD Center For Mindfulness https://health.ucsd.edu/specialties/mindfulness/Pages/default.aspx

Thanks always to my recording, recording studio and editing wizard Bram Kaprow of Arden Records in Encinitas. Contact me if you ever need information about an amazing recording studio!

This episode is dedicated to these 2 female warriors actively fighting and healing:


Roberta Walker
Advocate for safer road sharing
Recovering warrior fighting back from critical injuries after being struck by a vehicle while cycling

 


Jessica Kimbrough
Advocate for affordable women’s health care and breast exams
Recovering warrior fighting breast cancer and mastectomy

 


John Abate and I

The ocean has really inspired me — it’s always moving and changing; going and flowing. I just think that’s so awesome. It’s always different than it was the day before. – Jaysea Devoe

Individually, we are one drop but together, we are an ocean…

Two years later, to the date, I sat down and recorded a second part to Jaysea’s story. A LOT changes, grows, and evolves for teenagers in a year or two and she is no exception. In the last 2 years Jaysea has pioneered extreme expeditions, been in two movies, has been seeking out and surrounding herself with strong females that she refers to as mentors and fearless females and, after being home schooled most of her life, decided to enroll herself in public school for her senior year to, in her words, “feel like a regular teenager”. She decided she wanted to discuss HER stories that only others and the media have presented so far. She has been through so much I just let her jump in and start talking and let her take whichever direction felt most important and natural to her. Jaysea enthusiastically dove into our conversation with extreme excitement and shared the very intimate and empowering details of her latest adventure and conquest. The path, these past 2 years, to this powerful place has not been an easy one and became partially dark at one point. Adventure and nature, the ocean in particular, are her power and healing sources. Listen carefully as she describes the empowering, stoke filled, challenging, spiritual and most recent circumnavigation expedition around Catalina Island. She and her 2 girl power friends successfully paddled 54 miles in 3 days around the perimeter of Catalina. This “vibe Tribe” of 3 women became the first women ever to circumvent the island, purely by paddle power, in 3 days. This story to me was so strong and profound, that when I listened back to it, I was moved to tears! I did not edit anything out because I thought ALL the words and feelings were pertinent. The parallels to navigating through life and use of coping tools and selfcare were the same but flipped into something positive and exciting. Listen carefully or re-listen over again! The innate importance of telling this story first was such a great demonstration of natural selfcare that I could even feel it at a visceral level. With this foundation of confidence, her bubbly excited tone came down to a more neutral one as she decided she wanted to share a very vulnerable story of being assaulted. It was Jaysea, with the blessing of her family, that decided that she wanted to tell this story to hopefully help others. Although every assault incident is unique, it is our hope that you hear something that you can relate to or use as a coping or healing tool. You are not alone! According to The National Center For Victims of Crime, one person is assaulted every 36.9 seconds and every 98 seconds another American is sexually assaulted and 55% of assaults are at or near the person’s home…these are ONLY reported cases. Jaysea stated she does not want this to define her and that she does not consider herself a victim now but a survivor and a warrior! Her recipe for healing has led her to some beautiful and powerful experiences. We hope you use the right recipe with your own ingredients.

This is teenage girl describing personal stories and it took courage. Grey Matters Now is in NO WAY a place for judging, blaming or shaming! This will always be a platform for safe sharing.

You will find resources for help at the end of these show notes or feel free to reach out to Grey Matters Now for more.

Back to the womb in the blue heart center of the earth…Photo by Fisher Devoe.

Collaging The Line

https://www.sanuk.com/collaging-the-line.html

Image and art by Susan Wickstrand and her 12 year old daughter Chloe Grace.

Susan : Jaysea Devoe is a “sprout”. Just like my favorite Thomas Cambell Movie- which actually got me interested in collaging women in the first place. We Shot Jaysea in front of her family’s home there- with hands on her hips- which was passed on to our 12 year old daughter, who then drew a halo of sorts around Jaysea’s hat and a water droplet, all in white. I collaged in the stem of a flower for each member of her amazing family: Rick, Julie, Ryder, Fisher, Jaysea, and their 2 dogs. Then I created collaged flowers for her, which represent Jaysea’s strength and amazing personality.

Danielle Martin

http://trueboundaries.com/?fbclid=IwAR2z5EvLSQeexZNNe3jq451mJooMofvQRhjZoC1G0cUfzhZl5y8KQol4JZw

Book reference:
Swell : A Sailing Surfer’s Voyage of Awakening By Captain Liz Clark

Movie reference:
Fish 101 The Movie https://fish101restaurant.com/SeaVibes : http://www.seavibesyoga.com

If you or someone you know is the victim of assault, you are NOT alone and it is NOT your fault – find a professional that can help you process your trauma and help navigate your healing. Find your unconditional support system, person or community that will hold you up while you heal and strengthen.

Counseling resources:
https://www.rainn.org/about-national-sexual-assault-telephone-hotline
Call 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

Talk Space now offering services to teens too:
https://www.talkspace.com/

Jaysea Devoe

Photo by Fisher Devoe: 1st fish ever speared – her own Dorado for dinner.

Two years ago I recorded this Episode with Jaysea Devoe who had just turned 15 years old. Jaysea at 12 years old became the youngest certified yoga instructor, youngest S.U.P. yoga instructor, an entrepreneur, a clothing designer and a business owner. These titles are not what are important to her – they just happened to grow from a strong organic passion that happened to come to her at an early age. The most beautiful and impressive thing about her though, in my opinion, is her old soul mixed with the ability to still see the world through the eyes of a child. Jaysea also holds a special beacon of light, a strong connection to the ocean and tool box full of balancing and coping tools. Her personal mission is to use these tools to maintain balance for herself so that she can share her gifts and tools so that others can find and maintain balance and a healthy, fun and full life. She stated she just wants to spread her love of yoga and being in nature and she would like kids her age to follow their dreams and enjoy the present moment. Being a teen is a challenging balance of school pressures, social pressures, hormonal changes and growing pains. Balance and wellness mean blending in essentials like fun, the right friends, nature, movement, and adventure to teen years and life in general. It is back to school time; we all need to share what is in our tool boxes and Jaysea has some spectacular tools. Gather your children and listen together; you are guaranteed to leave inspired and hopeful about navigating the future and grounded in the present moment!!

Stay tuned for part 2 of this episode!!!!! I had a follow up conversation with Jaysea last week 2 years to the date after this conversation. Part 2 is very powerful as getting older, even for her balanced self, comes with rougher terrain. She said, after listening to this episode 1, “Wow it was like I was really talking to my future self!!”.

Below are several links to videos of Jaysea doing her thing and links to socially and environmentally conscious organizations she aligns with and serves as an ambassador:

https://www.seavibesyoga.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ja3XgB_K5E0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sih6U5hsGhY

http://www.ideacity.ca/video/jaysea-devoe-13-year-old-yogi/

https://soulofyoga.com/

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/lifestyle/people/sdut-jaysea-devoe-youngest-female-yogi-2014may01-story.html

https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/meet-teen-yogi-turned-entrepreneur-jaysea-devoe

https://www.sanuk.com/

https://www.progenexusa.com/

https://www.manduka.com/ambassadors/id/15

https://www.changingtidesfoundation.org/

Episode artwork/photo images by Adam Walker of Sanuk

According to Psychology Today, the definition of mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you carefully observe your thoughts and feelings without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to your current experience, rather than dwelling on the past or anticipating the future. Although this is a simple definition, achieving this state is not always as easy.

Join me, Andy Laub, and Kenn Orphan MSW as we explore doorways, tools and journeys to mindfulness and learn how one’s mindfulness can reverberate and ripple into amazing manifestations.

Andy holds several tools and is actively involved in the education of mindfulness, getting there and being there. He also has damn interesting stories! I met Andy at Bishwa Seva Foundation’s Sound Meditation where he has been playing the Native American Flute and volunteering for five years. Andy has been involved in sound meditations for eight years, is a Certified Tea Master, Healing Touch Practitioner, and a mindfulness educator in A&D treatment centers. He is also a frequent speaker and educator for integrative medicine.

“This is where I am remembering to be. This is where I am me.” – Andy Laub

This organization and sound meditation is so near and dear to my heart: http://bishwaseva.org/

Drink Tea!   https://www.mindful.org/mindful-cup-tea/

“This is where I am remembering to be. This is where I am me.”

Episode 10: We’re All One or None! All One!

With Dr. Bronner’s CEO David Bronner

150 years and 5 generations of family soapmaking

Dr. Bronner’s was founded in 1948 by Emanuel Bronner, a third- generation master soapmaker from a German-Jewish soapmaking family. He used the labels on his superb ecological soaps to spread his message that we must realize our unity across religious & ethnic divides or perish: “We are All-One or None!” Still family-owned and run, Dr. Bronner’s honors its founder’s vision by continuing to make socially & environmentally responsible products of the highest quality, and by dedicating our profits to help make a better world. All-One!

David Bronner is Cosmic Engagement Officer (CEO) of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, the top-selling brand of natural soaps in North America. He is a grandson of company founder, Emanuel Bronner, and a fifth-generation soapmaker.

David and his brother Michael established Dr. Bronner’s as a trendsetter in the organic body care industry by becoming one of the first brands to certify its soaps, lotions and balms under the USDA National Organic Program in 2003 — marking the beginning of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps’ issue-oriented activism in the natural products marketplace. David made this possible and meaningful by implementing fair trade all over the earth, family farms, and co-ops.

Because of David’s personal mission and efforts, today, Dr. Bronner’s coordinates certified Fair Trade projects for all major ingredients, including olive oil from the West Bank and Israel, coconut oil from Sri Lanka and Kenya, peppermint oil from India and palm oil from Ghana. David pioneered the use of 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) bottles for the liquid soaps, as well as a hemp and recycled paper blend to package the bar soaps.

As the main facilitator of the Hemp Industries Association’s (HIA’s) successful multi-year litigation against the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), from 2001-2004, David played a crucial role in US farming of industrial hemp and defending sales of hemp foods and body care in the U.S.

David is an active supporter of both the HIA and Vote Hemp. He is also a key leader in the fight to label GMO foods in the U.S. David dedicates time and resources to many different issues on behalf of the company’s mission — which encompasses commitments to making socially and environmentally responsible products of the highest quality, and to dedicating profits to help make a better world.

Did you know that Dr. Bronner‘s knows how to heal the soil to heal the planet? This is a Company that selflessly truly lives by example!

The most technically sophisticated form of agriculture, designed to solve our future food & climate challenge and the most ancient, wise, and timeless way of growing is Regenerative organic agriculture. David made this possible and meaningful by implementing fair trade all over the earth, family farms, and co-ops. He and his Dr Bronners’ family is helping turn the earth around. From a corporate view it was not the cheapest idea but from the helping the earth view, it was incredible. He achieved this with his innate fundamental, environmental and social ideals and applying them to the earth around us and applying them to reality to serve the ideals Dr. Bronner his grandfather put on the label. Join us as the quest to unite spaceship earth continues. So excited to release my next Grey Matters Now podcast Episode 10 with David Bronner. Hands-down one of the most fascinating conversations I’ve ever had!!!

Dr Bronners mission is profound and simple –

In all we do, let us be generous fair and loving to spaceship earth and all its inhabitants…

For we are all one or none – ALL ONE!

Resources:

http://www.drbronner.com

https://www.drbronner.com/about/our-community/youth-community-services/

https://regenorganic.org/

http://www.patagonia.com

https://www.patagoniaprovisions.com/pages/regenerative-organics

https://www.compassionatefarming.org/

https://www.usda.gov/topics/organic

https://www.ciwf.org.uk/

https://lavamae.org/

http://www.thinkdignity.org/

https://defyventures.org/

https://www.fairshake.net/

http://reentry.org/

to view the HUGE list of resources and collaborations: https://www.drbronner.com/All%20One%20Reports/A1R-2018/all-one-report-2018.html#p=7

https://michaelpollan.com/books/how-to-change-your-mind/

Rodrigo’s Recycled Art:

https://www.greymattersnow.com/grey-matters-now-01-rodney

Dr. Bronners Magic Soap Box : http://magicsoapbox.com/a-note-from-sara/

Dr Bronner’s original folk song is from the movie Dr. Bronner’s Soap Box – see credits from movie

Sigmund The Seamonster in front of David’s car when we met:

Grey Matters Now Episode 9 : Ingredients to fuel our wellness with Erica Fowler

Are we really what we eat? Does what we consume really have an impact on not only us but the planet and society? The answer is yes – what we consume becomes the ingredients that create overall and comprehensive wellness. This is one person’s story of self-discovery and a holistic health journey. Everyone has their unique path they are on but it may help to hear what is in someone else’s tool box.

“I am passionate about conscious living through simple practices that eliminate stress and help create a balanced lifestyle. I want you to find more energy, feel comfortable in your skin, and enjoy life!”

-Erica Fowler

Erica began a career in modeling while she was in college and she realized quickly how certain people treated their bodies to look a certain way. She enjoyed the experiences of runways in LA but also had other dreams to pursue. It was not until life threw her a few curve balls in her early twenties, that she re-aligned with what she wanted her life to be like. Family trauma, a loss of a friend, and life in general seemed to begin to overwhelm her, “It was almost like there was a battle for the first time between my positive, optimistic spirit and everything feeling overwhelming and not having energy.” The anxiety from it often left her nauseous and underweight, no matter what she was consuming. She soon realized how powerful the mind and body connection is. It was such a struggle to have the feeling of depression and anxiety but wanting to be so happy and healthy. Working two jobs and in college, she began to explore how good whole foods and other self-work were for her overall balance. They made such a difference in how she felt. It was something she was in control of and could continue to work on; it quickly became a way of life.

She spent the beginning of her professional career participating in a few technology startups. In the corporate world, not only was lunch catered, but donuts, soda, cake, chips, were all around. She found herself meal planning, bringing food that she knew made her mentally clear and full of energy, and encouraging others by talking about nutrition and holistic healing. She loves helping people and encouraging them through their journeys. She has been studying holistic health remedies, food, and wellness for over a decade. Recently she quit her corporate job to pursue her passion as a holistic health nutritionist and chef and is now concentrating full time on her Business Erica Jane Health. She is a wealth of information and she has quickly become a renowned leader in her field.

Erica Jane Health is a holistic wellness platform that provides services, such as: different types of health coaching, recipe development, meal prep tips, and much more.

http://www.ericajanehealth.com

If you or someone you know is suffering from a potential eating disorder a reputable national resource is NEDA Feeding Hope

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/help-support/contact-helpline

Binge Eating Disorder Association http://bedaonline.com/

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders http://www.anad.org/

National Eating Disorder Association http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/

Books:
Life Without Ed by Jenni Schaefer & Thom Rutledge

The Body Image Workbook by Thomas F. Cash, PhD

12 Step support groups: Most of these organizations have meetings by phone, in person and online.

Overeaters Anonymous (oa.org): Type in find a meeting and then enter the zip code. https://oa.org/members/meetings/

Anorexic Bulimics Anonymous (aba12steps.org): Type in find a meeting and enter the zip code for the closest meeting. http://aba12steps.org/aba-meetings/

Emma’s View of Her Journey/ Coping with Emotional and Physical Pain

This is a follow up to Episode 8 Part 1: Am I The Only One? My Child Is Self-Harming. Make sure you listen to part 1 before part 2

Listen to mom- Jessica’s journey in episode one and Daughter Emma’s perspective of their journey and coping mechanisms in part 2. Listen and learn about her journey to self-discovery. Emma, like her musician father, is able to express herself best through her artistry. This has become a big ingredient in her healing and coping. Both she and her dad Will are so gifted in their personal story telling through their individual creative outlets and through this conduit they beautifully channel raw emotion and gift us with visual art and song.

Emma is now 22 and has since graduated from college. I caught up with her last week and we recorded her unique perspective and story. I had her listen to her mom’s episode and she really liked it and, in her words, expressed that her mom did a good job explaining her perspective. I have to admit – I had NO idea how this would pan out! After listening, she was all in to tell her story from her point of view. She felt by telling her story she may help with the stigma and shame around mental health and give people a more holistic view of their journey and struggles.

Now I have known this young woman since the day she came into this world super early with her 3 pound self. I have spent a lot of time with this fun and loving family but I had no idea the depths of Emma’s struggles with emotional pain and chronic physical pain. Because I am close to her, parts of this conversation are heart breaking for me. I am also so proud of how well she articulates and explains her journey and the courage it took to get this far in her healing process and her ability to become so present and whole as a young woman. I guess my point is have the uncomfortable conversation; it is so worth it in the end!

Thank you, Jessica and Emma, for being so open and sharing your stories!!! Thank you, Will for your open and honest perspective through your incredible song writing and performances and thank you for allowing us to share your families story to help others. You and Jessica have been such great role models for your girls and the rest of us trying to find our balance.

This is a VERY sensitive subject and it was very difficult to find a family willing to share their experience. I want this to always be a safe place to share and a platform for healing and fostering consciousness. This is NOT a forum for judgement, finger pointing or arm chair parenting. This is a platform for conversation, active listening and resources. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions, would like to share or need more resources.

Will Kimbrough writes a lot about life, his family and the road. Will is a critically acclaimed singer song writer from Nashville Tennessee…you can check out some live performances and videos about his family https://www.willkimbrough.com/media to learn more about Will, tour dates or listen to more music visit https://www.willkimbrough.com

Mental Health Care Resources:

Talk Space – https://www.talkspace.com/

NAMI – National Alliance On Mental Illness – https://www.nami.org/

7 Cups – https://www.7cups.com/

In the San Diego area up2SD – http://up2sd.org/

National Suicide Prevention Hotline – 800-273-8255