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


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.

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:
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:

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:











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!















to view the HUGE list of resources and collaborations: https://www.allone.report/2022


Rodrigo’s Recycled Art:


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.


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


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

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


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

Am I the only one, am I a bad parent, should I have seen this coming, who can I share this with, who can I talk to that won’t judge us, how do I handle this, where can we go for help…? These seem to be a common theme of questions parents ask when they discover their child is self-harming and or struggling with mental health issues.

Although every family, family dynamic, and mental health struggle is completely unique, it may help to listen to others that have or are going through similar issues and difficulties. It may help to know that this can happen to anyone and that you are not alone. It may also be beneficial to listen to the resources and coping strategies that worked and did not work for them and provide you with some hope. This is a complex issue and there is no quick fix. Hopefully you will hear something that resonates with you and that you and your family may be able to implement into your recipe for healing and balance through this journey. It really is all about finding the right balance for you, your child and your family.

This is just one families story from a mother’s perspective about how they navigated through the tough times. Join me, Tina Page LCSW, and one brave mom Jessica as we explore their family’s experience, coping mechanisms, and resources as they journey through Emma’s struggles.

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! I wanted her to listen to her mom’s episode because I would not release it unless she was comfortable with it. 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. Stay tuned next week for Part 2 – Emma’s Story.

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.

We end the episode with the song Hey Big Sister from The Home Alone album. Hey Big Sister was written for Emma and Jessica before their second child was born by their dad and husband Will Kimbrough. Hey Big Sister was written, produced and performed by Will Kimbrough. He writes a lot about life, his family and the road. I think Will’s perspective is evident in his artistry. 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

Last year I had the honor of speaking with Nilima Bhat about her new book, workshop and lecture series Shakti Leadership : Embracing Feminine and Masculine Power in Business. Nilima is a world renowned author, speaker, facilitator and visionary and may be one of the most insightful, bright, and balanced souls I have ever met. The principles of Shakti leadership are applicable and can be integrated not only to big businesses but to any system or organization. I think we all are aware that inequality, sexual misconduct, and the abuse of power and control to mistreat others exists and most know it is wrong.

Nilima believes we should have “how to” books to get us through life’s most challenging times -so she writes them! There actually is a formula within us all to restore male and feminine balance. This book is just one of the products of her evolution through her life’s journey. We also discuss her fascinating and colorful life that led to this point and this endeavor. Besides being one of the most remarkable people I have met as a human being, she is a highly respected business woman and leader. I hope you read all the show notes to link to her projects, participation opportunities and experiences – impressive is an understatement!

Since this interview there has been a HUGE shift, rise and movement of voices powerfully and courageously saying enough! We have had enough of this unbalance of power, enough imbalance in the work place, enough inequality, enough abuse of power and enough sexual misconduct. The principles of Shakti leadership do not bash males – they are recipes for both males and females to restore balance and peace. The outcome would be holding the value of a free and fulfilled world and power for all.

I asked Nilima a few days ago about her thoughts re: the big shifts and movements this year. I also asked specifically about the #meetoo, #enoughisenough and #nomore movements. Below are her thoughts in response in her own words:

The #Metoo movement is a direct outcome of the rising tide of Shakti that we write about in the book. Women are waking up, growing up and showing up after centuries of not knowing their power.

It is also a time now to end the battle of the sexes and hospice the Patriarchy. To become fully Human.  And to #RiseInLoveTogether. As Whole Man and Whole Woman.

The only way to come into our full power and deal with the challenges at hand, is to become psychologically whole. ie, develop and express our mature feminine as well as our mature masculine values and behaviors, consciously.

We can do this best when we practice Presence; that state of equanimity where we reclaim our true and unlimited inner power or Shakti; and are able to lead the context instead of becoming a victim of it.

It is two years since Shakti Leadership was launched and it feels as if its REAL value and application is now. It may well have heralded this time of reckoning and for which we since launched a campaign called #Let’sRiseInLoveTogether, aimed at restoring Gender Relations. Shakti Leadership is a call to both men and women to come into their wholeness and hold the Sky up together.

See below the links on what I have been busy with this year:

2018 Highlights with Raj Sisodia and myself:

22-30 Jun 2018 Himalayan Shakti Tour

Oct 2018-Jun 2019 Shakti Fellowship Program; Scholarship available – Apply by 31 May
Registration details on the links

Nilima Bhat
Author | Speaker | Facilitator | Coach
Thought Leader on Conscious Leadership,
Diversity & Inclusion, Integral Health


At Risk Youth – Who are they really?

William’s Story

Join me, David Magee, Michael Julian, and Katy Bray for an open and honest round table discussion connected in 3 parts of the country and a variety of perspectives. This topic about the dangers of substance abuse is SO big it was difficult for me personally to start facilitating the conversation. I awkwardly just looked up at this mountain and took the first shaky step and the rest of the conversation just flowed with these brave, candid and beautiful individuals. This episode is intended to brainstorm by sharing personal issues and stories. I want to be very clear; this is NOT a platform for blame, shame or finger pointing. This is intended to be a safe place to share openly in order to problem solve.

When I stumbled across a newspaper article spreading through my social media circles written by a fellow college classmate, it felt like a force had taken ahold of me and shook me to my core. I knew this force would not let me go until I contacted the author, David Magee, to ask if we could discuss his deeply personal story that was also so universal and so multi-faceted. It only took reading the first few lines of the article to make me feel like I could not breathe. His article was intended to warn university students of the dangers of binge and risky behavior and to let them know it does not have to be a right of passage when you enter college. He and his family made the brave decision to share their son’s story of an accidental fatal overdose in hopes it would resonate and help others. What he did with this story/article was bust down the door of shame and free everyone that was locked behind it to share their own stories and to discuss topics normally considered taboo or “dirty laundry”. Free people to breathe….I am not alone…free people to make their OWN decisions…free people of peer pressure….free students to care about and help their peers…free us all to dump all of our, now uncorded, shame, crap and dirty laundry out in the open. We are all now free to discuss and sort through all this old uncomfortable stuff together and finally use it to problem solve. Free to come together as a community to create some solutions to foster healing and brainstorm about prevention.

William Magee was a 2012 Ole Miss graduate who was in the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and the Croft Institute for International Studies. William was remembered by everyone as the young man with the beautiful smile; kind, sweet, and popular – he seemed to have it all. He lettered in track and was named to the SEC academic honor roll. The 400 hurdles are considered by many to be one of the most difficult in sports, and William had the courage to walk on and do it in the SEC. If only we could see the dangers and unpredictability of life’s hurdles. If only we could see the suffering hidden behind his beautiful smile, the social anxiety, general anxiety and low self-esteem.

William’s story is the same story as when we were at Ole Miss in the 80’s. It makes me wonder and almost have a survivor’s guilt – why am I still alive – how come I got to live…. ? This story is still, as if not more, relevant as it was when I was in school – I have to say though I was seriously shocked and saddened. I felt like this was something I HAD to explore because for some strange reason the universe let me live. Unfortunately, Williams story is sadly becoming a common story. Young men in particular still seem uncomfortable discussing anxiety, depression and dark feelings and the opioid crisis has become a full-blown epidemic. Last year 115 Americans died every day from an accidental overdose and the rate of these deaths has risen 522% since 2002. At this point I don’t know anyone that has not been affected by this personally.

“For Ole Miss freshmen: My son William’s story” By David Magee
“A new freshman class started at Ole Miss this week and I wish I could tell them all this story.
It’s about my oldest son, William, who was a freshman in 2008. He would gladly tell them himself, if only he were alive.”

I was honored and humbled that William’s family would let me interview David, William’s father, for my Podcast Grey Matters Now – let’s change the world one difficult conversation at a time please!

The hope and manifestation of positive change in just one year! Below – The William Magee Center For Wellness Education at Ole Miss.

The William Magee Center for Wellness Education is open to receive gifts from individuals and organizations by mailing a check with the center’s name in the memo line to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655.

For information on the wellness center and how you can contribute:


Resources and helpful articles:

More about Michael Julian and his very personal healing journey : https://www.ems1.com/mental-health/articles/202743048-How-I-found-a-way-out-and-back-to-what-I-love-as-a-paramedic/

Resources for anyone or someone you care about struggling with addiction:


Not just for the immediately suicidal, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Is a national network of local crisis centers that provide free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How and why Grey Matters Now?

The birth and journey to Grey Matters Now.  This is the story of the birth of Grey Matters Now and the journey that shaped who I am today and my evolving life purpose and mission.


About Katy:

Katy Bray is the Owner and Founder of Lead With The Lights On. I met Katy at a certification class I was attending.  She was a speaker and I was immediately drawn to her energy and her work. I felt like she was speaking just to me – ha!  I looked her up, we connected, and she became my endeavor birth doula. She is a genius and believes integrating the various aspects of leadership such as self, team, and higher purpose is key to the success of our emerging leaders. She is also an amazing, intuitive and genuinely kind human!  She and her husband and business partner Zebulon have been above and beyond comprehensively supportive and resourceful both professionally and personally.


About Me – a two part episode

I am a Social Worker by title that’s been working in social services at some capacity for almost 30 years. Over those 30 years I have worked in a variety of diverse fields and demographics. I have had the honor of working with people at both ends of life’s spectrum from reproductive health, to ropes courses, to hospice and so much in between.

It is my personal journey as much as my professional one that has shaped who I am and my life’s mission.

In this episode, I share my personal story. I open up and let myself be completely vulnerable.  Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal as I have told my story over and over too many times to count in the last 40 years.  In my mind, this was going to be the most simple and natural episode to record as my intention was to introduce an amazing woman, Katy Bray, who helped me synergize my ideas into one living endeavor and tell my personal story that led me to the place I am in now. Piece of cake right?  Not exactly…

This specific project or episode, became this unique and unconventional experience, as do most things in my life.  I have to say though, this passage I went through was unexpected and caught me completely off guard and unsure about how to process it at first. It sent me down some unfamiliar winding uncharted roads I had to figure out how to navigate. It took some exploring as it turned into visceral surfacing of emotions and then I actually had memories come back to me that have NEVER surfaced before. So – in the spirit of walking the walk and being way out of my comfort zone with an intention of sharing to universalize this experience, I processed these feelings live on this podcast.  

I had a big lesson in overcoming fear – don’t let the fear of your past keep you from moving forward. This was not easy for me – as a matter of fact, it has taken me forever to create this episode (3 separate recordings!!!). My hopes are that me sharing may help someone else go to that place of processing and healing. I certainly did not expect this experience to turn into Ms. Anne’s wild ride but it did and I buckled up and rode it.  Moving forward I hope that this takes you in the direction that best serves you.. fasten your seat belts, let’s go!


To find grief support contact any hospice in your area. Resources can be found through:


Not just for the immediately suicidal, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Is a national network of local crisis centers that provide free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


To find out more about Katy Bray and Zebulon Severson and their conscious based leadership program