Our recent guest, Aron O’Dowd is a triathlete, massage therapist, and podcaster. In 2008 Aron broke a world record at a British indoor rowing competition.
Aron rowed 1000 meters in 3 minutes 38 seconds winning a gold medal and beating the world record by 32 seconds.
He accomplished all this at the age of 17. Amazingly he’d only been introduced to the sport at the age of 16.
“I hopped on a rowing machine, and it was like a first kiss with a girlfriend. I fell madly in love.”
So much awesomeness for someone so young. Even more impressive is the fact that Aron has Retinitis Pigmentosa which is a symptom of Bardet Biedl Syndrome he was born with.
Bardet Biedl Syndrome is a rare genetic disorder with highly variable symptoms which may include retinal degeneration, obesity, reduced kidney function, polydactyly (extra digits of the hands or feet) among many other features. While there are more than 20 genes associated with BBS, the underlying cause regardless of gene is malfunction of primary cilia, a key component of cellular communication. BBS is thus categorized as a ciliopathy, or a disease of the cilia.
Aron’s vision impairments began at the age of 7. From then until
about the age of 11 he could do 90% of what kids do – ride bikes, play soccer,
play video games, etc.
“From age 13 into my 20’s the most damage was done. I lost 35% of my vision.”
Aron’s vision continues to decrease about 1% each year.
Since Bardet Biedl Syndrome is genetic and degenerative, once diagnosed Aron knew his fate very early in life.
“I felt sadness and anger. It took me a long time to come to terms with it. I’ve been to the school for the blind in Ireland, use a long cane for getting around, and have trained guide dogs. It takes a long time to come to the terms of living in a visual world and not being able to participate in it as I’d like to.”
Aron’s current vision is only 15-35% of normal. Despite the cards he’s been dealt, Aron has created a lifestyle he’s pleased with.
After rowing for 12 years, Aron discovered the triathlon event of swimming, biking, and running.
“It’s my new love. I have a need for speed.”
Aron hopes to get to the international competition level for triathlon. He
also aspires to create a world record mindset for all people he coaches.
“We all have the same opportunities. We live in a bubble called society and disability. When you remove disability you discover everyone has the same opportunity. Many people like me live life as if they had all their faculties.”
How can someone without vision see in a different way?
“Forget the words ‘I can’t’. We should say ‘I can’. Being a superhero means we have the ingredients; how can we turn that into something?”
Aron shared a list of some technical tools he uses to enhance
his limited site:
Text to Speech
iPhone & MacBook (because the software accessibility is built
Voice Over reads out screens for him
Be My Eyes – A Facetime call for someone in another part of the
Aron also indulges in
Positive Prime taps into our neuropathways. Aron calls it his inspiration coffee. He has created a session called
I never thought about a possible link between procrastination, perfectionism, and creativity. Leave it to our recent guest to share with us the connection.
The process involves naming your gremlin!
Do you procrastinate starting projects, improving yourself, expanding your talents, etc.?
Talia Dashow (A professional procrastination coach and creativity expert) thinks we may put things off because we have unmet needs. That gremlin in our head may be protecting us from failure.
“Perhaps you’re still listening to your six-year old self who is scared. Maybe you still feel like a rebellious teenager. If your needs aren’t being met, you’re going to procrastinate more.”
The world can be a scary place making it hard for us to risk
showing up and being rejected. This fear is legitimate but holds us back.
“The gremlin voice in our head is telling us we shouldn’t even try.”
Talia has named her gremlin voice Cruella Deville. This allows
Talia to differentiate the Cruella voice from other voices who may be trying to
give her guidance.
Todd’s gremlin would be named The Ungroovy One.
“It’s useful to have a conversation with that gremlin voice. Knowing what it is and what it’s trying to protect you from is helpful. Some people have a visceral need for approval.
We once depended on group safety for survival. Although we no longer have a level of survival fear, we long to be part of a group, and we fear someone will laugh at us, dislike us, or kick us out of the group.”
It’s time to silence our gremlins.
The need for perfection may also be a non-starter for us
according to Talia.
“Fear of what other people will think is part of perfectionism. If I can’t do it perfectly then I’m going to put it off until it is perfect.”
That’s where creativity comes into the equation.
We often want the result of whatever we try to be perfect, and if it’s not we don’t like it. Sometimes the process matters more than the result.
“You don’t have to commit to being an expert to find benefit in the process of creation.”
Talia says it’s easy for people to think they’re not creative.
“We feel we’re not good at something we try a few times, and we convince ourselves we aren’t creative at all. Maybe we confuse creativity with being artsy. Because we are all Creators we have talents in creativity.”
Talia reports there’s more than one aspect to creativity.
“You’re making something that didn’t exist before even if you’re building from someone else’s pattern or blueprint.”
There’s something to be said about curiosity and the epiphany of
innovative ideas. That’s also creativity.
Many year ago, Talia flew to Canada to become certified in LEGO Serious Play developed by Lego to energize their corporate meetings and help employees and others to tell stories through a creative process. It’s play which also achieves teamwork and collaboration.
One activity is to start with everyone getting a bag with the same LEGOS. Everyone may be asked to build a tower. They compare the results and validate the creations of each participant.
Lego creators may be asked, “How does this tower represent you?”
After several exercises like the tower example, there may be a big dump of Legos where participants can build anything they want. They should be prepared to talk about their creations.
Talia hosts a weekly Creativity Club online where a group of people drop in when they can to be creative together in their own way. You can access information about this from Talia’s website subscribepage.com/Talia
“Creativity is a major part of dealing with procrastination when perfectionism is getting in your way from getting started. You can even ask yourself questions in a creative way such as ‘I wonder what would happen if I…?’ ‘What if I try…?’ ‘How can I do this a different way?’”
The subconscious can talk to you through creativity. The gremlin voice can give you information. Play gives you chance to practice being flexible and expand your thinking.
Talia is planning a Summer Solstice Creative Soul Spa on June 25th. Although it’s not yet available to enroll in, be sure to join her mailing list so you’ll be the first to find out.
He defined his journey to finding sobriety as, “Peace, spirituality, remembrance, and victory”. Alcoholism plagued Dr. Aliberti. He took a spiritual path of healing while battling his ego constantly.
“I was Christian but didn’t know who God was or what it meant to be a human being.”
Vincenzo Aliberti PH.D.
It’s amazing that Dr. Aliberti was able to achieve a PH.D. and write five books despite the roadblocks that come with constant drinking.
“I was purely driven.”
Vincenzo Aliberti PH.D.
In 2003 Vincenzo fell on his knees and told God he was either going to live or die. His spiritual journey included the study of Stoicism, Buddhism, Taoism, The Huna Way, Hinduism, and Christianity.
“Ultimately I learned I had everything I needed already within me. Christ was within me. Prayer and meditation made me see the world differently and I learned to let go and get out of my own way. I now feel at total peace.”
Vincenzo Aliberti PH.D.
Today Dr. Aliberti is the director at a recovery center in
Alberta, Canada and serves all individuals from millionaires to the penniless.
“Whether homeless or wealthy, we all seek for peace. I try to see people for who they are. I know if they can connect to a higher power life will be better.”
Vincenzo Aliberti, PH.D.
He would advise each of us the same way. In his book The Hero’s Journey, he shares the steps he took to overcome the evils of substance abuse and become a person of courage, justice, temperance, and wisdom.
“That’s our blueprint to living a good life.”
“Those seven important steps to change and healing guided me toward my purpose of being Christ-centered and of service to God.”
Our recent guest, Edie Raether has always been knowledgeable ahead of her time.
“What I’ve been doing for over 50 years in neuroplasticity, brain science, and hypnosis is coming into the mainstream. Science is finally catching up with me.”
Edie feels angry with the medical model that relies on medication to treat our ills. She claims what the mind sees the body believes.
“There are so many warnings and side effects with drugs, but the worst thing with hypnosis is you learn to be more mindful…and that’s a good thing. We cannot let our circumstances determine our thought patterns and well-being.”
At almost 80 years old Edie has been speaking since 1970. She is a CSP – Certified Speaking Professional, which is the highest earned designation awarded by the National Speaker’s Association. She has empowered thousands of Fortune 500 companies with her vibrant stage presence and uplifting messages about human potential and behavioral psychology.
Edie lives an active lifestyle still skiing on both water and snow.
Her goal is to change the way the world thinks, even if people live in a toxic
home environment. She is most excited about motivating people, and finds it inspiring
to share her story…
“I was a single parent with a very successful therapy practice. I made a lot of money from one hundred speaking gigs a year. I trusted the wrong person and lost every dime I had; five million dollars to be exact.
I went from living in a house you’d see reading Home and Garden Magazine and watching HGTV; to living in a rusted out FEMA trailer. No running water, no electricity, no plumbing.
I never once doubted I was going to make it out. Doubt is like a cancer. I would walk the causeway every day and visualize what I wanted. I didn’t know how I’d get it, but I knew I would.
I wasn’t unhappy. It was during that time when I wrote my seven books. I had thoughts, ideas, and a computer attached to an extension cord going to my neighbor’s house. I was living life on purpose. After 15 months I bought a house on a lake in Charlotte North Carolina.
Be creative. Be resourceful. Don’t quit. Keep focused. Once the picture is in your mind it becomes crystalized, and you can’t stop it. Once you program your mind God and the universe will give it to you.
I now run a couple of Air B & B’s on the lake.”
Despite Edie’s years of successes, she feels her legacy will be
the program she’s developed for kids. She talks about the brain science of her
program on the TED stage. You can listen to her talk here:
I Believe I Can Fly is a book, soundtrack, guided meditation, and a blanket. Through 5 characters who climb a mountain together to discover magic, Edie has written about the social challenges that kids experience. Readers will relate to at least one character and learn about their own magic.
“The program serves as an anchor to teach values, emotions, and behaviors. Kids discover the magic is in already inside them and they can transform to their greatness.”
In Edie’s book, Winning! She shares that almost every notable person (Tony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey, Carol Burnett, etc.) had inspiration between the ages of 5-9 in which they saw a flash of their greatness and understood their purpose.
“When kids use the I Believe I Can Fly program wrapped in their blanket, they have a flash of their greatness. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”
Look at Edie’s magic here Wingsforwishes.com Buy her program for a special child in your life.
Four hours you’ll experience an increase in blood pressure and blood insulin
Six hours you may feel increased anxiety and depression
Eight hours you double your risk of cardiovascular disease
Eleven hours you increase your chance of premature death by 40%
These are staggering statistics, and Stefan claims
it’s not because you aren’t exercising enough, it’s because you’re sitting too
much throughout the day.
“If you have an active lifestyle and achieve the recommended 150 minutes a week of activity (mostly exercise) it may counteract all the sitting. But exercise is not all we should do.”
Dr. Stefan Zavalin
Dr. Zavalin encourages us to decrease our sitting time every day to less than 8 hours. He suggests the ideal solution is to stand up and move for a few minutes every half hour. It’s usually at the 30 minute mark that blood flow to your brain begins to decrease. Moving will help us be more productive, and even smarter.
“Try decreasing your sit time by small increments. Just 2 minutes of movement makes a significant difference. Start there, but we really need to adapt our work and routines. In other words, do more tasks standing up rather than sitting down.”
Dr. Stefan Zavalin
On air this past Tuesday I stood to co-host the show with Todd. I used boxes to raise my laptop to eye level and enjoyed standing as I interviewed Dr. Zavalin.
Although appreciative that I jumped on to his movement, Stefan cautioned me …and you… to not make changes too quickly. Start by reducing your sit time each day 30 minutes. Increase your moving/standing time by small increments from there until you reach the goal of 8 hours or less of sitting.
“If you get tired or achy you’re doing too much. It should be invigorating. There is ground to be gained when you start moving more no matter your age but move within your means. Go to the limit, then push a little further.”
Dr. Stefan Zavalin
Here are ways you can sit less and move more:
1. Walk while talking on the phone
2. Stand instead of sitting whenever it’s
3. Take out the trash or do other chores
4. Watch TV or eat standing up
5. Walk while meeting with clients or friends
Stefan’s TED Talk is well-worth watching. If you’re like me (and Todd) you’ll realize how easy it is to make substantial changes to your health.
Are you still standing? Good for you! Give
yourself a pat on the back and move again in 30 minutes or so. Be grateful for
your abilities and tell yourself, “I get to do this.”
If you’re like me, you’ve been in either an abusive or toxic relationship at some point. Perhaps you’re in one now. I’ve heard the terms abusive, and toxic used interchangeably. Our recent guest defines the differences between those terms.
As a Doctor of Psychology and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Homeyra Faghihi has over twenty years of experience in providing individual, family and group therapy services.
Homeyra has assisted various populations over the years and helped hundreds of clients with issues such as self-image, shame, anxiety, depression, childhood traumas, adult traumas, military sexual trauma, domestic violence, and difficult family relationships.
Her passion is to educate, coach, and empower
clients as they navigate their way through persistent self-doubt and limiting
Facilitating empowerment workshops and providing individual coaching services allows Homeyra to assist clients with learning skills to help them take their power back.
A toxic relationship is one in which one or both partners are mean to each other. Passive-aggressive communication causes lots of drama. One or both partners in a toxic relationship may feel exhausted, drained, misunderstood, and/or resentful.
An abusive relationship is one defined in large part by fear. One partner has more power than the other and will control and manipulate the other. Threats or fear of retaliation, emotional, physical, and sexual violence; even stalking will be present in an abusive relationship.
“If you are in an abusive relationship, GET SUPPORT from people you trust. This support can come from a friend, clergy, or therapist. Get in a safe place such as a domestic violence shelter. Even if you can’t leave in the moment, there are organizations which can help you start planning.”
Homeyra offers a free masterclass two times a
month called “Say no Without Guilt”. If you’ve left an abusive or toxic
relationship, her masterclass will help you focus on ways to advocate for yourself.
Say No Without Guilt is a 75 minute group workshop. The next one is on May 2nd. Many of her clients have said:
“I don’t feel alone anymore”
It can be difficult for those who’ve not been in such relationships to understand why abused partners stay with the one who abuses.
“Why don’t you just leave?”
Homeyra says it is very difficult to get past the shame that is prevalent with trauma. She includes a video on her website that provides reasons they stay:
Steve Garvin helps people discover their stories. He discovered the importance of his own stories through life’s lessons.
His dad was Steve’s creative inspiration. He was a Korean war vet, and although he repressed his story, his dad opened Steve’s eyes to the beauty of the world.
“One day while walking on the beach together, my father went on about the colors he was seeing and the beauty of the scenery around us. I couldn’t see what dad was seeing, but I began to appreciate his artistic vision, and the depth of his perspective.”
Steve learned we
can expand our own vision and see things in our own way.
“Dad could make anything special just by putting his touch to it.”
Steve felt he could never compete with his creative father and therefore decided to meet and beat him in something else.
“I knew numbers would allow me to shine.”
Steve’s career began in finance, numbers, and technology as a corporate accountant. Reminiscent of his childhood, Steve felt unappreciated, looked over, and belittled at work.
He began to feel such despair that suicide was the plan. On his way to the predestined place where his life would be taken, Steve heard a voice.
“Don’t use a permanent solution to solve a temporary problem.”
A short time later when Steve was let go from his corporate job, he was thrilled.
“I felt like doing cartwheels out the front door.”
Steve began to
create. He took up painting, jewelry making, and papier Mache. This pink slip
of opportunity finally gave Steve permission to change his story.
He asked himself,
“What is my story? What is my role in it? How do I play the best part in my own life rather than play a role in someone else’s script?”
encourage you to ask those same questions of yourself.
“Look at today. Stories you started when you were young are still playing. Open the theater door and pay attention to the plot. What happened in the past can give you clues to the future.
Spend time looking inwardly. Make time to reflect: What do I want? What do I want to create? What are my disappointments? My delights?”
In 2021 Steve finally held a summit he’d been considering for years. He now holds the Sing Your Heart Song Summit 3 times a year. The next one is in July.
Many authors have contributed parts of their stories
to Steve’s book in the way of letters to an aspect of their heart.
For instance, Steve writes one letter to Money…
I kind of walked out on our relationship….I think I felt like it was your fault that things got so bad at my last place of employment.
I viewed our relationship as a bad one, and I avoided you no matter how many efforts you made to come back into my life…
I think I am in a better place now. It may even be fun to hang out some more…I will make every effort to rekindle our relationship.
You don’t have to write a book to receive the benefit of sharing your story. Steve teaches even if we write only for ourselves, our relationships are transformed, and we express ourselves more powerfully.
“The most important person in your audience is the person in the mirror.”
Consider your stories. Be the leading character of your own life. Get it down on paper and heal from trauma.
In Ann Papayoti’s book The Gift of Shift, which is co-authored with Tracey MacDonald, you read about The Gift of Buoyancy.
“I couldn’t wait to learn how to swim because then I could be with the big kids. I grew impatient with my dad as he told me I first needed to learn how to float before he’d teach me to swim.
Despite my frustration, I’m grateful for my dad. I’ve since experienced how wonderful it is to float. The sky is above us in full view. We can hear our own breath, and our own heartbeat while we float.
If we keep swimming without recharging and refreshing ourselves, we run out of energy, get fatigued, and may find ourselves in a dangerous situation. Knowing how to float can be lifesaving.”
Ann’s book illustrates
well what happens in life when we try to keep swimming without reflective
When Ann and Tracey considered content for their book, they recognized the struggle many people have with self-help books. They decided a book filled with stories of life’s lessons would give the audience real value toward re-discovering their own stories.
At the end of each chapter of The Gift of Shift, there are questions which lead the reader to reflect about their own experiences.
“Stop and reflect, then choose a response. Undesirable things happen to all of us, and they come with negative emotions. Creating our experience despite the circumstances is the message of the book.”
By answering the questions at the end of each story-chapter, the reader can reflect and be reminded of a strength or character trait that got them though a similar experience. Knowing lessons from the past will give you stamina to get through the current challenge, and the next one.
“Sometimes we get stuck in an old story. The Gift of Shift encourages you to rewrite your story.”
Ann and Tracey lead a monthly chapter discussion on Facebook. This is an opportunity to share your stories with others. Sometimes we hear our truth in someone else’s story, too.
“One fifty-year-old reader was able to release a part of her story she’d been holding onto since high school. Her story had held her back and kept her from trusting people. She finally let go and sought for help after reading The Gift of Shift.”
My favorite part
of the interview with Ann was when she shared with me and Todd a story not in
“One July day I was in Alabama visiting my mom and walking outside to her barn. Since I was carrying a box, I didn’t see the copperhead rattle snake before it struck me.
At the medical facility nearby I was given a Tetanus shot for infection, but no antivenom. It seems copperhead rattle snakes give a warning strike containing only a small amount of venom.
I was sent home with instructions of signs to look for in the following days.
Two weeks later back in Canada (where there are no venomous snakes, and no antivenom) I began to experience neurological symptoms such as headaches and muscle aches. Then, I had cardiological problems, muscle weakness, pain throughout my body, etc.
It seemed each system of my body was being attacked in stages. At first I didn’t attribute it to the snake bite even though I reported it to several physicians.
By October, poison had been surging throughout my body for three months and I could only watch myself physically wither away.
I finally saw a Holistic healer who explained the fluid in my spine and brain was frozen, like my brain was encased in cement.
In three treatments the healer was able to literally unlock my brain and free me from constant pain.
My muscles had atrophied, and I slowly began to build back my strength and stamina. By the way, the Alabama protocols for snake bites have been changed since then. Anyone who is bitten by a snake gets antivenom asap.”
The lesson Ann
learned is a beautiful metaphor we all must understand:
Harboring unforgiveness is a venom that eats you up inside. Refusing to forgive is like drinking poison and waiting for the offending person to die. Finally releasing it and unlocking forgiveness in your heart is the only cure.
What has a grip on your heart?
Are experiences coincidences or synchronicities?
Are your experiences causing you to feel negative and powerless? Or positive and powerful?
Ann and Tracey give workshops, for groups, couples, and individuals. There are events you can attend, and a newsletter you can subscribe to.
Isn’t it time you gift yourself a shift? Take time to reflectively float.
“The quality of your life depends on the quality of the questions you ask yourself.”
Bernardo would suggest if we are not aware, then we are ignorant. We not only need to become more aware of our own surroundings (including the people around us); we also have responsibility to bring love and awareness to the world.
“Be part of the solution and get others to be as well. This is the time for more people to come forward. The world needs more leaders and more people who care.”
There is no they.
We are the they.
“Stop waiting for someone else to make the changes. We must do it.”
Choose to become aware or decide to be ignorant.
Be grateful for what our ancestors lived through.
Positive thoughts begin by not being negative.
Complainers are negative people.
Be grateful for the simple things you have – arms, eyes, running
water, freedom, education, transportation (to name a few).
6 Billion people would be happy to switch lives with you right
“We become more grateful when mortality becomes a reality. What legacy will you leave?”
consider (…and you know the answers already)
How amazing is my day going to be?
Why not do it now?
I wonder how I could…?
How could I become 10% kinder?
If I could…., what would that look like?
What will people say about me at the end of my life if I keep
living as I am now?
What will people say about me at the end of my life if I lived
exactly the way I wanted to?
“Not everyone can invent penicillin, but we can all do something for someone else. Insignificant things will impact others in big ways.”
Get a copy of Bernardo’s book. He is providing you with questions that will empower you, and take you places you’ve never been before. He just may help you finally live a congruent life.
My mind was just a little blown while interviewing this week’s guest, Jillian Rothschild-Scholar, a Feng Shui expert.
I will admit I was one of those peeps who thought Feng Shui was an effective decorating system. Jillian schooled me this week and I have a much deeper appreciation for the wisdom of this ancient method of achieving Yin and Yang in life.
In ancient times if you were sick, you’d see a doctor (probably not university trained, but more of a healer-type person). Not only would the doctor examine you physically, he or she might also go to your home to check out your Qi.
The doctor would likely determine if you had good Feng Shui. Your physical illness might be due to a misalignment with your Qi, which is energy.
Feng Shui, I learned, is guiding wisdom for your health, wealth, and relationships. It’s a support system for our lives.
Jillian provided some basics of Chinese astrology which I also was unaware of.
1. The Chinese Calendar is a 60 year cycle. You can look back at what happened 60 years ago to provide insight into what you might expect this year.
I did a little research and discovered in 1962 – sixty years ago
the following historical events happened:
Cuban Missile Crisis (Hello. Here we are again dealing with the Soviet Union and nuclear power)
Flooding in the coastal areas of West Germany kills 315 and destroys the homes of about 60,000 people (This seemed significant since this year is the year of Yang Water Tiger. Jillian reports there will be huge amounts of water)
Super Constellation Flying Tiger Line Flight 739disappears in the western Pacific Ocean, with all 107 aboard missing and presumed dead. (I took notice of this since this is the year of the TIGER.)
The Petrified Forest National Park is established in Arizona. (Because Jillian reports the Tiger carries the WOOD element of the Chinese Zodiac, this felt significant)
2. Qi comes in three types: form, formless, and human
3. The Three Lucks are the energy that composes who we are. Heaven, Human, and Earth luck. Heaven luck is based on the day, time, and location of your birth, and CANNOT be changed. We can, however, change our human and earth luck.
Since we cultivate our own luck, when opportunities arise we can be prepared to take advantage of the luck. Having good feng shui supports your luck.
4. The Five Elements in Chinese Wisdom are: Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal. They are each a type of QI and make up everything in the universe. Too much of one element will cause imbalance.
5. Feng shui and your Chinese Astrology chart combined will help you find your balance.
Discover your lucky directions. Doors, bed placement, stove, water features, and office furniture are important factors within Feng Shui. You’ll want to learn the best placement for these. Doors are the entrance point for Qi. The type of Qi we bring into our environment will influence our luck.
Jillian works with energetics rather than aesthetics. She is highly intuitive, and her clients like to co-create their life. Sign up for her email list and stay in touch as we all head into a year of disturbance and change.https://fsinmotion.com/