Jump Start Your Joy

Inspired by the quote “Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day (Henri Nouwen),” this lively show looks at the inspiration, intention, and action that you can take to have for a positive mental outlook, even in hard times and improbable situations.
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Now displaying: 2015
Dec 26, 2015

In this episode, I walk you through setting heart centered goals using my own "Ten in Three" method. In short, you check in with your heart, listening for what you want to do over the next few years, and then you narrow down what you hear to ten things you want to do over the next three years.

If you're feeling like you want to tackle some new things in the coming year, I encourage you to try this Heart Centered Goals method. The benefit of this method is that you aren't going to be tackling an enormous list of "resolutions," instead you'll be focused on working towards just three big things. It feels more like a choice, and less like a compromise. And, for that reason, I think you'll find that your heart centered goals stick in a way that resolutions never do.

About 18 months ago, I was looking to make a lot of changes in my life. I had just signed up for a program to become certified as a life coach, and there was something about that decision that made me feel like it was time to "put my house in order."  I came up with this methodology, and it worked. Not to glorify the art of busy (far from it!),  in the last two years I've gotten married, gotten certified as a life coach, led 3 in person retreats and set up and led a 10 speaker online retreat, started a podcast, launched a business, worked full time, and had time for my five year old son and husband.

The thing at the heart of this is what I call the "Ten in Three." It's the ten things you want to do over the next three years. It works because it's simple. It works because you start with your heart.

In this episode, I talk about:
- A different way to set goals, using a heart centered approach
- why the original "SMART" method for goal setting doesn't work for everyone
- how different people have different temperaments
- that depending on your personality, you may do better holding yourself accountable (and totally resist having the traditional "accountability buddy")
- my own way of setting and reaching goals
- why you should write your goals down
- why flexibility is important with goals
- how to set a narrow, defined list of goals over the next three years
- why fewer goals are better, even when (especially when) you want to accomplish a lot over a year

Ten in Three Worksheet that accompanies this episode
Gretchen Rubin's Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits--to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life on Amazon
Gretchen Rubin on Lewis Howes' School of Greatness
SMART methodology for setting goals
Kathleen Davies, Episode 1 of Jump Start Your Joy
Debbie Ford's The Dark Side of the Light Chasers on Amazon
"Relaxing" music track by Bensound used during visualization exercise


The post Episode 16: Setting Heart Centered Goals appeared first on Jump Start Your Joy.

Dec 15, 2015

Alison Arngrim played Nellie Oleson for seven years on the hit show, Little House on the Prairie. She is often described as the "acid tongued hellcat" of the show, the small villain with golden ringlets and lovely clothing, and the arch-enemy of Laura Ingalls. Alison and I jumped on the phone for a little over an hour, and all I can say is that it was one of the most fast paced, hilarious, and engaging hours I've ever experienced.

Alison shared a good deal about her book, "Confessions of a Prairie Bitch," and we spent time chatting about her childhood and landing the fabled role of Nellie Oleson. What really stood out in our time together is Alison's true appreciation and gratitude for the role that Nellie eventually played in her own life. As a shy child, a child that was being sexually and physically abused at home, playing Nellie instantly pushed Alison into a role that changed her, and made her more courageous. Since then, the role has given her a platform, allowed her to help charities that assist abused children and AIDS patients, and more recently, allowed her to start speaking about issues that women face in her lecture "More Than Just Surviving."

I want thank Alison for her time - speaking with her was an inspiration. I know you're going to love this episode, and if you do, I encourage you to check out her book Confessions of a Prairie Bitch on Amazon. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it before she and I spoke.

In this episode, Alison shares about:
- making people laugh as a child
- possibly "retiring" from acting at age 11 prior to getting the role of Nellie
- her realization that the role of Nellie was very different than the other hyper-sweet children she often read for
- the instant change of how people reacted to her in public after Little House on the Prairie first aired
- why she thinks Little House on the Prairie is so popular throughout the world
- Michael Landon, and how he created plot lines for the show
- Melissa Gilbert is now running for Congress in Michigan
- her amazing friendship with Melissa Gilbert
- the best way to find a good date
- how she met her husband Bob at the AIDS Project Los Angeles
- the "Pocket Nellie"
- leveraging fame and people's love of Nellie to help others
- her upcoming line of scented candles and a ceramic pony
- how to sign up for the Nellie Newsletter
- her upcoming lectures with Petersen Productions
- working with Girl Cave in Huntington Beach
- a hint about her second book!

Upcoming Events (as of 12/15/2015):
- January 30, 2016 Prairie-Oke - Karoake - a one night event
- March 19, 2016 Nite of Dreams Little House on the Prairie Tribute Dinner

Alison Arngrim's website (sign up for the Nellie Newsletter here)
Nite of Dreams website (sign up for the Tribute Dinner)
The Girl Cave in Huntington Beach
Alison Arngrim's Book, Confessions of a Prairie Bitch on Amazon

I am an Amazon affiliate. Links on this page (ones to items I truly love and recommend) may earn me a commission.

The post Episode 15: Alison Arngrim on Beyond Surviving: Embracing the Gifts of Nellie Oleson appeared first on Jump Start Your Joy.

Dec 8, 2015

Rachael Maddox is the recent author of the book "Secret Bad Girl" in which shares her own journey. Subtitled "How I broke my long-standing sexual trauma spell and grew vibrant, vital & free. A provocative memoir & wildly wise resolution guide," her book relays her story, and offers insights on how anyone under the trauma spell can reach full recovery. Rachael is a coach, a singer and songwriter, and a teacher, plus she's funny, real, and so genuine. While it's a tough topic, we both laugh plenty and share how joy really IS possible, even after living through a traumatic event (Rachael's past trauma being sexual trauma, mine being PTSD related to childbirth).

In this episode, Rachael outlines some of her findings in researching how to resolve sexual trauma. She shares that trauma is something stored in the body, the result of a person's fight, flight, or freeze response not being fully resolved after the initial trauma incident. In her work, which involves extensive coaching, training, and research, she's found that resolving sexual trauma is something best done through somatic (body) work. Her approach is heartfelt, genuine, and something she's lived through.

Rachael had a successful kickstarter, and her book is now available for download on Amazon starting 1/19/16.

In this episode, Rachael talks about:
- what trauma is, and how it remains in your body long after the trauma event
- the definition of a trauma spell or trauma cloud
- different kinds of trauma, such as post traumatic stress disorder and rape trauma
- Rachael's path to healing, which started at Adult Circus camp
- suggestions for addressing trauma in your own life
- Rachael's Dream Tour around the US this last summer
- her song, "live" on the podcast, "Shake"
- where I fess up about one of my core desired feelings being "enraptured" and Rachael's insights on how rapture means to "be your longing"
- the Celestine Prophecy of Everything (Rachael's take on her role in the world)

Rachael's website at
Sign up for the 12/22/15 webinar episode to work on your 2016 goals
Episode 10: Molly Larkin (I reference this in the interview)
Peter Levine's book, Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma
(on Amazon)
Danielle LaPorte's book The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul (Core Desired Feelings) (on Amazon)

The post Episode 14: Secret Bad Girl: A Journey of Sexual Trauma Resolution with Rachael Maddox appeared first on Jump Start Your Joy.

Dec 1, 2015

Tabitha Marie is the amazing and loving founder of "Random Acts of Luvmail," a family run organization that provides mail and goodie bags to children who are in the hospital or need to be uplifted for any reason. Tabitha started the organization in 2007 and it has moved from New Orleans to San Antonio, Texas, where she and her sister and daughter work together to create, package, and send Luvmail to three hospitals and across the country via mail. I really loved speaking with Tabitha - her inspiring story and loving way of spreading encouragement and positivity are so welcoming. I know that you will feel rejuvenated just from hearing her explain her outlook and passion for Luvmail and the children she serves.

What I love about Tabitha's work is that it is truly heart centered, and it is simple. She provides Luvmail to children going though difficult times because she wants to encourage them, and their parents, and let them know that someone out there cares about them. She and her sister and daughter intentionally focus on sending items that are flat and can be mailed, so they can maximize the number of children they reach. The simplicity is striking: spreading joy can be as easy as sending a letter, and by taking a few extra moments to reach out to others. You can help her organization by visiting thePayPal Me site for Random Acts of Luvmail (to make a donation)

In our discussion, Tabitha also talks about how running her organization has become easier, and more focused, as she's narrowed down the mission. She's gotten closer to God, she's become clear on what she wants, and who Luvmail serves, all of which has come with time, and experience. Her insights here are especially inspiring and re-assuring to anyone starting their own business or tackling a new mission. It can take time to feel comfortable, and time to grow into the role.

I'm so grateful to Tabitha for sharing her story and her insights on the podcast. Thank you, Tabitha!

In this episode, Tabitha shares:
- who Fairie Marie and Faire JoJo are
- how Faire Marie came about as a response to someone being bullied
- where and how Luvmail started
- the decision change how Luvmail operated so they can reach more people
- how it was stressful starting a community on MySpace
- how everything fell into place once Tabitha got clearer on her mission, and closer to God
- insights on how shifting to coming from a place of love has changed everything
- the ways Tabitha takes care of herself - meditation, cooking, and relaxing
- her recent coverage on the local news
- how sometimes just asking for something can make all the difference
- that meeting one of the children in the hospital was the highlight of running Luvmail
- why Tabitha feels you should just go for your dreams (and not let other people's fears get in your way)


Tabitha's blog:
Luvmail Community on Facebook
PayPal Me site for Random Acts of Luvmail (to make a donation)

Tabitha's appearance on the San Antonio news


The post Episode 13: Blessing Children with Random Acts of Luvmail with Tabitha Marie appeared first on Jump Start Your Joy.

Nov 24, 2015

Today's episode is about Joy, Transformation and Self Acceptance, and it's my first "Solocast!" I've really loved getting to know so many of you through this blog, and the journey of the past few months has been completely uplifting. As I've mentioned in passing on other episodes, I've had a list of people that I wanted to interview for years ... and finding a home to interview them here, in a podcast format, has been just amazing.

Joy is the platform here, but there's so much more behind joy ... and I think that's why I love talking about it every week. I firmly believe that every person hits a stage in their life where they are challenged, either by physical, mental, emotional, monetary, creative challenges, each that have the potential to shake you to your core. In those hard times, you have a choice. You can choose to become engulfed in your circumstances, or you can choose to fight for joy, for love, for something that matters to you. To get there, you've got to accept yourself, right where you are. It takes embracing your shadow side, the scary parts, the stuff that you don't want to look at or admit. Acceptance is a step, even simply accepting you want or need help is a step.

I've had my own dance with hard times. In this podcast I reference my 56 hour labor, followed by a C-section, at the birth of my son. This threw me for a curve that I didn't expect. No birth class covers the "what happens when Plan A falls apart, Plan B becomes laughable, and Plan C wasn't even written yet." I'm sure you've been through this somewhere, somehow in your own life. There are times when even with the most thorough of planning, (and in the words of Pema Chodron), things fall apart.

It's that moment, or those moments, when there's not much left to hold on to, where you define who you are. Sure, it hurts, sure it sucks, sure, you can be as mad at the world, the universe, at God, as you've ever been. But that doesn't change anything, it doesn't further the cause. It doesn't get you any closer to living or loving, or doing whatever it was you came here to do.  Mad is easy, and mad has it's place, but it's not a destination.

One of the things that kept me going in those moments was the quote by Meg Cabot, "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something is more important than fear." That and some amazing spiritual and personal stories that I will share at another time, later, when they are ready to be told.

In my case, I came out of that situation with PTSD. I could sense my own ability to deal with reality just outside my grasp. I could feel that I had to fight harder than I'd ever fought for anything in my life, just to get me back. And all the while I was trying so hard not to let the feelings that "I failed at this birth, I let myself down, my own body couldn't do what it was supposed to do" take over. (And if you're in that place, in any way, I want you to know that those things are just not true. Those are such painful thoughts. You're OK, you are loved, you are cherished.)  Truly, I had to know my core, and chose to fight for joy. Joy wasn't really within my reach, I knew that, but it was still out there. So I got curious, I started asking why. I found a really good therapist. None of that could have happened if I hadn't accepted myself, where I was, accepted that at my core I knew I could fight and this was the time to dig deeper than I even knew I could.

I think each of us is wired for joy. We are wired to find our way back home. That's what the story of this podcast ultimately is, that fight for joy, that pursuit of purpose, even when it's hard, even when it seems nearly improbable. For joy, transformation, and self acceptance. We need these stories, and we need to know joy is possible.  Because it is.

This post is part of the "Weeks of Self" series coordinated by Theresa at Thrive Within.
In this podcast I talk about:

Nov 18, 2015

Amber and Brady Black are a married couple currently living in Beirut, Lebanon, and they are a true inspiration. Having grown up and met, in the United States, they decided to move to the Middle East to teach. The first five years abroad were not easy, and Amber found herself fighting depression, which she courageously shares about in our interview. After some discussion, they decided that they needed to leave the gulf region. In a series of synchronous events, a friend of a friend  mentioned that there was an opening at "Home Of Hope" in Beirut, which is a home for abandoned and abused children in Lebanon. Amber and Brady went for a visit, and knew in their hearts that they had to teach there.

Brady had been interested in art in his younger years, and returned to it when things had gotten hard; in drawing whimsical art for a friend who wanted note cards to put in her children's lunches, something magical was born. Brady realized he had an outlet for his creativity, and it tapped into the imagination of the children and parents that saw it. When more requests came for note cards, Amber and Brady realized they had the beginnings of a business, one that brought joy to them and others, brought more purpose them as a couple, and helped Amber feel a sense of belonging and connection as she came out of her depression.

Joy and love is the through-line for Amber and Brady's work at Home of Hope, Lebanon, as well. They work with children who have been abandoned, abused, that are refugees, who have been on the streets, some have been involved in prostitution. At the Home, Amber and Brady teach the children, but it becomes so clear in the interview, they also meet each of these children right where they are, provide a consistent presence in their lives, and love them.

I adored getting to know Amber and Brady - they are funny, passionate, open, and so dedicated to both Serious Creatures and Home of Hope. I loved hearing about how Brady's passion for drawing and imagination truly changed their lives, and how both of them said "yes" to starting a business when the idea presented itself. And, I loved hearing about how much they love working with the kids in Beirut. I know you'll enjoy getting to know them, too.

In this interview we talk about:
- How Amber and Brady met at college, and have "been married every since"
- What it was like to move to Oman from Texas
- How Amber faced depression when she moved to Oman, and how she felt culturally isolated
- How art, imagination, and hope changed their lives, and started a company
- How Serious Creatures got it's name (hint: there's some Harry Potter magic involved!)
- The way they were introduced to Home of Hope
- What it's like to teach children of various ages and various levels of educational background
- How they strike a balance of taking care of themselves while working with children from difficult backgrounds
- Their kickstarter with Serious Creatures (Serious Starters)
- What it was like for Brady to see children reacting to his art for the first time
- What's next for them and Serious Creatures


Serious Creatures Website
Serious Creatures sign up page to learn about their after Thanksgiving sale
Serious Creatures Instagram
Serious Creatures Kickstarter
Home of Hope Lebanon Facebook page

The post Episode 11: Hope, Love, and Serious Creatures with Amber and Brady Black appeared first on Jump Start Your Joy.

Nov 10, 2015

In this episode I had the pleasure of talking to Molly Larkin about meeting addiction with loving kindness. Molly is a dear. I remember meeting her for the first time in January and being impressed with her presence. Strong, comforting, welcoming. She's the kind of person who makes you feel at ease and OK in your own skin. Learning that Molly is a registered nurse and a certified life coach, makes sense, she is so undoubtedly in her element in the work that she does.

What I find remarkable about this interview is the way she dives right in and we talk about "hard stuff" - addiction, eating disorders, ego, and self worth. In the same instance, Molly exudes humor, love, and acceptance. I truly enjoyed our conversation, and I'm so glad that we have crossed paths.

In this episode, Molly and I talk about:
- Her experience with addiction and an eating disorder
- How "maitri" (loving kindness) has been a key to her unlocking painful thoughts
- "The Work" of Byron Katie
- The ego's role in painful thoughts
- How to return to joy, even when the ego is running the show, and one is stuck n the midst of painful thoughts
- Molly's work with clients, and how to begin freeing oneself from addiction

I'm super excited that Molly is one of our speakers for the Dream Into Action Retreat running this weekend (November 13-14, 2015). Sign up here.

Resources for this show:
Molly Larkin's website
Read Molly's post on eating disorders
Dream Into Action registration site.
CCTP Website and registration (tell Kate that Molly & Paula sent you)
Byron Katie's book "Loving What Is" - my favorite of her books, on Amazon - it's simply brilliant and I know you'll love it!

I am an Amazon affiliate. Links on this page (ones to items I truly love and recommend) may earn me a commission.

The post Episode 10: Molly Larkin Speaks About Meeting All things with Loving Kindness appeared first on Jump Start Your Joy.

Nov 3, 2015

Franny Burkey is a baker, shop co-owner, and pastry maker at the dreamy "Franny's Cup and Saucer" in Point Arena, California. She whips up gorgeous cakes, delicious donuts, some amazing gluten free treats, all while working with her mom (and co-owner), Barbara. The shop itself feels like the embodiment of joy, with it's sweet gifts, tasty treats, and loving atmosphere. When I started creating my list of who I wanted to interview for Jump Start Your Joy, Franny Burkey was definitely one of the first names I wrote down.

And, Franny herself is really one of the most joyous and endearing folks I've ever met, and so it was a real treat to get to chat with her for a bit about her childhood, her outlook on life (and business), and what she loves about her work.

In this interview, you'll hear about:
- Franny's childhood, growing up in Northern California, and having two parents in the food industry
- How Franny comes up with flavors for her delicious Friday donuts<<br /> - How Franny and her Mom work together, and run the bakery
- The secret of how Franny gets up early, and her positive outlook on why it's not "so bad"
- What she does to relax, including mixed martial arts and running
- How they've established what to buy for their shop in a small town, and what their ideal price point is
- How many wedding cakes Franny makes in a year, and why she loves working on wedding cakes
- My own wedding cake and how Franny designed the cake for our four year old son (with a robot, rabbit, Yoda, and Lightning McQueen)

Franny's Cup and Saucer website
Franny's Cup and Saucer Facebook page (check out the donuts here)
Sunset Eating Up the West Coast from Amazon (Franny has two recipes in this 2015 book)

The song I mention at the very end of the interview, with a correction, the song is by Clint Black.


*I am an Amazon affiliate. Links on this page (ones to items I truly love and recommend) may earn me a commission.


The post Episode 9: Franny Burkey on Being Kind, Being Positive, and Nourishing Joy appeared first on Jump Start Your Joy.

Oct 27, 2015

Kate Swoboda, or Kate Courageous, is a one of a kind coach, mentor, and the creator of the Courageous Coaching Training Program. She has also created the Coaching Blueprint, and a program for individuals, Your Courageous Life. I recently graduated from CCTP (Courageous Coaching Training Program), and found my time in the program to be inspiring, intense, and life changing.

It was a little over a year ago that I first got on a call with Kate to chat about joining CCTP. Getting on that call, I was scared to death I would not make the cut. Truth be told, over the last year in the program, I've wrestled a good deal with those feelings that I'm either not good enough, or don't deserve the good things that come my way. But this was different, Kate wanted to truly understand who I "be," and how I wanted to connect with others. I knew from that first call that the program was a fit, and that Kate was different, in the very best of ways, that she saw potential in people, that she was all heart, and that she was as courageous as her name suggests. In other words, CCTP was the real deal and it was the right program for me.

Now a year later, I was super happy that Kate agreed to jump on a call for an interview. Again I was nervous, but this time, it was because I was in the driver's seat. Not that a client can't interview their coach (heck, I interviewed my former coach, and now buddy, Michelle just a couple of episodes ag). But I had heartfelt questions about the program I'd just graduated from, I wanted Kate to know I respected her and all that she's done. And, OK, I kind of nerded out and loved that I GOT to talk about Pema Chodron with the very person who'd introduced her to me. Mostly, though, I wanted her to feel at home on my podcast.

I think you'll like this interview; Kate is a powerhouse and I am honored to have her on the show. In this episode we talk about:
- what to do when "things fall apart" in your life; and how to deal with the emotions that come up
- what to do if you've been working on personal development for a while, but it doesn't seem to stick
- how to approach being an entrepreneur
- that you "take yourself with you" wherever you go, including your corporate job, or to your own business
- how she approached creating the Courageous Coaching Training Program
- Kate's definitions of fear and courage
- what keeps her going, and what she loves about being an entrepreneur
- what it's like to be a "new-ish" mother

Resources for this show:
Kate's website: Your Courageous Life
Coaching Blueprint: Marketing course for coaches
Courageous Coaching Training Program (tell Kate that Paula sent you)
Dream Into Action Retreat - running 11/13-15 - sign up for the "Love Notes" to get information on how to win a free spot!
The book "Getting There" by Gillian Zoe Segal on Amazon
When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron on Amazon
Walking the Walk by Pema Chodron on Amazon

One of the sound clips in this episode is brought to you by
I am an Amazon affiliate. Links on this page (ones to items I truly love and recommend) may earn me a commission.

The post Episode 8: Kate Swoboda on ‘Courage as a Path to Healing’ appeared first on Jump Start Your Joy.

Oct 20, 2015

In today's episode, I interview Earl Rivard, a musician, songwriter, and retreat leader. Earl has released three CDs, and is currently studying to be an operatic singer. In addition to his work in music, he leads retreats, and he and I have worked together for the past decade. Earl loves stories, loves the places where the sacred and story and life come together. He is a troubadour in the classic sense, with the roots of his his art in his mother's native Argentina, while singing around campfires, with friends and family, always with community.

It was fun interviewing someone I know so well, and I learned a ton about Earl's background and his interests. Thank you, Earl, for your friendship, your inspiration, your music, and for joining me on Jump Start Your Joy.

In this episode, you'll learn about:
- how being blind has formed his personality and shaped him
- how a trip to South America during high school introduced him to the joy of music
- Earl's advice on recording your own album, and what his secret weapon has been
- his happiest childhood memories
- his time in an A cappella group at UC Berkeley, and how he sees A cappella music as a metaphor for life
- his faith and how that has transformed him
- Earl's ideas on how to bring your dream into action


Earl Rivard's website
Links to purchase Earl's CDs
A Playlist of Earl's music on YouTube

The post Episode 7: Musician Earl Rivard on Sharing Stories through Song and Music appeared first on Jump Start Your Joy.

Oct 13, 2015

Jann Cather Weaver is an associate professor emerita of worship and theology and the arts at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. She's an ordained minister, and has served parishes in Wisconsin and Missouri. A published author, and a former Yale Divinity School professor, Jann and I met at Yale, where she taught one of the most memorable courses I took in my master's program, "The Theology of Art and Film."

This interview was a true delight, for so many reasons. Jann's ministry has been a beautiful dance of art, of exploring the human condition, and of looking for divine communication through many lenses, and many art forms, including photography, music, and film. She is a welcoming presence, and at the same time, a powerful force, truly comfortable in her own person, and yet pushing out toward the radical edge of theological education. It's a joy to witness how she's followed her own heart in pursuing theology and the arts, "not because Ithought there was a career there, but because it was (for lack of a better word) my passion. I could do no other than that."

I hope that you will take a listen, and soak up her words; her journey is one of an artist honing her craft, and I very much resonated with her words about finding a vocation, about pursuing dreams, and about extending radical love, acceptance, and hospitality to all of the creation.

In this episode we talk about:
- Jann's journey to earning her MDiv (Master's of Divinity) at Eden Seminary
- how a T5 tornado that struck Barneveld Wisconsin in 1984 changed her life, and the trajectory of her ministry
- about her time at Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California
- how careers change over time, and how the question of "good enough" may crop up more than once in the course of one's life
- Boy George, Torch Song Trilogy, and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - and a paper I wrote at grad school
- Lars and the Real Girl, and the theology of this 2007 film starring Ryan Gosling
- Jann's most recent courses, and future plans
- Jann's answer to how to jump start your own joy

And here are the links to download the show or subscribe via iTunes and Stitcher:

Eden Theological Seminary
Acts 2: the Story of Pentecost
Isaiah 43: Jann preached on this after the events of Barneveld
News footage of the destruction at Barneveld in 1984
War of Art by Stephen Pressfield
Graduate Theological Union
Yale Divinity School
Boy George: Cheapness and Beauty (the album) on Amazon
Boy George's song Il Adore on Amazon (video is also below from YouTube)
Torch Song Trilogy on Amazon
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert on Amazon
Lars and the Real Girl on Amazon
Jann Cather Weaver's page on United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities


I am an Amazon affiliate. Links on this page (ones to items I truly love and recommend) may earn me a commission.

The post Episode 6: Jann Cather Weaver on Radical Gratitude, Acceptance, and Hospitality appeared first on Jump Start Your Joy.

Oct 6, 2015

It's my true honor and privilege to share episode 5 with you. It's an interview with Michelle Ward, aka The When I Grow Up Coach. She's a Brooklyn based creative career coach who helps women unlock their dreams and find work that feels like play. In addition to her work as a one on one coach, she has created two courses on Creative Live (Ditch Your Day Job and Create your Dream Career), leads a lively Facebook group, and is the author of the book "The Declaration of You."

She's also one of the funniest, liveliest people I've ever met.

Michelle and I have known each other for about 3 years, and it is always a total joy to get to spend time with her.  I was her client, and "graduated" from my work with her knowing that I wanted to be an entrepreneur at some point, but admittedly not altogether sure what that would look like. I knew I loved doing retreats and knew I wanted to do more of that, whatever that was.

In this hilarious discussion, we chat about her early sparks of joy the 80s (yes, we talk about New Kids on the Block and Kirk Cameron), and a bit about her journey to become the When I Grow Up Coach, after having followed the dream of being in musical theater and graduating from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Michelle graciously dishes some very solid marketing advice, and I think any entrepreneur will really love what she has to say about finding your niche, activating your own marketing gatekeepers, and being super authentic as you start to build a client base.

In this episode we chat about:
- Michelle's early love of Debby Gibson and New Kids on the Block
- her time in a performing arts high school and getting early acceptance into NYU Tisch School of the Arts
- her bridge job, aka the job she held while she was working on getting certified as a life coach and worked in the financial industry
- Michelle's thoughts on having a niche and owning who you best work with
- ideas on what it's like to be a new entrepreneur, and how to build a business
- her recent experience in rebranding her own website
- her thoughts on ways to jump start your own joy

Related links:
Michelle's When I Grow Up Coach website
Donate to Michelle's "Avon Walk to End Breast Cancer" team
Sign up to join Michelle's webinar coming up October 9th!
Michelle's Grown Up Gigs Podcast
Ditch Your Day Job course at Creative Live
Create Your Dream Career course at CreativeLive (I show up on Day Two!)
Michelle's book "Declaration of You" on Amazon*


*this is an affiliate link - I love Michelle's book and know you will, too. Just wanted to keep it real.

The post Episode 5: Michelle Ward on Growing Up and Finding a Creative Career that You Love appeared first on Jump Start Your Joy.

Sep 29, 2015

In this episode, I speak with Dave Asprey, creator of Bulletproof Coffee, is the best selling author, tech industry veteran, bio-hacker, podcaster, and the CEO of Bulletproof Nutrition. His company recently received 9 million dollars in funding, and he's just opened his first brick and mortar Bulletproof Coffee shop in Santa Moncia, along with launching a line of products that are in Whole Foods.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to sit down with Dave, to chat about life. We were classmates at UC Santa Barbara, where we both lived in the San Rafael dorms during our sophomore year of college. We take an interesting (if not somewhat hilarious) trip down memory lane, revisiting our time in the dining commons, and talking about what's gotten Dave to where he is today.

In this episode, we chat about:
- what Dave was like in college
- how Dave created spoof flyers for our dorm regarding the famed UCSB Halloween celebration
- what he thinks of dorm food
- why fear and loathing was a motivator for his bio-hacking
- his experience at an intense 10 day retreat, and a cool exercise he tried there
- how fear can be a motivator
- his thoughts on why Bulletproof Coffee took off the way it did
- what it's been like to become a recognized personality with the rise of Bulletproof
- his philosophy on creating content for people, whether it be a podcast, book, or blogpost
- how to change the world
- if joy can be hacked

Here are just a few of the items we chat about - and some great sites to visit:
The Bulletproof Diet - Dave's best selling book, available on Amazon
The Bulletproof Executive - the main site for All Things Bulletproof
Moldy Movie - Dave's self funded movie about mold and it's effect on people

If you want to learn more about the coaching program I mention, it's The Courageous Coaching Training Program. Stop by and visit Kate and tell her Paula sent you :)


Sep 22, 2015

For episode 3, I'm super excited to share this interview with Matthew Wood, who is the voice of General Grievous in the Star Wars, Revenge of the Sith and The Clone Wars. When he's not doing voice work, he is also a supervising sound editor at Skywalker Sound, a job he's had for 25 years. Matt has worked on a ton of amazing movies, and been nominated for two Oscars for his work on "Wall*E" and "There Will Be Blood".

On the personal side, Matt and I went to grade school, middle school, and high school together, and it was so fun catching up with him. (my son thinks it's hilarious that his mommy went to school with General Grievous.) Matt and I were five  years old when Star Wars: A New Hope originally came out, and we both have fond memories of the Kenner toys, and the truly epic feel of the movie itself. And, he makes reference to the fact that he's working on the sound for the next film, The Force Awakens, which comes out on December 18, 2015.

I have to give him a huge shout out and thank you ... when we got on Skype he noticed my sound was "low," and offered advice on how to get my sound rig set up. He was helpful on getting my sound on point, and I couldn't be more grateful.

Matt and I talk about:
- seeing the "first" Star Wars (A New Hope) when it came out in 1977 at age five
- what it was like walking in to work on his first day at Skywalker sound
- how he started as a video games tester and worked his way over to the sound team
- his experience on Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
- how feeding the many sides of his brain, technical, creative, led him to take acting classes at ACT (American Conservatory Theater) in San Francisco
- his journey to becoming the voice of General Grievous
- the full circle experience of being both a fan of Star Wars, and then becoming one of the characters in the film
- how he learned to trust himself, listen to his gut, followed his intuition, and it led him to the opportunity that landed him as the voice of General Grievous
- how he sees the inter-connectedness of all things
- He answers the question of "What does General Grevious find joy in? What's that Greivous guy all about" from an emotional perspective (hint: he has a pet)
- the fun he's had with Grievous' voice, and how children react to it
- what it was like to work on Wall-E
- what might surprise you about how sound is created in a movie (hint: think fruit and veggies) based on the McGurk effect
- how he loves to craft things, from sound, to teams, to possibly chocolate and coffee
- the advice he gives on following your dreams
- what to do to jump start your joy

Matt's Website:
Matt on IMDB:
The Force Awakens website


The post Episode 3: Matthew Wood (the voice of General Grievous in Star Wars) on Crafting Joy in the Crossfade appeared first on Jump Start Your Joy.

Sep 15, 2015

Dr. Aimee Eyvazzadeh is the founder of the Egg Freezing Party, and goes by the nickname "The Egg Whisperer." She's an fertility specialist in Northern California, and she works with women and couples to help them realize their dream of having a child. Recently, she has introduced the concept of an "Egg Freezing Party" to the Bay Area; the idea being that women take the proactive step of having eggs harvested and frozen during their prime reproductive years so that they have more options around having children in the future. In the last year, both Apple and Facebook have announced that they will cover the costs of the related procedures for egg freezing for their employees.

Dr. Aimee has a wonderful outlook and an inspiring, no nonsense way about her. She's leading the charge to talk about some traditionally taboo topics around women's reproductive options, and she's doing so with grace, open-ness, and love. It's important that women know their options, and understand how egg health impacts their abilities to later have children. Her stance is that "Education = Choices = Empowerment" and she is standing at the forefront of educating women on their options.

She and I met many years ago, when she was friends with my younger sister. It's been a joy and a pleasure seeing her practice grow. And, such a delight getting to speak to her this week.

In this episode, Aimee and I talk about:
- the events that influenced her early in her life to want to become an OB/GYN
- how she got the nickname the Egg Whisperer
- what happens at an Egg Freezing Party
- her work to assist transgendered teen, Cole Carman, in collecting eggs before undergoing gender reassignment
- how her job involves high amounts of stress, and how she copes with it
- her recent weight loss and how that has changed her outlook on life
- how she embraces a positive mental attitude, and wakes up wanting to make the most of each day
- her advice on bringing your own dream into action, based on the advice of her own mentor
- how she makes a mindful choice, every day, to sparkle and bring joy to patients lives, knowing that IVF and trying to conceive can be difficult times in a women's life
- her thoughts on how you can jump start your own joy

The Egg Freezing Party website.
The Egg Whisperer's website.
NBC Bay Area's story on Cole Carman: Click here to watch.
Upcoming Egg Freezing Parties: Thursday, September 17 in San Francisco and Saturday, September 19 in Sacramento. Click here to sign up.

The post Episode 2: Dr. Aimee Eyvazzadeh of ‘Egg Freezing Party’ on Choosing to Sparkle Every Day appeared first on Jump Start Your Joy.

Sep 9, 2015

It's my greatest pleasure to kick off the Jump Start Your Joy podcast with an interview with Kathleen Davies, where we talk about "More Light," Love, and Acceptance. Kathleen and I met at Yale Divinity School where we became fast friends and room mates. Highlights of those days include our working together in the admissions office and later living in the servant's quarters above the garage of one of the master's homes from Yale College. Truly, it was a strange and magical time, and Yale was an interesting place.

Kathleen is ordained in the Presbyterian Church, and currently a Pastor at Community of the Servant-Savior Church in Houston, Texas. In this episode we talk about:

- her early sparks of joy listening to her Mother and Aunts tell stories, and how that ties to her current work as a preaching pastor
- what moved her to be more involved with social justice, after initially not feeling like she wanted to be propelled into the spotlight
- how same sex marriage ceremonies are a sacrament, not a spectacle, and how to honor that
- what it means to live in the fullness of God's creation
- the meaning of "More Light," and how her congregation welcomes all people to be in genuine community with each other
- how she balances the fine line of engaging with the media to bring light to social justice, and keeping the lives of her own congregation private
- her ideas on how you can bring your own dream into action
- how truly committing to a dream is one of the ways to bring joy into your life

And here are the links to the show for iTunes and Stitcher:

The post Episode 1: Kathleen Davies on ‘More Light,” Love, and Acceptance appeared first on Jump Start Your Joy.