As my summer really gets going, I am looking forward to gaining some momentum on expanding our community offerings. I'd love to hear from you where you'd like the podcast and community to go in the future to best support your needs!
In this episode:
If you’re the parent of a gifted or twice-exceptional child, then you know the struggles that come with the territory. Parents need a voice and an advocate, and today’s guest promises to be that voice--the one screaming out for the needs of these amazing kids.
Jen Torbeck Merrill is an Illinois-based writer and gifted family advocate who is the mom of two teen sons. She homeschools one, but happily sends the other off to public school every morning. Her book, If This Is A Gift, Can I Send it Back: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional, struck a nerve with families who suspected Jen was living in their closet. Her second book, on the needs of gifted parents and self-care, is in progress. Jen is a Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Ambassador and is slated to be one of the SENG (Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted) Conference keynote speakers at their annual convention in Houston this July. She intends to support the parents of gifted and twice-exceptional kids because they are the ones doing the heavy lifting and are too often ignored, patronized, and discredited. She hopes that her sons never have to deal with these issues when they raise their own likely gifted children. I first encountered Jen when we contributed to the Hoagies’ Gifted Blog Hops together, and I was always delighted with the humor and relatability in her writing. I’m excited to see her next book come out! Jen is also teaming up with past EI guests Kate Arms and Chris Wells to put on a series of webinars for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children.
Find Jen: Laughing At Chaos
Find Laughing At Chaos on Facebook and Twitter
Last year at a regional SENG (Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted) conference, I had lunch with someone who followed my podcast and online community. She asked me, "what exactly do you do?" Today I'm sharing more clarity what I do with educational assessment and consultation, and my shift towards doing more group facilitation.
In this episode:
Every so often, you meet someone who has had to fight for where they are in life. It’s usually the people who have faced the greatest difficulty who learn to be the most resilient and truly have a heart of gratitude for what they have in life. Such is the story of today’s guest. Join me to learn more.
Zaakirah Muhammad Demba is someone I met through a podcasting group on Facebook called She Podcasts. Once I got to know her, I realized she would be a great guest on the show--and here she is! Zaakirah is a brand-cultivating strategist, professional photographer, and digital marketer. She helps small businesses make their social media pages look good, and she advises the best social media tactics for growing and being consistent with their brand. At 6 months of age, a camera saved her life, and at 9 months old, she was taken into surgery to have her right eye removed due to a rare cancerous tumor that was detected by a camera in a photo taken by her mom. Her hearing slowly began to decline as she grew older, but her other 3 senses kicked in and are doing well. At age 5, her mom gifted her with her first camera, and she received her first digital camera in middle school. She attended technical high school and went on to study commercial photography and never strayed far from her purpose in life. She moved to Washington, DC, to expand her education and work in professional photography and videography. She currently resides in Nashville but has traveled to 10 countries with her camera, most recently to South Africa. As a people-person and an empath, Zaakirah wants her legacy to be the fact that she was able to see the good in people, help them live their best life, and step outside their comfort zone.
These last few weeks of school my schedule has been thrown off whack, but as school approaches the end it opens up my schedule to do more great things with Embracing Intensity and more!
In this episode:
Today you’ll meet someone who manifests his intensity through music and dance. In sharing his passion, he also stays connected to his Indian culture and brings it to people across the US as he celebrates all things FUN.
I first met Prashant Kakad in his role as a Bollywood DJ. I’ve loved attending his dance events because of the diverse variety of people and the open and free spirit of celebration. He is one of the best examples I know of psychomotor or physical excitability. As I’ve gotten to know Prashant better, I realized that he is gifted and intense in many different ways. From Orcas Island to the Florida Keys, this multifaceted Bollywood entertainer has spent the last 10 years traveling across the US sharing his passion for Indian music and culture. An Indian-born, first-generation immigrant, Prashant’s unique perspective as an Ivy League graduate and ex-Intel engineer-turned DJ transforming American nightlife has inspired many South Asians who seek to pursue a life beyond their tech job.
Find Prashant on Instagram: Instagram: Dream Prashant
Find Prashant on YouTube: Dream Prashant
Find Prashant’s website: Dreams Perfected
Consider supporting the podcast: Embracing Intensity
From last week’s episode: Side by Side: A Model of Healthy Relationships by Kate Arms
In May we are focusing on shifting perspective, and part of that is in shifting our perspective of intensity. For our Embracing Intensity group call, Kate Arms will be talking about Thriving with Intensity. This is the talk she did at the SENG 2018 conference.
Thriving with Intensity:
Dabrowski believed overexcitabilities enhance our capacity for self-actualization. How can we take advantage of this extra capacity? This presentation will focus on how adults can grow beyond coping with the challenges of being super sensitive and move toward greater fulfillment.
Once a few tools are identified for getting the most out of extraordinary sensitivity, the potential for self-awareness and life-changing transformations are profound. Using a coaching and leadership skills framework, Kate Arms will explore how to discover the gifts in individual overexcitabilities and how to use those gifts to create a greater sense of fulfillment in any moment.
Kate Arms is a personal and business coach at Signal Fire Coaching. She loves helping smart, sensitive, and creative people harness their many passions, skills, and sensitivities and use that energy to thrive. She is at her best with complex people facing complex problems. Particular passions are teaching emotional self-management to intense people, supporting parents of twice-exceptional kids, and teaching leadership, collaboration, and relationship skills to software developers. She is the parent of four gifted kids, three of whom are twice-exceptional and a different three of whom are triplets. Her current writing projects are focused on healthy interpersonal relationships at home and work and how to have effective high-stakes conversations.
Call recordings for the discussion and past calls can be found in the Embracing Intensity Community.
Do you have a hard time explaining what goes on in your brain? After reading a post from Intergifted on High, Exceptional & Profound Giftedness, the concept of "Matrix Thinking" really resonated with me! I wrote a blog post about it last week, and decided to share my thoughts on the podcast as well! I have already found it a handy tool to help outside-the-box thinkers to articulate how they visualize their own brains.
In this episode:
Different types of Matrix Thinking
Today’s guest has an amazing story to tell about her experience as a highly, exceptionally to profoundly gifted (HEPG) person. She and I met in gifted adult groups, and I knew I had to have her on the show.
Kari Betton is a coach and mentor for sensitive, gifted, and highly creative individuals and has much knowledge about how we can visualize the brain. Starting the Chicago Neurodiversity and Acceptance Community, as well as her work around kink openness and sex positivity, encouraged Kari to write her blog, Follow Your Own Flow. The blog focuses on her life as a multi-exceptional and gifted adult, analyzes the essential elements of creativity and presence, and challenges extrinsic paradigms.
Visit Embracing Intensity for more information about our community and our upcoming May 11 Group Call with Kate Arms on Thriving with Intensity.
April's theme is Time & Energy Balance. As a tool for finding balance, Rukshana Triem joins us to talk about connecting with nature.
Connecting with Nature is an amazing session to help everyone understand the importance of our health when we expose our mind and body to the outdoors. The simple things that we can practice and implement into our daily lives so we have more inner peace, love and energy. The audience will have clear understanding that nature is not intimidating but taking one step at a time that builds confidence to taking bigger steps towards other things in life. In this workshop Rukshana will share the five key values that she Teaches in her various coaching programs.
Rukshana has a huge Hunger to serve, to bring deep connection to transformation women all around the world. Rukshana Hafez Triem is an Author, inspirational Speaker, and CEO of a Womens Lifestyle Coaching LLC. Her journey started in Zambia living in a Refugee camp. Due to Trauma and overcoming her sexual abuse past, she was able to create a comfortable lifestyle that supports her family. She shares her story with others as she travels around the world, doing public speaking, workshops and Retreat and her New Mission Building schools in Africa, in Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia. For upcoming events in your area, sign up for the news letter here.
Call recordings for this and all past calls can be found in the Embracing Intensity Community.
In this episode, Rukshana shares:
Do you or someone you love struggle to find balance in life because of the effects of ADHD? This is the show with the answers! My guest has been where you are because he has ADHD and his passion is to help others.
Brendan Mahan has a Master’s of Education and School Counseling. He’s an internationally-known ADHD Executive Functioning consultant, coach, and host of the ADHD Essentials podcast. He helps people manage the emotional, academic, and lifestyle impacts ADHD has on the people who have it and those who care for them. I was introduced to Brendan when he appeared on the ADHD ReWired podcast with Eric Tivers, where Brendan talked about his concept of “The Wall of Awful.”
Find out more about Brendan and his work:
Self-Reg by Stuart Shanker
Three upcoming events: Visit the Embracing Intensity Facebook page to join our EI Community or Patreon--
April 27: Seasonal Potluck in the Pacific NW
April 29: Ignite Your Power course: Time and Energy Balance
May 11: A (10:00 am Pac.) group call with Kate Arms on Thriving with Intensity
This week I was going to share our group call talk with Rukshana Triem, but life happened so instead I thought I'd share a quick story about my own school experience and how it led me to crash hard in college!
Can you look in the mirror and say, “I love you”? Today’s guest explains why this is important, along with cultivating a passion for lifelong learning and learning that you can’t carry the negative emotions of those around you. Dive in deep with us!
Shannon Meade is a homeschooling mom of two boys who is a Pacific Northwest native but also a global traveler. Most recently, she took her family to Thailand for 14 months to provide space and time for them all to be together and to provide her husband a respite from his busy career as a 911 dispatcher. As the “Queen of Ease,” Shannon offers workshops and speaks to women about their inner critic and ways to foster better relationships with themselves.
Navigating relationships successfully can be one of the most challenging things we ever do. The intensity and outside-the-box nature of twice-exceptionality (gifted plus disability), adds in a whole new layer of challenge. In this episode, Dr. Melanie Hayes shares both the joys and the hurdles of twice exceptional relationships.
In this episode:
Why is intensity often cast with a negative connotation? Today’s show highlights an intense and “extra” person who is finding success in the world of filmmaking, embracing intensity, and happy to take the risk to be a shining creative!
Marc Smolowitz is a multi-award-winning director, producer, and executive producer who has been significantly involved in over 50 successful independent films. He wears many hats across the film and entertainment industry, and the combined footprint of his work has touched 200 film festivals and markets on five continents, yielding substantial worldwide sales to theatrical, television, and VOD outlets. He’s experienced notable box office receipts, numerous awards, and nominations, and his long list of credits includes films that have screened at top-tier festivals. As a director/producer, his 2011 film, The Power of Two, premiered at the Tokyo International Film Festival and went on to screen at 35 festivals around the globe, winning major prizes, garnering theatrical release in the USA and Japan, and selling on Hulu in the USA and Netflix in Japan. Marc is currently in production on two feature documentaries. The G Word is a film about giftedness, intelligence, and neurodiversity, and is slated for 2020 completion. The Lonely Child is a film about the unexpected present-day footprint of a little-known Yiddish lullaby written during the Holocaust. This film has been developed with the Jewish Film Institute’s Competitive Filmmaker in Residence program in San Francisco.
13th Gen Learn more about Marc and his company
Follow Marc on Twitter: @MarcSmolowitz
The Gword Film Find out about Marc’s film about giftedness
If you’re an intense person, then you’ve probably known feelings of being out of control, unvalued in relationships, and being unable to set boundaries. My guest today has a wonderful story about how she came to a place of self-love, so she could then ask for what she wants and needs to be her best self in the world.
Melissa Snow is a certified life coach who specializes in helping women improve their lives by learning to like, love, and value themselves more. She understands firsthand what it’s like to feel out of place and “not good enough.” She also knows the dramatic effects this has on ALL aspects of your life. She loves helping women get from where they are to where they want to be, by increasing their self-esteem and recognizing their inherent worth. Melissa is the author of Ten Secrets to Having the Love You Want, and has recently been featured on The Inspired Women podcast with Megan Hall. She’s also frequently featured on Bustle and Mind-Body Green.
Embracing Intensity Join our community!
Three upcoming events:
April 1--Ignite Your Power: Self-Empathy
April 13--Guest call: Connecting with Nature
April 27--Quarterly Potluck in the Portland area
Do you ever have the feeling that you are "never enough"? This week, Aurora talks about how our ability to see the potential in everything, can actually get in the way of achieving it!
In this episode, Aurora shares:
How good are you at speaking up for yourself? The problem in today’s society is that assertiveness is usually equated with aggressiveness---and that is not considered a favorable quality for most women to have. So, how do we find the balance between being too passive and not being too aggressive? Do we have to be unkind to speak up for ourselves? We’re answering these questions and so much more in today’s show!
Amy Smith is a Certified Confidence Coach, masterful speaker, personal empowerment expert, and the founder of thejoyjunkie.com. Amy uses her roles as coach, writer, podcaster, and speaker to move individuals to a place of radical personal empowerment and self-love. With a focus on helping people find their voice, Amy is highly sought after for her uncommon style of irreverence, wisdom, and humor. She’s been a featured expert on Fox Five San Diego and YourTango.com.
Find social media: The Joy Junkie
Find Amy’s podcast: The Joy Junkie
“We don't want to simply bounce back, we want to bounce forward.” This week, on Embracing Intensity, Silver Huang shares her wisdom on the topic of resilience. As both a profoundly gifted and autistic individual, her perspective is simultaneously unique and universal. She lays out concepts that can be hard to grasp in a very tangible and actionable way. Plus, she’s just really fun to listen to!
In this talk, Silver will share:
Working definitions of adversity, resilience, and adaptability.
The importance of perspective.
How shifting our respective can change outcomes.
6 practical templates to help shift your perspective and improve outcomes.
This week on Embracing Intensity, I'm sharing the first lesson of my Ignite Your Power Course. In this lesson, we will observe our own powers, get clear on how to harness them and develop a “power toolkit” to help harness them more. You can find the full group discussion and other materials related to the lesson in the Embracing Intensity Community!
In this episode, I discuss:
How do you think it feels to feel stifled and suppressed your whole life, always being told what to say and what to do? It doesn’t sound like a fulfilling way to live, does it? It’s especially difficult for someone with intensity, unable to express their thoughts and words. Today’s show tells the inside story.
Abbi Wood loves words and having fun with language. Perhaps this love stems from the fact that her words were suppressed for so long. She now loves the growth and evolution of words, and how new words emerge and old words become redundant, faster than you can say---redundant! As a kid, Abbi dreamed of getting a Ph. D. in the English language, and now she has more than 20 years under her belt working with words. She has a double degree in math and computer sciences because her family convinced her that making a living as a writer was an impossibility. A challenger by nature, Abbi fought against so-called “truths” her entire life. As a woman and a person of color, she heard more than her fair share of what to do and what to say in the world, and she’s learned to take what she hears with a grain of salt. She’s also learned how to think for herself and make up her own mind. Join us as we jump into Abbi’s story and her intensity.
Quick update on the upcoming week's.
How does it feel to identify as broken and immensely different from all those around you? If these feelings continue and compound, then one ends up feeling mentally ill---doomed to be always on the outside of normal.
Chris Wells joins us today from The Gifted Development Center in Westminster, CO. We met at the SENG conference, and then Chris’ name came up again in a conversation with Kate Arms, our guest from Episode 93. Chris has the knowledge and in-depth experience on the topic of positive disintegration. Her story is amazing--and you don’t want to miss it!
Something new we’re doing here in the Embracing Intensity community is profiling different members of the community to share who we are, what we’ve figured out, and how we can get to know and understand each other better. I’m giving you a sneak peek of my interview with Javon Fernanders, and you can find out more when you join us at Embracing Intensity.
We are super excited to have Heather Boorman, of the Fringy Bit Podcast, share her talk on Self-Compassion from the SENG (Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted) conference last summer!
Self-Compassion has been proven to be an effective mindset and intervention toward more sustainable mental health and self-concept. This presentation will apply the work of Dr. Kristin Neff in the field of self-compassion to the gifted population and typical struggles faced by many gifted individuals. In particular, we will consider how Dabrowski’s super-stimulabilities and other typical psychosocial traits can lead to perfectionism, imposter syndrome, self-judgment, low frustration tolerance, depression, and anxiety. We will consider the ways in which society’s responses to giftedness and emphasis on self-esteem can also contribute to un-wellness in gifted children, youth, and adults. Self-compassion will then be defined and defended as an effective intervention toward increased wellness. Attendees will be introduced to, and participate in, exercises to increase self-compassion. The session will be a blend of lecture and interactive.
About the Author:
Heather Boorman lives an intensely joy-filled and full life as a homeschooling mom to 3 fringy kids and the executive director and therapist with Boorman Counseling. She passionately advocates for differently wired kids and adults through her work as a national speaker, writer & podcaster at The Fringy Bit. Heather’s also the author of The Gifted Kids Workbook, which provides mindfulness-based activities to help kids reduce stress, balance emotions, and build confidence.
About Embracing Intensity Group Calls:
Each month on the second Saturday, we will have a guest speaker dive into a topic they love followed by a discussion with the group. The talk will be shared on the podcast, but the discussion will only be shared with Embracing Intensity community members and patrons. The calls will be on the Zoom platform, which allows you to interact at whatever level you'd like (video, audio or use photo and chat box). There will be an opportunity for further discussion in the Embracing Intensity Community.
Are you a humanitarian? Today's episode is with Jaiden Love, a healer, educator, and humanitarian and the author of the book Saving My Life. Jaiden is a very spiritual person who has been passionate about serving and helping others for all of his life. He has been running his own business for the last ten years, and although it has continually morphed and changed over this time, it has always been about helping people to live their truth. Listen in today to find out about Jaiden and the way that he helps people to become the very best version of themselves.
Jaiden has a really huge heart and wonderful energy that radiates right through the screen and microphone. As a healer, he is passionate about helping others to do their own inner work, so that they can learn to live their truth and their happiest life. As an educator, Jaiden strives to give people the tools to treat others with more compassion and respect. The combination of the two allows him to create and hold a safe space for people to reach the ultimate goal of greater connectedness and love in the world. Listen in to find out what Jaiden has to share in today's episode.
Jaiden's website: Held And Heard
Jaiden's email: email@example.com
Jaiden's phone number: 503 757 1454
Jaiden is on Linkedin
To receive a 45-minute free consultation from Jaiden, contact him and tell him that you listened to this podcast.
Our Find Your Power Zone Tool-kit Challenge starts on the 14th of January, as a way to kick off the growth of our new Embracing Intensity Community. Go to Embracing Intensity to find out more about the challenge and about our new community.