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Jul 26, 2021

Our July Guest Call was on Intuitive Flow & Creativity with Kari Betton

About Kari:

Kari Betton is a coach and mentor for highly sensitive and twice-exceptional people, with a passion for helping them find their innate sense of intuitive flow.

Too often, we can be focused on developing our mental health, physical health, intellect, etc, but including intuitive development in our personal development practice creates an easier foundation for all types of development within you to be congruent with each other.

A personal intuitive wandering practice can have profound implications on achieving the results and designing the life that you desire. In this call, Kari will focus on how to attain clarity and enough space in your life to listen to the inner wisdom that you already have.

In their spare time, Kari enjoys recording and producing their podcast Decolonizing Sexuality, vegan foodie adventures with friends, and painting galaxies.

You can find out more about Kari and their work at:

In this episode:

  • What is effort transcendence?
  • Maintaining a trajectory of expansion over time
  • When to give drops, and when to be your fire hose self


Embracing Intensity Community

Workbook on Harnessing the Power of Your Intensity

Jul 19, 2021

I’m excited to introduce you to a speech therapist whose work is informed by the autistic community and her personal experience in identifying as twice-exceptional. Her heart and passion are to help give a voice to those who can’t speak for themselves. Join us!

Mara McLoughlin has over ten years of professional experience working with autistic and other neurodivergent people and their families. She has been a student and teacher of yoga and mindfulness for over 25 years, knowing that building these skills can help build a better world. She is a certified provider of the PEERS program that exists for the educational and enrichment of relational skills. With both her bachelor’s and master's degrees in Communication Science and Disorders, she knows that communication is fun, difficult, and the key to life. To learn and gain confidence in the initial steps of founding friendships and self-regulation skills can help improve the lives of everyone.

Show Highlights:

  • Why Mara is intensely passionate about yoga and working with autistic people and their families
  • How Mara’s intensity looks like a strong sense of fairness and fiercely advocating for those who can’t speak for themselves, especially those with autism or aphasia due to stroke
  • Growing up, Mara was a precocious speaker who struggled in school and was a determined but difficult child
  • How the masking component has affected Mara in “code-switching” according to different situations
  • The misconception about autism and the children who aren’t identified by their response to social cues
  • The relationship between non-binary gender identification and autism
  • How cultural factors affected Mara as she grew up in white, conservative, suburban Chicago as she didn’t follow the “rulebook” or the status quo
  • Why she was unsuccessful in toning herself down or tuning herself out because she couldn’t conform to others’ expectations
  • How Mara moved to the West Coast and found where she fits in and feels at home
  • How a stroke affected her partner at age 43 and brought out Mara’s advocacy skills
  • How Mara uses her fire for good by being a fierce advocate for people who have different brains, helping to build capacity in environments for different learners
  • How Mara harnesses the power of her intensity through breathing, yoga and movement, meditation, mindfulness, and gratitude
  • How Mara helps others use their fire through the PEERS program with social and emotional development in making and keeping friends and solving conflict
  • Mara’s business, IRL Social skills, which is a collective of speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists who help families of autistic teens and adults
  • How Mara uses immersion therapy in her work


Connect with Mara:  irl Social 

Find IRL Social Skills on Facebook and Mara McLoughlin on Twitter and @pawsomesocialskills on Instagram.

There are lots of upcoming great events happening in the EI Community. Check us out at Embracing Intensity 

Jul 13, 2021

A while back I had seen a lot of posts about the overlap and similarities between ADHD and Autism, and it got me thinking about some observations I’d made both personally and professionally testing neurodivergent kids over the years.

I posted this tweet asking folks the following questions:

Curious with the #Autism vs. #ADHD discussions recently, if you have one or both, what do you relate to more:

  1. Big Picture vs. Details
  2. Order vs. Chaos
  3. Think in Words vs. Pictures
  4. Acquired Knowledge vs. Novel Problem Solving
  5. Process Fast vs. Slow

Elaboration Welcome

More recently I posted the same questions with elaboration on TikTok and the responses were fascinating!

I think my biggest takeaway from hearing personal accounts from so many neurodivergent folks is that even when there’s a consistent pattern that is statistically more likely in a specific area of neurodivergence, they are not hard and fast rules. 

Jul 5, 2021

I met today’s guest through the neurodivergent community on Twitter. Join us to learn more about his inspiring story.

Joseph Gitau is a writer, singer, and blogger who has been diagnosed with ADHD and Bipolar I. With his childhood and youth being spent between his native Kenya and the US, he has a unique perspective about how neurodivergence is treated differently in both countries. Joseph uses his talents to promote mental health throughout his creative outlets.

Show Highlights:

  • Why Joseph is intensely passionate about mental health and the arts
  • How Joseph’s personal brand of intensity includes music and twice-exceptionality
  • How Joseph’s journey of discovery through school was difficult because he was an introvert
  • How the Kenyan tradition of children being “not seen and not heard” was very difficult for Joseph as an ADHD music-lover who always wanted to sing and play music
  • Joseph’s years in Kenya and the US, and how his ADHD and bipolar diagnosis came about
  • How Joseph has to tone himself down--even today
  • How Joseph’s intensity got out of control when he dropped out of university, and he didn’t know what to do next
  • Why Joseph does the important work to break the taboo around ADHD and promote mental health awareness
  • Why Joseph’s writing includes interracial characters
  • How celebrities represent neurodiversity to the world
  • Why society uses labels to put people in different boxes
  • How Joseph came to accept his neurodivergence
  • The mixed feelings around neurodivergence, superpowers, white privilege, and economic privilege
  • How Joseph uses his fire for good through his blog where he talks about the educational system, neurodiversity, and how marginalized people are affected
  • Joseph’s plans for the future
  • How Joseph harnesses the power of his intensity through yoga and learning to balance structure and flexibility
  • Joseph’s parting advice: “Don’t worry about tomorrow. Nothing is set in stone except what you did yesterday. Do what’s right by you, and people will respect you.”


Find Joseph Gitau on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Jun 28, 2021

Today’s conversation is with a creative who has overcome obstacles to find her place in the world where she isn’t afraid to be seen and heard. She helps others connect and engage, no matter how they have been “othered” by society, and she has learned how to effectively use her superpowers. Join us to learn more about making the world a brighter place for us all.

Jen Sujin Yoon is a creative consultant, storyteller, people-connector, and future-builder. We met on TikTok and immediately vibed with each other’s content. Jen is starting a new adventure as she launches The Dork Web Production Company. She lives in the Bushwick community of Brooklyn and loves this “cool hood” filled with passionate artists.

Show Highlights:

  • Why Jen is intensely passionate about connecting people and using The Dork Web as “a light corner of the web where people meet and are inspired to make the world a brighter place.”
  • How Jen’s personal brand of intensity involved her awareness of how “it all comes together” in her characteristics of being highly sensitive, neurodivergent, and 2E
  • How Jen’s intensity was always shut down as she grew up as a Korean-American having to live according to metrics and expectations; she turned to art, comics, fiction, and pop culture as forms of escapism
  • In Jen’s school experience, she was bookish and in the gifted program, but she never felt like she fit in or was good enough at school or at home
  • Why toning down and tuning out was just how Jen learned to live, and she’s only recently learned to own her space and put her voice and face out there to be heard and seen
  • How Jen learned to make herself small to try to fit in and be a people-pleaser--these were her survival skills
  • How Jen felt “othered” in many ways but wants people to feel like they belong
  • How Jen’s intensity becomes out of control in her moments of “Hulk-smash” crazy anger
  • How Jen compares her ADHD to superpowers that make her loud and proud
  • Why Jen views her past traumas as what has developed her into who she is today
  • Why Jen wants to normalize ALL emotions
  • How Jen uses her fire for good as she uses her interdisciplinary experience and embracing leadership to help promote others and their work that aligns with her values
  • How Jen harnesses the power of her intensity as she watches her younger sister (whom she mothered) grow up and have awareness of the world’s realities
  • Why Jen explains her childhood narcissistic trauma as “death by a thousand paper-cuts”
  • Jen’s advice: “Even if you're a problem-solver and leader, you still have to take care of yourself and not be a martyr. No one is coming to save you---you have to save yourself.”


Find The Dork Web on TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram. Website coming soon at The Dork Web

Jun 21, 2021

Our June Guest Call was on Asynchronous Development in Gifted Adults with Tiffany Chhuom.

Asynchronous development is a hallmark of the gifted experience, when we may have developed far ahead of our peers in some areas, and behind in others. This can continue into adulthood, especially for those who are also twice exceptional, and impact many aspects of our life experience.

About Tiffany:

Tiffany Chhuom, MPH, MSW is the owner of EthTech, a healthcare consulting and training firm for the Digital Era, and Lucy in the Sky Therapy, an on-line private practice for neurodiverse adults. With almost 20 years of experience in healthcare, she holds four degrees in four disciplines from the University of Washington. Her work produced notable achievements in practice, policy, research and administration across the Public Health, Social Work, Psychology, Criminal Justice, and Child Welfare sectors. She has lead large projects across the country in behavioral and medical research while also fine tuning her craft as a trauma and addiction therapist. Mrs. Chhuom is a long-time mentor and applauded speaker, creating new opportunities to advance course offerings and continuing education on telehealth ethics and digital marketing for providers and healthcare partners. You can find out more about Tiffany and her work at:

This is a part of our 2021 Embracing Intensity Community Speaker Series.

Calls are open for all to attend, and the recordings are shared in the Embracing Intensity Community. You can support this work by joining the community, or supporting us on Patreon


Embracing Intensity Community

Free Workbook on Harnessing the Power of Your Intensity

Jun 15, 2021

We had our first neurodivergent book club on Saturday, and one of the things we talked about was the complexity of labels. On the one hand, they serve as a tool to get information, support and connect with others, but it can also serve to separate us into "us and them" if we're not careful. 

In this episode:

  • Why I avoided using the terms gifted and twice exceptional for so long, and why it's helped to finally use them. 
  • Just because we can get by without a label, doesn't mean it wouldn't be helpful. 
  • Being in both parent and neurodivergent adult spaces, parents are hesitant to label kids with disabilities, but not giftedness, while adults wish they'd gotten disability diagnoses sooner and often dislike the gifted label. 


Embracing Intensity Community

Free Workbook on Harnessing the Power of Your Intensity

Jun 7, 2021

Today’s show is all about taking a holistic approach to achieve balance and take back control of your life. Join us to learn more.

Zarya Rubin is a physician and functional medicine health coach. She is a formerly stressed-out mom who now helps women in mid-life get to the root of their health issues and manage their stress to take back control of their lives.

Show Highlights:

  • What is stress?
  • The relationship between stress, control, and our response to stressors
  • The body’s primal response: fight, flight, or freeze
  • Zarya explains her self-care graphic and gives factoids about stress
  • How unmitigated stress often leads to burnout
  • Personality traits that make you prone to burnout: being a workaholic, superhero, perfectionist, or lone ranger
  • Common stressors in daily life are work, family, life events, health, finances, change/loss, and pandemic stress, which all of us have experienced in the last several months
  • How stress CAN be a positive thing that motivates us to accomplish daily tasks
  • How women can reduce stress levels by sharing with others and finding community
  • Three types of stress: acute, episodic, and chronic
  • The gut/brain connection and how stress affects it
  • How to prevent stress, manage stress, and build resilience:
    • Use stress-busting techniques.
    • Take care of the basics.
    • Use a checklist, speak up, and practice self-care.
    • Practice breathing techniques, meditation, and mindfulness.
  • What self-care is
  • Types of rest: physical, mental, social, sensory, emotional, spiritual, and creative
  • Zarya gives examples of breathing exercises and meditation that you can try at home
  • Tips for good health habits for those with executive functioning impairments


Find out more about Zarya and her work, and find her FREE Guide to Becoming Stress-Proof:

Wild Lilac Wellness

May 31, 2021

The foundation of my work on my blog and podcast has been about intensity, and it's origins came from my work on excitability, also known as over excitability. Excitability is when you receive and respond the world more intensely than others. 

In this episode:

  • Excitability as a sign of high developmental potential
  • The 5 areas of excitability
  • Using your strengths


Free workbook on Harnessing the Power of Your Intensity!

Embracing Intensity Community

May 24, 2021

Today’s show is with yet another intriguing person I met on TikTok. I’m especially interested in her experience with twice-exceptionality and the work she’s doing in TV.

Shadi Petosky is an Emmy winner and Wendy’s Employee of the Month-winning TV showrunner. She co-created and showran the Emmy-winning Danger and Eggs for Amazon Prime Video, which was also a Critics Choice and GLAAD nomination. She executive produced Twelve Forever for Netflix and the upcoming live- action, gender-bending sci-fi series Forever Alone with Adaptive Studios. She most recently directed the live-action comedy pilot, Let’s Go Atsuko for Quibi, and her show, Pretty Cursed, is in development at Circle of Confusion TV. She was the animation supervisor for all 72 episodes of the hit show Yo Gabba Gabba.

Show Highlights:

  • Why Shadi is intensely passionate about making stuff like comics, art, games, designs, visual effects, and TV writing
  • Why Shadi’s personal brand of intensity is “clownish with a Willy Wonka vibe”
  • How Shadi grew up living a series of ADHD cliches, being a daydreamer and a nerd later in high school who loved theater and clubs
  • In school, Shadi was bullied a lot and involved in many fights; she stayed in trouble, was an extrovert, and says she was never anyone’s favorite person
  • Cultural factors that affected Shadi include growing up in rural Montana and then a military kid who lived an isolated and classless existence in remote areas
  • Why Shadi’s childhood affected what she thought was possible in pursuing dreams
  • How Shadi didn’t have to tone down or tune herself out as a kid, but has had to learn as an adult to handle conflict, deal with people, and tackle her intense irritability
  • How Shadi has handled her executive functioning issues in managing other people
  • How Shadi uses her fire for good in making TV shows with queer kids and doing fulfilling work that matters, especially when it comes to justice sensitivity
  • What Shadi has noticed about the evolution of TV shows in the representation of trans folks and other marginalized groups
  • How Shadi’s creativity was affected by the pandemic and quarantine
  • How Shadi harnesses the power of her intensity by making lists, going to therapy, DBT, and new medications; she has also tried to cut down on stressful jobs and prioritize leisure time
  • How Shadi helps others use their fire by helping young writers, teaching, and working with kids
  • Why it’s tough to be vulnerable online
May 18, 2021

I once again had other plans for this episode but I realized I've hit survival mode for the school year. Every year since 8th grade, I've had what I called Spring Fever when I'd crash at the end of the school year. I've come to realize that it's the fatigue that comes from over taxing my executive functioning skills for too long. 

Add a pandemic, last minute taxes, aging hormones, unfavorable med change and adapting to my son's new schedule getting up earlier Mondays, and my brain's pretty much toast today!

In this episode: 

  • My creativity and new thought currently dried up
  • Meds are like brain glasses
  • Giving grace through the end of school
  • I'm opening up some 1:1 spots for coaching and adult learning assessment 
  • An exciting collaborating to revamp my website with more info on how that looks this summer!
  • Threadless sale 15% off and just added all of Jays Workshop squirrel merch!
  • Call recording for Breaking the Stress Cycle available in the Embracing Intensity Community
  • Next call on Asyncronous Dev in Gifted Adults with Tiffany Chhuom


May 10, 2021

Today’s guest had all the markers of traditional success, an Ivy League Education, letters after her name and a well paying career, but she realized she was miserable because she was not being authentic to herself. She broke out of the medical system to help people in a more holistic way. Join us!

Dr. Zarya Rubin is a Harvard-educated physician and certified health and wellness coach who is passionate about helping people heal through functional medicine. She partners with her clients to get to the root cause of symptoms and create a roadmap to wellness.

Show Highlights:

  • Why Zarya considers herself a “multipotentialite” who is passionate about many interests and has engaged her entrepreneurial qualities in many varied careers
  • How Zarya’s love of opera singing has fared during the time of COVID
  • Zarya’s personal brand of intensity means that she has always been “a lot,” but seemed like a “garden variety normal intense person” during her time in NYC
  • Why she is intense about political activism and her many passions but has learned to be quieter as she has aged and come into the coaching space, learning to live a slower paced life on the west coast
  • How Zarya’s intensity has transformed over the years as she grew up as a shy and quiet child
  • How the acceleration from kindergarten to 3rd grade in one year led to Zarya’s inner struggle with darkness and anxiety
  • The disastrous outcome of Zarya’s acceleration in school leading her to become a burnt out gifted kid
  • Cultural factors that influenced Zarya stemmed from her very Jewish, very intense, and very loud family
  • How Zarya had to tone down and tune out for decades to make herself more acceptable to women in friendships and men in relationships, which also meant she dumbed down her education and career
  • How Zarya’s intensity never appeared out of control outwardly, but she inwardly dealt with anxiety and PTSD
  • How Zarya uses her relentless pursuit of answers and solutions for the good of her clients and her family
  • How Zarya’s husband helped her gain a new perspective on social media posts
  • What parents of gifted kids really want
  • How Zarya harnesses the power of her intensity by embracing, recognizing, acknowledging, and accepting it
  • How Zarya’s goal as a coach is working with women in midlife to help them find their spark, joy, and passion again


Wild Lilac Wellness

Visit Zarya’s website to get her FREE Guide to Becoming Stress-Proof

Instagram Wild Lilac Wellness

LinkedIn Wild Lilac Wellness


May 4, 2021

I've observed a lot of themes around integration and disintegration recently so I thought it would be a good time to do a quick overview of Kazmier's Dabrowski's theory of Positive Disintegration.

You can find a more comprehensive overview on ep. 154: On Positive Disintegration with Chris Wells, and my Blog Post “Finding Treasure in Ruins.”

Dabrowski believes that intensity/excitability is a sign of high developmental potential, and neuroses, which we might call neurodiversity, anxiety, existential depression etc., can be positive if they move us towards our higher selves. 

In this episode:

  • 3 factors of positive development
  • Dynamisms are the inner and outer forces that drive our actions.  
  • 5 types of integration and disintegration
  • Resources on integration
  • 5 Types of overexcitability
  • Thoughts on Integration
  • Over identification and/or rejection of certain parts of our identity
  • What is Dabrowski's Sweater?
  • Getting your conflicting parts to communicate with each other.
Apr 26, 2021

Today’s show focuses on strategies for success. My guest combines her late-in-life diagnoses, training, and experience to help clients accomplish their goals.

Maaya Hitomi is an ADHD coach and academic strategist who supports ADHD, autistic, and otherwise neurodivergent clients to build strategies for better coping. At Structured Success, Maaya’s own coaching and consultation practice, she builds upon her Master’s training in psychology, her experience as a coach, and her lived experience as a neurodivergent person. Being ADHD, autistic, and dyslexic herself, Maaya credits her academic and professional success to the coping strategies she learned along the way. Focused on collaboratively building individualized coping strategies to support her clients, Maaya helps them make the healthiest thing the easiest thing.

Show Highlights:

  • Why Maaya is intensely passionate about giving people tools to understand how their minds work as she teaches coping strategies and learns alongside them
  • How her mom didn’t acknowledge Maaya’s ADHD early on, and her official ADHD, autism, and dyslexia diagnoses didn’t come until her university years
  • In school, Maaya was always seeking to learn more and caused problems because of being bullied and feeling socially awkward
  • Cultural factors that affected Maaya include her privileged upbringing in the suburbs and gifted programs at school
  • Why Maaya’s intensity is less of a problem now because it’s been identified and accepted
  • How Maaya was always “too everything” in elementary school, so she put her head down and spent some lonely years in high school, which was the worst thing she could have done
  • How Maaya’s intensity got out of control when she stood up to a bully and was overwhelmed into shutdown mode--an act that had far-reaching effects
  • How Maaya uses her fire for good by using her personal acceptance and sharing her knowledge and experience with her clients
  • How Maaya has collected “nuggets of truth” along the way and developed coping strategies that she can share with clients
  • How Maaya helps others use their fire by bringing strategies and options to them with which to fashion a workable system


Connect with Maaya:  Structured Success

Find Maaya on Twitter: @structuredsucc

Find Maaya on TikTok and Instagram


Apr 20, 2021

I’m super thrilled to share the recording of Nneka Coxeff’s talk on Writing to Heal from this month’s guest community call! You can find the full discussion in the Embracing Intensity Community!

The wRITE to Heal Project was developed by founder and editor-in-chief of BLP magazine, Nneka D. Coxeff. As a Master Life Coach and Empowerment Practitioner, she offers transformative writing classes, workshops and wellness retreats to gently guide clients through the raw emotions of grief caused by loss, tragedy and transition.

About Nneka:

Nneka D. Coxeff is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Black Lace + Pearls magazine, a creative and healing arts publication devoted to empowering women around the globe to live out their divine purpose. A by-product of BLP magazine is her wRITE to Heal Project where she hosts writing workshops and wellness retreats in order to guide guests through the emotions of grief caused by death, tragedy and trauma. 

Through writing prompts, exercises and discussion, she assists guests in breaking free from the torture caused by unanswered questions and the sin of blame. She encourages them to sit with the pain and to own all their emotions in order to move through them and acquire some clarity and guidance. Nneka understands that relationships can be devastating to the soul when abruptly interrupted. However, she believes that it is our relationship with Self that needs to be strengthened in order to understand and to move forward.

As a consultant, she helps her clients put voice to their truths, experiences and life lessons learned along the way in order to help them heal and to inspire others as well. Everyone has a story to tell and it is Nneka's mission to help individuals value their journey, own their truth and stake claim to a more enlightened tomorrow. Writing has been a tool of healing throughout her journey and it is through this artful gift that she assists others along their path of ascension. You can find out more about Nneka and her wRITE to Heal Project at:

This is a part of our 2021 Embracing Intensity Community Speaker Series.

You can find the full discussion recording in the Embracing Intensity Community. You can support this work by joining the community, or supporting us on Patreon


Embracing Intensity Community

Write to Heal Project web page

Follow Nneka!




Support the wRITE to Heal Project on Patreon! Link Coming Soon!

Apr 12, 2021

Have you ever felt like you were taking up too much space? My guest today shares how he moved from talking up space wherever he went to channeling his own unique powers to bring out the best in others. Join us!

Landon Young is someone I met on TikTok, which is unique as a social media platform that allows people to connect across social groups that might not normally interact. Landon describes himself as a “regular guy” who enjoys what he does as a North American Digital Brand Manager at Nike.

Show Highlights:

  • Why Landon is intensely passionate about sneakers, storytelling, his dream job at Nike, playing guitar, and spending time with his wife and daughter
  • How Landon’s personal brand of intensity includes empathy and passion as someone who is relentless and focused on the process
  • Growing up, Landon was always labeled as gifted and was supported by his parents
  • How Landon overcompensated for his issues with giftedness before medication helped him find balance
  • How cultural factors affected Landon as he grew up in a Mormon home;
  • He had a strong desire to excel but didn’t know how to process and regulate emotions
  • How Landon finds joy in discovering connections with others
  • How Landon has to tone himself down frequently--something he didn’t know how to do when he was younger: “I took up too much space and didn’t know how to channel my superpowers.”
  • How Landon learned to recognize the moments when he tends to get out of control
  • How Landon uses his fire for good as an “energy giver,” which he feels is his calling in life
  • How Landon loves helping others at Nike as he teaches retail employees about new products and innovations and creates campaigns for product launches
  • Habits that help Landon harness the power of his intensity include meditation, lots of water, and healthy supplements
  • How Landon benefitted from the book, Essentialism by Greg McKeown
  • How Landon helps others with true leadership, which is recognizing their potential, tapping into it, and finding what they are good at
  • Landon’s parting advice: “Learn to acknowledge and leverage your ADHD in ways that build up your life with a superpower for balance and happiness.”

Where to Find Landon:

 Instagram: @HeyitsLando

 Tik-Tok - @heyitslando90


Apr 6, 2021

This week is a bit late and short again, but it's for a great reason! I hyper focused on a project the last two days that's ready to share as a collaborative effort!

The 2E Hub!

A place for gifted, creative and twice exceptional folks to share, learn and explore!


2E Hub

Free Workbook on Harnessing the Power of Your Intensity


Mar 29, 2021

My guest today shares the keen awareness he’s developed of his ADHD diagnosis and how it impacts his life. Join us to hear the story of the good he’s doing in the world.

Ross Watt hosts the International ADHD Party on Twitter and is one of the ADHD-Hub co-creators. He’s working hard to make a difference for kids and adults with ADHD.

Show Highlights:

  • Why Ross is intensely passionate about ADHD, writing poems, and encouraging others
  • How Ross’ personal brand of intensity means being hyper-focused with a chip on his shoulder and always investigating things in deeper ways
  • How Ross grew up being strong-willed, determined (especially when told he couldn’t do something), opinionated, and argumentative
  • How Ross’ parents nicknamed him “Half-a-job,” which was a dig that led him to compare himself to others and find that he didn’t measure up
  • How Ross’ adolescent years were a big contradiction
  • How Ross has had to tone himself down and tune himself out when he knows he shouldn’t say something but feels like he will explode
  • How Ross has had to learn when to speak up and when to be quiet
  • How Ross’ intensity got out of control when he left his parents’ house at age 16, determined to prove everybody wrong
  • How Ross uses his fire for good, helping others with diplomacy and patience
  • How Ross helps others develop their ideas and disprove their opinions of themselves
  • How Ross formed the habit of not telling others what he will do--just in case he doesn’t follow through
  • Why Ross is very set in daily routines
  • How Ross helps others by being honest and giving them belief in themselves
  • How to figure out if you’re a “carrot” or “stick” person


Connect with Ross:

Twitter: ADHD



Mar 22, 2021

This week I get to share the talk from our March guest call is on Honoring Your Sensitivity with Leah Walsh. You can find the full discussion and video in the Embracing Intensity Community!

In Sanskrit there are 96 words for love. I seriously wish we had that many words in English for the word sensitivity! A word whose origins mean "capable of feeling and sensation," what does being sensitive mean in today's culture?

Join us for this creative exploration of sensitivity, how sensitivity is a shared trait across neurodivergent experiences, and how curiosity and community can help in honoring your own sensitivity.

About Leah:

Leah Walsh (she/her) is motivated by one desire: to support conscious and creative people to uncover their unique potential and bring that light into the world. Leah sees every human as a beautiful and unique flower in life’s garden, but being your own flower can be hard work! It means cultivating a strong mind, deep roots, and a clear heart to allow your flower to grow, adapt, & bloom. Leah’s work as a Life Coach supports people to do just this. Her signature coaching programs support highly sensitive, neurodivergent, and introverted leaders to ground their confidence, cultivate deep-rooted belonging and awaken their unique impact. To learn more about Leah’s work, visit


Embracing Intensity Community

Free Workbook on Harnessing the Power of Your Intensity

Leah's Website

Future Embracing Intensity Events

Mar 15, 2021

Today’s show focuses on support for highly sensitive and introverted leaders. Join us to learn more!

Leah Walsh is a speaker and life coach who is motivated by the desire to support conscious and creative people in uncovering their potential and bringing their light into the world. Leah sees every human as a beautiful and unique flower in life’s garden, but she knows that being your own flower can be hard work. It means cultivating a strong mind, deep roots, and a clear heart to allow your flower to grow, adapt, and bloom. Leah’s work as a life coach supports people in these ways. Her signature coaching programs support highly sensitive, neuro-divergent, and introverted leaders to ground their confidence, cultivate deep-rooted belonging, and awaken their unique impact.

Show Highlights:

  • Why Leah is intensely passionate about staying grounded, exploring belonging, and speaking truth with honesty and love
  • How Leah grew up in a very neurodivergent family where her parents were supportive of the differences in the way their kids were wired
  • How the culture of service in Leah’s family gave her a profound capacity to feel empathy for others and have a strong bond and connection to the land where she lives
  • How Leah feels and connects through relationships
  • How Leah had to tone herself down when she didn’t have the language to describe what she was going through
  • Why she found ways to give herself permission to be real and authentic
  • How journaling helps Leah identify what she is feeling
  • Why it’s important to tune into your body
  • How Leah uses her fire for good in her life coaching practice
  • Why self-compassion is essential in Leah’s practice as a life coach
  • How Leah works as a “shame extractor”
  • How Leah helps others use their own fire by using the acronym DOES
  • How COVID has cracked open new possibilities
  • How Leah resonates with neurodiversity and how we embrace our beauty and intensity


Leah K. Walsh 

Visit Leah’s website for more information on her seasonal meetup, The Brave Intender Club.


Mar 9, 2021

This week's episode is a fairly quick one as I got inspired for a new project this week and went down a hyper focus rabbit hole for days! 

In this episode:

  • Update on my latest project & upcoming course.
  • Do it yourself mentality. 
  • Being a maker, not a marketer.


Free Harness Your Power Workbook

Adult Learning Assessment

Embracing Intensity Community

Community Events Calendar

Mar 1, 2021

Today’s guest launched into the world of twice-exceptionality because of the unique strengths and challenges that came with parenting her two sons, now teenagers. Her work now meets the needs of kids like her sons, along with helping other parents and educators through her therapy practice, support groups, and parenting programs. Join us to learn more!

Debbie Steinberg Kuntz is the founder of the Bright & Quirky Summit, which features fantastic guest speakers and leading experts on “everything twice-exceptional” for parents and educators. Debbie is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in twice-exceptional (2E) kids and families.  Her annual Bright & Quirky Child Online Summit attracts over 15,000 people from 95 countries, and the 2021 version is coming up in just a few days. It’s a free resource, and you can sign up now by using the link in our Resources section below.

Show Highlights:

  • Why Debbie is intensely passionate about unlocking the world of twice-exceptionality
  • Why Debbie’s relationship with intensity borders on workaholism and being “tenacious to the point of imbalance”
  • How intensity affected her family as she grew up, and why she readily recognizes the strengths and challenges of twice-exceptionality in parenting her two children
  • As a parent, Debbie looks for teachers who have raised boys before
  • How Debbie wants to empower parents in the way they view their child against our cookie-cutter educational system
  • How Debbie learned to embrace uniquely wired people as a Jew growing up in America
  • How parents can talk to their kids about being 2E
  • What Debbie has discovered about the line between asynchronous development and twice-exceptionality
  • Why Debbie is a huge fan of neuropsychological assessments
  • Her advice for parents about finding professional help
  • How Debbie harnesses the power of her intensity through the polyvagal theory and asks, “Why?” and “Why now?”
  • Debbie’s best advice about parenting comes from Kristin Neff, who says, “Talk to yourself like you would talk to a best friend.”
  • How Debbie helps others use their fire by teaching them to pursue the intersection of what they are good at and what they enjoy
  • The Bright & Quirky Summit 2021, coming in a few days; it features 29 experts tackling the timely theme of “Taming the Overwhelm”


Debbie’s website:  Bright And Quirky 

Sign up for the March 8-12, 2021 summit

Find out about last year’s summit:  Bright And Quirky 


Feb 23, 2021

I’m excited to share our first guest call for the 2021 season in the Embracing Intensity Community with Brendan Mahan, of ADHD Essentials, on the Wall of Awful!

From Brendan’s website:

“Everyone fails. Some, like those with executive function challenges, fail more than others.

Each failure brings negative emotions – guilt, disappointment. These smaller emotions become stronger feelings of anxiety, shame and even loneliness if one is repeatedly rejected because of their errors. Each time these negative emotions are experienced, another brick is placed into that person’s Wall of Awful.

The Wall of Awful is the emotional barrier that prevents us from initiating tasks and taking the risks necessary to make reach our goals. It is the emotional consequence of having ADHD and it must be understood to be overcome.

Let me help you climb your Wall of Awful™.

Get the free e-book “5 Ways to Overcome The Wall of Awful” here!”

In this episode:

  • Who is Brendan?
  • What is the Wall of Awful?
  • How do we get past the Wall of Awful?
  • Brendan's perspective on ADHD
  • Being a leader and creating your own narratives around neurodiversity.


Brendan's Website

Embracing Intensity Community

Free Harnessing the Power of Your Intensity Workbook

Feb 15, 2021

I found today’s guest in a most unusual place! It was on TikTok that I first noticed her work with gifted and twice-exceptional people, and I knew I had to get her on the show.

Dr. Kimberly Douglass is president and CEO of Remote Learning Solutions. She coaches neurodivergent PhDs/EdDs on the personal, social, and technical aspects of career and entrepreneurship. In addition to moving clients from deficit-based to strengths-based thinking, she helps PhDs/EdDs develop content across a range of subjects. She helps clients deliver content in the form of ebooks, online courses, workbooks, journals, workshops, and more. Dr. Douglass bases her coaching practice on five values: empathy, justice, love, neurodiversity, and purpose. She worked in higher education for over 17 years in various roles and earned a PhD in political science in 2009 and tenured in Information Sciences in 2016 at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. Her teaching and scholarship have developed at the intersection of information science and political behavior.

Show Highlights:

  • Why Kimberly is intensely passionate about coaching and mentoring neurodivergent adults
  • How the same issues in our schools with kids are showing up for adults in the workplace
  • Why people are taught to believe in a fake meritocracy
  • How giftedness means different things for different people
  • How Kimberly’s personal brand of intensity is thinking about things in different ways, deep thoughts and issues that can turn into depression, and loving information and data
  • Growing up, Kimberly felt her intensity through acting goofy and humorous and always being presentable to white culture
  • The distinction between management and leadership
  • Cultural factors that affected Kimberly as she grew up in a black Baptist church, being told that she “shouldn’t speak up for herself,” and seeing Christianity as a tool of enslavement
  • How Kimberly had to tune herself out and tone herself down when she worked at a university with mean, accusatory people
  • Why she feels her intensity getting out of control when she feels dismissed or undervalued
  • What made Kimberly take a different look at herself and her son regarding giftedness
  • How she uses her fire for good in believing people
  • Habits that help Kimberly harness the power of her intensity are tools that organize her thoughts and life
  • How she helps others use their fire for good by trying to be neutral and helping people look for affirmation, values, principles, mission, and goals
  • Kimberly’s advice: “Take the risk. Find someone who will help you take the risk. Realize that not moving and standing still is also risky; it’s just risky in a different way.”


Website:  Dr. Kimberly Douglass 

Facebook: Kimberly Douglass

TikTok: Dr. Kimberly Douglass


Feb 9, 2021

I've been hearing a lot more comments lately along the lines of "I relate to your work, but I'm not really gifted." In this episode of Embracing Intensity, I discuss why gifted folks might not recognize their own gifts and some resources to explore if you suspect you might be gifted. 

In this episode:

  • 5 Reasons gifted folks might not think they are really gifted.
  • My own experience and why I actually believed it despite underachievement.
  • 3 of my favorite books & resources to explore potential giftedness.


Your Rainforest Mind, Paula Prober

The Gifted Adult, Mary-Elaine Jacobsen PsyD

Searching For Meaning, James Webb

Embracing Intensity Community

Free Workbook on Harnessing the Power of Your Intensity

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