Embracing Intensity

Use your fire without getting burned.
RSS Feed
Embracing Intensity







All Episodes
Now displaying: Page 4
Aug 3, 2020

I've been thinking a lot about play lately, but also feeling bad talking about play when there's so much going on in the world right now. In my interview last week with Jeff Harry, he reminded us that "there's nothing wrong with having multiple emotions at the same time," and that play can be used to help deal with challenging things and conversations. 

In this episode:

  • The difference between play and toxic positivity.
  • Play as a form of self-care.
  • Why play isn't just something for kids.


Summer Camp Scavenger Hunt

Embracing Intensity Community

Harnessing the Power of Your Intensity Workbook

Jul 27, 2020

In the global pandemic, and everything else going on in the world today, there is every reason to be unhappy. Who decided that we grownups have to act our age and put playtime behind us? There are many benefits of playing like a kid, even through hard times--maybe especially in difficult times. So, when is the last time you played like a kid?

Jeff Harry shows individuals and companies how to tap into their true selves to feel their happiest and most fulfilled--all by playing. Jeff has worked with Google, Microsoft, Southwest Airlines, Adobe, the NFL, Amazon, and Facebook, helping their staff infuse more play into the day-to-day.

Show Highlights:

  • How Jeff is intensely passionate about utilizing play to help people figure out who they are and how happy and joyful they were as kids
  • How Jeff brings his passion to everything he does and loves to “nerd out” about any topic--along with his “fancy” bowtie that says he’s just there to have fun
  • How Jeff didn’t always fit into his father’s box of “a time and a place for everything”
  • Cultural factors that affected Jeff growing up as the child of first-generation immigrants include how he had to learn not to take things seriously and make play his armor
  • How adults try to follow the correct way of living that ends up not being correct for them
  • Why Jeff never felt like being “more” was a bad thing, and he actually regrets not being enough of himself because of fear and playing it safe
  • How we allow our inner critic to control us and why we need to address it head-on
  • How the flaws in our educational system tamp down and destroy genius in the classroom
  • How Jeff uses play as a superpower to attack evil, disconnection, and shame
  • How Jeff had to go through his own bullshit and identify his limiting beliefs
  • Why Jeff doesn’t take things too seriously, practices being present in the moment, and uses his “play” lens to figure things out
  • How Jeff helps others “come alive” and take a leap of faith and curiosity to reconnect with their “kidself”
  • Final words from Jeff: “You’re alive for a reason. You have a variety of superpowers, and when you liberate yourself, you help others liberate themselves.”


Rediscover Your Play

Find JeffHarryPlays on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter

The Power Manual by Cyndi Suarez


Jul 21, 2020

This week I had planned to talk about gifted kid burnout and how many of them may actually be twice-exceptional, but it was hot today and my brain was kind of mush so I decided to share part of my lesson on positive coping skills instead!

In this episode:

  • Types of unproductive skills. 
  • Having empathy for our coping skills, and understanding what needs they are trying to meet.
  • Common elements in productive coping skills. 


Summer Camp Scavenger Hunt

Embracing Intensity Community

Embracing Intensity Store

Jul 13, 2020

Cosette “CoCo” Leary loves to live out loud. She’s a jubilant speaker, professional coach, author, and educator. CoCo has overcome a childhood of poverty and abuse, raised four children through hard work and painful decisions, and has gone from surviving on welfare benefits to earning her university degree in Public Administration, graduating with highest honors and serving as a staff member in both a senatorial and congressional office. Ms. Leary pulled herself out of poverty to show others how to do the same. She exists to breathe life back into improving communities, rekindling relationships across economic class lines, and empowering women.

Show Highlights:

  • Why CoCo is intensely passionate about not accepting society’s rules for her and being empowered to challenge the status quo; her passion comes from growing up as a foster child who was pregnant with her first child at age 14, and had to go against the court system to keep her child and not be forced to terminate
  • How CoCo determined to have a life worth living for her and her baby
  • CoCo’s personal brand of intensity is absolute determination and a never-give-up attitude in going up against economic class systems
  • Why CoCo knew she had to start with education to advance herself to help others
  • How CoCo’s children watched her at work to better herself despite living in Section 8 housing and shopping at Goodwill
  • How CoCo’s intensity was affected as she grew up by her loving father who gave her the gift of imagination but died when she was 12; a few years before his death, her parents divorced, and her mom remarried an abusive man
  • How CoCo was beaten regularly and repeatedly ran away from home but was carried through those hard times by the self-love instilled into her by her father
  • Why CoCo had difficulty expressing herself with language other than that of the “hood” where she grew up--until she found the local library
  • How I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou changed CoCo’s life at age 12 when she lived in an orphanage
  • After working in DC and then returning to Washington state, CoCo went through two years of homelessness even though she had a degree in Public Administration; no one would hire her
  • How she started building her brand even while homeless and working as a CNA, living in a motel for several months
  • Now, CoCo helps other low-income women build their brand and helps women entrepreneurs fall in love with themselves
  • Why CoCo’s intensity never got out of control because her drive was mandatory for survival
  • How her health suffered from diabetes, high blood pressure, and a stroke in 2018
  • How CoCo uses her fire for good by encouraging others to use their fire and giving others permission to really see who they are
  • Habits that helped CoCo harness the power of her intensity: “Being honest with myself, telling myself the truth, and realizing I need a good support system, and I need to be a support system for others.”
  • Last words from CoCo: “Love yourself. Tell yourself, YES. Whatever you want to do for you, find a way to do it.”


From Welfare to The White House

Find CoCo on Instagram: @welfare2whitehouse

From Welfare to the White House by Cosette Leary


Jul 7, 2020

I've seen some conversations recently about how being a Highly Sensitive Person can overlap with characteristics of specific disabilities & neurodiversities such as ADHD or Autism. There was some discussion of whether identifying as HSP might prevent or delay seeking a deeper underlying diagnosis and it got me thinking about how other traits such as multi potentiality and giftedness might also interfere with getting diagnosis and treatment.

In this episode:

  • How in our attempt to avoid labels or pathologizing we might miss important treatment and supports.
  • The impact of late or no diagnosis on self esteem. 
  • Why we should look deeper if we feel a trait is having a negative impact on our lives. 


Embracing Intensity Community

Free Harnessing the Power of Your Intensity Workbook

Jun 29, 2020

Are you living the life you love? For most of us, that’s a complicated question that demands an even more complicated answer. To live our best lives, we have to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative---but that’s easier said than done. Join us as we discuss it all with today’s guest.

Dr. Raquel Muller is a psychologist, mom empowerment coach, and speaker. She is the founder of Joyful Imperfection Counseling, LLC, and the creator of The Woman System. Dr. Raquel harnesses the power of cognitive, behavioral, and mindfulness strategies to empower women to transform negative self-talk, let go of self-doubt and guilt, banish burnout and overwhelm, cultivate a greater self-love, and reconnect with their own greatness so they can create lives that they love while making a positive impact in their families and the world.

Show Highlights:

  • Why Raquel is intensely passionate about supporting working moms in creating lives they love and letting go of the old notion of what a “good mom” should be
  • Why having hopes, dreams, and human needs---and honoring those does not make a bad mom
  • Raquel’s personal brand of intensity involves her radiant smile, boundless energy, and much passion
  • How Raquel grew up in Panama as a “good daughter and student” who enjoyed the spotlight, having a mic, and sharing a message
  • The cultural factors that affected Raquel as the oldest in her family who had many behavioral rules to follow
  • How Raquel knew she was expected to be an example for her younger siblings and a proper example for others who saw her in public
  • How her intensity got out of control during college when she lived away from home for the first time in a new culture that gave her more freedom
  • How she started her business and was forced to learn new skills, grow, and get in touch with her dreams
  • How she harnessed the power of her intensity by working with a coach and mentor around spiritual awareness, learning how to frame her fire and power to be more
  • The personal habits that have helped Raquel are gratitude practice, meditation, listing daily wins, and having a vision for her life
  • Good advice Raquel received was to listen to and honor her desires
  • Books that Raquel recommends: The Science of Getting Rich by W. D. Wattles and The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
  • The empowerment that comes from investing in your growth
  • How Raquel helps mompreneurs with big dreams by teaching them to listen to their desires, create a vision for their lives, and be great role models for their children
  • Raquel’s favorite quote by Howard Thurman: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
  • Parting advice from Raquel: “Create your vision and go for your dreams. Find the thing that brings you alive, and go do it.”


Find Raquel’s website:  Joyful Imperfection Counseling

Email Raquel: 

Find Raquel’s Facebook group: Redefining Supermom

The Science of Getting Rich by W. D. Wattles and

The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks



Jun 22, 2020

I've been behind on my workbooks and lessons as I wrapped up my school year, and now I'm catching up! This month's theme is on Creatively Meeting Your Own Needs and in this episode I'd like to talk a little about the concept of Emotional Liberation as described through Marshall Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication. 

In this episode:

  • Why NVC can be a useful tool for self-exploration. 
  • When NVC is not always applicable. 
  • 4 Responses to negative or uncomfortable feedback or experiences.
  • Taking ownership of our feelings to meet our own needs and the needs of others. 


Embracing Intensity Community

RSVP for our next group call!

Free Harnessing the Power of Your Intensity Workbook

Decolonizing Nonviolent Communication Book

Jun 15, 2020

I’m glad I’ve gotten to know today’s guest on the show. We’ve been following each other on Instagram, and I recently discovered that we’re in the same Facebook group. We’ve bonded over our work and service with twice-exceptional individuals, and we have much more in common, too. I’m excited to introduce you to her!

Boontarika Sripom is a therapy-influenced life coach for gifted and creative people. Her background includes school counseling, working in special education, and community mental health. As a life coach and sensitive person, she uses psychology and typology systems like Myers Briggs and enneagrams to help people empower themselves and reach their potential. Her favorite clients are creatives, gamers, and sensitive people who feel misunderstood. Boonie makes online content on Quora and YouTube. On Mixer, she streams video gaming while chatting with fellow gamers.

Show Highlights:

  • How Boonie is intensely passionate about championing causes like world hunger, her connection to nature, art, kids with special needs, and video game culture
  • Boonie’s connection to mental health advocacy and how she connects gamers and the geek community to therapists through the non-profit, Anxiety Gaming
  • Boonie’s personal brand of intensity is to challenge “normal” and to pair with a greater cause
  • Why Boonie believes that “injustice for one is injustice for all”
  • How Boonie is messy and scattered at home but portrays a different picture in public
  • How Boonie has an insatiable need to learn
  • Growing up, Boonie misunderstood social cues, didn’t have many friends, and was naive and trusted people too much
  • Why Boonie’s collectivist upbringing taught her that showing emotional pain is sign of weakness; she learned to be strong and push through any pain
  • In Boonie’s first year of college, Boonie’s friend committed suicide, leaving her with PTSD; this experience intensified her mistrust that anyone could help her
  • How she sought connection in emotionally-abusive relationships and kept losing herself and staying silent
  • How Boonie’s intensity got out of control with her insatiable need to learn, and her compulsion to buy books and hoard them
  • Why she had to honor her childhood playfulness and the needs that weren’t met
  • How Boonie uses her fire for good in speaking, questioning things, uplifting others, and constructing spaces for connection
  • A habit that helps Boonie harness the power of her intensity is to know the right people who accept and embrace her
  • How she helps others with their archetypes and how they seek and process information
  • Final words of advice from Boonie: “Everything you need is already there. Reclaim your voice and your identity.”


Boonie’s website:  Organized Messes

Find Boontarika Sripom on YouTube, Instagram, and Quora


Jun 9, 2020

I’ve been sitting with the best way to use my platform to share and support Black voices with the understanding that a lot of folks are exhausted right now and don’t need me jumping in their inbox. So instead of business as usual, I decided to share information about some podcasts with Black voices and highlight them. Starting with  a short clip with permission from Arianna Bradford of last week’s NYAM Project Podcast on Thoughts from a Black Mom. 

Below you will find links for podcasts and youtube channels you can listen to and support using their own descriptions from their pages. If they have a Patreon, I also included that link so you can also financially support them if you'd like. 

Alexandra Loves - Website and Podcast - Youtube Channel - Support her on Patreon

Helping you create what you want by being exactly who you are. Now offering Black Mentor Sessions designed to hold a space, help clear imbalances, and provide solution based guidance for those white people who want to work with her.

Arianna Bradford - The NYAM Project - Support her on Patreon

A weekly podcast consisting of anecdotes and interviews from everyday mothers and experts alike, highlighting real motherhood and questioning what we think we know about parenting and motherhood.

Andréa Ranae Johnson - A Call to Serve Podcast - Andréa Ranae’s Website - Support her on Patreon

If you have a vision for change in your communities or our world (or maybe you just know that a different reality is possible) and you want to show up, contribute, serve or generally live the kind of life that leaves this planet better than you found it – you’re in the right place.

Colin E Seale - thinkLaw Podcast  - thinkLaw Website

Critical Thinking is the most essential 21st century skill but it is still a luxury good. Only 1 out of 10 educators teach critical thinking, and this educator usually only teaches at elite schools or to the most elite students.

Gary Ware - Gary Ware on Youtube - Breakthrough Play Website

Helping you improve your business, relationships, and life…with play

Jaiden Love - Jaiden Love on Youtube - Held and Heard Website

Bringing More Love into the World By Teaching the Essentials of Gender Identity & Support.

Leesa Renée Hall - Leesa’s Website - Podcasts featuring Leesa - Support her on Patreon

Exploring Bias One Field Trip at a Time. On her Patreon she is creating Inner Field Trips™ with writing prompts to help you unpack your biases around racism, in a supportive  environment.

Phyllis G. Williams & LaTricia Smith - Living the Principles Podcast

A podcast committed to relevant conversations about strengthening the Black Community.

René Brooks - Black Girl, Lost Keys Blog - Podcasts featuring René - Support her on Patreon

A blog that empowers black women with ADHD and shows them how to live well with the disorder.

Sharon Burton - Spark Your Creative Podcast

Spark Your Creative is a  company under the SJB Creative Ventures, LLC that  focuses on creativity coaching…for individuals initially who want to discover or reclaim their creative gifts.  

Zaakirah Nayyar - Living Legacy Podcast 

The Living Legacy Podcast features women of purpose sharing stories of resilience.

Jun 1, 2020

This week instead of sharing a new episode, I am participating in a Podcast Blackout protesting the deaths of the Black people slain by police violence or victims of hate crimes. I will share some links and resources below if you would like to do more work around anti-racism and don't know where to begin.

(This list is missing MANY names)

  • Trayvon Martin age 17 2012
  • Tamir Rice age 12 2014
  • Eric Garner 2014
  • Sandra Bland age 28 2015
  • Freddie Gray age 25 2015
  • Alton Sterling age 37 2016
  • Philando Castile age 32 2016
  • Botham Jean age 26 2018
  • Atatiana Jefferso age 28 2019
  • Ahmaud Arbery age 25 2020
  • Doug Lewis age 39 2020
  • Breonna Taylor age 26 2020
  • George Floyd age 46 2020


I have compiled and organized resources on this Pinterest page according to themes I’ve observed online in this Responding to White Supremacy Pinterest Board, feel free to send me other resources or topics to include.

A good start is to learn how to apologize when you inevitably do something wrong, this video from Franchesca Ramsey on Getting Called Out: How to Apologize is a good start.

Then read this article, White people, stop asking us to educate you about racism to understand why it is our responsibility as white people to educate ourselves and then pay BIPOC educators who specialize in this area to go deeper.

Educate yourself on being a better ally, some of these posts are a good start, and reading some of these books would be even better, and better yet pay anti racism educators for their trainings.

Then take action, these two posts are a good start: Want to do better, but aren’t sure where to start? Start here and 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice.

May 25, 2020

Today’s guest is someone I met through The Gifted Homeschooler Forum for which we both write. Through her experiences and those of her children, she’s become a champion for parents of “quirky children who don’t fit the mold.”

Kathleen Humble is an ADHD mom in Melbourne, Australia. She writes at Yellow Readis about gifted and twice-exceptional homeschooling. Her book, Gifted Myths, is available at The Gifted Homeschooler Forum Press. She’s been published in Victorian Writer, The Mighty, and Otherways magazine, and she was the recipient of the 2018 Writers Victoria Write-Ability Fellowship. In between writing and homeschooling her kids, Kathleen loves reading, sewing, and big cups of tea.

Show Highlights:

  • As a long-time homeschooling mom of two twice-exceptional children, Kathleen is intensely passionate about helping parents with quirky children who don’t fit into the mold
  • As a twice-exceptional person with ADHD, Kathleen can focus intensely on something to the point of not remembering to do anything else
  • Growing up, she had trouble controlling her passions, but her intensity turned inward as she resorted to reading
  • Being small and good at things made Kathleen an easy target for bullies in school
  • One of the cultural factors that affected her intensity was learning that in Australia, standing out from others is not a great thing that’s not appreciated
  • How intensity became an asset for Kathleen through performance and writing
  • How Kathleen toned down and tuned out her intensity in high school when she deliberately stopped learning
  • How Kathleen observed in school the behaviors that invited bullying
  • Why Kathleen has to work against her intensity all the time
  • How Kathleen learned to do “the pause,” a technique to physically break the intensity
  • How Kathleen loves helping others, answering questions, exploring things, and empowering others
  • How Kathleen harnesses the power of her intensity through “the pause,” medication, and therapy
  • Kathleen’s system of “touch once” to keep track of tasks and remember names
  • The best advice Kathleen ever received: “I’m OK. It’s going to be OK. Being you is OK. Being intense is OK.”
  • Books that Kathleen recommends: Foundation by Isaac Asimov and NeuroTribes by Steve Silberman
  • How Kathleen helps others use their fire for good by writing on her blog and people find the information they need


Find Kathleen: Yellow Readis

Facebook: Yellow Readis

Twitter: @Yellow Readis

Pinterest: Yellow Readis

Gifted Myths by Kathleen Humble

Foundation by Isaac Asimov

NeuroTribes by Stever Silberman


May 18, 2020

Last week someone on Twitter tagged me in a post asking if I was familiar with the concept of over-excitability. It made me realize that many who follow my work around twice-exceptionality aren’t familiar with my early work which is founded on the concept of excitability. Excitability is the foundation of my work on the Embracing Intensity Podcast and Community.

Five years ago, I asked my community to help me come up with things that many of us had in common being highly excitable. I made an animated post on Buzzfeed, but I thought it was a good time to revisit the origins of my blog, and I finally figured out how to add GIFs to my own blog so I decided to revisit this post with animation on the blog, and share it here on the Podcast!


  • 25 things only a highly excitable person would understand.
  • Why Excitability can be your greatest power.
  • How you can harness the power of your excitability. 


25 Things Only a Highly Excitable Person Would Understand (Animated)

Free Harnessing the Power of Your Intensity Workbook

Join the Embracing Intensity Community

May 11, 2020

Today’s show is a different one. I’m interviewing a 12-year-old with ADHD who is easily distracted. He hopes you will be, too.

It’s an extra special privilege to interview my son, Z. Jay Baxter, who just released an activity book for his 12th birthday. It’s called The Notebook of Mass Distraction: Boredom Busters for Busy Brains. He has also started a YouTube channel and would love for you to follow him there.

Show Highlights:

  • Why Jay is intensely passionate about his time with friends
  • Why chaos and destruction are Jay’s personal brand of intensity
  • How Jay tends to get hyper-focused on something he’s interested in
  • Why Jay needed to hide in his jacket during recess at school during a particularly rough time
  • How Jay’s intensity got out of control in a situation at school three years ago
  • How Jay uses his fire for good in hyper-focusing on one goal
  • How medications and friends help Jay harness the power of his intensity for good
  • How piano music and Harry Potter help Jay sleep
  • Good advice that Jay has received: “Just because you hear something doesn’t mean it’s true.”
  • Books recommended by Jay: the Warriors series by Erin Hunter and the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan
  • Jay’s Notebook of Mass Distraction and the responses he’s received to it (there will be more!)
  • Final words from Jay: “Remember, we all need a bit of validation in our lives. Don’t compare yourself to others. Compare yourself to you.”


Jay's Workshop Of Wonder

 Find Jay’s Workshop of Wonder on YouTube!


May 4, 2020

When we get caught up in our own thoughts, it can interfere with our ability to see things clearly. This week on Embracing Intensity I talk about types of thoughts that disrupt our objective observations.

In this episode: 

  • Thoughts are how we make sense of the world around us.
  • Judgements, labels and expectations reinforce our existing view. 
  • Blame and all or nothing thinking places emphasis on being right or wrong. 


Embracing Intensity Community

Embracing Intensity Store

Support Embracing Intensity on Patreon

Aurora Remember on YouTube

Jay's Workshop of Wonder on YouTube


Apr 27, 2020

We all love that coworker who is filled with positive energy that spills over to everyone they touch. Certain people have a knack for celebrating the wins of others, and even though we all might want to be that person, it takes a specific mindset that most of us lack. It’s an incredible benefit when this person ends up in the field of education, where they can spend their days impacting the lives of students in positive ways.

Amy Campbell is a friend and colleague in my school district. As the 2020 Washington State Teacher of the Year, she is clearly gifted and intense, but she has now become a public figure who is a fierce advocate for her special education students.

Show Highlights:

  • How Amy is intensely passionate about celebrating human success with her special education students who are moderately to profoundly impacted by their disabilities
  • Amy’s personal brand of intensity involves profound anxiety around celebrations and wanting others to enjoy life to the fullest
  • How her intensity made her feel different
  • Culturally speaking, Amy had a lot of privilege as a white, middle-class woman who was uninhibited
  • How she’s had to tone down her energy level that is more than most people, and how she “feels like the wrong person” at many times
  • How we feel too intense in many leadership and gender roles
  • How Amy uses her fire for good in having a positive presupposition about things and seeing her students with disabilities as assets and cause for celebration
  • How Amy is a fierce advocate for inclusion
  • How Amy harnesses the power of her intensity by understanding herself and having time for reflection
  • How personal habits of organization and running help Amy
  • How distance learning has affected Amy and the importance of her need for celebrations
  • The best advice for Amy came from her principal, who told her that she should lead adults in the same ways she leads kids
  • A recommended book: Fostering Resilient Learners by Kristin Souers
  • Why Amy’s favorite part of her job is the way she believes that every person needs space for voice and choice’
  • How Amy loves helping students learn to communicate their needs and wants
  • Parting advice from Amy: “You are enough. You are amazing. You are great. Look for the joy in this world and have a positive disposition. If you can share that joy, then you’re doing good in the world.”


Find Amy on Facebook or Twitter (@the_mrscampbell)

Check Amy out on YouTube

Fostering Resilient Learners by Kristin Souers



Apr 20, 2020

The last few weeks I dove deep into creative projects including updating a whole bunch of new shirts in my Threadless store, creating 8 new youtube animation videos, launching a workbook and helping my son launch his new activity book, the Notebook of Mass Distraction: Boredom Busters for Busy Brains. 

In this episode:

  • Takeaways from letting myself dive deep into creativity mode.
  • The importance of accessible content. 
  • How you can support continued accessible content. 


Support my work on Patreon

Embracing Intensity Store

Jenelle Wooodlief's Self Care Revolution Community

Arianna Bradford's NYAM Project Podcast

Embracing Intensity Community

Apr 13, 2020

These last few weeks have been super intense. For those of us who are sensitive, we’ve either wanted to escape into a hole to heal or dive deep into creative projects, which is what I’ve been doing. I hope you’ve found the things that help you cope best in this time of uncertainty. My guest today has wisdom and insights that can help!

AmyLee Westervelt, of Gratitude & Glamour, is a life and business coach for empaths and highly sensitive people. We connected through a mutual friend, and I’m excited to introduce you to her today.

Show Highlights:

  • Get to know AmyLee, a mom of five kids under eight years of age, who grew up in Boston and now lives in Savannah, Georgia
  • Why AmyLee is passionate about helping people empower themselves to change their lives
  • AmyLee’s personal brand of intensity is to put a lot of “oomph” in everything she does, always cultivating a deep connection with others
  • Why AmyLee felt like a “little dancing bear” as a girl who was paraded around by a narcissistic parent
  • Growing up in Boston, Amy was always different and always asked “too many questions”
  • How AmyLee had to tone herself down and tune herself out from overanalyzing everything and being too dramatic
  • How empaths overthink everything why someone does something
  • How AmyLee tries to parent her kids according to each child’s energy instead of their gender
  • When AmyLee’s intensity is out of control if she feels wronged by someone
  • How AmyLee uses her fire for good and believes deeply in the abilities of people to be resilient
  • How AmyLee had to reign in her ego and imposter syndrome to harness the power of her intensity
  • The habits that help AmyLee are meditation, the motherhood experience and seeing life through her kids’ eyes, and being creative in crafting life’s experiences
  • The best advice came from a life coach, who said, “If it’s not a hell yes, then it’s a NO.”
  • Books that have helped AmyLee: The Secret by Rhonda Byrne and The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein
  • How AmyLee works as a life and business coach for empaths and highly sensitive people, teaching them to navigate, create healthy boundaries, and practice radical self-care


Gratitude And Glamour

Gratitude And Glamour  Find AmyLee’s free ebook, The Empath Elixir

Find AmyLee Westervelt on Facebook

Visit The Unstoppable Empaths System for information on AmyLee’s new course, The Unstoppable Empath System

Find additional resources: Embracing Intensity Store and Embracing Intensity



Apr 7, 2020

This week on Embracing Intensity I discuss what I'm doing for self care in the chaos, and share some additional resources.


  • Avoiding contaminated time.
  • Staying connected.
  • Finding time for what energizes you.
  • Supporting self-care community


Gifted AND: A Story about Twice-Exceptionality - Animation of Colin Seale's story

Embracing Intensity Store

Notebook of Mass Distraction

Jenelle Woodlief's Radical Self Care Community Fundraiser

Mar 30, 2020

My guest today is doing great things in the field of education. I’ve come across his work in the gifted and twice exceptional circles, and I knew he would be a valuable guest on the show. I’m happy to have connected with him around his work in teaching critical thinking skills.

Colin Seale was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, where struggles in his upbringing gave birth to his passion for educational equity. Tracked early into talented and gifted programs, Colin was afforded opportunities his neighborhood peers were not. Colin uses lessons from his experience as a math teacher, later as an attorney, and now a keynote speaker, along with his work as a contributor to Forbes, The 74, and Education Post. He’s the author of Thinking Like a Lawyer: A Framework for Teaching Critical Thinking Skills to All Students. Colin founded thinkLaw, a multi-award-winning organization to help educators leverage inquiry-based educational instruction and strategies to close the critical thinking gap and ensure that they teach and reach all students, regardless of race, zip code, or what side of the poverty line they are born into. When he’s not serving as the world’s most fervent critical thinking advocate, Colin proudly serves as the world’s greatest entertainer to his two young children, and as a loving husband to his wife, Carrie.

Show Highlights:

  • Why Colin is intensely passionate about wanting to fix things for people and help them find solutions
  • Colin’s personal brand of intensity revolves around his strategy about “how we get there” regarding critical thinking
  • In his growing up years, Colin heard many “he’s gifted, but” statements, but not many “he’s gifted, and” statements
  • How Colin was labeled for his intense behaviors instead of being supported
  • How we’ve created a culture where conformity is the expectation, but many kids don’t fit these standards
  • Cultural factors around Colin’s intensity include his family heritage of Caribbean immigrants from Barbados and their British tendencies, which teach passivity and non-confrontation
  • The urge and commitment to end generational poverty through education
  • How Colin had to tone down and tune himself out in third grade when he was labeled as “extra”
  • How Colin dealt with setbacks and disappointments by overcompensating
  • Why Colin is committed to galvanizing educators to run on “high” and equipping them with the “how” of helping kids unlock their critical thinking potential
  • Colin’s book is available for pre-order now on Amazon; it comes out on April 30
  • How Colin helps harness the power of his intensity by learning to be authentic within himself
  • The importance of giving people permission and courage to be who they are
  • The need to be intentional in helping kids learn entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Colin’s professional and personal habits in using his fire for good include weekly one-hour innovation meetings with his team and taking a moment to press “pause” for times of creativity and innovation
  • How Colin helps others stop focusing on what they want to do, but on how they want their professional lives to look, feel, and be managed
  • Parting words from Colin: “We shouldn’t talk about an ADHD diagnosis or being intense or extra as a defect. If we could transition in education from thinking about what’s best for ALL kids to thinking about what’s best for EACH kid, then we can help each child achieve excellence, however that is defined for them.”


Think Law

The latest Embracing Intensity workbook on Balancing Your Time and Energy is available in the Embracing Intensity Community. Our live group call on this topic is scheduled for Saturday, April 11, at 10:00 am Pacific.

Check out the Embracing Intensity Facebook page for upcoming events!

Thinking Like a Lawyer: A Framework for Teaching Critical Thinking to All Students by Colin Seale



Mar 23, 2020

With all the unexpected changes this last week, a lot of us are finding ourselves working from home. This is definitely a challenge for me because I'm used to having the structure of work schedules and deadlines to keep me on track. I decided to explore how to create my own structure in times of chaos on my blog, Youtube and the Embracing Intensity Podcast.


  • Taking care of your body.
  • Identifying your "big rocks."
  • Creating accountability.
  • Creating separate spaces for work and rest.
  • Building new rituals & routines.
  • Giving yourself grace.


Blog post on Finding Structure in Times of Chaos  

Embracing Intensity Community and Accountability Group

Mar 16, 2020

I connected with today’s guest on Facebook, and then we met in person at a conference last September. We have so much in common! We are joint members in several communities, we’ve moved from working with children to working with more adults, and we’ve both been busy in the past year refining what we want to do and how we want to help people.

Molli Osburn is better known as “Molli the Math Rebel,” formerly “Molli the Math Lady.” She is an author, public speaker, and transformational coach. As a former math teacher and tutor since 2006, Molli is the author of Beyond Math Anxiety: 99 Insights (and a Calculation’s Not One!) She specializes in spreading awareness of the widespread problem of math anxiety and its deeper cousin, math shame. Recently, she started exploring the connection between math shame and money shame, especially among women. She’s been sober since January 2019, and that progress is a vitally important part of her journey. In her spare time, Molli enjoys hiking, traveling, crafts, and gluten-free baking.

Show Highlights:

  • Why Molli is intense about math, but also about helping people understand the social aspects of math anxiety and math shame
  • How Molli wants to help people find social and emotional solutions
  • How Molli is passionate about everything and obsesses over little details
  • Why math anxiety is not an academic problem with an academic solution
  • Molli’s experience in growing up as a math, science, and STEM person with social anxiety
  • How negative feelings and attitudes are passed down through generations
  • How Molli’s passion extends to eradicating sexism and gender bias in math, science, and STEM
  • Molli’s experience in growing up with Jewish AND Catholic parents---the best and worst of both worlds
  • How Molli had to tone herself down and tune herself out because she was too intense and passionate about everything
  • How Molli’s intensity got out of control when she wasn’t clear about her message
  • The difference in math anxiety and math shame
  • How Molli got sober a little over one year ago
  • The connection between math shame and money shame, especially for women
  • How Molli educates people about math anxiety and math shame, helping them connect through stories
  • Molli’s struggles with mental health
  • Why a morning routine is vital for Molli’s mental health; it includes tech-free time, essential oils, coffee, and morning journaling
  • Books that have helped Molli: The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, and Judgment Detox and Super Attractor by Gabrielle Bernstein
  • How Molli helps others with their goals, thoughts, and feelings in healing their wounds and transforming their stories to empower them


Molli The Math Rebel (website in progress)

Beyond Math Anxiety Book

Find Molli the Math Rebel on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter

The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

 Judgment Detox by Gabrielle Bernstein

 Super Attractor by Gabrielle Bernstein


Mar 9, 2020

Do you have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset? This week I explore a question brought up in our Embracing Intensity Community around Carol Dweck's Mindset theory and how it relates to gifted and twice exceptional individuals. 


  • The limitations of growth vs. fixed mindset and how it relates to innate ability.
  • How gifted and twice exceptional individuals can benefit from aspects of growth mindset.
  • Exploring mindset theory in relation to Dabrowski's theory of positive disintegration. 


Embracing Intensity Community


Threadless Apparel & Accessory Shop

Mar 2, 2020

Those who have been affected by trauma are the people who truly understand the extent of the big emotions that come with trauma. It’s refreshing when someone uses their background of self-doubt and shame to help others heal. Such is the story of today’s amazing guest, so join us to learn more!

Rayah Dickerson hosts the podcast, Depth of Echoes, which is a mental health podcast that is a wonderful resource for the mental health community. Rayah is the anxious, semi-depressed wife of a guy with schizoaffective PTSD, and she’s a trauma-informed mom, ally, researcher, writer, activist, and national speaker. I was privileged to be on her show this week as Rayah interviewed me; now I’m returning the favor. She was recently diagnosed with ADHD, which is a common experience for many creatives.

Show Highlights:

  • How Rayah is intensely passionate about learning, evolving, and finding the best ways to heal from the trauma that we face every day
  • Rayah’s husband’s mental crisis which happened 3-4 years ago and awakened Rayah to a huge need
  • Rayah’s personal brand of intensity, which is shown in love as she figures out how to heal each person
  • Rayah’s recent ADHD diagnosis and how it manifests itself
  • The common thread through many people with ADHD and how they can help each other
  • The importance of using a planner
  • How Rayah’s experiences in childhood created a lot of internal shame, manifested in sarcasm and making her afraid to get help
  • How Rayah was affected by her religious background, which included many rules for women
  • The shame Rayah felt when she was told to calm down and be likable and pleasant
  • How Rayah’s intensity is out of control in dealing with her oldest son, who also has experienced trauma
  • How Rayah shares with people around her and tries to utilize the benefits of community
  • How to learn useful coping techniques from people in marginalized communities
  • Rayah’s personal habits that help her deal with her intensity
  • The best advice Rayah received was from a nurse who told her to be an advocate in the mental health community to help others
  • Books that helped Rayah: Surviving Schizophrenia by E. Fuller Torrey MD, The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk MD, and True Inclusion by Brandan Robertson
  • How Rayah helps others by giving them permission to talk about their issues
  • How Rayah helps people see that life with mental illness can still be beautiful
  • Parting words from Rayah: “You can change your internal dialogue, improve, and heal.”


Depth Of Echoes 

Find Rayah and Depth of Echoes on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Patreon, and YouTube




Feb 25, 2020

This week on Embracing Intensity, I'm sharing an excerpt from this months lesson in the Ignite Your Power series - From Mental Chaos to Clarity and Connection. You can find the whole lesson in the Embracing Intensity Community or find a copy of the workbook in our Embracing Intensity Book Store.

In this lesson I share:

  • Why thoughts can be useful tools for understanding our experiences, but need to be examined so we can see more clearly.
  • Seven types of thoughts that can disrupt our clear thinking.
  • An overview of the full lesson found in the Embracing Intensity Community or in my workbook found in my new bookstore


Embracing Intensity Community

Online Bookstore

Feb 17, 2020

How much emphasis do you put on self-care? I’m talking about yourself, not what you might recommend to others. We fall victim to many myths that trick us into putting self-care on the back burner of our lives as we frantically run here and there. Today’s guest shares what she has learned through her focus on self-care and empowerment. Join us to learn more!

Jenelle Woodlief empowers women to redefine and embrace radical self-care, sharing deeply personal experience and wisdom. As a licensed massage therapist, she practices empowering bodywork aimed at restoring balance in the body. Thai massage is an incredible modality that incorporates effective massage with movement and stretching performed on a comfy floor mat. She educates and coaches clients on simple but powerful self-care techniques, empowering them to care for their bodies at home. And she does it all! She publishes her writing, speaks her truth, teaches Thai massage to groups and couples, builds community, fights inequality, and is building a self-care revolution! Join Jenelle in learning to love and care for yourself, and in turn, others. Jenelle is powerful, dynamic, engaging, and wise. I’m happy to introduce her to you today.

Show Highlights:

  • Jenelle is intensely passionate about being an entrepreneur and a recently divorced mom; she loves to help women redefine what self-care means
  • Her personal brand of intensity is rooted in authenticity and having the courage to show up messy in the world
  • The devastation of a sudden divorce
  • Jenelle’s story of growing up in “rebel fashion,” watching emotional abuse, physical abuse, and many inconsistencies in her family
  • How she was taught that women are supposed to be passive, but she knew she didn’t fit into that mold very well
  • In middle school and high school, Jenelle had to tone herself down to fit in with other kids; she learned to be more passive to have more friends
  • As a teen, her intensity got out of control when she exploded with anger because of what went on in her family
  • How Jenelle uses her fire for good: she shows up with passionate authenticity and connection with others, she prioritizes herself in many areas of life and engages with a group of women for change to be part of the solution
  • How Jenelle recognized that she is an introvert and needs to slow down and embrace and care for herself
  • How Jenelle prioritizes sleep, makes time and space for personal quiet time, and sets buffer times between clients
  • The best advice Jenelle ever received: to focus on caring for ourselves internally, so we can care for what’s happening around us; also, to observe and detach, and not feel the need to participate when things feel nasty
  • An influential book: The Conscious Parent by Shefali Tsabary
  • How Jenelle helps others by encouraging them to tune into what “lights them up”
  • Jenelle’s parting words: “We can’t share our fire and intensity unless we’re stoking our own fire. If we sit in chaos, then we give chaos---and that doesn’t help anyone.”


Instagram: @jenelle.woodlief

Facebook: Step Into Your Power



1 « Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next » 11