Embracing Intensity

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Feb 10, 2020

Coming out of an educational conference it struck me how many sessions emphasized acceleration as the primary tool for supporting gifted students. As a gifted student who had both positive and negative experiences with my education, I have mixed feelings about this. While acceleration can be valuable for many gifted students, focusing on it exclusively can leave out a lot of twice exceptional and under achieving gifted folks, which can have lasting impacts on the experience of gifted adults.

In this episode:

  • Common traits of gifted students and how they may leave out twice exceptional and underachieving students.
  • How my experience both as a student and as a parent have shaped my view on how to support gifted and twice exceptional individuals.
  • Four things I believe are crucial in helping gifted and twice exceptional individuals meet their potential.


Embracing Intensity Community

Harnessing the Power of Your Intensity Workbook

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Feb 3, 2020

When I first heard today’s guest speak at a live event, I knew that I had to have her on the podcast. Her story of growing up in the Philippines in less-than-ideal circumstances is a powerful one that she is eager to share. Let’s learn more about how connecting with other people’s stories can transform lives.

Kareen Mills was born into a large family. The dream of coming to America was her escape from a not-so-healthy childhood. Her podcast, Being Motherhustler, is a tribute project to her mom and grandmother. Her podcast is ranked in the Top Ten at’s list of 20 podcasts that will help you grown in 2020. Being Motherhustler was also named the #1 domestic violence podcast by Kareen was named one of the Class of 2018 Accomplished and Under 40 by the Vancouver Business Journal. She still maintains a day job, managing a $50 million bank branch. The reason Kareen is so passionate about financial wellness is because hers was nonexistent until she learned one of life’s tough lessons from financial ruin. This experience provides Kareen a platform to make a difference in people’s financial lives today. Kareen is a master networker who co-founded Game Changers Global Network, LLC, and The Woman’s Network. She is quickly growing her Motherhustler brand online and offline, and she holds space for the Motherhustlers and women through events, retreats, and group coaching programs. In addition to these endeavors, Kareen serves her husband and two sons as a wife and mother.

Show Highlights:

  • Why Kareen is intensely passionate about holding space for women in domestic violence
  • How Kareen grew up as a victim to Philippine culture, which teaches women to be enslaved to their husbands and never to leave--no matter what
  • How Kareen was able to heal through connection and her project to honor her mom and grandmother
  • How people carry their childhood struggles with them into adulthood and future success
  • How Kareen’s intensity translates into her love for collecting other people’s stories and intense thoughts and conversations
  • Kareen’s thoughts about nasty people and how she learns from them
  • How Kareen wants to know what happened to people to make them mean and nasty to learn their stories
  • Why it’s up to us to receive our intensity with either positivity or negativity
  • How becoming a mother helped Kareen understand better what her mother went through and why she did what she did
  • How Kareen gives grace to mean people because we never know what they go through behind closed doors
  • Why you have to ask people about their story, which is really their struggle
  • The cultural factors that affected Kareen growing up: her judgmental, Catholic background and the brand-conscious, materialistic culture
  • How Kareen had to suppress a lot of her intensity before she went through healing
  • How Kareen’s intensity has gotten out of control many times over little things
  • How Kareen uses her fire for good in holding space for women like her mother
  • How setting a routine, working out, reading, and writing things down help Kareen harness the power of her intensity
  • A favorite book to recommend: The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews
  • How Kareen helps others use their fire by encouraging them to tell their stories because that’s where your fire comes from
  • Kareen’s vision: mothering the world and teaching networking skills


Find Kareen on social media: @kareenmills


Jan 28, 2020

I had the pleasure of interviewing Kareen Mills, who's interview I'm excited to share next week. As she shared her own story and the importance of listening to the stories of others, I really related to how stories are what connects us with others.

In this episode I discuss:

  • The power of story.
  • How fields as seemingly different as banking and education can be so similar. 
  • The significance of having both windows into other experiences and mirrors reflecting our own.
  • Bringing in more stories to share experiences of other gifted, creative and outside the box thinkers.


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Get your free Harnessing The Power of Your Intensity Workbook

Jan 20, 2020

In this first interview episode of 2020, we are continuing to discuss how our intensity can be our greatest source of power. Join me for an exciting conversation as today’s guest teaches us about sharing our gifts with the world.

Emily Roach is an international speaker, business coach, and professional “Biz BFF.” Through her online courses, live workshops, and intimate retreats, she empowers women business owners to play full-out, show up wholly as themselves, and create the business of their dreams. When she’s not teaching women how to rock their business and crush their goals, she’s camping around Oregon in her vintage school bus with her family of five.

Show Highlights:

  • How Emily is multi-passionate about many things, especially helping people unlock their potential and realize their capabilities
  • Emily’s personal brand of intensity, which is exemplified by the way she talks too fast and too loud as she strives always to be authentic
  • Growing up, Emily was an “odd duck” who was shy, expressive, and creative
  • How she worried about fitting in as a teen, but then decided she didn’t want to fit in
  • How she found a small group of friends later in her high school years
  • The moment in high school when everything “clicked” and she found complete freedom
  • The societal pressure to be a “good girl” and a people-pleaser
  • When Emily feels out of control with her big emotions, and it seems like she’s not connected
  • How Emily gives others permission to be themselves and loves to share her enthusiasm to pump others up
  • How Emily harnesses the power of her intensity by putting more structure in place, which, in turn, gives her more freedom
  • The benefits of structuring your time and schedule
  • How meditation, journaling, and being supported by other people help Emily with her big-intense emotions
  • The best advice Emily ever received: “Accept all the support you can.”
  • Books that have helped Emily the most: The Big Leap, Playing Big, and Alice in Wonderland
  • How Emily helps others use their fire by reflecting back their light and brilliance and seeing their wisdom, potential, and capability
  • Parting words from Emily: “People have told me that I’m too much when at times I feel like I’m not enough. It’s an impossible juggle. Know that you are exactly the right amount of much-ness.”



Find Emily on Instagram: @biz_bff

The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

Playing Big by Tara Mohr

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Overwhelmed by Brigid Schulte



Jan 13, 2020

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

You can also download a free workbook on Harnessing the Power of Your Intensity.

In this episode: 

  • Learn the 5 types of intensity and how they can be your greatest superpowers.

  • Explore how to harness them and keep them from getting out of control or suppressed.

  • Learn tips to channel each intensity in a positive direction.

  • Improve your self-regulation skills.

  • Create your own toolkit to get in your “power zone.”


Free Harnessing the Power of Your Intensity Workbook

Embracing Intensity Community

Jan 6, 2020

As we ramp into the new year, I wanted to share a bit about what we have in store for 2020 on the Embracing Intensity Podcast!

  • We are starting my free power zone toolkit this week on Monday! Sign up here to join us here!
  • We will be ending the challenge with first group call for updated Ignite Your Power course I’m relaunching in the Embracing Intensity community.
  • Next week I’ll share a modified recording of the first lesson on Harnessing Your Power, and then we will have our first interview episode of the year. 
  • We have some amazing guests lined up to interview and we are 58% of the way to covering two interview episodes per month. Join us in the Embracing Intensity Community, or on Patreon to support us! 

Ignite Your Power monthly lessons & themes:

  • Harnessing Your Power
  • Connection
  • Self-Empathy
  • Time & Energy Balance
  • Shifting Perception
  • Meeting Your Needs
  • Priorities
  • Rituals & Routines
  • Building Resiliency
  • Self-Advocacy
  • Reaching Out


Join Our Power Zone Toolkit Challenge

Embracing Intensity Community

Support us on Patreon!

Dec 30, 2019

Are you an Approval Addict? How about a Gold Star Chaser? For so many excitable people, it can be exhausting and unfulfilling simply living life under the shadow of the approval of others. If that sounds like you, listen in to this rerun installment of Embracing Intensity. This week, Aurora interviews her mentor Amy Pearson about her own struggles as an Approval Addict. Amy is a life coach, mother, and deep believer in helping women come into their own authenticity. In this episode, she dives deep into what it means to live free from approval, and gives you the tools and opportunity to be who you truly are!

Join Aurora and Amy to experience all that this episode has to offer:

  • Amy shares how she journeyed from people pleaser to fearlessly fulfilled.

  • Discover what it means to be an Approval Addict, and how to break the cycle.

  • It is time to drop the façade of likability, and start embracing that inner fire. Find out how!

  • Learn how to channel your intensity instead of pursuing affirmation from others.

  • Moms really do know best—learn what wisdom Amy embraced to change the course of her life.

  • Unlock what it means to Amy and Aurora to unearth your own authenticity.

  • Amy describes what it means to find her Tribe, and discover how you can find your Tribe too.

  • Check out your Approval Personality with Amy’s specially designed quiz.


Join the League of Excitable Women on Facebook 

Amy's New Website Being Amy The Blog (Active 1/1/20)

Sign up for updates and take Amy's Approval Personality Quiz

Amy’s Original Website

Aurora’s Website

Power Zone Toolkit

Embracing Intensity Community

Amy Recommends 

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

Dec 23, 2019

Would you consider yourself the “Creative Type?” Does life seem to be barely within your control? Do you ever find yourself toning down your big, grand ideas for the sake of appearance and opinion? If so, you might be like this week’s guest on “Embracing Intensity. Join Aurora as she interviews Katherine North. 

Katherine is a life coach, writer, and mother on a mission to lead women out of the creative storm of clutter and into a more beautiful, more authentic life. Her coaching allows women to stop stifling their joy, and embrace the things they truly love. Tune in to hear about Katherine’s journey across oceans and disciplines as she explains what it means to declare dominion over this beautiful life. 

Listen in as Aurora and Katherine discuss: 

  • Katherine’s journey from toned down and timid, to creatively big and epically badass. 
  • Discover how Katherine figured out how to live life in the “ethereal realm”
  • How to engage with your creativity, and let it be as big as you want it to be 
  • Find out what it takes to be a Heathen Mystic 
  • Uncover the magic of “morning pages” 
  • Find out how you can be a part of the next Queen Sweep for a more beautiful home
  • Get connected to Katherine’s weekly blog with tips and tricks for intense, sensitive, and creative women 
  • Learn the two requirements for being an EFBA 


Join the Embracing Intensity Community

Katherine’s Website

Katherine’s Book Practical Magic for Secret Mystics  

Aurora’s Website

Power Zone Toolkit   

Katherine Recommends

Parenting Without Power Struggles by Susan Stiffelman 

Steering by Starlightby Dr. Martha Beck

Dec 16, 2019

Three words: You are enough. For an intense person in today’s fast-paced and demanding world, it is easy to feel like you have to tone yourself down. Are you feeling burned up, beaten down, and bummed out? Then you need to listen to this week’s episode of “Embracing Intensity.” 

This week’s guest is Starr Sheppard-Decker, a business coach, and spiritual leader with a passion to see women fully embrace their intense selves. Through spiritual searching and a dive into her own inner psyche, Starr realized she desired attention and acceptance from others, when all she really needed was attention and acceptance from herself. Hear Starr’s wisdom and heart for women with intense passions and a fire worth spreading. 

In this episode: 

  • See how Starr’s passion for societal change has turned her into a teacher, spiritual leader, and life coach.
  • Starr shares the experiences and revelations that changed her perspective on her own brand of intensity. 
  • Feel great about how unique you are!
  • See how intensity looks in the fast paced, energetic, deep inner workings of psyche and spirituality. 
  • Learn how to live on the edge of cultural norms and present new ideas. 
  • Break the idea of categories; redefine good and bad in your life 
  • Find the right fit in your relationships. 
  • Hear how Starr found spiritual development by seeking help and healing. 
  • Learn grounding techniques and increase your emotional bandwidth 
  • Deal with false beliefs and cling to what is true. 

Starr Recommends

A Woman’s Worth by Marianne Williamson

The Mandala of Being by Richard Moss


Starr’s Website

Session link

Embracing Intensity Community

XPress Your Power Store 

Aurora’s Website


Dec 9, 2019

This month I'm taking the month off and sharing reruns of my favorite episodes from season 1. This one is particularly timely because I've been having a lot of conversations about twice-exceptionality lately.

Impossible. The world seems to throw this word at you a lot, doesn’t it? For Intense, Exceptional, Gifted, and Intuitive people, our greatest strengths are often viewed as weaknesses and disabilities. When the world tries to label your dreams impossible, what can you do to harness your fire and show the world who’s boss? Wouldn’t you like to know there’s someone who has walked that hard road before, and come out the other end burning brighter than before?  

Dr. Melanie Hayes is the founder of Big Minds Unschool, a program that allows Twice Exceptional students to thrive in their own unique gifts. Melanie is also Twice Exceptional, and she knows what it is like to be a bright fire in a world that feels too small for her. After growing up with “impossible” dreams, Melanie learned to make her vision a reality. Now she is using her fire through coaching and Big Minds to change the world. This week, she will share her stories of growing up, success through unconventionality, and wisdom to inspire you to take the word “impossible” and transform it into a force of good.

Also in this episode:   

  • Melanie grew up as an intense kid with a bit of an existential, otherworldly perspective.
  • A fascination with twice exceptional minds.
  • Working within the extremes of life, and when life doesn’t seem to want to work with you!
  • Speaking up for intense kids in schools.
  • Learning to trust yourself and your instincts.
  • Why is it so hard to recognize our gifts?
  • Overcoming fear and letting go of limitations.
  • Life-coaching a holistic being.
  • Roundabout career paths and connecting to the work you do.


Melanie Recommends

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Melanie’s Website

Big Minds unschool

Find Melanie’s Book on Amazon!

We Tried Normal

Join the Embracing Intensity Community

Support us on Patreon

Sign up for the Free Find Your Superpower Course

Dec 2, 2019

I'm taking the month of December off again, but this year I decided to try something different and share some of my favorite episodes from season one with an update from the interviewee! This week I'm sharing one of my most popular episodes of all time with Paula Prober!

As a child, were you deemed over-sensitive, dramatic, or over-emotional? Are you a deep thinker, intellectual, or intense creative? Perhaps that just means you are gifted. Join Aurora in this week’s “Embracing Intensity” as she interviews Paula Prober, an expert on the gifted population. Paula has journeyed through many disciplines from education to counseling and now to writing. Her interdisciplinary wisdom has led to a fascinating and enlightening perspective on the mind of a gifted individual. The gifted are often intense and excitable. Paula’s mission is to show the world how the gifted adult can seek healing and live life to the fullest.  

Inside this week’s episode: 

  • Find out if you could be “gifted”
  • Learn how to apply Paula’s analogy of the Rainforest Mind
  • Find out how to discover ways to connect with your body and hone your wonderful giftedness
  • What does the Argentine Tango have to do with giftedness? Listen to find out! 
  • Learn strategies Paula suggests for taking care of yourself.
  • Discover the Healing Arts, and the key to finding a good therapist.
  • Hear how Paula changed her voice, and why it mattered so much to her! 
  • Uncover how writing, meditating, seeking therapy, and SLEEP can help you embrace your fully gifted life.


Paula’s Blog: Your Rainforest Mind

Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth by Paula Prober

Paula Recommends

Belonging Here: A Guide for the Spiritually Sensitive Person by Judith Blackstone

Embracing Intensity Community

Support us on Patreon!

Nov 25, 2019

Kazmiers Dabrowski was an early proponent of what we now call the neurodiversity movement. He asserted that what was viewed as "neuroses" were not an illness, but in fact a sign of high developmental potential! His theory of Positive Disintegration views the importance of falling apart, or disintegrating, before integrating into a higher whole.

This week, Chris Wells, Director of Qualitative Research at the Gifted Development Center, dives deeper into Dabrowski's life, what led to his theory and how it applies to us in the current day. 

In this episode:

  • How Dabrowski's theory relates to the current neurodiversity movement.
  • How his own life experiences and trauma impacted his theory.
  • The importance of values.
  • The three factors of developmental potential.
  • How dynamisms, or the forces that drive our actions, serve as a catalyst to higher development.


Finding Treasure In Ruins Blog Post

Embracing Intensity Community

Gifted Development Center

Nov 18, 2019

I've been asked a lot about twice-exceptionality recently and especially on how to identify ADHD when giftedness is also involved.

In this episode:

  • Characteristics observed in people who are both gifted and ADHD.
  • Characteristics that may be common with giftedness, but are even more extreme when ADHD is thrown in.
  • Assessment patterns I've observed with kids with ADHD.


Embracing Intensity Community

Brendan Mahan's ADHD Essentials

Nov 11, 2019

Do you talk to yourself the way you would talk to a loved one? In this interactive episode, Shannon Meade shares her thoughts on shifting our inner dialog to confront our own inner critic.

In this episode:

  • What does your inner critic say?
  • What would it look like to be an ally to yourself?
  • Using affirmations effectively to shift how we treat ourselves.
  • Connecting with your own inner child.


Tweak Your Self Talk

Queen of Ease

Embracing Intensity Community

Nov 4, 2019

Growing up in a family and community of intense and onside-the-box thinkers who "got" me for the most part, I took for granted how rare that actually is. When I found myself isolated when I moved to the PNW, I had my challenges, but I was able to rebuild connections because I had made them before and new that I could.

In this episode:

  • How being isolated left me questioning my own social skills.
  • Finding community in community theatre.
  • Rebuilding after divorce. 
  • Inspiration in seeing others find community. 


Embracing Intensity Community

Oct 28, 2019

Sometimes we hold back on setting goals out of fear of what might happen if we put our energy into something and it does not pan out the way we had hoped! This week on Embracing Intensity, Clinton Fetters of Distractonaut, shares a tool to help work through our fears so we can move forward on our goals!

In this episode:

  • Reasons we may fail to set goals, or set effective ones.
  • A tool to help work through our fear around goals. 
  • Elements of a good goal.


Distractonaut Blog

Embracing Intensity Community

Oct 21, 2019

I saw Dr. Anita M Jackson speak on the stage at Spark Live last month and she shared that she was going through a major transformation right there on stage. After a multitude of achievements over the years, she was finally unleashing her full being to the world and fully embodying all parts of herself. 

I knew that Anita was accomplished and intense, but what I didn’t know until our interview was that she also was diagnosed with ADHD while she was working on her doctorate degree. She shares how her experience with ADHD and giftedness shaped the way she though in a way that isolated her growing up but led to deep connections as she was able to harness her own power. 

In this episode:

  • How shutting yourself down leads to imbalance. 
  • Connecting easily with others by seeing the good in everybody.
  • Creating stories about being “too much” when the right community does not see you that way. 
  • Caring less and less about what others think as we age. 
  • The impact of being gifted with ADHD on school years.
  • Sharing insights that teachers loved, but none of her peers understood.
  • How learning about her giftedness opened the doors to possibilities.
  • Mastering her intensity to overcome trauma.
  • Her focus on achievement led her to disconnect with herself.
  • How women over give to feel deserving of the things they may be afraid to ask for. 
  • The pattern of crashing hard right before her next bigger calling. 
  • Being the first woman in the family to earn a high degree, buy a house, travel internationally and not get married and have kids. 
  • Big dreams that started out small.
  • Personal habits that help use fire in a positive way.
  • Calling in your inner circle.


Dr. Anita M Jackson’s website

Embracing Intensity Community

Support us on Patreon

Oct 14, 2019

Our 3rd anniversary snuck up on my until I started getting congrats on Linked in! I asked for ideas on how to celebrate and got some great ideas, but between getting sick and working on my usual day off, I decided to keep it simple. Let me know if you have topics you'd like to see covered on the show!

In this episode:

  • I share about the origins of the Embracing Intensity Podcast.
  • What you have to look forward to for the rest of this year. 
  • Lessons learned from 3 years of interviewing gifted and outside the box thinkers. 


Embracing Intensity Community

Oct 7, 2019

"Motivation is something that you need over an arc of time, it's not necessarily a destination, it's something you need to bring along with you on your journey, more like a toothbrush."

This week on Embracing Intensity, I finally get to share an edited part of our conversation on Motivation with René Brooks of Black Girl, Lost Keys! 

In this episode:

  • How motivation is part of the bigger picture, not day to day feelings.
  • Moving through fatigue and burnout with motivation. 
  • Letting go of the idea that everything is a top priority.
  • How we tend to reward work with more work.
  • The importance of self-reward. 


Black Girl, Lost Keys

Embracing Intensity Community

Sep 30, 2019

Last weekend at the Spark Portland Event I attended, Ellen Yin of Cubicle to CEO said something that really stuck with me, "Know when to pivot and when to persist." I've been reflecting this week on the places in my own life and business I need to pivot and where I should persist. 

In this episode:

  • Future plans for the Embracing Intensity Community.
  • My focus for the next few months.
  • The power of understanding your own brain. 


Embracing Intensity Community

Spark Events

Cubicle to CEO Podcast

Sep 23, 2019

I met a wonderfully interesting person about a year ago. We were introduced through a women’s business group, and we chatted for hours when we met for coffee. I knew I had to get her on the show so you can hear her story and mission.

Nneka Coxeff is the editor-in-chief of Black Lace + Pearls magazine. She founded the creative lifestyle and healing arts magazine to showcase her inspirational works while merging her skillset as a writer and longtime publicist. Nneka has created a beautiful platform for other healers, professionals, and entrepreneurs to connect, build community, and share their gifts and talents with the world. Nneka aspires to inspire others to live out their desires and to turn their dreams into reality, all while owning their unique authenticity and individuality. Black Lace + Pearls magazine highlights women around the globe who make it their business to serve the world to make it a better place for all. The magazine holds a special place in its mission for female powerhouses and game-changers who are breaking barriers within their field.

Show Highlights:

  • Why Nneka is intensely passionate about her role as a married mother of five, along with inspiring and motivating others and helping people realize their purpose
  • How a former boss made all the difference in Nneka’s life by seeing something she couldn’t see in herself
  • How Nneka’s personal brand of intensity includes a lot of energy and positivity
  • Why Nneka became an introvert and a journaler due to her intuition and inquisitiveness as a child
  • How she was shaped and affected by being told to “stop asking so many questions” as a child
  • How competitiveness with yourself can be misinterpreted
  • How Nneka’s family was the only black family in a predominantly white neighborhood with some white supremacists
  • How toning down led to Nneka turning inward and leaning on journaling and writing
  • Why Nneka’s intensity is sometimes out of control in her passion for motivating others
  • How Nneka helps others see the good in themselves and advocates for authenticity
  • A look at fitting in vs. belonging
  • Nneka’s Write to Heal workshops
  • How Nneka learned to be resilient through the death of her young son
  • Why Nneka wants to help people own the losses that come in life and learn to move through them
  • How writing and meeting other intense people have helped Nneka
  • The importance of the power of self-care practices like meditation and journaling
  • The best advice Nneka has received: “Give from your overflow.” (Don’t deplete yourself or you’ll have nothing to give!)
  • Meaningful books: A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, and all of Iyanla Vanzant’s books
  • Know your intentions, know your history, and know yourself
  • Thoughts on the law of attraction
  • How Nneka helps others by encouraging them to own their talents and special gifts and put a voice to their personal stories
  • Nneka’s parting advice: “Keep doing you and living out your purpose.”


Find Nneka on Facebook and Instagram

Email Nneka:

Nneka’s website:  BLP Magazine

Join the Accountability Mastermind:

Sep 16, 2019

I've been talking lately about false images on social media and perpetuating unrealistic ideals. That got me thinking more about community and belonging, not just "fitting in." 

In this episode:

  • Perpetuating unrealistic images. 
  • "Fitting in" vs. Belonging
  • Upcoming community events that encourage being your full self!


Embracing Intensity Community

Embracing Intensity Upcoming Events

Lior Holtzman Photography

Spark Live

Black Lace and Pearls Events

Thrive With Intensity Group Program

Sep 9, 2019

When you think of intensity, you probably think of someone who is always loud and overbearing. The truth is that intense people can have a quiet nature that isn’t dominating. Meet today’s guest!

Phyllis G. Williams is the co-host of Living The Principles podcast. She’s a US Marine veteran, educator, and entrepreneur who is passionate about community. Phyllis’ entrepreneurial endeavors revolve around writing and speaking, and she’s described by her friends as “quiet, yet strong and confident.” It was a pleasure to get to know Phyllis in this interview, and I hope you enjoy!

Show Highlights:

  • Why Phyllis is intensely passionate about community mainly because she has seen how her life has been affected by it
  • How her family was Phyllis’ first community, the Marines her second, and Toastmasters her third
  • Why Phyllis’ true intensity isn’t loud and aggressive, but a quiet strength with devotion
  • As Phyllis grew up, she was a creative storyteller who was always comfortable being alone
  • How Phyllis learned values like integrity and honesty through colloquialisms in her Mississippi upbringing
  • Why Phyllis felt like she had to hide her voice and her accent for a long time
  • Phyllis’ intensity gets out of control when she is too concerned about other people’s feelings and overly concerned about her actions
  • The creative ways in which Phyllis helps others look introspectively at themselves
  • How she harnesses the power of her intensity through journaling
  • The acronym RISE for personal habits: reflect, intentions, stretching, elevate
  • The best advice Phyllis ever received was from her mother: “Don’t worry about things you can’t control.”
  • An inspiring book: One Word That Will Change Your Life by Jon Gordon
  • How Phyllis helps others through her workshop, Authenticity, and Authority
  • How her podcast helps debunk beliefs in the black community through topics like business, relationships, and unity
  • Key areas of emphasis for Phyllis are self-awareness, selflessness, and self-love


Phyllis’ website:  Progress Promoter

Find Phyllis on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram: Phyllis G. Williams or @ProgressPromoter

One Word That Will Change Your Life by Dan Britton, Jimmy Page, and Jon Gordon

Sep 3, 2019

In high school when we read the Scarlet Letter, we had an assignment to pick a letter to represent a fault or weakness of ours. I picked the letter P for Procrastination and Perfectionism. My teacher believed the procrastination part but not so much the perfectionism...

In this episode:

  • Why perfectionism and procrastination are intertwined.
  • 3 lessons learned from blogging the last 5 years and podcasting the last 3.
  • Going with your brain quirks instead of against them. 


Embracing Intensity Community

Aug 26, 2019

How much emphasis do you put on play in your life? Somehow, as we enter adulthood, we lose our affinity for play. Today’s guest has made it his mission to bring play back into the lives of busy adults, and he’s here to tell us how his intensity has made it all possible.

Gary Ware is someone I first met at the World Domination Summit this past year. People are drawn to his playful energy, and he is twice-exceptional, with ADHD and dyslexia. Gary will share how he’s learned to channel his energy in positive ways to help himself and many other people as he teaches them how to bring more play into their lives. Gary is the founder of Breakthrough Play, and he’s a sought-after corporate facilitator and keynote speaker with nearly a decade of experience as a performer in improv theater. He assists teams with unlocking creativity, confidence, and sparking collaboration with experiential methods proven to drive peak performance. Gary spent over a decade in the corporate world and originally pursued improv to master public speaking. He discovered that combining improv and play could be a powerful solution to achieve various business challenges. Naturally, he created workshops for his team and other executives in his network to deepen relationships and improve creativity. Gary became obsessed with learning how to use play as a transformational tool, and, as a result, happily transitioned from marketing to pursue facilitation full-time. When Gary isn’t leading workshops and keynote speaking, you can find him learning magic or off on an adventure with his wife, Courtney, and son, Garrett.

Show Highlights:

  • Gary’s intense passion for helping people be more authentic
  • Why people feel uninspired and unengaged at work today
  • Why finding joy in what you do is a conscious choice
  • How Gary uses his personal brand of intensity to find different ways to solve complex problems, even using hypnosis and neuro-linguistic programming
  • As Gary grew up, he was a curious and playful ball of energy, and always the class clown
  • The cultural factors that affected his intensity because he attended a different school almost every year because of his father’s military career
  • Becoming a “social chameleon” to fit in wherever he was, but never really knowing who he was
  • Gary’s identity crisis as an African-American
  • How Gary had to learn what was necessary to survive and how to operate with a filter
  • The story of an out-of-control moment of a food fight in school
  • How Gary uses his superpower of making people feel comfortable
  • How Gary harnesses the power of his intensity in being his goofy self, but always in connection with others
  • Why Gary views his ADD as a superpower now
  • Why Gary calls play “a gift” and a “form of meditation”
  • The best advice Gary ever received: “You are perfect just the way you are.”
  • Books that have helped Gary: Play DHD, The Big Leap, and The Happiness Advantage (see resources below)
  • How Gary brings playful methods to interesting situations
  • Gary’s advice for listeners: “Think about how you played as a young child, and think about how you can bring that back into your life.”


Breakthrough Play

Find Gary Ware on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook


The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

Play by Dr. Stuart Brown

Play DHD by Kirsten Milliken

The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

Check out Embracing Intensity for more info about the Befriending Your Brain course series, launching in the fall.

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