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Monday, September 25, 2017

Escaping Darkness, Choosing Light

“If you can’t see the good in the world, you have to be it,” is a direct quote from a 16 year old young lady, Shannon, who has become a mentee of me and my wife—a person who has been through hell and back; bullied, a survivor of suicide loss, multiple mental illnesses.

Only a few years ago, Shannon knew she was struggling with some life events and undiagnosed mental illnesses; took a risk by opening up to her parents, and started reaching out for help. The good in the world that she sought was only a speck of light that was nearly extinguished. 

At the present moment, Shannon still struggles at times (as we all do), but has won an award for her advocacy in suicide prevention, will be off to college soon, and will be co-presenting with me doing a talk on anti-bullying at a middle school in Beverly Hills, California (she’ll be flying in all the way from Kentucky).

I interviewed Shannon on the podcast and learned a lot, laughed some (how is a person in high school marching band terrible at walking? haha), and found the need to share this interview with you. 

I share this episode (embedded above, also downloadable, also available on iTunes) because choosing health over comfort, progress over pain, being the good instead of wishing for it—these aren't easy things to do. Shannon is a great interview and has some big thoughts and ideas. I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

From Foster Care to Yale University—Overcoming the Past to Create a Better Future

How do you come back from some big obstacles or major trauma as a young person? What happens when no one believes in you, they underestimate you, all the while you’re constantly put in harm’s way.

Tough circumstances for anyone to overcome.

But what happens when someone finally believes in you, challenges you, and causes you to challenge the core of everything you once believed—a mentor. This mentor also tells you that you have to embrace your past and not run from it, you have to go back and acknowledge when life changed for you, and you have to forgive the perpetrators in your life—not for them but for you—and you have to become curious and learn as much as you can about yourself and the world every day.

I interviewed my friend and colleague, Rodney Walker, who talks about all this—his traumatic upbringing in the Chicago foster care system, his abuse, his first mentor at the end of high school, and how he went from nearly dropping out of school to making his way to Yale and then Harvard, and how he uses his past to help young people.

This one is incredibly powerful and challenged me to rethink some of how I viewed the world and interact with the people in it.

I share this episode (embedded, also downloadable, also available on iTunes) because embracing our past isn’t something we typically, willingly embrace—but when we do, it can have life changing effects. Rodney is a great interview and has some big thoughts and ideas when it comes to mentorship and self development. I hope you enjoy!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Mrs. D is Going Without and Going Sober

When does it mean to be “authentic?” Your truest self. Someone who can tap into the ability to make sound decisions, to live in your emotions whether they be happy or uncomfortable, and sometimes even choosing to wave your freak flag and wave it high for all to see?

Lotta Dann, my guest on episode 3 of The i’Mpossible podcast talks about authenticity. For a long time she struggled with alcohol abuse and the repercussions that followed. But after she decided to go sober, she started learning what it really meant to be an authentic human being and how that affected her relationships with her husband, children, friends, and ultimately herself.

I share this episode (embedded, also downloadable, also available on iTunes) because tapping into our authentic best selves is something we should be doing on the daily (like all of us, it’s all about progress and not perfection), and also because Lotta is super well spoken, has an amazing New Zealand accent, and she’s part of the impossible eco-system (an author from book #2 in our series). I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Live Through This—Surviving and Thriving After a Suicide Attempt, with Dese'Rae Stage

How can a person sink to their lowest, be subject to so much despair and hopelessness that they think of ending their life—and then find a way to survive, thrive and use that experience to help others? 

How do they get from Point A: Despair, to Point X: Thriving and Helping? It's a great question because trauma and tragedy strike every day, and no one is given an instruction manual on how to handle those difficult obstacles, and quite often that trauma or tragedy is enough to make someone contemplate giving up completely. 

The more we hear from people who have made it through tragedy, suicide, or attempted self destruction, the less we'll feel alone when going through our own traumatic experiences or big obstacles. When a person shares a painful experience for the benefit of others—it's one of the most beautiful gifts a person can give.

Dese'Rae Stage does exactly that by sharing some of her life story and how she once attempted suicide and then used that experience to find a way to live and thrive and ultimately help others with her photography project, Live Through This, which tells the story of other suicide attempt survivors.

Listen on as I interview Des on The i'Mpossible Project show. Des's words are powerful, touching, and a tribute to the power of the human spirit:

If you do want to listen to other interviews (average length is 30 mins), you can find them at