Sharing the Heart of the Matter

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Episode 55: Master Class in Creativity with Jack Canfora Part I
2d ago
Episode 55: Master Class in Creativity with Jack Canfora Part I
In this episode, Wynne Leon and Vicki Atkinson are talking with Edgerton award winning playwright, musician, and writer Jack Canfora.   Talking with Jack is like attending a master class on creativity. In fact, our conversation with Jack is so rich with both writing practices and nuggets about authors and artists that we’ve split it into two episodes. In this first episode, we talk with Jack about depression and creative expression. He adds some fantastic and funny insight from comedian, Gary Gulman (HBO special: The Great Depresh). Jack also reveals a couple of his brilliant ways to experiment when he’s hit a creative lull. His answer about whether he writes long-hand will have you giggling right along with Vicki and me. He tells us what is hard to teach and important to learn about creative attention. And he shares with us a delightful story about the Beatles song Eleanor Rigby that exposes an intimate insight into the creative process. (Here's a video clip of Jack telling this story) With all the food for thought and inspiration, we know you will have plenty of chew on until the conclusion of our incredible conversation airs next week. We love talking with the brilliant and funny Jack Canfora and leave each conversation a little bit smarter, much more inspired to hone the craft of writing, and in awe of a master creator. We know you’ll love this episode! Links for this Episode: Episode 55 show notes Jack's website: Jack Canfora | Playwright | Podcaster | Writing Coach Jack's Online Theater Company: New Normal Rep Jericho by Jack Canfora on Amazon Jack Canfora on Instagram and Twitter: @jackcanfora From the hosts: Vicki’s personal blog: Victoria Ponders Wynne’s personal blog: Surprised by Joy Vicki’s recently released book: Surviving Sue Wynne’s book about her beloved father: Finding My Father’s Faith
Episode 54: Style & Creativity with Lindsey Bauer
Feb 16 2024
Episode 54: Style & Creativity with Lindsey Bauer
In this episode, Vicki Atkinson and I are with stylist, and my sister-in-law, Lindsey Bauer. We are so delighted to air this conversation with Lindsey as she shares nuggets from her long career in the fashion industry involving design, manufacturing, and retail. She tells us about the geometry of looking long and lean instead of fruit shaped. Lindsey tells us why we shouldn’t buy clothes at Costco. We talk through Lindsey's top three priorities when buying new clothes. Vicki and I ask her about her process of styling a client and why she starts at the closet, not at the store. Lindsey shares what she has learned along the way about color and enhancing that sense. And we bring this episode full circle to creativity when we talk about my brother, Jay, who is also incredibly creative. She tells us about how living on a boat with no square corners constantly challenges their ingenuity. Lindsey tells us how they tackle it together. This is a great episode about another facet of creativity – style. Lindsey gives us some great encouragement about how to be comfortable in our own skin. We know you’ll love it! Links for this Episode: Episode 54 show notes Lindsey's website: Style Lindsey Lindsey Bauer on LinkedIn Lindsey Bauer on Instagram: StyleLindsey1 From the hosts: Vicki’s personal blog: Victoria Ponders Wynne’s personal blog: Surprised by Joy Vicki’s recently released book: Surviving Sue Wynne’s book about her beloved father: Finding My Father’s Faith
Episode 53: Practicing Creativity with David
Feb 9 2024
Episode 53: Practicing Creativity with David
In this episode, Vicki and Wynne talk with David from the Pinwheel in a Hurricane and Unwanted blogs. David has so much to offer when it comes to the goodness of the creative process – for solidifying clarity, integration, and healing. The tagline for David’s Pinwheel in a Hurricane blog is “an attempt at adding to the fray without just making noise.” David tells us about his experience blogging for 10 years and how the first hurdle was just to believe that he had a voice. We talk about sharing and telling stories – and how that allows all of our internal perspectives to come forward with their viewpoints. And that “writing helps the swirly stuff in my brain have a soft place to land” to borrow a great phrase from David. A way to integrate ourselves and connect the dots. David’s current focus is on practice and we love hearing how he’s reclaimed that word. Instead of the rigor and disciplinarian focus on practice as something that must be done to master anything, like a musical instrument, David is reimagining it as a word that holds space for kindness. As a gentle word that allows repetition to learn things he’s messed up before and to do it with self-compassion. This is a great episode about the incredibly healing nature of what happens when we sit down to write. We love David’s viewpoint and experience as he brings forward all the goodness. We know you’ll love it! Links for this episode: Episode 53 show notes Transcript for Episode 53 of the podcast David's Pinwheel in a Hurricane blog David's Unwanted Blog David's recent post soft place that explains how writing helps the swirly stuff in the brain have a soft place to land From the hosts: Vicki’s personal blog: Victoria Ponders Wynne’s personal blog: Surprised by Joy Vicki’s recently released book: Surviving Sue Wynne’s book about her beloved father: Finding My Father’s Faith
Episode 52: Unlocking Secrets with Vicki and Wynne
Feb 2 2024
Episode 52: Unlocking Secrets with Vicki and Wynne
In this episode, Wynne Leon is with co-host Dr. Vicki Atkinson and they’re talking about unlocking secrets. Both Vicki and I have published books about family. Vicki about her mom, Sue, and me about my dad, Dick. As we’ve discussed in other podcasts, writing about family is hard. But it’s also instructive - we learn so much about ourselves and where we come from. It’s a path that we’ve found to be so illuminating because we get to build on the secrets from those who went before. Vicki talks about one of the secrets she learned which was not to keep secrets. Is it possible that underlying all or most of Sue’s issues was the toxicity of keeping secrets? And what secrets did I learn from my dad? My dad had a formula for doing the next right thing, staying focused on what he was called to do, and then turning over the results to a Higher Power. The luxury I got was being able to talk to him about that as well as see him live it day in and day out. Like Vicki was able to do with her dad, Sonny. Sonny had the 10-5 rule. Acknowledge people within 10 feet and greet them within 5 feet. It’s the kind of secret that carries itself forward in generational goodness. Vicki and I have a great conversation about these secrets and more. We talk about all the benefits that come from writing about life. The secrets that we are able to pick up by diving down deep to find pearls of wisdom. It’s hard work – but the payoff is huge! Please join us in this episode as we share what we learned. We know you’ll love it! Links for this Episode: Episode 52 show notes Wynne's post about her dad's formula for success: Fatherly Wisdom Vicki's post about the 10-5 rule: Sunny Sonny Vicki’s personal blog: Victoria Ponders Wynne’s personal blog: Surprised by Joy Vicki’s recently released book: Surviving Sue Wynne’s book about her beloved father: Finding My Father’s Faith
Episode 51: The Magic of Stories with Dave Williams
Jan 26 2024
Episode 51: The Magic of Stories with Dave Williams
In this episode, Wynne Leon is with my co-host Dr. Vicki Atkinson and we’re talking with author and illustrator, Dave Williams. I love bookstores and have a soft spot for any book written in them. Novels like The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin are two of my favorites. But I’ve never met anyone that was raised in a bookstore – until now. Dave Williams grew up working in his grandparents bookstore – a converted Victorian house in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Dave shares about that experience and how it instilled the magic of stories. And then how it carried forward to passing on that magic to his twin daughters. Vicki and I ask him how he developed his talent. He tells us how he set his writing and creativity aside for a time. That is, until he saw what fun his daughters were having at craft time when they were young girls. We talk about working our way from writing what we think we should write to writing what lights our own creative fire. And how being curious and interested in lots of things helps spark ideas. Dave shares his tips and tricks like asking “what if” questions and being inspired by the playfulness of kids. This is such a fun episode with the incredibly delightful and prolific, Dave Williams. We know you’ll love it! Links for this episode: Episode 51 show notes Transcript for Episode 51 of the podcast Dave's blog: Dave Williams Dave's author page on Amazon: Dave Williams
Episode 50: The Art of Practice
Jan 19 2024
Episode 50: The Art of Practice
We are celebrating our 50th podcast in this episode. We talk about my favorite quote as it relates to pulling ourselves together to start something – and then sticking with it. Your first podcast will be awful.Your first video will be awful.Your first article will be awful.Your first art will be awful.Your first photo will be awful.But you can't make your 50th without making your first.So get it over with, and make it. Vicki calls it the pancake quote - the first one out of the pan is never the best. For me, it is all about celebrating the art of practice. An ode to the process of becoming. I wouldn’t say that every part has been awful. But there have been many things that have felt awkward. Working up the courage to ask strangers to be guests. Listening to our own voices. Finding our way to the heart of the matter. So Vicki and I talk about the discoveries. Like the realization that at this age we aren’t coming at this from nothing – we get a boost by bringing our professional and personal knowledge to a new practice. And the three things we learned: Be prepared and organized – approaching a topic with a discussion points and a list of linked resources helps create a solid foundation for a good conversation.People say “yes” – we have been so lucky that our esteemed guests have said “yes” to us. And as a bonus, they have also seemed to have fun doing podcasts with us.Authenticity and respect will make up for lack of experience in many ways One of the most wonderful parts of this journey has been our generous listeners. Thank you so much for coming along with us on this exploration. We are so grateful for your time and comments. This is a great episode for anyone who is surfing the waves of learning something new. Come along with us and celebrate that practice might not make perfect (speaking for ourselves), but it can be so rewarding as we keep growing. I know you’ll love it. Episode 50 show notes Vicki’s personal blog: Victoria Ponders Wynne’s personal blog: Surprised by Joy Vicki’s recently released book: Surviving Sue Wynne’s book about her beloved father: Finding My Father’s Faith
Episode 49: Six-Word Stories with Dr. Victoria Atkinson
Jan 12 2024
Episode 49: Six-Word Stories with Dr. Victoria Atkinson
The Sharing the Heart of the Matter podcast is back with its first episode of 2024! This year we are putting special emphasis on the why and how of creativity. We start the season with a special episode with Dr. Vicki Atkinson. We know and love our writing, blogging friend, and podcasting friend Vicki. But of course, dear Vicki has worn a lot of other hats – therapist, professor, college dean, and author. And one of the places where her incredible experience wearing all these hats comes together? Six-word stories. On this podcast we get to learn about the history, benefits and examples of six-word stories from Dr. Victoria Atkinson. We start with Vicki reading a post she wrote about six-word stories as it related to finding forgiveness process for her mom. She gives us the history of these powerful short stories as made popular by writer and publisher, Larry Smith. Vicki tells us about the therapeutic value of forcing this brevity to check in and crystallize thoughts. She gives us a powerful reminder of how we can often feel more in control and on top of things when we package things in ways that feel like we can hold them in our hands. Vicki gives us some wonderful examples of these potent and portable missives from her own life, and those shared by clients and students. She even circles back to one from our recent conversation with Dr. Gerald Stein: “I like to make new mistakes.” Another one of my favorites comes from Vicki’s book, Surviving Sue and is about her mom, “She wore her regret like armor.” That carries the power of Vicki’s example of how crystallizing her thoughts helped her to build empathy and to find her way to forgiveness. This is a great episode that celebrates the clarity that comes when we get quiet, the power that is unlocked when we write it out, and the gateway to growth that is opened when we use tools like six-word stories. We know you’ll love it. Episode 49 show notes Vicki's post: Peek Inside: “Surviving Sue” – Six-Word Style – Victoria Ponders Larry Smith's site: Six-Word Memoirs – One Life, Six Words. What's Yours? (sixwordmemoirs.com) Writing Our Lives in 6 Words | Psychology Today How to Use 6-Word Memoirs in the Classroom | Edutopia Vicki’s personal blog: Victoria Ponders Wynne’s personal blog: Surprised by Joy Vicki’s recently released book: Surviving Sue Wynne’s book about her beloved father: Finding My Father’s Faith
Episode 48: Staying Steady with Stuart Perkins
Dec 15 2023
Episode 48: Staying Steady with Stuart Perkins
In this episode, Wynne Leon and Dr. Vicki Atkinson are back with the amazing blogger and author, Stuart Perkins. We revisit a couple of Stuart’s recent pieces that highlight the kind of people who help us and inspire us to stay steady. Stuart writes so beautifully. Period. He hooks us and we get to come along for the ride. In this case, about the moments of doubt, and characters that help us to hold on. The people that make us want to be there for others when life feels unsteady. In his essay, Hand on the Plow, his co-worker, Ms Wade was that influence. The grounded older woman who counseled Stuart as a new employee to exhibit determination in the wake of a mistake. Stuart tells us why she was so credible, and stuck with him for decades after they worked together. We also chat about Stuart’s recent piece that was published in The Local Scoop magazine – Because Granddaddy Liked to Fish. His family roots are so strong, whether with Nanny on the farm or with Granddaddy on Chesapeake Bay. No wonder that Stuart can capture the feeling of family so well in his writing. Because Stuart knows how to capture the hilarity of family and being together so well. He tells us the secret of family traditions and togetherness are how they are borne of balance, the long view, and a lot of laughter. Please join us for this great episode of staying steady – in moments of doubt and also in the long view of family and tradition. We know you’ll love it! On a programming note, we last episode in 2023. We’ll see you in 2024. Happy holidays. Episode 48 show notes Stuart's blog: Storyshucker Hand on the Plow by Stuart Perkins Because Granddaddy Liked To Fish in The Local Scoop magazine
Episode 47: Being Your Own Best Friend with Dr. Gerald Stein Part II
Dec 8 2023
Episode 47: Being Your Own Best Friend with Dr. Gerald Stein Part II
In this podcast, which is episode two of a two-part series, Dr. Stein walks us through his list, How to Become Your Own Best Friend. This is one of our favorite essays from Dr. Stein which is saying a great deal given the depth and breadth of his wisdom. In last week’s episode, we covered items focused on expanding our horizons to become both interesting and interested, making mistakes, self-compassion and advocating for ourselves and not overthinking things. We continue in the vein of standing up for ourselves with do not explain, excuse or apologize because you believe someone else expects this. Dr. Stein walks us through this difficult but essential practice of being secure enough to stand our ground and also to say “no.” One of my favorite phrases is from Roshi Joan Halifix – strong back, soft front. In that vein, we move to talk about Dr. Stein’s instruction that we allow love and kindness to emanate from our beings. This one is my personal favorite because I spent years surfing in my father’s wake of goodness. When we do the work to see others around us like the grocery clerks and people we pass by, and greet them warmly, we not only change the tenor in the air, but in ourselves as well. And friends are always a benefit when we face disappointing and hard times. But Dr. Stein also explains that another way through is understanding that we’ll likely return to our set point after experiencing misfortune and unhappiness. Dr. Stein says, “overcoming hardship will require a great deal of strength and willpower but it’s known we will return to our set point.” This is a great episode full of the warm and wise advice of Dr. Stein. He proves an excellent guide past the pitfalls and into the fullness of a wonderful life. We know you’ll love it! And if you haven’t already, read Dr. Stein’s complete list including my personal favorite, #29 “Empty your being of all your power, imagination, and grit. Use it up.” Also go back and listen to the first episode of Being Your Own Best Friend. On a programming note, we will only be producing one more episode in 2023 after this one so that we can take a break for the holidays. Episode 47 show notes Dr. Gerald Stein's Blog: Dr. Gerald Stein How to Become Your Own Best Friend by Dr. Gerald Stein Other podcast episodes with Dr. Stein: Episode 46: Being Your Own Best Friend With Dr. Gerald Stein - Part I Episode 37: The Waiting Game with Dr. Gerald Stein Episode 29: Accidental Philanthropists with Dr. Gerald Stein Episode 20: The Art of the Interview with Dr. Gerald Stein Vicki’s recently released book: Surviving Sue Wynne’s book about her beloved father: Finding My Father’s Faith
Episode 46: Being Your Own Best Friend with Dr. Gerald Stein Part I
Dec 1 2023
Episode 46: Being Your Own Best Friend with Dr. Gerald Stein Part I
Wynne Leon is with co-host, Dr. Vicki Atkinson and psychologist and blogger, Dr. Gerald Stein. In this podcast, which is episode two of a two-part series, Dr. Stein walks us through his list, How to Become Your Own Best Friend. This is one of our favorite essays from Dr. Stein which is saying a great deal given the depth and breadth of his wisdom. He opens the list with the question, “Who is the person closest to you?” If we are going to be our own best friend, how do we start? Dr. Stein suggests that we start from by being good company. If we expand our interests, push our boundaries, and investigate new ideas, we can fill up from the inside out. And when we grow, we will sometimes makes mistakes. Dr. Stein beautifully expands on his instruction that “Mistakes are inevitable. Master them. Please take steps to skip over their repetition.” The next few instructions that Dr. Stein offers center around knowing our own place and value in relationship to others. His beautifully communicated points about having limits, becoming independent and pursuing advice speak the balance of knowing how to advocate for ourselves. If we are truly our own best friend, would we stick up for ourselves more? I know one thing that my friends consistently help me with is with the timing of life. Dr. Stein exhorts us to be in the game of life and not to overthink. This gem of an instruction, especially paired with the others, speaks of being active participants in the events of life. This is a great episode full of the warm and wise advice of Dr. Stein. He proves an excellent guide past the pitfalls and into the fullness of a wonderful life. We know you’ll love it! And then come back next week for the second episode of Being Your Own Best Friend. On a programming note, we will only be producing two more episodes in 2023 after this one so that we can take a break for the holidays. Links for this episode: Episode 46 show notes Dr. Gerald Stein's Blog: Dr. Gerald Stein How to Become Your Own Best Friend by Dr. Gerald Stein Other podcast episodes with Dr. Stein: Episode 37: The Waiting Game with Dr. Gerald Stein Episode 29: Accidental Philanthropists with Dr. Gerald Stein Episode 20: The Art of the Interview with Dr. Gerald Stein Vicki’s recently released book: Surviving Sue Wynne’s book about her beloved father: Finding My Father’s Faith
Episode 42: The Courage To Keep Trying with Vicki and Wynne
Nov 25 2023
Episode 42: The Courage To Keep Trying with Vicki and Wynne
In this episode, Wynne Leon is with co-host, Dr. Vicki Atkinson, and we are talking about the courage to keep trying. We open the podcast with some laughter about some silly stories with my kids where I’ve made mistakes. And it paves the way for a deep conversation about risk-taking, trying new things, and the journey to be vulnerable to others. I share with Vicki some of the disappointment that I felt on her behalf when reading her book, “Surviving Sue” because Sue never saw her. We talked about how she armored up from an early age with Sue because of the mismatch between words and deeds coming from her mom. But even through the low expectations, Vicki kept on showing up in order to care for Lisa and for Sue. So what did she learn about armor, vulnerability, and control? Vicki shares with us the wisdom of her toolkit for surviving disappointment, regardless of the source, by following her body cues and knowing that she can take back control. We talk about all the lessons we’ve learned the hard way – and that the take-away is while it feels natural to try avoid being hurt, we opt for continuing to take risks. We dig in to the question of “what if I don’t?” that can be a great motivator. And Vicki turns the tables on me for taking on the risk to talk with my dad about spirituality and faith. I open up about how my fear that if we talked about those things, knowing I didn’t see them the same way he did, that I risked feeling like my dear dad was disappointed in me. But Vicki gives me the gift of a great a-ha that positive regard that is based on assumptions, vagaries, or pretense isn’t really regard at all. In this episode, we talk about how to switch out of disappointment by focusing on compassion for others. Risk – disappointment – vulnerability – big topics but we have a feel good conversation full of compassion for ourselves when we are disappointed, or for when we don’t want to take the chance, and appreciation for the opening that happens when we do take risks. Disappointment isn’t easy but when you know that others have gone through it and see you, it makes the trip so much easier. Please risk a half hour of your time – you won’t be disappointed! In fact, we know you’ll love it. P.S. The mention of Cooper in this episode refers to Wynne's new puppy. Episode 42 show notes Vicki’s personal blog: Victoria Ponders Wynne’s personal blog: Surprised by Joy Vicki’s recently released book: Surviving Sue Wynne’s book about her beloved father: Finding My Father’s Faith
Episode 45: Third Grade Writing Wisdom with Miss "O"
Nov 24 2023
Episode 45: Third Grade Writing Wisdom with Miss "O"
In this episode, Wynne Leon is with co-host, Dr. Vicki Atkinson, and her delightful daughter, Miss O. Miss O shares a personal narrative that she's written as an assignment in 3rd grade. And then she tells us what a hook is and what she’s learned about drawing in an audience by using one. She fills us in on lessons that she’s been taught about adding details to her writing. Another assignment she is working on in class is a piece of short fiction. Miss O tells us how she envisioned her main character, a piece of cute food, and teases us with a short summary about her story. Boy, do I have a lot to learn from her about how to deliver an elevator pitch for my writing. So far, third grade has been full of interesting writing assignments including one to interview a family member. Miss O tells us about interviewing her cousin for that assignment and what she learned about how to get someone to open up and to listen when they do. Miss O gently takes Vicki and I to task for some side giggles we get while talking with her, and somehow shows that she sees us, by noticing that we sometimes get carried away with delight. I think you’ll all understand when I say sometimes I can’t tell whether she’s eight or twenty-eight years old. Finally we wrap up by talking about all the creative practices she does – writing, drawing, music and how they help her to express emotion. She fills us in on a sweet thing she’s been doing with her four-year-old younger brother, Mr. D. to help him do the same. This is a fun episode filled with the enthusiasm and delight of youth. Miss O is someone I learn from on a regular basis and I think you will too. Please listen for inspiration and for some sweet smiles – we know you’ll love it! Episode 45 show notes
Episode 44: Hot Tips For Writing About Family With Brian Hannon
Nov 17 2023
Episode 44: Hot Tips For Writing About Family With Brian Hannon
In this episode of the Sharing the Heart of the Matter podcast, Wynne Leon is with co-host, Dr. Vicki Atkinson, and writer and author, Brian Hannon. Brian is one of our colleagues on the Heart of the Matter blog and we love the inspiration he brings forward about writing and creativity on a regular basis. In this case, it was an article on Writer’s Digest by Sierra Godfrey entitled, 4 Ways to Write Complicated Families. Oh boy. What family isn’t complicated? So we get Brian to talk about Sierra’s four points: pair the darkness with humor, use character imperfections, leave room for characters to grow, and have empathy. The great thing about having good source material and a great writer to comment on it is that it adds up to a fantastic conversation about how to actually do it. Brian talks about writing about family members, whether in personal narratives or in fiction, from a three-dimensional viewpoint. We dig into the humor of Vicki’s book Surviving Sue as an example of how to lighten up the load that came with Sue’s dysfunction. Brian asks me a great question about my book, Finding My Father’s Faith that is based on conversations that I had with my dad. Could we have talked in-depth about life, religion and spirituality ten years earlier than we did? Nope, because as Parker J. Palmer says, “The inner life of any great thing will be incomprehensible to me until I develop and deepen an inner life of my own.” I wouldn’t have been able to have those conversations until I was ready. Timing is such a key to writing about family and the three of us talk about it. Vicki brings up the readiness factor – that we have to have done enough work in order to be able to follow Sierra Godfrey’s points to write full characters. And through it all we affirm all that writing can do for us, especially when dealing with complicated characters and family. Brian borrows from Jerry Maguire, “It completes me.” We get to work through our stuff, leave room for our own growth as a character in the story, all the while leaving a story so that others know they aren’t alone. This is a great episode about great tips that comes with writing about all the facets of family. We know you’ll love it. Episode 44 show notes Brian’s personal blog: Writing from the Heart with Brian Sierra Godfrey article on Writer's Digest: 4 Ways to Write Complicated Families Vicki’s recently released book: Surviving Sue Wynne’s book about her beloved father: Finding My Father’s Faith
Episode 43: Reclaiming Oneself with Deb Tecca
Nov 10 2023
Episode 43: Reclaiming Oneself with Deb Tecca
In this episode, Wynne Leon is with co-host, Dr. Vicki Atkinson, and blogger, Deb Tecca. Deb is one of our colleagues on the Heart of the Matter blog and we’ve loved her take on growth, acceptance, and personal evolution. So we ask her about her courageous writing and she explains how she’s come to see it more as reclaiming herself. After growing up in the shadow of her mom’s blame, Deb finds she’s had a voice all along that she’s worked her way back to. Being courageous enough…pushing fear to the wayside….to allow the space for authenticity - Deb’s heart, soul and spirit. Her own voice.  The essence that is Deb. We ask Deb about a recent description that our mutual colleague, Erin wrote about Deb and her blog, Closer to the Edge. In that description Erin encapsulates all that Deb writes about – kindness, community, family and trends. Then Erin sums it up with a description of Deb as “feisty and self-assured, yet kind and understanding.” Deb responds to that summary with a virtual hug for Erin – for seeing the glory in Deb’s feisty demeanor – a badge of courage and confidence from a dear blogging friend.  Sometimes our friends see our strengths before we do. Vicki and I ask Deb about the courage to write about family when life was anything but sunshine and rainbows.  We ask about Deb’s process as she writes and true to form, our amazing, contemplative and thoughtful Deb tells us that long before she writes, her thoughts begin to take shape in her head and only then do words come together.    And one of Deb’s strengths?  She’s a terrific listener, commenter, and thoughtful human.  She often writes what others might be thinking, contributing to conversations with depth and perspective. We laugh about the moments when Deb thinks she gone on a ‘rant’ and applaud her for knowing how to tailor her messages and points of view to provide input and insight.  If that’s a ‘rant’ – we love it.  We ask Deb about her ‘secret sauce’ for prioritizing what matters most and in addition to her meal planning and love of nature, Deb’s picked up a few tried-and-true tricks that we know will resonate with listeners.  If they’re good enough for Deb, they’re great for the rest of us!   One of the tricks Deb has learned is to say “no.” So we are so grateful that Deb said “yes” to us to create this beautiful podcast. We know you’ll love it. We've added transcript to our podcasts. See the link below. Episode 43 show notes Episode 43 transcript (provided by Otter AI): Reclaiming_Oneself_With_Deb_Tecca.pdf Deb's blog: Closer to the Edge Deb's post about reclaiming herself: Reclaiming Myself Rooted: Life at the Crossroads of Science, Nature and Spirit by Lyanda Lynn Haupt
Episode 41: Enter If You Dare with Mark Petruska
Oct 27 2023
Episode 41: Enter If You Dare with Mark Petruska
Are you ready for some spooky talk? In this episode of the podcast, Wynne Leon is with co-host, Dr. Vicki Atkinson, and we are back with author and blogger, Mark Petruska. We hope you are ready for some fun because Mark has a story to tell  -- a spine-tingling paranormal tale if ever there was one! Mark holds NOTHING back as he regales us with the disconcerting details about his night of inexplicable sights, sounds and sensations from a real-life haunted house.  We feed our inner “Ghost Busters” as Mark tells us about the technology that his friend, Steven, a professional ghost hunter, used in the investigation. Note – there is a one sentence glancing mention of some trauma that purportedly happened to a young girl in the story. But In between shivers and shakes, Vicki and Wynne chime in about a couple of our own head-scratcher experiences that might, like Mark’s ghost hunting, point to mysteries beyond our realm.  Mark confesses – he’s really a skeptic at heart and his night in a haunted house changed him, and his view about the paranormal forever.  Calm and deliberate, Mark breaks down all the creepy events and we were simply awe-struck. The fact that one of the inhabitants was a police officer, looking out for his dear mom who was terrified and besieged in her own house adds an extra spooky glow to the story.  This is an episode you will love…but maybe keep the lights on?  Listening to Mark – whether he’s talking about his ghostly adventure or his thriller of a book, No Time for Kings,  will entrance you.  Almost literally…..bwah ha…ha…ha. Make sure you listen until the very end when we ask Mark the million-dollar question about his conclusions and beliefs – after his experience as a real-life ghost buster.  You will love his answer…we know it.   So, ENTER this podcast IF YOU DARE….Who Ya Gonna Call? Mark Petruska! Episode 41 show notes Confronting Her Demons HoTM blog post by Mark Mark’s Blog: Mark My Words ⁠No Time for Kings⁠ by Mark Petruska – a fantastic eco-thriller!
Episode 40: The Power of Choice with Wynne Leon
Oct 20 2023
Episode 40: The Power of Choice with Wynne Leon
In this episode, Wynne Leon is with my co-host, Dr. Vicki Atkinson, and they are talking about choice and Wynne's journey to parenthood. Following up on the question a pre-school teacher asked Wynne about how she became a parent, she shares the story of how she started a family as a single person. From the fertility clinic doctor who laid out all the options for getting pregnant as a 45-year-old single woman to some of the interesting facts I learned about in-vitro fertilization along the way, she share the answers that are part of my process. With Vicki as a trusted guide, we talk about the role that agency and self-determination played in not only choosing to have kids but also as a part of parenting. Wynne often call the power of choice my secret for digging deep on the days that she doesn’t have enough in the tank. Knowing that she's living the life that she's chosen and doing it her own way gives Wynne the extra charge to step it up and also be so grateful for the life that she has. In this vulnerable podcast, Wynne reveals the fears that I’ve had to work through to become a single parent. How she knew that she was opening herself up to the opinions of others when it comes to building family in a non-traditional way and how those opinions have sometimes been surprising. We talk about Brene Brown and Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey and how sometimes getting to where we need to go has to pass directly through the heart of vulnerability. Wynne's often written about intertwined the cycle of birth and death was for me. She wrote my book about her dear father in the wake of his sudden death in a bicycle accident almost nine years ago as she was pregnant with Miss O. Vicki teases out the lessons that Wynne gleaned from her dad's special sparkle that Wynne uses in parenting. His specialties of love, curiosity, openness and faith directly come to play as Wynne navigates trying to parent my two precious kids. And then we end with an incredible question that Vicki asks about what advice Wynne would give to her previous self to guide her through this journey to parenthood that I’ve gone on. It makes Wynne cry to think of all that I’ve gone through in the last ten years, and all the support she's had from family and friends. She talk through some of the quotes and inspiration that have kept her inspired along the way. This is a deeply personal and wonderfully warm episode about what it looks like when we flip our scripts from fear to love and walk our individual paths through life – and the blessing of great company along the way. We know you’ll love it! Episode 40 show notes Vicki’s personal blog: Victoria Ponders Wynne’s personal blog: Surprised by Joy Vicki’s recently released book: Surviving Sue Wynne’s book about her beloved father: Finding My Father’s Faith
Episode 39: Rennaisance Woman with Michelle Oram
Oct 13 2023
Episode 39: Rennaisance Woman with Michelle Oram
In this episode of the Sharing the Heart of the Matter podcast where we bring you talented creatives who inspired you to reach your next level of personal growth, Wynne Leon is with my co-host, Dr. Vicki Atkinson, and blogger, and musician Michelle Oram. Finding out how people came to blogging is so fascinating. So we dig into what brought Michelle to blogging four years ago. But more interesting than that – is why people stay. Michelle tells us how her mission of sustainability has evolved over time. Michelle’s professional life focuses on retirement so it’s fitting that the book that she plans on writing when she retires is on that topic. But she tells us that it’s not usual topics of identity and purpose that she plans on tackling but instead on the systems of retirement and how to navigate them. We know it’ll be a great book and that she will do it. Because anyone that reads Michelle’s blog knows she has a great track record of working towards goals. She manifests accountability on her blog and monthly round-up. In this episode, she tells us how that works for her. And then we dig into her current focus – her 60 before 60 goals. Guess what? Podcasting is one of them so Vicki and I find out if being on our podcast counts. Music is another theme that is interwoven into Michelle’s life. She tells us the story about how she came to sing for a band that performs regularly and the fun and zest that brings into her life. Determined. Driven. Interesting. Fun. Michelle shows us how those four traits come together with creativity to build a full life. This is a great episode featuring a writer that we know and love. It’s so much fun to see what goes into this Renaissance Woman.   We know you’ll love it! Episode 39 show notes Michelle's blog: Boomer Eco Crusader
Episode 38: Jazz on King with Todd Fulginiti
Oct 6 2023
Episode 38: Jazz on King with Todd Fulginiti
In this episode, Wynne Leon is with co-host, Dr. Vicki Atkinson, and musician, writer, blogger, and retired educator, Todd Fulginiti talking about the great new music he’s recorded and released as Jazz on King, volume 1. Centered on the ongoing gig he has with his two fellow musicians, Dave Winter and Dave Santana, Todd talks about the recording process – the low-stress way they recorded it for themselves. Then the step away they took from the project after recording it, and now the release. We find out what it’s like to have music as a family affair since Todd’s daughters, Bailey and Ally both contributed to this album and collaborate with him on their yearly music project to raise money for a good cause. Having an interested curator of our art is always so helpful so we learn about Bill Speakman, the manager of the live venue where the Fulginiti trio plays bi-weekly. And then Bill also comes in as a sort of producer of this album. Because Todd is multi-talented and can write as well as he plays, we dig into the blog post he wrote about finding his way to the style of music that he likes to play after years of both practicing and teaching music. He’s built on what he learned from his father-in-law to hone a style where less is more. I know you’ll be as fascinated and inspired by Todd, and his less notes and more space style as Vicki and I were. We talk about the particulars of trying to make money as a musician, especially in the digital streaming era. Todd fills us in on what licensing and formats require and how that dove-tails with performing live. This is a great episode about great music and the interesting and complex choice creatives have to make when releasing their art to the world. We know you’ll love it! Episode 38 show notes Todd site where you can listen to the album and find out more: Todd Fulginiti Music The album review page: Jazz on King Vol. 1 Album Reviews Todd's Wise and Shine post about the album release: My New Album Releases Today! Todd's Wise & Shine post about finding his playing style: Why Did I Say That?
Episode 36: They Call Me Mom with Pete Springer
Sep 22 2023
Episode 36: They Call Me Mom with Pete Springer
In this episode, Wynne Leon is with co-host Vicki Atkinson and we are talking with author Pete Springer about his book, They Call Me Mom: Making a Difference as an Elementary School Teacher Pete, an elementary school educator for 31 years, tell us some heart-warming and also some heart-breaking stories that came from his years in the classroom. As he worked to educate kids and helped to raise a generation of decent people, he captures all the lessons he learned from the unfiltered goodness of children. He recalls his early days on the job – wanting to walk in and prove himself but also finding out how much on the job learning happens as a teacher. So he pays homage to how hard, and also necessary, it is for new teachers to be vulnerable and ask for help. Pete speaks to the level of trust that's necessary to connect with students to create a positive learning environment and it comes as no surprise that some of his former students still trust him enough to have their stories included in his book. At the end, we ask Pete about his thoughts about the future of education and also what he’s working on. And he shows us that it’s possible to teach through writing. This is a great episode about teachers, learning, and the best of community and collaboration when we come together to support both educators and students. We know you’ll love it. Episode 36 show notes They Call Me Mom: Making a Difference as an Elementary School Teacher on Amazon Pete's blog: Pete Springer