The Last Laugh of Blah Blah the Clowns: First Steps to Developing our Podcast

I’d say for the last year I’ve had multiple conversations with friends about starting a podcast/vlog talk show. We’d often find ourselves bent over in laughter as the conversations and off the cuff humor would just slide off our tongues like the perfect piece of Hubba Bubba. Our brand of sidesplitting musings is offbeat and for the most part peculiar, which I believe comes from our diverse backgrounds whereby we still manage to find our lives, experiences and beliefs relatable. You see we all have a comprehensive past to draw eclectic wisdom and lessons from which have shaped us as women and empowered us even further to mastering the art of learning how to not take oneself too serious.

I’ve long let go of documenting my life via social media apps for many reasons, mostly positive. But I still get the regular reminders from followers and readers “When are you going to come back to SnapChat/Tik Tok/Instagram- you were so F******* Funny!” And to be quite honest, the pandemic has left my social life and adventures quite baron, giving me more time to spend capturing every waking breath or move of my 7 month old dog- which quite frankly I think everyone is getting sick of. But in addition to my dog obsession, I think going forward there is a better and more enriching method to share my thoughts, insights, opinions and unintentional banter that seems to appeal to the broader masses. And what better way to do than with another person, or a series of guests and folk I find intriguing.

I knew I was onto something when I personally could not quit the art of poking fun at myself- especially when others would laugh, not out of discomfort, but because they saw themselves in my flaws. In fact they also found forgiveness and acceptance along the way. Who knew what a profound impact I could have being the class clown in my adult life would have. If only my 7th grade teacher Mr. Bowers could have recognized that before I got sent to the hallway on a daily basis where I honed the skills you see today.

“If by chance some day you’re not feeling well and you should remember some silly thing I’ve said or done and it brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as your clown has been fulfilled.” -Red Skelton

In the article The Benefits of Laughing at Yourself, According to Science, psychologist and humor researcher Dr. Arnie Cann, says it all depends on context — more specifically, it’s how we choose to use humor that can lead to positive or negative effects. Laughter releases dopamine, increases blood flow, and strengthens the heart, but beyond its many health perks, a good sense of humor leads to increased optimism, which in turn, boosts our resiliency and enables us to thrive when we’re faced with adversity.

Ultimately, self-mockery should be a way of acknowledging our flaws and limitations through the softer lens of self-compassion. The act of poking fun at ourselves is admitting that we’re imperfect humans — but it’s only when we can recognize our own infallibility with kindness and grace that we’re more able to view those around us the same way. In forgiving all of our awkward mishaps, we make room so that others can, too.

So after months and months of saying we are going to do this, tonight I head over to Michella Klyne’s, fellow funny woman and master of many arts to discuss what this is all going to look like. While we are just starting at square one I know going into this that I want our content to appeal to the fellow clowns of the world, or the ones looking to earn their red nose within the journey.

There are so many “How To” Blogs and forums on this subject and I came across this list on RRS.COM that provided me the most concise approach to tackling this new project.

1. Know Your Audience, Define Your Niche

What is your topic?

The first thing everyone is going to ask when you start promoting your podcast is, “What is it about?” You need to be crystal clear on this answer if you hope to grow a loyal fan base.

You’ll want to choose a topic that you already have some knowledge of and/or interest in. Then ask yourself, what unique insight do you have to offer about it? Before you jump into recording a single episode, understand exactly what your focus is.

Another important question to ask yourself is, is this a topic that you’ll be able to produce enough content on? Some topics may seem exciting at first, but when you start considering what episodes you could create around them you may realize they don’t have enough substance to them.

Finally, can you narrow your topic down? It’s important to niche down to something specific, rather than keeping it broad. For example, talking about parenting is fine, but it may be too broad to capture — and keep — an audience.

Niche down to something more specific to create the most loyal fanbase. When you niche down your listeners will feel as though you’re talking directly to them. They don’t say “the riches are in the niches” for nothing. Put another way, the more specific your niche, the easier it will be to create episodes that are perfect for your ideal listener.

For example, instead of using the broad topic of parenting, niches for this subject could be: parenting children with special needs, parenting without yelling, parenting abroad, managing your own passions while parenting … you get the idea.

Take a moment to think about your topic now. Is it broad, or is it specific? To help determine whether or not it’s too broad, grab a pad of paper or open a word processing document and start jotting down a list of subtopics related to your current subject.

If in doing so you see that there are far too many subtopics coming to mind, it may be a sign that you need to get even more specific with the main topic your podcast will be about. On the other hand, if you can’t come up with any additional subtopic ideas, you may need a subject that is slightly broader.

Get Clear on Your Ideal Listener 💡

Who are you talking to? Why? Just like a business owner wants to determine their ideal customer, you need to figure out who that one perfect person is that you want to share your message with.

When you consider one perfect person instead of a group of people, it simplifies the process of catering content to them that they would want to listen to. Things to ask yourself as you create your ideal listener persona are:

  • Is this listener male or female?
  • What age group do they fall into?
  • Are they self-employed, an employee, unemployed, etc…?
  • What’s their social life like?
  • What are their hopes, dreams, and challenges?
  • What would they want to know about the topic of your podcast?

The more specific you can get here, the better because the answers to these questions could turn into your material for your first several episodes. Which brings us to the next section …

2. Create Episode Subjects

Now that you’ve narrowed down your focus to a single topic, can you come up with several subjects within your topic to talk about at length?

Try brainstorming a list of episode subjects to make sure there’s enough to say. If you can’t come up with enough material, you may need to choose a broader topic.

To help you in your brainstorming, think about all the aspects of your topic. If your topic is something like parenting abroad we mentioned earlier, consider all the things your ideal listener might want to know about that. Here are some examples in this niche that may inspire you in brainstorming with your own topic:

Niche – Parenting abroad

SUBTOPICS
  • Schooling while living abroad
  • Spotlight on different countries – could make for a multi-episode interview series
  • Learning more than one language
  • Dual citizenships for parents and their children
  • Becoming an expat
  • Medical care abroad
  • Visas and passports

A great place to start when thinking about your episode subjects is looking at books and blogs on the topic. Specifically, look at the table of contents in books on your subject. They are great for inspiration. 

3. Pick Your Format and Hosting Style

There are several formats a podcast can have. Your format might be educational, storytelling (nonfiction or fiction), conversational, or interviews. You can host your podcast yourself, or you can have multiple hosts as well.

Podcasting with friends

A trend we’re seeing these days in the world of podcasting is that people are creating shows with a friend or even a group of friends. What’s great about starting a podcast with friends is not only can you split the startup costs, but it can add a lot of variety to your show too.

Having multiple personalities that are hosting can add interest and pull in a wide range of listeners. It’s why shows like The View are so popular. Audience members all have their favorite host, and each one brings something different to the table.

Perhaps you have a friend, family member, or even a work colleague that you have a lot in common with. Starting a podcast could be a fabulous way to explore your interests together, and potentially even make some money along the way.

If you choose to start a podcast with friends, here a few things to consider:

  • Who will be listed as the show hosts? You could list multiple hosts, or just one “main” host.
  • What happens if one of you loses interest? Will you put the show on pause or will you have a rotating guest host?
  • Have a plan in place for how you will handle the finances. Include everything from how you will divide the costs to how you will split the profits. If your show starts making money, you’ll be glad you thought of this ahead of time.
  • Consider what happens if one of you moves, or you just want to produce the show from your own homes. For this, you’ll need additional equipment and software to record your episodes remotely.
  • Who will be in charge of what? One can edit and one can promote, for example. Think about all the tasks involved with producing a podcast, and agree on a plan for how you will divide the work.

Podcasting alone – just you and the mic

You don’t have to have anyone else on your show to be successful. Your show can be just you sitting in front of a mic telling a story, or teaching your audience something new.

To host a podcast by yourself, the work will all fall on your shoulders in the beginning. That is unless you have a company backing your show from the outset. You’ll need to come up with all the show ideas, create the content, and then market them.

This format is wonderful for podcasters who want to dip their toes into the world of podcasting before jumping in with both feet. Then again, fiction and nonfiction storytellers alike can produce dozens of episodes by themselves and grow a rabid fanbase.

If you decide to use the interview format, think about who you can interview, and create a list of people to reach out to.

If you want to do an interview-style podcast, make an interview wish list. Think of all the people who might have something to say on your topic, and start compiling their contact information.

By the way, go big with your interview wish list! You never know who will say yes to you, and the bigger the guest the larger the potential audience you’ll have to promote your show to.

Pro Tip: Four great places to start looking for guests are other podcasts, blogs, YouTube, and HARO.

HARO stands for Help a Reporter Out, and podcast hosts can sign up as a journalist on the platform to seek out guests for their upcoming shows. This is still a largely untapped source podcasters that isn’t yet saturated with hosts, so it could be a wonderful place to find experts to interview.

Network with other podcasters, bloggers and vloggers to hone in on who the best guests would be for your show. One thing you can do while networking is an attempt to become a guest on other people’s shows. Not only will this help you stay on the radar of other podcast hosts for those moments you’re looking for potential guests, but it’s also a great way to promote your own show.

Consider what subjects they can talk about, and begin designing your show around those subjects. Once you’re up and running, begin contacting and scheduling your interviewees.

guest podcasting

A few things to consider if you will be doing a lot of interviews:

  • First, you’ll need to make sure you have a podcast guest release form (download one for free here) for every guest that will appear on your show. This document will protect you from things like copyright claims, edit and payment demands, potential lawsuits and more.
  • In the beginning, you can probably get away with using a template online, but as your show grows it may be a good idea to consult with an attorney for this and all legal forms related to your podcast.
  • Schedule interviews well before you plan to launch. It’s no secret that people are busy, and you don’t want to find yourself scrambling to find a guest at the last minute so you can keep up with your posting calendar.
  • Have a launch date in mind when you start interviewing guests. This doesn’t have to be a firm date, but guests like to know an approximate date as to when their episode will be live.
  • Batch several interviews at a time so you’ll have plenty of content even if someone backs out or has to reschedule. Besides, when you batch interviews, all your equipment will already be set up giving you the ability to get more done in less time.
  • If you can have your guests market your show, it will help you grow your audience faster. Therefore, ask your guests if they will help you promote once their episode is live. Most people are willing to do so, but it helps to put the ask out there ahead of time anyway to keep it top of mind. Then, once the show is live, be sure to give them the tools to make promotion easy.
  • If you’re completely new to the interview game, you may also want to practice with friends and family before interviewing a guest for your show. While your first shows may still be cringeworthy, practicing as much as you can prior to recording the real thing never hurt anyone. Even seasoned actors do dress rehearsals and dry runs.

4. Get the Right Equipment 🎙️

Sound quality is critical in a good podcast. If people hear too much background noise or if your voice isn’t crystal clear, they’ll navigate away. 

There are far too many podcast fish in the sea. You need to make sure you make it easy for people to listen. While you technically can record a podcast with your computer’s built-in microphone, you’ll get better sound from a high-quality microphone and headphone set.

Additional podcast equipment you may want to consider includes, but isn’t limited to:

  • A computer
  • Pop filter
  • Boom stand/microphone stand

Don’t forget to purchase podcast hosting as well. Believe it or not, to get your podcast episodes on iTunes, Google Podcasts, and other outlets, you’ll need a host for your episodes. 

With RSS Podcasting, all you have to do is upload your audio files via your web browser, and we automatically generate and update your RSS podcast feed

image of new RSS podcast hosting account on a mobile device
Click the image to create your podcast RSS feed.

5. Get Recording Software

There are many free and paid options for recording and editing software. Your computer may already have Record It, or if you have a Mac,you have iMovie or GarageBand.

Alitu is also a great option as it takes care the processing, branding, publishing, and editing for you.

Tips for Recording and Editing Your Episodes

– PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

Before your first interview or recording session, you’ll want to practice with your recording and editing software. Look for tutorials online and learn everything you can about how it works. Then, record practice episodes both alone and with friends or family.

Remember, these practice sessions don’t have to see the light of day. Although it could make for some fun bloopers if you ever want to create an episode like that for your fans. The goal is to get comfortable with speaking and recording, as well as editing. That way when you’re ready for the real thing, it won’t feel as scary.

– Choose a sound-friendly recording location

While it’s true that you can clean up your sound in the editing phase, finding a sound-friendly location for recording is better for audio quality. Let’s face it though, odds are unless you have a big budget or a company backing your show, you won’t have a soundproof podcasting studio for recording your first episodes.

Choose the quietest place in your home or office to record your episodes. Some podcasters choose to record in their closets, others under blankets, and others still just try to use a place with minimal background noise and echoes. 

– Take your time

Becoming a good podcast host is a marathon, not a sprint. At first, recording and editing may take you a while, and that’s okay. You can worry about speed later. In the beginning, you should focus more on getting it right. Quality over quantity as they say.

As time goes on and you get familiar with your tools and the act of recording and editing, it will get easier and faster to produce episodes. In fact, at some point, you may even be able to hire help to scale your podcast. But, don’t feel like you have to rush to get to the big leagues. 

– Accept that there will be hiccups

If you go into this knowing that it won’t be smooth in the beginning, you’ll be less likely to get frustrated when things inevitably go awry. It’s important to know that even the most seasoned podcasters have trouble from time to time.

Episodes accidentally get deleted, guests bail without warning, entire episodes are recorded with the microphone off – it all happens, and it’s completely normal. When things go wrong, you have two choices – 1. Give up, or 2. Dust yourself off and try again. We sincerely hope you’ll always choose the latter.

Intros, Outros, and a Name

Oh my! While we’re discussing recording, now’s a good time to mention that you should also start thinking about your intro and outro, as well as your podcast’s name.

An intro is usually a 15 to 30-second audio byte introducing/opening your show. A typical intro will include music and mention the name of the show as well as who the host is. Some hosts choose to use the same intro for every episode, whereas others will change them up by season or even use a new intro with each episode they produce.

The outro is the show’s wrap-up and indicates to the listener the show is ending. In this segment, you can add a call-to-action, mention your show’s social media handles, or include a website where listeners can learn more about you.

If you’ll have music in the intro and/or outro segments, you’ll need to find royalty-free music, or create some original pieces. If you’re not using original music, do your homework about the music you’re choosing before adding it to your podcast. 

It’s important to make sure that whatever music you use is not copyright protected to avoid lawsuits, fines, and having your entire podcast shut down.

video podcasting

What’s in a name?

You might be wondering why you need to think about your name now. As you begin promoting your show and seeking potential guests, not only will they ask you what it’s about, they’ll want to know what it’s called. It’s also a good idea to start building brand awareness as you prepare to launch so that people will already be familiar with it when it comes time to go live.

Having a name in place sooner rather than later will help you with other branding decisions you’ll need to make soon as well. For example, you’ll need the name to include in your intro and outro, to purchase website name or develop a podcast page on your current website, and to snag social media handles.

We cover how to choose a name for your podcast more in-depth here, but a few tips you may want to keep in mind when thinking about your name are:

  • Unless your show is based on a geographic location, you might not want to include cities, states, or countries in the name
  • Use caution when naming it based on current trends or it might feel obsolete when the trend fades
  • Don’t rush to make your name choice, but don’t take too long either
  • Podcast names should be easier to remember
  • Finally, just because you choose a name doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it forever. You can always create a completely new show under another name later if you really want to.

Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing: The Power Of a Woman Pack

I’m often faced with the question as to what is my website/blog about and I typically struggle articulating in person what I believe to be a fairly simple concept: Welcome to my ADD brain!

Simply Put: I want to develop a network of women who carry the wisdom and knowledge of their own unique experiences within business, activism, and community programs for the purposes of inspiring others through a genuine connection through their background story. I felt that in order to encourage others in doing so, I’d have to make myself vulnerable as well through writing about my own experiences, interests, successes and failures.

There are a few reasons behind why I felt passionate about taking on this new creative outlet.

1. I feel very strong that society needs a lesson on how to practice acceptance, tolerance, respect and learn how to engage in ways that open those windows more to understand rather than polarize. But society as a whole is difficult to tackle and I can’t speak for “society” as a whole, but I can speak from my lens as a Caucasian middle aged woman who has a duty to participate in change.

2. Feminism is a spectrum that can often be discriminatory, and I believe being inclusive of our Trans, non-binary, two spirited, gender fluid folk’s needs to be represented in my content in order to facilitate a place at the brunch table.

3. There are many people out there accomplishing meaningful successes in the shadows, and these people deserve a spotlight as to encourage and validate their strength, resilience and fearlessness. Often it is the loudest, social media savvy, aesthetically pleasing dolls that get the spotlight, and it’s our jobs to celebrate authenticity and bring these humble quiet angels to the forefront.

4. We feel better when we know we are supporting and contributing to a business or program that we have an emotional connection to. This is a trait that a large majority of us carry and can be funneled into building up a large mentoring network but also generating capital and promoting small businesses, social activism and community programs.

What’s been holding us back and why do I feel like we need a shift?

What I have observed that has impeded on our ability to evolve in unifying and support each other has its roots I assume from our early school years. What started in elementary school as girl-on-girl bullying in its original hair pulling form, bloomed rapidly into women engaging in conscious tear-downs in the adult world against one another. The younger generation now faces the additional harmful world of internet bullying, and it’s not just isolated to teen girls. We can often observe the passive aggressive FB statuses and public pokes in our social feeds that often leave a lingering disgruntled effect on those targeted publicly. You have to ask yourself how did this happen?

Gossip. Poor Boundaries. Betrayal. Envy. Language.

And while I acknowledge systemic sexism, we have been our biggest enemies to one another by subscribing to a culture of competition whereby women are competing for partners, jobs, best in motherhood, in sexiness, in meal preparation, in parties, in got-it-all-togetherness. Within this competition you’ll find eye-rolling, cutting other women down with words, whispers, divulging information that isn’t ours to share, shaming other women for their choices, and protesting with our emotions, absence, or silence.

In an article by CCL Laura Santana she states that “Many women resist networking and the problem is that a network left to chance is not the network you need.”

Laura advises that by ignoring networks, it can damage or limit careers and effectiveness — and this is true for both men and women. Her information is fitting because it aligns with my goal to facilitate a platform to build relationships and ties that is known to be an asset in getting access to information, earning promotions, and gaining opportunities.

“Having the right network is a real differentiator — and it’s not about the number of contacts or connections you have,” explains Santana. “High-quality networks are open and varied, with people who don’t all know each other. They are diverse, crossing critical boundaries. And core relationships are deep, trusting, and mutually beneficial.”

OK So Now What? Lets Take Action

I came across an article by Shelley Zalis, Senior contributor with Forbes women that really summed up the essence of what it is I want to expand on as I continue to build this network that subscribes to the BPE Mantra:

She states that there is research that shows women in particular benefit from collaboration over competition. Study after study shows women who support women are more successful in business. She pointed out by reversing the stereotype that women don’t support one another can be addressed through such practices as mentioned below:

Amplify other women. I love the Shine Theory, which is the idea that when you help another woman rise, we all shine. “Build other women up! If you see your co-worker doing a great job, give them credit…tell your boss or other co-workers,” says Rebecca Wiser, cofounder and director of communications at Womaze, an app centered on self-empowerment for women. “At first it may seem like you’re taking attention away from yourself, but you’re actually showing that you’re a supportive team player as well as an inspiring leader—and secure enough in yourself to praise others.”

Find your squad—and tap into them. Who would be your go-to group of girls if you had an emergency, needed honest advice, or wanted a key business introduction? When it comes to building relationships, you often get what you give.

For more info on this article click here.

As you can see, describing what appears to be a very simple concept is actually packed and loaded with so many variables that all deserve to be highlighted in more detail as we familiarize ourselves in new ways of supporting each other. I encourage you to continue to engage in this journey with me by following my blog and checking in on my website.

Articles worth reading:

https://hbr.org/2019/10/the-trillion-dollar-opportunity-in-supporting-female-entrepreneurs

https://www.forbes.com/sites/shelleyzalis/2019/03/06/power-of-the-pack-women-who-support-women-are-more-successful/#4b0a3f2b1771

Surviving Social Work in Pandemic: A Practice Model in Staying Well

I had created this presentation for my unit about 2 months into the Pandemic. Probably the only time ever in my long career to take on an ass kissing task like this. Admittedly, I was struggling to get my footing and I knew that this slow period needed to be spent in a meaningful type of way. So the social worker in me decided to social work myself and put this helpful guide together for others alike.

Approaching Wellness From a Canadian Indigenous Framework

The Medicine Wheel: Organizing our Wellness

How Can We Lead or Support Our Teams if We Are Struggling too?

“Should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead area. Please place the mask over your own mouth and nose before assisting others.”

Lets Begin

Spirituality

“Solitude is the great teacher, and to learn its lessons you must pay attention to it.” ~ Deepak Chopra

Spirituality as a Support to Mourning and Grieving; Identify those losses in your life and all that you are missing. Create idea pin boards, lists of restaurants, places you want to travel, bucket list plans, or even festivals you want to attend. These will all contribute to a sense of hope by changing your lens that some of these losses are just temporary and better times are ahead.

Connect with others who are passionate about the same issues.  Whether it’s your self-care buddies, community of care, or a local organization or campaign you are volunteering for, surround yourself with people who can understand how you feel. Venting alone doesn’t help, combine complaining with action! Get into the practice of walking away during your Venting/Complaining Sessions with action items of how to constructively do something about the things we want to see changed.

Put good deeds back into the universe—directly. Focus on creating that human connection, on giving back and showing others that there is still kindness in the world. Balance your self-care with a healthy dose of kindness activism.

Curate your methods of staying informed. Truly evaluate how much news you are absorbing and be mindful of how the news affects you—physically, mentally and emotionally. Almost two years ago, I decided to stop getting my news from television. Turn off all but one of the push notifications on my phone in order to limit interruptions during the day.

Give myself permission to cry. Anticipate the ebb and flow of emotions that go along with the adaptation processes.  Feeling sad, disheartened, or downright hopeless at times is a commonality among us all.

Incorporate Prayer/Meditation/Breathing Exercise’s in the morning and at night if you are struggling to manage the anxiety, worries and restlessness.

Consider What’s in Front of You. Pay attention to what is simply visibly present around us that blesses us each day

Examples:
Did you tackle a recipe that you’ve been meaning to try, or bake a cake from scratch that actually turned out?
Did you hit the lottery and able to find Lysol Wipes or toilet paper at the store?
Were you able to finally transition from your day pajamas to wearing pants for your zoom/skype meetings?
Is your family safe with you at home?
Is the isolation and social distancing giving you more time to make room for other things that never had time for before?

Don’t minimize your accomplishments as small as they may seemingly be.

Try some for yourself!

And Most Importantly…Don’t Forget to Laugh

Physically:

“Did my FitBit  really only count 932 steps today?”

•Create a space in your home to work in(outside of your bedroom), and make it your own by filling it with things that bring you joy. Ensure your set up properly so you have all the items you need from forms, technology, and equipment.

•Ensure you are taking wellness breaks by getting up, walking, cycling, gardening or spending time in your drive-way chatting to the neighbor across the street. Included in this may also look like trips to the fridge for a snack. These steps count!

•Schedule time for Fitness in your day: Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned athlete, now is the time to get moving. Not only will it improve your energy, but boost your immune system in times we need to stay healthy.

•Now is the time to take your vitamins and eat as much nutrient rich foods as you can. Sun is also a great source of Vitamin D- Take your computer and sit in the sun when you can, to avoid an unnecessary trip to the pharmacy.

You’re Hella Canadian if you grew up with these two!

Free Fitness Resources/Apps

´1. RUNTASTIC

Running, jogging, biking – it doesn’t matter how you train, keeping track of your workouts is essential. Runtastic allows you to set goals, uses a built-in GPS to record routes in real-time, and even lets you share your successes with your friends.

PERKS OF RUNTASTIC

The app syncs with Apple Music to offer high tempo playlists for true musical motivation

By tracking your mileage, Runtastic guages what wear and tear your trainers are enduring

´2. ASANA REBEL: YOGA AND FITNESS

You don’t have to be a full-blown ‘yogi’ to use Asana Rebel. This handy little fitness app offers the perfect introduction to the regime. Rather than bombarding you with annoying notifications, you get a green dot on the built-in calendar when you train. You also get two new workouts every day so you’ll never get stuck doing the same old routine.

PERKS OF ASANA REBEL

When you first login to the app – using Facebook or an email – you’ll see a screen that asks you to ‘unlock’ the premium version. Don’t be fooled. You can still use the free option by simply clicking the exit button at the top of the screen.

´3. MYTRAINING WORKOUT TRACKER LOG

MyTraining packs a selection of helpful training videos, a routine log, and a handy calendar feature, but that’s not all. Technology may have come a long way, but you just can’t beat support from world class coaches. That’s exactly what this tracking app offers.

PERKS OF MYTRAINING

Got a burning question about your workout? Simply open the chat feature and speak to a certified coach in minutes.

´4. MY VIRTUAL MISSION

Are you in need of some workout motivation? If your current exercise is less-than-inspiring, My Virtual Mission may be the app for you. Use it to create the virtual fitness route of your dreams – literally. If you can imagine a route, the app can create it.

PERKS OF MY VIRTUAL MISSION

If you have a desired route in mind, the app will tell you how many miles that is and set a goal for you.

When you’ve completed the route, you can even send a virtual postcard to your contacts to show off.

5. COUCH TO 5K RUNNER

The hardest part of any run is taking that first step. Couch to 5K offers running novices all the advice, support, and help they could possibly need. The NHS program claims to get people off the couch and running in just nine weeks.

PERKS OF COUCH TO 5K RUNNER

Great for easing you into your new regime, so you can realistically work your way from a 15-minute route to a 5K run

Each workout is guided by a voice over from the likes of Olympian Michael Johnson to BBC presenter Jo Whiley

6. DAILY WORKOUTS FITNESS TRAINER

Ideally, staying fit and healthy means hitting the gym or track regularly. However, sometimes, you may not have the chance to get out nor the time to dedicate to it. The Daily Workouts Fitness Trainer app means you can exercise well in the comfort of your own home.

PERKS OF DAILY WORKOUTS FITNESS TRAINER

You can choose which area of your physique you’d like to target and the app offers a simple yet effective five to 30-minute workout that fits the bill

The uniquely genius thing about this app is it’s simplicity. Download it, pick a discipline, and get working

7. FITBOD WEIGHT LIFTING TRAINER

If the CrossFit phenomenon has inspired you, you’re not alone. More men and women are lifting weights than ever. When giving this regime a shot, Fitbod Weight Lifting Trainer is the ideal app. The step-by-step nature of the program makes planning an effective strength training workout effortless.

PERKS OF FITBOD

The more you use the app, the more it understands your abilities and the challenges you face

You can tailor your workouts to suit your training style and the available equipment too

Free Dance Apps/Websites

Apps for IOS/Android 

 Top 20 Free Dancing Apps To Learn Dance On Android And iOS Device1.1 Crazy Flamenco Rumba Dance

´1.2 ElfYourself ´

1.3 Just Dance Now

´1.4 Step Dance ´

1.5 Hip Hop Dance

´1.6 Pole Dance Lessons

´1.7 Pocket Salsa

´1.8 Dancing elf

´1.9 Face Dance

´1.10 Animate Yourself 3D

´1.11 Belly Dance Fitness

´1.12 Animate Me

´1.13 NinjaMe

´1.14 Hip Hop Dance School

´1.15 STEEZY Studio

´1.16 DWM

´1.17 Learn Bhangra

´1.18 Santa’s Christmas Dance

´1.19 Baby Hazel Ballerina Dance

´1.20 Dance School Stories

Emotional:

“REMEMBER, IT’S HUMAN TO FEEL HOPELESS.”

The National Center for Emotional Wellness defines this term as an awareness, understanding, and acceptance of your emotions, and your ability to manage effectively through challenges and change.

Emotional Wellness is so important there is even a whole month dedicated to this, can anyone guess what month that is?

For the most part, being human means having challenges and problems; however, it’s all about how you deal or cope with those issues that determines your emotional wellness.

It’s about embracing all the goodness in your life and looking at your glass as half-full rather than half-empty

Lets do a test-
Are you maintaining a good sense of emotional wellness?

1)Living in the present, without excessive worry about the future or rumination about the past?

2)Do you feel connected to others?

3)Self compassion?

4)Have you been holding on to grudges and been unforgiving?

5)Do you feel that you have been thinking rationally?

6)Do you feel in control of your own feelings, thoughts and actions?

7)Can you laugh at life and yourself? 8)Have you felt grateful lately?

Intellectually:

How do we stay sharp when the World’s been flipped upside down on us?

Defining Intellectual Wellness

Intellectual wellness encourages us to engage in creative and mentally-stimulating activities. These activities should expand your knowledge and skills while allowing you to share your knowledge and skills with others.

Intellectual wellness can be developed through academics, cultural involvement, community involvement and personal hobbies.

Why is Intellectual Wellness Important?

Intellectual wellness encourages learning. It is important to explore new ideas and understandings in order to become more mindful and better-rounded. Having an optimal level of intellectual wellness inspires exploration. Intellectual wellness also stimulates curiosity. Curiosity is important because it motivates you to try new things and develop an understanding of how you see the relationship between yourself, others and the environment.

The Route to Intellectual Wellness

Be open to new ideas, new cultures, new knowledge, new skills and new environments. When you have an open mind, the world is truly yours. This allows you to explore issues relating to problem solving, critical thinking, learning and creativity. Below is a list of suggestions for you to adopt in order to enhance your intellectual wellness.

Listen. When you participate in active listening you are able to fully comprehend the information that is being given to you.

Pick up a hobby. Hobbies are great ways to increase your skill set. They can also be fun!

Express your creative side by exploring different avenues of creativity and artistic expressions.

Sessions that support Intellectual Wellness

´Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction: Mindfulness is seeing things more clearly, and paying attention moment to moment to moment. When you are mindful, you notice what is happening—as it is happens. This creates a space, a pause in which you can respond considerately to situations, rather than react. Creative possibilities open up; new ways of being with life’s challenges can present themselves.

´Transformational Coaching: Together we will identify the specific steps to make your dreams a reality. In addition, we will overcome fear, self-doubt and find the clarity needed to make the changes you desire. And finally, we will co-create strategies and your plan to reach your goals so you can achieve and have a well balanced life.

Steps to Achieve or Maintain Intellectual Wellness

´Read. There are good books, newspaper articles, essays from the internet that can be read by anyone. Through reading, your comprehension skill is challenged and it widens vocabulary that would equip you with the new development around.

´Listen to good music and radio program. It is found therapeutic to listen to positive music because it calms the emotions and decreases the risk of stress.

´Watch positive TV programs and videos. Choose informative videos and not the ones that corrupt the mind or infuse negative ideas. This way, you will absorb positive energy that enhances the ability to think.

´Be creative. When there is an activity to do, challenge yourself to make something new and different, not the one you are accustomed to, to see how far your mental ability can go.

´Desire to continue learning. Always challenge yourself to learn something new to keep your brain active and be curious to what is unknown to you.

´Attend seminars or workshops. This will help you gain new ideas that are seldom included in the books you buy. You will also improve your social wellness by meeting people and gaining new friends.

´Eat a well-balanced diet. Proper nutrition is significant for the brain to function well and avoid mental stresses that may cause additional health problems.

Questions to consider as we go forward into a continuum of change and time of uncertainty…

Reflect on some of the old habits that were no longer serving purpose to you. What were they? How did they impact your self-care and wellness. What will happen if you let go of them?

What Habits have you acquired during the pandemic that have been beneficial and what is your plan to continue it?

Identify times, actions, or accomplishments that demonstrated strength and resilience in yourself? Can you share this with your team?

How have you grown or changed in reference to the 4 quadrants of the medicine wheel in the last 2 months? Where do you see areas that need attention? How can your leadership support this?

A “Hand up Mentality” – Why Women Can Be So Darn Cruel.

I believe there was a time in not too long ago that my insecurity would have suggested that the lack of interest by fellow women to engage with my projects was personal. And perhaps still may be the case, however`oblivious to it I may be. I’m often blinded by my unrealistic Utopian expectations whereby women can sit cross legged and braid each others hair in the metaphorical sense. So you can imagine when there was a call to my fierce women posse to assist with building a network of culture and support I was equally as optimistic that they would flock to the opportunity.

If you have ever had the pleasure of being in a women’s washroom at a wine festival, you will understand the energy and spirit I am trying to harness. There is such a genuine expression of love, appreciation and unbridled desire to build one another up within the confines of this little sink space empowerment. I’m sure many women can attest to entering the public washroom of a Wine fest, head hanging low with regret, then leaving this magical space tall, proud, and ready to conquer the world. I ask myself why is this so hard to recreate on a website platform or in real life, surely we are also kind and supportive humans sober too?

So I began to do a little bit of research into this and found that there isn’t any simple answers. Gender related topics can be a challenging and slippery slope to tackle as the term “Gender” becomes more fluid in society and negates many of the explanations I came across. However, I’m never one to back down from considering certain components and came across a few worth exploring.

I came across this book Hardball for Women: Winning at the Game of Business which aims to decode the male business culture and show women how to break patterns of behavior that put them at a disadvantage. Initially I had to put my feminist pride aside so that I could revert back to 1952 whereby my “femaleness” was the problem that required change so that I could consider what it was Pat Heim and colleagues were trying to teach me about gender. I went to the website where they hail to be “The Gender Experts.”

I’ll save challenging this for another day…or perhaps never.

However, the book claims that there is a natural law in the female “culture” that allegedly shapes how women interact with other women at work and in their personal lives. They call this the “power dead-even rule.”

It claims that this is a subconcous process whereby the rule governs relationships, power and self esteem.

” For a healthy relationship to be possible between women, the self-esteem and power of one must be, in the eyes of each woman, similar in weight to the self-esteem and power of the other. In other words, these key elements must be kept “dead-even.” When the power balance gets disrupted (such as a woman rising in status above other women), women may talk behind her back, ostracize her from the group or belittle her. These behaviors are to preserve the dead-even power relationship that women have grown up with their entire lives. “

How did Alanis Morissette not include a phrase from this rule in her hit song “Hand in my Pocket”?

As Jagged of a pill that this is to swallow, I can’t say I disagree with some aspects of this. However, I feel like this suggestion falls short as it considers that all women were born with vagina’s, therefore all had the same experiences growing up that shaped this governing rule. If this may be the case how do we account for trans, non-binary, gender fluid population and the space they hold in the world of power inequality?

Feeling unsatisfied with that explanation I moved onto the concept that relates to our emotional intelligence (EQ). In my quest for answers, I came across an article by Dr. Shawn Andrews who brought up the book The Power of Perception, which states “that women at higher leadership levels tend to display more male-specific EQ competencies, such as assertiveness and confidence, and leverage less female-specific EQ competencies, such as interpersonal relationships and empathy. ” The book goes on to state that if a female leaders put less of a premium on the value of relationships, that she may not spend the time necessary to cultivate relationships with junior women.

“This is also called the Queen Bee Syndrome, when women behave in ways more typical of men to display toughness and fit in. For women at the very top, part of their success is convincing men that they aren’t like other women.”

I’m sorry, in my world there is only one Queen Bee and she goes by Beyonce!

Dr. Shawn Andrews, who wrote another article for Forbes called “Leadership, Gender and the Power of In-Group Bias.” explaining the third reason. To summarize, Dr. Shawn explained that when the competition for “spots” in favored in-groups increases, women are less inclined to bring other women along. This can happen when there are few females in an organization or few females in leadership roles.

They go on to say a fourth reason is that because of obstacles women face in their career and corporate environments, and the achievement of hard-fought success, their attitude toward other women is “I figured it out, you should too.” Executive women are often overly encumbered with daily duties and responsibilities and don’t take the time to mentor and support young women.

I’m sorry…. I’ve watched women in my field of social work be extremely “overly encumbered” by duties before, during and after hours and take on mentor roles.

Poppycock!

However in that fourth statement, it speaks directly to the reasoning to why my Feature Friday was created. There is a reason why there were “Men’s Only Clubs” that sought to foster wealth from within a privileged group. If you have ever stepped foot into the Petroleum Club in Calgary you’ll understand even though it members are welcomed from both men and women. However historically membership was help by high ranking oil and gas executives which were positions typically held by men. I myself have witnessed the undying culture of brotherhood called “The Old Boys” within my private school of Shawnigan Lake School. I had arrived only 2 years after they went Co-Ed so I understand this concept well. I’ve watched them publicly grope and make the young girls serving them uncomfortable at times on Alumni weekends with nothing said to prevent it from occurring. I’m guilty as well of participating as I said nothing and just glared feeling somewhat powerless in a room full of Old Boys who were “Just having fun.”

Who was I to spoil that?

*Cringe

But within that moment of regret, I also remember better times when one of the first girls to attend the historically all boys school became Head of School in her grade 12 year. I was privileged to be surrounded by a Kaleidoscope of brilliant young women who worked collectively to navigate within this old patriarchal system and go on to take their place at the top. When I look at what the formula was for this success, it was really quite simple. A unified and loyal sense of sisterhood whereby we were only as strong as the weakest link and if one of us was floundering, we all surrounded her to rebuild and carry her to the finish line. Shout Out to all my School House Gang! Woop Woop!

With that being said, perhaps my motivation is based in nostalgia, or perhaps a deeper desire to debunk the hard truths discussed above. The whole preface of my blog platform is to spread and celebrate women’s energy. I identified within my own frustrations and experiences a huge void that needs to be filled for women to begin supporting one another in business. I continue to urge my colleagues, readers and blogging community to apply for the next Feature Friday so we can celebrate you and inspire others alike! Blogging strategy is often based on building higher Blog traffic in order to allow typically invisible small businesses to be brought to the forefront of Search Engine Optimization. So Share, Share, Share!

If you like what you have read and want to read more articles alike please see my other blogging and social media sites.

Today’s Insta-Snippets

So if you’ve had the opportunity to read my Blog Post A Fluffy Birth Story: Overcoming the Hurdles of Fertility, you’ll understand why my new role as a fur mama is taken so serious.

I can admit that I’d used to give the ol’ eye roll when I’d get around a group of moms who would gush about the latest baby/parenting trends, gadgets and wing dings. I was the one on the sidelines drinking the Chardonnay straight from the bottle trying to numb the basic banter out of existence.

But wouldn’t you know I spent a good part of my night still drinking chardonnay but from a glass this time. I admittedly was completely engrossed in conversation with a friend who has been breeding CKC registered dogs for most of her life.

And fun fact: She just so happened to have had the pleasure of finding a forever home for one of her Frenchie babies with the undeniably talented Chloe Moretz

See Chloe Moretz Below with Storm

Chloe and Kianna Klyne (My friends daughter)

So obviously I’m going to listen to the girl who is a breeder for the Hollywood A-List Stars

I sat there intently absorbing every word of advice she gave me with the intensity I’ve not experienced for some time. You’d think she was giving me insider stock trading info the way I clung onto each nugget of wisdom, embracing it like it was the golden ticket to my fur babies legacy.

No description available.
Neither could decide who was gonna be the big spoon and little spoon….(Mystique with Geisha) @geishatheakitaguida

What I did learn is that I’ve been a good student and have been doing my homework correctly. She confirmed that I’m on the right fur mama track. And just like all those other mamas out there who used to bore me into an alcoholic induced coma, I can now say I’m a proud member of your tribe. My baby’s just a bit hairier.

So with further delay…I introduce you to the fruit of my delusional loins…Geisha the Akita Guida and her BFF Mom.

Please Make sure you comment, like and share! Your support is what keeps me doing what I love to do!