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Asheville Awake Podcast

Author: Amy Trujillo

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Asheville Awake the Podcast is a platform for creative ideas about what it means to serve and give back to the community that you live in. Let's face it - Asheville is great because of the people that make it great. This is a space where we can have a conversation about all of the amazing things going on in our 'awake' town and the people that are changing lives every day.
20 Episodes
After 30 years in the fashion & beauty industries, our guest, Anastasia Piper shifted to the non-profit sector in Development. Then, she coached and consulted on building community through positive change and transition. Formally the creator of Spirit of Change in Los Angeles and San Diego, California, Anastasia recently moved to Asheville, North Carolina to expand into Spiritual growth through Healing Transmissions as an inspirational intellectual medium. Her mission is to empower individuals to take responsibility for their own healing and creativity empowering themselves and their community. She connects to the spirit world through her lineages and is used as a vehicle for messages to empower and uplift. Individual sessions can be booked online at In this episode, we get a sneak peek into her latest project entitled "From Fashion to Enlightenment: A Grace-filled Life."What is “From Fashion to Enlightenment”? It is a personal perspective. An empowering journey of how Anastasia worked her way from the cover of Woman’s Home Companion 1947, through the fashion and cosmetic companies of Yves St. Laurent, Estee Lauder, Lancome, Gianni Versace and Gucci. Then on to 15+ years of service in the non-profit sector serving with The Muscular Dystrophy Association, Save Venice and The PRASAD Project…and Beyond! The work took her around the world where her passion for the diversity of people’s lives was able to flourish. She shares her experiences with lots of laughter and original personal photos. It is a fun and introspective journey for all who attend. Some highlights: • Growing Up in the Business. • Remembrance of Fashion Icons and Friends. • Traveling and Expanding One's Vision. • 1990 The Year That Changed Everything • Creating a New Life and Choosing Happy!Upcoming Events:Anastasia will be hosting a monthly internet radio show on Claudia Pureco’s Quantum Network. The program is called “From Fashion to Enlightenment: A Blessed Life”.It will start on: MONDAY, AUGUST 12THLISTEN TO RADIO SHOW HERE: this episode, we discuss:1. Co-creating your life and choosing joy.2. Accepting change and the “joyful unknown”.3. Receiving from the Universe and allowing it to “be”.4. Building a community of lightworkers to co-create the telling of her story.5. Mastering alchemy in everyday life in order to change the world.6. Trusting the messages from Spirit and refining intuition.7. Collective energy versus individual energy.Show Notes: www.ashevilleawake.comYou can find Anastasia at:
It wasn’t until she quit her day job, got quiet and still, and asked the Universe to bring more purpose and meaning to her jewelry that artist Margaret Goodson Graham really began to make what she was meant to make: Centering Pendants. Her new line of work is incredibly inspiring. Drawing from her experiences with yoga and meditation, her journey in art began at a young age: appreciating artwork by M.C. Escher, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Ansel Adams on the walls of her childhood home; looking forward to hand painted and hand carved ornaments from her Grandma at every Christmas; and watching her older sister draw. She received a B.A. in Art from UNC Asheville in 2002, concentration in ceramics, taught herself to make jewelry in 2006 and took a metalsmithing class in 2009. She made Gritgoods Jewelry for 10 years, selling online, in galleries and at many festivals in the Southeast. The idea for Centering Pendants came to me in the Fall of 2016 after repeatedly asking the Universe for more purpose and meaning to my jewelry. I physically created the first pendant in January of 2017, and I still wear it weekly. Centering Pendants are a work of art and a functional tool: A functional tool because they serve as a mindfulness aid. When you touch your pendant, your fingers slide to the middle and meet in the center, creating a well-known hand mudra (gesture) in the yoga/meditation world. Connecting the tips of the fingers can calm and center you, lift dull energy, and brighten your mood. When your fingers find each other in the center of the pendant, you also find your center (your Self). If you find yourself frustrated and too busy to meditate or do yoga, this pendant will help remind you to take just a few deep breaths to feel mindful and calm. It only takes Seconds to Center. You can connect with Margaret at
Annie Riker is an artist and designer who loves exploring mountains, forests, coffee shops, and the unknown. She works from her home studio and lives with her husband and son in beautiful Asheville, NC. For 15 years, she served clients in design firms and ad agencies, and for a big nonprofit in Washington DC. After the birth of her son, she felt a strong desire to spend more time with him—but that meant making the tough decision to leave her big career behind, and it also made her realize how attached she had been to her professional identity. She spent the first year of her son’s life as the primary caretaker while trying to get in a little drawing time during his naps. As much as she adored her new beautiful baby, she felt a loss of identity and missed having time to create. Over time, she gave permission to herself to have both. With dedicated morning time to herself to create art, she feels like a better mother. And having afternoon time to play with her son makes her a better artist.She’s currently working on a personal Asheville illustration project called “100 Reasons I Love Asheville,” which is self-initiated, but in tandem with a global creative movement called “The 100 Day Project.” #The100DayProject is open and free to anyone who wants to create and share something of their own choosing each day for 100 days.Annie loves this 100-day challenge because the energy of knowing so many other people are participating keeps her accountable with a strong reason to follow through (which is hard with self-initiated projects!). While some might see posting daily as a lot of pressure, she feels a release of pressure to make something "perfect" because she just has enough time to keep making and see what happens and maybe edit later. This is Annie’s third year participating in the project. Last year, she created #AnnieChoosesJoy which was an inspirational handlettering project. The year before that, she created #PaintingsOfThingsIKept , a series of watercolor paintings of items that she and her husband kept in their house after going through a 6-month “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” decluttering process.We discuss: 1. The importance of sharing one’s story.2. Annie’s story of becoming an artist and designer.3. What it means to follow your heart in the design world.4. Owning the role of “expert” and what happens when you step into your greatness.5. The Joy of Stickers6. Balancing Motherhood and the Call of an ArtistShow Notes:The 100-day project is first known to have been started by a famous designer | Michael BierutElle Luna, author of | The Crossroads of Should and Must NPCA Logo Project | Magazine Cover |’s Farm Goat Yoga | never thought she’d get into stickers so much, until she moved to Asheville and discovered it was part of the culture! It has been a really fun way for her to be able to share her art with everyone in an affordable way. And sharing her art brings her just as much joy as making the art. You can currently find them locally at:Zen and Now | @zenandnow_ashevilleAsheville Community Yoga | @ashevillecommunityyogaDuncan and York | @duncanandyork ETC Consignment Asheville | @etcconsignmentashevilleMountain Merch |@mtnmerchBaked Pie Company | @bakedpiecompanyBad Craft Black Mountain | @badcraft828 You can follow Annie’s latest work on Instagram @annieriker or visit her website at to see her full portfolio.
Owner and founder of Namaste in Nature, a brilliant Asheville based company that creates unique experiences that combine yoga, meditation, and hiking into one guided trip. Lauded by Forbes, Asheville Citizen-Times, Mountain Xpress, and Romantic Asheville as “the thing to do when you come to Asheville”. This 'hippie job' that Miranda created for herself is quickly becoming a household name in North Carolina and beyond. And that has everything to do with Miranda Peterson. She is a powerful manifestor and a savvy slash conscientious business owner. She’s passionate about creating mindfulness and yoga experiences for hikers of all levels. What better way to experience yoga for the first time than at the top of a beautiful mountain among some of the oldest mountains in the world, second only to South Africa's Barberton greenstone belt? And Miranda and her team take care of all the planning and details so all you have to do is show up, be present, and absorb all the healing benefits of being immersed in nature.You can connect with Miranda at OR www.mirandapeterson.comVisit to see the detailed Show Notes. Thanks for listening!
Whether she’s serving as a cultural ambassador in Thailand, studying traditional Indian Classical Music in India, leading a song circle, or reading Zen Tarot cards at Earth Magick downtown, Meredith’s path is one that embraces wholeness and cultivates divination in the present moment. In this interview, we weave our way through a myriad of topics that permeate the human condition and invoke the truth about the sweet creature that is our body and the role of the mind as a hurricane like receptor of information that can sometimes dull the voice of the heart. In this open-ended conversation that occasionally morphs into song, we dive into our cultural devaluation of the body and deconstruct our conditioning about what it means to be a diviner and how a Zen Tarot reading can be another example of opening a portal to our wholeness. Meredith shares what it means to work with the cards in the present, inviting us to be the question, rather than ask a question about our future. In this way, we are transported back home to ourselves while being held in Meredith’s nurturing poetic aura.Meredith has worked intuitively with the Osho Zen Tarot Deck for 13 years. She is deeply influenced by the teachings of Non-Violent Communication, Tantra Yoga, Thai Buddhism, and Nature Herself. You can bask in her glow most days from 2-7 at Earth Magick at 80 N. Lexington Ave in downtown Asheville. We discuss: 1. What Osho Zen Tarot Cards are and how you work with them.2. Being the question vs. asking the question.3. The joy of song and coming back to our wholeness.4. The healing power of the parasympathetic nervous system.5. Being still in order to know love.Connect with Meredith at: OR
Joy Resor is a local author and founder of Joy on Your Shoulders (J.O.Y.S) is an evolving company dedicated to inspiring changes in ourselves to create changes in our world. Joy healed into her given name after 53 years, and her being and work in the world are called to inspire peace, love, and joy. Her books are blessing readers all over the place - hooray! 1. Go In Joy! An Alphabetical Adventure, a book of essays and poems to inspire joy.2. Go In Joy! Venture to Your Center - Journal Prompts to Enliven Your Joy and...3. Designed to SHINE! Read Aloud Rhymes for Any Size Heart, a fully-illustrated book of topical rhymes that are wise, rhythmic and fun!J.O.Y.S. offers inspirational, handmade wares of cotton Batik with positive messages, which make wonderful gifts. Order by e-mailing, or through the website
Sam Kearney a professional artist, nerd, and neurodiverse human who loves to cheer on other creatives! She believes the world always needs more beauty, more color, and more contrasting and interesting perspectives.If you’re an Appalachian nerd hiker, you may know her work from Fox & Fir Design (, an environmental project that helps support eco-non-profits across the Southeast.After more than a few heartfelt coffee/tea chats with creatives from all different mediums and backgrounds, she noticed that there’s a lot of common themes that we as makers tend to grapple with.So, drawing from years of personal experience, trainings, and therapy (again, not a therapist, different chair) she's excited to show you what she's learned that has helped inspire artists to work with their own inner demons in creative ways with her newest project Sharp and Squishy (
Recorded in Chaing Mai, Thailand, this episode explores the subtle healing magic that is Thai Massage or Thai Yoga Bodywork. An instrumental teacher in the field of Thai Massage, Michael Sitzer dives deep into what Thai Massage really is, what it's like to lead a retreat in Thailand, and how the practice of Thai Massage can be a spiritual path.Michael has been exploring and sharing exceptional bodywork for two decades... Starting his professional career with a ten-year immersion at the Kripalu Yoga Center in Lenox, MA, he became a senior therapist in their Healing Arts department as well as a core faculty member of their School of Massage. He is professionally trained in Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue Massage, Clinical Massage, Kripalu Bodywork, Traditional Thai Massage, Breema Bodywork, Positional Release Therapy and Yoga Therapy. His signature session is in ‘Thai Yoga Bodywork,’ which blends all these modalities into a creative and therapeutic healing art.Michael began his studies of Thai Massage in 1998 with an intensive offered by Ananda Apfelbaum at the Omega Institute. He then journeyed to Thailand to meet her teacher, master Pichest Boonthume. Michael has returned to Thailand more than 10 times to further his practice. He has also worked closely with Kam Thye Chow, Ken Nelson & Jonas Westring. After leaving Kripalu in 2010, Michael relocated to Asheville to teach ‘Clinical Massage’ at AB Tech College and began offering continuing education courses. Michael has developed a complete Thai Yoga Bodywork certification training including a manual, a DVD & an online video course which has been presented at Kripalu Center and across the country beginning in 2000.Michael is well known and respected for his heart-centered approach to his treatments, his workshops, and his life. Michael's passion for therapeutic touch and inspirational teaching motivates him to continue to share this work around the world...Connect with Michael at
Jessica Chilton of SPARK ( is a Business Coach and Expressive Arts Therapist who has helped thousands of people around the world to love and liberate their truest self and unleash the work they’re uniquely designed to do. Through her signature program, Love Liberate Launch (, Jessica blends business building with spiritual growth, personal transformation, and creative expression to help rising entrepreneurs create the business they were born to lead. Her newest program, Love Liberate Lead (, is designed for the established entrepreneur who is ready for a pivotal year of significant transformation in their work, life, and leadership.Jessica recently founded The Shift from Fear to Love community initiative because it represents the deeper mission of her business – to shift the world from fear to love, one liberated leader at a time. The 2019 live event takes place on March 31, 2019 at Diana Wortham Theatre in Asheville and is a blend of personal transformation, inspiring performance, community building, and leadership development. Join us at
Caroline Whatley and Erin McGrady are the team behind Authentic Asheville. They are Squarespace web designers, photographers and travel writers, advocates for National Parks and public lands, adventurers on the lookout for safe and friendly LGBTQ places and spaces, and trail runner enthusiasts with a penchant for craft beer. They love meeting new people. Say hey at www.authenticasheville.comLearn about this amazing couple as we chat about:1. How Authentic Asheville came to be.2. The best and worst of van life.3. What it means to be authentic and LGBTQ life on the road.4. Tolerance, Minorities, and Awareness.5. Defining "family" and listening to your heart.
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