DiscoverPEP Talks: People Empowering People
PEP Talks: People Empowering People
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PEP Talks: People Empowering People

Author: Kasey Kellem and Greta Fechter

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Kasey Crawford Kellem is a school counselor, author, yoga instructor, motivational speaker, former business owner and special ed teacher, and now, podcaster. She is a beacon of resiliency as she continues through her journey dodging hurdles but still dancing all along the way! The creator and author of Mind Over Matter Books, Kellem’s first five books, “Believe,” “Love,” “Laugh,” “Relax,” and “Dream” teach children the resiliency tools necessary to overcome obstacles. After her husband died from cancer, Kellem wrote, “Bella-Eve the Bounce-Back Dog” a book she has shared with thousands of children helping them cope with their challenges in life. Her adult memoir, “Don’t Stop Believing: Our Journey with Cancer” was written to help encourage others coping with a terminally ill family member or widowhood believe they can overcome the grief. She has spent her thirty-plus year career in education helping others overcome their hardships so they can live longer, happier quality lives.
35 Episodes
Happy Thoughtful Thursday, Today’s breath is the Alternate Nostril Breathing which Integrates both sides of brain, Clears your mind, Improves focus, and will Calm and energize you. ·       Sit in a comfortable position with your legs crossed.·       Place your left hand on your left knee.·       Lift your right hand up toward your nose.·       Exhale completely and then ((((((use your right thumb to close your right nostril.·       Inhale through your left nostril and then close the left nostril with your fingers.·       Open the right nostril and exhale through this side.·       Inhale through the right nostril and then close this nostril.·       Open the left nostril and exhale through the left side.)))·       This is one cycle.·       Continue for up to 5 minutes. Today’s nudge is:  I can do hard thingsYou won’t know until you try! Think about something you thought was hard before you tried it, perhaps as a younger child. Maybe you thought riding a bike was hard, but now you can do it without even trying. Maybe you thought math was hard when you were younger and now it is coming easier for you! Perhaps there was a part of your job that you never thought you could master, but you did! Hooray! Those memories need to be relished so they can catapult you into trying whatever you now think is hard. Life is always going to present hard things for us to tackle. Remember how you were able to master those hard things in past experiences and go try whatever you are facing now. You can do hard things!! You’ve already proven that!I can do hard thingsI can do hard thingsI can do hard things  Have a great Thoughtful Thursday!Support the show (
Ray has experienced 35 years of drug addiction in and out of jails and hospitals where he spent 3 weeks in a coma and 2 months learning how to walk again. Ray survived 7 open heart surgeries (3 in 1 year), brain surgery, and an amputated left foot all while remaining in a 12 step fellowship program. Ray has been clean and sober now for 4 plus years. He is semi back to work living a productive life and even started his own small business.   At any point, he could have given up but he chose to overcome and adapt to a new way of life. We learned from Ray:If you want to experience drugs first think about what you want to do, what you enjoy, the people you love and who love you…then say, “Good-bye” to all of that!*Doing drugs may help you to temporarily forget all of your problems, but in the long run it will only create larger problems. *When you are exposed to hard-core drugs you have no fear and actually become numb. *Never giving up, having family and friend support, and following your dreams all help you get through addictions.  Gretatude: *Don’t let the past steal your present- Terri Guillemets *Even in the midst of devastation, something within us always points the way to freedom-Sharon Salzberg *Recovery is hard. Regret is harder-Brittany Burgunder You can reach out to Ray Bassin on Facebook or text him at 440-339-0786. Support the show (
Tracey Watts Cirino..... is an entrepreneur, speaker, author of Beyond Common ‘12 Essentialsfor Success in Life and in the Workplace”, business consultant, and the CEO and founder of Lavish Color Salon Inc. She is a growth-minded, fun-Loving, career, and family woman who loves to live a mostly healthy lifestyle and follows the 80/20 Rule. In today’s podcast interview, you will learn how life’s big failures and challenges turned into wins and opportunities for Tracey.  We learned from Tracey:*If everyone is aligned with what they are passionate  about, everyone achieves more*Own your truth*You can’t suck positive juice out without contributing*Be kind, be present, have fun*Hire slow, fire fast*If you go into hairdressing, you can’t have bad days Gretatude:“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – Albert SchweitzerYou can find Tracey at www.TraceyWattsCirino.comSupport the show (
Tony Viola, a former mortgage broker, was indicted three times and tried twice on identical charges by a multi-jurisdictional mortgage fraud task force. Prosecutors alleged Tony duped banks like JP Morgan into making 'no money down' mortgage loans that the bank didn't permit. Tony was convicted in federal court and sentenced to 12 1/2 years in jail. But from jail, and without an attorney, he proved his innocence at a second trial on the same charges using evidence the Justice Department hid before the first trial. Prosecutors possessed evidence proving Tony's innocence all along but never provided it to the defense. In 2019, the Justice Department admitted lying about evidence in Tony's case and in July, 2020, the FBI also admitted making materially false statements about this same evidence. Tony was released from prison this summer after spending 8 1/2 years in prison under false accusations and due to much corruption and fraud within the Department of Justice.  We learned from Tony:*There is always something to be grateful for*Church is a good community which can offer you energy, faith and perseverance *Having a purpose can help you get through trying times*We have to channel outrage for the good*Having just one person believe in you is very empowering*You have to take care of yourself and look out for yourself Learn more about Tony at Gretatude:I hate the unfairness of injustice. Anybody who thinks they are better than others or 'chosen' or feel they have an entitlement... be it through monarchy, government, or money. I think we are all born the same. We are entitled to an equal shot at life. Liam Cunningham Support the show (
Evan is a yoga certified instructor and the owner of Cultivate Yoga Space in Avon and Cultivate Yoga Non-Profit which offers free yoga classes to underserved communities. He is a single father of two awesome kids. Even is also a scrum master at an international software development company where he serves as a team level “therapist”  helping colleagues continuously improve and work better together. Evan opened his business a few days before COVID closed it down. He chose to use that time as an opportunity to recreate the space to his liking and create outdoor space for yoga, as well. We learned from Evan:*No time is ever right. You must start where you are standing.*Once you manifest things and take little steps towards it, then things start to gravitate towards you. *The people who are meant to be with you on your journey will end up with you.*Don’t victimize yourself: Things don’t happen TO US, they just happen.*Be in the moment and cultivate what is happening at the time.*Sit with yourself, listen to your own voice, hear your own truth. Only you know what is right and what is your limit! Gretatude: Cultivate your thoughts into positive seeds and see your life change for the better.Support the show (
Theresa is a wife of 17 years and mom of two children through transracial open adoption. She has been a type 1 diabetic for over 30 years, which is why her husband and she chose adoption to create their family. Theresa is also a school-based speech-language pathologist serving elementary students.   |   |   |We learned from Therese:*When faced with any disease, especially when young, it is ok to be clear with your identity and not hide your disease.*A good way of dealing with friends who unfriend you during your trying times is to believe, “If you can’t take me at my worst, then you don’t get me at my best”. *Love can get you through difficult times. Support one another when needed!*Sometimes when dealing with the unknown, you have to get on with your life despite the constant “waiting” in the background.Support the show (
 Theresa is a wife of 17 years and mom of two children through transracial open adoption. She has been a type 1 diabetic for over 30 years, which is why her husband and she chose adoption to create their family. Theresa is also a school-based speech-language pathologist serving elementary students.   |   |   | We learned from Therese:*When faced with any disease, especially when young, it is ok to be clear with your identity and not hide your disease.*A good way of dealing with friends who unfriend you during your trying times is to believe, “If you can’t take me at my worst, then you don’t get me at my best”. *Love can get you through difficult times. Support one another when needed!*Sometimes when dealing with the unknown, you have to get on with your life despite the constant “waiting” in the background. Gretatude: Love is a fruit that is always in season-Mother Theresa Support the show (
Dallin currently is a college student at BYU in Idaho. He is studying business management with an emphasis in marketing. In school, he didn’t make the basketball team but later ended up becoming the basketball manager. This led Dallin to join track where his mindset and physical strength were tested and stretched every day. He met many wonderful people who lifted him through that experience. Slowly but surely his confidence and mental game became stronger and he started to lift others which is what he enjoys doing now. Dallin served a two-year mission trip for his church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and was able to inspire people there. Now, Dallin does a podcast, is writing a book, and is involved with some other endeavors, all with the intent to lift others and help them be heard and live their dreams.  We learned from Dallin:*Small actions of connecting with others can help give you your voice as they give you an opportunity to speak.*Don’t tell yourself why you can’t, tell yourself why you CAN!*An acronym for YIELD: Yes, I Envision Love Demonstrated*Trust God and move forward. Your journey will all make sense when you look back.*Yield to the prompting of God and go help others*God prepares us now for what we will experience later*Like Johnny Appleseed you can plant seeds even if you don’t know what happens to them.  You can find Dallin on his podcast, “Yield Today” and his new book, “Five habits to Find Your Voice in your Youth.”Support the show (
Pearl comes to us having traveled the world to learn from healing masters: a  Sikh yogi, a Toltec family, a Bhutanese monk, a Vietnamese nun, an  African shaman, a Native American healer, an Indian guru and experts  in Borneo, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Hawaii.   She has had a diverse history of careers including a filmmaker, with a Masters in Film and working in finance until she realized her job wasn’t serving her.  And She is now a Zumba® Instructor, not just teaching master classes, but also pioneering Zumba Gold® with chair classes for people suffering from multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s.  She is the award-winning author of 70 books, of which more than 35 are  officially best sellers. Her book "free Feeling Real Emotions Everyday" is about waking up to the things inside herself she had numbed.  She didn't do it with alcohol or drugs, prescription painkillers, gambling, work or even perfectionism, mainly she did it with positive thinking - looking on the bright side and shutting down anything that wasn't "keep smiling." We are going to learn how Pearl helps people feel alive, wake up to their own life, and follow their hearts through writing, photography, books, classes, videos, whichever tool feels right!!  We learned from Pearl:Whatever you experience in a lifetime is worth sharing.*You don’t have to travel in order to explore.*You can wake up your life by reading, watching videos, taking classes, writing and photography*You only get one life-Live it fully*If you are spending your weekends recovering from the stress of your workweek maybe it is time for a change. Support the show (
Ask most kids who play an instrument what they want to be when they grow up. "I want to be a rockstar," they'll say. Well, our guest today, Matt Teck, got that opportunity! After touring part-time around his sales career, he got the call -- the call that took him to Branson full-time performing in a headline show. We'll get into the details during the interview, but Matt had to get moving on some side hustle after their first pay cut. He takes us through the circumstances that led into a lawsuit against their producer and how he became a Director of Sales in the hotel industry with no hotel experience. Immediately, he walked into a career that takes most experienced hotel employees years to achieve. Let's hear how he did it.  We learned from Matt Teck: *If you are looking for a job, tell them about your strengths, be honest about your limited experiences emphasizing that this is what will make you moldable to their company’s specific needs.*Choose a “Victor” attitude over a “Victim” attitude.*The setbacks in your journey may be the very catapult you needed to get to the next step in your journey. *Have the courage to take risks. You will be amazed at where they may take you!  You can find Matt Teck on his podcast: TeckTalks, where he interviews others who have overcome adversity. Support the show (
Munira is the author of Choosing Hope: One Woman. Three Cancers. the story of how she battled three advanced cancers: Stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Stage 3 multiple myeloma, and Stage 3 breast cancer, within a period of five years. Munira shares her inspirational story about resilience, courage, and hope in the face of overwhelming odds. Munira tells her experiences at home, in the community, and in hospitals, revealing with utter honesty and catching humor her moments of darkness and light, of intense pain and blissful but precarious relief. Choosing Hope captures the psychological, physical, and emotional trauma of a cancer diagnosis and treatment. It is easy to read and anecdotal in style and will have special appeal to recently diagnosed cancer patients, survivors, and their families, to caregivers, and to many others facing health challenges. We learned from Munira:*Life has to be lived*Cancer can be seen as a gift in a strange way, a gift that keeps on giving. This includes community, friendship, love, gratitude, and learning what is important to you and realizing the fragility of life. *Be obsessively grateful for all your blessings*Not until you are at death’s door do you value life fully*God does not put you through what he can’t pull you through*Embrace life’s sadness, ecstasy, and learning Blog: I-Will-Survive.orgPodcast: Choosing Hope: Ordinary People doing extraordinary thingsBook: Choosing Hope: One Woman, Three CancersGretatude: if God brings you to it, he will bring you through it. Support the show (
Shannon is a certified Holistic Health Coach, a yoga teacher for over a decade, and a mother of two awesome kids.  As a health advocate and wellness guide, she helps parents prioritize their own self-care and bring more awareness into their lives.  Her dedication to helping other parents who struggle with balancing life came from her own need to recommit to self-care.  After a tough divorce and messy transition into single parenthood, she realized that she couldn’t help her kids until she helped herself first.  Shannon leaped into creativity to help her process undigested emotions and express herself an authentic-lee ally.  She discovered creative outlets like writing, creating haikus, and her health coaching business - Grateful Life Health Coaching as a way to steer her mind in a positive direction and found healing along the way.   Shannon’s newest creative endeavor has been creating her new health coaching business - Grateful Life Health Coaching.  She has woven together her love of educating about the body, mind, spirit connection, and passion for healthy living, and loves helping others expand their view of health.  She believes that by incorporating healthy, sustainable food and lifestyle habits, anyone can create the life that they want! Shannon lives in Lakewood, Ohio with her two kids and dog Hugo.  She loves yoga, music, writing, poetry, traveling, cooking, being creative with her kids, and learning about anything that expands her mind. You can find out more at and follow her on social media (Instagram and Facebook) @shannon.gratefullife    We learned from Shannon:*Stillness balances movement*Love yourself first, once you establish this love will ripple out to others.*A healthy partnership is when two people support each other but take responsibility for their own experiences in the world.*Love-if it feels forced, it probably is not meant to be.*It is important to stay true to you.*Continue to live a life aligned with your values and follow your passions. Someone who truly loves you will support you.*Know the difference between caring and controlling.*Nothing is a failure if you can find lessons underneath. Mistakes are how we grow.Support the show (
Jackie Chavez Anderson is a Yoga teacher and certified Ayurveda Health Educator and founder of A New HoriZen, educating, encouraging, and empowering others to ignite their health evolution. Jackie’s goal is to share her passion, enthusiasm, and love for Yoga and Ayurveda.  Struggling with unhealthy negative body image perceptions of herself throughout her childhood and as an adult, coupled along with poor diet and lifestyle routines through her years lead to a decline in her physical and emotional health.  As the diagnosis began to pile up with high blood pressure, obesity, and above-average ranges in glucose and cholesterol levels, she turned to Yoga and Ayurveda and embraced the ancient philosophies that allow her the ability to tune into her body and tune out negative thoughts and outside harmful influences. As her journey continues to guide her on the path of health and wellness, she desires to share with others her knowledge of how the tools of holistic healthcare allow for an opportunity to meet yourself where you are at and to live YOUR best life.     We learned from Jackie: Meet yourself where you are at.Self-care does not mean you are being selfishUse the tools you have like to sit and relax, unwind, and eat slowly. Nothing is right for everybody but something is right for somebody. Like increases like and opposites create balanceYour body tells you what you need. Support the show (
Lilli is a US citizen living in Maine who came from Bulgaria 15 years ago in hopes to restart her life. She is a massotherapist, yoga instructor, and Ayurvedic health counselor. Lili shares with us her story of coming to America and trying to find and reconstruct herself. Her near-death experience was simply not living. We learned from Lili: *You cannot run from yourself*Starting your day right with a gratitude journal creates an anchor that grounds you throughout  your day*You need to keep your body grounded and have a routine! *”Brain Dumping” Is a great strategy of simply emptying everything in your head onto paper which helps you restructure your day. *Once you know yourself better, you can balance your life better. Ayurveda practice can teach you how to do thisWe can find Lili on her podcast: “The Lili Pod,” Instagram @thelilipodlife and at her website: www.thelilipod.comSupport the show (
Jessica is a 29-year-old single mother, Ohio State University graduate, former special education instructor, and now podcaster who is always striving to better herself and her life. Over the last five years, Jessica has certainly faced her share of adversity after losing her father to prostate cancer. Jessica is sharing with us today her seemingly long journey of grief, abuse, and being a single parent. She, like her father, certainly lives with the mantra, “This, Too, Shall Pass”!  We learned from Jessica: *Live every day like it is your last*A “why me” or “what next” attitude does not serve us. *Sometimes you have to ask yourself: Why am I attracting all of this crap in my life? *The biggest thing is to get out of our own way. *Fear can really hold you back, but fear has less power when you acknowledge it! *It is all part of the journey you just have to believe!Jessica can be found on the podcast “Glow Up Gals”Support the show (
Brittany Witczak is a 31-year-old hairstylist and wife.  Brittany is married to Kyle and together they have been trying to have a baby with much heartache, peaks, and valleys and finally triumph over the past 3 years. Thanks to her selfless sister, her husband and she are now expecting their first rainbow baby.  We learn from Brittany: *Despite years of struggling, heartbreak, depression, anxiety, don’t give up-It is worth all of the pain!*There is a plethora of support groups available for people trying to have babies, esp. on Facebook! Just type in “Fertility groups.”*Talking about your infertility helps you through the process as you meet so many other people with similar stories. Support the show (
Alicia is a French teacher who is on parental leave to care for her two little girls who were each born with serious health conditions.  Her oldest daughter, Penelope (PeeWee) was born prematurely and lives with apraxia of speech, a neurological disorder, and autoimmune neutropenia which has caused her to be isolated most of her life. Her youngest daughter, Gwendonlyn (GiGi) who is 1 ½ year old, survived open-heart surgery at just 24 hours old and experienced more hospital care in her first month of life than an average person does all of their life. Alicia has had to learn how to take care of these two fragile children while learning to balance taking care of herself, as well! We learned from Alicia:*It’s ok to feel how you feel: How you feel is natural. It is ok to be worried, sad or disappointed.*There is something to be learned in every situation-Give it time and you will find the lessons.*Mom’s need support: Take time to take care of yourself and find yourself again so you can be the best parent for your kids.*Always look for the silver linings!*Trust in God: With God all things are possible!*Advocate and ask questions repeatedly not only for your children, but also for you. A good doctor will encourage and support your advocacy. You know your child best. Support the show (
Jessica Patzell: Jessica is a single mom of three, domestic violence survivor, and a believer in embracing your authentic self. For over a decade Jessica hid in the shadows ashamed of her abusive marriage. She had become a complete shell of the woman she was once was and worse, no longer believed she could be. It was not until her ex-husband was sentenced to 20 years in prison that she found her way out of the shadows and rediscovered her voice. Now, three years later Jessica has dedicated her time to raising awareness for domestic violence and sharing her story in an effort to remind others they are never alone and that fear is a choice and to always choose hope. We learned from Jessica:*Talk to someone, anyone if you are in an abusive relationship.*Call a hotline to get the resources and aid to move forward to a safe and healthy life.*You have a choice to use your voice.*Helping others, helps you.  Domestic Hotline numbers:The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233Cleveland Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center: 1-216-229-2420Canton’s Domestic Violence Project, Inc 1-330-453-7233Support the show (
Suzy is an outgoing, active, and successful mother of two adult boys who recently wrote the book, “Vacuum in Squares,” a memoir of how her twin sister and she survived living with an abusive father. Her bond with her identical twin is what she feels helped her get through the day to day struggles of living with such a difficult father. Working out, her sense of humor, close friends, and following her dreams also helped Suzy to be resilient during the turbulent times. Suzy also shares her stance on abusive marriages and breaking the cycle.  We learned from Suzy:*When life serves you up an awful sandwich, eat it with dignity!*If you are in an abusive relationship and can find a way out, get out!*Deal with what is put in front of you and believe there will be a silver lining in your experiences.*Don’t be embarrassed by your story. It made you the wonderful person you are today!*Your parent’s behaviors don’t define you!*Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder project onto others their own insecurities and wrongdoings. You cannot fix or change their behavior. *Have your coping mechanisms and your support person/people to help you get through difficult relationships.  You can find Suzy Remer on Facebook at “Vacuum in Squares,” and her blog, Suzyremer.wordpress.comSupport the show (
Maria is a 14-year-old teenager who was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer four years ago when she was in 4th grade. Maria has undergone three surgeries and three isolated radioactive iodine treatments. Despite her cancer and ongoing treatments she continues to excel academically and stay involved in the speech and debate program. We Learned from Maria:*Some cancers are very treatable.*Cancer is not as bad or as scary as it may seem.*Cancer doesn’t have to rob you of your childhood or dreams.*You can still make opportunities to help others at a time when you are in need. Support the show (
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