009: Recreating a life with shaky, courageous hands with Emily Ann Peterson

In 2013, Emily Ann Peterson was diagnosed with a degenerative neurological hand tremor, which forever altered her two-decade livelihood as a cellist/cello teacher. In the weeks and months that followed, she was troubled by two big question, “Who am I if not a cellist?” and “How do I make a living!?” Refusing to lose her life’s love of expression, she knew she’d have to be brave. She set out to research and learn from others on what it means to be brave. This would eventually lead her to write a book called Bare Naked Bravery: How to Be Creatively Courageous. The book seeks to help people from all walks of life understand what bravery really is – allowing them to step into it by creatively using vulnerability, imagination and improvisation. Her goal with her writing, podcast (it’s called Bare Naked Bravery) and School of Bravery is to inspire a global resonance and magnanimous community through the marriage of art and whole-person development.

In this episode, Emily Ann shares of the impact this diagnosis had on her sense of self and her career, and the lessons of bravery she learned along the way. Join us as we discuss:


  • Hearing about her hand degenerative neurological hand tremor through the sound of her cello for the first time
  • Needing to hear someone tell the truth that “This is bad.” and “It is going to be life-altering.”
  • How the diagnosis disrupted her identity, career and finances
  • Beginning the long process of making sense of the change, starting with a 6-week artist residency
  • The work to untangle your identity from what you do: from cellist to songwriter to artist to having to be really brave as a human
  • Curiosity about the question, “What is bravery?” led to a research about it
  • Reading years of journals and burning them: a physical act of letting go and acknowledging their gift of expression
  • The Impermanent Writing Practice: 30-minutes of daily journaling to “get it out” (followed immediately by “Ctrl-A delete”)
  • “Letting go” and a moment of intense grief
  • The importance of connection and community as a bravery building tool
  • Learning to holding your future with an open hand
  • Three core elements of courage: it’s contagious, it’s worth it, and someone needs you to be it

Recommended Resources:

Emily Ann’s Contact Info:

You can learn more about all of Emily Ann’s upcoming events and her Bravery School at emilyannpeterson.com.


You can also find her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

008: From “should-ing” on your future to letting desire lead the way with Rachel Vander Pol

Rachel Vander Pol is not only an award-winning resume writer but also a recovering world wanderer. Rachel lives in San Diego, CA where she runs her own company called RVP Career Services. She helps job seekers around the world craft interview-winning career documents, from resumes to cover letters to LinkedIn profiles. She loves to collaborate with clients to dig deep into their past experiences to help them step into their future careers.


Finding her dream job wasn’t easy. There were a lot of “shoulds” – the expectations and obligations set by others – making that difficult. Several years back, Rachel was stuck in a career cul-de-sac of listless job wandering. Through a lot of deep personal discovery and some critical heart shifts, she would leave the comforts of what was safe and known to follow a dream of living and working in Ireland. Eventually, this pursuit of desire led her to start a business that helps others land their dream job.


In this episode, Rachel shares of her career transition to leave a life imprisoned by the expectations of others and the avoidance of her personal desires to discovering a more life-giving ‘next’ connected to her gifts and rooted in the pursuit of a dream. Join us as we discuss:


  • The pattern of listlessly wandering in a career; quickly going from the honeymoon phase of a new job to “this is not it”
  • Career discontent as something to get rid of versus something to listen to
  • Utilizing community as a way to see patterns
  • Writing exercise: stories from the future to identify the clues of agency and and a dream
  • Learning to listen to desire and pushing into it
  • Life guided by “shoulds”: plans according to the expectations and obligations of others
  • Her 30th birthday: a culminating moment of blah that invited the courage to take a huge leap of faith
  • Sometimes running away from a dream can look like staying put
  • Moving to Ireland as learning to live her life with desire
  • The allure to go back to what feels safe
  • From following the path others took to becoming fiercely comfortable to making my own path
  • Learning to be fiercely independent, growing my business and in relationship at the same time
  • Exploring the work of being an entrepreneur and its connection to personal growth
  • Learn to trust yourself as you navigate transition
  • The importance of self-care to get through it


Recommended Resources:

Whether you know where you want to head in your career or still wondering what you ‘want to be when you grow up,’ a well-crafted resume will help you get to the next step. Rachel offers everything from resume critiques to full career document packages. Visit rvpcareerservices.com to see all she has to offer or to book a free 30-minute consultation.

007: The art of living well after traumatic loss with Aaron McHugh

Aaron McHugh is a writer, podcaster, adventurer, and author of the best-selling book, Fire Your Boss: A Manifesto to Rethink How You Think About Work. He is mastering the art of living a sustainable work-life balance that constantly interweaves rhythms of play and adventure. That includes road trips in their 1974 VW Bus, aka The Joy Bus, catapulting them into many father-daughter adventures together.

Aaron works as an Affiliate Advisor for Aberkyn, a division of McKinsey & Co as a facilitator of transformation. He also works with Moving Performance, facilitating leadership change through the power of music.

He and his wife Leith live in Colorado Springs, CO. They are celebrating twenty-five years of marriage in December. Their marriage has survived the death of their twelve-year-old daughter Hadley in 2011. Their twenty-two-year-old son Holden lives in Costa Mesa and is thriving in recovery three years clean and sober. Their youngest daughter lives at home still.

In 2015 they rebooted their lives, sold their house and all of their belongings to reboot their life and start their life over again. It hasn’t been easy, but they would do it again. They love traveling, drinking box wine and spending time with their creative, hilarious and courageous kids.

In this episode, Aaron shares about the transition of creating a new life worth living after surviving the death of their daughter, Hadley. Join us as we discuss:


  • What it means to thriving after trauma versus surviving and mending
  • Being an integrated human vs. managing life in categories
  • Mastering the art of living a life that happens concurrently
  • The challenge of raising a child with a severe medical condition and grieving her death at 12 years old
  • The shared unity all humans encounter in the disappointments of life as plans go awry
  • Seeing how trauma that gets “stored” in the physical space of a home
  • Considering a new question on a blank page post-catastrophe: What would my life look like if I were thriving?
  • “What DON’T we want life to look like?” vs. “What DO we want life to look like?”
  • Our two primary anchors to orient choices around: God is good and life is meant to be well lived
  • Congruence Exercise: How do your actions and behaviors line up with what you say are your deepest values?
  • Letting go of “my demands for life” and the guiding narratives that are inherit or given to us by culture
  • Making a heart-centric shift in perspective: moving away from the fear of prevention (keeping troubles away) and a life of scarcity, and choosing a new perspective of, “There is always enough.”
  • 7 steps for restoring balance
  • Choose a new start line for the day: create 5 minutes a day of quiet “white space” in your life
  • What’s a joy bucket?
  • To the cynic: “I’m with you. I was, too.”
  • Tilting your heart toward the big, dangerous idea of believing in a “big giant story” and looking for evidence of it
  • The greater loss after a tragedy: missing the rest of your life
  • Taking a “timeout” on life, selling everything and leaving our work
  • Facing the tradeoffs that come with hard decisions as temporary inconveniences
  • Consider this as you take risks: what if you believe in yourself? What if it goes great?


Social Media:

Twitter: @aarondmchugh

Facebook: @worklifeplay

Instagram: @aarondmchugh

Recommended Resources:

Free E-Course: 7 Steps for Restoring Balance by Aaron McHugh

Free E-Book: 99 Ways to Navigate Your Best Life by Aaron McHugh



You can subscribe to Aaron McHugh’s podcast here: Work Life Play or in itunes


The One Page Financial Plan by Carl Richards

006: Jenn Swanson on finding a life-giving ‘next’ after leaving a toxic workplace

Jenn Swanson’s motto is to engage, encourage and empower others to step into their success. Through her podcast, facilitation and speaking, online courses and an Amazon-best-selling book, Jenn endeavors to inspire people to be able to get the job they want, love the work that they do, and to advance their careers. Jenn has a background in healthcare (working and teaching at the college level), a Master’s Degree in Public and Pastoral Leadership, is a certified conflict coach and Master NLP Practitioner, is an ordained clergy member in the United Church of Canada, and serves as the minister of a small yet vibrant congregation in a half-time capacity when not podcasting or helping people in career transition. When not working, Jenn and her husband (sometimes in the company of their 4 kids) love to cook and garden and enjoy a good glass of red wine! In this episode, Jenn joins me to explore a significant career transition she made a number of years back when she left a toxic work environment to create something more life-giving. Join us as we discuss:


  • Her love of teaching and helping others find their success
  • The difficulty of a protracted season of employment in a toxic work environment
  • The “thought loop” of change that contributes to exhaustion, stress and feelings of being stuck
  • The importance of limiting conversations about the “spin and swirl” of change and the gift of engaging things that are life-giving
  • Creating time to listen to your life during challenging seasons
  • The importance of “looking after me” to make it through transition
  • Starting your day with a mindful practice to keep perspective before the demands begins
  • Sitting down with yourself to “take stock” to do two things: figure out what you really love and what you can translate that into
  • Identifying the “treasure” of your calling regardless of the level of change (or role, job title, career, etc.)
  • Why do we have a team of people to plan a wedding that lasts one day, but when it comes to planning a life we resist getting help?
  • You as your best investment during transition
  • The Discipline of Self-care: From “Yeah, I know.” to “I’m doing it.”
  • Whatever the change, it’s not the whole of you.

Social Media:


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CareersbyJenn/


Instagram: @careersbyjenn


Recommended Resources:


Careers by Jenn: Get the Job. Love your work. Advance your career. With Jenn Swanson

005: Diane Summers on our relationship with food and the body during transition

Diane Summers, RDN, CEDRD-S, CD is a nationally registered and state certified dietitian with extensive experience treating eating disorders at all levels of care. Diane has been involved in the awareness, prevention, and treatment of eating disorders since 2004, and has treated nearly 1,000 children, teens, and adults across the full spectrum of eating disorders and concerns. She is recognized as a Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian and Supervisor (CEDRD-S) through the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (www.iaedp.com) for her expertise in treating eating disorders and training other professionals in the treatment of eating disorders. She is also a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor (www.intuitiveeating.org). Diane has a passion for educating the lay population and professionals on the awareness, prevention, and treatment of eating disorders. In this episode, Diane joins me to explore the role our “narrative” with food plays as we navigate through a turbulent transition. Join us as we discuss:


  • The importance of positive language around food, and returning to the trust and joy of eating
  • What is ‘disordered eating’?
  • How food is used as a way to control or ease the disorientation of a transition
  • The body’s response to transition and mindless eating
  • Food and the process of embodiment to aid listening during a transition
  • Rescripting the narrative of food
  • How change exacerbates existing struggles with self-care
  • Ask: “What would be kind for my body?”
  • The challenging transition women go through in their 40s and 50s
  • Paying attention and trusting your body, especially during transition, as the place where your truths are stored

Contact Info:

Diane Summers, RDN, CEDRD-S, CD



(425) 422-6782


Recommended Resources:


Food Psych with Christy Harrison, MPH, RD, CDN

Life Unrestricted with Meret Boxler



The Body Myth: Adult women and the pressure to be perfect by Margo Lane

Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that Works by Evelyn Tribole M.S. R.D. and Elyse Resch M.S. R.D. F.A.D.A.

Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight by Linda Brown and Lucy Aphramor

Body Respect: What Conventional Health Books Get Wrong, Leave Out, and Just Plain Fail to Understand about Weight


Upcoming Workshops:

Redeeming Food and Body

November 3, 2018

Manitowoc, Wisconsin


004: Paul Gebben on finding his career “next” after a mid-life punch in the gut

Paul Gebben spends his days helping people navigate change, learn new ways of doing things, recover from past hurts, and create new opportunities for life. Paul has a masters degree in counseling psychology from The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, and does work is as a licensed pyschotherapist in his own practice called Gebben Counseling. But that wasn’t always the story. Prior to his current work as a therapist, Paul served for almost a decade as the Chief Operations Officer for MarketLab, Inc. a company that sells medical and laboratory supplies. In this episode, Paul joins me to explore the tumult of this mid-career transition and the incredible transformation he experienced as a result. Join us as we discuss:


  • Going from dreaming about the freedom of the empty-nest phase of life to being thrust into the “great unknown” of losing your job
  • The “gut punch” of an identity crisis after losing work and a paycheck
  • The shame and smallness of being without work and a paycheck, and the importance of still showing up
  • The search for a next: “Who do you (a.k.a. the marketplace) want me to be?” vs. “Who am I now?”
  • The inner war of self-doubt and despair, and the loss of my work community
  • Learning to ask for and accept help when offered from the people who really knew Paul
  • Future visioning exercise: What is your storefront?
  • The trip to China: the satisfaction of seeing important clues to a calling
  • Important lesson learned, like asking for help earlier in the process
  • The first day of school as an important milestone
  • Learning to hold the cost and sweetness of a major life change
  • Developing a new routine to avoid sitting in your pj’s all day
  • Using gratitude as a means to keep perspective

Contact Info

FB business page: https://www.facebook.com/gebbencounseling/
Website: www.gebbencounseling.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulgebben/

003: Bryan Falchuk and learning to “Do a day”

Bryan Falchuk is a best-selling author, speaker and life coach. He has faced major adversities and learned how to overcome and achieve. From obesity to running marathons, from career struggles to success as a C-level executive, from watching illness threaten his family to finding lasting health, he has been through many lessons he used to develop his unique approach to inspiring others to find lasting change. Bryan’s work has been featured in several top publications like Inc. Magazine, The LA Times, Chicago Tribune and more. He has spoken at multiple TEDx events, and has been a featured guest on over 100 podcasts and radio shows. In this episode, Bryan joins me to discuss:


  • The impact of his parent’s divorce at 5 years old and becoming the “fat kid”
  • Losing weight, but not the pain or anxiety
  • How learned self-sufficiency and avoidance of the deeper work resulted in a unhappy, joyless existence
  • A crisis of purpose brought on by another crisis: his wife’s deathly illness
  • The big, life-altering questions that triggered change
  • A new approach for life: Doing a Day begins
  • The four pillars of discovering your true motivation
  • Mindful goals for healthy, daily living rooted in core values
  • The work of transforming your insides to provoke change outside
  • How keeping perspective during a transition begins with self-love
  • “It’s always only today”: learning to do what’s in front of you that is connected to your true motivation


Bryan’s Contact Info

Website: http://www.bryanfalchuk.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bryanfalchuk

Twitter: @bryanfalchuk (http://twitter.com/bryanfalchuk)

Instagram: @bryanfalchuk (http://instagram.com/bryanfalchuk)

TEDx Talk: http://www.doadaybook.com/tedxbergencc

Recommended Resources:


002: Hillary Augustine on finances and transforming your “currencies” during a transition

Hillary Augustine is a financial alchemist and energetic force for transformation, especially for those navigating change and transition. Hillary brings fresh air and life to all that she encounters. She has blended together a Masters in Accounting from the University of South Florida, a Masters in Counseling from The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology and a Mixology Certificate from ABC Bartending School. She consults and teaches on a wide range of areas – including: money, values, organizational strategy, and expanded thought. Her brilliance infuses everything around her as she ignites and transmutes fresh understanding into everyday realities. In this episode, Hillary joins me to discuss:


  • The edges of change and transitional experiences as a place to look for “home”
  • Transitional “nudges” as patterns of transition that invite listening and new language
  • The language of transition offers “room and soft edges” inviting your growth
  • Transformation is the end game of transition
  • Walking the Camino de Santiago with the questions “What’s next?”, “Who am I?” and “What am I offering the world?”
  • Allowing the parts of your life to “dance together” vs. picking and choosing
  • “Can I carrying your pack for a day?” Understanding the weight of financial shame and fear of others before doing anything
  • Recognizing your default with the four “currencies” – time, money, space, energy – when going through change and transition
  • Learning how to “reshuffling the deck” of your currencies to make micro-change and movement toward transformation
  • Leaning on others during change and transition

Hillary’s Contact Info


Recommended Resources:


  • Hillary Augustine – Hillary is the founder and creator of the Currency Card Experience – a framework for considering and aligning all of Life’s Currencies – Time, Money, Energy, and Space. The Currency Card™Deck is the first creation and product of the experience. The 52-Card deck is a framework for activating your imagination in the game of life. Check it out! Available for purchase here: http://www.hillaryaugustine.com/currency-cards/

001: Nancy Jensen on Women in Career Transitions

Nancy Jensen is CEO and co-founder of The Swing Shift, an organization that works to advance and enhance women’s roles in the modern workplace. Nancy started her career at International Data Corporation, where she opened businesses on both coasts. At Microsoft, she helped launch products at Microsoft, including SharePoint. She worked as an instructor at UW’s PCEO Software Product Management program. She serves as an account director with Sterling Communications, where she works on market introduction strategies for technology companies. Several years ago, Nancy chose to “swing” out of her career for 5 years to care for her small children and aging parents. As a result of her transition and the lessons learned, she believing that women shouldn’t be penalized for taking care of their families and is now committed to getting the 43% of women who take career breaks back into the workforce on their own terms. The Swing Shift seeks to empower women with the essential skills, strategies and mindset for today’s workplace. In this episode, Nancy joins me to discuss:


  • How imposter syndrome contributes to women doubting their own skills
  • The lack of services to support women who wish to work and care for their families
  • The emotional strain on women as they consider leaving their careers
  • The impact on a women’s social handle when she leaves the workforce
  • The myth of being able to do it all
  • How women get back to work on their own terms
  • Helpful advice for women going through career transitions
  • The work of internal discernment and listening to your life
  • The courage to invest in yourself


Recommended Resources:


  • Leave Logic – a company that is revolutionizing the Employee Family Leave Experience through technology, automation and design.
  • BridgeCare Finance – a company that offers unique payment plans designed for pre-kindergarten learning and childcare needs.
  • The Riveter – a female forward workspace and community designed for business and impact.

000: Introducing Life Through Transitions

Jon is the host of this weekly podcast, Life Through Transitions, where each episode aims to help listeners navigate life’s biggest changes. He is the executive director and life transition guide at Liminal Space, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping others find the courage and means to navigate major life transition. He spends his days guiding 1×1 transition coaching and counseling sessions, leading transition groups called PIER groups, and facilitating learning workshops that teach transition skills at The PIER Learning Center at Liminal Space.

In this episode, Jon introduces you to the intent of this podcast, Life Through Transitions. He discusses how major changes in life disrupt our stories by introducing difficult emotions, challenging questions and difficult choices to make. He explores how the “tool” of transition helps people get through major life change. Transition is a discipline that can be learned to help us become more wholehearted people, no matter what circumstance we face.


Show Notes: