A Podcast to inspire and motivate women in midlife! Let's Calm the Chaos in our lives so we can go after our purpose and passion!

The Calm the Chaos Podcast is a weekly podcast featuring guests who help to inspire and motivate women in midlife towards their goals and dreams! They share their messages and provide the listener with resources and content to take that next step. 

If you have a story you’d like to share with our listeners, please contact me. 

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It was a total pleasure to speak with Deborah. She’s a wonderful and well-informed interviewer who drew out the ideas from my book through her insightful questions that would most help women in mid-life. The resulting interview was informative and fun.


Sarah Snyder returns to the podcast to share her newest book:  DIY Solo Retreats!  Sarah is a writer and conversationalist whose passion is helping others connect spiritually to the outdoors, nature and science.   

This conversation will inspire you because we all need to take more time to practice self-care.  A  DIY solo retreat is not about getting in the car and driving to your nearest spa.  This is about intentionally creating time and an environment to nurture yourself.  In her book, Sarah shares how to create a retreat in your home or remotely because let’s face it, with the pandemic we may want to remain socially distanced.  Also, many of us don’t have the luxury of going away for a retreat consistently so finding a way to create these opportunities is the best way to acknowledge and honor your needs. Plus recharge your battery!  

Sarah started her journey with the book by sharing on her blog different aspects of retreating. She received feedback that they were all very helpful and was asked if she could put together a book for her community. She then decided to take on the challenge and realized that there was a lot more she could share and expand on within the book.  The book:  DIY Solo Retreats, is under 25,000 words so it’s short and an easy read and will inspire you to take some time to create a retreat for yourself!  

Sarah shares why we need to create time for ourselves to retreat.  The retreat allows us to Calm the Chaos and turn into ourselves and own the power that we have internally.  The only way to do this is to schedule this time into your day or week!  Even 30 minutes per week is something and so important. It helps us to cope with the challenges that we are facing personally and as a collective society!  

We talk about “ME “ time and for Sarah, she defines that as MINE EXCLUSIVELY, which I thought was brilliant!  Had not heard of that before but it rang true for me.  The conversation then dives into being purposeful about the time we are creating for ourselves by having an intention of what we want to achieve in that time. It can be simple or complex.  Sarah recommends simple as she feels that simple is always best.  If you don’t set an intention with your retreat, then Sarah shares that from her experience, your mind may just run off thinking about your to-do lists!  That wouldn’t be very peaceful, would it?  Sarah shares some tips on how to keep even a short period focused and intentional for those who may just be beginning this practice.  

Sarah shares the importance of creating a set space for yourself to have your ME TIME and be able to retreat. This way your body and mind recognize that when you arrive at this place that you are safe and can then relax and set your intention.  Your mind has a muscle memory that knows that when you are in that space you know what to do.  As you become more experienced with your practice it will be easier to take it to other locations.  

Our discussion turns to how to prepare emotionally for a retreat.  Sarah says this is important especially if you are going to be dealing with a difficult topic or getting quiet and listening for answers that need some type of resolution.  For example, you may be contemplating a move or a job change and need to get quiet and have some clarity about questions you may have regarding these opportunities.  You’ll need to prepare yourself for what comes up.  Her words of wisdom are to expect the unexpected that may come up for you during your ME TIME  

Sarah shares her tips on how to put together a full-day retreat and why taking the time for an entire day to yourself is so important.  For Sarah, many of her full-day retreats involve being out in nature.  She may take herself out on a “date” to a botanical garden or a nature preserve. Somewhere peaceful where she can connect with herself and nature.  By getting away and out in nature you are less likely to be distracted by responsibilities at home.

We discuss the importance of getting quiet and finding ways to listen to yourself.   To Calm the Chaos, we need to get quiet in our minds and surroundings so we can hear our true desires!  

Sarah encourages you to permit yourself to take this time because it’s yours,  you deserve it, and don’t ever tell you that you are being selfish!  




Sandy Davies is the formulator and founder of HappyPause.  HappyPause is a plant-based preservative-free natural moisturizing balm for vulvovaginal dryness.  

Sandy starts by sharing a bit about her story and why she invented her product HappyPause!  

HappyPause Balm started when Sandy was dealing with a difficult perimenopausal experience.  When she developed the product Sandy was thinking that if she could help just one person, then it would be a success and now she has connected the product with hundreds of women around the globe!  

Her journey started by going to numerous general practitioners and being told “it’s just peri-menopause”   and one doctor actually offered her counseling!  She then discovered a book and realized that she was not alone! Vaginal dryness and atrophy is a real thing.  Sandy then went to a chemist and what she was given created a terrible reaction.  After the reaction, she looked at the ingredient list and realized that the label had too many chemicals! It was then she thought, “there has to be a better way than this”.  

HappyPause is available in a balm and you need only a tiny pearl and as it penetrates the skin, it stays on the skin for hours and helps as Sandy says: “you put a spring back in your step”.  As Sandy started the journey to developing the product she first ordered products from across the globe to test them out and found that for some of them, it wasn’t a very pleasant or comfortable experience.  She felt the product needed to be simple, feel good, and last.  

The testimonials about HappyPause are numerous and most women comment about how the product has changed their lives!  

Sandy walks us through some symptoms of vaginal dryness and what can create this problem for most women.  We may be experiencing the symptoms and not be aware of the root cause.  She goes on to share that there has been so little research in the past but that 20% of women have severe dryness and of that 20%, less than 18% have ever talked to our doctor.  

Women in menopause have enough irritations during this time. If we can eliminate one additional, then Sandy feels as though she’s made a difference!  

In the formulation of the product, Sandy goes on to share that in her journey she is reminded that you need to trust your inner voice.  It doesn’t lead us astray. There were a lot of people who weighed in on what ingredients should be included. After hearing everyone’s input, she went back to the original base product in the formulation.  She shares that the simplest idea can be the best idea.  We don’t need to overpower with perfumes or preservatives!  She loves keeping her product basic and pure.  

Sandy continues to speak with other women who have tried the product.  Her conversation affirms that dryness is having a big impact on everyone’s wellness and wellbeing and how one product can change how you feel about your intimate core which is the secret to flourishing everywhere!  




Hanna Milton


Are you ready for a discussion with someone who is passionate about making meditation and wellbeing practices easy?  Hanna Milton is a mindful and well-being instructor!  Every technique that Hanna traces is scientifically proven, rooted in mindfulness, and hand-selected based on her personal experience.  Hanna shares why she started focusing on helping people reduce stress and anxiety through mindfulness.

Hanna shares in our interview how she didn’t always live a mindful life.  In the first six years of her adult life and entering her career, she felt like life was a constant struggle and she was pretty miserable.  Her focus at the time was to work really hard and focus on progressing her career? Perhaps that’s similar to your story?  At the time, she felt that her happiness would come “someday”  when her things were “sorted out”.  

When Hanna discovered mindfulness and the world of mental wellbeing, she realized that she was searching for happiness and calm in all the wrong places!  

It was at that time that she started to respond to life from an internal place.  It wasn’t about changing the external or being something she wasn’t already.  It was then that she set out on a mission.  For that, Hanna began to retrain her mind and that meant turning down the volume on negative self chatter and anxious thoughts.  Also, learning to respond to unpleasant emotions better and how her body was contributing to her misery. Making her feel tenser and worked up.  Slowly things started to change for Hanna.  Because her practices were so life-changing, she declined to launch a well-being business.  

We take a deeper dive into what it means to Hanna to retrain your mind and what that looked like for her in her practice. One of these techniques is called:  Diffusion which is to create some space between your and your thoughts.  She goes on to give some excellent examples of how to use this technique.  

Hanna then shares why she started focusing on helping people reduce stress and anxiety through mindfulness.  It goes back to her earlier days when she felt this at work but figured that this was just part of life.  It was after her mindfulness practice got implemented that she realized that everything she thought was “normal” to experience in her work life was anxiety and stress and she was passionate about helping others through her community.  Life doesn’t need to feel like an uphill challenge!  

Hanna tells us that you can train your mind to be on your side!  Your mind can help support your happiness and well-being. She shares about her online class which is available which is all about retraining your mind to be on your side by introducing the techniques that you will have in your toolbox!  

You can free yourself by acknowledging that life will always have ups and downs and we need to learn how to manage our thoughts and emotions.  Difficulties will always pass and this can be reassuring.  We can also choose to decide how we want to think about a specific circumstance so we can drive a different emotion.  

Hannah wants people to trust that there is another way to live and that it requires putting in the effort to make it a part of your reality!  Mindfulness does require repetitive practice and effort.  





Kate Erickson shares about how she uses The Mastery Journal to Calm the Chaos in her life! The journal helps her to stay more focused and productive every day!  Kate shares how the Freedom journals was their first tool and has you focus on achieving one goal with set targets within 100 days! After the rollout of the Freedom Journal, their audience was asking them, “how do you focus on multiple things and move forward in a productive way and still get to enjoy life?”  That’s when the Mastery Journal was created!  The Mastery Journal is how to master productivity, discipline, and focus in 100 days!  

Kate already felt like a pretty productive and disciplined person when it came to focusing and getting things accomplished. However, when she started to use the journal, what she was doing in six hours, she was now doing in 3 ½ hours!  Who wouldn’t love to have that type of productivity! I know I would love to have more free time for the things I enjoy!  She shares her passion for helping people understand that very small tweaks in how you set yourself up for success every day can make a massive difference!  

The Mastery Journal is a powerful tool in helping people focus on the right things and not let everyday distractions get in the way of us accomplishing our goal!  

The Mastery Journal starts by having you plan out your morning routine which plays a big part in how you create momentum for your day!  You get to plan out that day before what that looks like for you and a desired start and end time.  They pick a beginning and end time because if things are “open-ended”, you are more likely to get distracted or take that much longer to get done!  I’ve had a lot of success saying that this is only going to take me one hour and by golly, I get it done in one hour!  You stay focused to get it done!  

After the morning routine, you go into four focus sessions.  You set up a focus time and then a refreshing time ( which would be time for you to get up and get that next cup of coffee or tea and do some stretching )  By writing down your four focus sessions, it helps you not to break your focus!  

In each of the sessions, you score yourself with a discipline and productivity score.  This is on a scale of 1-10.  This is great feedback for you to better understand how you can better prepare for the sessions and if you did get distracted was it in or out of your control?  

We book-end the journal by planning for tomorrow!  What went well for the day and what didn’t go so well?  We can then ask ourselves, how can we plan better for tomorrow?  So, before your feet hit the floor the next morning you already know what that routine will look like and your goals and objectives! 

I share my experiences with the Mastery Journal! How using this as a guideline has given me the freedom and more time to do the things I love without having the guilt that I should be working on something more for that day!  

Kate shares the type of results and feedback that others have gotten by using the Mastery Journal!   It does give you the freedom to pursue more or just take the time to relax!  




There are so many reasons to listen to this podcast episode!  Samantha reminds us in her interview that if you don’t prioritize your wellness now then you’ll be forced to prioritize your illness later!

Samantha Coffin is a wellness + mindset coach focused on helping women go from a life full of symptoms to a life full of living. As a child, Samantha personally struggled with health + wellness. She doesn’t have many memories where she wasn’t sick. Yet the various doctors she saw had few answers and many told her that her experiences were “normal”. After FINALLY being diagnosed with Celiac Disease, Lyme Disease, and Endometriosis she decided to take her health into her own hands. She got her master’s in Gender + Women Studies + became a certified health coach!

When Samantha finally received her diagnosis, it was a sense of relief and dread at the same time. You  have an answer but if you know anything about lyme, endo or celiac, you have it for life as it is a chronic illness. We begin to discuss her wellness journey in working with her doctors and how she needed to find her own path because Western medicine didn’t have a solution.  Samantha had to trust her own intuition and began to assemble her own wellness team. She goes on to share some of the protocols that she found to help her with these inflammatory conditions. Samantha also talks about her diet and the foods she has eliminated which have helped her overall wellness.She doesn’t think of this as deprivation of foods.   Samantha instead chooses not to experience those symptoms any longer.  What a great way of thinking turning your thinking of deprivation to self-care! 

It was on this journey that Samantha realized that this is what she is supposed to be doing and started getting her certifications! She started supporting friends and family and then took on clients.  

In 2019, Samantha walked away from a job that was pulling her apart and didn’t resonate with her anymore so she began to explore her next chapter! She then started working with a functional practitioner in her office and received her certification as a health coach. It was then that she knew that this was where she was meant to be! Even though she may have moments of self doubts she remembers her own journey and reminds herself that she is doing this because “no one should have to struggle for over 20 years!”.  

We then go on to discuss how her living in alignment with her passion and purpose has changed her life!  She provides us some beautiful insight on what that looks like for her every day!  Don’t we all deserve this same beauty?  We also talk about what it’s like to dive feet first into your passion full time. Samantha shares some things that have

 helped her on this journey of going all in full-time in her new career.  

Samantha then goes on to share some stories about the healing journey of some of her clients.  Which was very inspiring! 

We go on to discuss Samantha’s blog and how she aspires to have a cookbook someday and has a lot of fun recipes on her site for her community!  She started to create these recipes out of necessity because she didn’t want to eat the “fake stuff”.  One of her first was Vegan Mac and Cheese Samantha then goes on to share that the Maple Tahini Cookies are very popular on her site 

Samantha goes on to remind us that if you don’t prioritize your wellness now then you’ll be forced to prioritize your illness later!


Connect with Samantha Coffin

Get the Recipe for Maple Tahini Cookies 

Get the Recipe for The Best Mac and Cheese, Vegan

Connect with Deborah Voll

Take The Midlife Quiz

Passion and Purpose Digital Workbook


In this episode of Calm the Chaos, my friend and fellow Airbnb host Dana turns the tables and interviews me about my new book:  The Tell-All Guide to Airbnb Hosting, Proven Tips, and Tricks for Successful Hosting!  I share what it’s really like to be an Airbnb host and the lessons I’ve learned! 

In this interview, Dana digs into asking me what inspired me to write the book and what that process looked like for me throughout that journey 

What inspired me to write the book is that my kids encouraged me to take it on and so many people thought that hosting was an easy job!  I had many people think, “you just put a mattress in a corner and call it good”. That’s not all that is involved and not why Airbnb was created!  Back in Airbnb’s humble beginnings, the purpose of the home-sharing concept was to give people traveling a welcoming home experience and have people experience local neighborhoods to get a true flavor of traveling to that area.  

Dana goes on to ask me a bit about my home and what I make available to my guests.  We then go on to discuss how this platform has played such an important part of my life being a single mom raising two children. At the time I started this journey, my kids were older and there was college to pay for, new roofs for the home, and other home improvement projects on the horizon. Besides being able to meet people from all over the world, the financial stability that came from home-sharing was important!  

I will share some of the tips in the book on how to get started as a host and important things to think about for yourself before you embark on this journey!  Things that will help you when the going gets tough, and you ask yourself “why am I doing this?”  Because those moments will happen! In the book, I paint a realistic picture of hosting in your home but set you up for success by sharing stories and tips so you’ll learn from my years of experience! 

In the conversation, I do share some specific instances of guests, their situations, and the lessons I learned along the way from their visit. Every guest comes with a lesson and it may surprise you! 

Even if you are not thinking of hosting, this is a great conversation because it will help you to see how to be a great guest! Dana even asks me  “ What makes a great guest when using Airbnb?”  I share that in our conversation. 

We end our conversation by discussing what it was like on the author’s journey!  I had never written a book before and share how I reached out to numerous people for help!  When I didn’t know how to do something, I found the person who could help!  It’s important to just start the process. You don’t have to figure it all out ahead. Half the fun is not knowing which direction things are going to go. It’s important to have an open mind and be flexible to go “with the flow”.  

Have I inspired you through this conversation to do something you’ve always wanted to do?  It may not be to write a book and that’s just fine! Everyone has a unique journey but hopefully, you can learn from mine!