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.

Jennifer Louden

About:

Dr. Keira Barr turns conventional methodologies on their heads so midlife women can feel comfortable in their bodies and the skin they are in.  Dr. Barr creates a bridge between hormones, skin, mind, and body to optimize a woman’s midlife experience!  Dr. Barr empowers women worldwide to take control of their health, and their hormones in menopause.  She is also the best-selling author of The Skin Whisper!  I’ve always known that our skin is our largest organ but Dr. Barr goes into more detail about how to honor ourselves and pay attention to our skin! 

Dr. Barr’s experience with her skin goes back to her childhood where she had a painful experience being bullied for birthmarks on her face.  Her skin became a source of pain, shame, and embarrassment.  She then tried to conceal these birthmarks by spending too much time in the sun and as a result, suffered a consequence later in life which was her wake-up call.  I’m sure we’ve all been there as teens. I recall being on the beach in California putting baby oil on my skin to “get tan” only to have a severe sunburn. I think a lot of us ladies, unfortunately, had our share of burnt stories.  

After this event, Dr. Barr realized that everything she thought she was doing right for herself, she was doing wrong and she was stressing her body physically and emotionally.  The stress pushed all her hormones out of whack to create imbalances in the body.  Experiencing migraines, anxiety, and bloating the doctors were not connecting the dots. 

Thankfully Dr. Barr was able to navigate a new path and found functional and integrative medicine to heal herself.  She admits that she is still on the journey as she is always learning new things.  Her mess became her mission!  She was wanting to help women see their skin differently and as a source of information. She wants to empower women to take control of their health in midlife! 

During Covid, Dr. Barr started a new practice that is 100% virtual.  Dr. Barr works with women to create a strong foundation of health and then looks at hormone replacement therapy.  To create a strong foundation she does a deep dive into looking at how we move, the food we eat, nutrition, and sleep! She helps women peel back the layers on what is holding us back, keeping us stuck and feeling unwell.  Dr. Barr works 1:1 but also supports women in the community so that we can learn from others how to transform our traumas into triumphs!  Which is so beautiful.  Knowing that you are not alone and that you can hold space for one another to learn from one another is powerful.  

Dr. Barr has found that for women sleep and stress usually take a back seat.  We tend to think “I’ll get to it later”. So often we have that one more thing we need to get done in the evening or we stay up way too late in the evening? Sound familiar? Guilty!  Generally, we push through until we hit a breaking point.  She goes on to share that normally we don’t realize how much things are impacting us until our body shows us a sign.  Our body and skin both give us signals. 

The goal of The Skin Whisper is to communicate that our body is sending our skin messages. It’s best to hear those messages when they are whispering rather than a shout! Unfortunately, most of us don’t get that message until it is a SHOUT! We dive into how our skin shows us messages especially in midlife! Dr. Barr shares with us some of the ways that we might see these changes in our bodies.  I can tell you that I have started to notice them heading into my 60th birthday month!  

We also discuss estrogen and how it plays a significant role in creating collagen in our skin.  Progesterone plays a role in skin elasticity too.  As these hormones decrease, you may notice more fine lines, skin sagging, and dark spots on your skin. So cortisol does break down the collagen and elastin in your skin which accelerates aging and inhibits healing. 

Your skin is a wonderful information center that you may need to give yourself a little more tender loving care.   Take some time to look under the hood and see what it might need.  

The discussion continues to follow the path of bioidentical hormones.  Dr. Barr shares some insight into an old study, its data, and findings.  Then say that recent studies recanted their findings that there was not an increased risk. This information was very helpful to hear and may bring some clarity to past misinformation.  In looking at bioidentical hormones, it is looking at protection our brain health, cardiovascular health, bone health, vaginal health, and musculoskeletal health.  

Dr. Barr shares that “we are a constant work in progress and we need to celebrate every single win along with the way because those small wins add up to huge triumphs”  

During our conversation, Dr. Barr shares what is included in her book The Skin Whisper so it leaves you with some nuggets to look into further when reading the book.  Your skin is a reflection of your overall health and well-being. Not just on the surface but beneath.  

Your skin can be your greatest cheerleader and confidant!  

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Maryanne  O’Hara is the author of the book Little Matches, A  Memoir of Grief and Light.  Her book is the result of a blog she started while her daughter Caitlin waited for a lung transplant.  Since her daughter’s passing, Maryanne became a certified end-of-life doula so she could speak to the state of end-of-life care in our culture.   

During our discussion, Maryanne shares that the blog was a way for her to keep everyone abreast of the news all at once and that this waiting went on for two and a half years.  It was a lot of waiting and Maryanne felt the need to write and as a result, a wonderful surge of humanity gathered around them.  After losing Caitlin, the only thing that made her feel “ok” was writing on the blog. 

Writing the blog was a way for Maryanne to grieve out loud and for her to stay connected to everyone including her daughter. She felt that writing the book about Caitlin would help people. She then combined not only her entries but Caitlin’s as well into the book:  Little Matches.  Maryanne shares how she settled on the title of the book, which was taken from a passage in a Virginia Woolf book.   It’s Maryanne searching in the dark for those little sparks of light that make life meaningful. The light that keeps her going.  

Maryanne believes that grief and joy can coexist and she is always going to grieve Caitlin.  Which is so beautiful to share.  So many feel that there is a period for grief and we must move on but here Maryanne gives us hope that we can live in two realms at the same time.  Maryanne goes on to share how she has lived with grief and joy. 

Maryanne decided nine months after Caitlin’s passing that she wanted to write something more permanent than blog posts and to have it be a tribute to Caitlin and serve other people.  She then heard about Dani Shapiro’s memoir writing retreats.  She signed up and had a goal to write ten pages before the start of the retreat.  The retreat was a beautiful experience, it was in a lovely inn with yoga, meditation, and plenty of writing!  During this writing process, Maryanne learns more about writing, her style, and how she views writing fiction vs. non-fiction.  

We then discuss what Maryanne learned about herself in the process of writing the book.  For her, it was hard to write the personal and it took a lot of bravery on her part and at one time waking up in a panic and thinking, “what have I done?”  She felt that Caitlin was braver than anyone she has known and if she can be brave then why not me?

Maryanne shares about Caitlin’s writings in the book and how while waiting for a lung transplant a lot of her time was spent writing and being a good friend via text and email as they had moved from Boston to Pittsburgh. Caitlin had a lot of old soul wisdom which comes out in her writing. A lot of her writing is full of good life advice. Maryanne then goes on to share a passage of Caitlin’s writing from the book.  

We also talk about how Maryanne feels about trusting her compass.  We are all born with a sense of intuition but women seem to trust in more in midlife.  She has found that not listening to her intuition, it’s a big mistake.  Maryanne believes that our intuition does not let us down.  She goes on to talk about focusing on being a decent, good person and focusing on your relationships, and making them strong and healthy. That’s the only way to live. As you get older she feels that’s going to be the only thing that matters.  

Maryanne shares what prompted her to become an end-of-life doula.  She has always been a volunteer and after Caitlin’s passing,, she wanted to do hospice volunteering and shares with the listener the role of an end-of-life doula and why this individual is so important and their role.   Taking the class was also helpful as she is not out talking about the book which will include medical professionals and wanted to be able to speak to that in her engagements. 

Maryanne goes on to share how she enjoys helping with the legacy writing for an individual and it’s always a good time to reflect on the path you are on and what you’ve done with your life so far.  She loves it so much that she will be offering some workshops for people so they too can learn how to write their legacy papers. 

I love this quote from my interview with Maryanne,  “ I think that if you at least acknowledge the fact that you aren’t going to live forever, it can help you live better now and appreciate your life”. 

Maryanne also goes on to challenge the listeners to think about What are you doing? What do you want out of life?  What makes yourself happy and what do you lose yourself in?  Whatever it is and makes you feel content and gives your life a feeling of purpose then embrace it.  We are temporary and not here forever.  Be true to yourself and listen. Find your purpose as it gives your life meaning.  

 

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Adele Stickland has over twenty years of experience in the well-being industry and has a unique insight into stress and negativity and their effect on weight gain for busy women.  

She has an online platform and offers a twelve-step coaching and nutritional program.  

 

Adele started her career in the corporate world and felt like she did all the things you were supposed to do, got a law degree because she thought it would be the right thing to do.  But when she finished her law degree she realized that it wasn’t for her future. She then landed in advertising and continued on that path right up to the birth of her son.  After the birth of her son, the demands of the career and wanting to be at home for her son got to be too much.  One day there was one incident and she walked away from the office, her career, and never looked back!

 

It was then that Adele decided to do something she was passionate about and that was to start a career as a fitness professional. She then began to learn more about fitness and nutrition.  She soon realized that her clients needed more than exercise and nutrition to succeed in their wellness goals. It was all about having the right mindset.  Now she starts the clients’  journey by focusing on mindset and brings in the exercise and nutrition through the backdoor!  Her coaching evolved through her own experience and client interaction.  

 

This brought about her best-selling book:  Gorgeous!  How to Be, Look and Feel Fantastic Every Day which is now an international bestseller!  ( Congratulations Adele!  Quite an accomplishment ) 

 

We dive into discussing the importance of knowing you are why when making any transition and how that played a role in her leaving her corporate job and making the transition in those early days with her coaching.  The corporate world felt very much like masculine energy, a push and pull where what she is doing incorporates more female energy where you let things come to you and it’s not forced. A big key to creating more female energy is to incorporate more reflective time for yourself to look back and ask yourself questions. If you don’t take quiet time to reflect then you miss the clues and breadcrumbs!  

 

Adele shares how midlife menopausal women aren’t served in the same way as everyone else and a lot of the studies conducted do not include women over forty and there are so many changes in our bodies to consider. We also don’t eat or exercise in the same ways and our hormones are changing which makes our muscles tighter and that’s why moving, stretching and posture are so important in midlife.

 

Adele is obsessed with posture because of osteoporosis!  If we don’t use our posture, we lose it!  If we are kyphotic (  rounded shoulders ) Hovering over a desk all day we not only get the rounded shoulders and poor posture but we lose our muscle and bone density.  Once you start to lose it, bone degradation starts to happen.  This is why our exercise routines should be different as we get older to support the needs of our bodies now! She walks us through those exercises which complement our bodies in midlife and do not rob our adrenals.  

 

Adele continues to share some exercises we can do at home to get those shoulders back and use those muscles in our upper back!  By going to Adele’s YouTube channel she does have some Pilates workouts that can get you moving, stretching, opening up the upper body,  front of the chest, and strengthening the upper back.  

 

We circle back the conversation to getting in touch with your WHY for wanting to be healthy and lose weight. It’s so important when starting with any goal, and that’s the reason why I have in my coaching this worksheet: Understanding Your Why as the second worksheet in your journey to self-discovery. Without that, you are likely to have a tough time obtaining your goal.  Adele shared a story of how one of her clients found their WHY.  

 

Adele shares with the listeners her Gentle Reset Program which is offered every six weeks.  This is her group coaching program. She shares how fun it is to get women from various backgrounds together and how they share their different ways of seeing things and sharing their perspectives. You get the group adherence and you also have self-development at the same time.  It’s also a great way to create community. 

 

We dive into her book Gorgeous and the process of her writing that first book.  The first part of the book is the concept of mission, mindset, and purpose and how to get out of your way.  Then she dives into the nutrition part of the journey.  

 

Adele shares how she calms the chaos in her life and how she discovered meditation and that journey today.  She shares how going on a retreat to India was her first step to discovering the practice and how that trip impacted her life.  Adele also shares how this year she feels like she is in the flow of life and that’s because she’s acknowledging what she’s grateful for and letting go of being in control. 

 

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This week’s conversation is with Kelly Page who helps women over forty drop weight, increase their energy and find balance!  Her website   is where she makes available resources for you to dive into opportunities to connect with not only herself but her community

Kelly shares with the listeners her journey from corporate America to the Tasting page!  During her time climbing the corporate ladder she was doing everything she could to stop on top and stay healthy!  Working towards eating the right things but asking why she didn’t ever feel good. She just assumed that everyone was stressed out like herself!  She continued to ignore these feelings and went on climbing the corporate ladder even though her adrenals and hormones were off.  

It was one day when she was called into the “big office”  and offered the promotion and then she did what most people would love to do. Wait for it!  She shook his hand and said “thank you”, quit and then moved to Paris!  Kelly shares how a life-changing event gave her a new perspective on her life which helped her to make this decision.  

During her time in Paris, she combined her passion for writing and food and began writing for the food scene and travel. It began to be easy just working for herself.  

It was after coming back from Paris Kelly attended nutrition school and felt that when she was done with her studies she wanted to share this information with others. Knowing that women over forty were an underserved area it became a passion of hers to start a community.

Kelly shares the most common topic that women come to her for help when hitting midlife.  We discuss how she onboards her clients to get them from where they are at right now in their health journey to where they could be.  Part of that process is evaluating where the biggest obstacles are and start working to remove them.  Food is a big place to start that process.  

We also get into “snacking”  and the importance of a full nutritious meal with all the right nutrients so you don’t need to snack.  This helps you in watching your insulin levels and helps to avoid insulin resistance which we go into a further discussion on why that’s so important.  

We also dive into how stress plays a part in our overall health. When we are stressed the cortisol is secreted and when the cortisol is high then our blood sugar is off.  That’s why it’s important for her to look at food intake and stress reduction.  

Kelly shares some success stories with former clients and how have worked together impacted their overall sense of wellbeing.  Originally they will come into work on one thing and be able to target a lot of other areas and feel more confident in their body!  

Her website has a lot of valuable resources where she shares great recipes to keep you balanced and articles about what she is seeing in her community.  There is also a healthy living quiz. She looks at the five important areas that contribute to your health.  

We also dive into midlife women and alcohol consumption and how it gets harder for us to metabolize the sugar and the carbs from these beverages.  A lot of women are stopping their use of alcohol altogether and feel so much better.  

Kelly shares how she calms the chaos in her life and why meditation is such an important part of her daily ritual.  She also encourages her clients in this practice of coming back to their breath in the process.  The practice of meditation has a wonderful effect on you throughout the day even when you are not in the meditation moment.  Kelly shares that what’s great about meditation is that “it’s magical, free and you can do it at home anytime you want”



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Susan Heinrich began her career as a newspaper journalist and has written about business, travel, and parenting.   Her current favorite topic is midlife! She has had a wanderlust for as long as she can remember and her passion is traveling and helping women in midlife gain the confidence to explore and reap the benefits of traveling!  Susan supports her community with her website, Midlife Globetrotter where you can find inspiring articles for women in midlife and inspiration for that future trip!  

 

Despite the year starting off slow with the ongoing pandemic, we are optimistic that this year we may be able to do more international travel!  Now is the best time for us to be dreaming and researching those dream trips! 

 

Like a lot of women, Susan jumped off the career track when her children were young. Finding it hard to juggle everything she made some hard choices and decided to continue doing some freelance writing.  In her late forties, she felt that something needed to change in her life.  Feeling a bit confused not knowing that next step she refers to this as her “midlife upheaval”.  Susan says that this period of time turned out to be a blessing because she took the time to do some self-exploration and realized that she had put a lot of her own interests and passions aside to focus on her family.  Which isn’t bad but she felt it wasn’t working for her anymore. 

 

Susan started thinking about what she loved to do, what she was interested in, and how she wanted to be spending her days.   It was at that moment that she decided to return to writing. Travel had also always been a passion so she eventually blended the two together!  

 

In 2017 Susan had the opportunity to take a trip to  India with some friends.  Having some hesitation about leaving her family behind for three weeks, she decided to go anyways and was glad she took that first step!  She learned that so often things that are at first glance something we can’t do that for whatever reason turn out to be not true.  The is a way to make these things happen when they are important enough to us. 

  It was on this trip that Susan was reminded about all the things she had forgotten about herself.  For her, it was an inspiring experience, and wanted to share the opportunity of travel for midlife women.   Starting the website seemed like the next best step! 

 

In the process of setting up the website, she learned that there were going to be a lot of technical things to learn and may present a challenge but the joy of connecting with other midlife women and sharing her passion for travel far outweighed the learning curve associated with the challenges!

 

Susan shares that we often sell ourselves short and we think that it’s too late to learn something new or to pivot into a new direction. We may give up on a dream before we ever start which is a shame. But once a midlife woman decides she is going to do something then anything is possible!  

 

When traveling there is the opportunity of having a sense of more freedom in our lives.  For Susan that comes when she travels solo and she feels that’s because when we travel with our family, our identities and rules are such a part of our daily life that we still carry that with us when we are traveling.  When we are able to have enough physical and mental distance from our lives,  we remember things about ourselves that we have forgotten.  Also, when we travel we are putting ourselves out of our comfort zone and we are forced to try new things and experiences!  The best part of that is that we see that we are capable of more than we thought!  It’s a great way to boost our self-confidence and who doesn’t love that?  

 

Susan shared and I’ve always believed that when we expose ourselves to something new then that helps us to spark that creativity and you feel more alive and in the present moment!  Susan shares that travel can be a bridge back to parts of yourself that you’ve forgotten. Travel can enrich our lives in so many ways!  

 

Susan shares some of her memorable trips she has taken around the world and how she’s done some trips within groups and solo traveling!  She has had some amazing experiences and may inspire you to consider going somewhere you’ve never imagined yourself. Susan is hoping to go to Africa in 2022.

 

During our conversation, Susan shares some tips on getting around solo and the benefits of hiring a local guide to get you acquainted with the area and at the same time develop a relationship with a local! She also shares some tips on how to get over your fear of getting out there solo on your first trip!  A great recommendation is to research a small group tour that specializes in a new interest or current hobby. There are so many options out there now to explore!   There may be people of all ages and from various countries which adds a new dimension to the experience.  

 

Susan shares about the resources on her website and how she is supporting her community.  She certainly covers the topic of travel but also shares some of her own personal experiences so that others can learn and grow once they learn from her lessons.  Susan also provides a monthly newsletter for you to keep in touch.  

 

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I had the opportunity to connect with Melissa this week for the podcast and am excited to share how she is serving her community and how you can let go of stress and unlock your creativity one doodle at a time!   

Melissa Lloyd has twenty-plus years of professional design and communication and combines that with her passion and connection to humanity, psychology, art therapy, and mindfulness.  In her community, Melissa encourages you to learn how to navigate the stormy seas of life, reduce stress and rejuvenate your mind!  

Melissa shares that she always embraced her creativity from a very early age.  This interest led her to a lot of different opportunities around the world!  She always knew that she wanted to be a designer.  For over twenty years she was in the design and communication industry which led to some burnout and she ended up asking herself, “  What is this all about and where am I going?”  She worked towards finding those more quiet peaceful states of “being”.  She knew the place of peace was in the creative process.  

One day Melissa sat at her dining room table and doodled circles upon circles and had no expectations.   She was going to give herself five minutes to sit there and “be “.   What she found is that she got lost in the process and said “wow”! She then started this process of going back to the paper each day. She doodled each day with no expectation and that’s where the journey began! 

Even though some of the things on the page looked terrible she permitted herself to do more doodling!   She then began to be interested in the science of doodling and what happens psychologically when we are doodling.  She stopped judging what the doodles looked like on the page and began to embrace the process.  

In school, we are taught that doodling means we are not paying attention and has a negative connotation. When in fact, it has a very positive effect and helps people to move outside of their comfort zone and into more peaceful places. By doodling helps to reduce the cortisol levels and helps you get into the present moment.  Doodling is very tactile and full sensory! People that doodle while listening can retain up to 30% more information than people who don’t.  It also helps to bring some playfulness back into your life.  And guess what? Playfulness is connected to anti-aging!  Such a huge bonus for us women in midlife! 

We explore in our conversation how Doodle Lovely can be such a gift to us women in midlife!  Typically we are taking very little time for ourselves to get quiet and do self-exploration. By doodling, this allows us to have a pause and reflection point to go into that space so we don’t miss that opportunity when it comes knocking on the door!  I know for myself when I get quiet and use my tools for self-exploration, I am better able to see opportunities when they present themselves!  It’s a lovely gift.  

By doodling, we are giving ourselves the space to let you and let the emotions process.  

Melissa shares about the development of the workbooks on her site. The first one:  Creative Mind, Happy Soul Journal is about starting simple and creating a habit through the prompts, doodling, journaling, and mood tracking.  Melissa wants us to be able to grow by filling in the page!  With the journal, you can sit down for a short period and get lost in something.  Which I don’t know about you but that’s a gift these days! 

During our conversation, Melissa also shares the benefits she is seeing with Doodle Breaks with business and their employees.  As well as her Doodle by Numbers!  

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