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VBB 267: Annemarie du LeBohn — Turning Her Trauma of Rape into a Crusade of Strength!

Annemarie du LeBohn, AKA The Iron Butterfly, thanks to her exploits as a successful triathlon competitor, is also a TEDx star admired for her profoundly moving and vulnerable conversations that reveal her darkest days as a rape victim. Annemarie shares her transformation journey from victim to victor and highlights an often neglected concept – Post-Traumatic Growth. Annemarie courageously tells of her personal experiences with post-rape PTSD and how she has managed to turn her trauma into a powerful drive for advocacy and education. Annemarie’s insights, including the importance of proactive conversations with youth, resonate harmoniously with tools that help past victims transcend from just coping to thriving without limitations. This conversation is an essential addition to supporting the UN’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, which runs through December 10 — International Human Rights Day.

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VBB 266: Teresa L’Heureux — Why Leaving An Abuser Is Much Harder Than Staying!

Teresa L’Heureux is an intelligent, bright, competent woman; she’s an outgoing, positive, encouraging, loving individual and a beautiful human being inside out. We know so because we asked her. We asked her because we couldn’t understand how such a proud and strong woman could fall victim to a man who convinced her she was less than loveable and turned her into someone he could abuse anytime and in any way he chose. Teresa’s award-winning book, My Rock My Hard Place, was written to share her painful experience and her mission to support, assist, and empower Domestic Violence Victims and Survivors to get past the pain and create a life full of respect, happiness, and love.

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VBB 265 – Sarah Tunstall — How We Fail Victims of Human Trafficking!

Sarah Tunstall is a survivor and advocate against human trafficking. Her journey began at the age of 15 when she was recruited into the sex trade by a friend. Already distanced from her family, Sarah found herself trapped in a tumultuous cycle for the next two and a half years, as two different traffickers controlling her life. Having been cut off from social connections, rebuilding her life became a daunting task. Today, Sarah uses her lived experience to support and empower other young people who have fallen victim to human trafficking. As a role model, she has learned the importance of being vulnerable and speaking her truth beyond the shame that once frightened her into silence. We are grateful to share a few minutes with this outstanding young woman and share her heartfelt passion for ensuring that no one else has to endure the same struggles she faced — or at least not alone.

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VBB 264: Julia Williamson — The Secret To Overcoming Ageism And Embracing Self-Worth!

Julia Williamson is the author of a thought-provoking article titled, Sometime In My 50s, I Became Invisible To Men. Here’s What I Didn’t Expect. In her piece, Julia makes the point that the problem of women, age, and perceived loss of attractiveness is real and pervasive. What’s remarkable is this: Julia’s writing wasn’t her issuing a complaint; it was more a proclamation of her pure relief. Finally, as a woman, she wasn’t being ordered to smile by every random man on the street or being constantly harassed and subjected to the predatory male gaze! Aging out or Ageism has long been the most frequently reported type of discrimination women feel, and that same discrimination has long been a factor in women’s diminishing health and a drop in self-confidence. However, the Here’s What I Didn’t Expect part of Julia’s article shares a far more positive outcome for women approaching what could be the best years of their lives.

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VBB 263: Kathi Sohn — How Childhood Trauma Turns Into Adult Sized Triggers!

Kathi Sohn wrote her first book, You Made It Up, Now Stop Believing It, following 25 years of working with her late husband, David W. Sohn. He created the groundbreaking work, the Body Memory Process, which empowers people to discover and then release self-limiting and often self-destructive beliefs they created out of emotional events in early childhood. Kathi believes wellness, happiness, and prosperity are available to everyone. If you are experiencing anything less, it’s likely that things you decided early in childhood about yourself, others, and the world are also responsible for the limitations and unhappiness you experience as an adult. The good news is you have the power to discover and then release these decisions! The Body Memory Process offers an opportunity to shift away from blame culture — the temptation to blame parents or society for our ill’s or failures, and puts the power and process to change in our hands! We learn from Kathi that everyone can benefit from exploring, then changing, the limiting beliefs that make us ill, unhappy, lonely, broke, or unfulfilled.

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VBB 262 Jennifer Arthurton — Is There Anything More Insulting Than Being Called Old?

Jennifer Arthurton was once a high-functioning Fortune 500 Corporate Executive with ten consecutive years of outstanding performance reviews. Confident and established in her role, Jennifer chose to believe that ageism against women in the workplace was a moribund practice. That all changed when, after returning from a brief time off, she discovered a younger employee had replaced her. That slap in the face convinced Jennifer that age discrimination in the workplace is alive and still in practice. The life-changing experience motivated her to advocate for age diversity and inclusion. She aims to create a fair and unbiased work environment for everyone. Lately, her passion has become a coaching business with a tongue-in-cheek title meant to open doors to serious conversations. Jennifer is the founder of Old Chicks Know Sh*t!. It’s about owning one’s power and living out the best next chapter of life.

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VBB Blog 261: Rissa Miller — From Persecution to Empowerment: Rewriting the Witches Narrative! 

Rissa Miller is a fearless advocate for the term ‘witch,’ and she has faced her fair share of prejudice. Recognizing the longstanding stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding witches, Rissa delves into how the label has been reckless, insensitive, and deadly to women. She questions what qualifies a woman as a witch, and whether engaging in divination work, practicing reiki, or even collecting crystals classifies someone as a witch. Rissa notes that the perception of a witch has undoubtedly evolved, from the days when the Catholic Church condemned wild women for communing with the devil to present-day pop-culture perceptions where witches are beautiful and powerful women like Melisandre from “Game of Thrones, Wanda Maximoff as Marvel’s Scarlet Witch, and Netflix teenage witch, Sabrina. While some still hold onto outdated beliefs, Rissa believes society must catch up with the evolving understanding of what it means when women are okay with being called witches.

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VBB Blog 260 — Dr. Kristen Donnelly Encourages Our Sweetest Human Trait: Curiosity! 

Kristen Donnelly (MSW, M.Div, Ph.D.), is an award-winning, four-time TEDx speaker, international empathy educator, and researcher with two decades of experience helping people understand the beauty in our differences and the power of inclusiveness. Kristen is a champion for social change and an expert on many poignant topics, including Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Intersectionality. In a world that’s becoming more and more fractured by conflict, Kristen advocates for a new understanding of empathy and the simplest human trait of them all: curiosity.

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VBB 259: Juliane Bergmann — Parenting And The Illusion of Control!

We welcome back ghostwriter and editor Juliane Bergmann, author of an influential article in Huffington Post titled “So I thought parents who forgot their kids in their cars were monsters. Then I did it!” It’s an emotional, even tearful conversation with Juliane where she shares a personal experience of accidentally leaving her child in a car. She expresses deep shame of having once coldly judged parents who had done the same, and now she was a failure as a mother. We explore the emotions and societal pressures around parenting and the importance of parents sharing mistakes to support those who dont get a second chance. It’s a conversation that challenges stereotypes and hopefully inspires parents to be more gentle with themselves as they confront their own fallibility.

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VBB 258: David Jurasek On Building A Community Of Men Who Are Both Powerful And Loving!

David Jurasek is a father, husband, Sensei, and Registered Psychotherapist working with boys and men for over 20 years. He’s worked within a clinical context in a communal setting and various men’s groups. However, despite his expertise and experience, David found himself continuing to struggle in intimate relationships, especially with his wife. Inspired by Martin Luther King’s words on the balance of power and love, David founded a community called Powerful and Loving. David’s life mission is building a village for men to rediscover and strengthen relationships that help them grow in Relational Leadership. David also mentors women seeking guidance on navigating relationships with men.

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VBB 257: It All Changed For Women When Men Did This!

So, as Christopher & Heather finished recording the last episode, talking about historian Gerder Lerner’s book “The Creation of Patriarchy,” the conversation just kept on rolling along with the microphone still live. In our “private” chat, we lamented a disturbing link that ties the domestic relegation of women to the advent of slavery—heady stuff. We even tackle the toughest question of them all: what is womanhood in a world dominated by the will and needs of men?

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VBB 256: Man’s Patriarchy & Women’s Sexuality!

Patriarchy has never been a secret; it’s right in our face from birth to death. Maybe that’s why we don’t talk about it. Most men hear the word Patriarchy and associate it with women’s liberation or feminism and summarily dismiss it as irrelevant to their own experiences. On the other hand, women either believe that Patriarchy is a natural consequence of biological differences between women and men or that Patriarchy is a social injustice that must be smashed. What we don’t hear is how Women’s Sexuality was used to engender man’s Patriarchy.

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