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VBB Blog Misty Rae

Misty Rae is one of a kind. She announces herself to Medium readers as a former legal eagle, a wife, mother, nature lover, chef, writer, and all-around free spirit. She makes no excuses about being brutally honest, or sweet as pie or being a great big bitch. It all depends on how people approach her, she says. Now in her 50s, Misty is committed to living like a 12-year-old and loving every second! It might be from not having a truly carefree childhood. Misty was born in a small town in New Brunswick under a major scandal. Her white mother had left her white husband to have a child with a black man. From day one, Misty was forced to navigate through a world of black-and-white opposites and expected from day one to choose a side favoring her white skin or her black heritage. We talk with Misty about life experienced in a way most people never face.

VBB #279 on iTunes
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VBB 278 Kelly McWilliams

In February, we honor Black History Month by welcoming the voices of Black women to share their lived experiences. We continue that tradition this year, but on a theme that sheds a different light on racism and the black experience. This month’s guests are women born into black heritage through black families, but all present to the world as white. Kelly McWilliams is a mixed-race writer, the daughter of an African American author and literary professor; her father is of Norwegian heritage. Kelly wrote an article in TIME titled, The Day I Passed for White about her daughter’s birth in a hospital. To ensure optimum health care in the face of institutionalized racism, Kelly faced an agonizing decision: reveal her black heritage to hospital staff or betray it by declaring herself as white.

VBB #278 on iTunes
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VBB 277: Laura Cathcart Robbins — Redefining Belonging When Your Heritage Is Black, But Your Skin Is Light!

Laura Cathcart Robbins is a best-selling author and host of the popular podcast The Only One In The Room; she’s also a speaker and school trustee credited for creating The Buckley School’s nationally recognized committee on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice. Laura is a prolific contributor to the Huffington Post with highly personal articles on race, recovery, and divorce. Her piece, A White Woman Told Me She Doesn’t ‘Think Of’ Me As Black, uncovers having to live between shades of black and white. Her story, I Have A White Boyfriend. Does That Make Me Any Less Black confronts the intersectionality of love and race. We talked in depth with Laura about the paradoxes of race, family, class, and gender.

VBB #276 on iTunes
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VBB 276: Miriam Zinter – Cautionary Tales About Racism From A Black Woman With White Skin!

If you were to meet Miriam Zinter on the street, you would see blond hair, blue eyes, and white skin and draw the most obvious conclusion that she is what she appears to be — a white woman. But looks can be deceiving. Miriam says as much in her Huffington Post article — I’m Black But Look White. Here Are The Horrible Things White People Feel Safe Telling Me. Miriam comes by her black heritage, honestly, having been raised in black culture with parents who are both black. However, the dark history of slavery and rape also means she has white ancestors. The recessive white genes are prominent in Miriam, who was born with very light skin, blue eyes, and light wavy hair. Because Miriam is white-presenting, she has a unique perspective and insights on racism from both sides of the divide, visually, as a privileged white woman, but also a woman who lives and feels the persecution of black people on the inside.
Our conversation with Miriam kicks off Black History Month on VBB.

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VBB 275 Lauren Abrams Went From Street Person to Hollywood Lawyer. What Are Your Excuses?

Lauren Abrams is a Podcaster, Writer, and Speaker, and mom, but also the founding member and managing partner of Employee Rights Law, helping employees fight discrimination in the workplace for the past two-plus decades. What is not on Laura’s resume are the years she spent drugged out and living on the streets of LA. Lauren walks us through her inspiring journey, highlighting the transformational power of confronting her self-doubt, addictions, and economic challenges. Lauren passionately shares her message of hope, resilience, and the profound impact of community connections in finding happiness. Lauren’s journey to success hasn’t been without struggles; she openly shares her “dark night of the soul,” experience including an intense personal challenges that tested her resilience. In her search, Lauren interviewed a person a week for a year, asking just one question — “Why are we here?”. The project became a podcast and, soon, will be a book — 52 Weeks of Hope.

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VBB 274: Kyomi O’Connor On Self Healing From Cultural Trauma To Embracing Love At First Sight!

Kyomi O’Connor’s story is a profound testament to resilience, the power of self-discovery, and the magic of love. Kyomi, the author of “A Sky of Infinite Blue: A Japanese Immigrant’s Search for Home and Self,” shared her journey from a difficult childhood in Japan to finding her true self in the United States. Kyomi is candid about the verbal abuse she endured from her family, the cultural expectations that kept her feeling undervalued, and the struggles she faced in defining her own identity. Despite the adversity, Kyomi’s unwavering determination and resilience shone through. She emphasized the importance of staying true to oneself, irrespective of societal or familial pressures. Kyomi shares her life experiences and deep insights into identity, femininity, and love that leave a lasting impact. Her words resonate deeply when she speaks about finding light in the darkness and the journey toward self-discovery and self-acceptance. And then there’s Kyomi’s captivating love story with her late husband, a remarkable tale of serendipity, fate, magic, and love at first sight. Her magical story inspired her memoir, “A Sky of Infinite Blue.” For anyone needing inspiration, we invite you to check out Kyomi’s book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and her website

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VBB Blog 271: Christopher & Heather Wishing You a Happy, Merry, Vibrant and Juicy New Year!

Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never is, but always to be blest.
The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
Alexander Pope (1688-1744)

Translation: people will always be optimistic and think that something better is coming, and with the New Year comes Hope. The proof is in a 34-country Ipsos survey that interviewed over 25,000 adults, with 70 percent saying 2024 will be a better year for them and their country. That’s a five percentage point upswing in optimism from last year’s pole. This is considering that 2023 ended under the cloud of war, and there is looming uncertainty around emerging AI technology. Do we know how AI will impact our livelihood and how many people’s jobs might be in jeopardy? What about record-breaking hot temperatures across Europe and wildfires that devastated communities across North America, especially in Canada? According to 16th-century French astrologer Nostradamus, 2024 will bring more Climate disasters. He says, “The dry earth will grow more parched, and there will be great floods when it is seen.” He also predicts a “Very great famine through pestiferous wave.” Remember, though, Nostradamus was known as “the prophet of doom.” Or, we can remember Alexander, and with the New Year comes eternal Hope.

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VBB 270: Rev. Stephanie Clarke on How an Inclusive Pagan Celebration Became the Domain of Father Christmas and The Boy Jesus! 

Rev. Stephanie Clarke is a Metaphysical Minister, speaker, author, sacred ceremony facilitator, and Law of Attraction life coach. She shares her spiritual convictions and insights on the fascinating interplay between religion and gender and the shadow history behind our most cherished holiday rituals. She challenges women and men to rethink masculine-centric narratives around Christianity and to consider more balanced, inclusive practices. Her insights on personal faith and the richness of diverse spiritual experiences are a true call to awaken and redefine even our most revered beliefs. Rev. Clarke, aka The Irreverent Reverend, brings her characteristic conviction and deep insights to another unforgettable conversation.

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VBB 269: What Pleased You In 2023, And What Pissed You Off !?

Here we are at the end of another turn around the sun — the end of the year 2023. For some, it’s a time for family and friends, for celebration and worship; for others, it’s a time to party and forget; while for others, it’s time to reflect. For reflection, we offer two questions for your contemplation, and you can answer from a personal, professional, or public perspective. The questions are: What in 2023 Pleased You? And, What in 2023 Pissed You Off? Christopher & Heather reflect on what pleased and what irked in 2023. 

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VBB 268: Avrum Weiss — Parenting Tips for Fathers and Empathy for Narcissists!

Dr. Avrum Weiss is a seasoned psychologist and author of four books, including the provocatively titled Hidden in Plain Sight: How Men’s Fears of Women Shape Their Intimate Relationships. That book is the subject of a conversation you can hear on VBB epi XXX. This time around, we explore even more provocative topics, including Dr. Weiss’s insightful observations of pervasive social media discussions surrounding narcissism and how this has transformed into a thinly veiled campaign of male-bashing. Dr. Weiss challenges popular narratives, even among his peers, that paint narcissism as a “terminal condition” devoid of any path to understanding or empathy. His point is that the vast majority of clinically diagnosed narcissists are men. We also delve into the transformative power of involved fatherhood. It’s the evolving role of men in childcare, the enhanced emotional well-being it brings to fathers, and the life-long benefits for children. Dr. Weiss also shares three practical but somewhat counterintuitive steps men can take to nurture a deeper relationship with their kids.

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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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