Seize the Yay
Summary: A lawyer turned funtrepreneur's investigation into how some of the world's most inspiring people find their "yay", whether it's through work, rest or play and any other pearls of wisdom they have along the way.
Thank you all so much for your wonderful, thought-provoking and well-considered questions, I had so much fun reflecting on them (and not so much fun listening back to my answers - even after all this time I hate listening to my own voice unless it's bantering with a guest). I can't properly express how grateful I am to everyone who has ever joined, listened or been part of the podcast in anyway - Seize the Yay brings so much depth and joy to my life and opens my mind in new ways each week to create it for you. I covered as many questions as I could in this one and, as I mention in the intro, I genuinely can't tell anymore if my answers makes sense, are useful or if it's all just nonsense but hopefully I've addressed at least some of your curiosity. I definitely missed some things, could have said some things better, and wanted to re-record as soon as I listened back, but I'm learning to take my own advice that "done is better than perfect", that self-doubt will always make you overly self-critical and that the essence of seizing the yay is sharing my real spontaneous answers, not the curated ones. The questions I answered in order are: The podcast • Which have been your 3 most eye-opening interviews? • Which interviewee surprised you the most? Why? • What are the three biggest challenges you have faced since starting your podcast? • Have you had any interviews that never went to air?! • Any awkward interviews where it was hard to get the conversation flowing? • How do you speak so eloquently on your podcast episodes? You practically never say "um" or "uh". What's your secret? • What do you think you have learnt about YOURSELF since starting this podcast? • Who would be your dream person to interview? • How do you choose who you interview for your podcast? What's the process • How did you get into what you do and what's the advice you'd give to others getting into the podcasting space? • How do you find your topic, tone of voice, first guests? The book • Can you give us a little sneak peak snippet of your book? • Can you tell us a bit more background about the story behind it etc? • What are the chapter headings? Personal life • Top 3 achievements so far? • Who's your biggest inspiration? • What did you wish you knew in high school or uni? • How do you do it all? Do you have a virtual assistant or manager? • Recommendations for coping with chronic fatigue or similar • Are you medicated for anxiety? • What's one piece of advice that has always stuck with you throughout your life? • How did you know Nic was the one and what was your history of relationships prior? • Have you been back to the town where you were born? • Would you consider adopting a child, considering how blessed you feel you were to be adopted? • What would be your last meal before you die!? • Do you drink Matcha everyday? • What is your absolute guilty pleasure to treat yourself? • Favourite foods and cheat meal? On 2020 • As you reflect on the volatility of 2020, what have you learnt about yourself? Maybe, have you noticed your values changing? • How's your mum coping with lockdown? • What motivates you to keep going day to day? • How do you get yourself out of a deep funk? • How do you stay positive in iso? • If you were single how would you have copied? What's next? • Will you be starting a Youtube channel? • Do you plan on increasing the podcast production for other companies? • Do you plan on growing MM? Or happy where it's at? • What does the next year hold for you? I had to skip a few so tried to group them all by themes. Can't wait for hundreds more to come. Lots of love to you all x
We're back with another guest whose episode couldn't be more perfectly timed. You may have heard my chat with him on the TOM Organic podcast earlier this year and, if you did, you'll know I refer to him as my spiritual guru but, if you didn't, you'll very soon understand why. Manoj Dias has taught me so much of what I know about sitting with discomfort, understanding suffering and the deeply life-changing impact of meditation and connection. We explored some of this on the Taboo Podcast but went a whole lot deeper here, which I found enormously helpful particularly during this shit-storm of a year and I hope you do too. Although you might not be able to imagine it of either of us as we are now, it was not wellness that brought us together but our nightclub glory days before our ways to yay really began. That alone is a reminder of my favourite theme - the non-linear nature of life and the way it unravels in many chapters not just the one you know someone from. Born into the Theravada Buddhist tradition, you might think Manoj skipped logically and smoothly straight to his position now as a globally recognised meditation teacher, writer, entrepreneur & co-founder of Open Meditation... But, squeeze a successful corporate career, teenage fatherhood, a mental health breakdown, an eating disorder and an ensuing transformative healing journey in between and you're getting closer to the real picture. Manoj shares all of the facets of himself so generously as well as busting some myths on meditation and I hope you enjoy our chat as much as I did. + Follow Manoj here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Join our Facebook community here + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
This week's episode is another one of many that's been shuffled around and pushed back for various reasons, but that has ended up coming out just when I think our guest's insights are most powerful. A big part of seizing your yay is acknowledging that both the best and worst times of our life play a role in our journey and If we ever needed some guiding words on turning adversity, uncertainty and grief into something positive, Liz Dawes is your woman. Like many of our guests, I loved diving into her earlier years because she had an entire life and career going from a small town in Wisconsin to travelling the world leading multi-million-dollar sales and marketing accounts BEFORE the chapter most of us know her from now as an adopted Melbournian and internationally recognised CEO and Chairman of a charitable foundation. Liz and her husband Scott had their world turned upside down when their son, Connor, was diagnosed with paediatric brain cancer - the #1 disease killer of young people - and passed away a few years later. We discuss the many different ways people process grief and how just a few short months later, Liz held the first Connor's Run founding the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation which is now the biggest paediatric brain cancer foundation in Australia. As she puts it in her TEDx talk last year, Liz reframed, reimagined and reaffirmed her way forward and has now raised $7million impact dollars that's helping fund research, care programs and so much more. Parts of this one are heavy but incredibly meaningful and with a beautiful happy ending (or happy beginning that's now eight years in) - I hope you are as moved as I am by Liz and the beautiful legacy she has created for Connor. SIGN UP TO CONNOR'S RUN 2020 HERE + Follow RCD Foundation here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Join our Facebook community here + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
Today I'm joined by a face many of you will know and love as I have since childhood, Dr Katrina Warren, an Aussie vet (along with her golden retriever Riley who had a great stare-off with Paul during the chat). You probably know Dr Katrina from Totally Wild or Harry's Practice or even Animal Planet or Dancing with the Stars, and I'm sure she's responsible for so many people's love for animals. As the only person I know of who did sheep husbandry for their HSC, Dr Katrina is a qualified vet but didn't take the conventional private practice pathway going into the media instead (with a fashion modelling career in Japan in the mix photos of which she has graciously shared with me for us to enjoy in the Facebook group!) She's definitely not the first guest who ended up seizing a yay they wouldn't have imagined in a million years, but she's possibly the first who's openly discussed the come down and disorientation of that yay abruptly ending pushing her to re-craft her identity and start her next chapter, which she's now in the swing of and enjoying thoroughly with Wonderdogs, as a Snooza ambassador and so much more. Paul also interrupts a few times to chat with Riley about his opinion on the beautiful Snooza beds they both have now - the woes of working from home! Enjoy! + Follow Dr Katrina here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Join our Facebook community here + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
The way that 2020 has unfolded has had a lot of us reflecting in ways we haven't in years, but self-awareness, existential reflection and critical thinking about values, behaviours and perceptions has been this week's guest jam since long before the pandemic. Few people get my brain gymnastics going like the inimitable Lillian Ahenkan, who you may know as Flex Mami, and the chat you're about to hear was no exception. While she is now changing how we think, do our make-up, and decorate our furniture as a self-dubbed professional opinion haver and slashie - DJ/TV host/podcaster/beauty guru/creator of Flex Factory - I loved chatting to Lil about the rollercoaster journey all of us go through finding our personal balance between conventionality and difference. As an Australian born Ghanaian woman, the societal projection of a homogenous Black woman's experience is just one of the many layers of identity that we peel back with her incredible ability to articulate and guide multifaceted conversations. I was so captivated in exploring the different elements of our identity and the many snakeskins Flex has worn and shed herself that we went for almost two hours having a great laugh but I've cut the "best of" for you to enjoy. If you aren't thinking fundamentally differently about things at the end of this, I'd be surprised!!! Also we both used proper podcasting microphones but got VERY loud - someone mentioned the other day that sometimes my bursts of laughter deafen them a bit but someone else mentioned that sometimes the episodes are too quiet... so I've been doing a lot of tutorials on making the audio more even and pulling the extremes closer to the middle. As you probably know I do all the editing myself and am still learning some tricks, so thank you for the ongoing feedback and patience! Hope you enjoy! + Follow Flex Mami here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Join our Facebook community here + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
I'm joined this week by our first Wulli Wulli woman, Beach volleyball Olympian and Commonwealth silver medallist, Taliqua Clancy. You've probably seen I've been reflecting on Seize the Yay's commitment to diversity (of all kinds), but also, in light of the past few weeks, the best way to contribute to the BIPOC dialogue specifically and Taliqua is the first of a few wonderful guests coming up who offer some generously personal and thought provoking insights to the conversation. Growing up in Kingaroy QLD (otherwise known as "peanut town") over 200km from the nearest beach, you wouldn't expect Olympic success at beach volleyball to be in Taliqua's future. And yet, she reached the quarter finals in the Rio Olympics becoming the first Aboriginal Olympian to compete in the sport and is on her way to the slightly delayed Tokyo Olympics next year. Taliqua is also an Ambassador for our mutually beloved Cadbury who are launching an amazing Smart Watch campaign this week to support us all staying active in #iso which you'll hear more about. I hope you enjoy as much as I did... NOTE: Terra Nullius is the concept we discussed, that you might want to research. + Follow Taliqua here + Find out more about the Cadbury Smart Watch campaign here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Join our Facebook community here + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
I know some of you will be eye rolling when I say that this is one of my favourite chats to date, but I think you might agree once you actually have a listen. I'm going to have to cut myself short in this intro because there is SO much I could say about why Mark Manson is one of my favourite people in the world but the episode itself makes it clearer than I could here. Best known as the author of ground-breaking NY Times Best Seller, The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck, I once mistook Mark's refreshingly anti-self-help approach to life to be the opposite of seizing the yay. In fact, it's not that he thinks we should give no fucks at all, but choose our fucks more carefully and it's no surprise that his witty, no bullshit delivery has taken the world by storm. Like all our guests, however, Mark's way to yay has been anything but predictable going from feeling misplaced in his Texan hometown, getting a compete ego breakdown at music school, starting his working life as a pick up artist all before becoming an author was even on the table. And yet, he's now sold over 10 million books, changed millions of lives AND has been trusted with writing the autobiography and first ever full account of the life of Will Smith!!! Mark is a personality of so many contrast and facets and is open about every one of them including WAY more than I probably needed to know about his bodily functions. I dare you to listen without laughing, you can definitely tell we both lost our marbles more than a few times. In between the hilarity though, there are so many deep, insightful reflections on life that I hope are as groundbreaking to you as they were to me! + Follow Mark here + Buy Mark's books here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Join our Facebook community here + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been experiencing a lot of ups and downs with the uncertainty and chaos of this year so far and I can't think of anyone better to give us some perspective and guidance on getting through adversity than the divine Elle Halliwell. Hers is a story I can never hear too many times that brings forth every ounce of emotion I have in admiration and awe and I'm so grateful she has shared it again today for the yay-borhood. Elle began in the world of journalism applying her incredible work ethic to climbing from making coffees to becoming a fashion editor at The Sunday Telegraph at just 21. She worked herself to the bone for almost a decade until just after her 30th birthday when her and her husband starting to think about having children. In the course of some preparatory blood tests, despite having no symptoms, Elle was diagnosed with a rare form of incurable Leukaemia. And, within the same 48 hours, she also discovered that she was pregnant leaving her with an impossible and unimaginable choice - to terminate and pursue treatment or continue with her pregnancy but risk not making it through. Rest assured, Elle's story has a very happy and heart-warming ending - her beautiful boy Tor is now three and Elle is absolutely thriving with a glow that belies what she's been through. She has since completely changed her life and direction and has also just started her first business, Auricle, which you'll hear all about shortly. Elle speaks so eloquently about what her experience has taught her about uncertainty, self-belief and strength and I think we can all take so many lessons from her wisdom. I hope you enjoy listening as much as I did. + Follow Elle here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Join our Facebook community here + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
You might know that this week is Men's Health Week and while, of course everyone's health is equally important, I really support the particular focus this week on the unique challenges faced by men in both their physical and mental health. As you'll hear, men's health outcomes often fall far behind those of women and they still face a lot of stigma around the perceived "weakness" of seeking help, so I think this is a wonderful way to remind men they're not alone and to help women too understand how we can help change the dialogue for our partners, brothers, sons and friends. Men's mental health statistics in particular always come as a shock to me and if you haven't listened to our chats with Osher Günsberg and Jake Edwards, they share some honest and personal insights on their mental health journey that are well worth a listen. For this episode, I thought we'd get a medical expert's perspective and who better to join us than medical doctor, psychiatry resident and mental health advocate, Dr Kieran Kennedy. You might have seen Dr Kieran on the latest cover of Men's Health Magazine dedicated to the incredible efforts of healthcare workers through the COVID19 pandemic and that's just one of the many challenges he generously opens up about in our chat. From humble, idyllic beginnings in rural New Zealand (you'll hear ALL about the joys of what's called Calf Club), Kieran is the embodiment of persistence and grit working his way through a Bachelor of Science into medical studies and is now six months off finishing his specialisation in Psychiatry AND fits his passion for fitness and a bodybuilding career in on the side. He is self-deprecating in a way that belies his success and he gives us such powerful insights into men's struggles with societal views on manliness, hardening up and even on how much more widespread men's battles with body image is and valuing themselves on how they look. This conversation opened my eyes up to so much and I hope it does the same for you too. PLEASE REACH OUT IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING: Lifeline 13 11 14 Beyondblue + Follow Dr Kieran here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Join our Facebook community here + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
It's been a little while since our last INTRApreneurial guest, but I'm delighted to have one of the best with us today - Jasmine Smith, Director of People and Culture from Swisse Wellness. You know I love a good non-linear way to yay, so I found Jasmine's story captivating from her nomadic and adventurous childhood to make up artistry, then a late entry to tertiary studies in behavioural science after her first child, a successful career in retail and sales and only after seven years at each of Mecca and T2, an eventual pivot into HR where she is working wellness wonders for the workforce at Swisse. She represents everything I love to share about life unravelling in chapters, the importance of self awareness and the shapeshifting nature of what your yay looks like over time. I think HR or, as it is known at Swisse, People and Culture, is another one of those areas of work that can absolutely make or break a business but that many of us barely understand and take for granted. You'll hear that Jasmine herself didn't know it was even a job she could do until years later, and those are the areas I LOVE to delve into - I learnt so much from this chat! I was reminded all about the many tools Swisse and other businesses use to help identify employees' strengths, weaknesses and passions - I tend to forget you don't have to learn everything on the fly, so if you're wondering how to figure out what your yay is, Jasmine shares a HEAP of useful hacks along with so much other wisdom about igniting human potential! Hope you enjoy as much as I did! + Follow Swisse Wellness here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Join our Facebook community here + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
This week, we've got another way to yay full of twists and turns ending up nowhere our guest thought she'd be but exactly where she was meant to be. Nicole Liu started out on the very conventional "finance-y" pathway, climbing, (much like me) a ladder she thought she was genuinely passionate about. That was until a misdiagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome and the similarly inaccurate news that she was necessarily infertile threw her world upside down and opened her eyes to the difficulty of wading through information on women's health and how alone many of us feel trying to navigate it. Her experience led her to leave corporate to start her wonderful business, Kin Fertility, with the goal of raising standards for women's reproductive health and opening up the heavily stigmatised conversation around fertility. I am continually baffled by how even a chronic oversharer of a modern woman like me can have lasted as long as I did without knowing much at all about my cycle or the fundamentals of hormones and fertility (especially being adopted!!) and loved chatting to Nicole about blazing a trail in the industry and opening up the dialogue. As the first of many services that Kin will offer, they currently run Australia's first pill prescription service with the contraceptive pill being delivered to your door, letting you ditch the in-person doctor's appointment, without compromising quality healthcare. I'm so excited for what else is to come and also loved her advice (which I have thus far been unable to offer anecdotally) on getting immigrant parents on board with a big move away from the stability of a corporate career, so for those asking, Nicole's got your answer! Hope you enjoy! + Follow Kin Fertility here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Join our Facebook community here + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
I'm so excited to have something a little different for you this week - a JOINT podcast episode with Stef and Jess Dadon, the fashion entrepreneurs behind How Two Live, Founders of Twoobs and hosts of their own fabulous, How Two Live podcast. I've mentioned that one of the silver linings to come out of isolation this year is the new ways we've been finding to connect with each other and I was so stoked when these spectacular sisters reached out with the idea of hosting an episode together. As a solo host (for which there are so many perks which mostly include not making anyone else deal with my last minute antics for editing), I do miss out on the joys of banter with a co-host, so this was an absolute delight not least because the girls are total pros having hosted the likes of Meg Ryan, Erin Brockovich, Dita von Teese and so many more. Add to that the pleasure of a totally invigorating, energetic and overwhelmingly passionate guest like Wim Hof and you've got one of my most enjoyable chats to date. I'm so grateful to the girls for sharing this opportunity with me - you might have heard this quote in my episode with Harlan Coben a few weeks ago, nobody has to fail so I can succeed to which I added that success doesn't halve when you share it, it doubles. I'm a big believer in collaboration and I hope you enjoy the result as much as we did. If you haven't heard of Wim Hof and his eponymous breathing method that has taken the world by storm, Stef and Jess will give you a run down before we kick off - he is totally quirky but so much fun and an embodiment of seizing his yay. Like all people blazing a new and different trail, there are controversies around some areas of his work, but we focused on the practical, day to day takeaways of his method and on his incredible passion for controlling your happiness and health. He's so excited about what he does that he shouts most of it the whole way through, which I ADORED! Hope you find him as fascinating as we did. + Follow Wim Hof here + Follow How Two Live here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Join our Facebook community here + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
I'm not sure about you guys but these crazy times have definitely made me reflect on, among many other things, the way we communicate and connect with each other. What a perfect time to have today's guest join the show to dive a little deeper into just that - I'm delighted to have expert communicator, TEDx speaker, and Emmy-award winning voice actress, Tasia Valenza, join from New York. You might not have realised, but you've almost definitely heard Tasia's incredible voice (or voices) before as Poison Ivy in the Batman: Arkham Series, Venisa Doza in Star Wars Resistance, Shaak Ti in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Sniper Wolf in Metal Gear Solid games... She has had an incredible career as an actress turned voice actress and has turned that passion into a business founding Give Great Voice to share her learnings on the impact of tone and expression with all of us. You already know I love exploring the stories behind pathways we take for granted in everyday life so I had so much fun learning about just how one becomes the voice in our ears behind so many different characters. I hope you enjoy and learn something about using YOUR voice along the way. + Follow Tasia here + Watch her TEDx talk here + See The Haven App here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Join our Facebook community here + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
Well, I think I've held up pretty well so far on the show - it's not easy to leave me speechless, but this week's guest cracked me. I'm always so impressed and inspired by everyone's self-awareness, reflection and honesty, but Jake Edwards is just on another level. IMPORTANT NOTE - This is a little heavier than usual and we do touch on suicide in the context of Jake's incredibly inspiring recovery. A conversation about yay in any depth has to acknowledge how severe the challenges can be for some among us. You've likely realised I'm an advocate for open albeit difficult conversations around mental health to help us normalise it and continue to spread awareness about the support available, helpful strategies and how you can absolutely still find your yay (Jake's story being the perfect example). I always marvel at the timing of the universe and it's perfect that this one worked out just when we're all facing challenges to our routine and structure so probably need it most. I usually do a more detailed intro, but I think Jake tells his story so well, especially with the added layer of later reflection with hindsight, a lot of work and brutal honesty with himself. For some quick context, he followed his father, grandfather and great grandfather into the AFL but faced a mental health spiral after being delisted and losing the only identity he'd ever cultivated for himself. You'll hear about the depths of rock bottom that he hit but has since built himself back up from to found Outside the Locker Room, his incredible charity providing critical mental health education and welfare support to community sporting clubs across Australia. He's also co-founded Speak Clothing that you'll hear about in the show. It's no surprise to me that he is an Australian Mental Health Prize Nominee in recognition of his amazing work. I've known Jake for years and am as moved now as I was the first time I heard this - his is a truly incredible story that I hope you gain as much from as I did. PLEASE REACH OUT IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING: Lifeline 13 11 14 Beyondblue OTLR + Follow Jake here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Join our Facebook community here + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
This week's podcast guest and I both love rambling as much as each other and we go all over the place in what I was humbled to hear was perhaps the most honest chat she's had, particularly with all the time we've had recently for reflections. You've almost certainly seen the work of the wonderful Lana Wilkinson - Australia's most beloved celebrity and fashion stylist behind the best dressed at the Logies, Brownlow, Races, TV and everything in between - as well as founder of her very own shoe line - By Lana Wilkinson. You'd be forgiven for thinking it was all glitz and glamour (which of course sometimes it is) but I love how Lana embraces every opportunity to show the other side of her work and and life. She is incredibly hard working, reflective, thoughtful and never takes life too seriously. Also please excuse a few glitches from Zoom where one of us laughing blocks out the other's words... there's was A LOT of laughing so I hope you enjoy getting to know Lana a bit more and have a laugh with us along the way. + Follow Lana here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Join our Facebook community here + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!