143: The Understated Quiet Side of Intensity with Phyllis G. Williams

When you think of intensity, you probably think of someone who is always loud and overbearing. The truth is that intense people can have a quiet nature that isn’t dominating. Meet today’s guest!

Phyllis G. Williams is the co-host of Living The Principles podcast. She’s a US Marine veteran, educator, and entrepreneur who is passionate about community. Phyllis’ entrepreneurial endeavors revolve around writing and speaking, and she’s described by her friends as “quiet, yet strong and confident.” It was a pleasure to get to know Phyllis in this interview, and I hope you enjoy!

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Show Highlights:

  • Why Phyllis is intensely passionate about community mainly because she has seen how her life has been affected by it

  • How her family was Phyllis’ first community, the Marines her second, and Toastmasters her third

  • Why Phyllis’ true intensity isn’t loud and aggressive, but a quiet strength with devotion

  • As Phyllis grew up, she was a creative storyteller who was always comfortable being alone

  • How Phyllis learned values like integrity and honesty through colloquialisms in her Mississippi upbringing

  • Why Phyllis felt like she had to hide her voice and her accent for a long time

  • Phyllis’ intensity gets out of control when she is too concerned about other people’s feelings and overly concerned about her actions

  • The creative ways in which Phyllis helps others look introspectively at themselves

  • How she harnesses the power of her intensity through journaling

  • The acronym RISE for personal habits: reflect, intentions, stretching, elevate

  • The best advice Phyllis ever received was from her mother: “Don’t worry about things you can’t control.”

  • An inspiring book: One Word That Will Change Your Life by Jon Gordon

  • How Phyllis helps others through her workshop, Authenticity, and Authority

  • How her podcast helps debunk beliefs in the black community through topics like business, relationships, and unity

  • Key areas of emphasis for Phyllis are self-awareness, selflessness, and self-love


Phyllis’ website:  Progress Promoter

Find Phyllis on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram: Phyllis G. Williams or @ProgressPromoter

One Word That Will Change Your Life by Dan Britton, Jimmy Page, and Jon Gordon

142: Perfectionism & Procrastination: Two sides of the same coin?

In high school when we read the Scarlet Letter, we had an assignment to pick a letter to represent a fault or weakness of ours. I picked the letter P for Procrastination and Perfectionism. My teacher believed the procrastination part but not so much the perfectionism...

Perfectionism & Procrastination: Two sides of the same coin?

In this episode:

  • Why perfectionism and procrastination are intertwined.

  • 3 lessons learned from blogging the last 5 years and podcasting the last 3.

  • Going with your brain quirks instead of against them.


Embracing Intensity Community

141: Using Your Intensity to Add More Play to Your Life with Gary Ware

How much emphasis do you put on play in your life? Somehow, as we enter adulthood, we lose our affinity for play. Today’s guest has made it his mission to bring play back into the lives of busy adults, and he’s here to tell us how his intensity has made it all possible.

Gary Ware is someone I first met at the World Domination Summit this past year. People are drawn to his playful energy, and he is twice-exceptional, with ADHD and dyslexia. Gary will share how he’s learned to channel his energy in positive ways to help himself and many other people as he teaches them how to bring more play into their lives. Gary is the founder of Breakthrough Play, and he’s a sought-after corporate facilitator and keynote speaker with nearly a decade of experience as a performer in improv theater. He assists teams with unlocking creativity, confidence, and sparking collaboration with experiential methods proven to drive peak performance. Gary spent over a decade in the corporate world and originally pursued improv to master public speaking. He discovered that combining improv and play could be a powerful solution to achieve various business challenges. Naturally, he created workshops for his team and other executives in his network to deepen relationships and improve creativity. Gary became obsessed with learning how to use play as a transformational tool, and, as a result, happily transitioned from marketing to pursue facilitation full-time. When Gary isn’t leading workshops and keynote speaking, you can find him learning magic or off on an adventure with his wife, Courtney, and son, Garrett.


Show Highlights:

  • Gary’s intense passion for helping people be more authentic

  • Why people feel uninspired and unengaged at work today

  • Why finding joy in what you do is a conscious choice

  • How Gary uses his personal brand of intensity to find different ways to solve complex problems, even using hypnosis and neuro-linguistic programming

  • As Gary grew up, he was a curious and playful ball of energy, and always the class clown

  • The cultural factors that affected his intensity because he attended a different school almost every year because of his father’s military career

  • Becoming a “social chameleon” to fit in wherever he was, but never really knowing who he was

  • Gary’s identity crisis as an African-American

  • How Gary had to learn what was necessary to survive and how to operate with a filter

  • The story of an out-of-control moment of a food fight in school

  • How Gary uses his superpower of making people feel comfortable

  • How Gary harnesses the power of his intensity in being his goofy self, but always in connection with others

  • Why Gary views his ADD as a superpower now

  • Why Gary calls play “a gift” and a “form of meditation”

  • The best advice Gary ever received: “You are perfect just the way you are.”

  • Books that have helped Gary: Play DHD, The Big Leap, and The Happiness Advantage (see resources below)

  • How Gary brings playful methods to interesting situations

  • Gary’s advice for listeners: “Think about how you played as a young child, and think about how you can bring that back into your life.”


Breakthrough Play

Find Gary Ware on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook


The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

Play by Dr. Stuart Brown

Play DHD by Kirsten Milliken

The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

Check out Embracing Intensity for more info about the Befriending Your Brain course series, launching in the fall.

When you allow yourself to be vulnerable, you can connect with another person. ~ Gary Ware
Using Your Intensity to Add More Play to Your Life with Gary Ware
As humans, we are wired for play, but we forget that we have permission to play. ~ Gary Ware

140: Priorities

"We suffer not from lack, but from paralyzing abundance." A few years ago I did a survey and someone used the term "paralyzing abundance" and it has stuck with me ever since. Today we will be talking about how to prioritize when you are suffering from paralyzing abundance. 

Embracing Intensity Ep. 140: Priorities

In this episode:

  • Examining our "shoulds"

  • Questions to ask yourself when you think you "should" do something.

  • 4 ways to simplify your life.


Embracing Intensity Community

Upcoming Group Calls

139: Double Giftedness is a Superpower with Emily Kircher-Morris

Embracing intensity means figuring out who you are and who you want to be, whether other people like it or not. Part of the equation is figuring out why trying to fit a square peg into a round hole just isn’t going to work out well. Such is the story of my guest today who uses her personal experiences with giftedness to bring resources and counseling services to others.

Emily Kircher-Morris is a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice near St. Louis, and her practice specializes in meeting the needs of gifted and twice-exceptional (2e) learners. Before working in private practice, Emily worked as a school counselor and teacher of gifted programming. She frequently speaks to groups of educators and counselors about meeting the needs of high ability learners, and she hosts The Mind Matters podcast, which explores issues related to the development of gifted and 2e individuals throughout the life span. I first encountered Emily through her podcast, as I was a recent guest there, so this is the perfect time to return the favor and have her on the show. Enjoy!


Show Highlights:

  • Why Emily is passionate about her career focused on gifted and 2e kids, as a mental health counselor, a podcaster, and someone who helps those who are unnoticed and unrecognized

  • The need for resources for gifted and 2e kids--and their parents

  • Emily’s personal brand of intensity and her fiercely independent “just let me do what I want to do” attitude

  • As an elementary student, Emily had an ADHD diagnosis and was impulsive, intense, and “too much and out of proportion”

  • How her mom was consistently in her corner through all her childhood years

  • How the stigma about behavioral expectations and gender roles affected Emily

  • How Emily has to tone down her intensity constantly but has gone through growing pains of being too intense

  • The life-changing experiences that have brought her reflection and greater awareness: motherhood and obtaining her master’s degree in counseling and therapy

  • How Emily feels her intensity is out of control when she feels “on the edge” and “about to tip over”

  • How intensity has affected Emily in many relationships

  • How Emily uses her experience every day with gifted and 2e clients, helping them understand and accept their intensity for themselves

  • Why Emily started a podcast and a non-profit to help with parent support for those with gifted and 2e kids

  • How Emily has to harness her power in personal and professional relationships with others

  • Why Emily had to find and use an organizational system

  • The best advice she’s ever received came from a counselor: “Don’t pretend that your needs don’t exist or try to extinguish them. Recognize and accept them.”

  • Why the book, A Wrinkle in Time, has meaning and long-term influence in Emily’s life

  • How Emily uses Carl Rogers’ “unconditional positive regard” to help her clients

  • Why we have to teach our kids to find their sense of belonging


The Mind Matters Podcast   Find Episode 37 to hear “You Never Outgrow Giftedness”

Find Emily and Mind Matters on Twitter:  @mindmatterspod  and @emilykm_lpc

Visit Embracing Intensity to join the daily challenge to bring more play into your life

Trying to fit a square peg into a round hole never ends up well. ~ Emily Kircher-Morris
Double Giftedness is a Superpower with Emily Kircher-Morris
If you try to swim upstream all the time, you'll just exhaust yourself. ~ Emily Kircher-Morris

137: Program Your Life for Success with Rachel O'Rourke

How can you use your sensitivity and intuition to program your life for success? Today’s show is about how we find more happiness, achievement, and transformation by focusing on the right things. We will also learn how each of us can make a positive impact on the world by committing to small, everyday actions.

Rachel O’Rourke is the owner of O’Rourke Media, a marketing agency for innovative, e-commerce-based startup companies. She’s also the founder and CEO of SPARK Global, an event company that facilitates self-development summits dedicated to supporting women who are ready to show up in the world. Rachel has done amazing things building community events such as SPARK Live, which I’ll be attending this fall. In her upcoming book, 27 Things, Rachel shares the 27 things that are holding women back from making their lives extraordinary and the action steps to take to spark a major shift in each area. Her podcast, Flawed Females, released in May of this year. You can hear Rachel and co-host Lizzie Keith as they captivate you with their conversations.

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Show Highlights:

  • The whirlwind of events over the last two years--ever since Rachel left the corporate job she hated

  • Why she is passionate about what is possible for women that they don’t even realize

  • How women have been programmed in certain ways that can be changed to bring more happiness, achievement, and transformation

  • The difference in conscious vs. subconscious programming

  • Why Rachel believes focus goes hand-in-hand with success and that we need to be sensitive and intuitive to our bodies and to what the universe tells us

  • As Rachel grew up, she was unaware of what her mind and body were trying to say

  • The need to impress on kids the intensity of their focus

  • How Rachel as a younger person felt like she needed to tone down and not shine too brightly

  • What women tell themselves about going after jobs and accomplishments

  • How Rachel’s obsessive nature can get out of control and lead to her not taking care of herself and her family

  • How Rachel commits daily to making a positive impact in the world with small actions

  • How meditation helps Rachel harness the power of her intensity

  • How Rachel uses visualization to see what she wants to come to fruition

  • The best advice she received: “Protect your energy and set boundaries.”

  • Books that have helped Rachel: You Are a Badass and The Path Made Clear

  • How Rachel helps others realize it only takes one small thing to spark a fire

  • Why Rachel has consistent rituals each day to keep her fire and focus going: meditation, visualization, and consumption of high vibrational content in books and podcasts

  • Why you should protect your environment to keep vibrating at a high level

  • The upcoming 3rd Annual SPARK Summit in Portland in September


Rachel’s website:  Rachel O'Rourke

Find Rachel on Facebook and Instagram

Find out about the SPARK Summit: The Spark Events

27 Things by Rachel O’Rourke

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

The Path Made Clear by Oprah Winfrey

Surround yourself with people who are  doing positive things in the world. ~ Rachel O'Rourke
Program Your Life for Success
It's amazing what we can accomplish when our energy is focused on one thing. ~ Rachel O'Rourke

136: Intense Focus

In my next interview episode with Rachel O'Rourke, she talked about the amazing things that can happen when we focus our full energy on something. With my work and summer schedule, my attention has been quite split but as I review the survey data from our audience on the direction to go next I am excited to focus my full attention on expanding the possibilities in our Embracing Intensity Community!

What we focus on grows.

In this episode:

  • The challenges of having so many interests split our focus.

  • Details on the direction we're moving in the Embracing Intensity Community.

  • How you can share your input on where to focus my energy moving forward.


Fill out our Survey

Embracing Intensity Community

Calendar of Events

Spark Event in Portland

135: Using Your Intensity to Create Your Best Life with Christine Fonseca

Being gifted or intense means different things to different people. Today’s show focuses on many things we can do to make the world a better place for everyone. We’re talking about living our best lives in authentic ways, the natural state of flexible emotions, recognizing the strengths in others, and appreciating the neurological diversity in people.

Christine Fonseca is a licensed educational psychologist, critically-acclaimed author, and nationally-recognized speaker on topics related to educational psychology, mental health, giftedness, and using storytelling to heal past wounds. Using her experience consulting and coaching educators and parents, Christine brings her expertise to Psychology Today, authoring the parenting blog, Parenting for a New Generation. She has written self-help articles for Parents.com, Johnson & Johnson, and Justine magazine. Her appearance on the popular gifted education podcast, Mind Matters, was one of the most downloaded episodes. Christine uses her fictional stories to explore the more complex aspects of humanity through sweeping romances, Gothic thrillers, and psychological horror stories. As a trauma-impacted survivor, Christine believes in the power of storytelling as a key to healing past wounds. She delivers soul-centered writing workshops to help writers get in touch with their authentic voice and bring that to both fiction and nonfiction writing. Christine’s critically-acclaimed titles include Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students, Raising the Shy Child, Letting Go, The Girls’ Guide to Breaking Free of Stress and Anxiety, and an action-packed young adult series, The Solomon Experiments. Christine lives in southern CA with her husband and children.

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Show Highlights:

  • Why Christine calls herself a “super-intense human,” and how she displays her passion for helping people figure out who they are so they can live authentically and unapologetically

  • Why Christine loves to help gifted people because they are often misunderstood

  • How Christine feels things and thinks about things deeply, and why she analyzes everything

  • How she was misunderstood as she grew up, not socializing well with peers

  • How she reacted viscerally as a child to the sheer audacity of slavery and why she felt the need to apologize for the atrocities of the entire race of white people

  • How she had to tone herself down in high school, being intensely shy and “extra” at the same time

  • How she had to come clean with herself about her past trauma and who she really was

  • Why she chose to focus on and nurture her children’s EQ--not their IQ

  • Why her intensity gets out of control with weight and body image issues

  • Why she gives herself permission to be who she needs to be with her emotions in the moment, no matter what that looks like

  • How Christine is dedicated to intense people and helping them feel “normal”

  • How she learned her daily non-negotiables: contemplative practice, journaling, healthy food, movement, time with family, and creativity

  • Why we should appreciate how neurologically diverse all people are

  • Why Christine has started strengths-spotting

  • The best advice from Christine’s mother: “The only definition anything has is the definition you’ve given it.”

  • Books Christine loves: The Chronicles of Narnia, Watership Down, Shakespeare, and other nonfiction books on religion

  • How Christine differs from a lot of researchers on the topic of giftedness

  • The difference in experiencing anxious feelings and “having an anxiety attack”

  • The natural state of being flexible in and out of the range of human emotions

  • Why we need to change our tolerance levels

  • The danger of “toxic positivity”

  • How Christine helps others through her coaching, online courses, live events, speaking engagements, and books

  • “A gifted or intense person paints the world in bold colors while everyone else paints in pastels.”

  • Christine’s new book, why she wrote it, and how she researched the content


Christine Fonseca

Find Christine’s articles on Psychology Today

Find Christine’s Facebook group: IntenseLife Community

Mindfulness and Character Strengths by Ryan Niemiec

Christine’s Nonfiction Books:

The Caring Child: Raising Empathetic and Emotionally Intelligent Children

Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students

Quiet Kids

101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids

I’m Not Just Gifted

Shy Child

Letting Go: A Girl’s Guide to Breaking FREE of Stress and Anxiety

Healing the Heart

Survey Link

I love watching the gifts and unique abilities that artists bring to the world. ~ Christine Fonseca
Using Your Intensity to Create Your Best Life with Christine Fonseca
It’s not my job to make other people comfortable, but to be a fully self-actualized human being and become comfortable with myself. ~ Christine Fonseca

134: Shaping Our Future

As my summer really gets going, I am looking forward to gaining some momentum on expanding our community offerings. I'd love to hear from you where you'd like the podcast and community to go in the future to best support your needs!

Embracing Intensity ep. 134

In this episode:

  • Reflections on the World Domination Summit 2019 and community.

  • My thoughts on the direction I'd like to go in increasing engagement and facilitation in live groups online and off.

  • How you can help shape our Embracing Intensity Community.

  • Upcoming events for the summer!


Embracing Intensity Community

XPress Your Power Merchandise

133: Advocating for the Needs of Intensely Gifted Kids with Jen Torbeck Merrill

If you’re the parent of a gifted or twice-exceptional child, then you know the struggles that come with the territory. Parents need a voice and an advocate, and today’s guest promises to be that voice--the one screaming out for the needs of these amazing kids.

Jen Torbeck Merrill is an Illinois-based writer and gifted family advocate who is the mom of two teen sons. She homeschools one, but happily sends the other off to public school every morning. Her book, If This Is A Gift, Can I Send it Back: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional, struck a nerve with families who suspected Jen was living in their closet. Her second book, on the needs of gifted parents and self-care, is in progress. Jen is a Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Ambassador and is slated to be one of the SENG (Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted) Conference keynote speakers at their annual convention in Houston this July. She intends to support the parents of gifted and twice-exceptional kids because they are the ones doing the heavy lifting and are too often ignored, patronized, and discredited. She hopes that her sons never have to deal with these issues when they raise their own likely gifted children. I first encountered Jen when we contributed to the Hoagies’ Gifted Blog Hops together, and I was always delighted with the humor and relatability in her writing. I’m excited to see her next book come out! Jen is also teaming up with past EI guests Kate Arms and Chris Wells to put on a series of webinars for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children.

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Show Highlights:

  • Jen’s life as a musician, reluctant homeschooling mom, teacher, writer, and parents’ advocate

  • How Jen is intensely passionate about life, screaming for the needs of these amazing gifted and twice-exceptional kids for the past 14 years

  • How Jen was/is characterized as “tightly wound,” overly stressed, emotionally intense, and strong willed

  • How she never recognized her own intensities and strengths until she learned them from raising her kids

  • How she grew up in a diverse community with people of all ethnicities and backgrounds

  • Why Jen wanted to be average as a teenager and “not stand out”

  • How Jen’s intensity gets out of control sometimes, when she’s not taking care of herself, not sleeping well, and taking on too many projects

  • How she uses vulnerability and honesty in her writing

  • When parents AND their kids are profoundly gifted

  • How Jen uses her fire for good in helping other parents

  • Why it’s easy to discount the things that come to us easily

  • Harnessing the power of intensity by being aware that the power actually exists

  • How specific aspects of her intensity have made her a better writer and musician

  • How personal habits have helped Jen harness her intensity

  • How Jen embraces her “subtle arrogance”

  • The best advice she’s ever received (even though she typically doesn’t listen to others’ advice): “Your book is good; you should write another one.”

  • Two books that have helped Jen: Giftedness 101 by Linda Silverman and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

  • How Jen helps others use their fire by modeling hers

  • Why she wants parents to trust themselves and believe in themselves


Find Jen:  Laughing At Chaos

Find Laughing At Chaos on Facebook and Twitter

Giftedness 101 by Linda Silverman

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

132: What Exactly Do I Do?

Last year at a regional SENG (Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted) conference, I had lunch with someone who followed my podcast and online community. She asked me, "what exactly do you do?" Today I'm sharing more clarity what I do with educational assessment and consultation, and my shift towards doing more group facilitation. 

Embracing Intensity Ep. 132

In this episode:

  • What psycho-educational assessment is all about.

  • How educational consultation can help understand existing testing.

  • Moving towards more interactive facilitation in group calls and courses.


Embracing Intensity Community

Contact Me

131: Great Loss Sharpens Your Senses with Zaakirah Demba

Every so often, you meet someone who has had to fight for where they are in life. It’s usually the people who have faced the greatest difficulty who learn to be the most resilient and truly have a heart of gratitude for what they have in life. Such is the story of today’s guest. Join me to learn more.

Zaakirah Muhammad Demba is someone I met through a podcasting group on Facebook called She Podcasts. Once I got to know her, I realized she would be a great guest on the show--and here she is! Zaakirah is a brand-cultivating strategist, professional photographer, and digital marketer. She helps small businesses make their social media pages look good, and she advises the best social media tactics for growing and being consistent with their brand. At 6 months of age, a camera saved her life, and at 9 months old, she was taken into surgery to have her right eye removed due to a rare cancerous tumor that was detected by a camera in a photo taken by her mom. Her hearing slowly began to decline as she grew older, but her other 3 senses kicked in and are doing well. At age 5, her mom gifted her with her first camera, and she received her first digital camera in middle school. She attended technical high school and went on to study commercial photography and never strayed far from her purpose in life. She moved to Washington, DC, to expand her education and work in professional photography and videography. She currently resides in Nashville but has traveled to 10 countries with her camera, most recently to South Africa. As a people-person and an empath, Zaakirah wants her legacy to be the fact that she was able to see the good in people, help them live their best life, and step outside their comfort zone.

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Show Highlights:

  • Zaakirah’s intense passion for photography as a way to share her mind and her voice

  • Her podcast, Living Legacy, is a way to get her story out

  • How her mom taught her to fight for herself and her health

  • How she’s faced cancer, eye removal, hearing loss, PCOS, and infertility

  • Why she chooses to live a holistic life to be more in tune with herself

  • Growing up as an intense person who was labeled GAP--Genius African Princess--by her mom

  • The difficulties in school because of bullying

  • The cultural factors Zaakirah has faced as a Muslim woman of African-American descent with a deaf-blind disability

  • How yoga helps her quiet her mind

  • Why 2019 is the year of “No More” for Zaakirah

  • What she learned in test-taking about listening to her intuition

  • A breakdown in high school due to anxiety, anger, and stress

  • How Zaakirah uses her fire to help others grow their businesses, tap into their potential, and recognize their purpose

  • How writing out her thoughts and feelings helps her tap into her creative juices

  • Why she needs quiet time to recharge

  • The best advice she received was not to allow negativity to overtake her

  • Why Zaakirah focuses on forming good habits, like consistency, gratitude, using a vision board

  • Some favorite books: Chicken Soup for the Soul series, The Diary of Anne Frank, and autobiographies

  • How Zaakirah helps others through her coaching and her podcast


Zaakirah Nayyar

Living Legacy podcast

When I'm able to help others, my fire is ignited. ~ Zaakirah Demba
Great Loss Sharpens Your Senses with Zaakirah Demba
Tap into the best version of yourself because someone needs you. ~ Zaakirah Demba

130: Back on Track

These last few weeks of school my schedule has been thrown off whack, but as school approaches the end it opens up my schedule to do more great things with Embracing Intensity and more!

Back on track

In this episode:

  • What I've been focusing on this year.

  • Where I'm headed into the new year.

  • What I learned about myself on our last group call in terms of prioritizing my time. 


Embracing Intensity Community

XPress Your Power Store

129: Manifesting Intensity Through Music and Dance with Prashant Kakad

Today you’ll meet someone who manifests his intensity through music and dance. In sharing his passion, he also stays connected to his Indian culture and brings it to people across the US as he celebrates all things FUN.

I first met Prashant Kakad in his role as a Bollywood DJ. I’ve loved attending his dance events because of the diverse variety of people and the open and free spirit of celebration. He is one of the best examples I know of psychomotor or physical excitability. As I’ve gotten to know Prashant better, I realized that he is gifted and intense in many different ways. From Orcas Island to the Florida Keys, this multifaceted Bollywood entertainer has spent the last 10 years traveling across the US sharing his passion for Indian music and culture. An Indian-born, first-generation immigrant, Prashant’s unique perspective as an Ivy League graduate and ex-Intel engineer-turned DJ transforming American nightlife has inspired many South Asians who seek to pursue a life beyond their tech job.

ep. 129.jpg

Show Highlights:

  • How Prashant has always been intensely passionate about dancing, music, and creative expressions---not being an Intel engineer

  • How he travels the US with dance parties in various cities, along with dance classes and workshops

  • Prashant’s natural inclination toward intensity in his dancing and in his meditation practice

  • How he has had to “find the middle” of both extremes of his intensity

  • How he grew up with a very intense life in the city of Mumbai, which has over 19 million people

  • How Prashant stays connected to his Indian culture and loves giving others a window into that world

  • How he had to downplay his passion for music and dancing as he grew up, mainly because of his family’s disapproval

  • How his intensity sometimes gets out of control

  • How Prashant finds opportunities to self-reflect and course-correct

  • How he helps by holding opportunities sacred in bringing his culture to people and helping them connect to it

  • Harnessing the power of his intensity by being around people who resonate with him

  • Prashant’s personal habits of jumping headfirst, thinking later, going with his instinct, and embracing the unknown

  • The best advice Prashant has ever received: “Live and go, based on your personal experience, not on what someone else does or says.”

  • Prashant’s favorite books to recommend: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews

  • How Prashant loves to help others in teaching dance because it’s both external AND internal


Jump head first, think later! T-Shirt & Accessories

Jump head first, think later! T-Shirt & Accessories

Find Prashant on Instagram:  Instagram: Dream Prashant

Find Prashant on YouTube:  Dream Prashant

Find Prashant’s website:  Dreams Perfected

Consider supporting the podcast:  Embracing Intensity

From last week’s episode:  Side by Side: A Model of Healthy Relationships by Kate Arms

Jump head first, think later T-Shirt & Accessories

"Intensity requires cultivation." ~ Prashant Kakad
"My personal brand of intensity is like a wave." ~ Prashant Kakad

128: Thriving with Intensity with Kate Arms

In May we are focusing on shifting perspective, and part of that is in shifting our perspective of intensity. For our Embracing Intensity group call, Kate Arms will be talking about Thriving with Intensity. This is the talk she did at the SENG 2018 conference. 

Thriving with Intensity:

Dabrowski believed overexcitabilities enhance our capacity for self-actualization. How can we take advantage of this extra capacity? This presentation will focus on how adults can grow beyond coping with the challenges of being super sensitive and move toward greater fulfillment.

Once a few tools are identified for getting the most out of extraordinary sensitivity, the potential for self-awareness and life-changing transformations are profound. Using a coaching and leadership skills framework, Kate Arms will explore how to discover the gifts in individual overexcitabilities and how to use those gifts to create a greater sense of fulfillment in any moment.

Kate Arms is a personal and business coach at Signal Fire Coaching. She loves helping smart, sensitive, and creative people harness their many passions, skills, and sensitivities and use that energy to thrive. She is at her best with complex people facing complex problems. Particular passions are teaching emotional self-management to intense people, supporting parents of twice-exceptional kids, and teaching leadership, collaboration, and relationship skills to software developers. She is the parent of four gifted kids, three of whom are twice-exceptional and a different three of whom are triplets. Her current writing projects are focused on healthy interpersonal relationships at home and work and how to have effective high-stakes conversations. 

Call recordings for discussion and past calls can be found in the Embracing Intensity Community.

Thriving with Intensity with Kate Arms

127: Turning Intensity into Achievement While Helping Others with Tiffany Chhuom

I met today’s guest when she became an avid fan of the show, and we finally got to meet in person at the SENG conference in May. She’s a connector at heart, always being sensitive to notice who needs to know who and how to bring people together. I’m thrilled that she’s here to share her wonderful and inspiring story.

Tiffany Chhuom is the owner of EthTech, a healthcare consulting and training firm for the digital era. She also owns Lucy in the Sky Therapy, an online private practice for neurodiverse adults. With 18 years’ experience in healthcare, she holds four degrees in four disciplines from the University of Washington and has produced notable achievements in practice, policy, research, and administration across public health, social work, psychology, criminal justice, and child welfare sectors. Tiffany has led large projects across the country in behavioral and medical research, while also fine-tuning her craft as a trauma and addiction therapist. Special populations near and dear to her heart include veterans, injection drug users, people living with HIV, survivors of sexual violence, and gifted adults with co-occurring ADHD. Tiffany is a longtime mentor and applauded speaker, creating new opportunities to enhance course offerings and continuing education on telemental health ethics and digital marketing for providers and healthcare partners.

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Show Highlights:

  • Tiffany’s speaking topics from the SENG Conference

  • Why she is passionate about dogs, trauma survivors, and “the odd intersection of things”

  • How Tiffany cut ties with her parents to help form her own identity

  • Why her personal brand of intensity includes “unapologetically being myself”/

  • Different forms, aspects, and expressions of intensity

  • How Tiffany’s intensity affected her as she grew up, including being accelerated in school when she wasn’t emotionally ready, doing cocaine with her mom at age 15, living a life with drugs and poverty, dropping out of high school, and achieving four college degrees

  • Why Tiffany was addicted to achievement because she thought it measured her self-worth

  • The intersection of the immune system, giftedness, and trauma

  • Why Tiffany started a meditation practice to break her addiction

  • How she became more comfortable with “not fitting in”

  • How Tiffany has to tone herself down and tune herself out----every day

  • Personal habits that have helped Tiffany the most: getting sufficient sleep, having time with her animals, and spending time outside

  • How intensity factors into her marriage relationship

  • How Tiffany uses her intensity to help others, especially in her work with all genders and her therapy with women

  • How Tiffany helps people use anger as a healthy emotion

  • Why Tiffany is not sure about what the future holds but knows it will be amazing!


Lucy In The Sky Therapy


Email Tiffany: info@lucyintheskytherapy.com   or  info@ethtechusa.com

Find Tiffany on Facebook and LinkedIn

Find Lucy in the Sky Therapy on Facebook and Instagram

Call Tiffany: 360-972-3931

Dear Sugars podcast

Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

Pinterest Quote-59.pngHonesty and anger are intertwined in lighting our fire. ~ Tiffany Chhuom
Turning Intensity into Achievement while Helping Others with Tiffany Chhuom
I've always noticed the odd intersections of things that other people don't notice. ~ Tiffany Chhuom

126: Your Mind Matrix

Do you have a hard time explaining what goes on in your brain? After reading a post from Intergifted on High, Exceptional & Profound Giftedness, the concept of "Matrix Thinking" really resonated with me! I wrote a blog post about it last week, and decided to share my thoughts on the podcast as well! I have already found it a handy tool to help outside-the-box thinkers to articulate how they visualize their own brains. 

Your Mind Matrix

In this episode:

  • Linear thinking

  • Skip thinking

  • Different types of Matrix Thinking


Embracing Intensity Community


124: Connecting with Nature with Rukshana Triem

April's theme is Time & Energy Balance. As a tool for finding balance, Rukshana Triem joins us to talk about connecting with nature.

Connecting with Nature is an amazing session to help everyone understand the importance of our health when we expose our mind and body to the outdoors. The simple things that we can practice and implement into our daily lives so we have more inner peace, love and energy. The audience will have clear understanding that nature is not intimidating but taking one step at a time that builds confidence to taking bigger steps towards other things in life. In this workshop Rukshana will share the five key values that she Teaches in her various coaching programs.

Rukshana has a huge Hunger to serve, to bring deep connection to transformation women all around the world. Rukshana Hafez Triem is an Author, inspirational Speaker, and CEO of a Womens Lifestyle Coaching LLC. Her journey started in Zambia living in a Refugee camp. Due to Trauma and overcoming her sexual abuse past, she was able to create a comfortable lifestyle that supports her family. She shares her story with others as she travels around the world, doing public speaking, workshops and Retreat and her New Mission Building schools in Africa, in Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia. For upcoming events in your area, sign up for the news letter here.

Call recordings for this and all past calls can be found in the Embracing Intensity Community.

Connecting with Nature with Rukshana Triem

In this episode, Rukshana shares: 

  • A brief guided meditation on nature.

  • Her 5 steps to connecting with nature.

  • How nature helped her get through leaving a war torn country as a young refugee. 

  • How connecting with nature helps connect with yourself.


Embracing Intensity Community

Embracing Intensity Patreon

Rukshana's Website

Firmina Foundation

Never leave the playground! ~ Rukshana Triem
Connecting with Nature with Rukshana Triem
As I look with love of nature, I find it easy to look with love for myself. ~ Rukshana Triem