Entrepreneur, consultant and author of the book “55, Underemployed and Faking Normal”, Elizabeth White describes how she went from a Harvard MBA and a hugely successful business career, to being “55, underemployed and faking normal”. She describes her experience about how she had followed the rules and done all the things she had been told would get her ahead in life, and yet she still got jettisoned out of the workforce. She was in her 50’s, without any income, overnight, the one with her “nose pressed up against the glass looking at a world you’re not part of”, and yet she was not alone. When White shared an article which told of her struggle, it went viral and she was bombarded by people sharing the same story. She then went on to write her book, sharing her experiences in more detail. Her insight offers practical tips of how to get through life at such a critical stage, while managing feelings of being a failure.
Learn more about Elizabeth @: www.55andfakingnormal.com
Editor-In-Chief of Ventura Blvd Magazine and Host of the Podcast SheSez, Linda Grasso speaks about her career in journalism, including longtime correspondent, anchor and host for E! Entertainment TV and the struggles she faced navigating the industry on and off camera. Her candid take on the challenges she encountered and her insight into what it takes to persevere is inspiring. From her own life experience, as well as her many podcast interviews with forward thinking women, Linda offers a fresh and honest perspective on learning from failure.
Find out more about Linda & SheSez @: www.shesez.com
And learn more about Ventura Blvd Magazine @: www.venturablvd.goldenstate.is
Entrepreneur, coach and author of “Stories of Elders”, Veronica Kirin shares her fascinating story of experiencing an anticipated tsunami while working as a humanitarian aid in a coastal Village in Samoa in 2009. Despite the fact that the tsunami never came, the anticipation and terror, confusion and chaos that she experienced side by side with the villagers that day led her to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Injury (formerly post traumatic stress disorder). Because the tsunami never actually came, her reactions to the trauma were minimized by those around her and she was expected to go on with life as usual. As a result she hid her suffering, for fear that her struggle would be seen as a failure to cope. Veronica’s untreated trauma eventually caught up with her and in her darkest moments, she realized that she needed help. Her journey towards healing lead her on a quest for self care, which she now shares with others in her work as a coach.
Find out more about Veronica @: www.veronicakirin.com
Find out more about “Stories of Elders” @: www.storiesofelders.com
Author and essayist William Deresiewicz discusses his book “Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life” and the current college admissions scandal. William got his Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD from Columbia University and has taught at Yale University. Following his article, ‘The Disadvantages of an Elite Education’ in 2008 which went viral, William wrote “Excellent Sheep” which examines how elite colleges are failing young kids. In this fascinating conversation, William shares his views on the epidemic of mental distress amongst college students who can’t navigate their way outside of school. He discusses how parents have failed their children by getting caught up in status anxiety, where they produce a child that looks good on a college application, but lacks the resiliency, energy and optimism to truly know themselves and be happy.
Find out more about Bill and his book @: www.billderesiewicz.com
And check out his article here
A Professor of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary, Dr. King’s focus is on human thriving and spiritual development, especially in the context of our youth. Her combination of intellect, sensitivity, and wit takes the topics of spirituality, religion and belonging and brings a fresh perspective to failure. Whether it be finding meaning, cultivating community, or identifying purpose, Dr. King articulates what matters most to young adults and how to support them on their journey.
Learn more about Dr. King & her work @: www.thethrivecenter.org
A Writer with a Doctorate in Art History, Matt Abrams shares his epic story of early drug use, which led to dropping out of high school, running away from home, drug smuggling and dealing. After many of his junkie friends landed themselves in jail or dead, Matt found the strength in the recovery community to get sober by the age of 19. Determined to change his way of being, he found education to be a wonderful avenue to new meaning and opportunity. Getting his PhD at Yale served to be a place of growth and awakening in many ways, as he came to understand his dual identity as an Ivy League student and OxyContin addict. Matt’s ability to empathize with the “junkie world” on the outskirts of Yale was profound, as he grappled with the fact that while OxyContin almost killed him, its makers were largely responsible for funding the University that brought him so much life.
Find out more about Matt @: www.matthewjeffreyabrams.com
Follow Matt @: www.instagram.com/matthewjabrams
Read Matt’s article @: www.theguardian.com
Steve Burrows, filmmaker and comedian, speaks about the making of his HBO documentary “Bleed Out”, the story of his mom, who went in for a routine hip replacement surgery and came out with permanent brain damage after a week long coma that changed her life forever. Steve’s painful journey chronicles 10 years of investigating the multiple failures in the health care system that led to his mother’s demise, and ultimately, who was to blame. While his story is complicated and heart wrenching, it’s also a compelling reminder about how to navigate and advocate for a patient’s care in order to avoid failures that can impact lives forever.
Find out more about Steve @: www.burrowsofhollywood.com
Barbara Brown Taylor is an Episcopal priest, college professor and NYTimes best-selling author of numerous books including “Leaving Church” and “Learning to Walk in the Dark”. Her latest “Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others” from HarperOne comes out March 12. She was named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, for her exquisite ability to articulate her struggle with doubt and disillusionment, perfection and authenticity, and encourage people to be more fully human. Barbara’s capacity to hold the rawness of vulnerability, especially around failure, and trust that suffering and darkness is a period of reformation is truly inspirational.
Find out more about Barbara @: www.barbarabrowntaylor.com
Author Douglas Segal of the recently published book “Struck: A Husband’s Memoir of Trauma and Triumph” and his wife Susan Segal, share their terrifying story of Susan and their daughter’s tragic near fatal head on collision with a bus and Susan’s journey of recovery. After breaking nearly every bone in her body, including her pelvis and neck, and surviving a massive brain bleed and intense delusions and hallucinations, Susan’s story comes alive through her husband’s detailed documentation of the experience. In this fascinating conversation, Susan is also able to tell her part in this miraculous story. What’s remarkable and inspiring is the way the couple took this tragedy and found ways to appreciate life, community, connection and a deeper love between them.
Pick up Struck at this link or at your local bookstore.
Jessica Winther is an Actress, Comedian and Writer and shares her journey of trying to be a perfect parent and how her son’s chronic illness launched her into the reality of the imperfection of parenting. Revealing her painful journey, she uses humor and honesty to articulate the fear and uncertainty that encapsulated her experience. Her story is a fascinating one of letting go of control and yet not allowing her fears to dictate her. From crisis to awakening Jessica’s inspiring story shows how the love and dedication of one mother to her son changed both their lives.
Follow Jessica on Instagram @: www.instagram.com/jtwinther
And Facebook @: www.facebook.com/jessica.e.winther