Back in October, Emily came on the podcast to talk about her brother Jack, who had tragically passed from brain cancer.  Today, we have her older sister, Leigh, joining us to share her perspective in dealing with Jack’s illness.  Leigh was away at college for a large portion of Jack’s battle, and was also dealing with her own personal health crisis, which created a lot of difficult emotions for her.  We also talk a lot about some of the inspirational writings Jack published on his blog (linked below) before he passed away, as well as some of the pieces he hadn’t published that Leigh later discovered.

Highlights of this episode include:
-How 30 Rock & The Beatles remind her of Jack
-Discovering some of Jack’s unpublished writings on his computer after his passing
-How she believes cancer affected his overall confidence, self worth, and dating life
-Being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease during Jack’s cancer battle
-The element that made Jack’s wake so much different than most others

Also, here is a link to the blog Jack started that we talk about in the episode:


Erica Lofton is the 15-YEAR-OLD founder and CEO of Girls in Action, a not-for-profit organization spreading powerful messages of anti violence and female empowerment. As a entrepreneur, speaker, host of workshops, and musician who still finds time to hit the mall with friends once in a while, Erica is truly one of the most inspirational teens I know. This is an important listen for those of us out there who may be disappointed with the current state of millennials and our youth in general, as Erica is accomplishing major things in this world.

ALSO - In the episode, we talk about a song Erica wrote about Trayvon Martin called “No Time Left,” which you can check out at this link:


Are there crucial life lessons to be learned from having a serious illness?  Is it possible that cancer can actually make you a better, stronger person?  And do the thoughts that you think daily play a role in just how much we suffer through such a process?  These are just a few of the ideas we tackle with today’s guest, Jessica.  When diagnosed with breast cancer, Jessica decided to approach her illness from a mindset of healing as opposed to the all too common “fighting" one, using the mantra #BetterEveryDay to not only shift her focus away from fear, but inspire many, many others to do the same via hashtag in the process.

Highlights of this episode include:
What is #BetterEveryDay, and anyone can use this to improve their life significantly
Her cancer diagnosis, and the irony of the day she found out
Approaching illness from a place of healing, not fighting
How cancer has made her a stronger, better person in many ways
Attending Game 7 of the World Series


Erin Taylor & Sue DeCaro are PCI certified parenting coaches as well accomplished speakers and authors (their respective resumes are not a short read!). Together, they formed Building Connected Communities, a network of therapists, life coaches, social workers, etc., working together toward the common goal of inspiring change in the world.  They’re here today to talk not only about their story and experiences, but what they feel are some of the biggest obstacles in raising children in our modern society.

Highlights of this episode include:
-How they both became parenting coaches, and the life experiences that influences their practices
-The importance for males to allow be in touch with their feminine side
-The biggest problems they see as parent coaches
-The most important part of being a parent that often gets overlooked
-How our children can also be our teachers
-The best way to teach children to calm their minds in only 2 minutes

December 22, 2016

On Handling Holiday Stress

Just a quick episode today to all of you out there who may be experiencing some anxieties over the holidays, dealing with difficult people or family members, and how to set yourself up for a happy and successful 2017. Enjoy!



The title says it all here, folks.  Today’s episode features top Chicago attorney, Beth McCormack, who’s here to talk about her work focusing on family law, and all the things that go into navigating the tricky, gray areas of topics like divorce and domestic violence.  Beth has a developed a unique approach to such cases by employing a philosophy that favors conflict resolution over destroying the other party in court. Lots of great wisdom and knowledge here, especially in regards to maintaining your mental health throughout situations that tend to be so emotionally taxing.

Highlights of this episode include:
-Why she requires all divorce clients to work with a mental health professional throughout the divorce process
-Litigation vs. Mediation: How to determine the best divorce process for your unique situation
-How fear manifests as anger in most divorce cases, and how this negatively affects any children that are involved
-How being a parent herself influences the way she practices law


December 9th is always a weird day on the calendar for me, as it’s the day my younger brother, Tom, took his life. So today I’d like to take some time (along with my wife, Julie) to share some of my favorite memories of him, talk about what made him so special and unique, and hopefully provide a different lens through which to view any loved ones of yours who may be dealing with depression, addiction, etc...


As a natural born athlete, Conner fell in love with the sport of hockey at the age of 3. It was this passion that carried him all the way through his childhood, teen years, and was what he was planning on using to pave the way through college. You can say that it completely defined his life and who he was.  Until age 18, when an unfortunate accident left him unable to lace up his skates for an indefinite amount of time. So what happens when you suddenly can’t be who you are anymore? How does one pick up the pieces and re-discover their sense of self-worth and find meaning in life again? Conner’s got some great insight on today’s episode...

Highlights of this episode include:
-Conner’s love for hockey since age 3
-His knee injury at age 18 that left him unable to play the game
-His recovery and what life was like with the absence of hockey
-His 2nd injury, and the depression and drug use that followed
-Where Conner is today with his recovery and mindset


Today’s guest is Nick, who has a number of wild stories to share about his past battles with drug addiction. Like many in his situation, it took Nick a long time to come to terms with his problem and finally get the help he needed to bounce back. But that’s only half the story. Where it gets really interesting, is when all the drugs are finally in the rear-view mirror, and Nick is suddenly left to face all of the unresolved issues that likely caused him to turn to drugs in the first place…

Warning - some explicit language in this one!

Highlights of this episode include:
-The story of how Nick and I first met
-His initial experiences with smoking weed, and how he eventually began selling it
-What is Electric Forest, and why everyone should attend (for real!)
-The intervention his parents had for him, and why he refused to go to rehab
-The story of how it all came crashing down, and he decided to finally go to rehab
-Most importantly, the challenges he didn’t expect to be facing once he was finally sober


Today’s guest is Samantha, who is here to share her story about about the ups and downs of a few different relationships she’s been in, including an abusive one that wreaked havoc on her life.  What’s really remarkable about Samantha is her unwillingness to play the role of the victim as so many of us do when life and relationships don’t exactly go our way.  Instead, honing her self awareness has allowed her to recognize some re-occuring patterns in her relationships that she’s since been able to overcome, and acquiring some killer wisdom on “trust” along the way.

In this episode we discuss:
-How she eventually realized the relationship she was in was an abusive one, and how it affected all her other relationships
-How she eventually became seriously ill over the stress she experienced during this relationship
-How she was finally able to cut ties and break free
-How similar patterns emerged in her next relationship, and how she reacted to learning about his drug problem
-Most importantly, why she’s ultimately decided to still trust other guys she dates in the future, despite her previous experiences


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