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Episode 83 Everest Cruz, MADE Transitions resident

Enlighten: Uplift & Inspire

Release Date: 09/16/2019

Episode 301 The People of Bali show art Episode 301 The People of Bali

Enlighten: Uplift & Inspire

On this week’s episode, I describe how moved I was by the people of Bali. The warmth, kindness, and humility of the Balinese people we met and interacted with was so striking. From casual greetings to exuding compassion in an interaction that could have incited annoyance  and impatience, the people from Bali taught me a meaningful lesson.  Am I letting my words, gestures and responses reflect and radiate compassion? The Balinese people embodied such a sincere compassion, it was if they were vibrating on a higher frequency. May the light embodied in the Balinese people penetrate the...

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Episode 300 Celebrating 300! show art Episode 300 Celebrating 300!

Enlighten: Uplift & Inspire

Today marks our 300th episode! I am so happy to celebrate this milestone with you! We started this podcast in January of 2018 and have released an episode almost every week for over 6 years. I am deeply grateful for the 160 guests and 140 stories that capture my own personal reflections and observations, that help me evolve spiritually. Even in the midst of political unrest, personal and collective trauma, chaos, hatred, violence and war, I marvel at the human spirit: the ability of people to find ways to live from compassion, forgiveness, connection and gratitude. So thanks for listening, for...

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Episode 299 Bali Bound show art Episode 299 Bali Bound

Enlighten: Uplift & Inspire

When I wrote this week’s episode, my husband Paul and I were Bali Bound. We are visiting our son Wil and his girlfriend Shannon, who have been in Bali for the past 3 months. We are thrilled to experience first hand all the beauty, spirituality, creativity and magic they have felt there. There will NO episode next week April 8th, but feel free to scroll through previous episodes and catch up on episodes you’ve missed. My next episode will be released on April 15th, which marks our 300th episode! Please tune in to celebrate 300 episodes of Enlighten: Uplift and Inspire! Enjoy the podcast! ...

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Episode 298 More Women show art Episode 298 More Women

Enlighten: Uplift & Inspire

As we close out the month of March, Women’s History Month, I want to honor a few more women. Some include women who have died before I launched this podcast and some who are still alive but they're uncomfortable being a guest, so I couldn’t shine light on them here. And one is a woman I do not know personally but my respect and gratitude for her is immense. New York State Attorney General Letitia James is not only protecting the vulnerable, she is effectively holding Donald Trump accountable for his deceit, fraud and years of cheating lenders, insurers, the government and the public. She...

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Episode 297 The Women show art Episode 297 The Women

Enlighten: Uplift & Inspire

March is Women’s Month so on this week’s episode, I honor the women in my life who have believed in me, supported me, challenged me and continue to make such profound impacts on me. I share the back story of how International Women’s Day came to be and eventually grew into a month-long celebration called Women’s History Month. There are so many women who have been trailblazers, who have shattered barriers, defied expectations, and paved the way for future generations! I honor my relatives, the women whose shoulders I stand on and the women I stand beside and hold hands with,...

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Episode 296 Geraldine Anello, Author and Musician show art Episode 296 Geraldine Anello, Author and Musician

Enlighten: Uplift & Inspire

My guest today is Dr. Geraldine Anello. Geraldine is a pianist, conductor, music director and author. She just recently launched her book The Pulse of the Musician: Connecting Sound, Soul and Stories: Navigating a Successful Music Career. We discuss what motivated her to write this insightful, illuminating book, her hopes that it becomes a required text book in music education, and the calling, passion, identity and sacrifice embedded in a musician’s path. I also inquired about Geraldine’s own passionate journey as a successful musician, her strategies of risk-taking, networking,...

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Episode 295 Winter Cleaning show art Episode 295 Winter Cleaning

Enlighten: Uplift & Inspire

On this week’s episode, I share a cathartic experience of some winter cleaning. I know we typically wait for the springtime for these kinds of cleanings, but I am here to say, winter cleaning was just as satisfying!  What cabinets, closets, dressers, shelves of yours might need some de-cluttering?  I encourage you to give yourself the gift of a cleaning - at any season of the year. Enjoy the sense of accomplishment and the freedom of lightening your load. Happy Winter Cleaning. Enjoy the podcast!

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Episode 294 Black Futures show art Episode 294 Black Futures

Enlighten: Uplift & Inspire

As we come to the end of the month, I highlight the concept and philosophy of Black Futures Month. In addition to honoring people and movements that enrich Black History Month, the emphasis on Black Futures  is “a visionary, forward-looking spin on celebrations of Blackness in February; a time to consider and celebrate our radical Black history and to dream and imagine a world in which all Black people are free.” May we all understand and respect that our past directly impacts the present and future. May we all educate ourselves on the compelling stories from Black people, learn...

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Episode 293 Rustin show art Episode 293 Rustin

Enlighten: Uplift & Inspire

As we continue to honor Black History Month, I encourage you to see the movie "Rustin”. I was so deeply moved by the movie, this man Bayard Rustin and the instrumental role he played in creating and implementing the March on Washington. In addition, the brilliant performance of Colman Domingo embodying Rustin was electrifying. The movie, produced by Michelle and Barack Obama, sheds light on an important man and a critical time in our history. May we be well-informed about our history, grounded in our present and inspired to contribute to a more just, compassionate future. Enjoy the...

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Episode 292 The Greensboro Four show art Episode 292 The Greensboro Four

Enlighten: Uplift & Inspire

On this week’s episode, I highlight and honor the Greensboro Four: Jibreel Khazan, Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain and David Richmond. Sixty-four years ago these four African American college freshman sat down at a place where African Americans were not allowed to sit. Their act of non-violent protest and the publicity they received ignited a national sit-in movement, that initiated desegregation actions and laws. I wanted to learn the names of the Greensboro Four and learn how their lives had unfolded since their 1960 college days. Thank you Jibreel, Joseph, Franklin and David. I am glad...

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My guest today is Everest Cruz. Everest is a resident at the Fletcher Boykin transitional house for formerly incarcerated men in Spring Valley, NY, run by MADE Transitional Services. Everest has been in and out of prison since he was 13 years old, so since I met him in July, now at the age of 29 years old, Everest has experienced his longest stretch of being out of prison: over 60 days! He grew up in San Diego, CA with his older sister and single mom. His father was not in the picture; in fact, Everest has never met his father. It was unbearable for Everest to watch his mom work so hard yet consistently struggle to put food on the table. Everest provides insights into the pressure he felt to join a gang, while being lured into the false hope that the gang would provide an avenue for him to help his family. I wonder how many of us would have made the same decision given the same desperate circumstances.  

Everest keeps it real, speaking openly about his past, which he acknowledges is critical to his healing process. Everest’s driving motivation to turn his life around is his nine year old son, who lives in California. Even though he hasn’t seen his son since his son’s first birthday, Everest is sustained by their Face Time contact. He treasures these connections with his family and is determined to make his son proud. Everest is deeply grateful to the Bronx defenders who have believed in him and are helping him gain legal immigration status. I am in awe of all the unsung heroes, who work tirelessly on behalf of the most vulnerable and marginalized in our society, treating them with dignity, respect, and compassion.   

Check out the link below for MADE Transitional Services and their
October Gala. Help support their efforts in giving Everest and others a second chance to turn their lives around. Enjoy the Podcast!

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