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058 Vanya Erickson

Stories that Empower

Release Date: 10/22/2018

220 Valerie Taylor show art 220 Valerie Taylor

Stories that Empower

Valerie's story is one of survival. Her extraordinary and well-developed survival instinct helped her navigate a life filled with turmoil, such as parents divorcing before she was a year old, being abandoned by her mother to the neighbors who became her foster parents and having an abusive, alcoholic step father. Valerie does not consider herself a victim nor in denial. Her ability to compartmentalize her life helped her to stay afloat and be a survivor.

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219 Phil Goldstein show art 219 Phil Goldstein

Stories that Empower

Phil is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. When he was between 10-12 years old, his older brother molested him, then the abuse stopped. Phil pretended it didn't happen, didn't tell anyone, carried it deep down and masked the pain. With the help of therapist, he told his fiance and his parents, who believed him. Phil decided to go public about the abuse, which is helping him to work through the trauma. He hopes that his book can serve as a healing tool for others.

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218 Jean Walters show art 218 Jean Walters

Stories that Empower

Growing up, Jean didn't like that her mother was living her life in fear, was always upset, critical and a nervous wreck. So, she made a commitment to herself that she was going to look for another way and live a different life. Through practice and discipline, Jean strives to be in sync with the universe and have an expanded consciousness. Today, she helps people find the light.

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217 Michelle Cameron show art 217 Michelle Cameron

Stories that Empower

When Michelle first started writing, she thought she wasn't good enough. So, she shelved those dreams and convinced herself that she was never going to be a writer. Then, as Michelle watched her youngest son start to write, she noticed the joy he took in writing. She knew she also wanted to get that joy in writing. So, Michelle attended readings and workshops, where she was experienced a spirit of generosity from a supportive community and mentors.

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216 Dr. Martha Calihan show art 216 Dr. Martha Calihan

Stories that Empower

Martha shares story of the end of life of her husband of 30 years, Charles. Since her spouse had his end of life conversations and decisions with his family in advance, she was able to be fully present for his dying. Martha feels that it was a sacred and beautiful moment.

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215 Elizabeth Bristol show art 215 Elizabeth Bristol

Stories that Empower

Elizabeth grew up in a controlling family with high expectations. She didn't thrive in those environments, so she moved out. Initially, Elizabeth found herself still drawn to codependent relationships. So, to take the edge off, she took drugs and alcohol. Nothing seemed to quench her soul. Elizabeth went on a journey of confronting the people that had hurt her and others. As she forgave them, she found compassion and an incredible sense of freedom that she didn't even know she needed.

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214 Aaron Zack show art 214 Aaron Zack

Stories that Empower

Growing up, Aaron dreamed of becoming the youngest NFL sports agent. He was told that he can't get there. Aaron needed someone to push him. It took a 'no' for him to launch his own business. Initially, he had no direction nor clear map. Aaron formed a team with the right individuals, who shared his qualities: go getter mentality, motivation, drive, people skills and strong work ethic. He achieved his dream at the age of 25.

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212 Lorie Gelsheimer show art 212 Lorie Gelsheimer

Stories that Empower

Lorie grew up as a shy, sensitive child and had low self esteem. The experiences in her life made her angry and she felt she lacked courage. So, Lorie asked for a sign of assistance, which she received. She became less shy, deepened her faith and began believing in miracles. Lorie realized that she's mean to use her voice, share stories and inspire others.

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212 Matt Korban show art 212 Matt Korban

Stories that Empower

Growing up in a war torn region of the world and hiding in shelters, Matt knew what it was like to lack safety and security. To provide for his family and give his kids a decent childhood, he worked 17 hour days. Matt lived an unhealthy and unbalanced life, where he weighed 400 pounds. He was given 5 months to live. That moment changed his life. Matt realized that people needed him and he wasn't there for them. He felt scared. Matt asked for a second chance, which he got.

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211 Cerridwen Fallingstar show art 211 Cerridwen Fallingstar

Stories that Empower

Cerridwen lost her husband very unexpectedly. She became devastated. Cerridwen allowed herself to grieve, then learned to piece her life back together one piece at a time.

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Vanya Erickson used to photograph and haul horses for a living. For the last 25 years she has been mentoring teachers while teaching writing and public speaking in the oldest, continuously used schoolhouse in California. She loves hiking in the High Sierras as well as dramatically reading aloud to children. Vanya holds a BA in Comparative Literature as well as a Teaching Credential, both from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Her essays have appeared in a dozen literary journals and anthologies, and in the book, The Magic of Memoir. Her book, Boot Language, will be out this summer.

http://vanyaerickson.com/