Samples from the Book

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
by Crystal Andrus Morissette

2. Dancing Through Fire
by Stacey Chantal Tsourounis

3. All that Glitters Is Not Gold
by Shelli Lether

4. Blessed Are the Pure in Heart
by Neyor Karmue

5. The Secret Keeper
by Sara (Navasi) Hartman

6. The Living Room Floor
by Dina Strada

7. What the Soul Cannot Digest
by Dimple Arora

8. The Princess and the Prisoner
by Katie Kozlowski

9. The Dark Side of Unconditional Love
by Pam Del Franco

10. Love to the Fullest
by Raven Thompson

11. Brook’s Story
by Jennifer Mae Kelloway

12. Life Is Beautiful
by Erin Marie

13. A Girl from Palestine
by Hamda Wazwaz

14. Uncertainty in Paradise
by Miriam Engeln

15. Warrior Goddess
by Naomi Herrera

16. Three Eleven Elizabeth
by Katie Seriani Bowell

17. The View from the Top
by Karry Ann Nunn

18. Love Is the Answer
by Lucy Devi Hall

19. Dissatisfaction: The Quiet Killer
by Giovanna Capozza

20. Sixty Seconds
by Abigail Nadar Nepaul

21. Blood and Independence
by Antonietta Mannarino

22. I Know Why the Tin Man Smiles
by Jackie Brown

23. But He Was My Brother
by Beth Humphreys

24. A Mother’s Love
by Elizabeth Walsh

25. Perseverance
by Shireen Clark

26. The Lioness, the Doctors, and the Lawyers
by Mary Jane Mendes

27. The Widow’s Peak
by Janice McIntyre

28. Transcendence
by Lynsi Anderson

29. The Remains of Love
by Toinette LaShawn Benson

30. Life Always Finds a Way
by Wendy Gless

Resources

Acknowledgments

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
by Crystal Andrus Morissette

2. Dancing Through Fire
by Stacey Chantal Tsourounis

3. All that Glitters Is Not Gold
by Shelli Lether

4. Blessed Are the Pure in Heart
by Neyor Karmue

5. The Secret Keeper
by Sara (Navasi) Hartman

6. The Living Room Floor
by Dina Strada

7. What the Soul Cannot Digest
by Dimple Arora

8. The Princess and the Prisoner
by Katie Kozlowski

9. The Dark Side of Unconditional Love
by Pam Del Franco

10. Love to the Fullest
by Raven Thompson

11. Brook’s Story
by Jennifer Mae Kelloway

12. Life Is Beautiful
by Erin Marie

13. A Girl from Palestine
by Hamda Wazwaz

14. Uncertainty in Paradise
by Miriam Engeln

15. Warrior Goddess
by Naomi Herrera

16. Three Eleven Elizabeth
by Katie Seriani Bowell

17. The View from the Top
by Karry Ann Nunn

18. Love Is the Answer
by Lucy Devi Hall

19. Dissatisfaction: The Quiet Killer
by Giovanna Capozza

20. Sixty Seconds
by Abigail Nadar Nepaul

21. Blood and Independence
by Antonietta Mannarino

22. I Know Why the Tin Man Smiles
by Jackie Brown

23. But He Was My Brother
by Beth Humphreys

24. A Mother’s Love
by Elizabeth Walsh

25. Perseverance
by Shireen Clark

26. The Lioness, the Doctors, and the Lawyers
by Mary Jane Mendes

27. The Widow’s Peak
by Janice McIntyre

28. Transcendence
by Lynsi Anderson

29. The Remains of Love
by Toinette LaShawn Benson

30. Life Always Finds a Way
by Wendy Gless

Resources

Acknowledgments

Introduction

BY CRYSTAL ANDRUS MORISSETTE

The manuscript of my memoir had been sitting on a shelf in my office, collecting dust, for a couple of years. I was too fearful to publish it. What would people think of me? Would telling my story hurt me? Destroy me? Would my family flip out? Would my mother go crazy?

When I first shared it with Izabela Viskapova, professor of coaching at my school, the S.W.A.T Institute, she had a hard time with it. She told me it was too painful. Too raw. Too real. She wasn’t sure people would want to read it. I wasn’t sure, I told her. I just knew that I had to write it. In fact, writing it saved my life.

Once Izabela realized I was serious about publishing my story, she got serious, too. Izabela is a brilliant researcher, with a master’s degree in both law and psychology.

“Crystal, do you realize you have what psychologists have recently diagnosed as ‘Complex PTSD’? You have experienced trauma like no one I’ve ever met.”

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after a person experiences a shocking, scary, or dangerous event (e.g., car accident or natural disaster). The thoughts and memories from the event continue to haunt and affect an individual, and it can make everyday life difficult. When someone experiences pro- longed chronic trauma that occurs over months or years, however, this diagnosis often does not fully capture the severe psychological harm that results. Dr. Judith Herman of Harvard University suggests that the diagnosis for these incidences should be differentiated as Complex PTSD. It’s also sometimes referred to as Disorders of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified (DESNOS).

Wow. For the first time in my life I understood my brain a little better and why it was responding to stress in a particular way: to protect me. The trouble now was that my own protective coping mechanism was imploding.

Here I was with a lifetime of achievements and accolades — even recently making it on Oprah.com, the New York Post, and the UK Daily Mail as a bestselling author — and yet I was having “dark nights of the soul,” as they are known. Although everything on the outside still looked pretty perfect, I was beginning to unravel on the inside. The worst part? I was afraid to reveal this inadequacy to anyone — even to myself.

I was a fearless woman who was afraid.

I’d never admitted to being afraid before. I hadn’t shown fear for years. Not since I was a child. I guess I had no one to show it to. No one who would understand or protect me. No one who cared.

Instead, I learned how to channel my fear into jet fuel for success. But don’t kid yourself: The fear was still there, raging within.

For the first time in my life, I couldn’t stop the anxiety from rumbling … crumbling … throughout my body. I started having panic attacks. Fainting. Even seizures. My brain was literally hijacking my body. And I was unable to hide it any longer. My suffering had finally caught up with me. The mess was too huge now.

Don’t get me wrong: I could empower other women to get the help they needed, to share their stories, to allow themselves to grow stronger in their vulnerability. I just didn’t know how to give that gift to myself.

Sure, I shared some of my “stuff” in my books or with clients during private coaching calls, although I certainly didn’t fully disclose myself to anyone. Not even to my husband.

I was very ashamed of parts of my life. Parts of myself. Parts of my family. Parts of my past. I didn’t trust that I could tell anyone the truth — the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God. Plus, I certainly didn’t want to look like I was someone from a Jerry Springer episode. Mortifying. Shameful.

It was then, suddenly, that I wondered what the point of my life was. Why was I even here? Did I even want to be here anymore? Was my whole existence to help others?

But how could I think this way? I was Crystal Andrus Morissette!
Women’s Advocate.
Founder of the S.W.A.T. Institute.
Empowerer.
Empowered?
And yet, I didn’t want to live sometimes. I didn’t want to live … sometimes.
It was almost as though I felt like I’d done what I came here to do. I had nothing left.

It scared me. I worried that I was collapsing, like a black hole in the universe was swallowing me, stealing my light forever.

I had to change the way I was showing up in the world. I had to change the way I was talking to myself. I needed to acknowledge why I was so angry. Actually, I had first to admit that I was angry.

I was so goddamn angry!

I had so much anger contained just under the surface in a nice little ball of fire. It sat between my shoulder blades and made my neck ache with tension. I had so much pain lodged in my uterus, lower back, hips, groin, and knees. Some mornings I could barely lift my own feet to get dressed. The pain was excruciating. I knew it was buried anger, but I was so embarrassed by it. And worse, so embarrassed to tell anyone about it.

What kind of woman is an angry woman? Ugh!

My shame was keeping me isolated. Feeling unsafe. Suffering in silence. And that’s when I realized I couldn’t just keep passing over my story … my sorrow, sadness, and suffering. I needed to believe that it mattered. That I mattered.

That my pain and heartbreak mattered. My flashbacks and nightmares mattered.

The sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, betrayal, and abandonment mattered.

Pretending I wasn’t hurt didn’t serve me any longer. I needed to do the same work on me that I did with all my clients. I needed to own my past so it would stop owning me. I thought I’d forgiven everyone, but I hadn’t. I’d turned the other cheek, bit my tongue until it bled, and then continued to accept unhealthy behavior, often from those who
claimed to love me the most.

I didn’t hold people accountable for their actions. Instead, I’d just disappear. Be silent. Wait for my anger to pass. Wait for the next family gathering where I’d behave as though nothing had ever happened. Lovely. Nice. Politically correct.
Here’s what I’ve learned about anger: Feeling and expressing our anger is where most of us struggle, which is why how we deal with our anger is the game-changer. But anger itself is not the problem.

Truth be told, all great change has occurred because someone got angry enough to deal with an injustice. The problem comes when we are so afraid of our anger that we lose sight of our ultimate goal, which is to communicate and advocate for ourselves in a win-win way.

After years of ignoring my own needs, disowning my story, or negating my feelings, I discovered that peace isn’t about everyone being the same, thinking the same, or feel- ing the same. It isn’t even about everyone liking you or agreeing with you. Peace is acceptance expanded. It agrees to disagree. But you can’t have peace if you’re afraid to speak. You can’t have peace if you’re afraid to listen. You can’t find peace if you’re afraid to tell the truth. You can’t find peace if you’re afraid to disagree or, God forbid, have a confrontation or, even worse, put up a healthy boundary and tell someone “no.” And yet I’d somehow convinced myself I could just forgive without addressing my anger.

I had some serious and swift healing to do. I couldn’t carry the weight of the world on my shoulders another day. I had to stop feeling responsible for other people’s feelings — they weren’t mine to carry, fix, or heal. I had to transcend my false bravado, pride, and self-righteousness. I had to face my own darkness, sadness, and sorrow. I had to shine light on my deepest shame, guilt, and blame. I had to tell the truth. I had to acknowledge all the pain and suffering buried deep inside me.

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Dancing Through Fire

BY STACEY CHANTAL TSOUROUNIS

Her eyes are frightening when I first see them — there’s a ferocity, a glowing intensity like nothing I’ve seen.

Her hair is wild and her body’s voice so clear and loud that, for a moment, everything else is drowned out. She makes me feel torn: I want to run from her and toward her at the same time. Unable to decide, I release her gaze in the mirror and focus on my feet. I just keep dancing.

. . .

I enrolled in this dance class on a whim. I’ve been in a fog for months now, one that seems to swallow me no matter how hard I try to outrun it, making my life feel blurry and dull. Despite how numb and disconnected I’ve been feeling, though, something new has been happening over the last few weeks: Tiny pinpricks of light have started to reach me through the heaviness. Usually, this light comes as a tiny kiss of hope or possibility, but sometimes it comes as a whisper that directs me. It was a whisper that told me I needed to move — specifically, dance. Not giving it too much thought, I looked up a few dance studios and found a six- week Afro-Cuban dance class. I called and said I’d enroll and pay in person. I wasn’t sure that I’d even go.

I remember how, during my teenage years when I’d first experienced depression and anxiety, dancing was what always brought me home to myself. I’d go into my room alone, blast music, and feel myself cradled by the rhythm, my breath falling in line with the song’s pulse. The rhythm was like a strong back I could lean on, and sometimes I’d dance alone for hours. Eventually, I’d reach a place of exhausted release, my body having said all that words could not. Dancing always opened a space of unshakeable strength within me.

The classes have been good for me, and I’m glad I decided to show up. Moving calms me, and getting out to the studio every week is helping me to break out of my solitude. Despite this, I’m not sure dance will bring me to that place of strength this time around; the darkness I’m in now is deeper than anything I’d known when I was younger.

Nearly a year ago, I was sexually assaulted by someone I’d trusted and considered a friend, and I’ve spent months trying to avoid dealing with it. I’ve always been known for being strong and perceptive, and I’ve always believed my instincts made it impossible for anyone to mess with me. I know deep down that my faith in myself has been shattered, but I refuse to admit it.

Instead, I’ve created an almost-true version of myself: someone who on the outside seems to have it together. This woman is a role I play well, and she’s mostly convincing, as long as no one looks too closely. I go to my classes in teacher’s college, and do homework and assignments. I see family for holidays. I go out with friends and laugh, smile. Sometimes I feel like I could be this woman forever. Who cares if she’s a mask? Who cares if she’s just going through the motions? She gets things done, she carries on, and she lets me avoid feeling like a victim.

Here’s the thing about truth, though: You can’t extinguish it just by putting on a mask or eating your words. It doesn’t fizzle and fade. Its embers stay glowing in the belly, softly warm and refusing to be denied, waiting for the breath that will ignite their full flame once again. And I can’t help but notice that today the gaze of the woman in the mirror is a spark and something has started to burn.

I lose sight of her as I turn and head to the back of the room again. We’re done warming up now, and the instructor, Albena, is explaining the history behind today’s movement. We are learning the dance of Oya, the Afro-Cuban deity of storms and change. A powerful warrior and protector of women, she carries a sword that cuts away all falsehood, and her dress of many colors turns like a whirlwind as she moves. She carries a dark mirror of truth that shows us who we really are, and her movements reflect her essence: deliberate, fierce, and grounded in a powerful grace. Oya is a force of destruction. It’s said that she is the guardian of cemeteries, where she awaits the souls of the dead to guide them as they cross over. When it is time for something to die in our own lives, she helps us to cross over: Conjuring a great tornado, she tears our foundation from its very roots, leaving all that no longer serves to crumble and fall away.

Sometimes after her storms pass it can seem like we are left with nothing at all, our lives stripped bare — although this is terrifying, it’s never an act of cruelty. Like all manifestations of the Dark Goddess, Oya destroys in the service of transformation, and in the dark spaces of the
in-between state, she leads the way to our rebirth.

. . .

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All That Glitters Is Not

BY SHELLI LETHER

The three-and-a-half mile drive up Mandeville Canyon in Hollywood, California, dragged on for eternity. The kid’s bitching and squabbling about being squashed in the car and the pain of having to stay strapped into their seats was downright crazy-making. I hungered for the relief that my bed linens offered when they were pulled over my head.

As I looked out my car window down into the canyon, I saw mansion after mansion. Ornate iron gates, lavender-lined driveways, and tennis courts surrounded park-like estates. These were the homes of the super-rich and famous, those you’d find on the cover of People magazine. The Schwarzeneggers, Tom and Gisele, and Gwyneth Paltrow. Their children played in yards designed by landscape architects and took private swimming lessons in crystal-clean, blue-bottomed pools.

It had been some time since I’d mingled with those kinds of families, now that my marriage to a once-successful Hollywood blockbuster movie producer was dissolving. I looked down at my chewed-off nails and remembered that not long ago opulent diamonds had glittered on my freshly manicured hands.

It wasn’t the stuff I no longer had that made me feel inferior to the women of my neighborhood, but rather the lack of fear, shame, and uncertainty with which they navigated their days. Over and over I had watched those mothers call each other on their iPhones and marveled over how they organized charity events and oversaw a new remodeling or decorating project while scheduling playdates, tutors, and Pilates sessions without missing a beat. No matter how hard I tried, I could never seem to be like them. I felt my throat tighten and my face burn with envy.

As my beige minivan rounded another tight canyon turn, I saw housekeepers hoisting residential trash cans to the curbs while others were pushing children on rope swings hanging from trees. I thought of Isabella and Rosemary, Valentina and Camilla, women who used to help me with my children. They left their families in faraway places, walked miles to work, and slept on floors for as little as $80 a day. I was in awe of their resilience and determination to show up and take charge. These women had superpowers I’d never known. Meanwhile, I was drowning in fear that my children and I would no longer be able to fill our trash cans with the wrappings of Whole Foods containers, Neiman Marcus bags, or even a KFC family-size bucket of extra crispy chicken.

Despite the long, noisy drive up the canyon, I dreaded what awaited me when we arrived. The idea of being at home alone with my three kids — nine-year-old Leo and six-year-old twins, Ethan and Eli — made me feel like Cinderella pre-ball: stuck in an endless cycle of drudgery. My support system had been shattered. I had never fathomed I would be truly left alone with my kids … and that I would be their supporter, protector, guardian.

I thought there would always be a housekeeper, a nanny, or, as of lately, at least a boyfriend to distract me from my fear that being a stay-at-home mother was a purposeless existence and that becoming a caretaker made me a powerless woman.

I turned down my potholed driveway just as it was getting dark. A rusty and crooked mailbox, half hanging from its post, was our welcome sign. Piles of boxes containing stuff for my soon-to-be ex-husband towered in the dimly lit carport.

I turned off the engine and stared at the steering wheel as if it were a crystal ball. What’s next, Shelli? What comes next? I sank deeper in my seat, watching three sets of legs scurry toward the house. God, why can’t I playfully chase after them?
I wanted to go back to the days when I held them all in my lap. I wanted them to see me smile.

“I’m first!” shouted Ethan. “No way!” yelled Eli, pushing.

“Come on, Mommy!” Leo called. “I’m hungry.”

Entering the kitchen, my stomach knotted. I gritted my teeth. Fucking dirty dishes in the sink. Is that this morning’s breakfast on the floor?

It didn’t matter that there was an art project the boys wanted me to work on with them. The mess made my skin crawl, and it was all I could do not to storm out of the house. I grabbed a bottle of bleach and started scrubbing handprints and food stains off the walls as my father taught me to do when I was little.

. . .

Leo had just turned three, and I was a young, twenty-five-year-old actress. My husband had just produced America’s number-two movie at the box office. My life was filled with red-carpet premieres and fancy-pants dinners at the best restaurants in Hollywood. I should have been so happy. So grateful.

Robert called me into our bedroom and slammed the door behind me. I sat on the edge of an embroidered comforter we’d found during a wintertime stroll in the snowy town of Telluride, Colorado. The light from the Tiffany lamp near our bed illuminated the purple birth control packet.

“You’ve been taking this behind my back! You’re a liar! All this time I thought we were trying to have another baby.”

I froze and stared at the wooden floor. “Please,” I whimpered. “I just started working again. I love my time with Leo, but I can’t keep building my career if we have more children.” I reminded my husband of our prenuptial agreement that spelled out everything he was expecting: a child in the first year, raised Jewish, and I would not share equally in the money he’d made should we ever split.

“How would I take care of two children on my own if you decided to leave me?” I said for the hundredth time since signing that lengthy premarital contract.

“Dammit, Shelli, I’ve already told you, and so did our therapist: Mothers are protected by child support, and the agreement gives you plenty of money. If you want to work on your career first, I understand, but that’s not the kind of woman I want to be with.”

Robert straightened his jacket and looked me in the eyes, without a hint of kindness. “If you want to stay in this marriage, we’re having another baby.”

. . .

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Meet our Contributing Authors

Crystal Andrus Morissette

Crystal Andrus Morissette

Andrus Morissette is the author of four other international bestselling books, including 'The Emotional Edge', which made the Globe and Mail’s Bestseller List and Oprah.com featured her Emotional Edge quiz three times. Chapter/Coles/Indigo polled 40,000 readers to see which book most changed their life, Andrus Morissette came in at #14. A media darling, she's been in the New York Post, the UK Daily Mail, the Globe and Mail, and the Toronto Star, as well as CBS Radio, CanadaAM, CityTV, Global TV, and Slice TV.

Stacey Chantel Tsourounis

A teacher and women’s empowerment coach, trained in expressive arts therapy and dance, Stacey Chantal Tsourounis has spent years studying across the globe. Her powerful writing explores the themes of truth and transformation, and has been featured in Simply Woman magazine. She loves performing as a dancer around her hometown of Toronto, Canada, reading Tom Robbins novels, and getting kisses from her dog, Marley.

Stacey Chantel Tsourounis
Shelli Lether

Shelli Lether

Shelli Lether is a graduate of Coach Training Alliance, a motivational speaker, and an advocate for children, women, and education. Her unique approach blends the wisdom of spirituality, psychology, and neuroscience with strategic coaching. Shelli awakens individuals to their innate intelligence so they can solve their greatest problems and access their inner wisdom. She currently resides in Los Angeles, USA.

Neyor Karmue

Neyor Karmue is a nurse, humanitarian, and devout Christian. When plans to build an empire of pharmacies across Liberia were interrupted by the Liberian Civil War of the 1990s, Neyor vowed to help Liberia’s orphans, many of whom were traumatized by their experiences as child soldiers. With her husband, Alfred, she has adopted over forty children and is raising them with the same amount of love, care, and attention she gives to her five biological children. Her incredible strength and vision is chronicled in Witness: A Child’s Account of the Liberian War, written by her son and set for release in 2019. She divides her time between Liberia, West Africa, and California, USA.

Neyor Karmue
Navasi Hartman

Navasi Hartman

Sara (Navasi) Hartman was a disciple of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada from the time she was fifteen, while also exploring the diverse paths of spirituality and mysticism, including becoming a master empowerment coach. A lover of artwork, nature, and writing poetry, she’s a proud mother and grandmother to her two grown children and one grandchild. She lives in Georgia, USA, with her husband and their four kitties.

Dina Strada

Dina Strada is a Los Angeles-based writer who’s had a long love affair with Hollywood and a twenty-five-year career in the entertainment industry. A certified life coach and intuitive, known for her willingness to be vulnerable, raw, and brutally honest in her writing, Dina’s work has been featured in numerous online publications, including Huffington Post, Elephant Journal, Thought Catalogue, Elite Daily, The Good Men Project, Chopra, Simply Woman, Rebelle Society, and Tiny Buddha.

Dina Strada
Dimple Arora

Dimple Arora

Dimple Arora is the founder of Mindful Evolution — a mindfulness movement that aims to guide women and children towards self-love, positive connection, and inspired action.. Dimple is certified in life coaching and alternative healing modalities. She holds degrees in mathematics, business, and education. As a licensed Heal Your Life teacher and a registered holistic nutritionist, Dimple is a “foodie” who advocates for healthy, authentic living. Dimple currently lives in Toronto, Canada, with her supportive husband and beautiful daughter.

Katie Kozlowski

Katie Kozlowski is a professional voice-over artist and singer from Connecticut, USA. She holds certifications in multiple modalities and is a dynamic speaker, healer, and artist who combines emotional expression, creativity, imagination, storytelling, and spirituality to deliver truth and freedom to all those ready to find their awakening and joy. Katie loves using her creative gifts to reach others and inspire them to express their true selves inside and out.

Katie Kozlowski
Pam Del Franco

Pam Del Franco

Pam Del Franco is a spiritual medium, counsellor, author, and workshop facilitator. She has spent over twenty years helping women trust their intuition and feel more empowered. Pam graduated as a social service worker in 1994, and is a certified hypnotherapist. She’s been studying dreams since 1986 and has developed a dream interpretation app called Dulcis Somnium. Her memoir, Walking Out of the Fire, published in 2006, describes her experiences with physical, mental, and emotional abuse and how she survived against all odds. She currently lives with her furbaby, Molly, and enjoys spending her free time with family and friends.

Raven Thompson

Raven Thompson graduated from the University of Toronto with an undergraduate Honors degree majoring in equity studies and Caribbean studies, with a minor in African studies. She has a Master of Education degree in curriculum studies and a teacher development degree. A certified yoga teacher, Raven has always had a passion for promoting healthy minds, bodies, and spirits. She’s a strong advocate for the criminal justice system and mental health. Raven is a single parent of two amazing, caring young men.

Raven Thompson
Jennifer Mae Kelloway

Jennifer Mae Kelloway

From the age of seven, Jennifer Mae Kelloway knew that she wanted to be a teacher and a mother, but it wasn’t until she was faced with her own mortality that she realized just what type of teacher she was meant to be. Jennifer is a human potential life and business coach with a background in psychology, an accreditation as a CFP, neuro-linguistic practitioner, and certified DiSC trainer. For the past six years, she has been arming her clients with life tools to allow them to overcome adversity and reach their optimal potential. Jennifer currently resides near Toronto, Canada, with her loving husband, two healthy children, two dogs, and two cats.

Erin Marie

 A soul coach in the women’s empowerment industry, Erin Marie has helped many women to heal, grow, and live their best lives. As a visionary and author, Erin dreams of a world filled with peace, harmony, balance, and love. She lives with her partner near the beautiful redwood trees in Northern California, USA, and is currently working on developing her gardening skills.

Erin Marie
Hamda Wazwaz

Hamda Wazwaz

Hamda Wazwaz is a women’s master empowerment coach, the founder of Truly Empowered Women’s Coaching, and an international business consultant with a degree from the University of Phoenix. Born in Jerusalem and raised in the United States, she now lives in Palestine. Compelled and determined to create change by standing up to injustice, she spends her days helping women lead the lives they were meant to live. A loving mother to five beautiful children and a wife to her beloved husband, Hamda is a true storyteller and empath.

Miriam Engeln

A breast cancer survivor, Miriam Engeln strongly believes that the cure to almost anything is positive thinking. Growing up in the Netherlands, she always dreamed of living in sunny weather. In 2000, Miriam left Amsterdam to spent time in Thailand, Spain, and Belize, and eventually ended up in Aruba, where she’s lived and worked as a real estate agent since 2004.

Miriam Engeln
Naomi Herrera

Naomi Herrera

Naomi Herrera is a peer counselor at Greater Lakes Mental Healthcare in Washington, USA. She uses her experience as a trauma survivor and her expertise in holistic healing to inspire hope in those she serves. Naomi is dedicated to connecting people to their personal power and intuition so they can heal themselves and design a life they love. She is the founder of Warrior Goddess Evolution, which supports individuals through one-on-one empowerment coaching, divine feminine workshops, and group retreats.

Katie Seriani Bowell

Katie Seriani Bowell is an energetic and outgoing woman with a joie de vivre. Believing a global movement is afoot, she knows it’s imperative for all women to slow down, practice self-care, and embrace a little solitude in order to hear their inner whisperings. Katie works with children and at-risk youths as an educational assistant, connecting with them by sharing her many “Katie stories”: fun, sometimes shameless, dysfunctional and yet hilarious accounts of growing up in her Irish/Italian family. Katie lives on Vancouver Island, Canada, with her cat, daughter, and husband.

Katie Seriani Bowell
Karry Ann Nunn

Karry Ann Nunn

Karry Ann Nunn is a master empowerment coach who helps women find their voices and live their truth. After working in libraries across Canada, she has finally fulfilled her dream of having her name on a book on the library shelf! Karry Ann keeps it real by spending long days enjoying her animals on her gorgeous farm in Saskatchewan, Canada. Her biggest accomplishment, she says, is raising four wonderful children whom she is so proud of.

Lucy Devi Hall

Lucy Devi Hall, the founder of Deeply Woman, is a well-sought-after women’s empowerment coach. Through her workshops and coaching, she works with women to create more fulfilled lives. She is also an authentic and inspiring speaker, and loves to show women change is possible. As a passionate singer and songwriter, she has contributed to three albums from the Humaniversity Sound Studio based in Holland. She is currently working on the fourth album called The Gratitude Meditation, which is due for release December 2018.

Lucy Devi Hall
Giovanna Capozza

Giovanna Capozza

Giovanna Capozza is a transformational coach, speaker, and host of her weekly podcast, She Rises. As both a trained alternative medicine doctor and spiritual teacher, this self-professed nerdy girl bridges the art and science of alternative healing concepts and deep coaching to support successful women seeking to find their next level of meaning, purpose, and vitality in their lives. Get ready for her first full book, Unsettled: A Restless Girl’s Journey to Life on Her Terms (to be released November 2018).

Abigail Nadar Nepaul

Abigail Nadar Nepaul is an attorney and practices law with her husband at their prominent firm in Durban, South Africa. She is also a speaker, trainer, and coach, and has spent over a decade hosting different radio shows on one of South Africa’s national broadcasters. The founder of the Abigail Nepaul Coaching Academy, she is currently completing the master empowerment coach certification. A dedicated wife and a mother of two beautiful daughters, Abigail is committed to helping teen girls and women step into their power.

Abigail Nadar Nepaul
Antonietta Mannarino

Antonietta Mannarino

Antonietta Mannarino holds a Bachelor of Arts with a major in child studies, as well as a Bachelor of Education, and is a graduate in police technology. She works every day to defy the stereotype of a person living with a chronic medical condition. A teacher and a certified personal trainer who loves to travel, she recently embarked on a six-day solo hike in Spain, trekking over 100 kilometers on foot. A soon-to-be master empowerment coach, Antonietta resides in beautiful Vaudreuil, Canada, with her two cats.

Jackie Brown

Senior editor of Simply Woman Publishing, Jackie Brown has been a writer all her life and an editor for the last thirty years. She has written several books for children, including the Silver Birch–nominated bestseller Sir John A. Macdonald: The Rascal Who Built Canada. Jackie supports writers through workshops and her coaching practice. She is the proud publisher of Outfox Magazine, whose mission is to celebrate, encourage, and inspire kids with autism. She is also the executive director of Susumai House, which researches and implements new treatment programs for people with chronic depression and anxiety. She lives in Oshawa, Canada, with her four children.

Jackie Brown
Beth Humphreys

Beth Humphreys

A writer, artist, entrepreneur, and knitwear designer, Beth Humphreys knows the importance of following your heart and passion. She seeks to live a life of purpose with creativity, wisdom, and kindness. Beth is a student in the master empowerment coach certification at the S.W.A.T. Institute and plans to graduate in 2018. Her compelling articles have been featured in Simply Woman magazine. Beth lives with her husband, their five cats, and a dog on Vancouver Island, Canada.

Elizabeth Walsh

After a painful childhood, Elizabeth Walsh is living proof that you can transform your life no matter your circumstances. She has received several accolades in her studies of Eastern medicine and holistic therapies, including the Student of the Year Award upon graduating as a holistic therapy practitioner. Elizabeth has practiced in a clinical setting for nine years, healing emotional and physical stress through health and lifestyle coaching. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her three loving sons.

Elizabeth Walsh
Shireen Clark

Shireen Clark

Born with the gift of gab, Shireen Clark is a natural leader and activist. She pursued a professional career in accounting, working her way up to a senior role before being recruited by her local union. She was recently reelected to serve a second term as union president. Her sense of humor and storytelling skills allow her to rise above and come out on top. Shireen currently calls Victoria, Canada, home.

Mary Jane Mendes

Mary Jane Mendes is an award-winning professional photographer and educator. A trailblazer, she started as an electrical engineering technologist and the first female government chauffeur in Ontario, Canada. Her work has featured images of professional athletes (Joe Carter), international celebrities (Carol Burnett), and government officials (the late Benazir Bhutto), and she has also worked for corporate clients (IBM, Celestica). In her spare time, she satisfies her adventurous spirit with travel, music, hiking, and supporting community events, the arts, and charities. Mary Jane is a very proud single mother of her amazing son, Liam, and her dog, Trixie.

Mary Jane Mendes
Janice McIntyre

Janice McIntyre

Janice McIntyre is an eclectic poet and writer with a love for words and people. She considers herself to be blessed with an observant eye for nature’s aesthetics, which invariably manifests itself in all of her creative endeavors. Janice is founder and host of Loose Leaf Poets & Writers, a writing group and performance series. Janice has been featured on U of T Radio and BlogTalk Radio, to name a couple. Having lived coast-to-coast, Janice now makes her home in Mission, Canada, where she focuses on family, writing, and creativity.

Lynsi Anderson

Lynsi Anderson is a holistic practitioner, herbalist, medical medium, and intuitive healer. With over a decade of experience as a healthcare director, a bachelor’s degree in business, certifications in NRT, reiki, herbalism, tarot, and EFT tapping, she works passionately to help others reclaim their health and inner divinity. In 2012, Lynsi was the “fans’ choice” for local entrepreneur of the year in The LYFE Magazine. Mother to her feline fur baby, Magique, Lynsi dreams of one day spawning her own earthling.

Lynsi Anderson
Toinette LaShawn Benson

Toinette LaShawn Benson

Holding many certifications and a graduate of Cascade Business College, Toinette LaShawn Benson has mentored homeless youth for years while also working with autistic children at Consumer Advocacy Projects. In addition, Toinette has been personally mentored by many industry-leading experts. Upon learning of her brother’s horrific death, she felt a flame ignite in her to pursue her passion: coaching women, men, and children on love and forgiveness. Despite all of her accolades, her most precious gifts are her two children and five grandchildren. She lives in Scottsdale, USA, with her husband, Rick.

Wendy Gless

Wendy Gless is a certified life and money coach, with a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting and a minor in psychology. A master empowerment coach trained in the law of attraction, Wendy guides women in creating and manifesting more money, more love, and everyday miracles in their life and business. She’s a dream-life designer and a passionate lover of life. Wendy lives in southern California, USA, with her husband.

Wendy Gless

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