September 30, 2019
Welcome to Episode #25 of the JOY Factor podcast. Today’s show is brought to you by Care/Of. Everyone has a different path to personal health, and we're here to help you find yours. We believe in the power of technology, science, and human empathy to make the journey simpler. Let us help take care of you. Whether you’re looking for glowing skin, more energy, better sleep or something to support your health and fitness routine- Care/Of helps you build and stick with a plan that’s right for you. "For 25% off your first Care/of order, go to and enter JOYFACTOR." Creating a Self-Care Map When you hear the phrase “self-care”, what’s your first thought? what comes up for you? Just for a minute, notice your comfort level when the thought of taking care of yourself comes up. How do you define being good to yourself? What does it mean to you and when was the last time you thought about it? One thing is for certain, we can’t expand our capacity for a joyful life without having a lifestyle that is rooted in self-care. So get comfortable and give yourself the time to listen to the show. We’re going to discuss a framework for starting a sustainable self-care practice and we’ll also be discussing 8 aspects of mind/body/spirit wellbeing. This will be more than enough information to help you create a personal map.  Also, just a reminder that only you know what’s best for you. No one can define what that looks like but I’m hoping you will explore what you need and imagine how you might begin to implement some simple shifts in your day to day routine. So grab some paper and something to write with and we’ll take it away! To start, let’s frame Sustainable Self-Care with 3 guiding principles. Start Small, Stay Steady and Keep it sane. I’m going to invite you to Just let these words sink in. Let any competing thoughts pass by and, just allow yourself to consider how you might bring these concepts alive in your life. Start Small. Tiny steps are better than no steps at all. There's no need for grand plans just small, consistent actions. With the right preparation, these little shifts can be woven into your daily life with just a few moments of effort on your part. What would it be like to take the smallest step possible? Small self-care steps can start anywhere or anytime. A few examples might include pausing to look at the moon, singing your favorite song out loud or breathing a little more deeply. Consider reaching out to friends you’ve lost touch with. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator.  Look around and see what else might be possible for you. Start small. Be Steady Having the kind of steady aim you need to move in your intended direction requires organization and commitment. The best organizational tool I have is a calendar. I still forget things but You know what is on there? Self-Care time. Non-negotiable. Not always perfect but consistent. We’re talking about a few minutes a day. So, put your name on the calendar and a reminder on your phone. Tell a friend you can trust what you’re up to. Better yet, share this episode with someone who would make a great accountability partner. Be open to whatever might represent a gentle nudge toward keeping your date with yourself a and strengthening a growing sense of commitment toward practices you can easily maintain. No self-care map is complete without time.   Finally, the 3rd guiding principal...Make it Sane. Making it sane means there’s a built-in, natural blend of effort and ease from the start. Let’s unpack these two concepts of effort and ease. Make effort means Thinking through your plan and being realistic about your goals. It also means considering what you’re willing to release from your life in order to make room for new habits. A final aspect of effort is being aware of how you support your efforts and how you sabotage yourself.  The other aspect of making it sane is ease. You don't have to do everything all at once. Ease is all about releasing, letting go and exploring your capacity to be flexible and open.   I think another aspect of Ease is also taking the time to enjoy the process by adding some special touches to your practice. Music, creating a nice space for self-care, having a sense of humor and anything else that allows you to show kindness to yourself are all important aspects of ease. So, when you think of effort and ease bookending the principal of making it sane, what does that look like to you? A word from our sponsor: CARE/OF vitamins Fall is a great time to set new goals, get back into a healthy routine, and reprioritize yourself. Care Of’s online quiz lets you know exactly what you need. I have been using Care/Of vitamins for a few months now. My 13-year-old took the quiz the other day and loved getting her own personalized quiz results. Taking care of your health should be easy and convenient-it’s great to have my vitamins shipped to my door in individualized packets. Care/of cares about the environment with their new, compostable packs that meet the same quality and safety standards, and they have a ton of information on how to compost them on their website. If you could use support building and sticking with a plan that’s right for you had on over to and enter JOYFACTOR. For 25% off your first order." Now that we’ve discussed these 3 guiding principals of sustainable self-care: Start Small, Stay steady and Keep it sane. Let’s talk about the different aspects of wellbeing. Pay attention to what comes up for you as each of these are described. Notice what’s already going well for you and be curious about whether you want to include any of these on your own self-care map. Take a look at the Sustainable Self Care Wellness Inventory identify goals for your self-care map and let me know how it's going.  1.Stress Resilience/Happiness Practices- This is all about having the tools to protect yourself from stress, creating a gratitude practice, valuing regularly celebrating good times and having a support system during bad times. I respond to changes in my life with a positive attitude.  I believe that I deserve to enjoy my life and feel happy.  I have at least 5 people who support me when I’m having a hard time and help me celebrate when life is good. When I face a life challenge, I feel confident that I handle the accompanying stress in a healthy way.  I’m clear on my boundaries and say “no” when I need to.  I set realistic goals for myself.  I have a gratitude practice and regularly stop to give thanks for my life. I keep a journal and use it to reflect on my life and put my thoughts on paper. 2. PHYSICAL CARE & NURTURING I get at least 30 minutes of exercise four times each week. My dietary choices are healthy and good for me and I avoid eating after 8:00 p.m. I consume at least 8 glasses of water daily. I consume fewer than 5 alcoholic drinks per week. I have a doctor or health care provider I trust and feel comfortable with.       I take time to schedule a yearly physical and dental exam.  I tend to my body through massage, reflexology, and/or yoga, other__________ I make a point of having a good belly laugh every day.   3. SPIRITUALITY & CREATIVITY I have a clear sense of meaning and purpose in my life. I am pleased with what I give back to the world. I practice forgiveness toward myself and others. I am part of a community that gives me meaning and purpose. I have at least one creative pursuit I engage in regularly-drawing, painting, sculpting, music, poetry etc.  I regularly seek out inspiration through literature, art or music. I feel connected to something larger than myself.  I have a spiritual practice that includes meditation, dream work, journaling, prayer, etc. 4. WORK & PERSONAL POTENTIAL I work no more than 8 hours per day and do not take work home with me. I have the training, background and tools to do my job well. I feel good about my ability to communicate with others. I stand up for what I believe in. I set realistic goals for my life and consistently work toward reaching them. I’m able to let go of mistakes I’ve made and know how to move on. I spend my time and energy on things that really matter to me.  I have mentors who offer me insight and guidance for my life and goals. 5. TIME, MONEY & ORGANIZATION I feel good about the way I budget, spend and track my money. I have good habits when it comes to managing my time and responsibilities. My desk and workspace are organized and I can easily find what I need.  I have little in my life that needs cleaning up or fixing. I regularly set limits/boundaries and can say no when necessary. I make time for self- reflection. I feel good about the amount of free time I spend in front of a screen. I have clarity around my vision, goals and daily tasks. I am aware of how much I earn and where my money goes. 6. RELATIONSHIPS & CONNECTION I feel that I am well attuned to the emotions and needs of my loved ones. I have a network of friends on whom I can — and do — depend. I am able to speak openly about my feelings when angry or worried. I give and receive affection regularly. The people closest to me feel seen, heard and valued by me. I share responsibility for household tasks in a manner that supports the relationship. I am open to change and question my beliefs, values, and principles. In my main relationship, each of us assumes goodwill about the other. 7. EMOTIONAL WELLBEING & MINDFULNESS I attend to my core values on a regular basis. Notice inner experience (e.g. listen to and recognize thoughts, judgments, beliefs, attitudes and feelings) I have a level of acceptance of my imperfections (self-compassion) and have the strength to let go of my fear and uncertainty. I practice muscle relaxation, yoga, stretching, meditation or slow breathing.  I am able to speak kindly and offer praise to myself appropriately. I am able to deal with fear, guilt, and insecurity in a constructive way. I have a positive image of my body. I feel satisfied with where I am in my life.  8. REST & PLAY Joy and gratitude come easily to me, and I do things that bring me joy. I enjoy getting out of bed most days, and look forward to the day. I express my unique talents, strengths, passions, and dreams on a daily basis. I feel good about the amount of fun I have in my life. I am able to have fun and enjoy myself without drugs or alcohol. When I wake up in the morning I feel rested and ready for the day. I know how to wind down at the end of the day and look forward to relaxing. I eagerly anticipate or think about future adventures I am planning. So there you have it! You may have other aspects of self-care you’d like to include but hopefully, this information gets you inspired to sit down and reflect on what a sustainable self-care map looks like for you. We’ll be talking more about self-care in the coming months because it really does form the foundation for more joy. Please drop by the JOY Factor Facebook Group to share your thoughts on today’s episode and tell us about your own self-care plans! Check out our show notes for more information on today’s show and please support the show by sharing it with a friend and leaving an honest rating and review on Facebook.  Thanks for listening and have a great day! "For 25% off your first Care/of order, go to and enter JOYFACTOR." This episode is brought to you by Care/Of.           
June 18, 2019
We want to learn who our listeners are! Please take a moment and fill out this quick survey: Hello and welcome to the JOY Factor Podcast episode number #24. My guest is Shane Birkel. Shane is a marriage and family therapist with a private practice just outside of Boston.He works primarily with couples and is a certified Relational Life Therapist with Terry Real as his mentor. Couples Therapist Couch   Shane hosts a weekly podcast called the Couples Therapist Couch  the practice of Couples Therapy. Practice website: Podcast website: Many of the couples I see are seeking deeper intimacy and improved communication. Nothing can steal joy like an unfulfilling relationship but in order to feel satisfied and connected with our partner, we have to be connected to ourselves and have a sense of wholeness. Society’s definition of manhood forces men to make unconscious choices that often leave them disconnected from their capacity to be whole.  The good news is that things can get better when men are given the opportunity to consciously learn the skills needed to engage and learn what true intimacy is. There are many ways to start but today we’re talking about strategies for helping men build healthier self-esteem and stronger relationships. Topics Discussed: 1. What is toxic masculinity and why does it matter? 2. What is healthy masculinity? 3. Why is healthy self-esteem so important? 4. The power of the feedback wheel. 5. The power in vulnerability and connection. Shane's motto for life: "There’s never any excuse for harshness." Resources Mentioned: Gillette Razor Commercial Terry Real   
February 25, 2019
This episode is brought to you by Care/Of. Take advantage of this month's special New Year offer! For 50 percent off your first month of personalized Care/of vitamins, go to and enter "joyfactor50". Hello and welcome to episode #23 of the Joy Factor Podcast. Today’s guest is one of my favorite yoga teachers, Lori Love. Lori loves to incorporate pranayama (breath work), play and alignment into all of her classes.   A prana flow instructor for more 15 years, she is trained in the Shiva Rea lineage and earned her 500-hour yoga certification as an Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist through the New Mexico School of Yoga. Lori also holds certifications in yin and restorative yoga.  Additionally, she is a Power Pilates 600-hour apparatus-trained instructor.  Lori has a personal training designation, too, and has been known to swing a kettlebell (not in yoga classes!). Lori holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and has worked in management, sales, and marketing.  She holds a life coaching certification from Soul Salt Academy. When Lori isn’t teaching, she’s happiest spending time with her three children and looking for the best hiking trails in the area. Join us as she shares from her wealth of knowledge on all things yoga. Lori quietly shows up and sets the tone for others to put down their mat and develop a relationship with yoga and all that it can offer. Her style of teaching and the warmth, energy, patience, and generosity she brings to her classes make for a truly joyful experience. I found that talking with her was equally joyful and hope you enjoy the show! Things we’re talking about: Lori’s journey to becoming a yoga teacher What brought her to the mat? Joy role models How yoga helps us strengthen our capacity to trust and make conscious choices? How having a yoga practice enhances our ability to bring more joy into our lives. The importance of showing up Breath practices Ayurvedic practices Resources: Lori's Facebook Page  Maria Garre  A short guide to a happy life- Anna Quinlan Cher slapping Nicholas CageThe right Questions- Debbie Ford Ayurvedic Practices Using a Neti Pots Nasya oil- oil for the nostril        
February 11, 2019
As a somatic experiencing therapist, Alicia Barmon helps people reclaim a sense of safety and power in their bodies. Listen in as we discuss her journey and unique approach to guiding people toward finding more space for joy.
January 12, 2019
Grief Recovery for Children
October 28, 2018
The practice of yoga can change your life. Today's guess offers up a beautiful perspective on how each of us can connect with a practice is uniquely our own. She also invites us to remember that we're the ones we've been waiting for. Be your own guru :).
April 17, 2018
Today’s show is brought to you by Yoga Intentions, a Boulder-based studio aiming to provide high quality, affordable yoga, that encourages individual growth and a sense of community and friendship. The show today contains subjects for mature audiences and may not be appropriate for young listeners. My guest is Angela Rae Clark, She’s a survivor of sexual abuse and exploitation by her grandfather. Angela is on a mission to help break the cycle of silence and reach beyond the pain felt by abuse survivors. She is a life coach specializing in helping clients reclaim their voice and rebuild confidence during recovery. Angela is a true inspiration for anyone who is on the journey of recovery. If you liked the show please let us know! You can leave a review on iTunes or stop by our facebook page The Joy Factor Podcast The best way to spread the joy though, is to tell your friends and family about us I’d also like to thank our sponsor for today’s show, Yoga Intentions. If you’re in the Boulder area do yourself a favor and visit Yoga Intentions for a fresh yoga experience that’s not only affordable but also makes the best aspects of a yoga community accessible to all. Whether you’d like to Create a yoga practice or deepen your journey, Yoga Intentions offers a kind, compassionate and inspiring space to support you. Check out for more information. More from Angela: “Our past does not define our future - we have choices, healing is possible. My emphasis is on practical tools and education in regard to our thoughts and feelings. Healing happens through one-on-one connection, community, and hope. I'm a Life Coach specializing in reclaiming your voice and rebuilding confidence during recovery with a focus on self-care practices, boundaries, and defining what's next in business and relationships. I'm a member of the National Survivor Network for Human Trafficking and I'm a volunteer with, a non-profit that teaches emotional and energy medicine techniques.  I enjoy Dances of Universal Peace, hiking, and adventures in the wild. I love my life - I want other survivors to know they can thrive too. “        
February 23, 2018
Tips and strategies for finding the right therapist and getting the most out of therapy.
January 1, 2018
Hello and welcome to episode #17 of the JOY Factor Podcast. It’s good to be here with you today and I think you’re going to enjoy this episode. I recently enjoyed a reiki session with Judy and her energy truly is special. Enjoy the show! Judy Buchanan is an entrepreneur, Certified Medical Reiki Master, public speaker, retired U.S. Army solider, wife and mother of two. Her passion is to empower women to safely release trauma, anxiety, grief and pain so they can feel better and thrive. Judy provides Reiki treatments, Reiki classes, supports holistic workshops and retreats as well as provides lectures to educate her community. Judy Buchanan has attained the level of Karuna Reiki Master through the International Center for Reiki Training (IRCT) and the Okuden level of Jikiden Reiki®. Certification in Medical Reiki through Raven Keyes Medical Reiki International. Certification in Sacred Childbirth with Reiki through Rev. Cori Nielsen. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work (BSW), and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). Judy spent 20+ years in the U.S. Army as Medical Service Corps Officer. Her military journey came with many adventures, friendship, and accomplishment as well as many struggles and obstacles. Judy can relate to the stressors working parents, service members, and dual military couples experience while raising a family. Like many other service members, she has been on both sides of deployment: the soldier who deployed and the family member at home taking care of the children while their spouse is away. For many years, Judy experienced many significant health challenges and pain due to her response to high levels of stress. Her desire to heal was the catalyst to explore many complementary medicine techniques. She made great improvements from several different types of holistic therapies but Reiki was different. After having her first Reiki treatment, she knew immediately she needed to learn Reiki and share this amazing therapy with others. When we restore peace and harmony to our body, mind, spirit, or to a situation, we open the pathway so healing can occur. She has been a student of holistic therapies for more than a decade and believes education is a fundamental means of empowering others. Judy educates our community by providing lectures on Reiki and its benefits as well as encouraging others to explore many complementary therapies to heal. She supports the Frederick County Library System Adult Education Program, Maryland State Wellness at Work Program/ Frederick Chamber of Commerce 5 Pillar of Health Lecture Series, Frederick Community Hospital Employee Health and Wellness Program, Fort Detrick United States Army Medical Materiel Development Agency’s Stress-Free Zone, and Frederick Community College Employee Wellness Fair. Judy’s passion is realized through the development of her practice where she provides Reiki treatments and training classes to clients, and through community contribution by providing Reiki treatments to cancer patients and staff at the Frederick Memorial Hospital Cancer Center.  She also volunteers with Veterans Team Recovery Immersion Process (VETRIIP) a non-profit organization located in Texas and Operation Second Chance located in Maryland providing women veterans with Reiki treatments and stress reduction techniques to provide comfort, as well as pain and stress relief.   Contact Information: facebook: @judybuchananenergy Judy's Joy Tips! How to define my joy factor?  Gratitude is the key to happiness Quotes: Don’t worry Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. – Rumi Online Resources to create Joy: Kari Samuels Intuitive Counselor and Happiness Coach James Corden’s Karpool Karaoke – Cracks me up   Music – i.e. my JOY JAM: Feeling Good – Michael Buble Brave – Sara Bareilles Unconditionally- Katy Perry We are family – Sister Sledge You are not alone – Marie Miller Happy – Pharrell Williams Good to be Alive – Any Grammer Rise – Katy Perry Favorite book:  The Travelers Gift - Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success by – Andy Andrews  The lesson pertaining to happiness in The Travelers Gift: Today I will choose to be happy – Anne Frank            Our very lives are fashioned by choice. First, we make choices. Then our choices make us.  
March 16, 2017
Hello and welcome to episode #16 of the JOY Factor Podcast. It’s good to be here with you today and I think you’re going to enjoy this episode- especially if you’re a guy looking for a solid relationship or even just a good date. My guest is Jeffrey Platts-he’s a men's coach and authentic communication expert who is passionate about helping men create amazing relationships with women. With over 20 years of personal study and transformational training, he has led nearly 200 workshops and retreats on personal growth, dating, and communication. Jeffrey's work and writing has been featured in the Huffington Post, Washington Post, ABC News, Authentic Man Program and the Good Men Project. He brings a rich toolbox of insights and experiences to his facilitation, integrating his adventures as DJ, amateur stand-up comedian, salsa dancer, yoga teacher and world traveler. Find out more at   More from Jeffrey: "Whatever you think the world is withholding from you, you are withholding from the world." - Eckhart Tolle
November 21, 2016
Welcome to episode 15 of the JOY Factor. Today we're talking about the benefits of taking a break from technology and setting the stage to help you take your own detox. If your internet habits leave you feeling a little edgy, frustrated or down, take heart. You don't have to give up your phone but you can greatly benefit from reigning it in and being more intentional with your use.  This is a call to give yourself the space to reflect on how you're spending the time and seize the opportunity to make changes where you need to.  Enjoy the show and let me know what you think!
September 29, 2016
Today I'm interviewing an amazing leader at Helping Services for Northeast Iowa. Kathleen Davis leads the Domestic Violence Resource Center team and is talking today about her work and breaking down myths about survivors of domestic violence. There's still time to donate and/or register for the Sena Hanson Memorial 5k being held on October 1 in Decorah Iowa. 100 % of the proceeds will go to Helping Services of Northeast Iowa. Money raised will provide needed assistance to domestic violence survivors and their children. Here's the link if you'd like to donate If you need help our support please know that there are folks waiting to help. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) Thanks to everyone who is listening, peace and love to all who are suffering and power to those who can take a stand to help someone.  About Kathleen Kathleen Davis is the Director of the Domestic Abuse Resource Center which is a program of Helping Services for Northeast Iowa based in Decorah, Iowa.  Kathleen began working at Helping Services in 1999 after graduating from Upper Iowa University where she graduated with a bachelor's of science degree in Public Administration.   While attending college full time, she also worked in the counseling department and realized that helping people was her passion.  Kathleen and her husband reside in West Union where they have raised two amazing sons and are fortunate to have two adorable grandchildren that live close by.   Kathleen proudly serves on the leadership team at the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence and as a board member for the Building Direction for Families (BDF). 
September 26, 2016
During the month of September The JOY Factor is taking a stand against domestic violence. Support Helping Services for NE Iowa Domestic Abuse Resource Center to honor my niece Sena’s memory and raise awareness of intimate partner violence Register for the 2nd Annual Sena Hanson Memorial Walk/Run/Bike 5k on 10/1/16 or make a donation (every dollar counts) Thank you for your support! Today’s guest is Dr. Jennifer Sippel. She is the Clinical Director for Cultural Transformation VA North Texas Health Care System and a Certified Compassion Teacher who received her training Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. Jen spells out simple but effective ways to begin an informal compassion practice and outlines some of the science behind the power of compassion.  Compassion Resources Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education   Krstin Neff   Brene’ Brown   Paul Gilbert-compassion focused therapy   Brian Cox   Neil Degrasse Tyson   Shout Outs!! First Unitarian Church of Dallas Luther College   About Dr. Sippel Dr. Jennifer Sippel is the Clinical Director for Cultural Transformation at VA North Texas Health Care System.  She Chairs the Patient Centered Care Committee and serves on the Organizational Health Council.  She is currently in the process of creating and will chair the Complimentary and Integrative Health (CIH) Steering Committee.  Dr. Sippel created a new hiring process and is leading activation for a new five-provider primary care VA clinic in Plano, Texas, which will include five health coaches funded by Dr. Sippel’s Whole Health Partnership grant awarded by the Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation.  The Plano VA Primary Care Clinic will serve 6,000 Veterans house many innovation projects in support of the Plano Whole Health Pathway design and implementation.  Dr. Sippel’s program evaluation and research areas of interest include complementary and integrative health (CIH), spinal cord injury home care, health care employee resilience, experiential learning models, Whole Health implementation and outcomes, VA hiring practices, and values-based organizational change.  In 2014, Dr. Sippel trained at Stanford School of Medicine, Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) and received her certification as a Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) teacher.  She has developed many unique Veteran and employee training programs, including Autonomy Support Training (AST).  Dr. Sippel is a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Texas and provides executive/leadership coaching services to VA leaders and private clients. Contact her Quote  “A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” Albert Einstein
September 9, 2016
Today’s episode may be difficult to hear and a trigger warning for some. The content is designed for a mature audience so please keep children out of listening range. Also, just a reminder that this podcast is not meant as a substitute for therapy, or counseling but it may provide information you find therapeutic or helpful. Today’s guest is Lisette Johnson creator of the website Lisette Johnson leads a peaceful life with her two teenage children outside Richmond, Virginia. After years of emotional and psychological abuse by her husband, Lisette was making plans to exit the marriage when he shot her several times before taking his own life. She is now a tireless advocate for those navigating intimate partner abuse and works at the state and national levels to bring awareness and change laws to protect women and children from partner violence and control. For the month of September the JOY Factor will be dedicated to the topic of exploring the reality of intimate partner violence, ways to help survivors heal and what communities can do to prevent this epidemic. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 20 people per minute are physically abused by their partner. That adds up to more than 10 million women and men per year. In the United States 3 women are murdered by their current or former male partners every day. On September 8, 2009, my niece Sena became one of them. As only those who’ve lost loved ones to violence can understand, the depth of despair is unspeakable and the path to healing is a long hard one. Giving a voice to those who have been lost, as well as those who have survived helps. It is a way to find meaning in something so senseless. Everyone has the right to live a joyful life and I want to do my part to make that possible. This year marks the 2nd annual Sena Hanson Memorial 5k Walk/Run/Bike which will be held on October 1 in Decorah Iowa. This event is a way to represent hope for other victims and inspire courage in us all to stand up against domestic violence All of the proceeds will be used to benefit the Domestic Abuse Resource Center at Helping Services for NE Iowa. These donations will be used to provide advocacy services as well as needed supplies, gas, food, and other necessities client's may have.  If you’re in northeast Iowa or nearby please consider taking part in the 5k. If not, will you make a donation in Sena’s honor? No amount is too small. Every dollar raised will go directly to helping someone escape a dangerous situation. You can find my fundraising page here: Donate to help SURVIVORS  You can also learn more about what Helping Services for NE Iowa is doing by visiting In addition to being a writer, speaker and consultant, Lisette is also a survivor. This is an excerpt from Shameless Survivors. “On October 4, 2009, while our nine and twelve year old children played in the basement of our home, my husband of twenty one years walked into the bedroom, declared his love for me and shot me in the chest. Running past him I was shot again. As I ran from the house, trying to scream to our children to get out and call 911, he shot me in the back, then turned the gun on himself.  By the grace of God I survived, and my children survived. I was preparing to leave a marriage of increasing abuse and control. The closer that day came, the more abusive he became. I never imagined his emotional battery could escalate into lethal physical violence. I never imagined he was capable of it, nor did I understand leaving is the most dangerous time as I did not ‘self-identify’ as a domestic violence victim. Sadly virtually everyone knows someone who is or has been in an abusive relationship; a relative, acquaintance, friend, neighbor or co-worker. If you don’t, you will one day. It is my hope that readers will be inspired to understand the complexity of abuse and support these individuals, mostly women. For those who are currently in it, I hope to encourage you to leave fear, be a survivor too, and reclaim your life that is waiting to be lived.” “
September 6, 2016
  Support Helping Services for NE Iowa Domestic Abuse Resource Center to honor my niece Sena's memory and raise awareness of intimate partner violence Register for the 2nd Annual Sena Hanson Memorial Walk/Run/Bike 5k on 10/1/16 or make a donation (every dollar counts) My fundraising page for Helping Services Thank you for your support! Today's guest is licensed therapist, professional speaker and fellow podcaster, Robert Cox. His podcast, Mindful Recovery is an amazing resource for anyone on the journey through recovery from trauma or addictions. Listening to some of his guided meditations on healing have brought tears to my eyes and touched my heart. He is truly passionate about helping people and I know you'll enjoy our interview today! Visit Robert's website for valuable information and to check out his podcast, Mindful Recovery More on healing our broken spaces   For the month of September the JOY Factor will be dedicated to the topic of exploring the reality of intimate partner violence, ways to help survivors heal and what communities can do to prevent this epidemic. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 20 people per minute are physically abused by their partner. That adds up to more than 10 million women and men per year. In the United States 3 women are murdered by their current or former male partners every day. On September 8, 2009, my niece Sena became one of them. Those who knew and loved her would all agree that she would be the first one to help someone who was struggling. Sadly we were not able to help her when she needed it the most. As only those who’ve lost loved ones to violence can understand, the depth of despair is unspeakable and the path to healing is a long hard one. Giving a voice to those who have been lost, as well as those who have survived helps. It is a way to find meaning in something so senseless. Whether you are currently in an abusive relationship or ready to take a stand on behalf of those needing support thank you. I believe everyone deserves to enjoy their life and the more we draw attention to those who suffer silently the more light we can bring to the darkness. This year marks the 2nd annual Sena Hanson Memorial 5k Walk/Run/Bike which will be held on October 1 in Decorah Iowa. This event is a way to represent hope for other victims and inspire courage in us all to stand up against domestic violence All of the proceeds will be used to benefit the Domestic Abuse Resource Center at Helping Services for NE Iowa. These donations will be used to provide advocacy services as well as needed supplies, gas, food, and other necessities client's may have.  If you’re in northeast Iowa or nearby please consider taking part in the 5k. If not, will you make a donation in Sena’s honor? No amount is too small. Every dollar raised will go directly to helping someone escape a dangerous situation. You can find my fundraising page on or by finding The JOY Factor on Facebook  
August 31, 2016
Today's guest is Kim Dow, founder of Sass Magazine and Kalico Design in Frederick Maryland. Kim shares her perspective on joy and offers a great example to other entrepreneurs.  Contact Kim More about Kim Kimberly Dow is the owner and creative director of Kalico Design, a graphic design studio in the Frederick, MD region that works with associations, publications and companies in the health & wellness, women-oriented, and pet-related industries. She is an award-winning graphic designer who earned a BA, Summa Cum Laude, from Salisbury University in Maryland. An entrepreneur at heart, Kim also just recently launched Sass Magazine, a women’s lifestyle and professional magazine in the Frederick MD and surrounding regions. Kim serves as the owner, publisher, and creative director for this new venture. Kim also finds creative outlets outside the design studio. A dancer since the age of 4, she is the co-founder and past artistic director of Equinox Dance Company, an all-adult modern dance troupe in western Maryland. Kim is also active in her design community. She has served as the President for the AAF Greater Frederick, her local chapter of the national American Advertising Federation and continues to be involved with the club as a committee member or through volunteer efforts. Recently, Kim was awarded The Patricia Martin Crystal Prism Award, an AAF honor presented by each local chapter to a member who has demonstrated outstanding commitment and leadership to their club. When not at work, Kim can be found hanging out at home with her husband and high school sweetheart, Jimmy, who is a Montgomery County high school math teacher by day and motocross rider by weekend. They share their Frederick home with their rescued animals, two pitbulls and a cat, as well as a pet snake and saltwater fish tank. In her spare time, Kim enjoys reading, traveling, hiking, mountain biking and gardening.
August 2, 2016
Today’s guest is Jacqueline Lawson from Joyful on Purpose. In May  of 2012 Jackie’s husband Brian lost his battle with cancer and died 112 days after his diagnosis. From the start Jackie made a conscious decision to find joy in the midst of pain no matter what. Unless you’ve been through the loss of a loved on, it’s hard to know how you would respond. Talking to Jackie was a privilege because she wholeheartedly admits to the intensity of her loss but at the same time she does exactly what the JOY Factor is all about- she rises toward the light even when seemingly surrounded by darkness. She reaches in deep and manages to find her own voice in the process. This is a special episode that will leave you feeling hopeful and inspired. Such a wonderful story of hope and possibility. Talking to Jackie reminded me how kind and thoughtful people can be. Despite losing the love of her life Jackie made a conscious decision to be joyful on purpose. We can all learn from her example. She made a conscious decision to seek out joy in her day no matter what the circumstances. You can do that too. Be sure to check out for all the show notes. You can also go there to leave a review! If you have been listening and are enjoying the show it would mean a lot to me if you left me your feedback and if you share the joy with your friends. Thanks for listening and I hope you have a joyful day. “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” Thich Nhat Hanh About Jacqueline What began as an online journal and a way of coping with the impending death of a husband and father turned into a mission to share joy with others. Jacqueline Lawson lost her husband, Brian, to stage 4 melanoma in 2012. During the 112 days from his diagnosis to his death, she discovered that it is within each of us to face our days actively seeking joy. Joyful on Purpose was born just a month before her husband died, and Jacqueline continues to live a life centered on joy. She is an ordinary mom, sister, daughter, and friend. Joy is her middle name and she is embarking on a journey to live up to that name by “moving through life and finding joy along the way.” Jacqueline shares her personal stories of joyful grief on her blog, Joyful on Purpose. She turned the journals written during Brian’s illness into their story, “112 Days: A Story of Holding On and Letting Go.” Jacqueline is a writer, speaker, do-gooder, and spreader of joy! Resources Other books on grief and loss  
July 25, 2016
On today's episode, Boulder's own Cat Pantaleo joins me to discuss the power of connecting with nature and the ancient wisdom that's waiting for all of us to remember.  Cat generously shared her time and wisdom and her words will remind you of the power of nature and the impact of stopping to listen to it. She gave pointers on simple, yet inspiring practices  to connect with the wild life all around us and discussed the amazing work of Feet on the Earth, a non-profit organization committed to helping youth connect with nature.  Resources discussed on the show: Feet On The Earth- Growing community from the ground up. Wilderness Awareness School- So many great resources on this site! Books to check out About Cat Catherine Pantaleo CN CCH has a Bachelors Degree in Biology from the University of Miami, and is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and Herbalist. For the past 12 years, she has taught a variety of holistic health and life science subjects at several Boulder/Denver area schools, including: Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies, Seven Bowls School of Nutrition, North American Institute of Medical Herbalism, Healing Spirits Massage Training Program, and Nutrition Therapy Institute. Recently she has shifted her focus from adult to youth education and in May 2012 completed the Women's Apprenticeship program at Feet on the Earth, which focused on nature-connection mentoring, primitive/survival skills, children's development, and Rites of Passage. Catherine also is a Naturalist in training; she is enrolled in the Kamana Naturalist Training Program, a correspondence program through the Wilderness Awareness School. Using Nature as a classroom, her goal is to co-create a community whose members are confident in who they are, have knowledge of self and place, and have compassion and respect for all life.
July 6, 2016
Today’s guest is Kelly Darke. Kelly is a Michigan based art therapist who has been using art as a portal to joyful living since she was a child. Lately she’s been collaborating with the organization Stand with Trans to lead art therapy groups for transgender kids. Creating a safe, creative space for these kids and their families has allowed her to learn from their wisdom and increase her understanding of the unique concerns the transgender community. Her authenticity shines through and I loved talking to her, not only about the work she does but also because of her powerful reminder that unconditional love is the key to raising healthy children. If you have an interest in adding more art or creativity into your own life you’ll love this episode. I can’t wait to share Kelly’s amazing perspective on art, parenting and personal growth and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. After the interview Kelly sent me a sample of her Daily Visual Journaling program. I already had art supplies but went ahead and picked up journals for myself and my kids. Having the structure and techniques demonstrated in short videos is so cool! It’s like having a mini art workshop at your fingertips and it’s such a powerful way to practice mindfulness in an expansive and creative way. Like Kelly says, it can be hard to implement a habit even if we know it’s good for us. If you are looking for a mindfulness practice that includes a bit of creativity I highly recommend you check this out.  I have to say that just this morning I had to pull one of my kids away from her visual journal. I’m loving it too! I will share some of our journal pages on the Joy Factor Facebook Page page and I hope you’ll join me there and share your own. The really cool news I want to share now is that Kelly has generously offered a discount on her year long Daily Visual Journal program. She’s offering 100 listeners 40% off the price of this course! Make that 99 listeners because I grabbed mine already! Use the code JOYFactor. Make sure the word JOY is in all caps and join me! I really do consider it an investment in me but it’s also going to be a great activity to do with my kids. If you’re not sure if you want to invest in the whole program, do yourself a favor and check out her free sample. Like I said before that’s what drew me in and I think you’ll love it too. More about Kelly Kelly Darke, ATR, M.Ed., BFA is an art therapist, certified art teacher, and professional artist. Darke works from her private practice studio, Mindful Art Center, in Livonia Michigan where she provides individual art therapy sessions, group workshops, and creates online self-care workshops.  Darke graduated from Wayne State University with a Masters in Education for art therapy and has worked with adults with traumatic brain injuries, children and adolescents with developmental and emotional disorders, and transgender youth and their parents. In 2013, Darke had the honor of presenting with colleagues at the Expressive Art Therapies Summit on the topic of digital art therapy Resources: Daily Visual Journal Course There's a nice free preview of the class. When you invest in the full year program take advantage of a sweet 40% deal by adding the coupon code JOYFactor when you register. This is for the first 100 listeners only (make that 99 because I'm grabbing the deal too!).  Daily Visual Journal Supplies Here are the journals we're using along with a few different art supplies (water colors, pens, markers etc.) to get you started.  To learn more about organizations helping the transgender community... Stand with Trans "The mission of Stand with Trans is to provide the tools needed by transgender youth so they will be empowered, supported and validated as they transition to their authentic life." Human Rights Campaign Trans Youth Family Allies For fun.... Jimmy Fallon Lip Sync Battle    
July 1, 2016
In today’s episode, I’m talking to Gloria Martin, a Dallas TX based marriage and family therapist in private practice. Gloria’s thoughtful approach to seeking joy offers us the opportunity to dive a little deeper into practice of creating space for reflection.  I hope you’ll take a moment and reflect on how you can listen to your soul. What questions need to be asked in order to mindfully check in with yourself? More about Gloria: Gloria Martin is in private practice in Dallas, Texas and works with individuals, couples, and families. She is licensed by the Texas Board of Examiners of Licensed Professional Counselors and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor and is Texas Board Supervisor. Based on her belief that systems theory can have a broader appeal than the therapy room, Gloria has provided team-building services for Head Start of Greater Dallas and Region 10 Educational Service Center and also conducts ecumenical process groups for female clergy serving in congregations in Dallas.  Gloria has a particular interest in women’s issues, and the mind-body connection. She enjoys traveling, dinner with friends, casual bike riding, and spending time with her family. Gloria has been married to her husband Phill for 43 years. Gloria has two married daughters and a grandson that live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Contact Gloria Resources  Parker Palmer Let Your Life Speak Creating a refuge in your home Journals
June 17, 2016
  Today's guest is all about helping people reclaim their joy around food. Amy Goldsmith is a nutritionist who talks about the importance of finding someone you can trust to help you forge healthier habits with food. She shares what brings her joy, what steals it, and how she gets it back.  Here's a little more information on Amy and how to find her: Amy Goldsmith graduated Cum Laude from Virginia Tech with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Human Nutrition Foods and Exercise.  She has 17 years of experience in the clinical inpatient, outpatient, consulting, and corporate world and specializes  in Eating Disorders, Sports Nutrition, and Thyroid health.  As a sports nutritionist she assists with getting the client to peak performance by incorporating the best nutrition before, during training, race time, and recovery.  She is co-founder of the HOPE Consortium, helping people with Eating Disorders, and works intensely and independently with clients suffering from an Eating Disorder. Amy has been featured in multiple media outlets and has presented to area running groups and clubs, the Frederick County and Montgomery County MD School Systems, and high school and college athletic departments as a topic expert.  She believes in an individual approach to assist with attaining personal goals by meeting each individual where they are.  In her spare time she trains and competes in triathlons and running races as well as works out at Odin Crossfit in Frederick MD. She has been married for 11 years and is a mom of two children ages 8 and 7, her most favorite, most challenging, but most rewarding job. 301-580-0008 Here are a few resources on nutrition and mindful eating.
May 23, 2016
Today's guest is Jason Doorish and we're talking about remembering the basics when it comes to joy. Jason is a Licensed Professional Counselor and he's an expert on bringing mindfulness into the day every day. He reminds us that often the best things in life are the simplest and we all could benefit from chilling out a bit more and taking life less seriously wherever possible. When it comes to intentional joy he recommends starting where you are and operating from the understanding that we all have more power than we think over the situations life throws at us. A few tips to remember: When you start on this path. It’s ok to fail.  Know that you won’t have a perfect plan but be on the look out for things you can commit to. Build a life step by step that promotes joy. Get enough sleep, eat breakfast and take naps! It’s not just one thing but each practice strung to the next that helps to create a sense of expansion and joy. Accept that you’re going to have bad days. Good emotions and bad emotions come and go. Be open to figuring out what your small joys are and then pursue them.  Remember to be Self-Full   RESOURCES Contact Jason at The Mindfulness Solution          
May 6, 2016
Today’s guest is Beth Boatman. Beth is a sex therapist and sexuality educator with the insight and expertise to inspire all of us to create more joy in our lives by embracing a sense of healthy sexuality. She shared the story of how she came to be known as Beth the Sex Consultant and offered her thoughts on comprehensive sex education, balancing different sex drives and keeping desire alive across the lifespan. One of the key points she makes is the importance of the c word……communication! Whether it’s talking to your child about sex or trying to increase your level of desire with your partner, the key is to become more comfortable expressing yourself. If you’re struggling (or maybe avoiding?) having a chat with someone you care about, this interview might be just the thing you need to spark up a conversation. Enjoy! Beth Boatman received a Masters Degree in Human Sexuality Education atWidener University and is a Certified Sexuality Educator (AASECT) and aBoard Certified Sexologist (ACS). She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Family Therapy at Texas Woman’s University where she specializes in psychotherapy for individuals and couples facing issues related to sexual dysfunction, intimacy issues, chronic illness, and medical family therapy. Beth is a lifelong resident of the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area and provides counseling services, education, speaker presentations, and professional trainings on sexuality related topics. Resources: Find Beth at Book Suggestions: Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape By Peggy Orenstein The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Younger Girls, Revised Edition By Valorie Schaefer Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence By Esther Perel Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships By David Schnarch PhD IF you enjoyed today's episode please take a moment to download, rate, review and/or share!
April 22, 2016
Today's guest is an expert on holding her own in the face of struggle. Joclyn Hanson is a professor of communications but really knows how to teach the art of being classy, strong and light hearted. Listen in as she shares her insight on turning the worn out phrase "mid-life crisis" into mid-life TRANSFORMATION! 
April 22, 2016
Today's show is all about laughter! Our guest  is Laura Gentry,is dynamic leader in the world of laughter yoga and the founder of the Iowa School of Laughter Yoga.  “Joy-real heart singing joy- is possible and you deserve to have it.” Laura Gentry Listen as Laura shares: What inspired her to bring more laughter into her life How she builds laughter into her day Specific laughter exercises you can begin doing immediately How laughter can be a mindfulness practice and a daily elixir Insider details on this year’s lineup for the Laugh Fest of the Midwest May13-15, 2016  Warning- you may have to tune out your serious side to relax and deliberately give yourself a minute to be silly with us.  Recommended Links and Resources:
April 21, 2016
Welcome to the JOY Factor podcast, featuring bi-weekly conversations to help you reclaim more space in your life for joy. The Joy Factor is a podcast for anyone with a desire to create more joy in their lives.  Julie Hanson, Licensed Psychotherapist, Certified Life Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher,  interviews experts in the field of mental health and positive psychology as well as everyday people who’ve got their own take on how to be on the hunt for joy even in the midst of struggle. She’s on a quest to connect her listeners with the tools, tips and inspiration to claim their right to joy!
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