Tag Archives: self-esteem

Episode 32: The Most Extreme Form of Violence Against Girls

Fatu SillahToday I’m talking to a brave and determined young woman who’s speaking out against her culture and looking to make a change in her community.

Fatu was born in Sierra Leone. As a young girl, she was subjected to a cruel and brutal practice called Female genital mutilation (FGM) also known as female genital cutting or the somehow innocent sounding female circumcision.

This is by no means similar to male circumcision. FGM is the ritual removal of some or all of the external female genitalia. It involves the total removal of the clitoris and the narrowing of the vaginal opening through stitching or cutting and repositioning the labia minora or labia majora. The practice has no health benefits whatsoever. In fact, it harms girls and women in many ways and sometimes it leads to death.

It is one of the most extreme forms of violence against girls and women across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The practice has also been found around the western world, in countries such as Australia, UK, USA, Canada etc. It is estimated that more than 200 million young girls and women around the globe have been mutilated and are living in immense physical and psychological pain.

Resources and Links:
Music Credits

Intro: Don’t Hold Back (Grow and Soar) by KOÄN
2010 – Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0)

Episode 31: Life Is All About Perspective

Soness StevensSoness Stevens is the Head Speaker Coach for multiple TEDx events and has coached over 109 TED & TEDx speakers. She represented Japan for TED Worldwide, spoke at TEDxFukuoka and TEDxWasedaU.

Soness has a weekly nationwide broadcast TV show on communications and is an Associate Professor of business presentation skills at YNU. You may have seen her on NHK TV and Fox TV Japan, or heard her as the official English voice of Hello Kitty. She lives near the beach and practices Zazen Meditation at her local temple in Japan.

I’m so grateful to have Soness Stevens on the show and I’m so thankful for her willingness to share with us her intimate and very personal life journey living with a mother who was suffering from mental illness.

For a good half of her young life she lived in a car with her mother and brother. They were constantly on the move, running from landlords because her mother didn’t have a job and could not afford to pay rent. Despite growing up in such a difficult circumstance, drifting from place to place, Soness went on and became a beautiful, positive and successful individual. Her ability to see life in colours as a child is truly inspiring!

Resources and Links:
Music Credits

Intro: Don’t Hold Back (Grow and Soar) by KOÄN
2010 – Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0)

Episode 27: The Power of Gratitude

Anna Dwyer Anna Dwyer is a beautiful lady from inside out. She is in my opinion the gratitude queen. Every day for what is now more than 1500 days straight Anna did not go to bed without writing down at least five things she was grateful for on that day.

I’m so happy to have Anna on the show to share with us how she does it and the impact it had on her life. I have learned so much from this beautiful lady in our short twenty minutes discussion and I absolutely loved her energy and positive vibe.

Resources and Links:
Music Credits

Intro: Don’t Hold Back (Grow and Soar) by KOÄN
2010 – Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0)

Episode 26: A Child Soldier Story

Deng Thiak AdutMy guest for today’s episode is one of the most humble and grateful beings I have ever met.

Deng Adut was snatched from his mother’s arms when he was just six years old. He was forced to fight for the South Sudanese rebels as a child. After several years of fighting, by chance, he ran into one of his relatives and was smuggled out of the country. He immigrated to Australia as a teenager where he taught himself how to read, write and speak English. He earned a scholarship with the Western Sydney University and went on to become a defence Lawyer, refugee advocate and an author.

You are all invited to my friend Deng’s book launch on the 26th October 7pm at Kinokuniya bookstore in Sydney. Please come and join us.

Resources and Links:
Music Credits

Intro: Don’t Hold Back (Grow and Soar) by KOÄN
2010 – Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0)

Episode 25: Starting Over

Claire AshmanClaire Ashman spent most of her life unwillingly in different cults. Almost four decades later she woke up to reality and walked away from the only environment she had known. She left the cult, her husband and raised eight children on her own. She spent years of soul searching and professional counseling to get her life back on track. Today, Claire is an aspiring author and an anti-cult activist. She travels around Australia sharing her life journey and helping others in similar circumstances to deal with the challenge.

Resources and Links:
Music Credits

Intro: Don’t Hold Back (Grow and Soar) by KOÄN
2010 – Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0)