Woman Wednesday: Annemarie

Q and A with Annemarie from Germany

“Everyone (and girls/women in particular) should go on a solo travel trip at least once in their lives.”

Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am passionate about travel and video. Both kinda blended so well together throughout my career that I never really imagined I could actually turn them into my job. The first time I went abroad (without my parents) was on a trip to England and I caught the travel bug so bad, it made me study English, study abroad, volunteer in international organizations, take an internship abroad, go on a working holiday, and then I kinda stumbled into freelancing through video creation, photography, and my passion for sharing travel tips. Still to this day, I could talk for hours about all the ridiculous and exciting experiences I’ve had over the seven years I’ve lived out of my suitcase (before a certain pandemic-you-know-what hit), all the cool video shoots I have set up (many of them spontaneously, aided by the trusty wigs I carried). And I cannot wait to return to a semi-nomadic work lifestyle again.

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: In my childhood, I was the classic type A: overachieving, people-pleasing “good girl.” I tried to fit in so badly, but I truly lost myself and am still unlearning a lot. What impacted and shocked me awake the most, however, was travel. And I realize that it’s a skill in itself, that it truly teases out excitement in my soul and challenges me in all kinds of different ways. I remember having to do a quiz while on my school trip in England and despite being the shyest person, I absolutely loved chatting up random strangers on the street and making up stories to fill into the quiz. I won. And I honestly didn’t recognize this person even at the time. Who was she? I was impressed. Travel can be eye-opening like that.

Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: Everyone (and girls/women in particular) SHOULD go on a solo travel trip at least once in their lives. Yes, it’s utterly uncomfortable the first time. It will feel lonely, awkward, confusing, etc. But bear with it for the first few days, follow your gut, stroll aimlessly, talk to fellow solo travelers (hostels are great for that; you can get a single room if you don’t like dorms), take yourself out to dinner/museums/shows, etc., and really treat yourself like you would want to be treated. It will change your life. And if you realize it’s not for you, that’s totally ok. But it helps gain clarity if you ask me.

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism means dismantling a lot of the toxic structures, institutions, beliefs, and systems that societies have taught us over the past centuries. To see people as equal and treat them in a way that uplifts everyone. To include everyone. To be intersectional, to question everything and do better, to take responsibility, and actively (un)learn. This includes all genders because no society can fully thrive if it keeps discriminating and placing shame.

My passion for video developed parallel to my growth as a freelancer and traveling the world. A friend challenged me once to package “all that” (I talk very animatedly) into videos because text and photos just didn’t cut it. Videos help portray multidimensionality, they can tell stories so succinctly, with so much emotion, and to me, they are just a huge playground. I can be whoever I want. Editing, framing a shot, and arranging clips all have such a huge effect on the end result, which is why I pivoted more towards helping fellow female entrepreneurs with their video endeavors rather than talking solely about empowerment through travel. Videos do the same and you have so much control here. It’s perfect for introverts like me. It’s like sending out a clone into the world as a stand-in for all the digital introductions. Have a video explaining yourself and your business and those people that like your vibe, will stick with it. Those that don’t, will leave. Perfect! So, I now direct, edit, and film videos for entrepreneurs. Because video is its own language and little world.

Thank you for reading!

You can contact me and find video examples on my portfolio website:


Woman Wednesday: Valeria

Q and A with Valeria, born in Budapest, Hungary, living in Costa de Sol, Spain

“I will spend the rest of my life with myself, so self-care and wellness for “my time” both physically and mentally have become a focal point.”

Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: Awe my passions! My passions embody different paths: First, about my and your health, functional fitness, and how we can all age gracefully…I know it is a huge challenge for all of us to stay fit, flexible, and healthy. I am an avid hiker with my puppers, and I love my CrossFit classes (both of which tighten and shorten my muscles and ligaments). My yoga really helps to balance it out and reverse the harmful effects of aging, but with that said, I am more interested in taking ownership of the health and aging of my body and mind (than nailing the perfect headstand or arm balance). I have been doing yoga for the past 25 years and teaching for the last 15 years and have been fortunate to have studied under Baron Baptiste, Ana Forest, John Friend, and my beloved teacher, Shiva Rea.

Teaching yoga led me to study to become an Ayurvedic practitioner. I owned a yoga studio in Vancouver, Canada (I lived there for 30 years), and after classes, I had students come up and talk about their health concerns. As a yoga teacher, I could only help so much, so I decided to embark on the journey to become an Ayurvedic practitioner. Ayurveda can be traced back some 3,000 years and is the sister science of Yoga.

My second passion would be about animals, by way of example my pets serve as a comforting escape like they do for so many of us…almost meditative at times. Lots of work, but also immense fun! And a third passion would be as simply articulated as “my time.” I will spend the rest of my life with myself, so self-care and wellness for “my time” both physically and mentally have become a focal point as does continuing forward with a work-life integration (more realistic than a work-life balance in my mind).

As far as what I’m working on, my focus has been to create affordable, accessible, and easy-to-follow yoga classes and Ayurveda recommendations that we can all do in the coziness of our own spaces. As the on-demand membership continues to grow on my website, I now continue “spreading the word” about my on-demand yoga classes (yin–restorative–flow) and Ayurveda articles to help you and me with a work-life integration; after all, “We are all in this together, stay strong, healthy and flexible.” Also, as I get quite a few questions about how to begin yoga as a counter-balance for training from runners, swimmers, cyclists, bodybuilders, CrossFit participants, physique contestants, I have started to bring together a six-part, three-video yoga series aimed at beginners, those coming off an injury, in rehab, or those who just want to revisit some of the fundamentals.

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: Growing up in communist Hungary meant we could not travel at all, but my dad was a diplomat and so, we were stationed in different countries (Russia and Iraq). We were privileged to see different parts of the world. I really think that was such an advantage compared to many of my friends living in Hungary. For this, I feel I had a very lucky childhood. I was privileged to meet and have fun with other children of different races and nationalities–a formative time of innocence to shape a young mind that has embodied my life to this date. That really opened my eyes and framed, I am sure, some of my passions and formed the yogic idea of acceptance in varied forms at a young age. My dad, now 91 and still plays tennis every day, is very open-minded and loving like my mother.

Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: I got quite sick at the age of 45; that’s when I discovered Ayurveda. Ayurveda is preventative medicine. The great thing about Ayurveda is that its treatments always yield “side benefits, not side effects.” What I would like others to learn from my story is to stay fit, flexible, and healthy, and find for yourself your own work-life integration toward your own self-care and wellness in whatever form it takes shape–and remember to enjoy the journey despite the ebbs and flows.

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: To me, feminism is that we all need to find our own individuality. We can accomplish and enjoy a lot on our own, but of course, it is beautiful to be in a relationship to share your life with somebody.

Thank you for reading!

Create your own path towards self-care and wellness today with your own member account at: https://yoga-ayurvedawithvaleria.com/pricing-plans/

and make use of Valeria’s FREE 7 DAY TRIAL to start your healthy body-mind approach!

Reach out to me in you have any questions @ https://yoga-ayurvedawithvaleria.com/contact-us/

My On-Demand Yoga & Ayurveda website: www.Yoga-AyurvedaWithValeria.com



Woman Wednesday: Stephanie

Q and A with Stephanie, Los Angeles, CA

“If I had caved and listened to the naysayers, I wouldn’t be here.”

Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I had gotten laid off from my advertising job, and a recruiter suggested I take an interview with New York Life, which is a mutually owned financial firm. It’s been very enlightening because being a mutually owned financial firm, we are owned solely by our clients, and not beholden to outside forces like shareholders. We do put our clients first in so many ways. Being in the financial industry, I’ve really noticed how many people do what other people do and don’t understand how things affect them. 401(k)s are not your only retirement vehicles to utilize, and it’s been a mission of mine to educate people on all their options that are most viable to them for their own personal goals. I want to empower people to take hold of their portfolios to live their best lives now.

I’m very big on living sustainably. Minimizing my carbon footprint and finding other like-minded people and small ways to change my life to have a big impact on the environment, like getting rid of napkins and paper towels and using cloth towels instead. I’m also using more glass and less plastic. Basically, I’m making sustainable changes in my life and lifestyle. Right now, I’m working on assisting small businesses with their company 401(k) needs. Here in California, we have a CalSavers plan which is forcing almost all business owners to offer retirement plans. I’ve had a lot of great conversations, educating business owners on their options and if CalSavers (the state retirement plan) is best for them, or if opening their own 401(k) plan works best for them. I’m really big about keeping the small businesses afloat and supporting as many as I can. While I can’t deny the convenience of Target or Amazon, small businesses are what give our cities personality, and I want to see as many of them thrive as possible.

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: Education is very important in my household. I was one of the first people in my family to get a college education. I got a degree in business and an emphasis in marketing, a very practical major. It’s a reflection of me. I was a practical child, and I’m a practical adult. When I was a kid, my mom told me I requested vegetables [she laughs]. What kid asks for veggies? Lima beans were my favorite.

I’m an only child between my parents. My father remarried, and I have two much younger brothers. It worked out so well; I love our big age difference (20+ years). When I was younger, I played piano, danced (ballet, jazz, tap), and did martial arts. Being an only child played such a big part in who I am now. I like my alone time and value it as much as I value spending time with my friends, family, and my boyfriend. I think because I was an only child and my mother’s sole focus, I was able to find myself pretty quickly. I never did anything I didn’t want to do, and never cared about trends. I think that’s why being an entrepreneur works so well for me; I like independence.

Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: I suppose what I want others to learn from my story is to be true to who you are. Never settle for less. Stand steadfast, regardless of what people say or their resistance to you. You’ll find your people eventually, those who support you and understand you. When I left my steady paycheck and started doing what I’m doing now, I had so many people tell me why I was wrong. I didn’t listen, and now I’m doing something that I enjoy so much; it doesn’t feel like work. And my time is my own. My grandmothers aren’t doing well, and I have the flexibility to be with them and spend time with them. I have also found my people, so many people who support me and are so excited for me and my happiness. If I had caved and listened to the naysayers, I wouldn’t be here.

I love a good themed event/party! This photo was from a 70s-themed party. Me and my boyfriend went all out! -Stephanie

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism, to me, means being true to yourself, being the best at what you do to break those glass ceilings. Doing it with grace and respect, while not remaining silent. Lifting others up, not bringing down them down. Every generation has its own battle to engage in, and we need to remember the battles from before. History shouldn’t be forgotten. History is a formidable weapon if used appropriately. We need to keep striving forward, not forget where we were, and be proud of how far we’ve come.

MORE ABOUT STEPHANIE: Hmm, fun fact: I have a bearded dragon for a pet that I’m totally obsessed with [she laughs]. He’s not your typical pet. Many people are afraid of reptiles (I totally get it). I love to travel and have been on 6 of the 7 continents (Antarctica, I will get to you!!!) I’ve also done much of my traveling by myself. I’ve been to many places like Africa and South America as examples. I usually go somewhere for 2 weeks, and I’ll do half the trip by myself, and the second half I’ll jump on a tour to meet other traveling like-minded people. I stay in touch with a lot of them; it’s been a great network to have in terms of travel tips and being kept up to date on international news from locals.

That’s the bearded dragon! My boyfriend built him a castle, so he gets to sit there during outside time. -Stephanie

Thank you for reading!

Link to my financial advising quiz: https://p1p2zgomnrd.typeform.com/BuildYourLegacy

Link to my Facebook group you can join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/3207192119404857

Woman Wednesday: Denise

Q and A with Denise from Portland, OR

“The programming that I had from early childhood is that you are supposed to get a good job, get married, and have kids, but following that path didn’t make me happy.”

Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I’m passionate about helping people develop a better understanding of themselves and their animals through intuitive guidance. My purpose in life is to make lives easier and more enjoyable for people and animals. I started studying metaphysical topics to learn to trust my intuition and found that I knew things that other people don’t know. I have always wanted to work with animals, so I focused on animal communication and have been able to learn so much from talking to them.

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: The programming that I had from early childhood is that you are supposed to get a good job, get married, and have kids, but following that path didn’t make me happy. I had to release and heal from that old programming and forge my own path. I learned to care less about what other people think and design my own life.

Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: Anything is possible. I had no idea my life could be what it is now. I found my purpose by exploring and trying new things. When I was interested in something, I took a class or read about it. What I have learned is that you don’t have to know where you are going to take the first step. Try something, join a group, ask a question, it can take you places you never imagined.

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism to me means owning your truth and being who you really are. We are taught to conform, but if we can love ourselves and live our truth, we can help spread love to the world.

Thank you for reading!

I offer animal communication, intuitive sessions for people, and teach intuition classes. Learn more on my website: www.intuitivedenise.com

Woman Wednesday: Moriah

Q and A with Moriah, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

“Instead of asking yourself who you are, ask yourself how do you want to feel.”

Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: As a neurodivergent human, the concept of passions can be a tough one. There are so many things that bring me joy and I can find myself completely thrown into them. My biggest overarching passion is being a lifelong learner and sharing knowledge and wisdom as I gather it along the way. I love nature (Plants, plants, plants, and more plants!), art, music, woodworking, meditation, roller derby, reading, horseback riding, working out, travel…I could go on and on. Currently, my focus has been completing my Functional Medicine program, which I successfully graduated from just recently on the 22nd of February, and relaunching my coaching practice. I have worked as a health and mental wellness coach for several years, and this certification adds another beautiful layer of understanding to the whole-person wellness model.

*Functional Medicine (for those who are unfamiliar) determines how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing the root causes of disease for each individual in order to promote optimal wellness. Its goal is to create an ideal environment for the body to restore itself through sleep & relaxation, nutrition, stress reduction, healthy relationships, and exercise/movement.

As a first responder and survivor of abuse, working specifically in the area of mental wellness and mental health advocacy has been a constant thread throughout my life. Through my own journey, I fought through the stereotypes of those with mental health struggles, the fear of not being worthy of my children, partner, job, or friendships as I struggled silently…and ineffectively. I finally discovered alternate perspectives and ways to look at my experiences, and slowly became renewed in my hope and vision for what was possible. Since then, I have made it my mission to bring joy, balance, creativity, and gratitude more and more into my life, and hopefully, that spills over into those I interact with.

I start my day focusing on my core desired feelings; for this year, I am dedicating myself to feeling creative, powerful, and balanced. This has led me to try new things that bring me closer to those feelings. For example, I began auditioning to be a narrator for audiobooks. I adore reading and have lost the ability to read much for pleasure over the years with school, multiple jobs, and small humans, but to have the opportunity to be both creative in voice acting, balanced in making money while doing something I love, and a bit powerful seeing my name on a title cover and perhaps performing a bit of spice…it’s unlocked the belief that things I didn’t think were possible really are, and if they are possible for me, they can be possible for anyone! So, here I am…mental health and wellness coach, narrator, mother of two boys, and tattooed bad a** …making a powerful impact in my corner of the world.

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: As a child, my life was far from traditional. While I don’t think I have nearly enough time here to get into detail, I lived a very secluded life until I was 15. My mother and stepfather let their lives be governed by fear, and that drove them to do some pretty insane things. We were preppers. Deeply rooted in Old Testament teachings, to the extreme. At one point, we lived in an abandoned church in the mountains, living only on our grown or slaughtered food. I never stepped foot in a school or doctor’s office from the time I was five until 15, that I remember. Anything I learned, I learned simply because I longed to know what the world outside tasted and felt like. I read voraciously and would listen to any music I could get my hands on and hide from my parents. I learned a lot of valuable skills during that time. Given the need, I could easily survive out of doors off the land by hunting and foraging for weeks. I can sew, cook, weave baskets, make medicines, and most importantly…survive.

When I was 15, a couple noticed signs of abuse on my body, and within two weeks, I was uprooted from the only family I had known and moved across the country to live with them. I had my first taste of school as a sophomore in high school and life progressed on a wild, tragically beautiful road until now, where I find myself rediscovering, or better yet, fully accepting who I am as a woman, mother, and human. A single day in my life where I do not feel I have enriched a life…even if it’s my own…feels empty…and the opportunity to be a part of healing and recovery with others is one of the greatest gifts I could receive.

Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: I don’t know if I could simply choose one thing I have learned without a bit of anxiety that I am leaving out something more important, but here goes. All the stories we tell ourselves from the time we first begin to put thoughts together DO NOT DEFINE us. We have 3 selves…The one we want to be, the one we let others see, and who we really are. Life is all about balancing and uniting those 3 selves so that we are acting in our fullness always. We waste so much time tearing ourselves between the three, causing heartache, confusion, anger, bitterness, and stagnation. Instead of asking yourself who you are, ask yourself how do you want to feel. When you start there, your interactions with people, the decisions you make at home, and what you tell yourself come into alignment. That might feel a bit woo-woo, but when it clicked in my heart and mind, life completely changed. And, if you get nothing else from my story, I hope you hear this…HOPE. Hope does not die. Who you are is a magical, powerful human with limitless potential, and I am so excited to hold space for who you are and what you are becoming.

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Whooo…love this question. Feminism is fully embracing your you-ness. What is this you-ness you ask? As women, it’s an appreciation for the beautiful mosaic of all elements of our abilities, personalities, power, skills, and passions. It’s recognizing the needs of humanity and creating a space where we can grow and be fully and SAFELY ourselves. Many people think of the contrasting stereotypes of feminism as man-hating, masculine wannabes versus the soft, weak homemakers. Feminine energy is powerful. It’s creative. Compassionate. Feral. Respect, honor, and dignity should be attainable for all, and I value those who speak up and represent the many faces of feminism.

MORE ABOUT MORIAH: I am grateful for the opportunity to share a piece of my story, and for those who take the time to read and make space for people like myself. Whether you are interested in my coaching services, just need a random laugh, get lost in my neurodivergent brain space, or silently watch for the bushes, you are welcome to a safe space.

MORE ABOUT MOVING ON…I have a few practices I have incorporated to manage some of the after-effects of the past. Mindfulness practices/gratitude/meditation are super important, not only for the day-to-day reset, but eventually, regular practice changes the chemistry and structure of the brain, improves cognitive function, sleep, etc. I get excited about that topic! I also use a weighted blanket, which seems simple, but it is an important grounding tool that I use when I am having dissociation, anxiety, etc. It also helps with my overall sleep. I am a strong believer in shadow work. Basically, the concept that there is a part of us we reject. It’s been taught subconsciously, or outright that it is wrong, unacceptable, unloveable, etc. It’s usually why we have such strong negative emotions about certain behaviors, personalities, etc. For example, I was trained that being vocal, un-submissive, questioning authority, etc. was wrong, evil, etc.

For the longest time, even though I wanted to be all those things, speak my truth, set my boundaries…my brain would tell me I was being a B*, or when I saw it in others, they were B’s and not proper or worthy of respect. It caused so much conflict internally because I was a strong, independent, vocal person, but I was in a constant state of trying to reject myself. It is exhausting. Add mental health to the mix, and the subconscious teachings that those with disorders are weak, “crazy” or unfit, and it’s a whole other layer of self-rejection and conflict. Taking intentional time to think about what triggers our “big emotions” as I tell my kiddos, and then really diving into where that specific trigger came from, what pieces of it are valid and should be handled with care, and what pieces are based on untruths and should be gently, but firmly reframed is essential to healing. ALSO, strong supporting of EMDR therapy, EFT tapping, finding support in a group (I take part in a morning manifestation group where women from around the world send voice messages to each other about what we are grateful for, what we are manifesting for today, and manifesting in the future), and medication as a bridge, if necessary.

Thank you for reading!

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theinkedalchemist/

TikTok: https://vm.tiktok.com/TTPdSkBejL/

Coaching Website: www.theinkedalchemist.com

Coaching Scheduler: https://heal.me/theinkedalchemist

To keep up with my Narration Projects: www.theinkedalchemist.biz

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kmoriah87/