Saturday, October 7, 2017

Ep. 008 - Looking ahead (w. Stephanie Delpe)

Curve-ball...Setback...Call it what you want - I'm well aware that this thing called Life is riddled with events that fall under the umbrella 'unpredictable'. However, when you come across an unforeseen circumstance that throws you for a loop you didn't see coming, let's agree there a very few reasons to sugarcoat it : it just sucks.

On this very candid and no less personal episode, I welcome back the charming and undaunted Stephanie Delpe (IG: @justme_smd) who, in her own words, fought against the natural instinct to shutdown and close off, and instead, show a tremendous example of vulnerability and transparency.

We touch on the wisdom brought on by perspective, the importance of humility, reflect on our personal choices...and a heck of a lot more.

Here's to new new chapters, and looking ahead, heads high.

You can connect with Stephanie via her blog or show some love and follow her on Instagram and/or Facebook



You can download the MP3 for this episode by right-clicking here and choosing "Save As"

I do hope you enjoy this exchange as we certainly enjoyed bringing it to you.

Stay up to date - Subscribe to the podcast (RSS) and get the latest episodes as soon they're published.

Remember to leave a comment and let us know how we're doing. Either on the blog of via email :
awakentheawesome [at] gmail [dot] com

#StayAwesome

Monday, October 2, 2017

Ep. 007 - The Matchbox we called Home

A little trip down nostalgia road and a short rapid-fire version of the story of a very impactful day in me & my siblings' young lives that still resonates with me to this day, both as a parent and as a person.



You can download the MP3 for this episode by right-clicking here and choosing "Save As"

Stay up to date - Subscribe to the podcast (RSS) and get the latest episodes as soon they're published.

If you just happen to find some kind of personal truth in this little trip, feel free to share. Would love to hear from you : awakentheawesome [at] gmail [dot] com

Remember to leave a comment and let us know how we're doing.

#StayAwesome

Friday, September 22, 2017

Ep. 006 - "Rivalry? What rivalry?" - w. Vivardy Boursiquot (Photo Friday Special)



Don't you just love it when a good wholesome, unplanned, unrehearsed, unscripted, unfiltered and honest conversation just flows smoothly and takes on a life of its own?

I do.

Hadn't done a Photography-centered recording in a while so it was really nice of my friend and creative compadre, Vivardy Boursiquot, to stop by and chime on a couple of items that we just threw out onto the proverbial whiteboard and just ran with.

What transpired was a truly fun and engaging exchange of ideas and perspectives which are always a blast if you ask me.

From the subject of ethics in photography, to an open overview of Vivardy's new website, to the relevance on online critiques...we pretty much let loose on this one - and it's a gem of a good one.

You can connect with Vivardy via his website for business and related inquiries. You can also follow his Social Media updates via Instagram and/or Facebook.



You can download the MP3 for this episode by right-clicking here and choosing "Save As"

I do hope you enjoy this exchange as we certainly enjoyed bringing it to you.

Stay up to date - Subscribe to the podcast (RSS) and get the latest episodes as soon they're published.

Remember to leave a comment and let us know how we're doing. Either on the blog of via email :
awakentheawesome [at] gmail [dot] com

#StayAwesome 



Saturday, September 2, 2017

Ep. 005 - "I am loving this marathon called Life" - Stephanie Delpe


When you have the opportunity to connect with a kindred spirit, you do not brush it off. I believe that not every person we meet along our ongoing path of Awesomeness is meant to stay there. But there is certainly a great deal of worthy and enriching connections and friendships to be made and embraced along the way. 
[*Note - I'll definitely do an episode on the topic of toxic relationships as it's certainly something I want to touch on]

On this episode of the Awaken The Awesome podcast, I welcome Stephanie Delpe, New York-born Fashion & Lifestyle blogger, and a woman of many of many singular accomplishments, who got on my radar recently following a recent post that really got me thinking. 

See, as much as we talk about 'equality' and not dismissing the many victories that have happened over the course of our history as human beings, I do believe there are some things that Men will never understand about Women, and vice versa. But that should stop us from trying. Which is why, when I read this very honest and sincere account about that emotional roller-coaster that can occur when a woman chooses to cut her hair - I had questions. Lots of questions. 

The words were true and the story was heartfelt...but there was obviously something I didn't get.

"...Hair?"


Yes, hair. And so much more.

A delightful exchange of perspectives and a noteworthy learning experience for your truly. I want to thank Stephanie for her time and powerful message which I believe to be a resounding one.

You can connect with Stephanie Delpe via her blog or show some love and follow her on Instagram and/or Facebook



You can download the MP3 for this episode by right-clicking here and choosing "Save As"

I do hope you enjoy this exchange as we certainly enjoyed bringing it to you.

Stay up to date - Subscribe to the podcast (RSS) and get the latest episodes as soon they're published.

Remember to leave a comment and let us know how we're doing. Either on the blog of via email :
awakentheawesome [at] gmail [dot] com

#StayAwesome

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

How is this a thing?

File this under the "random" file but that's usually how these little reflections of mine happen.

I was watching this short documentary on the pervasiveness of apps (read: mobile applications) in our daily lives and, even though the report was a tad bit dated, it still caught my attention as I had to compare how things had not only worsened but also the incredibly short time in which this shift had happened.

But I digress - put aside the report, one app caught my eye, as it was brought up as an umpteenth example of how we use apps for pretty much anything and how the coin phrase "there's an app for that" rang ever so true.

The app was "Note To God" and it'ls official description is available as follows:

"Note to God allows the user to enter a personal note to God. The app is non-denominational and is meant to allow anyone with any belief to communicate with his or her own higher power.
In many religions, the act of writing a letter to God is seen as a holy commitment and a legitimate way of communicating one's spiritual emotions. The Note To God app is simply a digital expression of those same honest feelings.
After the note is sent, it disappears. The user cannot recall past notes. This way, the writing of the note can be completely honest and the hitting of send is a true commitment to what's in the note.
"

Quick side note - The creator of the app, a young man by the name of Allen Wright, was hospitalized following a tragic hit-and-run that left him in a coma for 8 days. As far as my research suggests, he has since pulled through and miraculously recovered. During his ordeal, parents and family witnessed the outpouring of thoughts and well-wishes from his app's user community sending their blessings through the app.

As of this posting, the app has long since been removed from the AppStore.

I found myself pausing because, as much I did not want to sound condescending, preachy or simply cynical - it had to be said : HOW. IS THIS. A THING?

I've put this disclaimer forward before so I'll take a second to point this out one more time : I'm not your everyday Christian so I do not sit here as some form of Holier Than Thou individual...*THAT SAID* - when something seems a tad bit peculiar in my honest opinion, I have itch to point it out. Now that we've properly cleared that out, allow me if you would...

WHY - do you need - an app - to pray to God?

I mean really. It's been my very humble understanding that God is Almighty, all powerful, all being, and wouldn't you know it - all seeing...so why would I need an app to communicate with the Lord?

Call me crazy or way too naive but I believe God to be at your side anywhere and anyhow you need Him to be. You don't need an app for that. I think that what's at play here is our ever increasing need to record and have our thoughts archived somewhere for posterity. 
It's my concern that applications and modern methods of communications have certainly earned their useful place in our lives. I even use one for daily meditation. But do we really have to go as far as to need an app to pray to our individual higher power? 
I just find it a bit odd that we've come to this point where one the simplest and most sincere acts of your own personal faith has to be, yet again, subject to an electronic device or preserved via digital medium. Not to mention that the word 'anonymous' always makes me cringe when I see it - cause I don't buy it. But that's a comment for another time.

I can totally empathise with someone having the need to express, share and reflect on their thoughts and emotions as they might be dealing with issues they might not otherwise feel at ease to lay that on someone else like a relative or a friend - but God made it so simple. Why complicate things? I guess I just find that Life has become complicated enough that we shouldn't have to convince ourselves that our prayers, whether intended for own personal struggle or that of our fellow human, need be filtered or curated though an app.

I'm speaking from a position of observation and curiosity not condescension. As far as I can tell, you don't have to pull out your phone to speak to God - He's right here.

Be blessed.

#StayAwesome

Oli
   

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Get Financially CLEAN! Two Black Guys With Good Credit (podcast review)


You often meet the most interesting people when you least expect it. You don't know why, but something about the person just clicks and makes you want to connect and exchange with them on a more insightful level. This is how I can honestly describe my meeting the lovely Ms Dionne Nichols, Program Director, Researcher, and bonafide "Lady with The Facts" of the very entertaining "TWO BLACK GUYS WITH GOOD CREDIT" podcast.  
(I couldn't make up that title even if I tried - AWESOME!)

I remember when I was a young student, barely making above minimum wage, working 10-hour shifts, 4 days a week, at a shoe factory WHILE also going to college full-time. NOT a fun time. When you factor in the long bus routes, the classes, the rent, the books...AND the very expensive tuition...not the best memories.
So, the concept of being financially conscious as well as cautious was something that I kept very close to the chest.
Personal Finance and the notion of managing your money is something that I think most people and households, still to this day, do not take as seriously as they probably should. Even having witnessed, endured, and still licking our wounds from one the most horrendous financial crises in recent history.
Things were not pretty, and despite what might seem like an improvement, excuse my being so blunt but S--T is real right now!
Consumer Debt is at an all-time high. 'Hand-To-Mouth' is the new norm for the Middle Class who are now quite frankly the new poor. Interest rates are rising. Real Estate is more expensive and, if you listen to episode 3 of the podcast, funeral costs are not cheap.

This is, in my opinion, why the TWO BLACK GUYS WITH GOOD CREDIT podcast and the CLEAN financial literacy program serve as such a powerful and exemplary statement in their mission to not only educate but empower our youth through their workshops and the rest of us through their engaging episodes.
I was so moved by what this colorful group of amazing individuals was doing that I made it my daily duty to listen to the entire first season of the podcast on my morning commute.
What a treat!
With a no-nonsense, empathetic, often humorous, edgy and always knowledgeable exchange of facts, anecdotes and solid advice, hosts Shaun & Arlington, along with the rest of the awesome podcast crew, have put together what I believe to be a really fun and approachable program. 
I'm a podcast fiend. And one thing I always look for in my programs is authenticity. Whether you're talking about stamps or dog shows, show me you're authentic and that you believe in your content. 
Taken from their website, podcast described as follows :

"Two Black Guys with Good Credit is a show about two black guys from Canada living in the US for over 20 years - Arlington in Los Angeles and Shaun in Brooklyn. Both are business owners with successful track records and, of course, good credit! Each week they will bring you their ‘straight talk’ and at times humorous perspective on making, managing, and protecting your money.
Two Black Guys with Good Credit will educate, entertain, and inspire you to achieve YOUR financial goals."

Check. The passion is palpable and the mission is clear. And they deliver. I've thoroughly enjoyed the first season as they've managed to dumb-down and extract some the essential notions of personal finance and make them not only accessible but appealing to their audience. They make no apologies for their bluntness but in no way did I find their commentary off-putting or condescending. The aim is to educate and empower and I believe the team is doing a terrific job.

I do hope you'll give them a listen and show your love and support in any which way you can.

You can start by dropping them a line at: 
twoblackguysgoodcredit@financiallyclean.com 
or you can follow them on the usual platforms such as FacebookTwitter & Instagram.

Podcast episodes available directly on their website and also via iTunes or Stitcher.

Til next time dear friends, achieve your Destiny and #StayAwesome

Oli



Monday, August 29, 2016

So you wanna do a Spartan Race? Here's How (w. Ludovic Godefroy)

I can tell you I'm really excited to share this second episdoe of the Awaken The Awesome odcast with you guys. Not just because I have yet again lived to to tell the tale of yet another engaging and grueling Spartan Race, but I get to sit down and take a look back at the whole ordeal and acutally smile, not sure if it's the euphoria or the pride.
Either way, this is a special one because my brother-in-arms and fellow Spartan Racer/Teammate Ludovic Godefroy joins me as we do a Post-Mortem "What were we thinking?"-type discussion on the dos, donts, whats and watch-outs on running your first Spartan Race - which you should.
An engaging conversation that I hope will help demystify certain urban legends but also serve as measure of precaution and planning for newcomers. Empowering and engaging, we had a lot to discuss.
Ludovic is a certified kinesiologist, personal trainer, motivational speaker, father, husband and all-around awesome gent. Just listen to the audio about how he helped me conquer what I identified as my greatest obstacle for this year's course. You can follow him on Instagram as well as Twitter.
Direct link to downloading the audio version available here
(Do a 'Right-Click' - then select  "Save Link/Target As...')

If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to leave a comment and tell me how you're liking or disliking the program so far. I'm getting ready to launch some pretty nifty features within the coming weeks so every little piece of constructive feedback is a welcome one.

Go create your destiny and until next time ... #StayAwesome