You just never know who will share a story with you that your soul needs to hear. People’s stories are meant to be shared and listened to. We are meant for community and relationship. Long ago, these stories were shared around the campfires or while doing laundry in the yard as we were a communal people. Families lived together and shared in the duties of living and survival. Now, as times have progressed, we glean into these pearls of wisdom through podcasts and media. Yet, we still need them. We need the wisdom. They lend hope, spark resilience, and support.
My time with Nancy Robbins reminded me of our storytelling connection. She has been married for 40 years, mother of 3, and Nana to 8. She has experienced life’s ups and downs. She married young and worked to build a life. Then, as her season changed, seven years ago she embarked on a new journey and began a career in real estate.
The revelation with her story is that it is never too late or early to turn your page! Life comes and goes with seasons. Sometimes it is bitter and cold and just when all seems amiss, the season changes and life again is alive and growing. Some wouldn’t be brave enough to take on a new career later in life, but Nancy did. She has built a thriving real estate business sticking to her core values and truly helping others. Additionally, she is constantly stretching herself to become better everyday. She challenges herself with uncomfortable things like… being on a podcast, doing FB Live videos, and other social media endeavors. She is a model of growth for us to be inspired by in our own life and choices.
Please take a listen to this podcast featuring her story. She also gifts us with a real estate tip for the season as well as 3 ways to live an unmuted life!!
Connect with Nancy:
My time with Meru is never boring! We have long chats about a variety of ideas, stories, business, and family. Her worldly views and international background bring a fresh perspective to our conversations. She has had the opportunity to live in Kazakhstan (where she was born and raised), China, and the United States. She speaks 3 languages (not Chinese) and has a witty sense of humor about herself and life– even though her story has hard times and heartache in it as well. I love her open nature, her passion for others, and how she giggles when she is amused!
Meru Hunter McMahon and I met through our local chapter of ABWA. (ABWA-IWIB/The Woodlands). She has a knack for money and finance. She is a Profit Improvement Partner and owner of Your Savings Pro. Her primary focus is to assist small businesses and individuals recover money in their spending so that more money can be used for their desired vision and purpose. She helps look at things with fresh eyes. You can often find her around town doing seminars and workshops for her business, or on her passion project, SCORE, where she is a mentors others for for success.
Meru’s desire to help others is not limited to their finances and business success, but also in their overall quality of life. She strives to draw from her unique well of experience and cultural exposure to share more than money tips, but life tips as well. Her life scope includes the pain of losing her mother and discovering the healing power of music. Her hospitality and inclusion mindset was shaped by her own struggle with language barriers and feeling excluded while living in China. Even the heartache of divorce and the courage to love again is an part of Meru’s story. She hopes that in sharing her own life she can add value and help others be confident in their own life journey. She understands that life is complicated and beautiful in one breath! These desires have inspired her to broaden her her current mission to include a podcast that she is releasing soon called, The Meru Experience. Be looking for it soon, it will be on all platforms.
I am honored that Meru spent a little time with me on The Unmuted Life talking about these things and more. She even gave me permission to share her YouTube Channel with the musical tribute to her mom. Meru lives an Unmuted Life, listening to the calls placed upon her, displaying courage, helping others and growing in her talents.
Find Meru here:
Youtube link with the songs she wrote for her mother.
Be on the lookout for the release of her Podcast: The Meru Experience. Coming soon to a platform near you!
About a month ago, my daughter and I did something very impulsive. My immediate description of the decision to a friend was, “I did something stupid, but I think it is going to be REALLY fun!” And if you know me at all, there is probably much truth the the statement!
Needless to say, Sophia and I decided to share a line of Swarovski Jewelry together. Crazy right? Maybe at first glance. But ultimately, it is a great bonding and learning opportunity for my daughter and I. We need to invest in our children and their interests. Sophia loves jewelry. Easy enough, and now, she is learning marketing skills, public speaking, business organization, problem solving, and to her great surprise… she has had to apply MATH to a real life activity! She is having fun, we are spending time together and well…jewelry.
So where does the “stupid” part of this lie you must be wondering. It seems pretty great… yes…. but: we are already over-scheduled. School, sports, businesses, community involvement, and church activities have all of us playing life full out. However, if there is a will there is a way. Our approach was simple, Sophia and I each looked at the calendar and asked ourselves two questions:
What can I do?
What am I willing to do?
And then we did it. Now we are very sparkly and having fun. Plus, Sophia is plugging away at earning the funds for her Washington D.C. trip, and that makes me very proud of her. Who knows where these small lessons will take her in her future?
I want to see the sparkles! Click here.
I like to think of Bobby Brennan as the Catholic gentleman. He is polite, congenial, servant-hearted, and completely in love with his wife of 28 years. He is a family man through and through. We sit together to have a heart to heart about these things.
Parenthood, mowing grass, and a growing up in a strong family unit are just a few topics we touch on. Bobby also opens up a bit about his spiritual journey and how living out his Catholic faith impacted his family and parenting style.
He has wonderful words of wisdom to share and a well of experience to draw from. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did!
See podcast notes for the resources he mentions in the episode.
I met Robert Walker through our local Lions Club Chapter, The Conroe Noon Lions Club. What I knew about him before our interview together was that he constantly smiled, he was always motivated, he could get the job done, and he had a heart of service. Then, over some small talk, he revealed his fondness of our town, growing up in Conroe, and making a life here. His journey, life lessons, and philosophy for adding value to others provides wisdom and perspective for our hectic living style.
Take a listen as Robert and I share a few stories and get to know each other on this episode of The Unmuted Life. Also, if you are in the area, you can check out Robert’s place of business, Walker’s Farm and Feed Store, in Willis Texas.
On a summer morning in June, Dayna Adewuya came for a visit. Upon opening the front door, there she stood, presenting a smile that starts from within, her joyful entry did not even hint that she had already been up for some time, dropped the kids at school, and hustled her way up to my neck of the woods for a podcast recording. She seemed as at ease and as beautiful as ever.
My friendship with Dayna started about a year ago, after an introduction by a mutual friend and photographer, Sergio Vaz Lopes. Our first phone call lasted for over an hour as we discovered that our paths paralleled and our philosophies aligned. Her grace, compassion, and love for others was evident from the beginning. However, her perseverance, ability to navigate tough situations, and her keen grasp of business and relationships are what I found to be intriguing. Dayna’s many layers present an intelligent and capable woman who possesses unique superpowers that she shares in the world. Not afraid to share her thoughts, time, or talent, Dayna is ablaze with purpose. She is not afraid to embrace change and reinvent herself along the way. If you visit with her long enough, you will hear her reveal a mantra, “Something good has got to come out of this!”
Dayna grew up in California from humble beginnings. One of six, she learned early on that she would have to make a way and blaze her own trails. They did not have a lot of money, nor any plans for college, however, her father at one point gave her a gift. He said, “I can give you all the advice, but eventually you will have to find your own way.” That gift of empowerment gave her a different perspective on life and challenges. While she has had bumps and bruise along the way, she says, “I tend to look at things and I can break it down into phases, and then it doesn’t seem that difficult to me.”
“Something good has got to come out of this!”
With her positive mindset Dayna took a dating risk. Early in her career, while working long hours and commuting in Santa Monica, California, she did not have much time for dating. After tiring of the blind dates that her friends arranged, she decided to take matters into her own hands. Finally, after seeing a commercial for E-Harmony, she thought,”Let me give it a try,” believing for certain that, “Something good has got to come out of this!” Something good did come, her husband of 10 years, Opeyemi Adewuya!
Over the course of time in the financial services industry, she had the opportunity to align herself with some of the biggest banking names in the industry, and, as fate would have it, it is also was where the rug was pulled from beneath her. While working at a firm in Houston, The Stanford Financial Group, she thought she had, “arrived.” She poured herself into the job of a lifetime only to find that the firm was entangled with a ponzi scheme. In one moment she was living her dream, in the next, she was out of a job. She left the doors of that company with nothing but her personal items and many questions. With a myriad of emotions, she tried to rebuild her life.
Little did I know that I would come into my true calling.
Eventually, a fresh opportunity arose for her family, one of a new beginning and a fresh slate. She was ready for a change. Pregnant, and with a toddler in tow, she and her family packed up and moved to Saudi Arabia. In her words, “Little did I know that I would fall in love with Saudi Arabia…Little did I know that I would come into my true calling.”
With much contemplation, she knew that this move meant she could reinvent herself and heal from the setbacks of her career. She embraced an opportunity to teach male Saudi children English, completed her MBA, and built and international school. She discovered in this metamorphosis that she could not leave her past, she had to address it and let it become part of her story, even though it was difficult, messy, and painful.
For six years she transformed and grew herself in Saudi Arabia. Then, life threw a curve ball– her brother was sick and she had to come home to California. While she didn’t know what was in her future, she decided upon that visit to stay in the states, move back to her Texas home, and as a single mom with the support of her husband abroad, has worked to rebuild their life in Houston to make way for their future.
Today, her story continues to unfold as she creates a real estate company, The Adewuya Group. She draws from her well of experience to provide a uniquely personalized service for her clients. Dayna knows a thing or two about fresh starts, both stateside and internationally, and is able to assist in a variety of transitional circumstances. She is passionate about people and insistent on building a personal connection. Her own journey has given her a larger capacity for compassion for others as they are going through their own transitions. Dayna is an example of strength and encouragement and uses her super power to help people take monumental tasks and turn them into bite-sized pieces!
1. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it has to be done! Do not get caught in the web of perfectionism. Remember there is something powerful in just getting it done.
2. Speak Your Truth. There is healing and power in the things you have experienced.
3. Don’t let anyone mute your voice! Do not listen to the people who want to shut you down.
“There are so many women in our life, that God puts into our life to be able to lean on, for a reason. We don’t come into the world by ourselves, we come into the world with the help from another woman. From the beginning we need other people.”-Michelle Simon
Momming is tough business! You can read all the books (which is good), watch programs (which is good), and go to seminars and parenting workshops (again, good!), but nothing, and I mean nothing, beats a mom mentor. Over the years I have had several moms that have been my lighthouses in the storms of motherhood. There was Olivia, our nanny who helped me in the baby stage. There was Shana, my life long BFF whose children were only 6 months older than mine– so she got the, “I am freaking out right now!” phone calls. And, let’s not forget, my own mother who still listens to my personal crankiness and woe is me complaints… and promptly sets me straight!
Now that I have teenagers I have noticed that moms get a little stickier, we compare notes and tactics (it is a battlefield, y’all!) We inspire one another, we root for each other, and we reach for each other when things are bumpy. It is a wonderful village to be a part of.
One of my mom friends of inspiration is Michelle Simon. She is a mom of 7 children whose ages range from teenager to 3-years old! I love watching her in action. There is always a little one close by, one running around, one MIA, and others rough-housing, hungry or doing homework! It is an energetic and loving family full of organized chaos and adventure. Michelle has a constant smile (as does her husband, David). Michelle displays endless grace under pressure!
In observation, she has always given me hope on my bad days! With my 2 children, I pale in comparison with activities and responsibilities- but whether it be 1 or 10, it is still a constant learning curve. Her example of parenting allows us to take a deep breath and remind ourselves that all is well! Mind you, she is a mom just like all of us, good moments and turbulent– what she has is a wonderful perspective!
“Each week is a new week.”-Michelle Simon
On the podcast, we share an honest and raw conversation about the adventure of motherhood. Michelle gives a bit of inside information about family, parenting style, laundry, raising teenagers and how her Catholic faith ties into it all.
Listen to The Unmuted Life Podcast with special guest Michelle Simon
Be sure to subscribe to receive The Unmuted Life posts and podcasts to your inbox.