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SECOND-ACT SIGNIFICANCE VII: Yvette Bodden #116

Warwick Fairfax

May 18, 2022

Yvette Bodden’s unraveling began in self-exploration and ended in a painful divorce, but she found  blessings and passions along the way she would not have known had she not gone through that crucible. What Bodden discovered as she walked through and emerged on the other side of the devastation was her life’s purpose: as a thought leader and writer who inspires women – through her Web platform Awakened Woman — to not just dream, but to dream big, as they pursue their passions by exercising their giftings.  

 

To learn more about Yvette Bodden, visit www.awakened-woman.com

Highlights

  • How her artistic nature was encouraged in her youth (2:45)
  • The importance of encouraging creativity and dreams  (5:06)
  • Corporate Americas didn’t bring her significance (7:17)
  • Feeling like she was in “Goundhog Day” (10:11)
  • How she moved beyond her crucible (11:45)
  • Her daughter’s inspirational words at the pit of her crucible (19:44)
  • The message she felt other women needed to hear (27:20)
  • How giving others hope has given her hope  (31:24)
  • The insights she tried to pack into her book (33:43)
  • The blessing’s she’s found in her pain (36:21)
  • The mission of Awakened Woman (38:11)
  • The biggest challenges in her journey to self love (41:28)
  • Yvette’s message of hope to listeners (48:24)

Transcript

Warwick Fairfax:

Welcome to Beyond The Crucible. I’m Warwick Fairfax, the Founder of Crucible Leadership.

 

Yvette Bodden:

I was questioning myself, who am I? I know I’m a mother. I have a “career.” I’m a wife. Who is Yvette? I know that sounds crazy, but I just started asking myself, is there more? Is there more to life or is this it? And it just began an unraveling.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

An unraveling, a painful, messy circumstance to be sure. But as we explore here every week, your life’s messiest moments can reveal blessings and passions you would not have known, had you not gone through that crucible. Hi, I’m Gary Schneeberger, co-host of the show. On this episode of our series, Second-Act Significance, we talk with Yvette Bodden, whose unraveling began in self-exploration and ended in a painful divorce.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

But as she walked through and emerged on the other side of that devastation, she found her life’s purpose as a thought leader and writer, who inspires women through her web platform, awakened-woman.com, to not just dream, but to dream big as they pursue their passions by exercising their giftings. Yvette Bodden has found Second Act Significance. And you can, too.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Yvette, thank you so much for being here. I mean, it is truly an honor to have you. So thank you for being here.

 

Yvette Bodden:

Thank you for having me here. I’m so excited. This is just such a powerful and much needed conversation.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

I agree. I mean, as I was reading your website and some of the things you’ve written, not an elegant phrase, but I kept going like, wow, amazing, oh my gosh. It’s just like gaining … I mean, we haven’t even spoken yet. Goosebumps just reading about your philosophy and who you are. I love just the concept of Awakened-Woman and your book Journey to Becoming the Best Self. I mean, something that everybody can aspire to. Before we get a bit into, obviously, you had a crucible and all. Tell us a bit about Yvette Bodden and just family, culture, how you grew up.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Because often find the origin story, certainly is in my case, definitely, I’m a product of my environment and we all are to a degree. So just give us a bit of a window of some of the strands that led to who you are now, if you will.

 

Yvette Bodden:

Wow. Great question. So I was born and raised in New York, by Dominican parents, very strict parents. They very much nurtured the arts in our family. I’ve always written. I wrote a song when I was 14 years old. I studied ballet for six years. I played the piano, the guitar. It was really something just nurturing our creative side was something that was important. Part of this journey, I tapped into that part of my childhood, I think, because I didn’t plan on being a writer. I didn’t have a master plan to write a book. I absolutely didn’t. I was raised in Manhattan. And I think I have a combination, a little bit of grit, but also some compassion. And I do hone into that when I write, so that’s Yvette.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Wow. It’s interesting because some families are like, no, math or sports or whatever it is. But it’s fascinating that your family just had a real love of the arts and encouraged that, because not every family does. But yours did.

 

Yvette Bodden:

Well, I don’t want to give you a misconception. My mother did say you have to be a doctor or a lawyer. You can do anything else on the side, but … So, no. When it came time to go to college, I majored in psychology. She wanted to nurture the creative side, but there was really not a lot of money to be made as writers out there.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

How did that form who you are? I mean, you love the arts, but there was this voice in your head from your parents, Yvette, you got to be practical. Got to pay the rent. You got to pay the bills. I mean, come on. Dreams are fine, but dreaming is for the weekend. During the week, you got to be practical.

 

Yvette Bodden:

I don’t know. I think I’ve gone the opposite way. I’ve come to a place where I believe dreams are possible. I feel that if you work hard and you put yourself all in, I think anything is possible. How long it can take? That’s another story, but I don’t know. I think dreams are important. They fuel passion, they feed purpose. I think dreams are super important. I think I went the opposite way.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Well, it’s funny. I’m an idealist by nature, still am. And I guess I have this feeling that dreams are possible and can be practical if you think a little creatively, little out of the box. I guess, again, I’m an idealist, I think it’s possible to have both. It doesn’t have to be either or, if that makes sense.

 

Yvette Bodden:

And I think that mindset is … It’s special, because it doesn’t limit you. I feel, to a certain degree, that we raise our children and put them in a box and limit their “dreams.” And I don’t know, part of me feels like that’s a disservice. It feels like just let them go off on their path. And like you said, it has to be practical as well. I don’t know. I feel as I get older, I understand the importance of dreaming big.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Here you grew up in this environment where there was both arts, but be practical. But yet I can just sense that you’ve always had this desire to dream. The dreams can happen. That just doesn’t happen overnight. But then tell us about life as you grew up and got a job. And obviously, that leads up to the crucible. But tell us about that pre-crucible Yvette. How were you living? What were you doing? Talk about that kind of life, if you will.

 

Yvette Bodden:

Well, the thing about dreams is they’re expensive. I had to get a job and I had to support myself. I, of course, went into corporate America, and I’ve worked in the financial industry for many years, just planning meetings and events. I think dreams tend to take a backseat. You push them off as you evolve into being an adult. You have financial responsibilities, you have to raise children. I think they were dormant for a long time. And I went to work, 9:00 to 5:00, 9:00 to 6:00, and the dreams were dormant for a long time.

 

Yvette Bodden:

The rat race was … It was something I had to do to come to the place I am today. Because I think the way I started thinking about it was that job paid for my dream. That’s why I say dreams are expensive. It would have been impossible to not work.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

And at the same time, you said when we spoke, before we hit record, you said that you always felt a void in that job. You felt like you weren’t really making a difference. And we also ask, as we ask all guests to fill out a questionnaire and say some things so we can ask informed questions. And one of the things you said about quotes, you said that you’re a collector of quotes. You actually have a wall of inspiration full of them, and one that stands out speaks to what you’re talking about, I think. It’s a Maya Angelou quote and it is, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” As you were living that life, paying the bills to build the dream, did it feel like there was an untold story inside you and that caused a little agony?

 

Yvette Bodden:

Ooh, that’s a really good question. No, cannot take credit and say that I felt there was anything special about my story or anything exceptional. I definitely did not walk around thinking I could write the story and it would make a difference or change a life. No. I didn’t think that. But I also think that comes from a large chunk of my life, I felt I wasn’t enough. I felt I wasn’t worthy of good things. So I think that has also been a factor in not thinking bigger earlier in life. So, no, no. I definitely did not think I had a story that needed to be heard.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

That, in a sense, is so sad because there’s many people, many women, I imagine, which I know that’s your focus to probably feel that. You probably represent thousands, if not, millions of other people, other women who just go to work and they feel like, I’m nothing special. They might even think I’m less than special. I’m nowhere near that. And so just talk about what life was like for you. You go to work every day and subway, a bus. What was life like? How did you feel?

 

Yvette Bodden:

The only way I can describe it is being the mouse on the wheel. And I think so many people feel that way. Have you ever seen Groundhog Day?

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Mm-hmm.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Yes.

 

Yvette Bodden:

You’re living the same day over and over again. I really didn’t feel that there was, like you said, anything special about my journey. I went to work, I paid my bills, enjoyed the nightlife now and then. But I always say, I’m the average Joe, I really am.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

It sounds like you accepted it. It doesn’t sound like you were depressed, per se. It was like, this is life and I’m just carrying on. I mean, that’s fair.

 

Yvette Bodden:

Exactly.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

It sounds like things are going … And maybe that could have been your life for the next 30, 40, 50 years. Who knows? But then there was a big change, we call it a crucible. Sometimes it feels like hitting a brick wall at 80 miles an hour or what have you, but …

 

Yvette Bodden:

Or more.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Yeah. Tell us about that wall that you hit that really was very painful, but changed your life.

 

Yvette Bodden:

Well, I was with my ex-husband for almost 10 years. I was chugging along, I was happy or content, I guess, is the word. I think towards the last, I don’t know, I’d say last year or two of our marriage, and it was post- I had a child. I started feeling … I was questioning myself, who am I? I know I’m a mother. I have a “career.” I’m a wife. Who is Yvette? I know that sounds crazy, but I just started asking myself, is there more? Is there more to life or is this it? And it just began an unraveling of sorts.

 

Yvette Bodden:

And the more questions I asked about myself, I think the more difficult it got for me. And towards the end of the marriage, this journey of finding myself put a lot of space between my husband and I. I was evolving and we were just going in separate ways. And we started living a separate life. And the divorce was imminent. And I started therapy to figure out why was I feeling this way. It was sort of a nagging that I couldn’t let go of. And as I found out more about myself and started peeling the layers of the onion, I don’t want to say it destroyed my marriage, but it deteriorated it.

 

Yvette Bodden:

And we got separated. And the divorce triggered serious depression. And that between the divorce and the depression, my life was turned upside down. And I felt like I was walking around, just lost. I felt lost.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

I mean, as you’re describing this, this is so … I can’t adequately describe it. Sad does not seem to be the right word. I mean, just heart wrenching. Because here you are, you’re evolving, you’re trying to find yourself. It’s like, who is Yvette? I mean, I think of this quote by Thoreau. It’s like people live lives of quiet desperation. They’re not yelling and screaming. It’s just this low grade. I mean, before things got really bad, low grade depression, low grade, is this all there is? And, oh, well, time to do the laundry, time to go to work, time to cook down, time to whatever it is.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Maybe I’ll go to a movie with some friends and then back to the treadmill, and he just keeps going and going. But there was something amidst the rock or the crust of this is life, just almost like lava wanting to break through this. It’s like, life is more than this. There was almost like this deep inner part of Yvette that’s trying to break through. And that was causing some pain. Whenever we evolve, especially from the sense of, hey, it’s bad analogy. But, hey, I’m living my life as a caterpillar, but maybe I could be a butterfly. I don’t know what it’s like to …

 

Yvette Bodden:

I love that.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Yeah, I don’t know what it’s like to go from a caterpillar to a butterfly. Maybe it’s painful. I don’t know. I mean, we obviously can’t ask them. But maybe it is, I don’t know. But for humans, it’s typically painful, those changes. I mean, rarely are they not …

 

Yvette Bodden:

Growing pains, right?

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Right, right. I mean, obviously, you’re a mother. I’m blessed to have three adult kids. Children are a blessing. But the process of that happening is painful. But there’s a blessing in it. And obviously, any mother would say it was agony. But I know where we had a second of it, because I wouldn’t have my beautiful children, right?

 

Yvette Bodden:

Right.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

It’s so sad that you’d like to think your partner, husband, wife would be supportive. And again, we don’t need to get into details. But it’s sad when that doesn’t happen. And by you being more Yvette, that that somehow triggers the breakup of a marriage. I mean, that’s just devastatingly sad. I’m not asking for more details. But do you know what I mean? That’s so sad.

 

Yvette Bodden:

It is, but I find a lot of couples evolve in their marriage or relationship over time. And it’s really hard to meet this “new person” and feel like, wow, this is not the person I married. I’m not sure you’re right for me. As you evolve, you hopefully evolve together. But I think in most cases, I’m not sure that is true. I do understand it. And I appreciate him because he was the same person when I met him, and the day that … Actually, still until today, he’s the same person. I think the core of me was the same, but there was a lot of change in that evolution.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

You were going through all of this and you had these ideas. How did you navigate your way through that? Because we often say at Beyond the Crucible, when you go through a crucible, which is an incredibly painful moment, you have a choice. Either you can hide under the cover and say, this is awful, it’s not fair, why should my marriage break up? Just because I’m being more me, that’s not fair. I don’t care if it’s understandable. It’s just flat out not fair. I’ve got a young child. I don’t like my job anymore I’m guessing, getting depressed.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

I mean, some people could just get really angry at their spouse, at the universe, saying, this is just not fair. I didn’t sign up for this. But yet you chose a different path, so help the listeners understand, because not everybody chooses your path. How did you get out of that? Well, it must have been an incredibly painful situation.

 

Yvette Bodden:

Well, there are two reasons. Thank you, my therapist, wherever she is. I do believe in therapy. And my daughter, she was the light for me. And I knew that I had to move forward and heal. Now, healing is … It’s a long process. I don’t want to say that it’s impossible to do it alone, but you don’t have to. I did have help. And I’m grateful every day for that.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

I want listeners to really understand. Because sometimes, less now, but there can be a stigma about getting help. I mean, as listeners know, obviously, when growing up in 150-year-old family media business and $2.25 billion takeover and then went under, I felt like I let my family down, parents, as a person of faith. I felt like I let God down in some strange way. I didn’t know that I was clinically depressed, but I was in pretty bad shape. And so, I mean, counseling was definitely very helpful to me. Because I was feeling pretty definitely very worthless, actually.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Everything I do, I screw up. And my name was on front pages of newspapers, not in a good way. I think not everybody’s situation is public. But when you go through difficult circumstances, getting counseling is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength. It’s a sign of courage. It’s a sign of I believe in myself enough, I’m worth enough to pay for some counseling. I want listeners to hear that. But you talk about your daughter in an article I read, there’s a wonderful thing that your daughter said that just … She must be pretty special.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

As you were trying to navigate your journey and I guess you’re probably saying, “gosh this is tough.” She said, “Mom, greatness takes time.” I mean, that just blew me away. I mean, to have a daughter like that, I mean, that’s just … Talk about a gift. I mean, that’s unbelievable. Talk about how your daughter. Clearly, she’s a big part of the story, what led you to where you are now.

 

Yvette Bodden:

I’ll tell you a little story, and I don’t share it often because it gets me really emotional. But I was in bed one day and she spent weekends with her father, that particular weekend, she was with me, he had an event. And the lights were off, it was dark, the curtains were shut. It was maybe 1:00 in the afternoon, she walks into my room, she must have been, I’m thinking, six or seven. And she says, “Mommy, please wake up. Open the curtains.” And that saved me because I called the therapist the next day and I knew something had to change.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Do you feel like sometimes when there’s somebody that you love or somebody that loves you that much, love can prompt us to do things we might not have had the strength to do ourselves?

 

Yvette Bodden:

And …

 

Warwick Fairfax:

That sounds like in part your daughter’s love. It’s like, you know what, not only am I worth it, but my daughter is worth it. She deserves to have the best mom possible. I don’t mean to be cliché in that. But does that make sense? Was that part of your thinking?

 

Yvette Bodden:

Absolutely. And the one thing that I do want to mention is not everyone has a child or has a loved one that can do that, that can have the same effect. But I do think that even self-love will just catapult you to get help or change whatever is not working. So I just think it’s important to mention that not everyone has what I had. But even if it’s self-love, which to me is the greatest love you can ever have, find that love within if you don’t have what a daughter or a son or a husband. I think that’s important to mention. And it’s one of the reasons why I started the platform. Because a lot of people do not have the resources to pay for therapy, do not have a support group, do not have someone to draw them out of whatever darkness they are experiencing.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

And one of the things that helps you, Yvette, as we’ve talked before, and I guess before I get into that, let me say, I love Maya Angelou. She’s a phenomenal writer. I’m taking nothing away from her when I say, my guess is your wall of inspiration, the top quote is, “Mom, greatness takes time.” As great as Maya Angelou is your daughter’s quote, I think, is probably above that may be by one tick.

 

Yvette Bodden:

I think so.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

But one of the things that you said helped you really, as you were moving forward, you talked about how you kept diaries as a young girl. And so you were accustomed, you indicated earlier, you were creative, you were accustomed to writing and there was something about writing as you went through your experience of that divorce and the pain and the depression that followed. Talk a little bit about that, about the role that played in your eventual ascension from that not wanting to get out of bed moment.

 

Yvette Bodden:

I think writing is powerful. It doesn’t have to be writing for anyone, for an audience. Just writing, journaling, as a lot of us call it. Journals are the only place where you can … I call it vomiting on a page, but where you can let everything out. There’s no judgment, there’s no talk back, there’s no … It’s just you and that pen, you and that paper, or you and your computer, just talking about all those things that you can’t say out loud. Because I think we all have things that we can’t say out loud, we can’t share with anyone else. And a journal is your sacred … It’s just you and that piece of paper, your thoughts, your dreams, your wishes, your pain, everything that you’re feeling. It’s cathartic. It helps in the healing process.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Yeah, this is why I thought I’d be saying wow every two seconds on this podcast. So forgive me if … I so agree and believe. I mean, I think all three of us here are writers and have gone through periods of my life in my newspaper days where I was journaling all the time. And it was extremely painful. But for me, I mean, I’m a person of faith. And so when I journal, I feel like not only do I write down my frustrations, I feel like I hear this inner voice. Now for some, it maybe that their true selves. For me, this sounds a little weird, it may feel like God or some higher power.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

But whatever it is, I feel like … Because sometimes I’ll be writing things down saying, I think this is true, but this doesn’t make sense. I don’t know that this is me or my conscious me. It’s like the true inner me. It sounds a bit like metaphysical. But I’ve found sometimes that I’ve journal, I’ve found some deep inner truth and almost tranquility of the soul that I wouldn’t have any other ways. I don’t know if any of that makes sense at all, Yvette.

 

Yvette Bodden:

It all makes sense. It’s funny. Because when I’m asked about the book, I am not lying to you when I tell you the book wrote me. It was something bigger than me. And I know it sounds a little cuckoo, but it literally was sort of someone else taking the reins and I’m the messenger. So, no. Everything you’re saying is I connected with it because that’s exactly how I feel.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

You’re in this place where you’re coming out of an incredibly painful circumstance and journaling sounds like a key medium. Connect journaling to how your mission evolved. It’s like rather than just working in the finance world and setting meetings and events, you evolve, your life evolve. How did the journaling connect that to where you are now? Because it sounds like there was an evolution of understanding who you were and then what does that mean for you day to day, what’s your mission and purpose in the world?

 

Gary Schneeberger:

And put into the context of our series, Second Act Significance. First act, there’s the job that you feel disconnected from, not really satisfied by, I think you said at one point, it was just a job. Then you go through this painful crucible. Now maybe as you’re journaling and you’re getting your mojo back, maybe that’s intermission and you’re about to launch the second act. To Warwick’s point, how did that intermission, that journaling, that taking time to breathe, how did that launch you into your second act?

 

Yvette Bodden:

I’m not sure I’m answering correctly. But the journaling helped me connect with, I guess, the writer. And I had something to say, I had a message. And I felt the journaling was … It was just such a big part of whatever I was supposed to be doing. I feel I had something to say. I felt a lot of people are out there going through the same thing and they have no one. And I felt that I needed to put this message out there in hopes of helping others.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

When you say the message, how would you describe that message as it was forming? What’s the message that you felt like people, and especially other women needed to hear?

 

Yvette Bodden:

I say, the core of the message is you can fall 100 times, but you can rise up. I know it sounds simple. But I wanted to inspire that fight in other women. I feel that my writing is doing that. And when I get messages from women in Africa and other parts of the world saying, you planted a seed, thank you for sharing your story, the same thing happened to me and I feel like I can get past it, I know I’m doing something right.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

I’ve got to interject just as the co-host here to say, this is one of the reasons why when we were going through some of the things we read about you, some of the things you and I talked about, I was amazed myself. I said wow a few times because I’m like, Yvette and Warwick are the same person in some ways. And if you happen to be watching on YouTube, you can look at them, they don’t look like they’re the same person.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

But some of the words, honestly, seriously, some of the ways that you describe your journey back that you can fall a thousand times as long as you get back up is the same thing that Warwick has talked about. Warwick just put a book out in the fall of his experiences. And his goal for that wasn’t to just get it off his chest, his goal for that was to help other people. So you guys, I just want to make sure the listeners catch that. This is further proof of what we talked about on the show all the time.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

The circumstances of your crucible may be different from the guy down the street or the gal down the street, but the emotions are so much the same. Listen to how Warwick has described his crucible of losing the family media dynasty at a cost of, he loves when I say this, 2.25 billion, and how that affected him and how he wanted to turn that pain into helping others. And then listen to how Yvette’s talking about the pain of her divorce and the way that she then wanted to turn what she learned from that and provide that to other women to help them walk through it. It’s the exact same blueprint written perhaps with different pens.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Yeah. I mean, it’s a great point, Gary. I mean, that’s one of the amazing things I’ve learned through this podcast, is we’ve had people, as I’ve mentioned, of all genders, races, backgrounds, heritages. But it’s so often amazing how we’re more the same as humans than we think, the struggle for significance, the struggle for identity, who am I. I certainly found this in my own way. But it sounds like as you were wanting to tell the stories of other women, which we’ll get to Awakened-Woman and your book, it sounds like there was a bit of healing in that as you were using your light to provide light to other women to give them hope.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

I mean, just one drop of grace, one drop of hope here and there goes a long way. Did you feel like it was almost like a virtuous circle like a positive flywheel? You were becoming more fully Yvette as you were helping other women?

 

Yvette Bodden:

Absolutely. I started feeling like I had purpose, I had something to share that could help other women. To me, that’s gold. One of the things that I’m learning is something you mentioned. I think we … And I’ll speak for women because I’m a woman. But I think there is so much more in common than we think. And our pain can come from different sources. But a lot of the experiences that we have, we can learn from each other. And that’s one of the things that I’m hoping my platform will show. A lot of us go through quite a bit of the same things.

 

Yvette Bodden:

I think that’s something that … It’s just so powerful when we share our stories and other people connect and whether it’s giving them hope or whether it’s helping them see a different perspective. I don’t know. It’s really powerful for me. Because that’s a connection, that’s life, that is … I don’t know, it’s so amazing and it’s so beautiful when I can give that gift because I do think it’s a gift.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Let’s talk a bit about the book, because we haven’t really gotten there yet. You said the book wrote you. Talk about the book, what it’s called, what the aim of it is. And you describe it as prescriptive fiction. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that phrase.

 

Yvette Bodden:

It’s a fancy word for self-help, my editor did that, self-help.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

I’ve never heard it. And I’ve written a couple of books and I’ve never heard prescriptive fiction. So explain to listeners a little bit about what your book is about, what it accomplishes, whatyour goal in writing it was.

 

Yvette Bodden:

First of all, it’s A Journey to Becoming the Best Self and it’s part self-help, part memoir. I talked about the time before divorce and then post-divorce. So I call it … It’s two parts. And my second act is my awakening. And I talk about very tough details in the book when I went through the depression, it was a dark time and I wanted to make sure that readers understood the darkness that I was going through. I give some tips about coming out of depression, how I did it, talk about dating a little bit after divorce, talk about some of the financial aspects that we never think about when we get married. It’s a contract.

 

Yvette Bodden:

It’s a contract. And I think we tend to romanticize it and forget that there is the financial aspect. I do get into that a little bit. And my goal in writing the book was bringing the reader into my experience as much as possible. And that took a lot of detail. It was very painful to write, but it was the only way to write it so people could understand what the pain was and what it meant to come out of that pain. And towards the end, I talk about the birth of the Awakened-Woman platform.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Wow. When you think about the book, what would you say two or three most important things that readers really need to take away?

 

Yvette Bodden:

Ooh, that’s a good question.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

I like how you say that when we ask questions, that’s the third time you’ve said that.

 

Yvette Bodden:

I know. These are very…

 

Gary Schneeberger:

… time, so I’m feeling … So we need to put this in a show roll, Warwick, about how good we are as questioners.

 

Yvette Bodden:

Well, they’re very well thought out questions. And I can honestly say, a lot of them I’ve never gotten before.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Oh, thank you.

 

Yvette Bodden:

The first thing I want readers to take from it is there is light after dark, you can start over. Let me see if I could explain it. I know for me, as a woman, when we go through a divorce, we see it as something that’s awful and painful and … I don’t know. You feel like your life has ended. And I want women to understand that divorce is not the end of you. It’s a beginning, it’s another chance to start over and figure out who you are. And I’m not saying it’s a positive thing. But if you look at it that way, it can be. Think it can be. And the third thing I would say, it’s never too late to start something new. Never too late, never too old.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

As you’re talking about that, what you went through was very painful. But between the divorce and just that emerging thought of who is Yvette, do you see any blessing or gift in that pain? That sounds like almost a barbaric question, but …

 

Yvette Bodden:

No, no. There is absolutely … There are blessings. A, my ex-husband and I have been able to successfully co-parent and we’re actually good friends. I think that’s a huge blessing. I have a whole new career. And I promise you, I would not have had it were not for that divorce and that pain. Absolutely. Falling in love again, that’s a blessing. There are plenty of blessings.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

And there’s that phrase, blessed to be a blessing. It just feels like that’s how you live. You’ve been blessed with your daughter and so many other ways, but now you’re blessing so many other folks. Talk about Awakened-Woman. I love that phrase, awakened, because that, to me, implies new birth, new life, awaken the beauty within, the butterfly that exists in every caterpillar, just waiting to just … This beautiful creature, beautiful human, beautiful woman, if you will, in every sense of that word, waiting to come out. You interview, I think you’ve done more than 500 articles, everybody from celebrities to just mothers, abuse relationships, people from Latino backgrounds. Talk about what’s the mission of Awakened-Woman, if you will.

 

Yvette Bodden:

That’s easy. To inspire, empower, and encourage women to live their best life, to become their best selves. When I started the platform, it was stories about me, stories about that I had just come across, experience that I’ve had with just watching other women. But around, I guess, the beginning of the pandemic, it’s hard to write when you’re not living life. Those articles became harder to write. And I thought about how I always talk about how, as women, we share many experiences.

 

Yvette Bodden:

I started reaching out to celebrities because I think American society, I think we put celebrities and people of affluent lifestyles, we put them on a pedestal. And they’re human just like we are. I wanted to start interviewing some women that we’ve seen on TV, CEOs, authors, that we think of as, wow, have the perfect life. And the special thing about each interview is that every woman has shared something personal about her journey. It has nothing to do with the promotion of their careers, it’s about them as a woman.

 

Yvette Bodden:

And I think that makes it very special because when you read the interviews, you feel like, wow, that’s something that I’ve felt, that’s something that I’ve experienced, and you see the human side. And that’s what I want. I think it’s an awesome way to connect just people by showing that humanity. Because we see them on TV and they may have millions in their bank accounts, but they’re still human, just like you and I, except that we’re not on TV or we’re not millionaires. But I think it’s really special.

 

Yvette Bodden:

I spoke to one woman, she’s an actress, and I can’t tell the name because I haven’t released it yet. But we talked about the feeling of not being enough. And it was a very personal conversation. And she talks about how she gets these great roles, she gets this great life, but she still feels like she’s not enough. And that’s what I want the readers to see.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

I mean, that is profound, what you’re saying, Yvette, that all humans, I think, really struggle with this sense of, am I enough? And I would imagine all women and some maybe mask it more than others, but even so-called successful people. I mean, their lives aren’t always easy. You look at Hollywood, how many happy marriages are there in the Hollywood? It almost feels like that’s the exception. Maybe that just mirrors the rest of American culture or the rest of world culture, I don’t know. But sometimes it almost seems to be worse.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Whether it’s divorce, substance abuse, I mean, it’s just like things happen like that. I mean, if you feel enough, I mean, it’s not that you won’t get a divorce, maybe less some of the other things. But I guess the point is, there’s pain everywhere, even amongst the successful. And we don’t realize that. And then it makes these women seem human to other women. It’s like, gosh, I guess their life isn’t perfect. It seems so good, but it’s like, oh, maybe, gosh, wow, that’s painful, but …

 

Yvette Bodden:

Yeah. We talk about self-love. I just interviewed an actress. She’s on a current show on ABC. We talked about her self-love journey and how when she was younger, she was in an abusive relationship and her divorce and the effect that divorce had on her life and on this journey of self-love. And you feel like, wow, we aren’t not different. And it’s one of my favorite interviews.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Wow.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Let’s put a pin in that idea of the journey to self-love, because I have a question for you on that. But we’ve reached a part of the show where I normally say something like the captain’s turned on the fasten seatbelt signs, we have to land the plane soon. But since we’re all journalists here, we’re all writers here, I’m going to say that it’s almost time. And, Yvette, you may be too young to even know this, but there used to be, injournalism, there may still be … I don’t know, I’ve been out of it a while. But in my 20 years there, when you ended a story, you did -30-.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

That was how you ended the story, at the bottom of the story, -30- was the end. We’re getting to the point that we’re going to have to put the -30- on this, but we’re not there yet. I’d be remiss before I went and asked my last question, Yvette. If I didn’t give you the chance to tell listeners how they can find Awakened-Woman online and learn more about you, how can they do that?

 

Yvette Bodden:

Absolutely. They can visit awakened-woman.com.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Well, that’s very simple, awakened-woman.com. One thing I want to say to you, Yvette, as we do begin to wrap before Warwick asks another question or two is, I was in journalism, as I said, for 20 years, 10 years of that as an editor. And one of the things I’m able to do, I can just tell when someone’s a good interviewer, a good journalist, and I can tell you are. And here’s how I can tell that. Even before you said every woman shared something personal, that tells me that you’re good at getting that information out. People feel comfortable talking to you.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

But the other thing I can see is if listeners go back and listen to this again, listen to the pauses that Yvette takes before she answers questions sometimes. One of the greatest tools in being a good interviewer is learning how to leverage silence. In other words, not being afraid of it. Don’t feel you have to fill it up. And I can tell, as you answer questions, you don’t feel like you have to froth at the mouth as you just keep filling the air with words. You think about them. As a questioner, I can tell that about you.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

As an old editor, I can tell that that’s the way that you ask questions as well. And that makes you, I can tell, based on what you get people to say a good journalist. As someone who loves journalism, I applaud you for being a good one. I have hope for the future of the career I love because of people like you. Now let me ask …

 

Yvette Bodden:

You’re going to make me cry.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Well, I didn’t mean to …

 

Yvette Bodden:

Thank you. That means a lot.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Well, you’re welcome and you’re very deserving. Here‘s the last question I want to ask you, because we asked you on the little form that we have. If there was only one question we could ask, what would you want it to be? And you were talking, before I started blathering here a little bit, about the journey to self-love. And you wrote, if we can only ask you one question to ask you this one, what has been your biggest challenge on the journey to self-love?

 

Yvette Bodden:

Understanding my worth. I’m going to cry again.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

No, and …

 

Yvette Bodden:

I think …

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Please, please go. If you have more to say, please do.

 

Yvette Bodden:

I think understanding your worth can change your entire life. Knowing your worth, it affects every decision you make in life, whether it’s in your personal life, your career. The choices that you make are all affected by knowing that you’re worth everything.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

I mean, that is profoundly true. I mean, I believe, I guess from my perspective, every human being is worthy of love. Every human being is worth something. Again, my faith perspectives, and I think probably a lot of other religious perspectives teach that God loves us, not because of what we do, just because of who we are. There’s nothing we can do or need to do to earn God‘s love, at least from my philosophical and spiritual paradigm.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

But you get just that sense that every human being, every woman, obviously, that’s your focus, every human, every woman has inherent worth? She starts out beautiful and will always be beautiful in soul and spirit, whether she’s 2 or 92. It does not matter. Every human, every woman has worth. As we sum up here. There’s a comment somebody said about you that, again, we’re only just getting to know each other and I think it’s obviously true, is it says that she, referring to you, writes with endless empathy. I don’t know.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

If I was writing it, I’d probably say, unending empathy, I’d probably phrase it that way, but same thing. But that’s a real gift because it makes people feel comfortable sharing. And by sharing, you can help so many people. As we wrap up, there may be some women who are listening to this podcast and heaven forbid maybe today is their worst day, maybe they are in the midst of a very ugly divorce, lost a job, maybe they’re abused. I mean, there’s all sorts of tragedies that can happen to people and to women. What would be a message of hope that you would give maybe that woman is listening to you today, and today maybe her worst day?

 

Yvette Bodden:

I’d say hold on. Tomorrow’s a new day, and everything can change. But it’s going to take you to change whatever it is that’s bringing that pain. I think maybe every day you wake up, you get a chance to start over. I guess that’s the best way to put it.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Well, I’ve been in the communications business long enough, listener, to know when the last word on the subject has been smoking, and Yvette has spoken the last word on this subject. And what she just laid out and what she just said is a recipe, is a blueprint, is a guideline for how you start a second act. And what she’s talked about in the previous 45, 50 minutes of the show is how you develop significance in that second act. She has done that very thing.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

And until the next time we’re together, listener, do remember what we’ve just talked about here, that your crucible experiences we know are painful. We know that they can knock the wind out of your sails and change the trajectory of your life. Go back, listen to Yvette tell her story. It changed the trajectory of her life, but she didn’t stay knocked off balance. She found her balance. She found her worth. She pressed into how she could live her life of significance by helping others, and that has led her to a place right now where she is living life on purpose in service to others. And that is what we call at Crucible Leadership and Beyond the Crucible, a life of significance.