4 R’s of Self-Kindness with Gilza Fort-Martinez

 4 R’s of Self-Kindness with Gilza Fort-Martinez

Does kindness play a role in healing? Find out just how much when you make Time to be Kind with Marly Q and renowned psychotherapist, Gilza Fort-Martinez. This brief but powerful conversation explores the essential role kindness plays in healing and emotional wellness and uncovers Gilza’s “4 R’s” technique for emotional restoration. Tune in for your roadmap to self-kindness and overall wellness, starting now!

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“Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” ~ The Golden Rule


Listen to this Episode and Discover…

  • How kindness underpins healing and overall wellness, creating a safe space for awareness, consideration and transformation to occur.
  • The 4 R’s of Self-Kindness and Emotional Restoration
    • Rest: Recognize the importance of rest. We often judge ourselves harshly for needing rest, but it is an essential part of self-kindness.
    • Reflect: Reflection is key to understanding oneself better. Asking ourselves hard questions can be a kind act leading to self-awareness and informed decision making.
    • Reset: After allowing for rest and reflection, resetting can take place. This process is about making more conscious decisions and allowing for changes in our lives.
    • Reengage: Once reset, we are ready to reengage with the world more intentionally, with a better understanding of ourselves.

About Marly Q:

Kindness Influencer, Leadership Trainer, and Community-Builder on a mission to create a kinder world for over two decades. Through her podcast, she invites listeners to make “Time to Be Kind” each week to receive a spark of kindness, connection and community.

Connect with Marly Q:

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/MarlyQ

Instagram: https://instagram.com/MarlyQ

Facebook: https://facebook.com/theMarlyQ

YouTube: https://youtube.com/@MarlyQ

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarlyQ

TikTok: https://tiktok.com/@theMarlyQ


About Our Guest:

Gilza Fort-Martínez, LMFT, is a Tough Love Healer specializing in individual therapy, couples counseling, and women’s transitions. With over 25 years of experience, she helps individuals rediscover resolution paths, transforming their lives. Her approach, My Navigational Mapping™, combines honest feedback and a solution-driven method, increasing self-awareness and emotional wellness. Gilza is the founder and CEO of Resolution Counseling Center in Miami. With expertise in conflict resolution, interpersonal relationships, and life transitions, she guides clients in embracing flaws and transforming them into strengths. Her passion for helping individuals improve their lives drives her dedication to counseling and therapeutic support.

Connect with Gilza Fort-Martínez

Website: gilzafort.com

LinkedIn: Gilza Fort-Martínez

Instagram: @toughlovehealer

Facebook: ToughLovehealer

Twitter: @toughlovehealer


Other Links:

Join our Kind QREW Free Private Facebook Group: https://facebook.com/groups/kindqrew

Join our Kind QREW+ Paid Membership: https://marlyq.com/kind-qrew

Programs & Courses: https://marlyq.com/programs

Marly Q Speaking, Training & Retreats: https://sparkcsr.com

Listen to Marly Q TEDx Talk “Kindness is your Superpower”: ​​https://bit.ly/MarlyQTEDxTalk

Other Episodes you’ll enjoy:

EP 43:   Be Kindr to You with Dr. Eva Ritvo

EP 42:   Time to Elevate MANkind with Rene Garcia

EP 37:   Global Village of Kindness with Dr. Eglee Nunez-Sancristobal



Marly Q 00:00:00

Personal healing is intricately tied to emotional wellness. But have you ever thought about the role that kindness plays in your healing process and daily well being? Stay tuned for this illuminating conversation.

Marly Q 00:00:25

Hello, PARKers. And thank you for making Time to Be Kind with Marly Q. We are joined here today by a super special PARKer from Miami, Florida. Gilza-Fort Martinez is a licensed marriage and family therapist. She’s also a speaker and a writer with over 25 years of experience specializing in family therapy and life transitions. She’s helped hundreds of individuals, couples and families rediscover and create a path for resolution that have turned their life around. She has been featured on numerous TV publications, print publications, and dozens of podcasts, including now, Time to Be Kind with Marly Q. Please help me. Welcome to the show, Gilza.

Gilza Fort 00:01:03

Hi there. Hi, Marly. Nice to see you again.

Marly Q 00:01:06

Yes. Thank you so much for making Time to Be Kind. I know that it’s not always easy to. And I appreciate you offering and clearing some space on your super busy calendar to talk to us today.

Gilza Fort 00:01:17

I appreciate that. I definitely resonate with what you say and what you do and what your focus is. I mean, at the end of the day, that’s the bottom line, right? The golden rule being do unto others. And kindness is that foundation.

Marly Q 00:01:34

Thank you. I so agree with that. And I hear that a lot, right? Do unto others. And I think sometimes we forget the rest of that, right?. It’s do unto others as you do to yourself. Isn’t that the rest of it?

Gilza Fort 00:01:45

As you want others to do unto you.

Marly Q 00:01:48

There you go. I know I messed up the words, but I know there’s a part there about you, right? And that’s why it’s so important to start with you. And on this journey of self healing and emotional wellness, really starting with kindness towards yourself allows us to kind of impart some of that kindness onto others, right?

Gilza Fort 00:02:05

Absolutely. Absolutely.

Marly Q 00:02:07

So I know your handle on Instagram is tough love healer. Can you tell me why? Tell me a little bit about this tough love and healing.

Gilza Fort 00:02:14

I mean, the handle came through even conversations with different clients over the years when I would ask them, so how is it that I have influenced you or helped you or impacted you? And most of the time, I got some version of, well, you just are frank. You don’t sugarcoat. And what I wanted was to be able to have the information, and sometimes I didn’t like it, but you still made it palatable for me. So the whole tough love is compassionate. I can be compassionate like I tell my clients. I can be listening. I can be very caring. And then there’s going to be a certain point in time where I’m going to have to be the one that gives you that little push, that little shove that maybe other people are either doing too aggressively and so we resist it or are afraid to do. So the whole tough love healer is kind of a compassionate approach that I try to encourage people to really take a look at what are their options in life as the transitions are flung at us.

Marly Q 00:03:14

Absolutely. I’ve just currently, I feel like I’m still in this transition. I consider myself a new mom even though my kid’s about to be five in July. I feel like I’m still transitioning into this mompreneur world. I have a two year old and almost five year old, and in that transition, I’ve really had to impart quite a bit of love and kindness towards myself through the process. And when I think of tough love, I immediately think of my kids. Because I’m raising my kids with kind of the same tough love that I was raised with, right? My mom is the most selfless, kind, amazing woman, and she’s also super tough, let me tell you. Super tough Cuban mama who don’t play no games, and she’s got super strict boundaries, right? And I feel I am aware of, and I witness myself kind of modeling that tough love way where I’m super kind, but I’m very firm, quote, unquote, tough on boundaries and rules with my kids. And I think that that could sometimes be criticized, right? Like tough love on your kids. But I really think that tough love, quote, unquote, when thought of from a place of kindness and compassion like you’re talking about, could really make a big difference in helping to help someone feel safe. Like they know what I stand for and what I don’t, right? Help someone feel that you care. Because if I’m this tough on certain things, it’s because I care. It’s important, right? So what’s your feedback on that? Am I doing a good job as a parent? I guess, as I’m indirectly asking you.

Gilza Fort 00:04:40

I think you absolutely are, because I think that this idea of really creating safety doesn’t mean we have to helicopter or cocoon our kids. Safety has to do with, in my mind, and I think we were raised by very similar mothers. Safety, in my mind, has to do with creating, like, security. I always knew that I could go back to my parents. I was very blessed in that way, and I always knew that my parents had my back. They didn’t always agree with me. And I got into plenty of disagreements, particularly with my old school, traditional father. But I always knew that they had my back. So, like you said, having loving, caring boundaries that are done lovingly and firmly. Lovingly and firmly. So we don’t need to do them aggressive. I don’t encourage you to do them in anger. They just are. This is what it is.

Marly Q 00:05:35

This is what it is.

Gilza Fort 00:05:36

This is what it is. My daughters are 28 and 22 at this point, Marly. And they will tell you that if they didn’t want to bring out psychomom, all they needed to do was to tell me the truth, have a conversation with me and then be willing to take your lumps if we didn’t agree, because they knew I would do the same. I had no problems with saying, you know what? My bad. And sometimes, you know what, guys? This is the way it is. Because I’m the mom and because your dad is the dad. Really, I’m loving to hear from you that you are really comfortable with stepping into. I can be kind and firm and there are some things that are going to be because that’s the way dad and I want them to be.

Marly Q 00:06:23

Cause mama said so. That does fly around here.

Gilza Fort 00:06:28

Well, like I said, my daughters are grown, and if you talk to them, they’ll tell you it still flies at my house.

Marly Q 00:06:35

There you go. You’re doing a great job, too. Here’s a little reminder for the two of us. We’ve done good. Because when kindness is the foundation, I think of how you parent or how you serve right in the work that you do that’s going to nourish a good environment for that to bloom, for there to be healing, for there to be growth. So I love that. So now that we know the important role that kindness plays in parenting, let’s switch over to the role that kindness plays in healing and overall emotional wellness. From your perspective, how important is kindness in the work that you do to help people heal and find their wellness?

Gilza Fort 00:07:08

I think it’s very important, Marly, in what I do as psychotherapy, the essence, the tried and true of psychotherapy is about creating safety and it’s about instilling hope, and it’s about kind of holding space for someone until they are able and willing to step into that space or time themselves. So underneath all that, there has to be the kindness that allows you to make that connective relationship. The essence of good psychotherapy. And what I mean by good, meaning that it could be effective, that it can be transformational for people, is that you have that therapeutic rapport. And rapport, to me, whether it’s in the therapy office or in the coffee shop is about kindness. Can you share what you’re thinking, tough love wise, and still make it easy on the mind, on the body, on the soul, for the person to be able to consider and to take in? So for me, kindness, hope is all about how I help people really kind of rebuild and restore themselves from whatever their crises.

Marly Q 00:08:19

And how do you encourage your clients to be kind to themselves in their healing process? Do you have any specific technique or question or part about your process that you encourage your clients to be kind to themselves? Curious.

Gilza Fort 00:08:33

I mean, I work a lot. At this point, after 25 years of being, of doing a lot of what might be called generalist, I did a lot of work with different populations and things. At this point, I work most often with women and with women that are really in the throes of definitely some kind of life transition. But I work a lot with women overcoming some kind of betrayal in their life. Betrayal is a broken trust, right? The essence of I thought this was what it is, and now I realize it’s not. And so that devastation of loss. And so my primary focus and work with clients, but definitely with women, is the idea of taking care of yourself, of the Self, right? The one that has the capital S to it. I encourage people to do what I call the four R’s, okay? And the first two pieces to me are primary. And like any other kind of grieving thing, you kind of go to something and then you come back to it. But the first one is I encourage people to just Rest. We don’t allow ourselves, as you were saying, we aren’t kind enough with ourselves when we’re resting. We think, oh my gosh, I’m not being productive, I’m not taking something off my list. I’m not multitasking the way the world says. And so we’re very unkind, very harsh to ourselves with that whole idea of resting. And I talk to people about whatever that looks like for them. Sometimes resting could be right. You’re vegging in your pajamas and binging on a movie or a show, and sometimes resting could be a little bit more mindful, right? You are intentionally either doing some kind of meditation or a lot of people do exercise and fitness as a way. So there could be an active form of resting, and then there is a more quiet and passive form of resting. So to me, that’s cornerstone, because we are just incredibly unkind to ourselves in this society with regards to, you know, what, today is just resting.

Marly Q 00:10:34

I would like to tell all our PARKers listening, I have been guilty of this most of my entire life. I still struggle with it a little bit, but I am grateful to my healing journey and my epiphany that divine rest, like, absolutely sacred. So nothing like having two kids that didn’t let you sleep for several years? I don’t think I’ve slept really. I will have you value rest. I would really have you value rest. All right, so I got the first R, what’s next?

Gilza Fort 00:11:01

So the second R is to Reflect, Reflection. And this is a part of kindness that I encourage people to do because again, we are in this hustle culture that we’re in, we are in on, and we’re expected to be on twenty four seven at a hundred and fifty miles an hour all the time. And so the concept of sitting quietly, just kind of seeing what’s going, what’s floating through our heads, taking a moment to ask ourselves kind of what I call the hard questions. Sometimes my clients will say to me, well, that’s not very kind when you want me to ask some of these questions. At the same time there’s a kindness that goes in with can I look at myself? Am I willing to look at myself in all of my glorious flaws? And will I take the time to really kind of be my own comfy, cozy blanket, so to speak, in ways. So the reflection process to me, I encourage people to do it old school. I’m very much paper and pencil. I want you to just ask yourself the basic questions: who am I? What’s important to me, what’s different for me now than when I was 20? Just any question is important. Any question is relevant to getting to know yourself in a different way. So this is different angle of kindness. It’s one that sometimes I have to sell a little more to people in the sense of it is a kindness to yourself. The more that you understand yourself, the more that you have awareness, then the more mindfully or intentionally you can step into what are the choices that you want to make? Doesn’t mean we’re not going to make mistakes. It just means that you might be more clearly able to tell where are the potholes in the road, so to speak.

Marly Q 00:12:47

Absolutely. I believe, I think that’s such an important part of the work that you do and you quote, force your clients to do it, whether they think it’s tough love or not. Reflection, I always say without reflection you see no growth. Without reflection you see no growth. You’re just constantly doing and the doing and the doing. And you’re carrying with you maybe old identities, baggage, things that you haven’t that aren’t even you anymore. Without that kindness. Like clarity is kindness. And sometimes clarity doesn’t look good. It doesn’t look good. But there’s kindness in being really clear about who you are, why you believe you’re on this earth, where you’ve been, where you think you’re going, where that gap is like how we’re treating ourselves in our journey. I think reflection is paramount. So, so far I am with you on board for these two R’s. Tell me more.

Gilza Fort 00:13:33

Well, another piece of that reflection, as you were saying there, is really entering into the part of forgiveness. And to me, forgiveness is also cornerstone in being kind to ourselves. Because you mentioned I might be looking at myself in ways that I’m not even that person anymore. And so that’s all about right judgment and self judgment that we do, and I’m talking about, again, Western society, US. Societies, is the we that I tend to talk about, but definitely us as Hispanic women kind of trying to bridge the old school, traditional way of thinking and now trying to transition into more of the American values and so forth. I mean, like you, I grew up with very traditional Hispanic parents and it was very tough at times to stay true to what they considered to be important values, cultural and historical, and to also be present and be able to live a life here. So the willingness to look at ourselves and know that we’ve shifted and we’ve changed. And some of it we’ve done willingly, some of it right life shoves us into those changes. Then the ability to really forgive ourselves for how we do that process. As you were saying, the idea of being a mom and a mompreneur, that is, I started practicing when my oldest daughter was two, and that was really hard. I wanted to grow this business. And my mom and my mother in law, they both worked, but they didn’t have careers. They worked and they didn’t have businesses. They worked for somebody. So there was a lot of clashing there and a lot of self forgiveness that I had to do for not being with my daughter. Twenty four, seven, and yet I’m a much better mother because I worked, because I had my sense of self. So forgiveness to me is a big piece of that reflection part.

Marly Q 00:15:51

I totally agree with that. So thank you for bringing that into the conversation. For sure. So we got two R’s under our belt so far. You said there were four, right?

Gilza Fort 00:16:04

Yes. The third one is reset. And how that works with kindness for me is when we do this resting and we’re allowing and we let resting become a little bit more intentional and habitual, right, more consistent. And we continue to ask ourselves some of the questions so that now we start to make maybe decisions a little bit more consciously, maybe we decide that we have to make some shifts and we let go of things that maybe are hard to let go of. All of this is the process of resetting. And when you’re ready and usually we know when we’re ready, we just don’t always allow ourselves, but we usually know when we’re ready to take that first step into let’s try this different idea, or let’s meet this different person or connect with this particular business idea, whatever it is. The resetting has to or the resetting comes in when you’re feeling that you have more of that foundation all in. This is about kindness for yourself. Okay? Like we said, if we’re going to judge ourselves, criticize ourselves, move ourselves into the space where we become immobilized either with anxiety or fear, you aren’t able then to do the reset. And so the reset to me is like when the computer we kind of restart the computer and we have our basics, right? All the basic stuff in the computer is there, but there’s some new and improved pieces or maybe there’s a little program here and there that we hadn’t noticed and that now we put more energy or emphasis on. And so the resetting takes you or allows you to go into what I call the fourth step, which is the reengaging. This is when you more intentionally decide to reengage with the world, whatever world that is. In the case with a lot of my women clients, it might be about actually stepping into their reengaging in their marriages or stepping into the idea of divorcing. But it could be any layer changing jobs, allowing our children to go into kindergarten, and we leave them at the front door. We don’t take them, whatever that is, right? That it allows us then to reengage with our various worlds and the various hats. But we do it now from a place of a little bit broader understanding of ourselves.

Marly Q 00:18:24

Oh my goodness. So I feel like you just outlined in four R’s, which I love, wordplay, Alliteration, and acronyms. As you know, I know we don’t know each other that long, but you know me for five minutes. You know I like acronyms. And you’re a PARKer, by the way, I don’t know if you’ve learned this one. And folks listening, do you know what a PARKer stands for?

Gilza Fort 00:18:42

Gilza I did. Oh dear. Random Kindness. Acts of random kindness.

Marly Q 00:18:47

I forgot the P. Perform of Random Kindness. So when you’re a PARKer, you’re a person that performs Acts of Random Kindness, right. So you do this absolutely every single day. Now you know the acronym for it. All of you listening, you’re all PARKers too. So just in case you’re new to my world and didn’t know that acronym, PARKer. And what I was saying with this is that was really like my journey with I had to really learn my last burnout experience, october of 2016. And I made a decision. If I do not change, if I do not change this, I’m going to die. It got that serious from like I will not continue not just my work and my passion and my philanthropic work, but I don’t think I will continue existing if I don’t change how I am treating myself. And it really was this total outward do unto others without doing any of the kindness unto self. So that was 2016, several years ago already. And it’s taken some time it’s taken some time for my body and my brain nervous system to rewire itself, to appreciating and valuing and prioritizing rest, which was absolutely the complete opposite of my life. Prior to this awakening and necessity for reflection, I really had not done any real reflection work to pause and really look at how far I’ve come from my immigrant parents coming to the United States, from me actually starting. A business in 2010, not knowing anything about it, not having a role model, not having the right environment, so to speak, to nurture this in me, et cetera. And here we don’t fast forward and actually reflect and ask ourselves these questions. We’re not able to be proud of ourselves and be like, hey, you’ve been through some dark times, you’ve been through some difficult things, and the forgiveness that has to happen is such a part of it. And then resetting, like, once you’re ready and hey, it might take you, I don’t know, a couple of sessions with Gilsa. It took me a couple of years, people. I did not seek Gilsa’s help. I just thought I kind of went through this on my own and with my family to a small extent, et cetera. And it took some while to kind of reset and be like, all right, I am no longer this stressed out, burnt out, worried, anxious event planner that I’ve been all my life. I feel I’m being called into becoming a parent. That’s when we started even trying, going down that journey. I feel I’m being called to speak and connect with people in a different way. I’m being called to create courses. But it was a lot of resetting that needed to happen mentally and identity wise to step into. I am a kindness influencer. I am a leadership trainer. I’m a community builder. That’s who I am, what I do. You can pay me to speak at your event. You can pay me to do workshops and retreats, right? But that all really had to come from kindness and come back to Corey to the core, and then be able to re-engage, enter Time to Be Kind with Marly Q podcast and my effort to re-engage with my community that I felt and I didn’t forget about. But I tossed it off to the side because it caused me so much stress, worry, anxiety, burnout. And now really able to come back and say, listen, there’s a way that we can be the spark and we can be of service to others and be that change that we wish to see in our own lives and for the world. But it really has to start. It has to start with you. Because if not, it’s just not sustainable.

Gilza Fort 00:21:54

Sustainable. That’s the great word. Because we could do it. You did it there for a number of years. So did I, so did our parents. And as children of immigrants, as you said, this is what we’re taught to do we just go? Go. The question really is, is it sustainable? And is it sustainable in a way that you have some satisfaction, some quality of life? The two main reasons that people go into therapy in this country anyway is that they complain of anxiety or depression. Okay. And those things are about, like you said, the core, the soul that isn’t really being nurtured or honored.

Marly Q 00:22:33

Correct. And I just want to use this microphone and this time and this platform for anyone listening that might be kind of in a season of life where you feel like that angst of like, all right, I need to transition or I need to make a change, I need to pivot into something. And you feel that resting and reflecting and kind of going through this process might be helpful for you. How can our PARKers listening connect with you? I know you were so generous to offer a 15 minutes consult for people that reached out to you and review the show. So if you’re out there listening and you review our podcast, rather leave a review on itunes or follow us on Spotify or leave a comment on our blog if you engage with us and this episode, Gilsa is so generous and she’s going to offer you a 15 minutes consult.

Gilza Fort 00:23:18

Yes, I’d love to be able to do that. You could also find me, as you mentioned, on Instagram, I’m at TOUGH LOVE Healer, can find me on Facebook as well as my website. Helsaport.com can give you a little bit more information through my blog and things like that, get a little bit better, feel as to who I am and how I work. But definitely the 15 minutes is usually enough for people to get a feel for, is allowing yourself to go and have conversations with somebody that you don’t know, take out the dirty laundry, as we would say in Cuban Spanish, right? With somebody else and really allow yourself to start that kindness process with yourself. I encourage it. Doesn’t have to be with me, but I encourage it.

Marly Q 00:24:03

I encourage it, too. Thank you so much for your generosity, for your kindness, for spending this time with me and our PARKers listening. I hope that we get to see each other real soon.

Gilza Fort 00:24:12

Yes, thank you. Thanks very much for having me.


So if you enjoyed this episode of Time to Be Kind with Marly Q, and I know you did, tell us about it, you can leave a comment over on my website, Marlyq.com this episode number. You could also leave a rating and a review over on podcast. Follow us on Spotify. You know what to do. And you could also choose to be the spark of a conversation over on our private Facebook group. If you’re not part of my Kind QREW yet, I don’t know what you’re waiting for. I invite you every week. Go over to Marlyq.com this episode number and click the link to request access to our private Facebook group. That’s where we connect each and every week, and I want you in there. You’ll also find the full transcription and show notes, plus the links to connect with Hilsa over at Marlyq.com this episode number. Thanks again for making this Time to Be Kind with me. See you next time.

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MANkind Summit 2.0 Recap

MANkind Summit 2.0 Recap

MANkind Summit was a historic three-day virtual event focused on elevating mental health and wellness with the power of kindness, connection, and community. In this short solo-episode, Kindness Influencer and podcast host, Marly Q, highlights the importance of mental health and wellness with a quick recap of the Summit. If you want to feel inspired and refreshed with new perspectives and practical tools to calm your mind, find clarity, and take action towards your goals then listen to this episode and consider joining our Kind QREW+ online community for on-going support. Marly Q believes that Quality Relationships Elevate Wellness (QREW) and having a kind support system helping you prioritize self-care and well-being is the secret to living a more happy, successful and fulfilled life. Tune in and listen for a special invitation at the end!

Join our Kind QREW community – Click here
Join our Kind QREW+ Paid Membership – Click here



“I believe Quality Relationships Elevate Wellness and everyone deserves to have a QREW.” ~ Marly Q


Listen to this Episode and Discover…

  • Gain valuable insights and reflections on the second annual MANkind Summit, a unique virtual event that focused on elevating mental health and wellness with the power of kindness, connection and community.
  • Be inspired by Marly Q’s personal story of resilience and her commitment to spreading kindness and building a strong, supportive community. 
  • Gain motivation to make time for self-care and discover how simple it can be to prioritize your own mental health and wellness.
  • Learn practical strategies and tools to cultivate calmness, find clarity, and make progress towards your goals, empowering you to create a more fulfilling life.
  • Receive a personal invitation to join our Kind QREW+ community, where you’ll receive ongoing support, access to exclusive resources, and the opportunity to participate in future events and workshops.

About Marly Q:

Kindness Influencer, Leadership Trainer, and Community-Builder on a mission to create a kinder world for over two decades. Through her podcast, she invites listeners to make “Time to Be Kind” each week to receive a spark of kindness, connection and community.

Connect with Marly Q:

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/MarlyQ

Instagram: https://instagram.com/MarlyQ

Facebook: https://facebook.com/theMarlyQ

YouTube: https://youtube.com/@MarlyQ

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarlyQ

TikTok: https://tiktok.com/@theMarlyQ


Other Links:

Join our Kind QREW Free Private Facebook Group: https://facebook.com/groups/kindqrew

Join our Kind QREW+ Paid Membership: https://marlyq.com/kind-qrew

Programs & Courses: https://marlyq.com/programs

Marly Q Speaking, Training & Retreats: https://sparkcsr.com

Listen to Marly Q TEDx Talk “Kindness is your Superpower”: ​​https://bit.ly/MarlyQTEDxTalk

Other Episodes you’ll enjoy:

EP 34:   Don’t Quit on You with Marly Q

EP 32:   Let’s Start with Why (and How) with Marly Q

EP 30:   Season 2, Kind Welcome with Marly Q

EP 0:   Season 1, Welcome PARKer with Marly Q



00:00 Marly Q

Can one event change your life? Yes, yes it can. And I know this because I’ve been creating and being a part of life changing events for well over two decades. And I just hosted our second annual MANkind Summit, a historic three day virtual event to elevate mental health and wellness. In this episode, I quickly recap what this one of a kind event experience was like. And for all of those who did not attend the MANkind Summit this year, Stay tuned to the end.

00:40 Marly Q

Hello and thank you for making Time to Be Kind with Marly Q. It’s just you and I here today. How cool is that? It’s been a while since I do a solo episode, but today I was inspired because we just hosted our second annual MANkind Summit. And I have so much to still digest and reflect on that experience. But I wanted to kind of go off of momentum and record this quick recap. For those of you that attended, you know the transformation, the inspiration, the elevation that we all experienced together throughout the course of the three days. Whether you were with us all three days of the summit, or you only attended one day, or maybe just one session, or maybe you just were able to pop in and out in the middle of your busy day, I hope and I trust that you were able to receive from the event experience what was there for you to receive. Hopefully a spark of kindness, connection, and community.

01:32 Marly Q

That was my intention. That’s who I believe I am. And my purpose here on this earth is to simply be the spark of kindness, of real meaningful connection and to build community. That’s what Time to Be Kind with Marly Q podcast is all about. And the event, the MANkind Summit, was really the embodiment of making Time to Be Kind to yourself. And I really want to recognize and honor and appreciate the people that registered for this event and that attended I recognize that it was a difficult ask and that it was a challenge to show up for three days, to make time, to be kind to yourself, to elevate your mental health and wellness, to share that maybe with family, with friends, or with your team of coworkers.

02:16 Marly Q

I know I challenged you and I really want to again acknowledge and recognize those of you that took me up on that challenge, especially wanting to thank our sponsors, our presenting sponsor Spark CSR, which is my company of professional development training, leadership workshops and retreats. This was basically my showcase of what it is that I can do on a virtual scale and also in person as a speaker, as a facilitator, as a leadership trainer, right?

02:41 Marly Q

So my company was a presenting sponsor, Spark CSR. You can check it out at sparkcsr.com. And we had Miami-Dade County District 13 as a presenting sponsor as well. We applied for a grant and for the second year in a row, we were supported so that we can produce this event for practically free for the community. Thank you to Senator Rene Garcia, who we had on our podcast just a few episodes ago. And we’ll make sure to link it on this show notes so that you can hear from him. Why he decided to say “Yes, MAN” to this event and support us for two years in a row. One of our first sponsors to sign up was Voices for Children, which we just recently interviewed Kadie Black, the CEO of Voices for Children. We want to thank Fortune Lenders, Rise Up Bookkeeping, Lulee B. Inc., The Well Biz as well, Synergate Coaching. Little Chef Big Food and STARS Global Preparatory School, which is a school here in South Florida, which I have been serving as a chairwoman of the board for the past two years. And the reason that I’m a part of that board and the school and also interviewed Dr. Egle Nunez San Cristobal on Time to Be Kind with Marly Q a few episodes ago is because they infuse their curriculum and their everyday school with kindness. There is actually a kindness curriculum, there is service learning that happens in the classroom. And for me, that’s really key is that we are teaching kindness and influencing kindness in our youth, not just our youth, in us, in ourselves as well. 

04:10 Marly Q

And the MANkind summit was all about directing some of that self-love and kindness that we constantly give in service of others. Hey, I’m talking to you, PARKer, to you, the people that Perform Acts of Random Kindness, right? The people that are constantly helping this event was to help the helpers. And we spent three days working through an experience. Day one was get calm. It was all about how do we calm our mind? How do we befriend stress, right? One of the mindset shifts that we started the event with, the first 15 minutes of the event, we had done a guided meditation and we shift our relationship and our mindset with stress, where we realized that stress is not the enemy, right? Lack of awareness to stress is the enemy. And when we began to practice Mental Awareness Now, or MAN, is the acronym for Mental Awareness Now. When we begin to practice that as a mindfulness skill, it allows us to experience more calm in our life, despite the chaos, confusion, or otherwise happening on the outside, right? 

05:07 Marly Q

So day one was all about tapping into that calm. How do we do that with practical tools, with practical skills, right? And I gave everybody on day one, the one daily habit that has the power to change your life that has a power to change the way you feel when you wake up and go to bed. I call it my BEST way to stress less. BEST is the acronym for that self-care strategy that I got to teach, I got to share. I’ve been sharing it since 2020 to well, I mean, thousands of people by now and dozens of workshops in person and virtual. And I can tell you with certainty, not just by teaching it to others and being able to witness and hear transformation from people that actually apply this BEST way to stress less strategy. But for me personally in my life, doing my BEST and being committed to always do my BEST has really gotten me through some difficult and challenging times, especially some mental ruts that I found myself in when I was quarantined and pregnant with a toddler in my house and trying to transition into becoming a mom of two and figuring out how to rebuild my business after losing it from COVID, et cetera. I was in a bit of a rut and the only thing that I had available to me was my Mental Awareness Now and practicing my mindfulness skills to keep me from a rut and allow me to pivot really fast into creating Time to Be Kind with Marly Q Podcast, creating online courses, creating our community, our kind crew, and creating awesome virtual events like the MANkind Summit. That was day one, was get calm. And I shared a bit of that story as to how getting calm helped me shift over into getting clear. 

06:42 Marly Q

So day two was all about get clear. Once we are able to get some calm and achieve some calm in our mind, then we can get really clear as to what’s really important to us. Right? Have you ever been guilty of feeling like a hot mess or you just feel like a mess? Right? You were scattered and distracted in a lot of different directions. Day two at the MANkind summit was for you, to help you. Kind of reset your mind. We started with an amazing session, a mindset research session. I wanna thank Sheena Eizmendiz from The Wellbiz for leading that session for us and teaching us some real practical mindfulness skills that we can use to reset our mind, achieve more calm and more clarity so that we can get moving and feeling better. So that was, I didn’t mention our featured speakers for day one, I wanna thank. Dr. Eva Ritvo, founder of Bekindr Global Initiative and a psychiatrist in Miami Beach Florida for well over 30 years. She’s been a multi-guest of Time to Be Kind with Marly Q, including episode one and three and 30 something a couple of weeks ago. And we just love Dr. Eva Ritvo and she helped to amplify the story of a woman that we both feel really embodies growing as a result of trauma and someone that her mental health has helped her really build a beautiful life where she enjoys quality relationships and experiences, despite her physical disabilities. So Kerry Gruson, the co-founder of Thumbs Up International, was a part, not just as a featured speaker at our event where we helped to amplify her voice, but she attended all three days. And really, just by her presence and her wisdom and the words that she was able to express really changed lives at the MANkind Summit, changed our perception of what’s possible and what we can actually see in one another way past our physical limitations. 

08:28 Marly Q

We also got to focus on our goals and on day three, get moving in that direction. So again, day one was get calm. Day two was get clear. And day three was get moving. And I taught you my smartest planning framework to achieving any goal. We were able to leave with an actual roadmap and some action steps as to how you’re going to get moving and make progress on the goal that you decided was most important to you. It was so amazing to actually have that be a real valuable use of time for people. How many events have you been to where you get a lot of information, information overload, but then you leave and you’re like kind of overwhelmed or unsure as to what am I going to do with all this information that I just received? I know I’m not the only one. I and the MANkind summit experience was not like that at all. There was zero overwhelm on the information. And if anything there was overwhelm on the joy of being able to experience and receive each other’s kindness. It was a beautiful display of kindness, connection and community. And again, I just want to say thank you to our speakers and our sponsors for making this event possible. And more than that, to the attendees, to every single person that attended this event that engaged, that was active with our dashboard and won MAN points. Yes, my friends, we actually had a competition called the MAN points challenge and we gave points for attending the event, for engaging, for speaking up, for submitting forms on the dashboard, for visiting our speakers and our sponsors. And it was just so fun to reward people to interact and to engage.

09:58 Marly Q

If that doesn’t show you that this was a completely amazing and unique one-of-a-kind experience, I don’t know what will, right? This was not a Zoom meeting. This was not slideshows and presentations or speakers just speaking at you. This was really a co-creation of community and really in my opinion, showcasing the change that we all wish to see in this world. We created, we co-created an environment and a space in an event where people came and felt safe to be themselves, to express their voice.

10:27 Marly Q

We even had Adrianna Foster on day two and day three sing Acapella using her voice loudly to inspire all of us with a smile and with a message that it’s all about you. You are responsible for elevating your mental health and wellness on a daily basis. And this event was my effort from my heart to open my heart and my arms to the community to invite you to elevate your mental health and wellness together. 

10:52 Marly Q

We all need this MAN. We all need this MAN. None of us is, you know, has reached the summit of mental health and wellness enlightenment. Mental health and wellness is a daily practice. And in a world where we are so busy and pulled in so many different directions and there’s so much fear and uncertainty and unknowns, us being able to strengthen our mental fortitude. For us to be able to strengthen our mental health, to be able to stand still and strong in the face of adversity, for us to be able to pivot quickly when there’s changes, for us to be able to be focused and present and productive at work, at home and out in the world. It’s really up to us. It’s all about you making Time to Be Kind to you and prioritizing your mental health and wellness. The MANkind Summit was the opportunity to do that. And again, I just want to thank recognize, acknowledge, celebrate, applaud all the beautiful people that took me up on this invitation and made Time to Be Kind to elevate your Mental Awareness Now. If you missed it, you’re listening and you’re like, what, what was this event about? Where was I? Why didn’t I go? Or you didn’t go because it was three days and you’re like, I don’t have time for three days, right? We actually had a whole session about moving from time management to time ownership so that you can find out that you actually got time.

12:04 Marly Q

I got Time to Be Kind to me. I got Time to Be Kind to others, right? Kindness doesn’t take any time. If anything, it gives you time and energy to actually experience your life in a more enriched way and to actually connect with other people and build quality relationships that elevate wellness. Because at the end of the day, if you are surrounded by quality relationships that will elevate your wellness and get you through absolutely anything that you might be going through. You don’t have to get through anything in life alone. And what I believe we all need is a QREW, not just any QREW, a Kind QREW. Allow me to be your kind guide.

12:38 Marly Q

So if you’ve been tuning into Time to Be Kind with Marly Q every week since we launched this season two. Then you know, we’ve been promoting, we’ve been inviting you to join our kind crew. It’s our free private Facebook group page. And it’s grown to well over 350 people by now, which is amazing. And it only grows by you joining and inviting other kind leaders and kind people to join our movement to spread kindness worldwide. And at the MANkind summit, I got to share an invitation to join our kind QREW plus, which is our paid membership, where every single month we meet, have a scheduled self-care date, you and I and our QREW, we meet to practice self-care. We practice doing our best way to stress less with a guided meditation so that we can actually pause, reflect on the month, share some wins, share some losses or share what I need.

13:32 Marly Q

Every month you get to actually pause and reflect so that you can see your own growth, so that you can be supported by community and actually make meaningful relationships, meaningful connections. QREW is an acronym for Quality Relationships Elevate Wellness. I believe that quality relationships elevate wellness and it is up to you, me and we to connect ourselves with each other. And that’s really the purpose here of Time to Be Kind with Marly Q and the MANkind Summit is to build community, real meaningful community. And at the MANkind Summit, I was just in tears with joyful overwhelm of the meaningful connections that were made in that room day one, day two, and day three. I want to thank our, our Kind QREW members that joined us. So if you’re listening, I want to give a shout out to our new Kind QREW members, Barbie Garcia, Denise Jomarron, Amy Burgess, Aileen Martinez and some founding members who are coming back, Michelle Soebi-Smith, Kat Haber, Dr. Betsy Guerra, Brian Lemerman, Luly B. and Carolina Williams. Thank you for joining our Kind QREW Plus. Thank you for committing to making Time to Be Kind to you on a monthly basis. And together we can hold ourselves kindly accountable to our self-care goals.



If this message resonated with you, then go on over to MarlyQ.com, click the join Kind QREW Plus button and join us MAN. Each and every month we make Time to Be Kind and practice self care. I offer a quarterly planning workshop for my kind crew members that costs $297, but it’s free for you to attend. You get access to my online course, to my guided meditation. You get access to the MANkind summit itself for free next year. And you also get access to the replay videos from this year’s MANkind summit and last year. So it’s an absolute no brainer. Join my Kind QREW Plus by visiting this episode’s show notes. The link will be right there for you to join. All right, MarlyQ.com forward slash this episode number will get you straight there. Thank you for making this Time to Be Kind with me today and hearing my little recap and fast forward of the MANkind Summit. There’s gonna be so much more coming your way as soon as we’re able to get these videos and bring this content down to share with all of you. Thank you for making this Time to Be Kind with Marly Q. I’ll see you next time.

Join our Kind QREW – Free Private Facebook Group:  Click here to Join Now

Join our Kind QREW+ Paid Membership – Click here





Voices for Children with Kadie Black

Voices for Children with Kadie Black

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and National Foster Care Month so this week, Kindness Influencer and podcast host, Marly Q, makes Time to be Kind with Kadie Black, CEO of Voices for Children, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving children in the Miami Dade County foster care system. They discuss the the importance of finding personal joy, the critical work Voices for Children performs every day and how vicarious trauma affects those working in this challenging field. You’ll become more aware of the needs of children in foster care and learn ways the community can support through donations, volunteering, and creating positive experiences for children in the foster care system.

Join our Kind QREW community – Click here
Join our Kind QREW+ Paid Membership – Click here



“Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero.” ~ Fred Rogers


Listen to this Episode and Discover…

  • The needs of children in foster care, beyond the basics of food, shelter, and safety.
  • The concept of vicarious trauma and the importance of mental health for those working with vulnerable communities.
  • Some of the challenges faced by children in the foster care system and how organizations like Voices for Children help.
  • The significance of community support, including donations, volunteering, fostering, etc.
  • The impact of positive experiences and exposure on the vision and future of children in the foster care system.
  • How you can be a Joy Generator for yourself and others!

About Marly Q:

Kindness Influencer, Leadership Trainer, and Community-Builder on a mission to create a kinder world for over two decades. Through her podcast, she invites listeners to make “Time to Be Kind” each week to receive a spark of kindness, connection and community.

Connect with Marly Q:

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/MarlyQ

Instagram: https://instagram.com/MarlyQ

Facebook: https://facebook.com/theMarlyQ

YouTube: https://youtube.com/@MarlyQ

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarlyQ

TikTok: https://tiktok.com/@theMarlyQ

About Our Guest:

Kadie Black is the CEO of Voices for Children, a nonprofit serving children in Miami Dade County’s foster care system. Kadie emphasizes the importance of personal joy and highlights the critical work performed by Voices for Children. Discover how you can support foster care children through donations, volunteering, and creating positive experiences.

Connect with Kadie Black

Website: beavoice.org

Amazon Wish List: Voices for Children Back to School Drive

Instagram: @voicesforchildren

Facebook: VoicesForChildrenFoundation

Twitter: @Voices4Children

Other Links:

Join our Kind QREW Free Private Facebook Group: https://facebook.com/groups/kindqrew

Join our Kind QREW+ Paid Membership: https://marlyq.com/kind-qrew

Programs & Courses: https://marlyq.com/programs

Marly Q Speaking, Training & Retreats: https://sparkcsr.com

Listen to Marly Q TEDx Talk “Kindness is your Superpower”: ​​https://bit.ly/MarlyQTEDxTalk

Other Episodes you’ll enjoy:

EP 43:   Be Kindr to You with Dr. Eva Ritvo

EP 42:   Time to Elevate MANkind with Rene Garcia

EP 37:   Global Village of Kindness with Dr. Eglee Nunez-Sancristobal



00:00 Marly Q

As you may know, we’ve been celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month, and I’m still smiling and buzzing with energy after hosting our three day MANkind Summit last week. But mental health isn’t the only thing that I want to elevate your awareness about. May is also National Foster Care Month, and today we recognize over 1500 children in Miami Dade County foster care system and the almost 400,000 children and youth living in foster care across the US. We’re making Time to Be Kind today to express appreciation to all foster parents who open their homes and their hearts and also acknowledge the kind professionals and volunteers who do the hard work of elevating Voices for Children every day. Let’s listen. 

00:53 Marly Q

Hello and thank you for making Time to Be Kind with Marly Q and our special guest PARKer today. She is a super PARKer, mom, wife, friends, bubble blower, roller skating joy seeker and the President and CEO of Voices for Children. Who together with her team serve as a beacon of hope for abused, abandoned and neglected children and youth in the foster care system. Voices for Children, provides critical support for advocacy to ensure that every child has access to basic necessities, dignity items and positive experiences to help them build a brighter future. Please help me welcome to the show, Kadie Black.

01:30 Kadie Black

So happy to be here.

01:31 Marly Q  

I am so happy that you made Time to Be Kind in your super busy schedule. Thank you for carving this time out for us to have a conversation. And before we jump in, I have to say thank you to you and Voices for Children for being one of our very first supporting sponsors for the MANkind Summit. Thank you for seeing the value and investing in our mental health and helping our helpers elevate our mental health and wellness.

01:52 Kadie Black  

We are so honored and we know that the important people that are working day in and day out carry a lot of stress and vicarious trauma. And so we want to invest both in the community and also our own employees. So we were so happy to be able to partner in this way.

02:12 Marly Q  

Yeah, I am super excited and I’m already pumped for next year. So follow up conversation on how we can do more. MAN, I’m like over my man jokes, but I still have a few more days in me to throw a couple more man jokes.

02:23 Kadie Black  

Well, you guys did such a wonderful job just pulling it all together and making sure that it was relevant content for everybody to take something away and use in their daily lives. So thank you for what you guys did to pull it off and put it together.

02:38 Marly Q  

Thank you. I’m receiving that fully. Thank you. So can you tell me before we get into the super important work and sometimes very heavy work of what you do and trying to elevate that, to make sure that we feel well, is so important. And I know that you are a joy seeker. Can you tell me why spreading joy is so important to you? Roller skating, blowing bubbles. Let’s talk a little bit about what sparks your joy and why it’s so important for you.

03:03 Kadie Black  

Absolutely. So for me, it’s about living authentically me and being aligned in my purpose and my passion. And the way that I was able to do that was finding things that made me happy, finding my joy, doing that and being able to be a magnet for all the things that were meant for me. And so the way that I learned to find my joy was blowing bubbles and roller skating. Yesterday I did pottery. I went to a pottery class. And so trying new things that filled my soul just allowed me to be able to focus on the things that I love. It’s brought me to where I am able to do a lot of that professionally now as well and spread joy and bring joy and be a joy generator for others who just need a little bit of hope in their life.

03:51 Marly Q  

Joy generator. I love that. Joy generator. I love it, love it, love it. I’m like embracing it, so we can put that hat on right. I started calling myself a kindness influencer because I believe that we are all or all have the power to be a kindness influencer. And that resonated with me. When you said a joy generator, I believe we all have joy inside of us despite outward circumstances or joy is something that is always present within you and you can tap into it and generate more of that for yourself and for others. And the same goes for kindness. Do you agree?

04:23 Kadie Black  

Absolutely. And I think it’s leading with that energy and so making sure that people can see that you’re eight. Oh, wow, she can generate that for herself. I must be able to do that as well and not necessarily waiting for those things that happen to us, but really things that are making it happen for us.

04:43 Marly Q  

I love that. Can you tell us a little bit more about your work and your mission with Voices for Children? 

04:49 Kadie Black  

Absolutely. So like you had said, there are about 1500 to 1600 children in Miami Dade County’s foster care system. They come into the system because of abuse, abandonment or neglect and they are placed in foster homes, shelters, sometimes relatives who are willing to take them in for a portion of time while mom or dad can kind of figure out happening at home that’s prohibiting them from really being the parent that the children need. And just along those lines, what we see kids come into care is because of substance abuse, domestic violence and mental health, right? And all of those things really feed each other. And so a lot of the issues that in stressors end up showing themselves in a lot of that increased population of kids that come into care because stressors do inhabit or inhibit some decision making sometimes. But when parents are really reactive with their behavior, a lot of that is mental health, stressors or substance abuse, domestic violence. So those are really the root cause of why kids come into care. And we believe that every child deserves to have a voice in court than somebody to help them navigate the foster care system. So the Guardian ad Litems are the only person that is in the courtroom for the child’s best interest. We provide more than 50% of the funding needed for Miami Dade County to have 100% guardian representation for every single child. So a big part of what the voices does is make sure that every child has a Guardian ad Litem. The other thing is making sure they have their basic needs, those dignity items, those experiences that really help to expose them, to get them out of that survival mode, right? Everybody’s in this traumatic survival mode and how do we help them to kind of turn that into being able to thrive. And so that’s a lot of what we do is try to help reduce trauma. When kids come into foster care, maybe it’s a pillow that makes all the difference that they just have their own pillow. So reducing the trauma to help make sure that they’re able to heal from what’s going on in their homes.

06:57 Marly Q  

Yeah. When I think about foster care and kindness, I really do think about the little things. If you think about a child who is just being either taken away from their family or being placed into a system, how is that entrance? Is there a kind welcoming committee into this system? Probably not if it wasn’t for beautiful people like you who think about making sure that the child has the least traumatic experience while the domestic situation is being sorted out. And that there are beautiful people who are willing to open their hearts in their homes, to accept children on a temporary basis, to love and care and provide safety for them. It’s just such important work. So just want to take a moment to pause there. And it is foster care month. And part of the purpose of Foster Care Month is to elevate awareness around the needs of foster care children, right? So what would you say are some of, like you just mentioned, the simple things. What are some more things so that we can all become more aware of the actual needs of children in foster care.

07:56 Kadie Black  

Absolutely. And I think that’s a really perfect example of one of the things that we do so here at Voices, we have a comfort closet. And in that comfort closet are all of the things that are needed so that when kids do come in and often times they come in with their stuff in trash bags, that they’re able to have that dignity, right? They’re able to hold their head high when they go to their new school for the first time and they don’t have to wear a non uniform that they can just at least have that dignity. And so a lot of what we do is leveraging that within the community. So people who want to donate new stuff, right, because kids deserve new stuff, but new makeup, hair brushes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, toys. We’re about to have start ramping up her back to school. We make sure that we provide kids with a backpack and all kinds of items that they need to be able to start school off in a fresh way. And that includes we provide new shoes, we provide support for uniform, food. We also get them set up with some gift cards for food so that they can get off on the right foot. And so that does include, of course, back to school items. And I think that we’ll provide you with our link to our Amazon wish list. And for those that do feel called to help, that’s a wonderful way. We also do take donations for our comfort closet. I really believe that if you can’t adopt a child in foster care, you can foster, and if you can’t foster, you can give, and if you can’t give, you can volunteer. There are so many ways for people to show up for this population, which really is our most vulnerable population. It’s children that don’t have parents and they need all of us as the community to come together and come around them. So definitely the Back to School and some of our ongoing initiatives are ways people can get involved. We also have annual events. We have our luncheon. It’s a superhero gathering of the superheroes for kids in foster care. That’s on October 6 at the Lowe’s Coral Gables. So you can find more information about that on our website, which is “bea” and then “voice”, beavoice.org. We have a gala every year as well, so there’s lots of different ways that people can kind of get involved in our work.

10:13 Marly Q  

I love that we will definitely link all of the information in this episode’s show notes. Can you tell me something that you are the most excited about this year? I know you all have so many events coming up and programming that you do, but what are you most excited about?

10:28 Kadie Black  

So most excited about? This year we’re partnering with Blue Mission. They are a mission organization that works in Dominican Republic to lay water systems for small villages that do not have access to fresh water. And so we’re taking 20 youth in foster care to the Dominican Republic. This summer to lay water systems. For me, those experiences and being able to expose kids to different things really allows them to spark ideas of what’s possible for them and give them hope. And so, for me, the most rewarding thing out of my job is allowing those experiences to happen. So I’m really excited about the dr, but I’ll tell you very quickly, this year, we did a tour of Miami, for example. We had 40 kids on a bus, and the minute we went up the causeway on the MacArthur Causeway, all the kids went nuts, and they were like, Miss, do you see the cruise? Do you see this? Because it realized that they had never gone over the causeway. These are kids that live in our community that have never seen the cruise ship or never seen the boat or never gone over the causeway. And so I’m excited to take them out of the country. We’re getting passports and all of those things, but really, it’s exposure that we can do on a daily basis and also with our monthly experiences that I think make all the difference. To help kids just really be able to see what’s possible for themselves.

11:54 Marly Q  

Absolutely. You’re providing these positive experiences and opportunities to envision something better, in order for us to be able to grow towards a higher vision, we have to be able to have that vision. So you’re providing, through these experiences, a vision for what’s possible in the future of a child. And not only that, you’re providing them with adults and positive role models to support them in that development, which is huge. Children need a stable, responsible, kind of dependable adult that they can trust and they feel safe around. And I feel that you’re also providing that with your experiences. They absolutely make a difference. What would you say has been one of your maybe greatest challenges that you’ve had to overcome either recently or in your time with Voices for Children?

12:40 Kadie Black

Yeah, I mean, I think that, again, our frontline staff, because they do this day in and day out, the vicarious trauma of reading some of these petitions and reading about the circumstances of some of these cases is really challenging, and it’s really hard. And so I hold those kids in my prayers, and that continues to drive my desire to help and be of service in the ways that I can. But I think it’s really just knowing there’s so much suffering out there is really hard sometimes to stomach that children are going to sleep, for example, and they’re scared to sleep in their room because there are rats in their room, or they’re being exposed to predators that are in their building without being supervised. Many of those things just are very challenging. To think that kids have to have that as their daily reality.

13:32 Marly Q  

Definitely holding space for how challenging that is for the children in that situation, and for the Kind professionals and even volunteers that confront this really crucial. And I think it’s a human responsibility incumbent upon all of us to take care of our children and the most vulnerable in our society. So truly, from my heart, just thank you for the work that you and the team at Voices for Children do. Thank you to our PARKers listening for just making this Time to Be Kind and elevate your own awareness about foster care and the needs of the foster care kids. And if you are a foster parent listening, we just want to give you a big virtual hug. And just thank you for opening up again your heart and your home. And if you’re curious about fostering, you’re curious about maybe this cause compels you to want to volunteer your time, energy and resources in some way. You’ll be able to connect with Kadie and Voices for Children right after this episode with the links in our Show Notes. Kadie, is there anything else you’d like to share with our PARKers Listening?

14:32 Kadie Black  

I just think that I want to thank our donors and those that invest in Voices for Children. Because we would not be able to do this work without them believing in us. Voices believes that support should not be a privilege for kids, and so we are grateful that we get to do this work and that we get to do this work with Kind individuals who know and want to invest their time, their talents and their treasures. So we’re very appreciative of everybody who supports us.


I really hope you enjoyed that conversation with me and Kadie and learned a little bit more about the foster care system and how kindness can be a superpower to help elevate our children. We want to thank the servant leaders and professionals like Kadie and our team who dedicate their lives to be the Voices for Children in foster care. I want to thank you again for making Time to Be Kind today. If you appreciated this episode, let us know about it either on YouTube, Apple, Spotify, wherever you’re listening, leave a Kind comment and share it. You can be a part of Amplifying kindness worldwide. Join our KindQREW. You can find the link in this episode’s show notes as well with the link to support Voices for Children in their school supply drive. Okay, the Amazon link will be right on there. Head on over to Marlyq.com forward slash this episode number for the full transcription, show notes and links to connect. I’ll see you next time. Thanks for making Time to Be Kind.

Join our Kind QREW – Free Private Facebook Group:  Click here to Join Now

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Kindness is Serious Business with Paola Arencibia

Kindness is Serious Business with Paola Arencibia

How does your closet have anything to do with kindness? Join Kindness Influencer and Podcast Host, Marly Q, and wardrobe stylist, Paola Arencibia, to discuss the transformative power of fashion and how it intertwines with self-esteem and self-kindness. Paola shares her experiences in helping women revamp their wardrobes and, consequently, their outlook on themselves. She highlights the importance of owning one’s personal style and discards the societal notion of fashion being solely about the right clothes or trends. Instead, she emphasizes the emotional and mental dimensions of having “Serious Style” including feelings of comfort, confidence, and authenticity.

Join our Kind QREW community – Click here


“If we feel that sense of ownership and we feel that sense of kindness to ourselves, we become a bit impermeable to a lot of the negativity that could be thrown our way.” ~ Paola Arencibia

Listen to this Episode and Discover…

  • The clothes we wear can profoundly affect our self-esteem and the way we present ourselves to the world.
  • Fashion isn’t just about the right clothes or trends—it’s about comfort, confidence, and authenticity.
  • The act of detoxing your wardrobe can serve as an act of self-love and kindness, and can help to remove negative associations and emotions tied to certain clothes.
  • You can take ownership of your personal style, resisting societal pressures and fashion industry norms to shape your self-image.
  • Having a process and strategy for choosing your clothes can save time and reduce stress, making dressing an enjoyable, rather than overwhelming, experience.

About Marly Q:

Kindness Influencer, Leadership Trainer, and Community-Builder on a mission to create a kinder world for over two decades. Through her podcast, she invites listeners to make “Time to Be Kind” each week to receive a spark of kindness, connection and community.

Connect with Marly Q:

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/MarlyQ
Instagram: https://instagram.com/MarlyQ
Facebook: https://facebook.com/theMarlyQ
YouTube: https://youtube.com/@MarlyQ
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarlyQ
TikTok: https://tiktok.com/@theMarlyQ

About Our Guest:

Paola Arencibia is a wardrobe stylist and advocate for self-kindness through fashion. She believes in the transformative power of clothing on self-esteem and self-perception. Paola helps women revamp their wardrobes, emphasizing emotional and mental dimensions of personal style. With a focus on comfort, confidence, and authenticity, she empowers individuals to embrace their unique selves and discard societal expectations. Paola’s expertise lies in guiding others to cultivate their own “Serious Style,” redefining the way we perceive fashion and fostering inner well-being.

Connect with Paola Arencibia

Instagram: @seriousstyle_mia

Other Links:

Join our Kind QREW Free Private Facebook Group: https://facebook.com/groups/kindqrew
Join our Kind QREW+ Paid Membership: https://marlyq.com/kind-qrew
Programs & Courses: https://marlyq.com/programs
Marly Q Speaking, Training & Retreats: https://sparkcsr.com
Listen to Marly Q TEDx Talk “Kindness is your Superpower”: ​​https://bit.ly/MarlyQTEDxTalk

Other Episodes you’ll enjoy:

EP 17:   Be Kind to Your Skin with Beatriz “Betty” Newborn
EP 39:   But I Want to Fly with Michelle Villalobos
EP 34:   Don’t Quit on YOU with Marly Q



00:00 Marly Q

So if you want to be taken seriously as a businesswoman, then you have to dress the part. These were some unsolicited words of advice that I received from a businessman after attending an event with some sparkly shoes. Our special guest today has a few things to say about what determines your serious style. Stay tuned! 

00:36 Marly Q

Welcome to the show! Wardrobe stylist and founder of Serious Style, Paola Arencibia, Welcome!

00:44 Paola Arencibia

Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to get a chance to chat with you.

00:47 Marly Q

Yes. So not just chat with me now, but you came into my home for, like, 6 hours or something like this and completely transformed not just my closet, but even the way that I look at style. So I want to dive right into our conversation because I have a little bit of trauma when it comes to styling and fashion and clothing that I opened up and I shared with you. I’ve never felt very confident with my clothes and my ability to go shopping and pick out this great outfit for myself. I’ve really always relied on my sister. I’m, like, the middle child, so I was, like, the product of hand me downs and friends who would lend me their dresses for homecoming or prom at school, and I never really had any help in this department. And now, as a businesswoman and as a, “Kindness Influencer”, I really wanted to kind of elevate that style, and I wanted to really just kind of get over all the stuff that told me that I didn’t really know how to dress myself and be stylish, right? Because those were all just, like, past experiences. And I just wanted to first say thank you for holding space for me to having shared kind of some of what has gotten in the way in the past. And you holding space with that, with kindness and also coming back, like, listen, kindness is serious business.You remember when you said that to me? 

02:09 Paola Arencibia

Yeah. Absolutely.

02:11 Marly Q

And I think I picked up a pen and I wrote it down. I’m like, Kindness is Serious Business. I wish that I would have had that phrase to respond to back when I attended an event and I was doing, like, a pitch style kind of event to pitch my business, which is to spread kindness worldwide. And this man, after I spoke, kind of came up to me and gave me unsolicited and rather I’ve found to be unkind advice. He’s like, if you want to be taken seriously as a businesswoman, then you have to dress the part. And I’m here having lunch, and he says this to me, and I’m like, Are you talking about my sparkly shoes? Are my sparkly shoes offending you? And I kind of just laughed it off. And we kept going, but that kind of stayed in my mind. So when you said to me, Kindness is Serious Business, I was like, that’s what I should have told that guy. Kindness is Serious Business, and it doesn’t mean that I have to be. So just thank you for changing my mindset on style and what it means to show up in business, like, confidently and seriously ready to show up and make an impact.

03:12 Paola Arencibia

Well, I appreciate that so much, you’re saying that. And I do want to say thank you to you because I know how vulnerable it is to allow someone into your closet and into your home and among your family. And by the way, my cat has been quiet all day and has now decided to show up. She felt the camera, so I apologize in advance for her cameo appearance.

03:34 Marly Q

She’s welcome. She’s welcome to make Time to Be kind with Marly Q. What’s your cat’s name?

03:39 Paola Arencibia


03:40 Marly Q

Sila, Thank you. She’s welcome. Now, I’ll keep it down.

03:42 Paola Arencibia

A lot of things came to mind when you were telling that story about somebody commenting on your shoes or just on your you thought it was about your shoes, but just commenting on your wardrobe. It’s a mixed bag. Because at the same time, it can be the kind of comment that could really be inappropriate or just not welcome in any scenario. But when it sticks with us, it does make us question things, and it really speaks to the heart of why I’m doing what I’m doing. Which is, if we feel that sense of ownership and we feel that sense of kindness to ourselves, we become a bit impermeable to a lot of the negativity that could be thrown our way. And that’s not to say that this is a cure all, but I think particularly we as women I mean, men suffer this, too, but I do specialize with women. There’s nothing that I can say that a woman doesn’t understand intuitively of how fashion, the fashion industry, clothing, our wardrobe, the way we dress, the way we walk into a room, how it affects right at the core of our self esteem and how we project ourselves and however it is that you want to dialogue with that. So, again, I’m always really appreciative when women allow me into their closets, because I know that they’re kind of, like, giving me a sneak peek into a whole history of how they have represented themselves, wanted to represent themselves. And definitely, how they talk to themselves and the kindness or the lack of kindness that we use particularly. When we’re getting dressed, how triggered we get by that little number on that tiny little tag? And how that translates to how we move through the world? So my absolute privilege in working with you and in working with all my clients is to be able to reframe it’s not really so much. It’s not the shopping. And you can attest to that, because I’d love to hear more about now that you’ve reflected on it. Not the shopping and not the getting new clothes and not getting the right clothes, but reframing it in a way so that you realize just how much ownership you have over that whole industry. That tries to that tries to get into our mind in a way that sometimes tears us down. And something else I want to say about kindness being serious business. I was reflecting on something that you mentioned because you had been with some schoolchildren when I saw you and how you have to get really firm with that in order to allow the right environment for kindness to grow. And I think the same is true with the way that we talk to ourselves. Kindness is Serious Business, but also kindness comes with a lot of discipline, and you have to be firm, but we have to be firm with ourselves. We have to say, no, I am not allowing myself to continue to talk to myself this way. I am not allowing myself to just give up and put on this shirt that I know just is, like, making me feel frumpy and is dimming my light or whatever it is. And we have to have that discipline, and we have to have that sort of firmness with ourselves first in order to be kind.

06:34 Marly Q

I so agree with you. And before meeting you and kind of going through this closet detox process with you, which did take thank you for acknowledging my vulnerability there, because it took quite a bit of courage to be like, okay, Paula, that’s really cool. You’re a wardrobe stylist. Sure, come into my house and come into my closet and let me hear your opinion on all my things that I feel not that confident about. So it did take some courage and vulnerability there. And what I loved about your process is that even for someone like me, that has a bit of an anxious tendency brain, you set me right. Like, a way to here’s how to prepare for your closet detox. Like, have an area that’s for what no longer makes you happy. Have an area for what you wish to donate. Have an area for things that are important to you or gifts, but they don’t need to be front and center in your closet anymore. And you ask questions like, how do you want to feel when you get dressed? You ask really important questions that help to, like you said, reframe how we even think about styling ourselves and our wardrobe. For me, it’s literally I have to cover my body because it’s culturally inappropriate to do otherwise. I never really put much thought into my outfits or my clothes, for example, right? Once you step into entrepreneurship and business and now your personal brand or you’re the face of your business. Kind of what you wear really does matter. And we should put probably some thought into it, but from a place of, how does this make me feel? How do I want to feel when I put on my clothes? Do I want to feel for me? The first answer I gave you was, like, comfort. It’s really important for me to feel comfortable in my clothes. It’s important for me to maybe have a little pop of color, a little quirkiness in there, but to feel that I can be comfortable and calm and confident in my own skin and in my attire. And I used to feel like I don’t really have anyone listening woman, male, non binary or otherwise, if you’ve ever had the feeling of, I don’t have anything to wear, like, you stand in your closet, and there’s, like, I don’t know, hundreds of hangers, but you’re like, I don’t know what to wear. I have nothing to wear to this event or to this thing. Paola our time together, we put together like you put together almost 40 different outfits using my clothes.

09:07 Paola Arencibia

Yeah, it was definitely a “we”, because there’s, like, an energy exchange that’s happening. If you’re into woohoo stuff, take that as woohoo as you want. But if not, I think we all know again what we’re talking about, and what I mean is to make it more explicit. For example, at the beginning, like you said, I ask you how you want to feel with some of my clients, depending on what their personal interests are or whatever, they’ll say, oh, I want to feel and look like Victoria Beckham, or I want to look like Olivia or whatever it is. That wasn’t your case. But either way, we were able, based on everyone. I just want to say about comfort, comfort is important. Comfort is a given. Okay, now this is where I want the reframe. I don’t think any woman that’s ever walked into a room and been like, I really hope when I walk in, they notice just how comfortable I am or what a good deal I got on this shirt. Again, being kind to ourselves and in valuing ourselves, we can really right away start and you know that we hit the ground winning. We put some clothes together, and right away, you’re like this. This is the buy. So where we weren’t talking necessarily about particular style icons. We were just talking about a certain buy. Then we use that to help us assess what we have. And that’s what makes it, and that’s why we’re creating it together. And that’s why, for me, while I have a process that I put in place with everybody, no two closets are the same, because what you’re embodying right now and usually my clients are in one of two places. They are in a place of transition in their lives. They’ve gone through something big, either emotionally, relationship wise, started a new career physically. They’ve lost a lot of weight, gained a lot of weight, had some physical issues that they’re going through. So that’s what I call my transition clients. And that’s really when we’re, I’m holding their hand as we’re moving through out of that phase and into this new phase, then there are my growth clients. Like, I would put you in that category where they’re in a place in their lives where things look like they’re going to be a certain way, but we are elevating. We’re really stepping into that bigger role, maybe getting a little bit more higher profile or whatever it is, and there’s a certain level of elegance and confidence that comes with that. Now, the way that looks is going to be totally up to you. We’re going to create that together. I’m going to guide you sure, based on some of my expertise and what my eye is that you’ve entrusted me. But we’re creating that together. And then you saw by the end of it, you’re going, oh, no, Paola, the jacket doesn’t go with this.And I’m like, okay, I guess I am done.

11:34 Marly Q

Those are my virgo controlling tendencies.

11:38 Paola Arencibia

I so look forward to that moment because that shows me that you’ve not recorded the rules. And that’s why the business is called Serious Style. People will meet me and they’ll be like, oh, you’re not that serious. We laugh a lot. We have a lot of fun. I try not to make the process heavy at all, but when you say look at somebody and you say they have serious style, they just know they’re styling and they’re editing what they’re wearing based on a feeling. So for me, it was really great to witness you get to that point where you knew how to edit what you were wearing based on how you were feeling. And that’s a really beautiful experience for me. So that’s why I say that we create these things together and that I appreciate that vulnerability and that openness and just that back and forth to be able to say, like, no, it’s now it’s without the jacket. Because you’re so getting intune with yourself that you’re actually better communicating to me than I can ever communicate to you what your style is.

12:31 Marly Q

Yeah, I guess that’s ownership, right? Like, I did feel by the end, and it’s silly because I’m like, I already had ownership. This is all my clothes. I just wasn’t aware that I can put them together this way and have all these different outfits with, like, one jean jacket that I own. I think it would be, like, over a dozen outfits with this one jacket. This is so exciting to me as a minimalist, as a very practical person, a very resourceful human. Having a lot of stuff is overwhelming to me. So I just feel so much better with my closet having been detoxed by you. For me, having gotten some really practical and like a strategy for how to pick out what I’m wearing so it’s so much faster. You’re saving me time, which I love. Anyone that saves me time, I love them. So as a busy mom of two, as an entrepreneur, I know that you could relate as well. And something that I found surprising was how this process of detoxing old clothes, maybe that had some either bad memories attached to it or just didn’t feel good, don’t have good feeling energy. How detoxing of that? How saying like goodbye to that is actually an act of self love and kindness.

13:40 Paola Arencibia

Absolutely. Look, one of the biggest things that’s why, as you noted in my instructions that I sent that I say, look, if there are items that you don’t want to get rid of for sentimental value, let’s designate a spot for them. I call it let’s archive them. Because if you think about, if you just spend I was working with a therapist that once gave me this exercise. It’s three minute mindfulness exercise, and it was about using a mug they use in the morning for a cup of coffee and sort of like going over like, well, how did that mug get into the house? What’s the story behind it? And the exercise actually made me cry. And it pointed out how much, like, how you do anything is the way that you do everything. And at the end of that exercise, he had said, like, you chose a mug that makes you sad and let you laugh about it now. But it was like a really weighty thing for me. So in terms of the closet, if you think about if you’re going through hanger after hanger of clothing that you feel judged by because the size is wrong or carries all these memories because they are associated with another time in your life, of course, by the time you pick that shirt, you’re exhausted and you haven’t even started the day yet. And I think that that high. And remember we talked about it because you asked me, like Paola you must be exhausted after all this time. And I said, no, I actually get like, it’s hard for me to fall asleep afterwards. And then you messaged me and you said, you’re right, you get this rush of energy.

15:05 Marly Q

I was like, what is this energy, people? PARKer’s listening. I do not have a bountiful supply of energy. After 9 PM-ish, after I put my kids to bed, I’m done. I don’t even have phone calls. I don’t check email. I don’t even respond on social media. Like, I’m just I’m done to the world after like 9:30, let’s say. And the day that we did the closet detox, I was like, just like, and I text my sisters like, this is so weird. I’m excited about clothes. Sound the alarm. This is not me.

15:36 Paola Arencibia

That’s all very real. I mean, if you think about you’re waiting through all this stuff and in the back of your mind, it’s signaling something to you, and then you have to start your day. And I love that aspect. And it was kind of like not a conscious byproduct. I mean, it was an intuitive one, providing the service that you realize that you eliminate all that judgment out of your closet and now that those clothes are serving you and what a huge act of kindness that is. 

16:04 Marly Q


16:05 Paola Arencibia

It’s the act of kindness that I get to do for a living. And to me, and the bigger picture in terms of what I offer is also to eliminate that when we go shopping. That’s why, if you notice, we were putting a list together and we were just working on the closet detox, and I still leave you with a list. For example, for my 90 day clients and my clients that go shopping with me, we don’t just walk into a store and willy nilly let trends and the department stores determine how we’re going to look and feel. We know the feeling. We’ve been through the detox. You’ve stood in front of the mirror, you’ve told me Paola no this jacket doesn’t go. We’ve done all that. You’ve had all that ownership, and it’s from that place that then we go looking for pieces that are going to serve us as opposed to, again, allowing ourselves to just feel judged and feel like we’re not skinny enough, we’re not young enough, we’re not pretty enough, we’re not trendy enough, whatever it is. And it really becomes like I think it’s just such a joyful shift in regards to something that’s really important to all of us.

17:07 Marly Q

It really is. It really is a joyful shift. I like that because I’ve never felt positive about my closet or clothes or getting dressed. There’s never been good feelings on that, literally. Like I said, I just understand that we must do this process, something that we’ve got to do. And I have a two year old who runs around my house naked all the time, and I’m like, this must be my this is obviously my offspring. Because he’s like, why clothes, mom? There’s no need. He has to learn. It’s important. And then we can look real nice and put together and look like we have some serious style. So I just really loved the process. So if you’re listening, PARKer’s, and you’re someone who like your closet or your clothes or shopping is a source of stress for you, I understand, and this is the woman that you need to connect with, because I, again, was kind of experiencing some anxiety, some stress around this, some worry. There was a little bit of shame in my own brain. I had shame tied to my clothes. And this experience was first, it was fun. It was fun, I did not expect it to be fun. I was like, oh, God, now I got to get all this stuff out of my closet and it’s going to make a mess and all this stuff and hi, it was not a mess. And in one day, you could be done with this big weight off your shoulders. And now I walked into my closet today and I was able to put on. Girl, I’ve changed outfits, like, three times today. And I was like, I can put this on, I can put that on, I know what to do, right? And I just felt, like, empowered. I felt empowered. And I’m just so grateful for that experience. I’m grateful for how you choose to be kind to others through your work, and I’m just so grateful that I got to experience it. So thank you. I am a transformed, serious styler now.

18:54 Paola Arencibia

Yes, I see it. I love it. And again, I can’t thank you enough for inviting me in. It was a wonderful experience for me as well.


If you enjoyed this episode of Time to Be Kind with Marly Q, then tell us about it and share. Whether you’re listening on Apple or Google or on YouTube, go ahead and leave a quick review or a comment so that we know that you enjoyed it. And it also helps to amplify our message and our mission to spread kindness worldwide. If you are not a member of our Kind QREW yet, what are you waiting for? It’s free, and the party’s waiting for you over on our private Facebook group page. Visit Marlyq.com forward slash this episode number to find the full transcription, the show notes, the links to connect with Paola and Serious style and be able to sign up to join our Kind QREW. Thank you for making this Time to Be Kind with Marly Q. I’ll see you next time.

Join our Kind QREW – Free Private Facebook Group:  Click here to Join Now


BeKindr to YOU with Dr. Eva Ritvo

BeKindr to YOU with Dr. Eva Ritvo

Being kind to yourself and asking for help during challenging times is easier said than done! In a world obsessed with perfection, being brave enough to open up about our personal struggles creates authentic connections and empowers the building of a support network. Join Kindness Influencer and Podcast Host, Marly Q and award-winning pyschiatrist and author of BeKindr, Dr. Eva Ritvo, for a brief and illuminating conversation about the transformative power of kindness, vulnerability and post-traumatic growth. We’ll dive deeper on these topics at MANkind Summit, May 17-19th, 2023, join us for this historic 3-day virtual event!

Upcoming Event


MANkind Summit May 17-19, 2023

Join our Kind QREW community – Click here


“Kindness is vital to our relationships and health. It uplifts us and makes us more optimistic about humanity.” ~ Dr. Eva Ritvo

Listen to this Episode and Discover…

  • The significance of vulnerability, kindness and building a support network 
  • How trauma affects us, you’ll learn about post-traumatic stress disorder and the lesser known truth about post-traumatic growth
  • How embracing your needs can lead to a world of healing and positive transformation.
  • The right people always show up! Trusted professionals, family, friends, and kind strangers can guide us through the darkest moments and celebrate our growth.

About Marly Q:

Kindness Influencer, Leadership Trainer, and Community-Builder on a mission to create a kinder world for over two decades. Through her podcast, she invites listeners to make “Time to Be Kind” each week to receive a spark of kindness, connection and community.

Connect with Marly Q:

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/MarlyQ
Instagram: https://instagram.com/MarlyQ
Facebook: https://facebook.com/theMarlyQ
YouTube: https://youtube.com/@MarlyQ
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarlyQ
TikTok: https://tiktok.com/@theMarlyQ

About Our Guest:

Eva Ritvo, M.D. is an international speaker, award-winning author and highly sought after psychiatrist with almost 30 years of experience practicing in Miami Beach, FL. Eva is author of multiple books including BeKindr: The Transformative Power of Kindness and the founder of BeKindr Global Movement, a non profit dedicated to fostering more kindness in the world by educating and empowering people to THINK more about kindness. She’s also the co-founder of the Bold Beauty Project, a non-profit that pairs women with disabilities with award-winning photographers & creates inspirational art shows across the US.

Connect with Dr. Eva Ritvo

BeKindr Book: To find the Book – Click here

Psychology Today Article:  Read the Article here

Linkedin: Connect with Dr. Eva Ritvo on LinkedIn

Other Links:

Upcoming Event: MANkind Summit May 17-19, 2023 – www.mankindsummit.com
Join our Kind QREW Free Private Facebook Group:
Join our Kind QREW+ Paid Membership: https://marlyq.com/kind-qrew
Programs & Courses: https://marlyq.com/programs
Marly Q Speaking, Training & Retreats: https://sparkcsr.com
Listen to Marly Q TEDx Talk “Kindness is your Superpower”: ​​https://bit.ly/MarlyQTEDxTalk

Other Episodes you’ll enjoy:

EP 01:   Overcoming Self-Doubt with Dr. Eva Ritvo
EP 03:   What makes manKIND with Dr. Eva Ritvo
EP 34:   Don’t Quit on YOU with Marly Q



Marly Q 00:00:00

Listen, we all go through trauma. Whether big “T” or little “t”. Chances are, if you’ve been alive long enough, you’ve been through a traumatic experience. And in today’s episode, my special guest and I invite you to think differently about trauma and practice being kinder to yourself while going through it.

Welcome, friends. Thank you so much for making Time to Be Kind with Marly Q and my special guest, PARKer. Today, she is a celebrity PARKer. She’s been here three times now. Dr. Eva Ritvo is one of my favorite PARKers. She’s an international speaker, an author, and a highly sought after psychiatrist with more than 25 years of experience practicing in Miami Beach, Florida. She’s also the co founder of the Bold Beauty Project, which is a nonprofit that pairs women with disabilities with award winning photographers and creates inspirational art shows all across America. And not only that, Eva is also the founder of the Be Kinder global movement, which I am sporting the shirt. So if you’re looking on YouTube, you just saw me doing that. If you’re just listening, know that I’m wearing a beautiful Be Kinder shirt that is a nonprofit and a movement dedicated to fostering more kindness in the world by educating and empowering people to think more about kindness. Welcome back to the show, Eva.

Dr. Eva Ritvo 00:01:28

Thank you, Marly. It’s always lovely to see you. Of course, I prefer in real life, but I guess we’re living in a virtual world now, aren’t we?

Marly Q 00:01:34

We are, but we can do a virtual hug.

Dr. Eva Ritvo 00:01:36

Virtual hug. Hug yourself.

Marly Q 00:01:39

We can get that oxytocin rush. Yes, do. Yes, it is. So let’s jump right into our conversation for PARKers that may be listening or joining us for the first time. Could you let us know what’s a PARKer?

Dr. Eva Ritvo 00:01:53

Sure. Well, a PARKer is a person who Performs an Act of Random Kindness. And hopefully everybody who’s listening is a PARKer. And hopefully more people didn’t know the term, but they’ll start to see themselves in that way, because the way we define kindness, it can be something incredibly simple, like smiling at somebody holding a door open. When I walked home this afternoon from my luncheon, a lady was standing at the elevator and she said, you look beautiful. I almost cried. It was so sweet, right? I said, oh, that’s so nice. So just the tiniest thing can make a person feel so happy and change their mood. So that’s what we encourage with parking, is not to just think of these big acts of kindness. We’ve had another disastrous shooting. I feel like every time we’re together, Marly, it’s another horrific shooting. So my psychologist best friend’s calling me up, saying, what are you going to do? I’m like, I don’t know what to do. If I knew what to do, I would do it. But small things we do know what to do. Stop. Acknowledge people. Tell them like you do today. You look beautiful, smile. All those things make somebody a PARKer absolutely.

Marly Q 00:02:55

You hit the nail on the head. That’s exactly it. And the purpose of Time to Be Kind with Marly Q and really all the work that I do as a speaker, as a leadership trainer, and a community builder, is all to really inspire and influence and unite more. PARKers right. People always say, oh, when I tell them about my mission or that I’m a kindness influencer, it’s like, oh, that’s so nice. We should have more of you in the world. Okay, so let’s right. I believe that I’m a kindness influencer. You are, and we are. And that’s really how we can create a shift in this world that I believe we desperately need. And for those of you listening, friends, I’m going to be linking in our Show Notes episode one and episode three of season one of Time to Be Kind with Marly Q, because Eva was really the spark. It was our first episode of this podcast was with you, and it was about overcoming self doubt. Do you remember that? Sure.

Dr. Eva Ritvo 00:03:43

But what I remember more is our luncheon when we sat together when you were not in this space and you were taking a little break and diving deep into motherhood. And I am so proud to see you back out here and balancing all aspects. It’s a hard transition to go from a single, married professional, but without children to now two active boys. And it’s great that you’re back out here doing this and trying to influence people. I think your mission has become more important over the years. It’s very sad to say that, but it seems that with the pandemic and the stress that we’re under, it’s harder for people to be kind. They’re more isolated, they’re more suspicious of other people, and therefore your mission, in my opinion, is far more important than it’s ever been.

Marly Q 00:04:27

I agree. Our mission. Our mission, because it’s yours, too. It’s yours, too. I mean, we’re both here, by the way, if you’re not watching on YouTube, both Eve and I wear twinsies today. We’re both wearing our be kinder shirt. How cute is that?

Dr. Eva Ritvo 00:04:39

What’s a reminder. It’s a reminder. And the book was written, I think, with a beautiful cover. Yay. Artist Anthony Liggens designed the artwork that’s behind it. But the idea was to just to sort of keep it around and have this book around and remind yourself to be kinder. Because kindness is something that helps the recipient, but it also helps the person giving the kindness. When you say to somebody, Gee, you look beautiful, and they light up, you light up. And so the smallest act helps not just them, but also you. So trying to remind yourself that these are hard times, they’re challenging times, so we should be kinder to other people, and we also need to be kinder to ourself.

Marly Q 00:05:18

That’s usually the answer to most challenges, I think, that I’ve had in my life that I can point to. It’s like a little bit more kindness towards myself would make that situation better. And you are a constant reminder of how simple it can be to support ourselves in our own self care right. Where self care doesn’t have to become this, like, to do, but it’s really more of who do I get to be? Right. Someone that gets to be kind and caring towards yourself and your experience. And when we sat down on lunch that day, I felt like I had gone through, like, a traumatic experience becoming a mother.

Dr. Eva Ritvo 00:05:53


Marly Q 00:05:53

And my experience of pregnancy and birth was a little bit traumatic. And I think that we all go through different kinds of trauma, right. Whether big tea or little tea. And one of the most impactful things to me that you’ve said was that I’m here talking about kindness, but I wasn’t expressing any kindness to myself and my own journey at that time. Right. And being a little bit more, like, patient with myself and going through this transition, becoming a mom and still wanting to follow my passion and my ambition and my movement in a different way.

Dr. Eva Ritvo 00:06:26


Marly Q 00:06:26

You were the one that really were the spark to get me to think differently about my trauma. And that’s really what I want to talk about today, because you were our keynote speaker at the inaugural MANkind Summit last year in 2022. And for those of you that don’t know, the MANkind Summit is a signature event that I created. It’s a three day virtual event to elevate mental awareness now and put an end to the stigma surrounding mental health, making it okay to discuss what we’re going through. And if we’re in a rut and our mental health isn’t at 100, that it’s okay to talk to someone about it, whether it’s a therapist, a psychiatrist, or a friend being able to talk about it. And we created this event, which was a beautiful container where people came and were vulnerable and open, and you led an awesome session for us. That, to me, was brand new information, and I think for so many others, I wanted to bring you back on the show and hopefully give people a different perspective about trauma and growth.

Dr. Eva Ritvo 00:07:21


Marly Q 00:07:21

I actually want to share, like, the good news that you shared at this event was that one half to two thirds of people who experience trauma will actually grow as a result of that. Could you tell us a little bit more about this post traumatic growth theory? Give us some good news about our trauma? Sure.

Dr. Eva Ritvo 00:07:40

But first, let me explain the post traumatic stress disorder, because most people have heard of that, and our brains are always wired to look for danger because that keeps us alive. So anytime there’s danger, we’re going to prioritize that information. If we hear something nice, we might remember it, we might not, but our life doesn’t depend on it, so we’re less likely to remember it. So most of you have heard of post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, and that certainly can occur when you’re exposed to any kind of overwhelming stress, particularly if you feel like your life is at risk. But scientists have gone on to discover that the majority of people, practically two thirds, who experience a trauma will not develop PTSD. And in fact, they develop post traumatic growth syndrome. And for listeners out there, think back to trauma that you’ve occurred, and do you feel now that you’ve had some distance perspective? Do you feel that you have recovered and perhaps even matured and even grown through that experience? Because of our listeners, two thirds of them probably can identify with that, and maybe all of us can identify that with that with some degree of trauma, right? Depends how severe the trauma is, how close you are to it, how it’s going to impact you. But for many people, especially as you’ve used the term several times, small T trauma. And those are the small things that disrupt us. And they can be attachment issues. Somebody who doesn’t like you for a minute or gets upset with you, those can create small T traumas because humans are designed to be in very close contacts and feel very attached. And so even small things can disrupt us and feel traumatic. And if it happens again and again and again, then it can turn into a big tree trauma or big cheat trauma is what we think of when we turn on the news and we see all these weather events. Of course, shooting is the biggest tea trauma, car accidents, but people can do well even after the big T trauma. And as you mentioned earlier, one of the key fundamentals for getting through trauma is self care. When somebody has a traumatic experience, even if it’s something simple like entering motherhood, that we all do, you don’t sleep. And not sleeping is one of the hallmarks of moving towards a post traumatic stress disorder. And when you have a trauma, it’s really important to recover your ability to sleep.

Marly Q 00:10:02

It’s been so important. I didn’t sleep for seven months with my second baby. Seven months. I didn’t get a good night’s sleep. I was not well. Let’s put that shortly. I was not well and still kind of demanding of myself that I show up and I be like, super mom to the two kids and super wife and still show up in my business and putting all this pressure on myself where what I really needed was kindness and space.

Dr. Eva Ritvo 00:10:29

Be like, hey, can time everything? Most of us are blessed to be here for a long time, and life goes in stages. And when you bring children into the planet, it’s really a nice time to lean into that experience because it’s such a unique experience. Most women, men do it in a short, compressed time, and then they never do that again the rest of their life. So I always think it’s a very important phase. And babies are so dependent, and you can cause little T trauma with a baby, completely inadvertently, you’re just looking at your cell phone for 1 minute. And all kinds of things can happen to children if we don’t keep our eye on them. So it’s a time to really focus on being the best mom you can. And to be the best mom, you have to sleep. Because if you don’t sleep, I always say sleep is the base of the wellness pyramid. The base. Without good sleep, you really can’t do anything. And so fixing that is always the most important thing. And anybody who’s experienced trauma knows that you can’t sleep right after traumatic event, it’s very difficult to sleep. And so that’s why sometimes early intervention, even with medication, sleeping pills to restore that sleep, wake cycle can be very important. And if that prolonged period of insomnia goes on, then that’s a warning that depression or anxiety disorder or PTSD may emerge. So we always take sleep very seriously. If somebody’s had an episode, they’ve recovered. If their sleep gets disordered again, we try to rush in and fix that so that they don’t topple back into those negative pathways.

Marly Q 00:12:04

I’m actually really grateful that I went through that experience, because I never valued or prioritized rest at all in my life until I became a mom and just realized that if I don’t put that at the base of my self care, and I make sure that I get to bed, like, on time, not pass out on the couch and walk to bed at 03:00. A.m no no Netflix binging. And then walk up all tired. No. Get to bed and have a healthy sleep. Routine now, to me, is like, fundamental. And that really was a shift I needed to make for sure. At the MANkind Summit during your session, you actually led people through I think it was like a 21 questionnaire with questions that help people to think about their trauma. We specifically focused on how you’ve grown as a result of COVID-19 pandemic trauma, but it could be absolutely any trauma.

Dr. Eva Ritvo 00:12:55


Marly Q 00:12:56

And you identified specifically, I think, three areas where we show that we grow as a result of trauma. Can you speak to those?

Dr. Eva Ritvo 00:13:03

Sure. The areas that we tend to think about growing from trauma are perspective. Right. That trauma gives us a different perspective to see life. And so oftentimes people come out of trauma with a very different value system. It’s a maturing experience. It can oftentimes stop you in your tracks and gives you time to evaluate what’s really important. So that’s a frequent area of growth is that people come out feeling more mature with their value system intact. To me, this really resonates with the COVID-19 because everybody had to stop every activity. And so so many of us haven’t picked up all of those activities, but we’re back to the ones that we value the most. So it’s a good example of having to figure out what do you value? So personally, I don’t value going to large gatherings to expose myself to that the way that I used to used to take that for granted. Now I don’t take that for granted. So I have to make sure that what I’m going to really speaks to me and makes me want to take that risk. Another change was most of us didn’t go to gyms for a while and then you have to decide exactly, you have to decide where is your value system around that? And a lot of relationships changed. People couldn’t get together as easily, so you had to make a real effort to get together. Many people prioritize their family when they hadn’t necessarily prioritized their family. They might have prioritized friends, business, social activities before. So I think it’s really important for every listener, you know, every listener’s had a trauma because we all went through the pandemic together. So every listener can take a few minutes afterwards and think about how did their value system change from before the pandemic till now. And that’s an area where you often see growth. Another area is like we’ve talked about, self care. So when you have a trauma, you’re usually knocked off your feet, either psychologically or physically and you have to rebuild. And so many people, we use this as a time to improve self care and we also call that self love, right? And so figuring out if you’ve been through something traumatic, how can you heal? For you with a motherhood, you clearly had to sleep. For some other people it’s not quite as obvious. For many people, they don’t choose good nutrition. And so a trauma will be an opportunity for them to connect to their body in a different way and be able to say, wait, actually food is an opportunity to nourish my body and how can I make choices that sustain a healthy body? And so that can be a very positive change. And another area that people oftentimes change after trauma is recreational drug use and trying to be their optimal self and take a break from society. It can be a good time to stop drinking, a good time to stop using marijuana or if you were using anything more serious. So you’ll see, a lot of people will emerge from trauma as part of their new value system. Valuing their health, valuing their nutrition, what they put in their body, valuing their body more, that there’s a real opportunity for growth there. Relationships also change with trauma. What most people find is that when there is a large trauma, some of your support system will back away and some of it will step up. And it’s not always the ones that you expect. So again, when you entered into motherhood, certain people probably helped you more than you expected and others that you thought might be helpful. Maybe they just didn’t know what to do. They didn’t know what to say. They backed away a little bit. So finding out who your support network is, finding out who you can really rely and trust, is another opportunity for growth, for trauma. And again, every listener altered their support system, I’m pretty sure, during this pandemic. And so you can think back to where did you invest your time and efforts in terms of relationships before the pandemic? What sustained you in whatever was your hardest part of the pandemic? For most people that was the beginning part, for some it was later if they got sick or they lost loved ones through this pandemic. But think about who nurtured and supported you and make sure that you appropriately value those relationships.

Marly Q 00:17:10

Absolutely. And including yourself in that.

Dr. Eva Ritvo 00:17:13


Marly Q 00:17:13

So including yourself as your number one support system, because not everybody has the privilege, for example, that I have of my family, right. Both of my parents are still alive. My in laws are still alive. My kids have both sets of grandparents. I didn’t grow up with grandparents. Right. So and I know so many other people maybe don’t grow up with their parents or grandparents, not close or siblings.

Dr. Eva Ritvo 00:17:36


Marly Q 00:17:36

And you have to rely on other people in your support system. But ultimately I am responsible to support myself and my well being. Right. And I take responsibility for that from the sense of I am able to respond to my needs through this trauma.

Dr. Eva Ritvo 00:17:53


Marly Q 00:17:53

Can you speak a little bit to how we can be kinder to ourselves while we’re in the trauma, while we’re going through it?

Dr. Eva Ritvo 00:18:01

Well, it can be very hard when you’re in trauma because your brain might be in shock. Oftentimes with trauma we’re in shock for a while and so it is hard to rely on yourself. And again, it depends how large the trauma is. So every time we see one of these huge disasters, you always see community rushing in. And that’s really necessary in the early stages of trauma because you can’t really think very well. And then after that initial shock, if you don’t start to sleep, then it’s also hard to think very well. So community support is very important in the initial phases of trauma. After that initial phase, then as adults it is our responsibility to care for ourselves. As children, it is not. And that’s the biggest difference between childhood and adulthood. And the transition from childhood to adulthood is gradual, but by a certain age, hopefully we would transition and then correct, we’re responsible for ourself. And it’s very important to take the time to care for yourself. As kindness experts, we’re all in favor of kindness, but kindness can go too far. The simple book that I use a simple example I use in this book is my nephew, who’s such a kind, dear soul, that he was a star baseball player in high school and he wanted to go donate blood. So he donated his blood. And then the woman said to him, wow, you’re such a strong guy, would you be willing to stay and donate again? So my brother, my nephew called my sister who’s a doctor, she didn’t pick up. So he said, sure, he didn’t know, he’s a kind guy. So he donated again immediately. And then what happened is he went to the baseball field and of course was unwell and couldn’t play. So he ended up letting his team down. And it’s just a simple example how that was too much kindness, or maybe not. Maybe that second pint of blood saved somebody’s life and it was the appropriate decision. But we always do have to take into equation ourself. And then if we’re not kind to ourself, who are we going to let down the line? So his immediate sure, I’ll be kind had a ripple effect that wasn’t necessary, the effect that he wanted. And we always have to think about that because as adults again, we have to be responsible for ourself. We don’t have to be responsible for other people unless there are children we may elect to because it makes us feel good and it makes them feel good. But we have to carefully weigh the costs and benefits and we have to take care of ourself because no one else can step in and do that. You may have a lovely husband at home who, if you’re sick, can bring you soup, but at the end of the day, it’s you who has to know. You feel unwell and you need to call your doctor or it’s you who says, well, I know this isn’t that serious, but I know that if I rest, I’ll be fine. So it’s really important to know yourself, know how you can feel optimal and then work to achieve that. And for everybody it’s different. For me, the mental health of getting out every day and walking is vital. Integrating a daily, if possible, yoga practice is vital and getting sleep. And then if I can accomplish all those, then I’m perfectly happy to come to work and help people all day and, as you mentioned, have my other adventures, which are so wonderful. But if I don’t sleep well, then I’m not going to be in very good shape to help anybody else.

Marly Q 00:21:15

It could be balance. That balance. And I think that awareness, right, is what you’re speaking to is having the awareness of what your needs are to support yourself on a daily basis and especially while you’re going through trauma, right? If you’re not willing to just be aware of what’s going on with you and actually rely on right, let’s speak to the power of actually asking for help while you’re experiencing a trauma. Right. Because if you’re going to rely on your community and other people, you got to let them know what’s going on. Right?

Dr. Eva Ritvo 00:21:48

Well, that’s that word vulnerability. Right. And we’re raised in this stiff upper lip society where everything’s fine. I think that’s changed a lot with the instagram. But you have to go to that place of being vulnerable and depending on your childhood, that can be scary. If you had wonderful mother and father and it was easy to ask for help, well, that’s great, but not everybody has that. And so for some people, it can be very scary because their experiences haven’t been positive in the past. But we all are going to need help at some point, so we’re going to have to take that risk. But you want to take it in a calculated way. So, for example, Marly, I know you very well, I trust you, I love you. And I know that I could call you at any time and say, Marly, I’ve got an issue, help me through it. So it’s about building that support network over time, so that when you do get in that crisis, you don’t have to build that support network anew that you have people you can rely on. But at the same time, I know from going through a divorce, unexpected people helped me and people that I didn’t know very well helped me. So you want to stay open to that. In fact, that’s what I dedicated this book to with a very dear friend. Well, he became a friend, but he had interviewed me the way you’re interviewing me now, right when I was getting divorced. And I didn’t know him. And at the end of the interview, he said, do you want to stay online and talk a little? And he started asking me questions. And then I went and I told him everything and he said, well, you seem like a very lovely woman. If you ever want to talk again, I’m here for you. And then for the next year and a half, two years, he was talking to me all the time and coaching me out of this situation I was in with simple statements, positive statements. It was an amazing friendship that developed from a complete stranger at my most vulnerable time. So, one, build support networks. But two, stay open because you never know who’s going to show up. And you and I believe that we live in an ultimately good universe and the right people will show up and the right people will help us. But we have to allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to show we have a need. And then receive. Receive is important as giving.

Marly Q 00:23:59

Yes, I hope I’m giving you a standing ovation. I’m not clapping because I’ll make the sound go crazy and my team will hate me. But yes, this is the message, friends. And the good news is that human beings are designed to be resilient and we’re designed with this growth potential. So I wanted this episode to give people a little spark of hope and really maybe a new perspective or a new way of thinking about trauma. Big T, little t, whatever it is that you might be going through currently or in the past that is still weighing on you, being able to see that with a different perspective and actually taking the pause to ask yourself some of these questions. I know that everybody that participated at the MANkind Summit really received a lot from that session. I’m so grateful. And I’m excited to invite people to this year’s MANkind Summit because it’s coming up May 17 through the 19th. The purpose, again, of this event is to elevate mental Awareness now. They didn’t catch that. That’s an acronym, by the way.

Dr. Eva Ritvo 00:24:59


Marly Q 00:25:00

Man in the MANkind Summit stands for Mental Awareness Now, because I believe that sometimes all we need is this little spark to elevate our mental awareness now so that we can actually take stock of how we’re feeling, how we’re doing what we need in order to support ourselves through trauma or through everyday life. Right. That isn’t easy for any of us.

Dr. Eva Ritvo 00:25:20

Right? And now, just to remind everybody, that’s all we have. We always only have now. And we get really caught up with the past, and we get caught up about the worries about the future. And it’s so important to focus on the now. How am I feeling right now? And how can I feel better right now? Because that’s actually where we live. And so I applaud you for doing this again. It was a really hard time to start in the pandemic. Things have gotten easier, and I hope people will come and share again. And I don’t think we could do a piece on post traumatic growth without mentioning our very dear friend Carrie grueson. Marly and I share a wonderful friendship with Carrie grueson, who I think is the best example of post traumatic growth. She has overcome so much. I have an article that I wrote about her in Psychology Today that I love, so maybe you can link that too. I just wanted to mention thank you to Carrie for teaching me so much and Marly for teaching me so much and being a constant reminder to focus on kindness both to oneself and to the dear community that we have created. And hopefully that can ripple out to a broader and broader community as people join all your initiatives.

Marly Q 00:26:28

Oh, my goodness. Thank you. I have no words. I’m just smiling and in just gratitude. Thank you so much for making time to be kind again. I know you’re such a busy woman, always helping other people. Your calendar is always booked with your clients and your people, and you still always answer the call to be kind. I’m so grateful for you. Thank you.

Dr. Eva Ritvo 00:26:50

Well, I always want to answer your call, and I will say. That my daughter this year has gotten me for 2023 to schedule in my yoga, so that I’m actually taking care of myself as I try to take care of other people. So thank you to my daughter for helping me make that change and hope listeners out there also will know to prioritize themselves whether it comes to sleep, nutrition, exercise, avoiding toxins, being around people that you love, listening to stimulating podcasts, choosing wisely so that you can have your optimal life.

Marly Q 00:27:23

Yes, I love it. Thank you for being part of my Kind crew. I hope that you will answer the call next time when I invite you again, because I know there’s so much more that we can talk about.

Dr. Eva Ritvo 00:27:32

Always look forward to it, Marly. Thank you so much. And thank you, listeners wishing you a life filled with kindness.

Marly Q 00:27:38

I hope you enjoyed this episode as much as I did. I’m still smiling, and I just can’t wait to have Dr. Eva Rivel back on our show. If you are interested in learning more and connecting with her directly, all you need to do is visit Marlyq.com, this episode number and make sure, while you’re there, to click the link to register for our second annual MANkind Summit. You and your team at work or your family, you don’t want to miss this. It is a one of a kind experience, a three day virtual event where we’re going to elevate our mental awareness now and really take home practical tips, practical practices that we can actually implement into our life, to elevate our wellness on a daily basis. Thank you for making this time with me today. See you next time.

Upcoming Event


MANkind Summit May 17-19, 2023

Join our Kind QREW Free Private Facebook Group:  Click here to Join Now



Time to elevate MANkind with Senator Rene Garcia

Time to elevate MANkind

Mental health is an important issue that affects us all, and we need to start taking it seriously. In this episode, Kindness Influencer and Podcast Host, Marly Q, plus special guest, former Senator Rene Garcia and Miami Dade County Commissioner for District 13, share personal experiences with mental health struggles and highlights the need for accessible and affordable mental health services. It’s time to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness and make it accessible to everyone, regardless of their financial situation. Join us in raising awareness and let’s work together to create a world where mental health is a priority for all mankind!

Join our Kind QREW community – Click here

Upcoming Event


MANkind Summit May 17-19, 2023


“We all are one crisis away from a mental health breakdown and must do a much better job as a community in providing resources.” ~ Rene Garcia

Listen to this Episode and Discover…

  • How Marly Q teamed up with former State Senator and local government official to host the MANkind Summit May 17-19, 2023, and why you should attend! 
  • The shocking truth about the easiest (and hardest) way access to mental health services
  • How having a standard of kindness can lead to a successful career
  • 3 keys that have sustained a 20+ year long career in politics
  • Simple ways to elevate your mental health & wellness every day, no matter how busy you are!

About Marly Q:

Kindness Influencer, Leadership Trainer, and Community-Builder on a mission to create a kinder world for over two decades. Through her podcast, she invites listeners to make “Time to Be Kind” each week to receive a spark of kindness, connection and community.

Connect with Marly Q:

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/MarlyQ
Instagram: https://instagram.com/MarlyQ
Facebook: https://facebook.com/theMarlyQ
YouTube: https://youtube.com/@MarlyQ
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarlyQ
TikTok: https://tiktok.com/@theMarlyQ

About Our Guest:

Rene Garcia is a former Florida State Senator and Miami Dade Board of County Commissioners for District 13. He is a passionate advocate for mental health awareness and accessibility. Rene emphasizes the need for accessible and affordable mental health services.

Connect with Senator Rene Garcia

Instagram: @senrenegarciafl
Facebook: SenReneGarciaFL
Twiiter: @SenReneGarciaFL
Website: miamidade.gov/district13

Other Links:

Upcoming Event: MANkind Summit May 17-19, 2023 – www.mankindsummit.com
Join our Kind QREW Free Private Facebook Group:
Join our Kind QREW+ Paid Membership: https://marlyq.com/kind-qrew
Programs & Courses: https://marlyq.com/programs
Marly Q Speaking, Training & Retreats: https://sparkcsr.com
Listen to Marly Q TEDx Talk “Kindness is your Superpower”: ​​https://bit.ly/MarlyQTEDxTalk

Other Episodes you’ll enjoy:

EP 34: Don’t Quit on YOU with Marly Q
EP 15:  Planting Seeds of Kindness with Marlon Hill
EP 10: Looking Over the Edge with Caroline De Posada



00:00 Marly Q

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and you are invited to our second annual MANkind Summit, May 17th through the 19th, 2023. The purpose of this three day virtual event is to elevate our Mental Awareness Now (MAN) and bring an end to the stigma surrounding mental health. And in today’s episode, we’re spending time with the first MAN who said yes to supporting the MANkind Summit. Stay tuned.

00:39 Marly Q

Welcome, and thank you for making Time to Be Kind today with me and our special guest, PARKer today. He’s the former Florida State Senator and Miami Dade Board of County Commissioners for District 13, Rene Garcia. Welcome to the show.

00:55 Rene Garcia

Thank you, Marly Q. It’s always great to see you and be here with you.

00:58 Marly Q

Oh, my goodness. Thank you. So before we dive in, Senator, can you tell our PARKers listening, in case you’re new to Time to Be Kind with Marly Q and our world? What’s a PARKer? Do you remember what a PARKer is?

01:11 Rene Garcia

PARKer is a person Performing Acts of Random Kindness.

01:14 Marly Q

You got it. I was putting you on the spot. I put all of my guests on the spot to remind you and our PARKers listening. You know really, the purpose of this podcast is to inspire and influence and unite more PARKers in this world, people that Perform Acts of Random Kindness, just like you and me. Whether your title is senator or commissioner or mom or teacher or lawyer or banker or retiree or student, whoever, you are listening, if you are a person that Performs Acts of Random Kindness, you are part of our movement and our mission to create a kinder world. And I’m so happy to be joined here today with Senator Rene Garcia, because he was the first person to say yes to this vision and this mission to work together and collaborate with our local government to spark some more Mental Awareness Now. And you know, that’s an acronym. I’m dropping another acronym for you. Mental Awareness Now is the acronym for MANkind Summit, and that’s the purpose of the event. So, Senator, can you tell us how important is it to elevate our Mental Awareness Now and put an end to the stigma surrounding mental health?

02:25 Rene Garcia

Wow. That’s a loaded question. Right? Because there’s so many issues around mental health. And I think I’ve always said that all of us, every single person, is one crisis away from having a mental episode to having a mental breakdown. I really do believe that. And this is why it’s so important for all of us to take this issue very seriously. We should not treat mental illness any different than any other condition that we have, any disease or condition. We should really treat that with the most respect that we do in every other condition. So this is why it’s important for us to be able to have these conversations and let people know that it’s okay if you’re having a challenging moment in your life, if you’re going through some difficult times, it’s always okay to speak to someone. And for far too often, our society, and especially within my own family, we hide away from our problems, sweep them under the rug, right? And we try to deal with it on our own, and there’s no reason to do that. We see a lot of money being invested at the federal and state level for a lot of mental health programs and trying to get folks to understand that it’s okay to talk to someone. And this is why I try to do my part here in Miami Dade County. Try and I think you hit the nail on the head. It’s try to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness, because if we continue to have that stigma around, it’s just going to make it more and more difficult for people to actually access mental health services.

03:45 Marly Q

Absolutely. And that’s why I’m so grateful as soon as I share just my vision and my intention to create an event or a container where we can not just unite people and educate or teach and empower and have this “Rah, Rah” Good. One time event. But really create something that’s a spark to some real changes in the way that we address our own mental health and with each other and something that starts a ripple effect long after the event. So I just want to publicly thank you again for being that first spark for us and continuing to support our efforts.

04:19 Rene Garcia

You don’t have to thank me. I need to thank you. I think this community owes you a debt of gratitude for the effort that you’re doing not only around PARKing, but along the MANkind Summit and making sure that we do bring attention to Mental Health Awareness in our community. Look, I, for one, did a lot in the mental health space when I was in Tallahassee and I was a state legislator, both in the House and in the Senate. We wrote all the laws. We give people long door access to mental health services. If you enter the system, then you should come out with the slew of different services and referrals to make sure you know where you go after and to help not only the individual suffering from mental illness or having an episode, but make sure that the family has a resource available to them. Marly, I’ll tell you, all those things that I did in Tallahassee I thought were great. I come back to Miami, and I see the gaps in the services. I see the gaps that the laws that I create, that I help write in Tallahassee where there missing. We apply them to everyone’s regular day. And look, one of the things that I learned, the the most most important thing that I learned is that the easiest way to access mental health services is to the criminal justice system. That means you have to commit a crime in order to access mental health services. That should not be the case. There’s hundreds of families, thousands of families who have children, brothers, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters who are suffering from a mental health illness for many years but have never committed a crime. And for those families, it’s very difficult to understand and how to access the system. It’s not right. And then the other component of it is, if you have Medicaid, you usually have access to certain services. If you’re rich, you can afford it. But then the middle class is the one that gets completely squeezed and they just cannot afford those services. And I tell you this, why, never in a million years did I think after I was writing all these laws, that this year I was going to have to be dealing with that with a family member of mine. And everything happens. God uses us in very different ways. And while it was very challenging for me and for my family starting maybe last October I’m sorry, august of last year through now I kind of see it as a godsend because I realize now how difficult and how hard it is for families to access the system to the point where they charge us, thank God, about $20,000 for three weeks for services. Who can afford that right now? And it’s very difficult. And those families that really are trying to help their loved ones mortgage your homes and mortgage whatever properties they have to try to get them those services. But what happens to those that can’t? And if you don’t qualify for the Medicaid services, then you’re not going to be able to access a system. And now it’s my charge to try to help that, to make sure that we do have a system that’s fair and equitable, that people can access.

07:18 Marly Q

I want to shift the conversation towards your own mental health. You’ve been in politics in this political field that’s a high stress environment for over 20 years. How do you manage your own mental health? Because there’s a difference between mental illness and mental health. Right. And trying to elevate our own mental health is a daily practice, right? How do you take care of your mental health?

07:39 Rene Garcia

One of the things where I find it very relaxing is and is being next to the water. I enjoy being around the water, whether it’s a lake and I would love to say a waterfall, but we don’t have waterfalls here in Miami. Or the ocean. And I realize every time I go out to Miami Beach I realize how much I miss just sitting on the beach for an hour or two. And I used to try to do that on a regular basis and just be alone with myself and my thoughts. And for me, my creator, my God, when you’re doing that. And that is where I find the most peace and comfort. When I can spend some quality time alone time and finding a place where you can feel comfortable and at peace with yourself. And that’s what I have been, what I did for many years. Now, being back down here. When I was in Tallahassee, I would find that there was a lake, Lake Ella that I would go to all the time when I needed a break because the stresses of life get to you and especially the stresses of politics, especially when you’re in the heat of things. But now, here we have a lake. Actually, now we have a lake back here that sometimes I’ll just stare out the window, just look at the lake and find the serenity and the peace in the lake. And in Miami lakes, there’s a couple of lakes that I really enjoy sitting on the ground and fighting some alone and peacetime. And that really helps for me. That is what helps me. That’s just how I find the comfort in my mental wellness to ensure that. Because at the end of the day, we all have the stresses of life. I don’t care how young or how old you are. Apparently, now that you get a little older, you realize that the older you get, the more complicated things get. And you can’t yearn for a, Whoa, I wish I was back in my 20s or 30s. 40s. I’m getting up to my getting close to my 50s. We can’t yearn for it. We can’t live in the past. We have to understand these are the circumstances that I have today and learn to deal with them. And I think when you have that alone time when you could figure out what you need to do and focus on your time and your own mental wellness.

09:28 Marly Q

Absolutely. I would imagine that in politics, you said when you’re in the heat of it, sometimes it’s hard to remember, like, hey, to respond instead of reacting, right? I could imagine that that’s difficult. So when we’re talking about kindness, how has having this standard and value of kindness that I know you have, how has that helped you in your career?

09:50 Rene Garcia

In this game? Everyone says you have to fight fire with fire. Some folks have never understood my style of legislating or politics or negotiating, because if they’re anything I’m negotiating, it’s a compromise back and forth. But I have found for me, what has worked is through honesty, compassion, and empathy. And when you put all that together, that’s where kindness comes from. And understand when you’re negotiating with someone or you’re having a debate with someone, what I try to do is put my feet in their shoes, trying to put myself in their own shoes, right? To figure out where is it that they’re coming from? And if they’re being aggressive and if they’re being mean spirited, trying to figure out where is it that they’re coming from, why are they acting the way they are acting with me? And then if I can figure that out, then I can try to nip it at the bud right there and then explain to them, listen, that’s not who I am. This is what I’m trying to do. And where I have been successful in at least through the eyes of others. In Tallahassee, when I was in legislature, I was always pretty upfront with people. This is who I am. This is what I’m working on. This is where I’m trying to go. While other people’s politics, that’s not always the case. I think some folks at the beginning didn’t understand me, but I’ll tell you this, one of the best moments of my political life in Tallahassee was the moment that I left the Senate and people come up and applaud you, and they say great things about you. But the one thing that I took back from that was that everyone said, a lot of people are saying, Rene, you’re always an honest guy. We didn’t have to worry about when you got up and testified. We didn’t have to worry when you get up on the Senate floor, both the Republicans and Democrats, we knew where you were coming from. So to me, that meant a lot. And I think that’s why every day, every night, I get put my head on the pillow and sleep comfortable, because I know that I’m trying to do the right thing for the right reasons and not trying to go after anyone.

11:47 Marly Q

Yes. That’ll make for a nice, healthy career no matter what industry you’re in, I think, right? Being able to have a standard of kindness towards how we interact with each other. And I know that in today’s political climate, it’s so and cancel culture. It’s so easy to forget that or just to not have that in place, even on social media, right?  We’re living in a place where it’s just you disagree with someone, and all of a sudden you’re canceled or you’re banned or you’re blocked. And that’s just not the way that progress is made, right?

12:20 Rene Garcia

Yeah. That’s one way to look at and with social media at the beginning, I said at the beginning, I’ve been on social media for quite some time. When I was in the house. But the last couple of years, you start following a little bit more and more and more. And there was a time that I would get so frustrated with some of the negative comments in social media, and I want to respond. And I realized, wait a minute, that’s a whole different world out there. Whoever saying these negative things about me, they have no idea who I am. Especially in particular, coming down to Miami Dade County, local politics. Local politics, it’s where the rubber meets the road. When you’re in Tallahassee, you’re able to escape. When you’re in Washington DC, you’re able to have a step away, removed from the public. But when you’re down here at the local level, it’s a contact sport constantly. And I’ll tell you a perfect example. The other day, I put a tweet about the importance of protecting the Everglades, and I’m out there in front of a crane that they’re doing a project to help the Everglades, right? And someone tweeted, oh, you guys are all you’re into development. Developments? You have no idea. You obviously did not read the tweet that I put out of protecting the environment at an event to protect the environment, but yet you want to criticize me and say that this is all about development. And it’s quite the opposite. So at that point, I thought we’d respond. How dare they? Why respond? You can’t argue against stupid. You really can’t. And this is what happens in the social media world. People are going to say, whatever. They hide behind their tweets, they hide behind their posts. And the truth of the matter is that’s just the universe out there that doesn’t affect me anymore, does not touch me, doesn’t affect me anymore. What affects me is the personal, interpersonal relationships that I have with individuals. Those people that know me on a one to one basis, they know who I am, where I stand, and what I stand for. All those other folks. I would encourage people to take the time to get to know everyone or get the time to know me and you’ll know who I am and what I’m all about. So it’s not even about a party. Party or not, where you live, ethnicity doesn’t matter. We all have something to contribute, something to offer. I think it’s important for us, before you start to criticize, take the time to know who that person is and where they’re coming from.

14:35 Marly Q

Absolutely. That’s why we’re making time to be kind with Marly Q right here, right? Sometimes. Really! Because sometimes we have. And I think it happened last year at our MANkind summit as well. I remember hearing feedback from the audience when you spoke, how grateful they were to be able to hear from a, quote, career politician in a refreshing way. Because sometimes in, again, the state of the world that we’re living in, sometimes you hear that some of the politician, and immediately you have judgment about that. Immediately you have a wall that comes up. Immediately you’re either dismissing it or you put them in the left or in the right or not anywhere. Instead of really making the time to listen, ask some questions, meaningfully connect, see if there’s an alignment and how you can collaborate. I mean, in a nutshell, that’s how you and I are working together, actually, to bring it back to the story that did bring us together. It was an act of kindness, right? How did we meet? Do you remember?

15:37 Rene Garcia

How we met? I think it was through Kadie Black.

15:42 Marly Q

Yes. A fellow PARKer.

15:47 Rene Garcia

Kadie. I love Kadie.

15:48 Marly Q

Shout out to Kadie CEO Voices for Children. Shout out and thank her for her kindness, right? Because she was meeting with you, and in whatever you were talking about, she’s like, hey, you need to connect with Marly Q. She’s about kindness. You all are aligned. That one spark of kindness, that one introduction led to us doing a Facebook Live to celebrate random acts of kindness. Last year, one this year again. And we’re collaborating on an event that is aligned with both of our agendas, so to speak, right? Which is, let’s elevate our mental health. Let’s set each other up to thrive as one humankind, as one MANkind, and really share with each other a space at the MANkind Summit. It’s a three day space, a container to join us leaders, your teams, to come on in and receive. It’s not just learning about mental health and ways to actually elevate your mental health on a daily basis, but you have the opportunity to meaningfully connect with other people. And we have lost so much connection. We have lost so much real kindness, I believe, because of the pandemic and having to be kind of isolated and quarantined and kind of just focused on your own, right? And there’s studies like science shows that as anxiety increases, which all of our anxiety levels have increased over the past couple of years, and as anxiety increases, our ability to empathize with others decreases. Because it makes sense. The more focused I am on what’s going on with me and my problems, the less resource and capacity I have to care about what’s going on with you and why it’s so important to make time to be kind to yourself, right? So can we speak to the importance of that, of making time to be kind to yourself, to each other? What are your thoughts on that?

17:35 Rene Garcia

Actually, going back to the thoughts of the view that we have for political leaders, you can’t blame people, right? Because the political environment that we live nowadays is so toxic and so partisan and so difficult. But I’ll tell you, most of the people that run for office, they’re good people that want to try to do the right thing. I’ll tell you, some people go a different direction, like a lot of you, and then you ask yourself, Why are you doing this? But I’m a firm believer in public service and trying to help others. And we have lost, unfortunately, we have lost the empathetic nature of humans, of us as individuals, and we have to try to find a way to restore that, to find the empathy in society. Find the empathy, try to put yourselves in someone else’s shoes, understand where they’re coming from. Compassion is a little bit different. I think empathy is a much more powerful feeling that we can start using and educating individuals as to what it is to be empathetic. And you’re right to be kind, not only being kind to others, but being kind to yourself as well. That’s something that I’ve struggled with while I realize that in order for me to be able to help others, I have to help myself. We hear that all the time. And you could be as nice as you want, but if you’re not nice to yourself and take care of yourself and take care of your mental health, your physical health and your spiritual health, then you might as well not do. You’re not going to be able to do what you need to do.

19:04 Marly Q

You’re going to burn out.

19:05 Rene Garcia

Yeah. And this is where I’m trying to now refocus. The last couple of months, I’ve been struggling a little bit with my physical health. Then I realize I’m struggling with my physical health and I realize, well, I haven’t been praying as much as I’m a big believer, I’m Catholic and I believe in God and Jesus is my savior, trying to push my religion anywhat, but that’s just what I believe in. And even the last couple of months I realized that because I haven’t been paying attention to myself both on my spiritual, mental and physical health. Everything’s been a little chaotic and I need to start bringing that back and start praying again at night, start walking again in the morning, start working out and start reading again. I stopped reading in the evenings or in the mornings or the afternoons. I am not gonna lie to you. I haven’t always been a big reader, but I know that is very good for my mental health to be able to read and turn off the TV, turn off the radio, and just fall into a book. So those are the things that I’m trying to do, trying to learn another language. I know I just now starting to register for French lessons I started doing and I let that go. But those are little things that I can do to take care of myself and things that I find joy and happiness in. And in turn, when you are happy and you’re joyful and it emanates and that comes out to the rest of the people around you. So this is why I do think I agreed with you 100%. Again, easier said than done, Marly, about taking care of yourself. But it’s important to do it and find those little things that make you happy. This is why I tell folks the walking in the mornings, for me it’s uplifting. It’s great for your physical health, your mental health, even your spiritual health. Just for me, I get up in the morning instead of snoozing, get up, move, get moving, go outside, go outdoors and walk. And I don’t necessarily walk with the EarPods. I know everyone does that. I’d like to hear the birds chirping or the cars on the road and I’m able to be with my thoughts and that helps me throughout my day. And again, I backed away from that the last month and a half of that, the two months. But I’m going to start that up, God willing, tomorrow, again, tomorrow, Sunday, and just go forward on and try to keep that as part of my consistent part of my life.

21:14 Marly Q

So I love that you shared that. Thank you for the honesty and the authenticity and the vulnerability. Thank you. These are all things that we highlight and amplify at our MANkind Summit, by the way. Having that be normalized and appreciated and hold the space for people to be honest, that it is hard to especially be a servant leader or a mom of two or an entrepreneur or a business owner or a full time working professional or a teacher. Whatever it is that you are doing, it’s hard to balance, right? Everyone’s trying to seek this like work life balance. And really, I’m here to tell you friends, the only thing that you can balance is your brain, right? You can balance your nervous system and to help elevate your mental health and stress less so that you can come and confront all the things that you have to do and get through them in the best way possible with the best energy. Because we are always going to fall off the track of our self care, right? But how are you treating yourself when you fall off the track? Are you treating yourself with kindness? Being like, hey, listen, cut you some slack. I’ve been traveling, I’ve been this, I’ve been that, like, I haven’t done my weeks, my daily walks, I haven’t been reading the Bible as much as I’d like, I haven’t been doing this or that. But instead of beating ourselves up with that, just kind of having mindful awareness, right?

22:38 Rene Garcia

Well, that’s a good word. Mindful awareness is the way to do it. You’re absolutely right because I always try to beat myself up. Rene, What are you doing? You’re being a hypocrite to your cause about healthy living. You’re being a hypocrite to your cause about hope and helping others. But the reality is that you’re right. It’s mindful awareness and I realize it and it’s incumbent upon me to try to get back on track. Correct? So I’m going to do it.

23:00 Marly Q

That’s it. We are responsible for our own mental health. I say this over and over, I am responsible and all that means, even when I fall off the track or I didn’t like this week, I went to the gym four times a week instead of five times a week, right? Which, by the way, I’m bragging because at the last MANkind Summit, I said that that was one of my goals, right? To get back into the gym. To get strong and I am celebrating eleven weeks of consistency at the gym.

23:26 Rene Garcia

That’s the way to do it. That’s awesome.

23:29 Marly Q

But I will be honest, when I launched the MANkind Summit last year, I was not taking care of my physical body in that way, right? It became a goal that day. And thanks to kindness, connection, community and accountability, I’ve been on that track. And when I fall off, I get lifted back up on track or kindly reminded on track. It’s not this like beating down, right? Like, you didn’t do it, you suck, you’re terrible. No, not at all. So, to wrap up our conversation, why should someone listening, your leaders, your teams, why should we make time to be kind and attend the MANkind Summit?

24:08 Rene Garcia

At the end of the day, I think it’s important that MANkind Summit, I love all the information that we get and the authenticity that you said of these speakers and having people come together and share different thoughts and ideas. Look, we’re all very different and we all have different things that motivate us, and I think at the MANkind Summit it’s a great way to see what everyone else is going through and realize that you’re not alone. You have someone like me, senator, former senator, county Commissioner now that people say, oh, he has no problems, and I have a lot of problems, and I have to learn how to manage it. And just because you have a title or you have an office, doesn’t mean that your life is just great. So I think it’s important for us to understand that we all have struggles, we all have to deal with issues, and it’s how we deal with them and how we treat others as we’re going through that process. And this is why at the MANkind Summit, what I love about it is that we can learn from one another. I think it’s one of these unique forms that we have, these conversations. Even if you’re not talking, but just listening to what everyone else is going through. It’s not necessarily a negative things, positive things that are happening in your life too, that uplift you, bring you up and motivate you to keep out, to move forward. There’s just a lot of things that happen and you hear the MANkind Summit, and this is why I get excited about it. So I had no problem at the beginning. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. By you yourself, following your lead and seeing your spirit and seeing your enthusiasm and that beautiful smile that you have and what emanates from you, it’s just nothing but positivity. And the world needs a lot more of that. And this is why I’m excited to be here with you and whatever I can do to help you as you move forward in promoting kindness and love and empathy. When you use that word, to me, that’s a big word, promoting that that’s what this world needs just a little bit more of because times a little tough. But because the world is tough doesn’t mean that we have to be that way too. It’s incumbent upon all of us to fight against that darkness and be the light out in the world. And that’s what you are, Marly.

26:10 Marly Q

Oh, thank you so much. That’s such a beacon of hope. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Thank you for making Time to Be Kind with Marly Q. We’ll see you real soon.

26:19 Rene Garcia

Absolutely, Marly. Take care of yourself.


I know you enjoyed that conversation with me and Senator Rene Garcia. Now it’s time to not just celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month with a meme or a nice post, but really, really participate in a meaningful and impactful way. Join us at our second annual MANkind Summit, May 17 through the 19th. You can find all of the details in this episode show Notes @ MarlyQ.com forward slash this episode number. Again for full transcription, show notes and the links to connect with Senator Rene Garcia and his team at Miami Dade County, go ahead and visit Marlyq.com forward slash this episode number. Thank you for making the Time to Be Kind. See you next time.

Upcoming Event


MANkind Summit May 17-19, 2023

Join our Kind QREW Free Private Facebook Group:  Click here to Join Now


All Kids Included with Annie Hoffman

All Kids Included

Can you imagine a world where all kids felt included and safe to be themselves? Just for a moment, imagine living in a world where all kids learned to treat themselves and others with kindness because they saw it modeled in their homes and schools, on TV and movies, video games, stages and theater performances in their communities. If envisioning that kind of world makes you smile and ignites a spark of hope, then don’t miss this short and inspiring conversation with Kindness Influencer and Podcast Host, Marly Q, plus special guest, Annie Hoffman, who’s doing her part to create a world where all kids are included, every day!

Join our Kind QREW community – Click here

Upcoming Event


MANkind Summit May 17-19, 2023


“Kindness is not doing something for someone else because they can’t, but because you can.” ~ Andrew Iskander

Listen to this Episode and Discover…

  • How one South Florida event makes sure ALL Kids are Included in the arts*
  • How kindness and the arts are parallel driving factors for wellness 
  • How the arts plays a role in reducing stress, for kids and adults alike!
  • Specific ways that the arts can be used a healing modality and means of connection

About Marly Q:

Kindness Influencer, Leadership Trainer, and Community-Builder on a mission to create a kinder world for over two decades. Through her podcast, she invites listeners to make “Time to Be Kind” each week to receive a spark of kindness, connection and community.

Connect with Marly Q:

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/MarlyQ
Instagram: https://instagram.com/MarlyQ
Facebook: https://facebook.com/theMarlyQ
YouTube: https://youtube.com/@MarlyQ
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarlyQ
TikTok: https://tiktok.com/@theMarlyQ

About Our Guest:

Annie Hoffman is the Education and Outreach Manager at the Dennis C. Moss Cultural Arts Center, a division of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. In this role, Annie oversees a wide range of programs and initiatives designed to promote arts and culture throughout the community. With her expertise and passion for the arts, Annie has become a well-respected leader in the field, known for her ability to engage and inspire diverse audiences. Her dedication to promoting inclusivity and accessibility in the arts has made a significant impact on the community, and her tireless efforts have helped to ensure that the arts remain a vibrant and vital part of Miami-Dade County’s cultural landscape.

Connect with The Dennis C Moss Cultural Arts Center

Website: mosscenter.org
allkidsincludedmiami.orgInstagram: @the_moss_center

Other Links:

Upcoming Event: MANkind Summit May 17-19, 2023 – www.mankindsummit.com
Join our Kind QREW Free Private Facebook Group:
Join our Kind QREW+ Paid Membership: https://marlyq.com/kind-qrew
Programs & Courses: https://marlyq.com/programs
Marly Q Speaking, Training & Retreats: https://sparkcsr.com
Listen to Marly Q TEDx Talk “Kindness is your Superpower”: ​​https://bit.ly/MarlyQTEDxTalk

Other Episodes you’ll enjoy:

EP 16:  World Youth Skills Day with Spirit Cheer Camp
EP 15:  Planting Seeds of Kindness with Marlon Hill
EP 30: Welcome Back with Marly Q



00:00 Marly Q

Imagine for a moment a world where all kids grew up feeling included and invited in and safe to be themselves. If imagining that world makes you smile and gives you hope, then stay tuned.

**Kind Update about MANkind Summit**

Oh, and one more thing. If you don’t already know, next month we’re hosting our second annual MANkind Summit. If you want to be the first one to know and have the details to this, you better be in our Kind QREW. If you haven’t joined our private Facebook group yet, now’s the time you can find the link to join that over at Marlyq.com forward slash this episode number.

00:48 Marly Q 

Hello and Welcome. Thank you so much for making Time to Be Kind with Marly Q and our special guest, PARKer today, she is a friend and a client. We’ve been working together for many years. This is the education and outreach manager at the Dennis C. Moss Cultural Arts Center with the Miami Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. It is a mouthful and it is a huge undertaking. And this role that this beautiful woman takes on so gracefully. Please welcome to the show Annie Hoffman.

01:15 Annie Hoffman

Hello. Thank you so much for having me. Marly.

01:13 Marly Q

Yay. Welcome. How’d you like your grand intro?

01:20 Annie Hoffman

I loved it. I loved it. Thank you.

01:23 Marly Q

I see you blushing. I’m going to make her blush a little more, because not only is her job about creating arts in the community or uniting the community around the arts and making it accessible for all, she’s also a board certified and registered art therapist and a licensed mental health counselor. She has spent the majority of her career advocating for and educating about the healing and community building aspects of being involved with the arts. She is passionate about the arts and making it accessible for all, and that passion just lights me up. So again, thank you so much for making Time to be kind.

01:56 Annie Hoffman

Well, thank you again for inviting me to join you today. I’m so excited to talk to you. Anytime I get to talk to you, I just get excited. So thanks, Marly.

02:05 Marly Q

Ditto ditto. And for our friends who are listening and spending time with us maybe for the first time, could you remind us or tell us what’s a PARKer?

02:15 Annie Hoffman

Yes. So a PARKer is someone who performs acts of random kindness and they’re led by their desire well, I’m just speaking for me, I guess, but their desire to do things in community with others and connect with others.

02:30 Marly Q

Yes. That is beautiful. My goal is to have this in the dictionary and have it be like a standard of human behavior. And how you identify? I identify as a PARKer, a person that Performs Acts of Random Kindness. And April is Stress Awareness Month, and I’m curious how you feel that kindness and the arts play a role in reducing stress.

02:54 Annie Hoffman

I think they have a huge role. Kindness just fills you up when you are being kind, having community with other people, connecting with other people, you’re filled up. And that contributes to your overall reduction in stress and it makes us feel better. The arts go hand in hand with that most of the time. I find that artists want to engage with their communities. And when we engage with arts, we are able to do so with others, whether that might be as a spectator or a participant. And the act of creating or the act of being in a space where art is happening, like a live performance that makes us feel connected. And being connected helps us reduce our stress and just makes us feel better overall.

03:41 Marly Q

Yes, absolutely. Are you listening? It sounds so simple, but when it becomes an actual standard and a value and a practice more than anything else, then we really could experience like an elevated sense of wellness, regardless of the amount of stressful events happening outside of you or whatever life throws at you, right? Like just having this be part of your lifestyle. So can you share with us what sparked your interest in the arts and specifically as like a healing modality?

04:15 Annie Hoffman

I grew up with the arts. I learned how to draw and paint and sew from my grandmother and my mom. And it was something that I just kind of remember doing always. I know when my mom would take me and she was going to class or she was going to something, she would take me and I would just kind of be sitting somewhere coloring. And so for me, I think I just always used the arts as a way to express myself and to calm myself, to soothe myself, no matter really where I was. And I found a way to connect with other people through the arts. And so as I first learned about what art therapy was, the minute that I learned about what art therapy was, I thought, oh, this is it. I felt like I was missing something. As going through art school, I felt like I needed a little bit more. I wanted to go in a little bit of a different direction. And then I kind of found my community. And so to me, being an art therapist and working in the arts as an arts administrator and an arts education, it gives me that sense of opening the world up for other people and for myself too. And that’s kind of what I think the arts and healing is all about, is just opening up the door to folks so that they can experience all the benefits that art making, engaging with the arts have to offer.

05:36 Marly Q

I love that and I love how it is parallel to kindness. Right. Because the arts don’t just benefit the artist and the one making the art. Art benefits the spectator. It benefits a participant. And that’s how I feel kindness is as well. It doesn’t just benefit the person that’s performing the act of random kindness. It’s also the person that’s receiving it, someone that might have observed that or witnessed it and it creates a ripple. Right. Can you speak to that?

06:03 Annie Hoffman

Yeah, I mean, that’s one of the things that I love about the job that I do currently as the education outreach manager at the Moss Center is that I build these programs and create opportunities for folks. And so I see that kind of rippling out effect as being shared amongst the community. Right. And the arts have a way of doing that in terms of just bringing people together from all different backgrounds to have this shared experience. And there’s this bonding kind of thing that happens. It’s hard to put it into words, but it’s just such a magical experience that happens. And I’m always so grateful that I get to be part of that. That also happens when I’m facilitating an art therapy group. We have this shared experience where we’re coming together and there’s this rippling of energy going out and yeah, it definitely has that parallel with kindness.

06:56 Marly Q

I agree. Well, I love the Moss Center and what you all do year round. I mean, I’m only a part of this one particular event that we’re going to be hosting next Saturday. We’re going to tell you about that in just a moment. But can you tell me about the year round programming that’s offered at the Moss Center?

07:12 Annie Hoffman

Yeah, I would love to. We have something for everyone. So if you haven’t been to the Moss Center before, I would encourage you to come down. Whether it’s music, dance, theater, you name it. We’ve got so much going on throughout the year. We also have free parking and it’s super easy to get to us. We’re just right off the turnpike. But as we were just talking about that rippling out effect, there’s nothing like being able to experience live arts performances. So it’s part of our mission to help people access the arts. We have several free events open to the community throughout the season. We also have a really great family series that provides opportunities for families with children to experience the arts together. Just this past season, we had Disney’s, Winnie the Pooh and we had a big fun, big top circus on our back lawn. We also have an incredible dance series that brings in some of the top dance companies to our stage right here in Cutler Bay. So if you don’t already follow us on social media, we’re at the Underscore Moss underscore center and you can keep up to date with all that we have going on. It’s a lot that we have, so we hope to see you there.

08:19 Marly Q

I love it. And for our friends who aren’t from South Florida, we will still put these links and the social media handles in our Show Notes page to connect. Because there are also some virtual opportunities that you offer, right?

08:31 Annie Hoffman

Yes, we do. We partnered with some of our local arts organizations. This is our third year now doing it, but we do provide free virtual field trip opportunities each season to students in Miami Dade County. We partnered with the Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami Theater Center, and the Culture Shock Miami through the Department of Cultural Affairs to form the Miami Dade Arts Education Collective. So that’s a virtual programming that happens each season. In addition to those dance performances that I was just speaking about, we usually do a virtual free pre show talk, which sometimes features the artistic directors or choreographers, and those are on our website, our YouTube channel. So we do definitely still embrace virtual, which is something that came out of the pandemic, but it’s sticking around because it helps us connect beyond just our local community.

09:24 Marly Q

Yes, it is sticking around. And this retired recovering event planner made the pivot over to virtual. And I never thought in a million years I would say, wow, like, virtual is here to stay. And at least as a kindness, influencer, and a leadership trainer, a speaker, a community builder, the work that I do, virtual is like the way that I can better amplify this message and really unite people around the world that really want to create a shift in this world to a kinder one, right? And I think you’re doing that work in small ways and maybe ways that we don’t see right away the impact of that. But I do believe in the ripple effect of kindness and the arts and these experiences that you’re creating for all people, right? These are like accessible art programs and I love that. So could you tell us about the all kids included Family Arts Festival? That I’m so excited about it’s next week. I get to Emcee, I get to be a part of the team. I mean, I’ve been a part of the event for over a decade, so I’m bragging here. But this is one of my favorite events of the year. Not only because it is completely aligned with my mission in life, but it is also just a spectacular outpour and representation and embodiment of community. Community coming together to celebrate the arts, participate in the arts, and more importantly, make it accessible and available to all. Can you tell us more about the All Kids Included – Family Arts Festival?

10:49 Annie Hoffman

Yes, I would love to. It just so happens to be one of my favorite events every year, too. I look forward to it. It’s part of what drew me to this job and the Moss Center. So, this is our 17th annual free all kids included family Arts Festival. It’s an incredible day where we invite everyone to come out to experience a fun filled day of inclusive arts experiences for children and families with and without disabilities. As you said, this year it’s on Saturday, May 6, from 10:00 A.m to 03:00 P.M at the Dennis Sea Moss Cultural Arts Center, or the Moss Center for Short, which is formerly known as the South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center. It’s the same place. We just have a new name.

11:31 Marly Q

That’s important to say. That’s important to say. The South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center is now the Moss Center. There you go.

11:37 Annie Hoffman

Yes. So we will have sensory inclusive mainstage performances where we have modified light and sound. We also have a quiet room that is staffed by the amazing folks from the Advocacy Network on Disabilities. We have some amazing performances from our local arts organizations, such as the Children’s Voice Chorus. We also have something I’m really excited about. We have an immersive digital based arts installation called Light Waves by South Florida artist Monica Lopez de Victoria. We’ve got great food options. We just have so much to do. So I really hope to see you all there. One other thing to add is that we have put up the schedule already on our website, and we do this as also a way to think about accessibility so that folks can have a chance to look at that schedule and think about how they want to plan out their day. We also have what’s called a social narrative, where you can download that right on our website. And that’s something that kind of goes through what an experience of coming to the center might be like. And that’s really helpful for any folks with sensory sensitivities or anxiety. And all of that is on our website at mosscenter.org.

12:50 Marly Q

I love that some people listening may not have heard what a social narrative is or may not be just familiar with the accessibility features right. That an event could include. Could we dive into them a little bit more? Because I think this is really important and I’m not sure that we highlight it enough right. When we say that it’s accessible, that we provide accessibility for all. Let’s get really specific. Right? I know you mentioned that inside the theater, with the theater performance, there’s the light sensory component to it, but you also have, like, captioning and ASL, right?

13:19 Annie Hoffman

Yeah. That’s great to add. Yeah. So we do have, as I mentioned, we have a sensory inclusive performance. So that means that we’ve made slight adjustments to the performance in terms of light and sound. And we have that quiet room available so that if any point during the performance anyone is feeling a little overwhelmed or they just need a little bit of a sensory break, they can go to that quiet room. They’re still actually able to watch the performance through a window that we have, but they’re able to kind of modify their experience a little bit so that they can enjoy the performance, too. We also have ASL interpreters, american Sign Language interpreters, throughout the entire venue. That day at all of the different things that we have going on. We have audio description at the main stage performances, which happens to be for folks that are blind or have low vision, where they’re actually describing what’s happening on the stage, that happens through headsets. And we have open captions, which is where someone might be hard of hearing. They can actually get on their device and see a transcript of what’s being said, any kind of verbal dialogue that’s happening on the stage. So we’ve really tried to think about these different layers of accessibility so that everybody can enjoy what we have to offer that day. We also always have noise canceling headsets available, assistive listening devices. We also have a braille program and a large print program. So these are just some of the various things that folks would find if they come that day.

14:52 Marly Q

Yeah, different accommodations. Very carefully and kindly thought through accommodations that unless we tell people, unless we share that this is available, some families may just assume that it’s not, right? I can definitely imagine being a parent of a child, maybe that’s on the autism spectrum or that maybe has a particular disability or in a wheelchair or what have you, and I want to go to this event. I’d love to take my child to see a performance, but I feel stressed or I’m worried or there’s anxiety. Right. So to be able to deliberately tell families, hey, at this event, we got you, we’ve created this safe Place. I’ve experienced through the almost a decade that I’ve been a part of the event. Many families and kids that maybe are a little bit overwhelmed, there’s too much going on, and they just go to the quiet room, and a little while later, they come outside and they’re smiling and they’re having a good time, and they want to take a picture with me as the Emcee because they think I’m a big deal, right? I’ll never forget that. I’m going to share. 

15:48 Annie Hoffman

Well, you are a big deal, but okay.

15:50 Marly Q

One of my favorite memories at the All Kids Included – Family Arts Festival was this one year. I come off stage, and this little girl, she’s looking right up at me, and she’s like, hi. Wow, are you somebody? Like, with these big eyes. She’s like, wow, are you somebody? And I got down. I kind of whine. I looked at her and I’m like, yeah, my name is Marly Q, and guess what? You’re somebody too. That little girl was like she had me sign, like, her program. I did an autograph. Her mom took a picture. It was like, so sweet. It was one of these memories that I will take with me forever. It’s like, are you somebody? And so are you. And I feel that feeling, that kindness just permeates throughout the entire event. All of the staff, all of the volunteers, everybody that comes together really does come together in kindness in a community building effort. And I really wanted to share my platform and this audience. Even though it’s not only South Florida, I really wanted to let the world know that the all Kids Included family Arts festival happens each and every year in South Florida. And it’s not just this one time event, right? It’s part of a larger initiative from the Miami Dade County Cultural Affairs Department. Can you tell us about that?

17:02 Annie Hoffman

Yeah. So the all kids Included Family Arts Festival is supported by the Department of Cultural Affairs and with support from the Children’s Trust. And it basically is connected with this year long program that the department runs called All Kids Included and that has so many different facets that go on. The festival is kind of our culminating event. We also have a student art competition that runs every year, and at the festival, we have the award ceremony. We also show all of the artwork. We have the winning artwork in person, but we show all the artwork as well. They also do teacher training so that teachers throughout Miami Dade County can have access to learning from some of the best and new techniques, best practices in working with children with disabilities. They run summer camps. There’s an animation camp that they run that is led by a woman with autism every year that fills up every summer. So there’s just so many things that All Kids Included Miami does, and I am just so happy to be part of it and be able to create and work with them to develop all these programs that we have for people throughout Miami. You can find out more about that at allkidsincludedmiami.org.

18:21 Marly Q

Oh, great. We’ll include that link as well. I love that we are just a wealth of resources here, just a little sneak peek at the amount of resources that are available when you connect with the All Kids Included Family Arts Festival. We have a beautiful list of community resource partners that all come together and basically volunteer their time this beautiful day to make available the resources that we have for families with and without disabilities in the community. So I love you and the work that you do and the great team over at the Moss Center. I am grateful anytime that I can be a part of this initiative. And I just want to thank you for making the time to be kind with us here today and tell us about it.

19:01 Annie Hoffman

Thank you again for having me. I love talking about the All Kids Included Festival, and I love getting to work with you on it because you always just bring this positive radiating energy out. So I really appreciate you inviting me on today.


So there you have it. If you live in South Florida, friends, and even if you have kids or not, I invite you to check out the All Kids Included Family Arts Festival on May 6. Connect with the Moss Center and the all kids included Miami initiatives. You can find the links for those details over on my website at Marlyq.com this episode number. So whatever episode number this is, go to Marlyq.com that number.


Oh, and one more thing! If you don’t already know, may is Mental Health Awareness Month, and next month we’re hosting our second annual MANkind Summit. If you want to be the first one to know and have the details to this, you better be in our Kind QREW. If you haven’t joined our private Facebook group yet, now’s the time you can find the link to join that over at Marlyq.com forward slash this episode number. Thank you so much for making time to be kind with Marly Q. See you next time.

Upcoming Event


MANkind Summit May 17-19, 2023

Join our Kind QREW Free Private Facebook Group:  Click here to Join Now


My Someday is Now with Kim Walsh Phillips

My Someday is Now

If you’ve been waiting for “someday” to go all in on your dreams and goals, today’s short episode may be the spark that inspires you to decide “my someday is NOW”! Join Kindness Influencer and Podcast Host, Marly Q, plus special celebrity guest, Kim Walsh Phillips, an MBA-free self-made millionaire who was recently named #475 in the Inc. 5000! Kim is the founder of Powerful Professionals and author of multiple best selling books including her most recent book, The Shift: Scale Your Business and Multiply your Wealth Without Sacrificing You. This brief conversation is filled with wisdom and practical take-a-ways from entrepreneurship and parenting to simple ways we can create a culture of kindness at home and at work, even if you’re super busy!

Join our Kind QREW community – Click here

Upcoming Event

MANkind Summit May 17-19, 2023


“Kindness is lighting someone else’s torch with your own inner flame.” ~ Unknown

Listen to this Episode and Discover…

  • You can be a successful entrepreneur and present parent (just not at the same time)
  • The 1 question you want to ask yourself (and your kids) at the dinner table, everyday
  • You can stop sacrificing your time, family, and health grinding 24/7 to grow your business
  • How promoting a culture of love and kindness at work enriches lives and your business
  • 3 ways you can spark kindness, connection and community at work, even if you’re super busy!

About Marly Q:

Kindness Influencer, Leadership Trainer, and Community-Builder on a mission to create a kinder world for over two decades. Through her podcast, she invites listeners to make “Time to Be Kind” each week to receive a spark of kindness, connection and community.

Connect with Marly Q:

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/MarlyQ
Instagram: https://instagram.com/MarlyQ
Facebook: https://facebook.com/theMarlyQ
YouTube: https://youtube.com/@MarlyQ
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarlyQ
TikTok: https://tiktok.com/@theMarlyQ

About Our Guest:

Kim Walsh Phillips is the founder and CEO of Powerful Professionals, a business coaching and education company. She’s a bestselling author and has been named “#475 in the Inc 5000” for having one of the fastest growing companies in America. Kim has spoken on stages around the world, co-hosts a top business podcast with American Idol Season One Alumni, Justin Guarini, and has worked with some of the biggest names in business, including Kevin O’Leary from Shark Tank and Harley-Davidson.

Connect with Kim Walsh Phillips

New Book: The Shift: Scale Your Business and Multiply your Wealth Without Sacrificing You. https://theshiftbookbonus.com/
Facebook: https://facebook.com/KimWalshPhillips
Instagram: https://instagram.com/TheKimWalshPhillips
Website: https://powerfulprofessionals.com

Other Links:

Upcoming Event: MANkind Summit May 17-19, 2023 – www.mankindsummit.com
Join our Kind QREW Free Private Facebook Group:
Join our Kind QREW+ Paid Membership: https://marlyq.com/kind-qrew
Programs & Courses: https://marlyq.com/programs
Marly Q Speaking, Training & Retreats: https://sparkcsr.com
Listen to Marly Q TEDx Talk “Kindness is your Superpower”: ​​https://bit.ly/MarlyQTEDxTalk

Other Episodes you’ll enjoy:

EP 24:  Drop the Ball with Tiffany Dufu
EP 26:  How Dare You Not with Luly B
EP 30: Welcome Back with Marly Q



00:00 Marly Q

Someday I’ll turn my purpose into a real business. Someday I’ll take that dream vacation with my family. Someday I’ll start a podcast, write a book, and host my own events. If you are waiting for someday, today’s episode might just be the spark that inspires you to finally decide my someday is today!

00:35 Marly Q

Hello, and thank you for making Time to Be Kind with Marly Q. Have I got a special treat for you today PARKers. Our special guest today is a celebrity. She’s one of the most impressive business women that I have personally met in the past two years. Some of the biggest names in business, including Kevin O’Leary from Shark Tank, Dan Kennedy, my friend Mike Mccallowitz, who’s the author of Profit First, and so many others call her their secret weapon behind the scenes. This woman has spoken on stages around the world, including Dubai, Moscow, London, and all around the US. She is the co-host of one of the top running business podcasts, and she’s also the author of multiple best selling books, including her latest brand new book called “The Shift Scale Your Business and Multiply Your Wealth Without Sacrificing You”. I’m talking about the Founder and CEO of Powerful Professionals. Welcome to the show, Kim Walsh Phillips.

01:30 Kim Walsh Phillips

Hello. Thanks so much for having me, Marly. I can’t wait for this conversation.

01:35 Marly Q

Yes,  you know I said someday, when I relaunch my podcast, I’m going to invite Kim Walsh Phillips to be a guest on my podcast. Someday I’ll do that. I need to get a lot more episodes out. I need to make sure I have a bigger audience. I need to do a lot more. But someday I’m going to ask this incredible woman to be on my podcast.

01:57 Kim Walsh Phillips

And guess what? My someday is today.

02:00 Kim Walsh Phillips

That’s right. Yay. And I’m coming to you right now from the Bahamas. That’s what’s behind me. I don’t know if you can see that at all, but we are. Let’s see if I put on this nah. It’s not coming through. But yeah, it’s beautiful here. And I picked one afternoon that I was going to take a break and meet with important people. And you are that important person. So I am thrilled to be on here with you today.

02:23 Marly Q

Oh, I love it. And you know who else is super important people? Those listening who I call our PARKers. Do you know what a PARKer stands for, Kim? Can you tell? Our PARKers listening, in case they don’t know?

02:33 Kim Walsh Phillips

Yes. This is somebody who makes sure to make the world a better place by sharing random acts of kindness.

02:38 Marly Q

Yes, that’s correct. So, PARKer Beautiful People is an acronym for people like you, me and Kim, who perform acts of random kindness. And we use our voice and our skills and our talents and our resources to create a kinder world. That’s what we’re doing here today. Thank you for making Time to Be Kind. And let’s get right into it. Before we dive into business, I’ve got to talk to you about motherhood for a moment because you are proof, living proof to me that you can be a businesswoman, you could build your empire, you can serve at the highest level and be a present parent. Can you talk to us about how important that is for you?

03:14 Kim Walsh Phillips

It is very important. And I also know that I can’t do all the things at the same time. I cannot work and be a present parent at the same time. And a piece of advice a friend of mine had given me when I first found out I was pregnant, she was the first surgeon general for the state of Pennsylvania, Dr. Wanda Filer. And she told me, never tell your daughters. She didn’t know I would have two at the time. Never tell your baby that you have to go to work. Like never make it, that you are sacrificing time away from them in order to work. Show them from the very beginning that you are all the things you are a business owner and a mother. Not or not if, not, then, but. And that you get to go to work. You get to go make an impact. So what I’ve done since the very beginning with my daughters is enroll them into the fact that they are part of the impact that I make in the world by me going away from them sometimes and making that impact. And then when I’m with them, I’m fully present in a conversation with them. And I build those moments of intentional real time with them every single day. And some days it’s just picking them up from school and driving them home or being at the door when they walk in or spending time before bed having a conversation. It may literally just be 15 minutes of one-on-one quality time in that day, but enough time that they feel seen and heard and that they matter. And by doing that, I’m able to be all that I am without feeling like I should be doing something else at each time. And that lets me show up in a way that allows me to treat them the way they should be treated and then be more likely to treat others that way because they know that they matter.

04:53 Marly Q

Yes. And I know that by doing that, you are also modeling kindness. You’re modeling being kind to yourself and your calling and your purpose. You’re modeling kindness for them by including them in it, right? So can we talk a little bit about how kindness is a part of your life and your parenthood with your kids?

05:11 Kim Walsh Phillips

Every night at dinner, we have a conversation saying, who did you impact today? Positively impact. And we talk about it so that they are seeking those opportunities throughout the day to create a positive impact with the people in their life. It could be a teacher that they said something kind to a teacher or it could be a friend that they helped them in some way or it could be each other or it could be something they did for me. So we make that conversation part of our dinner every single night and so they not only are being held accountable to making an impact but they’re seeking ways to do it so they have something to talk about each evening.

05:45 Marly Q

Aww! They get to share. And how old are your daughters?

05:47 Kim Walsh Phillips

Ten and Twelve.

05:48 Marly Q

Ten and Twelve. So I love surrounding myself with people who are ahead of my journey, right? So that I can see. I have a two year old and a four year old and I’ve started these conversations already and I do make them part, they see myself and my husband, we’re both entrepreneurs doing our thing and I just love that. So I just wanted to start off our conversation by saying thank you for not just being a role model for me in business but also in parenthood and I just love that. So thank you. And I know that you especially don’t miss softball games and I hear you do a little DJing out there too.

06:22 Kim Walsh Phillips

Yeah, so that’s one of my priorities is that I’m there and present for my daughters when they play softball and their dad is their coach, but I am the DJ at the games. I do all the announcing of the players when they come up to bat, play them each their walk on song and play all the music before, during and after the game.

06:39 Marly Q

I love that. I love that. Talk about making powerful memories, right? So let’s shift over to business because your business is called Powerful Professionals. So I love it. You already have me just at the name, right? Being a powerful professional. Can you tell us more about this incredible business and how you started from just about 30 clients or so and went to what is it, like 1000 or 11,000 clients? Tell us this journey.

07:01 Kim Walsh Phillips

Yeah. And this is all tied in beautifully with the theme of your show. As I was going through this really painful period where I couldn’t make payroll and I didn’t know what I was going to do, I knew I needed to do something different. And I had a young baby at home and I couldn’t go out and hustle like I used to. And so I actually had to start relying upon marketing and automation and webinars to grow my company. And it started to work and I knew when I discovered like how to make it work that I wasn’t just going to learn for myself. I was learning so that I could help other people. And once I figured it out and I was able to grow my company, I sold my company and I knew my whole mission. My entire mission of life is to show other entrepreneurs how I did what I did so that they can do it too. So my whole business is built around the purpose that we are not just created to work. We are created for many things: faith, fitness, family, finances, and fun. And we need to build all of those things. We get to build all of those things into our life in a way that actually works. So my goal every single day is to show people how they can multiply their impact and income without working around the clock so they can still have time for all the other things that are important to them while they make an incredible living doing it.

08:15 Marly Q

Yeah. And how is kindness, like a part of this? Not just for the people that you serve, but also for your team, right? Because your team is super important to you. I’ve heard in your story you even had to pawn your engagement ring in order to make payroll. So I mean, if that’s not a sign of like I care about people and the kind act, I don’t know what is. right? So how is it a part of your business? How is kindness a part of your business?

08:35 Kim Walsh Phillips

There’s a few things. One is that we only have people work in their zone of genius. So we don’t, even if someone’s out of office, let’s say we don’t have somebody else jump in and work on their projects if that’s not what their strengths are. So we allow each person to show up and fully work in what they were created to do. So that’s one way. A second way is every Tuesday at our we call it Town Hall. That’s our Tuesday staff meeting. Where we share you make a difference, where we share one of our clients, what they did, the impact that that had on the world and the team members that were participating on that project so we could show the impact those staff members make. And then we also do team shout outs every week so different team members can put in notes of appreciation for other team members. And we read those aloud every Tuesday meeting. So we’re building intentional kindness into all of our staff meetings.

09:31 Marly Q

Yes. And would you say that building intentional kindness into your staff meetings, into your team each and every week is generating what I call the currency of kindness, right? Something that enriches your life and your wellness, but also brings business to your business, right?

09:48 Kim Walsh Phillips

Yeah. It really, It creates this culture of love and treating everybody with respect and making sure each person matters. And when you are that way, that’s who you attract to you, as we say, right? Your vibe attracts your tribe. So my whole community is filled with amazing people just like that. So, like, at one of our business retreats, you’re finding all people who are just super awesome humans who want to help other people be super awesome humans. So it’s just an incredible community that we’ve been able to create because of that culture that we have.

10:17 Marly Q

And you’re definitely embodying that because you somehow attracted my energy into your world. And I’m like, I am all about it. This is my woman. We must connect. And here we are. Thank you, universe. Just a moment to thank the universe for making this happen, right? Because it was effortless, and I’m just so grateful. I want to talk about your new book because you’re creating things all the time. You create events and programs and running your business in such a way that inspires me to streamline mine as I continue to grow. But talk to us about your book, because the shift, especially this other tagline, how to scale your business and multiply your wealth without sacrificing you, that part right there is definitely a hook.

10:59 Kim Walsh Phillips

Yeah, it’s my entire business model. And I talk about this book being a storybook, a playbook, and a workbook all in one. I wanted to bring it up for you. So a storybook, a playbook, and a workbook all in one. Storybook is that I’m telling you fun stories from behind the scenes so you get to see the journey, and there’s a lot of historical moments that happen, and I share those. Right? And then it’s a playbook because I give you the step by step on how you can do it, too. So every marketing strategy, lead generation, I give you every single one of my slides from my webinar, you get full scripts to use. It’s all included in the book. And then a workbook, because I actually give you exercises that you can follow in order to get done the things that we’re talking about inside. So here we go. It’s the shift, how to multiply, how to scale your business and multiply your wealth without sacrificing you. So we put it all in there, and then what’s really fun is, when you get the book, you get over $3,000 worth of bonuses, all included, that are all yours in order to make that massive impact without using more of your time.

12:03 Marly Q

You’re so generous, Kim. It just flows like you’re like, oh, this is just what I’m doing now. It is an incredible, generous offer, right? And the amount of time that you need to dedicate in order to put this together. So it’s not just another book on your super wildly successful book list that you’ve authored or co authored, but it’s really, like you said, it’s a guide, a workbook to help people get from that someday mindset to the someday is now. And I actually have a plan, a playbook and support of a community to get this going right and create that shift that we’re looking for in our life or in our business.

12:38 Kim Walsh Phillips

Yeah, exactly.

12:39 Marly Q

I love it. I love that I exactly get it. Because I am your people. That’s why I get it. So for our PARKers that are listening, that are interested in the book. I mean, is it already launched? Are we, where can we find it?

12:52 Kim Walsh Phillips

You can go to, TheShiftBookBonus.com you’ll be able to get the book and then you also will be able to score all of your bonus goodies.

12:59 Marly Q

I love that. And then when they’re in your world, folks, when you’re in Kim’s world, you’re going to get access to these amazing emails that will inspire you, that’ll make you laugh. My favorite part of your emails is how you close them and you put your name is already long “Kim Walsh Phillips”. She’s like no, let’s just add.

13:16 Kim Walsh Phillips

I mean, I’m extra all the time. You know that, Marly.

13:19 Marly Q

I so love the extra. I love all of the extra and I receive it. And it really does, you know, serve as a light that illuminates the path for people that are trying to build their business on their calling and their purpose, right? And my business, my calling is to spread kindness. And I will tell you and friends listening, it’s been really difficult and it’s been a struggle for me to figure out how I can build a business with my purpose, right? And using my skills. And you have been someone who has again illuminated the path for me, but has also, more than anything, been like embodiment of it, allowing me to witness and be a part of your events and your programs and what you’re doing. And it’s just such an inspiration to me and thousands, thousands of other people.

14:00 Kim Walsh Phillips

I love that. Thank you so much. That’s so kind of you. Thank you very much.

14:04 Marly Q

Yeah. So I know kindness is really important to you, too. And there’s a quote that you shared with me that I’d like to share with those listening. And if you want it’s, “Kindness is lighting someone else’s torch with your inner flame”, is this your quote? Because I haven’t heard this one before.

14:18 Kim Walsh Phillips

No, it’s not my quote. I found that online when you asked about the quote. And I love it so much because I feel like that’s what we do with what we do as content creators, as coaches, as mentors. That’s what we’re doing. We’re taking what we learn, our experience, and we’re gifting it to others so that they may be inspired, so they may see the light on the path forward. And I just loved it. I thought it embodied all that we try to do.

14:43 Marly Q

Absolutely. And I think that one of the things that I’ve learned from you, again, through observing, through following, through listening, like Clubhouse or your Instagram or your Facebook or all the lives that you do on the challenges, is the power of showing up in kindness, right? Showing up with that energy to me is so obvious, it’s so authentic, it’s received, right? So I think the power and even how you started your business, when you sold your business and started Powerful Professionals, didn’t it start with a webinar a week. Wasn’t that the story wasn’t like a webinar a week and you showed up or a webinar a day. Can you remind me?

15:21 Kim Walsh Phillips

Yeah, I did a webinar 119 times.

15:23 Marly Q

That’s what it was. I was like, this woman did the same webinar and showed up every week, and it was like your most profitable hour. And I’m here listening intently. Like, I can do that. I can do what we have been on.

15:34 Kim Walsh Phillips

We will say, like, how do you do that every week? I’m like, how would I not do it every week? 1 hour a week to fund all of my business. Yeah, it’s amazing. I mean, I think we sometimes get bored of things that work, and we stop doing them. But our marketing is not about fascinating us. Our market should be about fascinating our market, right? And so when we find something that works, we need to keep doing it.

15:55 Marly Q

And how do you keep doing it, even if you do get, quote, bored with the same message or the same program or the same service? right? How do you keep yourself?

16:08 Kim Walsh Phillips

Yeah, I find other ways to get fascination in my life besides my marketing.

16:12 Marly Q

There we go. Good. And you keep the purpose in mind that, listen, I’m repeating this not for myself. I’m repeating this for you and for new people that are listening, right?

16:20 Kim Walsh Phillips

Exactly. Exactly.

16:22 Marly Q

Yeah. And I always think of that. Thank you for sharing that, because I speak a lot at schools, and I do career days, right? Like people don’t usually have a philanthropist come in on career day, right? And I come in, I’m like, that’s what I do for a living. I’m a philanthropist, and I speak sometimes at the same school for a couple of years. And I remember this one time, I was speaking at, I think, a fifth grade class, and I was sharing my Kindness is Your Superpower story and et cetera. And a boy in the class raised hand, he’s like, I heard this story before. You’ve been here before. You always share the same story. That’s what he said. And I stopped and I looked. I’m like, yes, thank you so much for remembering that. You know, I do share the same story, and I have a TED Talk about it called Kindness is Your Superpower. I will link it in the show notes. And I do share the same story over and over again because it’s not about me and my story and how great I think it is. It’s about the act of kindness and how a simple, so simple and totally free act of kindness had the power to shift, to create a big shift in my life and set me on a path that I’m on here today, right? So repeating the same message over and over again, thank you for doing that, for modeling that, and go find other things to keep you the new and variety do it yourself. Thank you for that.

17:35 Kim Walsh Phillips

Yeah, for sure. I love it. I love that story. That was great, Marly.

17:39 Marly Q

Thanks. So, my beautiful friends, I hope that you enjoyed this time that we spent with Kim. Help me say thank you to Kim Walsh Phillips and give her a virtual hug all the way from Bahamas, from Miami to Bahamas. Big hugs to you and safe travels back home. I know you live just outside of Atlanta, back with your family. Thank you so much for what you do every single day to spread kindness in this world. Kim.

18:02 Kim Walsh Phillips

Thanks for having me. It’s such a pleasure to be with you and all the PARKers, too.


Thanks. All right, my beautiful friends, so if today you got that spark of Kindness, Connection and Community to inspire you to make today your someday, we want to hear about it. If you’re listening on Apple, go ahead and rate and review. If you’re on YouTube, subscribe so you don’t miss any of our episodes spotify, you can rate us five stars. And if you are not a part of my Kind QREW yet, make sure that you click the link in our show notes to join our Kind QREW. It’s our private Facebook group. We have well over 300 people from all over the globe. Our PARKers are people who Perform Acts of Random Kindness, who together each and every week, are making Time to Be Kind. Thank you for being that spark. Visit MarlyQ.com forward slash this episode number for all the transcription, the show notes and the links to connect with Kim and get her book today. Thanks for making Time to Be Kind. See you next time.

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MANkind Summit May 17-19, 2023

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But I Want to Fly with Michelle Villalobos

But I Want to Fly

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you went all in on your dreams? If you’ve got big dreams and perhaps afraid to take flight, then you’ll love making time to listen to this episode because Kindness Influencer and Podcast Host, Marly Q, plus special guest, Michelle Villalobos, will awaken your inner superstar, spark your courage, and remind you that it’s never too late to dust off your dreams and dive into your destiny. Tune in and be prepared to FLY!

Join our Kind QREW community – Click here

“The wound is where the light enters you.” ~ Rumi

Without a clear and compelling vision driving us forward, there will be no progress for mankind. In order to “be the change we wish to see in the world” we must first be able to envision that new world. A world where all humankind is responsible for upholding a standard of kindness towards ourselves, each other and the world we all share.

Listen to this Episode and Discover…

  • The spark that awakened Marly Q’s inner superstar to step on stage
  • Michelle’s inspirational journey becoming an author 
  • How inspiration can come from embracing pain, anger, loss and grief
  • What happens when you befriend your fears
  • The power of taking responsibility for your life – all of it
  • The importance of self-kindness first 
  • How having standards and boundaries is actually kind

If you’ve ever dreamt of doing something so big that it seemed crazy, scary or just impossible to achieve, then tune in to this short episode to receive the spark of inspiration you need to start flying today!

About Marly Q:

Kindness Influencer, Leadership Trainer, and Community-Builder on a mission to create a kinder world for over two decades. Through her podcast, she invites listeners to make “Time to Be Kind” each week to receive a spark of kindness, connection and community.

Connect with Marly Q:

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/MarlyQ
Instagram: https://instagram.com/MarlyQ
Facebook: https://facebook.com/theMarlyQ
YouTube: https://youtube.com/@MarlyQ
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarlyQ
TikTok: https://tiktok.com/@theMarlyQ

About Our Guest:

Michelle Villalobos is devoted to “activating Superstars to uplift humanity.” She’s an International Speaker, Business Coach and the Founder of Superstar Activator. She’s also the Host of the Awaken Your Inner Superstar Podcast and Author of “But I Want To Fly” – Adventure Book for Dreamers of All Ages.

Connect with Michelle Villalobos

Book: www.ButIWantToFly.com
YouTube: https://youtube.com/@michelleevillalobos
Website: https://superstaractivator.com/

Podcast: Awaken Your Inner Superstar Episode 51 with Marly Q: https://blog.superstaractivator.com/podcast/marly-q/

Other Links:

Join our Kind QREW Free Private Facebook Group: https://facebook.com/groups/kindqrew
Join our Kind QREW+ Paid Membership: https://marlyq.com/kind-qrew
Programs & Courses: https://marlyq.com/programs
Marly Q Speaking, Training & Retreats: https://sparkcsr.com
Listen to Marly Q TEDx Talk “Kindness is your Superpower”: ​​https://bit.ly/MarlyQTEDxTalk

Other Episodes you’ll enjoy:

EP 37:  LOUD about Kindness with Adrianna Foster
EP 36:  Seizing Happy with GiGi Diaz
EP 30: Welcome Back with Marly Q



00:00 Marly Q

Have you ever dreamt of doing something so big that it seemed scary, crazy, or just impossible to achieve? Well, this short Episode will inspire you to awaken your inner superstar and remind us all that it’s never too late to dust off your dreams and dive into your destiny. 

00:31 Marly Q

Welcome. Thank you so much for making Time to Be Kind with me, Marly Q, and our special guest PARKer today. I can’t wait for you to meet this superstar. Welcome to the show, Michelle Villalobos.

00:42  Michelle Villalobos

Thank you, Marly. I’m excited to be here. 

00:45 Marly Q

So before we dive in, in case you’re new to my world, that this is the first time making Time to Be Kind. What is or who is a PARKer? Michelle, can you tell our audience listening? 

00:55  Michelle Villalobos

Yes, I can. A PARKer is a person who Performs Acts of Random Kindness. And I heard that term from you, Marly maybe 13, 14 years ago. 

01:07 Marly Q
Yes! And now it’s part of the lingo and we’re spreading these acronyms and this lingo worldwide. I have this dream that one day it’ll be like in the dictionary. It’s just a verb. It’s a, you know, it’s a noun. It’s a PARKer, my verb PARK, and all this lingo will be part of our normal language. What do you think?

01:23 Michelle Villalobos

Wooh! I like it. I like that world. 

01:25 Marly Q

So PARKers listening. Michelle Villalobos was one of my very first business coaches and really one of my first big clients when I first started my business over 12 years ago. Michelle Villalobos is the founder of the Superstar Activator. She’s an international speaker. She’s a coach. She’s the host of the Awaken Your Inner Superstar Podcast, which I’ve been on. I’ll link it in the show notes. And she is the author of the beautiful book “But I Want to Fly”, which is an adventure book for dreamers of all ages. I’m so excited about this new creation of yours. And I just want you to just dive right in and tell us about the inspiration behind this beautiful book.

2:06 Michelle Villalobos

Great. Okay. So the first thing I think is important to understand is that I’ve never done anything like this before. It’s way, way outside of my area of expertise, my comfort zone. I’ll just show you this is the book right here. So anyone would have thought that my book would be a business book, right? But this, it’s a poem. It’s about a four-and-a-half-minute-long poem. It rhymes. And it came to me in a dream about two years ago. And it just wouldn’t let go of me. The story, the word, the journey that that character goes on. It became, you know, I just couldn’t not follow the path or follow the signs and follow the calling is what it was. So it’s my story. It’s your story. It’s pretty much I think all of our stories. It’s an archetypal mythic journey of breaking down, breaking through, and then finding the blessing on the backside. 

3:02 Marly Q

Yes, that’s such a beautiful and succinct way to put that. This you know, because you might look at it and think, oh it’s a children’s book, right? It’s an adventure book for dreamers of all ages, right? And I actually read this book with my two kids, a two-year-old and a four-year-old. And I don’t think you had a two-year-old and a four-year-old in mind for your audience, right?

03:19 Michelle Villalobos

Well, the truth is I didn’t have anybody in mind for my audience. It came to me in a dream and I just woke up in the middle of the night and wrote the whole poem in about two hours, most of it. And then, you know, fleshed it out more, but I never intended it for anybody. It was just a thing that poured through me. And at one point I did text it to my clients. I was like, hey, look at this poem I wrote. And they responded and I was like, wow, that’s interesting that they loved it so much. And I just started to share it with my friends and my family and people. They felt something. And because they felt something, I knew I had something important. And so I just started to let it unfold. And it was a series of just random conversations with people that led me to even find an illustrator. Somebody’s like, you could turn that into a book and you could do a keynote about this poem. And I was like, yeah, I kind of could. And it just, it sort of took on a life of its own. And here it is. And it was a very easy, graceful process, which I think, honestly, in hindsight, you know, I had made a claim for myself a few months before that, that I was going to start creating from pleasure. The reason that happened was because I had a realization that I always wanted to be creative. I was a creative person. I am a creative person, an artist even, but that I hadn’t created anything for myself ever or in many years. I’d only created for money, for clients, for selling. And the realization I had is, you know, I excuse the language, but that I was pimping myself out, pimping out My inner artist wants to create for pleasure. And so I had made that claim. And then I don’t know, I guess it was a few months later. I don’t know the exact timeline. This thing happened and I took on whatever I create with this. It’s going to be from pleasure. It’s not going to be, yeah, maybe I’ll sell it. Maybe I won’t, but I’m just going to pursue it because I want to not because I’m trying to sell something.

05:10 Marly Q

That’s so beautiful. And let’s speak to that because, for our audience, that’s listening that may not know, right? You started off by saying, this is something completely brand new and not something not we would  have expected maybe from Michelle Villalobos who talks about business and personal branding. I mean, if we look back to when I first started my business in 2010, my first company, which was an event planning company, and I was running and managing an event and you were speaking and I heard you talk about personal branding and how you need to be, you know, like the face of your business and promote yourself, right? And I’m here in the back of the room eventing like, what is she talking about? It was like this novel idea to me and I was hustling and working so hard. And I’m like, let me listen to this woman. She’s got something, right? I gave you my card. You put me on your list. Back then you were producing Miami’s largest two-day conference for entrepreneurial women, the wildly successful women success summit. Which I was so forever, so grateful to have worked alongside with you. For four years she produced multiple of those events. And I will never forget. I’ll never forget. One day you needed an Emcee, you needed someone to come on stage and introduce you or like stall or something, right? And you were like, Marly you go to do that, you are a natural speaker, go and get the mic. And I was like, no, my immediate reaction was like, no, no, no. Like I’m backstage, I’m behind the scenes. I’m supporting you back here. I’m not going to get on stage and this is your spotlight. I’m not going to steal your thunder. And I remember you laughed at me. Like, that’s so cute. You’re a natural get out there and you’re not going to steal my thunder. Like, do you know who I am? You didn’t say it like that, but basically, you were like, you’re not going to steal my spotlight. If anything, you’re going to amplify the light, get out there. And I remember being super scared. And up until that point had Emcee that had spoken, but I wasn’t selling, you know, my voice, so to speak. I wasn’t selling my voice as a speaker and MC. And from that day, you know, like you pushed me to fly. You pushed me out there and kind of see me or see me as more than I saw myself at that time. And that wasn’t just dozen years ago, Michelle, you have continued to be that, like beacon of light and inspiration kind of like 10 or 20 steps ahead. Right. I have a dream of writing a children’s book. Now that I’m a mom, you come out with one and I’m like, yes, I need to just keep, you know, feeding from this beautiful energy and that from which you create, which is energy richness. I think it’s safe to say you and I both were not operating from an energy-rich place back then. Right? 

07:30  Michelle Villalobos
Absolutely not. What I know now from so much personal development and spiritual work that I’ve done is that well, this is what my mentor said, this is her line, her name is NaniLea Diamond. I think you know of her. You do know of her. I introduced you to her. She says, “the energy from which we create guides and determines the energy of what we create”. And it’s so simple and it’s so profound. And because back then I was creating from desperation, fear, pride, needing significance, needing security. You know, there were all these, I was creating everything I created, including that amazing event. And I’m not saying it was all, it was wonderful. And it was from the energy of that proving myself. And now I’m much, much more attuned to what energy am I coming from as I leave anything, market anything, produce anything, sell anything, much, much more aware. It changes everything. Yeah, it’s a game changer.

08:27 Marly Q

It is definitely a game changer. You know, what else is a game changer? Tell me about what happens when you decide to make fear your friend. 

08:34  Michelle Villalobos

That’s a line from the book. Yeah, it’s a signal. I mean, it’s here. Let me backup a second because there’s something that precedes the fear, or I hope it does anyway. I would like to bring this forward, which is desire. And desire is becoming just such a big important word that describes a really important phenomenon, which is what I’m calling now. I’m saying that desire is destiny’s calling card. Desire is destiny’s calling card. So first, the desire, like when we tap into real desire, you know when it’s from deep within from our truest self when there’s a desire like that’s really important. And I never thought that was important. I always thought that really honestly almost thought the opposite that if I really desired something I should stay away from it because it was dangerous or that it was impossible or I shouldn’t have real desire. I didn’t want to get too excited about things or too attached to things because then I’d be disappointed like my relationship to my own desire was really kind of messed up in hindsight. And so what this book does as it puts desire first. Desire and dreams, right? And desire is distinct from like, I desire a cheesecake, right? That’s different. That’s a craving. Or I desire, you know, the latest handbag or, you know, those are often cravings to cover up desire. And what I’m talking about is like tapping into your truest desire. What is your heart’s desire? And my heart’s desire has always been to create and share what I create with people. Like, you know, an artist, create live experiences. I mean ultimately the Women’s Success Summit was born of that desire also. So that’s the underlying desire. And so from desire and from honoring our own desire, then what can happen is the fear pops up. And I honestly think that fear can be a friend because it’s a signal that there’s something valuable here that matters. That it’s a signal for, yeah, that it’s significant, that it’s important. And it’s a way to highlight what needs to be done, right? Like, so if V in the book weren’t afraid of crashing probably wouldn’t have made a very good set of wings to fly, right? So that fear became her friend because it fueled her focus towards making an excellent airplane, right? So I gave away kind of that. But that’s that’s how the fear we can turn it around and make it our friend by focusing it and funneling it and fueling it towards something that’s going to serve us and support us rather than letting it stop us. 

11:02 Marly Q

Absolutely. I think that that’s also a game changer. When we learn to be aware of fear, when it comes up, right? In all its different ways that it comes up, be aware of it. And rather than allowing it to kind of dim our light or keep us from pursuing that desire relating to that fear with like, okay? I know why you’re here, right? To keep me safe and small and in my little, you know, world where I don’t, you know, risk, right? Risk being seen or risk failing or risk falling, right? I absolutely love the journey that V in the book goes through. I do agree with you that I think it’s all of our story, right? It’s kind of the dark knight of the soul is definitely portrayed there. So can you talk to me a little bit about or talk to us about the importance of like self kindness, right? When you’re talking, when you’re thinking about your desires and your goals and what you wish to achieve. What’s the role that self kindness plays? 

11:57 Michelle Villalobos

Well, I think that it’s so easy to not be kind to ourselves and to beat ourselves up and to right like? I know for myself, I’ll speak for myself and maybe it’ll resonate. One of the ways that I would get myself to do things was to like beat myself up or to like force myself or you know, like I never trusted myself enough. I didn’t trust myself enough period. And so because I was almost in like mind games and manipulation games with my own self, like how do I force myself to do this? How do I force myself to do that? You know, and I created a lot of ways of being that were around forcing myself to be ways and do things that I wasn’t naturally, that I didn’t, you know, that were not natural. And so that’s really unkind. And I think that being kind to ourself is about honoring our experience, honoring what we’re feeling when we’re feeling it. That was part of the story too. And it’s my story as well, which was that I had suppressed so many emotions for so long that the minute my heart cracked open even a little bit to feel some pain, it all kind of poured out, It just spilled out. It was very destructive in my life and it needed to happen There’s you know, there’s absolutely zero regret now. Because I know that, that was my body trying to clean out and clear out stuff that it had been holding onto for a really long time and that was kindness. I don’t know that I did it consciously, but I gave myself the space in 2014 when I had my breakdown to be broken for a while to like let myself just break all the way down. I don’t think that you necessarily have to break all the way down to break through like I did. I think that I had plenty of warning signs and red flags that I ignored. And for me, that’s what it took. That’s the wake up call I needed. 

13:46 Marly Q

I so understand that you and I, for PARKers listening, Michelle and I are both Virgos. And I think that Virgos have this interesting quality of being a little bit stubborn, maybe a little critical and we’re like the worst critical with ourselves, right? So I really, that does resonate with me. And there’s this beautiful quote that I know you quote often from Rumi. Can you share with us ?

14:08 Michelle Villalobos

The wound is where the light enters you. 

14:10  Marly Q
Yeah, right. So what happens when you go all in and accept responsibility, right, for your life, for all of it, right? And embrace all of it, right? Whether it’s pain and sadness and regret, right? What happens when you embrace and accept responsibility for all of it?

14:26 Michelle Villalobos

It’s the ultimate empowerment. It’s the only, it’s the avenue toward true empowerment, different from force, right? From forcing, manipulating, power play, all the ways that we try to manage life. There’s that. And then there’s real power, which is literally just like, I own it, whatever it is. It doesn’t mean I’m to blame for it, but I own it. It’s mine. The example that’s very hard for some people to get. So it can be a little triggering for people. So I want to be mindful, you know, how I express it, but it is the best example that I know, which is I have a friend, a client got pretty serious cancer, you know, like a very advanced aggressive cancer. And she spent months, Why me? Why is this happening? Very, very disempowered and sad and angry. And she had a breakthrough, you know at one point where she basically said, what if I just choose it? What if I just choose it now? I wouldn’t have decided. If you’d given me choices, cancer, no cancer, I wouldn’t have picked cancer. Nobody would. The fact is that I have it. I have it. It’s here. What if I just own it? What if I just say, all right, I choose this path. I choose this. Whatever is happening I’m choosing it. And from that place of choosing it, all of a sudden, her whole attitude around it changed. I mean, first of all, she chose like, if I’m meant to die from this, I’m going to choose that too. Like I’m going to trust whatever is happening here. And what that looked like for her ended up being a huge breakthrough in faith, in empowerment. She ended up, you know, walking away from a relationship that she’d been in for many years. She ended, she made all these changes to her life from this place of, okay, I’m choosing this thing that nobody would ever want. I’m choosing it like I chose it for real. And that changed everything. She was empowered around it. So I’m not saying you take responsibility from a place of like, I’m my fault that I got cancer. I deserved it. I’m not saying that at all. I’m saying that she just chose it because it was. 

16:24 Marly Q

That makes perfect sense. You know, the way that I relate to responsibility, because the old me would kind of associate with responsibility. Like it’s the whole, you know, the weight of the world is on my shoulders. I am, you know, the one that needs to come in and save the day or the one to blame or the one at the end of the day. And with events, honestly, like my toxic relationship with events definitely contributed to this belief because at the end of the day, something goes wrong in an event. I’m the one that’s going to take the face, you know, in the blame quote unquote for it. But now in a much more empowered state, when I say that, you know, I’m accepting responsibility for all of my life. I just mean that I am able to respond to all that life throws at me. “Responsibility” I have the responsibility, the ability to respond, right? And that is an empowered state because you have the ability to respond to cancer, to a diagnosis, to a job loss, to the pandemic, to losing your business. You have the ability to respond right? And if you come from it, from that place, then, you know, your new creation or your pivot or whatever it is that you’re meant to do next can actually flow through, right. Rather than kind of staying stuck in old identity right? Can you talk to us about how to avoid like freezing yourself in like old stories that disempower you?

17:35 Michelle Villalobos
Yeah, I think one of the things that we do. I don’t think I know that one of the things that I do is I become very identified with roles with certain roles that I’m, you know, I had a role in high school. I was an excellent student. I was a high achiever. I took on the role of, you know, like up and coming executive, right? Like role of speaker, role of coach, role of author, you know, I’ve always, I think we, a lot of us do this very much identify with what I do as if it were who I am. And so one of the biggest things that I’ve worked on with mentorship and with the personal development and the spiritual development has been disidentifying from roles and understanding that these are roles that I play. These are things that I do. These are not who I am. And that there’s a true center that is beyond all of that. That’s beyond all of this. And that’s very empowering as well to know that at any moment I can choose a different role. I can choose a different way of being rather than getting caught up in an identity or a role that requires me to act certain ways, right? Like that’s what I’ve been letting go of. I don’t know if that was your question though. 

18:49 Marly Q

It does because we kind of freeze or box ourselves into these roles and these hats and these identities. You know, you’ve been part of my journey, Michelle It has taken me over a dozen years to detach from the role of event planner. I am a master event planner. I’ve been doing it for 20 years or ten thousand hours of event planning and strategizing and managing, right? And I’m like, and working with you and Jessica Kizorek, the both of you kind of gave me this first like perspective of like, you’re more than that. Like you have so much more to offer. And I’m like, really? I do? I don’t know. But that’s what pays my bills my whole life. Like that’s my bread and butter. And it’s taken me all this time. It took a pandemic and pregnancy and me to be like Ahh!, what am I going to do to kind of detach or decondition from all of the roles, all of the hats now. I’m a new person now. I’m a mom now, I am. And so when I go back out, quote unquote, into the world, do I want to tell people like what I do? Or do I just want to tell people who I am and what I’m passionate about and what I feel I’m called to do? And who I am? 

20:17 Michelle Villalobos

You are particular, your mission is, is, is something you can lead with, you know, your knowledge. 

20:21 Marly Q

Yes! You’ll be so happy to know that now I identify, I say, I am a Kindness Influencer. I am a Kindness Influencer. That’s who I am. What do I do? Well, now I speak and I Emcee thanks to you. I Emcee now all over, all over the place, right? I speak and I Emcee, I’m doing leadership training and workshops and retreats, right? Which is also something that I’ve seen you model and do, right? And I’m following your retreat blueprint for success as well. I’m on the way, right? But it really took, it really took a pause and it took like Time to Be Kind to me, right? I took a big pause on this podcast. I took a pause to do personal, like healing and development and be able to come back with standards. Well like a different standard of how I treat myself, a different standard for how I treat others, a different standard for how I value time and boundaries, right? Can we talk about the importance of setting boundaries and standards and how that’s actually kind? 

20:50 Michelle Villalobos

Absolutely. Well, it’s funny because we’re just now, yesterday was the equinox, I think, or maybe Sunday, but just now we had the equinox, which one of my mentors who I mentioned earlier, NaniLea, the lot of the work that she’s taught me how to do? Is how to align to the seasons and rhythms of nature. And so we have just moved from the season of winter to the season of spring. Season of winter being the season of receptivity in her blueprint, the season of receiving the new message, the new dream, the new idea. It’s where we get bare, just like the trees are bare. We just get bare down to the essentials. And then from that place of the seed germinating underground in the dark months of the winter, now we’re at the beginning of the spring where the seed starts to pop through the surface and that you know,  the things start to flourish again. And in the world of us as humans, how that looks is moving into this from the season of listening deeply, being receptive, getting the new message, the new dream, the new idea into the season of embodiment, which is the season of beginning the build. So in the world of V, it’s the season where she gets into the workshop and she starts to make the thing. She starts to plan and envision and create and glue and cut and sew and all of that. And that’s the season where standards and boundaries really start to come into play. Because now we’re bringing something from up here, where it’s in our little world, in our mind. Now we have to create space for it in our lives. And when we create space for something in our lives, we’re going to need boundaries around it. We’re going to need, like you know boundaries around who can give their opinion about the thing we’re building, boundaries around our time, so that we have time to focus on it, right? There’s all sorts of ways that we need to, we get to create the standards and also create the boundaries to make space and make possible the new thing that we’re birthing.

22:43  Marly Q

Absolutely. I’m so proud of you. I’m so proud of how I witness and observe how you have transformed and like alchemized, right? So many things along the path and I’m just here for it. I’m here for all of it. And I want to hear from you. Where can people buy your book? I mean, and what’s your vision for your book? I know you wrote it for your desire for yourself, but now that it’s out, now that I have it, hot in my hand right here. And I am gonna link it to my show notes. Tell us, what’s your vision for the book and how can we support it? 

23:12 Michelle Villalobos

Well, okay. So first thing is you can get it and you can watch the video and you can get free tools that go with it at butiwanttofly.com, butiwanttofly.com, which is a line from the book that I pulled. And the picture that I pulled is the line that goes with it. So that’s the cover. It’s interesting that you should ask me this question about what’s my vision for it, because I literally have a different answer today than I did three days ago. And so I’ll share because and somebody.

23:39 Marly Q

You are hearing it first here, people hearing it first here.

23:42 Michelle Villalobos

You. Somebody gave me the exam, the feedback, I think yesterday like, gosh, Michelle, I love how you’re just not afraid to share where you are right in the middle of your creative process. I’m like, well, you know, here I am. Here we go. And he meant it as a compliment. I’m joking that he definitely meant it as a compliment. I took it as such. But what I’m seeing is I love to build events. You know this about me. I love my whole world is I always well, we could do this together. Then I come here and then we’ll do this, you know, have this conversation. Like I love events. I love philosophizing with people. I love going deep and having deep, meaningful, rich experiences. And over the last nine years, well, over the last 15, but in particular over the last nine, I’ve gotten really good at creating, taking people on a journey in a live event. So what I want to do is I want to start leading a, But I Want To Fly journey and experience. It’s like a three hours half day kind of vibe, basically to take people on their own journey toward agh! clarity of vision, purpose, like to walk through, like letting go, building courage, right? It’s a whole experience, you know, laying down, integrating it with breathwork, like a breathwork, you know, somatic experience that will be, you know, some sort of breakthrough for people. 

25:05 Marly Q

I’m so excited! 

25:06 Michelle Villalobos

That’s what I want to do, and the way I see it connecting with everything is, you know, people come in, they get the book, maybe they come to my live experience. And together, you know, the call to action is essentially if you want to lead your own groups and experiences and workshops and what I’m doing, I lead retreats, I lead this half day thing, I lead a group of people for you know, in a group coaching program, a mastermind, if you want to lead a community, create a culture of people doing something together then I can help you do that let’s have a conversation. So that’s the, that’s how it all ties together now. 

25:41 Marly Q

Oh, the alignment is beautiful. The alignment shines. I love it, friends. I will link everything in this episode’s show notes. Michelle, thank you so much. So, so much for making Time to Be Kind, and thank you for all eternity. As many times as I can share it on as many stages as I can. Thank you for awakening my inner superstar and just being such a supporter and a light in my path and my journey. Thank you for making Time to Be Kind.

26:08 Michelle Villalobos

Thank you, Marly.


I know you found that conversation just as inspiring as I did. And I want to leave you with this quote straight from Michelle’s book in case that it resonates with you. “Her heart whispered, it’s time to let go. And her mind shot back. Why? All we need is in this nest. But I want to fly.” If you want to fly too, then I invite you to visit marlyq.com forward slash this Episode number to get all the links to connect with Michelle, check out her book, and to share it. And I also wanna make sure to invite you to join our Kind QREW. Over 300 people have already said yes to being a part of our worldwide community of people who perform acts of random kindness. And I hope that that includes you. Again, easily find the link to join our private Facebook group plus the links to connect with Michelle at marlyq.com forward slash this episode number. Thanks for making Time to Be Kind. See you next time.

Join our Kind QREW Free Private Facebook Group:  Click here to Join Now


LOUD about Kindness with Adrianna Foster

LOUD about Kindness

It’s time to get LOUD about kindness! In this short episode, Kindness Influencer and Podcast Host, Marly Q, spends time with 2x guest Adrianna Foster, Mexican singing sensation and founder of LOUD Women Nation, for an inspiring conversation about the power of authenticity and kindness.

Join our Kind QREW community – Click here

“Kindness disrupts the energy of fear and opens up flow for love, abundance and wealth.” ~ Adrianna Foster

Without a clear and compelling vision driving us forward, there will be no progress for mankind. In order to “be the change we wish to see in the world” we must first be able to envision that new world. A world where all humankind is responsible for upholding a standard of kindness towards ourselves, each other and the world we all share.

Listen to this Episode and…

  • Realize the importance and impact of authenticity.
  • Discover the #1 foundational tool for stepping into your authenticity, starting now! 
  • Be reminded of why (and how) kindness is your superpower!
  • Be inspired by the story of how one simple act of kindness, from a stranger in a bathroom at an event, changed someone’s life and created a powerful ripple effect.
  • Learn how kindness disrupts and shifts energy from fear to abundance. 
  • Leave feeling empowered to be “LOUD” and step into your authenticity.

If you want a spark of inspiration and the “secret formula” for experiencing greater levels of grace, love, happiness, abundance, and wealth – this is a must-watch/listen episode. Enjoy!

About Marly Q:

Kindness Influencer, Leadership Trainer, and Community-Builder on a mission to create a kinder world for over two decades. Through her podcast, she invites listeners to make “Time to Be Kind” each week to receive a spark of kindness, connection and community.

Connect with Marly Q:

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/MarlyQ
Instagram: https://instagram.com/MarlyQ
Facebook: https://facebook.com/theMarlyQ
YouTube: https://youtube.com/@MarlyQ
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarlyQ
TikTok: https://tiktok.com/@theMarlyQ

About Our Guest:

Adrianna Foster is an Authenticity Architect who specializes in supporting women in stepping into empowerment and building a life based on Authenticity through her philosophy of being LOUD: Loving, Open, Unapologetic, and Deserving. She does this through hypnotherapy, public speaking, experiential trainings, and her one-of-a-kind motivational concerts – “Foster Nights” –  where she fuses music and consciousness to inspire transformational growth. Adrianna is the founder of LOUD Women Nation, a uniquely curated Immersive membership program dedicated to educate, empower and inspire women through the power of Authenticity. With over 17 years in the music and personal development worlds, she’s worked with thousands of people, guiding them in their own unique journeys back to truth, authenticity, and freedom.

Connect with Adrianna Foster

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adriannafosteroficial
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/loudwomennation
Website: www.loudwomennation.com

Other Links:

Join our Kind QREW Free Private Facebook Group: https://facebook.com/groups/kindqrew
Join our Kind QREW+ Paid Membership: https://marlyq.com/kind-qrew
Programs & Courses: https://marlyq.com/programs
Marly Q Speaking, Training & Retreats: https://sparkcsr.com
Listen to Marly Q TEDx Talk “Kindness is your Superpower”: ​​https://bit.ly/MarlyQTEDxTalk

Other Episodes you’ll enjoy:

EP 04:  Why Smile? with Adrianna Foster
EP 35:  The King of Kindness with Patrick Morris
EP 32: Let’s Start with Why (and How)



00:00 Marly Q

Let’s get LOUD about kindness. Just in case you thought I was quoting J.Lo here, I’m not. But I am quoting another internationally known singer who empowers women to be LOUD. And she’s making Time to Be Kind with us today for a second time. Let’s listen.

00:30 Marly Q

Hello and thank you for making Time to Be Kind with Marly Q and our special guest today, this PARKer is an internationally known singer, she’s a star. You may remember her from Mexico’s La Voz or The Voice singing competition, but you may also remember her from Season 1, Episode 4 of Time to Be Kind with Marly Q. Welcome back to the show, Adrianna Foster.

00:52 Adrianna Foster

Yay! Thank you so much, Marly. I’m so happy to be here. I love the space that you’ve created. And I’m so, so honored to be here.

01:02 Marly Q

Oh my goodness, talking about the space we’ve created. Do you remember our first episode, our first, you know, interview together? It was Episode 4. I just gotten started. I was so scared to put my voice like out there into the world. Do you remember this?

01:16 Adrianna Foster

I do. I do and I am so proud of you. Every time I see you, how much you’ve grown and especially the way that you serve, Marly, that’s, that’s awesome. I’m very proud of you. How, how dedicated and intentional you are of really spreading kindness and serving through your voice. That’s beautiful to watch.

01:36 Marly Q

Oh, I love it. Can we take it back just for our PARKers listening, just in case you’re new to my world, that this is your first time listening to Time to Be Kind of Marly Q or connecting with me. Adrianna, can you tell our PARKers listening? What’s a PARKer? Or, who’s a PARKer? 

1:49 Adrianna Foster

Yes. So first of all, most important PARKer is your beautiful son. But I love that you name him like that. It’s like awesome. But a PARKer is a person that Performs Acts of Random Kindness, which I feel that acronym is just beautiful. 

02:07 Marly Q

Thank you. I really do think it’s part of our identity, right? And part of the call to action here with the podcast is to unite our community of PARKers. You’re out there, people that Perform Acts of Random Kindness. You are out there. What we need is to come together to build this community so that together PARK by PARK, right? We can create the shift that I believe this world desperately needs. A shift to one that is more kind than of service to one another. And you mentioned my son Jude PARKer, he’s turning five in July. And when we chose to name him Jude PARKer, PARKer as his name, my husband laughed at me. He’s like, you’re naming your kid an acronym. And I’m like, yes.

02:47 Adrianna Foster

I love it.

02:47 Marly Q

Yes. Yes, I am.

02:49 Adrianna Foster

Because you’re the queen of acronyms too. Like everybody knows that Marly is a queen of acronyms. Of course, your son had to have an acronym.

02:57 Marly Q

No, and also really as a guiding like North Star, like as a parent if I teach my kids anything, I have two kids now. I had a pandemic baby now, so now there’s two of them. And if I teach my kids anything, it’s to know who they are. Right? And if you know that I am PARKer, I am a person that performs acts of random kindness. I think that, that North Star, you know, really serves to guide your identity, your behaviors, how you treat yourself, how you treat others. And I think if I only do that, I’ll do a good job as a mom. What do you think?

03:26 Adrianna Foster

I 100% agree. I couldn’t agree more.

03:30  Marly Q

I love it. You know, let’s take people back in case you haven’t heard, you know, Episode 4 and you don’t know kind of how Adrianna and I met. And how we sparked this beautiful, like over a decade long relationship now and all the beautiful projects and the motivational concerts and the things that we’ve been able to launch and work on together and support each other through kind of some dark and difficult times as well. Like how did it start? What was the spark of this beautiful relationship? Can you share?

03:56 Adrianna Foster

I love it. Of course. It’s one of my favorite stories to share because when I met you, Marly,

at a very low point in my life. I had just come back from Mexico from a failed attempt, which I do this because as we go through it, we’re going to understand that it was just perfectly right. It was what my soul needed. Air quotes failed attempt in my career and I was homeless. I had no money and a friend of mine gave me a ticket to go to this event. And then there were so many powerful women and where they were talking about branding and this and that and I just got super overwhelmed because I had nothing I didn’t even have money to buy lunch that day. So I go into the bathroom and I start crying and then suddenly here she comes beautiful Marly with her beautiful light and she saw me that I was crying and everybody else let me tell you everybody else went in and saw me but everybody else kind of like you know, mind their own business and left I felt it feel uncomfortable whatever but you did in Marly you did not I don’t know if you feel uncomfortable but if you did you work through it and you approach me and you said, are you okay? And your smile, your smile girl, that changed my day. And I can say, and I know this is gonna sound very, you know, cliche and whatever, but that literally gave a turn to my life because you totally shifted my perspective. We, you know, spoke a little bit. I felt the received, I feel like I had a friend in the audience that I was not rejected or, you know, seen as less than. And then that completely changed my energy. I came out and I made the most incredible connection. From then on, I started having, I had a job. Three months later, because of that job that I connected in that event, I had a house, I had a car, and everything just started sparking and happening for me. So that moment when you came into the bathroom and you smiled, it was just a turning point. And that is the reason why an act of random kindness can change someone’s life. Look, I’m in goosebumps right now. And we’ve had other situations where the same thing has happened. When I’ve been in my worst moments and God just puts you there, puts you there with your beautiful energy and you shifted my life a couple of times. So I’m just, I’m your fan. Marly, what can I say? 

06:04 Marly Q

I am receiving that fully. Thank you. I am your fan as well. And I love, you know, what you emphasized in that super simple story is the, that uncomfortable feeling. I walked into the bathroom and of course there’s, you know, discomfort at seeing another person in pain or crying or upset, right? I think there’s a natural human reaction to be like, oh my God, you know, what’s wrong? And should I say something? Should I, you know, interrupt? Should I just leave them alone? Is that what they need? I think it’s a very difficult thing, right? For, for, and someone that’s just at an event coming kind of in and out of the bathroom, do we want to deal with it? Do we want to like get wrapped up into a longer conversation? So, you know, actually even having kindness with the people that just kind of came and went, right? And noticing, because I did feel uncomfortable, I’m like, oh my goodness, like I just needed to, you know, use the restroom, right?

06:52 Adrianna Foster

Or is it because you were Emceeing that day?

06:54  Marly Q

I was Emceeing.

06:55 Adrianna Foster

You were like, you were even doing your past life event thing. So it was like a lot for you to take in.

07:01 Marly Q
No, but to really be able to see one another, to see another person right where they are and meet them there with kindness, with just presence, with a smile, with something as simple as that, has the power to be the spark and to create a shift in your energy in that moment.In your ability to even like be present and be like, oh, I was just in my mind about, you know, everything that I’m worried about that I don’t have that I lack that I’m overwhelmed that I’m anxious. Right, but this person in front of me, this present moment, this present spark of kindness, what I call the currency of kindness. If you received it, which you did, and we exchanged this currency of kindness, put you in a state, in an emotional state of feeling better right away. And that’s why I call it a superpower of kindness because you went from a place of like, I am crying. I feel like crap. Nobody sees me. I don’t belong at this event to somebody just saw me. Maybe I do belong here. Let me take a breath. Let me smile, wipe off my tears and get back in there. And now you’re in a better state to receive the gifts and the kindness and the quote currency or business that was available there for you to receive. Right?

08:13 Adrianna Foster

The currency of kindness shifted my perspective in that moment in my energy to abundance from fear to abundance and to knowing that I deserved, like you said, being there. And that was not only in that moment, Marly. That created a pivot, right? That persisted after that in many other instances as well. So this is what you do. You bring in, you shift, you disrupt a pattern of energy with kindness. This is what kindness does as well. Disrupts the energy of fear, lack, anger, just poof kindness stops that flow and opens up a flow for love and abundance, and wealth. That’s kindness and that’s Marly Q. In-person.

09:00 Marly Q

Yeah, I love it. So let’s get LOUD about kindness. I love it. Let’s get LOUD about kindness. Friends, I haven’t even told you. I don’t really read bios here too much, but I want you to know that Adrianna, on top of being an internationally known singer and an amazing gifted voice at that, who sang at my 5K PARK Fest, who has sang at my MANkind Summit last year, even though she was in Mexico doing her own concert. She did a zoom-in and sang at my first virtual event. I mean, there’s just so much that I can go on and on, you know, about the singing, but Adrianna does so much more than be a singer, right? She’s an authenticity architect and she’s going to talk to us about what the heck an authenticity architect is, right? But she’s also a public speaker. She’s a hypnotherapist. She’s a corporate trainer. And she’s founded the LOUD Women Nation. And I want you to talk to us about LOUD Women and how we can get LOUD about kindness, because you’ve been working at this for a while, right? Like you said, it wasn’t just a pivot, it’s like this ripple effect that has happened and I’ve loved observing your growth, right? And your continued building of all of your gifts. So could you tell us about LOUD Women Nation and what your awesome acronym for LOUD stands for? 

10:12 Adrianna Foster

Yes, thank you so much. I’m so excited. I have so much to say. Thank you for giving me this space. So LOUD Women Nation is, I have to say, it’s my dream come true. And Like you said, it was not born from a spark of an idea. It was born from a mountain of different eras of my life and different opportunities that I had to really become authentic myself and to have a one-on-one experience with the process of people becoming authentic. Authenticity for me, I think it’s, you know, in my personal life, authenticity has been the missing piece that I had for many, many, many years. I built a career, a life, personal, professional, based on inauthenticity for many years. And when it finally erupted and exploded in my face, I realized that, that missing piece, that lack that I felt was the connection with my own truth. And that’s when I was able to realize the importance of authenticity and how it is, at least I believe it is the core for everything that we wanna build in our lives, whether it’s a career, a relationship, anything. We get to be authentic. And when we show up in our authenticity, we not only serve at a greater purpose and in a greater capacity. But we also experience a greater level of grace, love, happiness, abundance, and wealth. It’s the formula, right? For everything that you want. So throughout my life, like you said, I’ve been a professional singer. I’m a professional clinical hypnotherapist. I’ve been doing one-on-one sessions for more than 10 years now. I work with people. What I do is that I teach people how to unblock their unconscious beliefs or their toxic self-worth systems that they learn in their childhood and step into the truth, which allows them to build a healthy life and make choices to design their lives. So this is how the term authenticity architects started coming up, because this is what I do. I teach people how to design and build a life that fits for them, right? Kind of like when somebody tailor’s a dress just for you, like designs a dress just for you, that you wear and you’re like, oh my God, this feels so great. That’s exactly how life can be. And I truly a thousand percent believe it. I’ve experienced it. I’ve seen it. So LOUD Woman Nation was born last year. Because I went to La Voz in Mexico and I had a wonderful incredible time. It was three months of fully immersing myself in what I, one of the things that I love to do the most, which is singing, and not only that but also serving my community, helping other participants there and and watching, right, watching people with so many dreams, be courageous, be vulnerable and step into their voice and share themselves LOUDly, it was just a beautiful, beautiful experience. And it was a little bit of a refresher, right, from my one-on-one clients all this stuff. So when I came back, I just woke up one day in the morning and I said, listen, I need to create a space where I can put all my gifts together. I felt a little scatter. I feel like I’m doing motivational concerts here, mastermind here, one-on-one clients, audios, music, blah, blah, blah. Why can’t I build one place where I can put everything together? I can pull all my energy, my soul, myself into it and serve women into stepping into their authenticity and a place also where we can connect, Marly, where we can find these spark moments like you and I had in the bathroom that we don’t have to go to public bathrooms and events to find these type of spark in between women, women that are going through the same thing, women that want to support you in your path, that want to witness you in your path, and they can also support you in your business, in your relationship, and a very authentic, organic networking platform. So that’s when I decided to create LOUD Women Nation. For me, LOUD Women Nation is a collective of liberated women living life in full authenticity, where they can find all the tools they need to learn how to break their silence, their toxic self-worth systems, regain, reconnect with the purpose of life, which is their truth, their voice, and learn how to express it LOUD, how to show up in full authenticity and learn how to step into this beautiful space of being LOUD, which is also an acronym that means-

14:16 Marly Q

Tell me, tell me! 

14:17 Adrianna Foster

Loving, Open, Unapologetic, and Deserving. Learning what true love, unconditional love is, and the act of love that it is to accept yourself fully, to be open to seeing yourself in different spaces that you’ve never even thought that you were possibly, that you could possibly step into, to be unapologetic about your gifts and share them with grace, knowing that every time you share yourself, you serve and deserving to know how to receive, how to contain and create wealth and receive all the beautiful miracles and abundance at the world and life has for you. Once you step into those four qualities, your life will take place the way that you truly desire. So that’s LOUD Women Nation. 

15:02 Marly Q

In authenticity, let’s get LOUD. I love it. So I feel that I’ve been on this journey myself of really tapping into the power of my voice. I mean, I’ve been a speaker for a very long time and an Emcee and I get in front of people all the time, but really the podcast really put me out of my comfort zone because it’s just you and I here on this microphone, right? And there’s no script and there’s no like real like teaching or like it’s community building. And I really wanted to create this space for people to genuinely exchange this currency of kindness, of connection, of community and get LOUD about the importance and the value of kindness in our lives, kindness towards ourselves, each other, and this world that we share. Let’s get LOUD about that. Let’s be Loving towards ourselves, each other, and the world. That’s the L in LOUD. Let’s be Open to each other’s differences, right? And what makes us unique and our skills and what we all have to contribute. Let’s be Unapologetic about who you are and your gifts and what you have to bring to this world, right? And Deserving, knowing that you are deserving of all of it and you all by yourself are enough and have enough of a superpower of kindness in you to be as LOUD as you want and make the difference that you want in your home, in your work, in your community, out in the world, in whatever capacity is available to you. You can be the LOUDest you that you can be. And one thing that you say that I love is that there isn’t anything more powerful than a human being who shows up authentically and isn’t afraid or ashamed to be themselves. Can you talk to us about the relationship between authenticity and kindness?

16:36 Adrianna Foster

Absolutely. I feel like kindness is the number one tool that we can use to step into authenticity. We live in a society where both you know our environment, our parents, our peers, siblings, in the first seven years, eight years of our life of our childhood and society, they program us to be a certain thing that we might not wanna be. As we grow up, we start learning how to judge ourselves, how to tame our light, how to shrink so we don’t affect others or how to change who we are so we can belong. And those type of behaviors become very judgmental and it becomes a resistance towards our truth. I deal with people all the time that they come to me and they are super afraid to even say, what would they do if they had the complete freedom and their truth would not even hurt anybody around them? It’s like, I can’t even think about it, right? Because, or people that don’t even remember because we’re so separated from our truth based on our self-worth systems. And the way to step into our truth is to learn how to accept every single part of us, the good, the not so good, the not so pretty. And that requires kindness. Requires that element of acceptance where I’m not gonna judge myself. I’m going to see myself for who I am. I am going to accept my flaws, my mistakes, as well as see and recognize my strengths. And I am going to love every part of myself, every single part of myself. I’m going to love my pain. I’m going to love everything because I believe that there isn’t there isn’t anybody more powerful in this world than a man or a woman that is not afraid of who she is. Right. It’s not afraid of their truth. And I believe like Marianne Williamson says that we are very afraid of our light because in the past we were told that our light was not accepted, was not loved, or that it would disrupt systems or environments. So learning how to have kindness and how to see ourselves in a complete wholeness and love ourselves, that is the step number one to step into our truth. And once we step into our truth, we can build a life that serves that truth. We not only have the capacity, we not only deserve it, but it’s our birthright. To build a life that serves our truth. And that is where fulfillment comes in. So kindness is the element number one. We have to have that towards ourselves. And also that is how we learn how to see others for who they are, how to accept them, how to not take anything personal, and how to understand that when others come in a judgmental way or with anger, it’s because they have pain and they haven’t they haven’t looked at themselves the way that we might be looking at ourselves. They haven’t used kindness to step into authenticity. Make sense?

19:21 Marly Q

Absolutely It makes sense to you. I’m just here like nodding. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Everything you’re saying because I really believe that when we and that’s why I named my kid PARKer to go back to that is because when we understand that that’s our identity. Once you understand who you are, I am kindness. I am MANkind. We are one humankind. Once you understand that’s your identity or standard of being with one another, then it’s really easy to check in and be like, are we being authentic with that or not, it’s very easy to define are we being is that kind or not kind? Right? It’s elementary. That’s why it’s so simple. That’s why children can understand this. And that’s why it’s so important to teach children about kindness. Because once you identify that that is at the core of who I am, then it’s very easy to step into authenticity and not have that judgment, right? Or that self-criticism or that talk, right? Or the limiting beliefs. It’s it really is the foundation and step one. So I love that you are emphasizing that for us today because I totally believe it. And that’s why I think we need to get LOUD about kindness and why you know we’re doing this podcast and why I have overcome many self-limiting beliefs and doubts and self you know all of that, in order to be able to step behind this mic and come back and do it again and keep doing it until you know I feel that I have fulfilled my purpose and calling in life, which is to be the spark of kindness, connection, and community. Thank you so much for being a part of this movement of my Kind QREW from the beginning. I’m so grateful for the invitation to be a part of your LOUD Women Nation as you’re getting it started. And I’d love for you to share with our PARKers listening, how can we connect? How can we learn more about LOUD Women Nation and sign up? 

21:03 Adrianna Foster

If you go to loudwomennation.com, you’re gonna find all the information. We have three tiers of memberships, depending on the commitment that every person is ready to do. And I’m constantly doing different types of events, different types of free seminars around authenticity to also educate and bring value, and to teach women that they have the power to build the life that they want. All they have to do is be kind to themselves, accept themselves for who they are, and really also adding this space of like, it’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to not be perfect. That’s also being authentic. That’s also being kind to yourself, knowing like, you know what, today I messed up, I made a mistake or I’m not feeling it. It’s okay. Once you are able to connect with your truth, you can regain your power and your graceful power, right? Gracefully because power doesn’t come from rejecting other people. Power doesn’t come from guarding yourself, from closing and stopping yourself from being vulnerable. Power is vulnerability. Power is courage. That is the graceful feminine and this is what LOUD Women Nation is here to teach. So, loudwomennation.com, you can find all the information and I would love to have you there. Yay, I would love to see you.

22:18  Marly Q

Thank you so much for inviting our PARKers. Thank you for making this Time to Be Kind with me again and our PARKers listening. I hope that you continue to answer the call every time I knock on the door and say, hey, you want to make some Time to Be Kind?

22:31 Adrianna Foster

Every time. My heart is always open for you, Marly. And thank you for inviting me. Thank you for wanting to share my voice and for being an advocate of authenticity and LOUD Women Nation. And most importantly, thank you for the work that you do because the world needs more you, world needs a lot of kindness. And especially right now, what you are doing is specifically what human needs, what human beings need. So thank you. Thank you for having the courage to share your voice and be kind to us. 

23:01 Marly Q

Ah, thank you so much. I received that and thank you PARKers listening, for being part of this movement and being the PARKers and the change that we all wish to see in this world. Thank you so much, Adrianna. 


So what do you say? Let’s get LOUD about kindness? I hope you found this episode as inspiring as I did. Make sure you join our Kind QREW and be the spark of some great conversations over on our private Facebook page. If you haven’t joined us yet, we have over 300 beautiful, kind-minded people that engage in our private group. So join the party! You can find the link in our show notes. Just visit marlyQ.com forward slash this episode number. So whatever number this episode is, you can easily find the transcription, the show notes, the links to connect with Adrianna and LOUD Women Nation at MarlyQ.com forward slash this episode number. Thanks again for making Time to Be Kind. See you next time.

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