Kindness Elevates Wellness with Carla Hill
We made it to our 50th episode of “Time to be Kind with Marly Q”! Helping us celebrate is a remarkable celebrity guest whose resilience and grace amidst adversity exemplifies how kindness can be a powerful wellness tool! Join Podcast Host and Kindness Influencer, Marly Q and Carla Hill – TV host, model, actor, kidney transplant warrior, and an awe-inspiring three-time cancer survivor known as the “Brstlss Beauty”, for a testament to the transformative power of kindness. In this brief, vulnerable and powerful conversation, Carla shares a bit of her rollercoaster health journey and life-altering decision to live breastless (and proud) in a society focused on aesthetics. Her story of becoming a “late” actor and TV host will inspire you and remind you that it’s never too late to pursue your dreams and spread kindness along the way!
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“Kindness is the wellspring of wellness.” ~ Marly Q Casanova
Listen to this Episode and Learn…
- Discover how we can utilize kindness as a central component in our health & wellness journey.
- Understand the importance of reframing internal conversations and being kind to yourself.
- Learn how personal trials and tribulations can increase empathy and sensitivity towards others’ struggles.
- See the impact of having a supportive network and access to resources on mental health and well-being.
- See how one can radiate grace, courage, and a relentless zest for life despite harrowing experiences.
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: Marly Q Casanovahttps://linkedin.com/in/MarlyQ
About Our Guest:
Carla Hill is a TV host, model, and actor who has overcome immense challenges with resilience and grace. As a three-time cancer survivor and kidney transplant warrior, she is known as the “Brstlss Beauty” for her empowering decision to live breastless and proud. Carla’s inspiring story of courage and determination serves as a reminder that it’s never too late to pursue dreams and spread kindness along the way. Her journey as a late bloomer in the acting and hosting industry inspires others to embrace their passions and make a positive impact.
Connect with Carla Hill
Facebook: Carla Codallo Hill
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
Marly Q 00:00:00
You never know what someone is going through. So be kind always. Now, I’m sure you’ve probably heard this quote or have seen this meme, but in day to day life, that can be harder than it sounds. So in today’s episode, I’ve got a special friend and celebrity guest to remind us all about the power that kindness has to elevate our wellness. No matter what you’re going through.
Hello and welcome. Thank you for making Time to Be Kind with Marly Q. Today, I have such a special guest to introduce you to. She is a celebrity friends. Okay? She’s a TV host, an actor, a model. She’s the founder and the face of Breathless beauty Ventures. And most of all, she’s a PARKer. Welcome to the show.
Carla Hill 00:00:54
Hey, Marly Q. Thank you so much. I just have to say that podcasts were made for you. What an honor to see your growth as the birthing of PARKing and then now this venue that you’re bringing it to. So thanks for calling me up. It’s so great to see you.
Marly Q 00:01:11
Oh, my goodness. I’m so happy and I’m so grateful to have friends like you who I just say, hey, do you want to make Time to Be Kind with me? And you’re like, all right, sure. What are you going to talk about? I’m like, Anything that comes out of your mouth is inspirational. So thank you for parking this time. And for those friends who are listening right now who may be new to my world, this is the first time that you are making Time to Be Kind with Marly Q. Or maybe you have before, but you forgot. Can you please tell those listening what’s.
Carla Hill 00:01:36
A PARKer people doing or acting random Acts of kindness?
Marly Q 00:01:41
Yes. You almost got it. You almost got it. Interestingly enough, the word that you forgot is, like, what you do. It’s performing a random kindness. So you’re a PARKer. Even if you forgot my acronym, it’s all good. That’s why I’m here to remind you each and every week out there, I will make this word land in the dictionary one day because you’re going to learn the lingo. So a PARKer is a person that performs acts of random kindness.
Carla Hill 00:02:07
That is you. That is me.
Marly Q 00:02:08
That is you listening. Right. And that’s all of we coming together each and every week to kind of park this time and just make Time to Be Kind to ourselves in each other and be inspired by the power that kindness has in our lives today. Specifically, I wanted to talk about how kindness is a driving force in our wellness. Right. Could you share with us a little bit about your health journey? Because I know that your health journey has really inspired and informed a lot of the work that you do.
Carla Hill 00:02:37
Sure, Marly. My health journey is a whirlwind. The joke I have with my doctors is that I should have been like one of the Pink Ladies in Greece, like, smoking in the bathroom and doing all those bad things because we don’t have a lot of time. I will say that my first health journey was a kidney transplant in 2000. And you’d think that that would be enough. We have some major some break a major limb or something. But then in 2005 and 2007, I was diagnosed with breast cancer each time and with each of those diagnosis, I chose mastectomy. So since about 2007, I’ve been living breastless, hence my moniker on social media, breastless Beauty, the Breastless, Brstlss. No vowels in the breastless because I have none. But I love that. So now, that was prior to social media. And I consider myself one of the pioneers that was out there before anyone ever knew about making the choice of not getting reconstruction. Living in a town like Miami, where the perception is that it’s all about the aesthetic. It was a tough one for me to make. Chemo took my hair, and I’ve been wearing it pretty short because I found a lot of strength in the people that I kind of looked up to when I was a teenager, like Grace Jones and her embracing her look and just owning it. Right. And then later on in life, I had some heart failure as well as another bout of cancer just as recent as 2020. And those things are probably due to some of the medications that I’ve taken over the years. So, yeah, you would look at me. I went to a doctor appointment today and the doctor said, wow, you’ve really gone through it, but you look great. How do you feel? And I said, I feel good. I feel great. And that really is the attitude that has pushed me along, even when because as someone going through a health journey, as I call it, I am nearly three years in remission of the bladder cancer. And certainly yay, celebrating that.
Marly Q 00:04:57
Carla Hill 00:04:58
And certainly many years cancer free from the breast cancer. And my kidney is 23 years old, still kicking it. I just came back from a blissful Trinidad and Tobago carnival where I pretty much did like, literally 30,000 steps. Not altogether, but two days each. So I thank my body and I really was like, wow, look at what you did. And I have tried to reframe the language that I tell myself, because not only do we need to be kind to others, we have to be kind to ourselves.
Marly Q 00:05:32
Yes. And on that beautiful point, how has kindness played a role in your wellness? Right? Because, I mean, we’re talking friends to someone who has experienced not just a kidney transplant, a three time cancer survivor, all these health challenges, right, that can make anyone feel kind of bad, kind of crampy. Be in a rut, right? Be like, whoa, is me, why me? Right? I should have been doing bad and smoking and doing stuff. Look at, you know, the cards have been dealt, right? We can be easily in that space, I feel. Right. So even when how does kindness play a role in elevating your wellness? Even when you’re, when you’re not physically well, right. What role does kindness play in elevating how you feel?
Carla Hill 00:06:17
I will reiterate to anyone that might be watching or listening to us that it was many years ago with my first cancer diagnosis in 2005, when I did have to do chemotherapy. And remember, the doctors had to juggle many things. I had this kidney transplant, we needed to do chemo. It was a very tender situation. But I’ll never forget, I mean, it was the early two thousand s. And my surgeon, my oncological surgeon, Dr. Frederick Moffatt, he said one of the first things wasn’t get this medicine, do this. He said, I really need you to be with me up here. And he talked about my attitude. Going through the whole thing would make a difference of how I survived, really. And I don’t want to come across as being self righteous that I’m just miss Pollyanna all day long. I do give myself space to have those feelings. And in the beginning, those feelings of mourning. I’m mourning my body, losing hair, losing a breast, or whatever the loss is for you. I think it’s important that people feel those feelings. And for a long time I would feel that I had to be this indestructible kind of person. And as I’ve gotten older, I realized that I’m not doing myself any service. So I am able to have those feelings. But at the same time, I really have worked years and I’m still working on reframing and being kind to myself when I wake up in the morning, instead of saying, oh my God, you look gross. How can I reframe that? Because I’m here. And that’s important to remind myself that I’m here. Even on the worst day, I’m here.
Marly Q 00:08:10
And that’s worth a smile. I am here. Right. And having that perspective because of your experience, your lived experience, how does that play into your ability to be kind and empathetic with other people? Right. Like we started this episode with you never know what someone is going through. Right. So you having experienced these moments where maybe you could have show up as your best, right. And maybe in a work setting, either receiving empathy or not receiving empathy. Do you want to speak to that a little bit?
Carla Hill 00:08:37
Absolutely. Certainly the things that I’ve gone through have made me much more sensitive to others and what they may be going through. Because you just don’t know if you’ve ever been in a grocery store and you hear a child crying or someone might instantly say, oh gosh, that child’s being a brat or being bratty, but think about what that child language? What do they have to express themselves? So I’m almost like cheering them on, like, yeah, get it out, do what.
Marly Q 00:09:13
You need to do.
Carla Hill 00:09:15
Because they don’t have the language that we do, nor do they have the barriers, right? We get up, we get older, and we establish these barriers of not having our true feelings. When I think about days when I would walk into work or someone might have been short with me, there’s a difference between being rude and short with a person and then being short, and it being totally out of character for them. I am more sympathetic toward people having this other life that we don’t know and we don’t see. So I’m absolutely much more sensitive to those who may be in a parking lot and they park the car crazy, but not because they’re a jerk. But maybe it’s just one of those days. And I quietly forgive them. I quietly forgive them.
Marly Q 00:10:08
How do you think you remind yourself, right? Because I really think this is important and it sounds simple, but really is about that internal conversation, right? And flipping that critical, judgment, mean voice and that we constantly have about everything, basically, that’s going on outside. Unless you have a practice of pausing, is it a pause for you? How do you remember to not be like, oh God, this dumb person can just ruin my how do you remember.
Carla Hill 00:10:37
Do you know, to consider the other person? My mom told me a story. My parents came to this country from Trinidad and Tobago in the early seventy s. And it was hard for her. It wasn’t there since divorce. They were these young kids and she had this baby, and she said that sometimes she would feel like she was losing her mind and she would have empathy toward the woman on the street, the bag lady, let’s say. And she would say and I would laugh at her. And I’m like, Mom, I’m a kid. She’s telling me I could have just been the bag lady. And I’m like, mom, get out of here. But if you don’t have a support team, if you don’t have someone that you know that you can rely on, that is validating who you are, validating your feelings, yeah, of course you could go insane because you feel that it’s just happening to you. And what I am grateful about for the 21st century is that we’re learning more and more. We’re not the only ones. There are so many more people are going through the same thing. And the good part about social media is providing resources like you’re providing here, Marly. But also that now think about in 2007 when I had no breasts and chose to live without reconstruction. I had no one. I just sort of had to be this, like, fashion maven, I guess, making up things to help me look comfortable to help me fit in and be normal. But now that I’m older, I mean, forget it. My fashion sense is like, look, see.
Marly Q 00:12:27
That because, friends, I know we’re focused here on this health journey, and that can get a little heavy. But listen, Carla is so multifaceted in all these beautiful ways. Actually, she’s been in love with the arts since first starring as Mary in her elementary school, like, Nativity Christmas play. Okay. And she went to New World School of the Arts here in Miami, Florida. She’s continued, like, developing this love for arts and entertainment through all of her work, and now she’s working as the host of the health channels. Hope is here. She’s a national television presenter for PBS. An actor and a model, people. Yeah. So sometimes you see all this outward success, and you see these extravagant, like, fashion. I mean, Carla’s super fun, right? And we could judge. We could think that we know what her life might be like. Oh, she must be so lucky, right, to be in the spotlight and do the thing, and you just don’t know what she’s had to overcome to get there, how hard some days are to put a smile on your face and do the thing anyways, right. You know that struggle. Right. Something else I want to brag about here with Carla is that she’s received many awards and recognition, including Women of Strength, which was a campaign by Essence magazine and CoverGirl Cosmetics. Yeah. She was also named. She was given an award for women of distinction from the Miami Dade County Black Affairs Council. And I can go on and on and on, right? And when she’s not working as a model and an actor and a TV host, she’s probably serving, like, the arts community, doing some awesome projects that have to do with empowering young people with the arts, I would assume. Or she’s planning her next carnival vacation with Marlin Hill, who P-S-I interviewed back in season one, episode 15. I will link it in the show notes because it was a wonderful conversation, and I love the two of you so much, but I don’t want to take this time to talk about Marlin. He had his own episode talking about you. Can you tell us what was the spark for your interest in the arts and arts education?
Carla Hill 00:14:30
Well, I’ve always loved the arts. I was born in the time of variety shows. My mom there is a photo of me somewhere with a brush, and I’m wanting to be a TV talk show host. So fast forward. I went to college, and I pursued an English degree because, again, these perceptions of what we’re supposed to do, we’re supposed to go to college, we’re supposed to get a job and all these other things. And I really didn’t start in TV until I was probably 40, so I started late. And then course, the tape recorder plays in my head about, oh, you’re too old, you don’t have any breasts, blah, blah, blah. And I really feel that I manifested this. I’ve always loved TV and the notion of TV presenting. It started with the beautiful Alison Hennessy, who was a TV presenter in Trinidad and Tobago. She was smart and I wanted to be like her. And I have a supportive husband who you just mentioned, Marlin. And one day he just said, well, let’s just try it. Let’s do the right thing, get the right headshot, and let’s start looking for opportunities. So one thing led to another and I started hosting locally for PBS. And then they asked me to do some national things. And of late, this is my second season as the host of Hope Is Here, which is totally up your alley. Marly q talk about parking? And it is on the Health Channel, which is an affiliate of PBS, and it can be seen on South Florida PBS at various times. But it is all about people who have had health issues, but their feeling of hope, helping them to carry on. And this is people my age. These are kids six years old. I just interviewed I think you were six or seven years old with a very rare form of cancer. But again, a dog called Doug the Pug, who I hear has 2 million followers. So I had like, a celebrity interview with Doug the Pug. I can put that on my resume. Good.
Marly Q 00:16:37
But I’ve never interviewed a dog. That’s fun.
Carla Hill 00:16:39
I’m going to think about diamonds, his humans. His humans. But it is about finding that thing that is going to help you get up the next day. I remember very distinctly, even before I was in television, people ask Centenarians, people that live I hope I’m saying that correctly, people that live into their hundreds, what is it that helps you to get there? And a lot of them just said you get up with the intention of doing something the next day. So honestly, I think of that, considering what I’ve been through, and I talk to these people who get up the next day with the intention of doing something or doing something for people. So that is what hope is here is all about. And it really is a show made for me because that has been my life for the past for, oh, my gosh, over probably almost 25 years.
Marly Q 00:17:33
I have my hairs on end. I have goosebumps. If you’re on YouTube, you could probably see them. My hair is on end because it really is just it’s been so beautiful. You and I have known each other for probably over a decade now. I’ve had the great pleasure of being able to work with you one on one back when I was planning large scale events pre pandemic times. And I’ve been able to witness you bringing kindness to yourself, kindness towards others, like in a professional setting, kindness towards the greater community, right? And being able to infuse just your life with the things that bring you joy, right? No matter what you’re going through, right? It’s never like the Woe is me card. It’s more of like the grateful card. I am here. I’m here, like, today, and I intend to be here tomorrow. And as long as I am here, I intend to shine and be yourself and share your beautiful smile and your love for fashion and the arts and all the things that you do. And you’re such an inspiration to me and to so many others. And I just really want to thank you for making the Time to Be Kind.
Carla Hill 00:18:36
Thank you. Thank you so much. Be kind to others and definitely be kind to yourself. Redo that tape in the head. It’s not always easy, but you can do it. You can catch yourself, be kind to others and be kind to yourself. Thank you, Marly Q for this opportunity. What a blessing this was today. So thank you, friends.
I know you found that conversation super inspiring. I am still smiling and lit up by it. If you’d like to connect with Carla, please visit our Show Notes page at MarlyQ.com forward slash this episode number. You’ll find all the links to connect with her on Instagram, follow her breastless beauty ventures, and also be able to find the information to watch. Hope is here. Thank you for making this Time to Be Kind with me. If you’re not part of my Kind QREW yet, what you waiting for? It’s over. The link is on my Show Notes page as well. Click to join our private Facebook group and we’d love to welcome you in. We have over 300 people in there already making Time to Be Kind. Kind and engaging after each and every week. Join us. Visit Marlyq.com this episode number thanks for making Time to Be Kind. See you next time.
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