Happy International Women's Day! In honour of International Women's Day, Fempower is releasing this special episode on the Powerful Women, the Mana Wahine, of Hawai'i and the Power of Land. This episode was recorded live onsite in Waikiki, Hawai'i and is a cumulation of Dr. Kraj's research and learning as a Fulbright Scholar on exchange. Dr. Kraj works with Indigenous communities, sustainability and community power for energy resilience. In this episode, Dr. Kraj speaks with Native Hawaiians Aunty Ku'uipo Kumukahi, an entertainer, award-winning recording artist and record producer, as well as an educator, social worker and administrator, currently the director of the Ho'okela Hawaiian Cultural Center at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, and Aunty Jennine Heleloa, director of the Hawaiian Music Perpetuation Society, founded by Aunty Ku'uipo. They discuss the power of land, the proper way to pronounce Hawaiian words, the importance of reciprocity in Hawaiian cultural values, and the deeper meaning of ALOHA. This powerful trio of women get to the depths of what is means to be part of a Matriarchial society, the Wahine (women) of Hawaii and the importance of reverence for the land and its people in the preservation and conservation of the land for future generations, and our need to Malama (take care of) the land. This episode is filled with golden nuggets of wisdom from Hawaiian values and teachings. And you'll get a treat of Hawaiian Pidgin language and get to know what the locals really think. Of course we talk about the Sustainability of this remote and sacred land, that energy is everything and the interconnectedness of it all; and Aunty Ku'uipo tells us about the power of poetry in preserving the land, the history of the place and its people and the protection of land rights - and how she set precedent in a court case using mele (song) and hula (dance) to make a case. The Mana Wahine of Hawaii remind us of how powerful we all can be, when we come together, as careholders of our land and resources:
"Give someone kuliana and you awaken their mana." -Twinkle Borgess, Wai'anae.
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On today’s episode, we talk about Joy, seeking joy, what happens when joy get interrupted by trauma and rewiring for joy in order to choose joy everyday. Today has been 1-year of “pandemic living” or lockdown and insecurity. The weight of which has left us all living with this collective trauma. Today’s guest is Keira Poulsen, the founder of the Awaken Podcast, is a mother to 5 amazing children. She is also an intuitive, energetic healer and creator. Keira is a spiritual entrepreneurship coach for Lightworkers, healers, change-makers and leaders. She helps women create their soul work and successful businesses derived from their gifts and purpose. Keira believes that now is the time that leaders are awakened and share their light with the world. She is also the founder of Freedom House Publishing Co. where she helps writers and thought leaders become published authors! At Freedom House, she focuses on liberating authors and readers with powerful messages of light!
Keira believes that we all have a deep purpose that the world needs. And when we connect up to The Divine and remember our own inner Divinity, we can create massive change in this world.
I hope you enjoy this episode and find ways that you too can rewire to find joy!
In this episode, we talk about:
In this episode we celebrate small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the people behind these businesses, the mom and pops, the CEOs, the people who are keeping our economy running during these incomprehensible times. Today’s guest is CEO Heidi Reimer Epp of Botanical Paperworks. Heidi and I originally sat down to record this episode about 10 months ago, in the early days of the pandemic. But, it couldn’t be timelier to release this episode today – when 10 months later we look back on all we have collectively gone through and reflect on the lessons learned. We need to pause and celebrate the CEO – the toughest job in an SME, the burdens we carry and the decisions we need to make to survive: as a company, as individuals and as families. The topics Heidi and I discuss and the wisdom that she shares are relevant today as we navigate this pandemic, still under lock-down in many areas, including mine. I hope that you may find some inspiration here.
BIO: HEIDI REIMER-EPP, CEO, BOTANICAL PAPERWORKS
Heidi Reimer-Epp turned her passion for sustainability into Botanical PaperWorks, an award-winning business guided by environmental sustainability and practices. The company manufactures and markets eco-friendly seed paper that grows into flowers, herbs and vegetables when planted in soil. As CEO and co-founder, Heidi has overseen company growth from the ground up (pun intended) as Botanical PaperWorks went from start-up to international success story. The company produces promotional products, wedding and memorial products and sustainable packaging for more than 40 countries around the world. Heidi is the co-author of three books and serves on several boards, both corporate and volunteer. As an early innovator in the green products arena, Heidi has been profiled in many publications including Fast Company, The Huffington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the National Post.
Skin care has become increasingly important to me over the last 5 years. Ever since my dear friend and colleague, Jenise Lee (fellow Engineer and Guest on the Fempower Podcast - check out her Episode), of Cert Clean started up her Clean Beauty certification company, I have been hyper-aware of what I'm putting on my skin, just as much as what I'm putting in my body or in my environment. Afterall, we are all so deeply connected to our ecosystem and polluting my body with toxins in an everyday routine just became out of the question! So ever since, I've been testing and preaching the value that clean beauty practices and products bring into our lives, the lives of our loved ones and our dear environment. And as we transition to living an even more sustainable lifestyle, it was a natural transition to make the leap to clean beauty. But here's the thing - what do you know about clean beauty? or clean beauty products? There just isn't enough word on the street (yet) about how great these products are - like really great. There are many out there, and I can't wait to tell you more about them, but today, let me tell you what I've been up to the last few months!
2. Hydrating Serum: as soon as winter hit here, I found my skin to be unsatisfyingly dry all the time, until I switched to using this serum. It did the job on a clean face. I did find that I had to follow up with the rose oil to add in extra moisture though. The serum absorbed well into my skin and didn't have a particular scent, just a very natural light finish to it. It's great for all skin types and contains hyaluronic acid and kelp extract and nourished with marine phytoplankton and protects with vitamin C and ectoin. I quickly finished up my sample, so it's one of those products that if you use every day, you'll quickly go through as it dispenses a penny sized amount in one press. Since I've run out, I haven't been using it and going straight to the facial oil. It does the trick, but it was a really nice combo to have the base serum and then the facial oil in my opinion!
3. Kelp Enzyme Mask: this has become a staple in my home facial treatment routine. I was a bit hesitant at first to try it, again worried that a thick clay mask would clog my pores - but I was totally wrong! This mask came out in a really nice thinner consistency, smooth and skin tone colour! It can have a subtle tingly effect, depending on if you exfoliate before masking or not. It didn't bother me at all and I have sensitive skin. I found that by using this mask with my facial routine that included exfoliation, I was able to heal an unintentional scratch that lead to a scab on my face (yes, very unsightly and annoying) in about 2-3 days. Before I used it the scab was healing slowly, but I had an idea to give it a try and it really helped to tighten up and rejuvenate the skin that was hurt. I think that the enzymes, mineralized sea kelp and mineral blend really helped to heal the skin. They also provided a sweet head wrap that made the process feel that much more luxurious from home! It's these small details that really showcase a brand.
So to summarize my routine, I clean my face with a cert-clean facial cleanser - one that I've talked about in previous posts and really love. Then I would apply the serum (when I had it) and then follow up with the rose facial oil. This lasted me all day. In the evenings I would follow a similar process and since I found the rose scent so relaxing, I'd use it at night as well. about 3-4 drops would work for my face. I've been doing this now for about 2 months. And the BIG NEWS IS, I've noticed that it has helped to lighten the "baby" marks I have on my face that I got with hormones from my first pregnancy. I didn't think it was possibly for them to be naturally lightened or removed. I proudly wear them anyways - after-all, nothing stronger than a Mother! But I have to admit, I have noticed that the rose oil is brightening up the marks. The bi-weekly to monthly facial routine is helping as well. If you are interested in learning more about my facial routine, leave me a comment below so I know you want to hear about it!
And the cherry on top of this note: 100% Biodegradable Packaging - not only in the box and stuffing it arrived in, but the hydrating serum and kelp enzyme mask are 100% biodegradable, including the lid! The ink is plant-based and good for the environment. And the packing peanuts are made from corn starch and dissolve under water. I didn't get a chance to make a video of it, since I have little ones and a pet that could eat it and I didn't want to take the chances of their lingering curiosity - but if you do order from them, be sure to try it out and tag me @dr.andreakraj and @moorspanatural and @certclean !
In the meantime, be sure you go check out this amazing Canadian Clean Beauty brand, Moor Spa, located in stunning Vancouver, B.C. Canada. Their products are naturally derived with foundation of pure organic Moor Mud sourced from Austria and are absolutely great for everybody - I did let my little ones play with it on their faces and they loved it. My husband was even curious and tried it out as well.
Rest assured, the products are certified by CertClean (www.certclean.com) - North America's leading certification for safer skincare.
You can find them at www.moorspa.com and when you go there, here's a little something for you from me!
Plus, tag me on social media at @dr.andreakraj on Instagram to show me your shining, glowing beautiful faces using clean beauty products! I'll be right there along side of you, cheering you on with my own products on!
Shine Bright, You are Brilliant and the Earth is Hiring!
@moorspanatural @dr.andreakraj @certclean #moorspanatural #moormud #naturalskincare #crueltyfree #biodegradable #ecofriendly #certclean #fempowerpodcast
Dr. Andrea Kraj reflects on the end of the year 2020, what kept her away from the mic until now and she picks two key words to sum up her take on the year, calling on all to continue to "Love Big Right Now".
On today’s episode, we talk about Love and Purpose. It is the season of love afterall, falling just days after St. Valentines Day. I reflect on what love means to me now and what we can make of St. Valentines Day to bring more love into our lives and the world. And somehow this all timely came together with our episode on the power of purpose. There’s a quote that I live by, and I share with you in this episode, about Love, falling in love and how this particular quote fell into my life at a pivotal time and has made all the difference. Today’s guest is fittingly a colleague of mine in the power industry as well!
Angella Rainford is the founder of Soleco and Rekamniar Frontier Ventures (“Rekamniar”). Rekamniar co-developed one of the largest solar plants in the Caribbean and the largest in Jamaica (51 MWp). Prior to this, Angella worked at Goldman Sachs in the Merchant Banking division (Principal Investment Area) in London and New York. Prior to joining Goldman, she worked as part of the portfolio team at Sterling Stamos, a private investment management firm specialized in alternative and multi-asset investment solutions. She began her career as a Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company in New York. Angella has served as an advisor to Helios Investment Partners, a $3.0 billion private equity fund based in London focused on investments in Africa. She is also served on the Board of Directors for GK Capital Management, the financial advisory and investment arm of the GraceKennedy Group, and currently is a Director of GK UK Foods and JN Money Services, a subsidiary of the Jamaica National Building Society. Angella holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge. She also graduated with a BA (magna cum laude) in Government from Harvard College. Angella has travelled to >70 countries and lived on 3 continents. She is a keen motorcyclist, classical pianist, and has her private pilot license. She has also climbed 3 of the 7 summits.
Angella is doing remarkable work in the solar industry in the Caribbean and it all stems from her deep connection to her own purpose. In this episode we talk about:
Hello 2020! We have been waiting for you! A fresh start to a new decade, a new year and a new you. Well, if not entirely a new you, a refreshed and high vibe version of you! Dr. Andrea Kraj gives her take and advice on the best way to elevate your life with tools and tips that are very practical, while explaining what "vibes" really are when you hear live a "high vibe" life or "good vibes" only from an energetic and scientific point of view, and how this merges in the realm of spirituality. Find out what she has "dived" into this new year and what she means about being bravely imperfect as you set off of elevate your life this year! Enjoy!
#fempower #elevate, #energy, #spirituality, #science, #physics, #fempowerpodcast, #entrepreneurship, #business, #women, #engineering
The Evolution of Social Media Strategy
A decade ago, I wasn’t so sure that social media would become a real career…at least not given the traditional career path I had taken. When I did start to hear about it as a job, I thought it would be short lived because it seemed so strange – why would you need anyone to post something about what you were doing or thinking online, and more so, why would anyone care to listen?! ….little did I anticipate how dependent we would all become on social media, the enabling power of technology to provide access whenever and however we wanted, and the complete bombardment of platforms available for us to use…so now, it makes complete sense…how else could we possibly keep up! I know because I have multiple platforms and various business and the diversity causes me to spread across all sort of methods of communication and it fascinates me! It even has forced me to find my own voice again and thought me to trust that rather than worry about keeping up with the algorithms or ad words or whatever promotion is changing in real time. It’s amazing that one can be fully empowered to launch a business completely on a platform (although I don’t advise that), but yes, it can happen. There is definitely an art and a science to using social media to effectively communicate your message and today’s episode is dedicated all to it. My friend and communication superstar, Alyson Shane, joins us on the show today to talk all about the ins and outs of communication and social platforms. It’s amazing that she’s been in the game so long, like one of the early adopter of blogging and to hear her story about her life and what lead her to it at such an early age is truly incredible and to see what she has made of it is even more remarkable. Enjoy today’s practical and enlightening episode and let me know when you start your blog too ?
Join my email list here: INSIDERS and you’ll find out why it’s important in today’s show!
Here’s a little more about Alyson:
Alyson Shane is a writer and business owner from Winnipeg with 17 years’ experience publishing content online. She owns two companies: a digital marketing company called Starling Social, and a start-up that automates social media promotion for events called HeyAlfa. A passionate communicator, Alyson serves as the Communications Director for TEDxWinnipeg and gives dozens of talks and workshops focused on marketing strategy each year. When not volunteering or working, you can typically find her gardening, riding her bike, or hammering away at her laptop over a pint of local craft beer.
Carmen Romero joins me on today’s episode to discuss how dance saved her life; in fact, it saved both of our lives and her daughter’s as well. Carmen, not only is my friend, but also my Flamenco teacher, and so much more. She continues to work as a brain rehabilitation therapist along her dance career. Her story is full of perseverance and passion in the face of tragedy with all the elements to fuel an authentic flamenco story and actually does inspire her performances. But Flamenco is more than that to her – it is her life philosophy. Carmen shares her life story with us and we discuss the importance of celebrating moments, the future of dance as our worlds become more automated with technology and how cross-training with dance has enhanced our professional skill sets in other disciplines; as well as the need to recognize how dance is undervalued in our society and what we need to do about it. I hope you feel the power of this episode and are just as inspired by it as I was, in your journey.
Here’s a little more about Carmen:
Carmen Romero is known for her powerful performances. The Toronto Star says, “she delivers flamenco with a raw immediacy that is far closer to the source than a lot of the theatrical Spanish dance passed off as authentic."
Compañía Carmen Romero is a flamenco dance and music collective based out of Toronto, Canada. Originally founded in 1986 by Carmen Romero as artistic director to Candela Flamenca.
Carmen Romero is of Spanish heritage and was raised in Canada. It is remarkable that she has developed a collective of dancers and musicians that went on to perform with the collective, in Europe the United States and Asia. The collective was then an ad hoc group of musicians and dancers who performed primarily at municipal and multicultural events. The collective produced three full-length theatrical flamenco productions: El Embrujo (The Bewitched) (1993), Flamenco Ayer y Hoy (Flamenco Yesterday and Today) (1997) and Carmen Complex (2003). El Embrujo. Flamenco de Ayer y Hoy premiered through Dance Works at the DuMaurier Theatre Centre, Toronto, then toured Canada the United States parts of Europe and Asia until 2002. The collective also created many smaller works such as Luna Llena (Full Moon) (1998), presented at fFIDA: this work competed in the 9th annual Certamen de Coreografía de Danza Española y Flamenco at the prestigious Teatro Albeniz in Madrid, Spain. During this event, Compañía Carmen Romero /CANADA was posted on their dressing room and since then the company was renamed Compañía Carmen Romero to reflect the milestone in the collective’s history as it was recognized as an international flamenco dance company representing Canada.
Dance International says, "The exclusive focus and depth of Romero’s commitment to the art of flamenco is not just understandable given her family heritage, but somehow fitting and more authentic. She truly belongs to the history of flamenco in a way not easily achieved by non-Spanish dancers."
Dr. Andrea Kraj