Our Guests

We are supremely grateful to all our guests for sharing their time, perspectives and voices with us (and you)!

Here's a little about each of them.

Matt Ford

Matt Ford is Mara's life partner and the father of Flannery and Quinn. He is a licensed contractor in LA and has been building for over 20 years.

Matt is the type of contractor who is on the job getting his hands dirty. On both his commercial and residential jobs, he dives in with the crew and in his words, "Busts It Out". Prior to working in construction, Matt was an actor. His approach to both is honest, active and thorough. There is an aspect of the word yoga that means "force"--this man is a Force. 

Lindsey Walker

Lindsey Walker Therapy,

PLLC

Psychotherapist,

LMFT

Psychotherapy

& Couples Counseling

www.lindseywalker.com

 

 

Lindsey Walker is featured in Episode #10, “Wrinkles In Time”. Not only is she aging beautifully, she is a great therapist with lots of years of accumulated wisdom buoying her practice. If you’re in the Seattle area, you may be able to see her in person soon. Or talk to her remotely by contacting her for a zoom appointment.

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Elison Miller

Elison Miller is an amazing writer and spent many years producing in LA, which is where he lives.  

Right now, and in between tennis matches, he is working on a website for unpublished authors – a place where people can go to both read other unpublished authors and publish their own works.  Elison is Jennifer's guest in Episode 9. 

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Robert Birnberg

Robert Birnberg is Jennifer's guest in Episode 9. He is a very funny, highly regarded healer and educator.

For over 25 years he has used the tools of Positive Psychology,  Coaching, Yoga Therapy and Meridian Tapping to help hundreds of students heal the past, flourish in the present and manifest a rich, satisfying futureRobert combines years of studying the complete system of Yoga in the lineage of TKV Desikachar with his own personal experience to instruct and mentor Yoga Therapists in professional training programs in America and Australia. He also offers Positive Yoga Coaching for individuals wishing to create measurable improvements in any area of life, including physical and emotional well being, finding your calling, and finding/deepening a spiritual connection.

 

He is also offers Couples and Relationship Coaching, teaching single people how to recognize and connect with their perfect partner and  couples the communication skills essential for any relationship to to flourish. For over two decades, Robert operated the Breathing Space, a popular wellness centre in Silverlake,  Los Angeles, California, which also offered Ayurvedic Health Counseling with Eleni Tsikrikas, his wife, partner and inspiration. Now based in Sydney,  his Positive Yoga Coaching Centre in Paddington continues the work of  healing and educating students across the globe. Robert’s first book, ‘Why Yoga Works, and How It Can Work For You’ is a user-friendly introduction to the complete system of yoga and is available on Amazon. 

Ericka Kreutz

LA Based Actor & Photographer

Ericka features in Episode 8, "What's The Skinny?'

Mara met Ericka by happenstance 15 years ago. Ericka lived in Chicago, Mara lived in Seattle, and they met in Puerto Vallarta! Five years later, they ran into each other in Los Angeles...in a yoga class. They discovered that via a circuitous route including St. Louis and NYC, they had many mutual friends. And then they just kept running into each other--which doesn't happen in the third largest city in the world unless you live in the same neighborhood, know all the same people, and like the same the things. Mara and Ericka eventually realized there was a certain amount of kismet happening between them. They have worked on several inspiring projects together, including this one, AND the ongoing project of self-discovery! 

Emily Edgell, LCSW

Community Educator and Teen Outreach Program Specialist

Department of Child Health Outreach and Advocacy at St. Louis Children’s Hospital

 

Ms. Edgell is featured in Episode 7, “Let’s Talk About Sex”. She is a beautiful old soul. Mara and Emily actually grew up together in St. Louis, where Emily still resides with her family. They met as babies. As the story goes, Mara’s father was in desperate need of a babysitter and had heard Emily’s mom did that sort of thing a bit, so he literally rang her doorbell, dropped the baby (me!) in her arms and promised to return. That was the beginning of a lifelong sisterhood! And thank goodness for Emily’s gentle, rational parenting advice which has been solicited (by me!) many times off tape as well as on. 

He is Mara’s yoga teacher. She says: After my other longtime favorite yoga teacher retired, I was lucky to stumble upon Konstantin in the vast sea of yoga instructors in Los Angeles! I’m super particular about yoga instruction and extremely loyal if I find a good fit. I feel firmly that teachers should have teachers. So I feel very grateful to have him. Konstantin is currently teaching live zoom yoga classes 4 days a week. Contact Mara for more information.

Konstantin Epishin

Yoga Instructor, Los Angeles, CA

Konstantin Epishin is featured briefly in Episode 7, “Let’s Talk About Sex” (and referred to in several others). Konstantin is a diamond in the rough.

Shirley Davis

Jennifer's mom and featured in Episode 6, "Barefootin'". Shirley has always been a strong, independent woman.  She is mother to five of us, grandmother to nine, great-grandmother to 13.  When I was growing up, my friends always wanted my mom to be theirs. 

She is a fighter – if something is not right or unjust, she wants to correct it. She’s been a do-it-yourselfer all her life.   As a very young woman, when she wanted to learn to drive and my dad got impatient with her, she dropped him off at home, and drove off, teaching herself how to drive a manual transmission.  She had a long, successful career in real estate, and, in a then male dominated industry, she held high positions; was unafraid to speak up. She was appointed by the governor to the Ohio Real Estate Commission, and was the 3rd woman in 101 years to be president of the Cincinnati Board of Realtors. She won other prestigious awards,  helped the homeless and improved the industry overall.  She is the matriarch of our family, our moral compass, and our source of great, unconditional love. 

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Peter Fisher Hesed is featured in Episode 5, “Two Rams on a Bridge”. Mara’s Dad. Even though he is rather shy and very hesitant to talk about his family history, he agreed to share this recording. This is the little auto-quote that he has at the bottom of his email, and a truer word couldn’t be said of him:  “Cantare amantis est… Singing belongs to one who loves”  Saint Augustine of Hippo

Peter Fisher Hesed

Pastoral Associate / Director of Music / Composer

Saint Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church

St.Louis, MO

A painting of Peter Fisher Hesed

Carrie Miller, MA, LMFT

Couples, EMDR, Psychotherapy 

Kevin McCarthy

Rolfer and Somatic Trauma Therapist

Co-founders, Mend Therapy    

Minneapolis, MN

www.mendmn.com

Carrie and Kevin are featured in Episode 4, “Dishing It Out”. And they are real good at it! Not only do they speak their minds directly, intelligently, and with compassion--but they’ve managed to stay married for 12 years and still be happy about it! This power couple has something to teach all of us. If you would like to talk to either one of them more, they are currently practicing online. 

Joe Lupariello

 

 

For the past 20 years, he has been the owner and managing partner of The Havenhurst Group, a real estate development company specializing in property management and consultant services for clients who convert long-term rental properties into short-term, fully-furnished, rentals.  

Joe is a former television executive producer and development executive.  As an executive consultant and showrunner for two home design shows: “Merge With Lisa Rinna,” for Lifetime Network and “Before And After’noon Movies,” a series on USA Networks, he was able to combine his passion for real estate and design with his producing and talent relations expertise.  Lupariello also served as president of Leeza Gibbons Enterprises, a multi-media entertainment company, where he produced and developed projects and series for various networks including MTV, Lifetime, E! Entertainment Television, TNN, and Premiere Radio Network. Joe appears in Episode Three, "Die With Nothing".

Joe is currently a Real Estate Agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties located in Beverly Hills, California.

Carrie Miller and Kevin McCarthy
Joe Lupariello

Joseph Ferraro

Throughout his multi-faceted career, Joseph has served as an Executive Producer, Network Executive, Show Runner, and Writer with a history of developing and producing content that has been at the epicenter of pop culture.

 

Joseph has served as a development and original series programming executive for the MTV Entertainment Group, Bravo, Ryan Seacrest Productions, and the Oprah Winfrey Network.  Throughout his career, Joseph has produced some of the most iconic talked-about shows such as American Idol, The Biggest Loser, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise, MTV’s Behind the Music, VH1’s Divas Live, ABC’s Match Game, and The Rosie Show just to name a few.

 

As a television host and comedy writer, Joseph has written for such celebrities as Oprah Winfrey, Ryan Seacrest, Rosie O’Donnell, Alec Baldwin, Miley Cyrus, Andy Cohen, Gayle King, Martin Short, Ellen Degeneres, Kathy Griffin, Caroline Rhea, William Shatner, RuPaul and more.b Joseph appears in Episode Three, "Die With Nothing". 

With a lifelong commitment to meditation, yoga and mindfulness, Joseph Ferraro is the Original Programming and Development Lead at RoundGlass, a new lifestyle app/website that focuses on meditation, mindfulness and holistic wellbeing.

Sarah Lejeune

Sarah is a published author and accomplished artist - a deep and caring soul with a playful spirit. She appears in Episode Three - "Die With Nothing". 

Alison Maxwell

Alison appears in Episode Three, "Die With Nothing".  She's the one with the English accent. Alison worked in local government for many years.  She now prefers to go hiking, spend time playing tennis or enjoying her garden. 

Roberta Kass 

Roberta Kass is featured in Episode 3.  She was a corporate lawyer for 35 years.  Now, she’s busy training her Australian Shepherd puppy and figuring out how to get rid of stuff!

Felicity Hesed

Performer / Director / Filmmaker 

Circus and Theatre Arts

felicityhesed.com

@felicityhesed

 

Felicity Hesed is featured in Episode Two, "Compare-Despair". Felicity is Mara’s sister. And even though Mara is older and taller, Felicity has always been the powerhouse. It is a certain kind of person who moves across the country to go to clown school and then makes a career of hanging off a trapeze in a sparkly bikini. She is definitely someone we like, and of all our guests, she might be the most fun to follow on Instagram. Also check out her latest guerrilla theatre project in SF @circuspopups.

 

Nina is featured in Episode Two, "Compare-Despair." She's a beautiful soul and this comes through loud and clear in the sage advice she shares on our podcast. Especially if you're looking for gentle yoga or something outdoor in the Silverlake area, check her website. She also teaches yoga and meditation privately. 

Nina Snow

Yoga Teacher/Buddhist

ninasnowyoga.squarespace.com

Joe Ferraro
Sarah Lejeune
Alison Maxwell
Roberta Kass
Felicity Hesed
Nina Snow

Mrs. Amy Trevino

She's absolutely the best kindergarten teacher a kid (or a kid's parents) could hope for!

Featured in Episode One, "Lice, Lice Baby", Mrs Trevino has been a kindergarten teacher at Elysian Heights Magnet School since 2014.

Of herself, she says: "I love working with children. I also have a background in musical theatre which I use to up the fun factor for the kids at school. I've been married for 14 years and have one awesome 9 year old son." This woman ushered us all gracefully, amidst great distress and uncertainty into our distance-learning reality. If it is true that we learned everything we need to know in kindergarten, then she is truly a masterful teacher. 

Mrs Amy Trevino