What a confluence of events! Today is exactly 6 months since my first podcast, it is Thanksgiving, and it is Thursday – Attitude of Gratitude day, and our guest is my mentor, and the person who made this  podcast happen, Heather Parady!

I discovered Heather’s podcast several years ago and I was hooked – her smile, her upbeat approach, her honesty, willingness to be vulnerable, they were a magnet that just drew me in. When I mustered the courage to try podcasting, I reached out to Heather on Facebook and was met with the most gracious response.  After having worked with her personally for a half year as my business coach, my admiration for and appreciation of her personality and her talents have only grown.

Heather is dynamite exploding in a safe space. She is the host of the podcast: Unconventional Leaders. And a host of a LinkedIn show, Linked in Leaders, and a facilitator of the Podcasting Together Mastermind. And on top of all that she is the producer of Hope to Recharge!

One of the outstanding attributes that I noticed in Heather was her expression of gratitude. It is something that she believes in wholeheartedly and has proved to be an impetus to further growth in others and in herself.

Today I want to publicly thank Heather for all that she has done for me, holding my hand, trusting in me and believing in me, never giving up on me, for always showing up with a smile, for making it so simple for even none techies like me leading me. You didn’t say, ‘Oh, it’s not a big deal’; you came into my space of y fear and said, ‘Okay, let’s work this out.’ I want everyone to learn this from Heather. If you’re good at something, don’t minimize someone else’s difficulty with it.

“Matana, I want to say that you are a person that doesn’t just preach gratitude, but you live it. You make me feel your appreciation for everything – from the big to the minute. I constantly feel your gratefulness which only makes me want to show up in the best way I can. I always want to give my clients the best service, but when you make me feel your thankfulness, I want to do even more for you.”

When people share their challenges with me, the first thing I tell them is to start practicing gratitude. Yo can do it from anywhere in the world and it is absolutely free. And it works. Guaranteed. It’s not guaranteed it works out the way you want it to, but it works. It’s so sad to see how many people disregard it, when it is such a powerful tool. I think that some people are too scared to put their faith in it. Maybe they believe that it is too good to be true.

Heather believes that positivity and gratitude rewire a person’s brain. There has been a resurgence of the practice of mindfulness and thankfulness, but its origins are rooted in ancient history. I know that when I was in the mire of despair and I told my psychiatrist that I wanted meds to heal me, he told me that I needed to practice yoga, and gratitude if I really wanted to get well. Medication alone isn’t able to bring about a healthy state of mind.

Heather received her MA in mental health counseling. She was drawn to helping others regain their mental stability. While in school she was exposed to the phenomena of online space. She saw all the positive, value of podcasting to reach out to those in need.

“Not everybody has the ability to access a therapist but they can go online when they are in need and listen to podcasts, like Hope to Recharge, and get that support and validation. In the bleakness of a down they realize they are not alone, and gain the ability to live another day.

Although Heather has never announced her background in mental health, all of her clients and podcasts are related to it!

“When a person starts off in a podcast or business platform, they are really passionate and give it their all. But when it doesn’t get the type of response that they want it can be discouraging and they can say, ‘Why is this happening? It’s really good content.’ In order to keep going a person needs to practice gratitude. To train themselves to focus on the things that did work and express an appreciation for that, rather than focusing on what didn’t work out the way they wanted. This gratefulness creates positive energy which attracts more growth.

“If there is something that keeps coming up in your heart over and over again, really lean into it and execute it. If there’s something you want to do and you think, ’Oh, no, I don’t know enough, or ‘I’m not ready’, realize that action brings clarity. The more action you take, that road will be paved for you and you will see the next step, and the next step after that. Something greater is pulling us and guiding us . All we have to do is show up and trust.”

Gratitude is something that needs to be practiced. I know that for years I didn’t know how to do it. I needed to learn to appreciate the things in my life. When I was younger and traveled a great deal, I didn’t stop to be in the moment and appreciate the places I went to. Today I know to appreciate the feeling of just being well. To wake up and be present for the day that has dawned.

“If you want to see how to appreciate things, ask some of the little ones in your life,” Heather offers.  “They’ll cut through the facade and get down to the basics. ‘I’m happy for my family. For having my Mom.’ Then there is the next step of not just noticing the things we should be grateful for, but feeling the gratitude. Stopping and feeling the emotion.”

I want to take this opportunity to thank Heather for being in my life for the past 6 months; for the 2 years before that when we didn’t know each other personally; for being a role model in health, fitness, entrepreneurship and motherhood in a human kind of way. I’m so grateful that G-d put you in my life.

I want to bless you, Heather,  that just like you gave me so much joy and a sense of accomplishment from this podcast, may you continue to empower others to be the leaders in whatever they want to do, because everyone has a gift to give the world. To support others to become a leader and be their coach urging them, ‘You can do it!’.

Heather can be found on all online platforms under Heather Parody. Checkout her podcasts. They’re always interesting people and she gets to the story behind them.

Thank you everyone for joining us and showing up to celebrate this landmark day of 6 months of podcasting. It’s so phenomenal that it fell out on Thanksgiving Day and Heather was here to join in marking it. Thank you all for joining us in the journey of breaking the stigma, trying to stop the pain, gaining more clarity and finding the road to recovery.


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