Welcome to the Find Your Voice, Change Your Life podcast. You will hear real-life stories from people who struggled to find their authentic voice.
I’m your host, Dr. Doreen Downing.
I interview people who share how they overcame their fears about stepping up and speaking out. They each offer tips and strategies that you can apply to your own journey to find your voice and change your life.
If you enjoy my podcast, be sure to subscribe and rate it on Apple Podcast or your favorite podcast platform.
Today, I interview Sheldon R.S. Crocker who grew up in a very, very small town in North Carolina. He was born with Arthrogryposis, which causes muscle atrophy and contractions at most joints. From birth he was challenged with not being able to walk. In order to become the inspiring speaker he is today, he has a story of abuse but also one of resilience and strength.
Today, I interview Melahni Ake who was born in Florida, but shortly afterwards her family moved to their hometown of Indianapolis where her grandparents had established a thriving church ministry. When her father suffered a sudden illness the family went back to Florida for his treatment, but he died quickly and they then returned to Indiana. Through all of these moves, Melahni had to learn to adapt quickly.
Today I interview Leanne Dorish, who says that people have always paid attention to her because of her height. She learned very early on that people were always watching. When she spoke, her stature sometimes led to people seeing her voice as too strong. She pulled back a bit and became a skilled listener.
Today, I interview Linda Bello-Ruiz who grew up in Redwood Valley, California, in a family of six children. Linda was blessed with great parents, but with a crowded household, she wanted to find her own way to stand out. She craved attention, so she often used her height and bright red hair to turn heads.
Today, I interview Michealene Cristini Risley who grew up in the midwest in an Italian Catholic family. From the start, she tells us that the pedestal men are put on in this culture makes women a little more hesitant to speak in their power. That, coupled with the typical idea that men leave the house but women must be married off, made Michealene want to rebel and live in her own way from a young age.
Today, I interview Lesley Nase who is the middle child of five children. Due to a large port wine birthmark across her face, her shyness would sometimes come forward. She remembers once being timid about walking past some kids, in fear of the stares. Her sweet and encouraging mother reminded her that her smile was the most important thing anyone could see.
Today, I interview Chris Salem who remembers being disappointed and hurt by his father. His dad wasn’t around much and didn’t give him the encouragement and praise he so longed for, and this lack of support dug a deep hole in Chris’s heart.
Today, I interview Kamala Murphey whose family was a fairly rigid system. Her father – who had at one point studied to become a priest but in the end, did not – was a strict perfectionist. He and his doting wife had high expectations of their two daughters, thrilled with the acclaim they saw on report cards.
Today, I interview Candy Motzek who was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada. Her father is black and her mother is white, and in those early times, many people didn’t understand interracial couples and didn’t always react well. Some were unkind. Candy says she felt like an “oddity.”
Today, I interview Michael Whitehouse who grew up in Massachusetts and found himself in an interesting family dynamic. His parents divorced when he was seven, so he split his time among 4 homes: his mother’s, his father’s, his mother’s parents’, and his father’s parents’. Many people thought it to be an unstable situatio