Your value is an accrual of experiences! Embrace the good, the bad, the ugly and the downright complicated to awaken your joy!

– Mary Tess Rooney


EP51: Why Getting Overlooked Creates Positive Possibilities with Jeffrey Shaw

Have you ever felt stuck in a cycle of being overlooked? Situations can arise that make people feel invisible or inadequate. Afterwards, it’s possible to feel drained or replay everything that’s wrong when endlessly thinking of that cycle. Have you ever thought being overlooked could be a blessing in disguise? Now is a good moment for a Wise Walk.

On the True Stride podcast, we take a Wise Walk to slow down and check our reality. True Stride is that feeling you get when you’re aligned in your heart with all that you do, and you feel energized and happy with each and every step that you take. I’m your host, Mary Tess Rooney, and I connect with Jeffrey Shaw to go on our Wise Walk for this guest episode.

Jeffrey Shaw contributes to the world as a photographer, author, and speaker. He uses his experiences of business, branding, and marketing to advocate for self-employed business owners, small business owners, and progressive-minded companies. Jeff is host of the Self-Employed Life podcast, along with being the author of LINGO: Discover Your Ideal Customer’s Secret Language and Make Your Business Irresistible and The Self-Employed Life: Business and Personal Development Strategies That Create Sustainable Success. Listen to Jeff speak about feeling overlooked, effort and surrender, internal capacity development, and alignment. On our Wise Walk, Jeff and I share our thoughts on these questions and more:

      • Where is a moment you felt overlooked, but it ended up being a blessing?
      • What was the next series of choices once realizing you’re not aligned with people or a situation?
      • How do we evolve between being overlooked and being visible?
      • What are the key messages of a self-employed life?

Inside the moments of feeling overlooked or unseen, there is a chance to look internally at ourselves to notice something that might be not aligned or misguided. Where in our life do we feel overlooked or invisible? Can we figure out if overlook is from lack of effort or lack of surrender? What choices become available to help us take one action in our True Stride?

Take a Wise Walk to uncover a new sense of freedom. Within that freedom is the opportunity to voice our value and a path to connect with an inspiring community. From there, we can explore what it looks like to move forward in our journey.


In this episode:

[00:23] – Welcome to the show!

[01:24] – Jeffrey Shaw and I talk about the paradox of being overlooked leading to being visible, and similar scenarios, like the pandemic.

[03:35] – Who is Jeffrey Shaw? Listen to Jeffrey talk about advocating for self-employment and explaining how his story supports his passion.

[05:41] – Where is a moment that Jeff felt overlooked, but the situation ended up being a blessing? Jeff speaks about being in alignment externally.

[08:07] – When our life is missing alignment externally, we absorb the undesired side effects of disconnection.

[09:46] – Jeff suggests an approach of action after realizing life lacks alignment externally. He gives an analogy between business and life about forcefulness versus mindfulness.

[11:28] – Looking back, Jeffrey says the delays of giving his first TED Talk were actually helpful for when the opportunity arrived.

[12:59] – Jeffrey touches on the balance of effort and surrender that he believes brings things into his life at the right timing.

[15:59] – Overlook can come in many forms. I describe how the theme of “overlooked” gives clarity around effort and surrender.

[17:29] – Sometimes surrender comes a little later than it should have, and it usually comes by force or without choice.

[19:09] – Instead of forcibly holding onto what isn’t working, heed and recognize the feelings that come up.

[21:32] – In the times of feeling overlooked, there’s a chance to be seen on a level past our understanding.

[23:28] – Being overseen can be an emotional trigger, and there’s usually a reason for the trigger. Jeffrey encourages everyone to give themselves grace.

[25:45] – Jeffrey says being overlooked can also be a sign that something within ourselves needs to shift or change. 

[28:15] – Reclaiming individual power opens the opportunity to be visible. 

[29:52] – Jeff explains why life in self-employment and personal development is backward. 

[32:17] – I turn the tables on Jeff and go through his podcast questions in the S.E.L.F. acronym.

[35:23] – Jeff and I complete questions to the S.E.L.F. acronym.

[36:40] – Thank you for listening!


Memorable Quotes:

  • “The gift of being overlooked comes because we’re trying to make something work that isn’t meant to work.” – Jeffrey
  • “When you’re not aligned with someone — whether that’s a relationship, or a business transaction, or a partnership — there’s that disconnect, and you can feel invisible or unseen. Then, that discomfort or that un-alignment, it forces you to take responsibility for yourself, and say: ‘Okay, this is not working. What’s a different choice I can make?’” – Mary Tess
  • “We so often live our lives trying to fit what we want into it, instead of stepping back and deciding ‘what’s meant for me’.” – Jeffrey
  • “The one voice you can always overlook consistently is ‘self-doubt’ because you have everything that you need within you.” – Mary Tess


Links and Resources:

Mary Tess Rooney


Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram


Jeffrey Shaw


The Self-Employed Life podcast

Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | YouTube

EP50: Ways to Commit to What Lights You Up with Emily Adams

Feeling restless is typically a subconscious coping method for mental stress. In those times of mental stress, the mind passes through each moment so focused on the external world that the guidance calling from inside goes unnoticed. Taking inventory of our inner world allows us to recognize a bigger picture, see where we should fill a void, and identify a few unsettled feelings. Now is a good moment for a Wise Walk.

On the True Stride podcast, we take a Wise Walk to slow down and check our reality. True Stride is that feeling you get when you’re aligned in your heart with all that you do, and you feel energized and happy with each and every step that you take. I’m your host, Mary Tess Rooney, and I connect with Emily Adams to go on our Wise Walk for this guest episode.

Emily Adams contributes to the world as a coach, inspiring speaker, and writer. She spends time helping other women see their own potential, do healing work and inner work, and scale their business. She shares the story of her exit from Amish culture at 17 years old, and reflects on lessons of aligning with an authentic life. On our Wise Walk, Emily and I share our thoughts on these questions and more:

      • Where in life did you realize you needed healing, and how did you go about that?
      • When aspects of your life no longer align with your core self; what are the questions and conversations that move you closer to alignment?
      • Which reflections can help someone process the feelings that come up during a Wise Walk?
      • How do you overcome fear to step into your present power?
      • How can you connect with a community or support system that propels you more into what lights you up?

Everything starts from realization. Where are you restless, stuck, or struggling? What’s one choice you can make in order to feel the feelings? How can you create or join a community to build confidence once you commit to yourself?

Take a Wise Walk to uncover a new sense of freedom. Within that freedom is the opportunity to voice our value and a path to connect with an inspiring community. From there, we can explore what it looks like to move forward in our journey.


In this episode:

[00:23] – Welcome to the show!

[03:04] – Emily Adams comes to share her life of wide experiences.

[05:01] – Emily shares the moment of realizing the difference of noticing the need for healing and being ready to do the healing.

[07:06] – The first step is to acknowledge where you are at and commit to going somewhere else. 

[09:19] – Emily explains her mindset during her exit from Amish culture at 17 years old.

[11:41] – In hindsight, Emily realizes a previous coping method also protected her individuality from the surrounding circumstances. 

[13:50] – Feel the fear, thank the fear, then still encourage yourself to take the next steps.

[16:39] – Emily warns about what avoiding feelings can lead to and explains why acknowledging feelings redirects to freedom.

[18:11] – When equipped with the right mindset and support, people can move closer to their full potential.

[19:15] – Emily competes in powerlifting. She describes what ignited her fitness journey and how it interconnects with her spiritual journey.

[21:34] – Having a sense of community can help empower the commitment to yourself.

[23:31] – Communities empower you, but can also help you build confidence and push forward.

[25:12] – Emily talks about how investing in herself and her business propelled her into a new space.

[27:46] – Here are questions Emily suggests to get on track in the journey to freedom and embracing your True Stride.  

[29:11] – Invest in your Value Vault so you can attract the people into your life that want to connect with you.

[32:00] – Thank you for listening!


Memorable Quotes:

  • “We’re always on this journey of healing because we’re constantly learning and we’re constantly evolving.” – Mary Tess
  • “When we grow and evolve, we not only do it for ourselves, but we do it for everyone around us. We become that light; we become that person.” – Emily
  • “Who we are and what lights us up, is what gives us the ability to connect with someone else.” – Mary Tess
  • “Do not wait to do the work. Do not wait to see your own value. When you see your own value, your entire life shifts.” – Emily


Links and Resources:

Mary Tess Rooney


Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram


Emily Adams


Emily Adams Show podcast

Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | YouTube | Pinterest

EP49: How to Become a Minimalist from the Inside Out with Dana Knox Wright

Throughout life, unsolicited expectations and identity beliefs influence us. The key is to carefully evaluate if those things are true or worth keeping to prevent clinging onto things that drain us. On this Wise Walk, Mary Tess Rooney and Dana Knox Wright take a moment to slow down and check our reality to honor your choice to stop showing up in ways that don’t serve you and let go.

Where in your life do you hold onto fear, and where in your life do you need to release things in order to invite in the experiences that you actually want? Mary Tess and Dana talk about the idea of living minimally internally, honoring transparency, and growing from expansion experiences. 

After being forced to let go, and then feeling the release, Dana Knox Wright reviews lessons in her book “Hanging on Loosely: Opening My Hands, Lightening My Load, and Seeing Something Else” to give everyone tools to reframe life into something more fulfilling. Tips on how to turn unfavorable viewpoints loose are woven into this book as a collection of parables based on real experiences. Every chapter in Dana’s book reveals an “Aha!” moment from encounters that left an impact in her life. Having those memories allows her to pass the message on to everyone else.

How can you figure out the way to turn yourself loose of things you need to release? Maybe you need to release one big thing or a million little tiny things to set yourself free. Sometimes you need to look beneath what is apparent. When you recognize what’s gnawing inside of you and causing dissonance, you can begin to see things differently. Therefore, you give yourself space to choose differently.


In this episode:

[00:23] – Welcome to the show!

[02:20] – Dana Knox gives her background and shares what in her life lights her up.

[04:48] – Dana introduces her book and explains why her new book is a collection of parables based on real experiences.

[06:43] – Humans take and carry expectations and meanings without carefully evaluating them for ourselves.

[08:40] – Dana mentions that there is a middle path between the extremes in our lives.

[10:46] – Expansion experiences can help us connect with people on a much more intimate level.

[12:17] – Dana shares the concepts of “Turn it loose” and “The Great Humbling”.

[14:55] – Every chapter in Dana’s book reveals an “Aha!” moment from encounters that left an impact in her life. Having those memories allows her to pass the message on to everyone else.

[17:21] – Dana hopes readers of her book consider the idea that they can find joy in life after releasing what is weighing them down.

[19:21] – Slow down to recognize the state of your life. There may be things you didn’t notice yet.

[21:52] – Dana guides everyone through an approach to handle dissonance.

[24:25] – How can anyone step into being fully immersed and excited for living an authentic life?

[26:24] – Embrace the package that you are. If you shy away from who you are, you are missing out on experiences.

[29:13] – Dana shares why living simply connects with letting go. What does it mean to live minimally on the inside?

[31:13] – Dana encourages more transparency in the way people handle the events of life.

[33:17] – Reclaim your power by letting go. Hear Dana’s hack to moving forward in life.

[35:36] – Thank you for listening!


Memorable Quotes:

  • “I don’t think we’re meant to walk through life with our stomachs clenched, and our fists clenched, and holding tightly onto things. Through a series of events that sort of led me to this place of wandering and wondering, led me to this place of ‘I think there’s a better way, and I really want to see it’.” – Dana
  • “We can only expand through testing ourselves and through seeing what we’re made of, or really getting in tune with the emotional contrast that surfaces as a result of whatever it is we’re going through.” – Mary Tess
  • “If you’re delivering value consistently, but it’s to please others… it’s probably not a joyful experience. If you’re delivering value and it lights you up, then you are in the presence of joy. Then, everybody else gets to benefit from your energy.” – Mary Tess
  • “We are these wonderful, unique individuals created with our own special sauce.” – Dana


Links and Resources:

Mary Tess Rooney


Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram


Dana Knox Wright 

Facebook | Instagram

Hanging on Loosely: Opening My Hands, Lightening My Load, and Seeing Something Else by Dana Knox Wright

EP48: What Seats Are Calling You with Kristin Kaufman

Once I realized I wasn’t always doing things that made my heart as happy as it could be, I sought to discover my True Stride. Naturally, we face moments where we can no longer deny how disconnected we feel to our lives if we are not honoring our vibration. Feeling a disconnect means it’s time to ask ourselves questions and explore our options. How can we discover the steps that connect us to better alignment?

Kristin Kaufman is a small town, Southern girl from Hot Springs, AR who inspires Alignment (which is the name of her company). Over the course of her career, Kristin spent 30 years in the technology space and led multi-billion dollar units on a global scale in three different publicly traded companies. In this current arc of her life, Kristin light-heartedly identifies as a Recovering Corporate Executive. Now, Kristin passionately offers advice and insight on how to build awareness about alignment through her “Is This Seat Taken?” book trilogy.

From Kristin’s books, today focuses on alignment with the life we truly envision for ourselves and making a useful assessment of our current state. Learn the art of merging what you love to do, what you’re good at, and what ties your efforts to something greater than yourself. Kristin explains the nudge that comes from divine providence and gives examples on why experience is the best teacher. 

Kristin shares that she was out of alignment for 10+ years before making a shift and leaving corporate America. Like Kristin, many people don’t feel aligned, yet they don’t know what they imagine as being “aligned” until they have to really think about it. Open a space for the people, places, and situations that are energetically aligned with your natural vibration to connect with you. If we’re not staying at the vibration where we’re naturally aligned, then we’re not doing ourselves, or others, any good.


In this episode:

[00:23] – Welcome to the show!

[02:09] – Kristin gives a peek into her extensive background, touching on years in the corporate world.

[04:08] – Kristin talks about her desire to feel aligned and what made her leave corporate. 

[06:32] – How do you know you’re on the right path when working on a project? What inspired Kristin’s book trilogy?

[09:13] – If you measure between what you love to do and what you’re good at, there’s renewable energy that balances both.

[11:02] – Kristin explains how she understands alignment and mentions her approach to helping others be more aligned.

[13:37] – Certainly, we have instincts that come out in different forms as we share our Heart Value.

[15:48] – Life can take a different path from what we thought it would head towards. Kristin emphasizes that a different path doesn’t mean it’s too late to change to the life you want.

[18:01] – The idea of corporate America is altering as society is changing, especially with the pandemic disruption.

[20:02] – People don’t feel aligned, yet they don’t know what they imagine as being “aligned”.

[22:19] – I share the approach of using feelings, choices, and actions to fall in line with our True Stride. Kristin adds to how this plays out in her entrepreneurship.

[24:33] – Once you feel a disconnect, it’s time to look at your choices. Staying in a situation or relationship that feels disconnected is not beneficial for anyone.

[27:23] – Not being an energetic match may mean that you are misunderstood, but only with those you’re not aligned with. That’s okay. 

[29:46] – Kristin touches on why this third book in the trilogy is her most vulnerable book.

[32:30] – Kristin suggests these questions for your Wise Walk to discover your feeling state.

[35:29] – Thank you for listening!


Memorable Quotes:

  • “Follow your heart. Follow your intuition. Your intuition never lies.” – Kristin
  • “My concept of alignment is when you love what you do, you’re good at it, most importantly, it’s tied to something much greater than yourself. When those three things come together, we’re most certainly at our most powerful.” – Kristin 
  • “Every time we make a choice to say “No” to an opportunity, you’re giving someone else the opportunity who is fully aligned to step into that role.” – Mary Tess 
  • “I had an experience, too, where I was exposed to some ‘mean people’, and I was blindsided by it. I came out of that experience; and for a little while I struggled because I thought: ‘I don’t understand. How are people mean?’ I was talking to a dear friend who said, ‘Mary, you’re not going to be able to understand them because you’re not on the same level.’ Every time you try and understand their mindset, or why they would do that, you dip your energy down to their level.” – Mary Tess


Links and Resources:

Mary Tess Rooney


Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram


Kristin Kaufman 

Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube 


Is This Seat Taken? No, I Saved it for You: Inspiring Life Lessons from Everyday Experiences by Kristin Kaufman

EP47: How to Savor Your Energetic Pie with Kasey Compton

In terms of success, people sometimes think that we have to do everything on our own to get to a goal. That is simply not true. When we get busy reacting to what’s happening in our life, it’s important to look for opportunities to protect our limited energy by seeking help. We think we can give the same amount of energy to everything, when our efforts would benefit more from intentional prioritizing so we can appreciate the rolling hills and rainbows of life when they appear. Focused intention charges our energy instead of draining it.

Our guest today is Kasey Compton who runs multiple successful endeavors as the owner of a business consulting firm, a marketing company, a virtual assistant business, a commercial real estate corporation, a hair salon, and a growing mental health practice. She explains the energy pie as she encourages everyone to rethink how we delegate our energy. 

Originally, Kasey’s work was geared toward healthcare professionals since she worked in the field, yet she clarifies how the message in her book Fix This Next for Healthcare Providers resonates with people beyond healthcare professionals. Kasey talks about simplifying life, creating systems, checking in with your inner compass, and allowing yourself to feel. 

Kasey is determined to help people get their time back and open space for opportunity. Her top tip is to conserve energy by delegating and being intentional about effort. Listen to get out of the rut of working just to work. Figure out the next direction and ask yourself what is and is not serving you.

Kasey’s understanding of systems and energy in your True Stride teaches you how to create space to feel. We sometimes forget what it feels like to feel. With this episode, check if your inner compass needs to be recalibrated. Ask questions, and then instead of doing more, do “different”.


In this episode:

[00:23] – Welcome to the show!

[02:49] – Right now, Kasey feels she found the congruence between her strengths and her profession to find her True Stride.

[05:25] – After seeing people be so exhausted, Kasey says she was inspired to develop her book around feelings.

[07:41] – In life, whenever there’s so much chaos happening, we are blind to opportunities present in our lives.

[10:05] – Sometimes people think we have to do everything on our own to accomplish a goal, which is untrue. Kasey explains the energy pie and how we delegate.

[12:25] – Kasey’s example of an energy pie reminds me of my current situation with my book and journal. How am I learning to delegate my energy?

[14:20] – How can you protect yourself, and your energy, when you’re hitting your True Stride?

[17:08] – Here’s how to slow down and check the choices you have at crossroads in your journey. 

[20:28] – Kasey encourages everyone to create space to ask questions and gain clarity. She gives an introspective take on a common modern-human concern.

[23:02] – Be sure to check what you value most.

[25:36] – Kasey admits she’s the type to do things the hard way at least once for the experience and explains the benefit she feels comes from this approach.

[27:17] – How can people realize that their inner compass needs to be recalibrated?

[28:54] – What message does Kasey want to share with healthcare providers at this moment?

[31:16] – People are struggling with identity as they measure what serves them, and then bravely prioritizing what does actually serve them.

[33:51] – If you don’t take time to rest, or ease up when you need to, you will make your situation and condition worse.

[35:02] – Kasey shares what book 2 is focused on: creating space for opportunity.

[36:32] – Thank you for listening!


Memorable Quotes:

  • “I think people are worthy of more. If no one is telling them that that’s possible, or no one is helping them to figure that out on their own, then they may never know.” – Kasey
  • “Energy is this constant exchange of currency. If we want it to be the highest, for ourselves and for others, we have to be really intentional about that.” – Mary Tess
  • “We can feel lost without even knowing it.” – Kasey
  • “Just because I want something different, or I need something different, does not mean I’m quitting, or does not mean I failed. It just means my needs have changed.” – Kasey


Links and Resources:

Mary Tess Rooney


Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram


Kasey Compton 

Fix This Next for Healthcare Providers

Facebook | Instagram

EP46: When to Say Yes to Feel Purposefully Aligned With Don Khouri

When there is so much to do, our brains can have us feeling stuck and blank on what to do next. With the right tools and mindset, we are able to regroup to get back on our True Stride. 

Actions that are truly aligned with our goals keep us purposely productive. In this episode, I chat with Don Khouri about productivity processes and when to say “Yes”, so that we can continue to choose actions that serve us in our journey. 

Don Khouri contributes to the world as a speaker, author, and coach who helps executives and business leaders who aim to increase productivity and profits. While working together, he helps them streamline their activities, eliminate distractions, and make better decisions on which activities to focus. Dr. Khouri has held several key leadership positions at Fidelity Investments during his successful 21-year career, and he holds a PhD in Human and Organizational Systems.

Besides technology, leadership development lights Don up. He loves building high performance teams. Don shares his knowledge to help you become awesome at being purposely productive. That way, you can prioritize fun, and create a positively memorable journey. What does it feel like to be connected to your Heart Value? What is the process to show up and move more purposely? What actions can you take?

Listen to this conversation with Don to shift from feeling overwhelmed to empowered, and learn the five steps to evaluate “When to Say Yes,” when you have requests on your time.


In this episode:

[00:23] – Welcome to the show!

[02:29] – Don tells us what experience made him appreciate leadership development.

[05:12] – Don questions if we can shift from overwhelmed to empowered and take control of our actions.

[08:10] – When not in the right emotional state, we can make decisions that we don’t want.

[10:21] – We get to choose our emotions. I share the time I lost my internal happiness, and how I shifted those feelings.

[11:59] – Don mentions five simple steps to evaluate requests that take up time. He takes time to explain number three with an example.

[14:01] – A story of Harry Truman gives a useful example of valuing time and developing a team.

[16:14] – Don continues with the five simple steps to evaluate requests that take up time. A huge part of the evaluation is knowing the context of priorities.

[18:52] – Don shares the two reasons why C-level executives delegate and how to master delegation.

[21:17] – Don suggests that people do this today to start their journey to saying “yes.”

[23:36] – I share a story of getting out of the overwhelm of tasks and accomplishing tasks bit by bit.

[25:17] – If you do nothing else, be aware of your mindset.

[27:01] – Thank you for listening!


Memorable Quotes:

  • “Instead of feeling overwhelmed, what if we felt empowered instead?” – Don
  • “We’ve got to get in touch with our feelings first, so that we can then use our logic and use our minds. Then, connect on a different level with where we’re going and what we want to accomplish.” – Mary Tess
  • “Priority is so important when we’re looking at our goals and our actions.” -Don
  • “Be aware of your mindset when you’re evaluating requests for your time.” – Don


Links and Resources:

Mary Tess Rooney


Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram


Don Khouri 

When to Say “Yes”


Facebook | LinkedIn | Instagram

EP45: What Daily Habits Elevate Your Joy Frequency?

Every person in life goes through lows and highs; they are the peaks and valleys of our journey. Looking at life, the depth of each valley and the height of each peak may not be exactly the same, but they help build our life. Cherish the lows to know that you want something more, and appreciate the highs that bring you bliss to know what’s possible.

A few years ago, my health required extra care, and I had to focus on recovering from surgery. My time recovering gave me tons of downtime to self reflect on how I structured and lived my life. In today’s episode, I share with you how I started to think about what makes me happy. I had to be patient with myself and ask honest questions. One of the first questions I asked is: “What are the themes that I have to incorporate on a daily basis so that I can once again experience those highs that I know are possible for me?”. From there, I made a list of guiding principles where three foundational themes stood out for me.

I find that the themes align with ways to fuel my body, awaken my heart, and energize my soul. Reflecting showed me how much I prioritize moving forward in my life very internationally. If you also value having an intentional life, or if you are working on creating one, I suggest that you analyze what is and is not working. During this episode, I give real examples that can help you tap into your highest Joy Frequency. 

To keep my highs, I rely on self-reflection, my inner compass, and the freedom of expression. When you learn to commit to your True Stride, you realize what energetic highs elevate your Joy Frequency. Let me share what brings me joy, so that you can discover your themes for yourself.


In this episode:

[00:23] – Welcome to the show!

[02:34] – I tell you the three themes that emerged from a deep reflection of what I want to incorporate in my life.

[04:55] – Mediation is one of the daily habits that elevates me, even if I meditate on “nothing”.

[06:27] – I prioritize moving forward in my life very internationally.

[07:27] – Expression gives me room to release. It doesn’t help to hold onto thoughts that are negative, so let it be expressed.

[10:14] – I talk about the power of intentions and making space for manifestations in combination with daily routines.

[11:25] – The words “purpose” and “contribute” are very connected to your Heart Value. 

[13:44] – Here are the questions I want you to ask yourself today.

[14:58] – We deserve more joy in our lives.

[15:08] – I recap the 9 elements that are the staples of my Joy Frequency grid.

[16:30] – Thank you for listening!


Memorable Quotes:

  • “We all deserve to experience more joy in our life, and really feed off of our own energetic highs, so that we have more to share with all of those that are around us.”


Links and Resources:

Mary Tess Rooney


Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram

EP44: How Do You Elevate Human Connection in Your Life With Gena Cox?

At the core, people simply want to be acknowledged as being another human. Humans like to belong and to form a connection over numerous similarities: likes, quirks, or goals. Ironically, there is sometimes a gap in how humans connect when trying to empathize with the human experience. Could it be that each individual is mentally wrapped in their own world? Could it be that individual human experience varies so much that the likeness in the larger human experience is hard to see?

To explore this idea of human connection, I discuss being human, showing up authentically, and tapping into empathy with Dr. Gena Cox. Dr. Gena Cox contributes to this world as an industrial psychologist, executive coach, author, and speaker. At this point, she advised corporate leaders for over two decades on creating a work culture where leaders respect, develop, and elevate all employees. She currently provides part of her Heart Value through her company Feels Human Inc.

Being an organizational psychologist, Gena pays particular attention to how humans choose to interact with each other. Gena explains that the human connection is the most important factor in organizations, but also the factor that most people don’t think about. I speak with Gena to understand more about being more aware of interactions, along with being aware of the choices we make to communicate our value. I want all of us Striders to accept the mindset that it’s not just acceptable to voice your value, but it’s admirable.

On the topic of embracing and advocating the value of self, Gena and I discuss shifting our mindset of fitting in a “box” for the corporate world to focusing on showing up authentically so we connect with who will appreciate us fully, quirks and all. Gena reminds everyone that someone may be waiting to connect, but they won’t know unless the authentic connection is initiated. The more you connect and empathize the easier everything else is. Listen to Gena talk through the goal of reducing misunderstood differences and bridging the gap to elevate human connection.


In this episode:

[00:23] – Welcome to the show!

[01:56] – In this time, more than ever, realize that voicing our value is acceptable and admirable.

[03:18] – Gena says employee experiences are majorly based on their managers.

[05:52] – Gena tells her favorite example of a leader.

[07:45] – Why did Gena name her company Feels Human Inc.?

[10:03] – Gena writes this small message whenever she wants to brighten someone’s day.

[12:42] – I explain the concept of Wise Walks to Gena and ask a few questions to discuss.

[14:37] – Gena shares what happens in her new experiment of creating a connection with people by saying “Hello.”

[17:20] – Humans have a tendency to create an “us vs. them” dynamic, and it’s normal to be different, so Gena emphasizes that there must be a mutual trust of good intention.

[19:36] – Gena says she connected with a stranger over a random social media post, which brought joy to her day.

[21:11] – I talk about my shift in perspective around fitting in a “box” for the corporate world.

[22:19] – Gena gives her take on the skill of fitting in a “box” for the corporate world and what her shift in perspective helped her realize.

[23:58] – In order to connect with authentic people, figure out how to maneuver and make choices that showcase your authentic self.

[25:49] – Gena says you never know who is waiting to make a connection with you.

[27:53] – Thank you for listening!


Memorable Quotes:

  • “We have to voice our value to reclaim our value and activate appreciation, so that we get exactly what we deserve.” – Mary Tess Rooney
  • “If you’re brave enough to celebrate your uniqueness, or what makes you different, then you have the opportunity to connect on such a more intimate level.” – Mary Tess Rooney
  • “I want the people who come into my world, who are attracted to me, to be attracted to me in an authentic way, for everything that I am.” – Dr. Gena Cox
  • “Sometimes, the most powerful gift that you can give to someone is to ask them for something that you need.” – Dr. Gena Cox
  • “The one person whose life you’re going to change for the better. You probably have no idea that that person is there already waiting for you to reach out to them.” – Dr. Gena Cox
  • “You can only meet the need if you initiate the connection.” – Dr. Gena Cox


Links and Resources:

Mary Tess Rooney


Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram


Gena Cox



EP43: What Signals Are You Sending As You Move Forward?

Something wonderfully coincidental happened recently. While driving my dogs to dog training, there were at least three cars that didn’t use their turn signals. Driving in that situation can be frustrating, but with being intentional about my energy, the situation worked in my favor by inspiring an insight for me that I want to share with you. I’ll tell you my inspiration of why turn signals are a reflection of how we progress in life, align with our True Stride, and share our Heart Value.

Turn signals are used to notify others of a move you’d like to make and help people know which way you’re headed. In other words, they prepare the people around you to know your intentions. Turn signals in your life journey allow people around you to know how they can encourage you and support you in the direction you want to go. Simply signaling people what your intentions are becomes a useful way to give people the chance to encourage you, or even help by getting out of your way.

If you send out signals, you are sending a message. I realize that communicating the choice to walk in our True Stride requires us to be comfortable with being more visible and more vocal about our authentic intentions. It makes you wonder which ways you can be more visible and vocal in your life to send the most natural message. What signals are you sending out, and how do you feel about them? How are you making yourself more visible?

We should be so clear on the value we bring and be excited to share what lights us up. Think about one action you can take to voice your value, so that the people around you can encouragingly offer you their energy or get out of your way. By being mindful of the signals you’re emitting, you are practicing the skill of being intentional and strengthening the muscle of voicing your value.


In this episode:

[00:23] – Welcome to the show!

[01:21] – I explain the connection I found between how we use turn signals to drive and how we progress in life.

[02:37] – Sometimes the most important thing we can do is use our turn signals in life in ways that feel good and resonate with our True Stride.

[03:51] – Here are the signals I feel I am sending out.

[05:53] – My friend is in a massive career shift. She is a great example of prioritizing the signals that align with a vision.

[07:28] – Sometimes I need to check-in about the choices I’m making to be more visible and vocal with the direction I’m choosing for myself.

[09:51] – I’m not sure how everything will play out, but I do know I want us all to be able  to voice our value and share what lights us up.

[11:47] – Here’s what I’m thinking of doing when I start having guests on the True Stride podcast.

[12:38] – Pay attention to and be intentional about the signals you are sending out, and be intentional 

[13:58] – Thank you for listening!


Memorable Quotes:

  • “I know that you’re going to get to where you’re going, and I love being the one that’s encouraging you or empowering you to go after whatever is in your heart of hearts.”
  • “Your notable contributions, they are your story to tell. It’s your responsibility to voice your value if you want to stand out and get the credit that you deserve; or get the support and the encouragement that you need in order to keep moving forward in the direction that you want to go.”
  • “We’re all here to get stronger about our Heart Value and get more aligned with our True Stride, so that we can feel energized and happy with each and every step that we take.”


Links and Resources:

Mary Tess Rooney


Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram

EP42: Appreciating Support and Paying It Forward

Who in your life makes you feel fully supported? Recently, I’m very grateful towards the relationships and connections that help me thrive in my journey. Each time I share my Heart Value through an episode or project, there’s a team of people who assist me in giving the best value to you. I’m amazed that I can freely pursue my dreams with people who genuinely care to support me in what I do.

Accepting help from people who sincerely care doesn’t need to feel awkward. I find that slowing myself down to figure out where help could be more useful moves me further in my journey. Everyone needs help. Even if you are a person that prefers to not work in a team, you should recognize when you will need assistance. Then, make the choice to accept help.

All of this became more clear to me after hanging out with my college friend Katie. The two of us have different dreams and goals, but we show strong support for one another. We balance each other. Support systems give people a chance to offer their unique gifts. There’s a certain balance in sharing Heart Value where we both can light up, so we end up giving and receiving.

Walking in our True Stride with help from a support system connects to what we are saying “yes” to and what we are saying “no” to in everyday life. Discover what choices you can make to say “yes” to fully use and feel the help from your support system. When you do receive help, find ways to show gratitude, and pay it forward to someone else. Sharing will be natural, since you have more to give others when you are taken care of. What choices and actions are you making to move closer to what you’re dreaming of?


In this episode:

[00:23] – Welcome to the show!

[02:28] – I’m grateful for the team of people that continue to support and offer their unique gifts in my journey.

[05:19] – Since I’m not an expert on everything, having people on my team who are excited helps me provide you with great content.

[07:28] – Do you have relationships that challenge you to reach your highest potential?

[09:13] – Stay focused on what really matters in the present. 

[10:50] – Katie helped me organize my overloaded garage, and here’s why that became important.

[13:18] – I appreciate that Katie knows me well enough to help take away some of the anxiety I had about the jam packed garage.

[15:37] – If someone offers you support, will you make the choice to accept?

[18:24] – Support and help can open opportunities, including the chance to bond. I’ll tell you about a neighborhood family that is a great example.

[21:13] – How will you show gratitude for feeling fully supported?

[21:51] – Thank you for listening!


Memorable Quotes:

  • “Pay attention to the people that offer their help to you and how you can really partner with them and feed off each other’s energy to get to wherever your heart desires.”
  • “As soon as we can release things that aren’t serving us and where we want to go, the more space we’re creating for things that we actually want.”
  • “When you feel supported, you have more to give others.”


Links and Resources:

Mary Tess Rooney


Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram

True Stride, LLC was formed to empower each individual to honor their unique stride as they navigate life’s interesting, complex and eventful journey. When we take the time, reflection and attention to channel our true stride… we enjoy our truest ride.”

– Mary Tess Rooney

“Mary’s straight forward approach and authentic style inspires rapid results in individuals and teams alike.”

– Next Incredible Person
SVP Special Violet Petals

“The idea of having a personal vision map is exciting, and the way the True Stride team creatively crafted the exercise to connect and organize action items into digestible steps is priceless.”

– Leigh Farrow