40. Finding Hope in Hopelessness with Amber Valdez

40. Finding Hope in Hopelessness with Amber Valdez

Amber Valdez is a spiritual awakening guide and bestselling author. She’s also one of my very best friends, someone I’ve connected with here in Austin over hikes and long conversations about our shared backgrounds and experiences.

She grew up in a mentally and physically abusive home with a single mother who was mentally ill. As a young girl, she was creative and entrepreneurial, selling cookies and lemonade, and hosting a TV show with her cousin – sound familiar? 

We talk about her struggles with disordered eating and body dysmorphia, particularly during her time as a cheerleader in the NFL, where she was heavily pressured to look a certain way. She speaks from the heart on the act of punishing herself by not eating, and the internal pain it caused. 

Connecting the dots between exercise addiction and self-worth issues; difficult transformation and ultimate fulfillment; and even recommending easy non-negotiable practices for your morning routine – this episode is like a late night chat with a girlfriend, inviting and accepting of what is and has been while building deeper meaning into the gaps between.

We even offer a challenge, of sorts, to go touch a tree today and look up at its branches – to take two minutes and soak in your own existence. (Tag me on Instagram to tell me how it felt!)

In the end, Amber encourages us to take control of our lives and find happiness, whatever our size or shape, and reminds us that we are all learning to love and accept our own shadows as part of our ongoing personal growth journeys.




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“The Big Silence” theme song written and performed by James Nicholas Kinney.

Executive Handyman, Bobby Goldstein.

The Big Silence is produced by Crate Media.

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The Big Silence Podcast with host Karena Dawn is a top-rated self-development and mental health podcast, named in “8 Best Mental Health and Wellness Podcasts to Learn the Latest Science in Nutrition, Fitness and Mental Wellness,” and with episodes ranking in the top 10 in the USA for mental health, and top 40 in the USA for health and wellness.

The Big Silence is a motivational podcast that aims to normalize conversations around mental health and empower people to turn their challenges into triumphs. Hosted by Karena Dawn – mental health advocate, wellness entrepreneur, founder of Tone It Up, and New York Times bestselling author.



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