Natalie Marshall Rose – Be open to putting yourself out there

The Change Diaries Podcast explores how to better embrace change, spark change or simply be the change we want to see

This second series of the Change Diaries podcast explores the ups and downs of changing locations. In this episode I speak with Natalie Marshall Rose, certified Global Mobility Expert, now based in the United States.

Natalie’s years of experience working with corporations in creating their own global programs comes to the fore in this conversation as she guides you on what to look for in a global relocation package from your employer, how to hit the ground running and what to do when it’s time to leave. Being a trailing spouse gives Natalie infinite wisdom and myriad interesting stories of ‘life on the move’. Whether you are moving or not, you’ll learn something new. So, tune in and share with anyone you know who is contemplating a change of location. Next week, I’ll dive back into my own personal family journey. Subscribe so you don’t miss an episode!


Guest Bio

Natalie is a Jamaican born, US national who has been a trailing spouse in Canada. Not only has she worked in the Immigration space for approximately 15 years, but she has also lived it. Moving 13 times in the last 19 years, she truly understands what it means to be mobile!

A certified Global Mobility Specialist, Natalie’s experience spans from conducting case work early in her career to managing teams across the USA and Asia. 

Her focus is on helping corporations with their global programs. In collaboration with US Attorneys, she steers clients in maintaining compliance while moving their employees around the globe.

Natalie’s passion is to help and share. Her personal story provides a backdrop in immigration and sets the stage in her professional life where she is truly able to understand her clients’ needs. Her vast personal and corporate experience enables her to provide empathetic and realistic expert advice as corporations navigate the tides of global mobility.

Natalie attended the University of the West Indies and has received numerous certificates from Depaul, SMU and Cornell Universities.

Natalie’s Recommended Reading:

The First 90 Days by Michael D. Watkins

Grit by Angela Duckworth

Contact Natalie Marshall Rose:

LinkedIn: Natalie Marshall Rose

Instagram: @natsrose13

Clubhouse: @natsrose

Thanks for being with me and joining this second season of the Change Diaries podcast with the theme, ‘Changing your location – the ups and downs. Please comment below, follow my blog, and share with others.  Never miss an episode! Subscribe to get new episodes as they become available.

Catch up on Apple or Spotify if you missed any of the first season ‘Changing your life – Do you need a life coach?

Thank you for being here. I post new content each week.

 The Change Diaries Podcast theme music by Ellan Neil

The Change Diaries Podcast cover design by Aris Amitirigala

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.   

Changing your location – It wasn’t as hard as I expected

The Change Diaries podcast explores how to better embrace change, spark change or simply be the change we want to see.

In this second series of the Change Diaries podcast, we explore the ups and downs of changing locations. It’s said that moving ranks as one of life’s biggest stressors, right up there with death and divorce. I’ll speak with the experts to lead us through the ins and outs of managing a relocation and I’ll get personal, diving into how my own family has experienced these different moves.

This short conversation with my twelve-year-old son Aris really brought home how he’s learning differently in each country and what he’s most grateful for now. Leaving Florida at age eight to head to London, U.K., was a big move for him and he started taking the public bus from Hammersmith on his own each day to head to school in Mortlake. Last year we moved to Toronto, Canada.

Ultimately each place has offered him something special and he’s forged new friendships. What has his journey been like? What’s been easy and what’s been more challenging? Listen in to find out and leave a comment after the show. Remember to subscribe!


Thanks for being with me and joining this second season of the Change Diaries podcast under the theme, ‘Changing your location – the ups and downs. Please comment below, follow my blog and share with others. Never miss an episode! Subscribe to get new episodes as they become available.

Did you miss any of the first season ‘Changing your life – Do you need a life coach?

Catch up on Apple Podcasts

You can also listen and subscribe on Spotify

Thank you for being here. I post new content each week. Follow my blog.

The Change Diaries Podcast theme music by Ellan Neil

The Change Diaries Podcast cover design by Aris Amitirigala

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.   

Bridgerton Serves up 10 Lessons in Internal Communications

I rarely watch TV, so it was somewhat of a surprise to find myself binge-watching Bridgerton, the Netflix megahit from Shonda Rhimes. Frankly, it made a Covid New Year 2021 bearable. What’s there not to love when you have dazzling costumes, an entertaining storyline, and incredible eye-candy in the form of a smoldering, swaggerific Duke?

Speaking of the Duke of Hastings, I’m sure you’ve heard the news that Regé-Jean Page will not appear in ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2. Don’t despair though, there will still be plenty of the drama that made this series a hit. Here is Everything You Need To Know About ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2.

But setting aside the thirst-trap, Bridgerton was a veritable masterclass in Communication, Inclusion and Change. Although each episode made me reflect on these three areas of my expertise, I’m itching to share my observations related to internal communications, particularly what we can learn from Lady Whistledown, the town’s anonymous gossip columnist. Don’t worry about spoilers below…there are hardly any. Really, though, who hasn’t watched Bridgerton yet?

Be Bold

As a masterful content creator, Lady Whistledown reminds us that, ‘she who holds the pen has the power’. Through tapping into high society’s insatiable desire to be in the know, she gains tremendous influence and a faithful readership. She seems quite unperturbed that her efforts also earn her the unwelcome envy of the Queen and a warrant for her arrest. Although it is generally unwise for communicators to draw ire from their most senior stakeholders, it does speak to the need to be bold with your ideas, content, and your approach. Being disruptive occasionally has its merits.

Content is King

Lady Whistledown provides breaking news, connects the dots, and asks provocative questions. The content is entertaining, and she weaves in suspense to leave her readers wanting for more. Your publication must have great content in an engaging style – the stories, the news and features should fill a need for employees to ensure that they keep coming back for more.

Improve your craft – pick up a copy of Everybody Writes by Ann Handley. It definitely lives up to its tagline, ‘your go-to guide to creating ridiculously good content’.

Write for your Reader

In creating her scandal sheet, Lady Whistledown doesn’t pander to the Queen or any of the powerful aristocrats, which is especially surprising when her identity is revealed.

There is a lesson in this: write for your reader – not the approver. Are you sharing what employees need to know versus what management wants to say? Your job isn’t about spinning stories or making leaders look good. Authenticity, transparency, and openness are all essential. Share information with the people who need it to do their jobs and in a way that they can understand it.

Be Relevant

In Regency-era London, aristocratic society thrived on gossip, and Lady Whistledown cleverly fills that gap. Each week she tells her readers:

  • What was happening in the Ton and When
  • Who was involved
  • Why these events were occurring
  • How people were being perceived as a result
  • Where they needed to be – obviously at the latest ball!

Do you have your 5Ws and H covered? What are the most important topics that you need to cover? As we saw last year when the pandemic hit, information needs shifted and there was much more focus on news related to Covid-19, workplace policies, benefits, and health and wellbeing. Ensure that you are keeping pace as needs evolve.

Feature your People

The gossip rag is all about the debutantes and the aspiring suitors and that’s what makes it sell. A winning ingredient for any internal publication is to highlight the people in your business – interesting feature stories or profile pieces. People love stories where they can see themselves. So, hero a team that delivered a breakthrough, share photos, or video clips of your people telling their own success stories. Featuring real people in your organization doing the right things in the right way can be a powerful way to influence change.

Choose your Language and Style

Lady Whistledown shows us a couple things – the value of writing in a way that mirrors how people speak, and the beauty of nurturing your own style and personality as a writer. Her words float off the page and into the reader’s ear as if it were a conversation.

Are you aligning to the brand voice of your company? What tone will you use? Formal or casual? Chatty or serious? Are you planning to use fun, feature stories or just the plain facts? Check whether your language is laden with leaders’ cliched phrases or ‘management speak’.

Pick your Channels

In 1813 London, the convenient tabloid format was popular. Lady Whistledown prints her gossip rag overnight and peddles it in the morning through newspaper boys making brisk sales.  

Well, it’s 2021 and there are a plethora of channels even for non-desk employees. Digital delivery through intranets, internal social media and company apps are growing in popularity. Take the time to research which channels work best for your audience. This is about them – go where they are!

Be Consistent

Week after week the entire Ton knows when to expect the next tabloid full of the juiciest tidbits. In fact, it is this level of reliability that enables the Queen to plot Lady Whistledown’s arrest – while she on her way to the printers.

Do you have a set day and time for publishing so that your audience can count on getting their news when they expect it? Is the format consistent so that they can navigate it easily? Also, even if you have different writers the tone should not vary wildly.

Measure and Evaluate

Roaring sales is one way that Lady Whistledown evaluates her success real time. But that’s not the only thing that matters. Thanks to her undercover status, our favourite scandalmonger readily discerns how her content is resonating. The Ton is all abuzz after each edition is released and it decidedly influences many an outcome in the feverish matchmaking season!

Likewise, internal communicators must evaluate whether their content is engaging readers and if it is influencing behavior.

What can you do? Run A/B tests for your publication. Analyze open rates, click rates, and drop off rates to see which content resonates most. Test reader knowledge by asking specific questions in an annual communication channel survey. Use shorter surveys at the end of a publication to find out what they valued the most. Analyze engagement, comments and follow-through actions. Use good metrics to help you make informed decisions about your publication.

Have a Purpose

Ultimately your publication exists to achieve an outcome. It shouldn’t simply be a nice to have or exist because you’ve always had it. It takes time and effort to produce so make it worth the investment.

Lady Whistledown not only satisfies her readers thirst for gossip, but she also uses the publication to advance her own interests and sometimes selfish motives – breaking up Colin’s relationship as a prime example.

Know what you are trying to achieve with each content piece and each edition of your publication. Set SMART objectives and use it as a valuable tool to help embed your strategy, inspire your people, and cause positive transformation that translates into business growth.  

Sure, it can come in many different formats, styles and be delivered via various channels. But whatever you decide, focus on what you want to achieve and let that guide your approach.  

Tell me, did you watch Bridgerton? What other lessons in communications would you add to this list? Please share your comments below.

Thank you for stopping by! Visit again soon, subscribe and share. I post new content each week.

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.    

Lisa Soares Lewis – Be aware of your energy and manage it

The Change Diaries Podcast explores how to better embrace change, spark change or simply be the change we want to see.

In this episode I talk with Lisa Soares Lewis, Certified Professional Coach, Master Practitioner in the Energy Leadership Index Assessment, and designated Senior HR Professional. Lisa believes that all roads lead to leadership and that leaders are the first who need to change.

Lisa’s deep experience in coaching leaders comes to the fore as she discusses the triad of skills that underpin success in an unprecedented era of change. Listen to find out what they are and then get out of your own way and move forward.

Listen to the Change Diaries with Lisa Soares Lewis

Guest Bio

Lisa Soares Lewis is the Founder & CEO of Great People Solutions (G.P.S.) Ltd.

Based in Kingston, Jamaica, Lisa is a Certified Professional Coach, a Master Practitioner in the Energy Leadership Index Assessment, and a designated Senior HR Professional by the HR Certification Institute Society. Lisa has held several Executive and HR leadership positions at large companies including Diageo Red Stripe and Scotiabank and has led Executive workshops in C-suite roles.

She works seamlessly in the public, private and NGO sectors and is highly respected in the business community in Jamaica where she currently sits on several boards including JAMPRO (Jamaica’s investment & promotions agency), WISYNCO (Fast moving consumer goods), Sagicor Investments, UWI Mona School of Business & Management, the Pension Industry Association of Jamaica and the Jamaica Stock Exchange e-Campus. Lisa is also a member of the International Women’s Forum and previous Director of SERHA (Public Regional Health Authority) and Sagicor Bank.

In February 2020, Lisa was awarded in the “101 Most Fabulous GLOBAL Coaching Leaders” Category – World at the HRD Congress in Mumbai, India.

Lisa has an MBA with Distinction in Finance and Marketing from UWI and a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering.

Her company, Great People Solutions (GPS), offers the full suite of HR Consulting, Advisory and Leadership Coaching Services.

Find Lisa at:


LinkedIn: Lisa Soares Lewis

Never miss an episode. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to get new episodes as they become available.

You can also listen on Spotify.

Follow my blog and share with others! I post new content each week.

The Change Diaries Podcast theme music by Ellan Neil

The Change Diaries Podcast cover design by Aris Amitirigala

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.   

Bringing equity and inclusion to Public Relations and Communications – #Antiracismpr

I recently attended the National Summit on Antiracism in Public Relations and Communications organized by AntiracismPR and McMaster MCM in Canada.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect – so often these conversations end up being a dainty dance around difficult truths. I was pleasantly surprised from the get-go. Speakers were informative, data driven and authentic.

After two days of thought-provoking content, keynote speaker @Leo_Johnson gave a rousing rally cry – ‘act within your means’ and ‘do what you can.’

I suspect he knew that inevitably we would wander back to life as we know it now, in our homes, on marathon zoom calls, commitments fading into distant memory.

But the urgency remains, and we must find ways to take action.

My action today is amplify some of the key takeaways from the #antiracismpr summit that I tweeted last week. I hope it spurs you on to think a little harder about how you can make a difference, especially if you work in the field of communications.

There’s a short summary below and you can also see the full tweet thread on Wakelet.

Click here to see my tweet thread on the #AntiracismPR Summit via @wakelet

Tackle issues at the Board level

Boards need people with deep communications expertise. Comms is often overlooked as a skillset while areas such as legal, finance, marketing, engineering and strategy are favored. A communications strategist brings a unique lens – and can illuminate areas such as reputation, inclusive messaging, and ensuring that your first stakeholders (your people) understand the real value that a board brings to the company. Boards must tackle racism head-on and they need to be diverse. What does your company board look like?

Push for change and find allies

Agitating for change can be exhausting. It’s even more challenging in toxic environments. But allowing exclusion and systemic racism to slide through unchecked is not an option. You have the power to champion diversity, equity and inclusion daily, and demand leadership attention. Toxic environments don’t heal themselves. Have authentic conversations about the issues in a well-researched and respectful way. Are you confident that you can raise issues at your company especially when you see bias?

Use the DEI Continuum to measure progress

It’s worth looking up the DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) Continuum which takes a step-by-step approach towards equity and inclusion. This is the ultimate goal that organizations should strive towards.

Your company might have moved beyond level 0 which is complete denial. But hovering at level 1 – with ‘tick the box’ exercises and compliance at a minimum isn’t much progress. At level 2 companies move beyond compliance but there is no real pathway to progress and actions stop when interest fades.

Level 5 is the goal where the company achieves equity and inclusion for all and moves to influence this beyond its own boundaries. Where is your company on the continuum?

Change yourself

The close of the summit was particularly powerful. The keynote speaker was passionate and a doer, not a talker. I was struck by many of his messages, particularly when he said, “All I am asking is for you to change yourself.”

Somehow, it always lands here doesn’t it – with change? Sparking change, embracing change and being the change we want to see.

May we all be brave enough to be that change agent who helps to create a more just, equitable and inclusive world for all. What action will you take today?

Leave a comment below. Share your thoughts and let’s make change happen.

Thank you for stopping by. Listen to my new podcast now available on Apple: The Change Diaries Podcast. And don’t forget to follow and share my blog. I post new content each week.

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.    

Lorraine Copes – You can program your mind

The Change Diaries Podcast explores how to embrace change, spark change, or simply be the change we want to see.

In this episode I talk with Lorraine Copes, Business Coach and Procurement Consultant. Lorraine believes that to handle the inevitable changes that life throws our way, we need to stay present and look ahead. She also shares her thoughts on how to build or rebuild your confidence.

Lorraine brings her powerful and forthright coaching style to this conversation, debunking beliefs around imposter syndrome and challenging us to program our minds for greater success. You don’t want to miss this conversation.

Guest Bio

Lorraine Copes is the founder of Be Inclusive Hospitality, Procurement Consultant and Business Coach. Having spent almost two decades working within the hospitality sector successfully leading procurement teams for brands including Shake Shack, Gordon Ramsay Restaurants and Corbin & King, her experience spans new market entry, national and international leadership roles. 

Lorraine is passionate about helping others advance and has been able to do so during her career within Procurement by helping organizations to improve profitability, and as a Business Coach through helping individuals gain clarity, confidence, and courage.

In 2019, Lorraine felt compelled to form Be Inclusive Hospitality due to the consistent lack of representation of people from Black, Asian and Minority backgrounds in positions of influence, or often being invisible even if they do occupy the space. This social enterprise will now hold the prime position of accelerating racial equality and levelling the playing field for those from underrepresented backgrounds within hospitality, food and drink sectors.

Based in London, you can find Lorraine at:

LinkedIn: Lorraine Copes

Instagram: @lorrainelifecoach


Never miss an episode! Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to get new episodes as they become available.

You can also listen on Spotify.

Thank you for listening! Follow my blog and share. I post new content each week.

The Change Diaries Podcast theme music by Ellan Neil

The Change Diaries Podcast cover design by Aris Amitirigala

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.   

5 things you can #choosetochallenge for gender equality

On Monday we celebrated International Women’s Day. Each year I come across one or two provocative people who ask the question – do we still need this day? 

The answer is yes. We must continue to spark conversation and recommitment to action, not only on March 8, but every single day, because there is much more to be done on a global scale to achieve gender equality. 

Only 20% of tech jobs in the US are held by women; in 2020 there were still only five women CEOs on the FTSE 100 in the UK; globally, women continue to shoulder the domestic burden. Added to that, we still have not achieved pay equity on a global scale. Women earn 77 cents for every dollar that men earn for work of equal value. Let that sink in before you say, ‘done and dusted’ and move on.  

International Women’s Day is about recognizing our progress while being honest about where we are and reaching for more.

I love this years’ theme #choosetochallenge. Challenge brings change and we certainly need to make many shifts in removing the barriers that prevent women from enjoying fulfilling lives, free from bias and deprivation.  

Here are a five things we can #choosetochallenge for change. 

#Choosetochallenge gender-coded norms

I still remember the day we went shopping as a family. My husband and my son wandered off together while Lauren stuck with me. She was about eight at the time. My eyes landed on a stack of boxes with shiny drone helicopters and I almost squealed. 

“Lauren, don’t you think this would be perfect for your brother?” I wasn’t really asking so I didn’t expect her to answer. 

She hesitated before responding, “Yes Mommy, but I want toys like these too, and no one ever buys them for me.” 


I bought two drone helicopters (one for each child) and went home feeling sick with guilt.  

As women, we like to think that we are at the forefront of the struggle for equality, but the truth is that we exist within a web of oppressive structures. We play into them and perpetuate them without even thinking.  

Look at the clothing, toys and books that you buy for your children. How do these reinforce gender-coded norms? Listen to the language that you use daily in your interactions. Where are you perpetuating stereotypes? Examine where and how you are reinforcing biased ways of thinking that don’t serve the journey towards progress.   

#Choosetochallenge men to share the domestic burden

Women don’t make better cleaners and carers. It’s a myth that we created. It’s time for us to change it. 

One morning I could not make it to my son’s school for a meeting with his teacher. She was holding an orientation session to introduce parents to the curriculum and answer questions. My husband said not to worry, he would attend before heading into office.  

Afterwards, he told me that he was the only man in a room of 30 people and the teacher was quite apologetic to him. She said that she could have sent the information home, he need not have come. 

I don’t believe she said that to any of the women present. I don’t think she would have said that to me. Is a man’s time more important than a woman’s?   

Why are women working fulltime jobs and still almost exclusively responsible for parenting, caring for aging parents, and managing domestic chores? With Covid they have also become de facto teachers and short-order cooks working round the clock to prepare meals and clean up.  

Can we just say STOP! 

Men – we need you to step up and support. You can’t say you are our biggest cheerleaders if you aren’t also doing your fair share at home. Please, relieve women of this tremendous burden so that they can lead more fulfilling lives.  

#Choosetochallenge negative behaviors towards women in the workplace

Often, in corporate environments, when a woman leans in and asks tough questions she is branded as aggressive, hostile, intense, angry. Unfortunately, it’s happened to me and to many other women I know. We need a concerted effort to end this practice of shaming women into being silent.  

Start by listening and observing what’s going on in your environment.  

  • Did someone mansplain when your female colleague made her point?  
  • Did someone ignore her point and then repeat it as if it were their original idea?  
  • Did someone say she was aggressive and emotional, so she isn’t ready for a promotion?  
  • When presenting, was she given less time on the floor and frequently interrupted? 
  • Is the salary you are about to offer her equal to or more than what you paid the last man who was in the role?  

You can break these negative patterns by interrupting bias. Speak up and challenge it when you see it in action.  

#Choosetochallenge by sponsoring women

My first job after graduating from University was at JAMPRO in Jamaica. All the way up the chain of command I worked with strong women – my colleague in the adjoining cubicle, my manager, the assistant vice president, and the president. All exceptionally talented women who guided me, coached me, mentored me, and sponsored me.  

In its 2018 report entitled Women in business and management: Gaining momentum in the Caribbean, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) revealed that Jamaica had the highest proportion of women managers in the world at 59 per cent. This is an impressive track record.  

I can tell you that the impact of being surrounded by strong female leaders is phenomenal. It is hard to be what we cannot see. Looking back on my early career, the stage was set for me to believe that no doors would be closed to me because I was a woman. But I also had the benefit of great sponsors, both male and female. 

I firmly believe that women are over-mentored and under sponsored. Mentoring is great but women also need coaching and active sponsors to nominate them for bigger roles.  

Where can you sponsor a woman today so that she can stretch into new opportunities? Is it in the workplace, or in the sporting arena, or in an extra-curricular activity? Become more intentional about using your power to make a difference.  

#Choosetochallenge yourself to think differently and uncover new dimensions

By stereotyping women, we also stereotype men. Be honest – when you think of a nursery schoolteacher does the image of a man come to mind? I bet there are men who wanted to pursue that career but were discouraged or ridiculed. 

When you think of someone staying home to take care of their baby, you think of the mother. Why not the father? Why aren’t more companies offering paternity leave so that fathers can lean in and share the bonding experience instead of sleeping in a separate room so they can be fresh for work in the morning? 

In shifting the paradigm that has existed for many years, men might temporarily feel displaced, but they can choose to think and operate in new ways which benefit everyone.  

I believe that if we work together, we can open the door to create greater balance in many professions – rebalancing where there are too few men and rebalancing where we don’t see women. It’s an exciting opportunity to build a society that works for all.  

What will you #choosetochallenge today?  

Leave a comment below. Let’s talk about it together and make change happen. 

Thank you for stopping by. Listen to my new podcast now available on Apple: The Change Diaries Podcast. And don’t forget to follow and share my blog. I post new content each week.  

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.     

Get up and dance!

Birthday Celebrations 2021. An original DruBaileyArt

“And if you get the choice to sit it out or dance…I hope you dance…”

A bestie of mine signs off all her emails with that quote from Lee Ann Womack.

Apart from breaking into a smile every time I read it, I am urged to live courageously and fully in every single moment. I barely need a reminder though as I have always lived with a sense of my own mortality. Call it a side effect of losing my parents as a child.

Each time I celebrate my birthday, as I did this past Sunday, I am acutely aware of how many years I have outlived them both and I think of how they left this earth so young. My father drowned at the beach in his early twenties. Compromised in childhood, my mother’s heart gave way before she turned thirty.

My reflections on mortality are not with a sense of foreboding, or sadness, or mourning; they are accompanied by an indescribable joy. The fact that I am still here, that I am alive and that I am surrounded by love is cause enough for celebration on my part.

How can I talk about celebrating at a time like this when we are grieving over lives and livelihoods lost in this lingering pandemic?

Honestly, I’d be the last person to tell you that life isn’t often gritty. You won’t find me donning rose-colored glasses or burying my head in the sand. No, I’ve been in the trenches, hung out in valleys, felt hot tears of despair on my cheeks.

But I also know there is always light in the darkness, even if it’s just a glimmer as we stumble through long tunnels purely by faith.

I recognize that living life fully means that there are times when we will be disappointed. Sometimes things do not go the way we want them to. There may be heartbreak and loss. Or a devastating failure. But each time we gather the strength to find our feet or get a trusted guide to help us rise again.

I think of it like dancing, one of my favorite things to do – at times our steps may falter until we catch the rhythm and hit our stride. Gradually we improve our technique, gain confidence, and continue mastering new routines.  

Dr. Wayne Dyer wrote, “When you dance your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.”

What I have decided is that whether the music is fast or slow I’ll just move to the beat, song after song. No matter what, as long as I have breath, I plan on dancing.

Today, if you are sitting it out, why not find your space on the floor? Life is too short to not get up and dance.

Thank you for stopping by. Please share your comments below and visit again soon. Check out The Change Diaries Podcast here. And don’t forget to follow and share. I post new content each week.

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.    

Dr. Michael Mendribil: I am never who I think I am

The Change Diaries Podcast explores how to better embrace change, spark change or simply be the change we want to see.  



In this episode I talk with Dr. Michael Mendribil, Transformative Life Coach. Dr. M. brings a warm and personal touch as he shares important insights on the challenges that men face in today’s world and how he discovered the gift of meditation. He also gives us a peek into the coaching world, offers advice on how we can better cope with the changes that this challenging time has brought and two great book recommendations for your reading list.   

Guest Bio 

Michael is the founder, chief guide and coach of Bonfire Society, a coaching community for men. He also leads Mendribil Wellness, where for over 30 years he has been helping people optimize their metabolism, fortify their health and master their mindset so that they can have everything they want in life.  

He is a Transformative Life Coach, a practicing Naturopathic Physician, a Functional Medicine Practitioner, and ongoing student and teacher of life. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and daughter.  

You can find him at: 

Instagram: BonfireSocietyNOW  

Thank you for listening. Let me know your thoughts, comments, and what other topics you would like to explore during this first season as I chat with various coaches. What are some of the questions on your mind as you navigate change? What question would you like the coaches to answer?

Never miss an episode! Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to get new episodes as they become available.

You can also listen on Spotify.

Follow my blog and share with others! I post new content each week.


The Change Diaries Podcast theme music by Ellan Neil  

The Change Diaries Podcast cover design by Aris Amitirigala 

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.     

The new superpowers that you need right now

What’s your superpower? Perhaps you have more than one. Maybe you have a long list of them.

But somewhere in the mix there are a couple must-haves. If you don’t know what they are, I’ll give you a hint: speaking well is not one of them.

I listened to a conversation this Monday between Van Jones, CNN political commentator and veritable change-maker and Wes Hall, entrepreneur, and founder of Canada’s Black North Initiative.

Van Jones was on fire. He shared political insights, his views on race relations and dispensed advice on the new, necessary superpowers that will not only change the way you lead but improve your life.

Apparently, being able to speak well or present well is the old superpower. No panic if you are a super orator, it’s still useful, but it’s just not a superpower.

What’s the new one? The one that unlocks the door to great partnerships, innovation, mega-deals, marketing campaigns and more?

Being Able to Listen Well.

According to Van Jones, given the diversity around us with different voices, cultures and perspectives, any leader who wants to grow their business must be able to listen well to all. If they don’t, they may be missing out and leaving money on the table.

We especially need to listen to the voices that have been stifled or unheard. Also, listening is a skill that needs to trickle all the way throughout and be part of the culture. Show me any breakdown in any system or relationship and we can trace it back to the point where someone stopped listening.

That system or relationship could be in the home, the classroom, or the boardroom. Listening is an act of love – see my blog post on this subject.

But he said that listening is not enough. You also need the new superpower mindset:


Empathy is essential to building more inclusive communities and workplaces. Especially in this pandemic, it is perhaps the most important leadership skill to hone. To understand different people and collaborate successfully with them, you must be able to see things from their perspective. Read here for more on what empathy does for you and how to cultivate it.

For good measure, here’s a bonus superpower:

Knowing when to ask for help.

My son Aris drops nuggets of wisdom on me all the time. Last week he said, “Mom, it’s great to be independent but sometimes you should be dependent and let others help you.” Good for him. He’s helping with the laundry today. Maybe he will cook dinner too.

On a serious note. Asking for help is a valuable skill. Playing hero isn’t smart. It’s lonely, and you either get less done or you burn yourself out. Letting others help you is key to being able to do more and do it better.

Early in my career while was I working in Jamaica, I landed a new role where I was assigned to lead a project. My manager asked me to include a risk assessment. I wasn’t sure which template to use but I hesitated to ask. I mean, isn’t this why they hired me? Because I know stuff?

So, I pulled something together. When I sat in the room with the Exec going through the presentation, they drew a blank when they looked at the slide with my risk assessment. Clearly it wasn’t what they had expected.

My manager asked me right there, “Who helped you with this?”

“No-one,” I said.

“But why didn’t you ask for help? I would never have expected you to tackle this on your own.”

I called the lead Risk manager. He popped into the session and led a comprehensive risk assessment.

Boy, did I ever learn a lot.

I had pressured myself to have all the answers and do everything on my own to make an impression in my new role – pull together a kick-ass plan with all the research and a comprehensive risk assessment too. How ridiculous was that!

No-one expects you to know everything. But they do expect you to know when to ask for help. People aren’t waiting to trip you up and you won’t be ‘found out’ as lacking. That’s your imposter syndrome having a party with your inner critic. Disinvite yourself.

Instead, believe that help is always out there ready and waiting for you if you simply ask.

Is it time to step back and check your superpowers to ensure these are on your list?

  1. Listen well
  2. Have empathy
  3. Know when to ask for help

No sweat if you are missing any; start building that muscle today.

Thank you for stopping by. Leave a comment and let me know what’s your superpower! Visit again soon, subscribe and share. I post new content each week. © Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.