Guest Titan: Annie Wood, actor (Good Luck Chuck, My Sister’s Keeper), writer, mindfulness enthusiast.

Tea of choice: Steam Tea’s organic Earl Grey Lavender

What we cover: “Love, love, love yourself. Really, do it.” —Annie Wood

I have admired Annie Wood for the better part of a decade. She exemplifies the commitment to rising after a setback, and to continually moving forward. She’s as dedicated to the process of living an authentic life as anyone I’ve ever met — and then some.

You may know her from memorable appearances in movies like Good Luck Chuck with Dane Cook, and My Sister’s Keeper with Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin. But when I think of Annie, I think so much more.

She’s as prolific a creative person as they get. She goes — not stop. Her output is tremendous and admirable and head-scratching. If she were a cyclist I’m sure she’d be tested for doping — really; she’s just that good. She knows that the notion of “arriving” is a myth… that just being here is the gift. There is no “arrival”. And unless we’re celebrating all the small moments along the way over the chronology of our lives, we are missing the point entirely.

In addition to being born in Hollywood and enjoying a 30+ year career here, she’s not only an actor, but she’s a writer and a producer as well. Her YouTube series “Karma’s a bitch” has approximately 2,000,000 views and was awarded Best of the Web on Virgin Airlines. She’s also an artist — you can check out her super great work on her Etsy shop (I bought one of her gorgeous tiles, and you can too) via the link at MJDionne.com, under the podcaster tab. She’s the creator of the DoGoodStuff.org, which gently reminds us to be kind. On top of all this, she’s what she calls a Mindfulness Enthusiast. In the chaos and uncertainty of the journey — and hey, we’re all on one — she knows the value of stopping to breathe.

Despite living the entirety of her life in a city known for being at times unforgiving and cut throat and relentless, this is a woman who does yoga every day — not “almost” every day, but actually every day. When her mom, Abby, a woman who fled an abusive relationship in Israel with Annie’s two older brothers, was dying, Annie set up her yoga mat beside her deathbed — in an effort to stay grounded during the hardest days of her own life. And we talk about that.

We also talk about some super cool pop culture stuff too — those stories I love, that come from peeking in the portal of another person’s life experiences. During her tenure as the host of the nationally syndicated game show host “Bzzz”, Annie was a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and on Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher. And come on, don’t we all want to know what THAT would be like? Of course we do.

We are all on a journey, and whether we call ourselves “creative” or not — we are all in fact creative. What could be more creative than designing an authentic life? Nothing, that’s what. And if you’re listening to this series, that’s what you’re doing, consciously or otherwise, and I applaud you for it. Anyone who decides to live more true-to-themselves, and to abandon the outside clutter, and who choses to live more courageously, more creatively, gets my full respect. So thank you. I know you will love Annie for all of these reasons.

How you can learn more:

What book do we recommend you download for free? Right here, right now? The Power of your Subconscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy


Episode 2: Amber Fares, filmmaker

Award-winning documentary filmmaker, Amber Fares, discusses her decision to depart her career in advertising and pursue unknown territory — all with a camera strapped around her neck.