For the 50th Run Your Life podcast, host Andy Vasily turned the hosting reins over to yours truly – author/educator/Captain America wannabe –  Frank Stepnowski, and allowed me to interview HIM. Together, with the help of a very special guest, we made some radio magic to start 2017 with an inspired bang.

The program starts with a shout out to mutual friend and all around good guy Ross Halliday, which led into a discussion of kindred spirits and the “inner voice’ that called Andy to start the Run Your Life podcast. The initial days of the podcasts are discussed, and how it evolved into an exploration of personal excellence, with Andy using it as a vehicle to inspire educators to self-reflect.

Drawing on his myriad travels around the globe, Andy offers, as a student of the World, some insight into our current state of divisiveness and how the presence of religion and faith grew and metamorphized in his life and led to his promotion of the recognition of goodness in others as a means to “oneness.” This is a message that needs to be heard, and I am thrilled to have facilitated getting this on record.

In a must listen segment, Andy’s wife, the beautiful and talented Neila Steele, joins us with some personal reflection on how their family used their Christmas vacation in Europe to practice mindfulness, and extend their already daily practice of gratefulness.

Andy can’t help being the host, (and it is his show after all,) so he gets me rolling on the delicate dance between satisfying BS educational mandates and connecting to very human students. As mindfulness was on the table, we discussed love and loss of family, and how Andy’s commitment to their memories informs his daily decisions, and how he initially found his way through grief through sports and physicality.

Brightening the mood a bit, I asked Andy to elaborate on what makes him a good teacher, his ability to be “in the moment,” and why connection takes precedent over curriculum. Of course, this being a pre-Christmas show, we had to talk holiday movies and such, and I’m pretty sure I got compared to the Grinch at some point.

Before he let me wrap up, Neila Steele flipped the script and put the guest host on the hot seat with a discussion of how I plan to carry mindfulness into the new year; I must have given a good answer because I get rewarded with a spiritual blessing and virtual hug that is guaranteed to make everyone listening feel good.

I teased you with some tidbits from our extended conversation, but trust me, Andy’s (and Nelia’s) observations and insights provide a calming influence that we could all use in this day and age, do yourself a favor and listen.

I, for one, cannot wait for episode 51.

-Frank Stepnowski

Connect with Frank and Andy

Frank: Twitter (@frankstep1)

Andy: Twitter (@andyvasily)


Themes Discussed:

Empowerment, Human Connection, Mindfulness, Ross Halliday, Personal & Professional Growth, Teacher Impact, Excellence