The Empowerment Podcast – Episode 48

Finding Empowerment within the Upsetting Context of Mass Shootings – an Interview with SAC Kieran Ramsey, FBI Portland

There’s a clear uptick in mass shootings across the country leading to lots of fear, confusion and anguish. Who better to talk to than the FBI? Join me and my guest, Special Agent in Charge of the Portland FBI, Kieran Ramsey.

We discuss how regular people like you and me can help prevent mass shootings and play a role in stopping this disturbing cycle of violence. (Hint: it will not make the news.) We discuss the ins and outs, ups and downs of knowing what to look for, fact versus myth, reporting, planning, preparation and yes, believe it or not, empowerment!

Many thanks to SAC Ramsey for sharing his experience and wisdom as we negotiate the complex landscape we all live in right now.

Please share this episode far and wide. Together, we can create a kinder and safer world, one relationship at a time. We’ve got this!

Resources Mentioned in this Episode:
• Call 911
• Call Your Local Non-Emergency Police Phone Number: Directory by City
• Report to the FBI
• Contact Your Local FBI Field Office
• FBI Phone #: 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324)

Connect with Silvia
Trauma Informed Active Shooter Trainings with Silvia

Special thanks to my editor, Henry Smart-Denson

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The Empowerment Podcast – Episode 47

Folks, Florida is on the front lines right now. There are huge safety concerns brought on by the cruel laws, restrictions, rhetoric, and policies of Ron DeSantis and his friends that are affecting many people. Because of this, Equality Florida, along with the NAACP and the League of United Latin American Citizens, have all issued travel advisories for the State of Florida.

I wanted to find out more and am thrilled to introduce you to Brandon Wolf, the Press Secretary of Equality Florida.

In April 2023, Brandon’s organization, Equality Florida warned against traveling to the state of Florida for folks in the LGBTQ+ community saying it could be risky and potentially unsafe. The warning says: “Taken in their totality, Florida’s slate of laws and policies targeting basic freedoms and rights pose a serious risk to the health and safety of those traveling to the state.”
The League of United Latin American Citizens issued its own warning, saying bluntly: “Traveling to Florida is dangerous.” The advisory goes on to say travel in Florida “can be unsafe for people of color, individuals who speak with an accent, and international travelers,” and people in those groups could face “a heightened risk of harassment, possible detainment, and potential family separation based on racial profiling.”

From the New York Times: The NAACP became the latest to issue a travel advisory to the Sunshine State, warning that Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’s “aggressive attempts to erase Black history and to restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools” have turned the state into an openly hostile place for people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Before traveling to Florida, please understand that the state of Florida devalues and marginalizes the contributions of, and the challenges faced by African Americans and other communities of color.”

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The Empowerment Podcast – Episode 46

Denial, Safety, and Empowerment – If we’re gonna talk about Empowerment Self Defense, we have to talk about denial. When talking with survivors of sexual assault and survivors of other types of relational violence it is common to hear that the survivor had a funny feeling something was wrong but then doubted themselves or rationalized or minimized their intuition and flat out ignored it. This is called denial.

Denial can put us at risk and because of that, breaking through denial in all the ways it manifests in our lives keeps us safer. Period. Looking at and talking about denial is directly connected to empowerment self-defense AND to our safety as we walk through the world.

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The Empowerment Podcast – Episode 45

Meet Jill Shames, Empowerment Self Defense Instructor. Listen in as she and host, Silvia Smart, share a few self-defense success stories and talk about all the things the survivors did RIGHT! Find out why they recommend a perspective shift as you think through your own experiences! You are strong and powerful and Jill and Silvia believe in you!

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The Empowerment Podcast – Episode 44

Meet Lauren Taylor who has been working to end gender-based violence since 1978, when she co-founded Washington, D.C.’s first shelter for abused women. As an empowerment self-defense teacher and founder-director of Defend Yourself, she’s trained more than 35,000 people in the D.C. area and elsewhere in the U.S. She’s also trained dozens of trainers around the country and around the world.

Join us as we find out more about Lauren and what makes her tick. Learn about the book she co-authored with Nadia Telsey, which will be published in the fall! Importantly, follow the links here to learn how to pre-order the book and support this important work!

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The Empowerment Podcast – Episode 43

I Survived a Cult
Join host Silvia Smart as she shares pieces of her journey to empowerment and survival from a cult-like martial arts system. Listen to the red flags that crop up around these dysfunctional and sometimes dangerous systems and people.

Cults and charismatic leaders with ill intent are everywhere – Qanon, NXIVM, Scientology, and The Children of God, are just a few examples. Cults and narcissistic, manipulative, and sociopathic leaders exist within conspiratorial cultures, churches, and spiritual groups. People get stuck in these systems – especially when they are vulnerable. Learn the signs so you can protect yourself and stay safe.

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The Empowerment Podcast – Episode 42

What to Do: Choke From Behind

Smart shares a surprising self-defense success story that is near and dear to her heart. Find out how her 90-year-old dad responded when he was choked from behind while walking down the street!

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The Empowerment Podcast – Episode 41

Join host, Silvia Smart and her guest, Tasha Ina Church, an empowerment self-defense teacher with a life story you want to hear about! On her website, she writes: “Empowerment goes beyond physical safety. It is understanding that YOU have a VOICE and that voice has POWER — It’s about knowing that in any fight; physical, psychological, or emotional, YOU are Worth Fighting For!”

Special thanks to my editor, Collin Taber (@that2ndtaberkid)

Resources:
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673

Join “The Empowerment Project” Group on Facebook. For everyone’s safety, please know that if you don’t answer the questions, we will not accept you into the group.

#theempowermentpodcast, #theempowermentproject, #theempowermentpodcastybynaga, #emowermentselfdefense, #selfdefense, #nagacommunity, #elleliveaction, @elleliveaction

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The Empowerment Podcast – Episode 40

Empowerment & Dragons! Empowerment is a lifelong journey. Celebrate your wins and contemplate next steps. Join host, Silvia Smart, as she shares a piece of her journey into and beyond a lifelong challenge that impacted every area of her life. Find out how she vanquished her dragon and lived to tell about it!

Empowerment means doing stuff that is hard and scary, looking at the way we limit ourselves, the way society limits us…and facing it, moving through it, living to tell about it, seeing, feeling and knowing how strong and powerful we are because of these choices and this journey, and then going on to share our experiences, challenges and successes as a way of helping others who face similar trials and tribulations.

Connect with Silvia

Special thanks to my editor, Collin Taber (@that2ndtaberkid)

Resources:
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673
National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse

LINKS:
Video about Joseph Campbell,“Finding Joe” (beware, it’s heavy on the references to men.)
“Because I said I would”.
My blog on Food Addiction which has links to the program that is working for me.

Support this important work:
Buy Me a Coffee
Donate through my website
Thank you!

Join “The Empowerment Project” Group on Facebook. For everyone’s safety, please know that if you don’t answer the questions, we will not accept you into the group.

#theempowermentpodcast, #theempowermentproject, #theempowermentpodcastybynaga, #emowermentselfdefense, #selfdefense, #nagacommunity, #becauseisaidiwould, #brightlineeating, #ble, #findingjoe,

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The Empowerment Podcast – Episode 39

Self Defense and Martial Arts – An Interview with Jim Wetzel

Join host, Silvia Smart, and her guest, Jim Wetzel as they discuss the martial art they train and so much more. Poekoelan Tjimindie was brought to the US from Indonesia in 1956 by Willy Wetzel. Jim is his youngest son, has been training in this art since he was 4 years old, and is a font of wisdom. He’s kind, and generous and is a wonderful human being and teacher.

In this episode, Silvia and Jim discuss all things self-defense. Also, if you are looking to begin some of your own martial arts training, they spend some time talking about how to pick the right style, school, and teacher for you.

Connect with Silvia
Connect with Jim: wetzelsystems@gmail.com

Special thanks to my editor, Collin Taber (@that2ndtaberkid)

Resources:
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673
National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse

Support this important work:
Buy Me a Coffee
Donate through my website
Thank you!

Join “The Empowerment Project” Group on Facebook. For everyone’s safety, please know that if you don’t answer the questions, we will not accept you into the group.

#theempowermentpodcast, #theempowermentproject, #theempowermentpodcastybynaga, #emowermentselfdefense, #selfdefense, #nagacommunity, #poekoelan, #poekoelantjimindie

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The Empowerment Podcast – Episode 38

Zero Tolerance

Are you ready to set a Zero Tolerance Policy? Is another person’s behavior toward you hurtful, demeaning, disrespectful or downright threatening? In this episode, we contemplate our tolerance levels for others’ behaviors. We think through becoming ready to make a boundary and draw a line: to have “Zero Tolerance”. We look at the planning and preparation needed to ensure we set ourselves up for the greatest success possible.

Hear two stories: one that illustrates a “mushy” policy and one that illustrates “Zero Tolerance”. Explore an example with host, Silvia Smart. Hear about the “Zero Tolerance Policy” of the NBA and yes, her favorite team, The Portland Trailblazers as they’ve codified it into expectations of fans at games.

Connect with Silvia

Special thanks to my editor, Collin Taber (@that2ndtaberkid)

Resources:
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673
National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse

Support this important work:
Buy Me a Coffee
Donate through my website
Thank you!

Join “The Empowerment Project” Group on Facebook. For everyone’s safety, please know that if you don’t answer the questions, we will not accept you into the group.

#theempowermentpodcast, #theempowermentproject, #theempowermentpodcastybynaga, #emowermentselfdefense, #selfdefense, #nagacommunity, #zerotolerance, #blazers, #trailblazers, #portlandtrailblazers

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The Empowerment Podcast – Episode 37

Blowback What it is and How to Handle it!

Blowback is another person’s reaction when you reclaim your power, take up your space, set boundaries and make changes in your life. Blowback comes in a large variety of sizes and shapes and can look and feel many different ways. Ultimately, it’s about the other person trying to maintain the status quo. It’s their way of trying to keep the power dynamic between you from changing.

Like all of our self-defense, the level of blowback will vary up and down the continuum of assault and violence. When you know it’s coming and can plan and prepare for it, you get to practice handling it. This practice helps you respond to blowback when the stakes are higher or if it comes as a surprise.

You have every right to claim your space, set boundaries, and step into your power. Here are some thoughts about blowback and some tools for your self-defense toolkit to deal with it when it happens to you.

Chances are good that as you set boundaries and step into empowerment, you WILL get blowback. So be prepared! You’ve got this!

Connect with Silvia

Special thanks to my editor, Collin Taber (@that2ndtaberkid)

Resources:
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673
National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse

Support this important work:
Buy Me a Coffee
Donate through my website
Thank you!

Join “The Empowerment Project” Group on Facebook. For everyone’s safety, please know that if you don’t answer the questions, we will not accept you into the group.

#theempowermentpodcast, #theempowermentproject, #theempowermentpodcastybynaga, #emowermentselfdefense, #selfdefense, #nagacommunity, #blowback

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Silvia Smart | Podcast Host

With over three decades of experience teaching self-defense, host Silvia Smart is a sixth-degree black belt and Head Instructor at her martial arts school in Oregon. Smart was recognized for her dedication when the Association of Women’s Martial Arts Instructors inducted her into their Hall of Fame class of 2020. Aside from teaching at her school, she brings her compassion and expertise to companies like Nike, The City of Portland, Doc Marten, the FBI, and various non-profits, organizations, private groups, schools, and universities around the country.

Available here on the website and also on most podcast platforms. Search: The Empowerment Podcast by Naga

Production and Editing Credit: Henry Smart-Denson & Collin Taber

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The Power Up Kids Self Defense Podcast

With over three decades of experience teaching self-defense to children, teens, and adults, host Silvia Smart is a sixth-degree black belt and Head Instructor at her martial arts school in Oregon. Smart was inducted into the Association of Women’s Martial Arts Instructors Hall of Fame in 2020, recognized for both her dedication and body of work. Smart shares her compassion, ferocity, and wisdom with companies like Nike, Splunk, The City of Portland, Doc Marten, the FBI, and various non-profits, organizations, private groups, schools, and universities around the country.

It is Silvia’s joy to share the gifts of owned power and safety through understanding, humor, and storytelling. A mom, Smart credits her two adult children with inspiring an ever-greater awareness of kids’ real, lived experience and their incredible ability to comprehend age-appropriate messaging. She strives for impact, honesty, true empowerment, and effectiveness in her work teaching children self-defense.

Listening to The Power Up Kids Self Defense Podcast, kids are engaged and empowered while the adults in their lives gain language and tools to best support them. This can be a challenging subject to walk through with our children! Smart’s hope is that by listening together, children, and the adults who care for them, keep their conversations going long after each episode’s final affirmations. Her passion for this work is evident from the very first episode.

The Power Up Kids Self Defense Podcast – Episode 8

Meet Jill Shames, Empowerment Self Defense Instructor. Listen in as she and host, Silvia Smart, share a cool kids’ self-defense success story and talk about all the things the kid did RIGHT! You are strong and powerful and Jill and Silvia believe in you!

The Power Up Kids Self Defense Podcast – Episode 7

Reflections on Bullying from Dad and Pastor Chris Dela Cruz

Chris Dela Cruz reflects on times when he was teased and bullied as a kid. Smart and Dela Cruz discuss what it was like, how it felt, and how he handled this behavior. They think through feelings and self-talk that accompany a kid getting harassed and mistreated. From his perspective as an adult, dad and pastor, Dela Cruz shares his wisdom with kids who are living through similar experiences. If you want to be an ally – adults and kids alike – for a child suffering bullying, teasing, cruelty or intimidation, you will find understanding and insight here too.

Together, we can empower kids, schools and families to confront this issue head-on with sensitivity and compassion.

The Power Up Kids Self Defense Podcast – Episode 6

NO! Part 2

In the last episode, we started talking about the word NO! Make sure you listen to that episode first. We talked about how important it is to be able to notice that you feel uncomfortable so you can make the choice to say it when you need it – and to be able to say it like you really mean it!

In this episode, we’re going to think through a few examples of times when your body might be alerting you and you feel scared. We’re going to talk through some of these times and break them apart together. I’m going to also ask you to pause this podcast a couple of times and talk through different examples with the trusted adult you are listening to this with. So, if your trusted adult is not here listening with you? Go get them first! OK? OK!

Note: Adults please listen first then listen and discuss with your kiddo!

Special thanks to my producer/editor, Collin Taber (@that2ndtaberkid)

Support this important work:
Buy Me a Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/silviasmart
Donate through my website: https://nagacommunity.com/product/support-the-empowerment-podcast-by-naga/
Thank you!

#powerup, #theempowermentproject, #kidselfdefense, #selfdefense, #thepowerupkidsselfdefensepodcast, #nagacommunity, #no

Connect with Silvia: www.nagacommunity.com/contact

The Power Up Kids Self Defense Podcast – Episode 5

NO! Part 1

In this episode, we’ll start to understand the power of being able to say “NO!” This word unlocks empowerment for kids! Being able to say “NO!” is one of the most important tools in a kid’s self-defense toolkit. If someone is asking you to do something and you get a funny feeling, saying “NO!” is one of the first things you can do. In this episode, I want to talk about this one little word. It’s got superpowers. It really does! It lets you stand your ground especially when you say it like you really mean it.

Special thanks to my editor Azucena Melchor

Support this important work:

Buy Me a Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/silviasmart

Donate through my website: https://nagacommunity.com/product/support-the-empowerment-podcast-by-naga/

Thank you!

#powerup, #theempowermentproject, #kidselfdefense, #selfdefense, #thepowerupkidsselfdefensepodcast, #nagacommunity, #no #nomeansno

Connect with Silvia: www.nagacommunity.com/contact

The Power Up Kids Self Defense Podcast – Episode 4

TELL!

What do you do when there is a teacher at school making you feel uncomfortable? Hear the story of a group of brave middle schoolers, what they did and what happened next. Learn action steps to take – for both kids and the adults who love them. What do you do when concerns arise whether at school, in a religious community, on sports teams, with neighbors, friends or even family.

CONTENT WARNING – This is a story about middle schoolers, so, trusted adults, listen first or at least be present and listen with your kiddo. My hope is that after listening, you have a lot to talk about!

Special thanks to my producer, Henry Smart-Denson & my editor, Azucena Melchor!

Support this important work:
Buy Me a Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/silviasmart
Donate through my website: https://nagacommunity.com/product/support-the-empowerment-podcast-by-naga/
Thank you!

#powerup, #theempowermentproject, #kidselfdefense, #selfdefense, #thepowerupkidsselfdefensepodcast, #nagacommunity, #TELL

Connect with Silvia: www.nagacommunity.com/contact

The Power Up Kids Self Defense Podcast – Episode 3

How does it feel to be threatened by a bully at school? How can kids power up and respond? What works for kids and what support can parents provide? How can schools respond in a way that is safe, effective and fair?

Join this age-appropriate conversation with Emilia, daughter of host Silvia Smart, and find out what happened when a school bully tried to intimidate her in fourth grade. What did she do when he pulled out a pair of scissors and threatened her? How did it feel, at 10 years old, to find herself in that vulnerable position?

Listen as Emilia describes what she did, how she handled this complex situation, and how her mom supported her when the school fumbled. Use this conversation as a jumping-off point for a family conversation. Add these important strategies to your child’s self-defense toolkit. Engage with your kiddo’s school to ascertain what their bullying policies are. Hint: “No Tolerance” is a good start.

Special thanks to my producer/editor, Henry Smart-Denson

Support this important work:

Buy Me a Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/silviasmart

Donate through my website: https://nagacommunity.com/product/support-the-empowerment-podcast-by-naga/

Thank you!

#powerup, #theempowermentproject, #kidselfdefense, #selfdefense, #thepowerupkidsselfdefensepodcast, #nagacommunity, #bullying, #nobully, #nobullying, #antibully, #standuptobullies, #schoolbully

I want to hear your story! Connect with Silvia: www.nagacommunity.com/contact

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