Inspiration / Life / News

I Am a Wising Supernova | Danielle Bennett


I Am a Wising Supernova | Danielle Bennett

by Danielle Bennett

Danielle is a professional left- and right-brainer–she’s a freelance artist and works in communications at an education non-profit in Los Angeles. She deeply believes in the power of poetry as a cathartic tool and means of compelling storytelling. Danielle is an east coast native, former high school teacher, and breakfast lover. One day, she hopes to complete a New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle without any help.

The older I get

the more I see

nuance over


My mother is a

bubbling bath of

warm & bitter love

My father is a

chased away absence

I still sniff out

My love is a

a singed laughter

& recovering delight

I am a

wising supernova still attached

to a string of fool’s choices

I cannot edit or

filter my past,

the office,

this country,

all the noise I’d

like to unplug—

none of it a tumor to remove,

but rather

a knot I elbow into

each time I practice

radically accepting

& allowing & letting

go into an easy tide

The older I get

I know all the bother

is not “them.”

I am

exactly how

I am seeing.


014: How to be a Powerful Woman with Carmina Becerra PS You already are one.


carmina becerra - how to be a powerful woman

How to be a Powerful Woman with Carmina Becerra PS You already are one.

Usually I record podcasts remotely.  But this episode, I got to sit on Carmina Philipe’s couch with green smoothies in hand to talk about life, love, and everything that goes along with it. Carmina is a powerful woman.  She is the co-founder of Camera Ready, a media training company. Prior to this, she worked as a TV host on networks like Telemundo and Univision. She has interviewed people like David Beckham, Chris Martin, and Sophia Vergara, y’all! More recently, she has become a wife. Now, let’s dive into her journey there.

carmina becerra - how to be a powerful woman

Rediscovering Herself

  • Recently, she has gone on a journey of rediscovering loving her body today, not some future or past version of it.  And man it has been a journey.

  • She talks about shifting from knowing to believing that she is a powerful woman.  It was easy to say that, but fear kept her from really owning it. After a lot of self-work she can now say about embracing herself as a powerful woman, “Now, I’m courageous enough to feel it.”

  • “What’s important for me is how I feel and not how it looks on the outside.”

“There’s freedom in structure, and there’s freedom in integrity. I have never felt more free.”

Freedom Begins with Structure

  • As Carmina said, for the sake of taking a stand for her freedom she used to let her “freak flag fly”.  But now she is finding the beauty and freedom within structure.

  • We talk about the safety and comfort of structure. The canvas for the painter is a boundary, a structure.  But it’s that boundary that creates the space to create freely. We need,structure to live.

  • This relates to her former belief, out of fear, that monogamy was not for her.  It felt less risky to just not want marriage, because if it didn’t happen it was because she didn’t choose it.  It protected her from rejection–from the fear of not being chosen. But now she not only believes in the beauty and intimacy within the marriage relationship.  She herself is living that freedom in the structure of marriage with the man she loves.

Past Insecurities

  • When she was little, she asked a boy to see a movie with her and he promptly told her she looked like a dog becsuse her skin was brown.  She decided to believe from that moment that she wasn’t good enough.

  • Over the years she found herself in relationships where she was cheated.  Looking back on her past she asked herself “how did I create that?”, and realized, “We are treated (by others), the way we treat ourselves”.

  • She kept her relationships surface level, having sex with men but pretending to be perfect. “I wouldn’t let them see my vulnerability or my insecurities or my fears.”

  • Her mother always taught her that strength was found in hiding your sadness, fear, and insecurities.

  • “I was so fearful of that type of love, the love that I have now.”

  • “He gets to see parts of me that I so dislike and he loves them.”

Shifting the Narrative

  • When she was in high school, she had such feelings of unworthiness that she decided to attempt suicide.

  • Her mother found her in time, and she was able to come back from that experience.

  • “God wanted me to be here, so what is that purpose then?”

  • She dove into self-discovery books, found a great mentor in a nun and got into music and sports.

  • “I matter. I matter because I have something to give.”

  • From there, she decided to live and work in the service of others. She tries to always remain a student and learn something new.

  • Every day, she is choosing integrity and grace.

If you find yourself giving in to fears and insecurities, “Interrupt it. Choose something else.”


I am so excited I got to share Carmina with y’all. Here is where you can keep up with her. She is on Instagram and Facebook. Camera Ready is taking on new clients so if you’d like to get in touch with her, email her at

If you would like to become a patron of The Refined Collective Podcast, I would be so grateful. You can pledge as little as $5 a month! You can sign up here.

This episode is brought to you by the free PDF guide called “Moving Through Fear.” It is full of resources that I hope will help guide you through rejecting the lies in your life and finding the truth.

Check out this episode!


013: Love + Football: Female Empowerment in a Male Dominated Industry with Samantha Ponder


Love & Football - Female Empowerment in a Male Dominated Industry with Samantha Ponder

Love + Football:  Female Empowerment in a Male Dominated Industry with Samantha Ponder

This week, I am talking to Samantha Ponder, the Sunday NFL Countdown host on ESPN. Y’all.  She is the first female host of an NFL pregame show. She lives in New York City with her husband Christian, whom she married after three months of dating, and they have their third child on the way! This episode, I talk with her about how she got to where she is in her career, what it’s like being in a male dominated industry, and how she navigates marriage with her husband of five years.

Taking A Chance and Putting in the Work

  • Right after high school graduation, Sam moved to New York to pursue her dream.
  • “I didn’t know anybody, I had a couple credit cards with $250 maximums and some Wendy’s coupons and I figured it out.”
  • She credits her internship experiences as her ticket into a difficult and intimidating industry.
  • Every single one of her ‘all of a sudden’ moments was born out of hard work and dedication.

Battling Insecurity

  • Achievement doesn’t solve all of life’s problems y’all.
  • Before she got married, she thought marriage- someone choosing you for forever- would eliminate any insecurity. Through her own marriage, she learned that that’s an unhealthy pressure to put on anyone let alone her husband.
  • She finds that insecurities allow for connection with others, and let’s be real, nobody is perfect and even if there were such a thing, how isolating would that be?

Woman in a Man’s World

  • Sam notes that sometimes women will try to act like men  in order to work in a male dominated field, but it’s a flawed idea.
  • “We want to be empowered and independent and strong. We want all of those things but not at the risk of losing our ability to connect with other people.”
  • She notes that coaches have been warm because of her feminine ability to connect with others.
  • When faced with criticism, she remembers an important piece of advice: “The only thing that should really keep you up at night is if something has some truth to it.”

Comfort is boring.  Let's get messy.  Samantha Ponder

Love and Basketball Football

  • Sam’s love story began when NFL quarterback and now-husband Christian tweeted her! (Social media for the win!)
  • They met for the first time in September, and got married in December. In those few months, they were living in different states and would only see each other one day a week.
  • Five years in, and with their third child on the way, Sam has learned a lot about love.
  • She notes that they were both selfish when they met. “What I didn’t realize is so much of love is self-sacrifice.”
  • She now realizes all of the work that is necessary. “The goal should not be comfort. Comfort is boring. Let’s get messy. Let’s work through our insecurities.”

Sam has accomplished so much already in her life, and is so very wise. Looking back, she wishes she had slowed down a bit and appreciated the quiet moments. I am so grateful I got to talk with this inspiring woman. I’ll leave you with some of her advice.

“Enjoy the process,

Embrace the struggle,

Don’t be afraid to be sad.”


This episode is brought to you by The Flourish Market.  The Flourish Market is a place where every product has a bigger purpose, and you can snag ethically made on trend clothes, jewelry, bags, and accessories at accessible price points, all while supporting the causes you care about.

Visit, and you’re going to find 5 fun resources from owner Em to help you ‘fill your cup,’ along with a special discount code you can use on your first purchase.  Thanks  Flourish Market!


Sam Ponder Instagram

Sam Ponder Twitter

Check out this episode!