Maria Tabone and Beverly Williams: “Practicing mindfulness meditation and yoga has made a big impact on my life”

Maria — Practicing mindfulness meditation and yoga has made a big impact on my life. Mindfulness and yoga are not only practiced on the mat. Being mindful in your daily life keeps the focus in the present moment. We cannot change the past or predict the future. Focusing on the past can cause depression and thinking about […]

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Maria — Practicing mindfulness meditation and yoga has made a big impact on my life. Mindfulness and yoga are not only practiced on the mat. Being mindful in your daily life keeps the focus in the present moment. We cannot change the past or predict the future. Focusing on the past can cause depression and thinking about the future can cause anxiety. Staying grounded requires moment-to-moment awareness. Many times, when we are cooking or showering our minds may wander off. We may think of the day’s task instead of savoring a hot shower or enjoying the aroma of cooking a meal for loved ones. You don’t want to miss out on those moments.

Often when we refer to wellness, we assume that we are talking about physical wellbeing. But one can be physically very healthy but still be unwell, emotionally or mentally. What are the steps we can take to cultivate optimal wellness in all areas of our life; to develop Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing?

As a part of our series about “How We Can Do To Cultivate Our Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Maria Tabone and Beverly Williams.

Maria Tabone, B.A., M.A., Integrative Health and Healing, M.S., Nutrition and Health, is a Holistic Nutritionist, Certified Ayurveda Practitioner, Certified Holistic Health Coach & Nutrition Educator, Clinical Aromatherapist, Registered Yoga Teacher, Healing Foods Chef and Author. She has spent over 20 years studying alternative medicine and the mind/body/spirit connection. Maria has certifications in various healing practices including Herbalism, Reflexology, Reiki and Chakra Balancing. She has studied at the Institute of Culinary Education, the Natural Gourmet Institute. Maria’s first book is entitled “The Holistic Root to Managing Anxiety.”

Beverly Williams, B.A., M.P.A., J.D., is an author, arbitrator, attorney who specializes in labor and employment law and a lecturer. She has worked in positions of increasing responsibility in the private and public sectors and served on the boards of two nonprofit organizations. Beverly’s next book, “GPS to Employment Success: How to Find and Succeed in the Right Job”, will be available in early 2021.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

Beverly: My parents were active union members and office holders. My mother, a southern lady and all that means, was a role model for me to emulate. Every so often, however, my father’s less gentile persona crept into my personality.

As a child, I was inquisitive and opinionated. I also loved to talk. In fact, in first grade I talked so much that my teacher finally had my desk moved into the cloakroom. When classmates went into the cloakroom and did not come out, the teacher came in.

My desk was returned to the classroom and my parents were called. My excellent grades and a stern talking to from my father were instrumental in me receiving another opportunity to be quiet in the classroom.

I have dialed it back, but I am still vocal, inquisitive, analytical, where people (not numbers), are concerned and have strong opinions. Growing up in a pro-union household, the oldest of three children and the only girl, was fertile ground for learning and being exposed to so many different people, religions, and viewpoints.

I learned to appreciate and embrace differences which served me well as an adult. My diverse employment history has given me the opportunity to work with a wide variety of people of different ages, races, genders, religions, sexual orientations and expressions, and ethnicities.

My father was obsessed with education because he did not graduate from high school. He insisted that his children go to college. For me education was a path forward. My brothers did not share my mindset.

My respect for the efforts of organized labor is hard-wired and part of my DNA. To my father’s chagrin, however, sometime after I received my Master of Public Administration degree, as a labor-relations executive, before I went to law school and after I became an attorney, I represented the management side of labor relations.

I live in Maplewood, NJ. I am not a parent, but I am Aunt Beverly, Auntie Bev, and Godmother to many. On occasion, I am called upon by my friends, their children, and sometimes their older relatives to coach and mediate employment/career matters.

Maria: I grew up in Staten Island NY, the youngest of four children. I have been in Administration most of my career working mostly in media and now tech. Health and wellness have been passions of mine for over 20 years. I turned my passions into a practice where I help others with their health issues.

Health and wellness require paying attention to our mental, physical, and emotional health. I have studied many areas of wellness including Ayurveda, nutrition, herbs, yoga, meditation, reiki, and aromatherapy. I love helping people improve their lives. I live in Summit NJ with my husband Vincent and three beautiful cats.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

Beverly — My father encouraged and inspired me to realize that I could be whatever I wanted to be if I was educated and worked hard. Fortunately, I loved school, books (literature) and writing.

Perry Mason inspired me to become an attorney, but my path to the legal profession did not begin immediately after college graduation. I received a Ford Fellowship and attended the University of North Carolina. The Ford Fellowship people sent a person around the country to make sure its fellowship recipients were being treated well.

The person sent to check on me happened to be the brother of my father’s long-time friend. He persuaded me to return to New Jersey after I completed my course work. He also found me a job. I became a public servant and remained so for a decade.

Thereafter, I attended law school at night while working full time during the day. Again, my friends were and still are an eclectic group.

I made law review, clerked for the Honorable Chief Justice Robert N. Wilentz, thereafter worked for a national labor and employment law firm, and then became a vice president at a Fortune 500 company. I made my father proud, and that made me happy.

Maria — As a child, whenever I would get sick my mother would always have a natural or folk remedy for whatever the ailment. She believed the body had a natural ability to heal. Healing traditions from the East piqued my interest very young. While working a very stressful job I developed some mild anxiety. My doctor immediately recommended anti-anxiety medication. I politely declined, signed up for a yoga class and learned to meditate. Upon further research I discovered aromatherapy, herbs, energy healing and found a tribe of healers to study with and learn from. I went on to earn two Master’s Degrees in health and numerous certifications.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

Beverly — My father has always been my inspiration and cheer leader.

Maria — My mother. She always encouraged me to think outside the box and question things that did not feel right. She was ahead of her time believing that food was medicine and intuitively knew that eating the best quality food under stress negatively impacted our health. She said “good food becomes rancid in the body if you are always nervous or stressed”. When I experienced some anxiety in my twenties, I began having digestive issues. Once I started managing my stress, my digestive problems disappeared. This was very empowering and led me on a path to further explore the connection between mind and body to help others.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

Beverly — Years ago, I had never had responsibility for a large departmental budget. With limited experience in that area, during my first year as an executive, I overspent my departmental budget allocation considerably, and I mean considerably.

The budget director assigned to make sure that never happened again and I became and still are good friends. (I was in her second wedding.) We supported each other in our respective departments. We were both successful in our leadership roles.

Admittedly, as she will tell anyone who will listen, she has better stories about my budgetary challenges. My answer to her is always, as an attorney I cannot discuss my client’s missteps.

The lesson I learned: When you do not do something well, find someone who does and become friends.

Maria — When I first started teaching and seeing clients, I was so excited to share my knowledge to help people that I overwhelmed them with Information. One day a client said to me “I love all the information but it’s giving me anxiety!”. Are there a few things I can start with?” I realized baby steps lead to long-term success. Five minutes of meditation and 5 minutes of yoga is do-able. Cutting down to three cups of coffee a day from five works better than telling someone to eliminate it cold turkey. Change is difficult and it’s important to create programs tailored to the individual.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Beverly — As a freshman at Douglass College majoring in political science, I was mesmerized by Machiavelli’s The Prince because it made me think. Language like “The ends justifies the means” made me question what I had read as I had never done before. But the book that had the most lasting impact on me is Mythology by Edith Hamilton.

My seventh-grade teacher, Mrs. Wilkerson taught me that the origin of many vocabulary words is based on Greek and Roman mythology.

I loved the stories in Mythology and learned so much which I shared with my godchildren. They too have developed a love of mythology. My clarion call to some of them when they have a problem and ask me what to do, my response is, “Unleash the Kraken.” That means, call your mother, and let her loose.

Maria — Louise Hay’s “You Can Heal Your Life” made a significant impact on me. The late Louise Hay is the Grand Dame of the self-help movement. Her philosophy that we are responsible for all our experiences whether positive or negative and that every thought we think creates our future was very empowering for me. While not always easy, whenever I’m thinking a negative thought or being hard on myself, I draw upon that wisdom and instead affirm the positive.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

Beverly — Maya Angelou’s quote: When a person shows you who they are believe them. I pay attention to what people say and do. I accept who they are, but in my grandmother’s words, I feed them with “a long-handled spoon” if their communications and conduct are not aligned and acceptable. Simply put, I keep my distance from toxic people, to the extent I can.

Maria — “It’s not what happens to you in life, it’s how you react”. Life will present a series of challenges. No one gets through unscathed. The way in which we react to a situation has a profound impact on our life. Buddhism teaches us to accept impermanence and use problems as opportunities to develop a new resilience.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

Beverly — I have been working on my second book, Your GPS to Employment Success: How to Find and Succeed in the Right Job. Chapter One Prepare…Plan…Persist… Persevere provides 25 tips for job seekers to use to prepare them for the roller coaster of looking for a job.

This chapter advises readers that how they approach their employment journey is crucial. Each day they should prepare themselves mentally, emotionally, and physically for the work and challenges associated with looking for a job.

My podcast, Your Employment Matters with Beverly Williams also provides useful career and employment information. Maria was one of my podcast guests. Her interview is entitled Stress Management During a Pandemic.

I also interviewed a Canadian Olympic medalist because I recommend that job seekers train like athletes as they search for employment. He advocates 1. getting plenty of rest, 2. eating healthy; 3. exercising; 4. planning and organizing daily tasks; 5. remaining focused on completing those tasks and achieving their goals; and 6. taking a break periodically.

I have given free webinars to colleges and universities (Douglass College, Wayne State University and Temple University) based on information in my book. If you know any high school, college or university that might be interested in a free career webinar, please let me know. Any suggestions about how I can get my book into the hands of those who need the information are welcome.

I am also trying to identify corporate and private funding sources to pay for substantial numbers of copies of Your GPS to Employment Success for underserved, under-resourced and rural communities. As unemployment numbers climb, people need to buy food and pay rent. My book will not be in their budgets.

Maria — Partnering with Beverly Williams, Esq. (also featured in the article) to empower people with her expertise navigating the employment arena coupled with my experience in health and wellness is an exciting project. Whether you are employed or unemployed, it is important to manage both with equanimity.

I am also working on a health podcast, teaching nutrition and Ayurveda, to continuing develop aromatherapy blends for my clients. Additionally, I am developing a Wellness and Self-Care program to empower people to manage work/life stressors.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. In this interview series we’d like to discuss cultivating wellness habits in four areas of our lives, Mental wellness, Physical wellness, Emotional wellness, & Spiritual wellness. Let’s dive deeper into these together. Based on your research or experience, can you share with our readers three good habits that can lead to optimum mental wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Beverly — Managing expectations and Connecting with Others: I am very pragmatic and organized. Managing my expectations comes naturally to me. Lists and notes on calendars keeps me on time and task. Admittedly, I am on overload right now. Fortunately, I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Understanding that finding employment is going to take time and a great deal of effort will help manage expectations. Expecting to find a job without doing the extensive work required is counterproductive. Committing to the work required is essential. Multiple versions of resumes and cover letters will be needed. Conducting research about prospective employers is necessary. Networking in person (when possible), virtually and on social media is essential, and there is more.

Connecting with friends and family to relax and catch up is also beneficial. An additional benefit is the possibility of identifying networking opportunities that may lead to an employment opportunity. Just recently, I called a college friend to chat. By the time I hung up, I had a reference for my book and a new person to interview for my podcast.

I decompress by calling a friend, laughing, and sharing our experiences. It calms me. I also exercise but not as consistently as I should. Unfortunately, it is a chore for me.

Socializing with friends and loved ones is good for my mental health. After I finished my first book, I hosted a New Year’s Day brunch. Maria and her husband Vin were among the scores of people who attended and remained for a long time. It was an eclectic group. Ages ranged from 17 to 84 years old. Various races, ethnicities, nationalities, religions, personalities, professions, and interests were represented.

I love to cook and host. As usual, my friends served food and drinks, and bussed tables so I could circulate to make sure everyone had what they needed.

When the pandemic is over, I am going to do it again. Sadly, some who were with us previously are no longer here, but we will toast to them.

Creating personal outlets. I am fortunate to have an extensive, eclectic network of friends. I share whatever I am going through with friends who will give me their honest opinions. Depending on what my issues are, I select the friend I contact based on his or her personalities, experience, and background.

For example, if I am angry about something that happened, I call the friend who has been in my life since we were four years old. She gets angry better than anyone and is always on my side. I reach out to another friend for more reasoned support and input.

Avoiding negative, toxic people. I do not go through life with rose colored glasses. If I get lemons, I try to make lemonade. I try to avoid people who are not kind or who complain constantly or lament their lot in life. Again, I feed them with a long-handled spoon.

Exercise I do not enjoy exercise, but I do it because of health and vanity. Some time I feel better, other times not so much. I work out 3–4 times a week.

Maria — Exercise — Though it may be hard to start and stick to daily exercise it is non-negotiable when it comes to mental health. Exercise releases endorphins which boost mood and well-being and re-focuses the mind away from negative thinking. In addition, the feeling of accomplishment after exercise is good for our mental health. A client of mine was dealing with anxiety during a stressful work experience and did not want to take any medication, not even herbs. She said she could not meditate so I suggested she take a walk every day during her lunch hour and start taking a weekly yoga or tai chi

class. She incorporated the walks into her day alternating with a yoga class. She said the walks cleared her mind and the yoga helped her refocus. The result was a sense of balance and calm that helped her confront the situation she was dealing with.

Mindfulness Meditation — This is a common theme in my responses because it works on mental, emotional and spiritual wellness. A client of mine was suffering from depression and her therapist suggested she start practicing meditation. She said her mind never stopped racing and most of the thoughts were negative. She is type A and extremely hard on herself. We worked together and after two months of regular meditation she said that focusing on her breath helped to ease the constant clutter and conversation in her mind. A calmer mind helped her commit to changing her diet. She had gained a great deal of weight which was also contributing to her depression. After four months she lost twenty pounds, was able to lower her medication and after six months she no longer needed it.

Optimal nutrition — Research shows that food is medicine. The gut microbiome has been referred to as “the third brain” suggesting there is a relationship between what we eat and the biochemistry of our brain. We know that too much sugar and caffeine can make us feel hyper. Stopping those foods creates more calm which improves mental health. I help clients improve their life with a multi-pronged approach, however, food is a main component. The biggest feedback after someone changes their diet is “I feel so much calmer and focused”.

Do you have a specific type of meditation practice or Yoga practice that you have found helpful? We’d love to hear about it.

Beverly — Aromatherapy: As I stated, I attended law school at night while working a full-time job during the day. Every night after class, I took a hot, lavender scented bath. I also used a diffuser to waft lavender scented mist through my apartment. Although I did not realize it at the time, the scent put me to sleep.

Teas: Ginger, Turmeric, Chamomile teas relax me and eventually I fall asleep, peacefully.

I go to the movies by myself, a habit I adopted when I was in law school. When I was a child, sometime my father and I went to the movies on Saturday afternoon. We picked up cheeseburgers on the way and woofed them down as we watched probably a western, his choice.

Maria — Practicing mindfulness meditation and yoga has made a big impact on my life. Mindfulness and yoga are not only practiced on the mat. Being mindful in your daily life keeps the focus in the present moment. We cannot change the past or predict the future. Focusing on the past can cause depression and thinking about the future can cause anxiety. Staying grounded requires moment-to-moment awareness. Many times, when we are cooking or showering our minds may wander off. We may think of the day’s task instead of savoring a hot shower or enjoying the aroma of cooking a meal for loved ones. You don’t want to miss out on those moments.

Thank you for that. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum physical wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Beverly — Exercise, selecting what you eat mindfully, and drink lots of water.

Quite simply, I move, look, and feel better when I do those 3 things. I have a stationary bike in my bedroom. When the phone rings, I jump on my bike. Usually, I can ride for 30 minutes without much thought. I also complete a 45-minute strength training video.

I think about what I eat and have made a conscious decision to eat balanced meals of more vegetables, seafood, and lean protein. I do not eat sandwiches much anymore because I try to limit carbs. When I have a sandwich, or bread with a meal, it is usually a multi-grain option. Admittedly, I will have a small steak periodically, but I have not had a hamburger in probably two years. The last one was not a tasty as I had hoped.

Maria — Eating a healthy diet — You are what you eat and digest. Since all areas of wellness are connected and affect each other, proper nutrition is a key component for good health. I asked a client to eliminate some foods that I thought were triggering her digestive symptoms. After two weeks she had more energy and was able to “jump” out of bed instead of hitting the snooze five times.

Sleep — Falling and staying asleep is one of the biggest complaints my clients

have. Our bodies heal and regenerate during the sleep cycle. Sleep deprivation can interfere with daily functioning and increases risks for a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and depression. Devices including TV interrupt our biological clock and circadian rhythms. I recommend turning everything off by 10pm. This can be a difficult habit to change but always effective when practiced routinely.

Exercise — Weight Management, strengthening bones and muscles and improving stamina and mobility are just a few reasons to exercise for physical wellness. When I started exercising many years ago, I did it mostly to keep my weight down however as a result I became stronger, more flexible, developed increased energy and stamina and overall felt better. Being overweight puts a strain on your heart which diminishes physical ability and impacts health. Exercise is a way to avoid these pitfalls.

Do you have any particular thoughts about healthy eating? We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

Beverly — I eat lots of vegetables, and am mindful of the carbs I take in, but I love bread. I try to drink more than 64 ounces of water daily, but some days I just do not. There is more lean protein in my diet, and less sugar.

I did not transition to a healthy diet overnight. It was a gradual undertaking. I started by cutting my sugar intake and choosing poultry over beef.

Drinking herbal tea with nothing it is my preference. All these changes took time.

Maria — In my experience as a Holistic Nutritionist, change is hard for people. Sadly, lifestyle changes only happen as a result of a difficult life circumstance such as personal illness or seeing a loved one affected by neglecting their health. Addressing unhealthy habits means acknowledging there is something you need to change which can bring feelings of disappointment so continuing the status quo even though it’s harmful to your life and health is easier.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum emotional wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Beverly — I practice self-care. I: 1) take vitamins; 2) think about what I eat before I eat it. I ask myself: Is it worth it? 3) exercise; and 4) sleep well.

I am the healthiest member of my family. I have been taking vitamins since I was a college freshman. My college friends still tease me about how many vitamins I take and that I make sure I get enough sleep.

Anytime I get a cold, it does not last. I believe that the vitamins I have taken over the years have helped strengthen my immune system.

Maria — Mindfulness Meditation — Mindfulness meditation practice has been linked to better control over emotions and behavior. Meditators who practice regularly have an overall sense of wellbeing and lower levels of psychological stress than non-meditators. I worked with a college student who was experiencing anxiety and asked her to start meditating for five minutes each day and increase the time by a minute each day. I guided her to focus on her breathing and whenever the mind wondered I asked her to bring it back to the breath. She stuck with it and reported back in only two weeks that she was feeling calmer and whenever feelings of anxiety started to arise, she would focus on the breath. She was able to better manage her anxiety.

Compassion — To quote the Dalai Lama “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” I heard a story about a millionaire Secret Santa who gave 100 bills dollars to strangers every year. He described the joy he sees in the eyes of people and also acknowledged the feelings of warmth and satisfaction he receives as a result of his compassion. Having been close to homelessness himself, he never forgot the kind gesture of a stranger that filled him with hope and warmed his heart. That feeling of compassion stayed with him and he wanted to recreate that experience for others. Nothing is more beneficial for emotional health.

Helping others/Volunteering — It makes you feel better about yourself. Giving feels better than receiving. When COVID-19 hit and many people lost their jobs, my town started an adopt-a-family program and my husband and I volunteered. We feel very fortunate to still have jobs and wanted to do something for those in need. We bought food for a family for a month and I also made some meals since the wife was sick with breast cancer (on top of her and her husband losing their jobs). It gave us both such a good feeling to be able to help even for a short time and also elevated our own feeling of gratitude. The benefits are happiness and peace.

Do you have any particular thoughts about the power of smiling to improve emotional wellness? We’d love to hear it.

Beverly — I am not a smiler by nature but I began to smile more when I approached people to talk about their employment journey. Gathering material for my books became easier. I have learned so much from just smiling and chatting up people on planes and trains. Surprisingly, at least it was a surprise to me, I felt better after hearing their stories.

Maria — We all need to smile more! Smiling is contagious and can lead to laughter which boosts mood and increases the “happy hormones” dopamine and serotonin. Smiling can warm your heart as well as brighten someone else’s day and it takes very little effort so I say keep smiling!

Finally, can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum spiritual wellness? Please share a story or example for each.


1. I am a spiritual person who believes that I am not alone. Studying for the bar examination with a law school friend was the most stressful period of my life. My study partner and I were almost tethered together, but I had the sense that I had come too far for God to leave me.

2. I do unto others as I would have them do unto me. The Golden Rule was my father’s mantra. I try to honor him by being guided by those words.

3. I visualize what I want to occur. Many times, in my mind’s eye I have focusrf on what I want to happen, and it materializes. I do not think it is unusual because my visualizations are reasonable and attainable, and I work hard.


I defer back to my response on emotional wellness. I believe emotional and spiritual wellness are connected and it’s hard to have one without the other. Meditation takes us into a deeper state of consciousness and reminds us that just being human is perfection. Different faiths have different ways of mediation such as praying, chanting and silence, however, it all leads to greater spiritual awareness.

Compassion comes from our heart and soul and connects us to something greater than ourselves which is spiritual. Helping others creates a sense of connectedness which is part of every spiritual tradition. What you give out comes back and there is no greater feeling. In my experience wellness is a tree with many branches and we need to get to the root cause of the imbalance. Wholeness requires examining all these parts of our life to create a peaceful, happy and healthy life.

Do you have any particular thoughts about how being “in nature” can help us to cultivate spiritual wellness?


I must be honest; I am not really an outdoors person. A spa day makes me feel great! Maria

I defer to a few of my favorite quotes:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

Henry David Thoreau

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better” Albert Einstein

Experiencing the wonder of nature forces us to slow down and just be in awe. The seasons know when to change, flowers when to bloom and it enables one to be immersed in silence and reflection. The hamster wheel pace of life seems a world away and we come back to our soul’s true nature.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.


Call to Action: Quite simply, I challenge people to be proactive about their employment matters. I challenge them to pay attention to the sounds and indicators of change in the employment landscape. If they prepare and plan strategically and ultimately think differently about employment, they will not become victims of change.

Solution: Channel Dorothy Vaughan. Ms. Vaughn was a NASA mathematician and computer programmer, and the role played by Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer in the widely-acclaimed film, Hidden Figures. Adopting Ms. Vaughn’s proactive approach to her impending employment dilemma can serve as a model for personal career planning and strategies.

I began to write employment advice books to start the discussion about what people can do to maximize their ability to become and remain independent, productive contributors. Hopefully, they will join the discussion.

Mission: My mission is to create entertaining, informative, and instructive employment– related programming and written material for multiple media platforms. The goal is to empower readers, listeners, and viewers to be more successful in employment matters and to support them throughout their employment journey.


We have so many wonderful people and organizations raising money and creating programs to combat the overwhelming hunger crisis in our county. Meanwhile the problems seem to get worse regardless of the number of resources. Fixing anything takes years and years. There has to be a better, more efficient and quicker way to do this. People cannot wait years. Without proper nutrition our children cannot learn, think and grow. We need them to become the next generation of problem solvers. I would assemble the great minds working in this area along with brightest business minds to come together to figure out a plan going forward to repair our broken system which disproportionately affects underserved communities.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂


I want to meet Mellody Hobson, business woman. I am interested in her employment journey, her business and financial acumen and experience, and her relationship with DreamWorks Animation SKG and NBCUniversal. For the same reasons, Former Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg is my second choice.


Dr. Mark Hyman — Dr. Hyman has always been a great voice articulating the implications and consequences of what we eat. Recently he has highlighted the problems with our food system and calls out all the powers that are contributing to the many issues we are facing. I would like to discuss how each of us can get involved in advocacy to help change food policy.

Bryan Stevenson, Esq. — Mr. Stevenson has dedicated his life to criminal justice reform creating the Equal Justice Initiative. His belief that each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done and that we should embrace mercy and redemption is deeply thought provoking and compassionate. I would like to discuss why we have not yet been able to solve the poverty crisis in America and how each of us can contribute.

How can our readers further follow your work online?


My website is (20+) Your Employment Matters | Facebook

Employment Matters (@youremploymat) / Twitter

Maria / Instagram: the_holistic_root

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