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Women Positive

Women Positive

By Patricia Dent

The Women Positive podcast features the stories of transformation and of the women who share their solutions to life challenges they have overcome. From personal health, to relationships, limiting beliefs, and systemic discrimination, their stories are personal and sometimes raw but always real.
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A Girl With A Typewriter: From Technical Writing To Historical Fiction

Women PositiveJan 21, 2023

A Girl With A Typewriter: From Technical Writing To Historical Fiction

A Girl With A Typewriter: From Technical Writing To Historical Fiction

Alina Rubin is an author who spent over 20 years working in IT before turning to writing historical fiction. Having overcome setbacks as a child, including the need to learn English at age 11, and the culture of her new country - the United States, then the loss of her mother at the age of 14, Alina developed the determination that helped her not only in school, and in her work but also the process of learning to write her novels. She describes the process of learning to be an author and is now writing her second and third books.

Show Notes:

00:00: 29: Intro and Background including her day job and 

00:01:43: Her books: A Girl With A Knife, Abigail and 

00:03:11: Her early experience in writing her manuscript, and issues with her original concept uncovered by beta readers and back to historical research

00:04:50: From crushed (with disappointment) after the rejection by readers and an editor to her realization that she needed to go back earlier in the story.

00:05:36: Inspiration to write again, her routine while working a full time job, her sources and research behind the scenes to determine how a woman could become a doctor when women were not allowed in school or practice.

00:09:02: Developing her characters

00:10:27: Why Alina went into writing (from technical to historical fiction). 

00:13:19: How she captures inspiration and how she learned her craft - learning and resources,  after the initial rejection 

00:16:53: An uplifting community and collaboration; authors as entrepreneurs and their scope of work. A huge amount of learning.

00:19:51: Marketing yourself as an author

00:21:09: Dealing with childhood trauma through her characters and pushing herself to succeed

00:23:01: The experience of a young immigrant from Ukraine to the United States...learning English and the cultures of her new country in different situations. 

00:25:10: Alina's ability and motivation to learn

00:26:51: Where she is with her new books and how to reach Alina Rubin.

Jan 21, 202328:50
Episode 19: Patricia Dent: Winning My Battle With Cancer (x 2)

Episode 19: Patricia Dent: Winning My Battle With Cancer (x 2)

This episode is a personal one for me, touching on my experience with cancer (from the inconvenient timing that paused a new business) to the range of treatments and support I received to recover fully - I am going to list them below. Cancer is now rampant - with 1 in 2 people who can expect a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. In our household we are now 2 for 2. 

I am so grateful for the care and support I've received during this journey and 

Oncologist (RVH) Dr. Sara Rask

Naturopath: Dr. Becky Lee

Surgeons: Dr. K Maharajh, Dr. Renee Hanrahan

Radiation Oncology

Reiki: Savy Kalivoda

Holistic Nutrionist: Katherine Parent (Make Good Choices)

Here is the transcript: 

Show Notes: 

00:54: welcome

1:15: A little business history – preceding my diagnosis

1:57: Finding a lump and my initial reaction on the way to dinner. Happy birthday to me

2:59: Going to the urgent care centre, the doctor’s reaction, and a very fast call from the hospital. Need to get previous mammogram (which was clear 3 years before)

4:02: Checking: mammogram, ultrasound (then there were two)

4:41: Biopsies: These look good for cancer

5:35 Now waiting for a referral to a surgeon, promise of referral from new family doctor

6:48 – First surgeon: 5 weeks till surgery can be booked. The appearance of a rash

7:30 – 3 days after the rash appears – second surgeon’s appointment – who says she can’t operate

7:54: Why can’t she operate? A second cancer diagnosed and oncology appointment booked for next day

8:22 – Why would I have chemo – why not time to research alternative treatments? Too late for treatment

9:33 How soon if I go ahead with chemo – 6 days (the rash covered the entire breast by then). First treatment booked and an oncology restriction

12:15 – Oncologist and Naturopath on the same page – adding a new procedure, chemo, surgery, radiation, reiki, meditation

13:25 Post surgery clear bill of health, agreeing to radiation and end of treatment July 4th. 2020 – no further oncology checks.

15:08  – 2 serious kinds of cancer – what made the difference in recovery

15:26 – Not to fear the unknown, check in with people, be strong mentally, refuse to be afraid. I take questions and raise money for Gilda’s Club who supports cancer patients.

18:44 – If you feel something is wrong – don’t wait; don’t accept limits

19:17 – It could have been different if I had waited; the university will look after you if you listen to the signs. Reach out and connect if you wish.

Jul 15, 202221:28
Episode 18: Desirea Herrera: Succeeding in a Male Dominated Field (or two)

Episode 18: Desirea Herrera: Succeeding in a Male Dominated Field (or two)

Desirea Herrera is an author who has worked in several different fields, from breaking in race horses to teaching, software training and IT (in software programming, in which she was self-taught). Throughout her life, including her experience as a single mom, going back to school, starting from scratch and all her career changes she has come up against male domination and on occasion misogynists who wanted to limit and control her experience. She has taught herself programming and taken responsibility for the changes she wanted to make. She is now mounting a creative project. She is a model for courageous women who has guidelines for navigating challenging work environments. 

Here is the transcript:

Finding Desirea:, Writing under a pen name:

Show Notes: 

.55:  Welcome Desirea Herrera and her background from horses to IT

1:49 Growing up, a horse woman who wasn't allowed a horse. Studying animal science and racetrack experience: freelancing for $8 for each 20 minute ride. Becoming a single mother forced a change.

3:50: Why Desirea had to leave that business and go back to her parents to figure out what the heck she was going to do.

4:34: Male dominated environment - the need to show up and perform and imposter syndrome. On the racetrack It can be a life and death situation, if you aren't good enough. Trial by fire.

6:11: Figuring it out - why she picked IT? Transitioning from teaching kids to teaching software... being self taught

8:28: A life principle: if you want something, you are in charge of learning that it is your job, nobody's going to do it for you. So I just did it.

9:07: The gatekeepers trying to keep her back from parents to bosses

10:14: Underestimating abilities on the race course, “You can't ride that horse. That horse is too tough for you” and disdain from a misogynist “Monkeys, can do this job”. Standing up for herself, then being fired. Coming out on top - despite intimidation

14:49: Threats from a misogynist: fear of losing work can hold you hostage. The need to learn how to accommodate without giving a piece of your soul.

15:17: Sexual harassment forced her to quit. 

16:00: Another male dominated experience - being let go... when the organization changed but a win nevertheless. (19:25)

17:57: Advice on navigating these organizations: when to battle, stand up when you need to, hold back when something could bite you in the behind and listen to what is going on around you (this caused her to find another job in a declining company.

21:53: It's not always what you know, sometimes it's who you know. So you become memorable, by being friendly, by inviting people into those little fringes of your life. Those things make people like you, they start to feel for you. And that can also build up some trust in you.

23:20: The importance of family

24:22: Working on a book, an urban fantasy. 

Jul 07, 202229:12
Episode 17: Karen Salcedo: Taking Off The Mask And Hitting Rock Bottom On The Way To Reclaiming Health

Episode 17: Karen Salcedo: Taking Off The Mask And Hitting Rock Bottom On The Way To Reclaiming Health

As a health coach, holistic practitioner and advocate for the environment for almost 30 years Karen Salcedo has spent a career in helping others improve their lives while she was dealing with emotional binge eating from her early 20's. When her 10 year history with diabetes became so much worse, resulting in medication that was difficult to manage and worsening symptoms....  she kept this secret. She was able to find an approach to reverse her dependence on medication after she hit rock bottom in December of 2021 and has since reclaimed her health. Listen to the story that has led her to not only to reclaim her health, it has allowed her to reclaim her authority, authenticity, and her position, while discovering a mission that's going to help others.  

Connect with Karen on Instagram and Facebook, under Karen's Soapbox, or a Nourished Spirits account on Instagram or by email at:

Here is the transcript:

Show Notes: Patricia Interview with Karen Salcedo, Karen's Soapbox

Intro : Today we're talking to Karen Salcedo about her experience in reclaiming her health.

Karen Salcedo  1:11  Health Practitioner background

Karen: 2:08 Her struggles: An active young lady who turned to food more and more; Development of emotional eating due to childhood trauma, binge and emotional eating, and purging in her 20s. While she successfully stopped purging, the binging stayed.10 years ago, when she was diagnosed with diabetes, she was in denial for 5 years. The solution she found.

Karen Salcedo: 8:46: Keeping her worsening condition secret from her family. Like her mother, she began a slide into complications like fatty liver disease and blood sugar levels of 21. 

Karen Salcedo: 9:05: Not seeking support

Karen Salcedo   10:21: Desperation resulting from extreme nausea from a second diabetes medication, The solution she didn't believe in chose her.

Karen Salcedo    13:00 Unmasking the reality and the struggle to lower the shield. Why secret?

Karen Salcedo   14:17 The growth of vulnerability

Karen Salcedo   16:21 Advice for those with emotional eating

Karen Salcedo   19:39 The message to women that their condition is normal

Jun 30, 202223:58
Episode 16: Elle Nagy: Self Leadership: Question Everything - Go Deeper - On the Journey Back to Self
Jun 22, 202226:10
Episode 15: Elle Nagy, Learning to Love And Outgrow Fear

Episode 15: Elle Nagy, Learning to Love And Outgrow Fear

Elle Nagy is a self leadership expert for women from New Zealand. She has owned over twenty years of coaching, and her self leadership expertise, and now owns her other expertise... the author, the speaker, and the CEO. Dealing with the scary and tough stuff in her life prepared her for this turning point. Through her inspiring focus on outgrowing her fear of drowning (after a near drowning as a child), and a physical condition that she was advised to have treated with an operation that may or may not allow her to walk again, she completed an IRONMAN event: a 3.8k swim in the ocean, 180k bike ride, then a 42.2k run, within a time limit. As she finished this feat, she heard a voice in her head say, “Behind your fear lies your freedom". She looked at everything she had missed in life through fear and realized that fear is a part of the growth that she needed to nurture to I become the better version of self. You can find Elle on LinkedIn at: or on her website at:

Here is the transcript:

Jun 15, 202223:22
Episode 14: Sue Carr: Overcoming Problematic Leadership

Episode 14: Sue Carr: Overcoming Problematic Leadership

Inspired by her encounters with poor leadership, Sue Carr established CHC Consulting to provide leadership training and team support to boards, leaders, and employees so that work and board experience could become more satisfying. Sue goes through major issues of problematic leadership that she has seen and experienced, and the top 3 recommendations for leaders to follow.

This episode is a touch longer to also explore her experiential learning methodology and why it is effective.... using horses. Find out how to avoid being a problematic leader and the innovative methodology for which Sue has become well known.

You can reach Sue by email: or on her website at

Here is the transcript:

Jun 08, 202229:17
Episode 13 - Getting A Seat at the Big Table - Joanna Shaw

Episode 13 - Getting A Seat at the Big Table - Joanna Shaw

Joanna Shaw wanted to be a judge from the age of 6, but when it was time to go to university in order to become a lawyer, she wanted to change the world. As she became an adult, she became aware of and wanted to change the conditioning that she and her family had experienced particularly after she had her son. Through experiences such as attending university as a single mom, navigating systems and finding meditation and yoga, she has applied a compassionate and kind approach to the application of the law and has overcome family and societal expectations to take a seat at the big table.

Joanna Shaw, JMS Law

Here is the transcription:

May 31, 202224:33
Episode 12: Finding the Courage To Be Courageous: Becky Bartley

Episode 12: Finding the Courage To Be Courageous: Becky Bartley

Coming from a dysfunctional family leaves its mark on how you see the world, what your expectations are and how you interact with others. Becky Bartley came to a turning point at the beginning of the pandemic, when faced with the reality of a co-dependent relationship with an alcoholic she wanted to save, and unable to work while businesses were temporarily shut down. She learned the meaning of the advice she received: "To get comfortable with being uncomfortable". Not an easy journey to confront old coping behaviour, to strike out on her own and  choose herself. She found the courage to be courageous as she learned to evaluate and adjust her life, one aspect at a time. Becky shares the steps she took to become uncomfortable and embrace change, from seeking help, replacing her inner circle, choosing to be her best self and relying on her intuition to summon and sustain that courage.

Becky Bartley:

Here is the transcript:

May 24, 202225:17
Episode 11: Identity Crisis: Conny Lee

Episode 11: Identity Crisis: Conny Lee

When the pandemic hit in 2020, all of a sudden, there was a rise in incidents towards the Canadian (and North American) Asian communities. Violence that arose as a result of a belief that China was the cause of COVID, affected anyone who looked Asian, even though they had nothing to do with the pandemic. That was the moment that Conny Lee's identity crisis began and her courage in overcoming it led her to look at the impact of the pain she was carrying on behalf of her family and living in survival response. 

This is a particularly important episode in this, Asian Heritage Month. 

Conny Lee is on LinkedIn.

Here is the transcript:

May 18, 202223:56
Episode 10: A New Take On Imposter Syndrome_Debbie Adams

Episode 10: A New Take On Imposter Syndrome_Debbie Adams

Debbie Adams began her career in the military at the age of 17, in the first cohort of women mechanics. Learning on the job (under supervision) started to prepare her for her later business career where there was no room for failure and when getting money in the door helped her avoid living on a small disability pension. She learned valuable lessons where there was no room for Imposter Syndrome, as she started and succeeded in several businesses. Now she is building on the three books she has written to write 10 more in the next 5 years.

Debbie Adams: at www://peoplecan

Here is the transcript:

May 11, 202227:07
Episode 9: Overcoming The Impact Of Change

Episode 9: Overcoming The Impact Of Change

This week, I am contributing my thoughts on Overcoming the impact of change. It has been on my mind since watching the impact of the pandemic unfold, and managing change (in my view) is a critical building block of mental wellness, particularly timely for Mental Health Week. 

With 65 life changes behind me, I've been fascinated by the mechanics of change and how we respond  - especially to sudden changes. Building resilience takes focused effort, and in my experience is based on a foundation of mindset combined with action. In this episode I talk about the three aspects of mindset that have actually helped me take action and overcome both major and minor experiences (apart from the pandemic). They have included rising through an abusive relationship, divorce and single motherhood, cancer... and not even counting my escape from corporate! 

Here is the transcript:

May 05, 202220:19
Episode 8: You're Never Too Old To Do What You Were Meant To Do

Episode 8: You're Never Too Old To Do What You Were Meant To Do

Fran Kruse of Sidekick Creative Copywriting has been both an employee in corporate and an entrepreneur, but the work she really wanted to do from the time she was a teenager was writing. In those times there were different expectations and writing didn't fall into the realm of growing up, getting an education, getting a good job, marrying, having children.... and getting a good pension. So this was a dream she put off while she was in and out of corporate, and even through her "Not Your Granny's Granola" business, which she sold after 7 years. What gave Fran the courage to do what she was meant to do all along? Listen to this week's episode and hear how Fran became the writer she was always meant to be.

Here is the transcript:

Apr 26, 202219:03
Episode 7: Building A Business Mindset For A Creative Passion

Episode 7: Building A Business Mindset For A Creative Passion

Jess Kotzer is an author and a marketer who is writing a fiction series for women, and who wrote her first book almost 10 years ago. Jess talked about the slow growth strategies that are common to creatives - but which held her back. She struggled to do all the "right" and "polite" social media and marketing strategies that she hoped would bring a following... but it was hard work, and she eventually burned out. Now overcoming fear and insecurity, not to mention a reluctance to get on camera, she has embraced a business systems approach (like larger brands do) and collaborates to grow her audience. She has created an author's meetup (, is putting herself out there, and growing a following, while she helps aspiring and more established authors. 

Here is the session transcript:

Apr 19, 202220:50
Episode 6: Stacy Morrison, Starting a Business and Holding Down A Career
Apr 13, 202220:09
Episode 5: Settling

Episode 5: Settling

Jan Freethy, an NLP Master Practitioner relates her story of ending the history of "settling" for life without dreams from her family tree. She was raised in a family without communication and with the expectation of living life without realizing dreams or happiness. Just before she turned 50, the impact of a divorce and the death of her father marked a turning point for Jan, where she learned to overcome a history of settling.

If you are interested in knowing more about Jan and her experience, you can reach out to her at

Here is a link to the podcast transcript:

Apr 05, 202220:31
Episode 4: Confidence

Episode 4: Confidence

Developing confidence can be a challenge if you were encouraged to please people and to put ourselves last. Christie Buckley learned to develop confidence over time and shares the steps she took to become confident. Christie is an entrepreneur and the owner of Buckley and Associates and Savvy Learning Solutions.

A transcript of the podcast can be accessed here:  

Mar 30, 202219:05
Episode 3: From Invisible to Entrepreneur

Episode 3: From Invisible to Entrepreneur

Today's guest is Sujati, a Mind Body Therapist. From Invisible to Entrepreneur describes her journey into entrepreneurship, in which she had to overcome the challenge of being invisible, working for others, in order to become an entrepreneur. She describes how she learned to develop her unique approach.

You can reach Sujati Goernitz through her website: or

Mar 22, 202221:02
Fear Of Failure (and Perfectionism)

Fear Of Failure (and Perfectionism)

Women often suffer from fear of failure - even more so then men. Listen to Stephanie Butler, a Life and Wellness Coach who beat fear of failure... and her suggestions.  Here is a copy of the transcription: 

Mar 16, 202219:03
Challenges women in our community are facing... and some are overcoming

Challenges women in our community are facing... and some are overcoming

The first episode for our series on overcoming challenges that women particularly face, is a perspective to help understand where we are in the evolution of women. A weekly series will spotlight the specific challenges that women have experienced, and their approach in successfully overcoming these challenges. 

Mar 08, 202215:08