flowing east and west podcast


perfectly imperfect journey

to a fulfilled life

what we're about

Welcome! We are Anne Robie and Sherry Essig, co-hosts of the podcast, Flowing East and West: The Perfectly Imperfect Journey to a Fulfilled Life. Join us as we explore what it means to be on a perfectly imperfect journey to a fulfilled life.

We have a deep curiosity about the ways in which we each navigate the journey - how to savor the times when you’re in flow, what happens when you hit a bump in the road, and how to find the learning and growth in ALL of it.

Because the one thing that is certain is no one’s life path is a straight line!

We have lots of thoughts, ideas, and questions to share around what it takes to live a fulfilling life and we will also be talking to friends, colleagues, and experts. While our focus is on modern “western” concerns, interests, needs, fears, etc. we look to both eastern and western philosophies and practices to guide us on our journeys. We hope this podcast will feel like getting together with some good friends over a glass of wine or a cup of tea every few weeks - we don’t have all the answers, but we have lots of questions and hope to inspire you to consider where you want your own journey to take you.

our latest episode

Recipe for Transformation with Fanny Slater

July 17, 2024
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It is not a recipe she would recommend, but Fanny Slater mixed one part alcohol, one part low self esteem, a dash of fame, and a sprinkle of insecurity, and ultimately found herself spiraling down a tunnel headed straight for rock bottom.  Luckily Fanny also had a heap of support and love from friends and family which helped her when she needed it most.  This is a story about reinvention from the winner of a cooking contest on the Rachel Ray show to an aspiring sobriety mentor. Hers is a story about finding herself, after almost losing everything. Bio: Fanny Slater has food flowing through her genes. Her mom founded the nationally acclaimed bakery business Rachel’s Brownies in 1975, and together—her parents created an enormously successful corporation that would live on for decades. Fanny grew up in Raleigh where, at age four, she began her home-taught kitchen apprenticeship when her dad pulled up a chair next to the stove and handed her a spatula. She worked in restaurants and prep kitchens to receive culinary exposure, but was equally drawn to performing arts. At twenty-five, Fanny moved to Hollywood, California to pursue acting and improv training with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles. Several years later, she followed her stomach back to the east coast to open her own catering company. She moved to Wilmington, North Carolina in 2012. In 2014, she beat out nearly 1,000 other hopefuls from across the country who entered Rachael Ray’s Great American Cookbook Competition. Fanny won the grand prize of a publishing contract under Rachael’s imprint, and Simon & Schuster published her cookbook, Orange, Lavender & Figs: Deliciously Different Recipes from a Passionate Eater , in 2016. In the following years, Fanny co-hosted the Food Network series, Kitchen Sink and became a regular on Cooking Channel’s longtime popular series, Best Thing I Ever Ate. In 2020, Fanny was living in Illinois with her husband when her longtime issues with alcohol came to a head. Within one year, she would move back to North Carolina, get a divorce, come out of the closet, and attend a 40-day rehab program. Today, Fanny is 3+ years sober and living near the beach in Wilmington with her girlfriend, two dogs, and a cat. She works as a food and beverage writer specializing in recipe development, food photography, and content creation for social media. As of recent, Fanny has pivoted her focus towards being a sobriety enthusiast who encourages others to speak up about their struggles. She uses her Instagram platform @fannyslater to bluntly share her journey of going from a self-destructive addict to an advocate for mental health, recovery, and self-love.

your hosts

Anne Robie

I have been practicing the art of maximizing human potential for over 20 years. In that time I have been lucky enough to be an internal executive and external consultant in a diverse array of companies. What I have noticed is that many of us have deep passions that often get buried in pursuit of someone else's definition of success. I love the process of unlocking those passions. I believe corporate America doesn’t have to suck. Whether it is a team that is stacked with great talent, but just isn’t performing at their highest levels, or whole organizations where the culture isn’t fully engaged, I work with you to know yourself and each other at a deeper level, and to co-create work you love.

I currently live in Napa, CA but have a wandering soul. My dog, Chandi, helps keep me grounded and is often my companion while discovering new places and getting lost in old haunts.


Sherry Essig

I’m an executive and life coach and work with clients who are ready to make the courageous choice to stop settling for less than success AND happiness. After a 15-year corporate career in public accounting, finance, and marketing I finally found the courage to figure out what I really wanted to do with my life and recently celebrated 21 years as a professional coach. I’ve been fascinated by what makes people tick for as long as I can remember and have a deep belief in people’s capacity to change. I'm currently diving deeply into the Enneagram as a tool to facilitate transformation. I’m a transplanted Southern Californian, living in Raleigh, NC which I’ve fallen in love with. What else? Animal lover, cat and dog mom, traveler, yogi, insatiable curiosity about people and the world, reader, nature lover, and foodie. Connection is my soul food.


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