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

The Power of Play with Shirin Etessam

April 24, 2024
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Shirin Etessam was born in Iran and enjoyed a fairly happy and privileged childhood.  When her parents immigrated to the US, after some initial struggles, she found her place in high school and began to flourish.  She experienced success after college, working in film and television. Eventually she fell in love and adopted 2 children with her wife, with whom she initially had a nine-year friendship. While everything looked great from the outside, there was a problem bubbling below the surface: Shirin had started losing parts of her soul along her journey and had shrunk into a much smaller version of herself.  When her relationship eventually ended, Shirin began a multi-year, painful process of clawing her way back to her true self, through much self-reflection, spiritual teachings, and most importantly, the power of play. Bio: Shirin Etessam is a renowned play expert and storyteller, blending her background in film, TV, and branded content with a deep passion for the transformative power of play. Following a pivotal life event, Shirin embarked on a journey that shifted her focus from external achievements to the joys of internal fulfillment through play. With over a decade of dedicated research and exploration, she harnesses the principles of curiosity, creativity, and spontaneity to promote mental and spiritual health. Shirin advocates for integrating play into all facets of life, emphasizing its crucial role in today’s world for achieving true contentment and joy. Her work stands at the intersection of science and play, aiming to enlighten others on its essential benefits for our well-being. Website: https://www.shirinetessam.com/ Free to Be: A Six Week Guide to Reclaiming Your Soul: https://www.shirinetessam.com/freetobe/

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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