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

Write It Down with Michelle Simmons

November 20, 2023
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From the outside looking in, it would be easy to assume Michelle Simmons is invincible.  She is an 18-time IronMan athlete (including 4 times at the world championships), has run countless half triathlons and has coached other athletes to triathlon successes.  Even when cancer struck at age 25, Michelle never skipped a beat, keeping a super positive attitude and staying focused on getting past her treatment and back to competing.  But during her cancer treatment, there was a seed planted that would fester and then rear its head 20 years later.  Almost to the day of her original diagnosis, Michelle was sure there was something seriously wrong. There was something wrong, just not what she thought.  And no amount of athleticism or positive attitude could help.  Her ultimate savior?  Writing down her story.  Listen in to hear Michelle’s perfectly imperfect journey. Bio Michelle Simmons is an esteemed endurance coach, athlete, and inspirational mentor with over 15 years of experience in triathlon coaching. As the founder of TeamBSC Triathlon in Hawaii, she has dedicated her career to helping athletes achieve their full potential by fostering a blend of physical preparedness and mental resilience. A graduate of Arizona State University, Michelle's academic background laid a solid foundation for her initial career as a classroom teacher. Her five-year tenure in education honed her skills in communication, leadership, and motivation—skills that would prove invaluable as she transitioned to full-time coaching. Michelle's expertise is not just theoretical. Her credentials include competing in 18 Ironman races, with four appearances at the Ironman World Championships in Kona. However, her personal athletic achievements are just part of her story. After overcoming a cancer diagnosis at the age of 25, Michelle faced a prolonged battle with anxiety and health issues stemming from the fear of recurrence. This challenge propelled her into Story Work, leading her to become a Level 2 Enlifted Coach and Level 2 O23 Coach. She empowers athletes and individuals alike to rewrite their internal narratives, acknowledging the profound impact of thoughts and beliefs on physical health and performance. In addition to her coaching business, Michelle's commitment to her community shines through her volunteer work, contributions to the Aloha State Bicycle Racing Association, and her initiative to lead a monthly women's bike ride, creating a space for camaraderie and empowerment. At home, Michelle's role as a wife and mother to a dynamic 15-year-old daughter is a source of personal joy and grounding. Her balanced approach to life, emphasis on happiness in athleticism, and passion for teaching others to thrive mentally, physically, and emotionally, make her an extraordinary figure in the world of endurance sports coaching. Michelle Simmons' life and work are a testament to the power of determination, the importance of mindset, and the transformative impact of supportive coaching. Her story and expertise are sure to inspire not only her clients but also all those who have the pleasure of listening to her speak. Michellesimmonscoaching.com

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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