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

Listening to your Gut, your God, and your Guides with Judge Ashleigh Parker

September 27, 2023
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Throughout her life, Ashleigh Parker would get whispers of wisdom that, in her younger days she would ignore. Her Dad, a well-respected attorney, was a great role model to her, but she had no interest in practicing law until the moment it became clear that she was being called to that path. With that clarity she applied to, and graduated, from her father’s alma mater and began her career as a prosecutor. She was equally as certain that she had no interest in procedural law, until she found fulfillment when she joined the NC Attorney General’s office and was assigned to the DMV.  Being a judge seemed far out of the realm of possibility, until she was named the youngest African American female to the NC bench. When considering where she wanted to work as a judge, she had zero interest in family court, until that was her assigned courtroom and she discovered that she loved it. Ultimately Ashleigh made the choice to stop letting resistance stand in the way of what she is meant to do, and instead, now finds her clarity by being still and listening to her gut, her god, and her guides. Bio: Judge Ashleigh Parker is a District Court Judge in the 10th Judicial District, which encompasses Wake County, located in Raleigh, NC.  Prior to her appointment by Governor Roy Cooper in 2017, Judge Parker served the citizens of North Carolina as an Assistant Attorney General at the North Carolina Department of Justice and as an Assistant District Attorney at the Wake County District Attorney's Office. Judge Parker graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Wake Forest University and cum laude from North Carolina Central University School of Law.  She has been practicing law since she was 24 years old.  At age 30, Judge Parker was only the 3rd and youngest African American female to hold this position in Wake County since the District Courts were established over 50 years ago. Judge Parker prides herself on her judicial philosophy of being “R.E.A.L.: Respectful, Efficient, Active in the Community, and Learned in the Law."   Judge Parker is passionate about increasing equity within the criminal justice system and educating our youth.  She has written for multiple publications, including the North Carolina State Bar Journal, on topics related to racism, sexism, and natural hair within the legal profession.  Additionally, Judge Parker has held numerous leadership positions in her profession and is currently Vice Chair of the NC State Bar CLE Committee and President of the 10th Judicial District Bar and Wake County Bar Association where she is the first African American female to be President of both bars and the youngest ever. Judge Parker serves as the lead Child Support Judge in Wake County and one of two Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency Judges.  She is the Co-Founder of the Capital City Lawyer's Association Law Day Program.  Since its inception in 2014, this program has afforded over 900 minority high school students the opportunity to engage in a mock trial, interact with minority officers and attorneys, and take a tour of the local jail.  Most recently, Judge Parker is also the Co-Founder of the Wake County Legal Support Center which opened on January 9, 2023. This Center provides free legal information for individuals who wish to represent themselves with domestic and housing issues. Lastly, Judge Parker is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated.  She lives in Raleigh with her 2 sons where they attend Elevation Church.  For more information about Judge Parker you can visit her website at www.JudgeAshleigh.com . Links to articles: Sexism: The Elephant in the Courtroom My Crown is Professional Justice Isn't Always Blind A Call to Action: Fighting Racial Inequality Behind the Bench

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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