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

Aisha Ponds joins us this week and shares her story, from her beginnings in a segregated neighborhood, to experiencing direct and indirect racism growing up and throughout her career, to her deep dedication to her work.  Aisha has an infectious laugh and an unwavering sense of optimism, but it is ultimately her faith, in herself and her god, that guides her perfectly imperfect journey. One of our favorite quotes from this episode: “FEAR is false evidence appearing real: (attributed to Iyanla Vanzant and others) which perfectly underscores Aisha’s commitment to faith.  


Aisha leads Customer Service Operations at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. She has been at Blue Cross NC since 2013, where she has held various leadership roles across Operations including her most recent roles as Director of Stakeholder Escalations and Customer Experience (2017 – 2021), Sr. Manager of Continuous Quality Improvement (2016 – 2017), and Lead Program Manager of Process Analysis & Improvement (2014-2016).

Aisha is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, a certified Customer Experience and Analytics Professional, and a SCRUM MASTER, experienced in Change Management, Business Analysis, Process Improvement, Training and Development, Strategic Planning and Vendor Management.  

She holds a MS in Technical Communication and Organizational Information Systems from North Carolina State University and a BS in Technical Communication from Rochester Institute of Technology.  Aisha lives in Cary, NC and enjoys movies, Asian Cuisine, and serving and supporting local businesses and charities in her community.

Aisha talks about the importance of mentors and a personal board of directors.  This article does a nice job referencing both:


celebrating our 20th episode

In recognition of this milestone, and as a thank you to our listeners, we have created an infographic with whispers of wisdom from our first 12 guests. Opt-in to our email list to receive the infographic.

Thank you for joining us on this journey!

Click on the image or button below to download the whispers of wisdom infographic. If you are on a mobile device, press and hold on the image below and select "save image"

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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.