By Katheleen Articlier
Sometimes you meet people who are an inspiration within the first hour you talk to them. Janice Molinari is one of them. When I was going to meet her, I didn’t know what to expect. She has so many accolades, including Emmys. It’s not every day you come across people with those and I have to say, they glisten even more in person. They look even more impressive in person, as they do on television.
When I arrived at her beautiful home that she shares with her wife Marguerite Smith, a school teacher from Butler, I was greeted by an instantly friendly face and a beautiful dog, Harley. She ran up and grabbed me a toy from her stash and brought it down in her mouth. She was a type of small retriever and the dog of my dreams, who is also a therapy dog that helps people cope.
Janice has had an illustrious career in a few areas, including producing Emmy winning sports shows, owning a yoga studio, and her own production company and working with her sister for sixteen years. She has produced Paralympics, worked at MTV, and documentaries for autism. She spent ten years working with athletes and children with the Yankees On Deck show, for which there are also Emmys. Personally, I would have them hanging from the ceiling in full view and clanging like wind chimes in full view, but she’s modest about her many accomplishments.
She still does her producing and directing, but also so much more, including new ventures. Her upbeat and positive personality fits well with what she is now working on. She really keeps grounded with meditation and yoga. She has a central personality that is optimistic and inspirational. She is working on bringing self-empowerment to others. She has a vision of “creating our best self.” If anyone can do it, she can! She has so many ideas, some of which she has carried out and others she is working on. Listening to her talk about transformational breath work, yoga, and meditation I know made me want to try all of it. She’s that inspirational.
You might want to check out some of her websites: braveboldbeing.com and accepttheinvitation.blogspot.com You’ll be enlightened, trust me. She has been holding workshops, as well and will be venturing into videos and motivational gigs, speaking engagements, and so much more. Tony Robbins has nothing on her! She captures the essence of positivity and blurts it out while talking. By the time she was talking a while, I felt like I could be Queen of England or at least got to Dairy Queen and order that fudge sundae with a huge smile like I earned it.
One of the mottos of her brand is – “What’s Your Story?” She explained how everyone has a story and you choose how it will end by the choices you make. You can be let it limit yourself or you can empower yourself. She spoke of the ripple effect that all surrounds it. The common theme of what she’s doing was service. She was thinking of service of others long before this new venture. When she says that she likes people to ‘pick a moment in your life’ which has you think of when you were your best, it gets you thinking of what you could have done, should have done, and by the time she’s done: what you can do.
She is out to change the world and the way we think using one of her mantras of ‘creating our best self’. It’s very liberating to hear her speak and you make some discoveries about yourself, even as she is discussing what the meaning of it is. She is also a life coach, that goes hand in hand with her empowerment coaching. She is far from a generic life coach. She’s a burst of energy and inner core strength. She has worked with athletes most of her career and she has incorporated their regime into some of her methods. She learned a lot from working with a lot of them. You would be surprised at which athletes came from nothing and despite overcoming obstacles, it made them seek success in beast mode. She told me of some moving examples and I came to appreciate their athletic prowess or sport a little more after that. Janice captures both the mental side of strength and how to grow it and also the physical and emotional ends. She is a very energetic, but yet calm person and I think that it helps her have clear visions of what she focuses on both for herself professionally and how to help others. I know I want to start meditating and doing a little yoga. I would never be able to be a yogi like her, because I’m more like the Yogi Bear type, but I am going to give it a whirl and see if I can feel as stress free as she comes across as.
When she was working on the show with kids for ten years with the Yankees, she wanted to make it not only enjoyable, but also educational. As she put it ‘How do you hide the vegetables?’ I loved that analogy. She would get the formula for success from the athletes working through their life experiences, situations, and message. I’m sure it’s still an impact on those children today. She ‘hid’ those vegetables well enough to earn Emmys. I got to hold the large one and I have to say that it felt like I should have been wearing a gown and pointing to people in the crowd thanking them for my journey. It was nice to dream a minute. She produces, directs, edits, and speaks. What she doesn’t allow in her editing is what’s known as ‘Frankenbites’. That is when, for once reason or another, which is usually to gain viewership, editors will essentially mashup content and displaying it without the original context that it was meant. Taking sound bites and clips from longer videos, stories, or quotes and widdling them down to a Frankenbite has become all too common. It shouldn’t be about shock value and misquoting or guiding people to unfair displays of someone’s original words. Janice does not allow it. Whether she agrees with the content or not, changing the content to make the end more ‘sensational’ is not in her style. Having integrity is a big deal to her. She wants her content to be untainted and stay true to form.
I asked her about what I knew about something I knew she wouldn’t bring up, which was what she did after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting a few years ago. I had seen stories of it, but wanted to ask her myself, because I know how personal a story it was. Her friend Beth Howard known as ‘The Pie Lady’, who had a colorful RV decked out to show that, had wanted to help ease the pain and suffering in a way she knew how for Newtown residents. We all know nothing could erase anything, but sometimes the littlest of things in life make a huge impact and more importantly a lasting impression. She is never focused on herself when she speaks. It’s always of others and situations and how to help. Janice knows the importance of empathy. She’s not driven by awards, opulence, or popularity. She has a crystal-clear message of wanting to help and make a difference.
Janice and wife, Marguerite opened their home to her long-time friend to have access to pie baking. Between themselves and the kindness of neighbors and local businesses, they were able to bake over 250 pies to be given out in Newtown, one slice at a time. Her neighbors opened their homes and hearts to helping with ovens, baking, and running around. What a great neighborhood that is. It says a lot about the people in the area. The tragic situation in Newtown brought out the humanity in so many people. They brought the pies there with simple signs that said Free Pies. It was a huge success. Grownups and children alike would come for slices, which were a slight comfort and perhaps a feeling of home or togetherness for some. It was a little bit of ‘the norm’ that they so sorely needed at that time. One of the mothers of one of the children lost in the massacre would later say how much it meant. A slice of pie was encouragement, support, sympathy, and a feeling of community love all wrapped into a crust. You can change the world one pie at a time. It does make a difference.
You can see what kind of person Janice is. She’s a businesswoman, entrepreneur, creative minded, and above all a caring person. She has a proactive approach to life and it shows. If you can take one of her classes or attend a lecture, do so. We overlook the little things in life sometimes, like neighbors. There are angels among us. Janice Molinari is one of them.