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Adam Baruh: Welcome to Beyond the Microphone, a podcast about podcasters and the stories of how their shows came together, grew, and what they’ve discovered along the way. I’m your host, Adam Beru. So before we get into our guest interview today, I want to talk a little bit about, you know, taking a podcast from concept to reality, because it’s, you know, not as straightforward as it may seem, um, although really, technically, all you need is Like an iPhone and you know, you can just record yourself just talking about whatever.

And there’s podcasts that do that. Um, but you know, the majority of podcasts are concept or theme based. And I mean, even for myself now, this is my second podcast that I’ve hosted. And just the idea of, you know, having a topic that you want to talk about. How do [00:01:00] I go about putting that in reality? Like what recording equipment, what do I even talk about?

You know, and there’s a, there’s a concept of You know, do you try to speak to a large audience? Do you try to have your topics be wide ranging and kind of broad based? Maybe, you know, with an underlying, um, theme, tying it all together. And so, you know, there’s that idea, like going very general, um, versus the idea of going very niche and. Like, to be honest, I don’t think one way versus the other is like, there’s going to be like a clear way to do it. I think, you know, whatever works, as long as you’ve kind of like. Um, you know, gone through the process of thinking about what your audience is going to connect to and why they’re going to keep coming back.

I mean, that’s, that’s really what it comes down to. So when I started my former podcast, the change, it was, although I think it was very, you know, kind of specific with the [00:02:00] initial idea covering mental health and business. Um, and it was kind of, you know, at the tail end of the pandemic and there was this, you know, vaccination was going on.

Um, you know, topics week to week were kind of wide ranging and that’s okay. I mean, I talked to people that had, you know, trauma that they discussed, nervous system, um, burnout, uh, that sort of thing, you know, um, the old school business methodology, we cover that. And then about halfway through, I changed it up.

Um, to get very niche and very specific. I changed the premise to servant leadership specifically. Um, and, you know, I think I was reaching now a more niche audience. Now here’s the thing about niche and, you know, like it was kind of like a mental hurdle I had to jump through because, or jump over because You know, the idea with being a little bit broader base [00:03:00] is you’re reaching a larger audience, right?

More people that would, you know, perhaps be, you know, into what you’re saying, what you’re talking about. It’s hard to hook those people. I will tell you that. It’s hard to hook them and keep coming back when week to week you’re covering topics where maybe one week it’s a relevant topic to them and then the next week it’s really not.

Versus when you go very niche, then you’re more likely to have an audience that is going to find relevance with your topic week to week and talk to their friends about it and, and they’re going to become avid followers. So again, there’s really, I wouldn’t say, you know, one way there’s only one way to do it.

Um, you know, definitely kind of pay attention to how your audience is connecting and. Subscribing and you definitely want to see growth. That’s going to kind of propel you to keep doing what you’re doing. But, uh, you know, don’t be afraid to kind of [00:04:00] try different things. And, you know, thinking going into your podcast that it has to be this one way forever.

And that’s that right. Be open to evolving. So. Um, that’s all I’m going to say about that for today. But, uh, again, it’s, it’s really a learning experience. So don’t be afraid to evolve, you know, as you know, you’re going through your show. So let’s introduce our guest today. Her name is Dr. Maya Fields, and she’s the host of the upcoming podcast.

Hey, Hannah, lessons of love. and parenthood. So Maya, welcome to beyond the microphone.

Mya Fields: Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here.

Adam Baruh: Yeah, it’s really special that you’re here today. And, uh, you know, I mentioned just before I pressed the record button that, you know, for the most part, I interview people that already have podcasts that, you know, are out there in the world, but your first podcast is set to release sometime in [00:05:00] July. You don’t have a specific date, I think you mentioned, but, um, you’re in, You know, I think you’re, I’ve seen your cover art.

So you’ve kind of like gone through a progression to get to launch, right? So your particular story though, comes out of a really, you know, painful experience and something for me being a father of four children. I mean, you know, it’s, it’s every. Parents fear to lose a child and, um, so your podcast, Hey, Hannah, is a tribute to your daughter, Hannah, that, that you lost.

And so I’d like to start today by having you tell us about Hannah. What was she like? You know, what do you remember most about her and, you know, what are some fond memories that you have?

So, you know, on each episode, we usually, you know, start out by, you know, talking about the series of events or circumstances that ultimately led you to becoming a podcast host. And, um, you know, I know Hey, Hannah was born out of your grieving process following the loss of your daughter, Hannah. So will you start by just sharing a little bit about, um, you know, that experience of.

You know, I know she, she passed, you know, shortly after you delivered her. So, you know, what was that, you know, what are some of the hopes and memories that you, you know, going back to when you were pregnant that you kind of just, you know, thought, you know, and kind of instilled in this, this daughter that you were going to have?

What were, what were some of, you know, the things that you wanted to do with her and, and some of the lessons that you wanted to impart on her?

Mya Fields: Um, absolutely. So, I will say, um, obviously it’s a hard story to talk about. But, um, my particular experience is with infant loss. [00:06:00] Um, the day I delivered Hannah is the same day, unfortunately, that she passed away. Um, a few hours after she was delivered. So, um. Um, a very obviously scary experience, disappointing experience, um, so many emotions wrapped into one.

Um, but one thing that came about is, you know, when you’re having any type of, uh, or experience any type of life change, big life change. And I’ll say that because everyone can’t relate to the parenting experience, but maybe you’re buying a car, you’re buying a house, but especially if you’re pregnant with a child, you anticipate most of the time.

Positively, those experiences you’re going to have, whether it’s the experiences in your new house, or what you’re going to do with the new car, and if you are pregnant and expecting a child, you anticipate, um, you know, to some extent, what those experiences will be like. Um, I do have two other children, two boys, and Hannah was [00:07:00] my third, and she was my girl.

So of course, you know, the anticipation was there, like all the things I was Um, unfortunately, things took a turn and that didn’t happen. So um, through the grieving process, which is really tough, anyone who’s dealt with grief um, will understand where I’m coming from with this. It touches every tear. point of your life.

And so, as you mentioned, you know, what are some positive experiences, um, or some happy things that you can think about with Hannah when you want to remember her? Um, with my experience, um, being so tragic and just really the birthing story shaping, uh, coming out the way that it did. I don’t have as many positive experiences as I would like to hope for.

And, when you think of your kids, you want to think of good things. Like, I think of my boys, and I think of funny stories of things, like when they were [00:08:00] smaller, that made me laugh, or the way they, you know, said words incorrectly, but it’s really cute, and it’s because it’s your kid, you always think it’s funny.

Um, but I didn’t want to always think of Hannah, and it’s always just sadness. And You know, just in a dark cloud over that experience, so that’s what really helped me Partially shape the idea of Hey, Hannah The podcast focuses on as I said, I anticipate a lot of things with her a lot of conversations I would like to have with her I am an educator.

So a lot of things I wanted to teach her And that’s how the podcast came about the underlying premise is that I want to have conversations with individuals Who have knowledge that I would have wanted to share with my daughter making sure that she is a That she’s a strong woman, that she’s bold, that she knows who she is, that she’s business [00:09:00] savvy, that, you know, she’s great with finances.

She can also have fun shopping, but we still need to know how to balance a budget. So, the cool thing is, even though my story of, you know, making this podcast wasn’t, I guess, saying coming from the most positive experience. Other people who aren’t experiencing grief can still connect and relate to and gain some information from these individuals who come and share these lessons.

Adam Baruh: Yeah. So, in the guest notes that you provided to me, you mentioned that, hey, Hannah, we’ll serve as a reminder that even in the face of adversity, there’s always hope and the capacity to create a meaningful life. Um, you know, where did you, where did you find hope following the loss of Hannah? I mean, had you? Was this something that you kind of [00:10:00] learned from your doctors that this this was an outcome that was possible? I mean, did it? Was it just, you know, you delivered her and then that tragic event happened. And then, you know, how has her loss affected your capacity for emotional strength and courage?

Mya Fields: Um, good question. So her condition, or really the whole situation, there was just a lot of ambiguity out of it. We went into the situation with my doctor literally telling me, we’re gonna see what’s gonna happen. Like, so there was really nothing that was concrete. Um, obviously as a parent you go in hoping for the best, but it didn’t turn out that way.

Um, my strength was really just rooted in my faith. That helped me so much. And when I mentioned, you know, hope and stories of hope. When I, when When this first [00:11:00] happened, um, and relatively close to that time, I could not see a way out. It’s very hard to, when you’re experiencing that type of grief or pain, to see a time when you won’t be immersed in it, if that makes some sense.

So you’re looking for almost like a life raft, like who can I see that’s been through this and they’re okay. Um, and you know, I say okay loosely because you’re, we’re always working out things within ourselves but they seem to be moving ahead in some extent. So one of the things that I am excited about and that’s just kind of a, a personal tie to the podcast is I’m showing up as a live example of I’ve lived through this and it doesn’t have to be.

It’s a way [00:12:00] to, you know, take one of the most imaginable, um, I guess one of the most hurtful things and scary experiences and turning it, um, positive in any way that you can. And I choose my words wisely around that because, you know, we’re talking about children, um, people and you never want to. experience anything like that, but we do know that life continues and I want to be an example of someone who was able to move forward so I can show other parents who are going through this, like it’s gonna get better.

You know, just take it one day at a time. Day one you can’t see it. Day two you can’t see it. Maybe even month three, but it’s possible.

Adam Baruh: And so. You know, tell us a little bit about the process of like finding your way to a podcast like, you know, when did [00:13:00] you kind of coming, you know, going through your grieving process at what point and, and how did you, you know, come to the conclusion that you want to get into podcasting and, and tell the story, you know, what, what, what was your mission behind that?

Mya Fields: Um, so it came about because After, um, my experience, I did a lot of counseling sessions and one thing that my counselor mentioned was journaling. That’s not really my thing. And so, you know, if you pick up something that’s not your thing, you’re just, you’re not going to enjoy it. It’s not going to be beneficial.

It’s kind of like exercising. If they tell you, like, go run a marathon, it’s going to make you super healthy. Well, if it’s not really your thing, you’re not going to stick with it. And so I knew that wasn’t necessarily the case, even though I understood the benefits. journaling, getting your feelings out, feeling like there’s some purpose or meaning behind the emotions that you’re feeling, that type of thing.

Um, and so I’m like, man, it’s [00:14:00] 20, 22, 23, you know, cause it’s been a little bit of time. Um, I gotta find some type of innovative way to work this out. I mean, I understand I’m throwing journaling to the side, and no offense to anyone who loves journaling, but I have to find a more me way, a more up to date way of still being able to do these things.

And so, um, another thing that I mentioned is the meaning, um, behind Hannah’s life. You know, it’s, you want, To know, even as an individual, that your life meant something. Your time here meant something. She can’t do that. But I, as her mother, even though, you know, I experienced her birth in her passing the way that I did, you still have that feeling as a parent.

Like I want, I want them to have made, you know, their contribution to the world. And so when I’m connecting those [00:15:00] things, um. It really just serves as the foundation of how the podcast was birthed. Because had I not experienced this, I wouldn’t be bringing this platform to anyone else. I wouldn’t be trying to serve as an example for, um, a community that, Everyone is not aware exists, grieving parents, um, even the lessons that we hope to share, the individuals we hope to have come on and share their experiences and knowledge.

It will benefit others who are outside of the grieving community, but it’s all because of Hannah. We would not be doing one episode. If it was not because of Hannah, so that’ll always be something that motivates me, something that pushes me forward because I know it’s another way, um, that it just adds some meaning for her.

Adam Baruh: Yeah, I think that’s so beautiful, the way that as a mother, you know, you’re continuing [00:16:00] to show up for her and use that experience to, you know, hopefully help people that have gone through that or similar experiences or, you know, just even through the storytelling process, just, Make connections emotionally to Hannah’s life and what that meant to you and all the hope that you had for her and how that’s now translating into this new venture for yourself.

So, you know, one thing I wanted to ask is, you know, in your opinion, what makes podcasting, you know, such a therapeutic and profound for communication, um, in, in which to. Impact change and impact people’s lives.

Mya Fields: Um, you know, I, I’m an educator, uh, as I mentioned, so. In my field, a lot of times you’ll hear, like, sometimes you just need to talk things out. Like, you need to talk [00:17:00] out your idea. Like, you can think your idea in your head, but when you talk it through, especially with someone else, you get some different perspective.

And, uh, you yourself even find that you iron out the kinks as you just verbally say something. And so, it’s therapeutic in the way that obviously you’re talking out your emotion. You’re sharing your experiences, you’re sharing your story, um, which is empowering in a way, you know? So you have that there, but then you also have, um, the connection or community aspect of it as well.

Because it’s always nice to know, um, or have that feeling that you’re seen, like you can relate to someone else. Um, and specifically with Infant loss, child loss, you, you’re looking for a sense of community anyway, because you feel like you’re kind of an ostrich on an island, but you know, [00:18:00] with podcasting, with any, um, form of connection that’s out there, you definitely have the opportunity to build that sense of community.

And you relate to others through your story and different experiences, and it continues to strengthen those bonds. And it’s helpful with, you know, just not only the grieving process, but just with growth in general.

Adam Baruh: Yeah. So you’ve said that, you know, through Hey, Hannah, your listeners will embark on a journey to impart the lessons and values that you wished to teach her. So, you know, what are some of those lessons and values?

Mya Fields: Um, I am strongly rooted in my faith. That’s something that’s very important to me. And I would want her to have that same foundation as well. Um, I’d want her to have a good, Value system, just being a good person. You know, all the decisions we make are based on our value system, but a lot of times it’s not clearly defined.

[00:19:00] So you don’t really have a compass to navigate your way through life, um, guiding you that’s successful. So that’s something that’s very important to me that I would’ve wanted to show her. I wanted her to be a person of integrity and. That just deals with, you know, showing up when you say you’re going to show up, you know, show up, be the person at home, um, that you are, that you show up as on the outside.

Um, being able to communicate effectively. It’ll be great to have communicators on and show, uh, cause that’s something I would have wanted her definitely to know. Um, communication is the currency of opportunity. I want opportunities. For all my children. So, her being able to show up, have a message, and articulate her message would have been so important to me.

Um, when I was carrying, when I was carrying her, because, um, uh, one of my, You things just as I think [00:20:00] they’re my brands like, you know girl power women can do anything rule the world So I’m like this girl’s gonna be the next president. You just wait You just wait and see and so, you know, I’m thinking of all these master plan Master plan kind of thing together like I’m gonna have her in this I want to show her this and I hope she’s Interested in this because that would be really cool So those are some of the things I definitely Imagined for her And, um, those are some of the things that I will intertwine into the podcast episodes as we go along.

Adam Baruh: And the format, is it going to be, um, I think I read you’re going to, you’re going to have guests on there and experts. And, uh, yeah, what’s the, so tell us a little bit about in your words, you know, what the format is that you plan for.

Mya Fields: Yes, so I will have experts on that will speak about, um, things that they are specific. Specifically knowledgeable in so I’ll have someone on who’s talking about mindset because a lot of a lot of moving forward in life is [00:21:00] being able to shape your thoughts and You can use that from the business world to your home life.

Just anytime so that’s One interview that will take place Finances is one interview that interview that will take place, you know, just being able to have basic knowledge of How finances work in some type of budgeting format. So those types of things Interviews will be intertwined in the podcast, but I’ll also take some time to share my story my experiences and some things that I have been through and how which shaped my life in how I continue to Use those lessons to make me a better and more effective person going forward.

So, um, by listening you will learn some from other individuals who bring their specific knowledge from their field. But the personal aspect is you’ll also get little pieces of my story, [00:22:00] um, through each episode as well. And learn how some of the experiences that I have been through, um, have shaped me and have served to be beneficial just in life in general.

Adam Baruh: Yeah. And so you also mentioned that, you know, the podcast is going to serve to debunk some misconceptions and address some. Common challenges provide resources to empower individuals to make informed decisions and embrace growth on their own unique journey. So can you provide some examples of the types of misconceptions or, you know, some, some concepts that you’re going to be addressing that are, that are meant to kind of change the way people think about grief and parenthood or whatever it may be.

Mm

Mya Fields: I will start first with grief because I think one of the main, um, misconceptions there, and I touched on it briefly earlier, is that it will encompass the rest of your life. Yes, I will always think about Hannah. She’s never going to be [00:23:00] something that, like, oh, I completely forgot. That’s not going to happen.

But, um, I do want to show that it’s possible to still Thrive in a sense after such a terrible experience, you know, we’re all going to experience some form of a train wreck in life. So it’s nice to be able to see living examples of people who’ve been able to move forward afterwards. Um, some other things on a lighter note, um.

Um, I’ve been able to do really well with effectively managing time and some misconceptions with that is, as women, we can’t work, achieve goals, raise our kids, be effective parents. And those are things that I’ve been successful with. Um, I’ve been able to earn an MBA and a PhD. I have two young children, um, you know, and so some of those misconceptions, I want to make sure I [00:24:00] definitely.

We want to, uh, kind of put the kibosh on those, so to speak. Like, women, if you put your mind to it, we are strong enough if we make a plan to make anything that we have in our minds, um, manifest into our lives. So, that’s definitely a misconception. I see it all the time, um, and that’s one that just kind of shows up repeatedly.

It’s like, okay, you’re working in this field, but you’re also, you know, your kids are in this. They play soccer, they play baseball. It’s hard, don’t get me wrong, but I want you to know if you manage your time effectively, if you plan, like these things are possible. So again, it’s just another way that um, I want to show up and give inspiration or hope to individuals that these are things that can happen.

I’m not any more special than anyone else. I don’t have like these, this special fairy dust. I’m just a regular person. So if I can [00:25:00] incorporate small things to make my life better or make the things I do more effective, you can do it too.

Adam Baruh: Love that. So finally, um, you know, normally I ask people, um, with their podcasting journey, you know, what discoveries they’ve made in, in podcasting. But I think today, I think what will wrap my final question for you is what discoveries have you made about yourself your story? And through the, the concept of coming out of this, you know, painful experience into, you know, where you, you are becoming a light for others and, and showing that there could be, you know, this beautiful light at the end of the tunnel where, like you said, You know, it’s not that you’re kind of like forgetting the pain of the [00:26:00] experience.

You’re, you’re using it to make change in the world. So, but personally about yourself, like what discoveries, you know, what have you learned about yourself that maybe you didn’t know before? That, that now through all that you’ve gone through, that you know about yourself?

Mya Fields: Probably the most important thing, um, is that the process has magnified, um, my knowledge of the heart I have for people. I didn’t think, I mean, I just thought it was like a regular, you know, just going through, but I, I feel like it’s just my love or connection for wanting to see people grow and develop has been magnified through this process.

Um, bringing these lessons, as I said, Hannah’s not here, but it’s still things that can help other people’s kids grow. It can help other people grow. The type of information that we’re bringing about. [00:27:00] Um, I don’t discount or want anyone to think that any episode will not carry some form of pain for me as a parent.

Um, and still through that, I know that if others can benefit, I still want to move forward with it. So I’ll say that’s something that’s definitely, um, been highlighted through the process. Um, That has been helpful. Another thing that’s really cool, and just kind of like more of a side thing, is we realize how our experiences and our stories have shaped our lives, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.

Um, one small thing is, my dad was special forces in the military, so we moved every six months at one point. Um, so you think about it at the time, you’re just kind of like, well this sucks. But, you know, thinking about Um, some of the ways that those experiences shape my life. I’m able to [00:28:00] go to new environments and navigate them and adapt rather quickly.

I’m able to keep a positive mindset on, yeah, I might not be living in Chicago, I might be living in this town, but there are some benefits here. Let’s find those, focus on the positive. Every place has some great things and every place has some things that you don’t really like. But we want to find a way.

If we’re going to be in this spot to make it the best possible environment for us So that’s just like one small things, but it’s cool to work your way Through those experiences and really give some meaning to them. So that’s a nice little thing that came about too

Adam Baruh: Well, thanks for sharing that. Thanks for being here today and for sharing your story. Um, you know, it’s, it’s very special to hear about, you know, how you’ve taken this painful experience. And like I said before, you know, you’re making the space for Hannah to, to still be present in this world. And, [00:29:00] you know, to use that experience with her to make a positive impact for others.

So thank you for that. And thank you for being here today.

Mya Fields: Absolutely, thank you for having me

Adam Baruh: Dr. Maya Fields is a highly accomplished professional with a strong education, leadership, and career development background. With a Ph. D. in Educational Leadership, an MBA, and a Master’s Degree in Education, she’s dedicated her academic journey to acquiring a diverse skill set that enables her to make a significant impact in her field.

Currently serving as an assistant dean at a prestigious university, Dr. Fields plays a pivotal role in shaping the educational landscape and fostering a positive learning environment for students. With her academic prowess, extensive experience, and dedication to personal and professional growth, Dr.

Fields continues to significantly impact the lives of students, colleagues, and those she encounters on her journey. Beyond the Microphone [00:30:00] is sponsored by PodTask. Whether you’re just starting out in podcasting or you’ve been at this a while and are looking to save time so you can focus on creating amazing content for your listeners.

Go check out pod task, a podcast management and marketing platform designed by podcasters for podcasters with pod tasks, automated workflow, and AI based marketing tools. You’ll save time and sanity and be better equipped to grow your podcasts. If you’re enjoying this podcast, please subscribe on Apple podcasts or wherever you’re listening, as well as to our YouTube channel.

You can find links to all of these in our episode show notes. Thank you all for listening, and we’ll see you next time on Beyond the Microphone.

Beyond the Microphone is produced and distributed by EIQ Media Group, LLC. Elevate your emotional IQ with podcasts and content focused on entrepreneurship, overcoming adversity, stories of emotional courage, women’s health, aging, and more.

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