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Curious Navel

Storytelling Podcasts

Each week Jane Markson asks the same questions to anyone willing to answer, as she tries to figure out if we have more in common than just our navels. Whether we do or not doesn't matter — she's curious to ask, eager to listen, and enjoying conversations that wouldn’t otherwise take place.


United States


Each week Jane Markson asks the same questions to anyone willing to answer, as she tries to figure out if we have more in common than just our navels. Whether we do or not doesn't matter — she's curious to ask, eager to listen, and enjoying conversations that wouldn’t otherwise take place.




Ep 145 - Betsy McMillan

Betsy can write anything, whether it’s a scientific research article, a humorous children’s book, or a harlequin romance. And she will always find a solution to accomplish her goal – even overcoming her fear of public speaking to become a lounge singer. She follows her own advice to never give up and I doubt she ever will.


Ep 144 - Krystel Seier

This born and bred Texas girl is a performer and writer who turned her love of theatre into a voice over career and most recently, a career in real estate. She’s grateful for all her bumps in the road and has learned the lessons we all need to hear….start sooner, don’t be afraid, and my personal favorite, he’s not worth it.


Ep 143 - Adrien Soriano

Adrien loves being a pro-wrestler and performing for a crowd as much as he loves coaching and teaching his skill to the next generation of wrestlers. He has learned to listen to his instincts and be a loving and reliable brother and boyfriend. Here’s to hoping he finds the perfect chocolate chip cookie!


Ep 142 - David Falcaro

Dave moved into a 300-year-old farmhouse for his health but he did more than transform the home – he discovered a way to heal the incredible pain he was experiencing. He would not trade his journey because it helped him gain a skill and perspective very few know.


Ep 141 - Stacey Redfield

From body building to acting to running a Pilates studio, Stacey doesn’t let anyone stop her. She takes chances because she doesn’t want to leave this life with regret. She may not ever run for office but I vote that she share her secret to loving life.


Ep 140 - Doug "Flex" Yasinsky

Doug transitioned from pro wrestling to sales but from his perspective, they are no different – everyone is a natural salesman whether you are asking your parents for a toy or asking someone for a date. My goal is to hang with Doug and hope some of his natural Zen attitude rubs off on me – right after I watch his YouTube show, Cooking with Beer…with a beer.


Ep 139 - Nick Friday

He became an athlete to avoid being bullied and played football in college, but it wasn’t until he was comfortably miserable at a desk job that he turned his passion for fitness into a personal training and self-defense business. And at the core of his coaching is a simple rule – have empathy and don’t live for anyone else’s approval.


Ep 138 - Marvin Benson

Marvin is definitely the person you want to answer when you contact a call center. He will resolve your issue with his kind and easy-going manner. He’s willing to dive off a mountain in a wing suit, doesn’t worry about fear, and finds his joy in just hanging with his friends and playing video games. We could all use some Marvin attitude in our day.


Ep 137 - Kate Elfatah

Whether working with her digital marketing clients or producing a burlesque show, Kate is a kind and charming truth teller. She ignores her fears but will help you with yours – unless it’s finally the day she puts herself first.


Ep 136 - Shmuel Chaim Naiman

Shmuel moved to Israel not only for his spiritual journey, but also for the culture, the people, and the proximity to nature. His health coaching venture embraces his belief that keeping it simple and incorporating mindfulness and spirituality is key to complete health. His modesty, honesty, and perspective on addressing fear is certain to resonate.


Ep 135 - Jeff Newkirk

If you are looking for a trusted advisor, look no further. Jeff shared the straightforward guidance on which his clients rely that will stay with me as well -- set your core values and remind yourself of them daily, remain true to who you are, and remember that you can improve your future based on what you’ve learned in the past.


Ep 134 - Frankie Raye

Though Frankie has not needed her back up plan, she doesn’t consider it wasted time. She’s a musician/singer/songwriter who cherishes her independence and knows how important it is to simply show up for your creativity – even if it finds you because a stranger has you ticked off.


Ep 133 - Paul Vecchione

Once a Long Islander, always a Long Islander. But Paul does more than love the Yankees and the beach, he is a compassionate teacher whose goal is to lend his support when someone is struggling. He lives his mission through his early intervention and education drug program – and his empathy skills came in handy when he met his wife.


Ep 132 - Hugh Gallagher

With seven kids in his blended family and a full-time business to run Hugh should be stressed but he loves it all – work, family, and friends. He’s acquired his emotional intelligence along the way and has great advice for all of us – have no regrets but start sooner.


Ep 131 - First, it’s about me and second, everything is about to change

After over 130 episodes, I’ve been struggling with how to keep Curious Navel fresh and interesting when people know what I’m going to ask. While I do my best to pick up nuggets that an answer reveals and explore the stranger I’m trying to get to know, I think it’s time to change it up and start fresh with a new set of questions. But first, since I thought you might be curious to know how I would have answered the questions I’ve been asking, Steve will interview me. In full disclosure, I thought ahead about some of my answers, but really enjoyed the curve balls Steve threw me.


Ep 130 - Lindsey Parks

Whether or not her innate optimism derives from being a descendant of some of the first settlers in Massachusetts, Lindsey has listened to her intuition to create her life and has a personal and professional life rich with meaningful connections and love. She is the person you want to run into at the grocery store and be invited to her pot-luck party – as long as you don’t give anyone food poisoning.


Ep 129 - Riah Gonzalez

Being fired was perhaps the best thing that ever happened to Riah because it taught her that there is success in failure, led her to becoming an entrepreneur, and gave her the motivation to write a book. She is not afraid to talk about her mistakes, and has learned the hard way that life without pain is life without joy.


Ep 128 - Aesha Tahir

From Pakistan to Pennsylvania, and from computer science to exercise science, Aesha has made a journey to find her best life. Coach Aesha’s skill and enthusiasm help her clients live a pain free life, and her positivity impacts everyone she meets (except for snakes.)


Ep 127 - Kimberly Spencer

As a leadership coach, Kim changes lives – but she did that in her prior careers as well from screenwriter to Pilates instructor. Her resilience and strength helped her break patterns of childhood trauma, and her creativity and ambition keep her “glittering” career moving forward. (Warning – glitter water is not for drinking.)


Ep 126 - Michael Marvosh

My conversation with Michael changed my day and I only wish I had several hours to speak with him. He may have started out guessing what he was going to be, but he landed at a place where he shares his useful articulations of truth to our benefit. His views moved and motivated me and I trust you will feel the same.