Karen Millsap - Episode 094

“To love yourself more, is to not allow others to project their expectations onto you”

TEDx Speaker. Business Advisor. Grief Expert. Widow. Resilience and Mindset Coach. Military Child. Smiler. Diversity Advocate. Braveheart. Human-Centric Leader.

There are so many things in life which will never make much sense. Things that cause us extreme pain and suffering, and will make us question everything that life is about. One thing which is particularly hard for many of us to fathom is extreme anger, violence and hatred.

Our guest this week, Karen Millsap, is a military child. Her Dad served in the airforce for 21 years, which meant that she grew up on US military base camps around the world. It’s certainly an experience that she looks back on fondly.

Karen Millsap - TEDx Speaker, Business Advisor, Grief Expert, Resilience and Mindset Coach

Her favourite post was in Okinawa, Japan, where she grew up and lived from the ages of two to seven years old. Karen remembers it being absolutely beautiful and recalls things like going to the Cherry Blossom Festival, the Mamasun who taught them Japanese and their first puppy, Skoshi, which means ‘little’ in Japanese.

Both her parents are incredible examples of resilience. Her dad now lives with a rare neurological disease called, PLS – primary lateral sclerosis, and has survived cancer three times. Her mom has been his caregiver for the last 15+ years. She is his hands, his legs and his voice, because PLS has impacted his mobility and ability to speak clearly.

Karen and her husband Richard, were enjoying a good life together. They had built a business, had a young son, lived in a nice house in Orlando and then one day everything would change forever…

Karen had just gone to pick up the kids at the Crossfit gym which Richard owned. Once she got home, she had to finish off some work which involved interviewing people over the phone. Her phone rang while she was giving the interview but she couldn’t answer it. It then rang again, so she put her call on mute and answered it. All she could hear was screaming and the one word she remembers hearing was ‘shot’.

At the scene of the crime, she doesn’t remember who told her or when they told her, but she found out that Richard was shot and died instantly…. That was the night her life changed forever. To this day, six years later, they have never found or even identified who committed the murder.

Her healing, as you can imagine, was a traumatic and sad period. The year after Richard died was like a domino effect. Not only did she lose her husband but she also ended up losing her house, her car and her job too 🙁 Her life was a mess, and she was going through the motions on autopilot.

On the quest to rebuild her life, she discovered healthy habits and lifestyle changes that helped her rebuild and find her way back to a whole heart. Now, as a resilience and mindset coach, she shares those habits, tips, tools, and soul-filling resources with her clients and organisations.

We hope you enjoy this conversation as much as we did.

Let’s find out what it means for Karen Millsap, to be Ridiculously Human.

Your fellow beings,

Craig and Gareth


Background, Context & Reference

Connect with Karen Millsap:








Karen TEDx Talk: Use Your Tragedy to Change The World

Karen Course and Programs: The GroFlo and The Heal Method

Discussion Links

Hanami – Cherry Blossom Festival


George Mason University 

PLS – Primary Lateral Sclerosis


Option B – Sheryl Sandberg

Crab in the bucket mentality

Podcast with Seth Godin and Tim Ferriss

Growth Mindset 

Google – Project Aristotle

People Discussed:

Michael O’Brien

Sheryl Sandberg

Brene Brown 

Richard Branson 

Gary Vaynerchuk

Places Mentioned:

Montgomery County

Andrews Air Force Base

Okinawa, Japan

Delaware, United States

Orlando, Florida

Scott Air Force Base

Music By

The Bambuseae Rhythm Section – Check them out here

Simon Van Gend Band – Check them out here

Right Hook Request


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