Photo Cred: Hannah Skewes


Conversations for Healing and Change

The Soul Stories Podcast is hosted by Danny Mazur and produced by Kamga Tchassa (both pictured above). This season is about the journey we go to discover our own truths. How there are personal and social barriers that we encounter, understand and overcome. This season you'll here stories of immigration, racial identity, and patriarchal purity culture. Someone who found themselves deep in a cult. And another who details his descent into psychosis. I speak with artists who give up consistent income for their passion. Someone who went from living in a mental heath facility as a teen to becoming a life coach. In one episode you'll here how structured religion has helped them find truth. And in another, how structured religion oppressed truth. This season speaks to the complexities of each of our human journey's.

Episode 1: Loving with Intensity with Delia LaJeunesse

Delia LaJeunesse is interviewed on the Soul Stories Podcast and speaks about loving with intensity

Delia is an artist and co-founder of Stain'd Arts. One of Delia's super powers is being comfortable with quiet, both by herself and with others. In this conversation, you'll hear about how loving with intensity pushed her to take a huge leap in life and how she has learned to find comfort in uncertainty. Delia is someone I deeply love and towards the end, you’ll hear how our relationship has been so central to our growth. This is a special one. Enjoy!


Consider supporting The Soul Stories Podcast at where you can get bonus podcast content

Beginning - Being comfortable with quiet

6:12 - Creating with broken mirrors and the transformative power of art

19:03 - Taking the leap to create your own life and live without a consistent income

31:27 - Loving with intensity and going all in

39:30 - Disruption and people wanting to feel special

44:06 - Curiosity and the unknown

49:20 - Dealing with uncertainty and throwing tantrums

53:55 - Aligning with your body

1:00:12 - Danny and Delia's inspiring and challenging relationship

Episode 2: Following Inner Wisdom with Jackson Holzberg-Buckley

Jackson Holzberg-Buckley is interviewed on the Soul Stories Podcast and discusses the importance of following your path and inner wisdom

Jackson is a teacher, student, and author of the forthcoming "Literature: How to Read and Understand the World". In our conversation, Jackson takes us through his transformative journey. He finds himself spiraling into a dark period in which he describes being a slave to himself. Then he has a close encounter with death that changes his life. In this profound and meaningful episode, Jackson and I discuss religion, aligning with your path and whether free will exists or not. This is one of those episodes that will give you plenty to chew on.  Here's our conversation!

He blogs and promotes his services through 

Note: You may notice Jackson's voice sounds different than Danny's. This is because the conversation was conducted on Zoom.

Consider supporting The Soul Stories Podcast at where you can get bonus podcast content

Beginning - Growing up in California and exposure to the creative arts

7:25 - Spiritual openness, religion and being an old soul

18:13 - Self-conscious creativity: "There's this feeling that if I'm my true self, I'm going to be punished for it"

24:52 - "The darkest period of my life"

32:30 - How a close encounter with death became a wake-up call

40:50 - Needing help and investing in relationships

45:00 - Going from being a slave to yourself into trusting and loving yourself

49:50 - Does free will exist?

56:00 - Having a prophetic dream

1:01:25 - Finding alignment with your path

1:04:20 - What Jackson is creating for the world

Episode 3: Reckoning with White, Patriarchal, Purity Culture with Heatherlyn

Heatherlyn sits down for a deeply vulnerable interview on the Soul Stories Podcast where she discusses how to reckon with white, patriarchal, purity culture.

Heatherlyn is an interdependent, international singer/song-writer, poet, founder and host of her Storydwelling in-depth talk show. Heatherlyn grew up in, as she describes it, white, patriarchal, purity culture in Maine where her "inner artist" had been crushed early on. In this episode, we take a deep dive into how we both dismantle and perpetuate sexual shame, white supremacy, and patriarchy. The themes are heavy, but the conversation is joyful and full of laughter. I honestly had a blast doing it and hope you do as well.

Consider supporting The Soul Stories Podcast at where you can get bonus podcast content

Main Website ::

Learn more of Heatherlyn's story, download music, enjoy a variety of LIVE recorded concerts! 

Storydwelling Archives ::

Storydwelling is "cultivating a courageous, compassionate curiosity for ourselves and one another, recognizing the shaping nature of narrative.

Each LIVEcast episode is a little different, with the same heart for interconnection and healing - individually and collectively.

Patreon Community ::

Join the Heatherlyn Music community of support to uplift and extend her work of truth-seeking and beauty-making in this world.

Find two 2019 EP Releases from Heatherlyn (Being Breathed and Songs of the Season), as well as her full album STORYDWELLING, and collaboration with the 9BEATS Collective on Spotify and all other streaming platforms!

Beginning - Growing up in Maine and finding community in the church

6:02 - Being told her inner artist is not okay

9:10 - Experiencing patriarchal, purity culture in the church

15:57 - Sexual shame and its traumatic effects

19:22 - Storytelling, myths and healing

27:30 - Reckoning with white patriarchy and how we perpetuate it 

38:32 - Dismantling and deconstructing toxic narratives

41:13 - Separating faith from religion and Heatherlyn's journey to discover truth

49:50 - Choosing her passion for music and the sacrifices to do so

1:02:49 - What's next for Heatherlyn

Episode 4: Descending into Madness with Joel Hafnor

Joel Hafnor joins the Soul Stories Podcast to discuss his descent into madness and his psychotic break

Joel is a human being filled with all the trappings and contradictions of, well, being a human. In the fall of 2016, Joel became a first year middle school teacher in a Title I school north of Denver. It's at this time that he began to feel his mental foundation rumble and eventually break apart completely. Joel shares the intimate details of his descent into madness with clarity, levity, grace and wisdom. I highly recommend this episode. It is a rare and interesting first-hand account of psychosis.

Consider supporting The Soul Stories Podcast at where you can get bonus podcast content

Beginning - Growing up in the valley under Horsetooth Rock

10:50 - Setting the stage for the breakdown

18:35 - Surviving as a first year teacher in a Title I school

24:12 - When a music album becomes a part of you

27:54 - Paranoia sets in

39:40 - Detaching from reality

49:13 - How art can show us our darkness

53:50 - A "Bon Iver" concert ushers in an era of madness

1:09:25 - The resolution

1:14:45 - Family, time and space

Episode 5: Personal Growth Through Love with Matt Mazur

Matt Mazur is interviewed on the Soul Stories Podcast and speaks to about his journey for self-discovery and personal growth

Matt Mazur, my dad, is a big hearted man who grew up in inner city Cleveland. Early success in football and business pushed him further into a self-absorbed perspective of the world. You'll hear why my conservative and Catholic dad is both my role model and a major reason why I do Soul Stories. I learned a lot about my dad in this interview and I think you will find his story inspirational for your own. Enjoy!

Consider supporting The Soul Stories Podcast at where you can get bonus podcast content

1:54 - Growing up in inner city Cleveland, OH

8:11 - Shifting from selfishness to giving of yourself 

16:49 -  The personal challenge of dealing with early success 

23:05 - The dream begins to crumble 

28:00 - Opening to a world of love and generosity 

35:04 - Listening is the first step

43:46 - Entering dialogue with those you disagree with 

56:03 - Forming an internal value system 

1:00:05 - The importance of sharing your shortcomings 

Episode 6: Creating and Connecting to Music with the band Kiltro

The band Kiltro sits down for an interview on the Soul Stories Podcast where they discuss their muscal journey and the power of musical connection

I sit down with Chris Bowers-Castillo, Will Parkhill, and Michael Devincenzi of the band Kiltro. Kiltro was originally conceived in Valparaiso, Chile and is on the rise here in Colorado. They weave beautiful narratives within these large musical soundscapes that can been described as Chilean Folk Rock. In this interview we talk all things music. The pursuit of it as a career. How we connect to it. The intimate process that goes into creating it. This band is one of my favorites. They are awesome guys and, as you'll hear, clearly have their hearts in the right place. Check their music out online and go experience their shows. Here is our conversation!

Consider supporting The Soul Stories Podcast at where you can get bonus podcast content

Be on the lookout!

1) A new music video will be released in the next couple of months.

2) Kiltro will be going on tour with City of the Sun on Jan. 28th.  

3) Check out their album "Creatures of Habit", which is out now on all platforms. For Spotify:

Beginning - Kiltro is born in Valparaíso, Chile (with Chris Bowers-Castillo)

14:40 - Wrestling with Chilean-American identity (with Chris)

19:50 - The band joins the conversation

21:00 - Connecting to the higher power of music (with Will Parkhill)

25:47 - Pursuing music over higher education (with Michael)

33:05 - Overcoming isolation in Vietnam (with Will)

40:03 - Building the song "Ofelia" (with Will and Chris)

49:30 - Exploring the intimate process of creating (with Chris)

1:00:27 - Crafting the live show (with Chris and Michael)

1:06:50 - Participating in something larger than yourself (with Michael and Will)

1:10:52 - What does Kiltro mean to you? (with Will, Michael, and Chris)

Episode 7: Religious Manipulation with Edith González

Edith Gonzalez joins the Soul Stories Podcast to discuss how she both joined and escaped a cult

Edith grew up in the border town of Brownsville, Texas. She describes the many challenges she faced early on while navigating her Mexican-American identity. And how struggling to fit in and severe confidence issues led her into a cult. Edith shares this deeply vulnerable experience with grace and courage. Ultimately, it's a story of human resilience and overcoming. Here's our conversation!

Consider supporting The Soul Stories Podcast at where you can get bonus podcast content

For more from Edith, check out her blog!

Beginning - Grappling with Mexican-American identity while growing up in Brownsville, Texas

12:20 - Growing up non-traditional and the struggle to fit in

17:53 - Navigating white and brown spaces

22:30 - Seeking solace in the arts

29:30 - Overcoming challenges without direction or support

34:48 - Depending on religion

39:33 - Being manipulated and controlled by the pastor

49:15 - Breaking away from the cult

1:03:15 - Healing and the path forward

Episode 8: Investing in Community with Millete Birhanemaskel

Millete sits down on the Soul Stories Podcast to share how she started the Whittier Cafe in Denver and how she believes in the power of community change

Millete is an entrepreneur, founder of the local Denver staple, The Whittier Cafe and overall renaissance woman. In this interview she talks about her family's origins in Ethiopia and their journey from refugees in Sudan to the challenges they overcame to thrive in the U.S. Millete is a true leader, who is a personal hero and role model of mine. Her humility, selflessness and community-centered philosophy shines in this conversation.

A few notes: Suzi Q. Smith, who is mentioned later will be scheduled as a guest on the show for a later date. Also, since this interview was recorded, her cousin's surgery, which we talk about at the end, has been pushed back to the end of January, the week this episode drops. Send her and her family all the love you have. Ok, now let's start the episode.

Consider supporting The Soul Stories Podcast at where you can get bonus podcast content

If you're in the Denver area, Millete wants to invite you to a Sunday coffee ceremony, poetry reading (when they happen), or donate to their Justice Fund. If you would like more information, please reach out to

Beginning - Founding a Denver community staple, the Whittier Cafe

8:10 - Freedom fighting in Ethiopia and being a refugee

17:48 - Moving and growing up in America

23:15 - Her father reconnects with his dignity in his final years

30:38 - Mom's natural medicines and cooking

33:23 - Interviewing historical figures as a journalist

41:29 - Giving to the community without expecting return

46:11 - Building and investing in the Whittier Cafe community

54:48 - Legalities of keeping ownership of the Whittier Cafe

57:28 - Coming together for her cousin's surgery

Episode 9: The Power of Belief with Valencia Vargas

Valencia Vargas sits down for an interview with The Soul Stories Podcast. She speaks to mental health, isolation and the power fof belief.

Valencia started off life feeling extremely isolated both from her family and peers. It's these circumstances that lead her down a destructive path early on. Listen to this transformational episode as Valencia recounts the challenging experiences that led her to healing and changing her life trajectory. It's one that could you make cry and leave you feeling inspired to make changes in your own life. It definitely did so for me. Enjoy!

Consider supporting The Soul Stories Podcast at where you can get bonus podcast content

Valencia is a certified coach and you connect with her at and her Facebook page, Radiant Courage. You can also find her on Facebook - Valencia Vargas.

Beginning - Growing up isolated

16:28 - Searching for belonging

26:05 - Being sent to a boarding school

33:05 - Navigating an extremely structured treatment program

38:00 - Transformation begins

42:47 - Rewiring beliefs

50:00 - Taking responsibility and forgiveness

58:57 - Re-entering society

1:01:28 - Envisioning the future