Her Podcast Helps Women Find Comfort in “Life After…” Moments
When hardship occurs — be it a divorce, a loss of a loved one, an
unexpected layoff at work, or something else — it can be difficult to
find joy again. But Girl Scout alum Sylvia Beckerman, 70, is one woman
helping others access the positives that come in “life after” moments
with her podcast Life Après.
“I founded Life Après to help women
empower themselves to embrace change,” Beckerman tells CircleAround. “It
started with a community of women going through all phases of divorce
and grew into women from all walks of life, going through a variety of
life events. Some having lost a spouse, some taking care of elder
parents, others becoming an empty nester, and others finding themselves
having to reenter the workforce.”
Beckerman, who is also the host of
the Sylvia & Me podcast, was inspired to start her podcasts after
experiencing two tumultuous divorces, one of which cost her an email
address she’d had for over 20 years. This small string of letters,
numbers, and symbols was a strong part of Beckerman’s identity, a portal
holding important correspondences and personal online account
information, like her social media.
But after losing most of her possessions, Beckerman didn’t wallow. Instead, she empowered herself to take control of her life again. “I marched myself over to Bed, Bath & Beyond and set up a post-divorce gift registry. I registered and threw myself a party.” Realizing she could help herself in this way prompted her to help others in the wake of their negative experiences, too.
"Working together as women is a good thing,” she tells CircleAround. “Knowledge is power and we are allowed to ask questions … we can and should ask the questions. What you may consider too trivial to talk about may help someone else."
“Podcast episodes have highlighted women from around the world
who are advocates, entrepreneurs, authors, artists, filmmakers, and
those who have helped others after the loss of a child,” she explains.
Beckerman also used to hold monthly salon-type gatherings prior to the
pandemic. These salons included experts in subjects such as finance,
law, parenting, image, style, self-awareness, self-care, and more.
Proceeds from the events helped support local organizations in
Connecticut, with a focus on community members helping those on their
own life après journeys.
“Working together as women is a good
thing,” she tells CircleAround. “Knowledge is power and we are allowed
to ask questions … we can and should ask the questions. What you may
consider too trivial to talk about may help someone else.”
her endeavors, Beckerman has been fortunate to promote the projects,
ideas, and words of “some of the most extraordinary, inspiring women
from all over the world.” She’s featured such women as Olivia Wells, the
director of Nadia's Initiative, Arianna Neumann, the author of When
Time Stopped, Katie Hill, former congresswoman, Mary Barneby, regional
CEO of American Red Cross Greater New York, and the former CEO of Girl
Scouts of Connecticut. Beckerman also often highlights organizations
working to help make a difference and encourage hope in difficult times,
such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and My Friend Abby.
episodes and going strong, Beckerman is currently focused on expanding
her podcast series. She’s also working on a series of essays as she
reflects on her work from the past several years.
As life unfolds,
it’s natural to go through changes that are both exciting and
challenging. While there is no handy guidebook to help us figure out the
next move, there are millions of women in the world who are going
through, or have gone through, similar instances. Connecting with each
other can help provide wisdom or consolation in the process.