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  • Writer's pictureNicole Will

Discover That You Are #somuchmore In Your Caregiving

caregiver support aging parents willgather podcast

Discover That You Are #somuchmore In Your Caregiving with Heather Zoccoli, Co-Founder of Brutally Beautiful

Finding freedom, redemption, and revealing all of those things that we typically don’t share with others in our caregiving- that is the mission and the movement behind Brutally Beautiful.

Brutally Beautiful was co-founded by Heather Zoccali. She is also the founder of No Barriers Caregiver Program. She is a survivor, storyteller, author, retreat innovator, and podcast co-host.

As my guest today, Heather gives us permission to have a holistic approach to our healing, understand forgiveness, and the ability to fuse humor into our caregiving. She empowers us to choose vulnerability, share deeply personal stories, and rediscover who we are outside of our caregiver role. Brutally Beautiful moves their mission forward by hosting innovative nature-based retreats, interactive workshops and supporting caregiver communities.

As we reset the narrative that can be imposed on us in our caregiving, we can re-discover our own voice. Heather's #somuchmore campaign does just that. I'm honored to share Heather's story and work. Thank you, Heather, for creating a space where we can be empowered to share our own story.

See Heather's Love Letter to all caregivers below.

Heather shares about:

  • Her story as she found her voice in caregiving

  • The superpowers of vulnerability, voice, choice, forgiveness, and play

  • Resetting the narrative that we are #somuchmore and discovering ourselves outside of our caregiver role

  • How we can have self-compassion

  • Practicing boundaries in our caregiving

  • Her encouragement that we can heal, address trauma, find joy, and play

  • The many ways in which Brutally Beautiful supports caregivers so they can heal

  • Join their #somuchmore campaign to raise your voice in caregiving

About Heather Zoccoli & Brutally Beautiful

Survivor. Storyteller. Disruptor. Retreat Innovator. Author. Podcast Co-Host.

I live a brutally beautiful life.

Heather is the co-founder of Brutally Beautiful and founder of No Barriers Caregivers Program; Heather has been recognized by the state of Colorado for her pioneering work for family caregivers, Colorado State University as a Hometown Hero, nominated as a visionary caregiver, and top caregiver program by Heather’s true magic comes from her ability to bring authenticity, humor, passion, and vulnerability, sharing deeply personal stories of the brutally beautiful moments in life. Heather continues using her personal story and voice to raise awareness for family caregivers and people living with disabilities through retreat innovation, speaking, writing, facilitating, consulting, and podcasting. Heather is the author of the Brutally Beautiful Journey Journal Series, Forgiveness, Self Compassion, and Playfulness Journey, and a contributor to and The Mighty.

Heather lives in Colorado with her husband, Matty, and two sons, Connor and Max, and their dog Moe and loves all things outdoors, reading, dancing, and a great martini.

Be bold. Be Beautiful. Live Brutifully.

Love letter to all caregivers. Dear “Invisible Army,” I want you to know I am here for you. I am your advocate, defender and non-judgmental friend you may lean on. I hear your secret cries in the shower, cars and bathroom stalls alone. I understand the frustration and sadness of what was and what is. I see you when you are in the shadows and behind the scenes making sure your loved ones have the spotlight as you find your light fading. All 53+ million of you. I feel your isolation, pain, guilt, shame and loss of self. I share in your triumph of having 15 minutes alone. I grant you grace when you are barely treading water. I will emphasize self-compassion for you are only human. I will breathe with you when the doctor brushes you off, because how could you, who are on the clock 24/7 and deal with crisis after crisis on a daily basis, possibly know what is going on with your loved one when you didn’t choose to go into this field. I will advocate for you when your boss questions “Again? Didn’t something just happen?” Yes, I will say with you, yes it did just happen and it will happen again and again and again and thank you for the support and shared understanding. I will not apologize anymore with you for the chaos that is ours. I will stand beside you and we will embrace it. I will give you my voice to advocate for yourself. I give permission to you to start putting boundaries so you may find your joy again. I empower you to dig into your trauma and acknowledge your grief. I will hold this safe space for you to begin your forgiveness journey of self and others. I gift you light and love to fill the cracks of your broken heart and spirit so you may begin to rebuild both to become stronger and greater. I laugh with you at the healing power of dark humor. I will challenge you to find the beauty in this difficult life we lead. I will gladly conduct this hot mess express and advance us into the light. I want you to know I am here for you. I am your advocate, defender and non-judgmental friend you may lean on. Love, HEATHER ZOCCALI

*This episode is brought to you by Gigi Betty co. A boutique gift shop raising awareness and funds for caregivers and care partners. Show now at Use the special code WILLGATHER20 for 20% off your order- Just for our podcast listeners!

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We are not medical professionals and are not providing any medical advice. If you have any medical questions, we recommend that you talk with a medical professional of your choice. willGather has taken care in selecting its speakers but the opinions of our speakers are theirs alone. Thank you for your continued interest in our podcasts.

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Nicole Will is our host and founder of willGather.

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