Get Lit

Spring 2021

Tapping into your inner positivity

Kim smiling widely and wearing a leopard print cardigan

Kim Duff Selby ’78 sparkles.

It’s not just her wardrobe of glittery gold cardigans and star-printed shirts that makes Selby shine. It’s her lively, upbeat demeanor and her drive to remain optimistic. “I’ve always been a positive person and been blessed with the ability to see the glass as half full,” Selby says. “I like to inspire people.”

With her new project, Ignite Your Spark, Selby is tapping into that inspiration, hoping to show her audience that it’s possible to see the world in a better light, even when life seems negative. Ignite Your Spark started as a way for women to connect at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Selby used her years of personal experience researching self-empowerment, self-improvement, and the mind/body connection to structure a four-week online class that provided advice on staying grounded in an uncertain time. Fourteen women from around the globe attended, learning about journaling, meditation, and improv comedy. To foster personal connections, Selby paired members of the course together, and they chatted via text after class.

Once she saw the success of the online class, Selby wanted to find a platform to reach even more women. With a master’s in broadcast journalism from Syracuse University, she had the oratorical and interview skills to be a host, so a podcast was a natural avenue to share her message of encouragement. Guests, found via her own social networks and through social media, have included a wardrobe stylist, certified life coach, and greeting card designer. “I thought, ‘I would like to interview people whose sparks ignite me, so that they can share that with others,” she says. 

Selby first ignited her spark when she embarked on her career, choosing opportunities that brought her joy and fulfillment and didn’t keep her at a desk 9–5. She let her fashion know-how shine by organizing runway shows for Glamour and Saks Fifth Avenue. Then, following a lifelong dream, she tried out acting, performing on soap operas and stage productions. At 64, most people are making plans to retire, but Selby is now in her “third act,” and she has no plans to stop soon. In yet another route to reach people, she’s in the process of completing her yoga teaching certification.

“There are people who use podcasts to support their business,” explains Selby. “I’m doing a podcast for the love of podcasting, for the love of communicating, for the love of connecting.” Recently, she’s connected with more holistic guests, learning about Reiki, among other forms of alternative healing. The most important mantra she’s learned from her guests is the value of mindset, and that “we need to wake up, we need to raise our consciousness, raise our vibrations, so that we can all find our inner light and share it with the world.”

Selby was an English major at Colgate, and she participated in the Swinging ’Gates and theater performances.