Mother’s Quest Tales of our Humanity #1 of 52

By | 52 Tales, Mother on a Quest | One Comment

I had a chat with another mother recently about the state of our country right now and how hard it has felt to stay connected to our humanity…to turn our sadness and anger into responsibility and social action, to not shut off, to keep showing up to parent our children mindfully.

I decided I want to share one story each week for the next year about an engaged mother and her child that will reconnect us to perseverance, heart and resilience. To that spark in all of us, and in our children, to pursue the things that matter, even when we feel like we might want to give up.

Honored to share this first one from a powerful writer who has persevered through years of addiction to come home to herself and her family, and who isn’t afraid to use her powerful writing to stand against policies that hurt families, Janelle Hanchett.

I’m excited to share a conversation with Janelle on the podcast Thursday and will link here to a recent post on her Renegade Mothering Blog that connected me to the separation of families in a visceral way.

And, if you have a story of your own, or one from another mother on a quest for a future installment of Mother’s Quest Tales of our Humanity, please hit reply and tell me about it. Make sure to like the Mother’s Quest Facebook page if you want to see future stories.

Here’s to Janelle, her thoughtful partner, and her daughter Ava. To resilience, heart, and connection. Here’s to being mindfully engaged as parents. Here’s to our humanity 

Week 1 of 52
By Janelle Hanchett, Renegade Mothering

Hey, so do I have a story for you, shared with the gracious approval of my teenager.

So, many of you probably know my 16-year-old, Ava, joined a mountain biking team a few years ago. She’s never been the fastest, but she works her ass off. Her dad, Mac, has been with her the whole time, driving all around Northern California, going on rides with her, fixing her bike.

It’s a lot.

Anyway, every year they have a camp up in the redwoods near Mendocino, where they bike and work on their skills. This year, Ava announced she isn’t going. When we asked her why, she explained that she is always the last biker during the rides. She’s isn’t getting better and she’s sick of it. And she can’t take the embarrassment.

Mac and I sat there rather stunned. We explained that it’s in the freaking mountain redwoods of Mendocino, and she got a scholarship, and kids would die for such an opportunity. But she was adamant. By day three of her nearly constant declarations of refusal, we sat on the porch and Mac looked at her and said “You don’t have to go, but if you don’t go, I am done with biking. I won’t do it anymore.“

And then he walked away.

It was a bold move, and a little out of nature for Mac and me, but I knew why he did it. I believe Ava actually stomped her foot. I looked at her and explained that it wasn’t “blackmail” as she had indicated, but rather a natural consequence of the situation. I explained that the biking takes a huge toll on our family, it is a lot of work for us, and if she isn’t willing to put the work in, neither will we.

We either demonstrate our interest, do our part, or we don’t.

She glared at me.

Mac went into her room later and said, “You know, Ava, whenever I ride with adults, I come in last, too. But I’m not there to come in first. I’m having a good time where I am.”

Now, she thinks her Dad is a pretty cool guy, and when he said that, something shifted in her, and she apologized for being “an entitled jerk” and decided to go.

When Ava walked away from my mom into the camp, she said, “I’m going to have a great attitude.”

Every year, at the end of camp, the counselors choose one camper to receive a new bike. They say it’s the camper that most exemplifies the spirit of the camp.

And this year, they gave it to Ava, in a unanimous decision.

Because of her support of other kids, how hard she tried, how she helped clean up and picked up trash on the trail. They said her spirit lifted the whole camp.

She texted us a picture of the bike her in tent. She glowed when we saw her on it. She said, “And to think I almost missed this.”

To think we almost missed it. Fear, the bastard. Ego. Man, we have to show up, come in last, and pick up some fucking trash along the way.

And see what happens, you know, when we set ourselves aside. Maybe a new bike. Or a parenting lesson that actually works. Or a whole world.

How can a mama hold this much joy.

Get More Stories Like This

Get weekly inspiration like this by liking the Mother’s Quest Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/MothersQuest 
or search for #52TalesOfOurHumanity on Social Media

 

Stay Tuned for this Week’s Podcast Episode

I am looking forward to sharing this week’s podcast episode with Renegade Mother, Janelle Hanchett. It’s a powerful conversation about claiming our truth and goes live this Thursday! Watch out for it and make sure to subscribe to the podcast to have it delivered to your phone!

If you want to get the full story of  Janelle’s journey in anticipation of the episode, order her honest, gripping, and surprisingly funny book I’m Just Happy to Be Here: A Memoir of Renegade Mothering today.

Milestone Rite of Passage Coaching Session

The focus of the last episode on the podcast with my son Ryan was about honoring the milestones in our lives. I’ve learned that when we’re moving through these periods of transition, it can be so powerful to slow down and reflect on our experience. If you’re on the verge of a new chapter and would like coaching to cross the threshold thoughtfully, email me at julie@mothersquest.com to find out more about my Milestone Rite of Passage Coaching Session. I’d love to help you gather your lessons learned and clarify your vision for what’s ahead.

Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life

Join me for the first “Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life” Pilot! Four consecutive weeks of one-on-one coaching using a signature process I’ve been facilitating in my circles this spring 🍃

I have space for three clients to experience an intensive, one-one-one, four-week coaching process this summer. Could this be you?

✨Do you feel like you’re on the threshold of a powerful shift in your life?

✨Are you ready to spark new perspectives, new ways of being, and some E.P.I.C. action of your own?

✨Have you wanted to participate in the Mother’s Quest Circle but the timing wasn’t right or you prefer to work one-on-one?

We’ve had an amazing experience in the Mother’s Quest Virtual Circle and I want to bring the same practices and flow to work one-on-one in a more focused period of time…over one month instead of three.

Interested? I’d love to schedule a time to check-in about what’s happening in your life and how this could support you.

✏️Sign up for a discovery session at this link or message me some times that could work for you if you don’t see something that fits your schedule. https://mothersquest.as.me/discoverysession

Ep 45: YOLO (You Only Live Once) and Other Milestone Reflections *Revisited* with Ryan Neale

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I’m honored to bring you this Episode #45 of the Mother’s Quest Podcast, a conversation I shared first a little over a year ago, when my own son Ryan marked a big milestone in his life, his 13th birthday and the approach of his bar mitzvah.

Recently, Ryan crossed another threshold, his middle school graduation, and in the weeks before this new milestone, he wrote a speech to capture the experiences and lessons learned from a challenging spring semester. 

Though Ryan didn’t have the opportunity to address his class at graduation, I believe the messages of his speech, about moving from feelings of depression and isolation to curiosity and connection, could impact an even bigger audience through the power of podcasting.

So, I decided to bring you his speech, in his voice, followed by our original podcast conversation from a year ago. I’m thankful to Ryan for giving me permission to share his speech with this community and for the gift of the conversation we had on the podcast a year ago.

I hope the common themes and the honest messages from last year to now, of overcoming challenges, building trust, finding connection, and not letting fear stop you from living a YOLO life, reach all who need it.

This episode dedicated by Monisha Vasa:

This Milestone Reflections Revisited Episode also warranted, in my mind, a new dedication, from someone with a unique perspective on the topics Ryan explores. I found who I was looking for in Monisha Vasa, a psychiatrist, mother, and writer who dedicated the episode to her courageous patients.

Learn more about Monisha’s work at www.monishavasa.com and www.mindful-healing.com.

YOLO (You Only Live Once) and other Milestone Reflections with Ryan Neale Original Episode Show Notes

As Ryan approached his bar mitzvah, a year ago in April 2017, becoming a “Jewish adult” and entering his teens, we decided we would spend his thirteenth birthday together, going on a “milestone hike” ‘and then recording an episode of the podcast at a recording studio in San Francisco.

It was a magical day of reflection, revelations for both of us, and a lot of laughter. I’m honored to bring highlights of all of that to you through this episode.

You’ll hear Ryan share eloquently and honestly about his appreciation for the support that helped him conquer his developmental delays, how his own fears manifest in his life today, and how, in his next chapter, he wants to trust more and move through his fear. Because, he says, he wants to live with a YOLO (You Only Live Once) mindset.

Ryan reflects on snapshot moments from his life, about his deep love for his younger brother, his experience finding a group of friends and a school program where he could thrive, receiving the academic achievement award, and the moments he hopes he’ll be able to look back on with pride at the next milestone.

Ryan also gets a turn to ask me his own questions and give me feedback. I had an opportunity to share the biggest lesson my mother gave me, to always appreciate every stage of life you’re in when you’re in it, and acknowledge what I wish I could change about myself.  

I also heard Ryan reflect back that in being “a little selfish” in creating Mother’s Quest I’ve given him so much more than if I only focused on my children.

There’s a game we play with Erik Newton (whose studio we recorded in) as our game show host, a lot of laughter and some comical out-takes that you’ll want to stick around for at the very end.

I felt so blessed to create this experience with Ryan and to share it with you. I take with me the importance of marking these rites of passage thoughtfully with our children, what a privilege it is to be witness to the development of another human being as a mother, a reminder of how powerfully our children see and know us and help us grow, and what fun it can be to create new experiences together.

Ryan and I will never forget how we spent his thirteenth birthday together. We hope you’ll leave this episode inspired to mark a milestone in your life, with your children, and make some life-long memories of your own.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Our meaningful and magical milestone hike through Laurelwood Park

  • How you cannot see yourself fully through the mirror but can through your loved ones

  • Life happens fast, appreciate every aspect of your life as you’re in it because before you know it you’ll be on to the next

  • Take life in small steps and the snapshot moments that Ryan most remembers from his 13 years

  • Ryan’s love for his brother Jacob and what Ryan said the day Jacob was born

  • The impact living my E.P.I.C. life has had on Ryan

  • How things that are scary can at the same time be beautiful and Ryan’s commitment not to let his fears stop him from living his YOLO (You Only Live Once) life

  • The pact Ryan and I made to help us with our biggest area of growth, our management of time

Resources mentioned in this episode:

  • Headstart, a special program for preschool aged children from low-income communities that provides access to early childhood education
  • The GATE Program (Gifted And Talented Education Program) national links and background information. Ryan participates in our local school district’s program.

  • Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

  • “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky

  • Erik Newton, The Together Show

  • Sports Illustrated Kid Reporter, a unique program Ryan has applied to which gives selected children ages 10 – 14 an opportunity to write and broadcast about sports

  • UCLA Bruin Woods where I was a counselor in college and where we all go to “camp” each summer as a family

Announcements:

Milestone Rite of Passage Coaching Session

The focus of today’s episode is about honoring the milestones in our lives. I’ve learned that when we’re moving through these periods of transition, it can be so powerful to slow down and reflect on our experience. If you’re on the verge of a new chapter and would like coaching to cross the threshold thoughtfully, email me at julie@mothersquest.com to find out more about my Milestone Rite of Passage Coaching Session. I’d love to help you gather your lessons learned and clarify your vision for what’s ahead.

Click here to book a Strategy Session

Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life

Join me for the first “Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life” Pilot! Four consecutive weeks of one-on-one coaching using a signature process I’ve been facilitating in my circles this spring 🍃

I have space for three clients to experience an intensive, one-one-one, four-week coaching process this summer. Could this be you?

✨Do you feel like you’re on the threshold of a powerful shift in your life?

✨Are you ready to spark new perspectives, new ways of being, and some E.P.I.C. action of your own?

✨Have you wanted to participate in the Mother’s Quest Circle but the timing wasn’t right or you prefer to work one-on-one?

We’ve been having an amazing experience in the Mother’s Quest Virtual Circle and I want to bring the same practices and flow to work one-on-one in a more focused period of time…over one month instead of three.

Interested? I’d love to schedule a time to check-in about what’s happening in your life and how this could support you.

✏Sign up for a discovery session at this link or message me some times that could work for you if you don’t see something that fits your schedule. https://mothersquest.as.me/discoverysession

Launched on Mother’s Day, my guest on the podcast, Graham Seabrook, and I invite you to create your own One Minute Mom Manifesto about what you want to claim or reclaim in your motherhood.

Use video, photos, poetry or any other form of your choice to express what matters most to you and share on social media using the hashtag#OneMinuteMomManifesto.

For more on the inspiration behind this idea, and why it’s so important that we claim and reclaim our whole selves in motherhood, tune into our episode on the podcast, link in the comments and at mothersquest.com/ep41-graemeseabrook

The Podcast has Reached a Milestone

Help us reach our next milestone by forwarding along your favorite episode to a friend. Thank you for your support!

Virtual Mother’s Quest Circle Pilot

I’m excited to announce that the first founding Mother’s Quest Virtual Circle has been filled. If you’re interested in a future circle, and want to receive notice when the applications open again, please add your name to this wait list. julie@mothersquest.com

Click here to Apply

Help us Grow the Mother’s Quest Community

If you’re finding value from the Mother’s Quest Podcast and would like to get more involved, please join us in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group, help us find more like-minded mothers on a quest by spreading the word and sharing your favorite episodes, and make a donation or apply to dedicate an episode. You can also share your story on the Mother’s Quest Blog.

Acknowledgements:

A big THANK YOU to our “patrons” for helping to bring these conversations to myself and other mothers through financial and/or in-kind support:

  • Monisha Vasa
  • Celia Ward-Wallace
  • Vanessa Couto
  • Desiree Adaway
  • Rachel Steinman
  • Katie Hanus
  • Denise Barreto 
  • Sage B. Hobbs 
  • Samantha Nolan-Smith
  • Jody Smith
  • Emily Cretella
  • Collette Flanagan
  • Titilayo Tinubu Ali 
  • Carly Magnus Hurt
  • Lizzy Russinko 
  • Suzanne Brown
  • Mara Berns Langer
  • Mallory Schlabach 
  • Katharine Earhart
  • Jessica Kupferman
  • Jen Jenkins Dohner
  • Genese Harris
  • Tonya Rineer
  • Liane Louie-Badua
  • Cristin Downs 
  • Erin Kendall 
  • Niko Osoteo 
  • Erik Newton 
  • Claire Fry
  • Divya Silbermann
  • Rachel Winter
  • Caren and Debbie Lieberman
  • Cameron Miranda
  • Fran and David Lieberman
  • Debbie and Alan Goore
  • The Sustainable Living Podcast

Support the Podcast

If you’d like to make a contribution to Mother’s Quest to support Season Three of the Podcast and/or help provide coaching scholarships for mothers, follow this link to make a contribution.

If you would like to “dedicate” an upcoming episode to a special mother in your life, email me at julie@mothersquest.com

Mother’s Quest is a podcast for moms who are ready to live a truly E.P.I.C. life.

Join in for intimate conversations with a diverse group of inspiring mothers as they share how they are living an E.P.I.C. lifeEngaging mindfully with their children (E), Passionately and Purposefully making a difference beyond their family (P), Investing in themselves (I), and Connecting to a strong support network (C).

Join our community of mothers to light the way and sustain you on your quest at https://www.facebook.com/groups/mothersquest/

Ep 44: A Family Legacy of Service and Leadership with California Assemblymember Rob Bonta

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I’m excited to share this second special episode this month of the Mother’s Quest Podcast, in honor of Father’s Day, with someone I’ve known and admired for over a decade through our connection at Alternatives in Action, California Assemblymember Rob Bonta.

This month of June has been a time to focus on the amazing fathers in our lives. It’s also been primary election month in many communities. And when I thought about who I could interview who is both an amazing father and committed to a life of public service, Rob immediately came to mind.

When we pressed record on this interview, Rob had just been elected for a fourth term to the California State Assembly’s 18th District, where he represents the cities of Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro and became, in 2012, the first Filipino American legislator in the 165-year history of California.

Prior to this, Rob utilized his law degree from Yale to serve as Deputy City Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco, and served as the Chair of the City of Alameda’s Economic Development Commission and as board president for the Social Service Human Relations before becoming Vice Mayor of the City of Alameda, the position he held as he ran for the State Assembly.

We started our conversation reflecting on Rob’s childhood and how his father, who stood with Dr. Martin Luther King in the Civil Rights Movement, and his mother, a long-time leader in the Filipino social justice movement, taught him to understand injustice and the importance of joining the struggle to empower vulnerable communities.

We reflect on some E.P.I.C. snapshot moments from Rob’s childhood. Growing up in a trailer just a few hundred yards from César Chávez’s home, Rob watched closely as his parents organized Filipino and Mexican American farm workers, infusing his formative years with first-hand experience of one of the greatest peaceful social, racial, and economic justice movements of all time.

Then, we delve into how the E.P.I.C. guideposts show up in Rob’s life, how he makes space for each of his four children and allows them to step into leadership and activism on their own, his passionate and purposeful work and the causes he’s championing as an Assemblyman, from early childhood education to affordable housing, the deep connection to his community that fulfills and restores him, and the family relationships that are everything to him, especially the one with his wife Mialisa, who he met in college and has been married to for 21 years. 

We also had the opportunity to talk about AB-931 and SB-1421, two bills aimed at reducing instances of police brutality and increasing police accountability. Moving through some discomfort I felt in the moment, I asked and Rob agreed to work toward getting these bills passed, to talk with the founders of Mothers Against Police Brutality for policy insight, and to explore bringing a powerful play called (M)others to Sacramento to shine light on the real stories of families who’ve lost loved ones to police violence.

At the end, Rob challenged me and all of us to hold him and other lawmakers accountable to the issues and causes that matter most to us. In a heart-wrenching week when our government has been separating children from their families at the border, Rob’s message and call to action to hold our leaders accountable resonates deeply. I left the conversation with renewed commitment to do so, modeling engagement, not apathy, for my children and saying “yes” to creating my own family’s legacy of activism and leadership.

This episode dedicated by:

Celia Ward-Wallace – an author, community leader, inspirational speaker and certified life coach in honor of her parents, social justice activists and leaders Eric Mann and Lian Hurst Mann.  Visit Celia’s website athttp://celiawardwallace.com/.

You can also visit:

Celia’s Father’s Organization, The Labor Community Strategy Center:https://thestrategycenter.org/

The Organization’s Radio Show, Voices From the Front Lines:http://voicesfromthefrontlines.com/

Reform LA Jails: http://reformlajails.com/, an Initiative under way that Celia and her parents are championing

Topics Discussed in this Episode:

  • The activist and public service seeds planted in Rob and his siblings from his parent’s and Rob’s E.P.I.C. snapshop childhood memories in the presence of César Chávez and organizing for Mexican American Farmworkers’ rights.
  • How Rob’s parents fled the Philippines for the security of the family before the Martial Law era of Ferdinand Marcos

  • The way that Rob and his wife, Mialisa, make time for each child and share with their kids what they love and care

  • The many causes Rob is championing in his role as Assemblymember.

  • Rob’s position on the gravity of solving the problem of police violence in our country, an exploration of two new California bills aimed at reducing police violence, and the requests I made of Rob to go further in his commitment.

  • How being in his home community restores and fulfills Rob and how his love of soccer, since the days that he served as captain of Yale’s Soccer team,  continues to be a way that Rob invests in his own well-being.

  • Rob and Mialisa’s love story, how they continue staying together, and the extended family that supports them

  • Rob’s awareness that this interview provided an opportunity to “Get off of the dance floor and onto the balcony” to survey the big picture and reflect

  • What Rob really thinks is the enemy of democracy and his challenge for all of us

This Week’s Challenge:

Rob believes that the enemy of strong communities and Democracy is apathy. He challenges us to step up and hold him and our other leaders accountable, even through discomfort, to the issues and things that we value and are passionate about.

Resources:

Announcements:

Join the Parenting ADHD Summit

Honored to be part of this amazing Summit that Penny Williams is organizing. You can hear from me (my session is called “How Moms Can Live a Life of Intention and Purpose”), Dr. Elisa Song, and over 30 other parenting experts.

Honestly, I think what you’ll learn here will help you on your parenting journey regardless of whether you have a child who has ADHD or is “differently wired” in other ways.

Click here to join.

Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life

Join me for the first “Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life” Pilot! Four consecutive weeks of one-on-one coaching using a signature process I’ve been facilitating in my circles this spring 🍃

I’m looking for no more than FOUR clients to experience an intensive, one-one-one, four-week coaching process in the month of June. Could this be you?

✨Do you feel like you’re on the threshold of a powerful shift in your life?

✨Are you ready to spark new perspectives, new ways of being, and some E.P.I.C. action of your own?

✨Have you wanted to participate in the Mother’s Quest Circle but the timing wasn’t right or you prefer to work one-on-one?

We’ve been having an amazing experience in the Mother’s Quest Virtual Circle and I want to bring the same practices and flow to work one-on-one in a more focused period of time…over one month instead of three.

Interested? I’d love to schedule a time to check-in about what’s happening in your life and how this could support you.

✏Sign up for a discovery session at this link or message me some times that could work for you if you don’t see something that fits your schedule. https://mothersquest.as.me/discoverysession

✨I’d like to identify the four individuals this week, get scheduled and start next week!💫

Launched on Mother’s Day, my guest on the podcast, Graham Seabrook, and I invite you to create your own One Minute Mom Manifesto about what you want to claim or reclaim in your motherhood.

Use video, photos, poetry or any other form of your choice to express what matters most to you and share on social media using the hashtag#OneMinuteMomManifesto.

For more on the inspiration behind this idea, and why it’s so important that we claim and reclaim our whole selves in motherhood, tune into our episode on the podcast, link in the comments and at mothersquest.com/ep41-graemeseabrook

The Podcast has Reached a Milestone

Help us reach our next milestone by forwarding along your favorite episode to a friend. Thank you for your support!

Virtual Mother’s Quest Circle Pilot

I’m excited to announce that the first founding Mother’s Quest Virtual Circle has been filled. If you’re interested in a future circle, and want to receive notice when the applications open again, please add your name to this wait list. Please email julie@mothersquest.com

Help us Grow the Mother’s Quest Community

If you’re finding value from the Mother’s Quest Podcast and would like to get more involved, please join us in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group, help us find more like-minded mothers on a quest by spreading the word and sharing your favorite episodes, and make a donation or apply to dedicate an episode. You can also share your story on the Mother’s Quest Blog.

Acknowledgements:

A big THANK YOU to our “patrons” for helping to bring these conversations to myself and other mothers through financial and/or in-kind support:

  • Vanessa Couto
  • Desiree Adaway
  • Rachel Steinman
  • Katie Hanus
  • Denise Barreto
  • Sage B. Hobbs
  • Samantha Nolan-Smith
  • Jody Smith
  • Emily Cretella
  • Collette Flanagan
  • Titilayo Tinubu Ali
  • Carly Magnus Hurt
  • Lizzy Russinko
  • Suzanne Brown
  • Mara Berns Langer
  • Mallory Schlabach
  • Katharine Earhart
  • Jessica Kupferman
  • Jen Jenkins Dohner
  • Genese Harris
  • Tonya Rineer
  • Liane Louie-Badua
  • Cristin Downs
  • Erin Kendall
  • Niko Osoteo
  • Erik Newton
  • Claire Fry
  • Divya Silbermann
  • Rachel Winter
  • Caren and Debbie Lieberman
  • Cameron Miranda
  • Fran and David Lieberman
  • Debbie and Alan Goore
  • The Sustainable Living Podcast

Support the Podcast

If you’d like to make a contribution to Mother’s Quest to support Season Three of the Podcast and/or help provide coaching scholarships for mothers, follow this link to make a contribution.

If you would like to “dedicate” an upcoming episode to a special mother in your life, email me at julie@mothersquest.com

Mother’s Quest is a podcast for moms who are ready to live a truly E.P.I.C. life.

Join in for intimate conversations with a diverse group of inspiring mothers as they share how they are living an E.P.I.C. lifeEngaging mindfully with their children (E), Passionately and Purposefully making a difference beyond their family (P), Investing in themselves (I), and Connecting to a strong support network (C).

Join our community of mothers to light the way and sustain you on your quest at https://www.facebook.com/groups/mothersquest/

Ep 43: Love of Family and Pursuing our Fate ~A Father’s Day Special~ with David Lieberman

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What an honor it is to bring you this episode with my own father as one of two I’m having with men on the podcast this month in honor of Father’s Day.

Two things sparked my interest in having my father on the show now…first, a desire to feel more connected to my grandmother Molla, my father’s mother, who passed away years before I was born from pancreatic cancer. I wanted to hear from my Dad about his experience of his mother, how she shaped him, and the ways he notices her spirit living on in us today.

Related to this, I recently went to a workshop to learn about uncovering our family ancestry and at that workshop they discussed the power of oral histories. My Dad is a storyteller and I wanted to use this amazing platform to capture his stories and life lessons, for me, for my children and the Mother’s Quest Community.

The episode is an exploration of my father’s E.P.I.C. life, how his mother’s passion as a voice and elocution teacher shaped him into the powerful speaker and human being he is today, the moment he first saw my mom when she was just 11 years old, how he built a career and a family, and a love of golf to help him cope with the effects of Type 1 Diabetes. And, how he views love of family and the pursuit of fate as a theme that runs through it all.

This episode’s dedication was shared by Vanessa Couto, an astrologist who considers fate and what’s written “in the stars” for us as part of her exploration and practice. Vanessa honored her father Guido with this dedication and reflected on the ways that fate, legacy, and character help us live a life of purpose.

I loved reflecting on these same elements of my father’s life in this conversation. I wasn’t surprised that there were moments that made my Dad and I laugh and cry during along the way. But, I was surprised by the insights that emerged…about the ways in which my grandmother and my father’s qualities live in me. I’ve known I’m much like my mother, but it wasn’t until the end of this conversation that I realized that the “seeker” in me, the one who is always on a quest, comes from my father.

My Dad believes that fate play a role in all of our lives, but that we must actively pursue it to fully realize it. Our challenge this month is to reflect on the moments in our lives when we chose to pursue our fate and what happened as a result. Also, to notice and seize the new opportunities and possibilities that call us to take action today in our E.P.I.C. lives.

In honor of Father’s Day, I’d like to add one more challenge that we didn’t discuss in the interview but came to me as I wrote this introduction. Seek out the father or father figures in your life to ask them about and record the stories, lessons and insights they have to pass along to this and future generations.

I promise you’ll learn something powerful about yourself and how to more fully live your E.P.I.C. life.

**Stick around till the end for some light and funny bloopers from the interview.

This episode dedicated by:

Vanessa Couto – Artist, Astrologer, and Teacher. Visit her website at www.vanessacouto.com and connect on Facebook 

Topics Discussed in this Episode:

  • My father’s view on fate and how it has been a thread weaving through his whole E.P.I.C. life
  • The ways my grandmother shaped my father and the thing she said to him that sealed his fate for a life he loved in California

  • How fate brought my father and mother together, from his first site of her receiving a drama lesson from his mother, to summers as children and teens in a bungalow colony, to 50 plus years of marriage.

  • Where the seeds for his playful nature and love for his children and grandchildren were planted early in his life

  • How he pursued a career in a business he built, the people he met and helped along the way, and the importance of being a person of integrity

  • The impact of Type 1 Diabetes and stress on his life and how his love of golf became his remedy

  • Some funny stories of crazy things that happened to him, several involving the Wall Street Journal, and one that you may want to turn the volume down on if your children are listening with you.

  • The favorite toasts passed down to him by his mother

This Week’s Challenge:

There are three challenges this week:

  • One from me, to look back on our lives, notice the moments when we chose to seek our fate, the impact that has had on us, and to share it with our family members
  • One from my father to continue to seek out our fate, taking action on opportunities even when we’re not certain what might come from it
  • And one that emerged from my son Ryan, to share this episode with the fathers or father figures in your life, let them know how you appreciate them, and explore and record their stories and lessons learned.

Other Special Episodes with the People in My Life:

Announcements:

Join the Parenting ADHD Summit

Honored to be part of this amazing Summit that Penny Williams is organizing. You can hear from me (my session is called “How Moms Can Live a Life of Intention and Purpose”), Dr. Elisa Song, and over 30 other parenting experts.

Honestly, I think what you’ll learn here will help you on your parenting journey regardless of whether you have a child who has ADHD or is “differently wired” in other ways.

Click here to join.

Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life

Join me for the first “Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life” Pilot! Four consecutive weeks of one-on-one coaching using a signature process I’ve been facilitating in my circles this spring 🍃

I’m looking for no more than FOUR clients to experience an intensive, one-one-one, four-week coaching process in the month of June. Could this be you?

✨Do you feel like you’re on the threshold of a powerful shift in your life?

✨Are you ready to spark new perspectives, new ways of being, and some E.P.I.C. action of your own?

✨Have you wanted to participate in the Mother’s Quest Circle but the timing wasn’t right or you prefer to work one-on-one?

We’ve been having an amazing experience in the Mother’s Quest Virtual Circle and I want to bring the same practices and flow to work one-on-one in a more focused period of time…over one month instead of three.

Interested? I’d love to schedule a time to check-in about what’s happening in your life and how this could support you.

✏Sign up for a discovery session at this link or message me some times that could work for you if you don’t see something that fits your schedule. https://mothersquest.as.me/discoverysession

✨I’d like to identify the four individuals this week, get scheduled and start next week!💫

Launched on Mother’s Day, my guest on the podcast, Graham Seabrook, and I invite you to create your own One Minute Mom Manifesto about what you want to claim or reclaim in your motherhood.

Use video, photos, poetry or any other form of your choice to express what matters most to you and share on social media using the hashtag#OneMinuteMomManifesto.

For more on the inspiration behind this idea, and why it’s so important that we claim and reclaim our whole selves in motherhood, tune into our episode on the podcast, link in the comments and at mothersquest.com/ep41-graemeseabrook

The Podcast has Reached a Milestone

Help us reach our next milestone by forwarding along your favorite episode to a friend. Thank you for your support!

Virtual Mother’s Quest Circle Pilot

I’m excited to announce that the first founding Mother’s Quest Virtual Circle has been filled. If you’re interested in a future circle, and want to receive notice when the applications open again, please add your name to this wait list. Please email julie@mothersquest.com

Help us Grow the Mother’s Quest Community

If you’re finding value from the Mother’s Quest Podcast and would like to get more involved, please join us in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group, help us find more like-minded mothers on a quest by spreading the word and sharing your favorite episodes, and make a donation or apply to dedicate an episode. You can also share your story on the Mother’s Quest Blog.

Acknowledgements:

A big THANK YOU to our “patrons” for helping to bring these conversations to myself and other mothers through financial and/or in-kind support:

  • Vanessa Couto
  • Desiree Adaway
  • Rachel Steinman
  • Katie Hanus
  • Denise Barreto
  • Sage B. Hobbs
  • Samantha Nolan-Smith
  • Jody Smith
  • Emily Cretella
  • Collette Flanagan
  • Titilayo Tinubu Ali
  • Carly Magnus Hurt
  • Lizzy Russinko
  • Suzanne Brown
  • Mara Berns Langer
  • Mallory Schlabach
  • Katharine Earhart
  • Jessica Kupferman
  • Jen Jenkins Dohner
  • Genese Harris
  • Tonya Rineer
  • Liane Louie-Badua
  • Cristin Downs
  • Erin Kendall
  • Niko Osoteo
  • Erik Newton
  • Claire Fry
  • Divya Silbermann
  • Rachel Winter
  • Caren and Debbie Lieberman
  • Cameron Miranda
  • Fran and David Lieberman
  • Debbie and Alan Goore
  • The Sustainable Living Podcast

Support the Podcast

If you’d like to make a contribution to Mother’s Quest to support Season Three of the Podcast and/or help provide coaching scholarships for mothers, follow this link to make a contribution.

If you would like to “dedicate” an upcoming episode to a special mother in your life, email me at julie@mothersquest.com

Mother’s Quest is a podcast for moms who are ready to live a truly E.P.I.C. life.

Join in for intimate conversations with a diverse group of inspiring mothers as they share how they are living an E.P.I.C. lifeEngaging mindfully with their children (E), Passionately and Purposefully making a difference beyond their family (P), Investing in themselves (I), and Connecting to a strong support network (C).

Join our community of mothers to light the way and sustain you on your quest at https://www.facebook.com/groups/mothersquest/

Seeing with “Fresh Eyes”

By | Reflections From My Quest | No Comments

Thinking about how helpful it is to slow down enough to really take in the spirit of our children! Great reminder today.

I had a note from a mom of another child at Jake’s preschool today that stopped me in my tracks, and reminded me of this video I shared earlier this week from a few years ago, where Jake’s spirit and love of life are in full display.

She said “Your son cracks me up at music… he entertains me! He just makes great faces and is always participating. One day I was frustrated and tired because my little guy won’t sleep at night and watching him reminded me why we do this tough work!”

I’ll be honest…Jake can sometimes be a lot of personality to handle. And manages to get exposed to unpleasant health issues that require vigilance and dedication to conquer. And it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

But, if I really look at him with fresh eyes and “see” him and what an incredible spirit he is…his joyfulness, love of life, the total power and confidence in himself he holds, and his ability to roll with whatever comes at him, I’m reminded too why it is such an honor to be his mom.

As my podcast opening says, he does “challenge me to grow into my best self” daily but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What might you need to slow down and notice about your child today? What can you see with “fresh eyes” that makes it all worth it?

Sharing in case one of you needs this message today.

Ep 42: Living with Grace and Positivity through ALS with Mary Huffman

By | Podcast | No Comments


I’m honored to share this Episode #42 of the Mother’s Quest Podcast, a special conversation released in conjunction with ALS Awareness Month with Mary Huffman. Mary is a wonder woman unlike any I’ve ever met, who relishes life with exuberance, and shares her love with everyone in her midst, even when facing the greatest of challenges.

I’ve known Mary and her family, her husband Ted, and her two children Anna and Jonny, for the last eight years, where we’ve been sharing one week out of every summer at a paradise known to us as Bruin Woods, UCLA’s alumni family camp in Lake Arrowhead, California.

But the last summer we came together, Mary arrived in a wheelchair, suffering from a mysterious set of symptoms which she later learned was a fast progressing form of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

ALS is a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder which has currently left Mary almost bedbound 24/7 . This diagnosis has been devastating, as you can imagine. But through it all, Mary has focused on trying to stay positive, continuing her life goal of helping others, and making memories with her family and friends.

In our conversation, we explore all the ways in which Mary has lived with grace, positivity and optimism her whole life, and especially since her diagnosis, when instead of falling into despair, she has determined to “Stephen Hawking the crap outta this,” cherish every moment, especially with her children, and find ways to live her legacy.

This conversation covers a lot of territory, including the inspiration of her mother, who taught her so much about helping people, a year abroad in Russia during the time of Gorbachev, becoming the first college graduate in her family and then continuing to Stanford’s business school, and her entrepreneurial endeavors creating adult coloring books to reduce anxiety, something she has learned to conquer. She gives us a challenge to commit to coloring each night before we go to bed to reap mental health benefits and invited us to contribute to her Master List of Life Tricks.

And of course we talked about her family…especially her husband and children who she adores.

It was such a blessing to have this conversation with Mary during a time when she had full use of her voice. And, although we didn’t know when we recorded that we would share it publicly on the podcast, we decided afterward that doing so could contribute to her legacy of helping others. And that, as you’ll learn when you listen, means everything to Mary.

Mary has so many lessons to teach us.. I hope you’ll leave this conversation, as I did, with a deep appreciation for living your E.P.I.C. life to the fullest, finding the ways that you can help others with a generous spirit, facing any challenge that life brings you with tenacity and optimism, and remembering as Mary and her son Jonny say that there is always rain before a rainbow.

I’m sending you and your family so much love Mary as we release this episode out into the world. I hope those of you listening will join me in sending positive thoughts and wishes.

This episode dedicated by:

Mary’s friend, Marcella Klein Williams.

Topics Discussed in this Episode:

  • UCLA’s Bruin Woods, the magical place where Mary and I, and our families, have spent the last eight summers and a favorite memory of mine of Mary there singing karaoke to her husband
  • The fast-moving form of ALS Mary has, the inspiration she takes from Stephen Hawkings’ legacy, and how she hopes the fast-moving version will become the curable one

  • The video “There’s Something About Mary” that her friends and family created for her and the custom “ALS Mom” and “Team Mary” T-shirts she and her supporters have had printed

  • The inspiration of Mary’s mother to help people and the many ways her mother and Mary have opened their homes and extended kindness to others

  • Mary’s approach to engaging with her children by spending time and listening to them, giving them permission to make mistakes, and helping them understand the ups and downs that come with life.

  • Her adventurous life path, including becoming the first in her family to attend college, a year abroad in the then Soviet Union, graduate school in business at Stanford, and management consulting abroad.

  • The ways Mary has built strong connections her whole life and a key piece of advice for how to handle criticism that has served her and her relationships well

  • How stumbling on a coloring book of her mother’s led her to co-create adult coloring books with a friend, and how coloring can have the same benefits as meditation

  • Mary’s experience battling anxiety and her strategy for defeating our “anxiety monster”

  • How Mary got started creating “Mary’s Tricks for Life”, and the “Master List of Life Tricks” that we can all contribute to

  • The E.P.I.C. snapshot moments that revolve around her children and why they mean so much

This Week’s Challenge:

Mary challenges us to:

  1. Try coloring 15 minutes each night before going to sleep. Check out the special coloring pages that Mary has created if you don’t already have your own favorites.

  2. Tale a look at the list of life tricks at Mary’s website and send in your own so she can add it to the Master List of Life Tricks. This List is part of Mary’s legacy, one way to help others now and in the future.

Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

  • Learn more about Mary from her blog, Ted and Mary and watch the video we mention (linked at the bottom of the page) “There’s Something About Mary”
  • Mary’s adult coloring books available at Amazon.

  • The Coloring Book Zone where you can find Mary’s and other great coloring books. Use the code MOMISGREAT to get 30% Off.

  • The Master List of Life Tricks

  • You can help Mary with her ALS medical expenses at her gofundmepage.

  • UCLA’s Bruin Woods where I met Mary and I have spent one week out of every summer together with our families for the last eight years

Announcements:

Launched on Mother’s Day, my guest on the podcast, Graham Seabrook, and I invite you to create your own One Minute Mom Manifesto about what you want to claim or reclaim in your motherhood.

Use video, photos, poetry or any other form of your choice to express what matters most to you and share on social media using the hashtag#OneMinuteMomManifesto.

For more on the inspiration behind this idea, and why it’s so important that we claim and reclaim our whole selves in motherhood, tune into our episode on the podcast, link in the comments and at mothersquest.com/ep41-graemeseabrook

The Podcast is Reaching a Milestone

❤ Pay the inspiration forward ❤
Share the mothersquest.com/podcast with a friend!

Spring into Your E.P.I.C. Life Clarity Coaching Package

Spring is an amazing time to more fully seed the E.P.I.C. Guideposts in your life. I’m opening a limited number of one-on-one coaching spaces for a 90 day coaching package that includes bi-weekly hour-long coaching sessions where I will help you mindfully close the chapter of the last season, identify your vision for what’s ahead, set strategic action steps for moving forward, and provide inspiration and accountability along the way. Email me at julie@mothersquest.com to set up a free discovery call and learn more.

Virtual Mother’s Quest Circle Pilot

I’m excited to announce that the first founding Mother’s Quest Virtual Circle has been filled. If you’re interested in a future circle, and want to receive notice when the applications open again, please add your name to this wait list at http://mothersquest.com/virtualcircleapplication/

Help us Grow the Mother’s Quest Community

If you’re finding value from the Mother’s Quest Podcast and would like to get more involved, please join us in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group, help us find more like-minded mothers on a quest by spreading the word and sharing your favorite episodes, and make a donation or apply to dedicate an episode. You can also share your story on the Mother’s Quest Blog.

Acknowledgements:

A big THANK YOU to our “patrons” for helping to bring these conversations to myself and other mothers through financial and/or in-kind support:

Desiree Adaway
Rachel Steinman
Katie Hanus
Denise Barreto
Sage B. Hobbs
Samantha Nolan-Smith
Jody Smith
Emily Cretella
Collette Flanagan
Titilayo Tinubu Ali
Carly Magnus Hurt
Lizzy Russinko
Suzanne Brown
Mara Berns Langer
Mallory Schlabach
Katharine Earhart
Jessica Kupferman
Jen Jenkins Dohner
Genese Harris
Tonya Rineer
Liane Louie-Badua
Cristin Downs
Erin Kendall
Niko Osoteo
Erik Newton
Claire Fry
Divya Silbermann
Rachel Winter
Caren and Debbie Lieberman
Cameron Miranda
Fran and David Lieberman
Debbie and Alan Goore
The Sustainable Living Podcast

Support the Podcast

If you’d like to make a contribution to Mother’s Quest to support Season Three of the Podcast and/or help provide coaching scholarships for mothers, follow this link to make a contribution.

If you would like to “dedicate” an upcoming episode to a special mother in your life, email me at julie@mothersquest.com