Hineni. Here I am.
I sat in temple on Rosh Hashana, six feet and an extra row away from the few congregants who chose to come in person, mask on and heart open, I listened to these words recited.
I’ve heard them every year…I was struck by them in a new way.
Here I am.
The expression used throughout the Torah during moments of profound change or crisis. An expression conveying millions of years of our individual and collective quest to “show up” in the presence of a force bigger than ourselves, for ourselves, and for our communities.
If ever there was a year demanding us to “show up” this has been one. From COVID to floods and fires and refugee crises…our consciousness has had a lot to hold.
It can be all too easy to shut down. To throw up our hands. And to say “what can I do?”
That question “what can I do?” is one I asked myself during the crisis that unfolded in Palestine and Israel In May 2021.
For days, watching the horrifying headlines, I felt powerless. Then these words came to me and I shared them in a post:
“Swirling in a sea of uncertainty
My voice, tenuously found over the last few years, silent again
I don’t know enough, I tell myself
But deep down, feel this to be untrue
In the quiet of my late-night scrolling, searching for answers I never find, instead I reveal some truths within.
We are all deeply connected
The harm to one mother and her child is harm to every mother and every child, regardless of our differences
A history of oppression and casting out can never justify more of the same
Extremism in any form becomes a cancer
Silence and doing nothing is a choice. A choice I cannot make.
So I will remember I am not alone
There are guides all around me
And ways to make an impact that will reveal themselves
If I just take a first step.”
The very next day, in a conversation with my mother, I learned about the Parents Circle, an organization of Palestinian and Israelis who have lost children or family members in the conflict and come together to work toward peace and reconciliation.
Soon after, I found myself recording a conversation with a Palestinian and Israeli mother from the Parents Circle for the Mother’s Quest Podcast.
And a week after that, I began to raise money for a $10,000 fund for bereaved Palestinian and Israeli mothers of the Parents Circle’s Women’s Group.
Since then, the path, for me, from recording to release, has been a slow but thoughtful one.
As I carefully edit the episode and prepare it for release next week, I’ve made a commitment to raise $5,000 of the $10,000 goal upfront before the episode comes out.
I’ve been moved by so many, like Jena Schwartz, the first to donate, who have already contributed in amounts of all sizes.
And we have more to go.
Though the height of the crisis in May has receded from the headlines, the path for peace and reconciliation is needed more than ever.
So I show up again now through this strangely spiritual medium for me… a screen on Facebook.
Just a day before Yom Kippur, I look within, and imperfectly grasp for words to invite you, whatever your faith, to be part of this cause.
I ask you to help me amplify the voices of mothers closest to this conflict. They are, I am certain, a key to any path forward.
Hineni. Here I am.
Where are you?
Will you join me?
I’m honored to share this special episode with a woman who has been an incredible source of wisdom, support, and guidance in my life, a mentor and teacher who has helped me claim the “mystic” in me, Lindsay Pera.
Lindsay and I connected in a magical way at a group dinner in San Francisco about four years ago. Though she was seated at the other end of a long table, she came up to me before the evening ended to say “I have this feeling I’m supposed to talk with you!” We had a delightful conversation and parted ways. But several months later, when my youngest son Jacob received a Lyme disease diagnosis, I searched in one of my Facebook groups for someone who had experience with the disease, and Lindsay’s name popped up again and again.
I reached out to her for guidance and after an almost two-hour phone conversation, I learned about how she discovered she had chronic Lyme disease and had passed it along in utero to two of her children. I hung up with tremendous admiration for her motherhood journey, a plan of action to navigate Jacob’s care, and also knowing that Lindsay would become a trusted resource in my life.
Blending strategy honed from her career as an analyst at Accenture with her intuition as the founder of a new paradigm business called the Modern Mystics Institute, Lindsay is a source of inspiration and guidance for so many others like me. We all benefit from transformational courses she has created like the Journey to Right Livelihood which you’ll hear more about, her books the Mystics Path and the Mystics Almanac, the Mystics Oracle Deck she created with her partner Sarah Love and her membership community, the Mystics Society.
The idea that we can care for ourselves and the children in our lives, even through significant health and developmental challenges, and do work we love, blending all the parts of who we are, stepping into our leadership and legacy, and finding magic and gratitude along the way, is something Lindsay demonstrates herself. And she illuminates it all for us in this conversation.
From her decision to move her family to a multigenerational homestead and creating the Modern Mystics Institute, to how she’s navigated having chronic Lyme and now long-haul COVID, this discussion is a beautiful weaving of all the ways Lindsay slows down in her life to manifest and notice what she’s grateful for, even when things are difficult. Her gratitude practice, which she started in a “spark moment” when she found beauty in the sunset during one of her darkest days, begins its 11th year of 365 days just as this episode is being shared.
I was so grateful for this time with Lindsay. I hope you’ll find time to slow down and listen to this beautiful conversation, so you can find strands of what Lindsay shares that are meant for you, and that help you weave some new magic and meaning in your E.P.I.C. life.
Connect with Lindsay
Lindsay’s corporate career encompasses management consulting, financial services, and technology. She began her career as an analyst in Accenture’s technology strategy practice and then transitioned to a $2 billion insurance company to help drive pivotal IT transformation. In 2004 she left Silicon Valley and moved with her family to a beautiful multi-generational homestead on the Central Coast of California.
Lindsay wants to live in a world where appreciation flows freely, kids play outdoors and lemons are in season year round. As a Mystic mama, tech entrepreneur and intuitive strategist she’s a sought after contributor and motivator on all topics health, wealth and transformation.
When she is not extolling the virtues of “Sacred Commerce” or “Resonance” based business, you can find her knocking almonds and generally getting her gratitude on.
Lindsay’s new paradigm business community, The Mystic’s Society, is a safe haven for entrepreneurs weaving magic into their *work* in the world. It is her passion to direct resources into the hands of entrepreneurs, creatives, and world changers.
Find out more about Lindsay’s private consulting at Lindsaypera.com or join in the magic at MysticSociety.com.
This episode is dedicated by: Selina Davis
Selina Davis is the founder of Trillium Consultancy and Spectrum Mother, both of which are emerging communities dedicated to connecting caregivers virtually in respite and retreat offerings, as well as training and supporting parents to become advocates.
Selina is a cis-gendered woman, a woman of color, mother, social justice advocate, and former social services clerical administrator. She parents a teenage son with profound neurodiversity and who also has an additional diagnosis of intellectual and developmental delay, as well as mental health challenges. Selina has also earned certifications and education-based degrees specific to advocacy.
Selina is truly passionate about children, women, and caregivers and believes it’s time to start supporting one another by hosting virtual and in-person retreats. She continues sharing her message through her podcasts, “The Parental Advocate Strategist” and “Strong as a Mother”. She is also running a series called 52 Weeks, 52 Caregivers which aims on showcasing the stories of a caregiver each week.
You can connect with Selina on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t forget to join her community on Patreon and to sign up for her upcoming virtual retreat by clicking this link, as well as her SPECial EDition Training and Strategies Hub!
Topics Discussed in this Episode:
- The sacred trinity of mothers who raised Lindsay: her biological mother, her stepmother, and the woman who cared for her daily while her mother worked as a trailblazing leader at Hewlett Packard
- The internal voice that said “this is killing you” every time Lindsay walked out the door to her fast-paced management consulting firm
- The chronic Lyme diagnosis that Lindsay discovered after her third child was born with serious neurological issues.
- A moment of total defeat that transformed into a moment of gratitude and a daily gratitude practice that Lindsay has maintained for over a decade.
- Lindsay’s family’s journey of healing from COVID and what was different for her this time on the “spiral” or “nautilus” of coping with chronic illness.
- Lindsay’s perspective about how to apply ancient learning traditions for modern times without appropriating, capitalizing, and extracting.
- The annual program Journey to Right Livelihood, rooted in the Buddhist tradition, that helps us identify our soul purpose and path, sacred commerce, and our leadership and legacy.
- As we grapple with current crises, like climate change, Lindsay’s belief that we all came in for these times.
- The importance of tending to our “taproot” placing ourselves at the “center of our rings” and her “YOU” acronym for building connections.
Resources and Topics Mentioned:
- The Mystics Path
- Journey to Right Livelihood a powerful program that includes live masterclasses, an instructional portal with videos and resources and a private FB community during the 8-week course. This is my affiliate link and if you participate in the program, you will also get a special Mother’s Quest bonus.
This Episode’s Challenge:
Next time you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or despondent about what you are facing in our world, slow down to allow yourself to see, feel and experience what you’re grateful for and take the next aligned step from that place.
The Mother’s Quest Marketplace
I’m excited to share about a new resource on the website, where I’ve curated a collection of my favorite courses, products, books, and more, all created by Mother’s Quest members or podcast guests. From Lindsay Pera’s Journey to Right Livelihood, which you’ll hear more about in this episode, to my own recently published book the “Mother’s Quest Inspiration Guide,” I hope you’ll find something on the Marketplace page that will light the way on your epic life journey. Visit www.mothersquest.com/marketplace to take a peek!
Journey to Right Livelihood (JTRL)
Led by Lindsay Pera…JTRL is a powerful program that includes live masterclasses, an instructional portal with videos and resources and a private FB community during the 8-week course. As a Mother’s Quest affiliate partner, I’ll be offering a special bonus if you participate in the program. And I’ll be there right alongside you, learning and stepping more fully into my Right Livelihood. Join us if this calls to you!
More about Journey to Right Livelihood
Right Livelihood IS for you
Do you ever tell yourself that you simply can’t make money doing what you love?
Do you sometimes feel as though you can have financial success OR you can be happy, but you can’t have both?
Do you believe that you must sacrifice one for the other because they are mutually exclusive?
We see it all around us, don’t we?
- People staying in careers they hate
- Stuck in chronic patterns of lack and scarcity
- Overworking and overwhelmed as they watch their health and happiness deteriorate
- An overarching outlook in our Western Culture toward the “bottom line” at the expense of people, our planet, relationships and our values
It’s time to shift these myths
It is your time to claim…
Purpose, Path, and… Right Livelihood
Calling together a circle of women (and men)
- On the next step of their life evolution (expansion) journey
- Who feel, deeply, that there is more for them in this life
- Who are looking to create a stronger alignment between their work and their inner calling
- Willing to make meaningful changes with meaningful actions
- Seeking a community full of support and powerful guidance
Sign up through the Mother’s Quest Affiliate link here.
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. life, Engaging 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/
I’m honored to share this special episode of the Mother’s Quest Podcast, an interview of me, led by Mother’s Quest member Sneha Jhanb for her YouTube Channel Shift2Prosperity. In our conversation, Sneha helped me reflect on my Mother’s Quest journey, how that led me to writing my first book and lessons learned along the way.
“The Mother’s Quest Inspiration Guide Vol 1. Engage” officially launched on Sunday, with a book-signing at my favorite local book store Reach and Teach and a reception at our home afterward. The experience itself was what I call an “epic snapshot moment.”
My son Ryan introduced me with humor and heart, my husband Chris took video (and remembered to bring pens for signing!) Jacob sat next to me and tapped my shoulder throughout the reading to tell me things! And I got to look out at a lovely gathering of friends and Mother’s Quest members who asked thoughtful questions that helped me make meaning of my experience.
Special thanks to my friend Remee who helped me with the book throughout the process and came to take photos.
An especially sweet element was the chance to showcase the books of other Mother’s Quest members who created Tiny Books and to share the event with two of those authors, Jenjii Hysten, Heather Anderson. Lena Velasquez, Leslie Tagorda and Cameron Miranda were there in spirit.
I’m so grateful to Alexandra Franzen and Lindsey Smith of the Tiny Book Course for guiding me to becoming an author with ease and joy. I’m grateful for every podcast guest, guide, and community member who has enriched my life on this E.P.I.C. journey the last five years and whose wisdom is infused in the pages. And I’m grateful to my family for inspiring me every day to become the fullest version of myself.
Hope this moment of gratitude, and the interview that follows, might be a nudge for you to say “yes” to a dream of your own or invest in yourself in some new way.
If a dream inside you is to become an author…The Tiny Book Course begins again in September and registration closes this Friday, August 20th. I’ll be working on Vol. 2 (and maybe a children’s book with my kids!) and would love to create and celebrate alongside you. Feel free to reach out for more information or visit this link. There are also packages available that provide more one-on-one support for your book creation.
I am filled with gratitude. Especially as so much in our world is challenging, it’s powerful to celebrate the goodness in front of us and the responsibility and possibility to make an impact. I hope this tiny book has big ripples.
About Sneha Jhanb
Sneha Jhanb is an Engineer turned Spirit Junkie.
She is passionate about making small changes to see bigger impacts in her life as well as every life that she touches. She likes to empower her tribe with her experiences, knowledge, and tools in mindfulness, financial services, energy healing and stress management to help them find stress-free prosperity. She regularly posts self-help videos, meditations, tarot and oracle readings, and more. With her, you will find hereall things practical and all things spiritual, all created to help you lead a conscious and prosperous life.
Get a FREE chapter of her book “Stress-Free Prosperity: A Mindful path To Joy, Abundance and Wealth” here: https://shift2prosperity.com
Follow Sneha Jhanb
Tiny Book Course
- Tiny Book Course – Begins 9/1
- 2021 Enrollment Closes August 20th!
Have you dreamed about writing a book? But you don’t want a “DIY” experience. You want to hire the best in the business, work with seasoned pros, and receive the highest level of support. This is for you. Learn more here.
Book Production Services
If more support is what you are looking for, you may want to explore their Book Production Package which includes copyediting and proofreading on your book manuscript, interior layout, and cover design to create a stunning book that you’ll be proud to share—and sell!
Learn more here.
As the parent of a varsity high school athlete who has also struggled with mental health issues, I was struck by Simone Biles’ decision to withdraw from the Olympic competition and the issues it highlights. I decided to reach out to my friend, Mother’s Quest member, and mental performance consultant Lisa Bonta Sumii LCSW, CSW, for her thoughts. Even though our children may not all be “elite athletes,” there are lessons we can take away from these seven points Lisa offers, inspired by Simone Bile’s decision to prioritize her well-being.
Parenting a teen is an experience that is different than parenting at any other time in a child’s life – identities are emerging, peer relationships become a priority, teens push against the authority of the parent(s), brains aren’t fully developed yet, while teens are making meaningful decisions on a daily basis. If that teenager happens to be an elite athlete, it adds an additional dimension to the parenting experience. With Olympic Gymnast Simone Biles in the news for prioritizing her mental health, we’re reminded that elite athletes are humans. Athletes at this level sacrifice so much for the love of their sport, the opportunity to compete, and in Simone’s case, the chance to represent her country on the world’s biggest stage. Her journey is an inspiring one that highlights some very important points that every parent could benefit from.
- Mental health is just as important as physical health– there continues to be a lack of accurate information to differentiate mental health and mental illness. We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health. To stay mentally healthy, we must prevent, assess, and treat, just like we do to stay physically healthy. Mental health falls on a continuum and can be impacted by various forms of stress and pressures.
- The impact on mental health does not discriminate– you can be the GOAT in your sport (just like Simone Biles,) have all the gold medals in the world, have the most coveted sponsors, have popularity, be “rich and famous” and still endure the effect that pressure, sexual abuse, racial injustice, and the pandemic have on your mental health.
- Excellence vs. Perfection– supporting our kids to strive for excellence in their sport, not perfection, can keep the enjoyment and feelings of success high. If Simone continued to push, even though she didn’t feel completely herself, she could have seriously injured herself which could have led to long-lasting negative effects beyond the Olympic Games. On this day, her pursuit of excellence included protecting her mental health. Let’s commit to this every day!
- Pressures come in many forms– from our coaches, from the public, from the media, from within, and in this day and age- from social media. Today’s elite athletes deal with a world where their whole life can be captured, at any time, for public consumption. Not just in everyday life, but in every moment of competition. Their reactions and responses to their own performance are made available, analyzed, dissected, and judged. They experience immense pressure to be “liked,” and seen as successful. Implementing tools and practicing skills to manage all kinds of pressure is essential for optimal mental health.
- Making an impact can come in a supportive role- the elite athlete doesn’t have to be front and center to contribute to their team, all the time. Simone Biles used her voice to speak up for her own mental health. She feared her current mind space would put her at risk for physical injury. She chose to contribute to her team by giving moral support, by cheering for them, and by using her voice to encourage and uplift.
- Simone Biles, like any elite athlete, has value beyond their sport – teen athletes should not be defined by how they perform or the “score” that they get. Competing in their sport is one way to express who they are, it is NOT all of who they are.
Our children, who happen to be athletes, are human first!!
Lisa Bonta Sumii, LCSW, CSW is a sports social worker and mental performance consultant to elite athletes. In her private practice, she provides clinical support and performance consultation to collegiate, Olympic, and professional athletes. Lisa is also the Mental Health and Sports Performance Specialist at the Oakland Roots Sports Club, a professional men’s soccer team and purpose-driven club. Her 14-year-old daughter, Malaya, is a high-level softball player AND an awesome human being!!
Podcast guest, long-term community member, and Mom for Mom‘s Graeme Seabrook has an amazing new program launching, Motherload Liberation. We asked Graeme if she would share what she means by Motherload Liberation and why it’s so important, especially in the wake of the pandemic’s impact on mothers.
The last 18 months have been brutal. But let’s not all pretend it was sunshine and roses before. We moms, all 43.5 million of us, moved into this pandemic period already bruised and on the edge of (or fully in the midst of) burnout. It’s how modern motherhood is set up. We are expected to manage the mental, emotional, physical, financial, and cultural/spiritual health of ourselves, our children, and our families. We’re expected to do this while also being contributing members of our wider society outside of those roles. We’re expected to excel in all of these areas as if patriarchy, capitalism, and white supremacy aren’t poisoning us and our world.
It would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic, if so many millions of us hadn’t internalized these expectations. So yes, this pandemic period has been awful in many ways – and it has also revealed rot that was already there.
I work with moms. As the founder of The Mom Center™, I hear from all kinds of moms from all around the country (and the UK and Brazil so far) and I’m hearing the same thing – burnout, frustration, and anger.
Even while so many of us are celebrating our moments of reconnection with friends and family, while we’re trying to navigate this ‘new normal’ I know that we cannot let the lessons learned during the height of the pandemic fade.
The way it was simply assumed on every level from the national government down to individual households that mothers would bear the childcare burden.
The way that was assumed by moms, themselves.
The millions of mothers who were forced out of the workforce.
The millions of mothers whose spouses began to work from home, but who never acknowledged all the home-work that was being done on a daily basis to make that possible.
Each year, I teach a course called Motherload Liberation. Not in 2020, though. I spent last year reworking the entire thing from the ground up. I did that because what I was seeing in homes across the country and around the world broke my heart and filled me with rage.
Mothers were being ignored, discarded, undervalued. Fathers who were oblivious.
And now the talk has shifted to going back to offices and jumpstarting the economy and somehow gaining back the losses women in general and mothers, in particular, have suffered. I don’t see how that’s possible without both personal healing for moms and collective action to change the systems in this country (and globally).
Because this will happen again. Or something similar will. There will be some emergency that puts pressure on the idea of the 50/50 relationship and the lie will crumble right before our eyes.
I cannot, on my own, affect systemic change. I can help moms to peel back the curtain and understand how these systems have impacted them, their partners, and their parenting. I can help moms make sustainable changes in their lives and relationships that will alter the balance of responsibility.
Motherload Liberation is a 10-week course for mothers who are married or partnered with men that address how patriarchy and capitalism show up in your relationship and in your parenting. The course includes an entire year of support from me as well, so no matter what comes our way you will not be alone in navigating it.
This course supports the inner healing work necessary for you to make sustainable changes in your life and in how your family works. I’m not talking about reading an article and trying something for a week – I’m talking about a seismic shift in who is responsible for all aspects of raising your children.
This course is for the mom of young ones who have been under immense pressure to be your child’s everything while in isolation and is overwhelmed and exhausted.
This course is for the moms of older kiddos who navigated online school, and missing friends, and reentry drama.
This course is for moms of teens who think it’s too late to make real changes and who are just holding on until graduation.
If you’re a mom in a relationship with a man, this course is for you. And now is the time. You’ve seen how even though “he’s not as bad as my friends’ husbands” he still doesn’t carry anywhere near the load that you do. You’ve felt the exhaustion and cried out the frustration. And I’m telling you that you can, you absolutely can break these systems down within your own home.
That change will ripple throughout your life. That change will embolden you when you are in the world outside your home. That change will show your children what adulthood and motherhood can be.
Motherload Liberation is enrolling now. I hope that you’ll join us. I hope you’ll share it with your friends. I hope you’ll choose now as your time.
Graeme is offering 10% off* for Mother’s Quest members. Prices go up after August 5, 2021. Click here to sign-up today!
P.S. Did you ever tune into the Mother’s Quest Podcast episode featuring Graeme? It’s a powerful conversation. Check it out here. During the episode, Graeme and Julie conceived of the Manifesto Challenge, what became a 5-day experience, with recorded videos, daily prompts, and a reflective journal to help you reclaim how you want to live your life in motherhood. You can now follow-along in a FREE self-guided journey on the Mother’s Quest Portal. Sign-up here.
* This post contains affiliate links to courses and products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.