Election Series: Political Fundraising – Demystifying the Process & Making an Impact in 2020

Election Series: Political Fundraising – Demystifying the Process & Making an Impact in 2020

Hello and welcome to a very different episode on the Mother’s Quest Podcast. 

Michael Skolnik, who is a political activist and friend of mine, has been sharing a series of posts on Instagram that call me to action every time I see them. The last one I saw a few days ago said this: “The election is not 30 days away. The election is over in 30 days. The election is now. Vote early.” 

Like so many of you, I’ve been asking myself if I understand that the election is now…what can I be doing to impact the election now? One thing I know I have is this platform and the Mother’s Quest Community. So, I’m committed to sharing a series of episodes to shine light on the importance of this election and what we can do about it. Last week I released a conversation I hope you’ll tune into with Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher about their powerful new book, Sanctuary, and the impact of this election on undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers. 

In this episode, with the permission of How Women Lead’s Julie Abrams, I’m honored to share a powerful conversation I heard live this week featuring Emerge, Women’s Donor Network and UCSF’s Dr. Gretchen Sisson and She the People’s Aimee Allison. They both share their strategic advice for where our political giving can have the most impact right now. Unfortunately the recording didn’t begin until a few minutes in…so you’ll have to jump right in mid-stream. Be sure to connect to the link with the slides in the show notes which will help you make sense of Gretchen’s fast, furious and in-depth presentation. 

After listening, I hope you’ll consider joining me in making a political contribution, informed by Gretchen and Aimee’s analysis. And consider paying this episode forward to another woman in your network. 

In How Women Lead’s words, “This year marks the centennial of women’s right to vote. We must take action to elect leadership we can proudly call our own, who understand the issues we face daily and design policies that ensure our rights.” 

I hope this conversation helps us all to do this together.  

Much appreciation,


P.S. Know someone who would love this conversation? Pay this forward to a friend who may be interested.

 

———

Political Fundraising – Demystifying the Process & Making an Impact in 2020

Originally Aired on October 6, 2020, Presented by How Women Lead

The impact of women on the 2020 election:

  • Where will my political giving have the greatest impact?
  • What women candidates should I back? 
  • Where is my volunteer time best spent?
  • What organizations are impacting the political systems where I can donate?

“Our collective impact is our greatest strength: learning from each other and banding together to act!”

This year has tested our limits and fortitude in every way. It has highlighted the flaws in the social and economic culture in our country. While we seem more divided than ever before, I have seen our sisters come together to lift one another up, hold each other’s hands, and stand strong against challenges. YOU give me hope.

Amidst a racial reckoning, gender divide, climate crisis and a global pandemic, we’re arguable facing the most consequential election of our time and women stand to lose the most. The loss of RBG has put an added responsibility on each of us to put up a good fight for everything that we hold dear. 

This year marks the centennial of women’s right to vote. Yet, shocking even this right has been put up for debate. We must take action to elect leadership we can proudly call our own, who understand the issues we face daily and design policies that ensure our rights. 

“Women’s active participation in politics is not only a human right but also a key to sustainable development and a thriving democracy.” 

We held a Virtual Vigil for RBG last week and were touched by the fire in each of you. We need to keep that fire going and show up stronger than before. 

44% of large dollar donors for federal campaigns in 2020 are women, up from 24% in 1990

Resources Mentioned:

Announcements:

Ep 78: An Urgent Warning with Sanctuary’s Co-Authors Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher

I first interviewed Paola after the Women’s March of 2016, personally still shell-shocked by the election of Trump and searching to find my own voice of resistance and path to activism. Since then, she has continued to be at the forefront of social change, especially when it comes to the issue of immigration, as she has organized, demonstrated, documented stories while travelling with the Caravan and now co-written a young adult novel that is both a cautionary tale and story of hope, Sanctuary.

Hope and faith run through this conversation I have with Paola and Abby just as it runs through the poignant book they co-created, a story that paints a harrowing picture of a dystopian future, an America in 2032 that microchips its citizens to easily identify and capture undocumented immigrants. It’s also a book that illuminates resilience, strength, and the power of love.

I hope you’ll listen with an open heart as Paola and Abby share about the teenage protagonist Vali who becomes a freedom fighter, the mother who sets Vali on her quest, how storytelling builds compassion and calls us to action, and how you and I can spread this story far and wide and organize for the upcoming election. In doing so, we can shape a hopeful future and help make possible freedom and sanctuary for undocumented immigrants like Vali, like the families whose stories Paola has documented, like the mothers in Matamoros, and like our own neighbors, who help our communities in essential ways.

Listen to the Episode HERE

Let’s Renew Our Commitment to Racial Justice

I published my first piece on a topic so important. Would love for you to share with anyone you think would be open to listening and learning from these lessons/conversations highlighted.

Read the Article HERE

If you enjoy the Mother’s Quest Podcast, we’d love your support in sharing this or another favorite episode with a mother you think would appreciate it too! Another way to help spread the word is to leave a review at Apple Podcasts. Instructions for leaving a review are here:

How to leave a rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad

  1. On your iOS mobile device, launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab in the lower right corner of the screen.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review. …
  4. Tap the Reviews tab, then tap “Write a Review” at the bottom of the screen.

At the time I’m releasing this episode, during the COVID-19 global pandemic, so many of us are seeking ways to connect with one another, even while needing to stay physically apart. If you identify with being a mother on a quest and you’re not yet a member of the free private Mother’s Quest Facebook Group, I invite you to join us for opportunities to learn together, to share what we have to offer one another and where we need support, and to find ways to make meaning of all we’re going through right now. Visit www.motherquest.com/community to join and I’d be honored to welcome you in.

Acknowledgments:

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:

Lilli Rey
Herve Clermont
Samantha Arsenault
Vickie Giambra

Casey O’Roarty of Joyful Courage
Kathie Moehlig or TransFamily Support Services
Anne Ferguson of MamaFuel

On the Move and etsuko Kubo
Kate Amoo-Gottfried
Nicole Lee
Olivia Parr-Rud
“Vince” of the While Black Podcast
Sara Brannin-Mooser
Lindsay Pera
Julie Castro Abrams
Alexia Vernon
Brooke Markevicius
Democracy Clothing
Michael Skolnik
Helgi Maki
Kari Azuma
Tamara Sobomehin
Katie Krimitsos
Carrie Caulfield Arick
Rachel Rosen
Chandra Brooks
Jen Simon
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
Samantha Arsenault
Attica Locke

Support the Podcast

If you’d like to make a contribution to Mother’s Quest to support Season Four 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 78: An Urgent Warning with Sanctuary’s Co-Authors Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher

Ep 78: An Urgent Warning with Sanctuary’s Co-Authors Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher

In this episode, I’m honored to welcome back Paola Mendoza, along with the co-author of her new book Sanctuary, Abby Sher with an urgent conversation for this moment, just a month away from our next election.

Paola is an acclaimed film director, activist, author and artist working at the leading-edge of human rights all alongside being a devoted mother to her 7-year old son. A co-founder of The Women’s March, she served as its Artistic Director and co-authored the New York Times best seller Together We Rise: Behind the Scenes at the Protest Heard around the World.

Abby is an award-winning writer and performer and author of Miss You Love You Hate You Bye, All the Ways the World Can End, Breaking Free, Amen, Amen, Amen: Memoir of a Girl Who Couldn’t Stop Praying, and Kissing Snowflakes. Abby has written and/or performed for The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Second City, Upright Citizen’s Brigade, HBO and NPR and one of her essays was included in the first season of Amazon TV’s, Modern Love. Most importantly, she says, she is the mom to three very cool kiddos.

I first interviewed Paola after the Women’s March of 2016, personally still shell-shocked by the election of Trump and searching to find my own voice of resistance and path to activism. Since then, she has continued to be at the forefront of social change, especially when it comes to the issue of immigration, as she has organized, demonstrated, documented stories while travelling with the Caravan and now co-written a young adult novel that is both a cautionary tale and story of hope, Sanctuary.

Hope and faith run through this conversation I have with Paola and Abby just as it runs through the poignant book they co-created, a story that paints a harrowing picture of a dystopian future, an America in 2032 that microchips its citizens to easily identify and capture undocumented immigrants. It’s also a book that illuminates resilience, strength, and the power of love.

I hope you’ll listen with an open heart as Paola and Abby share about the teenage protagonist Vali who becomes a freedom fighter, the mother who sets Vali on her quest, how storytelling builds compassion and calls us to action, and how you and I can spread this story far and wide and organize for the upcoming election. In doing so, we can shape a hopeful future and help make possible freedom and sanctuary for undocumented immigrants like Vali, like the families whose stories Paola has documented, like the mothers in Matamoros, and like our own neighbors, who help our communities in essential ways.

Much appreciation,


P.S. Know someone who would love this conversation? Pay this forward to a friend who may be interested.

This Episode is Dedicated by: Lilli Rey of Bay Area Border Relief

Lilli Rey is a community volunteer and human rights activist. She is a founder of Bay Area Border Relief, a San Francisco Bay Area grass roots humanitarian organization whose mission is to serve and advocate for children and families seeking their human right to asylum. She is also on the board of Protect Our Defenders and is a fundraiser for Congresswoman Jackie Speier. Lilli is the mother of 4 adult children and enjoys hiking, skiing, exercising, and traveling to new places.

Follow Bay Area Border Relief:

 

In This Episode We Talk About:

  • The premise of Sanctuary that sets the protagonist, 16 year old Vali, on a journey for freedom to the sanctuary of California.
  • The impact that Vali’s mother had in setting her on her quest and shaping who she is 
  • Thoughts for how we can inspire people to be informed and care about undocumented immigrants and those seeking asylum
  • Why Abby and Paola made Sanctuary under the Young Adult novel genre and how it is a story for all of us
  • The ways young people like Vali can lead the way 
  • Having conscious conversations with our kids about social justice issues in an age appropriate manner
  • The importance of story to build compassion and understanding
  • Paola and Abby’s hopes for Sanctuary’s impact
  • MPP (Migrant Protection Protocol) and the devastating impact it has had on asylum seekers
  • Why Paola and Abby insisted the book be released before the election and what they want us to do to get involved
  • Paola and Abby’s experience collaborating on Sanctuary
  • Approaching issues and activism with humility and Dr. Barbara’s Love’s Liberatory Consciousness Framework
  • Lessons we can all learn from Sanctuary
  • What’s next for Sanctuary…hopes for a sequel and a television series


This Episode’s Challenge:

For this episode’s challenge, Abby and Paola encourage us to:

  • Get the book and read it
  • Open our hearts as we do that
  • Talk to our children about it and pass the book to them when appropriate
  • Take that experience of how we are moved by it
  • Share its impact
  • Buy the book for others
  • Donate the book to our libraries or request it be purchased
  • Use this as a spark to reach out to people in our own networks and communities to better understand the immigration stories of those around us. 

Learn More About Abby Sher:

Abby Sher is an award-winning writer and performer. She is the author of Miss You Love You Hate You Bye, All the Ways the World Can End, Breaking Free, Amen, Amen, Amen: Memoir of a Girl Who Couldn’t Stop Praying, and Kissing Snowflakes. One of her essays was included in the first season of Amazon TV’s, Modern Love. Abby has written and/or performed for The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Second City, Upright Citizen’s Brigade, HBO and NPR. Most importantly she’s the mom to three very cool kiddos.

Follow Abby on Social Media

Learn More About Paola Mendoza:

Paola Mendoza is a film director, activist, author and artist working at the leading-edge of human rights. A co-founder of The Women’s March, she served as its Artistic Director and co-authored the New York Times best seller Together We Rise: Behind the Scenes at the Protest Heard around the World. Paola’s most recent book Sanctuary was released by Penguin in 2020. 

Paola is also a critically acclaimed film director whose films have premiered at the most prestigious film festivals around the world. Her films have thoughtfully tackled the complex issues of poverty and immigration on women and children in the United States. She was named Glamour’s Woman of the Year in 2017 and one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film. She is a co-founder of The Soze Agency and is a co-founder of The Resistance Revival Chorus, the critically acclaimed women’s chorus that believes, “Joy is an act of resistance.

Follow Paola on Social Media:

 

Resources Mentioned:

 

Announcements:

Let’s Renew Our Commitment to Racial Justice

I published my first piece on a topic so important. Would love for you to share with anyone you think would be open to listening and learning from these lessons/conversations highlighted.

Read the Article HERE

If you enjoy the Mother’s Quest Podcast, we’d love your support in sharing this or another favorite episode with a mother you think would appreciate it too! Another way to help spread the word is to leave a review at Apple Podcasts. Instructions for leaving a review are here:

How to leave a rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad

  1. On your iOS mobile device, launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab in the lower right corner of the screen.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review. …
  4. Tap the Reviews tab, then tap “Write a Review” at the bottom of the screen.

At the time I’m releasing this episode, during the COVID-19 global pandemic, so many of us are seeking ways to connect with one another, even while needing to stay physically apart. If you identify with being a mother on a quest and you’re not yet a member of the free private Mother’s Quest Facebook Group, I invite you to join us for opportunities to learn together, to share what we have to offer one another and where we need support, and to find ways to make meaning of all we’re going through right now. Visit www.motherquest.com/community to join and I’d be honored to welcome you in.

Acknowledgments:

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:

Lilli Rey
Herve Clermont
Samantha Arsenault
Vickie Giambra

Casey O’Roarty of Joyful Courage
Kathie Moehlig or TransFamily Support Services
Anne Ferguson of MamaFuel

On the Move and etsuko Kubo
Kate Amoo-Gottfried
Nicole Lee
Olivia Parr-Rud
“Vince” of the While Black Podcast
Sara Brannin-Mooser
Lindsay Pera
Julie Castro Abrams
Alexia Vernon
Brooke Markevicius
Democracy Clothing
Michael Skolnik
Helgi Maki
Kari Azuma
Tamara Sobomehin
Katie Krimitsos
Carrie Caulfield Arick
Rachel Rosen
Chandra Brooks
Jen Simon
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
Samantha Arsenault
Attica Locke

Support the Podcast

If you’d like to make a contribution to Mother’s Quest to support Season Four 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 77: How Good Can It Get? with Mom Is In Control’s Heather Chauvin

Ep 77: How Good Can It Get? with Mom Is In Control’s Heather Chauvin

It was many months ago, as the whole world was first shutting down and sheltering in place, that I sat down to a conversation with leadership coach and strategic parenting expert Heather Chauvin. As Back to School unfolds now with unique challenges for so many of us, I wanted to bring this episode to you, filled with wisdom that can help light our way…based on a question Heather asks herself…”How Good Can This Get?”

Heather Chauvin is the creator of the Mom Is In Control Podcast, a mostly solo show where she tells it like it is. She reveals her most vulnerable truths about womanhood, parenting her 3 boys, living through stage 4 cancer, navigating marriage and creating business success without burning out.

Featured on The Huffington Post, The OWN Network, CTV, Real Simple Magazine, and more, Heather draws on her experience as a former Social Worker, health advocate and inspirational speaker, giving women permission to live more, drop the guilt and ask for what they need.

It was actually a question posed to me by a friend and amazing soul Megan Baker, who was at the time battling cancer, about how we can still strive to live our E.P.I.C. life in the face of health challenges, that prompted me to interview Heather.

Sadly, Megan passed away in May. And though the episode didn’t come out in time to support her, I’m certain her courageous question and the thoughtful insights from Heather that came as a result, will help so many of us to be more present with what is and learn to receive support, as well as give, when things start to spin out of control.

As we move into Back to School in a way we never have before, I hope you’ll join me taking Heather’s challenge to ask for what we need, even if it’s uncomfortable, as we face the unknown and explore the question in our own lives “How Good Can It Get?”

Much appreciation,


P.S. Know someone who would love this conversation? Pay this forward to a friend who may be interested.

This Episode is Dedicated by: Anne Armstrong of My Gnome on the Roam

Anne is a mother, middle school teacher and out-of-the-box thinker from Nashville, Tennessee. She holds a Master’s and Ed. Specialist degree in gifted education. 

She takes an energetic, innovative approach to teaching and has an insatiable curiosity about other people and places. That’s why her middle school students call her the Field Trip Queen. 

Now a published children’s author, Anne tries to live by a phrase coined by some of her brilliant students and borrowed with their permission: “Make your life a book worth reading.”

She also is the creator of My Gnome on the Roam, a brand of toys and tools designed to help busy families build adventures into their busy days.

Anne invites you to a free 5-day homeschool challenge and get your kids (and yourself) excited about the year! Click here 👉 Gn-Home School Challenge to know more!

We’ll be sharing things like:

✅ daily adventures (from our app)

✅ our award winning My Gnome on the Roam Adventure and Creativity Kit

✅ ideas for turning adventures into teachable moments

✅ virtual field trips

✅ workshops with teachers, tutors, mind masters, artists…..

✅ a community of like minded parents and kids who have decided to make the most out of this unprecedented time. 

✅ a certified teacher at your fingertips for the entire school year

The program has been recommended by Dr Shefali Tsabery, Oprah’s parenting expert as well as Dan Heath, NY Times best selling author of “The Power of Moments”. 

Also make sure to check and join their exclusive Facebook group, My Gnome On The Roam Adventurers Club, designed for families who want to create some educational magic this school year!

Follow Anne on Social Media:

Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest
Twitter
YouTube

In This Episode We Talk About:

  • The lessons that Heather learned from her own battle, six years ago, with stage four cancer
  • Heather’s question for 2020 “How Good Can This Get?” and the ways that has become a useful inquiry during the pandemic
  • Heather’s quest to not become a statistic when she became a mother at the age of 18 and instead how motherhood inspired her to become the best version of herself 
  • Engaging mindfully and being present for what is
  • How your children’s behavior is speaking to you
  • What it means to be driven by impact and not money
  • How learning how to receive, along with how to give, is where the magic unfolds
  • Having a commitment and conviction to follow through with what you want and who you say you want to be
  • How Heather is committed to structure, inquiry, and practices in her life but also lets go of a sense of failure when it doesn’t go exactly right


This Episode’s Challenge:

For this episode’s challenge, Heather encourages us to ask ourselves, “what it is you know to be true that you need to implement into your life that maybe makes you feel guilty or afraid or uncomfortable?”

And within the next 24 to 48 hours to take that action, whether through using your voice and saying “I need to go for a walk” or “I’m going to take a bath” or just creating space for yourself in the world. Heather invites us to sign up for that email, that course, or just something that makes you uncomfortable. 

“Begin to take a stand for how you want to feel in your life because that’s the first step in creating that epic life!”

Learn More About Heather Chauvin

Heather Chauvin has been named the next generation’s thought leader in parenting and women’s leadership. Her mission is to crack women open to their deepest potential and lead the life their soul craves. She reaches thousands of readers worldwide and leads innovative retreats and coaching programs that teach women to succeed in their most sacred work in parenting and business. Heather’s the creator of the New & Noteworthy Podcast, Mom Is In Control and has been featured on the OWN network, Huffington Post, TV outlets and others. 

Through her Courageous Rewrite Initiative, Heather has given voice to many humans who have courageously taken inspired action towards creating a life they’re proud of. With wit and wisdom, Heather inspires a global community of women to take back control of how they want to lead, work, play and parent.

 

Follow Heather on Social Media

 

Resources Mentioned:

 

Announcements:

Do you dream of writing a book? 💫📚What if it could be easy?

From the time that I was young, I had this whisper about becoming an author. I have always “written” my whole life, but have not yet taken the leap to be a published author.

As my 49th birthday approaches (this December 1!) and I think about all I’m still on a quest for, the whispers and the call to become an author are going from a still small voice to a loud roar.

I’ve so admired Alexandra Franzen and recently discovered @lindseysmithhhc who has co-created the Tiny Book course. 

In 45 days, in community with other aspiring writers, with supportive coaches alongside including live calls, you go from idea to done!

I’m giving myself an early birthday present…much like I did before my 45th birthday when I launched the podcast. And saying “yes” to this dream.

Have you had a voice calling you to write and publish? Ready to listen to that voice? Join me in the Tiny Book course!

As an affiliate for the course…for every mother from the Mother’s Quest Community who says “yes” to this call…MQ will get a small bonus, $ that will support more inspiration, more coaching and more community connection to help us live our E.P.I.C. lives.

I’ll also facilitate a special Reflection Circle for all who participate when we launch and when we end to help us make meaning of our journey.

Who’s in? Link here 👉 https://www.tinybookcourse.com to learn more and sign up. 

Make sure to let Alex and Lindsey know I sent you!

WHAT IS A TINY BOOK YOU MAY ASK?

Registration in the Tiny Book Course incluses:

☑ Checklists and Templates – to simplify the process

☑ Step-By-Step Tutorial Videos – showing you every step you need to take

☑ Incredible Customer Service – your very own book coach to answer any questions you have by email

☑ Expert Guidance – from professionals who know the ins and outs of the self-publishing world

☑ 4 Live Group Calls – Interactive check-ins to make sure you’re feeling good, getting things done, and moving toward the finish line

☑ Online Community Forum – to connect with your instructors and fellow authors

☑ Success – pretty much guaranteed. Alexandra and Lindsey have a very strong track record of success. They help people become finishers.

 

Special Coaching Invitation for Mindful Mothers :raised_hands: 

Before the summer ends…are you on a quest for personal clarity and connection so you can start the academic year well?

:sparkles:The secret to starting well is to end well:sparkles:

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned on my parenting and life journey is that if we want to set our children up for successful new beginnings, we need to do the reflective work ourselves to close the last chapter and begin anew.COVID-19 and distance learning upended all of our lives and made it very challenging to end the school year well. But, in the midst of the difficulties, we also found new ways of being and deep resilience.There is wisdom and lessons learned to mine for that can help shine a light on what to do next. And when we create space for reflection and invest in ourselves, we open up possibilities and a blueprint to help our children do the same.Interested in getting support to close COVID, life and distance learning 1.0 before beginning again?
With me as your guide?

In August, I’m launching a special Back to School Coaching Special that combines my signature “Virtual Milestone Hike” experience in a one-on-one 90-minute coaching session along with the opportunity to be in “Circle” with other reflective mothers to share what we uncover together on these Virtual Hikes.

Details Here:

Here’s what it will include:

:sparkles: 1 90 minute one-on-one coaching session with me via Zoom using my signature Milestone Hike Reflection process. We won’t be on a real hike, but it’s the next best thing…slides/photos and all!

:sparkles: A 1.5 hr. Reflection Circle with the other mothers who have been through the same Virtual Hike experience where we can share together the insights that came up & make commitment statements for how we want to move forward into the fall.

Cost: $270 (please reach out if a scholarship is needed)

Spots Avail: Only Six to keep our Circle Intimate

Timeframe: One-on-One Sessions early August.

Circle date TBA working with the schedule of the six who sign up.If this calls to you, I encourage you to sign up quickly. I have space to take on six participants! Sign up here & link in bio: www.mothersquest.com/backtoschool

Season Five of the Mother’s Podcast is Under Way! – Help us Spread the Word  

If you enjoy the Mother’s Quest Podcast, we’d love your support in sharing this or another favorite episode with a mother you think would appreciate it too! 

Another way to help spread the word is to leave a review at Apple Podcasts. Instructions for leaving a review are here:

How to leave a rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad

  1. On your iOS mobile device, launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab in the lower right corner of the screen.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review. …
  4. Tap the Reviews tab, then tap “Write a Review” at the bottom of the screen.

 

Acknowledgments:

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:

Herve Clermont
Samantha Arsenault
Vickie Giambra

Casey O’Roarty of Joyful Courage
Kathie Moehlig or TransFamily Support Services
Anne Ferguson of MamaFuel

On the Move and etsuko Kubo
Kate Amoo-Gottfried
Nicole Lee
Olivia Parr-Rud
“Vince” of the While Black Podcast
Sara Brannin-Mooser
Lindsay Pera
Julie Castro Abrams
Alexia Vernon
Brooke Markevicius
Democracy Clothing
Michael Skolnik
Helgi Maki
Kari Azuma
Tamara Sobomehin
Katie Krimitsos
Carrie Caulfield Arick
Rachel Rosen
Chandra Brooks
Jen Simon
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
Samantha Arsenault
Attica Locke

Support the Podcast

If you’d like to make a contribution to Mother’s Quest to support Season Four 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/

Distance Learning Ready: Suggestions From an Occupational Therapist on Helping Your Child Stay Engaged

Distance Learning Ready: Suggestions From an Occupational Therapist on Helping Your Child Stay Engaged

Distance Learning Ready: 

Suggestions From an Occupational Therapist on Helping Your Child Stay Engaged

When I reached out to my son Jacob’s Occupational Therapist, Danielle Cesarz, for her recommendations on what might support Jacob with distance learning, I was blown away by her insight and suggestions. I realized this was information that could help all parents, not just those whose children are differently-wired. So, I asked if I could share her perspective on the Mother’s Quest Blog and she said yes! Hope these ideas support your children as you begin this school year. Have some ideas of your own to share? Leave them in the comments or come on over to the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group and share with us there!

The COVID- 19 pandemic has impacted all facets of life: how we go about our daily activities, the way we work, our ability to parent, and our children’s development. Soon, our homes will become classrooms again. Our dining room table will transform back into our child’s desk. Our outdoor space will equate to the playground. As an OT, I have many parents asking me, “How do I set my child up for success with distance learning at home?” “What kinds of OT tools will help my child stay regulated, focused and engaged?

Learning is a social phenomenon. Kids benefit most from in-person learning because of the social emotional and sensory motor affordances it provides. There are silver linings, however, to learning at home. And right now it serves us well to engage in positive thinking.

A true silver lining to learning at home is the flexibility that it allows. Your children can write while standing up at a kitchen counter. They can listen to a ZOOM read aloud with their most favorite stuffie nestled in their lap. They can chew gum while completing their math worksheets. They can keep their most comfortable pajama bottoms that have holes in them on all day. They can squeeze playdough or a squishy ball fidget without distracting their peers. They can crunch on ice while working. They can blast the Hamilton sidetrack to get their creative “writing” ideas flowing.

Taking breaks throughout the day may no longer require special permission. They can take as long as they need to complete their written work without the pressure or comparison to their faster paced peers. They can school outside in the fresh air if they desire. And let the sound of the birds and the feel of the breeze calm their nervous systems. They can lower the lights in their room to calm their minds. They can pet their dog or cat to lower their heart rate while listening to a lecture. They can crunch on chips or sink their teeth into fresh fruit at a moment’s notice. They can re-apply roll-on essential oil to their wrist before a test. Schooling at home allows incredible flexibility to meet your child’s emotional regulation and sensory motor needs.

To my older daughter’s deep disappointment, I am not advocating that your child lie in bed to engage in school. Quite the contrary, as an OT, I am making some of the following recommendations to my families:

  • Offer flexible seating to increase your child’s engagement and focus. Invest, if possible, in a swivel desk chair, wobble stool, inflatable ball, wedge seat cushion, or a portable lap desk. Show your child pictures online. Ask them what their preferences may be.
  • Allow your child to change body positions throughout the day
  • Use oral sensory input such a ice water, chewing gum, crunchy and chewy snacks to optimize arousal level
  • Play preferred music while working.
  • Per the recommendation of my younger daughter I stress the importance of maintaining a calm arousal level yourself. Co-regulation is KEY! As parents we need to provide empathy during stress, try to maintain a stable and safe environment with structured routines and logical consequences and model what it looks like to be calm and regulated.
  • Take breaks as needed
  • Kids need to move to learn. Build in a variety of movement breaks throughout the day. Kids need frequent exercise and movement to support their ability to attend and self-regulate. Ideas include:
    • Do jumping jacks
    • Log Roll
    • Animal Walks
    • Somersault
    • Run outside
    • Go for a walk
    • Take a bike or scooter ride
    • Climb
    • Ball play
    •  Skip
    •  Swing
    • Spin (in both directions)
    • Hippety Hop
    • Skateboard
    •  Go for a hike
    •  Jump
    • Hula hoop
    • Dance
    •  Roll over a therapy ball
    • Spend time in nature
    • Use structured work-outs or apps like Go Noodle, Cosmic Yoga for Kids, ALO GIVES or Swork- it Kids

In all honesty, am I eager to support my child’s learning at home? No!?! Am I freaking out about how I am going to manage work and parenting? ABSOLUTELY. Do I want my children to go back to school? YES!! There’s no denying that we can’t replace the impact in-person learning has on the development of our children however there is no harm in keeping a positive outlook that we are all in this together, keeping our communities safe and supporting our children with tools to thrive.

Danielle Cesarz, MS, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

OT 4 Kids

 

 

 

Distance Learning Wish List

Kick Balance Board

Swivel Chair for Back Pain, Black

Wedge Cushion

Lap Desk

Junior Wobble Chair

Latex Stretch Chair

Kids’ Swivel & Office Chairs

Mobile Task Chair

Highlighted Line Writing Paper

Have you listented to this?

Back to School Milestone Hike: My Secret to Starting The School Year Well ✨

In this “Bite-Sized Reflection from Living my E.P.I.C. Life” Minisode I Talk About:

  • How/when I learned about the importance of ending well to begin well at the youth development organization Alternatives in Action
  • The transformative Milestone Hike Experience I had on my 40th birthday
  • How I’ve used the same components of that hike to acknowledge milestones with my son Ryan (we even recorded a podcast episode about one on his 13th birthday!) including Back to School Milestone Hikes
  • The ways I have taken that experience to create signature Mother’s Quest opportunities for reflection
  • The Back to School Milestone Hike and Reflection Circle  I’m offering if you’d like support packing up your lessons from the last chapter before starting a new school year

Hope this supports you or a mother preparing for Back to School in your life!

LISTEN HERE

✨ Back to School Virtual Milestone Hike and Reflection Circle ✨

If you’d like to go on a reflective milestone hike (virtually!) with me by your side, I have three spaces left for this Back to School Circle and one-on-one coaching experience. You can sign up here: www.mothersquest.com/backtoschool

Back to School Milestone Hike: My Secret to Starting The School Year Well ✨

Back to School Milestone Hike: My Secret to Starting The School Year Well ✨

Back to School Milestone Hike: My Secret to Starting The School Year Well ✨

In this “Bite-Sized Reflection from Living my E.P.I.C. Life” Minisode I Talk About:

  • How/when I learned about the importance of ending well to begin well at the youth development organization Alternatives in Action 
  • The transformative Milestone Hike Experience I had on my 40th birthday
  • How I’ve used the same components of that hike to acknowledge milestones with my son Ryan (we even recorded a podcast episode about one on his 13th birthday!) including Back to School Milestone Hikes
  • The ways I have taken that experience to create signature Mother’s Quest opportunities for reflection
  • The Back to School Milestone Hike and Reflection Circle  I’m offering if you’d like support packing up your lessons from the last chapter before starting a new school year 

Hope this supports you or a mother preparing for Back to School in your life! 

Also, I’d love to hear from YOU: What are your Back to School Rituals that help you start the year well? Please join us in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group to share or email me at julie@mothersquest.com

Much appreciation,

P.S. Know someone who would love this conversation? Forward this along to a mother in your life. 

Listen to my episode with Ryan that we recorded after our Milestone Hike on his 13th birthday. He has grown and changed so much since then. I’m so glad we have this almost like a time capsule of that period in his life. 

http://mothersquest.com/ep-18-yolo-you-only-live-once-and-other-milestone-reflections-with-ryan-neale/

If you’d like to go on a reflective milestone hike (virtually!) with me by your side, I have three spaces left for this Back to School Circle and one-on-one coaching experience. You can sign up here: www.mothersquest.com/backtoschool

You can sign up for the replay of the Spark Your E.P.I.C if you’d like to follow along on a Virtual Milestone Hike yourself. Workshop replay and Worksheet here: https://mailchi.mp/mothersquest.com/sparkyourepicyear