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/

Mother’s Quest Tales of our Humanity #4 of 52

Mother’s Quest Tales of our Humanity #4 of 52

52 Mother’s Quest Tales of our Humanity…. (4/52)

Week Four

This week, I reconnected with filmmaker Kirthi Nath. Kirthi and I crossed paths years ago, when she worked at the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) and submitted a film from youth she mentored to the Project YouthView film festival that I co-founded.

That film, called the APOLLOS, was my favorite film across a decade of showcasing youth-created film shorts, because it highlighted a story about young people, who in 1979, lobbied in Sacramento successfully to create Martin Luther King Day as a state holiday. They succeeded after others failed.

I highly recommend you click the link above and listen to this story. It will inspire you by the power of young people to make a difference, to have their voices heard, and to tell stories that need to be told.

That belief in the power of young people for change and to use their voices, is what drives the mother I’m highlighting in this week’s Tales of our Humanity series, Yong Pratt. Read on to hear about how Yong is harnessing the power of technology, much like Kirthi did for the youth creators of APOLLOS, to help her children and others to tell their stories. 

Here’s to the power of young people. Here’s to the possibility of technology to tell stories of resilience and change. Here’s to our humanity 


By Yong Pratt, Our Young Creators – She’s a veteran podcaster, author of the book, Raising A Superhero: How to Unleash Your Child’s 8 Super Powers & Propel Learning Through the Arts, mom of 2 daughters, wife, and lover of travel, coffee, reaching, and archery.

Teaching kids to share their voices for good using the devices they love

What if we could take an adventure with our kids to locales worldwide to serve communities AND teach them skills to use their devices to:

  • Report of their adventures
  • Share the impact they’re making as family in the world
  • Document the good work and the changes they’re creating

Can you imagine?

By equipping kids with real-world, hire-able skills (like podcasting and video production), we are demonstrating that we acknowledge their inherent value and all the gifts that make them unique.

We are opening doors to all the possibilities that exist for them now and in the future.

We are enabling our kids to use their voices to be beacons of hope, inspiration, and action.

We are giving them opportunities to become the innovators, servant leaders, and the creators of their own brighter futures – futures THEY control AND can fund.

And just so you know, I’m right in the mix with all of you.

My own kids have been my lab partners in this very experiment of teaching them real-world, hireable skills.

This is my 12-year-old Daphne working side by side with me in our PJs to create a masterclass that she and I co-taught. She put together the entire themed and animated slide deck knowing we’d have both kids and parents in the class. She took the outline I gave her and made it her own and she totally rocked it! What she created was so different (and way better) than I would have put together. The masterclass was infused with so much of what makes Daphne unique and the experience was an opportunity to bond, laugh, and build memories.

Soon after we did our first Masterclass together, she was hired by another amazing business owner to help her with her website, YouTube videos, and social media graphics. She was compensated for her services and used a portion of the funds to attend a week-long math and technology camp. To say that I’m one proud mama is an understatement.

Soon after we did our first Masterclass together, she was hired by another amazing business owner to help her with her website, YouTube videos, and social media graphics. She was compensated for her services and used a portion of the funds to attend a week-long math and technology camp. To say that I’m one proud mama is an understatement.

My oldest, Sophie who’s now 15, was hesitant to join us in the experiment in the beginning. She’s since changed her tune as she thinks about how she’ll fund her college education. Here’s a pic (again in jammies – are you noticing a theme? 😉 ) at the kitchen table working on our new Pinterest Page.

Each of us, kids included, has so much to share. Our gifts and our talents were bestowed on us for a very specific reason: to share our journey, our gifts, our successes, our failures, our moments of joy and bliss in the hopes that someone else can learn from us, reach success faster with our help and our stories, and be inspired to go boldly into the world to create more change, more positivity, more GOOD.

This, my friends, is the biggest gift we can give to our kids.

Let’s embrace the technology for what it is.

Let’s teach our kids to become intentional with the use of their technology.

Read the full article and watch the video here

Why these Tales?

I had a conversation with another mother 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.

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

Take this Play to Senate – Support our GoFundMe Campaign & Action Steps

 

In CA, at the time of the release of this episode, lawmakers are about to deliberate on two key police accountability bills, SB-1421 and AB-931. In advance of that deliberation, I’m working with Nikki Yeboah, the producer of a powerful play called (M)others, to bring forward the stories of those who’ve lost loved ones to police brutality to the Sacramento community and to the lawmakers who will vote on this bill. We need your help to raise funds, to spread the word, and to call CA lawmakers, urge them to attend, and to vote yes on these bills. Visit gofundme.com/slash take-this-play-to-senate to learn more about this effort and how you can support. Willing to make phone calls to CA lawmakers? Find additional background and call scripts for the CA bills (among others) from Indivisible herehttps://www.indivisible.org/resource/police-reform-california/.

Join us for a 2-Week Miracle Morning Challenge

As the school year approaches, with two big transitions (one son going to kindergarten and the other to high school) I knew I needed to tune-up my morning practice! And, I wanted to share the power of the Miracle Morning experience with my children.

So, I reached out to my friend and former podcast guest Lindsay McCarthy to see if she’d be willing to help. Lindsay is the author of the Miracle Morning for Parents and Families and an expert at inspiring moms like me to make these powerful morning practices work for our families.

If you’d like to come along for helpful daily prompts over the course of two weeks from Lindsay, personal reflections from me as I follow them, and group community and accountability, come over to the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group!

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

 

Mother’s Quest Tales of our Humanity #3 of 52

Mother’s Quest Tales of our Humanity #3 of 52

52 Mother’s Quest Tales of our Humanity…. (3/52)

Why these Tales?

I had a conversation with another mother 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.

Week Three

Closing the last few minutes of this week reading and sharing the latest Mother’s Quest Tales of our Humanity contribution, #3 of 52. It is a set of powerful reflections on the the E.P.I.C. framework from podcast guest and Mother’s Quest Circle member Nancy Netherland, informed by the latest health challenge with her daughter Lala.

I’m in constant awe of Nancy, Lala, and Lala’s sister, known as the “Commander.” Here’s to their courage, resiliency and positivity in the face of adversity.
Here’s to our humanity 


By Nancy Netherland, KIDS & CAREGIVERS – Resources for caregivers, kids with chronic illness, and those who support them

Engaged- in the moment

My ten year old Lala looked good today – happy, relaxed, and healthy – and I realized it’s been years since that I have seen her without her face drawn in pain or swollen from the steroids used to keep her illness at bay. After a week in the hospital, an eventful and rough week, two weeks ago Lala began the infusions she will need for the rest of her life.  

It was with total delight I watched Lala play with her puppy and her sister in the backyard yesterday. And with even more joy I sent her and her sister off to play with friends at a local pool today.

Lala has taught me to engage with the good moments, the people I love, and to the experiences matter.  She has above all else taught me to be very much in the moment, to fully engage in each moment, and to remember that small moments cannot be taken for granted.

Passionate- about priorities

Lala is a force of nature. She is a fierce and funny ten year old with a wild mane of curly hair (half of which has fallen out the past few months) who wears formal party dresses and a wonder woman costume to her medical appointments and hospital admissions. She is fiercely and passionately committed to holding on to the magic of childhood and ensuring that her medical teams remember that she is above all else; a child.  And because she often feels poorly, Lala has learned to do what matters. She is passionate about putting what she loves first.

Lala has taught me everything about being passionate about prioritizing. I used to worry about pleasing other people, making sure my house was clean and organized, and that the dishes were done immediately after finishing a meal. Now, I regularly say “no” to family and friends and sit at the dinner table with dirty dishes and play card games with my girls.

Invested – in learning new ways of being

We as a family have all learned to live with the unknown of a rare disease and chronic pain. That has required an investment in new skills and new tools.

“You are so zen and able to hold so much” – said the hospital attending to me after six of her staff had restrained a screaming Lala to insert an IV following a failed infusion, a blown vein, a second failed infusion, and a very long week in the hospital. Thirty minutes prior, I had led Lala through a guided meditation and breathing exercise to calm my child and myself as her medical team gathered around her bed at three-thirty in the morning for a final attempt to insert the IV my needle phobic daughter needed for health saving medications to drip into her veins. I had looked up to see four nurses and two doctors with one hand on their heart and the other on their lower bellies doing deep and measured breathing as I calmly talked us into a place of connection with calm breath. Because frankly, I didn’t know what else to do and “yoga breathing” sometimes helps Lala feel less frightened.

As a family we have all learned new skills – meditation, guided imagery, yoga, and how to insert as many opportunities to play and experience joy as possible.

Connected – to a community

I have yet to find the “What to Expected When the Unexpected Happens…” resource that will instruct me on how to navigate parenting a child with a chronic and often debilitating illness. But through Lala I have learned to connect and to be embraced by, and to create, communities that nourish and nurture me and my family. I have learned these skills through and on behalf of my children.

Lala is amazing at reaching out to her friends and making new ones. I recently watched her delightedly walk around the hospital with some young teens she had just met who also live with chronic illnesses and together they were talking about Instagram, infusions, and shared interests.

Lala has taught me to reach out to my peers as well. Lala and I are part of a community of families that have a child living with a chronic illness. I am have also learned to embrace and leverage connections of all types – from a those networks needed for medical advocacy to those friends who help me figure out the what is next.

EPIC

Lala  has taught me how to live an EPIC life as a mother.  She has changed my life trajectory, taught me everything about faith, and shown me how to be engaged, live with passion, invest deeply, and connect. She has also gifted me with my next career: to advocate for caregiver wellness and pediatric medical settings that are trauma informed.

If you want to learn more about Nancy, her girls, and her work underway to help other families, check out the comment below for the link to the show notes from our episode on the podcast, with all the ways to follow her.
Show notes with all the links here http://mothersquest.com/ep30-nancy-netherland/

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

 

Milestone Rite of Passage Coaching Session

The focus of a recent 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, or your child is as we approach the new school year, 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. When we do this for ourselves, we can be powerful guides for our children!

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

Mother’s Quest Tales of our Humanity #2 of 52

Mother’s Quest Tales of our Humanity #2 of 52

52 Mother’s Quest Tales of our Humanity…. (2/52)
Dedicated to the memory of Nia Wilson

Why these Tales? – I had a conversation with another mother 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.

Week Two
This week, on the heels of attending Kate Schatz’ launch event for her new book “RAD GIRLS CAN,” and in the wake of the tragic loss of life and promise of Nia Simmons, I’m honored to share a series of stories about an incredible 7 year-old girl, Havana, written by her mother Bethany Edwards.

Along with the support of her parents, Havana is already proving there are so many things she CAN do to make a difference, defying stereotypes based on the color of her skin and her age, at every turn.

Havana sees the potential in herself and in her peers. She said it best at a recent event where she spoke “Every single girl in this room is a warrior. And every girl here can change the world.” 

Here’s to Havana, here’s to her mother Bethany, here’s to our humanity 

 


By Bethany Edwards, BIRACIAL BOOKWORMS

CHANGEMAKERS COME IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES

Changemaker– a big word that simply means starting something that matters. Furthermore, being a changemaker could matter to 1 person or 1 million people. But to act on injustice or inequality, I recognize that changemakers come in all shapes and sizes.

Recently, my 7-year-old daughter Havana was featured on national and international news. From the outside looking in, there were millions of people applauding her for being a change maker. They even went as far as calling her a hero.

From inside looking out, we were in disbelief watching a simple act get millions of heads to turn in her direction for simply doing what she thought was right in the moment.

Read more here…

FIGHTING FOR GIRL’S EDUCATION IN GHANA

One of the most incredible opportunities I have ever had is spending 9 days on a literacy adventure to fight for girl’s education with not 1, but 2 future astronauts!

My daughter Havana met up with philanthropist, activist, as well as all around wonderful Taylor Richardson to travel to Ghana in West Africa for a literacy adventure.

Wrinkle in Time Ghana

It started with Taylor raising over $100,000 to send girls to see Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time. She had screenings and passed out books in cities all over the United States. Additionally, Taylor also donated books and sponsored a screening for the girls in her Havana’s book club with her choir.

After Taylor met Oprah Winfrey at the world premiere of the movie, as well as Good Morning America, Taylor and Havana decided to take their fight for girl’s education global. Learn more about their partnership: Changemakers Come in all Shapes and Sizes.

Read more here…

Meet The Dynamic Duo On A Determined Mission To Bring Books To Girls In Ghana Orphanage

In February, 7-year-old Havana Chapman-Edwards, one of the most inspiring girls we know, launched a crowdfunding campaign so she could buy books for kids in a book club she started; kids who she says, “look like me”. She met her original goal of $6,000 and is not stopping there. Havana just joined forces with 14-year-old Taylor Richardson, another inspiring change-maker we are honored to know. Together, this dynamic duo is raising $15,000 to fund a girl-powered, book-fueled mission that will take them to Ghana this July… and we can all help them get there.

Havana started her Rhymers Are Readers book club last year for members of her church choir. She says her original goal was to help “all 12 of my choir friends feel confident in their reading ability and to see kids who look like them in the books they read.” At each monthly club meeting, Havana reads a book aloud about “an amazing female black role model”, women and girls whom she counts as her “sheroes”.

Read more here…

Bethany Edwards is an elementary educator and reading specialist. She has taught in the U.S. as well as international schools in 5 different countries. Her goal is to encourage diverse representation in teaching literacy skills. She is a children’s book activist fighting for girls around the world to have equal access to an education.

Her website is full of resources to empower and arm families/ teachers with tools to teach children to read. She also promotes global citizenship through reading diverse books, traveling, and learning multiple languages!

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

 

Milestone Rite of Passage Coaching Session

The focus of a recent 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, or your child is as we approach the new school year, 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. When we do this for ourselves, we can be powerful guides for our children!

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

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

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

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