Ep 70: Blazing a Transgender Trail with Corey Rae and her mother Judy Blank

Ep 70: Blazing a Transgender Trail with Corey Rae and her mother Judy Blank

I’m honored to bring you this Season Four finale episode of the Mother’s Quest Podcast with two special guests and dear family friends, transgender model, activist and writer Corey Rae and her talented and trailblazing mother, Judy Blank.

Corey is a 26-year-old activist, consultant, model, speaker and writer who shatters stigmas surrounding the transgender community. She was born transgender in the 1990’s and started her physical transition when she was 15 years old with the unwavering support of her mother Judy. Shortly after, Corey became the world’s first openly transgender girl to be crowned Prom Queen, a story in production for a feature film titled QUEEN, which Corey is Executive Producing.

As a stylist, designer and creator of hand-carved jewelry, with over 30 years of experience, Judy’s professional skills have taken her across the industries of television, music, and photography. Her intuitive detail-oriented approach to hairstyling and personal style consulting has supported hundreds of individuals to feel good about themselves and make meaningful lifestyle changes.

In this episode, Corey and Judy share, for the first time together, their mother daughter account of how they blazed a trail in Corey’s transgender journey, telling stories spanning from Judy’s standing up to Corey’s kindergarten teacher, who wanted to stop her from dressing as a girl during dress-up time, to supporting Corey through her gender affirmation surgery at age 19.

Corey also recounts her evolution from living “stealth” for five years after her surgery, when no one knew she was transgender, to coming out publicly in 2016 through her first blog post on her site CoreyRae.com, titled, “Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself.” 

Since then, Corey has become a strong voice in helping others that struggle with gender identity, the transition process, or coming out and has actively shared her personal stories and advice on her blog, on a monthly column on StyleCaster.com, in publications like Vogue, Cosmopolitan and People magazines, and at events like the MAKERS Women’s Conference. She’s currently the new campaign model for the beauty subscription brand, IPSY, and had what I call an epic snapshot moment posing with her mother in front of one of her LA billboards, a photo we used for the podcast art.

This conversation had me in tears many times. I was moved by how Judy  transformed her childhood experiences of being bullied into fuel for becoming a rock solid ally for her child, how her experience raising a transgender daughter when few resources and knowledge existed, sparked a deep desire to support other families and their children so they don’t have to feel alone, and how, after years of helping Corey become her authentic self, Judy is now experiencing her own rebirth after a challenging divorce. 

Recording this conversation live in a recording studio on the eve of my 48th birthday and the birthday of the Mother’s Quest Podcast, felt like the representation of everything I hoped the podcast would be when I created it three years ago: a space for transformative, inspiring conversations that invite all of us to live more fully. I hope you’ll listen to this episode with an open heart and mind and say “yes” to Judy and Corey’s challenge to “truly listen to our children,” to embrace them, and help them grow into the fullest, most authentic expression of who they are.

Much appreciation,


P.S. This is the last episode of Season Four and I’ll be taking a break through the end of January. Come on over to the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group, if you’re not there yet, to stay connected until the podcast returns! Can’t wait to bring you more inspiring conversations in 2020. 

 

This Episode is Dedicated by:
Kathie Moehlig of TransFamily Support Services

TransFamily Support Services SAVES lives by shaping a gender-affirming and accepting community. TransFamily Support Services provides navigation for the journey. We serve transgender youth and their families all over the country and there is never a fee for our services. 

We help families to understand the gender journey and assist with referrals to medical and mental health providers. We also help navigate the insurance issues as well as work with schools to be sure the youth are safe and affirmed.

Kathie Moehlig, Founder of TransFamily Support Services, is a leading authority on supporting transgender and non-binary youth and their families. A tireless advocate for the LGBTQ community, she was named “Woman of the Year” by California Assemblyperson Gloria. A certified life coach, parenting instructor and motivational speaker, Kathie’s work have been featured in media nationally. She regularly crisscrossing the country to work with families, schools, healthcare, and organizations to promote understanding, inclusion, and equality.

TransFamily Support Services – Navigation for the Journey

If you want to support TransFamily Support Services, you can send your donations here.

👉 DONATE

Connect with Kathie:

You can learn more about Kathie and how she founded TransFamily Services here.

 

In This Episode We Talk About:

  • Corey’s journey of self-identity during a time when there was much less awareness and few resources about being transgender
  • Moments that helped Corey to realize she was transgender and that sparked her path to transition
  • The impact of Judy’s own childhood experience grappling with learning disabilities and bullying in how that shaped how she parented
  • The importance of listening to what your children are saying, not just in their words but also in their behavior
  • Why you shouldn’t parent your kids from fear
  • Deconstructing what it means to be transgender
  • The importance for Corey of naming the ways in which she holds privilege as a white transgender woman 
  • Educating ourselves and others on how we can de-stigmatize the transgender community
  • Corey’s coming of age movie – Queen
  • Asking a lot of questions of our children and then waiting for the answer
  • The ways in which Judy is experiencing her own rebirth: including several creative projects of her own, a memoir “Back to Blank,” and a signature jewelry piece for people in transition modeled after a butterfly.

 

Additional Resources for Transgender Families and Allies:

 

This Week’s Challenge:

For this week’s challenge, Judy and Corey challenge us to really listen to our children. Look at what they are really saying and don’t parent from a place of fear. 

Ask your kids a lot of questions and wait for the answer. And if they don’t have the answer just let it sit, because you’re helping them think about it. Judy and Corey encourage everyone of us to love our kids for who they really are and allow them to be their authentic selves.

 

Learn More About Corey Rae:

Corey Rae is a 26-year-old activist, consultant, model, speaker, and writer who shatters social stigmas surrounding the transgender community. Corey was born transgender and started her physical transition when she was 15 years old with the help of her mother Judy. Shortly after, she became the World’s first openly transgender girl to be crowned Prom Queen. 

In 2012, Corey had gender affirmation surgery at age 19, but kept her past a secret. After five years of living stealth, she told her story publicly in 2016 through her first blog post on her site CoreyRae.com, titled, “Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself” 

Corey shares personal stories of her upbringing and experiences on her blog, as well as elevates the stories of other inspiring and unique LGBTQ+ members on her site. She writes a monthly advice column on StyleCaster.com with helpful tips on dating, fashion, beauty, and destigmatizing transgender beauty standards. Corey’s high school prom victory story has been acquired and is in production for a feature film titled QUEEN, which she is Executive Producing.

Corey speaks at public and private events such as LGBTQ+ marches, Universities, and even Lululemon Headquarters. She’s partnered with brands and companies such as IPSY, HBO, Lululemon, OUAI Haircare, Seventh Generation, MAKERS,  It Gets Better, Orgain, Squarespace, Tumblr, LAPRIDE, and the Los Angeles LGBT Center. 

When Corey isn’t focused on her activism career, you can find her hiking Runyon Canyon, hanging out with her closest friends, or shopping with her mom Judy.

Resources from Corey:

Follow Corey on Social Media:

 

Learn More About Judy Blank:

Judy Blank wants to live in a world where children grow up with kindness, compassion and the ability to grow into the fullest, most authentic expression of who they are.

Her own experience raising her transgender daughter Corey in the 1990’s, and blazing a path for Corey’s transition, during a time when few resources and knowledge existed, sparked a deep desire to support other families and their children so they don’t have to feel alone.

As a stylist and designer with over 30 years of experience, Judy’s professional skills have taken her across the industries of television, music, and photography. Her intuitive detail-oriented approach to hairstyling and personal style consulting has supported hundreds of individuals to feel good about themselves and make meaningful lifestyle changes.

In 2004, a class Judy took at the Art Center of New Jersey in wax-carving sparked an extension of Judy’s love for design that results in one-of-a-kind pieces that symbolize the change her clients seek. Using precious metals and gemstones, she creates her custom design jewelry using an intricate hand-carving technique known as Lost-wax casting.

Whether working with hair, jewelry, or styling, Judy maintains her focus on the most important element, you, and believes that when it comes to living true to your most authentic self, the details count. 

This fall, Judy began a new transition in her life, moving back to her native home, Los Angeles, to grow her design and styling business and to assist Corey with her growing career. She’s also writing her own story in a book “Back to Blank,” about raising a transgender child in a time when people didn’t know what it was and chronicling how she overcame her disabilities and abusive relationships to reclaim her life. 

Connect with Judy:

Announcements:

Mother’s Quest Turned Three!

Help us celebrate three years, 70 episodes and 40,000 downloads of the Mother’s Quest Podcast!! In honor of this milestone, I’ll be recording a special solocast with my reflections on the past three years and I’d love to include some messages from you. Head over to mothersquest.com/podcast to use the speakpipe tool, or your own recording app of choice, to send a message with your thoughts about Mother’s Quest, your favorite episode, or a way that our community has impacted you. I’m looking forward to sharing some of your voices, alongside mine, in this celebratory recording coming to you in the new year.  

Women Podcasters in Solidarity Initiative

If you identify as a woman podcaster, I hope you’ll join us for the third season of the Women Podcasters in Solidarity Initiative. Our group recently committed to the topic of immigration from a social justice perspective, and we invite you to join us by committing to record an episode that can shine a light on this important issue. To take a look at past seasons and get more information visit www.womenpodcastersinsolidarity.com.

Want More Reflection in Your Life?
Book A Discovery Call

Some key themes that emerge from all my conversations, is the power of reflection and the power of being seen. These are elements that I bring, not only to every podcast interview, but to my one-one-one coaching and Mother’s Quest Circle facilitation. If you’re seeking more space for pause and reflection in your life, I encourage you to reach out to me for a discovery call to learn how we might work together.  Visit mothersquest.as.me/discoverysession to schedule a time to talk.

Click here to book a discovery call

One Minute Mom Manifesto

⚡️Have you been feeling a nudge to say “yes” to create your Mother’s Quest Manifesto? The official challenge and giveaway may be over, but the invitation and content is always there for you to create your #oneminutemommanifesto 

Here are some easy steps you can follow…

👉 Join the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group www.mothersquest.com/community to find the “unit” for the Manifesto Challenge’s reflective prompts and live videos. It’s all waiting for you!

👉 Follow along with the “unit” at your own pace. Share your reflections along the way in the comments. Let us cheer you on!

👉 Give yourself some quiet time to create your own #oneminutemommanifesto in whatever way feels good…writing, art, photos, song. It can be simple and quick. Don’t overthink it. What matters most, as a guiding light, for how you want to live your life at this stage of raising your children?

👉 Share your #oneminutemommanifesto on social media with the hashtag. Tag me if you can to make sure I’ve seen it. Consider nominating a friend who would benefit.

–Join us, share or tag a friend, or comment on how the #oneminutemommanifesto has helped you if you’ve already created yours.–

Would LOVE for more of you to join us in claiming, or reclaiming, HOW you want to live your life ✨🙌

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:

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

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 69: Overcoming Overwhelm with Dr. Samantha Brody

Ep 69: Overcoming Overwhelm with Dr. Samantha Brody

Overcoming Overwhelm: Dismantle Your Stress from the Inside Out is the title of the book written by my guest for this episode of the podcast, Dr. Samantha Brody.

Dr. Samantha, as she is frequently called, is a licensed naturopathic physician and acupuncturist, and the founder of Evergreen Natural Health Center in Portland, OR. For decades in her private practice and virtual consulting business, she has helped thousands of people transform their lives with her innovative, personalized approach. 

I love how the right podcast guest presents herself to me every time.


Because the truth is, I have been feeling pretty overwhelmed in my life right now. A new puppy, challenges with our younger son in relationship with the puppy, a traumatic experience with an active shooter scare at a theme park with my son Ryan, and a cold and cough that I couldn’t shake was definitely creating a sense of overwhelm. 

But, inspired by this conversation, I decided to take a pause and start to take steps that are already helping me feel better. I said no to some things on my to do list, I pushed out the date of this episode’s release and I started shutting down my computer in the evenings. I reached out to Dr. Samantha for a consultation about my health and my friend, Casey O’Roarty of the Joyful Courage Podcast, for a positive parenting coaching session.

I also posted in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group to share what was happening and was met with an outpouring of support. One mother who responded with compassion and to tell me I was not alone in how I was feeling was Anne Ferguson of MamaFuel, the perfect person to bring us this episode’s dedication about the importance of saying no and caring for ourselves.

Anne’s dedication, this conversation on the podcast, and the challenge and tools that Dr. Samantha invites us to explore have been powerful invitations for me to slow down, to look at what I value most, and to realign with a focus on self-compassion and self-care, to those things.

I invite you to press pause, to release something from your to do list today, so that you have a little more space to listen in to this reflective conversation with Dr. Samantha. Then follow through as I will with the “values” exercise she gives us as our challenge, share what you discover in the Mother’s Quest Facebook group where Samantha will be following up with us, and join me in taking more steps toward overcoming overwhelm.

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 Fergurson of Mamafuel

This episode is dedicated by Anne Ferguson to every mama who has said no to the overwhelm and lovingly took the time to take care of themselves, so they can show up strong and whole in their lives and with the people they love.

Anne is the founder of MamaFuel, a global community of mamas who are learning to put themselves first, so they can enjoy happier relationships with their kids and thrive in every part of their lives. Anne hosts amazing urban retreats for mamas across Switzerland, where she lives with her husband, two daughters and one very demanding dog.
 
Anne is also the host of MamaFuel: The Podcast in which she shares raw, real and often funny conversations with mamas who are doing great things in ways large and small. Her mission is to change the way mamas treat themselves and each other so we can live in a more connected, harmonious world where mamas are thriving.

Anne’s passion for words and how we talk to ourselves and each other expands beyond MamaFuel. Anne recently founded Your Process Lab, a company that’s revolutionizing the way organizations train and motivate their people by ditching stiff, archaic language and communicating in ways that make today’s workforce take action. Anne consults to the United Nations on language and communication and is expanding her activities to include public speaking across Europe.
 
Visit the MamaFuel website: https://www.mamafuel.me/

Follow Anne Ferguson on Social Media:

In This Episode We Talk About:

  • How Samantha’s medical trauma and experience being bullied may have impacted her healing career path 
  • Samantha’s commitment to empowering and supporting her patients to express their needs and advocate for themselves.  
  • Living in integrity with your values and the “tells” our body gives us when we are out of alignment
  • Conversations with Samantha’s son about his adoption and about race (he is biracial and Samantha and her husband are white) from the time he was young and how that set up an openness and honesty about all kinds of conversation 
  • What is overwhelm and Samantha’s four-step process for overcoming it 
  • How so many things in our lives can come in “seasons” and how in this season for Samantha, slowing down to pause is serving her most

Resources from Dr. Samantha:

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This Week’s Challenge:

For this week’s challenge, Dr. Samantha challenges us to do the values exercise from a chapter in her book. This exercise is designed to help you understand what aspects of your inner and outer worlds are most important to you.

You’ll discover what values and ideals you want your life–and your choices– to be lining up with on a daily basis.

This is the first step, Dr. Samantha says, in finally overcoming overwhelm; if you’re trying to have less stress and/or if you want to be less overwhelmed, lining your choices up with your values is the key to making that happen.

Learn More About Dr. Samantha:

Dr. SAMANTHA BRODY is a licensed naturopathic physician and acupuncturist, and the founder of Evergreen Natural Health Center in Portland, OR. For decades in her private practice and virtual consulting business Dr. Samantha has helped thousands of people transform their lives with her innovative, personalized approach. She is the author of Overcoming Overwhelm: Dismantle Your Stress from the Inside Out (Sounds True Publishing). You can find her online at www.DrSamantha.com and on social @drsamanthand.

Connect with Dr. Samantha:

Announcements:

Mother’s Quest is turning 3!

It’s hard to believe but on December 1, Mother’s Quest Podcats will be turning 3 years old. In honor of that milestone, I’m going to record a special episode with some of the key takeaways and reflections I’ve had on my journey over the last 3 years. I would also love to share your voice and your reflections on things that you’ve been able to take away from these conversations.

Please take a moment to either send me an email at juile@mothersquest.com or leave me a voice message by using the speak pipe tool on the podcast page at www.mothersquest.com. I look forward to hearing all you have to share and celebrating this milestone with you! 

Join Speaker Coach Alexia Vernon as Ambassador in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group

Last weekend, I had an amazing experience hosting an Improv for Speakers Master Class with the incredible speaker coach Alexia Vernon. Even though many of you wanted to join us in person but couldn’t, you can still benefit from an opportunity to learn from Alexia. This month in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group, Alexia is our “ambassador” and will be sharing tips and resources and answering your questions about public speaking. So, if you’re not yet a member of the group, come on over to www.mothersquest.com/community to request to join us. 

Want More Reflection in Your Life?
Book A Discovery Call

Some key themes that emerge from all my conversations, is the power of reflection and the power of being seen. These are elements that I bring, not only to every podcast interview, but to my one-one-one coaching and Mother’s Quest Circle facilitation. If you’re seeking more space for pause and reflection in your life, I encourage you to reach out to me for a discovery call to learn how we might work together.  Visit mothersquest.as.me/discoverysession to schedule a time to talk.

Click here to book a discovery call

One Minute Mom Manifesto

⚡️Have you been feeling a nudge to say “yes” to create your Mother’s Quest Manifesto? The official challenge and giveaway may be over, but the invitation and content is always there for you to create your #oneminutemommanifesto 

Here are some easy steps you can follow…

👉 Join the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group www.mothersquest.com/community to find the “unit” for the Manifesto Challenge’s reflective prompts and live videos. It’s all waiting for you!

👉 Follow along with the “unit” at your own pace. Share your reflections along the way in the comments. Let us cheer you on!

👉 Give yourself some quiet time to create your own #oneminutemommanifesto in whatever way feels good…writing, art, photos, song. It can be simple and quick. Don’t overthink it. What matters most, as a guiding light, for how you want to live your life at this stage of raising your children?

👉 Share your #oneminutemommanifesto on social media with the hashtag. Tag me if you can to make sure I’ve seen it. Consider nominating a friend who would benefit.

–Join us, share or tag a friend, or comment on how the #oneminutemommanifesto has helped you if you’ve already created yours.–

Would LOVE for more of you to join us in claiming, or reclaiming, HOW you want to live your life ✨🙌

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:

Anne Fergurson 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

Support the Podcast

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

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

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

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

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

Ep 68: Trust-Based Parenting and Philanthropy with Pia Infante

Ep 68: Trust-Based Parenting and Philanthropy with Pia Infante


I’m so honored to bring you this reflective conversation about investing from a place of trust in our dreams of becoming mothers, in our children, and in the causes we believe in, with someone who has been a dear friend and colleague for over a decade, Pia Infante.

As Trustee and Co-Executive Director of the Whitman Institute, Pia leverages decades of multi-sector experience as an educator, facilitator, organizational development consultant and more. In her work at the Institute and as a speaker, she advocates for radically embodied leadership and trust-based philanthropy in settings that have included Harvard Kennedy School: Center for Public Leadership, Ashoka Future Forum, Net Impact, Council on Foundations, International Human Rights Funders Group, and Skoll World Forum to name a few.

Before Pia joined The Whitman Institute, she and I worked together for years as facilitators of a practice called “adult reflection” and also supported one another in our own lives as participants in a women’s reflection circle. I consider her part of my “root system” and so appreciated the opportunity to reconnect and uncover lessons about Pia’s decade-long fertility journey, her relationship with her mother and her ancestors from the Philippines, her experience navigating post-partum depression and the waters of new motherhood, and her perspective about money as energy we can get circulating by investing in organizations and movements over the long-term, from a place of deep, relational trust.

The thread of trust weaved through the entire conversation. I hope you leave this conversation as I did, renewed and inspired to trust the unfolding of your own epic life journey, of your children’s development in their own time and in their own way, and in your own power to invest in the causes that matter to you.

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:
etsuko Kubo of On The Move

This episode is dedicated to the diverse group of 30 women who are mothers, like etsuko, that work for On the Move (OTM) on behalf of themselves, their children and communities.  OTM’s initiatives offer a powerful and groundbreaking combination of strategies seeking to engage and develop new leaders, collaborate with partners in rigorous systems change, and foster communities that are inclusive and equitable.

Based in Napa, OTM was founded in 2004 with a mission to develop and sustain young people as leaders by building exceptional programs that challenge inequities in their communities. Working for over 14 years to expand throughout the Bay Area, OTM has implemented programs and initiatives that develop the next generations of community leaders who reflect the diversity of the communities in which they live and work.

In partnership with local communities, OTM has explored innovative approaches to closing the achievement gap for children of color, transforming outcomes for former foster youth, promoting health and wellness across communities, and building strong, engaged families.

For over a decade On The Move has created and implemented innovative programming that challenges communities and local leaders to push beyond mediocrity and into excellence. Supported by a track record of results-oriented programming and in partnership with the hundreds of established community partners, OTM works to unite communities and focus on the safety and inclusion of all people.

Learn more about OTM and their work here

In This Episode We Talk About:

  • Lessons learned on Pia and her wife Nzinga’s decade-long fertility journey to having their daughter Laniakea and the extra challenges a queer couple faces on that quest.
  • Being present with our intention without being attached to every facet of the outcome
  • Mindful engagement with our children and not trying to force our kids into a prescribed timeline or way of doing things
  • Whitman Institute’s decision to “spend down,” the concept of money as “energy” and why Pia wishes more of us would get money circulating
  • Thoughtful ways philanthropists and donors can shift the power dynamic with those they fund to be more equitable, building non-transactional relationships, reciprocal relationships, and investing as partners
  • Why a funder’s job is to put gas in the tank of those they fund, not to tell them to use this GPS or follow this particular map.
  • The challenges of post-partum depression and that feeling of love and terror simultaneously Pia experienced as a new mother
  • The power of building new circles of community and how connecting with other mothers struggling with the same issues helped Pia crawl onto a life raft from what felt like a swamp.
  • Investing in our children, ourselves, and in the causes we care about

Resources Connected to this Episode:

Additional Resources from Pia:

This Week’s Challenge:

In this episode, Pia challenges us to tap into the power of money as energy and to get it circulating by making a monthly long-term commitment to a cause we think will contribute to an epic life. I said yes to this by personally committing to a monthly, long-term donation to the organization featured in the episode’s dedication, On the Move, and also decided to engage my children and husband in making a long-term commitment to a cause that matters to them by year-end.

Learn More About Pia:

Pia Infante is the Co-Executive Director of The Whitman Institute, which seeks to leverage the power of trust-based philanthropy to promote more equitable practices in resourcing social good.

As Trustee and Co-Executive Director of The Whitman Institute, Pia draws on decades of multi-sector experience as an educator, facilitator, organizational development consultant, executive coach, non-profit manager, business owner, writer and speaker to advocate for trust-based practice. 

Pia also speaks and teaches on radically embodied leadership and trust-based practice in many settings including Harvard Kennedy School: Center for Public Leadership, Ashoka Future Forum, Opportunity Collaboration, Net Impact, Council on Foundations, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, International Human Rights Funders Group, and Skoll World Forum 2017. 

She proudly serves as the Board Chair for the Center for Media Justice. She is an I.C.F. certified executive leadership coach, holds a M.A. in Education from the New School for Social Research, and a B.A. in Rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley.

Connect with Pia:

Announcements:

Mother’s Quest Q & A with Ashia Ray

My incredible guest, Ashia Ray, and I have set aside October 3rd from noon to 1 pm for a Mother’s Quest Q & A with Ashia. To register, join us in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group to find announcements. Click mothersquest.com/comunity to join.

Watch out for a Bonus Episode!

If you want to know what is on Ashia Ray’s bookshelf, join the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group where we will be releasing bonus audio to the group next week!

Women Podcasters in Solidarity Initiative

If you identify as a woman podcaster, I hope you’ll join us for the third season of the Women Podcasters in Solidarity Initiative. Our group recently committed to the topic of immigration from a social justice perspective, and we invite you to join us by committing to record an episode that can shine a light on this important issue. To take a look at past seasons and get more information visit www.womenpodcastersinsolidarity.com.

Want More Reflection in Your Life?
Book A Discovery Call

Some key themes that emerge from all my conversations, is the power of reflection and the power of being seen. These are elements that I bring, not only to every podcast interview, but to my one-one-one coaching and Mother’s Quest Circle facilitation. If you’re seeking more space for pause and reflection in your life, I encourage you to reach out to me for a discovery call to learn how we might work together.  Visit mothersquest.as.me/discoverysession to schedule a time to talk.

Click here to book a discovery call

One Minute Mom Manifesto

⚡️Have you been feeling a nudge to say “yes” to create your Mother’s Quest Manifesto? The official challenge and giveaway may be over, but the invitation and content is always there for you to create your #oneminutemommanifesto 

Here are some easy steps you can follow…

👉 Join the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group www.mothersquest.com/community to find the “unit” for the Manifesto Challenge’s reflective prompts and live videos. It’s all waiting for you!

👉 Follow along with the “unit” at your own pace. Share your reflections along the way in the comments. Let us cheer you on!

👉 Give yourself some quiet time to create your own #oneminutemommanifesto in whatever way feels good…writing, art, photos, song. It can be simple and quick. Don’t overthink it. What matters most, as a guiding light, for how you want to live your life at this stage of raising your children?

👉 Share your #oneminutemommanifesto on social media with the hashtag. Tag me if you can to make sure I’ve seen it. Consider nominating a friend who would benefit.

–Join us, share or tag a friend, or comment on how the #oneminutemommanifesto has helped you if you’ve already created yours.–

Would LOVE for more of you to join us in claiming, or reclaiming, HOW you want to live your life ✨🙌

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:

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

Support the Podcast

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

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

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

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

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

Ep 67: Smashing the Kyriarchy with Books for Littles Ashia Ray

Ep 67: Smashing the Kyriarchy with Books for Littles Ashia Ray

I’m honored to bring you such a powerful and important conversation on the podcast today with a woman who has already impacted my life and my children’s life, Ashia Ray of Raising Luminaries and Books for Littles. 

Ashia is a multiracial (Chinese/Irish) autistic neurodiversity rights advocate and the mother of two kyriarchy-smashing young children! As the founder of Raising Luminaries, she helps parents and educators ignite the next generation of kind and brilliant leaders.

Thousands of parents like me, on a quest to tackle hard topics with our children, turn to Ashia, who through her thoughtfully researched and child-tested book lists, at BooksForLittles.com and in her private group, helps us find the best books to foster age-appropriate conversations with our kids about white supremacy, cissexism, ableism and more.

By using picture books to make hard conversations easier, and to introduce complex topics simply, Books for Littles also educates grownups like me, who then go on to have ongoing discussions with our littles and our extended community. 

I loved the opportunity to delve deeply into how Ashia experiences the world as an autistic adult and mother, how we can deepen our own awareness, understanding and advocacy for neurodiversity, and how we can fight all the isms, smashing the kyriarchy (the intersection of them all) through the power of books.  

This idea that we don’t have to be the same to want the best for each other connects to everything that Ashia embodies. And just as my last episode with Pamela Slim and Desiree Adaway made me feel like I wanted to be a better friend, this conversation, and the micro-challenge that Ashia gave us, made me want to be a kinder more inclusive human being. 

In addition to saying yes to providing captions to photos in anything I post, I also committed to providing a transcript for this episode. I hope you will not only listen, but also read through the transcript, as this conversation is so full of insights that I found myself needing to go back over again and again. I hope what Ashia shares will help you, as it did me, to see things from a new perspective and feel inspired to smash the kyriarchy in your own ways in your epic life.

Much appreciation,

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

This  Episode is Dedicated by:
Kate Amoo-Gottfried

This episode is dedicated by Kate Amoo-Gottfried to her two sons, Marlowe and Miles, as well as to the group of women in her life teaching her what it means and how to be an activist: Ebele Okobi, Dr. Khadijah Costley White, Regina Islas, Ginny Kraus, and Dania Rajendra.

Kate is a recovering business consultant and a life-long learner of how to make change happen and also a full-time mom of two active boys named Marlowe and Miles. She is passionate about children, mothering, education, and the plight of second-class citizens around the globe. The daughter of bleeding-heart liberals, she has spent a life-time reconciling being both “Minnesota Nice” and a revolutionary at heart. 

Kate is an enthusiastic social justice warrior working to bring civilian oversight and reform to San Mateo County and across California as an organizer with Justice for Chinedu.

You can read some of her writing here: Bigger and Bigger and Always Black

Read Dania Rajendra’s piece she co-authored in Newsweek with the definition of solidarity that Kate quotes from in the dedication here https://www.newsweek.com/white-christian-nationalism-most-dangerous-weapon-america-opinion-1197073

Get involved in Kate’s civilian oversight and reform organizing here:Justice for Chinedu

In This Episode We Talk About:

  • The definition of “allistic” and how Ashia’s allistic husband helped her translate the Mother’s Quest Podcast questions into more pragmatic language

  • Unraveling stigmas about autism and exploring how autism can be a powerful and positive part of someone’s identity 

  • How to think about the spectrum as not linear but muti-dimensional on five different points

  • Identifying the ‘ism’s’ and the intersections of them all known as kyriarchy 

  • Ashia’s thoughtful explanation about how classifying autistic people as “high functioning” and “low functioning” is harmful and perpetuates supremacy. 

  • Her journey to creating Books for Littles and Raising Luminaries and some of the favorite books on her bookshelf (listen to the bonus audio for more on this!)

  • How Ashia is exploring the meaning of “transformative justice” and applying it to situations that come up with her children at home 

  • What is exposure anxiety and learning how to ask for and receive help

  • The power of micro-challenges to start to shift our own sense of self as someone who cares about inclusivity

  • The importance of centering people with differences and providing a space for those whose stories are not traditionally seen or understood

Resources Connected to this Episode:

Additional nuggets from today’s episode:

Resources mentioned in the “bonus” content:

This Week’s Challenge:

For this week’s challenge, Ashia challenges us to write descriptions or captions whenever we post pictures on social media. This helps people of low vision, or who can’t afford high speed internet connections, to understand what the image is trying to portray. Starting with small micro-challenges like this one helps us to shift our own perception of our identity as someone who cares about people who are different than us who have different needs.

Learn More About Ashia:

Ashia Ray is a multiracial (Chinese/Irish) autistic neurodiversity rights advocate and the mother of two kyriarchy-smashing young children! As the founder of Raising Luminaries, she helps parents and educators ignite the next generation of kind and brilliant leaders

If you’re nervous about tackling hard topics with young kids, Ashia helps you find the best children’s books to foster age-appropriate conversations with your kids about white supremacy, cissexism, ableism, and more on her website at BooksForLittles.com.

By using picture books to make hard conversations easier, and to introduce complex topics simply, Books for Littles educates grownups, who then go on to have ongoing discussions with their littles and wider community.  

Connect with Ashia:

Immigrant Solidarity Family Action Toolkit

Join Aisha’s Raising Luminaries – Student Ignition Society group on Facebook here.

If you want to know more about Ashia’s work, experiences and the current project she is working on, click here!

Read the Podcast Transcript

Announcements:

Watch out for a Bonus Episode!

If you want to know what is on Ashia Ray’s bookshelf, join the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group and will be releasing the episode to the group next week!

Mother’s Quest Q & A with Ashia Ray

My incredible guest, Ashia Ray, and I have set aside October 3rd from noon to 1 pm for a Mother’s Quest Q & A with Ashia. To register to join us, follow the link here or join us in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group to find announcements. Click mothersquest.com/comunity to join.

Women Podcasters in Solidarity Initiative

Recently, we marked the two year anniversary of the Charlottesville Rally. I remember waking to the news the next day and deciding I had a responsibility to use my voice and the platform I’m building with the Mother’s Quest Podcast to pursue social justice. Many said “yes” alongside me and The Women Podcasters in Solidarity Initiative was born.

First season episodes, with a focus on anti-racism and police brutality, are up at www.womenpodcastersinsolidarity.com, and episodes I recorded for our second season, on the intersectional impact of gun violence, are assembled on the latest Mother’s Quest Blog.

We’ve also begun identifying the topic for our next season’s series. If you’re a women podcaster who wants to join our effort, come on over to the Women Podcasters in Solidarity Facebook Group to help us select our topic.

Want More Reflection in Your Life?
Book A Discovery Call

Some key themes that emerge from all my conversations, is the power of reflection and the power of being seen. These are elements that I bring, not only to every podcast interview, but to my one-one-one coaching and Mother’s Quest Circle facilitation. If you’re seeking more space for pause and reflection in your life, I encourage you to reach out to me for a discovery call to learn how we might work together.  Visit mothersquest.as.me/discoverysession to schedule a time to talk.

Click here to book a discovery call

One Minute Mom Manifesto

⚡️Have you been feeling a nudge to say “yes” to create your Mother’s Quest Manifesto? The official challenge and giveaway may be over, but the invitation and content is always there for you to create your #oneminutemommanifesto 

Here are some easy steps you can follow…

👉 Join the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group www.mothersquest.com/community to find the “unit” for the Manifesto Challenge’s reflective prompts and live videos. It’s all waiting for you!

👉 Follow along with the “unit” at your own pace. Share your reflections along the way in the comments. Let us cheer you on!

👉 Give yourself some quiet time to create your own #oneminutemommanifesto in whatever way feels good…writing, art, photos, song. It can be simple and quick. Don’t overthink it. What matters most, as a guiding light, for how you want to live your life at this stage of raising your children?

👉 Share your #oneminutemommanifesto on social media with the hashtag. Tag me if you can to make sure I’ve seen it. Consider nominating a friend who would benefit.

–Join us, share or tag a friend, or comment on how the #oneminutemommanifesto has helped you if you’ve already created yours.–

Would LOVE for more of you to join us in claiming, or reclaiming, HOW you want to live your life ✨🙌

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:

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

Support the Podcast

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

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

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

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

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

Ep 52: Third Chapters, Raising Adults, and Loving Ourselves with Julie Lythcott-Haims

Ep 52: Third Chapters, Raising Adults, and Loving Ourselves with Julie Lythcott-Haims


This conversation with best-selling New York Times author and Ted talk speaker Julie Lythcott-Haims was over two years in the making and yet came just at the right time.

Author of How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success and Real American: A Memoir, Julie’s interested in the human experience and writes non-fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry with the aim of helping humans thrive.

She has a JD from Harvard Law School, an MFA in writing from California College of the Arts and holds her BA in American Studies from Stanford University, where she later returned to serve as Dean of Freshman and Undergraduate Advising, among other roles.  She currently lives in Silicon Valley with her partner of more than thirty years, her two teenagers, and her mother.

Born to an African-American father and a British mother, Julie moved often in her childhood from Nigeria to New York to Wisconsin to Washington D.C., where her father was part of the Carter Administration, and then back to Wisconsin again. Along the way, she struggled to find her identity as a bi-racial woman who faced stereotypes and micro-aggressions about her blackness that sent her on a journey from self-loathing to self-love, something she reflects on with powerful honesty in her memoir.

Themes of self-exploration, self-sufficiency and service weave thread through this incredibly enriching conversation with Julie. We discuss her healing journey with her mother and how that impacts how she parents her children today. Julie shares the lessons that she learned about how to successfully raise adults from her years as the Dean at Stanford and extensive research that informs her best-selling book and popular Ted talk on the subject.

She reveals the way that she has daringly made career pivots that others thought were crazy, what’s next on the horizon for her, and how she may even create her own radio show one day. And, we talk candidly about her journey to embracing self-care, about her commitment to her partner of over thirty years, and to the impact on her body and sexuality of moving toward menopause.

I was struck by Julie’s continued evolution in her own awareness, and her commitment to personal growth and to pursuing her own purposeful path, parallels evident in the wisdom she holds for us about how to raise our children to be healthy adults. Finally, I’m inspired by her bold challenge to us, to look at how stereotypes and biases about black people show up in ourselves, and to do the conscious work of taking them apart.

This conversation is a powerful one that has already begun to shift my awareness. I look forward to hearing what Julie’s life lessons, wisdom, and revelations shift for you when you listen. 

Much appreciation, 

P.S. Know someone who you think would appreciate this episode? Push forward and share this conversation!

In This Episode We Talk About:

  • Julie’s journey of healing with her mother, now 80 years old, and how a third chapter of their relationship led to reciprocal learning across three generations, between Julie’s mother, Julie, and Julie’s daughter.
  • What happens when our egos impact our parenting and the power of realizing that we are not our kids; they’re not a mini-me, a pet, a trophy or a bonsai tree. They are their own person.

  • What Julie’s experience as a Stanford Dean taught her about how to raise adults, including the two most essential things she learned kids need: to do chores and to be loved.

  • How a commitment to life-long learning inspired Julie to make daring career pivots, from attorney to school administrator to writer.

  • The three more books  that Julie knows she has inside of her.

  • Julie’s own evolution in her understanding of what self-care means and the ways that she invests in herself today.

  • The practices Julie has committed to with her husband to keep their thirty plus year connection strong.

  • The impact of peri-menopause and menopause in how we feel in our bodies and on our libido in particular, and my commitment to focus a future episode on this subject.

  • The importance of becoming aware of the stereotypes we hold about black people and Julie’s challenge to us to consciously undo them.

Resources and Topics Mentioned:

This Episode is Dedicated by:

Tamara Sobomehin, chasing the human dream, working to unleash the brilliance and potential of people by cultivating a culture of positive creation supported by the foundation of effective human and technical systems. Dedicated in honor of Tamara’s mother Paula Denise Lacy.  

Street Code Academy – The organization Tamara runs with her husband Tunde. 
Recharge Ravenswood – The website to learn more about Tamara’s campaign for Ravenswood City School Board. 
Team Esface – The exceptional basketball program, founded by the Sobomehin brothers, that Ryan participated in and where we first met Tamara and her family. 

This Week’s Challenge:

For this week’s challenge, I encourage you to read Julie’s powerful memoir, The Real American, to explore the impact of stereotypes about black people on her life experience. Then, follow Julie’s invitation to notice when stereotypes about black people kick in for us. She says, “If you’re not loving black people, ask yourself why? Be interested in that. Black people are humans worthy of love, compassion and care like anybody else is. If you notice a stereotype kicks in when you see a black person, see if you can immediately say to yourself – what would I do if this was a white person? Or a person of any race other than black? When a stereotype pops up, name it and tell yourself I’m discarding it. Try interacting with that person as if they were your own brother, sister, grandmother, father, friend or family.”  It’s our job to acknowledge the impact of stereotypes and biases and undo it.

Learn More About Julie:

Julies Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Announcements:

Mother’s Quest Circle

If you’re on a quest to live an E.P.I.C. life, but you’ve been feeling challenged, isolated, or unsure of the path ahead, the Mother’s Quest Circle may be the source of connection you’re looking for.

The Mother’s Quest Circle provides inspiration, coaching and community for an intimate group of no more than 10 women who are ready to say “yes” to:

✨Reflect together, in a community of like-minded mothers, on what matters most
✨To consciously live their version (not someone else’s) of an E.P.I.C. life
✨To take bold action toward one of the E.P.I.C. life guideposts before the end of the sessions
✨To hold space for sharing, coaching, and championing one another so we are “in community” on our journey

If you’re looking to end the year strong, now is a great time to make an investment in yourself and what matters most to you. Apply here

Say It. Sweat It. Get It. Challenge

Sign up today to come along with me on Erin’s week-long challenge where she will give you super short, easy to follow workouts, that combine movement and mantras, to inspire you, physically, mentally and spiritually. During the challenge, I’ll release an episode on the podcast with Erin to give you insight into her journey and why movement plays such a powerful role in her life.

Starts Mon. Nov. 5th! Sign up Today!

Support the Podcast

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

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

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

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

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

Ep 26: Surrender and Embracing Difference with Debbie Reber of TILT Parenting for “Differently-Wired” Kids

Ep 26: Surrender and Embracing Difference with Debbie Reber of TILT Parenting for “Differently-Wired” Kids


Welcome to this episode #26 of the Mother’s Quest Podcast, “Surrender and Embracing Difference” with TiLT Parenting for Differently-Wired Kids founder Debbie Reber. This conversation about seeing diversity as an asset, valuing and embracing difference, couldn’t come at a better time.

Debbie Reber is the founder of TiLT, an online destination aimed at helping parents raising differently-wired kids do so from a place of confidence, connection, and peace. She’s also host of the TiLT Parenting Podcast, a life coach, speaker and a New York Times bestselling author of books aimed at raising self-esteem for young girls. Before becoming a writer, Debbie worked in children’s television, for a relief and development organization and at UNICEF.

Despite this long list of accomplishments, perhaps the greatest thing Debbie has done is become parent, advocate, homeschooler and champion for her own son Asher who is 13, has Aspergers, ADHD and is profoundly gifted.

After years of struggle with Asher, Debbie and her husband took a leap of faith in 2013, moving from the U.S. to Amsterdam where she stepped into her own hero’s journey to acceptance, surrender, and presence. In the process, she and Asher have come to an exceptional place, and share their lessons learned, wisdom and real life experiences to make sure other parents of differently-wired kids don’t have to journey alone.

Debbie and I had an amazing conversation, about faith, personal transformation through parenting and how to live an E.P.I.C. life of alignment. Debbie invites us to question hidden beliefs about neurodiversity, explore the judgements we make about children who are “differently-wired” and invite us to become more compassionate as a result. She’s also invited us to take her TILT 7 day challenge to support ourselves to gently shift our awareness.

This conversation was a year in the making and it was really powerful for me. I was reminded about the gifts our children bring us, even when they don’t come in the ways that we expected and it renewed my commitment to show up fully for my own children, embracing their differences and surrendering to the knowledge that life is a journey and not a destination.

Special Message for All of Us

I want to note that I bring this episode to you at a unique moment. At the time of this recording, the nation has endured tragedy and division in the wake of events at Charlottesville, fueled by hatred and fear about our differences. Days later, the universe provided us with awareness that we are bound together by something bigger than ourselves as people everywhere took in the total solar eclipse with awe.

The definition of eclipse means to darken and block out the light. We eclipse the light and love, and our common humanity, when we fail to recognize, understand, and celebrate our differences, whether that difference comes from the way our brains think in the case of differently-wired kids, the color of our skin, or the religion we follow. But, as Debbie so eloquently describes in our conversation, when we can see diversity as an asset and embrace difference, everything changes.

When I noticed that Miki DeVivo, another mom raising differently-wired kids, was launching her beautiful book of poetry this week, “The Naming of Real Things,” I asked if she would choose a piece for me to share as a lead into what felt like a sacred conversation with Debbie, as a prayer and invitation for all of us, during this challenging time, to move from darkness into more light, love and compassion for one another. Here it is…

From Miki DeVivo’s  new book of poetry, the Naming of Real Things

(shared with permission)

Love More

Love more fully.
Let your love fill in all the cracks
Like Japanese gold.
Raise your heart
To your lips and drink till you are full.

Love more widely.
Let your love widen beyond all the borders
Inflicted by man.
Raise your arms
To the sky in blessings spread wide.

Love more deeply.
Let your love deepen beneath the surface
Of skin and kin and the way we each choose to worship.
Raise your eyes
To see the raw humanity standing before you, pain and wisdom so deep.

Love more fiercely.
Let your love rage like fire and do not be silent.
Raise your voice
To power again and again, unflinching and fierce.

Love more wildly.
Let your love wild like flowers blanketing a meadow in the spring.
Raise your feet
To dance among the blossoms, growing wild.

Love more warmly.
Let your love warm the icicles of contempt that pierce your heart.
Raise your glass
To the fountain of hope until your cup runneth over, sweet and warm.

Love more freely.
Let your love free from the small box you were told would keep it safe.
Raise your hands
To pick the locks and set yourself free.

This Week’s Challenge:

Question and explore your beliefs about neurodiversity. Raise your awareness and step into more compassion with Debbie’s 7 Day Challenge.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • How Debbie and I have connected as mothers of differently-wired boys, since Jonathan Fields and Harmony Eichsteadt, of The Good Life Project, made an introduction between us a year ago.

  • How Debbie wrestled with an Evangelical Christian faith upbringing, the questions she explored about her own spirituality, and how she came to believe there is something greater that connects us all.

  • The right turn Debbie’s career took from empowering young girls to championing her own “differently-wired” son and then building a community to support parents to champion their own.

  • The unexpected gifts that raising Asher has brought to Debbie and her life and the key that helped her shift into acceptance.

  • How Debbie followed her intuition and changed everything for the better, to make a big leap of faith, move to Amsterdam, and begin homeschooling Asher.

  • Nature is Debbie’s church and how lacing up their shoes for long walks outside provides Debbie and Asher opportunity for deep connection.

  • Debbie’s new book, coming out in spring 2018, to help parents of differently-wired kids realize they are not alone.

  • How Debbie’s “self-interest” helps her prioritize creating space and time for herself.

  • The quote from Shakepeare Debbie’s son Asher shared, on his podcast episode, as he reflected on the importance of risk and leaps of faith required in order to grow.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Announcements

Women Podcasters in Solidarity
In this week after the events that took place in Charlottesville, I’m even more committed to a quest I’ve been on to understand the roots of racism and bigotry, how it still shows up today, and how I can become a better ally and advocate to fight against it.

I’m raising awareness for myself, and inviting you to do the same, through a special podcast episode coming out in September.

If you want to listen to that episode, be sure to subscribe to the podcast and sign up for email updates at mothersquest.com. And if you are a women podcaster yourself, I’d love for you to make the pledge to use the power of your platform for this cause. You can learn more and join the initiative by signing up at mothersquest.com/solidarity.

Q and A with Debbie Reber
Join us on September 1st, Friday at 10:30 AM PST for a Q and A in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group with Debbie to continue our conversation and check in on the challenge. Click this link to join the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group and get invited to the event.

Visit the Website
If you haven’t yet visited the website, head over to www.mothersquest.com to explore some of the ways you can get more connected. At the site, you can sign up for our email list (to get show notes delivered to your inbox and our new “Mothers on a Quest” features), click the link to join the Facebook group and press record to leave a voice message for me. You can also download the FREE Live Your E.P.I.C. Life Planning and Reflection Sheets.

Sign up! – Free 30 minute Discovery Session
I’m rolling out my new coaching offerings and having great conversations with women who are ready to live a more E.P.I.C. life and interested in coaching. If you’ve had a spark moment setting you on a new path or are at a crossroads but feel unsure, guilty or overwhelmed, I’d love to talk with you about how working with me could help light the way, get you clear about what you want, shift your mindset from fear to faith, and get you moving into action.

I’ve been there, I’m still on the journey myself, and I’d love to bring all I’ve learned from a decade of coaching, 13 years of motherhood and all the lessons from my podcast guests to support you. Send me an email at julie@mothersquest.com or sign up for a free discovery call by clicking this link if you’re interested in learning more.

Acknowledgements

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

  • Katharine Earhart of Alesco Advisors
  • Jessica Kupferman of She Podcasts
  • Resistance Artist Jen Jenkins Dohner
  • Genese Harris
  • Tonya Rineer, founder of The Profit Party
  • Liane Louie-Badua
  • Cristin Downs of the Notable Woman Podcast
  • Erin Kendall of Fit Mom Go
  • Niko Osoteo of Bear Beat Productions
  • Erik Newton of The Together Show
  • Claire Fry
  • Divya Silbermann
  • Rachel Winter
  • Caren and Debbie Lieberman
  • Cameron Miranda
  • Fran and David Lieberman
  • Debbie and Alan Goore
  • Jenise and Marianne of the Sustainable Living Podcast

Support the Podcast

If you’d like to make a contribution to Mother’s Quest to support Season Two of the Podcast and/or help provide coaching scholarships for mothers, follow this link to make a contribution http://mothersquest.com/be-a-supporter/

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/

Subscribe to the Podcast! We are available in these channels:

    

Episode #5: Live your E.P.I.C. Life to Help Your Children Thrive