Seeking Wonder and Mondo Beyondo Manifestos with Andrea Scher

Seeking Wonder and Mondo Beyondo Manifestos with Andrea Scher

Welcome to this first episode of Season Seven of the Mother’s Quest Podcast!

Today’s episode was sparked by an experience I had on my most recent big milestone birthday. The morning of December 1st, I turned 50 and the podcast, which was a 45th birthday present to myself, turned 5.

As I often do, I began my morning practice reading a book on my bedside table; the one I grabbed this time was a new one I had purchased called Wonder Seeker. Inspired by an idea within the gorgeously photographed pages, I hopped out of bed, wandered over to my bookshelf, pulled books from the shelves that were speaking to me on this occasion, and before I knew it had organized them into a pile which that became my “Manifesto for Becoming 50.” 

There was such spontaneity, joy, and ease in this creative endeavor…qualities that emanate from the book Wonder Seeker and qualities I had long admired in Wonder Seeker’s author Andrea Scher. 

So, when it came time to launch the new season and invite a guest to anchor our month-long Mother’s Quest May invitation to reclaim our E.P.I.C. lives in the Mother’s Quest Community, I knew just who to ask. What a delight it was when Andrea Scher said yes! 

Andrea is an author, artist, and life coach whose work is driven by her belief in the transformative power of creativity for joy and wellbeing. For nearly two decades, through her award-winning blog Superhero Journal, her Creative Superheroes podcast, and her bestselling e-courses, Andrea has thrilled others with their own power to find the magic all around them.

Her new book, Wonder Seeker: 52 Ways to Wake up Your Creativity and Find Your Joy straddles the world of creativity and mindfulness – playfully inspiring readers to live more vibrant lives full of presence, joy, and connection. 

Like the book, I felt like this whole conversation straddled the world of creativity and mindfulness. Andrea shares with us where she developed her unique lens of looking at things through “wonder goggles” as she calls them, about the big dreams she calls Mondo Beyondo, how she loved herself and her children through her divorce, and where she’s finding joy today. Talking with Andrea reminded me that our creative endeavors have ripple effects we may not even know and that we don’t need permission to pursue the things that we love. 

I hope you love this conversation as much as I did and open yourself to seeking more wonder in your life. I also invite you to join me and Andrea in saying “yes” to our own Mondo Beyondo dreams, to our own creativity, and to creating our own Manifestos, by signing up for the Manifesto Challenge, linked in the show notes, tapping into some of the creative ideas for expression from Wonder Seeker, like the book spine poetry I drew inspiration from, and then joining Andrea and me on May 24th to celebrate what we’re creating and manifesting together.

About Andrea:

Andrea Scher is an author, artist, and life coach whose work is driven by her belief in the transformative power of creativity for joy and wellbeing. For nearly two decades, through her award-winning blog Superhero Journal, her Creative Superheroes podcast, and her bestselling e-courses, Andrea has thrilled others with their own power to find the magic all around them.

Her new book, Wonder Seeker: 52 Ways to Wake up Your Creativity and Find Your Joy (HarperCollins) straddles the world of creativity and mindfulness – playfully inspiring readers to live more vibrant lives full of presence, joy, and connection. 

You can learn more about Andrea on her website or follow her on Instagram!

Connect with Andrea:

Topics Discussed in this Episode:

  • What Andrea means by “Mondo Beyondo” and some of our Mondo Beyondo moments. 
  • How Andrea mindfully engaged with her children through the experience of her divorce.
  • The simple somatic practice Andrea uses when she sees something she wants more of in her life.
  • What women were taught growing up about pursuing what we desire and what Andrea thinks we need to shift.
  • Manifesting and creating blueprints for our life goals.
  • How you can see things from a new perspective and from different angles.
  • Andrea’s magical journey to bringing her book Wonder Seeker to publication, something both 25 years in the making and that came to fruition in mere months.
  • Andrea’s most recent “Wonder Date” experience with bioluminescent algae on Tomales Bay. 
  • Our joint challenge to you is to create a Mondo Beyondo Manifesto of your own.

 

Resources and Topics Mentioned

 

This Episode’s Challenge:

This Mother’s Quest May, say “yes” to the annual 7-day Manifesto Challenge, which you can access in the Mother’s Quest MemberVault. Then create your own Manifesto, utilizing the creative ideas, like the book spine poetry that inspired my “Becoming 50 Manifesto,” from Andrea’s Wonder Seekers book. Finally, you can join me and Andrea for a celebration of our creativity, Mondo Beyondo dreams, and our Manifestos (or Manifestos still in the making!) on May 24th at noon PST. Register here


This Episode is dedicated by Jamie Greenwood

Jamie Greenwood is a self-care and leadership coach and the founder of Homecoming, a 6-month group coaching program that teaches big-dreaming, high-achieving women how to take exquisite care of themselves, without an ounce of guilt.  With over 15 years of experience, Jamie specializes in helping women get really clear on who they are, how they want to live, and then actually doing it on their own terms. 

Jamie is also the host of The Path Home, a podcast that explores the many facets of the home, how we find a home in ourselves, and how we create a sense of home in our work, our relationships, our communities, and in the future we want to see.

When Jamie’s not coaching, speaking, or podcasting, you can find her running after her 5-year-old and 3-year-old daughters and wondering what’s for dinner.

Connect with Jamie:

 

Mother’s Quest May Gift Guide

Need a little inspiration to invest in yourself? Check out our Mother’s Quest Mother’s Day Gift Guide! Choose yourself and say yes to taking time off! Buy something meaningful to you, sign up for the Manifesto Challenge, or contribute to a cause you care about– there’s something for all mothers here!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Much appreciation,

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

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

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

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

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

A Special Mother’s Day Episode: Choose Yourself and Reclaim Your E.P.I.C. Life

A Special Mother’s Day Episode: Choose Yourself and Reclaim Your E.P.I.C. Life

A Special Mother’s Day Episode: Choose Yourself and Reclaim Your E.P.I.C. Life

If you’re anything like the vast majority of the mothers I’ve been talking with, you’ve been feeling disoriented and like you’ve lost yourself during these last few months. You may be wondering how am I ever going to come back home to myself?

I had been feeling this way too…overwhelmed with fear, moving through all the stages of grief, and juggling demands at home that now included supporting my children’s distance learning… on top of all the other things!

In this special Mother’s Day episode, I share how the E.P.I.C. Life framework itself, words of wisdom from past guests on the podcast, and a question my teenage son Ryan asked me, started to help me reclaim myself.

Listen in for special clips lighting my way from episodes I’ll be re-releasing this week as part of a special series to light the way in the midst of challenge: 

I also share about some epic plans for our third annual Mother’s Quest Manifesto Challenge, the one Graeme Seabrooke and I had created together in our conversation on the podcast two years ago. Taking place starting May 11th, in the free Mother’s Quest Facebook Group, it’s a 7-day journey to reclaiming ourselves, a chance to reflect together, along a new process I’m naming “CHOOSE,” and to create or refine our own manifestos for living our lives, yes even in the midst of a pandemic. Sign up here to join us. 

As for me, I’ve learned on Mother’s Day, that in addition to spending time with my children, I need some time to myself. So, today I’ll be going on my favorite milestone hike, and when I reach the summit, I’ll sit down and listen to my favorite meditation, one called “Teshuvah” or “Return” in Hebrew, that brings new meaning to the idea of setting out on a journey and returning home. Of losing our center and finding it again. 

So, this Mother’s Day, I invite you to find your center again as you listen to this episode, and ask yourself some of the same questions I’ve been exploring. In what ways have you been feeling trapped? When was the last time you felt connected to your purpose? And what might it take for you to open a door for yourself…to choose yourself…and to take even just one tentative step closer to your version of an E.P.I.C. life?

One Possible Next Step: Join Us for the Mother’s Quest Manifesto Challenge

The Mother’s Quest Manifesto Challenge is a 7-day experience that will move you through a series of reflective prompts to support you in creating or refining a “manifesto” of your own to become an anchor in your life in these years that you are raising your children.

In addition to reflective prompts that I’ll share live in the group each morning, I’ve invited a different mother to also go live, to share their journey and manifestos and also to offer a tool or practice that would support the prompt we’re reflecting on. 

This year, I’ll be exploring a new acronym mnemonic and framework “CHOOSE” that captures the process I went through when I claimed my manifesto…a process I realized has been with me in all the other times of my life when I shifted a perspective and moved myself forward in a powerful way. 

Here is what’s in store for you in the next 7 days.

5/10 Mother’s Day Wishes  – I’ll be live in the group at some point to wish everyone a Happy Mother’s Day, welcome new members, share about why we co-created the challenge two years ago, and set the frame for the week. 

5/11 Day 1: C with Lindsay Pera  – “Claim” the experience or opportunity in front of you that calls you to something different; sometimes these are even painful moments you would not choose for yourself. Sometimes these feel like a “sign” that calls to you in mysterious ways. What is the “spark” for you?

5/12 Day 2: H with Jadah Sellner – “Hold space for reflection” give yourself an opportunity to pause and make meaning of what is happening so you can learn from it and consciously move forward in a different way

5/13 Day 3: O with Nic Strack – “Own the perspective” that is NOT serving you. What story are you telling yourself that feels outdated? Or what way of looking at something is feeling out of alignment or holding you back? Before you can move forward, it’s important to really look at where you are now. 

5/14 Day 4: O with Jamie Greenwood –  “Own a more empowering perspective” explore a new way of looking at something that resonates for you and that returns a sense of power to you

5/15 Day 5: S with Amy Walsh and Elsie Escober – “Stake in the ground” put your stake in the ground and claim this new perspective by expressing it clearly (and sharing when/if you feel comfortable). This is the day when the manifesto itself comes into form. I’ve invited several key guests this day who will each offer a different creation method that you can utilize to help express yourself. 

5/16 Day 6: E with Jessica Stong – “Explore one next step” begin to close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be by taking setting intention for one action. 

5/17 Day 7: Reflection and Celebration Circle An opportunity to come together via zoom after the challenge is over to reflect on the process, lessons learned and to share our manifestos with one another. Co-facilitated by me and Graeme Seabrook

Sign up here to get daily reminders and to download the FREE Mother’s Quest Manifesto Challenge Reflection Journal.

Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or your favorite podcast app.

If you’d rather read than listen, you can also go straight to the blog post here.

This Mother’s Day: Choose Yourself and Reclaim Your E.P.I.C. Life

This Mother’s Day: Choose Yourself and Reclaim Your E.P.I.C. Life

This Mother’s Day: Choose Yourself and Reclaim Your E.P.I.C. Life

As this message reaches your inbox, it’s Mother’s Day… in the midst of a global pandemic. And if you’re anything like the vast majority of the mothers I’ve been talking with, you’ve been feeling disoriented and like you’ve lost yourself, during these last few months. You may even be wondering “how am I ever going to come back home to myself?”

I had been feeling this way too…overwhelmed with fear, moving through all the stages of grief, and juggling demands at home that now included supporting my children’s distance learning, on top of all the other things.

For the first time in the three years since I launched the podcast, I had stopped recording and releasing episodes. And I honestly wondered whether my work even mattered. All around me, life as I knew it was literally shut down while we physically sheltered in place. And inside, I also felt shut down.   

This is not the first time I felt this way or found my way out.

About a decade into motherhood, after navigating developmental delays with my oldest and five years of infertility to get pregnant with my youngest, I realized that in focusing so much on my own children and what they needed, I had lost parts of myself and sidelined my dreams. An experience I had one day, opening the door for two birds that got trapped in my home, and were crashing into the glass to get out, helped me realize that I felt trapped too and needed a door opened for me. 

But I also realized that no one else could help me, unless I opened the door for myself and took the first tentative steps toward what I now call my E.P.I.C. life. That day, in addition to motherhood, I also chose myself. And living my E.P.I.C. life became a manifesto, a simple but enduring framework.

In this special Mother’s Day episode, I share clips from my introductory episode with reflections on the E.P.I.C. Life framework itself and clips from episodes with past guests, whose words of wisdom have been lighting my way right now. I hope these stories and messages may spark a return to yourself if you need it.

Listen in for special clips lighting my way from episodes I’ll be re-releasing this week as part of a special series to light the way in the midst of challenge: 

Along with listening to these episodes, it was actually my son Ryan who really helped me. Telling him one night, while putting dishes in the dishwasher for what felt like the tenth time that day, that I was feeling depressed, he asked me “when was the last time you felt connected to your purpose, Mom? I notice you haven’t talked about Mother’s Quest in weeks.”

That question really sat with me. And then I remembered Graeme’s words from our interview again. Our stories matter. Our manifestos matter. And we need each other.

With that, and a few other sparks along the way, I got back to recording, I released an episode about the families seeking asylum at the border, a minisode about the creation of a “Pandemic Promise” to myself, and this Mother’s Day special episode that you’re listening to right now.

I also set in motion some epic plans for our third annual Mother’s Quest Manifesto Challenge, the one Graeme and I had created together. Taking place in the free Mother’s Quest Facebook Group, it’s  a 7-day journey, beginning tomorrow, May 11th, to reclaiming ourselves, a chance to reflect together, along a new process I’m naming “CHOOSE,” and to create or refine our own manifestos for living our lives the way that matters, yes even in the midst of a pandemic. 

As for me, I’ve learned on Mother’s Day, that in addition to spending time with my children, I need some time to myself. So, today I’ll be going on my favorite milestone hike, and when I reach the summit, I’ll sit down and listen to my favorite meditation, one called “Teshuvah” or “Return” in Hebrew, that brings new meaning to the idea of setting out on a journey and returning home. Of losing our center and finding it again. 

So, this Mother’s Day, I invite you to do something that may help you find your center again, in whatever way could be possible given the real constraints in your life. And to consider exploring some questions: In what ways have you been feeling trapped? When was the last time you felt connected to your purpose? And how might you open a door for yourself…to choose yourself…and to take even just one tentative step closer to your version of an E.P.I.C. life?

Give Yourself a Gift this Mother’s Day!
Join us for the Mother’s Quest Manifesto Challenge

The Mother’s Quest Manifesto Challenge is a 7-day experience that will move you through a series of reflective prompts to support you in creating or refining a “manifesto” of your own to become an anchor in your life in these years that you are raising your children.

In addition to reflective prompts that I’ll share live in the group each morning, I’ve invited a different mother to also go live, to share their journey and manifestos and also to offer a tool or practice that would support the prompt we’re reflecting on. 

This year, I’ll be exploring a new acronym mnemonic and framework “CHOOSE” that captures the process I went through when I claimed my manifesto…a process I realized has been with me in all the other times of my life when I shifted a perspective and moved myself forward in a powerful way. 

Here is what’s in store for you in the next 7 days.

5/10 Mother’s Day with Graeme Seabrook – Both Graeme and I will be live in the group at some point to wish everyone a Happy Mother’s Day, welcome new members, share about why we co-created the challenge two years ago, and set the frame for the week. 

5/11 Day 1: C with Lindsay Pera  – “Claim” the experience or opportunity in front of you that calls you to something different; sometimes these are even painful moments you would not choose for yourself. Sometimes these feel like a “sign” that calls to you in mysterious ways. What is the “spark” for you?

5/12 Day 2: H with Jadah Sellner – “Hold space for reflection” give yourself an opportunity to pause and make meaning of what is happening so you can learn from it and consciously move forward in a different way

5/13 Day 3: O with Nic Strack – “Own the perspective” that is NOT serving you. What story are you telling yourself that feels outdated? Or what way of looking at something is feeling out of alignment or holding you back? Before you can move forward, it’s important to really look at where you are now. 

5/14 Day 4: O with Jamie Greenwood –  “Own a more empowering perspective” explore a new way of looking at something that resonates for you and that returns a sense of power to you

5/15 Day 5: S with Amy Walsh and Elsie Escobar – “Stake in the ground” put your stake in the ground and claim this new perspective by expressing it clearly (and sharing when/if you feel comfortable). This is the day when the manifesto itself comes into form. I’ve invited several key guests this day who will each offer a different creation method that you can utilize to help express yourself. 

5/16 Day 6: E with Jessica Stong – “Explore one next step” begin to close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be by taking setting intention for one action. 

5/17 Day 7: Reflection and Celebration Circle An opportunity to come together via zoom after the challenge is over to reflect on the process, lessons learned and to share our manifestos with one another.

Sign up here to get daily reminders and to download the FREE Mother’s Quest Manifesto Challenge Reflection Journal.

If you’d rather listen than read, you can also go straight to the episode post here.

Minisode 2: Bite-Sized Reflection from my E.P.I.C. Life – A Pandemic Poem

Minisode 2: Bite-Sized Reflection from my E.P.I.C. Life – A Pandemic Poem

Minisode #2: Bite-Sized Reflection from my E.P.I.C. Life – A “Pandemic Poem”

After a podcast pause, I’m back with a bite-sized reflection from living my own E.P.I.C. life. If in the midst of this global pandemic, you’re someone like me, with the privilege of sheltering in place, and find yourself swinging from gratitude and inspiration to exasperation, this reflection is for you!

In this minisode, I share some of the things I’ve been reading and listening to that have supported me, and how they all weaved together one night when I sat down to write some aspirations for myself, something I’m referring to now as my “Pandemic Promise.”

I hope you’ll give yourself some pause so you can listen in, hear about some of the practices and ideas that are grounding me right now, and consider writing a promise to yourself. 

In this minisode you’ll hear me talk about:

 

If you’d rather read than listen, you can also go straight to the blog post here.

And please mark your calendar for the 3rd Annual Mother’s Quest Manifesto Challenge, starting on May 11th in the Facebook Group. Join here

Follow all the conversations at www.mothersquest.com/podcast

Much appreciation,

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

A Pandemic Promise

A Pandemic Promise

A Pandemic Promise

After a podcast pause, I’m back with a bite-sized reflection from living my own E.P.I.C. life, that I hope may support you right where you are right now.

If in the midst of this global pandemic, you’re someone who has the privilege of sheltering in place like I do, and find yourself swinging from gratitude and inspiration to exasperation…I want you to know you are not alone.

By night, I’ll find myself writing a poem

And the next morning I’m tearing my hair out at Google Classroom and yelling at my children.

Many afternoons, when I’ve given up on any hope of providing “education” or “enrichment” to my 7-year-old, I’ll pass him the Ipad, and sink into reading posts and essays and listening to live videos or past episodes from my own podcast, that are slowly helping me to make meaning of this time.

I thought I’d offer some of these things I’ve been absorbing, with links so you can check them out for yourself. And then, I wanted to share with you a promise I wrote to myself, and invite you to make a promise of your own, if that feels right to you.

The first thing I want to encourage you to go and read is an essay by an Indian author Arundhati Roy in which she writes about how the coronavirus is an epic tragedy for her country and the world. But she also suggests that we not rush to a return to normalcy. In a powerful closing that had me catch my breath, she suggests that the virus is a “portal,” a gateway between one world and the next, and an opportunity to “break free from our current world and imagine it anew.”

Shortly after reading the essay, I watched a live video from my coach and mentor Lindsay Pera, herself trying to recover as she and her family have been sick with COVID-19 for over a month now. Lindsay referenced the idea that in this time of pause, for many of us, we are transforming, much like a caterpillar transforms inside its cocoon. She cautions against trying to break free from the cocoon too soon, before we have reformed, and invites us to create stillness and reflection in our pause.

And I read something from an anonymous writer who crafted a powerful metaphor about the virus as the storm we all find ourselves in, but the important reminder that we are not all in the same boat. We have very different circumstances, based on whether we are healthy, our profession, our family make-up, and our economic circumstances, among so many other factors,  that make our experience of this storm unique.

I’ve also found comfort in past podcast episodes.

From Avanti Kumar Singh’s episode, I’m reminded of the power of ancient traditions, like Ayurveda, that remind us to create daily rituals, and that we have so much power to heal within. My conversation with Avanti a year ago inspired me to start pausing in the middle of the day, to lay on my back, and look up at the sky from my bedroom deck. And so, several afternoons, when things feel like they are spinning, II find myself there, grounding myself literally.

My conversation with Jonathan Fields of the Good Life Project has had me thinking about my “sparktype,” that unique blueprint that can help me root into and reconnect to my purpose. Jonathan also asked me to slow down in our conversation, giving me a challenge to spend some time when I first wake up, with my hand on my heart, to ask myself “what do I most want today?”

And when I feel a sense of despair and fear amid the uncertainty for our future, I think about my conversation with Nikka Smith, about the power of connecting to the wisdom of our ancestors, and how they are always with us. I think particularly about my grandmothers on both sides, and the stories I’ve heard about their challenges and their resilience. And I commit to make time with my children to talk with my parents about their own stories.

And my episode with mindfulness expert Michelle Gale, reminded me of her powerful three breath practice, and how we can try to find our own calm amid the storm.

When I sat down to write, I found the threads of meaning and reflection from all these sources weaving together into something I’m calling a “Pandemic Promise.” Here it is: 

//A Pandemic Promise//

If the Pandemic is a Portal 

Then I commit to breathe more deeply while I wait inside this pause

When I wake, hand on my heart, I’ll ask myself the questions that matter.

I’ll find moments to lay flat on my back and look to the sky.

I’ll consciously create routines that will feed me and my family, all the while reaching for equanimity, a grounded calm to anchor me from the storm.

And I’ll remember I have a unique blueprint,

to spark and express my purpose in service of others.

When I feel most afraid, I’ll gather stories of resilience from my parents, mentors and guides.

This time in-between time is fleeting faster than I realize.

And though we cannot pretend that we are all in the same boat, *a storm of the same name rages around each of us and calls us to something bigger than ourselves.

So my wish is not to hurry it along so I can come through the other side of the portal unchanged.

But, instead to slow myself down within it and emerge transformed, even a little…

Less attached to material items and attuned to consume and more committed to equity

And to seeing the humanity in each of us.

This moment in time won’t come again this way I tell myself.

Seize it.

Reimagine.

And contribute to a better day.


What about you? What’s been grounding you during these times? What might you write in your own “Pandemic Promise?” Comment here or in our Mother’s Quest Facebook Group. I’d love to hear.

If you’d rather listen than read, you can also go straight to the podcast episode here.

Mark your calendar for the 3rd Annual Mother’s Quest Manifesto Challenge, starting on May 11th in the Facebook Group. Join here

Follow all the conversations at www.mothersquest.com/podcast

Much appreciation,

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