Mother on a Quest: Cristin Downs

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Fierce, funny, and fired up, Cristin Downs is a leader, truth seeker, and storyteller with a hell-bent mission to empower women. Described as a “gentle, non-stop powerhouse,” you can find Cristin interviewing visionary women leaders on The Notable Woman Podcast and The Notable Woman Live!, making the news notable on her daily news show, Notable News, found on Anchor and FB Audio Broadcasts, hosting weekly guest experts, panels, and one day summits that empower women in her free Facebook community, The Society of Notable Women, empowering women in leaderships roles through her programs and think tank: Hype Yourself, Be the Boss (beginning February 2018), and The Success Now Club (beginning April 2018), and coaching and consulting on leadership, empowerment, management, and process for businesses and non-profits. She flexes her creative muscles through Much More Media, LLC, a brand elevation agency, that she co-founded with her husband, actor Michael Moreno. She’s a connection maven and hype man, and she sets movements on fire.

Her expert topics include disrupting patterns or behaviors, bringing your ideas to life, becoming the boss of your business or non-profit, creating community, especially in Facebook groups, creative content projects like podcasting, Facebook live shows, or recorded video, and “hype,” self described as connection + scrappy PR.

With over 40 J-O-B-S under her belt, Cristin worked A LOT of places for A LOT of bosses. From installing architectural lighting to managing theatre teams of 150+ to leading multi-million dollar organizations and projects, Cristin’s got stories, jokes, and experience for days and days. More than a decade in professional theatre defines her work/life approach which emphasizes collaboration, humanism, professionalism, and “get ‘er done-ness.” She’s an Alchemist, ENFJ, theatre junkie, and bookworm. Mama to a tiny toddler mischief maker and pet menagerie, Cristin holds down the fort in NYC.

You can find The Notable Woman here >>> www.thenotablewoman.com

And you can find The Society of Notable Women here >>> www.thesocietyofnotablewomen.com

If you know you’re a notable woman but can use a little kick in the pants, download Cristin’s less than 4 minute motivational audio: www.thenotablewoman.com/motivateme

Tell us a little about your childhood and the impact your mother had on shaping you…
The biggest impact my Mother had on me was on my life as a reader. My Mom would take us to the library every week, and it was a real treat to get books. A gift to us! Even now as an adult, a trip to the library, bookstore, or even Kindle store brings me so much happiness.

What has been a “spark moment” or “moments” that set you on your path?

I think my biggest path moments have been two: 1) Going back to work at 6 weeks and being “lucky” for having a maternity leave made me understand how most of my life has been spent now recognizing that I’m a woman, which is unavoidable when you’re still bleeding and leaking milk when you’re back at work, and 2) Seeing Nazis march on the University of Virginia had a profound effect on me as an educator.

What is your passion and purpose (the “P” in EPIC)?

My passion is for all women to recognize that they’re notable, just as they are.

What are you currently reading or listening to for inspiration?

The Mother’s Quest Podcast 😉 and the book Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. My Mom’s youngest sister is 20 years younger than her, only 14 years and 12 years older than my sister and me. She was like an older sister to us and my cousins too.  4 years ago, after repeated calls in the middle of the night, my Mom reached me to let me know that my Aunt Lori had a major heart attack. My husband and I immediately went down to Philadelphia to be at the hospital with my family.

The next week was incredibly painful. By the end of the week, the doctors made the recommendation to take my Aunt off the machines keeping her alive. I left work to be with her. She was in the hospital where she worked, and my family invited her co-workers to come and say goodbye. Families normally don’t do that so employees don’t get the opportunity. It was an anomaly for them, to have that chance. She was a x-ray tech and then a cat scan tech so literally everyone in the hospital knew her. About 100 people came to her room to say goodbye. It was really moving to see how many people loved her.

As the day wore on, my family started to head home for the night. I just couldn’t leave though. If I was dying, I would take heart to know that someone was there, holding my hand. I stayed. And since I refused to leave, my Dad did too. We were alone together in that little room for hours, and around 2 am, my Uncle Rich joined us. He couldn’t stand Lori being alone either. Not long after that, my Uncle JP rolled in; he too unable to leave my Aunt alone. Slowly, more and more people joined us. We were together when my Aunt died at noon that day.

It was a devastating and powerful experience for me. Soon after, a friend recommended Tell the Wolves I’m Home. In the book, the narrator is grappling with the death of her Uncle from AIDS. Her Uncle is an artist, and a large portion of the book revolves around his art. It’s a mesmerizing tale, interweaving art and family, loss and redemption. The decisions we make as someone is dying and in the aftermath affect us for the rest of our lives. And somehow, we survive the unsurvivable. Tell the Wolves I’m Home is the book that let me weep for my Aunt, celebrate her life, and pick myself back up again. I highly recommend it for anyone confronting loss of a loved one.

What is one message or affirmation you tell yourself to ground you on your quest?

Done is better than perfect.

In one word, what are you seeking most right now on your Quest?

Action

What challenge or offering would you like to share with the Mother’s Quest Community?

Join my group! The Society of Notable Women >>> www.thesocietyofnotablewomen.com

How did you learn about Mother’s Quest?

Ooooo. I have no idea. How did you come into my life, Julie?

What have you appreciated the most about Mother’s Quest?

Julie keeps me grounded and makes me more intelligent. My favorite podcast episode so far is Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin’s episode. I love the conversation, and for me personally, I love the idea that our work can bring about a change in the world, rather than them needing to be separate. In my own mind, I’ve been approaching them quite separately. But, in both Elizabeth and Julie, I can see how they bring about the world they want to live in with every project, every podcast, every business endeavor. It’s very motivating!

Help me and the Mother’s Quest Podcast celebrate our birthdays!!

I launched the podcast on December 1st, almost a year ago, as a birthday present to myself.

It’s hard to believe the anniversary of the podcast and another birthday in my life are fast approaching.

There has been so much learning, growth, new connections and a decidedly more E.P.I.C. life for me.

And…the best gift would be to know what kind of impact the podcast and this community has had on you. Here’s how you can help!

****If an episode, dedication, challenge, or reflection in this past year, either as a podcast guest, listener or community member here has impacted you, would you call in (using the speakpipe tool on the website) and share with us?

We’ll be putting together another E.P.I.C. Milestones episode, like the one I did at the end of Season One, and I’d love to feature you in it.

Hearing from you and sharing your stories on the podcast would be the BEST birthday present ever!

Mother’s Quest Circles
A Signature Experience to Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life:

First Review of Applications starting on September 10th for the MOTHER’S QUEST CIRCLE Pilot happening FALL 2017. Learn about the Power of Reflective Circles and How They’ve Changed Me by reading here. To send your application, click on this link.

Join Passionate Podcasters for 7 days for FREE and
Hear Me as a Guest Expert:
Learn strategies for leveraging your podcast to grow your business at the Passionate Podcasters community. I’ll be one of the first guest podcasting experts to share what I’ve learned along the way, give practical recommendations, and answer your most common and pressing questions. Learn strategies for leveraging your podcast to grow your business. Access valuable Community Resources. To join, click on the link below. Because we’re an affiliate, if you decide to stay on as a paying member, a percentage of your fees will benefit Mother’s Quest.

What’s New:

EP31: Brave Spaces and Solidarity with “Rad Women” Author Kate Schatz

Mother on a Quest: Chelsea Bonini

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I am a mom of 2 boys (9 and 13) and a business attorney working for a number of amazing small companies – and also In House for Lundberg Family Farms in Richvale, CA (part-time and remotely).

I’m also a candidate for San Mateo City Council in the November 7, 2017 Election. I’m the only woman candidate of the seven running and the only non-incumbent candidate that has local governance experience.  I’m an advocate for equity, inclusion, stability and wellness in our community and have served as a volunteer, an organizational leader and currently as a Governing Trustee on the San Mateo-Foster City Board of Education.  In each of these roles, I’ve been accessible and responsive, made well-considered and thoughtful decisions, and have shown through my actions that I courageously address tough issues and work toward collaborative solutions. My campaign website is http://www.ChelseaBonini.com.

Before going to law school, I was a kindergarten and first grade teacher in South San Francisco as “Miss Doerrie.” I have also served on the San Mateo-Foster City School Board for the past 4 years with the primary goal of ensuring that the District provides equitable learning opportunities for all students in San Mateo and Foster City. I attended a women’s college in New York called Russell Sage and U.C. Hastings College of Law in San Francisco. My full bio is available at https://www.linkedin.com/in/chelseabonini/.

Tell us a little about your childhood and the impact your mother had on shaping you…

I was raised by one of the most independent, outspoken and strong women on this planet. For much of my childhood, she was a single mom working multiple jobs to keep me fed, clothed and in a nice and safe home. The grace and boldness with which she addressed a time that she now fondly refers to as “me raising her” was inspiring and really shaped my view of the world. I never realized until I was older, how much she sacrificed to have me at a young age and to make sure that I had what I needed. She taught me to stand up for what I believe in, to be an active participant in the community, and to always remember that life is a balance of things we have to do and things that make us happy, and we must do things that we enjoy. It is really my mom’s influence that has made me independent, ambitious and inspired to always look for a new way to make an impact in the world. She is my toughest critic and my strongest supporter in everything that I do.

What has been a “spark moment” or “moments” that set you on your path?

My life has been filled with many blessings and also adversity. I can not say that one moment or another set me on the path that I now travel, but it’s really a culmination of my experiences. I am blessed in many ways, and I have been resilient in ways that I sometimes wonder how it was possible. I was a shy child, I attended a different school every year of elementary school, I had to make new friends frequently, we did not have a lot of money, but I always wanted to do my best. I had the things that were important – a loving mother, a strong desire to do well in school and I was always willing to try new things, which enabled me to make a lot of connections. I always preferred to be busy, and I enjoyed time to myself, which is still true. There are many things that could have stopped me from graduating from college or law school, from enjoying my work or from having a family, but I truly believe that deciding that personal, financial or family struggles will not impede achievement of my goals has been my greatest asset.

What is your passion and purpose (the “P” in EPIC)?

I put my heart into everything that I do. I volunteer to do many things and to support social movements in our community because it’s the right thing to do, to make a positive difference. I put my whole self out there without concern that someone might disagree or fight back. I always say that I love a good challenge, and I really do. This is even true in my political endeavors. I stand up for what I feel is right and just, even when it might not be politically savvy. I believe that to move the needle forward on social justice issues, we have to be empathetic and address issues courageously. This might win the day, or it might not, but it’s the only way that I truly feel comfortable engaging in this realm, and this is how I live my life.

What are you currently reading or listening to for inspiration?

What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton

What is one message or affirmation you tell yourself to ground you on your quest?

Keep going, you can do this!

In one word, what are you seeking most right now on your Quest?

Equity

What challenge or offering would you like to share with the Mother’s Quest Community?

Be involved in the democratic process in your community at whatever level you are comfortable with, and never dismiss the notion that you can be a leader. I have had the opportunity to take on leadership roles in many organizations, and this is partially due to the fact that others did not want to do this. We need women to continue to take on leadership roles at all levels of governance — parent-teacher organizations, sports boards, advisory committees & elected positions at all levels of government. I truly believe that we naturally bring a greater sense of empathy and consideration to the important decisions that are made. Be confident, be brave and make your corner (or more) of the community (or world) a better place.

How did you learn about Mother’s Quest?

I was lucky to have an introduction to Julie by a mutual friend last year!

What have you appreciated the most about Mother’s Quest?

I appreciate the conversation that Julie inspires among women to reach for their best possible self. My “Milestone Hike” with Julie was very impactful in allowing me to acknowledge and address the challenges that I was facing in my life at that time and has really been a guide for me as I embark on new endeavors.

I’m also excited to have the opportunity to talk about women in politics and my upcoming run for City Council and answer questions at Julie’s first “Listening Party,” this coming Saturday, October 28 in San Mateo. We’ll come together after listening to her episode with Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin on the Age of the New Heroine and Intersectionality.

I’m excited to announce the first listening party for the Mother’s Quest Podcast. If you are from the Bay Area, join us in person at San Mateo and connect face to face, ask questions and discuss how we can all step forward into more political leadership.

We will have a Q & A with Chelsea about Ep 24: Intersectionality and the Age of the New Heroine with Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin.

If you’re local to the Bay Area, I’d love for you to RSVP by replying to this email and join us.

Do you want to share how you are living your truly E.P.I.C. life? Click here to send us your story and be featured on the weekly Mother on a Quest series.

Mother’s Quest Circles
A Signature Experience to Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life:

First Review of Applications starting on September 10th for the MOTHER’S QUEST CIRCLE Pilot happening FALL 2017. Learn about the Power of Reflective Circles and How They’ve Changed Me by reading here. To send your application, click on this link.

What’s New:

EP30: Choosing Gratitude and Glitter with Nancy Netherland – Revisited

Mother on a Quest: Beth Jessop

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As a former college athlete and now Sports Mom raising two little athletes, Beth believes that Sports Moms are so much more than just taxi-drivers, laundry attendants, and water girls. They are strong women, from every walk of life, raising their boys and girls to become men and women of substance and character through the backdrop of sports.

So she created a company, Sports Moms United, dedicated to supporting Sports Moms everywhere. From the little leagues to the big leagues, the company and community provide Sports Moms with resources to help raise a nutritionally fit, physically fit and mentally fit athlete.

Tell us a little about your childhood and the impact your mother had on shaping you…

My mother was a powerhouse. A powerhouse of love. When I was young, it was embarrassing. She would stop and talk to everyone. She saw everyone through this filter of love and so she never knew a stranger. I was impatient then..just wanted her to stop talking and move on so we could buy our groceries and get home. But she didn’t operate that way. She operated from a place of community and recognition…taking the time to recognize the beauty of a tiny new baby and her proud mother, taking the time to recognize a smile hiding some pain…she could spot it and bring love to it. She is gone now and wow, I would love a second chance to walk again with her, through the grocery store, and just watch her. I would stay in there all day if she wanted to talk to every single person in that store. It was her gift. I am grateful for mature eyes and a mature heart that sees and embraces that gift today and I want to pass it on.

What has been a “spark moment” or “moments” that set you on your path?

In serving the Sports Mom community, the spark moment came last year when I was considering who I wanted to serve in my business. I knew the impact my mom had on me and I also knew that her impact went beyond me, but to many of my teammates over the years. I wanted to honor her.

What is your passion and purpose (the “P” in EPIC)?

I am passionate about serving Sports Moms. I have a heart for them.

What are you currently reading or listening to for inspiration?

Listening to God right now for inspiration.

What is one message or affirmation you tell yourself to ground you on your quest?

I am always in the right place, at the right time, doing the right activity.

In one word, what are you seeking most right now on your Quest?

Community

What challenge or offering would you like to share with the Mother’s Quest Community?

If you are a Sports Mom, come get connected, supported and united with an awesome community in our Sports Moms United Facebook Group.

How did you learn about Mother’s Quest?

The amazing Julie Lieberman Neale

What have you appreciated the most about Mother’s Quest?

I love the principle of living an E.P.I.C life! I am loving Episode #27 with Nicole Lee right now.

Do you want to share how you are living your truly E.P.I.C. life? Click here to send us your story and be featured on the weekly Mother on a Quest series.

Mother’s Quest Circle
A Signature Experience to Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life:

First Review of Applications starting on September 10th for the MOTHER’S QUEST CIRCLE Pilot happening FALL 2017. Learn about the Power of Reflective Circles and How They’ve Changed Me by reading here. To send your application, click on the image below.

Mother on a Quest: Jamie Greenwood

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Jamie’s call for “soul care” and journaling coincide nicely with this week’s 5 Day Mussar Yoga Challenge in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group. Be part of the challenge, which starts TODAY, by joining mothersquest.com/community

Jamie Greenwood is the founder of JamieLiving.com, where driven, soulful women come for real talk and deep love to compassionately reconnect with themselves. Her passion is teaching clients how to deeply listen to their bodies and come back to center for greater presence, peace and power in their lives.

Jamie is a featured presenter and speaker for companies across the US and her writing has been featured on MindBodyGreen, Tiny Buddha and The Huffington Post. She’s also the creator of Just F*cking Journal, a 6 day digital experience to write your way to calm, clarity and inspired action.

When she’s not writing, coaching or speaking, you can find Jamie cooking and laughing with her family and dancing wildly in her living room.

Tell us a little about your childhood and the impact your mother had on shaping you…

My mother is pure love and optimism. She loves babies, animals, chocolate, wine, nature (basically everything) and can find the good in all things. So I grew up with these two ideas that 1) there was so much to love about life and 2) that even when life gets hard it’s always advisable to choose happiness and find the silver lining. I used to find it annoying that she never had anything bad to say but now, as an adult, I’m eternally grateful for her instilling optimism and love as guiding principles in my life.

What has been a “spark moment” or “moments” that set you on your path?

There have been many spark moments for me but my first came at 17. I was battling an eating disorder and my mother came into my room, slowly lowered herself onto the end of my bed and said, “I’m not sleeping because you’re not eating. What can I do to help you?” I had no idea my anorexia was harming anyone, let alone my mother and I couldn’t stand the thought of her losing sleep over my struggles. The next day I found a therapist which set me on my path of healing my relationship to my body and laid the groundwork for my work in supporting women to reconnect to their bodies and their lives.

What is your passion and purpose (the “P” in EPIC)?

My passion list is long. I’m passionate about truth and food and understanding and dance. I’m passionate about change and forward motion and being right here, right now. I’m passionate about women’s rights and human rights and the ability we each have to find center in our bodies and the innate wisdom within.

My purpose is 1) to be a catalyst for reconnecting to our truth 2) to support women and men to expand their capacity to feel and experience all that life offers and 3) to remember the joy along the journey.

What are you currently reading or listening to for inspiration?

I’m currently reading Becoming Wise by Krista Tippett and listening toEsther Perel’s Where Should We Begin.

What is one message or affirmation you tell yourself to ground you on your quest?

Life is not a race but an epic experience and I’m exactly where I need to be.

In one word, what are you seeking most right now on your Quest?

Grit. I’ve got some big projects in the works and I need grit to get them done. (Along with a dose of patience, kindness and compassion.)

What challenge or offering would you like to share with the Mother’s Quest Community?

I have two offerings for you all:

1) Do one daily act of soul care. (Self care nourishes your outsides, think pedicure. Soul nourishes your insides, think painting, dancing, writing.) 10 minutes a day is enough to start the reconnecting process and aid in you remembering your wisdom, truth and joy.

To get your soul care jump started, join me for my FREE class, Just F*cking Journal, and together we’ll write our way to calm, clarity and inspired action.

2) See if you can let the body you are in, the body that made and birthed your babies, the body that stretched and grew and recovered, see if you can let her be all that she needs to be today. Can you let the body that’s here right now be enough in this moment.

How did you learn about Mother’s Quest?

Julie was in a power circle I facilitated.

What have you appreciated the most about Mother’s Quest?

I love Julie’s inquisitive nature. She always asks the right question at the right time. I also appreciate the depth and scope of the Mother’s Quest mission. Mothers are so much more than just caregivers though that care absolutely affects and shapes our lives. Julie has created a movement where every mother gets to show up and be her full self. Nothing needs to be left behind and in fact, Julie has structured Mother’s Quest so that it’s our many parts that inform and inspire our EPIC lives. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Mother’s Quest Circles
A Signature Experience to Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life:

First Review of Applications starting on September 10th for the MOTHER’S QUEST CIRCLE Pilot happening FALL 2017. Learn about the Power of Reflective Circles and How They’ve Changed Me by reading here. To send your application, click on this link.

What’s New:

 

New on the Podcast:
Ep 28: Mussar Yoga for Reflection and Renewal with Edie Raphael Brotman

Mussar Yoga for Moms:
A 5-Day Challenge for Reflection & Renewal at the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group

Do you want to share how you are living your truly E.P.I.C. life? Click here to send us your story and be featured on the weekly Mother on a Quest series.

Mother on a Quest: Leslie Ralph

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By day, Leslie goes by Dr. Ralph the psychologist. By early morning and lunch hours and all the spaces in between, she’s a writer and budding artist. And at home, she goes by Mom. Leslie’s the author of the blog A Year of Happy, where she’s showing other mothers how to nurture themselves, be present in body, heart and mind, and bottle up the good stuff for rainy days and bumpy roads with her signature blend of joyful projects, guided journals, and delectable meditations. Her work has been featured on Tiny Buddha, Mind Body Green, Mamalode, Parent.co, and Positively Positive (not to mention The American Psychological Association, the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and a few professional journals).

In addition to writing for grown-ups, Leslie creates picture books for little kids with great, big ideas. Although she’d always drawn and made up stories as a child, Leslie put that part of her aside to pursue more “serious” things as an adult. And then she had kids. She started making up stories and drawing for her children, and it wasn’t long before they all looked forward to their evening ritual of storytime improv. Inspired by her children’s courage and creativity, Leslie began putting these stories into book form, and she couldn’t stop!

Leslie lives with her husband, three children, and even more pets in Tucson, Arizona. When she’s not making up stories and writing, she’s devising kitchen table science experiments and taking magical family photos. Find out more about Leslie’s words and pictures for moms and kids at ayearofhappy.com (for mom) and leslieralphstories.com (for the kids). You can get your year of happy started now with the 2-minute revitalizing meditation on the house athttps://www.ayearofhappy.com/revitalize.

Tell us a little about your childhood and the impact your mother had on shaping you…

I grew up with my mom, dad, and brother in Northern California until about 11, and then we moved all the way to Texas. It was uncharted territory for us, and I’ll admit that I fully expected cowboys to be riding horses down the street. In California, both of my parents worked full-time with long commutes, but in Texas, my mother was able to stay at home. It was in Texas that my two youngest brothers were born. Even though all of the details of our household had changed, the family values and rules of the heart stayed the same.

My mother, Elizabeth, was the kind of mom all my friends could chit chat with about anything, and she genuinely wanted to know each of them. She works hard and loves even harder. She’s quick, compassionate, and fiercely loyal. Even though her Mama Bear moments could embarrass me as a teen, now as a grown-up and mother myself, I have deep gratitude for her brave spirit, bottomless heart, and unwavering commitment to looking out for me.

Even today, my mother always encourages me to give my all to the things that matter and reminds me that it’s totally okay to decide that something’s not my cup of tea. Whether it was figure skating, track, the clarinet, applying to the Ivy Leagues, starting a blog, or writing a children’s book, my mom was behind me 1,000% when others told me,

“Don’t you think you’re aiming a little high?” I truly believe that her support lifted me up and made me the kind of mother that will lift her own children even higher.

What has been a “spark moment” or “moments” that set you on your path?

There was one spark that lit the way for everything that was waiting to come out of hiding. About 4 years ago, sitting in my little office and watching a virtual summit on meditation, I realized that there was nothing stopping me from getting out there and growing into my full self – nothing, that is, but me. I also admitted to myself that no one was going to do it for me. So, I took a deep breath, gathered up my courage, and started a blog, and it has changed everything.

That one spark opened doors that I didn’t even realize were closed. Writing and art have become an important part of my daily life, but they weren’t always. That one spark helped me discover that just because you can live without something doesn’t mean you have to, that healing, restoration, inspiration, and excitement are essential to your health, and that taking care of your SELF helps you take care of your kiddos.

What is your passion and purpose (the “P” in EPIC)?

My passion is happy, mindful, and creative living, and I see that my purpose is helping others define what that means for them. If I had one wish, it would be for everyone, especially moms, to love, nurture, and encourage themselves. This is maybe most essential for mothers. I believe that by nurturing ourselves, we nurture our kids. When we live with joy and purpose, we teach our children what the most important things are. And when we savor the goodness, we teach our children to hold on to the magic.

What are you currently reading or listening to for inspiration?

I devour anything written by Pema Chodron or Thich Nhat Hanh. Lately, I’ve also been addicted to podcasts for writers and creatives. Magic Lessons withElizabeth Gilbert and Naptime Empires with Nikki Elledge Brown are my absolute guilty pleasures right now.

What is one message or affirmation you tell yourself to ground you on your quest?

I’m a recovering control addict and perfectionist, so I remind myself of my favorite quote from Thich Nhat Hanh any time I feel like things aren’t moving fast enough or aren’t lining up as I expected. “Smile, breathe, and go slowly.” It has changed my life.

In one word, what are you seeking most right now on your Quest?

TRUST. Trust in myself and trust in the whole process of growing kids and growing up.

What challenge or offering would you like to share with the Mother’s Quest Community?

I challenge mothers to give themselves permission to be everything. You are allowed to be nourished and supported, inspired and happy. You are allowed to be a legendary mom and still have your own hopes and dreams that are just for you. In fact, I think that’s a necessary ingredient. You are completely allowed to go slow, be flawed, mess up, and change your mind. Above all, I believe you are allowed to be truly, deeply happy.

THE FEEL AMAZING SELF-CARE CHALLENGE
Carve out a little piece of happiness for yourself (without waiting for that mythical girls’ night you’re always hearing about). Join the challenge here.

How did you learn about Mother’s Quest?

I found Julie and her podcast in the Naptime Empires Facebook group. She mentioned her podcast and I immediately thought, this sounds AMAZING.

What have you appreciated the most about Mother’s Quest?

I have appreciated the courage the mothers on a quest have to tell their whole, honest stories. Truth and trust are my watchwords right now. My very favorite episode has been the unedited solocast on Episode 13: Focus on our Goodness. I nodded my head right along with Julie as she shared her process of sharing her unedited voice, cried along with her as she discussed focusing on our goodness, and cheered her on as she shared her personal goals.

Mother’s Quest Circles
A Signature Experience to Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life:

First Review of Applications starting on September 10th for the MOTHER’S QUEST CIRCLE Pilot happening FALL 2017. Learn about the Power of Reflective Circles and How They’ve Changed Me by reading here. To send your application, click on this link.

What’s New:

Featured In:
Mindful Parenting in a Messy World – What Is Your Mother’s Quest? Digging Into Our Purpose

New on the Podcast:
Ep 27: Courageous Conversations about Race with Nicole Lee

Do you want to share how you are living your truly E.P.I.C. life? Click here to send us your story and be featured on the weekly Mother on a Quest series.

Mother on a Quest: Nicole Lee

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In light of the recent events in Charlottesville, this feature of Mother on a Quest Nicole Lee comes at a critical time. Make sure to read to the end to learn about Nicole’s invitation to us to have challenging but courageous conversation with our children and to find the link to her free upcoming webinar to help us do it.

STRATEGIST – COACH – PUBLIC POLICY LEADER – HUMAN RIGHTS ATTORNEY
I am a strategist, executive coach and public policy advocate through my diversity and inclusion consulting firm, Lee Bayard Group, LLC, and as co-founder of Black Movement Law Project, which provides legal and strategy assistance to Black Lives Matter protestors and organizations. My earliest memories are fulfilled with moments that have committed me to social justice for a lifetime. As a child, I would lobby my friends to put on “We Are the World” concerts for our neighbors. It’s a part of who I am. In my career as an international human rights lawyer, I was the first female President of TransAfrica, an historic foreign policy organization. I led missions documenting human and civil rights violations against brave individuals and families seeking justice often against impossible odds. What I learned from that work is that each of us can be brave, courageous and visionary. Each of us can also give in to our worst fears and settle for the life we have rather than the life we want.

Tell us a little about your childhood and the impact your mother had on shaping you…

Growing up, my mother was serious and accomplished. She was one of the first black women to be ordained in her Christian denomination and she worked long hours out of a deep sense of mission. I spent most of my childhood with my father who grew into the role of parenting me. My mother modeled what it is to be a pioneer and the importance of following your own path. My relationship with her instilled in me the importance of open love and communication with my children.

What has been a “spark moment” or “moments” that set you on your path?

There have been many “spark moments.” I knew I wanted to be a human rights attorney since I was six or seven. Whenever I met a person who career even came close to human rights, I would feel a wave of happiness and excitement. Those moments were so important and affirmed for me that the career I wanted was possible. Experiencing the aftermath of civil unrest or natural disasters in countries like Colombia and Haiti, were pivotal. In moments of despair and confusion, there is always hope and joy. Working with parents, educators and children on issues of social justice, diversity and inclusion is filled with affirming moments. When a client has an “a-ha” moment, I feel reborn. Throughout my career, the magic always lays with the process.

At first, I did not think motherhood would be “easy” for me or would fit my life goals. Well, I was right about it not being easy but it is definitely my most important vocation. My children have made me a better friend, colleague, and ally. I consistently marvel at their discoveries. While I am a passionate person, the level of investment they invoke in me is unmatched. Every day holds a “spark moment”. Parenting has in many way become a deep spiritual practice as much as it is a physical and emotional one.

What is your passion and purpose (the “P” in EPIC)?

My passion is working with families and communities to promote equity and understanding. Much of what I do with my clients is engaging with the tough stuff. It’s hard to talk about racism, sexism or homophobia. But then you add in talking with your children about these issues! I love to challenge my adult clients to dig deep. For most of us, our parents didn’t have deep conversations with us. Instead of the “isms” (eg., racism, sexism, homo/transphobia) being about what is external to us, our relationship to dealing with them in society is an internal process first and foremost. Successful parenting and educating in 2017 requires a lot self- actualization. I’m sort of a midwife for that.

What are you currently reading or listening to for inspiration?

The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde, Everything Brene Brown, Body of Work (Pamela Slim)

What is one message or affirmation you tell yourself to ground you on your quest?

It’s a little bizarre. It’s from the show Battlestar Galactica: “All this has happened before. All this will happen again.”

In one word, what are you seeking most right now on your Quest?

Right now, I am in eager anticipation of the social transformation so many of us are seeking.

What challenge or offering would you like to share with the Mother’s Quest Community?

I offer the opportunity to fully communicate our values to our children, not fearlessly but courageously. The world is complicated and we are not always equipped to even make sense of it ourselves, let alone to our children. I offer tools to be able to navigate these conversations so we raise emphatic, confident powerful adults. If you want support to have these conversations, I invite you to a free webinar coming up this Friday, August 18th, Courageous Conversation with Children in Difficult Times.

How did you learn about Mother’s Quest?

From Julie! 🙂

What have you appreciated the most about Mother’s Quest?

Julie reached out to me to get input on her initiative, Women Podcasters in Solidarity. We spoke today and are planning a special episode where I, and other mothers working on these issues, will be guests on the Mother’s Quest Podcast.

Do you want to share how you are living your truly E.P.I.C. life? Click here to send us your story and be featured on the weekly Mother on a Quest series.