What My Open Heart Surgery Taught Me About Coaching

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A few weeks ago, in a workshop at Camp GLP, I was asked “what is your biggest scar and what’s the story behind it?”

It’s had me thinking a lot about the eight inch scar from the top of my chest to inches above my belly button, a result of open heart surgery at the age of ten.

And, because I’m a meaning maker, I’ve been looking for clues about how that experience connects to my passionate and purposeful work and life today.

I was born with an atrial septal defect, essentially a hole in my heart, but we didn’t detect it until I was ten years old. Within weeks of hearing the heart murmur, and determining the cause, I was in open heart surgery at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles, having my hole repaired with my own tissue, sewn over just like a patch.

It was truly miraculous. I had one of the only heart diseases that is 100% curable. And able to be fixed from something I had within myself.

The Connection to Coaching 

This idea…that we have what we need already inside ourselves is why I fell in love with the model of coaching, trained as a life and leadership coach, and have coaching as a core element of the Mother’s Quest community.

When you work with me as your coach, I hold that you are resourceful and whole, even if there are parts of your life that need repair or shifting. And I believe the person closest to the truth of what you seek, and to the solutions to the challenges you face, is you.

At the same time, I know that it’s very challenging, if not impossible, to tap into that wisdom and those solutions by yourself. A great coach can hold space for you to reflect, listen deeply, ask empowering questions that clarify, help you craft a plan of action, and provide accountability from a place of kindness. We can also share lessons learned from our own experience and offer powerful perspective that can shift your thinking.

When I think about my heart surgery as a metaphor for living our E.P.I.C. lives, it’s true that my own tissue was the cure I needed for my hole. But, it’s also true that it would have been absurd to expect that I could open my own chest and do the repairing myself.

That’s why I believe its a powerful investment to work with a coach like me. Why I feel in alignment when I charge money in exchange for my coaching to you. And, why I invest in coaching and mastermind circles for myself.

One morning, after reflecting on all of this, I looked in the mirror and noticed I was wearing a tank top that revealed my scar. In a flash, the lesson and meaning of my experience came to me quite clearly, along with the realization that I was literally wearing a heart. So, I snapped a photo and share it with you along with this message and invitation to invest in coaching for yourself.

Journey to Right Livelihood

Over the next few days in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group, I’m inviting you to learn about a program starting this Thursday provided by my own coach, Lindsay Pera, called Journey to Right Livelihood, some of the reasons why I value working with Lindsay, and lessons I’ve learned from her along the way.

And we’ll explore how Lindsay’s Journey to Right Livelihood, along with some coaching bonuses I’ll offer as an affiliate, might support you. If you’re not yet a member of the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group, come on over and join us for a facebook live with Lindsay on Wednesday morning and more personal posts. Visit www.mothersquest.com/community to join.

I look forward to reflecting together on our quest for right livelihood, our answers within, and the power of coaching to help us live our E.P.I.C. lives.

If you know you’re ready to learn more about Lindsay’s program, send me an email and I’ll get you the links to get more information and sign up.

Much appreciation, 

Journey to Right Livelihood

Are you, like me, on a quest for Right Livelihood? 🙋‍♀️

✨Do you ever tell yourself that you can’t make money doing what you love?

✨Do you sometimes feel as though you can have financial success OR you can be happy, but you can’t have both?

✨Do you believe that you must sacrifice one for the other because they are mutually exclusive?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, or begun shifting your beliefs on these but still have days of doubt… my coach, Lindsay Pera, has a fall program, “Journey to Right Livelihood” that could be for you. 

Watch the replay of a conversation I had with Lindsay in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group last week to learn more or learn more and sign up at this link https://lindsay-pera.simplero.com/purchase/65304-Journey-To-Right-Livelihood

I’m so looking forward to participating in Journey to Right Livelihood as a learner as well. And, I’m honored to be an affiliate and offer some special Mother’s Quest bonuses for any from my community who come along for the journey. We’ll explore this inquiry and move into action in our E.P.I.C. lives together. 

When you sign up with Journey to Right Livelihood will get a Mother’s Quest bonus.

Interested in exploring other ways to work with me as your coach? You can sign up for a free discovery call and learn more. 

>>Book a Discovery Call<<

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

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

Week Four

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Can you imagine?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s embrace the technology for what it is.

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

Read the full article and watch the video here

Why these Tales?

I had a conversation with another mother about the state of our country right now and how hard it has felt to stay connected to our humanity…to turn our sadness and anger into responsibility and social action, to not shut off, to keep showing up to parent our children mindfully.

I decided I want to share one story each week for the next year about an engaged mother and her child that will reconnect us to perseverance, heart and resilience. To that spark in all of us, and in our children, to pursue the

things that matter, even when we feel like we might want to give up.

Get More Stories Like This

Get weekly inspiration like this by liking the Mother’s Quest Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/MothersQuest 
or search for #52TalesOfOurHumanity on Social Media

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

 

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

Join us for a 2-Week Miracle Morning Challenge

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

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

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

Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life

Join me for the first “Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life” Pilot! Four consecutive weeks of one-on-one coaching using a signature process I’ve been facilitating in my circles this spring 🍃

I have space for three clients to experience an intensive, one-one-one, four-week coaching process this summer. Could this be you?

✨Do you feel like you’re on the threshold of a powerful shift in your life?

✨Are you ready to spark new perspectives, new ways of being, and some E.P.I.C. action of your own?

✨Have you wanted to participate in the Mother’s Quest Circle but the timing wasn’t right or you prefer to work one-on-one?

We’ve had an amazing experience in the Mother’s Quest Virtual Circle and I want to bring the same practices and flow to work one-on-one in a more focused period of time…over one month instead of three.

Interested? I’d love to schedule a time to check-in about what’s happening in your life and how this could support you.

✏️Sign up for a discovery session at this link or message me some times that could work for you if you don’t see something that fits your schedule. https://mothersquest.as.me/discoverysession

 

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

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

Why these Tales?

I had a conversation with another mother about the state of our country right now and how hard it has felt to stay connected to our humanity…to turn our sadness and anger into responsibility and social action, to not shut off, to keep showing up to parent our children mindfully.

I decided I want to share one story each week for the next year about an engaged mother and her child that will reconnect us to perseverance, heart and resilience. To that spark in all of us, and in our children, to pursue the things that matter, even when we feel like we might want to give up.

Week Three

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

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


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

Engaged- in the moment

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

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

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

Passionate- about priorities

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

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

Invested – in learning new ways of being

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

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

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

Connected – to a community

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

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

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

EPIC

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

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

Get More Stories Like This

Get weekly inspiration like this by liking the Mother’s Quest Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/MothersQuest 
or search for #52TalesOfOurHumanity on Social Media

 

Milestone Rite of Passage Coaching Session

The focus of a recent episode on the podcast with my son Ryan was about honoring the milestones in our lives. I’ve learned that when we’re moving through these periods of transition, it can be so powerful to slow down and reflect on our experience. If you’re on the verge of a new chapter, or your child is as we approach the new school year, and would like coaching to cross the threshold thoughtfully, email me at julie@mothersquest.com to find out more about my Milestone Rite of Passage Coaching Session. I’d love to help you gather your lessons learned and clarify your vision for what’s ahead. When we do this for ourselves, we can be powerful guides for our children!

Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life

Join me for the first “Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life” Pilot! Four consecutive weeks of one-on-one coaching using a signature process I’ve been facilitating in my circles this spring 🍃

I have space for three clients to experience an intensive, one-one-one, four-week coaching process this summer. Could this be you?

✨Do you feel like you’re on the threshold of a powerful shift in your life?

✨Are you ready to spark new perspectives, new ways of being, and some E.P.I.C. action of your own?

✨Have you wanted to participate in the Mother’s Quest Circle but the timing wasn’t right or you prefer to work one-on-one?

We’ve had an amazing experience in the Mother’s Quest Virtual Circle and I want to bring the same practices and flow to work one-on-one in a more focused period of time…over one month instead of three.

Interested? I’d love to schedule a time to check-in about what’s happening in your life and how this could support you.

✏️Sign up for a discovery session at this link or message me some times that could work for you if you don’t see something that fits your schedule. https://mothersquest.as.me/discoverysession

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

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

Why these Tales? – I had a conversation with another mother about the state of our country right now and how hard it has felt to stay connected to our humanity…to turn our sadness and anger into responsibility and social action, to not shut off, to keep showing up to parent our children mindfully.

I decided I want to share one story each week for the next year about an engaged mother and her child that will reconnect us to perseverance, heart and resilience. To that spark in all of us, and in our children, to pursue the things that matter, even when we feel like we might want to give up.

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

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

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

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

 


By Bethany Edwards, BIRACIAL BOOKWORMS

CHANGEMAKERS COME IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES

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

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

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

Read more here…

FIGHTING FOR GIRL’S EDUCATION IN GHANA

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

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

Wrinkle in Time Ghana

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

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

Read more here…

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

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

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

Read more here…

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

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

Get More Stories Like This

Get weekly inspiration like this by liking the Mother’s Quest Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/MothersQuest 
or search for #52TalesOfOurHumanity on Social Media

 

Milestone Rite of Passage Coaching Session

The focus of a recent episode on the podcast with my son Ryan was about honoring the milestones in our lives. I’ve learned that when we’re moving through these periods of transition, it can be so powerful to slow down and reflect on our experience. If you’re on the verge of a new chapter, or your child is as we approach the new school year, and would like coaching to cross the threshold thoughtfully, email me at julie@mothersquest.com to find out more about my Milestone Rite of Passage Coaching Session. I’d love to help you gather your lessons learned and clarify your vision for what’s ahead. When we do this for ourselves, we can be powerful guides for our children!

Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life

Join me for the first “Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life” Pilot! Four consecutive weeks of one-on-one coaching using a signature process I’ve been facilitating in my circles this spring 🍃

I have space for three clients to experience an intensive, one-one-one, four-week coaching process this summer. Could this be you?

✨Do you feel like you’re on the threshold of a powerful shift in your life?

✨Are you ready to spark new perspectives, new ways of being, and some E.P.I.C. action of your own?

✨Have you wanted to participate in the Mother’s Quest Circle but the timing wasn’t right or you prefer to work one-on-one?

We’ve had an amazing experience in the Mother’s Quest Virtual Circle and I want to bring the same practices and flow to work one-on-one in a more focused period of time…over one month instead of three.

Interested? I’d love to schedule a time to check-in about what’s happening in your life and how this could support you.

✏️Sign up for a discovery session at this link or message me some times that could work for you if you don’t see something that fits your schedule. https://mothersquest.as.me/discoverysession

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

By | 52 Tales, Mother on a Quest | One Comment

I had a chat with another mother recently about the state of our country right now and how hard it has felt to stay connected to our humanity…to turn our sadness and anger into responsibility and social action, to not shut off, to keep showing up to parent our children mindfully.

I decided I want to share one story each week for the next year about an engaged mother and her child that will reconnect us to perseverance, heart and resilience. To that spark in all of us, and in our children, to pursue the things that matter, even when we feel like we might want to give up.

Honored to share this first one from a powerful writer who has persevered through years of addiction to come home to herself and her family, and who isn’t afraid to use her powerful writing to stand against policies that hurt families, Janelle Hanchett.

I’m excited to share a conversation with Janelle on the podcast Thursday and will link here to a recent post on her Renegade Mothering Blog that connected me to the separation of families in a visceral way.

And, if you have a story of your own, or one from another mother on a quest for a future installment of Mother’s Quest Tales of our Humanity, please hit reply and tell me about it. Make sure to like the Mother’s Quest Facebook page if you want to see future stories.

Here’s to Janelle, her thoughtful partner, and her daughter Ava. To resilience, heart, and connection. Here’s to being mindfully engaged as parents. Here’s to our humanity 

Week 1 of 52
By Janelle Hanchett, Renegade Mothering

Hey, so do I have a story for you, shared with the gracious approval of my teenager.

So, many of you probably know my 16-year-old, Ava, joined a mountain biking team a few years ago. She’s never been the fastest, but she works her ass off. Her dad, Mac, has been with her the whole time, driving all around Northern California, going on rides with her, fixing her bike.

It’s a lot.

Anyway, every year they have a camp up in the redwoods near Mendocino, where they bike and work on their skills. This year, Ava announced she isn’t going. When we asked her why, she explained that she is always the last biker during the rides. She’s isn’t getting better and she’s sick of it. And she can’t take the embarrassment.

Mac and I sat there rather stunned. We explained that it’s in the freaking mountain redwoods of Mendocino, and she got a scholarship, and kids would die for such an opportunity. But she was adamant. By day three of her nearly constant declarations of refusal, we sat on the porch and Mac looked at her and said “You don’t have to go, but if you don’t go, I am done with biking. I won’t do it anymore.“

And then he walked away.

It was a bold move, and a little out of nature for Mac and me, but I knew why he did it. I believe Ava actually stomped her foot. I looked at her and explained that it wasn’t “blackmail” as she had indicated, but rather a natural consequence of the situation. I explained that the biking takes a huge toll on our family, it is a lot of work for us, and if she isn’t willing to put the work in, neither will we.

We either demonstrate our interest, do our part, or we don’t.

She glared at me.

Mac went into her room later and said, “You know, Ava, whenever I ride with adults, I come in last, too. But I’m not there to come in first. I’m having a good time where I am.”

Now, she thinks her Dad is a pretty cool guy, and when he said that, something shifted in her, and she apologized for being “an entitled jerk” and decided to go.

When Ava walked away from my mom into the camp, she said, “I’m going to have a great attitude.”

Every year, at the end of camp, the counselors choose one camper to receive a new bike. They say it’s the camper that most exemplifies the spirit of the camp.

And this year, they gave it to Ava, in a unanimous decision.

Because of her support of other kids, how hard she tried, how she helped clean up and picked up trash on the trail. They said her spirit lifted the whole camp.

She texted us a picture of the bike her in tent. She glowed when we saw her on it. She said, “And to think I almost missed this.”

To think we almost missed it. Fear, the bastard. Ego. Man, we have to show up, come in last, and pick up some fucking trash along the way.

And see what happens, you know, when we set ourselves aside. Maybe a new bike. Or a parenting lesson that actually works. Or a whole world.

How can a mama hold this much joy.

Get More Stories Like This

Get weekly inspiration like this by liking the Mother’s Quest Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/MothersQuest 
or search for #52TalesOfOurHumanity on Social Media

 

Stay Tuned for this Week’s Podcast Episode

I am looking forward to sharing this week’s podcast episode with Renegade Mother, Janelle Hanchett. It’s a powerful conversation about claiming our truth and goes live this Thursday! Watch out for it and make sure to subscribe to the podcast to have it delivered to your phone!

If you want to get the full story of  Janelle’s journey in anticipation of the episode, order her honest, gripping, and surprisingly funny book I’m Just Happy to Be Here: A Memoir of Renegade Mothering today.

Milestone Rite of Passage Coaching Session

The focus of the last episode on the podcast with my son Ryan was about honoring the milestones in our lives. I’ve learned that when we’re moving through these periods of transition, it can be so powerful to slow down and reflect on our experience. If you’re on the verge of a new chapter and would like coaching to cross the threshold thoughtfully, email me at julie@mothersquest.com to find out more about my Milestone Rite of Passage Coaching Session. I’d love to help you gather your lessons learned and clarify your vision for what’s ahead.

Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life

Join me for the first “Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life” Pilot! Four consecutive weeks of one-on-one coaching using a signature process I’ve been facilitating in my circles this spring 🍃

I have space for three clients to experience an intensive, one-one-one, four-week coaching process this summer. Could this be you?

✨Do you feel like you’re on the threshold of a powerful shift in your life?

✨Are you ready to spark new perspectives, new ways of being, and some E.P.I.C. action of your own?

✨Have you wanted to participate in the Mother’s Quest Circle but the timing wasn’t right or you prefer to work one-on-one?

We’ve had an amazing experience in the Mother’s Quest Virtual Circle and I want to bring the same practices and flow to work one-on-one in a more focused period of time…over one month instead of three.

Interested? I’d love to schedule a time to check-in about what’s happening in your life and how this could support you.

✏️Sign up for a discovery session at this link or message me some times that could work for you if you don’t see something that fits your schedule. https://mothersquest.as.me/discoverysession

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