Special Episode from the While Black Podcast: Ahmaud Arbery is All of Us – Can I Live?

Special Episode from the While Black Podcast: Ahmaud Arbery is All of Us – Can I Live?

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of recording a powerful episode with the co-host of the While Black Podcast, Darius Hicks. In addition to releasing that conversation here, Darius shared it on the While Black Podcast feed and since then, over 10,000 people have tuned in. If you haven’t heard it yet, I encourage you to add it to the top of your playlist.

As an exchange, I asked Darius if I could share an episode from the While Black Podcast with the Mother’s Quest community. When he said yes, I knew which episode I wanted to share…in fact it was the one that inspired me to invite Darius on. Recorded after the lynching of Ahmaud Arbery, it features the reflections of four successful and driven Black men speaking honestly about how they were doing in the aftermath. They get candid about their mortality, their ability to trust this country, and what they would tell white america given complete access.

In the last 7 minutes of my conversation with Darius, 7 minutes I truly think every American citizen should listen to, he tells us about the thoughts and emotions he has experienced as a Black man before and after the death of George Floyd. He reveals his fear that the solidarity and push for change may subside. By listening to this episode, I hope your understanding will expand a little more and that you will stay committed to listening and to advocating, to help ensure that Darius’ worst fear does not come true, that the last few weeks are not merely a moment in time but truly a movement for Black Lives. So here it is, While Black on the Mother’s Quest Podcast titled “Ahmaud Arbery Is All of Us – Can I Live?”

Much appreciation,


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

Show Notes from the While Black Podcast

The lynching of Ahmaud Arbery is taking its mental toll on black america and specifically black men. On this episode you hear from 4 successful and driven black men speaking honestly about how they are doing today. They get candid about their mortality, their ability to trust this country, and what they would tell white america given complete access.

We are in mental distress and while we are strong, capable, and intelligent we also need help so that TOGETHER we can correct the wrongs in this system….or perhaps replace the system itself.

Please share this important episode and make sure to check on the black men in your life….We are not ok!

Don’t forget to get social with While Black

IG: WHILE_BLACK; TWITTER @whileblackpc; FB @whileblackpodcast or email: whileblackpodcast@gmail.com

Follow While Black on Social Media

Podcasters for Justice Recommended Efforts for Contribution:

Mother’s Quest also encourages you to consider:

Announcements:

Join us in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group  

At the time I’m releasing this episode, during the COVID-19 global pandemic, so many of us are seeking ways to connect with one another, even while needing to stay physically apart. If you identify with being a mother on a quest and you’re not yet a member of the free private Mother’s Quest Facebook Group, I invite you to join us for opportunities to learn together, to share what we have to offer one another and where we need support, and to find ways to make meaning of all we’re going through right now. Visit www.motherquest.com/community to join and I’d be honored to welcome you in. 

Season Five of the Mother’s Podcast is Under Way! – Help us Spread the Word  

If you enjoy the Mother’s Quest Podcast, we’d love your support in sharing this or another favorite episode with a mother you think would appreciate it too! 

Another way to help spread the word is to leave a review at Apple Podcasts. Instructions for leaving a review are here:

How to leave a rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad

  1. On your iOS mobile device, launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab in the lower right corner of the screen.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review. …
  4. Tap the Reviews tab, then tap “Write a Review” at the bottom of the screen.

Acknowledgments:

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

Herve Clermont
Samantha Arsenault
Vickie Giambra
Casey O’Roarty of Joyful Courage
Kathie Moehlig or TransFamily Support Services
Anne Ferguson of MamaFuel

On the Move and etsuko Kubo
Kate Amoo-Gottfried
Nicole Lee
Olivia Parr-Rud
“Vince” of the While Black Podcast
Sara Brannin-Mooser
Lindsay Pera
Julie Castro Abrams
Alexia Vernon
Brooke Markevicius
Democracy Clothing
Michael Skolnik
Helgi Maki
Kari Azuma
Tamara Sobomehin
Katie Krimitsos
Carrie Caulfield Arick
Rachel Rosen
Chandra Brooks
Jen Simon
Monisha Vasa
Celia Ward-Wallace
Vanessa Couto
Desiree Adaway
Rachel Steinman
Katie Hanus
Denise Barreto 
Sage B. Hobbs 
Samantha Nolan-Smith
Jody Smith
Emily Cretella
Collette Flanagan
Titilayo Tinubu Ali 
Carly Magnus Hurt
Lizzy Russinko 
Suzanne Brown
Mara Berns Langer
Mallory Schlabach 
Katharine Earhart
Jessica Kupferman
Jen Jenkins Dohner
Genese Harris
Tonya Rineer
Liane Louie-Badua
Cristin Downs 
Erin Kendall 
Niko Osoteo 
Erik Newton 
Claire Fry
Divya Silbermann
Rachel Winter
Caren and Debbie Lieberman
Cameron Miranda
Fran and David Lieberman
Debbie and Alan Goore
The Sustainable Living Podcast
Samantha Arsenault

Support the Podcast

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

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

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

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

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

Ep 75: A Call for Kinetic Partnership with While Black’s Darius Hicks

Ep 75: A Call for Kinetic Partnership with While Black’s Darius Hicks


I’m honored to share this special Father’s Day Episode with a devoted father, successful entrepreneur and fellow podcaster who has become a friend, Darius Hicks.

Known as “Vince” on the acclaimed While Black Podcast, Darius channels his rage at the injustices Black people experience in our country by focusing it on empowering, educating, and inspiring African Americans to go and grow. While Black tells stories by, from, and for African Americans and pairs those stories with expert and credible guests who can communicate wisdom and success strategies to help the Black listeners achieve, accomplish, and overcome.

In this conversation, Darius had me riveted, inspired and often in tears as we explored his epic life quest, his transformative moments as a father, how his work through While Black is meeting this moment and movement in our country, and the unique role that mothers, fathers and our younger generation all have to play in making change.

To honor this episode, I want to share a statement of shared commitment from an effort called Podcasters for Justice that aligns with so much of the messages Darius and I explore here together:

“We are podcasters united to condemn the tragic murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and many many others at the hands of police. This is a continuation of the systemic racism pervasive in our country since its inception and we are committed to standing against racism in all its forms.

We believe that to be silent is to be complicit.
We believe that Black lives matter.
We believe that Black lives are more important than property.
We believe that we have a responsibility to use our platforms to speak out against this injustice whenever and wherever we are witness to it.
In creating digital media we have built audiences that return week after week to hear our voices and we will use our voices to speak against anti-blackness and police brutality.”

I invite you to join me in donating to one of the efforts that Podcasters for Justice identified which you can find below in the show notes, to listen to and amplify this episode with Darius, and to follow each of Darius’ powerful calls to action, stepping into kinetic partnership that will move us forward and help us all get free, together.

Much appreciation,


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

This Episode is Dedicated by: Herve Clermont 

Herve Clermont is an actor, voice over artist, Host, and was a National brand ambassador for Remy Martin for over 8 years. He discovered his passion for acting at Georgetown University, where he was in school as a pre-med major, and needed to fulfill electives. 

He is the son of a proud Haitian Doctor and nurse, he always joked he “could play one.” He began his professional acting career in 2000 with a contract Role on One Life To Live, and has co-starred and guest starred on various prime time shows: Law & Order, CSI Miami, Cane, 24, Criminal Minds, Scandal, Guys with Kids, New Girl, The Mick, NCIS, NCIS LA, Dice, Veronica Mars, Mr Iglesias, and many others. 

Herve has been recurring on John Singleton’s Snowfall the last 3 seasons, before landing a series cast member on Tyler Perry’s Ruthless. His voice-over career includes announcing at celebrity fund-raisers, branding and promotional videos, industrials and promotional TV and radio commercials, including ones for Beyonce, an international Jazz festival, and currently is the voice behind Cintas and on camera. 

Herve’s hosting experience includes live events with BMW, VH-l, Harmon/ Kardon and Remy Martin. He has also worked on a pilot in front of the camera as a Studio host in the entertainment industry, interviewing celebrities and keeping the audience up-to-date with the latest entertainment news.

Visit The J.E. Clermont Foundation Hope for the Children of Haiti for more about the Foundation that furthers Herve’s father’s legacy

Instagram @Plantinghopela – to learn about Herve’s wife’s venture that creates beautiful plants with contributions supporting the Foundation in Haiti and charitable efforts in LA.  

Connect with Herve:

Instagram @hervec19

In This Episode We Talk About:

  • The universal language and common connection among mothers of all races and how Darius and I both believe mothers will be critical to making change 
  • Darius’ quest to be authentically who he is as a 6’4, 300-pound dark-skinned Black man. How he has struggled to stand tall and shine while also consciously shrinking because people’s first reaction to him is fear  
  • The question about fatherhood Darius asks himself all the time…”How do I raise fearless children when I am a fearful parent?” 
  • A heartbreaking but powerful “epic snapshot moment” with his son that made Darius realize his words were getting through to him and that his son would be part of making change
  • How those committed to anti-racism and new to this can begin and the reason why Darius seeks “partnership” over saviorism or “help”
  • The three-fold challenge Darius gave us, including the specific movies that Darius thinks we should all watch to shift our understanding and perspective
  • How we all need each other to get free 


This Week’s Challenge:

Darius gave us a threefold challenge:

1) There is bias inside all of us. We all have it. Try our very best to recognize when our unconscious bias fires. Try to pay attention every time we see or meet a Black person…if our initial intent is to walk in the other direction, stop for a moment and ask yourself why? 

2) Meet someone new and be the first one to say hello and to really see the humanity in them.

3) Be more intentional in our actions and in whatever media we digest so that we are aware of what’s really happening and what others are really going through. Specifically, watch the movies American Son, 13th, and When They See Us (all linked below.) 

Learn More About Darius Hicks

Darius has always displayed an entrepreneurial and activist spirit. Since his youth he has dedicated his time to those around him in hopes of bettering them while he better himself. It began by volunteering as a camp counselor from middle school through high school, and grew via mentorship and tutoring in college all the way to his membership role in the 100 Black Men and as an advocate for African Americans through his work on the While Black Podcast. Vince believes wholeheartedly the James Baldwin quote “To be Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be a rage almost all the time”. However, he chooses to channel that rage into a place that allows him to change the narrative on black folks while he helps to empower those same black folks.

Earning his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from Southern University A&M in Baton Rouge LA (1999) and his MBA from Queens University in Charlotte NC (2005), Vince has gained valuable experience in multiple industries.

He has excelled in multiple industries and enjoyed a career spanning 20+ years with opportunities in Engineering, Consumer packaged goods, Corporate retail giants, and now the Social/tech industry.

In addition, he is a successful entrepreneur and founder of Aveo Big and Tall Golf Apparel which rose to become the #1 big and tall golf apparel offering in Golfsmith stores and was distributed nationally and internationally via various outlets including but not limited to Dicks Sporting Good, GolfSmith, and Golf Galaxy. He has since sold the rights to the Aveo name and divested from the company.

However, he has altered his focus by aligning his passions with his promise and ensuring his time is invested accordingly as he focuses on improving the black world and the global community through and with black people. His latest endeavor is laser focused on impacting and improving the people around him. Specifically, he is the creator and co-host of the While Black Podcast a podcast focused on empowering, educating, and inspiring African Americans to go and grow. While Black tells stories by, from, and for African Americans and pairs those stories with expert and credible guests who can communicate wisdom and success strategies helping us to achieve, accomplish, and overcome.

Follow While Black on Social Media

 

Resources Mentioned:

Podcasters for Justice Recommended Efforts for Contribution:

Mother’s Quest also encourages you to consider:

Announcements:

Join us in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group  

At the time I’m releasing this episode, during the COVID-19 global pandemic, so many of us are seeking ways to connect with one another, even while needing to stay physically apart. If you identify with being a mother on a quest and you’re not yet a member of the free private Mother’s Quest Facebook Group, I invite you to join us for opportunities to learn together, to share what we have to offer one another and where we need support, and to find ways to make meaning of all we’re going through right now. Visit www.motherquest.com/community to join and I’d be honored to welcome you in. 

Season Five of the Mother’s Podcast is Under Way! – Help us Spread the Word  

If you enjoy the Mother’s Quest Podcast, we’d love your support in sharing this or another favorite episode with a mother you think would appreciate it too! 

Another way to help spread the word is to leave a review at Apple Podcasts. Instructions for leaving a review are here:

How to leave a rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad

  1. On your iOS mobile device, launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab in the lower right corner of the screen.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review. …
  4. Tap the Reviews tab, then tap “Write a Review” at the bottom of the screen.

 

Acknowledgments:

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

Herve Clermont
Samantha Arsenault
Vickie Giambra
Casey O’Roarty of Joyful Courage
Kathie Moehlig or TransFamily Support Services
Anne Ferguson of MamaFuel

On the Move and etsuko Kubo
Kate Amoo-Gottfried
Nicole Lee
Olivia Parr-Rud
“Vince” of the While Black Podcast
Sara Brannin-Mooser
Lindsay Pera
Julie Castro Abrams
Alexia Vernon
Brooke Markevicius
Democracy Clothing
Michael Skolnik
Helgi Maki
Kari Azuma
Tamara Sobomehin
Katie Krimitsos
Carrie Caulfield Arick
Rachel Rosen
Chandra Brooks
Jen Simon
Monisha Vasa
Celia Ward-Wallace
Vanessa Couto
Desiree Adaway
Rachel Steinman
Katie Hanus
Denise Barreto 
Sage B. Hobbs 
Samantha Nolan-Smith
Jody Smith
Emily Cretella
Collette Flanagan
Titilayo Tinubu Ali 
Carly Magnus Hurt
Lizzy Russinko 
Suzanne Brown
Mara Berns Langer
Mallory Schlabach 
Katharine Earhart
Jessica Kupferman
Jen Jenkins Dohner
Genese Harris
Tonya Rineer
Liane Louie-Badua
Cristin Downs 
Erin Kendall 
Niko Osoteo 
Erik Newton 
Claire Fry
Divya Silbermann
Rachel Winter
Caren and Debbie Lieberman
Cameron Miranda
Fran and David Lieberman
Debbie and Alan Goore
The Sustainable Living Podcast
Samantha Arsenault

Support the Podcast

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

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

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

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

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

Revisited: Beyond the Trauma: Legacy, Compassion and Change with Mothers Against Police Brutality Co-Founder Sara Mokuria

Revisited: Beyond the Trauma: Legacy, Compassion and Change with Mothers Against Police Brutality Co-Founder Sara Mokuria

I wanted to bring this encore conversation with Mothers Against Police Brutality’s Sara Mokuria in a week where so many of us have been grappling with the issue of police violence and what we can do about it.

I know many of us have been searching for some action we can take about this issue and I want to encourage you to listen to this conversation with Sara Mokuria, one of the co-founders of Mothers Against Police Brutality. She will give you insight and advocacy steps from her own experience losing her father. And then, make a donation to Mothers Against Police Brutality, an organization that is seeking change by addressing policy and building police accountability, beginning in Texas but with nationwide impact.

As you listen, I hope you’ll consider making a donation to Mothers Against Police Brutality and I also challenge you to identify just one person who you can share this episode and this call to action with; together we can start to take steps in the direction of police accountability. Now here is my conversation with Sara Mokuria.

Much appreciation,

P.S. Make a donation by visiting http://mothersagainstpolicebrutality.org/donate/

ORIGINAL SHOW NOTES

It’s an honor and responsibility to share this Episode #33 of the Mother’s Quest Podcast with Sara Mokuria, co-founder of Mothers Against Police Brutality. It’s the third and final in a series I recorded as part of the Women Podcasters in Solidarity Initiative and it comes to you with a call to action to get involved with this issue today.

This episode was dedicated by Collette Flanagan, the founder of Mothers Against Police Brutality, who turned her grief from the loss of her son, Clinton Allen, into fuel for change.

In her dedication, Collette reminded us of our common humanity as mothers and that an insult to one mother is an insult to all mothers. It is this knowing that caused me to record this series after I saw the heart-breaking video of Diamond Reynolds and her then four year old daughter after they witnessed the killing of Philando Castile. Philando was like a father to this little girl, was unarmed and was complying with the police officer’s requests when he was shot.

Seeing the trauma and heartbreak endured by this four year old girl, who was the same age as my son when I saw this video, became a catalyst to face the epidemic of police brutality in our country, and to begin taking action, however imperfect.

Much like Diamond Reynold’s daughter, Sara also endured trauma and heartbreak when she watched her father get shot and killed by police at her home in Dallas when she was 10 years old.

Fueled by her own experience, Sara joined Collette along with another co-founder, John Fullinwider, in creating Mother’s Against Police Brutality, as a multi-racial, multi-ethnic coalition uniting mothers nationwide to fight for civil rights, police accountability and policy reform.

Sara is a mom herself to a seven year old boy.  And, in addition to her work with Mothers Against Police Brutality, she’s a sought after educator, community organizer, project manager, and facilitator, currently working as Associate Director for Leadership Initiatives with The Institute for Urban Policy Research at the University of Texas at Dallas. She has two masters degrees, has taught both high school and college at the University of Texas at Dallas and currently serves on the International Mechanism Coordinating Committee for the US Human Rights Network.

She came to the conversation with an open heart she told me, and I felt her generosity and honesty throughout as she shared how police violence changed her life forever, discussed the trauma of being black in America, how the institution of policing and the prison industrial complex contributes to that trauma, and the ways in which an investment in Mothers Against Police Brutality can change policies and systems to reduce violence and create more accountability.

As compelling was Sara’s exploration of the vision she has for our future… of vibrant communities where we invest in our young people, lean into and value our differences, and where each of us taps into our own unique magic to get us there.

We ended our conversation with a co-created prayer, a wish for ourselves as much as for all of you listening, to move into greater responsibility for this work from wherever we are, to have the courage to go to those difficult and painful places so we can create a freer future, and to take this moment right now to support this cause.

I’m doing that today by making a financial contribution to Mothers Against Police Brutality and putting my resources with the mothers, like Sara and Collette, who are closest to the problem and who can see the solution. I hope you’ll join me.

Visit http://mothersagainstpolicebrutality.org/donate/ to make a donation and reference Mother’s Quest or, if contributing on November 28th, Giving Tuesday, visit the Mother’s Quest Facebook Fundraising Page  to contribute to the Giving Tuesday Campaign.

This episode dedicated by

Mothers Against Police Brutality founder Collette Flanagan, whose son, Clinton Allen, was shot and killed by the Dallas Police in March of 2013.

Topics discussed in this episode

  • Sara’s joyous childhood which changed forever when her father was killed by Dallas police officers when she was just 10 years old

  • How Sara’s mother was her fiercest advocate, even as her mother grappled with the deeply traumatic effects of her husband’s killing and the lack of support as a crime victim.

  • Disturbing facts about our current law enforcement policies, lack of accountability, the militarization of police, and budget allocations that favor the prison industrial complex over investments that would build a vibrant community

  • The New Jim Crowe and the War on Drugs and how it has played out as a war on people of color

  • White privilege and how to move from shame and guilt to responsibility and action

  • How Sara teaches her son to understand injustice, the history we don’t learn in our schools, and how tenderness, love and joy can be an act of resistance

  • What happened when Sara met with the officer who killed her father years later and how that shifted her perspective about what the problem really is

  • How women make up half of the world’s population and how we birthed the other half, therefore we are the world. And, the power of mothers to chart the direction of our families and communities.

  • The importance of finding your own unique magic to make a difference and why Sara keeps her heart open to welcome people to this cause when they come to it

  • Our prayer and invitation to you the listener

Resources mentioned in this episode

This Week’s Three-fold Challenge

  1. Have courageous conversation about these issues with your families during the holidays.

  2. Get involved and informed about these issues locally. Become an advocate in your city.

  3. Make a monetary contribution to support the mothers who are closest to the solution at Mothers Against Police Brutality.

Announcement

Time Sensitive Opportunity To Join Me and Nicole Lee

One of those guides, Nicole Lee and I, decided we’d like to collaborate on a four-week offering to hold space for learning, growth and solidarity through weekly zoom conversations. If you’re interested in joining, email me ASAP at julie@mothersquest.com or comment on our live conversation today in the Mother’s Quest group and I can give you more details. 

Click [here] to watch the Zoom conversation in the Mother’s Quest Group.

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

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

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

Revisited: Courageous Conversations about Race with Nicole Lee

Revisited: Courageous Conversations about Race with Nicole Lee

SPECIAL NOTE: As part of my commitment to amplify the voices and wisdom of black women this week, I’m re-releasing key episodes on the podcast feed, including this one, that I think can light our way in our commitment toward anti-racism and racial justice. You can also find these episodes, and others that shine a light on social justice issues from myself and other podcasters, at www.womenpodcastersinsolidarity.com

**Nicole Lee of Inclusive Life and I are interested in co-facilitating four weekly sessions in the month of June for the Mother’s Quest Community members of all ethnicities, committed to anti-racism and solidarity during these times. We want to be in conversation and community as we all show up in our motherhood and activism. Cost would be $99 per person with Mother’s Quest as a pass-through. All funds would support Nicole’s time. If this is a barrier, please reach out about a sliding scale or scholarship. Space is limited. Email julie@mothersquest.com ASAP with your interest in participating. 

ALSO: I hope you’ll consider joining me at Nicole Lee’s upcoming

Inclusive Life Virtual Accelerator: Awakening Political and Spiritual Power for Aligned Action 

Hello and welcome to Episode #27 of the Mother’s Quest Podcast and the first of several I’ll be sharing for an initiative I’ve launched called Women Podcasters in Solidarity.

The Initiative is a commitment I’ve made, alongside some other amazing women podcasters, to raise awareness and dollars to uncover and dismantle the ways racism, both conscious and unconscious, are impacting our society. I planned the Initiative after viewing the haunting video of Philando Castile’s death and of his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds and her young daughter in the back of the cop car in its aftermath. But, the events of Charlottesville since then have brought another level of urgency to this effort.

I’m so grateful that I found Nicole Lee, an incredible African American woman and mother, as our first guest on this topic, to light the way for how we as mothers, and especially those of us who are white women like myself, can take steps to make a difference, beginning with our own children and our own communities.

Nicole is a strategist, executive coach and public policy advocate through her diversity and inclusion consulting firm, Lee Bayard Group, LLC. And she’s a practicing human rights attorney through the Black Movement Law Project she co-founded, which provides legal and strategy assistance to Black Lives Matter protestors and organizations. Social justice and human rights have been part of her character since she was a child where she got her pioneering spirit especially from her own mother, one of the first black women to be ordained in her Christian denomination.

Nicole brings her experience as a mother and advocate to training parents in how to have courageous conversations with our children about diversity, inclusion and equity. I had the opportunity to learn from Nicole on a recent webinar on the subject, an overview for a more detailed class launching in September, that was also attended by Mallory Schlabach who offers this week’s dedication.

Nicole and I start the episode with shared agreements and intentions for courageous conversation, committing to one another to come to the podcast recording with an open heart, a commitment to move through discomfort and risk imperfection. I vowed not to edit anything out and we both named a shared desire to plant seeds in mothers to raise awareness for themselves and their children.

We explored how we can open channels of communication with our children, holding a “growth mindset” for them in relation to diversity, allowing them to make mistakes as they share what’s on their minds and not “shushing” them when they do. Nicole also shared the importance of expressing our values to our children in ways that they understand.

When I asked her where we could invest in change, she challenged us to focus on our own communities and to identify some hard conversations we’ve been putting off. She emphasized the importance of introspective work to realize what’s in our way, determine what we need to be “ready” and then go get ready and have them.

As it has been for me, I hope this podcast episode, and the links and resources in the show notes, will be part of what you need to get ready to have the brave conversations with your own children and your own communities. As Nicole says at the end of our conversation, “we’ve got this.” We are not being asked to do anything that is not within our grasp. It’s not easy but we can get it done.

This Week’s Challenge:

Our challenge this week is to go back and process our own patterns and thinking about race, diversity and inclusion, to identify what courageous conversations we’ve been putting off, to get what we need to be ready, and then go have them.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • How having an open heart and articulating intentions create meaningful opportunity for brave conversations about our differences

  • Nicole’s reflection on why many black women may not want to talk with white women about racism and how to seek out spaces, and resources, to explore these issues if you’re white and have genuine intention to learn

  • Nicole’s childhood and how she was driven at an early age to fight for social good

  • An exploration of the E.P.I.C Guideposts in relation to the topic of diversity and inclusion

  • The role mothers have in planting awareness and knowledge in their children that will help transform our society

  • The importance of cultivating real friendships across differences and how color blindness and an unwillingness to have tough conversations can block authentic connection

  • The importance of having a growth mindset in the context of race and not to “shush” our children when they share what’s really on their minds

  • Expressing our values in a way our children will understand

  • Ideas for investing and supporting the Movement for Black Lives and Nicole’s opinion that getting involved locally in advocacy on police relations, and having the hard conversations, in our own communities, are the most important steps we can take.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Announcements

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

I’m raising awareness for myself, and inviting you to do the same, through this special podcast episode. I’m also pledging to donate to an organization supporting the Movement for Black Lives and to invite you to donate too leading up to Giving Tuesday in November. More on this to come soon.

If you are a women podcaster yourself, I’d love for you to make a similar pledge to use the power of your platform for this cause. You can learn more and join the initiative by signing up at mothersquest.com/solidarity.

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

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

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

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

    

Episode #5: Live your E.P.I.C. Life to Help Your Children Thrive
Ep 74: Living and Loving with Authenticity with Hands Free Mama Rachel Macy Stafford

Ep 74: Living and Loving with Authenticity with Hands Free Mama Rachel Macy Stafford

I’m honored to share today’s episode, a conversation three years in the making with Rachel Macy Stafford, that arrives during remarkably challenging times, just as we need Rachel’s wisdom most.

Rachel is a writer with one goal: to help people choose love as much as humanly possible. A New York Times bestselling author, her latest book is Live Love Now: Relieve the Pressure and Find Real Connection with Our Kids. She’s also the New York Times bestselling author of Hands Free Mama, Hands Free Life, and Only Love Today; a certified special education teacher with a Master’s Degree in education; an in-demand speaker featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Global News, TIME.com, FoxNews.com, as well as in hundreds of other online and print publications and a beloved blogger who inspires millions in her weekly blog posts at HandsFreeMama.com and through her supportive Facebook community, The Hands Free Revolution.

Like so many of her followers, I stumbled upon Rachel’s work years ago, and her writing immediately became a light on my path to more fully live my purpose.

I’m so grateful that I had this time to talk with Rachel, to explore the threads of presence and authenticity that weave through so much of her journey, to understand that facing our truths is just the beginning of unexpected invitations, and to remember what’s possible for our children to live a present-filled, purpose-filled life when we step forward to do that first. 

This conversation with Rachel and her beautiful new book, which I hope you will get and savor as I have been doing, will make you want to show up for yourself and your children in profound new ways and to embody her underlying message, to Live Love Now.

Much appreciation,


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

 

This Episode is Dedicated by Samantha Arsenault

Samantha Arsenault Livingstone is an Olympic gold medalist, high-performance consultant, mental health educator, speaker, and entrepreneur – and she’s a mother of four and recovering perfectionist. Samantha holds a master’s degree in education and spent six years teaching high school science and coaching swimming. After a near-death experience with her then 12- month old daughter, Samantha knew it was time to pay forward all she’s learned about achievement, emotional resilience, rising from failure, and finding happiness.

In 2016, Samantha founded Livingstone High Performance in response to the mental health crisis impacting adolescents across the globe, specifically those in the athletic arena. LHP provides pillars of support to organizations, teams, and individuals to elevate mental health and improve performance, and build a more empowered village. In addition to private and group coaching, Samantha offers online courses and consults with teams and organizations on athlete wellness initiatives, leadership, strategic planning, rising skills, and developing high-performance cultures. She is a certified instructor of Mindful Sport Performance Enhancement and Mental Health First Aid.

Samantha is an engaging public speaker who has more than 19 years of experience, which includes her TEDx Talk: The Weight of Gold: An Olympian’s Path to Recovery. She’s been featured as a keynote speaker, expert panelist, workshop facilitator, and seminar leader. She’s worked with high-school, collegiate, and professional athletes in a group and 1:1 setting; school districts; athletic departments; coaching organizations; women in business groups; wellness entrepreneurs; and national governing bodies, most notably, USA Swimming.

Samantha and her husband, Rob, live in the Berkshires with their four girls. To learn more about her offerings, go over to www.samanthalivingstone.com.

To learn more about her offerings, go over to www.samantha livingstone.com. You can join Samantha’s FREE 5-Day I AM CHALLENGE at www.samanthalivingstone.com/i-am-challenge  

Facebook @slivingstonewellness

Instagram @slivingstn

Linkedin @sarsenaultlivingstone

 

In This Episode We Talk About:

  • The way Rachel’s mother gave her the gift of “presence” even when she couldn’t be physically present.  
  • Rachel’s quest for purpose and the legacy she wants to leave

  • How reflecting on the question “How do I do it all?” on a run one day became the “spark moment” that pushed Rachel to choose herself

  • What Rachel means by her connection to her “dreamer girl”

  • Why facing the truth is really just the beginning

  • What it means when Rachel says to her children “I want to love you by your book.” 

  • Hands-Free Mama as a way of being

  • The pressure and insecurity of online life and how screentime distraction becomes the biggest obstacle to living purpose-filled

  • The 3 roles that will allow us to walk beside our kids

  • Finding your place of refuge and helping your kids find theirs

  • How we can “find our people” by doing the things our heart calls us to do

  • The tear-filled pledge I made to Rachel, reading from a promise in her book on p.57 

 

This Week’s Challenge:

For this week’s challenge, Rachel encourages us to think about any hurtful comments, criticism, consciously and unconsciously, that we’ve been carrying around that’s holding us back from truly fulfilling our purpose. Reflect on it and slowly turn that pain into purpose.

 

Learn More Rachel Macy Stafford

Rachel Macy Stafford is the New York Times bestselling author of Hands Free Mama, Hands Free Life, and Only Love Today. Her fourth book, Live Love Now, releases in April 2020. Rachel is a certified special education teacher who helps people overcome distraction and perfection to live better and love more. Rachel’s work has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Global News, TIME.com, FoxNews.com, as well as in hundreds of other online and print publications. Her blog (www.handsfreemama.com) currently averages one million visitors a month. Rachel loves taking long walks, baking, and volunteering with homeless cats and nursing home residents. Rachel lives in the South with her husband and two daughters who inspire her daily.

 

Follow Rachel on Social Media

 

Resources Mentioned:

 

Announcements:

Honoring George Floyd By Stepping Into Empathy And Action

I want to acknowledge the pain and horror so many of us are feeling at the killing of another black man by a police officer, in the death of George Floyd. Rachel’s gift is to invite us to be present and purposeful in our lives and that same presence and purpose calls us now to take that pain and turn it into deeper understanding and action.

To support that, in the show notes, I’m including a link to an episode I recorded a few years ago with the co-founder of Mother’s Against Police Brutality Sara Mokuria, and to a set of Anti-Racism resources that Rachel shared in a post, she wrote today. Also in that post, Rachel offered these words from her new book Live Love Now, that I invite us to sit with, along with a few moments of silence, to honor George Floyd, and so many other men like him.

“What if we responded to the injustices inflicted on human lives with empathy and action rather than defensiveness or apathy? What if we lived as if we truly believed it’s not ‘your back’ or ‘my back,’ but ‘our back’?”

 

Resources Mentioned in the Opening Call to Action in Honor of
George Floyd: 

 

The Mother’s Quest Manifesto Challenge is technically over, but the Reflection Journal, live videos, and reflective prompts are all still waiting for you in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group. Follow along at your own pace by registering here: www.mothersquest.com/manifestochallenge and coming on over to the private group here

 



If you enjoy the Mother’s Quest Podcast, we’d love your support in sharing this or another favorite episode with a mother you think would appreciate it too! 

Another way to help spread the word is to leave a review at Apple Podcasts. Instructions for leaving a review are here:

How to leave a rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad

  1. On your iOS mobile device, launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab in the lower right corner of the screen.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review. …
  4. Tap the Reviews tab, then tap “Write a Review” at the bottom of the screen.

 

Acknowledgments:

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

Vickie Giambra
Casey O’Roarty of Joyful Courage
Kathie Moehlig or TransFamily Support Services
Anne Ferguson of MamaFuel

On the Move and etsuko Kubo
Kate Amoo-Gottfried
Nicole Lee
Olivia Parr-Rud
“Vince” of the While Black Podcast
Sara Brannin-Mooser
Lindsay Pera
Julie Castro Abrams
Alexia Vernon
Brooke Markevicius
Democracy Clothing
Michael Skolnik
Helgi Maki
Kari Azuma
Tamara Sobomehin
Katie Krimitsos
Carrie Caulfield Arick
Rachel Rosen
Chandra Brooks
Jen Simon
Monisha Vasa
Celia Ward-Wallace
Vanessa Couto
Desiree Adaway
Rachel Steinman
Katie Hanus
Denise Barreto 
Sage B. Hobbs 
Samantha Nolan-Smith
Jody Smith
Emily Cretella
Collette Flanagan
Titilayo Tinubu Ali 
Carly Magnus Hurt
Lizzy Russinko 
Suzanne Brown
Mara Berns Langer
Mallory Schlabach 
Katharine Earhart
Jessica Kupferman
Jen Jenkins Dohner
Genese Harris
Tonya Rineer
Liane Louie-Badua
Cristin Downs 
Erin Kendall 
Niko Osoteo 
Erik Newton 
Claire Fry
Divya Silbermann
Rachel Winter
Caren and Debbie Lieberman
Cameron Miranda
Fran and David Lieberman
Debbie and Alan Goore
The Sustainable Living Podcast
Samantha Arsenault

Support the Podcast

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

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

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

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

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

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.