Ep 63: A Maker’s Journey to a Good Life with Jonathan Fields

Ep 63: A Maker’s Journey to a Good Life with Jonathan Fields

I’m so thrilled to bring you this full circle, Father’s Day special with someone whose podcast, community, programs, and even summer camp, have impacted me deeply, Jonathan Fields of the Good Life Project.

Each Father’s Day, I interview one or two men for a change for the Mother’s Quest Podcast. So, I recently asked on Facebook which father, in their wildest dreams, my community members would most like to hear from.

Jonathan’s name came up again and again… alongside Dax Shepard and Obama!

Jonathan is dad, husband, award-winning author, and the executive-producer/host of the top-ranked Good Life Project® podcast, hailed by The Wall Street Journal as one of the top self-development podcasts and featured recently by Apple on-stage during its legendary annual event. The podcast is beloved by listeners world-wide, including myself, who appreciate the intimacy and depth of his interviews, with inspiring guests that in recent weeks alone have included Elizabeth Gilbert, Stedman Graham and Abby Wambach.

An innovator in the field of human potential, Jonathan is also the chief architect behind the world’s first “purpose archetypes”–what he calls the Sparketypes™–tapped by tens-of-thousands of individuals, companies and institutions, along with some Mother’s Quest members, seeking to amplify purpose, expression, performance, and flow.

In this conversation, Jonathan and I went to all the deep, reflective places across each E.P.I.C. guidepost, talking about everything from our Sparktypes to the influence of his mother, a “maker” like himself, how he really feels about the hero’s journey and living a good life, lessons we’ve learned about letting go of expectations with our children, and how to be creators but not to be defined by the things we create.

I’m so excited to bring you this conversation and Jonathan’s beautiful, powerful challenge for all of us, which he shares at the end. The whole interview, for me, felt like one amazing “epic snapshot moment” with a generous guide on a similar quest for meaning and connection. I hope you receive as much as I did.

Much appreciation,

This Episode is Dedicated by:
Sara Brannin-Mooser in honor of her mother, Maureen (aka Renee) Brannin

Sara is a Mind + Body Connector, a Soulful Adventurer, a Constant Learner, an Athlete, Mom, Partner, and Friend. She is the Chief Stillness + Strength Officer at Stoking Radiance and Director of Integrated Strength at Smash Gyms.

She ignites men and women to build strength and stillness to minimize anxiety and navigate loss on their road to radiance. She provides tools to strengthen the body and mind: full body strength training tied together with meditation and celebration.

www.saramooser.com
www.smashmountainview.com

Connect with her on Linkedin

In This Episode We Talk About:

  • Jonathan’s upbringing in the town of the Great Gatsby, influenced by the maker energy of his mother and the elements of water  

  • Critical thoughts about the hero’s journey, the reasons Jonathan doesn’t think it’s for everyone, and his current metric for a life well lived

  • How Jonathan is approaching the last summer home with his daughter before college and why we can’t try to short-cut our children’s journey to happiness by installing it

  • The Sparketypes Assessment and the way that learning about my own Sparketype solved a piece of the puzzle for me

  • Why Jonathan set aside Revolution U and the importance sometimes of letting go of the things that we create

  • How Jonathan invests in himself through his daily practice

  • The lessons learned from taking a weekly journey to an Amishcommunity where he made a guitar with his own hands

  • What Jonathan said when I asked him to share a conversation on his podcast that deeply transformed him

  • Jonathan’s perspective about building community and his own evolution to bringing guests on his podcast with not only shared values but also with diverse backgrounds and life experiences

Resources and Topics Mentioned:

This Week’s Challenge: 

For seven days, before getting out of bed, put one hand on your heart, put one hand your belly, close your eyes and just ask yourself, what do I most need today?

Give yourself a minute, 30 seconds, or whatever time you need without looking at a device. Just breath into that and make a commitment that at some point before you rest your head on the pillow at night, you will do at least one thing that helps you give yourself that need.

Learn More About Jonathan:

Jonathan Fields is a national bestselling author and the founder of Good Life Project®, one of the top-ranked podcasts in the world with a giant global, mission-driven community. The Wall Street Journal hailed Good Life Project as one of the top self-development podcasts, and Apple recently featured it on-stage during its legendary annual event.

An innovator in the field of human potential, Fields is also the chief architect behind the world’s first “purpose archetypes”–the Sparketypes™–tapped by tens-of-thousands of individuals, companies and institutions in the quest to amplify purpose, expression, performance and flow.

Jonathan’s latest book, How to Live a Good Life, became an instant national bestseller and #1 audiobook on Audible and his prior book, Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt Into Fuel For Brilliance, was named #1 Personal Development Book by 800-CEO-READ. He is currently at work on a forthcoming book on the Sparketypes. Jonathan and his work have been featured widely in the media, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, FastCompany, Entrepreneur, Forbes and Inc.

When Jonathan takes the stage as a keynote-presenter or program facilitator, he brings a rare ability to not just captivate with ideas and stories drawn from his own experience and years interviewing global visionaries, but also to tap into an expansive, international data-set derived from the Sparketype Assessment that reveals powerful insights about purpose, meaning, performance, expression and what it takes to truly to come alive and step into your fullest potential in work and life.

Connect with Jonathan & The Good Life Project on

Subscribe to The Good Life Project Podcast

Announcements:

Announcement for the First Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life Group Program

This summer, I’m excited to invite you to join us for the first group program version of the signature Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life series that I typically do in one-on-one coaching or in the Mother’s Quest Circle. The Group Program will bring you the same powerful sequence, in community, at a more affordable rate and at an accelerated pace, meeting weekly on Thursdays, beginning the second week of July.

 If you want to be added to wait list to receive the link to all the details and the registration application as soon as it goes live, sign up here. Hope you may join us, and that together, we can help you clarify your future vision, assess your present along the E.P.I.C. Guideposts, and then move into action to more fully live your E.P.I.C. life.

Mother’s Quest Manifesto Give-Away

My guest today, Jonathan Fields of the Good Life Project was instrumental in the creation of the E.P.I.C. Life framework, the foundation for all things Mother’s Quest. Living my version of an E.P.I.C. Life has really become my manifesto. And having this as a guiding light has been so helpful to me that I wanted to support you to create your own. Continuing through the month of June, join us in the free Mother’s Quest Facebook Group, where you’ll find a series of reflective prompts and live videos from other members to help spark your own.

Create and share on social media with the hashtag #oneminutemommanifesto before the end of the month, and you’ll be entered into a Give-Away to win fabulous prizes from Mother’s Quest members. If you are discovering this episode another time, don’t worry, the prompts will all still be waiting for you in the group. I hope you’ll join us. Now, onto the show.

Spark Your E.P.I.C. Year

Anyone else feel like they need a spring reset to their year? 

A few months ago, we declared February the new January and facilitated a Mother’s Quest Workshop/Virtual Milestone Hike experience to help us all start again.

Using photos from my favorite local hike, I took a small group on a virtual journey to:

✨Reflect on our last chapter (as we ascend) 
✨Decide what we want to release (using an image of a big bad bonfire!) and what we want to carry forward
✨Then, set intentions along the E.P.I.C. guideposts for our new chapter. 

There’s a special planning sheet we created to guide you and help you document the whole process. 

🌟Truthfully, we can start fresh any time we choose.🌟

If you decide you want to reset and begin again, today, this afternoon or this weekend, using this experience and worksheet to support you. Just sign up here.

Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life or 90 Minute Clarity Coaching Session

If you’re feeling a desire to press “pause” on the busyness and reflect on your vision for this year, what’s working and what needs to shift, and what key guidepost would help you move forward more intentionally, I’d love to support you with a one-on-one 90-minute clarity coaching session.

If you are interested in the Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life Series or another way of working with me, please send an email to julie@mothersquest.com for a complimentary 30 minute discovery session.

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:

Sara Brannin-Mooser

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

Support the Podcast

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

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

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

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

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

Encore: Living Out Loud with Jenjii Hysten

Encore: Living Out Loud with Jenjii Hysten

I’m honored to bring you a final episode in a weekly series I’ve released this May in honor of Mother’s Day and the Mother’s Quest Manifesto Challenge I facilitated in the private group.

The other morning, as I searched my intuition for what episode to end the month with, in a flash I thought about this conversation with my friend Jenjii Hysten. At the 40 minute mark, the discussion, real and vulnerable, in which we talk about not only our differences as women of different races and religions, but also our common humanity as mothers of sons, still stands out as one of the most powerful moments in now over 60 conversations I’ve recorded.

So much has changed since we released that episode. Trump, recently elected at the time of recording, of course has now been President for several years and his administration has only deepened the divides and injustices that were already with us. My son Ryan did decide to visit Jenjii and Franklin’s ministry, an experience that profoundly touched him and impacted the speech he shared at his bar mitzvah, a beautiful event that Jenjii and Franklin attended with their two sons. All our boys are now years older, and all deepened their own social awareness in ways both painful and empowering. And Jenjii and I have each stepped into our own activism in different ways, each committing to powerful conversations to build bridges of awareness, understanding and transformation. Ones that I’ve recorded with Mothers Against Police Brutality co-founder Sara Mokuria and with Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton are linked here.

Jenjii says that she is still committed to Living out Loud, the guiding theme you’ll hear her talk about. But now she has a much clearer sense of what that really means. She is currently writing a book, and though she and her husband decided to close their ministry, their consulting business is thriving, they’ve joined another church where they preach, and she says she has learned that her life is her ministry. When we spoke today to catch up, I told Jenjii that sounded to me like one powerful Manifesto and possibly the title of her book.

Whether you heard it once before, or its new to you, I hope you enjoy this episode. And that these reflections and the conversation that follows may spark you to claim your own manifesto, to reach out to build your own bridges of awareness and connection, and to live your own Life Out Loud. 

Much appreciation,

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

I am honored to bring you this intimate, inspired conversation with Jenjii Hysten, a mother, coach, and community leader who I deeply admire.

I have known Jenjii for almost a decade now, through my connection with her husband Franklin. But in recent months, Jenjii’s raw and vulnerable sharing about what it is like to be the mother of two black boys and fear for their safety, caused me to move past my worry of saying or doing the wrong thing and reach out to her in a whole different way.

Our honest conversation about the ways in which we’ve stepped out of our comfort zones to live out loud and forge connections with one another based on our common humanity, as mothers of sons, was one of the most powerful moments I have had yet on the Mother’s Quest Podcast.

Jenjii is an advocate, teacher, student, facilitator and a voice for the voiceless. She was born in Los Angeles but says that Oakland raised her. She studied Interdisciplinary-Studies with an emphasis on Urban/Economic Development at UC Berkeley, holds a CompassPoint Executive Director certificate and is an ordained minister.

In her early 20s, she worked with the Children’s Defense Fund for a program called Freedom School and says it saved her life. This is where she learned the beauty of Servant Leadership, which is one of her core values. As the Founder of SOS, Saving Our Sisters Saving our Selves, over the course of 10 years, she served hundreds of girls throughout the Bay Area. In her 20+ years working, Jenjii has served as a Program Director, Executive Director, Dean of Students, Curriculum Designer, started New Life Ministries with her husband Franklin, and is currently the Co-founder and CEO of Hysten Consulting, LLC.

I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I did. I was struck by the concept of rhythm, and how it can manifest in our lives, our children, our bodies, our communities, and perhaps most importantly, our collective humanity. I hope you will leave the conversation, as I did, inspired to think about the ways in which you can find your rhythm and live out loud in your own E.P.I.C. life.

In This Episode We Talk About:

  • Being on a quest to “live out loud” and what that means for your life
  • How our kids show us who they are through their words, actions, dreams, and challenges
  • The importance of passion and purpose
  • Being a servant leader and in turn, raising them as well
  • How Jenjii’s own battle with diabetes saved her and taught her about following her body’s rhythm and the importance of sleep, exercise, food and stress reduction
  • My visit to Jenjii and Franklin’s church and how humanity connects us regardless of class, race or religion

Resources and Topics Mentioned:

Announcements:

Join the Manifesto Challenge to Win Exciting Prizes!

In honor of Mother’s Day, I kicked off a five day Mother’s Quest Manifesto Challenge in the private Facebook group. More about the inspiration behind the challenge in my episode with Graeme Seabrook.

Each day, I shared a reflective prompt to help you claim the next chapter in your life and hosted a different mother, who shared their stories and their #oneminutemommanifesto for inspiration.

All of these resources are still in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group, so it’s never too late to come on over and participate.

Spark Your E.P.I.C. Year

Anyone else feel like they need a spring reset to their year?

A few months ago, we declared February the new January and facilitated a Mother’s Quest Workshop/Virtual Milestone Hike experience to help us all start again.

Using photos from my favorite local hike, I took a small group on a virtual journey to:

✨Reflect on our last chapter (as we ascend)
✨Decide what we want to release (using an image of a big bad bonfire!) and what we want to carry forward
✨Then, set intentions along the E.P.I.C. guideposts for our new chapter.

There’s a special planning sheet we created to guide you and help you document the whole process.

🌟Truthfully, we can start fresh any time we choose.🌟

If you decide you want to reset and begin again, today, this afternoon or this weekend, using this experience and worksheet to support you. Just sign up here.

Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life or 90 Minute Clarity Coaching Session

If you’re feeling a desire to press “pause” on the busyness and reflect on your vision for this year, what’s working and what needs to shift, and what key guidepost would help you move forward more intentionally, I’d love to support you with a one-on-one 90-minute clarity coaching session.

If you are interested in the Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life Series or another way of working with me, please send an email to julie@mothersquest.com for a complimentary 30 minute discovery session.

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:

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

Support the Podcast

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

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

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

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

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

Encore: Embrace Your Shape and Evolve Your Life with Democracy Clothing’s President Caren Lettiere

Encore: Embrace Your Shape and Evolve Your Life with Democracy Clothing’s President Caren Lettiere

In honor of Mother’s Day 2019, I wanted to share this episode on the feed again with my sister Caren Lettiere, founder of Democracy Clothing, along with an updated discount code, 20Romy, to purchase Democracy jeans at 20% off (on Amazon.com) through May 24th. I also wanted to share an amazing update about the events that unfolded after we released this episode. 

As you’ll hear in this conversation as it unfolds, Caren and I realized more and more how much our missions are aligned, but manifested in different ways. Caren helps empower women, many of them mothers, by helping them look and feel good on the outside and I empower mothers by helping them get clear and connected to their voice, their vision and their values on the inside. 

We decided we wanted to work together and Caren brought me on to help Democracy with their brand messaging and to find ways to deepen their social impact. Because I was invited while recording an episode with Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, to be an ambassador at her Circle of Mothers healing retreat, I had this idea that Caren could come too and gift the mothers, who were all grieving the loss of a child to gun violence, with her Democracy jeans. 

The weekend for the mothers was nothing short of transformative. That we anticipated. But, what surprised us was was that something like jeans, which might have been experienced as trivial, was in the words of many of these mothers “life-changing.”

After witnessing this, we wanted to support more of you with the 20% coupon to purchase the jeans, so you can look good, feel good and have the confidence to do good in Democracy jeans. As we did in the original episode, we’d also love to hear from you. Share your photos with the Mother’s Quest and Democracy Clothing hashtags and let us know about how your “Democracy in Action” stories are unfolding. 

Sending love to all the mothers, and those who mother, especially those who may be healing from the loss of a loved one. 

Thinking of you on Mother’s Day! 

Much appreciation,

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

Ep 56: Embrace Your Shape and Evolve Your Life with Democracy Clothing’s President Caren Lettiere

Caren, ten years older than me and like a second mother in many ways, has been a guide, mentor and inspiration to me my whole life.

She’s an ambitious, talented leader in the fashion industry and has managed to grow a $70 million dollar brand, Democracy Clothing, alongside a 27 year marriage and raising two of the loveliest young adults I know, my niece and nephew Nicole and Josh.

After graduating from UCLA with a degree in political science, she took a different course and embarked on a career path in fashion, beginning in sales for a company called Rampage, and ultimately landing at Kellwood. There, she first filled a gap she noticed her daughter had for jeans and developed a brand to meet it called Jolt/Rewind.

Soon after, she recognized an even greater underserved customer in the market, a dynamic, modern, multitasking mother like herself who loves fashion but got busy with life. Devoted to this ageless woman and aware that she doesn’t want to put an expiration date on her vitality, but could benefit from a little “engineering” when it comes to jeans, Caren launched Democracy Clothing.

I loved this conversation with my sister and learned so much myself about how she grew the brand from her side hustle into the tremendously successful venture it is today.

Family, magic, a positive mindset and a willingness to grow and evolve in community are just a few of the themes we explore in this episode. We cover everything from the important role that Caren’s husband David played in supporting her career to how they both championed their son Josh last year, when he received a cancer diagnosis and moved forward with his own positivity through three rounds of chemo and a clean bill of health.

Caren also shares openly about her own health challenges and all the ways she has built community, at home and at work, to help her thrive.

Finally, Caren gives us a special challenge. She asks us to follow and apply the 4 Pillars of Democracy Clothing:  to embrace who you are, enhance what you’ve got, elevate your taste level and evolve your personal style, in order to live a more whole and confident life.

If this calls to you, we encourage you to purchase a pair, wear them with confidence doing something that really matters to you, and then take a photo and share your story with us on Instagram using the hashtags #democracyclothing and #mothersquest.

We look forward to seeing and hearing your stories (then sharing them on Democracy’s Instastories) and learning about all the ways you are “rocking your walk,” as Caren likes to say… in your E.P.I.C. life.

This Episode is Dedicated by:

The team at Democracy, represented by Director of Sales Judy Owens.

Democracy is a denim-based casual lifestyle brand devoted to the woman who grew up with fashion, but then got busy with life.

Founded in 2010, on the principle of “Curve Equality,” which acknowledges that all shapes are not created equal, Democracy’s designers set out to create a jean that that would maximize a woman’s shape by fusing together, style, comfort and technology.

Sales inquiries: democracy.sales@kellwood.com
www.democracyclothing.com
www.facebook.com/democracyjeans
www.twitter.com/democracyjeans
www.instagram.com/democracyclothing

In This Episode We Talk About:

  • The BuzzFeed Article that sparked this episode and revealed Mother’s Quest community member Nancy Netherland’s story of wearing Democracy jeans from Capital Hill to her daughter’s hospital bedside
  • 3 Things Caren learned from our mother, growing up as a 60’s child
  • Caren’s path to living an E.P.I.C. life through pursuing her love of fashion
  • Moments that make me and Caren cry as she reflects on the impact of our mother and father and her husband on her life
  • How Democracy Clothing started out as Caren’s side hustle, the unique woman who inspired the brand, and how her work family helped it succeed
  • The one thing Caren always knew she was on a quest for
  • Keys to honoring your kids as they become more independent
  • Caren’s son Josh’s experience battling testicular cancer last year and how she and her husband David honored his choices
  • What Caren’s Dr. told her she could NOT do if she wanted to avoid diabetes, how she reclaimed her health, and the special way she starts her mornings alongside her daughter Nicole
  • The Four Pillars of Democracy Clothing and a special challenge and discount for the Mother’s Quest Community 

Resources and Topics Mentioned:

Other Episodes with My Family Members:

This Week’s Challenge:

For this week’s challenge, Caren encourages us to take a moment and recognize that you are an extraordinary and dynamic woman. Learn to give yourself space to appreciate who you are and how you got to where you are now.

Caren also asks us to follow and apply the 4 Pillars of Democracy to:  embrace who you are, enhance what you’ve got, elevate your taste level and evolve your personal style, in order to feel good about yourself and live a more whole and confident life.

There’s also a special offer…if you want to explore those pillars in a pair of Democracy jeans yourself, here is the updated discount code, 20Romy, to purchase Democracy jeans at 20% off on Amazon.com through May 24th. We encourage you to purchase a pair, wear them with confidence doing something that really matters, and then take a photo and share your story with us using the hashtags #democracyclothing and #mothersquest.

We look forward to seeing and hearing your stories and learning about all the ways you are “rocking your walk,” as Caren says…in your E.P.I.C. life.

*Don’t forget to put #DemocracyClothing #MothersQuest as you share your Jeans story on Instagram and have an opportunity to have yours shared on Democracy’s Instastories.

The code can be redeemed on multiple units of Democracy but only on one order per person. Code is valid through May 24th, 2019 or until supplies last.

Learn More About Caren Lettierre:

Caren is the founder and President of Democracy Clothing, the brand that she passionately created and launched in 2010 for Kellwood.

After graduating from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Caren embarked on her non-traditional career path into fashion. She began in sales, launching the Rampage Clothing brand and their modern missy sub-brand CDC. After this, she embarked on her quest to fill the void in fashion for the dynamic, modern, multitasking woman.

Through her empathetic lens, she embraces women of all shapes and sizes and is committed to providing them with the foundation and confidence as they pursue their E.P.I.C. life.

Caren’s proudest accomplishment is the fulfilling family life that she built along the way with David, her husband of 27 years and their amazing kids Nicole and Josh.

LinkedIn

Announcements:

Join the Manifesto Challenge

Graeme and I have a vision one day for the creation and sharing of one million of these manifestos on social media using the hashtag #oneminutemommanifesto.

Join us in the private Mother’s Quest Facebook Group, from May 13th to the 17th.

Each day, I’ll share a reflective prompt to help you claim the next chapter in your life and I’ll host a different mother, including Graeme, who will share their stories and their #oneminutemommanifestos for inspiration. 

Spark Your E.P.I.C. Year

Anyone else feel like they need a spring reset to their year? 

A few months ago, we declared February the new January and facilitated a Mother’s Quest Workshop/Virtual Milestone Hike experience to help us all start again.

Using photos from my favorite local hike, I took a small group on a virtual journey to:

✨Reflect on our last chapter (as we ascend) 
✨Decide what we want to release (using an image of a big bad bonfire!) and what we want to carry forward
✨Then, set intentions along the E.P.I.C. guideposts for our new chapter. 

There’s a special planning sheet we created to guide you and help you document the whole process. 

🌟Truthfully, we can start fresh any time we choose.🌟

If you decide you want to reset and begin again, today, this afternoon or this weekend, using this experience and worksheet to support you. Just sign up here.

Join me on my #100dayproject Journey

I’m doing Lindsay Jean Thomson’s #100dayproject and decided to record 100 stories about the making of Mother’s Quest on my Mother’s Quest Bite-sized Reflections on Living an E.P.I.C. Life Podcast (an unedited sister podcast to my interview show.) Releasing perfectionism, I realized a few days in, these 100 episodes won’t be consecutive, but I’ll get to 100 still! There are almost a dozen recorded now and I’d love for you to tune in!

Follow Mother’s Quest on Anchor and join the #100dayproject!

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:

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

Support the Podcast

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

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

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

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

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

Ep 27: Courageous Conversations about Race with Nicole Lee

Ep 27: Courageous Conversations about Race with Nicole Lee

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.

I committed to doing this work and to having Nicole join us to continue the conversation and give me an opportunity to check in on my progress in the private Mother’s Quest Facebook Group on Wednesday, September 13th at 11:30 am PST.

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

I’m raising awareness for myself, and inviting you to do the same, through 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 Circle Pilot
You’re a mindful mother. And being present for your children in these years when you’re raising them is your highest priority. You’re also committed to making a positive impact in the world, something that feels even more important with all the challenges we currently face.

If the description above sounds like you, the Mother’s Quest Circle Pilot, launching this fall may be right for you.  This signature offering provides inspiration, coaching and community to spark your E.P.I.C. life with intimate in-person reflective sessions over 3-4 months.

Click www.mothersquest.com/mothers-quest-circle to learn and apply by September 10th. Questions? Email me at julie@mothersquest.com

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

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

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

Acknowledgements

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

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

Support the Podcast

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

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

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

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

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

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

    

Episode #5: Live your E.P.I.C. Life to Help Your Children Thrive
Ep 25: Change the Conversation: Podcasting as a Tool for Transformation with Elsie Escobar

Ep 25: Change the Conversation: Podcasting as a Tool for Transformation with Elsie Escobar


I’m excited to bring this Episode #25 of the Mother’s Quest podcast to you with a podcasting leader, mentor and community builder extraordinaire- the insightful and passionate, Elsie Escobar.

A podcaster herself since 2006, at the time of this recording, Elsie is getting ready to be inducted into the Academy of Podcasters Hall of Fame at the upcoming Podcast Movement conference. Among many accomplishments, she’s being recognized for her two impactful shows about podcasting The Feed – The Official Libsyn Podcast and She Podcasts, the podcast for women about podcasting and new media from the woman’s point of view.

Elsie has a lot to say about podcasting… she’s a self-proclaimed die hard podcast junkie, who especially loves to help women like myself find clarity and power in our voice and shift the narrative to focus on the things that matter most, not the numbers or downloads, but the transformative power of podcasting and expanding our podcasting audience.

Elsie and her She Podcasts partner Jessica Kupferman have developed together an incredible Facebook group with thousands of members, many of us mothers, on a quest to bring our mission forward through podcasting while showing up fully for our children in the magic and also the mess of motherhood.

Pursuing podcasting and motherhood is Elsie’s She Podcasts partner Jessica, who dedicated this week’s episode to Elsie herself and spoke about Elsie’s tremendous empathy. This empathic quality of Elsie’s comes through in our conversation in the way she talks about “creating space” for her children, for her passion, for dialogue that elevates and for understanding the needs and behaviors of podcast listeners.

In this episode, we cover a lot of territory, from Elsie’s roots in El Salvador and how she saw her mother reinvent herself after they emigrated to the US to the power and potential of podcasting to reach the ears of those who are underrepresented and need it most.

It was such an honor to have this time with Elsie, to experience her fire and passion first-hand and hear her call to amplify women’s voices, change the conversation to the things that really matter, and  bring the transformative power of podcasting into our communities.

Elsie gave me a personal challenge to step outside of my digital comfort zone and go to my local library to find mothers where they are and bring Mother’s Quest to them. I’m inspired to expand and stretch my voice, my impact and who I reach and welcome into my community. I hope this conversation will inspire you to do the same.

This Week’s Challenge:

Elsie gave me a personal challenge to step outside of my digital comfort zone and go to my local library, mother’s groups, or homeschooling co-ops and talk to someone in person about the Mother’s Quest Podcast.

She also shares another challenge to everyone to affirm, and share something that you love. Do it until sharing what you love expands, gets to the language that matches up with us, and enables you to eloquently share things that drive you. Again, do this challenge in person, and not online.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Consciously cultivating our podcast messages and giving podcast listeners “words they can repeat” and integrate into their own lives.
  • Elsies’ upbringing in El Salvador, move to the United States when she was 9, and seeing her mother step up and reinvent herself after emigrating to the United States.
  • “Creating space” for conversations with her children, especially when emotions are charged, and how her own partner spoke honestly with Elsie during difficult days after her children were born.
  • Using podcasting as a venue to create a more feminine impact, looking beyond more traditional masculine metrics.
  • How having the right business coaches has helped Elsie be everything she can be.
  • The importance for Elsie of being true to herself and how that enables her to attract people who support her and forms her community.
  • How socio-economics and cognitive behaviors affect the growth of podcasting
  • The importance of expanding podcasting to those who are underrepresented: seniors, those who don’t have access to healthcare, the ones that feel alone, people battling addiction, people who need to hear a voice that is like theirs
  • A challenge to move beyond our digital comfort zones and reach into communities to expand our podcast audiences

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Announcements

Q & A on the Transformative Power of Podcasting with Erica Gordon – Let’s continue this conversation inspired by Elsie’s episode with a Q & A in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group with side business success strategist Erica Gordon of the Moms With Dreams Podcast, the week of August 13th, exact day and time TBA. Click link to join the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group and get invited to the event.

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

Sign up! – Free 30 minute Discovery Session

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

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

Acknowledgements

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

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

Support the Podcast

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

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

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

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

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

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

    

Episode #5: Live your E.P.I.C. Life to Help Your Children Thrive
Ep 16: Rising Up with Paola Mendoza

Ep 16: Rising Up with Paola Mendoza


The value of putting yourself in someone else’s perspective, with compassion, is something that this week’s guest, filmmaker and activist Paola Mendoza, consciously creates through her storytelling.

And, boldly moving forward through difficult times is something Paola talks passionately about– as she reflects on how she moved from feelings of failure after the election and rose up, channelling those emotions into a passionate co-creation of the Women’s March–what became the largest world-wide gathering in history.

In addition to being a key organizer and the Artistic Director of the Women’s March on Washington, Paola is an acclaimed actress, director, screenwriter, and author.

She was recently named one of Filmmaker Magazine 25 New Faces of Independent Film for her body of work which includes Refinery 29, BROKEN TAIL LIGHT, FREE LIKE THE BIRDS, and Z for ZENDAYA. She made her narrative directorial debut with the film she wrote, starred in and co-directed about her mother, Entre Nos, which had its world premiere at Tribeca Film Festival and was awarded Honorable Mention.

Entre Nos told the deeply personal story of Paola, her brother, and her mother’s journey as immigrants to the United States from Colombia and the challenges they experienced. It went on to win over twenty awards at film festivals from around the world and ultimately became the novel, The Ones Who Don’t Stay.

Paola shares about the impact her mother had on her, what it was like to tell her mother’s story, the role of art in building compassion, and what it means to step into activism from a place of love, and the things you stand for, but also for what you boldly stand against.

We spent time talking about moving past fear, sacrificing your privilege, and teaching your children to do the same in order to help others.

These were things Paola powerfully demonstrated just two days after we recorded this interview, when she was arrested for civil disobedience at the Day Without a Woman strike in New York City.

Paola is a strong force but also has a softness about her, which comes through as she talks about her relationship with her four year old son, Mateo, how time with him is part of her self-care, and how they spend what they call “Adventure Fridays” together. I heard about her solid partnership with fellow activist, entrepreneur and storyteller Michael Skolnik and about the E.P.I.C. snapshot moment Michael captured of Paola taking in all she created the day of the Women’s March in D.C.

Looking back, I’m amazed that Paola was so present during her conversation with me given what she was in the midst of organizing just days later. I could tell she did so because she wanted me and those listening to know how important it is to take action based on our beliefs, that activism takes many shades and forms, and that with privilege comes tremendous responsibility to participate in our political system and stand for social justice.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • The profound impact her mother had on Paola’s life, and what it was like to tell her mother’s courageous story as an immigrant to the U.S., in her film Entre Nos

  • Paola’s way of connecting with her son through “Adventure Fridays”

  • The role of art and activism in growing compassion in other people

  • The importance of emphasizing both what you stand for and also what you stand against

  • With privilege comes responsibility, and how Paola hopes to teach her son to sacrifice his privilege to help other people

  • Ultimately, it’s not about falling or failing, it’s about how you rise up and how Paola’s metaphor of “running a relay” sustains her activism

  • Paola’s challenge to us to “participate”…to get involved in a local issue and attend a town hall meeting during the next congressional recess.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Announcements

If you haven’t yet visited the website, I want to invite you to head over to mothersquest.com to explore some of the ways you can get more connected. At the site, you can sign up for our email list to have show notes delivered to your inbox, click the link to join the Facebook group and press record to leave a voice message for me.

Help me Create the Finale!! – I would love to hear which are your favorite moments from the podcast and how what you are hearing and learning is impacting your E.P.I.C. life. I plan to highlight those moments from the different episodes, and your voices, in the season finale coming in early April. So do head over to mothersquest.com and use the voice message tool to tell me who you are, your favorite moment, and the impact it has had on you.

Finally, I invite you to schedule a free 15 minute planning session where I can help you bring more intention to your life using the Live Your E.P.I.C. Life Planning and Reflection Sheets which you can download for FREE at www.mothersquest.com/reflectionsheets. Email me at julie@mothersquest.com to set a time.

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

  • Divya Silbermann who dedicated this week’s episode
  • Rachel Winter
  • Caren and Debbie Lieberman
  • Cameron Miranda
  • Fran and David Lieberman
  • Debbie and Alan Goore
  • Jenise and Marianne of the Sustainable Living Podcast

 


Want to join the patrons above and help support more meaningful conversations such as these? Visit the Mother’s Quest Patreon Page to become a regular patron or visit this link www.mothersquest.com/be-a-supporter to make a one-time donation.

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. life, engaging mindfully with their children (E), passionately and purposefully making a difference beyond their family (P), investing in themselves (I), and connecting to a strong support network (C).

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

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

    

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