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/

Ep 72: Seeking Asylum is a Human Right with Bay Area Border Relief’s Belinda Arriaga

Ep 72: Seeking Asylum is a Human Right with Bay Area Border Relief’s Belinda Arriaga


I’m honored to share this episode, the first I’m releasing after our lives have changed in immense ways due to this global pandemic. At a time when we realize how interconnected we all are, I’m honored to bring you a conversation with Dr. Belinda Arriaga, a leader at Bay Area Border Relief, about the incredibly important work she does championing families seeking asylum at the United States Mexican border.

In addition to her advocacy through Bay Area Border Relief, Belinda is Founder and Executive Director of Ayudando Latinos a Soñar, a non-profit which stands for Believing in Latinos to Dream, dedicated to working with Latino rural youth, families, farmworkers, asylum seekers, and seniors living on coastside in the San Francisco Bay Area. Bringing her training as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, she serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of San Francisco in the School of Education, as Co-Founder of the Half Moon Bay Latino Advisory, and founder of the Latino Trauma Institute. She’s beloved by those who know her as being a fierce advocate with a heart of gold.

In this episode, Belinda (originally born in Texas) shares about her own childhood experiences journeying back to America from Panama, how despite her mother’s instruction to keep her head down she learned to speak out and fight injustice, about our country’s history of honoring asylum as a human right, and now the ways in which our current immigration policies increase trauma for families fleeing violence instead of providing our protection, shelter and support. Belinda tells her firsthand accounts of the devastating conditions that families experience living in encampments on the Mexican side of the border now and also about miracles and community rising up to literally open doors. 

With faith in our collective generosity and hope for more miracles, Belinda and I spoke this week about what the families at the border need now. We want to invite you to say “yes” to the challenge of writing love letters in Spanish especially to the children there and also to send along children’s masks that can provide some protection from the spread of the coronavirus if it reaches their encampment. As we are sheltering in place, Belinda, the Bay Area Border Relief team and I invite you to follow the information in the show notes to take action within your homes, to send care packages that let these families know that they are not forgotten.

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:
Vickie Giambra of ABA’s Children’s Immigration Law Academy

Vickie Giambra is a Senior Staff Attorney with the ABA’s Children’s Immigration Law Academy. She lives in Houston, TX with her husband and twice-exceptional daughter. She has been practicing immigration law since 2009. She began her nonprofit immigration law career when she joined Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in January 2017. 

As a Managing Attorney, she led the General Immigration Program at Catholic Charities, which encompassed family immigration matters and provided a full range of immigration services for refugees and asylees. With a B.A., cum laude, in Latin American Studies from Barnard College, Columbia University, and an M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge, Vickie began her career working in HR and recruitment for a large international law firm in New York and London. 

This sparked an interest in employment and immigration law, which led Vickie to enroll in the University of Houston Law Center, graduating in May 2009. She’s also a member of the Texas Bar and is also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach.

ABA Children’s Immigration Law Academy

Connect with Vickie:

LinkedIn

Twitter

 Vickie’s Suggested Resources: 

 

In This Episode We Talk About:

  • How Belinda’s painful experience leaving her native Panama for the United States connects to the work she does now supporting immigrants. 
  • An explanation of the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP), a policy that stopped asylum seekers from entering the United States since November
  • A discussion of asylum-seeking as a basic human right
  • Belinda’s firsthand experience and observations about children’s suffering under our current immigration policy and the ways we can support them
  • How Belinda finds the personal strength and faith to persevere in the challenging work she does
  • Belinda’s belief in miracles and a powerful story about community rising up to support a family seeking asylum 

 

This Week’s Challenge:

For this episode’s challenge, Belinda encourages us to write love letters to the children who are seeking asylum (especially after the government’s latest announcement to shut down all asylum efforts right now) and to support an effort to bring 1,000 children’s masks to the families at the border. With this simple act of love and care, we can empower them to have strength especially when they are scared or lonely.

You can send your letters and masks to 4 Windsor Drive, Hillsborough, CA 94010
If you’re interested in contributing to the larger project, you can go to https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/bayareaborderrelief to make a fully tax-deductible donation. 

And/or order masks for your family & friends with proceeds supporting the campaign visit 👉 bit.ly/BABRmasks

 

Learn More About Belinda Arriaga

Belinda Hernandez Arriaga is a Faculty Coordinator for the Masters In Counseling MFT program at USF’s South Bay location. She co-founded and is part of the Latino Advisory Council in Half Moon Bay. Belinda has done extensive work on the coast working with farmworker families and their children, in her community practice her focus is on immigration trauma, u-visas, asylum and has worked with refugee children of San Mateo County.

She is Founder and Chief Executive Director of Ayudando Latinos A Soñar (www.alashmb.org), a Latino cultural arts, education, and social justice program dedicated to working with rural youth and families living on the coast side. Her current research is focused on understanding the emotional, psychological, and traumatic experiences that impact undocumented and mixed-status Latino youth.

Belinda’s work also focuses on understanding the cultural arts as a healing space for this community of children. Belinda is committed to social justice advocacy and multicultural practices in counseling that gives voice to underground communities and expand indigenous cultural practices in the field of counseling. She and her husband have three young daughters and live in the coastal community of Half Moon Bay.

To know more about Belinda and the work that she does, you can read her full bio 👉here

 

Follow Belinda on Social Media

 

Resources Mentioned:

 

Additional Resources featuring Belinda:

 

Announcements:

There are 3000 people hoping for a chance at a better life for themselves and their families. They are also at risk of being exposed to the virus. A joint project between ALAS and Bay Area Border Relief has been launched which is a mask making effort and it’ll include the families at South Texas border, all across the Rio Grande from Brownsville.

Join me in my efforts to support them. If you’re interested in contributing to this project, you can go to https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/bayareaborderrelief to make a fully tax-deductible donation. 

And/or order masks for your family & friends. Proceeds support the campaign 👉 bit.ly/BABRmasks

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:

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

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/