Ep 60: Inflection Points, Releasing Perfectionism, & Small Actions that Matter with Anne Devereux-Mills


I’m so excited to bring you this conversation with someone who has quite literally welcomed me into her home to learn, refresh, and connect with other women… accomplished entrepreneur, social justice advocate, sought after speaker, and a community builder at heart, Anne Devereux-Mills.

Capping a 25-year career as one of the most influential women in the advertising industry, in 2012 Anne founded Parlay House, a now international salon-style gathering of over 4,000 women who meet to pull each other forward through a combination of shared experiences, meaningful content, and peer-to-peer connections. 

In addition, alongside raising her two daughters as a single mother, becoming a sponsor to a young woman from Cambodia and then a step mother to two step sons,  Anne has achieved some remarkable things. 

She’s been a mentor for SHE-CAN, an organization supporting and grooming the next generation of female world leaders coming from post-genocide countries, and served as the director of Stanford University’s Healthy Body Image Programs. She was the Executive Director of The Return, an Emmy-nominated documentary about the experience of people returning to society post-incarceration. And she and her husband were the lead sponsors of California’s Proposition 36, which restored fairness in sentencing to the State’s excessive Three Strikes Law.

At the heart of it all has been a deep abiding belief in authentic, non-transactional relationships, social justice, and the power of women to women connections. I felt Anne’s generosity, perspective and wisdom throughout our conversation and found so many of the lessons Anne has learned resonating for me, from discerning where our presence is most needed with our children, to learning to release perfectionism. 

Synchronistically, so many things I’m grappling with in my life, Anne shined light on in this conversation. I was reminded that small acts can have meaningful cascades of impact, that we can hold a vision for an epic life rooted in connection and what really matters, not in having it all exactly right or at exactly the same time. And I gained a heightened awareness and appreciation for “Inflection points,” those times in our lives when we’re called to change our course or as Anne says “the moment after what was but before what will be.” 

I hope you’ll enjoy this conversation as much as I did and leave feeling more empowered to build authentic connections, stay patient during your “inflection points” and take your own first small acts toward meaningful impact. 

Much appreciation,

P.S. Check out the announcement below to join us for the #oneminutemommanifesto Challenge in the Facebook Group in honor of Mother’s Day.

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

This Episode is Dedicated by
Julie Castro Abrams:

Julie is the CEO and Chair of How Women Lead, a network of over 10,000 top executive women working together to disrupt the antiquated and unequal systems impacting women. In 2018 they successfully drove legislation requiring that California Public Companies to have up to 3 women on their boards. Through grants to women and girls organizations and a forthcoming disruptive angel fund, How Women Lead brings women together to have an impact and have fun.

How Women Lead leverages its network to propel Women Leaders for the World: political and social justice leaders, as well as entrepreneurs who are courageously tackling our most important global issues through a year-long fellowship.

Julie is an experienced CEO and director, and as a consultant, she works with non-profit leaders to create high-performance boards, brands that inspire action, and productive, multicultural teams.

She’s also a small business expert, active angel investor, and advisor to startups. She currently sits on the board of many non-profit organizations, including Women’s Funding Network.

Learn more about her and her work:

How Women Lead
How Women Give
Upcoming Events

In This Episode We Talk About:

  • How Anne’s parents planted seeds of freedom and experimentation in her life in unusual ways
  • Living an E.P.I.C. life does not mean living a perfect life

  • The “spark moment,” after Anne received a cancer diagnosis, that caused her to change her life forever

  • How things have changed for Anne over the last decade, since her “inflection point” at the age of 50 

  • The need for connection and intimately authentic conversations that led to the creation of Parlay House and how it has grown now to over 4,000 members in four different cities, including London.

  • Paying attention to where your presence is most needed with your children and safeguarding that time

  • Anne’s unique impact:  from helping to advocate for reform of California’s Three Strikes Law to building schools for children in Uganda

  • The power of bringing together women who represent a diverse set of life experiences

  • How Anne invests in herself by letting go of “shoulds” and indulging in what’s soothing and comforting to her, like a daily bath.

  • The power of small actions that can create a cascade

  • Building a community that isn’t based on obligation, judgment or transactional obligations but on authentic connection and giving of self.

  • Anne’s description of “Inflection points,” those moments when you’re ready for a shift. It’s the time “after what was and before what will be.”

Resources For This Episode:

Anne’s Social Media: Instagram Twitter Facebook

Parlay House Social Media: Instagram Twitter Facebook

This Week’s Challenge: 

Anne challenges us to be thoughtful about the small actions that come naturally for us and to extend that to another person in a way that doesn’t have a high financial cost to us or take a lot of our time.

When we find that thing that’s part of our essence, that comes with ease, doing it in small actions will not only make us feel good, we’ll also help the person we’re supporting feel empowered. And that’s one of the most important things we could do for ourselves and others.

You can also follow along on regular email prompts by joining Anne’s One Small Thing email list and share what you discover and do to help others with using the hashtag #onesmallthing.

Learn More About Anne Devereux-Mills:

Anne Devereux-Mills is sought-after speaker, author, and advocate for women, particularly on the subject of how to create a powerful cycle of personal growth, empowerment, and advancement. Anne’s mission is to share what she has learned through her own experience: recognize one’s own strengths and skills – and use them to help other women, creating an outward moving circle of positive change, and, in the process, empowering yourself.

Capping a 25-year career as one of the most influential women in the advertising industry, in 2012 Anne founded of Parlay House, a now international salon-style gathering of over 4,000 women who meet to pull each other forward through a combination of shared experiences, meaningful content, and peer-to-peer connections. She has been a mentor for SHE-CAN, an organization supporting and grooming the next generation of female world leaders coming from post-genocide countries, and served as the director of Stanford University’s Healthy Body Image Programs. She was the Executive Director of The Return, an Emmy-nominated documentary about the experience of people returning to society post-incarceration. She and her husband were the lead sponsors of California’s Proposition 36, which restored fairness in sentencing to the State’s excessive Three Strikes Law.

Announcements:

#oneminutemommanifesto

In honor of Mother’s Day, I’ll be releasing either a newly recorded or classic episode each Thursday.

The week of May 13th, I’m leading a Mother’s Quest #oneminutemommanifesto Challenge in the private Facebook Group to help you claim how you want to journey through motherhood and life.

I’ll share reflective prompts each morning that will help you get clear and connected to your E.P.I.C. life, and we’ll be joined by inspiring members of the Mother’s Quest Community who’ll share their #oneminutemommanifestos live in the group to get your creative juices flowing.

I have a vision one day for the creation of a million #oneminutemommanifestos and am excited to start working toward that big vision with small actions this month.

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/

Leave a Reply