Ep 101: Stoking our Soul Fire for a Revolution from Home with Beth Berry

Ep 101: Stoking our Soul Fire for a Revolution from Home with Beth Berry

Welcome to this last conversation of 2023, with coach, teacher, small group and retreat facilitator at Revolution from Home, mother of four daughters and author of the book Motherwhelmed, Beth Berry.

Beth says she has revolution in her bones. It began when she was seventeen and pumping milk in the bathroom of her high school for her now-grown eldest daughter. It has since gradually evolved into a tender, fiery conviction to reclaim motherhood from every disempowering personal and cultural story she can wrap her head and heart around.

Beth has spent thousands of hours mentoring and supporting mothers through their process of self-discovery, self-reclamation, and dream realization, reminding us of our worthiness and reframing our importance as changemakers.

One of the mothers Beth has mentored is Katie Hanus, one of the members of my very first Mother’s Quest Virtual Circle, created over five years ago. Katie and the other members of that first Circle and I are in almost daily conversation together on Voxer where we share the ups and downs of our epic lives and the lessons we’re learning from guides who help light our way. It was through Katie that I first heard about Beth’s transformative work and hoped I could one day interview her for the podcast. 

Building deep relationships among mothers is something Beth invites us to explore as her challenge in this episode. Without the web of connections that used to come in the form of a village,  we blame ourselves when we’re unable to live up to superhuman standards with subhuman levels of support. Beth also offers a beautiful opportunity to invest and care for ourselves through tending to what she calls our soul fire, a representation of the things that restore and sustain us. She invites us to think about how we can add not just quick-burning kindling to this soul fire, but the big logs that can burn steadily.

I hope this conversation can be a spark for you to put yourself at the center during this holiday and new year season, commit to building rich, meaningful connections with other mothers where you live, and add some long-burning logs to your soul fire. In so doing, may 2024 become a year for a revolution and reclamation from home of your own. 

 

About Beth Berry

Beth Berry is a coach, teacher, small group and retreat facilitator, mother of four daughters and author of Motherwhelmed. A revolutionary at heart, she helps mothers get more of what they want and need to feel fulfilled and empowered despite the odds. She believes that self-aware, self-compassionate, well-supported mothers who know themselves to be worthy of pleasure and joy-filled lives are powerful beyond measure and essential to the healing of the world.

Connect with Beth Berry

Website | revolutionfromhome.com

Instagram | @revolutionfromhome

Facebook | Revolution from Home

 

Topics Discussed in this Episode:

  • The ways in which we inherit our mothers’ “hand me downs” and the ones that shaped Beth and planted seeds for her own revolution.
  • The series of spark moments, most of which she says were not pretty, that set Beth on living her epic life.
  • Beth’s intuitive approach to motherhood and how she practiced mindful engagement with her children from the beginning, even at the age of 17 when she had her first daughter.
  • The deep sense of purpose she feels for changing the narratives around motherhood and shifting the systems that invisibilize the unpaid caregiving of mothers. 
  • The power of tending to our soul fire.
  • Why some of the entitlement she notices in her daughters gives her hope for a more empowered generation of mothers in the future.  
  • How internalized narratives of hyper-individualism can hinder connection between mothers.
  • The post-it Beth has on her computer that says “A well rested woman is dangerous” 

 

Books Beth Mentions:


Other Related Episodes You Might Enjoy Next: 

 

This Episode’s Challenge: 

Beth challenges you to pause and reflect when you feel like you’re not doing enough. Ask yourself who benefits from that belief and who is harmed by it. Explore the reasons behind the pressure to over-function and consider if there might be healthier ways to self-soothe and achieve your desired life. She also invites us to invest in building relationships with mothers where we live, beginning to restore a sense of village that we have lost. Brave new connections in your community. Knock on some doors in your neighborhood.

The Mother’s Quest Holiday and New Year Gift Guide: 

Put yourself on your priority list and choose something for yourself this holiday season from our Gift Guide. Take a peek inside and see some of my favorite things that I’ve curated for you, including the 2024 Live Your EPIC Year planners. https://mothersquest.com/2024-planners/

 

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).

As Mother’s Quest approaches 100 episodes, we invite you to help us spread the word by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Help us reach 100 reviews to honor 100 episodes this Season Eight of the Mother’s Quest Podcast!

You can also support the podcast by making a contribution or joining one of our memberships at our Patron Page on Ko-Fi.com. 

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

 

Ep 100: Mothering as Revolutionary Love

Ep 100: Mothering as Revolutionary Love

This September 11, 2023, I had the honor of holding space for an intimate conversation with civil rights leader, lawyer, award-winning filmmaker, educator, and best-selling author of the book SEE NO STRANGER, Valarie Kaur.

The fact that we were recording on September 11th was meaningful, because the tragic event that had taken place 22 years ago shaped Valarie in profound ways and set her on a path that she never expected. Valarie became an activist after a man of the same Sikh faith, a father and family friend she called uncle, Balbir Singh Sodhi, was the first person murdered in hate violence in the aftermath of 9/11.

For two decades in his memory, Valarie led visionary campaigns to tell untold stories and change policy on issues ranging from hate crimes to solitary confinement to digital freedom. Along the way, she earned degrees at Stanford University, Harvard Divinity School, and Yale Law School.

Today, Valarie is the mother of two children and as you’ll hear her share, the experience of becoming a mother inspired her to birth the Revolutionary Love Project, which supports communities with practical tools to transform the nation from inside out.

Revolutionary love, Valarie says, “is the choice to labor for others, for opponents, and for ourselves. Love is sweet labor — fierce, bloody, imperfect, life-giving, a choice we make. And it begins with wonder. You can look at anyone and say: You are a part of me I don’t yet know. From there, we begin to transform the world around us, and inside us.”

There is a lightness and hopefulness in the tone of our conversation that we wouldn’t have in the same way if we recorded the conversation today. I’m grateful for it. Valarie thanked me at the end for giving her the deepest breath she had in a long time. During a time in our country and world, where so many seem to be disconnected from a sense of our common humanity and divisions between us are widening, I hope this conversation is a deep breath for you.

Because as Valarie says as she evokes the metaphor of a midwife in her famous Watch Night speech, linked in the show notes, we must first breathe and then we push. The mother asks “what if this darkness we face is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb?” Today we breathe and tomorrow we will labor in revolutionary love. 

About Valarie Kaur:

VALARIE KAUR is a renowned civil rights leader, lawyer, award-winning filmmaker, educator, innovator, author of the #1 LA Times Bestseller SEE NO STRANGER, and founder of the Revolutionary Love Project. Valarie burst into global consciousness when her 2016 Watch Night Service address went viral with 40 million views worldwide. Her question “Is this the darkness of the tomb – or the darkness of the womb?” reframes the historical moment and is now a mantra for people fighting for change.

Valarie became an activist when a Sikh father and family friend Balbir Singh Sodhi was the first person murdered in hate violence in the aftermath of 9/11. For two decades, in his memory, Valarie led visionary campaigns to tell untold stories and change policy on issues ranging from hate crimes to digital freedom. Her work ignited a national movement to reclaim love as a force for justice. In 2021, she led the People’s Inauguration, inspiring millions of Americans to renew their role in building a healthy, multiracial democracy.

Today, the Revolutionary Love Project is seeding networked communities of practice across the country, equipping people with the practical tools to build beloved community and transform the nation from inside out. In the last two decades, Valarie has won policy change on multiple fronts – hate crimes, racial profiling, immigration detention, solitary confinement, Internet freedom, and more. She founded Groundswell Movement, Faithful Internet, and the Yale Visual Law Project to equip advocates at the intersection of spirituality, storytelling, and justice.

Valarie has been a regular TV commentator on MSNBC and contributor to CNN, NPR, PBS, the Hill, Huffington Post, and the Washington Post. She is a celebrated prophetic voice and has spoken widely, including at President Biden’s Inaugural Prayer Service. Valarie earned degrees at Stanford University, Harvard Divinity School, and Yale Law School, and holds several honorary doctorates. In Fall 2022, President Biden honored Valarie at the White House in the first-ever Uniters Ceremony, naming her as one of 16 leaders whose work is healing America.

A daughter of Punjabi farmers, Valarie grew up on the farmlands of California, where her family has lived for more than a century. Her grandfather gave her Sikh wisdom through stories and songs that showed the way of the sant-sipahi, sage-warrior. The sage loves; the warrior fights — it is a path of revolutionary love.

Connect with Valarie:


Resources from Valarie:

Topics Discussed in this Episode:

  • Valarie’s story about the birth of her son, with her mother by her side, and the lessons she learned about motherhood from that experience.
  • Mothering as a verb and how mothering often feels like walking through a ring of fire. 
  • The experiences that set Valarie on a path of activism after 9/11 and the surprising spark moment she learned from her grieving aunt. 
  • How becoming a mother changed Valarie’s orientation from activism fighting against hate to activism fighting for revolutionary love.
  • Valarie’s experience moving to the Rainforest to reflect on all she learned and write her book See No Stranger.  
  • Revolutionary love as the call of our times.
  • Valarie’s epic snapshot moment nursing her daughter while she was at the White House being honored.
  • The quote from Audrey Lorde that reminds Valarie to care for and invest in herself – “We can learn to mother ourselves.” 
  • The Wise Woman ritual Valarie experienced with two of her Sikh friends and the meditation she offers to help you tap into your inner Wise Woman. 
  • The lullaby Valarie wrote and sang for her daughter that will become a children’s book, “World of Wonder.” 

This Episode’s Challenge: 

Valarie says that the root of love is wonder and sings us a lullaby she wrote for her daughter about wonder. She encourages us to wonder about our partners, our children, our friendships, and beyond. Wondering about each other is a revolutionary process in a society that wants to shut down our ability to look at one another’s faces and say “You are a part of me I don’t yet now.” It’s so simple but it can change everything and help us birth a better world.

 

Other Episodes Mentioned in this Conversation: 

About This Episode’s Dedication By Shelly Tygielski:

This is the 100th episode of the Mother’s Quest Podcast. It feels fitting to mark this occasion with a powerful conversation about Revolutionary Love with renowned civil rights leader Valarie Kaur. Valarie talks about Revolutionary Love as sweet labor and this podcast, since I launched it 7 years ago in 2016, has always been a labor of love.

So too has been my form of mission-aligned sponsorship, where rather than seeking corporate sponsors, I invite one mother to dedicate each episode and to make a contribution to support Mother’s Quest.

In honor of this milestone, I invited Shelly Tygielski, founder of Pandemic of Love, and an Advisory Board Member of Global Empowerment Mission to dedicate. Instead of contributing to Mother’s Quest, I made a contribution to the Global Empowerment Mission. I hope you’ll join me in celebrating this 100th episode milestone by sharing this important conversation you’re about to hear and by making a donation to the Global Empowerment Mission.

Shelly’s Dedication: 

I would like to dedicate this episode of the Mother’s Quest podcast to all the mothers of young, innocent children who are caught in the crossfire of war. May these children grow up in a world that is free from hate and injustice. May they be free from suffering. May they have access to opportunities and never be devoid of hopes and dreams. As the founder of Pandemic of Love and an advisory board member of Global Empowerment Mission, we are currently providing aid to Israelis and to Palestinians. When people ask us to choose a side, we say we have. We are on the side of love. Or as Valerie Kaur says it best, revolutionary love. So to learn more about how you can support our efforts, please visit globalempowermentmission.org

Donate here: 

https://www.globalempowermentmission.org/mission/israel-hamas-war/


Connect with Shelly Tygielski:

 

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).

As Mother’s Quest approaches 100 episodes, we invite you to help us spread the word by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Help us reach 100 reviews to honor 100 episodes this Season Eight of the Mother’s Quest Podcast!

You can also support the podcast by making a contribution or joining one of our memberships at our Patron Page on Ko-Fi.com. 

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

 

Dear Body Revisited: And Then I Got Shingles

Dear Body Revisited: And Then I Got Shingles

This month, I was planning to record a special solocast to welcome in our 100th episode of the podcast. Instead, three days before my son Jacob’s scheduled knee surgery on July 11th, I got diagnosed with shingles. I’m recovering well and so is Jacob thankfully. But it really caused me to revisit my relationship with my body. There was a need for forgiveness all the way around, a rebuilding of trust and a recommitment to myself.

In case you’re not familiar, shingles is the re-emergence of the chicken pox virus, which if you’ve ever had chicken pox lives dormant in your nerves and tends to come out later in life during a period of high stress or when your immune system is low. I should have gotten the shingles vaccine when I turned 50, around the time that I originally recorded this Dear Body episode I’m resharing with you today. Unfortunately, I had getting the vaccine in the back of my mind and never took care of it, leaving myself susceptible. 

So, if you had chickenpox as a child, are over 50 or have issues with your immune system, this is your friendly reminder and PSA to go get your shingles vaccine.

For me to get shingles when I was worried about my son’s surgery felt like a betrayal from my own body and the last thing I needed. But, a few things happened that are helping me to see this as an opportunity to make meaning and change.

1) The first person I called for guidance when I got the diagnosis was Dr. Samantha Brody, a podcast guest from 2019, when she released her book Overcoming Overwhelm, who has since become a friend and advisor. When I called her, Samantha reminded me that she had had shingles and shared some about her experience. I was surprised however, when a few days after my diagnosis I put shingles in my FB search to see if there was any wisdom I might find and came upon a post from Samantha from 2018, letting people know she had shingles because she was stressed out about her book launch and needed to ask for help. Did anyone know of any podcasts where she could share about her book she wrote? In the comments, I found the tag to me and Mother’s Quest that must have brought me and Samantha together in the first place. This was a reminder to relisten to my episode with Samantha, so relevant, and trust again that sometimes the universe connects you to what you will need in the future.

2) I had several helpful therapy sessions during these weeks of recovery where I uncovered a few things. One, the incredible parallel between my own open heart surgery at the age of 10, to repair a hole in my heart, and Jacob’s knee surgery at the age of 10 to repair a hole in his knee, from a condition called osteochondritis dissecans. We realized there may be some leftover trauma from my own experience that was adding some additional stress, even if only in my subconscious. I’m now giving myself some space and grace to look back on that experience and see if there is anything that needs some extra care and healing. 

3) Finally, this whole experience has helped me acknowledge that I’m often more stressed out than I realize. Most often, I mask my stress with a smile. And I allow my nervous system to be in a perpetual state of go go go. My therapist suggested that I should take my foot off the gas more when I’m in park. I love a good metaphor. There is a lot going on in my life and sometimes I can’t relax, but I can make an effort to be in park more often and when I’m in park, really allow myself to shut down and restore. I’m clearly on a quest for this, so may work to find some special podcast guests who are experts on this topic. Stay tuned.

I thought I’d invite all of us to listen to the Dear Body episode again and then also my conversation with Samantha Brody, linked in the show notes, with a fresh perspective. Is there something your body is trying to communicate to you? A “tell” as Samantha would say. What values are most important to you right now? And then how might that impact the commitment letter you write to your body? I’ll report back in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group and would love to hear from you too! 

Wishing us all many moments of taking our foot off the gas while safely in park, good health and a restoration of trust between our body and ourselves as we close out the summer.

Announcement for my fellow Neurodivergent Listeners:

Sign Up for “Creating Your Personal 504 Plan” Summer Workshop with Briar Harvey

Heard of a 504 plan? A blueprint for how a child with a disability will have access to the accomodations and supports that will help them access their education? The truth is, a blueprint for support shouldn’t just be relegated to education and can be a model for adults as well!
Friday, August 4th @ 11 am PST 2pm ET join Mother’s Quest Member, and someone who has been an amazing coach for my family, Briar Harvey, for a Summer Workshop where you’ll discover the power of creating a Personal 504 Plan that truly caters to your unique needs.

Briar will walk us through the process of constructing a plan that goes beyond standard frameworks, accounting for your individual experiences and circumstances. By the end of this session, you’ll have a dynamic, personalized 504 plan that empowers you to navigate life’s challenges more effectively. I’m a proud affiliate and have signed me and my college son up too. Learn more about this workshop and others in her summer series here

More about Briar: Briar Harvey is a storyteller and systems witch. She believes that everything has a story and exists within a system. The trick then, is figuring out how to change the rules and tell a better story. She works with companies that are led by neurospicy minds (ADHD, autism, chronic depression, anxiety, all the fun stuff) or those that employ them, in order to create the systems and processes that work for them.

In her free time, she writes stuff and records podcasts. She’s the founder of The Neurodiversity Media Network, a collaborative and accessible media company that is hosting and curating all the news that is relevant to neurospicy folx.

Full Episode Show Notes

Check out the full show notes from the original episode here: https://mothersquest.com/ep-94-dear-body-reflections-on-embracing-and-embodying-50/

You can also listen to this episode:

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).

As Mother’s Quest approaches 100 episodes, we invite you to help us spread the word by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Help us reach 100 reviews to honor 100 episodes this Season Eight of the Mother’s Quest Podcast!

You can also support the podcast by making a contribution or joining one of our memberships at our Patron Page on Ko-Fi.com. 

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

 

Ep 99: Building and Thinking Outside the Box with David Neale

Ep 99: Building and Thinking Outside the Box with David Neale

I’m honored to share this special Father’s Day Episode featuring my very own father-in-law, David Neale. I started dating my husband Chris when I was only 19, so I realize David has been a source of inspiration and guidance in my life for over 30 years. How lucky I am to have had his example of leadership, impact, and joy for life to light my way for my entire adulthood! 

The inspiration for this episode was sparked several months ago at a big milestone birthday celebration David organized to honor his 80th year. That celebration was also the launch of a new fund he initiated through the San Jose Rotary, inspired by his experience as a grandparent to my two boys, Ryan who is autistic, and Jacob who navigates dyslexia, ADHD and dysgraphia. 

In this episode, we explore the stories and wisdom of David’s life, including his childhood in England, his move to Montreal and then San Jose, CA, his impactful work as the founder and CEO of The Core Companies, and all the thoughtful ways he shows up as a grandfather. We also talk about the Youth Empowerment Neurodiversity Fund, which Ryan and I have had the honor of helping to shape, alongside David and other Rotary committee members. 

One of David’s most significant contributions in leadership has come through his innovative thinking and outside-the-box solutions for redevelopment housing, including the creation of Art Ark, an innovative housing community for artists in San Jose, Willow Housing, a Veteran’s housing project in Menlo Park, CA that includes access to critical support services, and most recently the Agrihood in Santa Clara, CA, a unique affordable housing project that includes retail and has an Urban Farm at its center.  

His achievements are many, but as David says, his success did not happen in a straight line. His life journey was filled with plot twists, pivots, and even a few failures. Through it all, with my mother-in-law Anne by his side, he continued to believe in himself and his dreams.

I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did and leave inspired as I am to keep persevering through challenges, opening ourselves to new perspectives and out-of-the-box thinking, and knowing that each setback may bring us closer to all we’ve ever wanted.  

About David Neale:

David Neale is a leader and visionary in real estate development, known for his commitment to community building and for his innovative approaches to affordable housing and redevelopment. A career that began in 1978 in Montreal brought David to San Jose, CA in the 1980s and led him to found The Core Companies in 1989. As CEO of The Core Companies, David has built a vibrant company and spearheaded transformative projects that have left a lasting imprint on the communities they serve.

Notable projects Core has completed with David at the helm include Art Ark, an innovative housing community for artists in San Jose, Willow Housing, a Veteran’s housing project in Menlo Park, CA that includes access to critical support services, and most recently the Agrihood in Santa Clara, CA, a unique affordable housing project that includes retail and has an Urban Farm at its center.  

His leadership also extends into community engagement and education. David spent 16 years on the board of directors for the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and served as a founding member of the non-profit First Community Housing. His almost two decades of service on the San Jose Rotary recently led David to initiate a new Youth Empowerment Neurodiversity Fund, inspired by David’s experience with two of his grandchildren who are neurodivergent.

Throughout his career, David exemplified a commitment to building projects that not only enhance the physical landscape but also uplift the lives of individuals and communities. His greatest accomplishment however is the family he has built with his wife of over 60 years, including his two children, and his four grandchildren. 

Connect with David:

Topics Discussed in this Episode:

  • David’s childhood experiences in England and his mother’s transition from a stay-at-home mom to small retail store business partner.
  • The influence of David’s father’s ambition on his pursuit of independence and his adventures around the world.
  • The political upheaval in Montreal during the 1970s that led David to pursue his fate and a life and career near San Jose, CA. 
  • David’s reflections on spending time with his grandchildren and mentoring them on life skills and overcoming challenges
  • David’s individual toasts at a recent family dinner, celebrating each grandchild’s unique qualities and stages in life, one example of how he mindfully engages with them.
  • David’s efforts to understand and champion his neurodivergent grandsons, Ryan and Jacob, and his leadership in starting the Youth Neurodiversity Empowerment Fund through the San Jose Rotary.
  • David’s impactful career in building communities, particularly in affordable housing, including the creation of the artist housing project, Art Ark. Also why building housing communities requires more than just the physical structures. 
  • Reflections on personal lessons learned, through many pivots and failures, and his advice for us about how to more fully live our E.P.I.C. lives. 

This Episode’s Challenge: 

David invites us to embrace the understanding that life is not a straight line. He encourages us to adapt and pivot to new circumstances, recognizing that daily adjustments may be necessary. Despite the obstacles that may arise, David urges us to never give up on pursuing our goals and to engage in activities that we truly love. By cultivating a passion for what you do, he believes that success will naturally follow. David also emphasizes the importance of asking questions and maintaining an inquisitive mindset, as continuous learning is a fundamental aspect of personal growth. As we move through our own epic life journey, David’s invitation is to embrace failures as valuable lessons and to persevere with unwavering determination, knowing that each setback brings you closer to your ultimate destination.

This Episode is dedicated by: 

Jacob Neale, David’s youngest grandchild.

Jacob can also be heard in the recording for last year’s Father’s Day episode with Normal Sucks author and fellow dyslexic ADHDer Jonathan Mooney.

Listen to the episode here: https://mothersquest.com/different-is-not-deficient-with-normal-sucks-author-jonathan-mooney/

You Might Also Be Interested In These Father’s Day Special Episodes

Here Comes the Sun: A Solocast on Death, Grief, and Love

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

Ep 44: A Family Legacy of Service and Leadership with California Assemblymember Rob Bonta

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).

As Mother’s Quest approaches 100 episodes, we invite you to help us spread the word by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Help us reach 100 reviews to honor 100 episodes this Season Eight of the Mother’s Quest Podcast!

You can also support the podcast by making a contribution or joining one of our memberships at our Patron Page on Ko-Fi.com. 

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

 

Ep 98: Sometimes Change Sucks  “Reflections at the 5 year Anniversary of the Manifesto Challenge” With Graeme Seabrook

Ep 98: Sometimes Change Sucks “Reflections at the 5 year Anniversary of the Manifesto Challenge” With Graeme Seabrook

In 2018, I sat down for a special Mother’s Day episode with Graeme Seabrook, a life coach and maternal health advocate, affectionately known by the thousands of mothers she supported as the “Mom for Moms.” We hit it off immediately, delving deep into her Motherhood Bill of Rights and my E.P.I.C. life framework, and noticing that both had become manifestos for how we wanted to live our lives while raising our children.

During that episode, we co-created what we called a Manifesto Challenge, inviting other mothers to create their own. And afterward, we would reconnect in some way each May, grateful to know that the episode and the challenge could spark an opportunity for others to reclaim themselves in motherhood.

In 2021, Graeme became ill and spent the next several years in bed, visiting doctors, and coming to terms with the fact that she had somehow suffered brain damage. Along the way, she realized she would need to burn her manifesto down to the ground before creating it anew. Living and mothering through hard and sometimes life-threatening times, and now feeling a little better, she has reemerged, reframing her work in the world as a front-porch philosopher who writes about the intersection between modern motherhood and humanity.

When I read a recent blog post from Graeme and realized this would be the five-year anniversary of the Manifesto Challenge, I reached out. I asked if she felt up to recording a special episode with me, where we could interview one another, reflect on the changes and challenges in our lives, and reconnect about the power of manifestos. 

I’m so glad that Graeme said yes to my invitation and I’m honored to share this episode with you. Our hour together was more unstructured than my typical interviews, real and unfiltered, and filled with Graeme’s signature blend of laughter, tears and powerful insights. I hope you’ll leave this conversation, as Graeme and I both did, open to the truth that change sometimes sucks, but that there can be unexpected joys discovered along the way, and that there is always power in owning and sharing our stories.

 

About Graeme Seabrook :

Graeme Seabrook was once a life coach and maternal mental health advocate who supported thousands of mothers. Since becoming disabled in 2021, she has reframed her work in the world and is now a front-porch philosopher who writes about the intersection between modern motherhood and humanity. When she’s not tending her garden, knitting on her porch, or playing video games with her kids, you can find her on Instagram or on her website – graemeseabrook.com.

 

Connect with Graeme Seabrook:

Learn more about one of Graeme’s unexpected joys, gardening, and how you can support her with her gardening dream here.

Topics Discussed in this Episode:

  • Graeme’s experience navigating illness and disability, core experiences that have shaped her life over the last two years
  • The old and negative narratives about herself that Graeme has finally learned, in her bones, are untrue 
  • Author Octavia Butler’s words that have resonated for Graeme about change, and Graeme’s honest reflection that “sometimes change sucks” 
  • My wishes for Mother’s Day, everything from a sauna to a million Mom manifestos 
  • The recommendation from Graeme’s neurologist that resulted in a new passion, knitting, that she can do from her bed 
  • My son’s knee condition, osteochondritis dissecans, a “change that sucks” and some of the unexpected joys we have discovered even in the midst of it 
  • The words of wisdom Graeme has for me, a parent trying to support a child with a physical disability 
  • What I’m embracing at this stage of my life 
  • How Graeme’s husband and friends have shown up for her in amazing ways and what it has taught her about her own worthiness
  • Graeme’s commitment to write a mini-manifesto and why it’s more than ok to make it small 
  • An invitation to participate in this year’s 7 day Manifesto Challenge, a self-guided course  


Other Episodes Mentioned in this Conversation: 

 

This Episode’s Challenge:

Are you feeling lost or trapped in motherhood? Would you like to connect with your purpose and reclaim yourself? Join us in the Mother’s Quest 7-day Manifesto Challenge and explore important questions, through a self-guided course,  that will help you create a manifesto as a guiding light. Let’s open doors together and choose ourselves in honor of Mother’s Day.. Sign up here

Mother’s Quest May – Join Us! 

Happy Mother’s Quest May! This month, we’re celebrating all the incredible mothers (and those who mother!) on a quest to live an E.P.I.C. life – one that’s Engaged, Purposeful, Intentional, and Connected. Mother’s Day is approaching, and we want you to invest in yourself by following along as we share resources, opportunities, and inspiration.

One invitation we hope you say “yes” to is our fifth annual Mother’s Quest Manifesto Challenge! Create a powerful manifesto to guide your life with our 7-day course for just $7, culminating in a live celebration on Sunday May 21st 11 am PST on Zoom.

Season Eight of the Mother’s Quest podcast is also starting this month, featuring a special 5-year anniversary conversation with the manifesto challenge co-creator, Graeme Seabrook.

Join us this Mother’s Quest May as we come together to support, inspire, and uplift each other on our journeys as mothers and “whole human beings” as Graeme always says. Sign up for the Mother’s Quest Manifesto Challenge, join the Mother’s Quest email list and become a member of the MQ Facebook group. Invest in yourself this Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Quest May Gift Guide 

Find a gift for yourself or a Mom you love! One day, Mother’s Day, isn’t enough, so this Gift Guide should be a source for inspiration all month long. See the specially curated items here

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 www.facebook.com/groups/mothersquest

Ep 97: Reclaiming Our Time and Creativity through Fair Play in the Household with Eve Rodsky and special guest Co-host Caren Lettiere

Ep 97: Reclaiming Our Time and Creativity through Fair Play in the Household with Eve Rodsky and special guest Co-host Caren Lettiere

Welcome to this special Season Seven finale episode of the Mother’s Quest Podcast, released on International Women’s Day 2023. It feels like just right timing to bring this conversation to you, but the seeds for this episode have been germinating since last spring, when Jill Daniel of Happy Women Dinners came to me with an invitation. She asked whether my sister Caren, founder of Democracy Clothing, might be interested in hosting a brunch at her house in Los Angeles with best-selling author Eve Rodsky.

I had recently learned about Eve’s groundbreaking work, where she transformed her own “blueberries breakdown” into a catalyst for social change, applying her Harvard-trained background in organizational management to ask the simple yet profound question: What would happen if we treated our homes as our most important organizations?

Her New York Times bestselling book and Reese’s Book Club Pick, Fair Play, a gamified life-management system that helps partners rebalance their domestic workload and reimagine their relationship, has elevated the cultural conversation about the value of unpaid labor and care. In her highly anticipated follow-up, Find Your Unicorn Space: Reclaim Your Creative Life in a Too-Busy World, Eve explores the cross-section between the science of creativity, productivity, and resilience. Her journey and the tenets of both books came together in the Fair Play Documentary, a film by Jennifer Siebel Newsom in partnership with Hello Sunshine.

Needless to say, I encouraged Caren to say “yes” to this opportunity. I knew there would be synergy between Caren’s journey creating her hugely successful Unicorn brand Democracy Clothing, while raising two children and running a household, and Eve’s message. Jill gathered an incredible community of women for brunch that day where we gifted all of them with size inclusive Democracy jeans through a try-on experience that was empowering and a conversation between Jill, Caren and Eve that was profound.

When Eve said yes to being a guest on my podcast and it came time to interview her, I knew I wanted to include Caren in this conversation. What follows is an intimate look at the values and insights Eve has woven into her two books and an exploration of what Eve has learned about living an E.P.I.C. life.

As Eve shares at the end of this episode, the Mother’s Quest Podcast and this conversation between the three of us is also “unicorn space.” We’re so grateful to share it with you. We hope that what you hear sparks conversations with your own partner and children that bring to light and make more fair the division of labor in your household and that you use this as a permission slip to reclaim your own time and creativity in your E.P.I.C. life.


Content Note: Eve speaks in powerful ways and sometimes that includes a few carefully chosen bad words.  I encourage you to listen to this episode in privacy or to pop in some ear buds if you are with your children.

About Eve Rodsky:

Eve Rodsky transformed a “blueberries breakdown” into a catalyst for social change when she applied her Harvard-trained background in organizational management to ask the simple yet profound question: What would happen if we treated our homes as our most important organizations? Her New York Times bestselling book and Reese’s Book Club Pick, Fair Play, a gamified life-management system that helps partners rebalance their domestic workload and reimagine their relationship, has elevated the cultural conversation about the value of unpaid labor and care. In her highly anticipated follow-up, Find Your Unicorn Space: Reclaim Your Creative Life in a Too-Busy World, Rodsky explores the cross-section between the science of creativity, productivity, and resilience. Described as the ‘antidote to physical, mental, and emotional burnout,’ Rodsky aims to inspire a new narrative around the equality of time and the individual right to personal time choice that influences sustainable and lasting change on a policy level. Rodsky’s work is backed by Hello Sunshine—Reese Witherspoon’s media company whose mission is to change the narrative for women through storytelling. Rodsky was born and raised by a single mom in New York City and now lives in Los Angeles with her husband Seth and their three children.

Connect with Eve:

Eve’s Books and Documentary Mentioned in this Episode:

About this Episode’s Co-Host Caren Lattiere:

Caren Lettiere is the Founder and President of Democracy Clothing, the casual lifestyle brand designed for the modern, multitasking woman who grew up with fashion, then got busy with life. Caren is fueled by a passion for making fashion accessible, affordable and ageless.

Best known for its “Ab”solution jeans with fit technology, Democracy Clothing embraces women of all shapes and sizes, providing them with confidence-building clothing that helps them look good and feel good, while doing good.

Since launching the Democracy brand, Caren has successfully led her dynamic dream team through a period of unprecedented growth. In November 2019, Democracy launched their e-commerce site, www.democracyclothing.com, to facilitate an even closer connection to the brand’s loyal customers. Following the expansion into e-commerce, Caren helped secure a partnership with HSN and has become Democracy’s spokesperson to a live nationwide audience.

With her knack for storytelling and her authentic enthusiasm in front of the camera, Democracy has risen through the ranks at HSN establishing a following for it’s multigenerational appeal.

Alongside Democracy, Caren’s proudest accomplishment is the fulfilling family life she’s built with her husband of over 30 years, David, and their amazing kids Nicole and Josh.

Connect with Caren:

Topics Discussed in this Episode:

  • Eve’s experience as a “parental child” supporting her disabled brother and caring for her single mother
  • The influences that led Eve to believe she could do it all 
  • How Eve’s big dreams of smashing glass ceilings turned into smashing peas after she became a mother
  • The erasure of identity that happens for mothers and why we have to fight for an E.P.I.C. life 
  • We deserve permission to be unavailable from our roles and to do so takes power and unlearning 
  • Fair Play as a movement to reclaim our time and the toxic time messages that get in the way of our reclamation 
  • The importance of making our invisible labor visible with our children 
  • Why women feel ashamed to admit that the division of labor in their home is not fair
  • The number one issue Eve heard from men about why they hated home life and how the boundaries, systems, and communication formula can shift that
  • Using Fair Play’s Card Deck to engage in mindful conversation about domestic life with our families  
  • Eve’s description of Unicorn Space as an outlet for our passion and purpose
  • Eve’s 3 C’s: Curiosity, Connection, & Completion 
  • The biggest key to mothers granting permission to invest in themselves 

This Episode’s Challenge: 

Eve challenges us to discover once again, our individual identity separate from our roles. She wants us to look for a trusted accountability partner, and report to that person one day next week, that you prioritized doing something outside of your roles as a parent, partner or professional. Take one day off and do something completely for yourself. 

We welcome you to share your report in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group so we can inspire one another!

This Episode is dedicated by Bridgid Coulter Cheadle

Bridgid Coulter Cheadle is an award winning, serial entrepreneur and philanthropist with a decades long history of advocating for access to education and protection of the environment. Bridgid is celebrated for her family’s philanthropic work with a focus on climate change, social justice, political decency, women’s equity and education for the historically marginalized.

Principal of her eponymous design studio, a boutique interior and design-build firm with offices in Santa Monica and Hawaii, her focus is on residential, hospitality, creative office space and furniture design. Established over fifteen years ago, Bridgid approaches each project whether for an individual client, a brand or design-build development; as an artistic venture whilst providing exceptional development from concept to administration. Her well recognized signature textile collections incorporate her own personal painting and design work that have been inspired by her avid travel and perception of nature.

In 2018 Bridgid founded Blackbird Collective, a for-profit public benefit corporation and the preeminent private membership collective for women of color and allies to create positive social and economic change for each other and the world. In its exquisitely designed Culver City Flagship location, Blackbird is a curated network of work, wellbeing and creative programming studios offering inspired space for entrepreneurs, makers, storytellers, executives, practitioners, trailblazers, content creators and changemakers to gather and work both individually and together, both in person and virtually — grounded by a love of storytelling.

With professional resources shared with aligned peers, experts and practitioners to support productivity, wellbeing, creativity and advocacy; Blackbird is a joy-filled place in aligned community where you don’t have to go it alone — where wellbeing includes the full spectrum of wellness to include nourishment of the physical, mental self with societal belonging. In 2020, Bridgid founded Blackbird Alliance, the non-profit sister organization to the collective, to further support advancement through sponsorship, mentorship and technical training.

She is a graduate of UCLA and serves on several company boards. In her free time, Bridgid enjoys fine art, playing board games, and solving the ongoing puzzle of juggling family life with her acting, entrepreneurial, and interior design careers.

She is the proud mother of two with the most supportive hubby; and she enjoys board games—and the puzzle of juggling family life with acting and interior design.

Connect with Bridgid Coulter Cheadle

 

You Might Like to Tune Into These Other Related Episodes:

Special Thanks To Jill Daniel of Happy Women Dinners

Happy Women Dinners is the brainchild of food writer, gourmet cook, and publicist Jill Daniel.  As a food writer, Jill wrote about food from one coast of the country to the other. With Happy Women Dinners, Jill has brought together fantastic food and speakers with a focus on women.  Happy Women Dinners events are held in intimate settings and limited to small groups of women.

Announcement

The Mother’s Quest Podcast will take a break between seasons until May. Make sure to sign up for email updates at mothersquest.com and join the free Facebook Group at www.mothersquest.com/community to stay connected and  informed about all the good things coming.

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 www.facebook.com/groups/mothersquest