Hello and welcome to Episode #28 of the Mother’s Quest Podcast that I’m bringing to you at the start of the Jewish New Year. The holiday kicks off a ten day period, known as the Days of Awe, between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the day of Atonement.  

This time of year, regardless of your religious faith, is a season of reflection and renewal, as our children get settled into a new school year and the leaves begin to change color. I wanted to take advantage of this time to turn inward and create an opportunity for change not only for myself but also for members of the Mother’s Quest Community.

I decided to reach out to mindful mother, Edie Rafael Brotman, author of the book “Mussar Yoga,” to learn from her how she approaches self-improvement through blending the ancient Jewish practice of Mussar and the ancient Eastern practice of Yoga.

Edie’s book was a trusted resource in a Mussar class I took a few years ago. I was enthralled by the process and know that the experience planted seeds for Mother’s Quest. So, when I reached out to Edie to see if she’d share her approach on the podcast and then lead a 5 day challenge in the Facebook Group and she said “yes,” I was thrilled.

Edie is a workplace consultant and coach for a business consulting firm called Rewire Inc that leverages emotional intelligence, mindfulness and communication. She has her PhD in Sociology and was an adjunct professor at UVA, Case Western Reserve University and Towson University.

She’s also a highly trained yoga instructor, was named one of Baltimore’s favorite yoga teachers in Baltimore Magazine’s “Best of Baltimore” and co-founded Off the Grid Yoga and Camping Retreats.

In this episode, Edie orients us to Mussar in which character traits, known in Hebrew as “middot,” are the centerpiece of the practice. Edie and I explore her E.P.I.C. life story, how she came to mindfulness and Mussar, and how reflecting on middot in her life has enriched her and her relationships.

Edie also shares how her mother influenced her independence. And how her mother’s untimely death jump-started Edie’s journey to discover Mussar and connect it to Yoga as a bridge to connect Jewish spirituality and her love for physical activity.

I appreciated so much about this conversation with Edie, especially the deep dive into the history of Mussar practice, and how she came to this connection between self-improvement, spirituality and the physical body.  I’m so excited to continue the exploration of all of these things, and hope you’ll decide to come along too as we challenge ourselves together during this season of reflection and renewal.

This Week’s Challenge:

Join us for Mussar Yoga for Moms: A Mother’s Quest 5 Day Challenge with Edie Raphael Brotman using ancient practices to live more E.P.I.C. lives at the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group.

Listen to the episode and then make sure to join the Mother’s Quest Facebook group where we will poll the community to choose the “middah” or character trait that we’ll use in our 5 day Mussar Yoga practice starting Monday, September 25th.

We’ll also have a live Q & A in the Facebook Group with Edie to check in on the Challenge on Wednesday, September 27th at 11 am PST.


Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Why the fall is the perfect time to undertake a Mussar Yoga Challenge
  • How I first learned about Edie and her Mussar Yoga Book
  • The path of renewal Edie’s mother took in her career, how that impacted her, and how her mother’s passing brought her to Mussar
  • The power of mindfulness and daily meditation to become more conscious and aware of emotions as they arise
  • Mussar as a way of rewiring your brain so it is in alignment with universal precepts
  • The origins of Mussar and the people who pioneered the teachings
  • The traditional way to practice Mussar, utilizing self-reflection on one character trait at a time on a continuum, and how Edie blends it powerfully with Yoga
  • The connection between body and spiritual growth

Resources mentioned in this episode:


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. The group starts in October so don’t delay if you’re interested. 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.

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.


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:

  • Mara Berns Langer
  • Mallory Schlabach of 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