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.
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:
- The Mother’s Quest Founder’s Circle at mothersquest.com/about
- The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu
- The Safe, Natural, Whole-Body Approach to Managing Your Glucose Levels and Losing Weight by Dr. Don Colbert
- Hysten Consulting and Jenjii Hysten on Facebook
- New Life Ministries
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 email@example.com for a complimentary 30 minute discovery session.
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
Carrie Caulfield Arick
Sage B. Hobbs
Titilayo Tinubu Ali
Carly Magnus Hurt
Mara Berns Langer
Jen Jenkins Dohner
Caren and Debbie Lieberman
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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/