Ep 76: Light For These Pandemic Times: Space, Grace & Love Planted Across Generations with Tembi Locke
I’m excited to share this beautiful conversation with Tembi Locke, that centers around the wisdom of our matriarchs and the seeds they plant within us to pursue our journeys, to create space for resilience, love, and creativity, and to invest in ourselves so we can serve the collective good.
Tembi is a distinguished keynote speaker, writer, advocate, and American actor with more than sixty TV and film credits including the global hit Netflix series, Never Have I Ever. She is also the author of the New York Times bestselling book, From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home … A Reese’s Book Club pick and soon to be Netflix series, starring Zoe Saldana.
This episode’s dedication comes from Tembi’s sister, acclaimed author and writer and producer of many powerful series for television, including Little Fires Everywhere and When They See Us, Attica Locke. Attica dedicates the episode to her mother, to her matrilineal ancestors, and to her sister Tembi…all who have been as she says, “visionaries of love in her life.”
The legacy of love and vision is a thread that weaves throughout my conversation with Tembi, as she names and shares about the four generations of women in her family, who she can trace back to the time of pre-reconstruction at the end of chattel slavery in East Texas, and whose lessons help her navigate today’s world. We explore how her family’s ecosystem enabled her to invest in her dreams, nurture creativity and play, and pursue her creative endeavors and also how she carries that forward in how she mothers her daughter Zoela.
Though we covered a lot of territory together, we realized there was so much more we wanted to discuss, including what it is like to star in her latest hit show Never Have I Ever, so Tembi has agreed to a special Mother’s Quest Q & A via zoom that we will schedule in September. Make sure to join the Mother’s Quest email list at www.mothersquest.com or the Facebook Group for details if you want to join us!
I felt like this whole conversation was inspiration to light the way during these pandemic times, with profound moments that filled me with clarity and faith in the future. I hope this conversation helps remind you, as it did me and Tembi, of the power of our matriarchs, of sharing our experiences, of learning from and guiding each other, and seeking that sanctuary within so that we can serve a higher good.
P.S. Know someone who would love this conversation? Pay this forward to a friend who may be interested.
This Episode is Dedicated by: Attica Locke
Attica Locke’s latest novel Heaven, My Home, sequel to the Edgar Award-winning Bluebird, Bluebird was published in September 2019. Her novel Pleasantville was the winner of the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction and was also long-listed for the Bailey’s Prize for Women’s Fiction. The Cutting Season was the winner of the Ernest Gaines Award for Literary Excellence.
Her first novel Black Water Rising was nominated for an Edgar Award, an NAACP Image Award, as well as a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and was short-listed for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. A former fellow at the Sundance Institute’s Feature Filmmaker’s Lab, Locke works as a screenwriter as well.
She was a writer and producer on the Fox series, Empire, and most recently, she was a writer and producer on Emmy-winning Netflix series When They See Us and the Hulu adaptation of Little Fires Everywhere. She is currently writing and producing a limited series adaptation of her sister Tembi Locke’s memoir From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home for Netflix. A native of Houston, Texas, Attica lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband and daughter
Connect with Attica:
In This Episode We Talk About:
- How Tembi and I met, finding unexpected common connections, and how those kind of experiences are one of the gifts of writing FROM SCRATCH
- Lessons from four generations seeded within Tembi that are helping her navigate the present
- What’s required now in the midst of the pandemic: turning away from individualism to serve the greater good
- Tembi’s epic life pursuits, what that has to do with the Lord of the Rings, and what we’ve both learned about the path of the hero’s journey
- How Tembi’s parents and grandmother and great grandmother created space for her and her siblings to play and develop their creativity and how we can do the same for our children.
- In “Quarantinelandia” Tembi’s way of tuning into herself now
- Listening actively and speaking less in motherhood
- How Tembi has created circles of sisterhood and how her own sister is helping her turn her memoir into a Netflix series
- The importance of slowing down, becoming present with ourselves, and creating a “Sanctuary Within”
- Tembi’s reflections on the Sicilian proverb “Hunger is the Best Sauce” and how hunger and desire can be its own reward
- How we can be each other’s guides
This Episode’s Challenge:
For those of us who are in a place where we are well, have food, shelter, and are healthy, Tembi encourages us to slow down, tune into ourselves, and find that sanctuary within so that we can be a guide to others and serve the greater good.
Learn More About Tembi Locke
A distinguished keynote speaker, Tembi is an American actor with more than sixty TV and film credits including the global hit Netflix series, Never Have I Ever. She is also the author of New York Times bestselling memoir, From Scratch… A Reese’s Book Club that will become a Netflix series starring Zoe Saldana.
Tembi started her onscreen career with the iconic comedy, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Currently, she can be found in roles on The Magicians, Proven Innocent, NCIS: LA, and EUReKA to name a few. She discovered her love of the written word at a very young age, writing short stories, journaling, and taking writing classes to grow her skills.
After the loss of her husband, Saro, Tembi’s writing took on a completely new meaning. She began putting together the outline of what would eventually become her memoir, From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home. Today, Tembi works as an advocate and speaks on topics such as loss, resilience, and connection. Together with her daughter Zoela, Tembi enjoys cooking, connecting, and traveling to Sicily to take in the gorgeous Mediterranean landscape and eat ridiculous amounts of gelato.
Follow Tembi on Social Media
Additional Resource for this episode:
- The New York Times – What Do Reese Witherspoon, Florence Welch and Andrew Luck Have in Common?
- What Forty Steps Taught Me About Love and Grief|Tembi Locke|TEDxPasadenaWomen
Special Coaching Invitation for Mindful Mothers
Before the summer ends…are you on a quest for personal clarity and connection so you can start the academic year well?
The secret to starting well is to end well
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned on my parenting and life journey is that if we want to set our children up for successful new beginnings, we need to do the reflective work ourselves to close the last chapter and begin anew.COVID-19 and distance learning upended all of our lives and made it very challenging to end the school year well. But, in the midst of the difficulties, we also found new ways of being and deep resilience.There is wisdom and lessons learned to mine for that can help shine a light on what to do next. And when we create space for reflection and invest in ourselves, we open up possibilities and a blueprint to help our children do the same.Interested in getting support to close COVID, life and distance learning 1.0 before beginning again?
With me as your guide?
In August, I’m launching a special Back to School Coaching Special that combines my signature “Virtual Milestone Hike” experience in a one-on-one 90-minute coaching session along with the opportunity to be in “Circle” with other reflective mothers to share what we uncover together on these Virtual Hikes.
Here’s what it will include:
1 90 minute one-on-one coaching session with me via Zoom using my signature Milestone Hike Reflection process. We won’t be on a real hike, but it’s the next best thing…slides/photos and all!
A 1.5 hr. Reflection Circle with the other mothers who have been through the same Virtual Hike experience where we can share together the insights that came up & make commitment statements for how we want to move forward into the fall.
Cost: $270 (please reach out if a scholarship is needed)
Spots Avail: Only Six to keep our Circle Intimate
Timeframe: One-on-One Sessions early August.
Circle date TBA working with the schedule of the six who sign up.If this calls to you, I encourage you to sign up quickly. I have space to take on six participants! Sign up here & link in bio: www.mothersquest.com/backtoschool
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