Sparking Change In America: Joy Reid Calls Out Injustice Everywhere

We’re wrapping up our series featuring Black Trailblazers, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have another guest who has broken barriers and basically created their own space as part of the national conversation, becoming the first black woman to anchor a cable primetime show. You may know her from her seat as a political analyst on MSNBC, or as the host of her own show, The ReidOut.  It’s the amazing Joy Reid, everyone! Joy is a Harvard grad with a degree in visual and environmental studies and a concentration in documentary film. She also worked on the Florida branch of the Obama campaign. Her political writing prowess has landed her columns and articles everywhere; The New York Times, The New Republic, The Guardian, The Daily Beast, and The New Yorker, to name a few. PLUS she has a new book coming out that she gives us a special peek into; it’s the important and moving story of slain Civil rights pioneer Medgar Evers and his wife Myrlie, also an activist. It’s not every day we get to talk to someone who brings the goods about so many profound topics—civil rights, the fight for reproductive rights, immigration issues, the sacrifice for equality—and she and Jen shy away from none of them here. Joy’s passion for calling out injustice and her unwavering belief that we all hold the keys to preserving our rights and our freedoms gives us a reason to believe that we all can be trailblazers toward sparking change in our world.

 

Ashton Applewhite Unravels Harmful Attitudes Toward Aging

As we continue our series on facing our fears, we introduce a fear that many of us may not talk about comfortably, but in reality, we are all facing; the fact that we are aging. In case this is something that moves you into a state of deep denial, or perhaps you are employing a world of efforts (including for profit products and practices) to stave off the inevitable progression, or even if you are just taking it all in stride, we all are subject to what the world at large has to say about it and—mostly–it’s not positive. A pervasive ageist attitude infiltrates the media we consume, our own friend groups, and even what we tell ourselves consciously and subconsciously about aging. We come by it naturally, though–with deeply ingrained stereotypes and discriminatory practices that extend everywhere from the workplace to the bedroom. Our guest this week shares how she went from being an apprehensive boomer to becoming a pro-aging radical as she dismantles myths and debunks the portrayal of older people as societal burdens; with years of research under her belt, she dreams of an aging-friendly world. Ashton Applewhite is the author of “This Chair Rocks–A Manifesto Against Ageism,” and she makes it her life’s work to expose ageist behavior, and educate us all as to how we can stop giving aging a bad rap. Jen and Ashton take an eye-opening look at ageism as a form of bias as unacceptable as any other, and give us actionable steps to ignite “age pride,” keeping in mind that aging is an integral part of our life journey, not a condition to be cured or concealed. If you’re fretfully staring down the next decade of life with fear and denial, consider the possibility that being stressed about aging actually can cause the very things we fear about aging. Ashton sums it up like this; “If you learn about aging, you will be less afraid. That knowledge and information is going to confer all kinds of protection about aging as well as you possibly can.”

 

Freedom From Codependency with Melody Beattie

We’re back with some more therapeutic goodness as we approach the tail end of our therapy series with another fire episode! Awareness around mental health, trauma, dysfunctional family systems and more has been coming into the national awareness on a bigger level over the last 10 years. But back in 1986, the concept of codependency was really new. And unless you were deep into studying sociology or psychology or seeing a therapist yourself back then (also something that wasn’t as widely accepted), Melody Beattie’s book, Codependent No More, gave words to the masses who never had a way to describe these types of relationships in their lives. Codependency can worm its way into our lives—the definition being; those imbalanced relationships in our lives where one person enables another person’s self-destructive behavior (like addiction, immaturity, or even irresponsibility). It’s a bit insidious for those who don’t know what it looks like, and for so many, Melody’s book was a resource to help free themselves from something they may not have even recognized in their own lives. 35 years later, it’s still shining a light on those situations. Melody comes in with a scalpel to cut away to this very precise way of behaving and relating to another that is cloaked in good intentions and self-righteousness but is actually ruining our relationships. And fun fact, we were the very first podcast Melody has ever been on! Last year, she celebrated a new edition of her book honoring 35 years of its impact. Melody and Jen walk through how to recognize what codependency is and how it might be a part of your life and your relationships—which are the first important steps toward making an enormous change for the better. 

Finding Friends, Keeping Them and What To Do When You Break Up: Laura Tremaine

We’re in a brand new series; For the Love of Friends and Community. Friendship and community often serve as the cornerstone for many women’s lives, providing a vital support system that nurtures connection, empathy, and mutual growth. In a recent survey from Psych Central, nearly half of most women report having fewer than 3 close friends, one third report having between 4-9 close friends, and 12% say they have no close friends at all. We know that friendship contributes to more satisfaction in life and is good for our overall health. So what’s the key to finding and keeping friends? How many friends do we need to get those good friend vibes? Our guest this week, author and podcaster Laura Tremaine, has written extensively about friendship, drawing from her own experiences and the experiences of other women she has talked to. Laura wants us to identify, create and nurture these deep connections that we long for. She also teaches us that friendship takes work, and vulnerably shares her friendship fails (yes, even a friendship expert has a few friend misses now and again). 

Jen and Laura discuss: 

  • The key qualities that make a friendship meaningful and enduring, and how those things are defined by what you value
  • A rundown of the things we all may think are important about friendship and looking at the things that aren’t as important as we’ve been made to believe they are
  • How to navigate friendship breakups and friendships ending, allowing grief over that loss, and leaving room for that vacant “chair” to be filled by someone new
  • Finding the “fellow obsessive” friend – the one you can geek out about with things that you both love

Creating meaningful friendships is not just about having a social circle. It’s about experiencing true companionship and vulnerability and support. And it’s these soul connections that can bring so much joy and fulfillment to our lives. 

 

Moving Forward After Pain Rips Your Script: Maggie Smith

It’s so hard but so true: growth often comes from the most painful parts of life. An untreatable diagnosis, a painful divorce, the loss of savings that took a lifetime to build—when the script we write for ourselves is ripped apart by the unthinkable, we’re forced to rethink everything, like who we are, what we value, and where we spend our time. Moving the boulders of our identity requires us to push ourselves in ways we never asked for. And as frustrating as it can be, the pushing brings us closer to the person we’re meant to be—that’s what our guest, poet Maggie Smith, reminds us. Jen reveals how she unexpectedly found and fell in love with Maggie’s work (spoiler alert: it’s Shauna Niequist’s fault!). Maggie and Jen talk about what it was like for each of them to weather the loss that comes from divorce, and the fresh hope weaving its way through their rebuilding. Maggie reveals that more than ever, she feels more confident than ever to take on whatever life throws at her, even when her script is flipped.

Fighting Fear of Failure and Taking the Leap with Jamie Kern Lima

Taking a leap in the face of uncertainty is scary. It’s hard to envision a life in which you are living your dream, especially if your current reality is not living up to your expectations. But, what if it all works out? What if everything you are dreaming of comes to fruition and you get the life you want? Wouldn’t that be worth the leap? That’s just another facet of flipping the script of our lives and we are so inspired by women across the world that take that leap into the unknown with the hope that things are better on the other side. This week, we are talking to one of those “leapers” who started a cosmetics company in her living room, who kept getting told “no” by the big beauty brands of the world, and persevered despite personal and professional rejection to build a multi-billion dollar cosmetics company with a heart.  Jamie Kern Lima is the founder of the internationally known beauty brand, IT Cosmetics. As Jamie struggled to believe in herself enough to keep her dream alive–even after she was told she didn’t have the “look” to be selling cosmetics–she decided to trust her gut enough to let it guide her through the sea of rejections she received while trying to grow her business. And through this journey,  she also realized that the beauty industry needed to change–and that no one should be showing women an unrealistic, unattainable “look” and making them feel less than if they didn’t fit the mold. Jamie would come out winning by standing her ground to show “real women” (including herself) of all shapes, sizes, skin types and colors as part of her brand, and her determination to make every woman feel beautiful and to trust themselves to know what is best for their lives is her mission and message to this very day. 

Renovating Lives and Homes with HGTV’s Mina Hawk

Fresh starts, new beginnings, and renovations. As we continue to dive into all the ways we can “flip the script” in our lives, we’re taking on one that is pretty literal—refreshing and renovating homes. Whether it’s something small like shuffling the furniture around in our living room to give a new perspective, or adding a new color of paint to our walls, we can all attest to how good it feels to freshen a space. Taking it to the next level—renovating a space—by maybe taking a room or a whole house to the studs and building something new can be daunting, but the rewards can be more than just the joy of something different, and can translate to practical things like more functional space, modernization, and even adding more value to your home. Our guest this week knows a thing or two about building something beautiful and new to refresh and restore a living space—we have none other than HGTV’s Mina Hawk from the show Good Bones. Mina decided to flip the script in her own life, and with no construction experience, taught herself the craft and embarked on the task of flipping homes that were once considered lost causes and turning them into places for their owners to live and grow for years to come. Mina continues to forge into new areas in —writing her very children’s book Built Together. This story gives kids a fresh look at what family actually means—showing readers that families are just as different as homes. Jen and Mina are diving into all of this and more and they talk about what home and community actually mean, and why creating close familial and neighborly bonds is so important.

Everything’s A Gift: Steering Our Lives Through Light & Through Darkness with Amy Grant

Continuing on in our Flip the Script series, we look at not only the things that happen “to us,” but the things that happen “by us.” Our guest this week epitomizes a life that includes those things we weren’t expecting that alter our course (for her, it was a heart defect diagnosis) and those things that are very intentional, like new efforts to find balance and taking responsibility for steering our own lives. Singer/songwriter Amy Grant is no stranger to our show, or to our community. She’s that friend so many of us have walked with via her music, through her writing, through just the way she negotiates the world in a way that is present, centered and grateful. Amy has walked through her share of flipped scripts—including the end of her first marriage (she and Jen share their common experiences there), the aging of her parents and the final lessons they taught her, and most recently, the heart surgery she would have never expected to happen—in 2020 no less—right in the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic. Amy and Jen talk about what happens during seasons of loss and upheaval and how they listen to their bodies, their hearts and trusted friends’ voices to empower themselves to steer out of the storm. In it all, Amy believes that “the next opportunity, the next enlightenment, the next ‘everything’ for all of us is within reach.” 

Real Change Can Begin with a Conversation ft. Malynda Hale

When it comes to learning to dream again after a big change, it can be hard to think outside the bounds of where we have always lived. It’s hard to imagine a world that looks different from the one we are so accustomed to. So, when it comes the time to start thinking big and looking outside the box we place ourselves in, where do we start? Oftentimes, flipping the script happens internally, and then branches out from there. This week we will be looking at the ways in which faith guides us through life, and how in many cases, growing in your own faith is the pathway to connecting with others. Malynda Hale is an author, singer, and podcast host that lives at the intersection of faith, justice, and inclusion. She believes that everything starts with a conversation—whether that’s diving into what defunding the police actually means, or looking at the ways we are called to include all people, not just those that look like us. She focuses on dismantling the negative perceptions toward black people held by many in America, and how her work is dedicated towards creating a more welcoming and safe world for everyone. Jen and Malynda will dive into Malynda’s faith journey, her calling to teach and encourage others, and why it’s so important to stand up for what and who you believe in.

I Survived My World Turning Upside Down and You Can Too: Jen Flips The Script

Kicking off our Flipping the Script series is none other than our venerable host, Jen herself. In this solo episode, Jen transparently talks about the changes in her life in the last year–the days she thought she wouldn’t survive, and the days where she could finally see hope dancing around the corner.  Jen walks us through key times throughout all of her life when she flipped the script of her existence in several areas; spiritually, as a woman, and in her view of her body.  She shares how we all are inclined to resist change and how easy it is to adhere to the script that is handed to us, and how we’ll even create our own script of lies to ourselves to stay and be accepted within certain structures. In the end, Jen acknowledges that flipping the script can create a disturbance around us–within our families, within our friend groups–but that listening to yourself and believing that your instincts and hearts are good are worth the upheaval, and becoming unstuck will lead to the most rewarding days ahead.