If you or anyone you know and love has ever had issues with their mental health, you know how painful it can be. As we conclude our “For the Love of Being Seen and Heard” series, we just want to remind you that there’s no shame in admitting that you might need a little help. Maybe you’re feeling low, or more anxious than usual, or sad, scared, or just off—anything that feels different or keeps you from flourishing. Our guest today is here to encourage you to take agency over your mental health, and as a therapist herself, she’s here to help us shed those stigmas around seeking help from a therapist or counselor. Lori Gottlieb is a renowned psychotherapist, a bestselling author, and a leading voice in the mental health space. Her latest book Maybe You Should Talk To Someone leads us into her own experiences with the transformative power of therapy and gives answers to those who might have hesitations about beginning this process. Lori and Jen talk about:
Identifying the stereotypes about therapy and debunking them, plus what to expect so that you can a get the most out of your time with a therapist
Developing an attitude that mental health is just as important as physical help and that seeking a therapist is on the same level as getting a check up with a medical doctor toward whole body health
Jen’s personal experiences with therapy – and how she processed pain and betrayal, plus what it looks like to be in active recovery
Becoming aware of and taking responsibility for our own patterns, actions and responses to life events as it pertains to our mental state and interactions with others
As Lori says, “one thing that therapy will teach you is how to be your real, messy, imperfect, fallible self, but also still love who you are.”
We’re back with maybe the most foundational episode in our Being Seen and Heard series–and it’s all about how we see ourselves. Were you taught how to love yourself when you were growing up? Many of us never grew up hearing anything about embodiment, and maybe we’ve treated our bodies as “the enemy” for most of our years. Maybe you grew up in a time where you didn’t see people that looked like you, or had your body type represented in magazines, on TV or in movies. Perhaps you even had shame about your body (or still do), and you bought into diet culture and were constantly worried about your size and the number on the scale. It’s hard to see ourselves as beautiful when we’re looking outside ourselves for what that standard of beauty is. Our guest today is doing the good work of helping people see themselves differently, and it’s giving them freedom to love themselves for who they are today. Jessamyn Stanley has become a powerful voice for wellness and body acceptance (she also dubs herself the “Beyonce’ of yoga” – I mean who can’t get behind that?). After attending yoga classes with a friend, Jessamyn fell in love with it, but she noticed that she didn’t see anyone who looked like her or had a body like hers–and when she moved to a different city and wasn’t attending yoga classes anymore—she craved a community to share her practice–except she wanted all kinds of people and body types to be a part of it. She began sharing her yoga practice on Instagram back in 2012 and was amazed by the overwhelming response from many who had never done yoga before because they had felt just like Jessamyn had–that maybe it wasn’t for “people like them.” Her fledgling Insta-yoga classes grew into an organization called The Underbelly, a unique and inclusive digital wellness experience that now draws thousands of people into its safe and accepting space.
Jen and Jessamyn touch on these topics:
• Jessamyn’s experience with being ashamed of her body as a middle schooler and also being bullied for being different, and how she looks at those years of bullying as a revelation that everyone is self conscious about their bodies–bullies included
• The realization we all have at the end of the day; all we have is ourselves–and if we can accept ourselves as we are right now–not who we thought we should be, or who we might be–we’ll enjoy the ability to be fully present and authentic in all of our encounters
• Debunking the long held notion that many people have about black women (and also that black women have been taught to believe)–that they are “stronger” and “superwomen,” and what it means to allow themselves moments of rest and self-care
• Key changes that could be made to empower everyone to have their own agency toward self care, by making it possible for anyone–no matter how much money you make, or where you live–to participate in wellness practices like yoga
If we can face the truth about ourselves, and not turn away from the fullness of who we are–including the ugly and complex things, we can begin a journey to a shame-free life that will change the fabric of who we are and what we bring to the world.
The past few weeks have been so nurturing to the collective soul of this podcast community. We have gotten together with a friend, and caught up on all that matters in our worlds (as friends do) and talked through the changes we’ve both faced recently, on finding and keeping friendship alive at this season in our lives, and how we’ve each evolved in our own beliefs. And we’re always a little sad to say goodbye to friends, but we know that the bonds we’ve built here will keep us going til we can meet again. For the last episode of the For the Love of Conversations series, Jen and Kelly share about the men in their lives–from their friends, to their sons, their brothers, fathers and their partners—we speak to the unique relationship the opposite sex brings to our lives. And right now in our culture, in some ways that are fair, and other ways that aren’t, men are getting thrown under the bus, somewhat carte blanche. And this is rightly so in many cases and much overdue in some areas. But it still stands that there are good men and boys in our culture, men that defy the misogynistic stereotypes, and they do lift up women and are there for their sisters and their wives and their daughters and their mothers. Jen and Kelly poke at the view of men where they are portrayed as wild and rough and emotionally unregulated–those traits can sometimes be found–but they share stories of their fathers, brothers and friends that show the reverse can be true (Kelly’s story about her dad is a 10-kleenex-er, so get ready), and that the men in their lives have truly taught them how to love better.
Welcome back to another episode of our For the Love of Conversations series with one of Jen’s best loved friends, author, speaker and podcaster Kelly Corrigan. Both Jen and Kelly have seen strong beliefs give way to new beliefs, and old beliefs be tested by time and experience. It’s a wonder to learn as you move through the world, even if those lessons are hard won and hands down, a ton of them are. It’s a beautiful and redemptive thing to take a step back and level the playing field you are on–in whatever season of life you’re in–and see if everything that makes up “you:” all the stories you tell yourself about your life and other people and what happened to you and even about your own self–that composite of what you believe. And take heart in knowing that your beliefs don’t have to remain the same forever– they can grow and change with us. Jen and Kelly go deep into what beliefs they hold dear, how the truth that binds us might look a little different than it used to for all of us, and the comfort they find in a community that lives with a sense of curiosity and how to keep that alive for every phase of our beliefs.
Friendship is one of those gifts in life we can run to when it feels like the rest of the world just doesn’t get us. On a day when life hasn’t been cooperating exactly as you’d hoped, who hasn’t called that friend we can vent to, cry to, laugh with, and compare notes with? And the longer a friendship goes, the deeper the bond seems to be. But some of us are in spaces in our lives where we’ve had to follow another dream and leave the proximity of our friends. And the work of friendship takes on a different layer. It can be difficult to connect like we used to–even if it was just dropping by to say hi because you could–it’s harder to keep relationships alive when you don’t see your friend daily, weekly, or even monthly. In this second installment of our For the Love of Conversations with Jen and Kelly, we are talking all about friendship and how it changes as you mature, grow, and perhaps even re-locate. And how to keep it going strong—even across the divides of family commitments, jobs, and miles in between. Jen and Kelly first had this conversation over on Kelly’s podcast, but we loved it so much we had to share it here–plus–-Jen has added some of her own insights and comments regarding her friendship with Kelly and what she learned through their conversation.
You know there really isn’t much that’s more comforting than sitting down with one of your friends and talking openly because you know they just get you. They have seen you grow and change and evolve and become who you are today–and they don’t try to stand in the way of that change however hard it may be for them, or for you. These conversations with friends are life giving. And with that in mind, we thought it might be fun to have a series of conversations here in our podcast community with our best and brightest friends and dispensers of wisdom and humor. And our first conversation partner for this 4-part series is none other than one of our favorite humans herself–author, podcaster and speaker Kelly Corrigan. This first installment of For the Love of Conversations will bring us 4 weeks from Kelly’s own show, Kelly Corrigan Wonders, with new thoughts and insights from Jen herself at the front of each episode. To kick things off, Kelly and Jen tackle the good, the bad, and the ugliest parts of change. We all know that change is hard, not just for us, but for our people–and that pesky inability to see the future makes it even harder. Jen and Kelly lean into the notion that change can be beautiful. It helps us create the life we want for ourselves while growing us into the people we’ve always wanted to be.
We’re back with more of the For the Love of Transitions series which is showing us the many ways we can move through life after a huge shift has occurred—whether it was chosen or thrust upon us. We have learned what it’s like to live through tragedy, we have seen what steps we must take to create a system of equity, and this week, we are talking through what it’s like to choose a transition from the world of acting to the world of activism. Jennifer Garner–you know her, you love her–she’s here telling us how she navigates life as a mom, an entrepreneur, and an actress–and the deliberate transitions she’s made to help make her world and others’ a better place. So many of us have followed Jen’s career through TV & film, but she takes us back to the early days when she fell in love with theater, doing auditions in New York while she slept on the floor of a friend’s home who offered a place to lay her head. We also find out that her first job was working with Melissa Gilbert (Laura Ingalls of Little House on the Prairie fame) and how that eventually led to working with J.J. Abrams in Felicity, who then cast her in her breakout role as the star of Alias. The two Jens discuss everything from what it’s like to raise kids as they transition from littles to bigs and what eventually drove Jen’s pursuits outside of Hollywood to co-found Once Upon a Farm and become involved with Save the Children.
As we continue in our For the Love of Transitions series, we’re tackling one of the most stressful transitions to face in life–a change to our financial situation. Perhaps a job change/loss reduced your income unexpectedly, or maybe a medical situation came out of the blue and drained your bank account, or maybe you went through a divorce and are down one income, and/or never had to be in charge of your own finances as an adult. Tiffany Aliche, aka, The Budgetnista has some thoughts for you, the most important one being; you can Get Good with Money (also the name of her New York Times bestselling book). Even though Tiffany grew up with a dad who was a CFO/accountant who educated her about finances, she experienced her own financial struggles and found herself moving back home at the age of 30. Having gone from owning her own home and making good money to having literally nothing took its toll on Tiffany’s psyche, but she was determined to not let shame win, and building her way back from the bottom is what has informed her life’s work–primarily to empower women to know and own their own financial well being. She and Jen candidly talk about their rock bottom financial moments and share their experiences of feeling powerless dealing with finances to getting help, getting educated and taking ownership of their financial lives and futures.
When it comes to making a big transition in life, we are often held back by fear. Fear of judgment, fear of backlash, fear of losing those close to us. But, oftentimes, it takes a big transition to lead us toward a more fully authentic life. For some of us, on the surface, it’s easier to “be who we are” authentically—especially if we identify as straight cis-gender individuals. But for our friends in the trans community, taking the step to become who they really are has traditionally been fraught with roadblocks. For those who haven’t experienced this wall between us and our true selves, there can be a limited understanding of what a transgender person experiences and what defines them—and surprise—it’s different for each and every one. So this week, we’ve got one person’s story that might give us some insight into others we may know who are running into that wall that keeps them from truly knowing the joy of stepping fully into themselves. Stephanie Byers grew up in a time where there weren’t even words in our vernacular that she could cling to that could give her some sort of path to figure out her true identity. As the world evolved and other brave souls like Stephanie began to emerge, the community finally had a name—transgender. Stephanie walks us through the stages of her discovery of herself and how she finally decided to fully enter into her true self at the age of 51 and the response from her family and community. She also leads us through the journey that led her to become a force for change for equal rights for all different kinds of people by becoming Kansas’ first openly-trans state representative. Jen and Stephanie concur that it can be difficult to see from the perspective of a person whose very make-up is so different from our own, and that we may struggle to understand them fully, but it should never be a struggle to be kind in that process.
In our For the Love of Transitions series, we’ve been looking at and evaluating the chosen and unchosen changes so many of us experience in the various seasons of our lives. In the category of chosen changes, we have found that so many women would welcome one in their lives, and it’s to develop a positive view of our bodies. Think back to the first time you had negative perceptions of your body. Were you 13 and getting ready for the homecoming dance? Maybe you were younger—9 years old at a pool party and realizing that your body looked different from your friends—and different then didn’t seem good or unique—different always equaled bad. Pile on top of those early perceptions the barrage of images presented to us by the beauty industry who constantly hammers home the quest for perfection—and reminding us that our bodies aren’t it. We’ve become so entrenched in the values of a world that seems to celebrate the way a person looks over who the person is. With a whopping 98% of women saying they wish they could “fix” something about their body, we can’t have enough positive body conversations to turn the tide on the lies we’ve been fed and that we tell ourselves. And to bring that conversation to our podcast community this week is Jess Connolly, who is a life coach, a Bible teacher and author whose new book is called Breaking Free from Body Shame. Jess and Jen dig into the origins of our body negativity, talk about ways we can each be nicer to our own bodies, and why it’s important to resist the “perfection persona.”
Take a peek around
If you’re not sure where to begin, I got you, friend. I’m always bringing you something new to enjoy.