As we close in on the end of our Community and Friendships series, we’re reflecting on the great conversations we’ve had toward building relationships in our lives. And this week’s convo puts the cherry on top as we discuss our friends as “chosen family” and the shape that our friendship and communities take when we are in a place where we need extra support. Our guest this week, Emma Nadler, is a therapist, author and speaker who is doing valuable work in helping people build deeper relationships. Emma knows firsthand what it means to rely on her circle in ways she never thought she would, when her daughter was diagnosed with a DNA disorder, shifting the life she knew, and navigating the special care, multiple hospital stays, and more than full-time parenting her daughter needs. By leaning on her community and being brave enough to ask for help (when sometimes the tendency is to act like we’ve got it all under control). Emma’s goal is to show us how we can look beyond preconceived notions about what it means to be valued and to belong, and leads us toward building a world where thriving in community is possible for every single person.
Emma and Jen touch on:
What it looks like when our “family” looks different than expected in the context of friendships and our communities
How to understand and learn to tolerate our emotions when it comes to interacting with friends and community and how to find meaning in everything—good and bad
Practical steps on fostering really authentic connections, asking for help, and creating inclusive spaces
The power of being direct when reaching out to connect with new people, or friends you’ve drifted from, to foster a deeper relationship
There’s so much value in learning how to meaningfully connect with others and create communities and friendships that celebrate our joyful times and anchor us at difficult times.
We’re back with our “For the Love of Community and Friendship Series, and this week, we delve into an area of friendship that all of us may face, but inevitably dread. It’s that moment when you know a friendship has run its course, or perhaps has become toxic, or you’ve just drifted apart–and you don’t know how to go forward. When life changes, when we change, and a friendship no longer serves us, how do we gracefully (and honestly) communicate about it? Our guest this week, who is here to walk us through this touchy topic, is writer, former standup comedian and political consultant Erin Falconer. Erin’s written a book called How to Break Up With Your Friends: Finding Meaning, Connection and Boundaries in Modern Friendships. Lest you think this is just a conversation on how to wipe your friend slate clean, stick around–you’ll hear Jen and Erin talk about how to create and maintain the healthiest friendships through all the seasons of our lives in order to avoid the painful friend breakup.
They also discuss:
Erin’s “Six Pillars of Friendship” that help us take stock of who is in our life and how we’re serving each other
What to do when we see a friendship has run its course or needs to shift or change in some way
How to keep the source of joy going in our adult friendships, and minimize the pain
It’s tough to grapple with the complexities of friendship breakups, but it all starts with building healthy relationships from the start.
Genuine heart friendships have an incredible impact on our lives, including our health. Many recent studies tout the connection between health and the quality of your relationships, and that loneliness (not to be confused with being alone) can have a negative effect on our health–possibly even bigger than smoking or drinking or poor eating. So is it possible that our friends can actually help save us? Our guest today thinks so; writer and poet extraordinaire Maggie Smith recently went through a divorce and she credits her close knit friend group for being “her parachute” in that process (much like Jen’s friends have been for her as well).
Jen and Maggie discuss these topics around friendship:
The way friends can invest in you in a way that family isn’t able to when you’re going through disruptive life moments
The friends that intuitively know what you need during a rough patch and show up proactively with solutions so you don’t feel so lost
How we can nurture those “life saving” friendships by being a good friend ourselves
Thank God for the friends who remind us of who we are–of our core goodness and worth– when a disruptive time shakes up our identity. They help bring us back to ourselves.
We’re back with another installment of our Being Seen and Heard series, and we think this one is going to strike a nerve with many of you out there who are looking for a better, stronger, fairer, narrative when it comes to the balance of work in your home and toward raising children. Are you the one in your relationship who is handling the lion’s share of the care and feeding of your littles PLUS taking care of their pickups and dropoffs to school, daycare, sports, bathtimes, bedtimes, wiping noses, butts PLUS managing the domestic front of grocery shopping, cleaning, organizing, handling the social calendar, vacations, PLUS working a 40 hour a week job either inside or outside the home? We see you and are asking a question that maybe you ask every day; why are women still, in a day and age where we make up 55.9 percent of the workforce and where 40 percent are the main breadwinner in the home, still responsible for so much when it comes to child rearing and domestic workload? Our guest this week has created a national conversation about greater equality on the home front with a system she created through intense research that helps couples create balance, by understanding that women are doing what she calls almost all of the “invisible labor” in the home, with at least two thirds of them having a job outside the home as well. Eve Rodsky is a Harvard Law School grad with years of training in organizational management When she had her first child (and began to see her identity at her job being stripped away because of it) and then began the dance of balancing her job with all of her duties as a mother (for which she bore the lion’s share of the domestic and child rearing responsibilities, as so many women do) she started to wonder: what would it be like if couples could reimagine their relationships as to how it relates to rebalancing the work it takes to run a home? So began her “Fair Play” system, where she sets couples up for success in relationship and parenting by helping them change the way they think and talk about their home life.
Jen and Eve discuss:
The patriarchal history that has been around for centuries that informs why the imbalance of domestic workload still exists when so many other categories for women have been elevated
How important it is to invite men into their full power into the home, removing barriers and stereotypes as to what men’s and women’s strengths are there
Changing the notion that women’s time is somehow less important than men’s–and that the “invisible work” women do is toward guarding the time of men
How the overwhelming pace of work, child rearing and home management eventually ends up making us sick and damaging our relationships, and what we can do about it
BONUS: Eve puts Jen to the test with a question from her Fair Play card deck where we dive deep into Jen’s family values–a question that is illuminating to all of us in understanding each other in relationship.
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.
Every person is sexy just because they’re alive, according to this week’s guest in our For the Love of Sex Series; Dr. Alexandra Solomon. Jen & Dr. Solomon talk about how we can discover how to engage with our sexuality free from judgment or expectation.
Dr. Alexandra Solomon is the author of bestselling books, “Loving Bravely” and “Taking Sexy Back” which both seek to empower women to reclaim their sexual journeys. As a highly acclaimed psychologist at Northwestern University, Dr. Solomon regularly presents her findings to people all over the world.
Join Dr. Solomon and Jen as they discuss:
Talking about sex with your partner
How to stop settling for less in the bedroom
Objectively reflecting on your sexual journey without judgment
The real impact of trauma on our sexual selves
How desire shifts over the course of a relationship
Dr. Solomon explains the basic premise that undergirds her work; that every person has the right and ability to experience pleasure and joy and connection through sex.
As our guest today says, “Everybody is here because somebody had sex.” Today we talk to Brandon Kyle Goodman about coming out from the shadows of your own desire. We’re looking at a new era of sex positivity in pop culture and in our lives. In this episode we explore themes from Brandon’s book: “You Gotta Be You: How to Embrace This Messy Life and Step Into Who You Really Are”.
Listen as Jen and Brandon discuss:
Sex in Culture, The Importance of Diverse Representation
Exploring your Sexual Identity with Radical Self Acceptance and Love
Coming out and the Importance of Chosen Family
It’s a new day for sex in our media, our bedrooms, and in our minds and hearts! This conversation illustrates the unbelievable freedom to be found in honoring your sexual identity. Share a moment with Jen and Brandon as they walk the path towards personal sexual liberation and finding peace within yourself.
For this episode of the Sex series, we’re getting some adult sex education we wished we had learned when we were younger. Specifically around messages young men received around sex, and how this now manifests with toxic masculinity which unfortunately, seeps into the bedroom. Our guest today helps us find ways we can change these sexual narratives. While not all of us are in sexual relationships with men, the reality is that the way in which men perceive their status in the bedroom affects their roles outside of the bedroom. And when toxic masculinity is driving that inner monologue, we all lose. So today we’re addressing the ways this can affect us all, not only the cis hetero men in our lives.
A licensed sex coach and therapist, Cam Fraser teaches sex education for cis hetero men and their partners. As someone who has been hurt by unhealthy masculine culture, he’s passionate about changing toxic masculine narratives that affect us all, and freeing men up to be the fully realized humans they are longing to be (whether they know it or not).
In this episode, Cam and Jen discuss:
Ideas on how to start conversations with your partner about sex
Desire discrepancies in relationships and the difference between responsive and spontaneous libido
Taking responsibility for your own arousal
The spectrum of intimacy inside and outside the bedroom
Unhealthy sexual narratives that feed toxic masculinity
As part of our For the Love of Sex series, we are talking to a Hollywood intimacy coordinator about the nitty gritty of consent, the emerging role of intimacy coordinators in Hollywood, and the future of creating consent culture on film and TV sets. There are ripple effects into the wider culture at large that happen when we prioritize safety and consent.
A viral content creator on TikTok and CEO of her own company, Jessica Steinrock is helping change the way we understand consent on TV & film sets. Our favorite quote of hers is ‘’‘Yes’ means nothing unless ‘No’ is an option.”
In this episode, Jessica and Jen discuss:
The historical context of consent in film and TV
How intimacy coordinators cultivate consent
Jessica’s definition of consent
The power of pairing media literacy and sex education
With her own company, Jessica is providing a framework for how we can experience consent in a variety of workplaces and helping change the way an entire industry approaches consent.
“Good girls”, “naughty girls”, women with too tight skirts or too high heels. Women’s sexuality is being scrutinized and judged by forces outside of ourselves no matter what form it takes. Our guest today is Gina Gutierrez who seeks to empower women to stop listening to these outside voices and start listening to our inner eros by tuning in and turning on with audio erotica. We could not be more…excited.
TedX speaker with over 1M views, and member of the Forbes Under 30 2020 list, Gina Gutierrez is celebrated for her work focusing on using the imagination to ignite women’s sexuality. With her co-founder Faye Keegan she created the app Dipsea to help women define their desire in an empowered way through audio erotica stories.
In this episode Gina and Jen discuss:
The link between sexual fulfillment and the imagination
Celebrating selfishness in prioritizing sexual pleasure
Uncovering and healing the shame of “feeling different”
How embracing the erotic gives us our power
With Dipsea, Gina is helping provide a framework for how we can safely explore our fantasies and prioritize our own pleasure resulting in us being better lovers, caregivers and friends.
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.