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.
We’re at the tail end of our For the Love of Calming the Chaos series–and if you’ve gotten a chance to hear the whole series, we hope you’ve been able to take away some actionable items toward further peace in your life. Our last episode in the series is the perfect capper toward extending that ability to calm the chaos during the disruptive times of our lives, but also during the heartbreakingly difficult times. Our guest this week brings us the very comforting message that simply bucking up or trying to cheerlead ourselves into positivity isn’t going to cut it. She gives us permission to actively accept our sadness, and then some tools for how to process it and move it from chaos to a place of peace. Katherine May is an international best-selling author, including the books Enchantment Awakening Wonder in An Anxious Age and Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times. Katherine isgoing to walk us through not only her own story of a hard winter season she endured, and what she learned, but she’ll show us how we can be gentle with ourselves and believe that we deserve peace, no matter the circumstances.
Jen and Katherine talk about:
When those winter seasons come, just when you think you can’t or will never be happy again and the dark pit feels too overwhelming; that’s typically when the winter begins to cease and recovery begins
Giving yourself grace to believe you haven’t done anything wrong if you’re still suffering a week, a month or even six months later – the process of unlearning your old ways of life and relearning new ones can be painful and lengthy
Not all the lessons we learn come from happiness, they come from sorrow, and how to accept that
Chaos doesn’t just emanate from choices that we’ve made or that we’ve onboarded too many things, but sometimes when tragedy or heartache has found its way to our doorstep. Allowing ourselves to rest and retreat at these times is a gift we can all give ourselves.
Calling all parents of adolescents, or those of you who are about to have adolescents in your midst–if you’ve been feeling like you’re not sure what is normal in the emotional landscape of teenagers, we’re here to help. Face it—teenagers are literally in the epicenter of chaos–and because they live in our homes, sometimes it bleeds into our lives too. These kids are in developmental flux and there’s so much on them with school work, keeping up grades, extracurricular activities, friends (not to mention friend drama), anxiety about college—it’s a lot. But we can find ways to stand by them in their emotions, without getting too overcome with our own–and help them manage all this chaos in a way that serves them, and serves the whole family. Our guest this week is the perfect breath of calm in the midst of teen emotional chaos–she’s lived it, she studies it and she practices in it. Dr. Lisa Damour is a New York Times bestselling author who has written a book on the subject called The Emotional Lives of Teenagers, in addition to being an expert on adolescent development and family mental health. She and Jen hit the high points of:
The seven developmental tasks that teenagers face
Why the emotional world of teenagers is very different than during any other time in their life, and how they navigate emotions and how they express them
How to know when a teenager is having a mental health crisis or if it’s just a teenager being a teenager
How to manage a meltdown in nine steps
Dr. Lisa gives us actionable tools to help understand teenagers and gently guide them as they wade through the somewhat chaotic season of adolescence.
In our ongoing quest to squash the chaos in our lives, we’re talking to two experts (who are in fact sisters) who literally help us create space for our souls and our homes to breathe. Emily P. Freeman hosts the Do the Next Right Thing podcast where listeners flock to hear her soothing voice guide them with small ways to achieve mental clarity and avoid analysis paralysis when making decisions. Her sister, Myquillyn Smith, better known as The Nester, has the superpower of helping us create peace in the physical places we live with smart solutions that tweak our spaces to bring us calm–because when our homes feel out of control, our inner chaos rises as well.
Highlights from this discussion with Jen, Emily, and Myquillyn include:
How Emily and Myquillyn played with their Barbies as young girls was indicative of the roads they chose later in life
How sometimes the things that we are influenced to purchase to help us conquer chaos can become triggers for chaos (ie: THE BASKET PEOPLE)
How to not get bogged down with the pressure to plan your whole life, and how looking at past decisions can inform the decisions you make in the future
What it means to “quiet a room” in order to bring calm to your living spaces
Join Jen, Emily, and Myquillyn as we all seek a little refreshment for our lives and homes.
Sometimes, bad things happen (obvi, right?). Many times, we know what’s happening to us in the moment is awful and wrong. We know that it’s painful. But sometimes, we don’t know how bad those things were until that pain shows up again in our lives, maybe years later, in a completely different way. And when these seemingly bad things come up, our lives are thrown into a tailspin—creating chaos and unhappiness and we’re not even even sure why. So how do we begin to identify the source of the darkness? How do we walk toward healing when the muck of our trauma is so deep we feel like we can’t move forward? Our guest this week has navigated through this very thing (and is still navigating it). The chaotic parts, the hard parts, the painful parts. Author and This American Life producer Stephanie Foo had found success in her thirties–working at her dream job and in a loving relationship. But behind her office door she was having panic attacks daily and sobbing at her desk. After years of questioning what was wrong (and blaming herself), she was diagnosed with complex PTSD–a condition that happens when trauma occurs again and again over many years. She was determined to understand this diagnosis, and the result of her findings is a beautiful and powerful memoir called What My Bones Know. Jen and Stephanie have an illuminating discussion around these topics:
The difference between PTSD and complex PTSD and why that’s an important distinction when it comes to healing
How an unresolved mental health issue can impact our physical health, which can manifest (as it did for Stephanie) in panic attacks, joint issues, migraines, and endometriosis.
How our traumas can be handed down through previous generations through our genes, but also through how we were (or weren’t) nurtured.
What it feels like to pull back the curtain on our coping mechanisms to reveal why we react to things the way we do, or why we put up walls in safe places with safe people
Join us for this very real, raw, but gentle conversation as Stephanie’s story sheds light on how to walk away from chaos into healing.
Welcome back, Chaos-breakers! We’re here trying to shake things up with another episode in our For the Love of Calming the Chaos–and this ones hitting us right where we live. Relationships; we’ve all got them, some we’re born into, others we choose, and others choose us. But what happens when certain relationships tax our energy, fill us with dread, and drain us of all ability to manage them? We have a great guide today to help us reframe relationships that have become dysfunctional, and how we can minimize the drama and chaos they bring. Therapist Nedra Tawwab is back on the show, and we couldn’t be happier. Nedra’s wildly popular Instagram account brings us life on the daily with her practical tips on recognizing when relationships are out of whack, how they might have gotten there, and how we can survive and thrive in the midst of it. Nedra has written two best selling books Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself, and Drama Free: A Guide to Managing Unhealthy Family Relationships. Nedra and Jen get into the following topics around eradicating relationship drama in our lives:
The sometimes difficult but very possible ways to begin creating healthy family dynamics
Finding the courage to have conversations with people when they hurt our feelings
How to create boundaries and what to do when those boundaries aren’t respected
Learning how to discern love from dysfunction in our relationships
Life is full of chaos and confusion, and it is important to find a balance between healthy relationships and self-care to maintain peace. Nedra provides us the tools to express ourselves, say no, and be open to uncomfortable conversations.
We’re kicking off a new series called For The Love of Calming the Chaos and we’re looking at all the ways chaos invades our lives, how to identify what’s causing it, and how we can forge a way to calmness (at least some of the time). It’s one thing to be busy, tackling the everyday things that need to happen, to feel like you are pulled in a million different directions. It’s another thing to be overwhelmed, where a sense of hopelessness creeps in that the storm of chaos that surrounds your days might never subside. Author and speaker Alexis Jones hit a wall in a life that looked amazing from the outside, but was teeming with chaos and fear on the inside. After several hard-hitting circumstances knocked the wind out of her, she found herself unable to take even the tiniest step forward after living a life that had been full of activity and accomplishments, checking off all the right boxes–and realized she had lost sight of who she really was. Her latest book Joy Hunter: Messy Face Plants, Radical Love, and the Journey That Changed Everything details the story of how she found her way back to herself in the midst of the chaos–and you can too.
Jen and Alexis talk about:
The moment Alexis realized how the “gift of falling apart” would show her what really mattered
When a tidal wave of chaos causes us to falter, how we can take steps to do something differently
What it means to be able to find true joy after true sorrow
How you can reconnect with a version of yourself that is real and authentic
As we come to a close on our For the Love of You series, we wanted to take some time to reflect on all that we have learned. We saw how food impacts our lives in more ways than just providing calories. We learned how self-care exists in all facets of life, from mental health and therapy to leaning on others during your journey to motherhood. And to wrap it all up, we wanted to take a look at what it means to be embodied and how to work with our bodies to overcome trauma and find peace and healing. These are some deep waters to tread through, and to help us with it all, we are thrilled to welcome Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk to the conversation. Dr. Van Der Kolk is a psychiatrist, author, researcher and author of the book The Body Keeps The Score. Dr. Van Der Kolk has spent most of his career researching the causes of post traumatic stress, and is continuing to come away with groundbreaking discoveries about the power of our bodies to protect and shield us. But sometimes that good function of the body can thwart us if we’ve been hurt or abused—walling us off from being able to fully experience life to the fullest. Dr. Van Der Kolk brings us to the intersection of embodiment, mental well-being, and neuroscience and examines how we can understand our bodies’ response to trauma so we can embrace our healing.
When it comes to healing, the path is not linear. Whether you are are a survivor of sexual assault or have experienced trauma in your life, you are worthy to pursue wholeness and healing. It can be a hard road to find the right community to heal with, especially if you identify as part of a marginalized community. Prevalently, therapy and therapeutic services cater largely to one group, evidenced by the fact that approximately 86% of psychologists are white, and less than 2% of American Psychological Association members are African American, and for people in the LGBTQ+ community, the offerings are similarly limited. Our guest for this episode in the For the Love of You series believes that healing and help for trauma and abuse is for everyone. Jimanekia Eborn is a queer trauma media consultant, comprehensive sex educator, and a sexual assault and trauma expert. Her work lands at the intersection of healing and community for marginalized folks. Not only that, Jimanekia is a survivor herself, and talks about her experience with vulnerability and honesty, creating a welcoming and comforting atmosphere for her clients. Jen and Jimanekia talk through the boundaries that exist for marginalized communities as they seek out mental health care, how to help those closest to you after traumatic experiences, and why caring for ourselves allows us to care for others better.
Content Warning: A quick note for you listeners. This episode touches on sexual assault and sexual trauma, so it may not be suitable for young audiences or survivors on the path to healing.
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If you’re not sure where to begin, I got you, friend. I’m always bringing you something new to enjoy.