A’ja Wilson on How Authenticity Is Your Superpower

Women’s sports are having a major moment right now, with basketball superstars like A’ja Wilson leading the charge. Considered one of the best WNBA players to ever grace the court, A’ja is using her towering influence to encourage not only young black girls, but all women who have felt the need to change who they are to fit in. A’ja fought to be herself every step of the way in her journey of becoming a G.O.A.T. in the WNBA. 

In this uplifting conversation, A’ja Wilson opens up about the challenges she faced as a young black woman trying to be her authentic self. From an anecdote about confronting racism in 4th grade to the influential women who instilled self-love during her journey to the top, A’ja shares her playbook for empowerment with raw honesty. She discusses the motivation behind writing her new book “Dear Black Girls” and the importance of defining yourself instead of letting others do it for you.

If you’ve ever felt the need to shrink yourself to fit in or been made to feel “other,” A’ja’s wisdom will inspire you to embrace all that makes you beautifully unique.

 

Dr. Rick Hanson on Confrontation as a Path to Well-Being

We’ve got another empowering episode in our Facing Your Fears series, and boy, do we have a fear that hits close to home for a lot of us – confronting those tough conversations we’d rather dance around than dive into. If the thought of confrontation has you squirming in your seat, you’re in good company. But what if we flipped the script and viewed these moments of truth-telling as acts of honor, steps towards healing and improvement?

Jen invites the insightful Dr. Rick Hanson, celebrated psychologist, acclaimed author, and speaker extraordinaire, to dissect our dread of difficult chats. Dr. Hanson is on a mission to transform confrontation into a finely honed skill that fosters lasting well-being and better relationships. His wisdom will not only challenge your perceptions but provide you with the practical tools to embrace these crucial conversations with confidence.

Don’t miss out on this transformative discussion that could redefine how you approach confrontation, making your connections healthier, and you, happier.

 

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.”

 

The Vagina Bible: Debunking Myths and Misinformation Around The Female Body Ft. Dr. Jen Gunter

Do you ever feel like you don’t have all the answers and information you need around your very own body? Are there beliefs or “facts” you might have learned that maybe aren’t actually centered around truth or science? Perhaps you’ve entered various seasons of your life as a female (menstruation, fertility, childbirth, hormone fluctuation, perimenopause, menopause) where you’ve felt like your concerns were dismissed or you weren’t given the tools, knowledge or treatment to help you navigate these season as well as you’d like. Whether you avidly seek knowledge about your body, or you’re bumping up against walls in what has been, historically, a lopsided research culture where male health has been more highly prioritized, we’ve got a guest today who is determined to correct that inequity with scientific and experiential information, research and active destigmatization. Dr. Jen Gunter is an obstetrician gynecologist and a bestselling author (The Vagina Bible, The Menopause Manifesto) who has made it her goal in life to “fix the internet” regarding information about women’s bodies and correcting the misinformation that runs rampant there; long held myths that cause fear, stress and even shame around our female physiology. Dr. Gunter debunks common misconceptions around our periods, our hymens (fyi, it’s not a “freshness” seal), synthetic hormones, menopause symptoms and more. Bottom line: you deserve to know about your body, and this conversation opens the door to finding true and accurate information that will help dismiss the fears you may have around all the seasons of your female health experience.  

 

Exploring Our Senses as a Pathway to a More Peaceful Life ft. Gretchen Rubin

How often do you stop and think about how well your sense of smell is working? Or how well you’re hearing? When was the last time you really thought about your vision and how it’s impacting the way you interact with the world? We’re grateful today for a friend of the show who’s returning to remind us that when we tune into our body and senses, we can start to shape our sensory world to best fit who we are. And when we are comfortable in that world, peace is more easily attained. Gretchen Rubin has been studying happiness and human nature for over a decade. Her book The Happiness Project spent more than two years on the New York Times bestseller list, and she’s been featured in numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, Oprah’s SuperSoul Sunday, and Good Morning America. Her latest book, Life in Five Senses, is a thought-provoking exploration of how we experience the world around us through sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. 

 

This Year, Every Little Thing Counts: Jen’s 2023 Recap

Wrapping up another amazing and somewhat wild year here on the For the Love Podcast. For this special episode, Jen is flying solo to share her thoughts on what 2023 meant to her, what pinnacles were met, what didn’t go so well, and the many things add to the gratefulness list. From celebrating long time friendships and new friendships, to milestones with her kids, to being in a relationship as a “girlfriend,” to going through perimenopause and becoming gluten free, Jen recounts the blessings and the challenges 2023 brought to the table. And she gives us a peek into the process of writing for her brand new book that you won’t want to miss. For those of you who are struggling to find things to be grateful about over the last year, we’re here for you too. If you’re sludging through the remainder of the year, digging out of it a spoonful of dirt at a time, we’re here to remind you to keep going. Everything you’re doing, every teeny little moment holds within it grace or hope or strength or outright joy, and every single moment matters. And you, our listener, matter to us. On our gratitude lists, you are at the top–and we look forward to more good, hard, and worthwhile stories to share with you. Thank you for making this show a vibrant hub and a soft place to land for us all.

 

Finding Peace Within Our Grief: Sal & Im’s Tips for Good Mourning

In our ongoing pursuit of peace during the holidays, we’re tackling something this week that we might forget others are facing during the holidays (or perhaps we are trying to trudge through ourselves); grief.  Everyone’s grief journey is unique, but during a season where “joy” is being pushed 24/7, our grief can feel like it’s 10 times its normal size as we struggle to “show up” in the ways we usually do during the holidays. Our guests this week are here to remind us of several important things, including; it’s okay to grieve during the holidays, and it’s perfectly okay to take it slow, to pause, to rest. There’s no “right” way to grieve. 

And that’s why we’re grateful to have some return visitors to the show, the hosts of the Good Mourning Podcast – Sal and Im. Sally Douglas and Imogen Carn met in 2019 after their mothers suddenly passed away just months apart. Because of their shared grief experience, they met in a grief group and decided to launch a podcast together. They know that grief is intense. It hits you physically, emotionally, spiritually. And even during the holidays, during what should be happy moments. The community they’ve created around the topic of grieving brings people together during what can be a really lonely time and reminds them, they’re not alone. There are others out there who know exactly what you’re going through. And it’s okay to reach out, to seek help, and to take care of your mental health.

Sal and Im give us coping tools, show us how to establish boundaries when we’re grieving and also remind us; the pain does lessen over time. This is your journey, and you get to decide the pace. It’s not a race. It’s a process. So, take it one day at a time. You’re doing just fine.

You Deserve Time To Rest with Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith

Are you one of those people that says “I’ll rest when I’m dead?” We can relate. As busy people–partners, parents, career drivers, caretakers and a host of other hats we wear, rest seems like an elusive and sometimes impossible task–especially during the holidays. To kick off our new series, For the Love of Peace, we’re here to tell you–you need and deserve rest.  And lest you think rest is just getting 8 hours of sleep at night (wouldn’t we all love that), it’s more. We need emotional, creative, physical and mental rest, just to name a few. The stats are real; when we don’t rest we have increased cortisol levels, which then add to inflammation, which then add to every type of metabolic disorder that’s out there–from high blood pressure to cancer, to stroke, diabetes and more. It’s obviously important to figure out how to fix this rest deficit–but how? There is already a shortage of time for our overloaded to-do lists, not to mention being there for family, friends, work and exercise (if we even have time to fit that in). Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith has spent her career as an internal medicine physician, looking at the ways different kinds of rest are the little levers we can pull that renew our bodies, brains and souls. And good news–some of them only take 5 minutes to fit into our lives. When we put these rest practices into our lives, we avoid burnout, health issues and depression. Before you get to the end of seeing your own value to take care of yourself, consider Dr. Saundra’s advice and begin to respect the place that rest has in your life. By allowing it to sustain you, you’ll experience other areas of life much more joyfully. You Deserve Time To Rest with Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith

Two Friends Compare Notes On Therapy: Jen and Kelly

We’re bringing a close to our series on therapy, and we couldn’t be happier to have Kelly Corrigan with us to have a candid conversation with Jen around their thoughts on therapy, including when it first entered their awareness, and now, in a more enlightened age, how the next generation has more access to therapeutic help. Even as recently as 20-30 years ago, therapy was not talked about a lot in public. For Jen and Kelly, they didn’t see it modeled from their parents, it wasn’t mentioned in their church circles, and only earth shattering situations seemed to require it. But as they look back, they realized there were people in their lives who were likely touched by a host of mental health issues–like panic attacks, depression, anxiety–and they usually suffered in silence while others wondered why they were so “moody” or “different.” Now that therapy is enjoying its day in the zeitgeist, we can all benefit from the openness around mental health that is evolving daily. Kelly’s a dear friend of Jen’s and has been on our show numerous times–winning the coveted title of most appearances on our pod! Besides offering wonderful conversation and amazing insight here, Kelly is the host of her own podcast, Kelly Corrigan Wonders, and is the author of several amazing books including Tell Me More, Glitter and Glue, and The Middle Place. She also hosts a show called “Tell Me More” for NPR, and she and Jen discuss the value of the statement “tell me more” when relating to others about our deepest thoughts and feelings.

 

Wellness Doesn’t Come From a Product, It Comes From Within: Dr. Pooja Lakshmin

In this latest installment of our For The Love of Therapy series, we delve into a timely discussion on mental wellness with a focus on genuine self-care. Our guest, Dr. Pooja Lakshmin, a renowned psychiatrist and advocate for women, offers fresh insights that urge listeners to break free from the superficial beauty and wellness industry’s narrative that is steadily being pushed at us through all kinds of media, but in a dizzying fashion on social media, in particular. Steering the talk away from quick-fix solutions, Dr. Lakshmin illuminates the essence of true self-care, which, in her research, links to four major chambers rarely associated with this concept. From the importance of saying ‘No’ when overwhelmed, to understanding that self-care is more than just a beauty regimen, she reminds us that wellness comes from within. Dr. Lakshmin, an accomplished writer for the New York Times and founder of the Gemma community, also shares insights from her book, ‘Real Self-Care: A Transformative Program for Redefining Wellness (Crystals, Cleanses, and Bubble Baths Not Included)’. Join us for this enlightening conversation and let’s start redefining what wellness truly means.