Inviting Calm into Your Life and Home: Emily P. Freeman and Myquillyn Smith - Jen Hatmaker

Inviting Calm into Your Life and Home: Emily P. Freeman and Myquillyn Smith

Episode 04

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.

Episode Transcript

Hey, everybody. Jen Hatmaker here, your host of the For the Love Podcast. You guys, welcome, welcome to the show. I am so glad that you’re here. We are in a series right now called For the Love of Calming the Chaos, and I am just loving it. I am enjoying this series so much, um, for a lot of reasons, but it’s causing me to take a pretty hard look at what is actually bringing chaos to my own life and what, where chaos is located. Like sometimes it’s such a, generic feeling of feeling chaotic that it’s hard to like parse out, right? Like, what, what is actually chaotic in my life? Like, surely it can’t be me, right? Oh, dear. Um, most of us tend to think that our lives are what’s chaotic. Just all of it. The job and the money, and the family, and the school and the friends, and the state of the world.

And, it’s worth asking what is the source? Can we, can we parse it down into something more clear, more specific, instead of just this garden variety chaos that we all experience? Is it coming from a less definitive space? Maybe? What coping skills am I wrapping around that? What’s my response looking like? So I think knowing where your chaos is coming from can be really freeing, but knowing what to do about it is sometimes hard to grasp or hard to parse out or figure out, because frankly, I mean, chaos is now so ubiquitous. It’s so, the common experience, it’s almost a badge of honor. Do you know what I mean? There’s almost some sort of weird reward inherent in long work days and pushing and grinding and keeping up these like spotless appearances and how our houses look, how our kids are, you know what I mean? Like, it’s almost become currency.

And so I think for this episode, I really wanted to explore some of the deep core basics of creating order, of minimizing chaos that don’t necessarily just involve some new regimen, right? That sometimes to me feels more overwhelming. Like, what do I onboard into my life to make it all easier? And it still just ends up feeling in my body like more, do more, have more. What if it was a tweak of perspective? What if it was small changes? What if we turned the dials slightly, just subtly enough where we experience a shift from chaos toward calm? What if we approached chaos in a way that is more manageable, more accessible, smaller, not like I need a whole new life, right? But what are the small ways to wrangle order out of some of this chaos?

So we have a pair of guests today. Oh gosh, I buried the lead. I really did. I buried the lead because every time I’m with these girls, I like them more. And I have had them a lot in my space because their work has meant so much to me. They happen to be sisters, and they both work in the space of bringing calm and order to our lives in extremely simple ways. They kind of work in two different spaces, but with the same basic approach, the same sort of through line of small and simple. I know that most of you already know and love these girls. It’s Emily P. Freeman and her sister Myquillin Smith.  I’ve just come off our conversation and I feel such a way, like just this one conversation already handed me a couple of small, little comfort points that I am about to walk into my house and execute there. And it’s not more, it’s less, it’s not do this. It’s, it’s less; you’ll see what I’m talking about and for those of you who are a part of my MeCourse community, Emily and Myquillin flew to Austin, and they were both integral parts of my MeCourse. 

They were my guest experts in the MeCourse that was wildly popular with you, and it was the MeCourse on “Simplicity for the rest of us”. And no one’s doing it better. I love who they are and I love their approach.

So you might have heard Emily’s podcast. She has a podcast called The Next Right Thing. Six years, she’s been making this incredible space for us. It is a wonderful shot of peace and clarity for your week. She’s also written a book by the same title and a guided journal. And so Emily focuses on how virtually all of us succumb to something like analysis paralysis when it comes to making decisions. So this is her space. She’s all about what she says, creating a space for your soul to breathe so we can clear the chaos around kind of the fear or the frozen nature of making wrong decisions or second guessing ourselves. So she is a part of this mental clarity space on doing the next right thing. And she’s been with us before as part of the Good Change series, and I’ll link to that. We’re so glad she’s back.

Myquillin works in a space where the concentration is more in the physical world. You have probably seen her website and all of her work under her sort of moniker, which is the Nester. And she’s got this incredible way of helping us create homes that are conducive to peace instead of chaos because she believes, and I 100% agree, that when our homes feel out of control, it exasperates our internal chaos. That is the truest thing for me. When my home is cluttered and disorganized and overrun and messy, and I just, it makes my mental load feel so much worse. So she’s written extensively on her website. She has books on the subject, including The Cozy Minimalist Home, one of my favorites. And she’s gonna give us really practical, doable guidance toward very small steps. Zero massive home renovations required that we can execute to wrangle some calm out of the chaos of our homes, which is where we live. 

So lucky, lucky us, we have Myquillin, our cozy, minimalist, and Emily, our soul minimalist, working in concert with us today. Plus, they are so delightful together. So you’re gonna love this conversation. You are gonna feel relieved and hopeful by the end of it. So help me welcome the absolute wonderful Myquillyn Smith and Emily P. Freeman to the show.


Mentioned in this Episode: 


The Next Right Thing Podcast

The Next Right Thing Book by Emily Freeman

The Next Right Thing Guided Journal by Emily Freeman

Emily P. Freeman’s For the Love Podcast Episode

The Cozy Minimalist

17 Questions that Changed My Life by Tim Ferris

Iris Murdoch

Jamie B. Golden

Westmore Beauty 60sec Eye Effect



Stay Connected with Jen Hatmaker: 


Thanks for listening to the For the Love Podcast!

XO – Team Jen


connect with emily p. freeman:


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connect with myquillyn smith:


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