In this episode, I am sharing about a couple of parallel "paths" I've noticed in the past few months: those of Labyrinths, making mindful choices about what to do next, and setting boundaries to support those choices and new directions.
Your Unique Path
In December 2020 I took a week long course and became a trained labyrinth facilitator. The labyrinth has been around for centuries and is a helpful mindfulness tool, and a lovely walking meditation. It struck me that much like there are parallels between the center of a labyrinth and the messy middle of this pandemic.
Mindful choices on What's Next
This time in the messy middle has offered us a lot of time to think. I hear from other people that they are reflecting about what really matters, what things merit their time, what they really want to do when they can go back out in the world and do things with other people.
These two things (Labyrinths and honoring one's path) benefit from boundaries. A labyrinth without a clearly marked path is confusing, or, just a field. A life without boundaries is a free-for-all. So I want to mark things more mindfully, and make clear choices based on what I want and who I know I am. There is simplicity and beauty in knowing those things, and I want to honor them too.
What can you learn from your time in the Messy Middle of the pandemic?
Where has your path led you? Is it different than where you thought you'd go?
What kinds of boundaries could help define your path?
In this episode, I'm honored to be interviewing Lauren Artress. She is an author, Canon of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, founder of Veriditas, and a spiritual pioneer and a leading force in popularizing the Labyrinth in the US and around the world. I have been fascinated with Labyrinths for years, and this last December became a trained Labyrinth facilitator. I'm excited to have Lauren joining me to talk about her experience with the Labyrinth, The Labyrinth Movement, and how it offers parallels and insights into our lives.
In this episode, Lauren and I talk about:
- the labyrinth and what it is
- her journey in finding the labyrinth in Cathedral de Chartres, France
- the role of the labyrinth at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco - both now, and during the AIDS epidemic
- the Holy Fool and how it relates to the Labyrinth
- Hand labyrinths: how they work and how they came about
- The parallels and metaphors of our lives and the walk of the labyrinth
In this episode, Erica and are diving in to the important topics of racism in the US, and what it means to be an imperfect ally. I had the pleasure of meeting her at ShePodcasts Live, and I was deeply inspired by her presentation there on imperfect allyship and anti-racism.
Erica is an an entrepreneur and certified coach, and her work is focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), imperfect allyship, and imposter syndrome. I deeply appreciate her insights on how white people, like myself, can be better allies for people of color. I know from experience that it can be vulnerable to make changes and that there's an underlying fear that we may do something (with good intentions) that is more harmful than helpful. And, that if it's not right, it could backfire. And so many of us freeze and do nothing.
The truth is, action is what is needed. We can't continue to do nothing because of our own discomfort. And, the only way to make any change is to start trying it out, in small steps, and in little ways.
And that's what the heart of imperfect allyship is all about.
If you've been feeling deeply unsettled by what you've felt over the many acts of racial injustice that have been happening, and you know you want to do something (but you don't know what or how) - this is the episode for you.
Intuition can give you powerful information about what you want and what brings you joy, but too often we ignore it. What can you learn from intuition, and what can you discover from getting curious about what annoys you?
It’s so exciting to have Heather Chauvin back for a second time on the podcast!
She has just released her brand new book, “Dying to be a Good Mother” and I was delighted that she reached out to connect again. Our interview is all about her journey with what she learned about self care after being diagnosed with cancer, and how 2020 has changed so much for so many of us. As a former social worker, and mom of three boys Heather was juggling family, health and happiness, and in doing so putting her own well being last on her priority list. And then, she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer just one year after the birth of her youngest son. That’s when she took a hard look own self care, and how to place a priority on her own health, happiness and wellbeing. In battling through chemo, illness, and recovery she realized it was time to start living, not just for her family but for herself.
During the pandemic, it's been hard to find our joy. In this episode, I share how to change your perspective when the horizon shifts, and how to find joy in the messy middle. Also learn about how to craft an "easy week" to bring more joy to your life.
In this interview, I’m delighted to be joined by life coach Mackenzie Eason. She is a love and relationship coach who specializes in helping her clients break free from toxic dynamics, develop emotional mastery, clear up communication, reclaim their power, and cultivate unshakable self love. In other words, she’s the most amazing person to have on to talk about how we look at love, how we can learn to love ourselves, and how we can talk about Valentine’s Day in a very different way. In this episode we are talking all about how to love yourself first, and looking at how COVID and shelter in place has taken a toll on existing relationships.
Kenzie and I met through life coach training, and it’s a real treat to have her on the show. She fully embodies joy and love and she’s one of the most genuine and lovely people you’ll ever meet. I love that she’s dedicated her work to helping womxn through the breakups, and that she holds space for them to find transformation and joy on the other side of those hard times. I’m so excited to have her on Jump Start Your Joy.
Barron Steffen is a Siddha Yoga practitioner, a big band crooner, and a widower. He is also the author of the book, “The Final Gift of the Beloved: Her Disappearance - 13 Days,” where he shares the story of the death of his wife Dr. Seana Lowe Steffen and the 13 days that follow. It is a joy to speak with him, and it is an honor to have him share his journey of saying goodbye to the love of his life, and the peace and joy that came with that journey. Barron now focuses his life’s work on “The Yoga of Mindset,” a program that helps children and other people to give them the “tools necessary to live harmoniously among our thoughts,” and spread the art of mindfulness.
How do we welcome in a new year, after 2020 was full of so many difficult things? In this first interview of 2021, I'm so delighted to be joined by the five podcasters behind "The Best Parts Podcast:" Louise Neil, Nikki Baker Wulf, Laura Lively, Sara Doell, and Kim Romain. Their philosophy is that all parts of our lives are the best parts. I know that there is a really big desire to slam the door on 2020, and call it a dumpster fire. Instead, I want to focus on what is going on for each of us as we enter into a new year
That said, there's something that's really juicy about the middle of all of this, because:
One: I don't think all the problems that we've come up with and seen in 2020 are just going to end. We've already seen that that isn't true.
Two: Much of the turmoil that's been put into motion across the board is also going to stay in play.
In this episode, we’ll be looking at how to bring joy into your life, even when it’s hard. Many of us are sitting in the midst of extremes right now: feeling isolated and wishing for connection, being overwhelmed and wishing for calm. We are sad over the current situation of the world, and also want to feel joy. In this episode I’ll share how you can integrate these things in your life, by looking for the “and.”
Finding Joy in The Messy Middle
When we get into a place like the pandemic, and things have been difficult for a sustained amount of time, finding joy becomes a practice. And, it becomes more important than ever before. One way of doing this is to make sure that you become mindful of adding joy into your day, and scheduling in time (or taking the time) to do something that helps to connect you to joy each day.
I could not be more excited to share this week’s interview with John McEuen of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. John is one of the most celebrated and best known banjo players in the world, and has had a long and exciting career in music. It was amazing to get to speak with him about his book, “The Life I’ve Picked,” his early days at the magic shop in Disneyland (where he became friends with Steve Martin), and about being the first American musical group to tour Russia in 1977.
I also loved getting to hear about John’s creative process, and how much he delights in creating music to share with others. You can hear the joy in his voice as he talks about his experiences. Plus, he talks about “bone records” which made to bootleg music into Russia in the 70s, and that is not something you are gonna hear on any other podcast today.
In this interview, I’m joined by Lan Cao and Harlan Margaret Van Cao, who are the mother and daughter team who have written the beautiful duet memoir, “Family in Six Tones: A Refugee Mother, an American Daughter.” Lan Cao immigrated to the United States in 1975, after the end of the Vietnam War. She raised her daughter, Harlan, in the US. In their beautiful memoir, they both share about their journey in growing up.
In this interview, we talk about:
This episode’s interview is with Marsha Flowers of Five Blessings Candles in Leavenworth, Kansas. She’s been an entrepreneur for years, making candles and creating “Happiness in a Flicker” with unique scents and joyful names. She has had both a brick and mortar version of her business, and she is now all online.
Marsha and I talk about:
The author of “You Were Not Born to Suffer,” Blake Bauer and Paula talk about the themes of initiation, struggle, and hardship as a path to knowing yourself and finding your purpose wove through the conversation and finding joy in the messy middle.
In this episode, Blake and I talk about:
This week’s podcast is a new solocast all about the courage and joy … and I also share some of my favorite things that might not seem to all match at first glance. Princess Diaries, Battlestar Galactica, and Brené Brown ?!?! Well, they all have a thing or two to say about courage, about facing our fears, and about being vulnerable and embracing joy.
This week, Molly McGlynn Knoderer joins me on the podcast. Molly is the co-founder of Legacy Concierge Services in Northern California. She also recently published a chapter in her first book, “Awakening and Deepening to Truth.” She has deep experience as an entrepreneur, and has followed her own curiosity and passion in her career in elder services after graduating from UC Davis. In the last year, she also wrote about her own journey and truth and so many powerful things to say about the writing process, and how to overcome shame that was present in her life and in so many of our lives.
In this episode we talk about:
In this episode, Megan Gallagher joins me to talk about anxiety, and how to navigate it. After living with intense panic attacks (up to 20 a day) and anxiety as a teenager, Megan made it her life mission to inspire teenagers and parents on how to deal with anxiety in today's modern world by speaking at countless middle schools and high schools about her story.
Megan has written an amazing book, and she's a two time TED Talk giver. Today, she is a resource and inspiration for so many teenagers navigating the world of mental health. I'm really excited to have her join me on the show.
In this episode of Jump Start Your Joy podcast, I’m delighted to be sharing an interview with Dr. Jeff Spiess. Author of the book, “Dying with Ease: A Compassionate Guide for Making Wiser End-of-Life Decisions,” Dr. Spiess was an oncologist, and later a hospice physician. He spent his medical career working with people were facing serious illness and death, and had a lot of experience in how to navigate both for all who are involved.
I’m honored to have Dr. Spiess on the show, and really excited to talk to him about how to find joy now, when we are alive. And, we talk about how to find joy even with the existential knowledge of knowing we are all headed toward death. What do we need to do now, to set ourselves up for more joy while we’re alive?
How do we help others who are facing death feel contentment and joy in their time here?
What’s it like to hold joy and the reality of our own mortality in the same moment?
In the season 6 opener, I'm looking at the Messy Middle, and how we are living in it right now. What is the Messy Middle? Why is it hard? Why do we long to know the ending, while still needing to lean into this time of transformation? Join me.
Recorded live from the She Podcasts Live Conference, we are sharing the six most joyful things we've seen and heard here - from podcasters doing innovative things, to the community, to the spirit of altruism and inclusion, it's been an amazing conference.
I share my aha moments about how to make lasting change in your life without getting overwhelmed. How can you take what inspires you, and make it work for you?
How do you find a career that you love, especially when you're working a 9 to 5 that feels soul sucking? Have you decided it's time to make the change? Laura Simms is the expert in helping people find careers that feel like home.
In this episode, Laura Simms and I talk about:
Oren Jay Sofer is a communication expert and mindfulness teacher at Spirit Rock in Woodacre, California. He recently wrote the book “Say What You Mean: A Nonviolent Approach to Communication,” and I’m delighted to have him as a guest on the podcast.
In this look back episode episode, Oren and I talk about:
-That language is an inherited phenomenon
-How to stop ruminating over anger when you are upset
-The work of Marshall Rosenberg around non-violent communication
-Active listening and how to build understanding in communication
-His thoughts on how to Jump Start Your Joy: find ways to be kind and generous, attune to beauty, connect to meaning and purpose, and play more
Say What You Mean: A Nonviolent Approach to Mindful Communication by Oren Jay Sofer (on Amazon)
Sign up for Oren’s class that starts October 17, 2019
Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg
From mindfulness to lunar abundance, and quiet bohemians to happiness coaches, and self care and creative process, this season has been an amazing gathering of people who embrace playing small in their own way. This is the finale for Season 5.
How do you move forward and find joy when you're in the middle of upheaval, tough times, and everything has changed? And how to you build a foundation during that time? In Part one of my season 5 finale, I share thoughts on joy during the pandemic.