Rank #1: And I Think to Myself What a Wonderful Neurodiverse World
Who are we? How do we identify? And who gets to decide our layers?
Today I’m joined by Jen Johnson, artist, advocate, professor, and mom to an awesome autistic kid! It’s a conversation that’s a beautiful celebration of art, voice, and neurodiversity.
We talk about her road to self-discovery, how she uses her art to share beauty with others, and the need for more spaces for, and representations of, autistic kids that celebrate them.
In this episode you may notice I do use a lot of person-centered language. I’m still learning. So a sincere thanks to advocates like Jen who remind us of the beauty of celebrating all the ways in which we can see this wonderful world.
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Jun 29 2018
Rank #2: A Woman of Words: An Interview with Writer, Filmmaker, and Rocker, Rahne Alexander
Unbeknownst to her, today’s guest was one of the original inspirations for the podcast. Rahne Alexander is an artist-activist who writes, sings, and if that wasn’t enough, she’s also a filmmaker.
She’s thoughtful, fierce, and one hell of a storyteller.
As a queer trans child growing up in California, she fell in love with books at an early age. They helped her find her voice and ever since she’s been using words to make art with impact.
In this episode, we talk about the importance of representation, how hard it can be for a woman to print her own thoughts, and our shared crush on Dorothy Parker.
I’m so excited for you because you all are in for some dazzling brilliance courtesy of Rahne Alexander.
Room for Change (a video from the DC March for Our Lives event)
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May 08 2018
Rank #3: Oh, Those Family Ties
What makes a family? If you grew up watching 80s sitcoms, you might think it was mom and dad saying the exact right thing at the exact right time. And that any challenge you faced as a family could be solved in 22 minutes or less.
Real life is different. More complicated. More nuanced. And yes, unscripted.
And those tv families? They’re missing a critical thing that real families have: history.
Our ancestors’ stories are carried in our genes. It’s not only poetic, it’s science. So it’s important to understand where we come from not only because it helps us feel more grounded, it sheds light on where we are and where we want to go next.
In this episode, we’ll hear from three generations of women—a grandmother, a sister, and a daughter. All share their stories from how they arrived, to first loves, to even their most embarrassing moments.
It’s an episode that’ll make you laugh…a lot! And also, leave you wanting to write down a few family stories of your own.
May 31 2018
Rank #4: She Was Fighting Herself to Live, Now She’s Living
Christie Jones is a brilliant artist and calligrapher who’s recently opened her very own studio in Patchogue, Long Island. It’s been a dream come true.
But the road to living the life of her dreams hasn’t been easy. She’s battled anxiety since childhood that, at times, proved crippling. Then, in her 20s came a two-month long migraine that landed her in the hospital leaving both doctors and Christie with more questions than answers. Now, Christie continues to struggle daily with chronic pain.
However, it’s these very things that put Christie on a path she is today—a path towards art, beauty, and embracing the flow.
I recently skyped with Christie to hear her story, have a conversation about living with anxiety, and discover how someone can take something that sounds awful and turn it into something beautiful.
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Jun 14 2018
Rank #5: Welcome to the Podcast! It’s the first show I should have done…
Hello and welcome to episode 22! This is actually the first show I should have done. It’s also my first unscripted solo show. This was wildly uncomfortable for me to record and, you know what? I don’t mind you knowing that. They say you’re supposed to fake it til you make it, but screw it, I’m being honest with you.
Is it weird that I feel naked right now?
In this episode we’ll get the who, what, why of this thing and also a sneak peek at what’s on the horizon! I’m excited for you to listen in.
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Jun 21 2018
Rank #6: What Happens When Two People Put Down their Phones and Start Getting Real
This is the true story, of two strangers, standing in line at a donut shop, who agree to sit down in a house and have their conversation taped. Find out what happens, when two people put down their phones and start getting real…
With the rise in algorithms, personality-based targeted marketing, and the general all-around noisiness of being online I wonder if we’re missing the magic of meeting someone just by chance?
This episode is dedicated to chance encounters; meeting someone new. A stranger! What would we have in common? What would be different? Would we have anything to talk about?
It’s kinda like a podcast take on The Real World.
This week’s guest is Nakeia Monte. We met in line waiting for coffee. We struck up a conversation, started following each other on Instagram and now, almost a year later, I’ve invited her over to my house to record a conversation about how we’re alike, how we’re not, and how exactly we arrived here.
This one is full of juicy goodness! We talk career paths, religion, relationships, and oh so much more.
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Mar 22 2018
Rank #7: Parenthood: The Good, The Honest, and What Comes Next?
You ever meet someone and just know you’ll be friends? Well that’s what happened with today’s guest. My friend Bhek Simmons and I bonded during a parade through a town where both of us felt like outsiders. And because we’re both the types that love to get everything out in the open and aren’t afraid of uncomfortable conversations we struck up an immediate friendship.
Bhek and his wife Allison are two of my favorite people and not only are they funny and honest and real, they’re incredible parents. I look up to them both in so many ways.
So in celebration of both our nearly decade of friendship AND it being father’s day right around the corner, I’ve asked Bhek to swing by and share his story including a discovery about his dad that changed the course of his life to the rise of feminine energy (he’s definitely a guy who ain’t afraid of it) and how being raised by a tough NJ broad shaped how he parents his daughters.
And by the way, we’re catching Bhek on the heels of a huge moment: his youngest daughter just graduated from high school and is heading off to college. There’s a moment in this episode where she reveals a message to her dad during the recessional and… well… I can tell you this, there were tears in both of our eyes as he recounted the story. It’s beautiful.
So buckle up, buttercups! This is a show about fathers, graduations, and new beginnings.
This episode is sponsored by BeforeYou. BeforeYou is a free-to-use app that makes easy work of capturing your family’s stories in text, photo, audio, and video. Why does BeforeYou make easy work of capturing and sharing your family’s stories? Because studies have shown that children who regularly hear family stories have a better sense of self, higher self-esteem, and lower rates of depression and anxiety during the adolescent and teenage years. Download it in the app store today!
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Jun 07 2018
Rank #8: Finding Your Edge
Jennifer Calderon is a photographer in Los Angeles and a Live a Great Story ambassador. Her work includes gorgeous shots of celebrities, filmmakers, families, people on a journey, and general California cool.
For years, she’s chosen a word around the new year to help drive her forward in her evolution. This year’s word? Edges.
And to find her edges she’s taking on the highest summit in the contiguous United States: Mount Whitney.
I reached out to Jenn because I’ve followed her progress as she trains and am intrigued by the idea of a personal quest, and a physical one at that, having a ripple effect across all aspects of one’s being—spiritually, emotionally, and even professionally—which is one of the big reasons Jenn is taking this challenge on.
I found this whole conversation absolutely fascinating and can’t wait for you to hear all the nuggets of wisdom in this one. It’ll challenge the way you think about strength across all areas of our lives.
Mar 08 2018
Rank #9: Heck Yeah You Can! Some Brilliant Thoughts on Confidence
Today’s show is dedicated to confidence!
Like everything else, it’s simply a skill. And because it’s a skill, you know what that means? That means, dammit, we can learn it!
Tami Hackbarth is the 100% guilt-free self-care coach. She’s taken a fascinating career path from working on the hill in DC, to teaching third graders, to becoming a yoga instructor. Along each step of her journey, she’s dedicated herself to helping women (and children) live the best life possible.
She joins me for a talk about confidence, what it is, debunking some confidence myths, tips for flexing our confident muscle and the intersection of confidence and self-compassion.
This is an episode for any of us who might be struggling in the go-get-’em-tiger department.
You got this!
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Mar 02 2018
Rank #10: It’s All a Matter of Perspective
Welcome to an episode dedicated to shifts in perspective.
Kelly Ramundo is a masterful writer and storyteller. After graduating from Harvard, she moved to Madrid and eventually landed a job at El Pais, the main paper there. She was settled into the Spanish life when eight years later, she got an important call from back home—one that would set her off traveling the world telling stories about the spirit of America.
We talk about what it’s like to live as an American in another country, the contrast between cultures, and ultimately the beauty of loving where you live.
Feb 23 2018