Jessica Kradjel and I continue our conversation about friendship in today's episode. Jess describes her experience of creating a close chosen family and living community with two of her college friends in their early-mid 20s, and what it’s been like to maintain that friendship once they moved to different places. We also talk about rekindling friendships that have lost their spark or built up baggage, and making new friends as an adult...which, as we all know, can be really hard!
In today’s episode, I’m talking to my friend of almost twenty years, Jessica Kradjel. We trace the trajectory of our friendship from light rivalry in sixth grade Chorus class to long distance love throughout college and beyond.
During this trip down memory lane, we explore some of the common experiences we and many others have faced in the realm of friendship: friendships of convenience vs. friendships rooted in values and deep connection; how it’s easy to fall in love with friends but perhaps harder to stay in it for the long haul; and how our romantic relationships and the trappings of adulthood have affected our friendships (and vice versa). We talk about what has helped us to remain friends for so long (both factors in and outside of our control) and some of the things we struggle with in friendship, like jealousy and fear of change, and how we meet those struggles.
Today, I'm talking to Zachary Cox. Zac is a Ph.D. student in the Disaster Science and Management program at The University of Delaware, and since April 2020 he has interviewed almost 100 people from different walks of life to find out how they've been affected by and are responding to the disaster of the covid-19 pandemic. In our conversation today, Zac and I talk about what he's learned from these interviews, including learning to listen and lead with curiosity rather than assumptions. We also talk about the resilient kindness that has helped Zac get to this point in his PhD program, cultivated through his experiences with learning disabilities and being raised by a hardworking single mother. And, we discuss what we've struggled with and ways we've found solace throughout the pandemic.
Today's episode is about the very grown-up topic of money. So many young adults, like myself, enter into a tough job market with a ton of student debt, little financial education, and no idea how to afford rent. It's easy to feel completely overwhelmed, and to avoid looking at or making a plan for your finances, or to obsessively worry about any spending.
I'm thrilled to share my conversation with Megan deBoer, the founder of Tended Wealth, a business that helps individuals heal their emotional and practical relationship to money. As a certified Financial Recovery Counselor, her approach considers the context of our current financial circumstance: our lived experience, our family of origin, and the broad culture that shape our beliefs about money.
We talk about turning towards and rebuilding our relationship to money, and how to take steps towards slow, incremental, meaningful change that can bring us a greater sense of agency, responsibility and empowerment.
Today's guest is my aunt, Lizzie Finn. We're talking about how Lizzie has grown through some difficult experiences in midlife (including chronic illness, divorce and empty nest syndrome) and the commonality she finds with young adults asking questions about identity, purpose and true happiness. Lizzie talks about attending to past wounds and trauma, healing to live (not living to heal), and drawing inspiration from our inner children to keep looking forward, learning and growing.
Lizzie is a screenwriting instructor and script consultant trained in the Gateless Writing methodology and program manager of the Screenwriting Academy at Project Write Now. She writes on Medium about health, happiness, relationships, midlife, spirituality, tv and film, politics and psychedelic therapy. During a turbulent year of many transitions, Lizzie embarked on a certificate program in Happiness Studies and discovered the key to getting through life's challenges is to have a sense of purpose and passion. She is dedicated to living a life in creative flow and helping others do the same.
Amber Haines is the author of Wild in the Hollow: On Chasing Desire and Finding the Broken Way Home (2015), a spiritual memoir about her search for freedom, belonging and true intimacy with God. Amber's book traces her path from an Evangelical childhood in Alabama to her rebellious teen years and into marriage and motherhood, all while trying to find her place in different church and faith communities and keeping her creative spark.
In today's conversation, I ask Amber how she has honored the "wild" parts of her while also growing in maturity and steadiness; how she keeps in touch with her inner rebel and artist while also showing up in marriage, motherhood and church. Amber shares ways that she reconstitutes and nourishes herself when she's feeling used or used up, and we talk about learning to receive love and be more human.
This special episode invites you to think about how you can use your imagination to tap into different parts of yourself, parts that can see your gifts and strengths and offer you compassion and care.
In the first half of the episode, I give some background and context about my own resistance to visualizations and why I used to get angry when therapists tried to make me do them. I share how I came to enjoy them and find them helpful, and why you might too.
In the second half, we'll get grounded with our breath, and then, with our imaginations, we'll welcome a visit from Jonathan Van Ness--or anyone you would like to welcome into your space who will reflect what's beautiful about you. This visualization will help us consider how we've been treating our bodies, self-care and basic grooming and hygiene lately, and how we might offer our bodies an act of care today.
Recently, Khay Muhammad called me up to ask if we could do a follow-up to our conversation for Episode 45: Belonging in Yoga. Khay explained to me that something important was missing from that episode, and she wanted to make it right. This episode is for Khay to explain what (or rather, who) was missing--and why.
It's a conversation about patriarchy, white supremacy, and trauma; a discussion of how these forces affect us on personal and collective levels, in our lifetimes and inherited from generations before us. Khay generously models what it looks like to notice and meet those forces within and around us, and then take the next step to break the chain and create a new way of being. She does it with courage, humility, strength, integrity and compassion. May we listen with humility, sorrow and hope, and put Khay's modeling to good use in our own lives.
Maya Sanyal and I continue our conversation about purpose by getting a little deeper and more philosophical. Maya talks about how she responds to questions that many of us ask ourselves at some point in our lives when we are faced with trying for something: “Who cares?” “Why does it matter?” and “Who do I think I am?”
Maya believes it is possible to be deeply grateful and content while also ambitious. She believes in the power of presence and creating spaciousness in our lives. Maya has worked to notice, question and dismantle her own thinking traps and hurtful thought patterns, and she offers hope that we can, too.
Maya Sanyal is many things: a career and academic counselor; a mentor and teacher; a writer; a friend; a loving dog mom; a passion skeptic; a purveyor of hope; a business woman.
In Part 1 of our conversation, Maya and I talk about her career trajectory, which includes navigating the communal culture she comes from and the individualistic culture of the U.S.; earning a PhD in English literature and a Masters in Counseling; and years of teaching and advising students in the university classroom, Writing Center and Career Center. Maya's newest incarnation is being an entrepreneur with AlkaDevika Project Solutions.
Maya shares her thoughts on our cultural obsessions with passion, excitement and quick fixes, rather than knowledge, values and patience. We talk about our shared aversion to learning about money and finances, and why it's important to have that knowledge in order to then decide how to use it.
Maya also opens up about her history with depression, and why she now sees it as a gift.
Maya has too much wisdom to squeeze into just one episodes. Come back here tomorrow for Part 2!