September 12, 2021
Your intrepid host is no longer a twenty-something trying to figure stuff out--as of this past July, I'm now a thirty-something trying to figure stuff out!
To mark the occasion, this past summer I asked previous Perennials guests to share some wisdom about the third decade of life. They delivered reflections on what they let go of when leaving their twenties, what they wish they could tell their 30 year old self, things they are enjoying or did enjoy about their thirties, and advice on what to hold close during this decade.
Their responses are so comforting, kind, and thoughtful that they brought me to tears. I'll continue to cherish these messages for years to come, and I am so happy to share them with you.
I also included some of my own brief reflections on this transition, and on what I'm learning about and growing into lately around what it means to create a home for myself.
Many, many thanks (in order of appearance) to the following good, kind, wise friends:
August 21, 2021
In today's episode, I'm talking to Maria Bowler, a contemplative artist, spiritual director, and enneagram guide. We discuss the mysterious roots of the enneagram, and Maria shares her unique way of differentiating the nine different types, as well as ways to think about identifying our own type. I ask Maria some of my most burning questions about spiritual seeking and growth in general. Is it ever too early to get on a spiritual path? How do we find ourselves while also trying to learn to surrender and let go? How do we get in right relationship with our will and desire while connecting to something bigger than ourselves?
So, we got into the deep end pretty quickly, and I loved every minute of it! I know you'll love exploring Maria's poetic, compassionate and wise perspective, too.
July 16, 2021
Today, I'm talking about couples therapy with Dr. Nadia Nieves, PhD, a limited license therapist in New York City. Nadia works with couples using an integrated approach of relational psychodynamic, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) interventions. She prioritizes supporting her clients in learning how to understand each other, navigating life transitions and conflict, and facilitating adaptive communication skills.
I was so excited to pick Nadia's brain about many things that make couples tick: expectations and agreements (or lack thereof), communication styles, family dynamics and history, and how our attachment styles and sense of self worth factor into the health of our relationship. In our conversation, we dispel some myths about couples therapy and who it's for, and discuss common issues that couples bring into sessions. Nadia is so smart, warm and compassionate in her approach to helping people learn how to better love each other and themselves.
June 18, 2021
In today's episode, my friend Danica Browne and I are unpacking themes from the novel The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. This is a book about unlived lives, regret, possibility, and hope. In this episode, Danica and I are talking about how these themes play out in our own lives. We discuss living vicariously through fictional characters, the subtleties of familial expectations, regrets and wonderings we have in the realms of career and relationships, and dreams that we suspect would not be as idyllic in real life as they are in our heads.
As always, if you have thoughts about today's episode, feel free to let me know! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Instagram @perennialspodcast.
June 3, 2021
In today's shorter, solo episode, I'm talking about wanting something, trying and striving for something, sitting with uncertainty, anxiety and excitement, entertaining romantic ideas and fantasies about greener grass, and ultimately, being disappointed.
It's so common in early adulthood, with so much uncertainty coming from all angles, to feel restless, impatient, desperate to prove ourselves and try to make everything okay. And yet, the nature of life is change. Trying for things and feeling feelings means we are alive, and means sometimes we will struggle and be disappointed.
Today, I'm talking about riding all sorts of feelings without pushing them away or labelling them as bad, and about what I've been learning about patience and keeping my seat.
May 21, 2021
My sister Felicia Russell and I are continuing and concluding our conversation about Taylor Swift's album Folklore with an exploration of themes like commitment, communication, betrayal, and escape. We share personal stories from our own lives about things falling apart and coming together, just like they do in the songs we're unpacking today. And, we pull out some creative writing tips from some of the techniques we see Swift using in her songs.
May 13, 2021
In today's episode, my sister Felicia Russell and I are unpacking wisdom from a little-known indie album we found in the back of a dusty old record shop...okay, just kidding. We're close-reading one of the most talked-about albums of 2020, Taylor Swift's Folklore. Our little romantic English and History-loving hearts skip a beat as we unpack each track, discussing themes like unlived lives, patience, anger, forgiveness, people-pleasing and managing mental health struggles. We discuss how the songs highlight cultural values and timeless human experiences, and we share stories from our own lives that reflect lessons from Folklore.
Come back next week for part 2!
April 16, 2021
There's something about springtime that can bring a renewed sense of energy and a desire to declutter, freshen up, make space, and look forward with hopefulness. That's why I decided to talk to Monica Geller and Danny Tanner--I mean, sorry, my cleanest and most organized friends and previous Perennials guests Melissa Adamo and Jessica Gaeta. Join us as we discuss cleaning for company, writing everything down, meeting resistance, and managing gendered pressures and expectations around housekeeping that impact our relationships to ourselves and the people we love most. And, of course, we talk about Jess's planner.
Be sure to follow Jess @organziedbyjess on Instagram for organization inspiration!
April 9, 2021
In Part 2 of our conversation about learning to parent ourselves, Sheryl Paul and I get into even deeper and richer territory--the territory of heart and soul. We talk about tuning into what's happening in our bodies and in our hearts, and having patience and compassion for whatever we find. We talk about both reaching out for connection and strengthening our inner sense of self. And then there's the most mysterious but equally important key to parenting ourselves that Sheryl speaks to at the end of the episode--connecting to something bigger than us.
April 2, 2021
My first-ever Perennials guest is back! This time, beloved therapist and author (whom I'm lucky to call my aunt!) Sheryl Paul and I are talking about learning to parent ourselves. This topic comes up a lot in Sheryl's work as a therapist: the practice of strengthening the part of ourselves that can hold space for big feelings, offer ourselves and others compassion and, with steady wisdom, discern how to act in accordance with our values.
In addition to talking about relating to our emotions, we also talk about the extremely practical, mundane parts of parenting ourselves: taking responsibility for the less fun parts of life, like basic household upkeep, and how to work with resistance around these tasks.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of our conversation next week!