Perennials Podcast
Episode 39: True Love with Sarah Koestner

Episode 39: True Love with Sarah Koestner

February 14, 2020

Some of the most common myths about love that we hear over and over again can create real anxiety and distress for people who begin to believe that there's something wrong with them, their partner, or their relationship when their experience doesn't match those myths. Today's episode is about unpacking some of our false beliefs and confronting the reality that love, like everything else in life, includes an element of uncertainty--and that it's way more expansive than perhaps we've been led to believe.

Join me and coach Sarah Koestner as we consider questions like "If I experience doubt in my relationship, does that mean something is wrong?" "How do I know if I love my partner enough?" and "Can you love someone else before you've learned to love yourself?" 

Visit the Shownotes page to learn more about Sarah and the episode.

Episode 38: Spiritual Direction for Christmas with Karen Florance

Episode 38: Spiritual Direction for Christmas with Karen Florance

December 16, 2019

As we in the Northern Hemisphere contend with shorter, darker days and the coming of winter, as well as the busy end-of-year and holiday season, it can be easy to become overwhelmed. With just about a week left until Christmas, I'm talking to Spiritual Director Karen Florance about the season of advent and how we can take time to slow down, check in with ourselves and cultivate greater gentleness, compassion and acceptance during this time of darkness and light.

For those like me who struggle with religion and God, who aren't sure what we believe but who are drawn to spiritual people like Karen, I hope this episode encourages you to have patience with yourself, to accept yourself wherever you are, to embrace your own goodness and look for the good in others.

You can learn more about topics covered and references made in this episode on the Shownotes page.

Episode 37: Let’s Save the Planet with Ananya Singh

Episode 37: Let’s Save the Planet with Ananya Singh

November 13, 2019

Today, I’m talking to teen activist Ananya Singh. At just sixteen years old, Ananya is the CEO of Greening Forward, a youth-led environmental organization, and is Partnerships Coordinator for the New Jersey Student Sustainability Coalition.

Ananya’s passion for activism ignited when she was twelve years old and attended the Youth Empowered Action Camp. Since then, she’s learned a lot about what it means to organize and lead, and in today's episode, she's sharing some of those lessons. We discuss how Ananya keeps her activist fire going, how to overcome barriers to action, and how Ananya responds to despair and burnout. Plus, Ananya talks about different types of environmentalism, intersectionality in environmental movements, and what she's learning as a leader about balancing authenticity with compassion. 

Visit the Shownotes page to learn more about Ananya and today's episode.

Episode 36: Grown Ups Vote with Lauren Roberts

Episode 36: Grown Ups Vote with Lauren Roberts

November 4, 2019

This episode is for anyone (like myself) who cares about humanity and wants to get more informed about how our government works and how to be more civically active, but who has struggled with feeling overwhelmed or even repulsed by our political system and the process of voting.

In the U.S. this week, there are 49,000 elections happening across 34 states. U.S. citizens are granted the right to vote at age 18, just as we're becoming adults. It's an important part of growing up, and yet many people (myself included) don’t always exercise this privilege and responsibility. In today’s episode, I’m talking with Lauren Roberts, who has worked in the U.S. Senate, collaborates with CTZNWELL and founded INDY YOGA VOTES, a campaign to bridge her local yoga community with political action. We’re discussing why it’s important to vote even though the system is broken, the power of local elections, some common obstacles to voting and civic participation and how we can overcome those obstacles. 

You can check on your voter registration status and learn more about your local elections at Vote.org or Vote411.org

And learn more about today's episode on the Shownotes page.

Episode 35: The Psychology of Harry Potter with Dr. Jill Cermele (Live Show!)

Episode 35: The Psychology of Harry Potter with Dr. Jill Cermele (Live Show!)

October 29, 2019

For the first ever Perennials Podcast live show, I sat down with Dr. Jill Cermele, professor of Psychology at Drew University, who teaches a course called "The Psychology of Harry Potter." We talked all about what J.K. Rowling's fantasy series can teach us about growing up, getting wise and trying to live a good life.

What can we learn about identity exploration from the Sorting Hat and Hogwarts houses? How can we laugh at our own boggarts, conjure protective patronuses, and avoid counterproductive magical thinking? What makes some people join Dumbledore's Army while others become Death Eaters? Why is it important for us to see ourselves and others in all our complexity, not as all-good or all-bad?

Find out in today's episode! 

Thank you to Short Stories Book Shop & Community Hub in Madison, NJ for hosting and to Andy Feldman for running sound and mixing this episode!

You can learn more about today's episode over at the Shownotes page.

Episode 34: Lights Up with Felicia Russell

Episode 34: Lights Up with Felicia Russell

October 14, 2019

In today’s episode, I’m talking with my (nine years younger, nine inches taller) sister Felicia Russell about what she’s learned from ten years in the world of theater. Felicia has performed in nineteen musicals or plays over the course of the past ten years, and has auditioned for somewhere around 40 or 50. Her first public performance was at our town’s talent show when she was five years old, and later that same year she went on her first audition for a local community theater production of The Sound of Music.

I used to watch in awe as my little sister, who was still just a kid, went to auditions and rehearsals with a sense of professionalism, dedication, passion and love way beyond her years. It’s been incredible to watch her relationship to this art form deepen and evolve as she’s grown up.

Today, Felicia is sharing wisdom she’s gleaned from ten years of auditions, rejections, rehearsals, and live shows. Whether you like to be onstage, backstage or in the audience, there's a lesson here for you: about trusting your instincts, grappling with rejection and critique, retaining hope, learning how to care but not cling, the importance of responsibility and respect, and what it means to take something and leave something from each important experience you have.

You can learn more about Felicia and today's episode on the Shownotes page.

Episode 33: Traveling with Anxiety

Episode 33: Traveling with Anxiety

October 8, 2019

Do you get anxiety about traveling? Me too! But that's okay, because we can manage it. Anxiety doesn't have to keep us locked in our homes all the time. In addition to whatever treatment methods we're using to manage anxiety in our everyday lives, there are some basic practices that we can take with us wherever we go. In today's episode, I'm sharing 10 tips, tricks and tools for managing travel anxiety that I used on my recent trip to Montana, complete with stories about irrational obsessing over footwear, an almost-ill-fated camping trip, and the playlists that get me through long flights. 

If you're in the mood to travel, why not come visit lovely Madison, New Jersey for the very first Perennials Podcast live show?? I'll be having a conversation about the psychology of Harry Potter with Dr. Jill Cermele, professor of Psychology at Drew University, at Short Stories Bookshop & Community Hub from 7-9 pm on Friday, October 25. Head to the Facebook event to learn more and RSVP to this free, sure-to-be-super-fun event!

Episode 32: Ditching Diets and Ripping Off Halos with Jessie Haims: Part Two

Episode 32: Ditching Diets and Ripping Off Halos with Jessie Haims: Part Two

September 18, 2019

In Part Two of our conversation, Jessie and I are talking about how obsession with purity and perfection leads to destructive thoughts and behaviors. We talk about common motivations behind restrictive diets and how food can get wrapped up with a person's sense of self-worth and belonging. We also discuss how fatphobia and judgment show up everywhere from yoga studios to doctor's offices. And we share our struggles with body image and trying to untangle our sense of value and lovability from our age and looks. 

You can learn more about Jessie and today's episode by visiting the Shownotes page.

Episode 31 Ditching Diets and Ripping Off Halos with Jessie Haims: Part One

Episode 31 Ditching Diets and Ripping Off Halos with Jessie Haims: Part One

September 10, 2019

Jessie Haims is an incredible woman--a survivor of cancer and orthorexia, a yoga teacher and student of exercise and nutrition, she has become a fearless voice against diet culture. 

Jessie developed a disordered relationship to food at just eight years old, a relationship that continued for nearly two decades. Last year, at age 26, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and decided that enough was enough--she didn't want to waste any more time starving herself and trying to disappear. She finally decided to seek help, and therapy transformed her life. Now, Jessie has an entirely different relationship to food and fitness, and a whole new outlook on health and wellness.

In Part One of our conversation, Jessie talks about the conditions that led to her eating disorder; how therapy has helped her to navigate difficult conversations with loved ones; and how she still struggles with shame around being enough as a woman. She and I discuss how internalized patriarchy makes it difficult to shift our behavior and beliefs about ourselves and our worth, no matter how much we believe in gender equity. 

Visit the Shownotes page to learn more about Jessie and today's episode, and check back next week for Part Two of our conversation. 

Episode 30 Not Babysitting with Alex Baron

Episode 30 Not Babysitting with Alex Baron

September 4, 2019

Alex Baron is not a babysitter. When he wakes up with his daughter at 5:30 a.m., when he changes her diapers or feeds her, he’s not doing it because he has to or because his wife asked him to--he’s doing it because he wants to. Because he loves being Addison’s dad. 

Recent studies from the Pew Research Center show that American fathers who live with their children are spending more time with them than in the past, yet fear that they still aren’t giving enough time to their families. In today’s episode, Alex and I talk about his experience of balancing his different roles, the importance of work places supporting fathers in showing up for their families, and how it’s hard to find a community of dads online who aren’t obsessed with high speed strollers. 

We also discuss the lessons Alex brings from his childhood into parenting Addie, and what he’s learning from Addie now. For those out there like me who aren't parents, there are also lessons in this episode about learning to parent ourselves, and the importance of healthy separateness in any close relationship. 

You can learn more about Alex and today's episode by visiting the Shownotes page.