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Prioritizing Self-Care in Motherhood

This month on the podcast, I’m diving into a dangerous trend shredding the mothering community. It’s time to set mothers free from the self-care trap!

I realized that my personal self-care routine looks a lot different than what I’m seeing portrayed online. I encourage you to shift your perspective of self-care internally and stop looking externally to fill your cup. Take time figuring out what fills your soul, instead of what makes you feel prettier on the outside. Your external polish matters little compared to the way you feel inside.

Listen in and I’ll share my secret to getting me time— even in the middle of my stay-at-home-mom day.


Show Notes:
Cal Newport- Digital Minimalism
Amanda Evanston – Insider’s Studio

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Reigniting Hope Meditation

I’m writing this in the late afternoon following the most glorious and releasing full moon of 2020. Cancer is where the moon lies in my birth chart and so it is dear to me. That paired with the little bundle our family is expecting in just two months time means I am in full on home/family and nesting mode.

I hope you and your family snuggle into coziness in the dark of the year. That’s what I’m talking about this month on the podcast. If you find winter a struggle, then have a listen all the way until the end for the Surrender Meditation and reignite your hope.

Isn’t it lovely that during the darkest days of the year we are invited to illuminate our purest inner light?

At the end of this podcast I’ll invite you to take a few minutes to settle into a meditation on surrendering to the darkness and re-igniting hope.

Listen where you like.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Brene Brown says, “The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.” @brenebrown 

Reigniting hope is what religions and beliefs celebrate across the world at this the darkest time of the year. Have you ever considered that every belief system has a common theme during the holidays? The sun comes back from its lowest point in the sky. A newborn baby shocks us into the divine present moment. Abundance of the oil lasting- a miracle has happened here. The New Year ushers in the new as we release the old making way for new beginnings. 

If you like the podcast, you can let me know by sharing this episode with your sisters in motherhood or leaving a review about why on iTunes. If you LOVED this episode, you might wish to buy me coffee in support of the future of this podcast.

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Finding Gratitude During a Very Different Holiday Season Podcast

Don’t worry… this isn’t going to be another November post about finding gratitude. This is about making gratitude a continual state of being. If you’re struggling with this (as we all do) listen all the way until the end to hear suggestions for Bach Flower Remedies that will support you if you’re stuck in a state of lacking. PLUS, I’ll share suggestions from myself and other moms making this year that just didn’t seem to work… work.

Don’t be afraid to keep it super simple!

Listen Here:

SHOW NOTES

Life-changing power of positive thinking titles for you to peruse.

You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life by Wayne Dyer
The Work by Byron Katie – hardest to read but most beneficial for inner growth & accountability
A Woman’s Worth by Marianne Williamson
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
Rising Strong by Brene Brown
The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte (I treat myself each year for my birthday and buy her daily schedule calendar.)

There are countless other titles by these beloved authors for you to dive into on your own time. Have fun doing the work to change your life for the better!

Connect with the Garden’s Guests this month:

Thank you to the following mothers who contributed to the podcast this month. Your sisterly positivity and vulnerability sustains me in my own mothering. I am grateful for each of you.

Brooke Smith – She has been social media free since just after college!
Jess Woelkers – Kindred Mothers and more @Kind__mom (2 underscores)
Jessie Chen- @Loubert6612
Heather Phillips- @chyruscoffee order your amazing Nitro coffee from her + her husband’s DC based coffee company. They recently rebranded to Chyrus Coffee from Alchemist Coffee.

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How to Make the Best of the Worst Year Ever and Rediscover Resilience

This is not going to be the easiest listen, but you need to hear it. The seasons have changed. Autumn is here. We made it to October 2020… somehow!

I’ve been watching the mommy world lately… and it’s been exhausting. Everyone is burned out and we need another way to cope with our responsibilities than hiding our problems in #mommysjuice. If you’ve fallen into this way of coping, no shame… you just obviously need some perspective and a healthier way to deal with the burdens of motherhood in 2020. Listen, and I’ll show you how to find gratitude and save your glass of wine as an luxurious indulgence instead of the only way you make it through the day.

As we end the weirdest year of our lifetime reduce your pace to slow and intentional. If you do nothing else, stop worrying about how your family is not checking off every annual holiday tradition this year. Be open to making some new traditions. Be adaptable. Listen to what I’m planning for my family and give yourself a break. While it isn’t going to be what you hoped for… it might just end up being magical.

As a yoga instructor I ask my students to do this and I ask the same of you…I challenge you to breathe into the pain when what I say causes you to be uncomfortable. It is not possible to grow without pain. While it’s okay to feel burned out… it’s not okay to sink into whining. Dig deep to find the teeny spark of resilience left in your being and use the magic of everyday life to reignite your soul fire.

SHOW NOTES

November Young Readers Day (second Tuesday of month), Martinmas (Nov 11), Clean Your Refrigerator Day (Nov 15)

December St. Nicholas Day (Dec 6), Play Outside Day (Dec 7), Sankta Lucia Day (Dec 13), Winter Solstice (Dec 21)

Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily and Amelia Nagoski

Brene Brown Unlocking Us podcast

Sunbread Elisa Kleven

Sweet Smell of Christmas by Patricia M Scarry

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Homebirth? Are You Insane? and Why You Should No Longer be Scared of Giving Birth

Here’s Why You No Longer Have to be Scared of Giving Birth or Having a Homebirth. 

In the pandemic times, many women are opting for home births for fear of contracting the virus INSIDE the hospital. An additional risk of having a hospital birth for both you and your newborn baby on top of the normal implications brought to you by the birthing industry.

Before we go any deeper, I want to make sure everyone understands that it is SAFE to have a baby at home. Actually let’s get clear on that at once! IT IS SAFE TO HAVE A BABY. Ina May Gaskins the goddess of all modern midwifery states, “Your body is NOT a lemon!”  And it’s TRUE. Your body was MADE for giving birth.

Ina May also points out that giving birth should not be treated as a medical emergency. Birth is NOT the same as having a heart attack, aneurysm, or broken leg. Those are EMERGENCIES that thank goodness we have modern medicine to handle them. So many beloved lives are saved by modern medicine in these cases! We are lucky to live in a time where we do have these medical interventions as OPTIONS.

Giving birth is a natural function of the female body, but I want to make it clear that you can’t just *poof* put some crystals out and have a homebirth. It takes a lot of preparation to birth a baby naturally (and cozily at home if you want)- both mental and physical.

Have a listen to the podcast and find out what secrets are naturally in the female body… I bet your OB hsan’t told you a THING about this.

SHOW NOTES

Reducing fear of birth in U.S. culture: Ina May Gaskin
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
Orgasmic Birth by Debra Pascali-Bonaro & Elizabeth Davis
Kate Middleton Hypnobirth
Alexia Leachman Fearfree Childbirth podcast
Hypnobirthing
Active Birth by Janet Balaskas

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Be the Drop of Healing

These are the show notes from my podcast Be the Healing Drop in Your Community. This post is really just a list of the resources I mentioned there. Be sure to catch my whole message by listening to the entire episode. I want you to stop and listen!

I paused my planned episode for the month of June because I wanted to make space to elevate black voices while taking time to really slow down and listen. To learn. I feel so unequipped to speak about something so radically important.  Like I said, I want to address it publicly bc I want anyone who listens to this or knows me to know that I stand firmly with this movement. I am an ally. And however imperfect I may be… I am willing to learn.

BLACK LIVES MATTER
BLACK WOMEN MATTER
BLACK MOTHERS MATTER
BLACK BABIES MATTER
BLACK CHILDREN MATTER
BLACK FAMILIES MATTER

While you are making space to listen, don’t think that your voice doesn’t count. Even if you’re the only one with the message in your community, you can make a difference.

As a “mom-e-o-path”, I know that one drop of a remedy in a glass of water can be intensely healing. Be the drop!

As mothers we must allow the generational pain of our black sisters to come crashing down on us. The anger that they have systematically been forced to suppress for years needs to be heard. We must embolden ourselves to allow the gates to open, so they can speak and we must be willing to listen with open hearts. It’s their turn.

Get started listening and supporting by clicking below.

Donsider donating to show your support for these three organizations. 

Black Mamas Matter 

Black Women Do Breastfeed

Black Women’s Health Imperative 

 

BLACK FEMALE VOICES:

@iamtabithabrown

@NanaCsApothecary

The Hillbilly African @thehillbillyafrican 

@MsWrightsWay Covid experience on youtube 

@rootworkherbals 

@BlackGirlsWithGardens 

Shirley Johnson Soulistic Wellness

 

DC LOCAL: 

Calabash 

Delicious Living with Ebeth 

Birthcare Midwives & Women’s Health (They delivered my baby!)

 

RESOURCES FOR YOUR PERSONAL GROWTH:

@racismrecoverycenter 

Baratunde Thurston: How to Deconstruct Racism one Headline at Time 

Resmaa Menakem: My Grandmother’s Hands RESMAA ROCKS 

Ibram X. Kendi:

  • “How To Be an Antiracist” 
  • “Stamped From the Beginning 
  • The Difference Between Being “Not Racist” and Antiracist

Brittney Cooper : “Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower” 

Robin DiAngelo: “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People To Talk About Racism”



FOR EVERYONE, ESPECIALLY PARENTS

@JanetLansbury with Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt

 

Teaching Kindness isn’t Enough from Tolerance.org 

 

BLACK LIVES MATTER

***Writing this podcast was an opportunity for me to open up a dialogue with my friend from college on how we white women can do better. She helped me gather my thoughts coherently in this emotional podcast. Thank you, Star, for your time, patience, and your mind.

Keep the conversation going strong, sisters. Neutrality is not enough.

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Integrating Presence into Motherhood and Growing Strength Within

In this episode of “Sisters in Motherhood”, I interview Monica Fernandi of Grow Strength Within. She is a cherished friend who I admire in many ways. Monica, is a beloved yoga teacher deeply rooted in love and spiritual strength. She has a message that encourages all of us to plant seeds of positivity, peace, and acceptance. From climbing to Mount Everest Base Camp (which she did in the Fall of 2019) to giving birth to three unique souls (the last of whom just graduated from Virginia Tech Class of 2020), her story entails true perseverance and determination

It’s so rare that we have moments to ask the wisdom of other mothers, especially those in other generations. So often we shoot down advice anyone offers, as if we must stand alone as a mountain of mothering. If we do open our hearts to welcome insight from others, we don’t normally reach out to women outside of our family.

I feel lucky to have had a chance to speak with her in this way, woman to woman. Though I consider Monica a close soul sister (she was an integral part of the Blessingway celebration for my daughter), without the podcast, I doubt I would have ever had the opportunity to ask her these questions.

I know you will love this episode as much as I did recording it with her! Listen to Integrating Presence into Motherhood and Growing Strength Within.

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Natural Healing for Colds & Flus

The pandemic has really impacted the year 2020, but we just don’t have to live in fear. Under the current full moon in Libra we are finding things illuminated that we need to LET GO. Have you been feeling it, too? Really dive deep and decide what’s no longer serving you on your path of inner growth. You are free to blossom.

Maybe you need to let go of fear and escape the trap it sets for you. You have more control of your health than you might know. Here’s is a LIVE video I recorded to help you prepare your home apothecary at this strange time.

Please let me know if this helps your family! I want you to know you do not have to live in fear during this time. In the video I list many things you can do to arm yourself against the common ailments characterizing the current situation… and even some emotional support for anxiety (the worst plague of all) and being “stuck” at home with your family.

Oh! Join my Facebook Group to download the free PDF that accompanies this video.

As always, find the light!

Jennifer

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Mothering in Isolation

I struggled with feeling stuck for a long time with a new baby. Where I lived at the time, I found one other stay at home mom… everyone else was working in high level jobs. The women I saw at storytime were all nannies at their day job. I appreciated their conversation at the library, but it just wasn’t the same as having a group of new moms to cling to. I was thankful after finding my one stay at home mom friend experiencing the same feelings, concerns, and insanity that I was as a new mom.

  • by gardenofgaia
    This month on the podcast, I'm diving into a dangerous trend shredding the mothering community. It's time to set mothers free from the self-care trap! I encourage you to shift your perspective of self-care internally and stop looking externally to fill your cup. Take time figuring out what fills your soul, instead of what makes […]
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Podcast is live!

After years of dreaming, I finally made the plunge into the podcast world. I am terrified to take on this project as editing it alone takes much longer than revising a simple blog post. Most of all…I’m feeling apprehensive to share my voice in this way, but I’ve been pregnant with this idea for so long, it’s time to bring it to life.

My hope, though it exists on the internet, is for this to encourage you explore body, mind, and spirit healing and to open your heart to seek real connections within your community. I recognize the irony in trying to create real human connection via an online podcast, but my purpose for doing so is to give you the key to open the gate to get you talking where you are.

This podcast is my most heartfelt and sincere offering. I plan to include some of the most vulnerable places we go to as women on the map. I also intend to explore subjects that challenge our old habits and beliefs; maybe even make you wiggle in your own self-reflection. I never shy away from self-improvement, no matter how painful the introspection may be. I find self-realization to be the most healing modality. It is greater than any tarot card, bible verse, astrological or psychic reading. We already have the answers within us.

I am most looking forward to sharing my interviews in the Sisters in Motherhood episodes. Oh my! The stories we have to tell, sisters. Yes, just normal people living their lives! This has been my favorite project of all. I get the chance to chat with real moms making it work out there in the world. I have been privileged to ask deep questions I never would have in a normal conversation. What a gift. My life is richer for listening to these stories and I hope you find your’s will be, too.

You can listen here:

Love and light,

Jennifer