Podcast: Crafting Calm with Maggie Oman Shannon

strocel.com podcast crafting calm maggie oman shannonPeople create handcrafts for all sorts of reasons. Some crafts are practical, like knitting a hat to keep your head warm. Some are artistic expressions, like creating an amazing and colourful quilt. And some are rooted in our spiritual impulse, like creating a vision board or knitting a prayer shawl. That last type of crafting – that is, crafting as a spiritual practice – is something that Maggie Oman Shannon, minister, mother and author knows a lot about. In fact, she wrote a whole book about it, which is called Crafting Calm: Projects and Practices for Creativity and Contemplation.

Given the subject of her book, you might think that Maggie is a prolific and skilled crafter. After speaking with her, however, I learned that like many of us she finds time where she can, and that not every project turns out just how she envisioned it. She is a human being, which I found reassuring.

maggie oman shannon crafting calm podcastDuring our conversation Maggie and I talked about how she came to view crafting as a part of her spiritual practice. We also talked about different crafting forms, created objects and intentions. For example, is knitting a hat to keep your head warm a spiritual practice? Is painting superior to sewing, or vice versa? And do you have to feel perfectly spiritual and zen the whole time you’re crafting? (I seriously hope not, because I use a lot of bad words while I’m sewing.)

If you’d like to get in touch with your creative side, if you’d like to tap into something greater than yourself while you’re creating, or if you need a little bit of encouragement to pull out your crafting bin, you’ll want to listen to my podcast with Maggie. Wherever you fall on the crafting spectrum, you’ll find that there’s something for you. We are all innately creative, and we can all benefit from expressing that in a way that feeds the soul. We hold that in common, even if the crafts we create look nothing alike.

If you enjoyed my conversation with the inspiring Maggie Oman Shannon, subscribe to the Strocel.com podcast in iTunes, and you won’t miss a minute of my future broadcasts. Also, if you have a podcast idea, please share it with me. I’d love to hear your suggestions!

Podcast: Katrina Alcorn Says Moms Need a Break

strocel.com podcast maxed out katrina alcornThe title of Katrina Alcorn‘s book – Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brink – resonated with me instantly. While I’m not American, I am a mom. I know how it feels to have a (more than) full plate, with no end in sight. I immediately arranged to speak with her, and I’m thrilled to share our conversation with you on today’s podcast.

The book is sort of an unconventional memoir, following Katrina’s own life, and how she dealt with feeling maxed out. It incorporates research about women and work, and presents suggestions for how we can make things better.

At a time when we’re all being encouraged to lean in, and when the world is micro-managing Marissa Mayer’s maternity leave, Katrina’s book provides a welcome perspective. Of course we want to encourage women and young girls to go after what they want. However, many workplaces could also benefit from an overhaul to provide a better work-life balance for everyone. That balance is what Maxed Out addresses.

strocel.com podcast katrina alcorn maxed outDuring our conversation Katrina shared part of her story. She talked about why she wrote her book specifically for moms, and presented some research she uncovered. We also discussed alternative work arrangements, like the results-only work environment and telecommuting. If you’ve ever felt maxed out yourself, and you could use a break, I encourage you to listen to this podcast:
 

If you enjoyed my conversation with the amazing Katrina Alcorn, subscribe to the Strocel.com podcast in iTunes, and you won’t miss a minute of my future broadcasts. Next week I’ll be sharing an interview with Maggie Oman Shannon, minister, mother and author of six books including Crafting Calm: Projects and Practices for Creativity and Contemplation. You won’t want to miss it! Also, if you have a podcast idea, please share it with me. I’d love to hear your suggestions!

Podcast: Conscious Mom Rapper Monica Morong

strocel.com podcast monica morong world hip hop mom rapperI love, love, love podcasting. It is an amazing privilege to interview people and share their stories. What I don’t love, however, is booking people. I don’t mind the editing, the technical work on the back-end, or formatting the posts. In fact, I kind of enjoy all those things. Chasing people down and asking them to be guests, however, still feels a little awkward to me. I feel like I’m always asking people to chat with me, which is why it surprises me when I realize that there are amazing people in my circle who haven’t been on this podcast. Today’s guest, Monica Morong, was one of those surprises.

Monica Morong is also known as World Hip Hop Mom. In addition to being a Vancouver-based mom of three adorable little girls, she’s also a conscious rapper. We travel in many of the same circles and when she first started doing this, I honestly wasn’t sure what it meant. However, when I saw her perform at an event I attended just over a year ago, heavily pregnant and getting a room full of women on their feet and waving their hands in the air, I got it.

So often we come up with reasons not to do those things we love. I know I do. It would be very easy for Monica to not pursue a hip hop career as a mom of three, but she’s doing it, and she’s doing it on her terms. I encourage you to listen to our conversation, because regardless of how you feel about Monica’s music, you’re sure to find her inspiring. Maybe it will be just the impetus you need to go out and do something that you love, too.

If you enjoyed my conversation with the fabulous Monica Morong, subscribe to the Strocel.com podcast in iTunes, and you won’t miss a minute of my future broadcasts. Next week I’ll be sharing an interview with Katrina Alcorn, author of Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brink that is full of food for thought. You won’t want to miss it! Also, if you have a podcast idea, please share it with me. I’d love to hear your suggestions!

*Image Credit – Bethany Schiedel, www.imagesbybethany.com

Podcast: Experiencing Embodied Power with Leela Francis

strocel.com podcast leela francisMany people don’t feel at home in their own bodies. This can be especially true for women, who receive a lot of messages from society about how our bodies need to live up to some kind of unattainable ideal. We may also have been taught that we have to be nice and compliant all the time, and that we shouldn’t express certain emotions. I can relate to these messages, which is why when I heard about the new book Woman’s Way Home: Navigating Your Path to Embodied Power by Leela Francis I knew I wanted to feature it on my podcast.

Leela is the founder of Vividly Woman Embodied Leader Tools and Training. That’s a mouthful, I know. What it means, though, is that she created a global community of women and women’s circles ‘devoted to the sensual, emotional and intuitive empowerment of all women’. In the process, she’s working to empower women to listen to their instincts, claim their inner wisdom and ignite their creative spark. You know, I can use all the empowerment I can get, which is why I was eager to speak with Leela.

strocel.com podcast woman's way home leela francisDuring our conversation Leela talked about what she does, why she wrote her new book Woman’s Way Home, and what embodied leadership means. If you’d like some suggestions for feeling more at home in your own skin, or you need a little kick-start to get you moving in a more positive direction, you’ll want to listen. During our conversation Leela took me through an exercise that was really eye-opening for me. I honestly think anyone (male or female) can benefit from getting more in touch with what their body is telling them.

Listen to my podcast with Leela Francis here:

If you enjoyed my conversation with Leela, order your own copy Woman’s Way Home before October 15 to be eligible for a whole bunch of bonuses. Also, subscribe to the Strocel.com podcast in iTunes, and you won’t miss a minute of my future broadcasts. With school back in session and my blog’s technical issues apparently resolved for the moment, I’m planning more podcasts throughout the fall. I’m in the process of lining several up right now, and I’m excited to share them with you. Also, if you have a podcast idea, please share it with me. I’d love to hear your suggestions!

Podcast: Just Imagining with Will Stroet

In my time as a parent, I have witnessed some truly terrible children’s entertainment. From plots that make no sense, to seriously grating music, to JUST PLAIN YELLING FOR 20 MINUTES STRAIGHT, I’ve pretty much seen it all. This is why, when I find something my kids and I both enjoy, I view it as a gift. Enter Will Stroet – fellow Vancouverite, former teacher, father and children’s entertainer. My kids and I recently got our hands on his newest English-language CD, Just Imagine, and I can confirm that it is not only not annoying, but actually downright catchy. I recently had the chance to catch up with Will for the Strocel.com podcast.

strocel.com podcast will stroet

Will Stroet is a former teacher, whose love of music turned into a career. He performs in both English and French with his Backyard Band. In fact, when Just Imagine launches at the end of this month, it will be released alongside its French-language counterpart, Imagine. (I always make sure to read the word ‘imagine’ with a French accent.) He’s also going on tour, performing a series of CD launch concerts across Canada during the fall and winter.

will stroet podcast just imagine kids musicDuring our podcast, I asked Will how he makes sure his music is both kid-friendly and parent-friendly. We talked about the messages he strives to communicate through his music, and what his daughter, Ella, thinks of his latest CD. I also asked him about his upcoming concert series, and what you can expect if you attend.

My five-year-old Jacob has been playing Just Imagine on repeat since it came into our house. After some seriously long-term exposure to the CD, I’m still finding it catchy and non-irritating. If you’d like smart, fun music for your little ones, you’ll want to check out Will Stroet. Hear more about him – as well as some snippets from his new CD – by listening to our podcast:

If you enjoyed my conversation with Will, you can pre-order your own copy of Just Imagine at willmusic.bandcamp.com/album/just-imagine. Also, subscribe to the Strocel.com podcast in iTunes, and you won’t miss a minute of my future broadcasts. With school back in session and my blog’s technical issues apparently resolved for the moment, I’m planning more podcasts throughout the fall. I’m in the process of lining several up right now, and I’m excited to share them with you. Also, if you have a podcast idea, please share it with me. I’d love to hear your suggestions!

Podcast: In Search of a Greener, Groovier Lunchbox with Lori Alper

Strocel.com Podcast Better Back to School Brigade Lori Alper Non-Toxic LunchboxesDid you know that toxins may be lurking in your child’s school lunch? It’s true. While a litterless lunch is a greener way to go, not every water bottle, food container and lunchbox you buy is perfectly safe. For instance, do you remember the controversy around Sigg water bottles a number of years ago? When everyone started to become concerned about BPA in plastic water bottles, Sigg benefited big time. When it came out some time later that their water bottle linings contained BPA, many people felt betrayed. I myself owned one of the BPA-containing bottles, and I was pretty cheesed about it.

My point here is that it’s not always easy to tell what’s green, and what’s greenwashing. That’s why I’m re-sharing my interview with the fabulous Lori Popkewitz Alper of Groovy Green Livin with you again. I first met Lori in person at BlogHer 2011 in San Diego. In this photo I’m standing on the far left, and Lori is standing on the far right:

Strocel.com Podcast Lori Alper

Lori is a fellow green mom, and I have admired her for a long time. I particularly admire the work she’s done to highlight our exposure to toxins, and advocate for change. She’s started two petitions that have garnered widespread attention. The first is aimed at Proctor & Gamble, and it’s called Tide: Get Cancer-Causing Chemicals Out of Laundry Detergent. The second is aimed at Disney, and it’s called Disney: Get toxic chemicals out of Princess and Spiderman lunch boxes.

Strocel.com Podcast Lori Popkewitz AlperDuring our podcast, Lori and I discussed her own journey to greener living, and what motivates her. We discussed the petitions and why she started them, as well as the awareness that she’s raising. By pointing out the toxins our kids may be exposed to in the products they use every day, Lori is helping to ensure that people can make better decisions. When you don’t know what the dangers are, you can’t avoid them. When you know, you’re empowered, which is why I admire Lori so much. If you’d like some tips for making better choices of your own, Lori shares some of those during the podcast, as well.

Whether you’re a fellow green mom, you want to learn a little bit about how you can reduce the toxins your kids are exposed to in their school lunches, or you’d like to be inspired by someone who’s working hard to create change, you’ll want to listen to the podcast:

I’m working on some new podcasts that I’ll be recording in September. I’m really excited about some of these! Subscribe to my podcast in iTunes and you won’t miss a minute.

Podcast: Raising Sexually Intelligent Kids

strocel.com podcast marnie goldenberg sexplainer parenting sex edOne of the most awkward parts of parenting, for me, has been talking to my kids about the birds and the bees. Over more than eight years of parenting, I’ve had ample opportunity to do it. I’ve always done my best to share accurate information, in simple terms, without doing too much editorializing. But I’m mostly just making it up as I go along, and I’m not always sure I’m doing that well at it. This is why, when I had the chance to interview Vancouver blogger Marnie Goldenberg I jumped at it. On her blog, sexplainer, she makes it her mission to help parents raise sexually intelligent kids.

I had a lot of questions for Marnie, and she gave me a lot to think about during our conversation. We talked about her background, and how her passion for sexual education developed. We talked about the challenges parents face when talking to their kids about sexuality. We addressed some of the concerns that many of us face about how our increased connectivity through smart phones and social media impacts our kids, as well as issues around easy access to pornography. Marnie also shared her tips to help everyone raise savvy, smart kids, who make good choices for themselves.

If you have questions about talking to your kids about sex and sexuality, you’ll want to listen to this podcast. And really, who among us doesn’t? I think every parent feels out of their depth sometimes, whether we’re sharing lessons with our kids about sexuality or table manners. I don’t know about you, but I can always use a few more tools in my parenting toolbox, and Marnie shares many of them during our podcast.

My podcast with Marnie clocks in at just over 40 minutes, and I promise it will be 40 minutes well-spent. So choose a time when your kids aren’t around (unless you’re in a place where you want to answer any questions that come up), relax, and let the sexplainer work her magic.

If you enjoyed my conversation with Marnie, subscribe to the Strocel.com podcast in iTunes, and you won’t miss a minute of my future broadcasts. Also, if you have a podcast idea, please share it with me. I’d love to hear your suggestions!

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