We are living in extremely turbulent times. The Black Lives Matter movement is at the forefront, as it should be. Being a White female, I’ve chosen to dive deep into looking at my privilege and unconscious biases during this time in order to become a better ally.
A lot of growth has happened. I’ve discovered that even though I think I’m extremely open and accepting, I have caught myself several times thinking thoughts that were not OK. That were based on stereotypes. That were voices of past conditioning. That sometimes came out of nowhere with no evident root. Instead of beating myself up about it, I’ve asked myself why I think that way and promise myself going forward that I will look at the same person or situation with different eyes.
To intensify my growth in this area, I have sought out external resources to help expand my mind. This is where Unlocking Us comes in. I’m late to the Brené Brown bandwagon, but I’m glad I finally hopped on. She deserves all of the praise she receives. If you haven’t experienced her wisdom yet, I encourage you to. She delivers thought provoking content and guidance largely based on research and science in an easy to digest way. She’s not super polished, she messes up, she swears – but I’m assuming that is why she appeals to so many people. She doesn’t try to be perfect – something I keep working at but can’t seem to master.
Taking advantage of the increased downtime COVID has created, I took on renovating our family cabin. This meant many two hour trips to and from Lansing. Listening to the Unlocking Us podcast was something I started to really look forward to. Brené brings on a wide variety of guests that touch on different topics. When the Black Lives Matter movement was surging, she did a few episodes tied to it. Two episodes I particularly enjoyed were her interview with Laverne Cox, a Black, Transgender advocate and actress, and “Brené on Shame and Accountability.” There are others focused on the Black experience I still need to listen to that I am very excited about.
I’ve also learned a lot from other interviews she has done, one in particular with Judd Apatow. He’s known to be a funny guy, but he offered some really interesting and insightful thoughts about so many different topics. Brené has a gift of getting people to be very vulnerable. The way he opened up was beautiful and unexpected. I took away a lot of valuable things to consider that I've never really thought about before.
The biggest thing I’ve taken away from Brené is this: “I am here to get it right. Not be right.” This moment in history is giving us all such a humbling opportunity to do difficult but important internal work, as well as have uncomfortable, informative conversations with others. Be open right now. Be gentle with yourself. Listen. Learn. Act. Identify your role in helping marginalized groups of people around you. If you are coming from a good place, don’t be afraid to mess up or be wrong. You want to get it right so you can be of better service, be a better advocate. Easier said than done, I know, and the road may be long, but if you feel strongly about something, you've got to stick it out and do the work.
Are you a Brené fan? What content from her should I check out?
My husband is opening my eyes (and ears) to podcasts more and more as time goes on. I don't default to podcasts. I'm more of a book and TV series kind of girl. But I'm starting to come around!
On our recent trip to see the Rolling Stones in Chicago (I'll post about it soon - Bucket List item checked off for sure!) we bounced around looking for the right podcast, as usual. We landed on The Two Princes. Going from the thumbnail artwork, I was skeptical. As you can see, it is cartoonish, so I thought we were getting ourselves into a children's story. Not the case at all!
This charming podcast is full of adventure and surprise, so I won't give too much away. I was hooked from the start. Two princes from rival kingdoms meet by chance in the enchanted woods. One prince chooses to stay "undercover" once he finds out who the other man is, the second prince. During their time together in the woods, the two develop a bond, new emotions surface, and a special friendship forms. That's all I'll say!
You'll probably recognize some of the voices. One of our favorite young actors, Noah Galvin, voices one of the princes. So that made us like it even more.
The storyline is strong and full of fantasy. I'm normally not into that, but really did enjoy this podcast. We finished the entire thing before reaching Chicago, so if you have time to binge a podcast, this would definitely be a good choice.
I hope you enjoy it! My heart was smiling by the end. I hope yours is, too.
Missing Richard Simmons is the first podcast I've listened to in its entirety. From start to finish. Anticipating each new episode that was released. Sadly, it stops at six episodes, which was heartbreaking to me, but I've finally come to terms with it.
I "sweated to the oldies" with Richard Simmons growing up. We had several of his VHS tapes in our home that my mom and I would workout to regularly. His videos were my absolute favorite because his energy, even through a VHS tape, was completely infectious. His smile, his life, his words, his moves - everything about him oozed personality and motivation.
I hadn't realized he had stepped out of the spotlight and hasn't been seen for almost three years until I heard about this podcast. Dan Taberski, the creator and narrator of the podcast, used to be good friends with Richard before he vanished. The loss of losing Richard in such a sudden and unexpected way made Dan yearn to find out what happened to him. His primary question was, "Why would someone who is so positive, so impactful, so 'larger than life,' and who has so many strong relationships with so many, just disappear without saying good bye?"
Richard's reach was beyond anything I would have imagined or have ever heard of. This man is special. In every sense of the word. By the end, I could completely understand why so many people are heartbroken over his disappearance and absence from their lives. Heck, I felt like something was missing from my life without him in it!
It is a truly touching and inspiring podcast overall, with a hint of melancholy throughout. It is available for free through the Apple Podcasts app and at the link I provided earlier in the post. Happy listening!