Episode 230: Kindness is Cool

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On Episode 230 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie revisit an episode (previously titled Make America Kind Again) that reminds listeners of their stance on kindness: We refuse to let it die! In fact, they wholeheartedly believe that what America needs (along with policy change) is more kindness. The women also recognize the responsibility we have as parents raising children in our current American culture to make sure that the virtue of kindness outlasts the test of time. Because, in some spheres, kindness seems to be on life-support, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie spend this episode discussing what we can do to instill this value in the kids we influence. How do we raise kind kids? It turns out, there's actually a language to kindness and it's discussed in this fun and fascinating episode!

LINKS:

A summary of Harvard Study mentioned in the podcast can be found HERE | Carol Dweck's Mindset is a must-read | Greater Good in Action findings can be found HERE

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Episode 224: In Praise of Good Enough

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On Episode 224 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie celebrate the virtue of “good enough.” Though the women value excellence and strive to be the best versions of self possible, they spend this Mama Bear Mini talking about motivation, expectations, and the virtue of imperfection. They discuss enjoying hobbies for the sake of enjoyment rather than mastery, cultural influences that impact our leisure behavior, and the joy of celebrating the “okay-ness” of others. This episode, an ode to the “good enough” mother/friend/human/Mama Bear, will inspire listeners to embrace imperfection and find her power there.

Links to work referenced in the podcast: Article 1 | Article 2

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Episode 223: To Throw A Party & Change the World with Kelly Welk

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On Episode 223 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Leslie sits down with Kelly Welk, hostess extraordinaire and anti-sex trafficking advocate. Years ago, Kelly looked around and saw extra — extra food in her refrigerator, extra space in her home, extra seats at her table — and felt compelled to find ways to share her plenitude. She started by throwing a dinner party for friends to raise money for Rescue Freedom International and has since raised tens of thousands of dollars for trafficked girls, started a business, and engaged her community in big and beautiful ways. The women talk about how to act on your big and bold dreams, how to channel what you love into making a difference in what you care most about, and how to find the courage and wisdom to engage the Mama Bear to share your abundance.

Find more of Kelly: Insta | Website | FB | Dream Catcher BooK

Dream Catcher Community | Rescue Freedom International

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Episode 221: Adventure Mama with Justine Nobbe

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On Episode 221 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie sit down with Justine Nobbe, the co-founder of the Adventure Mamas Initiative and all-around Mama Bear. The co-hosts couldn’t wait to talk to Justine after a listener wrote in and said this: “The organization [Adventure Mamas] is hell-bent on seeing mamas take the time to take care of themselves and to find a strength they didn’t know they had among a group of supportive and badass women. Justine is our brave warrior leading with intention, authenticity, KINDNESS, and verve. I admire her work, her family, and her badass survival skills.” Justine lived up to every work of this high praise…and more! Listen in as the three women discuss adventure and motherhood, maternal wellness, emotional health, why movement matters and intersectional inclusion in a male-dominated space. It’s an uplifiting conversation, friends. Listen in!

Learn more about Justine and the Adventure Mama Initiative here:

Insta | Website | Facebook

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Episode 214: Rachel Held Evans, 1981-2019

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On Episode 213 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Leslie and Tesi re-release an episode that aired last summer with the late Rachel Held Evans. The two struggle to say goodbye to this thinker, writer, and modern-day prophet. Rachel was someone both women looked up to immensely and the sisters grieve at her passing. During this conversation, Tesi and Rachel talk about the faith, justice, and a Mama Bear's response to the world we live in. They specifically dive into Rachel's book, Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again, and wade through new answers to age-old questions like: How do you love your neighbor when you vehemently disagree with their beliefs? How do you overcome personal insecurities and be an advocate for truth and justice? What can we learn from the bible about satire, resistance, peace, and cultural disruption? Leslie and Tesi will spend the week mourning the loss of this sister and fellow Mama Bear. They hope listeners will continue to read Rachel’s books and blogs and be challenged to think about how faith and culture drive their perspective and how their response can bend toward justice, liberation, and love.

Also discussed on this episode:

  • The historical and modern-day challenge of struggling with a powerful and oppressive empire

  • New ways to find comfort in ancient texts

  • How can a collection of books be used for both oppression and love?

  • Reading the bible through a lens of liberation

  • The story of Esther (spoiler: this tale might sound familiar in its depiction of racism, narcissism, and the spoils of power)

  • How to overcome deep insecurities and speak your truth

  • How to be an ally and an advocate

  • How motherhood shapes faith

LINKS:

Support the GoFundMe Page for Rachel’s Family | Rachel’s obituary | Buy her books! (And then read the BIBLIOGRAPHY for more reading!) | This post is referenced in the podcast | Also mentioned in the podcast was this book, Womanist Midrash, by Wilda Gafney.

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Episode 210: The Simple Life

On Episode 210 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie take a break from politics and gnashing of teeth to reflect, recharge, and “get their house in order” so that they can be more effective in the passionate march toward more love and more justice. The women talk about the beauty of simplicity and the challenge of finding peace and balance as a modern-day American woman. They focus on money, media, parenting, and relationships and within each category discuss ways to simplify life in order to live with clearer intentions and meaning. The Mama Bear road to revolution is always complex and today it points inward.

Jen Hatmaker’s Blog Post | Marie Kondo Money Tips

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Episode 208: Stop Interrupting Me

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On Episode 208 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie talk about the power dynamics of language in relation to gender. In an episode that critiques the culture in which we are raising both boys and girls, they share stories, statistics, and why it’s important to encourage one another and teach our daughters to stand up for ourselves in conversation. The sisters are vulnerable, passionate, and adamant about encouraging listeners to recognize the power of your own voice and use your Mama Bear strength to assert your words in the world.

“Stop interrupting me.” / “I just said that.” / “No explanation needed.”

You'll find the article by Soraya Chemaly HERE.

Episode 204: On Intersectionality | Episode 199: Toxic Masculinity…Again | Episode 183: Boys Will Not Be Boys

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Episode 205: Mental Detox with Grace Estripeaut

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On Episode 205 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie sit down for a fascinating conversation with Grace Estripeaut, a mental detox expert and all-around fascinating woman. The three jump right in to discuss Grace’s story and life’s work. Grace helps listeners with stories and practical steps to guide them to a calmer life with more clarity. Grace shares tips on how to switch off your busy mind and decompress so you can actually sleep and start the next day refreshed, how to boost your energy and improve your mood, how to find SPACE in your life, and ways to fuel your tank, encourage your vision, and stay focused on what matters most -- regardless of what’s happening around you! Listeners will be blown away by this conversation!

Find more of Grace: Facebook | Website

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Episode 202: Can A Mama Bear Get to the Good Place?

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On Episode 202 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, co-hosts Leslie and Tesi talk about their love of Kristen Bell, Maya Rudolph, and The Good Place. Without any spoilers, the two women discuss a quandary presented in Season 3. Can any of us really get to the good place? Are the systems in place keeping us from eternal peace? Is it even possible for a modern-day Mama Bear to be a truly “good” person whose actions reflect her heart? The two women have so many questions and they explore this idea with candor and curiosity. For good measure, the sister-co-hosts end the show with a few segments that listeners are sure to relate to.

Want to learn about Leslie’s Clothing Swap? Click here. | Check out this list of sustainable clothing sources. | Crude Skincare | Argrow’s House | Patagonia | Grund America

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Episode 197: You're Never Too Old To Do the Scary Stuff

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On Episode 197 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie sit down to rehash highlights from 2018, discuss the things they were thankful to live through, cast a personal and podcast vision for the New Year, and celebrate the dawn of a fresh page of the calendar. They discuss their favorite books and pop culture moments, laugh a lot, shake their fists a few times, and admit some hard truths. Ultimately, anyone listening will feel encouraged to live intentionally and be reminded that they can do the hardest things.

Find the podcast episode (Do No Harm) referenced in this episode here.

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Episode 196: The Other Side of the Mic with Tesi & Leslie

On Episode 196 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie switch seats and instead of hosting the show, they are interviewed by life coach, friend, and podcast host extraordinaire Rumaisa Rahman Khawaja! The ladies love dishing about their relationship (sisters, besties, and biz partners), their marriages (they married a pair of brothers), their parenting styles (they have 8 kids between them), and their passion for hosting a podcast to inspire others to action. It’s a fun switch that will introduce listeners to the Mama Bear Dares hostesses AND keep long-time listeners entertained with new insights (you’ll learn about Leslie’s biggest fear) and observations (like Tesi’s favorite place on the planet). Happy New Year to all the Mama Bears! 2019 is sure to be the best one yet!

Love Rumaisa and want to hear more from her? Listen to Ru’s fabulous podcast Real Talk with Ru HERE!

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Episode 191: Claim Your Holiday Joy with Jessica Turner

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On Episode 191 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie talk about all things holiday. In particular, they discuss how to make room for JOY during this festive (and often jam-packed and perhaps even stressful) season. The sisters bring in expert and author Jessica Turner (Stretched Too Thin) to answer their questions about being present, being efficient, managing expectations, and finding joy (while still leaving room for the Mama Bear instinct) during the next month and beyond. Listeners will love the candid and honest conversation and the practical tips offered in this episode.

Find more of Jessica online! Books | Insta | Twitter | Website | FB

Find Laura Vanderkam’s book, I Know How She Does It, HERE

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Clean Water!

Shop jewelry & 100% of your donation goes to clean water! Learn more about the MB’s travels to Africa HERE & the Water Party HERE.

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Episode 185: Make America Kind Again, Part II

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On Episode 185 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie re-visit the topic of kindness in America in 2018. Not only do they reiterate the importance of modeling kindness and teaching kindness to the next generation, but they also discuss how to live a healthy life of kindness. Thanks to a listener suggestion, they take a look at Brene Brown’s theory that the most compassionate people are the most boundaried and they discuss how to incorporate healthy boundaries in the Mama Bear life. Also discussed is the very real and very sobering fact that America has historically not ever been kind to certain groups of people. They acknolwedge this blindspot and vow to work even harder to steer the ship away from an undeniably sullied past and toward a kinder, gentler future for ALL people.

LINKS:

Go back and listen to MBD Podcast Episode 181: Make American Kind Again, Part I.

Read Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | A summary of Harvard Study mentioned in the podcast can be found HERE | Greater Good in Action findings can be found HERE

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Episode 184: Ordinary Places with Shannan Martin

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On Episode 184 of the Mama Bear Dares podcast, Tesi and Leslie chat with Shannan Martin, a mom, writer, and advocate for those on the fringes. Shannan makes her third appearance on the podcast and she and the sisters discuss community, neighborliness, committing to relationships with those with whom you are connected by proximity, and being an everyday advocate in your corner of the world. Through their conversation, listeners are invited to reflect on the meaning of kindness, their social position in America, and the ways in which they interact with their community and the world around them.

ALSO DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • It’s impossible to fix systemic issues without knowing the people around us

  • If you make the world better for one person, you make the world better

  • We are all mothers

  • Life gets better when we become better neighbors

  • It is possible to be a good community member even when you’re an introvert

LOOKING FOR MORE? CHECK OUT THESE LINKS:

Shannan’s new book: The Ministry of Ordinary Places

Listen to Episode 106: When the Earth Shakes Underneath You with Shannan Martin

Listen Episode 131: The Proximity of Power with Shannan Martin

Shannan recommends this BOOK and this PODCAST

Find Shannan online:  Website Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

MAMA BEARS, WE’RE ONLINE! HERE’S WHERE YOU CAN FIND US:

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Episode 179: Relax & Reflect

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On Episode 179 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie celebrate big birthdays and back to school! This Labor Day Mama Bear Mini is devoted to milestones, lessons learned, and the beauty of taking the time to check in on your own life through a little time and reflection. Tesi and Leslie both share some of the pivotal lessons they've learned over the last decade, enjoy a few laughs, and encourage their listeners to mark moments, check in with friends, and love the life they've been given. Th episode is filled with sisterly advice as the women practice the reflection that they preach.

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Episode 176: Defining Your Super Power with Dr. Zoe Shaw

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On Episode 176 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Leslie and Tesi sit down with the dynamic, wise, and absolutely delightful Dr. Zoe Shaw. Dr. Shaw is a mom to five, a psychotherapist, an author, and a radio host who is full of inspiration, energy, and fantastic advice. The sisters relish in their conversation about defining our unique super power and channeling it for the good of the world, saying 'no' in order to define priorities, setting boundaries, parenting teens intentionally, and living our best lives. The Mama Bear spirit is alive in this episode! 

Find Dr. Zoe Shaw and her incredible resources on her website.

MAMA BEARS, WE’RE ONLINE! HERE’S WHERE YOU CAN FIND US:

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Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Episode 174: The Changing Self is the Living Self with Rumaisa Rahman Khawaja

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On Episode 175, Tesi and Leslie sit down with Rumaisa Rahman Kahwaja and talk about her life's journey of learning and exploration. Rumaisa constant posture is love and compassion and the sisters love and appreciate the stories she shares about her journey to self acceptance and power. Rumaisa shares how she was mothered by a mother with mental illness, but has used that part of her story to become an phenomenal mother to her own daughter. Rumaisa grew up Muslim in Omaha, Nebraska, and shares how she shared that part of herself while living in New York and working in fashion during 9/11. Rumaisa embodies an incredible spirit and she shares her insight and wisdom on the podcast, inspiring listeners to constant growth, acceptance, and re-invention. Virginia Wolf fans will recognize Ru immediately. She's "a self that goes on changing is a self that goes on living."

Find more of Rumaisa here:

Follow her on FB and Insta | Check out her website HERE | Read THIS POST about growing up with a mother with mental illness

MAMA BEARS, WE’RE ONLINE! HERE’S WHERE YOU CAN FIND US:

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Episode 171: JOY as an Act of RESISTANCE

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On Episode 171, Leslie and Tesi discuss embracing and embodying JOY as an act of resistance. They discuss the long history of joy in the face of oppression and encourage listeners to take active steps toward eradicating any guilt associated with experiencing joy amid suffering. After discussing a bit of psychology in cultivating joy, they share personal mantras that encourage joy, and lean on the wisdom of those who have come before us, including Audre Lorde, who said "caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare." The conversation concludes with the sharing of simple joys and a dare to make space for JOY as a profound nod to resistance, justice, and peace.

LINKS: Meet our sister Kait by listening to her MBD podcast episodes here and here. Access the article referenced in the podcast here.

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Episode 162: Sex, God, & Politics with Kara Haug

On Episode 162 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie dig back into the archives for an interview with Kara Hoag, the founder of Grace Unbound, a resource for those seeking a comprehensive sexuality education that includes the integration of sexuality and theology and aims to wipe clean feelings of shame. The women acknowledge that God created sexual intimacy and celebrate the idea that the human body is beautiful and to be celebrated and enjoyed, and discuss the most effective ways to teach the next generation to engage in healthy and meaningful sexual activity. Through their playful and deeply honest conversation, the women discuss pleasure and the ways in which we can embrace our spiritual self and our sexual self in order to be the full, complete women we were created to be. 

Also discussed on this episode with Kara:

  • Understanding your own philosophy and experience of sex in order to help you parent your children as sexual beings
  • How has your history influenced your ideas, values, and preferences in terms of sex?
  • Jesus' ministry was physical. In what ways might Christians appreciate the physicality of their faith?
  • How does a fullness of life in terms of faith and sexuality propel us to kindness?
  • The healing power and prayerful energy of orgasm
  • How our feelings and cultural narrative of sex infiltrates our politics
  • The importance of teaching intimacy in our homes
  • The hope and education involved in teaching our children to experience safe, intimate relationships
  • Marriage and sex in American culture

Learn more about Kara and her ministry, and access all of the great resources she has to offer on her website, Grace Unbound.

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Thanks to Wunderkind for the fabulous beats!