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 229: Money Talks with Miko Ehrmantraut

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On Episode 229 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Leslie sits down with Miko Ehrmantraut, aka The Budget Mom, who is on a mission to empower women to build a life they love on a budget they understand and can afford. Miko answers practical questions about budgeting, credit cards, college savings, financial priorities and goals and more, as the two women have a candid conversation about how to make money work for you and your family in the very most practical sense. All listeners will be intrigued by how Miko paid off $77,000 in debt over 8 months and how she continues to live a life she loves … within her means.

Find more of Miko (and her FREE resources) here:

WEBSITE | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest

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Episode 228: Horrified by Gun Violence? Here's What We Can Do

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On Episode 228 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Leslie and Tesi channel their feelings of helplessness over the recent gun violence ravaging America and put together a list of things that we, as individuals and Mama Bears, can DO as a response to white nationalism and terrorism. The women leave no stone unturned to the multi-layered horror we’re currently experiencing (they discuss upcoming elections, gaslighting, toxic masculinity, racism, video games and mental illness) and look for ways to sway the dial through owning our individual agency and doing what’s right.

Further reading on: Video Games | Democratic campaigns that need your help | Stop the Madness | Legislation | Episode 153: Gun Culture & How to Deal

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Episode 227: Fiction, Female Desire, & the Path to Your Dreams with Abi Maxwell

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On Episode 227 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie talk books and media and following your dream, even when it’s discouraging. They sit down with Abi Maxwell, author of the new novel, THE DEN, and discuss how writing fiction can be an act of the Mama Bear, how gender roles can be broken with the power of the pen, and how there is meaning in the making. In other words, sometimes the process of doing something worth doing is just as informative and rewarding as the success at the end.

Books we discussed in this episode:

The Den | Bird by Bird | The Moment of Lift | Death on the Nile | Homegoing

Follow Abi on Instagram and Listen to Mama bear Episode 141 with Jamie Brusesehoff

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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 219: Love & Letters with Ashley Asti

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On Episode 219 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie sit down with Ashley Asti, a woman who is using her Mama Bear to form relationships with men and women incarcerated in our country. Ashley became a pen-pal to over 30 prisoners and extends her spirit and care as someone who teaches and encourages women in prison to put pen to paper and express themselves through writing. The women discuss mass incarceration, Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy, the lost art of letter writing, and poetry as activism. Ashley is a powerhouse of love and compassion and her intentionality and thoughtfulness extends into her skincare line as well, which is also discussed on the podcast.

Get to know Ashley and explore her books and products on her website: AshleyAst.com

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Episode 217: Learning Cultural Competency with Huda Essa

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On Episode 217 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie sit down with Huda Essa, an extraordinary woman who uses her training and experience to educate and influence communities across the nation as a Cultural Competency Consultant. Huda is a TEDx speaker and the author of a motivational children's book, Teach Us Your Name, which is focused on empowering children to take pride in their many identities while showing respect for themselves and others. Throughout the conversation, the three women discuss the importance of recognizing personal biases, understanding the influence of our culture, and the small yet profound steps all of us can take in order to promote a more accepting and inclusive world.

Find Huda online: TEDx TALK | Website | Book | Facebook | Instagram

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Episode 216: Kindness & Courage with Kristen Carbonne

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On Episode 216 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie sit down the phenomenal Kristen Carbone. Kristen lost her mother to breast cancer and knew that she, too, could face the possibility of cancer head-on. In 2013, she took her life into her own hands and had a preventative mastectomy and silicone implant reconstruction. This experience changed her identity … immediately and forever. Kristin shares her story and inspires listeners with her courage, honestly, and hard-won wisdom.

Check out Kristen’s company: Brilliantly | Follow along on IG

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Episode 215: A Response to Floods & Fear

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On Episode 215 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie devote their Mama Bear Mini to talking about terrorism, what it is, who is committing acts of terror, and how the media, politicians, and our culture contribute to how we view the topic. It’s an interesting discussion that’s less about actual acts of terrorism and more about the way this modern threat shapes the way we think and the way we live our lives. Leslie also reports on the flooding in the Midwest. This episode is a bit intense, but as always, the sisters do their best to educate and inspire.

Links: Charles Grassley | Article

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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 213: (S)Heroes: Sudan & She the People

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On Episode 213 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie discuss a few headlines that have their attention lately. They spend the hour looking at politics around the globe and the ways in which women are insisting upon and leading major change. They discuss the female-led protests in Sudan where women have shown up and watched their dictator, Omar Al Bashir, step down from decades of horrific leadership, and the power that women, particularly women of color, have in the upcoming caucus and election here in the States. They encourage listeners to watch for the women around them who are leading us to more love and more compassion and do what they can to lift their sisters up and encourage positive change in all corners of the world.

Sources: She the People : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Sudan: 1 | 2 | 3

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Episode 212: Buy the Change with Jane Mosbacher Morris

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On Episode 212 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Leslie sits down with Jane Mobacher Morris, author of Buy the Change You Want to See and CEO of To the Market, a global company which connects consumers and businesses to ethically made products from all over the world. During the first five years of her career Jane worked in counter-terrorism at the U.S. Department of State, but after a trip to India during which she visited businesses that liberate women from the sex trade and provide a safe work environment in the artisan industry, Jane decided to make her career switch and start her own company. Leslie and Jane discuss her fascinating journey, their shared belief of the power each of us holds in our pockets books, and explore practical tips and actionable advice for becoming a more informed consumer and how to use our purchasing power for good.

Learn more about Jane Mosbacher Morris and To the Market!

Website | Instagram | Book | Twitter

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Episode 209: Life Pivots & Beating Hearts with Lisa Leonard

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On Episode 209 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie sit down with Lisa Leonard, the woman behind the much-celebrated international company Lisa Leonard Designs. During this conversation, Lisa pulls back the curtain on her success and reveals that for most of her life, she struggled with perfection and self-worth … trying to be the perfect mom and the perfect wife, all while running a thriving business. Lisa shares the story of how her world crashed down around her and how through reflection, therapy, a supportive community, faith, and hard work, she is now living a life of more balance, more honesty, and more joy. These three women bring it ALL to the table and their conversation is authentic, relatable, and completely inspiring!

Find more Lisa!

Website | Instagram | Book | Jewelry

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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 207: Pantsuit Politics with Beth Silvers & Sarah Stewart Holland

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On Episode 207 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi sits down with the fabulous women of Pantsuit Politics, Beth Silvers and Sarah Stewart Holland to talk about the importance of productive political dialogue and how we can be patient, vulnerable, and grace-filled even in the most hot-button conversations. The women discuss their new book, I Think You're Wrong (But I'm Listening), as well as topics that range from the Dixie Chicks to Covington Catholic High School to the importance of women talking about politics and how to do so with our kids. Listeners will love the spirited dialogue and come away better prepared to engage in the politics and policy that so crucially impact our everyday lives.

Learn more about Beth and Sarah! Website | Book | Podcast | Instagram | Twitter

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Episode 206: Choosing Well with Laura Vanderkam

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On Episode 206 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie sit down with Leslie’s personal Patron Saint of Time Management, Laura Vanderkam. A hugely successful author and expert, Laura offers listeners researched and thoughtful advice on managing the precious resource of time, setting priorities, and structuring a day, week, month, or year to experience the most love, peace, joy, and productivity possible. In a light-hearted and information-rich conversation, the women also dive into balance, women in the workplace, and parenting schedule-savy kids.

For more Laura, check out these links:

Juliet’s School of Possibilities | What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast | I Know How She Does It | TED Talk | Website | Podcast

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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 203: Share Those Renegade Stories with Janelle Hanchett

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On Episode 203 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie get really real, really fast with Janelle Hanchett, founder of Renegade Mothering and author of I’m Just Happy to Be Here. The three take on the illusion of perfection, the freedom of truth, the power of sharing your story, and the hope in everyday miracles…even after trauma. The conversation is intimate, passionate, and a must-listen for anyone who needs a dose of compassion and a wallop of courage.

Find more of Janelle: Facebook | Read the Book! | Twitter | Instagram | Website

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Episode 200: Marie Kondo is a Mama Bear!

On Episode 200 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie talk about the Marie Kondo craze that has so many of us captivated and curious. In true Mama Bear fashion, they provide commentary on Kondo’s Mama Bear methods by acknowledging her sometimes counter-cultural method and her critique of gendered social norms and the excessive consumerism so often exercised in the Western world. The women praise Marie Kondo’s emphasis on gratitude and celebrate her quiet revolution of equality. With a small analysis of the “mental load” so many women share and talk of a little xenophobia thrown in for good measure, the women have a great time discussing the KonMarie method and the layers it entails.

Listen to some of our favorite Mama Bear Minis if you’re looking for cultural commentary on the teens in MAGA hats at the Indigenous Peoples March:

Make America Kind Again | Make America Kind Again, Part II | Boys Will NOT Be Boys | Cultural Appropriation

Watch Kondo work her magic here and check out some our favorite articles responding to the Marie Kondo craze:

Vice | Vice 2 | McSweeneys | NBC | The Atlantic | The Lily | The Huffington Post

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Episode 198: Becoming Who You Are with Alyson Wild

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On Episode 198 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Leslie and Tesi sit down with Alyson Wild, a wise and brave woman who shares earned wisdom about self discovery, living the truth of your identity, and claiming your desires. Together, the three women also discuss the power of words that comfort, words that broaden perspective, and the power of representation in literature and life. It’s a beautiful conversation between curious women who seek understanding, compassion, and hope.

Find more of Alyson: Instagram | Twitter | Website

Don’t forget to ‘Like’ the Mama Bear Dares Podcast Instagram page and leave a comment on Alyson’s episode for a chance to win one of her books!

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