Eps 348: How to be an adult with Julie Lythcott-Haims

Episode 348

My guest today is Julie Lythcott-Haims.  

Casey and Julie chat about Julie’s newest book, “Your Turn: How to Be an Adult,” including what topics are covered, reactions from young adults & parents, and what Julie was hoping for while she wrote this book.  They talk on how young adults learn to “fend for themselves” and find self-acceptance.  Casey and Julie dig into how and when young adults claim their own narratives and the challenges of when that’s different from your vision for them.  They get into the unknown and lifelong effects of Gen Z and the pandemic and wrap-up by touching on how great self-agency and problem-solving feels for everyone, especially these young adults. 

Julie Lythcott-Haims believes in humans and is deeply interested in what gets in our way. Her work encompasses writing, speaking, teaching, mentoring, and activism. 

She is the New York Times bestselling author of How to Raise an Adult which gave rise to a popular TED Talk. Her second book is the critically-acclaimed and award-winning prose poetry memoir Real American, which illustrates her experience as a Black and biracial person in white spaces. Her third book, Your Turn: How to Be an Adult, has been called a “groundbreakingly frank” guide to adulthood. 

Julie holds degrees from Stanford, Harvard Law, and California College of the Arts. She currently serves on the boards of Black Women’s Health Imperative, Narrative Magazine, and on the Board of Trustees at California College of the Arts. 

She serves on the advisory boards of LeanIn.Org, Sir Ken Robinson Foundation and Baldwin For the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her partner of over thirty years, their itinerant young adults, and her mother.

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Takeaways from the show

  • How young people learn to “fend for themselves” 
  • What surprises young adults when they move away from home 
  • Using Julie’s new book “Your Turn: How to Be an Adult” as a roadmap for adulthood 
  • Young adults claiming their own narratives (and when that’s different from your own vision for them) 
  • Young adults finding self-acceptance 
  • COVID-19 impacting Gen Z 
  • Self-agency & problem-solving

What does joyful courage mean to you? 

Joyful courage feels like an oxymoron because to have courage seems to be always set in the context of scary things or problems, so the notion that courage can actually come with joy, or spring from joy, or be the result of joy – the relationship between these two words is fascinating.  I’ve certainly found joy in taking courageous steps.  I’m on my third career, actually pivoting to a fourth big thing, if I get elected.  If I get elected, I’ll be a local official.  If you think throwing your hat in the ring doesn’t take courage, you’re wrong.  It can be hard, mean, and exhausting, yet I’m finding joy in having the courage to try.  All of the learning is bringing me joy. Learning about my city, policy, meeting with people and talking about issues is bringing me joy.  Even when things are difficult and someone is nasty, I feel joy that I can emerge from that intact. I can survive that.  I do like joyful courage.  They’re important words, and I love the dance they do together. 



Julie’s Website 

Julie’s Instagram 

Julie’s Blog & Newsletter Sign-Up

Julie’s TED Talk 

“How to Raise an Adult” Book

“Your Turn: How to Be an Adult” Book 

“Real American” Book 

How to Become Your Best Adult Self TED Course 

Sproutable’s Five-Day Relationship Reset

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Joyful Courage 11.28 - FINAL

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Hello, hello my friends. Welcome back to joyful courage, a conscious parenting podcast where we tease apart the challenges and nuances of parenting through the adolescent years. I am your host, Casey over already positive discipline trainer, parent coach and adolescent lead at Sprout double, where we celebrate not only the growth of children, but also the journey and evolution that we all get to go through as parents. This is a place where we keep our real, real stories real parenting, the teen years are real messy, and there aren't many right answers. But the more we trust ourselves, and trust our teens, the better the outcomes can be. The Parenting we talked about over here is relationship centered, you won't find a lot of talk about punishment, consequences or rewards. What you will hear is a lot of encouragement about connection, curiosity and life skill development. Our teens are on their own journey. And while we get to walk next to them for a bit, we don't get to walk for them. Their work is to learn from the tension of their life. Our work is to support them and love them along the way. I'm so glad you're here. Enjoy the show.

Hi, listeners, I am so excited to introduce you to my guest. Today she is Julie lift got Haynes. Julie believes in humans and is deeply interested in what gets in our way her work encompasses writing, speaking, teaching, mentoring, and activism. She is the New York Times best selling author of How to raise an adult which gave rise to a very popular TED Talk. Her second book is the critically acclaimed and award winning prose poetry memoir real American, which illustrates her experience as a black and biracial person in white spaces. Her third book, your turn how to be an adult has been called Ground breakingly Frank and is a guide for young people moving into adulthood. We're going to talk about that today on the podcast. Julie holds degrees from Stanford, Harvard Law and California College of the Arts. She currently serves on the boards of black women health imperative narrative magazine and on the board of trustees at California college for the arts. She serves on the advisory boards of lean n.org Sir Ken Robinson foundation and Baldwin for the arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her partner of over 30 years there, itinerant young adults, and her mother. Hi, Julie, welcome to the podcast.
Hi, Casey, thanks so much for having me. And to every listener, who's going to spend some moments with us, I just want to say thank you for being here. And I hope that we managed to say something that feels useful, maybe even nourishing to you today. That's our goal. I think

I'm so excited to get to meet you. I love your work. And I really appreciate this book, your turn and how to be an adult. And I want to let listeners know, too. As I prepared for this interview, I had my whole outline. And I sent it to Julie. And you know, she let me know, like, hold up, hold up. This book is not for parents. This book is for young people moving into adulthood. And so please keep me in check Julie, throughout this interview, and because that's who this book is for, even though I'll many of you listening are parents and hope is that this conversation and encourages you to get this book for your young people to share this conversation because we're really going to center your kids as we move through our interview today. So thank you for that. Well, no worries, actually, you just swapped the subtitle for the name of the first book, which is the parenting book. And believe me, it's been a source of confusion for everybody. I'm not sure we should have done it this way. But here we have it. So the parenting book is how to raise an adult and then this is really a companion to it. For the children. We're trying to raise the young adults, your turn, how to be an adult is the sequel. And I will say for any parent listening that if you're a young parent, you know, maybe this book is also for you, because you're still emerging into your fullness as a human. So it's really a guide for anyone trying to lead their best life. And we did pitch it to younger 18 to 30 fours but you know, I've had much older people say I know you didn't write this for me, but I feel like you did.

You are candid, super candid throughout the book, especially in the introduction around your thoughts as you were invited to create it, and you speak directly To the reader, and you wrote over the last 10 years, a whole lot has been said about young adults who are unready for adulthood. And you go on to talk about how so much has already been written in this space, and having your own internal dialogue around what you could bring to the conversation that would be new and different. And then you step right into vulnerability, which I really appreciate and value around how you'd be showing up for the young people reading the book. So talk about what you committed to bringing and why the people who pick up your book can trust you.

I got the book contract to write the sequel, your turn had to be an adult, because my parenting book had done so well. So my publisher wanted something to offer to the children of those people. And I accepted the book deal, and was delighted to take their money. And then really struggled with summoning a slew of advice for all young humans who might be struggling with adulting. I thought, I don't have a PhD in this, who am I to write about this? I've not studied this issue of how to be successful in your adulthood. So who am I, and then I realized, you know what, Julie, you're a person who cares about humans a lot. That's been your work, you've also made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot from those mistakes. And maybe if you lead with vulnerability, don't try to be an expert, but just try to be a caring, thoughtful human, who can tell good stories about your own journey, but also tell good stories about humans you've interacted with are willing to share their stories. You know, maybe that's the book I loved that ended up
sharing, and as well as all that so grateful for all the other young people who are willing to share so vulnerably with you. And with the audience of readers, it's always so powerful to listen to storytelling, where we can find places that feel like oh, yeah, me too. Oh, yeah, I get that, right. Oh, yeah, I felt that, especially when you're young, and it feels like you're the only one who's having the experience that you're having.
And your the stories that you've collected in this book, really offer an opportunity for the reader to recognize, oh, I'm not the only one that is feeling this way. I have a 17 year old and a nearly 20 year old. So I'm leaving this book out all the time, and actually bought the book and gave it to my oldest, she was then 18 with the fantasy that she'd be here when the interview hopefully happened in the future. And you know, and I kept I gave it to her, and I kept checking in with her. And at the time, you know, she was having and my listeners, you know, she's allowed me to share pretty candidly, she was really struggling and dealing with some mental health issues. And the near her narrative kind of took a right turn. And she was in the midst of that. And I know better now than I knew then that it was probably bad timing for me to handle this book. But I kept checking in on it like, what do you think? And she said, Mom, I can't read it. It makes me too anxious. Like thinking about all of these things right now is scary to me. And what do you as you think about and I know that you spent time at Stanford and you worked with a lot of the kids coming into the university? What do you think about that response, and that feeling around just it was almost too much for her to consider?

Well, first of all, I'm sorry that she went through some hard times and mom to mom, I can relate. My son also gives me permission to talk about his journey. And he's 23 and has had his struggles after high school mental health wise, and we're working on repatterning as parents, my husband and I in our dynamic with this son of ours, trying to own aspects of our behaviors that foment anxiety rather than sue that and how can we evinced greater confidence in him rather than walking on eggshells and treating him as if he's too sensitive to be able to handle anything? Those are just glimpses of the journey we've been on. You know, what I would say is, yeah, when a person is struggling, we have to meet them where they are, and maybe they need therapy, and maybe they need time away from school. And maybe they need to be able to dive into whatever does nourish them, and let everything else kind of be on pause. side and a big book. This is a 450 page isn't really the most like, oh, great, Mom, thanks. I'm going to read this book and solve the problems but I do think a better approach for your particular child might be, you know, I was reading this chapter chapter nine, which is called take good care of yourself. And it's full of stories of people who are struggling with their diagnoses and their differences and their challenges. There's a story in here about somebody coping with bipolar and a story is somebody coping with eating disorders and anxiety and you know, the store is, and you could just say the stories help normalize all of these things. That's why I know Julie put them in this book to be like, you're not weird. There's nothing wrong with you. Everybody's got something. And here's some evidence of how people pull themselves through. So I think chapter nine might have been the offering that she could have felt was a safety blanket, or, you know, a tether to a resource, you know, yeah. So that's it bite sized chunks, as opposed to, like, read the whole thing.

And I love that about this book, too, is that, you know, it can be a cover to cover read, but it can also be like, where do I want to open it up today, or which chapter is calling for me to explore today for readers, and I do appreciate that. And thank you, she is doing much better. She did do all the things, you know, she did do therapy, and she's gotten so much support, and has really evolved into a much more self sufficient autonomous person who is, you know, saving her money to move out and start life outside of the nest. So, you know, that's a whole nother conversation about how that feels. Yeah, totally, totally fantastic.
It's hard.
I just want every young person and I maybe I jumped the gun with my own young person. But I want every young person who's just on that precipice of venturing out to make their way in the world to read this book, and to pour over it and to get their sticky notes. And I mean, that's how I do it.

I appreciate you know, I've heard young people who do use it as a reference book, they have their sticky notes. I've also been the author of this book for a year and a half, and it came out, which by definition means it came out in the thick of the pandemic. And I couldn't be out in public with it because it was a pandemic. And I've only recently been traveling with this book. Recently, I've been to the Boston area, the Nashville, Tennessee area, the Denver, Colorado area, Vancouver, just north of you, Canada, I'm going down to Southern California next week, and doing assemblies with high school students about this content. And they are eating it up and giving me standing ovations. And I don't mean to be like bragging on myself, but it's just so edifying for me, as the author who has wanted this book, I've wanted to go personally with it in my hands, to be present with young people to try to speak about it in a keynote, take their questions, and then offer it, you know, to be sold, you know, it's been so rewarding to finally get to be out in the world with this book. And to see the proof of its worth, you know, in the response people are giving. So yeah, and what are you hearing it from delayed, but it's finally happened, and you get
to have one on ones with them? What are they sharing with you?

Well, typically, I do a, an assembly with kids at a school. And then I've keynote with their parents at night, where I'm talking about the parent version of this, which is my first book, How to raise an adult. And so what I say to the young is, look, if there's anything you need that I've said that you want to be sure your parents here, tell them to come tonight. And then the proof is in the pudding. I opened the parent keynote with raise your hand if your kid told you to come and half the hands go up. And I think that's the word of mouth, that's a child or a young adult saying this content is so important, and so necessary for my parents to hear so they can better support me on my journey. You know, that's probably the greatest evidence that the contents matters to these young people. They say I feel seen, they say, get me you get it. Yeah, you get what it's like for us.

I'm thinking, I'm trying not to like, go off the interview and have a whole conversation with myself about how to get you at my kids High School. We can talk later. So at the start straight out of the gates of the book, there's a section where you share nine ways that young people can get to fend for themselves, you know, as they leave the nest and make their way into adulthood. You talk about this fending for yourself concept. And so why did you feel like this was an important place to begin with the reader?

Casey, I think fencing or lack thereof is at the heart of what seems to be missing in many of our young adults today, due to our overwhelm, so the rise of over involve parenting helicopter parenting intensive parenting, this was a thing that began in the mid 80s resulted in millennials, many millennials saying I don't know how to do anything and people criticize them in the workplace and in college. Why don't you know how to do it because they weren't taught because they were overmanaged overly handheld. They emerge chronologically into the world at 1820 22. But have had so little of the doing that they were responsible for that they literally don't know how and so I boil it down to we're supposed to teach our young to fend for themselves, just like a mammal out in the wild has its offspring to care for for a certain period of time. And then they in the offspring can have confidence the offspring can handle themselves. That's our biological imperative. We've gotten it twisted lately in parenting in modern American parenting, at least in middle class, and upper middle class working class has always had to expect kids to learn to do for themselves because they don't have the luxury of extra time, which is sort of this beautiful irony, right? So fending is just knowing Hey, it's on me to get up and take care of my body, my bills, my belongings, my business, the basics. And when we overwhelm his parents, by doing all that, looking after all that it feels loving, but it's actually really problematic, because you've lovingly handled everything, and then your offspring feels useless out in the world, and you feel useful. But really, this is about a parent's ego, like I'm so needed, I'm so necessary. Well, what's going to happen when you're incapacitated and gone, your offspring is going to be bewildered. So fending turns out to be super important in this list of nine things, nine basics, attend to the care and maintenance of your body, find work that pays your bills. Number three, try hard. Don't try to be your best all the time. That's an impossible standard. But just try hard and get back up when you fall. Number four, make your own decisions. Number five, get along with others. Number six, keep track of your stuff. Number seven, reply and show up if you said you would number eight, find your people and care for them. Number nine plan for your future. That's a you know, there's a whole book, but bending is one of the earliest chapters and it sort of boils down to those nine things.

Yeah, and you really, you know, what I love too is you take those nine things, and you really expand on them throughout the book. And it's take keep track of your belongings. I mean, they're like, it's basic. And it's, you know, it filters right in as I think about, you know, I'm really using the phrasing of, I'm raising you to be good roommates. I'm giving you opportunities to be a good roommate. This is not just me getting on your case, about everything. It's really about, you know, how are you going to show up when you're not at home, but you're sharing space with other people? And then yeah, I mean, it's funny, too. I had a couple kids come over of my girlfriend's friends that came up to Bellingham for college. And I asked them, you know, what's been the most surprising thing about living on your own, and one of the gals shared the stress of feeding herself, and making time to buy food and cook food and not being, you know, not being out with takeout all the time. And she said, it was really surprising. It wasn't something that she saw, you know, thinking about being in college that that was going to be such a thing. So, vending, yeah, vending, it feels like a really powerful roadmap, that that's what this book feels like, to me is a roadmap for young people as they venture into this time of life. What were your hopes and dreams for the people that were reading this book,
I hope that they would feel that an author gave a damn about them, was really curious about what's hard about being a young adult. Now, macro, economically, the unaffordability of so many cities and the false imperative that there's a right path you're supposed to be on. I reject that. I think this is me rooting for every individual to figure themselves out, and to give themselves permission to go be that person. And I hope that rooting for them that vibe of rooting for them, the tone of my voice, the word choice really helps them feel in their bones. This author cares about me. Even though she doesn't know me, she really seems to care. Because I think when we feel cared for by a person, or by a book, where you feel a degree of trust, then in the advice and guidance that's offered through lists and through stories and through, you know, the pages fully. So that's what I'm going for trust, closeness, a feeling of Yep, she cares. And therefore I can invest in the effort to read this book, listen to this book with confidence.
I really appreciate the permission to create their own narrative. Right. And as you mentioned, you know, the demographic that tends to lean towards, you know, helicoptering, I feel like there's also a lot of spoken and unspoken message about the way things should look and the narrative that should be followed and the path and you know, I grew up in a household like that, and you know, and in the raising of my young people, they've claimed their narrative, which was jarring to realize that I was, you know, I'm like, Oh, I'm so open minded. You know, I'm like, Be who you Need to be but then when the narrative was really confronted and really, you know, pulled away from I didn't even realize I had one, right. So I feel like and I'm grateful, right? I tell my kids this all the time, I'm so grateful that I get to be their mom and that I get to be open to the learning journey that they're taking me on as they develop into who they're meant to be. And I think about other kids that come from homes where that narrative is really rigid, and then they find themselves on their own. And the book is really such a beautiful permission for them to own who it is that they are and what it is that they want and the steps that they want to be taking. And it provides like a scaffolding for them. You know, like in the book, the chapter around, stop pleasing others, you know, finding your voice, stop judging your voice and go in the direction that it tells you. I love those three steps around what it means to find success and identity on your terms. That was the heart of the book, I told you at the front of our conversation that I struggled to write this book for years, I kept trying failing, I didn't go into the minutia there. But suffice it to say it was unpleasant. I kept writing things that my editor kept rejecting. And finally, I said, You know what, Julie, you were a pretty darn good college dean back in the day at Stanford, how did you speak to your students when you were giving them advice? And I ended up writing what is now chapter five that you're quoting from stop pleasing others, they have no idea who you are. I wrote that chapter. And my editor said, Whoa, this is it. This is the book structure. I don't know what you did, but keep doing it. And that became then 13 chapters, but I really summoned my deeply compassion, you know, for young people who are being told there's a rigid right path, you have to be this or that, to please your family or to be of worth in this world. I just reject that. I've sat with so many young people who are in tears, or anxious or depressed because they're being forced down a path. And of course, the real irony here, Casey is I inadvertently while advocating for other people's young adults, to not be forced down a path, but instead to figure themselves out and go be that person. I was also a parent with two children. And I was really sure I knew what they ought to be. And I thought I was seeing them for who they were my son loves science. Okay, go be a scientist. Great, awesome. My daughter is so smart, so bright, you could do anything. And she was an artist. I was okay. Yeah. But that's not going to be your pursuit in life. I have grown up as a mom, I can now tell you that while I rejected my daughter's artistic talents as irrelevant to her career and her future when she was young, I became the mom who saw the error of my ways. I am now the mom who can say with deep pride, my 21 year old daughter is an artist. And I'm so ashamed that there were years when I didn't value that and thought it was somehow something to push off to the side while centering the more serious things. I'm proud of my daughter, the artist whose task is to figure out how to be that person in our America or in wherever in the world she goes and to pay her bills. But to be that person, that's her task. And I'm here to applaud as she does it, and my son who I was trying to force down this path towards science, which he had tremendous aptitude for, which I was so proud of period. But also because, you know, as a young man who presents to the world as a light skinned African American male, we need more people who look like my son being scientists, I wanted that for our world. And also for me, who has been constantly told as a woman of color that I didn't earn my spot, or that I took someone else's spot, all of that narrative. My son was sort of that manifestation of the evidence, not just of his worth, but of mine. And all of that is a psychological burden I should not have been putting on my son only in hindsight that I realized I was meanwhile, despite his prowess in the sciences, he loved working at a summer camp every summer not working in a lab, but working with kids. And he's now this 23 year old aide in our local school district, supporting kids with special needs, like his own special needs, which we overlooked and under supported as his parents, because all we could see was the science brilliance. It seemed his brilliance was overcoming the diagnoses it wasn't the diagnoses were just waiting for a time to come and pummel him, that meeting his anxiety and as ADHD. And so I've been on this journey to love and accept my children, my young adults, as they are, rather than try to mold them into what I'd wished they would be. And that journey is embedded. The vulnerability you spoke of earlier, that I bring as the author is embedded in these pages of this book. There's one point where I admit I was the parent who didn't really get my son's challenges and I say to the reader, if you need somebody to read this flat Take this page. And that's my hope that they will flag it and say, Mom, Dad, whomever, please read this. That is how I'm trying to actually serve the reader.

Ah, Julia, this makes me emotional, right?

Yeah, it makes me emotional. Usually I'm not emotional. But normally when I tell these stories, I go into the detail of my lack my way of not seeing my own kid, it makes me cry.
Hey, hi, I am popping in to remind you that the five day relationship reset starts next week. You have heard me talking about it here on the podcast. And I've been posting a ton about it on social media sign up. I know how it feels to have a strained or tense relationship with my kids. It's no bueno. It leaves you feeling lost and effective. Not to mention the self doubt and self blame that comes along with that too. I really believe I've created something that will change things up in your home. This reset is designed to support you in cleaning up the tough stuff, and begin to build the partnership with your team that they and you ultimately want. I've told you before, but I'll tell you again, we're going to focus on a different theme each day. So the first day is really about reflection. Where are you at? Where are you at right now in relationship with your team? We're going to talk the second day around considerations. Who is your team? What do you know about them? That's important and useful when repairing and moving forward in relationship. But we're going to talk about ownership. What have you brought to the dynamic, we're going to talk about listening and what it really means to listen in a way that makes the other person feel heard. And finally our last day, we're going to talk about what it looks like to be in partnership with our teens, you will be supported in your learning and growing every step of the way. Participants will get a downloadable workbook for taking notes and capturing your reflections every day, a daily mini workshop that's going to guide you in the action steps that you're going to be taking. And you can have like minded community to connect with. As you move through the process. I am so excited by the group that's getting ready to move through this work with me. If you haven't signed up yet, now's the time. And I mentioned it's free, right? This is a free offer, go to be sprouted.com/reset for more information and to get registered, because now is the best time to transform the relationship that you have with your kids. Be spreadable.com/reset We start Monday get registered now. Yeah, I mean, as a parent educator, as a parent, coach, I'm totally relating to, you know, wanting, of course to present keeping it real, keeping it authentic, as I share, you know, with parents, and that looking back and recognizing where I nudged anxiety along wholehearted loving my kids, right, loving my daughter and recognizing the places where I was not serving her. You know, when I think about the parents that I work with, I work with parents of teenagers, and this comes up a lot around, you know, especially high school, and how are they performing, and they're not getting their essays in for their college applications, and really trying to sit with people around. You know, what we see all the time on social media like love the kid you have love the kid you have right and what that actually means it's so simple and so deep, right? It's so deep because it's waiting through actually not even wading through first you have to be aware of what it is that you're holding as the vision for your child and recognizing when your vision like sharing about your daughter, your artistic, beautiful daughter and recognizing her vision. And I mean just the power for young people, when their parents, the people that love them, value, what they value and see that inside of them and support them inside of whatever it is that they want to be moving towards. So yes, all of this Yes. I'm so grateful that you shared that because I think there's also this idea that people are put on pedestals around well, you've written the book, your young people must just be the most amazing, well balanced, healthy, blah, blah, blah, fill in the blanks. And we're all humans. We're all humans with the baggage and the layers and all the things that we come to our work with.

And I try to model we all have layers, we all have baggage, if we can dare to instead of performing the part of the perfect person, we can actually take stalk of some of it and be willing to interrogate what's going on for me, why am I this way? What am I so anxious about such that I need to curate the path of my children? You know, if I can appreciate that someone's insecure in me such that I'm trying to use my kids as the, you know, proof of my worth, maybe if I can work on myself, I can free my kids up to just be themselves. And might that not be a beautiful thing, and I'm not here to blame parents. I'm not trying to blame myself. I'm here to try to learn and grow and to model. It's about learning and growing. So not about blame. It's about growth. And isn't that a beautiful thing? And I will say, my daughter relayed a beautiful story to me, Casey, she's 21 identifies as queer, bisexual, and a friend of hers at college, they were hanging out one afternoon. And the friend said, Were you raised by two moms or by queer parents? And she said, No, I wasn't. I've a mom and a dad. And the friend said, Well, you know, you just seem to be so clear on who you are. And so accepting of your own self, and then my experience that comes from having had queer parents, and my daughter was like, Oh, well, it kind of doesn't make sense. You know, my parents are ones, black ones, white, they're multiracial. We're multiracial family. And also, my parents both identify as bisexual and queer. And so you know, they have infused our home with this radical acceptance of whoever you are, as an individual is good. Imagine your daughter telling you this story, and was just filled with such a profound sense of Oh, my God, we did a lot wrong. But we got that right. To have some third party say to our child, you seem so clear on who you are so self accepting, which they attributed it to how she was raised. My daughter's friend who I've never met, offered us such a gift in summarizing her perception of our
daughter that way, it's not often that we get that kind of feedback. Right. Thank you. Right, exactly. You know, and you mentioned, being able to be out in the world with your book and how powerful that is, and that at the start, you weren't able to because of this whole crazy, COVID experience. And I don't, you know, I feel like people want to kind of forget that young people right now Gen Z, specifically, the kids that are like eight, you know, whatever, teenagers into young adults, they've had this insane experience where the rug has literally been ripped out from under them. And, you know, I don't want to beat a dead horse. But I feel like we cannot just pretend that that hasn't made an impact on this generation of kids coming of age. What are you noticing as impact for the kids that you're talking to talking at, in relationship around the pandemic,
I think it's way too soon for us to make any pronouncements about impact, we are still coming out of it, the effects of it are going to be lifelong, we should always be curious about it, always be deeply curious and willing to entertain the fact that it might have had a profoundly negative impact. It's like the World War Two generation or the Great Depression generation, it ended up impacting their whole lives. And yeah, there was suffering. But there was also tremendous strength that came my strength often comes out of struggle. And so I'm empathetic about what they've lost, and how that loss has impacted them in terms of their cognition and their emotional wellness and their opportunities in life. And I'm deeply curious about Yeah, how are they going to be so kick ass awesome, because of what they went through ways we can't even imagine, for example, so many more of them care about public health, we're going to see a total uptick in the number of people who decide to not only go to med school, but to study public health, because they've seen what happens when a nation doesn't understand what public health even is. So many more of them are going to go into science for that reason. So many more of them are going to go into teaching because they can empathize a little of their teachers went through, you know, this is the generation facing climate change as an existential threat that will impact the quality of their lives in a way no prior generation has had to deal with. And they're 100% committed to insisting that we make change at the level of local cities and counties and states and in our personal energy choices, right? They're just more fierce about the biggest things that matter because of what they've gone through. And because of what they can see coming on the horizon. So I'm here with Gen Z saying go go go go go yes to you. How can we support you how can we stand with you? Let us acknowledge at the level of greatest generation and Boomers and Gen X Z, which is my generation, you know, how can we say to Gen Z and millennials? Yeah, it's your turn. That's what the book is called. It's like, Yeah, we're gonna back. But not please. Like, sometimes we say that we're like, oh my God, we've screwed everything up. Now it's up to you. Imagine how that sounds to a 16 year old, they would be fully within their right to say, fu man, you screwed this planet up, you screwed the economy up. It's unaffordable to have a house. Yeah, you know, like, don't just step aside and say it's your turn, like, help us. And I'm here to say yet, we need to help you. But also, please know how strong you are, please know that you have a better facility with technology, you know how to move ideas around the world, you know how to innovate and create better than the rest of us, you know, so please know that you have skills. And please know that we will stand with you and try to pave a way forward that will ultimately be about the quality of life that you will live once we are dead and gone.

And thank you for the reminder to because you're right, I came straight from please. And let me give all of this weight of you know, all the shit that we've been a part of either watching passed by contributed to and not stepped up to. So thank you for that check, for sure. And they do have the skills. It's amazing what is available right now for human beings to make such a huge shift in so many areas, whether it's social justice, or climate change the way that we're living with each other, the way that we're, you know, attributing, like sending off our money for, you know, thinking about cultures that are, you know, have that more interdependence versus the independence and how beautiful it can be when we see that how much we can do for each other, right with each other. I'm happy to share too, just a little circle back over the weekend, I was talking to my daughter letting her know that I was going to interview you about this book. And she's nearly 20. Now, as I mentioned, she's a licensed working esthetician. And like I said saving to move out soon. And she said, you know mom, for her really changed. She said for a long time, I was really scared. Like probably right around the time I was handing her your book, she said I was really scared about being an adult. And I really wanted to hang on to my childhood. And, you know, now I'm just I'm really excited, I'm excited about taking care of myself, I'm excited about paying my bills, I'm excited about all that is in front of me. And that was such a gift to hear her reflect on that.

That is where we want them all to get. I love that. So self aware that she could say that to herself, and feel confident enough in her relationship with you that she could say it to you without worrying about blowback or critique or over management or anything, I'm sure you being who you are really held space for her to say that. So that was probably so beautiful. And it's precisely the summary of this book. Why did you write this book, Julie, because young adults are saying I don't want to adult I'm scared to adult adulting is hard. And it's me saying yep, that's valid. It is hard, it is scary. But on the other side of that place of fear, and worry is the deliciousness of being in charge of yourself. Because believe it or not, it does feel good to know, I'm paying my bills, I'm saving my money. I'm making choices about my work. I'm making choices about where I will live now. And next. Right? Turns out, it's incredibly empowering. It's called agency feeling like I'm in charge, I'm in charge of me, I'm not a dog on a leash will be like, Look, I this, that's what's missing in much of childhood today, contributing to the anxiety contributed to the depression. And when they do the work, and we give them room to do the work and they can actually show up in their own lives and be in charge of it. That's when they feel they experienced that delicious buzz of solving their own problems, you know, and making their own way. And I'm quoting here, Kelly Corrigan, who shared that her own father had said to her, you know, there's no greater buzz than solving your own problems. So don't you dare just solve solve solve for your kids because you're depriving them have that delicious hit that comes naturally not from drugs, but from life? Yeah, some actually in your life making life happen for yourself,
which was not something my kids loved me saying early on, but there was a shift at there was a period where that really landed, like you said, and it was a hit like, Oh, right. I don't have to do it the way you do it, I can actually create what I want to create. I mean, what an epic time, you know, thinking back to being 20 and or 19 or 18, even and like being on the precipice of I mean, I was definitely more clueless than my kids are. I feel like going into my young adulthood. It seems like they've got a lot more skills and a lot more self awareness. But what an exciting time it's such an exciting time. So as As we wrap up, is there anything else that you want to make sure that you leave listeners with today, Julie,
thank you, first of all, gratitude to you. And to every listener, I opened by thanking them for being here and hoped that they would find something nourishing. And what I want to say now to listeners is, if anything made you nod, or go, Oh, yep, yep, that's me, or oh, that I'm curious about that. Please take that forward. That is the offering. We can't know who's listening right now. We can't know what's going on in your life. But if anything kind of pings you in the heart, or the brain or the spirit or the soul, or wherever your innermost sense of self lies, take that forward. You know, be curious journal about it going along, walk in nature about it, sit under a hot shower about it. Ask yourself what was going on for me what's going on for me? And see the answer that comes and then take that forward into your own tomorrow into your own weekend into your own growth? Okay, we are here trying to be of use to you. That's why I write my books. That's why I write a blog, a weekly blog, Julis pod. You know, that's why I say yes, to podcasts, particularly wonderful podcasts like this one. So I guess what I'm trying to say is, who you are matters, where you are on your journey is very, very important. And let's hope there was something here today that will be useful to you tomorrow.

So I always ask my guests, at the end of my interviews, what joyful courage means to them.

You know, I like it feels like an oxymoron, right? Because to have to have courage seems to be always set in the context of scary things or problems. And so the notion that courage can actually come with joy, or spring from joy be the result of joy, the relationship between these two words is fascinating. I have certainly found joy in taking courageous steps. I am on my third career, I'm actually sort of pivoting to a fourth big thing, if I get elected, I'm running for local office, I may not get elected, but if I am elected, I will be a local official. And if you don't think just throwing their hat in the ring doesn't take courage, you're wrong. It's hard. And it can be mean, it can be exhausting. And yet, I'm finding joy. And having had the courage to try, all of the learning is bringing me joy, learning about my city, all the things I was blissfully largely unaware of as a resident, but who didn't have to focus on the policy just benefited from living here. I'm learning that's bringing me joy, I'm meeting with people and talking about issues that's bringing me joy. You know, even when things are difficult, and somebody is nasty, you know, as has happened. I feel joy, that I'm not that nasty person that I can emerge from that intact, knowing, you know, all right, she's got a whole lot of shift going on, and, you know, taking it out on me, but I'm not that person. You know, I am not that person. And I can feel joy around how I survived that, you know, I'm still here. So I do like joyful courage. I think they're both important words, and I love the dance that they do together in the name of your podcast.
Where can people find you and your book and follow your work? Tell us where we can sign up for your weekly blog.

And yeah, so you know, as Casey has said, like, I lead with vulnerability. And that's true, and your turn the newest book, it's really true in my second book, real American on being black and biracial, and dealing with microaggressions and racism in my weekly blog. It's called Julie's pod, just Google Julie's pod, and you'll subscribe, it's free. And it'll come to your inbox and just interact with me there. I have an anonymous hotline 1877 Hi, Julie. You can actually call it now listen, and I do some lives on Facebook. last Monday's, where I report out what was said in a call without revealing the identity. This is me making space for humans, and trying to show up and be vulnerable invite you to comment in a vulnerable way. If you can't comment, call the number and I'll bring you into the mix. This is me creating and holding space for all of us to know we matter to know we feel less alone when we connect with each other. That's what my books are about. So Julie's pod is a great place to go connect with me on social and J lift caught Hames everywhere on social. And you can go to my website and learn more about kind of the gestalt of me the books, the work, that's Julie lift, cut. hames.com.
Yeah, we'll have all those links in the show notes for the listeners. Ah, thank you, Julie. Thank you. So mother's thing. I'm
glad that you and I have to mention that the people that do TED talks, of which I have one offered me the chance to turn your turn the book into a course. It's an online course for 49 bucks, you get the your turn content, you do it on your own pace, you go to courses.ted.com There are six courses mine is called How to become your best adult self. And it is based on this new book that Casey and I've been talking about. So check that out. It runs one more time this fall. Hopefully they'll continue running Get in the new year, but take advantage of it 49 bucks for great content with interactive exercises, and you know me on video telling what I think. And then some good exercises and the opportunity to meet other people in the class. So super proud of that. Wow,
awesome. I took note of that as well. Oh, so great. Well, thank you for who you are in the world and what you hold space for. I'm so glad to have had this conversation with you, Julie. Thank you so much.
You are so welcome, Casey. Thank you. And again, thanks to everyone who decided to spend some moments of their day with us. We appreciate you


Yay. All right. Thank you again for listening in to a another show. Please check the show notes for any links mentioned in this episode. If you liked what you heard today, will you do me a favor and share it screenshot the show plastered all over your socials so that other parents know that we are creating value over here for them? If you really want to earn a gold star, head to Apple podcasts and leave us a review this does so much for the show for the exposure. It's a great way to give back. Thank you to my team at Sprout double for all your support. Alana Juliet, I love you so much. Thank you to Chris Mann and the team at pod shaper, for keeping the show sounding so good. And you listener, thank you for continuing to show up. This is hard work that we're doing. I encourage you in this moment. In this moment to gather let's take a deep breath in and follow that into your body. Hold it for a moment, exhale. And with that exhale, release the tension. And I invite you to trust, trust that everything is going to be okay. I'm so happy to support you. So glad to have spent time with you today. I'll see you next week.

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