Eps 369: Rachel Macy Stafford teaches us how to Soul Shift

Episode 369

My guest today is Rachel Macy Stafford. 

Rachel joins me to share about her new book, “Soul Shift,” and how to find joy and get back to yourself.  Rachel shares the painful truth that started her journey.  Rachel and I connect over the challenges that raising teens can bring, and how we can be present, relationship-focused, and connected with them during the tough times.  Rachel shares a beautiful story about how being human and vulnerable with your teens allows them to be authentic with you, too.  We touch on the messiness of teens and how we need to deeply know our children so we can best support them.  Rachel shares some of her best practices to find self-worth & growth, like speaking to yourself compassionately and taking time for yourself.  

Guest Description 

Rachel Macy Stafford is the New York Times bestselling author of Hands Free Mama, Hands Free Life, Only Love Today, and Live Love Now. Rachel is a certified special education teacher whose personal strategies are universal invitations to embrace life with urgency and cultivate connection despite the distractions of our culture. Her blog is a source of inspiration to millions. Rachel lives in Georgia with her beloved family and rescue cat, Banjo.

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Takeaways from the show

  • Cultivating the practice of presence 
  • Asking yourself and owning why you do what you do 
  • Finding time to nurture yourself 
  • Uncovering and responding to one’s deepest truths 
  • Connecting with your teen through presence 
  • Being real, authentic, & vulnerable with your teen 
  • Presence as a door opener for your teen 
  • Letting go of distractions and prioritizing connection 
  • Finding your self-worth 
  • Being in your experience vs. observing the experience

What does joyful courage mean to you

Joyful courage means knowing that when we show up as our truest, most real self, we get a chance to experience true belonging.  For the longest time, I thought, “I can’t tell anyone how I’m really feeling about this.  I can’t admit that I’m struggling.”  What I found was I never really connected to people until I began telling the truth about how I was feeling and who I am.  That’s where true belonging is born, and that’s, to me, the joyful courage – those moments when you connect with somebody on that level, that soul-to-soul level, and there’s nothing like it in the world.  You can both be going through a horrible struggle, and for them to say, “I know.  I’m here.  You are not alone.”  That is healing; that’s life-changing.  So, the courage part about showing up as your most authentic self.  We don’t have to be afraid.  We are going to be scared; it is scary to show your true self, but the reward of that, to meet someone in that light of realness – “I accept you as you are, and you accept me as I am,” there’s nothing like it in the whole world.  



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Rachel on Joyful Courage: Episode 11 

Rachel on Joyful Courage: Episode 80 

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life, feel, book, rachel, joy, practice, cultivate, people, avery, stepping stones, parents, kids, teen years, connection, shift, learned, sabotaging, experience, support, step
Rachel Macy Stafford, Casey O'Roarty

Casey O'Roarty 00:05
Hey, welcome to the joyful courage podcast a place for inspiration and transformation as we try and keep it together, while parenting our tweens and teens. This is real work people and when we can focus on our own growth, and nurturing the connection with our kids, we can move through the turbulence in a way that allows for relationships to remain intact. My name is Casey already I am your fearless host. I'm a positive discipline trainer, space holder coach and the adolescent needed sprout double. I am also the mama to a 20 year old daughter and 17 year old son walking right beside you on this path of raising our kids with positive discipline and conscious parenting. This show is meant to be a resource to you and I work really hard to keep it real, transparent and authentic so that you feel seen and supported. Today is an interview and I have no doubt that what you hear will be useful to you. Please don't forget sharing truly is caring. If you love today's show, please pass the link around snap a screenshot posted on your socials or texted to your friends. Together we can make an even bigger impact on families all around the globe. I'm so glad that you're here. Enjoy the show.

Casey O'Roarty 01:21
All right listeners. I am so excited about today's conversation. My guest today is Rachel Macy Stafford. Rachel is the New York Times best selling author of hands free mama hands free life only love today and live love. Now Rachel is a certified special education teacher whose personal strategies are universal invitations to embrace life with urgency and cultivate connection. Despite the distractions of our culture. Her blog has been a source of inspiration to millions and continues to be Rachel lives in Georgia with her beloved family and rescue cat banjo. longtime listeners may remember Rachel from Episode 11, as well as another episode that I can't seem to locate. And yet she's here to talk about her latest book Soul Shift. Welcome back to the podcast, Rachel all it's so good to be here. Thank you. Yes. And I have to start by fangirling out for a second, your work always speaks directly to the heart. And as I got familiar with your latest book and read through the intro, I was brought back to that that special gift that you have as a writer, it feels like it's just you and I in a room. And you and I on the journey. And I just have to say thank you, you have made a profound impact on me, my work my personal journey, and I know for so many others. So thank you for that. Thank you. Well, that is such an encouragement to me. Good. Talk to us about Soul Shift, what brought this book through you and I'm intentionally using that language, what brought this book through you?

Rachel Macy Stafford 03:13
Well, I have been very fortunate to be able to do a lot of online teaching and workshops in person over the last seven or eight years. And what I found was there was a theme that was very familiar to me, which is like, I've kind of lost my joy, I've kind of lost my spark, I don't know who I am anymore. And I think that's really common for people, you know, in our age group to have that realization. And realize also, this isn't how I want it to be, you know, I want to be true to myself, I want to be my authentic self. And so it was wonderful because I had gone through this process of kind of reclaiming myself. I call it my dreamer girl was my eight year old self who was like the truest version of me, she was like a nature lover, and cat lover, a notebook filler, mixed tape maker, you know, all those things that I kind of got persuaded, like those aren't worth while time, you know, investment. And, you know, so I kind of took this path that, you know, the world saw me as, oh, you're a teacher, you're a great teacher go that direction. And I don't regret that for one moment because a lot of the things I learned as a special education teacher are you know, practices that I use in my teaching now, but it was so great to be able to sit with people right where they are, you know, who feel very

Rachel Macy Stafford 05:00
hopeless and not sure Well, how do I get unstuck? And to be able to say, Okay, let me show you the small step by step approach that I took and these practices that I cultivated very simple, intentional practices. And let's see how that looks in your life. And it was kind of cool how universally, no matter like what situation people were in with their lives, these small incremental steps, did bring them back to their presence, their connection, their joy.

Casey O'Roarty 05:38
Yeah, I love that, especially considering that my audience now anymore, the conversations that I'm having are really centering around the season of parenting teenagers. Yeah. And, you know, if we're contacting it around losing joy, teen years and adolescence and brain development, plus, you'd like you mentioned where we are in life, most of us that are raising teenagers are Gen X ers, you know, and they don't need us quite as much. Although, listeners, they still need you. So don't check out exactly. But it can start to feel like where am I inside of all of this? Where am I, you know, when we're worried about our kids, and we're trying to, you know, for maintaining our partnerships, our marriages, you get to an age where you realize like, oh, this shit is work. Oh, my God, the context of work, right, is grind and hustle. And then to like, to consider that there's room for joy can be a profound realization for people. Yeah, what's been your experience around being in the awareness of one of the things that's missing in my life is joy. Talk to us a little bit about that. Because that's the other thing like we're so head down, that concept of having joy in our life might not even be on our radar, right? We just know we're tired.

Rachel Macy Stafford 07:08
Exactly, yes. And I think that it's very easy to, you know, I was talking about my dream or girl. And from a pretty early age, you know, middle school, high school, we're being given accolades and reinforcement for, you know, doing the things that society deems as successful or worthy. And so those are not things like playing with your guitar or finger painting, you know, or doing anything that really does delight your heart. And so I think it's very easy. As you pile on the stresses the responsibilities, you know, a lot of us are in the sandwich generation. So we have our kids, we have our parents, and then just to say, well, there's nothing left for me, and I wouldn't even know where to start. But it is not as hard as we think it is to get back to that place. But that's why cultivating that practice of presence, which is the very first chapter and Soul Shift is so important. Because like you said, the awareness piece is everything. Once you become aware, this is how I'm investing my time. And it may be something like, you know, why am I doing this? Why am I spending my time doing this? When one I don't like it, you know, it doesn't fulfill me. So then to start asking ourselves, Am I doing this just because someone expects me to do it? Or maybe because I had to do it growing up, you know, maybe you were the peacemaker in your family. And so you keep going with that role. And then you realize, I'm an adult, I have ownership over how I'm making these choices with my life. And so one of the things of course, I have to go into is boundary setting. Because if you suddenly go, I'm not doing this anymore, this is what feels right to me. Yes, there's probably going to be some pushback, but that's part of your evolution is saying, No, I'm worthy of spending time nurturing myself as

Casey O'Roarty 09:31
well. And I love that your book starts with presence. Because you know, and as I listen to you, reflecting on the things we do, and have done our what has earned us the accolades. And when we consider something like joy, we don't do joy, right? It's something that we get to animate and cultivate and experience and this book really provides really practical ways of creating space for that to grow inside of us. And I just I love that you write at the start of your book. And I captured this because I loved it. The essence of Soul Shift is that it's a life changing journey of uncovering and responding to one's deepest truths in a way that inspires positive change and profound transformation. So, uncovering and responding to one's deepest truths. Can you talk a little bit about what that means for you?

Rachel Macy Stafford 10:29
Yeah. So really, this whole journey of trying to get back to what really matters in my life, it started with a painful truth. And sometimes it's figuring out, well, this is what I don't want my life to look like. And it became very clear to me that I presented myself as someone who had it all together. And I was just, you know, excelling in all these different areas. But when I was honest with myself about, well, how do I get it all done, it's because I miss out on life, I miss the plane, the creating the resting, the connecting, and what I'm missing, I can't get back. And that's probably when I had that realization, it was probably the first time I've really been honest with myself over like, at least a decade, or even more, because it was really easy just to say, I'm going to just keep doing this, because this is what I've always done, this is what people expect me to do. And so being able to tell myself the truth about the situation that I possibly am cutting my life short, because not only is this joyless, but it's stressful. And I could feel it in my body, my blood pressure, just feeling so pull so tight all the time. And of course, then I wasn't being a very kind person to live with. And probably the pain in my children's eyes, when I would be very harsh and snappy with them. Because we were always on a schedule that was part of The Awakening was look at the pain I'm causing. And I'm supposed to be the safe person for them. And so knowing I don't want to be this person who gets upset over really, in the grand scheme of things, stupid, trivial stuff, I don't want to be that person. And I don't want to stand on the outskirts watching everybody else live. And I'm out here, I want to be a joyful participant of my own life. That's what I want. And to know, sometimes you don't know how but you know, it's not this, I don't want this. Yeah.

Casey O'Roarty 13:13
I love that, you know, when I think about and this is something that I really encourage parents to do. And it's a brave step, stepping into that vulnerability, and recognizing that we are on the outside, right that we are holding a rigid schedule because of our to do list. And I think about, you know, a personal experience for me was, you know, my youngest is a junior in high school. And I felt like he has a pretty together and I want him to continue to learn skills around tending to self and, you know, he can get up in the morning and he can make his breath. I don't need to cater to him all the time. And by the way, that our I can do stuff, right? I can do stuff for me. And then over the course of the first half of this particular school year, we kind of came into some really tough times with him. And it would be very easy to highlight where he felt short. But instead, I got to be vulnerable, and face that hard truth that I let what I needed to do, because it was a busy fall, I had exciting things that I got to do. But I also checked out. And it's been so interesting the last few weeks to commit to that morning connection, and making him his breakfast and getting a sandwich made for him to take along in his day. And, you know, things that a little part of like the parent educator in me is our kids should be making their own lunch, you know, and going against that and being like this isn't about I know that he can make his own lunch. This is about offering connection through simply chapter one being present with him in the morning even though we're not Like, you know, deep eye contact and meaningful conversations, I'm just there. Right. And so then lifting up and out of that I have clients that are have kids that are going through the teen years and making the risky choices that we all hope, you know that we have the kids that don't do that, and brain development. And the choices are scary to parents, and they come to me, and they want me to tell them what to do to their kids to get them to stop doing the things. And then it's this tension. Because what I have to offer centers are not around like, here's the rule that you set and what you do when they break it. Instead, I center relationship and communication. And, you know, really, how to generate the most empowerment and okayness. While parenting, especially through the teen years, is our ability to be with ourselves through the hard things that our kids move through and how we show up for them. And that's what I think your book is such a powerful stand for. Right? What are you hearing? And what are your thoughts about that?

Rachel Macy Stafford 16:07
It was interesting, because when you speak about these struggles and mistakes that our teenagers are going to encounter. And at while I was actually writing the book, one of my daughters did go through something extremely traumatic. And I remember the night that I had full realization of just how bad things were. And I remember thinking, this hurts so bad, I can't do this, I cannot do this. And this little voice inside me said, but this is what you've been doing for yourself all along, you have been preparing for this moment, to sit with her in her pain, and not abandon her. Because you know how it is when you make a mistake that has epic proportions. And especially with social media, there are going to be a lot of people who turn their back on you. And so I was the one who said, I'm here, I'm here for this, and I don't care how long it takes, we will get through this. So what you're saying, to be able to learn how to sit with yourself with those uncomfortable feelings. And say, you know, this is part of being human. And I have unhealthy coping mechanisms I can turn to, but I also have coping mechanisms that are healthy and positive. And so to be able, my girls know a lot of my unhealthy coping mechanisms, you know, and it came out really prominently during the first part of the pandemic when everything shut down. And I just felt so untethered. And I felt like, Okay, what am I supposed to do without having that? That schedule? And you know, for me, body image is a really big struggle. And that's right, where I went to that tender part. And my older daughter, Natalie picked up on it pretty quickly. And she was asking me, you know, Hey, Mom, do you want to make sure, like, let's make sure you have lunch? Have you eaten your lunch? And then I after, you know, thinking about I was like, you know, I think I could use some help. And I need to talk to somebody about this issue that has come up for me that I thought I had resolved. So being able to be human with my girls has allowed them to be human with me.

Casey O'Roarty 18:47
Yes, yes. Oh, that is so big. That's so big. And that's what they want. Right? I just released a solo episode where I talk about, especially, I mean, I like to say, especially this particular generation, but it feels like they are willing to I mean, in their unskilled way, they're not like hey, you know, you could be more authentic with me, right? Yeah. Instead, they are showing up in a way that is screaming for us to be real and authentic with them and your level, and relatable and all of our humaneness and it's such an invitation. That's what I heard you just say it's such an invitation for them then to be able to expose their humaneness. It's interesting though, Rachel because that is not as neat and tidy as here's three steps to keep your kids from doing the things right it's not and I got it. I don't know about you, but I crave neat and tidy. I love it when we can just tie it up with a bow. Oh, yeah, send it off. Like it's that life. No, that's not they're not robots. We're not robots

Rachel Macy Stafford 19:57
and what works for one child isn't going to work. work for the next. And that's why the presence is so important. Like when you're making the lunch and your son is there and you're available, he's going to talk to you because you're there. You know, the conversations where you learn things about, okay, whatever I just said, that was not a good thing to say, or this question really opened him up, you know? So getting to know our children, allows us to know how we can support them in those difficult times.

Casey O'Roarty 20:35
Yeah. And even when they're not super talkers, I'm thinking about some of the parents that I work with, who might be thinking like, Well, yeah, mine doesn't really talk, presents opens a door, they get to decide how they step through the doorway, and what it looks like in any particular family, it can just be an energetic exchange in a knowing I'm available. I'm here, and I'm going to be here tomorrow morning. And I'm going to be here next morning, right, I think is so powerful for our teens, and isn't something we do to them. Again, coming back to your work, which, you know, the through line of all of your work is this beautiful, internal experience of, you know, letting go of the things that distract us, and moving towards connection and relationship, which is so in alignment with how I work with parents, too. I just, I love it. Because it's hard. The season of adolescence can be brutal for a variety of reasons, right? Yeah, a variety of reasons. And our hearts. Our mama and papa hearts are so exposed and raw. And every section of your book is so useful in navigating those internal experience that we have, what are your favorite stepping stones, you use the I love the imagery, maybe you can actually let's talk about that talk about the imagery that you use in your book, because I really appreciate it and feel like it's so relatable.

Rachel Macy Stafford 22:03
Okay, thank you. So the setting for the Soul Shift journey is kind of like a metaphorical garden, where there's no like set paths, it's a place that can become a place to explore, and discover and nurture and grow. And there are stepping stones along the way. Because you don't just get from, you know, like a painful truth that I mentioned, I am missing my life you don't get from I'm missing my life to the healing truth of, I'm worthy of showing up for every moment of my life, you don't just get from A to B, there's a process that you have to go through and small steps that you have to take before you realize I am worthy of showing up for every moment of my life. And so these stepping stones are just incremental ways of getting closer to what path because your path to becoming your most authentic, joyful self is not going to be the same as mine. But what is universal is that first, the first stepping stone is we become aware, just, you know, going inward and saying, Hmm, what am I missing in my life? What do I not want to miss? So the book kind of walks through these questions. And then you go to like, okay, so what do I need to be equipped for developing this practice of presence. So that's another stepping stone. And then you just go through these little steps, until you get to the big thing, which is like the habit shift. So the habit shift is making a list of when I feel the closest to what matters. And when I feel the farthest from what mattered. And by going through those steps, you have a pretty good idea of what those are. So then you can start to make choices that puts you in those conditions that you want to be there are simple, there's, I mean, they're hard but simple. Like one of my favorite things that I feel the closest to what matters is riding in the car with Avery who's 16. She always rolls down the window like almost like a dog likes to roll down the window. And she rolls down the window and she sticks her arm out. And we usually have the music up and she harmonizes with the radio and she looks and feels and sounds so free. And it's something that we just we do that together. And that's when I feel the closest to what matters. Now. That doesn't happen by accident. You know, I'll have To say, Hey, you want to take a drive? Five out of 10 times? No, I don't. I'm busy. But five out of 10. That's

Casey O'Roarty 25:07
pretty good. It's not bad.

Rachel Macy Stafford 25:09
It's not bad. I mean, sometimes there's a Starbucks stop in there, you

Casey O'Roarty 25:13
know, kind of sweeten the deal.

Rachel Macy Stafford 25:14
Yeah. But it's just like, putting ourselves in these conditions in situations where we can just let go and breathe. And I just, I feel like, we have to give ourselves permission, almost, it's very strange, because it's like you said, it's not what you're gonna get the accolades for. Because you can't see connection, you can't see joy. There's nothing to show for that. Not like a good to do list like, Oh, check that off, check that off. But as we've discussed, living a checklist, life is a joyous life. And it can be a short life, if you live completely stressed out, yeah.

Casey O'Roarty 26:06
I love that. And I love the way that you've broken it down. And I think going back to what you said, you know, i going from that idea, from one place to the other, I think we are really good at I am worthy of being present in my life. And we can say that out loud. And we can appreciate that in our heads. But then really experiencing that requires these small practices. And I really also love closer far away, is this taking me closer towards or away from I think that's such a powerful practice opportunity, it's a great thing to journal to bring into the prompts that we use for journaling. I think it's so powerful and visualizing, Avery, especially considering we've known each other for a long time. And when we initially spoke, you know, our kids were so much younger, and I've watched Avery, you know, through social media grow and heard her saying in some of the posts that you've shared with us, and I can really imagine, I mean, it almost I can't imagine that you're not balling. Sometimes, yeah. It's the freedom, like I can feel that visceral, that freedom that's created in those moments in it might look different at my house or at somebody else's house. But what's really planning for me is that we get to create space for these opportunities, we get to create space for these opportunities. And when you know, and I'm looking at my planner over here, and when it's a jam packed, there's no room for that space. And so, yes, and it's it is it's all about integration and practice. So talk about what some of your favorite ways, like what are some of your non negotiable practices in your day, that are your stepping stones towards presence and self worth? And I mean, we only have so much time, there's so many great chapters in your book and what we can generate for ourselves. But what are some of your favorites?

Rachel Macy Stafford 28:11
Well, so one of the things, the reason that we don't give ourselves the time and space is oftentimes we feel guilty, we think, well, I shouldn't be doing this for myself. And so the practice of self worth, I think that's chapter three is really important, because you can't give yourself the things you need to thrive unless you deem yourself worthy. Well, I've spent a lot of decades saying, you know, I'm not enough. This is not enough. And so one of my practices that I've learned is, and I know it's very cliche, but it works. And when I say to myself things like, I'm so unmotivated. I give myself this self sabotaging statement, like I'm so motivated, or I shouldn't take this time for myself, or I can just push off this doctor's appointment, I don't have time for it. So what I've been trying to do is recognize that as that's a negative self sabotaging statement that I'm making to myself now, would I say to my daughter, you are so unmotivated. I would never say that. I would not say you don't deserve to go to the doctor, you have too much to do. I would never say that to my daughter to my friend. And so all I do is like shift that to talking to myself in a compassionate way. In kind of like, almost like, I step back from myself and see, you know, here's Rachel. Rachel is working very hard. Rachel's tired. Rachel might not feel motivated right now, but that doesn't mean she won't feel motivated tomorrow. It's not Everything's not about getting things done. So I'll talk about myself. I just kind of have this impartial view of the situation instead of sabotaging myself. And so learning to speak, in a compassionate way to myself, has allowed me to open up more opportunities for growth and nurturing, and to be able to practice it with my daughters who also self sabotage. And then I can have that compassionate voice and kind of, you know, we get really unrealistic sometimes when we berate ourselves. And it was like, oh, like, you know, you say, I should be over this by now. And you say, but your dog just died two weeks ago? Come on, give yourself a break, you know? So that's that kind of voice that I'm cultivating inside me. Is it my default response? No. But I'm learning to pause and say, Wait a minute, why should I be against myself when I should be for myself. And one of my other favorite practices, that I also started during the beginning of the pandemic, when everybody in my house was home all the time, and I was used to having alone time. And so I would go to appointments, or, you know, if I had a meeting or something, I would go. And I would always create this buffer between whatever it was that I had to go and do in the outside world, before I came home, I started putting it a little pop up chair in my trunk, and I would get that pop up chair out, and I would sit in it for about 20 minutes. Sometimes it was in a parking lot. But I just was like, I'm going to just be here, right now, usually, I would have a book, and you know, something, some historical fiction that I could get really lost in. And I still do that I keep that chair in the back of my car. And I will just get it out and pop it up and be like, you know, I just need a little time right now for myself. And that's one of the most loving things that we can do is to listen to ourselves when we say, I just need to catch my breath.

Casey O'Roarty 32:23
Yeah. I love that practice. And I love to really what you're speaking to, for me is something you know, as going through Life Coach School, they talk about supporting clients and expanding their observer, right? Because we look at situations like why I want to take care of myself, but I have all these other things to do. And I can't find a solution. And when we can move through being in the experience to lifting up and out of the experience. Yeah, right. There's the self that's in the experience. But then there's the self that is observing us in the experience. And that's what I'm hearing you talk about and more we can remember that self exists. That's even I mean, that's the capital S self, right is the one that's seeing us like, going through the motions and caught up in our shit. And it's like, no, that's just ego. That's just conditioning. That's just yeah, you know, and to be able to lift up and out what does she need? Right, exactly. And so many more opportunities and possibilities. Like, you know what, I'm going to put a folding chair in my trunk. Yeah, that's an idea. Let's see how that works, I think is so profound. And I'm trying to remember where my camp chair is now so that I can

Rachel Macy Stafford 33:40
find a blanket to

Casey O'Roarty 33:44
Yes, yes, I love that. I know, right, where I'd go sit along the, you know, the route to town where I live. And so I appreciate that share big time. And yet again, speaking of time, Rachel, I wish we lived in the same town, I would love to just wake us apart. I know, I know, I'm so grateful to you, like I said at the top and all of your work. And it's so good. And so you know, I hope that the listeners really recognize how poignant all of this work is to the experience of being a woman or a man, sorry, dads, I always leave them out or a man and identifying, you know, what it is that we need, and how it ripples into who we be for our kids as they move through adolescence. So as we wrap up, is there anything else you want to make sure that you leave listeners with today, Rachel,

Rachel Macy Stafford 34:42
one of the things that I've learned to shift and I don't know if anybody else says this to themselves, but I find myself if I'm not performing the way that I think I should be or the way that society tells me I'll say to myself, what What's wrong with me? What's wrong with me? Like, why can I do this? Why can't I just get up and get going? And I've learned

Casey O'Roarty 35:07
especially you, especially you, come on, you're the writer, you're the blogger like directly people

Rachel Macy Stafford 35:12
counting on you. They need your inspiration. You have

Casey O'Roarty 35:15
to have it together for any of us. Yes, I get that big time I get that.

Rachel Macy Stafford 35:20
So when I say to myself, what's wrong with you? I immediately know that I need to ask myself, what do you need right now? What do you need right now. And oftentimes, it's just a little more time, a little gentleness, you know, and I say, just because I'm not doing it today, doesn't mean I won't be ready tomorrow. And I think that was one of the most profound things that I learned through Avery, who was always my notice, or stop and smell the roses, she went by the beat of her own drum. And I remember the first time I told her, she could take her time. And she just lit up, like, just radiant joy when I said, It's okay, baby, take your time. And I thought, oh, my gosh, did you see what that did to her? And I thought, gosh, what can I do for myself? If I stop pressuring myself all the time to keep up with what, you know, what are we hurrying for? If we stop and think about it, we're missing our life. If we keep that pace, and you know, back to square one where we started?

Casey O'Roarty 36:38
Yeah, yeah. It's beautiful. What does joyful courage mean to you today?

Rachel Macy Stafford 36:44
Joyful courage. Today, I think it just means knowing that when we show up as our truest, most real self, we get a chance to experience true belonging. Because for the longest time, I thought, I can't tell anyone how I'm really feeling about this. I can't admit that I'm struggling. And what I found was, I never really connected to people until I began telling the truth about how I was feeling and who I am. That's where true belonging is born. And that's, to me the joyful courage, those moments when you connect with somebody on that level, soul to soul level, there's nothing like it in the world. And you can be both going through a horrible struggle. And for them to say, I know, I'm here, you are not alone. That is, it's healing. It's life changing. And so I just the courage part about showing up as your most authentic self, we don't have to be afraid. I mean, we are going to be scared. It is scary to show your true self. But the rewards of that, to meet someone in that light of realness. I accept you as you are, and you accept me as I am. There's nothing like it in the whole world.

Casey O'Roarty 38:27
Thank you for that. Where can people find you and follow your work and get your new book?

Rachel Macy Stafford 38:33
Yeah, so my blog is hands free. mama.com. And I still belong, which is a very rare thing these days.

Casey O'Roarty 38:42
We're all glad that you do. Thank you for sticking with that.

Rachel Macy Stafford 38:46
I can't get everything I want to say in like a 200 word soundbite. This doesn't work for me. And I'm trying to be my authentic self. So I keep writing the longer versions on my blog, but if you want the shorter ones, you can go to hands free revolution on Facebook and Instagram. And then my new book Soul Shift is being sold anywhere you like to buy your books. And you know, it's great if you can support the local bookstore and ask them to get a copy, which then helps the bookstore realize, oh, maybe I should get some more copies, which then helps me

Casey O'Roarty 39:20
yeah, yes. Beautiful. Well, thank you again, so much for hanging out with me. This was such a treat.

Rachel Macy Stafford 39:26
I enjoyed it, too. Thank you so so much.

Casey O'Roarty 39:37
Thank you so much for listening in today. Thank you so much to my spreadable partners, Julieta and Alana as well as Danielle and Chris Mann and the team at pod shaper for all the support with getting this show out there and helping it to sound so good. Check out our offers for parents with kids of all ages and sign up for our newsletter to stay better acted at beat sprout double.com tune back in on Monday for a brand new interview and I will be back solo with you next Thursday Have a great day

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