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Your intrepid host is no longer a twenty-something trying to figure stuff out--as of this past July, I'm now a thirty-something trying to figure stuff out! To mark the occasion, this past summer I asked previous Perennials guests to share some wisdom about the third decade of life. They delivered reflections on what they let go of when leaving thei…
 
In today's episode, I'm talking to Maria Bowler, a contemplative artist, spiritual director, and enneagram guide. We discuss the mysterious roots of the enneagram, and Maria shares her unique way of differentiating the nine different types, as well as ways to think about identifying our own type. I ask Maria some of my most burning questions about …
 
Today, I'm talking about couples therapy with Dr. Nadia Nieves, PhD, a limited license therapist in New York City. Nadia works with couples using an integrated approach of relational psychodynamic, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) interventions. She prioritizes supporting her clients in learning how to understand…
 
In today's episode, my friend Danica Browne and I are unpacking themes from the novel The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. This is a book about unlived lives, regret, possibility, and hope. In this episode, Danica and I are talking about how these themes play out in our own lives. We discuss living vicariously through fictional characters, the subtle…
 
In today's shorter, solo episode, I'm talking about wanting something, trying and striving for something, sitting with uncertainty, anxiety and excitement, entertaining romantic ideas and fantasies about greener grass, and ultimately, being disappointed. It's so common in early adulthood, with so much uncertainty coming from all angles, to feel res…
 
My sister Felicia Russell and I are continuing and concluding our conversation about Taylor Swift's album Folklore with an exploration of themes like commitment, communication, betrayal, and escape. We share personal stories from our own lives about things falling apart and coming together, just like they do in the songs we're unpacking today. And,…
 
In today's episode, my sister Felicia Russell and I are unpacking wisdom from a little-known indie album we found in the back of a dusty old record shop...okay, just kidding. We're close-reading one of the most talked-about albums of 2020, Taylor Swift's Folklore. Our little romantic English and History-loving hearts skip a beat as we unpack each t…
 
There's something about springtime that can bring a renewed sense of energy and a desire to declutter, freshen up, make space, and look forward with hopefulness. That's why I decided to talk to Monica Geller and Danny Tanner--I mean, sorry, my cleanest and most organized friends and previous Perennials guests Melissa Adamo and Jessica Gaeta. Join u…
 
In Part 2 of our conversation about learning to parent ourselves, Sheryl Paul and I get into even deeper and richer territory--the territory of heart and soul. We talk about tuning into what's happening in our bodies and in our hearts, and having patience and compassion for whatever we find. We talk about both reaching out for connection and streng…
 
My first-ever Perennials guest is back! This time, beloved therapist and author (whom I'm lucky to call my aunt!) Sheryl Paul and I are talking about learning to parent ourselves. This topic comes up a lot in Sheryl's work as a therapist: the practice of strengthening the part of ourselves that can hold space for big feelings, offer ourselves and o…
 
In today's episode, I'm talking to Shannon K Evans about themes from her book Embracing Weakness: The Unlikely Secret to Changing the World. Shannon is an author, speaker, contemplative and advocate who demonstrates how embracing our need for each other can lead us to greater connection, freedom and love. We talk about how she met her edges in miss…
 
Today’s episode is a reflection on seasons and being in between seasons. In the month of March here in New Jersey, we have one foot in winter, one in spring. Similarly, I began this podcast out of a sense of feeling in between life seasons in the decade of my 20s--not quite an adolescent, not quite an adult. This episode is an exploration of how ou…
 
Jessica Kradjel and I continue our conversation about friendship in today's episode. Jess describes her experience of creating a close chosen family and living community with two of her college friends in their early-mid 20s, and what it’s been like to maintain that friendship once they moved to different places. We also talk about rekindling frien…
 
In today’s episode, I’m talking to my friend of almost twenty years, Jessica Kradjel. We trace the trajectory of our friendship from light rivalry in sixth grade Chorus class to long distance love throughout college and beyond. During this trip down memory lane, we explore some of the common experiences we and many others have faced in the realm of…
 
Today, I'm talking to Zachary Cox. Zac is a Ph.D. student in the Disaster Science and Management program at The University of Delaware, and since April 2020 he has interviewed almost 100 people from different walks of life to find out how they've been affected by and are responding to the disaster of the covid-19 pandemic. In our conversation today…
 
Today's episode is about the very grown-up topic of money. So many young adults, like myself, enter into a tough job market with a ton of student debt, little financial education, and no idea how to afford rent. It's easy to feel completely overwhelmed, and to avoid looking at or making a plan for your finances, or to obsessively worry about any sp…
 
Today's guest is my aunt, Lizzie Finn. We're talking about how Lizzie has grown through some difficult experiences in midlife (including chronic illness, divorce and empty nest syndrome) and the commonality she finds with young adults asking questions about identity, purpose and true happiness. Lizzie talks about attending to past wounds and trauma…
 
Amber Haines is the author of Wild in the Hollow: On Chasing Desire and Finding the Broken Way Home (2015), a spiritual memoir about her search for freedom, belonging and true intimacy with God. Amber's book traces her path from an Evangelical childhood in Alabama to her rebellious teen years and into marriage and motherhood, all while trying to fi…
 
This special episode invites you to think about how you can use your imagination to tap into different parts of yourself, parts that can see your gifts and strengths and offer you compassion and care. In the first half of the episode, I give some background and context about my own resistance to visualizations and why I used to get angry when thera…
 
Recently, Khay Muhammad called me up to ask if we could do a follow-up to our conversation for Episode 45: Belonging in Yoga. Khay explained to me that something important was missing from that episode, and she wanted to make it right. This episode is for Khay to explain what (or rather, who) was missing--and why. It's a conversation about patriarc…
 
Maya Sanyal and I continue our conversation about purpose by getting a little deeper and more philosophical. Maya talks about how she responds to questions that many of us ask ourselves at some point in our lives when we are faced with trying for something: “Who cares?” “Why does it matter?” and “Who do I think I am?” Maya believes it is possible t…
 
Maya Sanyal is many things: a career and academic counselor; a mentor and teacher; a writer; a friend; a loving dog mom; a passion skeptic; a purveyor of hope; a business woman. In Part 1 of our conversation, Maya and I talk about her career trajectory, which includes navigating the communal culture she comes from and the individualistic culture of…
 
Ysabel Gonzalez and I continue our conversation about the poems in her collection Wild Invocations, which traces her journey from girlhood to womanhood. With fire and tenderness, these poems explore relationships and identity, expectations and disappointments, vulnerability and strength. Ysabel shares how poems help her express different parts of h…
 
Ysabel Gonzalez's full-length collection of poetry, Wild Invocations (published by Get Fresh Books in 2019), is a juicy, earthy, sparkly, raw, raucous, contemplative gem. I'm lucky to call Ysabel my friend as well as my colleague at the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, where she is Assistant Director of the Poetry Program. In Part 1, Ysabel and I tal…
 
Today's episode features a truly delightful guest: Florence Hamer, a woodworker who lives in her self-built tiny house, and spends her time carving spoons, turning bowls, enjoying nature and baking cakes. In our conversation, Flo describes the path that led her to her beautiful tiny home, from growing up on her mother's woodland, to learning to car…
 
Multimedia artist (and previous Perennials guest!) Marina Carreira is here to talk about creativity during covid-19. We discuss who gets to claim the title "creative," the importance of carving out creative time and rest time, and the practice of finding beauty in the mundane. Marina reminds us that if all we have energy for right now is survival, …
 
Khay Muhammad is a yoga teacher who deeply understands the importance of creating true inclusion and belonging in her classes -- for her students and for herself. Khay and I talk about her childhood growing up in the city of Newark, New Jersey, spending long days with her father in Branch Brook Park and learning about her connection to nature. She …
 
Today's guests Lauren Burke and Hannah K Chapman are hosts of the podcast Bonnets at Dawn, which explores the lives, work and fandom of women writers from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Lauren and Hannah share some of the wisdom they've taken from authors like Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell and Louisa May Alcott. You'll hear a…
 
I'm so grateful for this conversation with Zoe Gillis, a licensed marriage and family therapist who in today's episode is helping us to get as grounded as we can and try to stay present during a time of great global anxiety. There's a lot of uncertainty right now, and a lot that we can't control. Zoe reminds us to focus on what we can control; to m…
 
During this difficult and strange time of social distancing amidst a pandemic, I wanted to offer some extra comfort and connection. So I decided to start a Perennials Podcast Book Club! Thanks to all who voted on Instagram and via e-mail for our first Book Club pick: Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery. In addition to my typical conversation e…
 
Gillian Herbert is an avid hiker and rock climber who hiked the Appalachian Trail after high school graduation, which led her to reassess her plans for college and inspired her to study biology. Gillian is now a fourth year veterinary student. Gillian and I talk about how the AT helped her gain more confidence in herself and widen her ideas about w…
 
In episode 40, one of my dreams comes true--I get to have a conversation with a producer for the podcast that made me fall in love with podcasts, On Being with Krista Tippett. Lily Percy is one of the founding members who brought On Being to independence in 2013; she's also the host of the delightful podcast This Movie Changed Me, and formerly work…
 
Some of the most common myths about love that we hear over and over again can create real anxiety and distress for people who begin to believe that there's something wrong with them, their partner, or their relationship when their experience doesn't match those myths. Today's episode is about unpacking some of our false beliefs and confronting the …
 
As we in the Northern Hemisphere contend with shorter, darker days and the coming of winter, as well as the busy end-of-year and holiday season, it can be easy to become overwhelmed. With just about a week left until Christmas, I'm talking to Spiritual Director Karen Florance about the season of advent and how we can take time to slow down, check i…
 
At just sixteen years old, Ananya Singh is the CEO of Greening Forward, a youth-led environmental organization, and is Partnerships Coordinator for the New Jersey Student Sustainability Coalition. Ananya’s passion for activism ignited when she was twelve years old and attended the Youth Empowered Action Camp. Since then, she’s learned a lot about w…
 
This episode is for anyone (like myself) who cares about humanity and wants to get more informed about how our government works and how to be more civically active, but who has struggled with feeling overwhelmed or even repulsed by our political system and the process of voting. In the U.S. this week, there are 49,000 elections happening across 34 …
 
For the first ever Perennials Podcast live show, I sat down with Dr. Jill Cermele, professor of Psychology at Drew University, who teaches a course called "The Psychology of Harry Potter." We talked all about what J.K. Rowling's fantasy series can teach us about growing up, getting wise and trying to live a good life. What can we learn about identi…
 
In today’s episode, I’m talking with my (nine years younger, nine inches taller) sister Felicia Russell about what she’s learned from ten years in the world of theater. Felicia has performed in nineteen musicals or plays over the course of the past ten years, and has auditioned for somewhere around 40 or 50. Her first public performance was at our …
 
Do you get anxiety about traveling? Me too! But that's okay, because we can manage it. Anxiety doesn't have to keep us locked in our homes all the time. In addition to whatever treatment methods we're using to manage anxiety in our everyday lives, there are some basic practices that we can take with us wherever we go. In today's episode, I'm sharin…
 
In Part Two of our conversation, Jessie and I are talking about how obsession with purity and perfection leads to destructive thoughts and behaviors. We talk about common motivations behind restrictive diets and how food can get wrapped up with a person's sense of self-worth and belonging. We also discuss how fatphobia and judgment show up everywhe…
 
Jessie Haims is an incredible woman--a survivor of cancer and orthorexia, a yoga teacher and student of exercise and nutrition, she has become a fearless voice against diet culture. Jessie developed a disordered relationship to food at just eight years old, a relationship that continued for nearly two decades. Last year, at age 26, she was diagnose…
 
Alex Baron is not a babysitter. When he wakes up with his daughter at 5:30 a.m., when he changes her diapers or feeds her, he’s not doing it because he has to or because his wife asked him to--he’s doing it because he wants to. Because he loves being Addison’s dad. Recent studies from the Pew Research Center show that American fathers who live with…
 
A few years ago, Mallory Mortillaro was a 22-year-old college graduate and middle school English teacher putting her Art History degree to good use doing part-time archival work. One day on the job, she discovered, tucked in the corner of a town council chamber, a lost Rodin statue. So began a one-year journey to officially authenticating the marbl…
 
In today's episode, the tables have been turned--I'm the one answering questions! Lauren Roberts, previously my guest in Episode 23, is interviewing me about the origins of the podcast, and my current take on the themes of "growing up, getting wise and trying to live a good life." We talk about my post-grad quarter life crisis, slowly shedding the …
 
Jessica Gaeta is your new favorite Jersey Italian mom. She's loud, she's funny, she makes a mean lasagna, and she's got the biggest heart. I sat down with Jess to pick her brain about her relationship to resiliency and adversity, how she coped after losing both of her parents by the time she was 20 years old, and how humor helps her find light even…
 
David Crews is author of Wander-Thrush: Lyric Essays of the Adirondacks and High Peaks, a poetry collection that catalogs his hiking of the “Adirondack 46ers” in upstate New York. David talks about his passion for wild and rugged terrain, why he doesn’t bring a phone or camera on his hikes, and how he strives to become more present in nature and in…
 
Cindy Goncalves is a Luso-American queer, feminist twenty-something, the daughter of immigrants currently working as a school counselor. In today's episode, she and I talk about her experience of sex education growing up, and what she later learned as a sex-positive educator. We talk about how she “stumbled upon” her own sexuality as a teenager, th…
 
Dr. Grisel Y. Acosta is a woman containing multitudes. She’s an Afro-Latina tattooed professor-poet, a leader and a loner, a fighter and lover who evades easy categorization. In today's episode, we're talking about the influence of Grisel's activist parents and what it was like to grow up in Chicago as a minister's daughter and a punk rocker who lo…
 
I don't know about you, but when I hear the word "healing" I often think of serene images: meditating on a beach at sunrise, receiving a gentle massage, drinking a cup of herbal tea. But as Lauren Roberts says in today's episode, healing is not pretty. It's not linear, it's not easy, and it can be downright confusing, especially in the realms we're…
 
In today's episode, I'm sharing some bits of wisdom from the book currently on my nightstand: The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien. This weekend, I'll be making a trip to the White Mountains of New Hampshire and celebrating my 28th birthday. With thoughts about journeys and lessons and Tolkien's words all percolating in my mind, I decided to re…
 
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