Hi, this is Jenny Kierstead and Sophia Rae, a Mother-Daughter duo. We’ve been through a lot together the last few years. As we moved through COVID self-isolation, we also dealt with our own traumatic grief from the massacre here in NS, which claimed the life of Jenny’s sister, and Sophia’s Aunt, Lisa McCully. We decided to channel our desire to spark a light amidst the darkness by creating this podcast.Our hope for this podcast is to ignite honest, whole-hearted conversations that bridge the generational gap, heal trauma and light the path for a healthy, united future.
Repair and Recovery: The key to lasting relationships
This stellar conversation is the fourth and final episode (for now) with our champion guest speaker, Sophia's Dad, and my hubby, Blair Abbass. We begin with updates on our lives since we chose to postpone our pod to give our chat with Cindy Thompson from A Resilience Project Podcast its full moment in the sun. It was a difficult one, but a beautifully honest chat on our journey and how we're doing post trauma. If you haven't listened yet, visit:
We also had the honor of speaking with Nancy Regan on The Canadian Love Map, about our mother-daughter relationship and how we make it work. To listen, visit:
Sophia starts by letting us in on all the big decisions and growth she's doing in her final year of public school. It's so amazing to hear her perspective on these colossal choices like which uni to attend etc.
I share about my new, and thankfully fully treatable diagnosis, and the symbolism behind learning to skillfully use my voice.
We then move into our conversation with this amazing therapist and educator, Blair Abbass, who opens the topic of repair by emphasizing the hazards of blindly blaming others.
We dive into the whole idea of repair, what it means to each of us and why it's essential if we are to have healthy, lasting relationships. Personal responsibility, self-worth, education and boundaries are but a few solutions we discuss.
What about you? What does repair mean to you and what's required in order to return to love with those who matter most in your life? We encourage you to discuss this concept with your people, perhaps using this episode as a conversation starter.
As always, we want to hear how it goes and know that we appreciate every rating and response you share with us.
Peace to all, Sophia, Jenny and Blair
Let's talk about our red flags...ft Blair Abbass
In this third episode of our four part mini series on relationships with therapist, mindfulness teacher and educator, Blair Abbass, we discuss everything from dysfunctional relationships and red flags to healthy connections and green flags. We each share three red flags that arouse a sense of caution in us, such as addiction, criticism and lack of accountability. Given that Blair is my husband and Sophia's dad, we all found this conversation enlightening as we learned something we didn't know about each other.
We invite you to have this conversation with your family members too, which might lead to possibilities for healthier connections within your family unit.
What we didn't know about when we recorded this episode was that there's such a thing as beige flags. Can anyone explain?
As always, we hope this discussion helps to shine a light on unhealthy ways of relating so that we can all make relationship choices that support our wellbeing on every level.
Here's to healthy, compassionate and emotionally available connections!
Foster Healthy Relationships with the Law of Attraction
In this touching and informative family conversation, we discuss the popular phrase 'law of attraction' with regards to attracting partnerships. I start off by reminding us that our intimate relationships are the most important choice we'll ever make, so it's worth our time and reflection. Our guest, Blair Abbass (my husband and Sophia's father), shares about his conditioned attraction to blond haired, blue eyed women because of his catholic upbringing and the loving nurse that cared for him as a child, which he had to dismantle this in order to recognize the soul connection he felt with me.
I share about how I took on finding a life partner with intense vigor and focus back in my twenties, having had mentors in the past who demonstrated what I didn't want. I learned through the process that I had to shift from that negative focus to what it was I actually did want in a life partner.
Blair, of course, was very keen to hear Sophia's list for her own future partner, which included a very mature list of qualities. She spoke about how obsessed our society is on beauty and how much young people place so much emphasis on appearances, which is one of her insecurities. Listen in for Sophia's list of qualities for her future person, Blair's admission about how many times a week he apologizes for messing up and how we choose to love each other despite our imperfections.
Summer 2023 Wrap up- Camp highlights, Epiphanies, Meeting the Prime Minister....
Join us for our Summer 2023 Wrap up and Reflection!
The practice of 'recapitulation' is a meaningful way of closing any experience, or season.
Reflecting on the last season helps us to deepen our insight and savour the goodness we've enjoyed.
This is what Sophia and I discuss in this episode, as we share:
1. A peak experience
2. A lesson learned
3. A funny memory.
Neither one of us knew what story we were going to share so it was a fun surprise.
Tune in for an insightful, honest and hilarious conversation about our summer highlights!
As we walk this journey together, we invite you to do your own reflection with your family and friends.
The three categories we discussed are:
What was a peak experience you had?
What about a lesson you learned?
And a funny memory you have?
We'd love to hear your stories too, so feel free to email us with your responses.
Mini series: Let's chat about intimate relationships- an introduction
In this episode with our repeat guest, the one and only Blair Abbass, we share a surprisingly serious and deep conversation about intimate relationships. After 22 years of being together, we continue to refine and define our partnership, and we share the details of our winning formula. As a witness to our relationship, and a participant within the family unit, Sophia has unique observations and insights that she also contributes, like our relentless willingness to return to love and let the past go.
This episode of SPARK is the introduction to a three part series on intimate relationships, because we feel passionate about the love we've cultivated and we know how crucially important healthy relationships are for our overall well being and longevity as humans on the journey.
Unveiling the Truth about Self Harm
In this moving and emotional episode, Sophia and I have a very real conversation about the prevalence of self-harm (TW).
We want to be clear that we discuss this topic in it's broadest sense, not by what is presented in the DSM-5, which describes self-harm as:
Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI), is defined as the deliberate, self-inflicted destruction of body tissue without suicidal intent, which includes behaviors such as cutting, burning, biting and scratching skin.
We chose to discuss this topic through the lens of any coping mechanism that causes harm to ourselves, be it physical, mental or emotional means.
And let me tell you, I've come a long way from where I was as a teen.
I, Jenny, share vulnerably about my experience with self-harm and the oppositional light and dark parts within me, that reflected both my longing to live and my longing for relief from my suffering.
Throughout the conversation, I recognize the beauty and importance of feeling sadness about the memory of self-harm, because it speaks to the part of me that does love myself and wants me to live well.
We discuss a few of the causes of self-harm, which largely stem from trauma, abuse and mental health issues.
We identify key steps we can take for moving from self-harm to self-help and ways we can support others who are suffering.
Jenny and Sophia speak to the tough stuff of life and convey their profound joy, at the same time. I’m touched by the respect they have for one another; it shines through in these conversations. A wonderful podcast for moms, daughters, and anyone seeking inspiration.
I’ve never stayed up so late at night until I started listening to Sophia’s and Jenny’s podcast, it truly is amazing how much work and dedication they put In to these podcasts where nothing can describe how tremendously amazing they are. The collaborations they have with other people with a story to tell is really powerful and they always bring the positive vibes to every subject they talk about.
Keep up the good work!!
I was trying to find a word that would describe how great this podcast is but there is no word in the English dictionary that can describe how good this podcast is. Sophia and Jenny make the podcast so welcoming that when you click the play button, it’s like going to youre grandmas house and smelling cookies in the oven, it doesn’t get much better. Thank you Sophia and Jenny.