148 episodes

Are you a mom who is ready to live a truly E.P.I.C. life? A few months before a big milestone birthday, host Julie Neale, a life and leadership coach, community builder and mom to two high-energy boys, decided to stop sidelining her dreams and become the hero of her own journey. She created this show to help light her way by gathering words of wisdom and lessons learned from other mothers further ahead on their quest. Join in for intimate conversations with a diverse group of inspiring mothers as they share how they are living an E.P.I.C. life, engaging mindfully with their children (E), passionately and purposefully making a difference beyond their family (P), investing in themselves (I), and connecting to a strong support network (C). Come along with Julie and you are sure to find some treasures of your own.

Mother's Quest Podcast Julie Neale

    • Kids & Family
    • 4.9 • 50 Ratings

Are you a mom who is ready to live a truly E.P.I.C. life? A few months before a big milestone birthday, host Julie Neale, a life and leadership coach, community builder and mom to two high-energy boys, decided to stop sidelining her dreams and become the hero of her own journey. She created this show to help light her way by gathering words of wisdom and lessons learned from other mothers further ahead on their quest. Join in for intimate conversations with a diverse group of inspiring mothers as they share how they are living an E.P.I.C. life, engaging mindfully with their children (E), passionately and purposefully making a difference beyond their family (P), investing in themselves (I), and connecting to a strong support network (C). Come along with Julie and you are sure to find some treasures of your own.

    Knowing Our History: Civil Rights Insights for Today’s World with Sojourn Project's Jeff Steinberg

    Knowing Our History: Civil Rights Insights for Today’s World with Sojourn Project's Jeff Steinberg

    I’m honored to share this special Father’s Day edition of the Mother’s Quest Podcast. This episode features my friend  Jeff Steinberg, whose commitment to the lessons of the civil rights movement can shine a light for us now, during another pivotal time in our nation’s history.
    Jeff and I first crossed paths when our sons, Ryan and Journey, now 20 years old, became inseparable friends in preschool. While waiting to pick up our kids, I instantly connected with Jeff as I learned about the transformative work he was doing as Executive Director of Sojourn to the Past, also known as the Sojourn Project.
    Years before I would create Mother’s Quest, Jeff modeled the power of forging his own purposeful path. After 14 years of teaching A.P. American History, Jeff founded Sojourn to move beyond the limitations of the classroom, delving students into the lessons of the civil rights movement and bringing history to life. 
    Through week-long journeys to the South, students visit historic locations, delve into primary source materials, hear from Civil Rights icons, and engage in deep discussions. By stepping out of the classroom, students are immersed in a shared history not covered in our textbooks. They return empowered to drive personal, social, and civic change in their own communities.
    Since his first trip in 1999, Jeff has received tremendous recognition for his impact, receiving state and national awards including The Coretta Scott King A.N.G.E.L. (Advancing Nonviolence Through Generations of Exceptional Leadership) Award and the National Arts and Humanities Youth Programs Award. He has led over 19,000 students and community adults on these transformative journeys, shaping their futures in profound ways.

    I loved this opportunity to go deep with Jeff into the lessons learned through Sojourn, the belief that ordinary people can do extraordinary things and that we all have a role to play to speak out against injustice. Jeff shares honestly about his own personal grappling with our nation’s history, the principles of nonviolence, and the issues we face today, including the horrors unfolding in Israel and Palestine and the student protests here. While you might not agree with everything he says, I hope the thoughtful perspectives he shares inspires you, as it did me, to say yes to a sojourn trip of your own and to move with authenticity into your own transformational activism. 
    Topics Discussed in this Episode
    How Jeff’s family and particularly his older brother, who played speeches of MLK and Bobby Kennedy while Jeff was growing up, influenced his commitment to social justice. 
    Jeff’s path from teaching A.P. American History to founding Sojourn to the Past, bringing civil rights history to life through immersive student journeys.
    The importance of connecting our children, in developmentally appropriate ways, to our nation’s challenges and how Jeff raised his sons to explore their own authentic path to allyship.
    The impact of the principles of nonviolence on Jeff’s life and how finding his own inner peace is a work in progress. 
    The work Sojourn is doing to reform policing and the justice system through bringing officers and district attorneys on the trips. 
    Why shame and guilt are destructive feelings and how to shift to empowerment and responsibility instead. 
    The lack of knowledge of our shared history and who Jeff believes are our nation’s real founding fathers and mothers. 
    Jeff’s personal reflections on the horrors unfolding in Israel and Palestine and the responsibility he feels as an American Jew to speak out against the oppression of the Palestinian people. 
    His respect for student activism and the conversation he recently had with a student protester at one of the university encampments. 
    The importance of dialogue, reciprocity, and building shared compassion.
     
    About Jeff Steinberg
    After 14 years of teaching Advanced Placement U.S. History, “Mr. St

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Milestone Hike Revisited: A Mother Son Neurodiversity Journey

    Milestone Hike Revisited: A Mother Son Neurodiversity Journey

    Welcome to this first episode of Season Nine of the Mother’s Quest Podcast with a returning and special guest, my own son Ryan Neale.
    I first sat down to record an episode with Ryan in 2017, on his 13th birthday, after we embarked on a milestone hike, using the ascent and descent at our local Sugarloaf Peak to pack up the lessons of his first 13 years of life and my first 13 years of motherhood. 
    At that time, Ryan knew he wanted to close out his teenage years the same way he began them. So this past March, in what felt like the blink of an eye, his 20th birthday approached and Ryan returned from college so we could set out on the trail again.

    Though the path was familiar, we soon recognized just how much we each had grown, maturing through heartache and triumph in our own ways.

    We knew we would want to record our reflections from the hike again in a special recording studio and with the support of someone who might help us go even deeper. The answer to our quest appeared in the form of Tricia Creason-Valencia, co-founder of PowerHouse, and who Ryan and I have been partnering with on a new initiative, the Autism Storytelling Project.

    It therefore also felt right to invite Tricia to dedicate this episode. Listen in for her beautiful dedication. You’ll also hear her voice toward the end of our conversation, asking us each a question that brought us both to tears. 
    Along with some tears, there were many moments of insight and even some laughter, as we share about this 20 year milestone in both of our lives, the lessons we've learned about our neurodivergent identities especially, and about the exciting chapters unfolding for us.

    It was a gift to experience this and also to share it with you. Ryan and I both hope this conversation inspires you to find your unique way to mark the milestones in your life, to reflect mindfully with your children, and to give yourselves opportunities to see one another, champion one another, and to grow alongside one another.
    About Ryan Neale
    Ryan Neale is a neurodivergent sophomore at UCLA, planning to double major in Communication and Disability Studies with a minor in Film Studies. He is part of the College Scholars Program at UCLA and recently was selected as part of the 2023 Chancellor’s Leadership Program cohort. He is passionate about neurodiversity advocacy and sharing his own experiences to pave the way for others. He is currently a staff member at the Bruin Resource Center, where he is a student lead on a new campus-wide neurodiversity initiative, the Bruin Neurodiversity Collective, to make UCLA more inclusive for students like him. This summer, he served on staff for the Stanford Neurodiversity Project – Research, Education, and Advocacy Camp for high schoolers wanting to create neurodiversity advocacy projects. He was also a speaker at the 2021 Stanford Neurodiversity Summit and has been a guest host on the Mother’s Quest Podcast. Ryan was diagnosed with autism at the age of 18 months old and also identifies with ADHD and anxiety.
    Connect with Ryan
    Website | www.ryanjneale.com LinkedIn |  https://www.linkedin.com/in/ryan-neale-031112176/ Instagram | @ryan.neale04 Topics Discussed in this Episode:
    The origins of our first milestone hike and why it was important to Ryan to end his teenage years in the same way he began them. 
    Ryan's grappling with his autistic identity, and how his desire to be “normal” over his teenage years was like navigating a “toxic ex.” 
    Our growth and learning journey as a spiral, inviting us to revisit similar challenges but with new levels of self-awareness and knowledge. 
    How Ryan's perception of autism shifted over time, from internalized ableism and heavy masking toward self-acceptance and more authenticity.. 
    My diagnosis of ADHD just before my 50th birthday and how my own perceptions of neurodiversity have shifted. 
    The ways that both of us used our voices to highlight gaps in support

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Stoking our Soul Fire for a Revolution from Home with Beth Berry

    Stoking our Soul Fire for a Revolution from Home with Beth Berry

    Welcome to this last conversation of 2023, with coach, teacher, small group and retreat facilitator at Revolution from Home, mother of four daughters and author of the book Motherwhelmed, Beth Berry.

    Beth says she has revolution in her bones. It began when she was seventeen and pumping milk in the bathroom of her high school for her now-grown eldest daughter. It has since gradually evolved into a tender, fiery conviction to reclaim motherhood from every disempowering personal and cultural story she can wrap her head and heart around.

    Beth has spent thousands of hours mentoring and supporting mothers through their process of self-discovery, self-reclamation, and dream realization, reminding us of our worthiness and reframing our importance as changemakers.

    One of the mothers Beth has mentored is Katie Hanus, one of the members of my very first Mother’s Quest Virtual Circle, created over five years ago. Katie and the other members of that first Circle and I are in almost daily conversation together on Voxer where we share the ups and downs of our epic lives and the lessons we’re learning from guides who help light our way. It was through Katie that I first heard about Beth’s transformative work and hoped I could one day interview her for the podcast. 
    Building deep relationships among mothers is something Beth invites us to explore as her challenge in this episode. Without the web of connections that used to come in the form of a village,  we blame ourselves when we’re unable to live up to superhuman standards with subhuman levels of support. Beth also offers a beautiful opportunity to invest and care for ourselves through tending to what she calls our soul fire, a representation of the things that restore and sustain us. She invites us to think about how we can add not just quick-burning kindling to this soul fire, but the big logs that can burn steadily.

    I hope this conversation can be a spark for you to put yourself at the center during this holiday and new year season, commit to building rich, meaningful connections with other mothers where you live, and add some long-burning logs to your soul fire. In so doing, may 2024 become a year for a revolution and reclamation from home of your own. 

     
    About Beth Berry
    Beth Berry is a coach, teacher, small group and retreat facilitator, mother of four daughters and author of Motherwhelmed. A revolutionary at heart, she helps mothers get more of what they want and need to feel fulfilled and empowered despite the odds. She believes that self-aware, self-compassionate, well-supported mothers who know themselves to be worthy of pleasure and joy-filled lives are powerful beyond measure and essential to the healing of the world.
     
    Connect with Beth Berry
    Website | revolutionfromhome.com
    Instagram | @revolutionfromhome
    Facebook | Revolution from Home
     
    Topics Discussed in this Episode:

    The ways in which we inherit our mothers’ “hand me downs” and the ones that shaped Beth and planted seeds for her own revolution.
    The series of spark moments, most of which she says were not pretty, that set Beth on living her epic life.
    Beth’s intuitive approach to motherhood and how she practiced mindful engagement with her children from the beginning, even at the age of 17 when she had her first daughter.
    The deep sense of purpose she feels for changing the narratives around motherhood and shifting the systems that invisibilize the unpaid caregiving of mothers. 
    The power of tending to our soul fire.
    Why some of the entitlement she notices in her daughters gives her hope for a more empowered generation of mothers in the future.  
    How internalized narratives of hyper-individualism can hinder connection between mothers.
    The post-it Beth has on her computer that says “A well rested woman is dangerous” 
     
    Books Beth Mentions:
    Beth Berry’s Book | Motherwhelmed
    Jaiya John Book | Freedom: Medicine Words for Your Bra

    • 52 min
    Mothering as Revolutionary Love

    Mothering as Revolutionary Love

    This September 11, 2023, I had the honor of holding space for an intimate conversation with civil rights leader, lawyer, award-winning filmmaker, educator, and best-selling author of the book SEE NO STRANGER, Valarie Kaur.

    The fact that we were recording on September 11th was meaningful, because the tragic event that had taken place 22 years ago shaped Valarie in profound ways and set her on a path that she never expected. Valarie became an activist after a man of the same Sikh faith, a father and family friend she called uncle, Balbir Singh Sodhi, was the first person murdered in hate violence in the aftermath of 9/11.

    For two decades in his memory, Valarie led visionary campaigns to tell untold stories and change policy on issues ranging from hate crimes to solitary confinement to digital freedom. Along the way, she earned degrees at Stanford University, Harvard Divinity School, and Yale Law School.

    Today, Valarie is the mother of two children and as you’ll hear her share, the experience of becoming a mother inspired her to birth the Revolutionary Love Project, which supports communities with practical tools to transform the nation from inside out.

    Revolutionary love, Valarie says, “is the choice to labor for others, for opponents, and for ourselves. Love is sweet labor — fierce, bloody, imperfect, life-giving, a choice we make. And it begins with wonder. You can look at anyone and say: You are a part of me I don’t yet know. From there, we begin to transform the world around us, and inside us.”

    There is a lightness and hopefulness in the tone of our conversation that we wouldn't have in the same way if we recorded the conversation today. I'm grateful for it. Valarie thanked me at the end for giving her the deepest breath she had in a long time. During a time in our country and world, where so many seem to be disconnected from a sense of our common humanity and divisions between us are widening, I hope this conversation is a deep breath for you.

    Because as Valarie says as she evokes the metaphor of a midwife in her famous Watch Night speech, linked in the show notes, we must first breathe and then we push. The mother asks "what if this darkness we face is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb?" Today we breathe and tomorrow we will labor in revolutionary love. 
     
    About Valarie Kaur:
    VALARIE KAUR is a renowned civil rights leader, lawyer, award-winning filmmaker, educator, innovator, author of the #1 LA Times Bestseller SEE NO STRANGER, and founder of the Revolutionary Love Project. Valarie burst into global consciousness when her 2016 Watch Night Service address went viral with 40 million views worldwide. Her question “Is this the darkness of the tomb – or the darkness of the womb?” reframes the historical moment and is now a mantra for people fighting for change.
    Valarie became an activist when a Sikh father and family friend Balbir Singh Sodhi was the first person murdered in hate violence in the aftermath of 9/11. For two decades, in his memory, Valarie led visionary campaigns to tell untold stories and change policy on issues ranging from hate crimes to digital freedom. Her work ignited a national movement to reclaim love as a force for justice. In 2021, she led the People’s Inauguration, inspiring millions of Americans to renew their role in building a healthy, multiracial democracy.

    Today, the Revolutionary Love Project is seeding networked communities of practice across the country, equipping people with the practical tools to build beloved community and transform the nation from inside out. In the last two decades, Valarie has won policy change on multiple fronts – hate crimes, racial profiling, immigration detention, solitary confinement, Internet freedom, and more. She founded Groundswell Movement, Faithful Internet, and the Yale Visual Law Project to equip advocates at the intersection of spirituality, storytelling, and justice.
    Valarie has bee

    • 57 min
    Dear Body Revisited: And Then I Got Shingles

    Dear Body Revisited: And Then I Got Shingles

    This month, I was planning to record a special solocast to welcome in our 100th episode of the podcast. Instead, three days before my son Jacob’s scheduled knee surgery on July 11th, I got diagnosed with shingles. I’m recovering well and so is Jacob thankfully. But it really caused me to revisit my relationship with my body. There was a need for forgiveness all the way around, a rebuilding of trust and a recommitment to myself.

    In case you’re not familiar, shingles is the re-emergence of the chicken pox virus, which if you’ve ever had chicken pox lives dormant in your nerves and tends to come out later in life during a period of high stress or when your immune system is low. I should have gotten the shingles vaccine when I turned 50, around the time that I originally recorded this Dear Body episode I’m resharing with you today. Unfortunately, I had getting the vaccine in the back of my mind and never took care of it, leaving myself susceptible. 
    So, if you had chickenpox as a child, are over 50 or have issues with your immune system, this is your friendly reminder and PSA to go get your shingles vaccine.

    For me to get shingles when I was worried about my son’s surgery felt like a betrayal from my own body and the last thing I needed. But, a few things happened that are helping me to see this as an opportunity to make meaning and change.

    1) The first person I called for guidance when I got the diagnosis was Dr. Samantha Brody, a podcast guest from 2019, when she released her book Overcoming Overwhelm, who has since become a friend and advisor. When I called her, Samantha reminded me that she had had shingles and shared some about her experience. I was surprised however, when a few days after my diagnosis I put shingles in my FB search to see if there was any wisdom I might find and came upon a post from Samantha from 2018, letting people know she had shingles because she was stressed out about her book launch and needed to ask for help. Did anyone know of any podcasts where she could share about her book she wrote? In the comments, I found the tag to me and Mother’s Quest that must have brought me and Samantha together in the first place. This was a reminder to relisten to my episode with Samantha, so relevant, and trust again that sometimes the universe connects you to what you will need in the future.

    2) I had several helpful therapy sessions during these weeks of recovery where I uncovered a few things. One, the incredible parallel between my own open heart surgery at the age of 10, to repair a hole in my heart, and Jacob’s knee surgery at the age of 10 to repair a hole in his knee, from a condition called osteochondritis dissecans. We realized there may be some leftover trauma from my own experience that was adding some additional stress, even if only in my subconscious. I’m now giving myself some space and grace to look back on that experience and see if there is anything that needs some extra care and healing. 
    3) Finally, this whole experience has helped me acknowledge that I’m often more stressed out than I realize. Most often, I mask my stress with a smile. And I allow my nervous system to be in a perpetual state of go go go. My therapist suggested that I should take my foot off the gas more when I’m in park. I love a good metaphor. There is a lot going on in my life and sometimes I can’t relax, but I can make an effort to be in park more often and when I’m in park, really allow myself to shut down and restore. I’m clearly on a quest for this, so may work to find some special podcast guests who are experts on this topic. Stay tuned.

    I thought I’d invite all of us to listen to the Dear Body episode again and then also my conversation with Samantha Brody, linked in the show notes, with a fresh perspective. Is there something your body is trying to communicate to you? A “tell” as Samantha would say. What values are most important to you right now? And then how might

    • 35 min
    Building and Thinking Outside the Box with David Neale

    Building and Thinking Outside the Box with David Neale

    I’m honored to share this special Father’s Day Episode featuring my very own father-in-law, David Neale. I started dating my husband Chris when I was only 19, so I realize David has been a source of inspiration and guidance in my life for over 30 years. How lucky I am to have had his example of leadership, impact, and joy for life to light my way for my entire adulthood! 
    The inspiration for this episode was sparked several months ago at a big milestone birthday celebration David organized to honor his 80th year. That celebration was also the launch of a new fund he initiated through the San Jose Rotary, inspired by his experience as a grandparent to my two boys, Ryan who is autistic, and Jacob who navigates dyslexia, ADHD and dysgraphia. 
    In this episode, we explore the stories and wisdom of David’s life, including his childhood in England, his move to Montreal and then San Jose, CA, his impactful work as the founder and CEO of The Core Companies, and all the thoughtful ways he shows up as a grandfather. We also talk about the Youth Empowerment Neurodiversity Fund, which Ryan and I have had the honor of helping to shape, alongside David and other Rotary committee members. 
    One of David’s most significant contributions in leadership has come through his innovative thinking and outside-the-box solutions for redevelopment housing, including the creation of Art Ark, an innovative housing community for artists in San Jose, Willow Housing, a Veteran’s housing project in Menlo Park, CA that includes access to critical support services, and most recently the Agrihood in Santa Clara, CA, a unique affordable housing project that includes retail and has an Urban Farm at its center.  
    His achievements are many, but as David says, his success did not happen in a straight line. His life journey was filled with plot twists, pivots, and even a few failures. Through it all, with my mother-in-law Anne by his side, he continued to believe in himself and his dreams.

    I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did and leave inspired as I am to keep persevering through challenges, opening ourselves to new perspectives and out-of-the-box thinking, and knowing that each setback may bring us closer to all we’ve ever wanted.  
    About David Neale:
    David Neale is a leader and visionary in real estate development, known for his commitment to community building and for his innovative approaches to affordable housing and redevelopment. A career that began in 1978 in Montreal brought David to San Jose, CA in the 1980s and led him to found The Core Companies in 1989. As CEO of The Core Companies, David has built a vibrant company and spearheaded transformative projects that have left a lasting imprint on the communities they serve.
    Notable projects Core has completed with David at the helm include Art Ark, an innovative housing community for artists in San Jose, Willow Housing, a Veteran’s housing project in Menlo Park, CA that includes access to critical support services, and most recently the Agrihood in Santa Clara, CA, a unique affordable housing project that includes retail and has an Urban Farm at its center.  
    His leadership also extends into community engagement and education. David spent 16 years on the board of directors for the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and served as a founding member of the non-profit First Community Housing. His almost two decades of service on the San Jose Rotary recently led David to initiate a new Youth Empowerment Neurodiversity Fund, inspired by David’s experience with two of his grandchildren who are neurodivergent.

    Throughout his career, David exemplified a commitment to building projects that not only enhance the physical landscape but also uplift the lives of individuals and communities. His greatest accomplishment however is the family he has built with his wife of over 60 years, including his two children, and his four grandchildren. 
    Connect with David:

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
50 Ratings

50 Ratings

elliebleiberg ,

Amazing!

Love this podcast and it’s heartfelt openness to exploration

T L N N Y ,

Worth a listen

I always learn something new and come away uplifted. My favorites have been the interview with her father and her work with the Parents Circle.

Yoginaomi ,

Phenomenal podcast for mothers (and others)!

I just listened to the phenomenal episode with Valarie Kaur. I was just so moved by it. I was familiar with Valarie Kaur's work before but it had been awhile. This conversation was what I needed to hear today. I will probably even relisten because so many moments were pure gold. Thank you for this powerful conversation. And the many others on this podcast that preceded it. This podcast makes motherhood feel less lonely and less invisible.

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