Welcome to the Season 3 Finale! In a year filled with COVID-19, a racial justice movement, wildfires, an election, and now the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, this has seemed like so much more than just one year. At this very important moment in time, I am so thankful that we have been able to stay connected through these episodes all along the way. For today’s finale, we will revisit each episode over the past year, and listen to some key moments from each and my thoughts about them, as well as some updates and messages from many of our guests. I’ll also offer my thanks to all who are involved in producing the podcast, introduce you to some of these talented people, and draw the episode to a close with my ‘State of the Podcast’ address. This season brought us so many heart-centered moments, and just as many pearls of wisdom from our guests, and I am just delighted to share them once again. Thank you all once more for being a part of this remarkable community – as you will hear repeatedly today, it has come to play a large and valued role in the lives of so many, especially my own.
1 hr 45 min
Podcasting has brought so much to my life, both as someone who loves hearing others’ stories and as someone who wants to learn from the experiences of others. Hearing an array of experiences is what makes This is Not What I Ordered so powerful to me, and to listeners, as well. Today’s episode touches a bit on how podcasting is a form of therapy — both for the hosts, the guests, and the listeners. It also combines conversations about podcasting, chronic illness, and life in quarantine with two past guests: Monica Michelle and Courtney Brame. This conversation is full of fun banter and deep, powerful conversations. What I appreciate most about this conversation is that Monica and Courtney don’t shy away from sharing their own experiences during the pandemic, as well as prior to the pandemic. It’s so important to see how we all experience life through the lenses of our chronic conditions, as well as through our human lenses. I hope you find this conversation as refreshing and insightful as I did.
1 hr 12 min
Today’s episode marks the second part of my conversation with relational therapist, social justice educator, intuitive narrative coach, and social justice consultant for the podcast, Celia Hilson, which we started in Episode 66. As we find ourselves in the midst of a racial justice movement and a pandemic, this special conversation about race is as enlightening as it is necessary. We begin this week’s episode by talking about the nutrients of intergenerational legacy, Celia’s experiences with White women, and my understanding of internalized dominance. Celia shares her hopes for the current focus upon race, injustice, and equality, and we explore how the killing of George Floyd reignites so many past traumas. We conclude our conversation by looking at the complex layers of the construction of race, class, and division, the interplay of oppression, defensiveness, privilege and healing, and the concepts of conscious relationship and undefended loving. World events have rendered this time in history as one ripe for deep analysis of what was once status quo, but can never be so again. In the relational space Celia and I created in this conversation, I am grateful for the openness we were able to share about these profoundly important issues, taking the time to peel back layers of complexity. As you listen in today, I sincerely hope that you will gain greater empathy and understanding, and that you will find the insights shared as valuable and thought provoking as we have.
This week I'm sitting with Celia Hilson, who's returned to the podcast after joining me on Season 2 (Episode 28). Celia is a relational therapist, social justice educator, and intuitive narrative coach fostering cross-cultural understanding. She helps clients to heal through remembering and reclaiming lost parts of identities. Celia has joined me over the past few months not only as my friend, but as someone who I recently hired as a social justice consultant for the podcast. As you know, we've been in the midst of a racial justice movement, and in the midst of a pandemic, all that the same time. It's been a really challenging, powerful period for our world. During this time, Celia and I recorded a special conversation talking about race. We created a two-part series of episodes, and this is part one of that conversation. In this week's episode, Celia and I explore the origins of our relationship as friends and social justice educators, and how our racial identities impact how we relate to one another and to the world. Celia shares about her evolving relationship with ancestral, intergenerational trauma and what liberation looks like. She also shares her perspectives on worthiness and building cross-cultural relationships of trust. I hope you enjoy this conversation as we explore some of the themes that are necessary to address in our cultural evolution towards racial justice.
We’ve had couples on the podcast, we’ve had reunions, we’ve had “quarantine chats.” This week, I’m bringing you a friendship “roundtable” with the lovely Sherry Espinoza and Melissa Platt. You may recognize those names because they’ve both been on the podcast before — but not like this. This episode is a lighthearted and sweet chat amongst friends. Sherry and Melissa, who met in the Shine Your Light Mastermind, have become fast friends, and I loved digging into their connection during our chat. We talked about our symptoms, shelter-in-place, cacti, and cats, as well as the mythology of our symptoms. Their friendship is beautiful, but so are their insights on navigating health challenges, quarantine, and life in general. This conversation left me with a “full cup,” and I hope it fills yours, too.
In this week’s episode of This is Not What I Ordered, I’m taking you along for a little reunion. I recently caught up with Erynn & Leo Newman, who are “frequent flyers” here on the podcast. Leo, who was a guest way back in Episode 11, and his wife Erynn, were the first couple interviewed for the podcast in Episode 32. Married for over 14 years, they’ve weathered their fair share of challenges. I recently checked in on them to see how they’re navigating this new challenge (the current pandemic). In this reunion episode, we talk about Leo’s chronic health struggles and how they’re managing COVID-19 shutdowns as a family. As always, Leo and Erynn share their vulnerability and strength, and their love for one another. We discuss pre-COVID memories, grocery shopping and protective measures they are taking to protect Leo, and their seven-year-old son Hudson even joins us for the end of the episode. This conversation reaffirmed for me that we are all in this together, and that you can still make connections with friends even from a distance.
1 hr 3 min
Today’s episode is a bit different than most of the ones you’ll hear on This is Not What I Ordered. Instead of an interview with a single guest or couple, I was able to connect with Lily Sloane and Latasha Doyle, two of the people on our podcast team. In light of everything going on in the world, and with heightened anxiety and worry for many in the chronic illness community, we decided to discuss how we’re navigating this uncharted territory. While grief, anger, and concern over our own health and safety were all discussed, we also talked about the beauty that has come from self-isolation. Each of us shares a bit of our struggles, as well as what we’re really thankful for in times like this. We also talk about how these events are elevating our experiences with our bodies, and calling us to really turn to the tools we’ve already built up to take care of ourselves. I know that many of you are trying to process the effects of this pandemic in your own life, and I hope this conversation shows you that you’re definitely not alone in this community.
Coming to terms with chronic illness is something we’re all trying to do. Kristina Sarkisova is on the podcast this week talking about her journey to acceptance, and what the process has looked (and felt) like. Her diagnosis of Lyme disease was a long time coming, and even now she’s not entirely sure it’s the perfect fit for her specific symptoms and situation. But it’s enough for her. So many of us can relate to the need for a diagnosis — just to have something explained. Unfortunately, many of us don’t have that. So how can you be “OK” with the unknowns? Kristina speaks about navigating that uncertainty, as well as what it feels like to grieve the changes that take place in your life. She also spoke about the struggle between identifying as a person with disabilities and a musician, when she hasn’t been able to practice her musical talents recently. There’s a push and pull there we can all relate to — who we were and what we wanted for ourselves before and what we do now. This is a great conversation about how health challenges impact our identities, and how we can learn to love ourselves in any situation.
1 hr 5 min
This was such a special conversation with Ijmal Haider (of “Hidden Spoons” and the “Help Us” YouTube channel). Having lived with Ulcerative Colitis for several years and spearheading many events, projects, and organizations geared towards supporting people with chronic illness, he is the definition of an awesome patient advocate. Together, we chatted about some of his challenging moments that have led to the illumination of what’s truly important to him: honesty, medical care that gives him access to a better quality of life, communicating well with his body, and connecting with others living with chronic illness. These days, he’s all about lifting up the people who have helped him along the way by sharing their stories, and being a support to other folks with health challenges.
1 hr 3 min