MamaFuel: The Podcast
EP055: Decluttering changed her life: Marieke Staub on the magical powers of facing our “stuff”

EP055: Decluttering changed her life: Marieke Staub on the magical powers of facing our “stuff”

October 1, 2019

So many of us feel like we’re drowning in stuff, in expectations, in all the “shoulds” that can weigh upon mothers. Marieke Staub was no exception. While Marieke’s pregnancy and her daughter’s birth were idyllic, she was crippled by post-natal depression for months afterward.

Marieke was able to find her way to a healthier way of being thanks to her family, friends, therapy and lots of support. Even though she was feeling better, something still wasn’t right: her overcrowded apartment, filled with all the objects we’re told we need to be “good” mothers, was a source of frustration.

When her sister gave her The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marieke got to work and changed her whole life. She now lives in a space that supports her in all ways: in living her best life, in a close and happy relationship with her daughter, running a business she adores. She curated her belongings to create the life she wanted, and she couldn’t be happier.

Marieke and I talk about the pressure mothers feel to have all the things for their kids (spoiler: more stuff doesn’t make you better… it usually causes more stress), the disproportionate importance we place on our belongings, how the home we live in can support or hinder our lifestyle and happiness, and how we’re all fully capable of living without so much of the stuff we accumulate.

I was fascinated to hear Marieke talk about how decluttering our stuff is never only about the physical objects – it’s about facing our regrets, our grief, our memories, our guilt, celebrating our joys and making decisions about how we want to live moving forward. She also really struck a chord with me when she said that teaching our kids that they're not defined by what they own is one of the greatest gifts we can give, especially in our consumerist culture. YES to that!

I’ll be calling on Marieke and her sister to help me declutter my house, and I’ll keep you posted on how that goes over in the MamaFuel Virtual Village, our free online community, so make sure you jump in to follow along. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I’m feeling nervous, but I’m going to do it! 

To find out more about Marieke and see that photo of my overstuffed house (circa 2010 when my kids were toddlers), click here.

EP065: Rewrite your story: Natasha Bray on healing from disempowering trauma

EP065: Rewrite your story: Natasha Bray on healing from disempowering trauma

September 25, 2019

We all carry stories that shape our lives. When those stories are deeply rooted in childhood, the scars can last forever. My guest in this episode is a woman whose mission it is to help all women rewrite those trauma-based stories and thrive. 

Natasha Bray is a solo mama of one little man, a hugely successful entrepreneur and a source of relief and healing for women around the world. In this episode Natasha tells us about her early struggles with exercise addiction, bulimia, infertility and eventually a traumatic and disempowering birth experience. 

Signed off her work as a social worker because of stress and depression, Natasha decided to bet on herself: she trained as a Rapid Transformation Therapy practitioner, thinking it would help her nutrition clients. What she wasn't expecting was that it would completely change her personal world. 

Natasha explains how RTT shifted her inner dialogue about her worth and lovability (in all good ways) and why she's now so passionate about doing the same for other women. I've tasted the magic of RTT and can attest that this modality WORKS. 

If you'd like to learn more about Natasha's work or link to any of the other episodes or resources I mention, click here

I'd love to know what you thought of this episode. Hop into the MamaFuel Virtual Village and tell Natasha and I what your main take-aways were, and be sure to share this episode with anyone whom you think might benefit. 

EP054: It’s ok to be happier than your unhappiest child: Barb Klein on love and joy in the face of addiction

EP054: It’s ok to be happier than your unhappiest child: Barb Klein on love and joy in the face of addiction

September 23, 2019

Today’s guest is a mama who’s learned through searing personal experience that despite what we might expect, it IS possible to be happier than our unhappiest child. Barb Klein is a mama to two young men, an entrepreneur and a happily married woman whose family life took a huge turn a decade ago when addiction altered their realities forever. Each member of the family has since been learning how to navigate the waters of addiction and the destruction it causes.

Over that decade, Barb has found ways to love herself no matter what, and she credits her own journey to self-care and self-love as being the reason she stands so strong today. In this week’s episode Barb shares candidly about releasing her expectations around what it means to be “a good mother,” finding her way back to joy despite the hell her son is still living, and how making space and time for her marriage has kept her partnership solid through it all.

Barb’s reflection that we must respect each soul’s journey through good and bad is an invitation to us all to think about how and when we support each other. Barb’s wish that all families of addicted people receive the same support as families of cancer patients went straight to my heart. If you know anyone who is struggling with addiction, or who’s supporting an addicted family member or friend, please reach out. Addiction is not contagious, and people who are watching a loved one suffer can often feel terribly isolated and afraid.  

We’re all walking each other home. Listening to this week’s podcast episode will perhaps give us all the chance to open our hearts a little wider to some of the most difficult situations in life and lead with love.

Barb shared many resources during our conversation. You can access all of the information we discussed by clicking here to get the full details.

In the meantime, I’d love to continue the conversation about today’s podcast over on the MamaFuel Virtual Village free Facebook group. Click here to join us and share your experience with living your full, happy life no matter what.  

EP053: Rachel Flower on the value of hard conversations, and women supporting each other

EP053: Rachel Flower on the value of hard conversations, and women supporting each other

September 20, 2019

Rachel Flower doesn’t shy away from challenging conversations. In fact, she encourages all those around her to engage in such conversations as often as possible. That’s because she knows first-hand the value of truth-telling and the strong bonds that can be created (or repaired) through open, loving and curious conversation.

In this week's episode, Rachel and I talk about her deep experience of grief – first losing her parents and her brother at a very young age and later supporting her youngest daughter through her successful fight with leukaemia. Rachel knows that relationships, communication and support matter more than anything else.

I was touched hearing Rachel explain how, in times of crisis, many people fell away and others stepped up to offer support in ways she’d never expected. Her story of building a community around her family and later supporting others in establishing powerful tribes is still reverberating through my heart.

Rachel is definitely my people: anyone who dispenses with small-talk in favour of connecting bravely, heart-to-heart with those around her, is a person who is changing the world. Her reminder that everything and everyone matters rings so true for me, and I know it will with you too. Enjoy this.

If you’d like to get to know Rachel further, you can find her on Instagram here or check out her web page here

As ever, you can join the ongoing conversation over in the MamaFuel Virtual Village by clicking here. I’d love to chat with you there, so get in touch! 

EP052: Jamie Swanson on breaking the mould, living from faith and creating a life that works for her family

EP052: Jamie Swanson on breaking the mould, living from faith and creating a life that works for her family

July 30, 2019

Buckle up, you’re about to meet a mindful, conscious force of nature who’s carved her own non-traditional path and is ROCKING being a mama to six high-energy kids, running two businesses and enjoying a happy, thriving marriage.

I first met Jamie Swanson a year ago, and her brightly-coloured unicorn hair and sparkling eyes had me at hello. I’m thrilled to share this conversation with you this week following a little summer break.

Jamie humourously describes her life as “loud” and “like living with six blenders without lids,” which feels like an apt description of homeschooling six vibrant children while running multiple businesses and offering rest and refuge to community leaders in need.

She and her husband have made sometimes unexpected decisions that have made it all work, and they’re happier than ever. Those decisions have always been inspired by Spirit and supported by their faith, but they haven’t always been easily accepted within their families or community as they switched traditional roles and often stepped away from prescribed paths.

In this week’s conversation, Jamie and I talk about how they make it all work, how she’s navigated mama guilt, why she now feels striking out and living fully into her dreams is the best thing she can do for herself and her children in their current season in life, and so much more.

There’s so much goodness in this conversation, but one nugget that stands out for me is this: “If I don’t want things for my kids, why am I accepting that they’re happening to me or that I’m living my life that way?” Why, indeed.

Listen all the way to the end and then head into the MamaFuel free Facebook community to tell me what you thought of the episode and Jamie’s beautiful family and life.

If you’d like to learn more about Jamie, check out her business page here, and her amazing quilting Instagram account here.

And click here to find the comic about maternal mental load that Jamie and I talked about. It's a must-read. 

EP051: Prepare to fall in love with Nick and Katherine North: trans dad, gorgeous queer couple & LGBTQI advocates

EP051: Prepare to fall in love with Nick and Katherine North: trans dad, gorgeous queer couple & LGBTQI advocates

June 24, 2019

This week's edition of MamaFuel: The Podcast is chock full of firsts. I realised recently that the conversations on the podcast weren't fully representative of all mamas, so I'm trying to do better by consciously broadening the scope of people I'm talking to. I asked this week's guests to be on the podcast a long time ago, and I'm delighted that our conversation is the first in what I hope will be a much more diverse series of conversations.

I'm thrilled to introduce you to Nick and Katherine North, a queer couple with a breathtaking love story, a transgender dad and a whole house full of kids (plus a very naughty puppy). Nick and Katherine are the first couple I've had on the show and Nick's the first dad I've welcomed. I couldn't think of better guests to have as my "firsts" in so many ways.

In this week's conversation Nick and Katherine tell us about their introductions into motherhood via abortion (Katherine's first mothering decision), traumatic birth, separation, post-natal depression and so much more. Hearing Nick explain how he tried to be a "good mom" and finding his joy in birthing babies really tugged at my heart.

I loved hearing how Katherine and Nick prepared for so long to tell their kids about Nick transitioning to Dad, only to find that their kids weren't that fussed -- as long as Dad gave as much love as Mom, which he does. We also talked about coming out, and how transgender people are endlessly required to explain their identity and how they present to the world. Nick and Katherine live in a very conservative community, and it was heartening to hear how their friends and the broader world rallied to support them as Nick transitioned (and continues to). 

Any parent who has a gender curious child will want to listen particularly closely to the part where Nick and Katherine express what every transgender child needs to hear and feel: that they are loved NO MATTER WHAT. No ifs, ands or buts. Simply loved. Nick's message that transgender kids (and their parents) don't have to do ANYTHING to make anyone else feel better, and that their only job it to make themselves feel ok really resonated with me. Everyone else will take care of themselves. It's also not a parent's job to make anyone else feel better about their kid or themselves. Other people's opinions are other people's business. Period.

There's so much more I could share about this conversation, but honestly: LISTEN. Again and again. And follow Nick and Katherine, support them and any LGBTQI people in your community. Because everyone could use more love. Deepest thanks to Katherine and Nick for this great conversation.

To hear a rich account of Nick and Katherine's love story, do yourself a favour and listen to this amazing podcast in which they explain how their love unfolded. I'll be listening again and again. 

My favourite places to follow this amazing pair of luminous beings is on Nick's Instagram here, on Katherine's Instagram here, and on Nick's web site and Katherine's web site (her newsletter is, hands down, the best and most precious writing dropping into my inbox. ever.).

I'd LOVE to hear what you thought of this episode, if you have any questions and what this conversation sparks in you. The best way to engage in the conversation is to come into the Virtual Village over on Facebook. It's our free community, and I'd love to welcome you there.  

During our conversation, I mentioned the new decision from Mastercard to allow transgender people to choose the name on their credit cards. Check out the moving video they released about this industry first. Bravo Mastercard.  

EP050: Celebrating 50 episodes of MamaFuel with some deep truth telling

EP050: Celebrating 50 episodes of MamaFuel with some deep truth telling

June 21, 2019

A little over a year ago the MamaFuel podcast was just a dream. Today I'm celebrating publishing 50 amazing episodes by turning the tables and having a dear friend interview me, asking the questions I usually ask my guests. Things get pretty personal, so if you've been tuning in for a while and you'd like to get to know the person behind the questions, this is your chance. Huge thanks to Noomi Natan for stepping into the interviewer role and having fun with it all!

If anything strikes you in this episode, tell me about it in our free Facebook group where the conversation is always ongoing. Click here to join the conversation in our free Facebook group!

EP049: Claire Farrington on the beauties and challenges of life with Down’s Syndrome

EP049: Claire Farrington on the beauties and challenges of life with Down’s Syndrome

June 17, 2019

Have you ever had a moment where the way you see the world shifts? Like a giant kaleidoscope unexpectedly moves and the clarity you took for granted is gone forever, as a new vision takes shape?

That's what happened to this week's guest, the lovely Claire Farrington. Her first son, Theo, was born very prematurely. As she and her partner adjusted to the realities of life in the NICU, they received another unexpected piece of news: Theo had Down's Syndrome.

In this touching conversation, Claire openly shares how little she knew about Down's Syndrome and how sad she feels now that her initial reaction to the news of Theo's extra chromosome was so frightened and negative. In the three years since Theo was born, Claire has become a campaigner for families with Down's Syndrome, sharing her story and educating people across the UK and beyond. 

Through her blog, Claire candidly shares all the stages of adjusting to life with Down's Syndrome. I'm still struck, weeks after recording, by Claire's deep wish that prospective parents of all ages might hear her message that a Down's diagnosis isn't negative. It's just different.

I'm grateful to Claire sharing her story with our community, and even more so because at time of recording, Claire was less than 24 hours away from a scheduled c-section. Her son Freddy was born healthy and on-schedule, and Claire has told me since that this second delivery has helped heal some of the terror she experienced around Theo's much-too-early arrival. 

When you've listened to this episode, please share it. And if you liked hearing our conversation, I'd be super grateful if you could rate the podcast and leave a review. The more people hear Claire's story, the more perspectives might shift for the better around Down's Syndrome. 

To follow Claire's family's story, visit her blog here or check out her beautiful Instagram account here

Don't forget that the conversation continues over on the free MamaFuel Virtual Village! Check it out and join in! I can't wait to hear what you think of this and all other episodes of MamaFuel. 

EP048: Annika Suoma Frey on the life-saving power of following your soul’s guidance

EP048: Annika Suoma Frey on the life-saving power of following your soul’s guidance

June 10, 2019

Annika Suoma Frey is an ultra sensitive healer, seeker and guide for women who are ready to live their soul’s calling. She is wise beyond her years, funny, vulnerable, open and one of the bravest people I’ve ever met.

She’s also a mama to three little beings under the age of six, in an ever-evolving conscious partnership with her husband, and a person whose willingness to have B-I-G conversations and take scary decisions regularly takes my breath away.

In this week’s conversation, Annika and I talk about her difficult youth and the winding road to recognising that she is a divine channel, how life is so much easier and richer (in all ways) since she decided to tune into that channel, and how being fiercely brave led her to the place she is now.

Annika shares incredible wisdom about how she prioritises her connection to Spirit, her wellbeing and her marriage above all else, and recounts how intentional separation and conscious decisions have expanded her relationships beyond anything she could have imagined.

We also veer into a place that surprised me: systems, and how they support Annika’s freedom and choice by creating true equality in all areas of responsibility in her family. They may not sound sexy, but Annika’s take on systems had this structure-avoider wondering about how I could implement some of what she shares. When she implements systems in the context of self-care, Annika is living her commitment to unconditionally love herself because she knows it’s the only way she can unconditionally love anyone else.

We talk about all of this and so much more, but you’ll have to listen to get the rest of the juicy nuggets.

ALSO: MY SOUND WASN’T GREAT BUT I’VE DECIDED TO SHARE THIS CONVERSATION ANYWAY BECAUSE IT WAS SO SO SO GOOD. Apologies about the sound quality on my end.

If you’d like to learn more about Annika and her work, check her out  online here, on Instagram here and on Facebook here. And be sure to join us over in the MamaFuel Virtual Village here to continue the conversation with Annika and with me. 

 

 

And finally, if you’d like to listen to the podcast episode with Leslie Potter that I mention in this conversation, click here.

 

EP047: Hannah Corne on a shocking wake-up call

EP047: Hannah Corne on a shocking wake-up call

May 31, 2019

We all know that taking care of ourselves first is important. The whole oxygen mask in the airplane explanation. Thing is, we hear it so much that some of us may feel it's over-stated and exaggerated; that we can keep pushing ourselves to the bottom of a to-do list when something feels a bit off.

This week's guest on MamaFuel is living proof that putting yourself last can have grave consequences for you and your family. Hannah Corne is an accomplished marathon runner and triathlete, the founder of the UK's branch of the Mini Mermaid Running Club, a mum of two and so much more. Earlier this year she started to notice her eyesight changing, and when she eventually went to have it checked, was told she had cancer in her eye. Within three weeks her eye (and the cancer) had been removed.

Our conversation was moving, raw and so beautiful. I admire Hannah for her courage facing into the terrifying prospect of cancer, learning to live without her left eye and for her willingness to share her story so soon after living through it.

What really sticks with me from our conversation is that Hannah finally got her eyes checked out of a feeling of responsibility to others on the road and to her children -- not a feeling of responsibility for herself or her own well-being. It highlighted for me how DEEP is the learning that we must care for others first and always, no matter the cost to ourselves. It's such a toxic belief, and it's got to stop.

Hannah is contributing to changing the messages women get about their self-care through her work with girls aged 7 - 11. Together with her coaching team at Mini Mermaid Running Club UK, Hannah helps the next generation develop emotional resilience, self-love and a passion for fitness. I wish such a programme had been around when my oldest was seven, and hope you'll take Hannah up on her generous offer to reach out to her for more information about the Club or anything else that sparked your interest during our conversation. You can reach Hannah directly here

If you'd like to learn more about the work the Mini Mermaid Running Club is doing to foster self-belief and resilience in young girls, click here to reach them in the UK, here to reach them in the US and here to reach them in Switzerland

I hope you'll go have all your checkups after this episode. I hope you'll look at yourself as the precious being that you really are. I hope that you'll hear your body's plea to take loving care of her. I certainly heard mine as I spoke to Hannah. And I hope that you'll reach out and share your story with others, and ask for help when you need it. It really could save your life. 

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