Taking the Middle Seat next to Lisa Anderson with Grace's Table

On Episode 31, I’m talking to Lisa Anderson, the founder of Grace’s Table (Facebook, Instagram), an organization that serves young mothers ages 13-24 in the areas of spiritual exploration, parenting, adolescence, career and education. Lisa founded the organization through a desire to serve young moms; an experience that is near to her heart because she experienced motherhood for the first time at age 17. Lisa is an incredible example of service, perseverance, and unconditional love.

Listen closely for the story of how Lisa found Grace’s table at a garage sale held by a woman named Grace. How can we be a Grace to someone in our lives?

Lisa has always dreamed BIG for Grace's Table and the dream she’s working on right this second is A Space for Grace. Grace’s Table needs to the WHOLE community to rally around this. You can learn all about this campaign to secure a gorgeous house surrounded by beautiful greenspace that will provide an environment that can really care for every aspect of young mothers and their children. I invite you to join me in donating financially to this cause. We ALL benefit from young women being made to feel whole and wanted.

Lisa talks about Chelsea’s story and you can see that here. I LOVE lovety LOVE the idea that Grace’s Table is all about paying it forward.

If you’re looking for a way to connect to your neighborhood, check out The Turquoise Table. It could be one way to get started. Need a recipe to feed a crowd that will make you feel like a connection rockstar? Check this out.

Lisa mentioned some favorite things: Diet Coke, charcuterie boards (Squibb is my fave place for a cheese board), and lazy rivers. She also mentioned loving her time in therapy each week. Yassss! I love that. #shoutouttotherapy

Remember to give a little or a lot to A Space for Grace! What a great way to make an impact and support women, community, and beauty for all. Until next time, remember to take the middle seat. I know you’ll find magic and meaning there.

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Taking the Middle Seat next to Tara Jones

On Episode 27, I’m talking to Tara Jones, owner of Your Pretty Pennies (Tara on Facebook and Instagram). She is a financial success coach, entrepreneur, and single mom. You will hear her tell her powerful story of “pressing the reset button.” Honestly, I’ve never identified with a financial planner or financial coach of any kind. Taking the middle seat next to super organized, planner, dollars and cents types has me quaking in my boots! Tara is on a whole different level. She reaches out to everyone’s soul and speaks a language that makes sense for everyone to beautify their lives in their own unique way.

Tara has so many services you’ll want to check out. She has published the Ultimate Financial Planner, a customizable 12 month planner. She coaches at the Financial Reset Online Academy, a comprehensive online curriculum to “Demolish Debt. Master Your Money. Create Financial Freedom.” She also provides 1-on-1 coaching if you are getting serious about manifesting the financial life you want. Tara is a sought after speaker including my personal favorite, Young Money: 5 Things to do with a Paycheck, a workshop for teens. You guys! Can you imagine if you had that workshop as a teenager!??!! How awesome!

She’s also hosting an event coming up really SOON, January 5! Its called The Ultimate Financial Vision Board Workshop. I’m going to be there and I want you to be there too! I am absolutely certain Tara will help you start your 2019 with a clear vision and plan. I have never made a vision board (or a budget… shhh) so I am totally geeked to be treating myself to this gift. Sign up at the link above!

Tara’s favorite things include her black boots from H&M. These are some cute ones I found. In a recent video Tara also rocks a faux leather skirt and that looks a lot like this and it is one of my favorite things. I’m telling you right now. She also loves the Cranberry Woods candle from Bath & Body Works. She also loves homemaking including ironing and loading the dishwasher. And she’s a huge advocate for therapy for everyone!

I know that Tara is going to be the voice in your head calling you higher in 2019. She is incredible. So dance and sashay into 2019 with this episode playing and remember to take the middle seat! I know you’ll find your very own magic and purpose right there waiting for you.

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Taking the Middle Seat next to Emily Martin

On episode 17 of Taking the Middle Seat, I'm talking to Emily Martin, owner of Any Body Yoga.  She champions body positive and mindfulness based yoga.  I could not love her mission more - To create brave spaces for all bodies to practice radical self love through embodied movement.  (From Any Body Yoga Facebook page)  You're going to love her encouragement when she says, "There is no wrong way to have a body."

She has a rad series of classes coming up called Body Positive Yoga: A Yoga Series for Healing Body Image.  Get all the info on the Facebook event.  I need a buddy to do this with!

Emily mentions another yoga teacher who she loves - Dana Falsetti who also has a podcast you might want to check out.  A body positive activist and yoga teacher I love to follow is Jessamyn Stanley.

*** I want to encourage listeners to purchase any recommended books from We Are Lit, a Grand Rapids local and woman owned business.  If she doesn't have the book right on her website, you can just request it on the website here

Emily recommends all sorts of great resources:

Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook, The Body is Not an Apology (OHMYGOODNESS, this is such a gorgeous book), A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook

Grand Rapids Center for Mindfulness and Yoga for All Training

I loved Emily's favorite things!  She loves milkweed and Frosty Boy (they close October 14!)  and Tunde Olaniran.

I'll be back soon to explore the magic in the middle seat.

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Taking the Middle Seat next to Steffanie Rosalez

On episode 13 of Taking the Middle Seat, I'm talking to Steffanie Rosalez, Director at the Cook Arts Center which is part of Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities.  She is a visual artist, a musician, a leader in her community and she has a machete tattoo.  Basically, she's the freaking best. I know her from her leadership at Girls Rock Grand Rapids which is the transformative summer rock and roll camp my daughter has been involved in for the past few years.  Steffanie and a group of other totally rad and powerful women run the camp.  We talk about community and joy.  We talk about tokenism and privilege.  We talk about art and self care.  

The Audre Lorde quote Steffanie mentions is this... "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare."  Powerful.

Roosevelt Park Neighborhood Association page gives you lots of great information about things happening along the whole Grandville Avenue corridor.

Steffanie has also been involved in the Cultura Collective.  We didn't talk about this during the interview but you should check it out! 

Steffanie loves contemporary art and she's loving the PBS series Art 21

She also loves the UICA.  You should go there on family day or catch a movie.  It is such a cool space.  You get a gold star if you can find the picture of my family and I on their website.

Follow Steffanie's band How to Live Together on their Facebook page.  You'll hear her light up when she talks about her music.  She's a multi-tasking musician.  T-shirts coming soon. ; )

If you're wondering how to help or get involved in protecting immigrant families, I love the organization Together Rising.  

Thank you for listening and I hope you'll spend time Taking the Middle Seat this week.  

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Taking the Middle Seat next to Bri Luginbill

On episode 11 of Taking the Middle Seat, I talk to Bri Luginbill.  She is a photographer and body positivity activist.  She struggled with body image issues for many years but has turned her struggle into beauty and social change.  She is passionate about helping others do the same.  I especially loved all of Bri's resources she talked about and I can't wait for you to connect with her too!   

Bri's organization, Better Body Image Conference, is doing incredible work.  Check it out!

Her next awesome event is an encore screening of The Illusionists on June 13, 2018.  Event details and tickets are here.  Even the movie trailer is powerful!

She's also an INCREDIBLE photographer at The People Picture Company.

Bri mentions Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome.  You can read more about it on the BWS Children’s Foundation International website

You can see Bri in action here talking about her Go Boldly, Love Your Body campaign that she did in 2014.

Connie Flachs is Bri's partner in this activism.  You can connect with her here or on Instagram.

Bri talked about the Straight Curve Film.  It looks so cool!  You can see a preview here

Bri truly is a fount of resources!  She mentioned so many cool organizations.  Here are the links:

Michigan Eating Disorders Alliance 

A Beautiful Me - a body positive program for girls.

YWCA summer programs, Activism Academy and Becoming a Girl Boss

Jenna Kutcher - business owner and online influencer.  Follow the link to read about how she walks confidently in her skin next to her very typically-gorgeous husband.

Jessica Honegger (She founded Noonday Collection and talks openly about the myth of thigh gap.  She's clearly awesome.)

In favorite things time, we talk about The Turquoise Table.  I'd paint my table this color.

Bri also roasts her own coffee beans in a Whirly Pop.  She's a total girl boss, you guys.  I found a how-to article here if you want to jump on in and roast some beans.

Bri loves thrift store shopping so that means we need to listen to Macklemore's Thrift Shop.  We just have to.

I think that does it!  Go look in the mirror and love the heck out of what you see!  I just tried on this swimsuit at the mall (normally not a swimsuit tryer on-er because of the bad lighting, bad angles, bad attitude etc.) and loved it!  I did not purchase because I just don't need it right now but I truly let myself just feel beautiful.  No except for's or if only's.  Just beautiful as I am.  Felt pretty damn good.  So go fearlessly and freely into the summer.  I'll be back soon to take the middle seat.

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