Taking the Middle Seat next to Rachel Pieh Jones

On Episode 43 I’m talking to Rachel Pieh Jones (Instagram, Facebook). Rachel is a writer living in Djibouti which is in East Africa, and is bordered by Somalia, Ethiopia and Yemen. Of writing, she says, “I can’t help it.” It is her work. Rachel is originally from Minnesota. She moved with her husband in 2003 and has lived abroad since. She has written several books (Welcome to Djibouti and Finding Home) and many published articles including an interview she did with her daughter that is great! She has a brand new book coming out in October 2019, Stronger Than Death.: How Annalena Tonelli Defied Terror and Tuberculosis in the Horn of Africa. Please purchase it. It sounds FASCINATING. Rachel also writes the kind of newsletter you will WANT to read, Stories From the Horn.

Until September 22, you can enter to win a hard copy of her book. Here are the details… “Go to Net Galley and download the book https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/book/162744

Write a review and post it publicly by SEPTEMBER 22. Blog, newsletter, Facebook.

Paste the link to the post here

And voila! Entered to win.

Rachel talks about living cross-culturally and cross-spiritually. Rachel is so wise and wonderful. I cherish her social media posts. I think her perspective is so rich with nuance and complexity because she has such a depth and breadth of knowledge. Since we recorded, Rachel has shared that her thyroid cancer has returned so she sometimes speaks to living with cancer in her writings as well. I know Rachel would love your prayers, and maybe even more than that, she would love for us to be curious about each other, care for each other, and honor each other as I know she encourages us to do.

Some of my favorite resources that go along with this conversation are: No White Saviors, an Instagram account that talks about white privilege and white saviorism. (If you are a person who holds white privilege and decide to follow this account, please LISTEN, listen, listen. Do not comment.) Imperfect Courage, a book by Jessica Honegger (Episode 19)

If you’d like to follow along with what I’m up to, head to Facebook or Instagram. I’m also a therapist at Grand Rapids Specialty Therapy. Until next time, keep taking the middle seat.

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Taking the Middle Seat next to Toni Rain

On Episode 42, I’m talking with Toni Rain (Facebook). She does 1,000,000 amazing things INCLUDING writing a book called I Was Supposed to be Nothing, creating her own skin, hair and body products, and modeling. She talks about leaving a written legacy for her nieces and nephews and showing them how there is strength in vulnerability. I absolutely LOVED talking with Toni and speaking into the spaces that people shy away from. We talk about sex as self care (clutch your pearls), gender roles, relationships, friendships, race, business and so much more. The short chapters are GREAT for a quick daily inspirational read or a book you read with a group of friends. You will love her and her book! (and keep an eye out for the next book, hint, hint)

Toni lives her life to the fullest and loves so many things. She loves meditation, juicing (local people head to Malamiah Juice Bar!), herbal tea, walking in nature. Her products are available at local shops Nourish Your Curls and Reflections so go grab them and pamper yourself. I also mention a podcast that I love, Therapy for Black Girls. It’s SO great! If you’re looking for a therapist, TBG offers a great directory too.

Toni Rain, author

Toni Rain, author

Taking the Middle Seat next to Sarah Hartley with Holl & Lane Magazine

On Episode 21, I’m talking to Sarah Hartley, Editor in Chief of Holl & Lane Magazine. She describes the magazine by saying, “This is a revolution to show women, you are perfect as you are and there are other women just like you who have been standing right where you feel you are right now.” A REVOLUTION!! Yes!!! Soak in the whole Holl & Lane manifesto. We talk about the manifesto in our conversation and how it guides the intention of every issue.

The next issue of Holl & Lane is coming out Tuesday, October 16! And what exact subject do we need right now? Sarah knew we’d need this. It’s all about IMPACT. Subscribe right this minute. You’ll be so glad you did!

Follow Holl & Lane on Facebook and Instagram. Sarah and Jess craft gorgeous social media posts. I also just discovered that Jess has a rad business called Chaotic & Collected where she creates handmade party decor. So cool! If you’re a writer, check out H&L Writes too! The third member of the H&L team, Mia, helps with that and has an awesome blog you should follow.

I love Sarah’s idea of creating a “Sunshine Folder!” I keep a pile of cards that I’ve received in my desk drawer. So fun to look at those on the hard days.

Sarah’s favorite things include This is Us (I think I’m the only human who does not watch this), Armchair Expert podcast, photography, and Chatbooks.

Go take the middle seat, dear listener!  You'll love the magic you find there.

Sarah Hartley, Editor in Chief of Holl & Lane Magazine

Sarah Hartley, Editor in Chief of Holl & Lane Magazine