On Episode 193 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie sit down with Helene Defossez, an an author and activist who leads a group of Mama Bears (les mamans ours!) in her home country of France. The three women jump into a delightful and fierce conversation about food as activism and why eating more veggies and less (or no!) meat is an act of resistance in terms of climate change. The women discuss veganism and the treatment of animals, veganism as an environmental and political practice, and vegetables as a means of improved health. Also discussed is culture and relationship to food and farming practices, compassionate living, and Tesi’s discovery of the garlic press. :-) For links and complete Show Notes, visit the Mama Bear Dares website.
On Episode 192 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie sit down with Shontell Brewer, an incredible woman who is a teacher and mother and a fierce Mama Bear advocate for the growing number of those trafficked in the United States and beyond. Shontell shares stories from the frontlines, provides an education into the issue of sex-ploitation and human trafficking, and offers insight and advice on how to safely navigate technology in the face of predators. The women discuss Shontell’s work as a preventionist for trafficked individuals across the nation, how her skill and passion have aligned to make the world a better place, and the truth that each of us — and all the children we encounter — have worth and that an understanding of that worth could be life-saving. For complete Show Notes, visit the Mama Bear Dares website.
On Episode 191 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie talk about all things holiday. In particular, they discuss how to make room for JOY during this festive (and often jam-packed and perhaps even stressful) season. The sisters bring in expert and author Jessica Turner (Stretched Too Thin) to answer their questions about being present, being efficient, managing expectations, and finding joy (while still leaving room for the Mama Bear instinct) during the next month and beyond. Listeners will love the candid and honest conversation and the practical tips offered in this episode. For complete Show Notes, visit the Mama Bear Dares website.
On Episode 190 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Leslie grabs the mic and spends time talking about beauty, design, hospitality, priorities, place, and kindness with design maven MyQuillyn Smith. The women lament the American obsession with accumulating things and refuse to be “stuff managers.” In a lively conversation about all things beautiful, Leslie and Myquillyn explore the idea of how physical space impacts the Mama Bear spirit and about how we can all — should our hearts desire — achieve real, approachable, affordable design that lends our homes to joy and community. For complete Show Notes, visit the Mama Bear Dares website.
On Episode 189, Leslie and Tesi talk about the midterm election and their quest to raise politically active kids. They celebrate the nation’s small victories, reiterate their belief that the #babiesgonnasaveus, and leave listeners with a re-cap of the Water Party, an annual event that this year raised nearly $60,000 for clean water solutions in rural Tanzania. This episode is a reminder to listeners that progress is made at a pace that is almost always slow and steady, and encourage all the Fur/Plant/People mama and papas bears out there to keep doing the hard work in the direction of love and compassion. For complete Show Notes, visit the Mama Bear Dares website.
On Episode 188 of the Mama Bear Dares, Tesi and Leslie sit down with Jessica Blank, a creator, activist, entrepreneur, and mom. As a filmmaker, playwright, director, and actor Jessica has worked Off-Broadway, on network television, and in Hollywood and her groundbreaking, multi-award-winning documentary theater work has helped shape the genre. As an activist and change-maker, she works with progressive candidates and nonprofit leaders to help them use the power of empathy and narrative to radically expand their reach. powerfully uplevel their creativity, and use narrative for social change. For complete Show Notes, visit the Mama Bear Dares website.
On Episode 187, Tesi and Leslie add their Mama Bear voice to the discussion of cultural appropriation…a conversation they feel is relevant not just on Halloween but on every other day of the year as well. They discuss how to be cultural appreciators rather than appropriators, why they cling tightly to the maxim that Friends Don’t Let Friends Wear Blackface, and what makes them adamant in their belief that when you know better you do better. The sisters are candid about past mistakes and misteps, bring the research behind their current views, and challenge one another, as well as listeners, to look beyond ourselves and carefully consider the weight of each of our actions. For links and complete Show Notes, visit the Mama Bear Dares website.
On Episode 186 of the Mama Bear Dares podcast, Tesi and Leslie sit down with Libby Babbott-Klein, a producer, author, and creative director with a focus on activist and political content. Libby ran the video department for Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection, and launched a feminist jewelry line (Libby B.K.), and for over a decade, she has been creating content that is rooted in social change and entertainment. The women sit and talk about feminism in 2018 and explore the idea of teaching even our youngest children about gender equality. For complete Show Notes, visit the Mama Bear Dares Podcast website.
On Episode 185 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie re-visit the topic of kindness in America in 2018. Not only do they reiterate the importance of modeling kindness and teaching kindness to the next generation, but they also discuss how to live a healthy life of kindness. Thanks to a listener suggestion, they take a look at Brene Brown’s theory that the most compassionate people are the most boundaried and they discuss how to incorporate healthy boundaries in the Mama Bear life. Also discussed is the very real and very sobering fact that America has historically not ever been kind to certain groups of people. They acknolwedge this blindspot and vow to work even harder to steer the ship away from an undeniably sullied past and toward a kinder, gentler future for ALL people. For complete Show Notes, visit the Mama Bear Dares podcast website.
On Episode 184 of the Mama Bear Dares podcast, Tesi and Leslie chat with Shannan Martin, a mom, writer, and advocate for those on the fringes. Shannan makes her third appearance on the podcast and she and the sisters discuss community, neighborliness, committing to relationships with those with whom you are connected by proximity, and being an everyday advocate in your corner of the world. Through their conversation, listeners are invited to reflect on the meaning of kindness, their social position in America, and the ways in which they interact with their community and the world around them. For complete Show Notes, visit the Mama Bear Dares website.
On Episode 183 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie discuss rape culture, toxic masculinity, the Brett Kavanaugh appointment to the Supreme Court, and why they, as fierce Mama Bears, MUST act as cultural disruptors in this moment in time. In other words, they discuss why and how the dangerous old adage “boys will be boys” and everything it stands for must be stopped. The women lament the current state of our culture, but ultimately offer tangible tips on how to talk to the kids in your life about sex, consent, and responsibility, and raise up a new generation that honors the humanity of all. For complete Show Notes, please visit the Mama Bear Dares Website.
On Episode 182 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Leslie and Tesi sit down with Jessica Honegger, a woman who is using her fierce and fiery Mama Bear to bring fair wages and empowerment to women across the globe, and is preaching the gospel of sisterhood in her wake. Jessica stops by to discuss using our voice as women to lift up others, hustling hard for the life we want, and allowing ourselves to be burdened by big questions, like, how do I respond to the suffering in this world?The three women also discuss keeping assumptions generous and gratitude at the forefront both professionally and personally, and why it’s more important than ever to show up for your sisters. It’s a lively conversation that will inspire listeners to live bigger and braver! For complete Show Notes, visit the Mama Bear Dares website.
On Episode 181 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie remind listeners that they refuse to let kindness die. In fact, they audaciously believe that what America needs is more kindness! The women also recognize the responsibility we have as parents raising children in our current American culture to make sure that the virtue of kindness outlasts the test of time. Because, in some spheres, kindness seems to be on life-support, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie spend Episode 181 discussing what we can do to instill this value in the kids we influence. How do we raise kind kids? It turns out, there's actually a language to kindness and it's discussed in this fun and fascinating episode! For complete Show Notes, visit the Mama Bear Dares website.
On Episode 180 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Leslie and Tesi sit down with Zoie Hoffman, a mama bear who is using her talent and passion to help students thrive. The women focus their discussion on the psychology of a "growth" mindset and how we all can benefit from the practice of harnessing a growth vs. fixed view of ourselves and the world. We can also apply this psychology to the children in our lives as we hope to raise a new generation of life-long learners, another topic the women speak passionately about. Also discussed is how to avoid extending our own educational "baggage" to the children we love and how to build resiliency and grit. This the perfect back-to-school episode for anyone who has influence in a child's life or who wants to practice a growth mindset themselves. For complete Show Notes, visit the Mama Bear Dares podcast website.
On Episode 179 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie celebrate big birthdays and back to school! This Labor Day Mama Bear Mini is devoted to milestones, lessons learned, and the beauty of taking the time to check in on your own life through a little time and reflection. Tesi and Leslie both share some of the pivotal lessons they've learned over the last decade, enjoy a few laughs, and encourage their listeners to mark moments, check in with friends, and love the life they've been given. Th episode is filled with sisterly advice as the women practice the reflection that they preach. For complete Show Notes, visit the Mama Bear Dares website.
On Episode 178 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Leslie and Tesi sit down with the dynamic and inspiring Autumn Miles. Autumn is a speaker, radio host, author, advocate, and survivor of marital physical abuse. The women talk about the #MeToo movement, the role of community (and church) in unhealthy relationships and divorce, and how the world can step up in supporting women in the midst of abuse. Autumn courageously shares her personal story and hard-won wisdom, and gives listeners important information on how to spot domestic violence occurring in the lives of loved ones and how to get help if it's happening to you. Furthermore, the conversation covers the broader theme of recognizing your own belovedness ... something that belongs to each of us and is up to us to claim. Visit the Mama Bear Dares website for complete Show Notes.
On Episode 177 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie revisit privilege, racism, and 10 ways they believe white moms can use their privilege to fight racism and spread love. They trust that the podcast community is a safe place to express their observations, experiences, and beliefs about this topic and humbly ask readers to consider their perspective, poke holes in their theories, and promise to journey together to make a better tomorrow. Lovers of actionable steps and lists, Leslie and Tesi come up with 10 tangible ways to engage their Mama Bear in this fight. The 10 steps are listed below. For complete details and explanation, listen in! For complete Show Notes, visit the Mama Bear Dares website.
On Episode 176 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Leslie and Tesi sit down with the dynamic, wise, and absolutely delightful Dr. Zoe Shaw. Dr. Shaw is a mom to five, a psychotherapist, an author, and a radio host who is full of inspiration, energy, and fantastic advice.The sisters relish in their conversation about defining our unique super power and channeling it for the good of the world, saying 'no' in order to define priorities, setting boundaries, parenting teens intentionally, and living our best lives. The Mama Bear spirit is alive in this episode! Check out complete Show Notes on the Mama Bear website.
On this Mama Bear Mini, Tesi and Leslie talk about parenting teenagers in 2018. In particular, they discuss equipping kids with the language they need to navigate specific pressures of teenager-hood. They dive into ways parents can help prepare kids to say no to the pressures of drugs, alcohol, drunk driving and texting while driving, and discuss the language of kindness and how we might teach our kids to use their words in the face of relationship tension. The sisters also take on societal expectations of raising teenagers and end with an always-fun and long-overdue segment:Things I Should Probably Feel Guilty About, But Don't. Check out complete Show Notes at the Mama Bear Dares website.
On Episode 175, Tesi and Leslie sit down with Rumaisa Rahman Kahwaja and talk about her life's journey of learning and exploration. Rumaisa constant posture is love and compassion and the sisters love and appreciate the stories she shares about her journey to self acceptance and power. Rumaisa shares how she was mothered by a mother with mental illness, but has used that part of her story to become an phenomenal mother to her own daughter. Rumaisa grew up Muslim in Lincoln, Nebraska, and shares how she shared that part of herself while living in New York and working in fashion during 9/11. Rumaisa embodies an incredible spirit and she shares her insight and wisdom on the podcast, inspiring listeners to constant growth, acceptance, and re-invention. Virginia Wolf fans will recognize Ru immediately. She's "a self that goes on changing is a self that goes on living." For complete Show Notes, visit the Mama Bear Dares podcast website.
On Episode 173, Tesi and Leslie discuss the high cost of being poor in America. According to the US Census Bureau, 37 million people are living in poverty in America. Because of this huge number and because of the complexities and myths surrounding America's poor, the two women dig into the research surrounding generational poverty, the small money-saving conveniences that many of us take for granted, energy inequity, the systemic underbelly of economic oppression, and the reasons why we should care. The conversation concludes with action steps and a dare encouraging listeners to pick up a small stone in their local community that will ultimately move mountains in our country and world. View complete Show Notes on the Mama Bear Dares website.
On Episode 172 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi sits down with the thinker, writer, and modern-day prophet Rachel Held Evans to talk about the faith, justice, and a Mama Bear's response to the world we live in. The two dive into Rachel's new book, Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again, as they wade through a new answer to age-old questions like: How do you love your neighbor when you vehemently disagree with their beliefs? How do you overcome personal insecurities and be an advocate for truth and justice? What can we learn from the bible about satire, resistance, peace, and cultural disruption? Ultimately, the conversation challenges listeners to think about how faith and culture drives their perspective and how their response can bend toward justice, liberation, and love. Find complete Show Notes on the Mama Bear Dares podcast website.
On Episode 171, Leslie and Tesi discuss embracing and embodying JOY as an act of resistance. They discuss the long history of joy in the face of oppression and encourage listeners to take active steps toward eradicating any guilt associated with experiencing joy amid suffering. After discussing a bit of psychology in cultivating joy, they share personal mantras that encourage joy, and lean on the wisdom of those who have come before us, including Audre Lorde who said "caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare." The conversation concludes with the sharing of simple joys and a dare to make space for JOY as a profound nod to resistance, justice, and peace. For complete Show Notes, visit the Mama Bear Dares website.
On Episode 170 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Leslie and Tesi dish with Allison Schaaf, an Austin-based chef who shares wisdom on meal prep and planning, turning a passion into a business, and how to maintain a healthy life balance. Listen in as Leslie reveals her version of a "hot sandwich" and Tesi loses her mind over the mention of a honey mustard glaze. The conversation is light, fun, and full of useful tips and worthwhile wisdom. For complete Show Notes, visit the Mama Bear Dares website.
On Episode 169 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie knash teeth over the horror going on at the southwest border. With facts to back up their rage, the two women talk about the atrocity of migrant mothers and children being ripped apart at the border, about how the current administration has wrongfully used the bible to oppress, and how Mama Bears must refuse to sit back and watch it happen. The women remind listeners that without ethics, laws are just stories to tell to justify horror. They encourage Mama Bears throughout the country to do whatever is in their power to RESIST and offer tangible steps of how to do so. For complete Show Notes, visit the Mama Bear Dares website.