A Talk with Author, Speaker, Podcast Host, Sara Blanchard

Sara Blanchard helps communities build connections through conscious conversations, which she does as a podcaster, facilitator, TEDx speaker, writer, and happiness consultant.

Having worked at Goldman Sachs and taught positive psychology at Harvard, Sara speaks the language of traditional accomplishment, but for over 10 years, Sara has also pursued the science and techniques of well-being as a life coach, mother, and author of Flex Mom.

In addition to emceeing events like the World Happiness Summit and facilitating meaningful panel discussions, Sara now co-hosts award-winning Dear White Women, a social justice podcast that highlights the humanity in the history, race, and happiness of the United States.

Sara & her dear friend Misasha, are the co-hosts of Dear White Women, an award-winning social justice podcast for busy people, who wish they knew more about race, happiness, history & current events in the United States.

Their personal drive to leave this world a better place for their children became the impetus for this show, and each episode builds on their shared core beliefs in the humanity of all people, and that we rise by lifting others. 

In a nutshell: they are best friends who met decades ago when they were walking out of a racial identity conversation (they’re both half-White and half-Japanese) as undergraduates at Harvard. 

Misasha is married to a Black man, is a lawyer, amateur historian, and Megaformer fitness coach; Sara is married to a White Canadian man, is a life coach, positive psychology aficionado, and happiness consultant.

Together they have four very mixed-race school-aged boys and girls.  The podcast brings all these perspectives into consideration, as they dive into uncomfortable, informative conversations that help them – and listeners – know better and do better for themselves and the communities they’re in.

You can listen to their new episodes every Wednesday, on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and anywhere you subscribe to podcasts.

Sara Blanchard:

TedX Speaker

Her Book: “Flex Mom

The “Dear White Women” website

Co-host of Dear White Women: Listen to the podcast here

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Podcast Music By: Andy Galore, Album: “Out and About“, Song: “Chicken & Scotch” 2014

Andy’s Links:

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Sara Blanchard Interview:

Joe: All righty, Sarah Blanchard, finally we get to do this together. This is awesome, we’re both in front of microphones, were both wearing headphones, like you said before we came live. It’s like we sure have come a long way.

Sara: Yeah. And we’re so fancy with all the equipment, aren’t we?

Joe: I know it’s awesome. We look like we know what we’re doing, actually.

Sara: It’s amazing what appearances can, can do.

Joe: And you are coming from the freezing Denver area and I am in sunny, warm Arizona, even though today is not, I guess that warm, but it’s it’s still a lot nicer than what you’re suffering through.

Sara: It is all relative too. Yeah,

Joe: Yes.

Sara: It is. It’s the ups and downs of the temperature here, are crazy! We were in seventy five degrees and sunny and I got a little bit of a sunburn on Saturday. And here we are a few days later in like a multi-day cold snap where snow is drifting down in the clouds.

Joe: Well, so you and I have been friends for a really long time. We’ve both have done a lot of different things over the years that we’ve known each other. But I want to start at least giving the listeners and if people are watching this on YouTube, eventually, the viewers, an overview of where you came from. You know, starting you can go back as far as you want, but I kind of want to do the early days super quickly to jump to, you know, college and then and then, you know, you’ve lived overseas and and all of that really cool stuff. So and then we’ll just go from there.

Sara: All right. That sounds good. Grew up in a blissful, happy childhood, really. If I look back on it, you know, suburbs of New York and all that good stuff with a white dad and a Japanese mom. So a little different than perhaps the typical American experience had to go to Japanese Saturday school every Saturday of my childhood, but ended up going to Harvard as an undergrad. Graduated and moved to Tokyo. I really wanted to see what my mom’s life was like. She’s an immigrant from Japan.

Joe: Ok, but wait don’t

Joe: Don’t skip over the Harvard part too quick, because I want to know how you did that and and how how how you went to a school like that and what your thought process was. And was it just like not everybody just all of a sudden goes to Harvard? So don’t, don’t,

Sara: Right.

Joe: Don’t,

Sara: Don’t skip it.

Joe: Do not skip it.

Sara: Okay, fine, I’ll celebrate my success Joe! Fine!

Joe: It’s too big of a thing that just ignore go. Oh, yes. I went to Harvard and then now you can’t go that quick through Harvard.

Sara: Ok, I was one of the kids that I think had ah, I wasn’t the top in anything. I was the well-rounded kid who had interests in a lot of different things. I mean, did it hurt that my dad went to Harvard? All just, you know, no, that didn’t hurt. But I also, you know, did really well in school. And I played piano my whole life growing up classical piano and competed in things and performed in New York City. I went to Japanese Saturday school, like I said, so I’m fluent in two languages and eventually got into sports. So I guess that sort of helped me be more well-rounded. I don’t know. I think I, I worked hard, but I feel like I was lucky. You know, I look at these kids getting into a place like that now. Like, how are these people solving world problems? And it’s like having a life and like, I would never get it. No, I wouldn’t.

Joe: Really?

Sara: These kids are amazing. Oh, gosh, I don’t think so. You know, but but I was a you know, it was a great experience. It was interesting going from being, you know, fairly well rounded and sheltered, but yet having this freedom, because my mom, like I was able to go into New York City from the time I was in eighth grade by myself before cell phones read like these are the days you carried around quarters and threw them into those pay phones in the New York City corners. You rode the subway like I had that freedom. They gave me that freedom. I had to earn that freedom. And so I feel like there was a bit of independence also that probably helped. But I showed up at Harvard in, man, people are smart! I was blown away by the people who were there. Really cool places and you know, and there was a diversity. I mean, I did meet for the first time ever, friends who had gone to boarding school. I didn’t even know that was a thing…really? Like, I didn’t really

Joe: Right.

Sara: Understand

Joe: Right.

Sara: That kids were sent away from their homes

Joe: Was anybody named like Buffy, or, or, Biff or whatever those names are?

Sara: No, but there were several, you know, the 4ths

Joe: Right, right,

Sara: The generational stuff, they were wearing Burberry coats freshman year and you’re like, wow, that’s expensive, no? We didn’t grow, we did grow up in New York or in the suburbs of New York and so by like, you know, cross culture, country standards, we probably were middle class, upper middle class, whatever, but my dad had lost a job for a little while. So we went through economic hardship in the few years right before I left for school. And so I had come from this place of feeling like, oh, my gosh, like we don’t have much right now. And I’m looking at these people who have so much, so much money, and so much intelligence and worldliness. And I definitely was like, this is amazing. It was it was an amazing experience.

Joe: Sure

Sara: And the opportunities that we had while we were there, were incredible. And you’re in these buildings that are old and.

Joe: Yep.

Sara: I don’t know. It was an institution

Joe: Yep.

Sara: Then I got to be part of it. And I’m really, really grateful.

Joe: Cool. OK, well, good. Now I feel much better

Sara: Now

Joe: Now.

Sara: We can move

Joe: We can move on.

Sara: Ok.

Joe: Thank you.

Sara: Yeah. Then I really wanted to experience my mom’s culture. So like I said, you know, I had to go to Japanese school, was forced to learn another language, which when I was a kid was really resentful of and now I’m so grateful that my mom did that because I didn’t do it with my own kids because it was so hard. And I have a new appreciation for how hard my mom worked to make sure we were bilingual. But I wanted to live in Japan and yet I came out with so much college debt that I was like, I can’t just go teach English in Japan, I need to have like a proper job. And so I got a job at Goldman Sachs. So a huge international banking firm and I got an internship there during college and then I got to go there, I got a job offer after that. So I moved to Japan after graduation.

Joe: And so when you were in Harvard, what would you studying, was it finance?

Joe: No.

Sara: No, it was like it was useless degree ever East Asian studies.

Joe: Wow. I don’t

Sara: It’s

Joe: Even know it.

Sara: The.

Joe: I have yeah, I have no idea what that is

Sara: I don’t even know what it really in hindsight.

Joe: [laughter]

Sara: I really wish I had studied psychology and I kid you not, I stopped at the psychology table because from the time I was young, like I’ve always been interested in psych, which will come full circle later in this conversation. But I really looked at the table and the students who were there behind the table telling you about the thing kind of freaked me out. So I walked away from the table like it was. That was why I didn’t choose psych as my major and I chose East Asian studies ultimately, which in the end worked out well because I got to go to Japan through connections in the, you know, the language program and that sort of stuff that told me about events.

Joe: Sure!

Sara: You know, the whole universe trust the universe and just do what you do anyway. But I. So I wound up in Japan and I lived there for four years living in Tokyo as one of the very few non Japanese women who like basically white women-ish. I mean, I’m mixed, but at that point I presented as white. And so there was very few of us who weren’t strippers who worked in Tokyo at that time, but who were in finance. So you had the English teachers, but they didn’t live in like the center of Tokyo because it’s so expensive. And so I still know a handful of the women that I worked with there. And then, yeah, you, you were either a stripper or you were a dancer or you were in finance in the middle of the city.

Joe: And I would think

Sara: So I did that for four years.

Joe: As a white woman over in Japan and Japan is very much a male society, right, it’s like it’s really hard to be at an equal sort of level with your male counterparts out there, even when you were going to school. I mean, after school and after you went there.

Sara: Yeah. But to be fair, the organization I worked at was incredible like that. Yes, there was absolutely some hierarchy and stuff that would be deemed inappropriate now for sure in this day and age. But I think I got away with it like I was because I speak Japanese fluently, but I was perceived as a foreigner. Any time I could speak Japanese was a bonus and they appreciated me for it. They didn’t expect me to play the role of the traditional Japanese salesperson and do the things that you’re supposed to do, like be the person who serves the tea and the whatever. I didn’t have to do any of it was literally my one. I remember one of my friends at the time was also born and raised in the States, but she was biologically all Japanese and she was also bilingual but was expected to play that role. And so there was definitely an interesting learning curve about what it meant to be a foreigner in high high-power a place like that. But you know, the top management, it was a very flat hierarchy there. You know, if you think about Goldman Sachs here, what I mean, even when I moved to New York, actually to work in their offices for a little while, you’d have this like, be careful, the boss is coming, pretend you’re doing work.  Whereas there, you would just you would you would hang out with everybody outside of work. The big bosses would come and sit in the chair next to you and ask you, really, how are you doing? Hey, can you be involved in this project? That project, like you really had access to management in a way that I don’t think you would have in a bank in the US.

Joe: Wow!

Sara: So I learned a lot. I mean, these guys are great people,

Joe: Cool!

Sara: It was also really, really cool female boss out there, too.

Joe: Now, were you fluent by the time you landed there with Goldman Sachs?

Sara: In like conversational Japanese, yeah. But did I know how to say profit margin and

Joe: Yeah.

Sara: Like stocks

Joe: Right.

Sara: And stuff like that? No, that was definitely specialized language I had to learn

Joe: But you ended

Sara: And

Joe: Up

Sara: Probably.

Joe: You ended up having that by the time you left there, like you were completely fluent.

Sara: Yeah, though it was still, you know, the business was done in both languages

Joe: Yup.

Sara: So I could get away with not having to learn it completely fluently,

Joe: Right.

Sara: But there was an interesting time. I mean, it was

Joe: Sure,

Sara: You party hard, work hard, you know, early twenties, you know, you

Joe: Nothing’s

Sara: Just.

Joe: Changed. It’s still this.

Sara: Oh, right.

Joe: I know.

Sara: Oh [laughter], right. She says that she falls asleep

Joe: Yeah.

Sara: At like 9:00 p.m. with her warm, fuzzy socks on. Now.

Joe: It’s OK. It’s all right. OK,

Sara: Yeah.

Joe: So cool. So then you were there for four years.

Sara: I was there for four years,

Joe: Ok.

Sara: And then eventually I was asked I both wanted to and asked to move to a different office, a Hong Kong office, because they wanted me to help build the Pan Asia team that I was on. And so I moved to Hong Kong. After much campaigning on my part, which was awesome, and then I was, I think within three weeks of landing there, I met my now husband.

Joe: WOW!

Sara: So we met randomly and he’s not. I mean, he was just there for work on a work trip.

Joe: Right.

Sara: So that was a fortuitous move at the right time. You know, and all paths changed because of that. But shortly after he moved to Hong Kong, probably end of the summer, and then by the fall, we found out my dad was sick.

Joe: Ok.

Sara: So I got a call. It was like the longest in my life I’d ever gone without talking to my parents. There’s like a month or something like that that I hadn’t, you know, because I had been moving from Tokyo, packing up and then moving to Hong Kong and then unpacking and settling in and I got a phone call and they were like, and then I met John and all these amazing things were happening. And I had it like before I knew it, three weeks went by and I got a phone call and there were beeps in the background. And my dad was like, “So I have to you something”. “I’m like, where are you?” “In the hospital, I have a brain tumor.”

Joe: Oh,

Sara: And it was just like this [screech]

Joe: So he called you?

Sara: What is happening? Yeah.

Joe: So he called you directly. It wasn’t…got it.

Sara: Um, and told me the story of how that happened. I kept going to work for a little bit like the next week, a couple of days, but found myself like in the refreshment corner, like just sort of holding back tears. And I think a boss, somebody found me in there once and they explained what was going on. And they’re like, if you don’t get on a plane to go home and take care of your family, we will put you on a plane.

Joe: WOW!

Sara: So go. And that’s what I mean. Goldman people and the managers, people there were incredible. And they still probably are, you know. Um, I really appreciated everything about what they did. They put me on a plane. They paid for it. They called it a business trip. I spent three weeks helping my dad get second opinions and all the things he did end up passing about a month after we found out, I got that phone call

Joe: And you were there? You were at home

Joe: Yah…I was home

Sara: I was home and I had just flown, I’d just gone back to Hong Kong. And then this is where music plays into it, I gone back to Hong Kong as I bought John tickets to go see the Eagles for his birthday.

Joe: Nice.

Sara: And I was like, well, we got you set up. You’re going to your treatment’s going to start like, let me go. There’s nothing more I can do. Let me go back. And then as we literally were leaving the Eagles concert, my phone rang and it was my brother saying, “You need to come home!” And so that’s where Hotel California continues to have a very special place in my heart,

Joe: Ah Huh.

Sara: Because that was the last song they performed as we were leaving. And then I got the call. So it’s like Burned in my memory is this bittersweet song.

Joe: Right.

Sara: But then I got on a plane that night like I called the bosses, told them all what was happening. And again, I went home and was there to be able to see him pass. Basically, you know, within less than a couple days, he passed away. So it rocked my world.

Joe: Yup!

Sara: You know? My brothers were still in college, my mom was a mess. And so I got a transfer move back to the New York office. And again, they were all great. It was a cool experience working there, but I was depressed. I mean, you know how I was holding them all up. Helping loan forgiveness, making sure my mom was functioning and eating and doing that stuff, though it was all a blur for her, like she, they were married for so long. It was really heartbreaking to see her go through all that and sort of feel like she was gone, take care of my brothers. So eventually we moved back to New York and John actually was able to sort of be around during a lot of that time. And so I think a few, six months, half a year after that, I basically was like, I can’t go into work and cry multiple times in the bathroom a day. Like, I think I need a leave of absence here and I took one. Found out that the number one reason people take leaves of absences was for mental health issues. I had no idea that that was actually a thing that people did and that is an option and all of that sort of stuff.

Sara: But I did and they were amazing. And I will end up just realizing my dad. One of the things he always did with me was keep in touch with email and every email was signed. “Keep the balance”. Because like I said, you work hard, party hard, but it was not a balanced lifestyle. And I really realized during that leave of absence that if my dad dying so young and so suddenly and he and I were so close, if that wasn’t going to shake me out of this lack of balance and this lack of doing…I didn’t love what I was doing. I love the people I worked with, I was good at what I did, I could have done more, but I was exhausted from it. And I realized if that wasn’t enough to shake me out of it, nothing would be. So I was either gonna be making a choice to be tied, golden handcuffs getting paid really well, doing this highflying cool thing or having to make this crazy leap into what on earth do I really want to do? I don’t know, but I need to leave and find it

Joe: And when was this?

Sara: Because I was never gonna leave.

Joe: When was this like timewise, just that, what year or so?

Sara: In 05, 2005. So I did. I left. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever made. But one of the most proud decisions I ever made, Like the things I’m most proud of.

Joe: Sure

Joe: Yup

Sara: And I had, had enough savings that I could pay for it. I’d made sure that I was like on my own, I had enough to save to pay for everything for a year, which I was really grateful for that I had done that. Ah, worked in a little coffee shop in Brooklyn, met all these people who did what they loved and made money and I’m like, that’s a world that exists? I didn’t know that that existed. I literally did not know. Right? Like when you’re raised in this way of like Harvard, Goldman Sachs, like that’s success,  that’s what you’re supposed to do. And I had no idea because everyone says that’s what you’re supposed to do, there’s no other way you’re you’re not successful and therefore you won’t be happy. I didn’t realize that people could be happier the other way to

Joe: Yeah.

Joe: Yeah, that’s cool.

Sara: And it was it was really eye opening.

Joe: I’m not sure if I could see you as a barista, but that’s OK.

Sara: I smiled when I served people coffee. But here’s this for humanity, though, it was really interesting. I loved the coffee shop I worked at. It was this little mom and pop shop and the owners were great, but people would treat baristas like crap!

Joe: WOW!

Sara: And like they would just kind of like…nahhh this whatever. And I remember then you’d still smile and it was fine. It was still a local shop, so you knew your regulars and it’s fine. But I remember one day the owner let it slip that I had gone to Harvard and worked at Goldman Sachs, and there was a one guy who would always been grumpy, suddenly was interested in me and wanted to ask questions and was polite. Oh, interesting, people are rude to people they deem under them unless they learn. Like

Joe: Yeah.

Sara: We’re not seeing this humanity in each other unless there’s like a label or someone’s worthwhile.

Joe: That’s huge.

Sara: I promise I will never be that person is what I basically told myself at that point.

Joe: Yeah, you never know the underlying anything about somebody, right? We learn that every day. You sometimes you think you meet somebody and they they look sad or they’re grumpy or vice versa. They’re…you don’t understand what the underlying thing is happening in their life. And we assume too often that, they’re, they have a certain job because they’re not intelligent or they have certain job because they’re superintend. But you don’t know all that went into everything, there’s no way to know that. So that’s why these conversations are cool like that. But for me podcast, I learned so much about human beings in general. So this is a cool platform to do that where you’re having these candid conversations to find out how you got from point A to point B in your life and what you’ve learned along the way. So.

Sara: Cool! Yeah,

Joe: Right.

Sara: I love the podcast thing, as you know.

Joe: Yes.

Sara: So, yes, I agree completely.

Joe: All right. So so you basically where you lived was, I think initially Long Island, right. And then and then where in Japan, first

Sara: In Tokyo?

Joe: Tokyo,

Sara: Tokyo

Joe: Then Hong Kong,

Sara: And then Hong Kong.

Joe: Then back to New York.

Sara: Yep. Then Brooklyn.

Joe: Brooklyn. Right. OK, cool.

Sara: And then.

Joe: Did you guys ever live in the city? No. Brooklyn was as close as you got.

Sara: Yeah, I mean, it was the easiest way to commute to downtown where my office was when I was still at Goldman

Joe: Yep!

Joe: Yep.

Sara: And then we moved further away into like a more juicy, fun part of Brooklyn once we were not tied to that commute,

Joe: Sure.

Sara: Which was super fun!

Joe: Right.

Sara: I loved it it was fun!

Joe: Can you get the best of both worlds, you can live there cheap enough, but still have all of the city, as you know, at your fingertips, so. All right, cool. so let’s go to and I don’t want to skip over anything super important, but ah, like you were kind of on this path when I met you. Because just to chat, chew and chocolate days. Right? I was like

Sara: Oh, my gosh!

Joe: Right. This was this networking thing that you, you started to do. And even though it was on a just neighborhood level of, you know, going to someone’s house who’s hosting it and sitting around and having these conversations. This is, the you know, this is the path that it took you to now. But from that time, you’ve you’ve gotten into the next part of your life, which is you’re trying to figure out what to do. So what was the first concrete thing that you did? Because I know you wrote a book, but I don’t know if that’s really the next thing.

Sara: No in-between still at that coffee shop, an old friend of mine had come in and was like, I really want to do this happiness project. And she’s like, I know you like, you’re the person I’m supposed to talk to about this. Yeah, I wish I knew the name of that guy who taught me happiness as an undergrad. So he’s got this name that was pretty unique and I really don’t remember what it was. And my mom at that time said, you have to come with me to a yoga retreat. They seem like totally unrelated things. But my mom dragged me to this yoga retreat. And we walked in late to the first session. Then it was a huge circle and across the room was the dude whose name I couldn’t remember who had been my teacher as an undergraduate. Over seven years before. And it was Tal Ben-Shahar, who is one of the, my men, who’d been my mentor ever since. Because I ran into him there. What have you been doing? Oh, my gosh. You’re the guy I needed to talk to about happiness. And he was like, how? There’s this whole field of positive psychology now.

Sara: There’s this thing called life coaching. My whole world was just like, “Ahhhh!!”, this is what I meant to do. Like, I mean, we did an aura reading and the lights were just shining. Like it was just this crazy, like I’m supposed to be here. My mom said, this is why I literally told my friend she wasn’t allowed to come with me because I had to take you instead. And that to me, was this cool example of just like, things first of all, the fact that he remembered me and I remembered him, I was like, that was a good relationship that I had as an undergrad then, right? It speaks to him and his quality of character to be willing to sit down with me after that session and tell me all about these things and take this chance to like fill me in on this whole world that he’s working on. And at that point after that retreat, I got certified in life coaching. And so I did that for a few years and then had the kids

Joe: So.

Sara: Who you know. But, yeah.

Joe: Right. So what is the life coaching process look like? Because I’m sure it varies from program to program. But what’s that basic when you say you got certified? What does somebody do to get that?

Sara: I mean, I guess right now you could technically just hang out a shingle me like I’m a life coach, you don’t need it. But there is a thing called the International Coaching Federation that has accredited programs throughout the country. And I went to iPEC. This was forever ago, but I went to iPEC, which basically was, if I’m remembering correctly, you did, maybe it was like a seven or eight month program where you did weekly work. You showed up live for several long weekend intensives. And in the meanwhile, you did a lot of work in between remotely to catch up with this program. By the end of that, you have all the skills that you need to properly represent this field of coaching. And so I did that. And then I contacted Tal again, and I said, look, you told me about that happiness class you were doing. What can I do to get involved? Because it was the last time he was gonna be able to teach it again at Harvard and he was teaching the most popular course at Harvard at that time. It was “Positive Psych”, you know, #1504, I think if I’m remembering the number correctly.

Joe: Wow.

Sara: But it was like this happiness course and it was all these kids wanted it. The Harvard kids wanted this course on happiness. So it was the first of its kind and I got to be a teaching fellow for that class. And that was when I got to meet some incredible other people in the field who are now also incredibly successful in the field. Um, so Shawn Achor who wrote the foreword for my book, was also a teacher, head teaching fellow for that class and he’s incredible with the work that he and his wife do now, too. So I got to live in a college dorm room as an adult again and go back and live there for a semester just after we were freshly married and like teach kids this class and be a teaching fellow and learned as I taught. So it was an incredible way to really be immersed in positive psych after I’d already been trained and as a life coach for a while. And it was a game changing experience. I loved every minute of teaching and those students were awesome.

Joe: So just to kind of, I don’t know, figure out how you literally went from being in this coffee shop to going to a yoga class to seeing this old professor of yours. And how did you figure out that doing something in regards to coaching and happiness like it did? Did it just click instantly? Like, that’s what I want to do, I just want to help people to live more fulfilled lives and be happier and whatever. I mean, is it just click all of a sudden?

Sara: I mean, it was definitely yes. This it like, you know, when you listen to your body and it’s just every part of you is like buzzing with excitement, like you’re like, yes, I don’t know how or why, but this is a yes! It was one of those moments. And I think it was twofold, one was that, like I said, that’s psych table as an undergrad, freaked me out because people stayed sitting behind it. But I was always interested in psych. The downside being like I didn’t want to focus on the negative side of psychology. Right?

Sara: It’s a very necessary field but there is a lot of responsibility that comes with that. There’s a lot of negativity when you’re talking about dysfunction in bringing it to function. And until that meeting when I ran into, I didn’t know there was something that focused on the positive side of life. It, it literally I had no idea that there was a field out there like that. And it was fairly new, I think, at the time. And I think the second part of it was selfish, like I had come out of losing my dad. And I was like, yes, I want to learn how to be happier again.

Joe: Right!

Sara: I want to learn the tools to help other people while I’m learning this all for myself. I might as well again, like learn and teach it all at the same time. We help people as I’m going through it. I think I’ve always been a people person. Like a helper, I guess. No, if that’s so.

Joe: You’ve actually sat there and let me bounce a bunch of things off you. Many times.

Sara: But that’s what you do. But that’s what you get. This is true,

Joe: So, yes, you are a helper

Sara: But I think that’s my and I think that’s my natural skill set. That’s just how I’m wired. I think. Right. I love it. And so I think, you know, for those two reasons, it was the right thing for me to do at that time.

Joe: Cool. So now you…you’re in New York, you finished this semester doing this, right?

Sara: Yes. And we had just moved to Arizona when I had actually then moved back to teach. So we were already first in Arizona for a few years. And then, you know, while I had the business and then I was back in Boston and Cambridge teaching as an assistant and then, a few years…well, yeah, within a year, I think of having taught it and being really excited, Yes, I can do this while we have kids and then I had my first kid. And she did not want mommy to have anything other than her to do.

Joe: Yes.

Sara: I think you remember you and I have known each other for long enough.

Joe: Yes.

Sara: And you remember she was.

Joe: Can you say demanding, baby? Is that

Sara: I know…feel bad..

Joe: It? Is that the proper…I don’t know…

Sara: Right?

Joe: So hear this someday and she’ll come after me

Sara: She was challenge…she was difficult…

Sara: Oh, she will. But she’s, I mean, she’s a great human being. I just had two babies who were really challenging babies. They had like a whole bunch of unique, not unique, but just like, uncommon ailments as children and that required a lot out of me and I wasn’t feeling like I could give the same amount of attention to my clients when a kid was screaming with a babysitter in the same house, like it felt really like I was being split into working from home

Joe: Right!

Sara: And having a baby and being like, I know that I can help this child if I literally just go over there and pay attention to it. And so I did. I shut down the business. That was a really hard choice, but it was exactly what our family needed us to do.

Joe: So what was the biz like? So. OK. And you

Sara: I just stopped coaching people.

Joe: Ok? And you were doing that both live in remotely? Or….

Sara: Yep,

Joe: Ok.

Sara: Yep. So sort of clients around the country, plus a handful in person.

Joe: Ok.

Sara: Most of it was done remotely, I…

Joe: Ok. all walks of life, all sorts of businesses, everything?

Sara: Yeah. You you’re the one time I coached a guy I had said I will he wanted to work with women. It was what I related to and that sort of stuff. And the one time I. Open that rule up and coach a guy by the end of our coaching engagement, I gave him like the farewell, thanks blah, blah, blah…he was like, okay, can we fuck now? And I

Joe: Oh,

Sara: Was like ooh!,

Joe: Nice.

Sara: Oh, OK. That’s why I’m only into coaching women.

Joe: There ya go!

Joe: That’s right…

Sara: So…

Sara: Like.

Joe: That’s right. Because you obviously when you’re helping these people, you have to get somewhat intimate in their lives. Dig into things that are either blocking them or holding them back in some way. And yeah, I can see that it’s kind of scary, but…

Sara: Yeah, now, I really hope my children don’t listen to this know. [laughter]

Joe: Ok. We’ll make sure that, so no that, that interview never happened don’t you. It was just, you heard us talking about it, but it didn’t physically happen.

Sara: It didn’t happen

Joe: Didn’t happen…

Sara: [laughter] Yeah…

Joe: Yeah. Ok, so you have your first child and then you start to get the itch to go back to something?

Sara: Yes, I did like big time!! Because once she was sort of more settled in like early toddlerhood, I was like, I can do this. And then it was like, but we’re probably gonna have another kid, so it was this, do I start again only to ramp down because that feels really crappy.

Joe: Yup!

Sara: And then I was like, OK, fine, I’ll suck it up. I’ll just stay with both of them. Like what? So then the second child was at home and

Sara: It was hard…

Joe: Also have to give yourself credit because you are in a circumstance that is different than a lot of relationships…husband and wife with kids, because your husband would be away for periods of time because of his job. And we’re not talking, you know, like some people, the balance alone for parents with kids and the husband is away at work and they have a stay at home mom. That’s one thing where at night you get some relief when he walks through the door. But you had days of just you with two small children, which is

Sara: Yes.

Joe: Really hard, and you lived in a new place. I mean, just these all of these things. So.

Sara: Thanks, Joe!

Joe: So kudos to you, I, it’s

Sara: Thank you!

Joe: Something that I would see when I would visit you and be like, oh God, I don’t know how she does it, but she’s she’s doing it. But you did it in a really calm way. So, you know…

Sara: Appearances can be deceiving. Isn’t it funny?

Joe: Oh,

Sara: No,

Joe: Yeah.

Sara: But I mean, you were in it like, you know, you did see. I mean, that was it. It was hard. Thank you for saying that the kids were challenging. And it was I think the hardest part was getting my mind around it. They were hard, I mean, they were you saw…I mean, they were unhealthy…it was just stuff. There were issues that we had to fight through, that for them, that they were having challenges, when they were little but it was exhausting. And I remember being out I mentioned this in the book, too. But like I remember being out at a fundraiser and someone said, you know, “I’m so important I have this job, blah, blah, blah.” And then she’s like, what do you do? And I was like, “I stay at home with my kids” and she literally was like, oh, and walked away from me and I just remember being crushed because I was so not confident in being this definition of a stay at home mom. Right. Like, I didn’t I didn’t know what to make of my identity yet. And it crushed me

Joe: I remember that story

Sara: Oh, I guess

Joe: I remember

Sara: I was like,

Joe: Story…

Joe: I remember you tell…

Sara: Yeah.

Joe: Yeah, I remember that because it’s, it.

Sara: I was fired up.

Joe: Yeah well and the old stigmatism of, you know, stay at home, mom, it just it you don’t get it unless you live it. And yeah, ah, you know, we all look back after the fact and go God. We put our own moms through hell and we were…I was awful, man I just drove my poor mother nuts. But yeah, it’s a tough, tough job. And I’d rather be working than out somewhere than actually being a stay at home mom. It’s that hard? I think so. Kudos to you.

Sara: Well, thank you. I mean, it was, you know, you can’t fail. You have to do it

Joe: Right.

Sara: Once you. There’s no choice. It was we were gonna make it through. You know, in hindsight. Have I beat myself up over it sometimes? Yeah. Could I have handled it with more grace? Probably, yeah. But you do what you do and all we can do is no better do better. So I keep working on that, especially in these times of re-visiting kids being home all the time.

Joe: Yeah, so when when do you get because we keep referring to the book, but I’m kind of like it.

Sara: When does the book come in? OK, so

Joe: Yes,

Sara: The book

Joe: I don’t

Sara: Comes

Joe: Want to jump

Sara: Into

Joe: Ahead,

Sara: Play.

Joe: But I feel like we’re close.

Sara: We are. I

Joe: Ok.

Sara: Got crushed. I then was doing some of the stuff you talked about that you like always sort of keeping up. Was writing for a mom’s blog about managing the mom’s blog,

Joe: And now this

Sara: You

Joe: Is

Sara: Know,

Joe: In

Sara: Doing

Joe: Arizona

Sara: The chatter.

Joe: At this point.

Sara: This is in Arizona. As a stay at home mom, just sort of head side projects to keep myself occupied and busy. I knew I wasn’t going to, like, fully stay at home and not have projects or something forever. And so finally, when the youngest went to kindergarten, was in school full time. I was like, YES!, I have time. I mean, otherwise they’re with you all the time. But I got him out of the house in the morning and I had like six or seven hours where I could actually do something without someone attached the hip or telling me they were hungry or needing something from me or wanting to play or wanting to read the book for the hundredth time. You know, I loved being with them and I love them. It goes without saying it was it was and continues to be hard work to be parents. So. I when the youngest one went to school, I really realized I wanted to do something with that first year, that was a little bit more, like instant gratification, like faster, you know, then I’m going to spend the next five years building up a platform that eventually will get recognized. I wanted something now to be like I did something with its first year. And so I found a program that again, one of those yes, I want to go all in on this kind of things. It was like, do you wanna write a book? And it turned out also randomly halfway into the writing of the book, I found like an old goal sheet from when I was doing my life coaching and it was one of the 10 year goals was to write a book and I was right at that time that it was like, I’m like, wow, that’s weird when you write your goals down.

Joe: It’s crazy.

Sara: Somehow that manifests,

Joe: That’s crazy

Sara: Right?

Sara: So I did that. And it was interesting coming up with this idea of what to write about, because I had all these intellectual ideas about what I wanted to write about, like cyberbullying or like the things that I thought would be helpful. And this book program, the, the people who work there were pushing back me like a why are…Yes, this book needs to be out there, but why do you need to be the one to write it? What are you an expert in? And I remember just venting at that point, sort of half joking, being like the only thing I’m an expert in is if I could do stay, why stay at home parenting sucks and what I would do differently if I could do it again. And then I realized that was where the passion like, that was what I needed to get out of my system to help other people who were in my situation and what I would have done differently.

Joe: Right. So they

Sara: So.

Joe: Were questioning you of why you would write a book about cyberbullying when you actually had real expertise in something else. And that’s how they steered you into the book that you ended up writing.

Sara: Correct.

Joe: Yeah.

Sara: Yes. So

Joe: You were

Sara: I

Joe: Thinking

Sara: Want a.

Joe: Of a new idea outside of your real world, even though you might have had knowledge of all of it. Right? But they basically brought you back end and said, no. But this is what you live day in and day out. This is what you should write about.

Sara: And I thought it was really cool, the first draft of it came out sounding incredibly bitter, and I thought that was interesting too, like the editors didn’t catch it but when I had a couple of my friends who know me as a parent look at it, they were like, they’re just a few times your tone changes. And considering the tone of my book is the thing that I sort of get the best feedback from.

Joe: Yeah.

Sara: I’m really glad my friend caught that because it sounded really bit like a first. You know, you always have to have a bad first draft of something. Whatever work that comes out, the very first time you’re trying something is not going to be the best. And so it was great to be able to do that and get feedback from people who know me to be like I would change that tone. I think the challenging part for me in writing the book, though, was because it was also it’s called “Flex Mom” and it’s about this how to be a happier stay at home mom. But it also incorporates a little bit of positive psych in it. And half the time that I was sitting there writing it, I was writing it thinking, what would my mentor think of this book? What would these people that I used to work with in positive psych think of this book and it would change. I’d be writing like this and then I’d start worrying about other people and then I would you could see my writing style veer into like, you know, in academic writing verse and I had to keep pulling that back in. And so that sense of comparison or I’m not good enough or, you know, I need to impress other people can really skewer your voice or sidetrack your voice if you let it if you’re, if you are paying attention to shutting it out.

Joe: Right. It was about being authentic, right? Not worrying about anybody else and not having a little voice on your shoulder. Yeah. You just had, had to write it with your own heart and soul.

Sara: Yep. And that

Joe: Yeah.

Sara: Can be hard and it’s scary.

Joe: Yeah.

Sara: And, you know, how is it gonna be met? How do you market? I think in this case, I wrote the book, threw it out to the world, and then I was like, duck! I don’t want to talk about it anymore. It was almost like I really felt not as proud of it to promote it. And that’s OK. I mean, it is out there is not like my most amazing work of my life either, probably, but I’m also really glad because even to this day, I still get weekly messages from people being like, I found the book can I have the workbook. Like he is really helping me. And that’s been like, what, three, four? It’s been years since I wrote it

Joe: That’s awesome

Joe: Right?

Sara: So…

Joe: Then it’s on, you can get it on Amazon, anywhere you can buy

Sara: Yeah.

Joe: Books, and you also

Sara: Yeah.

Joe: Ended up doing the audio version of it, right?

Sara: I did. That was a fun challenge.

Joe: I bet.

Sara: The foray into like having mikes like this, right. I wound up buying this mike thinking I was going to record the audio book at home and I didn’t think sound in where I’m recording now, like office was good enough for an audio book. So I was doing it in my garage, in my car with like towels draped over

Joe: It’s the best

Sara: Things…

Joe: I

Sara: Ridiculous.

Joe: Heard is that when, I heard that story, I was like, that is so awesome. I’m gonna get

Sara: But

Joe: To that

Sara: Then.

Joe: Point here because there’s. I actually have to kick everybody out. Every time I want to do a podcast recording. So eventually they’re gonna get tired of doing that. I’m going to have to find I guess some people talk about doing it in their walk in closet because acoustically it’s it’s,

Sara: Right.

Joe: You know.

Sara: Well lined with material and all the things, right. I posted that photo because then my stomach was gurgling during the recording, but as I’m hunched over in the car doing it and the mikes are so sensitive, they pick everything up. And I’m like, not to take a break, to wait for my stomach to stop gurgling. This is crazy. And I posted it on social media and I had a client, actually, and a friend say, look, my husband’s business has a free like a sound booth that they’re not using all the time. Would you like me to see if maybe you can get in there and record like a professional sound booth? And I did. So I switched gears. It was awesome figuring out how to like I did everything on that book myself. Edited it, like recorded it, it was really a cool experience

Joe: Yep. How Long did it

Sara: The first time…

Joe: You to, to

Joe: To ah, actually do the audio of it?

Sara: It was been a while, I can’t remember it…I do remember it took as much time, if not more, to edit it than it did to read a whole book out loud,

Joe: Right.

Sara: Probably in earnest a couple of a week or two.

Joe: That’s not too bad.

Sara: It wasn’t too bad.

Joe: How, how many pages is the book again?

Sara: I Mean…

Sara: A hundred and something.

Joe: Ok.

Sara: So it’s a fairly short book,

Joe: Right.

Sara: Probably three, four, five, gosh…I really don’t remember how many hours of recording it is or any of that stuff, you know. But I got into the…you can only read, Oh, my gosh…out loud for a certain period of time without your voice sounding froggy and you being like fried from

Joe: Right.

Sara: Standing up reading the

Joe: Right.

Sara: Thing. So I broke it into a few chunks, went back in for editing. They were awesome. I was so grateful that, that someone offered a spot

Joe: Sure.

Sara: And they were willing to let me use it. And I think the sound quality came out pretty well. But so I had the mike and everything led right into the next project after that. But yeah.

Joe: So before we get to that, though, so somewhere along the line here is the World Happiness Summit and the TedX Talk

Joe: We can’t forget

Sara: Oh, wait!

Joe: Either of those. So I don’t know where they fall in the timeline of where we’re at right now.

Sara: They…so I wrote, I did the audio book. I, you know, had sort of done some coaching in between and was keeping up a little bit more with that. And then, I think at the end of that year, after my audio book was done, I decided that I wanted to do a TedX Talk, and that was thanks to a prompt from Jamie Meyer’s “Shine Light Design”

Joe: Oh,

Joe: Cool. Yeah.

Sara: She basically had this challenge. It was like so I can’t remember exactly how it was phrased, but something like, if you could, what would in your wildest dream, have you always said you wanted to do, that you could actually do? And on a whim, I was like, I truly have always wanted to do a TedX Talk. And it sounded so crazy when I put it out there and it was a three months goal, like it was within the next three months, let’s figure out what that would look like or how to make it happen. And I kid you not that last week of the 3 month chunk I got, like in! They gave me a slot for a TedX Talk, at TedX Wilmington. And so then I had the next few months to prepare the talk and deliver it,

Joe: What was the amount of time…

Sara: Which was…

Joe: Of time for the talk? What do they give you?

Sara: I had a seven or eight minute talk. And similarly, similar to the when I was writing the book, I kept getting into my head. I’m a really good thinker and I’m also really good feeler but they fight with each other sometimes about what needs to be heard more. And I kept writing the initial draft from my brain. And again, another friend came in and she’s a public speaker. I was like, come on, let me let me just hear the first draft. And she kind of poked and poked and poked and then the last question was like, look, “Why do you really need to deliver this talk? Why is this important to you?” And I started crying and I was like, because I don’t want my kids to feel like people don’t see them because they’re not being asked the right questions, that they’re not having these conversations. And I was like, it’s just important for the kids. She goes, “There it is!” And so then I reframe the talk. And I felt like that, I am so proud of. I felt like it was me in delivery, in like writing of it. I did it all myself. And I feel really proud that I finally after, felt like after I gave up my career when I started staying at home with the kids, not just when I started staying at home with the kids, I lost my voice a bit a lot. And I felt like, I am here and you can, like, I was so proud of who I was because that’s me. That is who I am at my best and I feel really good about that. And I felt like I delivered what I needed to deliver. I guess when people ask who you’re speaking, coach is after you finished delivering it, you’re like, didn’t have one. I was like, I guess that means it was good enough. Right? Like.

Joe: Yeah, you did great. You were your first talk on that sort of stage. You were so comfortable and and you could you could see. You felt the passion in the delivery. It was like completely there.

Sara: Thanks. I

Joe: Yeah.

Sara: Felt really like, oh, then I can do stuff. My brain is still

Joe: Yeah.

Sara: In my body. I still have stuff to contribute to the world outside of the four walls of my home and raising these kids like I can have a voice again. So that felt like freedom to me, that felt awesome. And then, around that time, I can’t remember if I think that so that was in the fall, that prior spring, I had attended the World Happiness Summit because Tal Ben-Shahar and I had been in touch, were sort of in touch once a year or random catch ups and he’d said, “You really should come to this World Happiness Summit.” So I had gone and then after that, I had said to them, look, because, you know, I’ve hosted all those conversations at Chat, Chew and Chocolate, I was doing some of these, I was playing around again in Denver, doing some of these small events around town where I pull people together, say, look, hosting conversations is kind of my thing. Let me know if the World Happiness Summit founders are looking for an emcee because I love the field and this is what I do. And I got the job. I got the gig. So I…then after the TED talk that following spring was able to emcee, co-emcee the World Happiness Summit.

Joe: It’s really cool!

Sara: Which was…

Joe: How many…

Sara: Amazing!

Joe: People attend that?

Sara: Several thousand, I think, is what they said. I think like a thousand people that I trust. I don’t know. They have the numbers. I didn’t. I’m really bad at estimating crowds of people when I look out at an audience. But it was most exciting to me because I’ve read all these people’s names for years in like the research. I mean, all this time that I’ve sort of even when I was stepping back from coaching people in and doing positive psych actively for other people or being our kids are raised in that mindset. We do our gratitude. We do all the things that science tells us that are good. So I’ve read these people’s research, seen their names, and I was shaking their head and meeting them. I was totally geeky, like I was so excited to finally put like faces to these people’s names. And it was such an honor and they do an incredible job at the summit, you know, pulling it together and growing it. I think it’s, you know, several years now that they’ve had it and it continues to get better year after year.

Joe: Is it a multi-day event?

Sara: It’s like a full day, Friday, Saturday, and then half day Sunday when.

Joe: Cool. Alright…

Sara: So.

Joe: Well, awesome. So and that was what year was that? First year?

Sara: It was last year, 20…2019

Joe: And then.

Sara: That was last year when I co-emcee’d and then this year was supposed to then coronavirus happened and everything got canceled. But this year I was going emcee it by myself, which would have been a very interesting challenge as well. Like I was really psyched to be able to do that and offer that to them. So.

Joe: So now,

Sara: There’s a shame that it got cancelled.

Joe: Yes,

Sara: Yeah.

Joe: It is. Well, so much…everything’s been turned on its head. But so now that the cool thing, “Dear White Women”, your podcast.

Sara: Yes!

Joe: Yes! I know you’re so stoked about it. And and I have to tell you, you know, that I listen to a lot on my own. You know, that’s that unlike a lot of people that go to the gym. They listen to music for some reason. I look at time as being so precious that, you know, I have to with running my own company, I have to listen to enough music. So that is my escape, in the gym is like that’s when I work on me and I listen to podcasts that help me and for me. And so I have to say that when I listen to your podcast, you again, you sound really natural at this. I aspire to get to your level at doing this.

Sara: Oh, stop it!

Joe: You…

Joe: You sound, you sound so amazing on it. I it’s just you have a great voice. So easy to listen to. So, first of all, I have to ask you, when did that come out? When was the beginning of of this podcast for you?

Sara: I would say almost exactly a year ago.

Joe: Ok, cool. So second question is, how did you guys come, and, and explain who you do this with and and how it came about, but I really want to know, because from day one I was like, how did you come up with this name? It’s like when I first heard it, I said I was like, is this going to be offensive to women that aren’t white and men? And I was thinking of all of these people that would hear this name and go, wait a second, What is this about? You know, so I’m really interested in how the name came up. And then I need you to explain sort of the foundation of the podcast, because I don’t want to I would start putting my own words. And I know I’ll be wrong. So I don’t want to say anything. But let

Sara: That said, I would love to hear how you would describe it

Joe: Let’s, well

Sara: At some stage because I want to hear that. But but so it’s a co-founded and co-hosted by me, my best friend of over 20 years. So she is also half Japanese, half white. We met over 20 years ago when we literally walked out of a racial identity meeting at Harvard as undergrads. Like it was the Half Asian People’s Association. And at that same time, we both got up and met as we were bumping shoulders out of the doorway and we’ve been friends ever since. And who knew, right? Decades later, we’d be having a conversation like this on our own podcast about stuff like on race. But it came about because she and I always talked about one day we’d do a business together. She’s a lawyer. She’s now a mom of two. She also owns many. She’s onto our studio. She’d like she does a lot. She’s like one of the smartest people I know, full stop. And it’s very sparkly energy factor and does just so much good for the for the world. But we’d always talked about one day doing a business together and we couldn’t figure out what that was but we realized as we became moms and she is married, you know, I’m married to a white Canadian guy, she’s married to a black man from the south and her two boys present [her cell phone alarm went off] as whoopsies. ‘scuse me, that’s a reminder for my kid to get on online schooling. Not helpful at this exact moment. I apologize. Let me turn that alarm off now. Sorry about that. OK, so.

Joe: And by

Sara: Oh, yeah.

Joe: The way,

Sara: She’s married.

Joe: And by the way, one of my favorite white Canadian men alive.

Sara: Yes.

Joe: Your husband.

Sara: Who makes a incredible chicken wings

Joe: Yes.

Sara: And is a really, really good guy.

Joe: Yes.

Sara: We started talking as friends and as moms about what it was like to raise kids. You know, we’ve got two girls and I was talking about like the things I have to be mindful of when raising girls in this society. And she has kids who present this very mixed race as part black

Joe: Yup.

Sara: And was heavy and she’s got boys and so her conversations about talking to how she needs to raise boys, we’re gonna be perceived as black in this society. I mean, they were totally different conversations and fascinating for both of us and we realize I mean, we were talking all the time about this stuff. I’m like, well, one of the things we do the best, we were talking around with a whole bunch of ideas but one of the things we do the best is talk. And so that makes sense to do a podcast at this point, because, you know, like I said, she’s a lawyer. She’s also really into history. I bring the psychology and the thriving that sort of mindset to it and the conversational piece is around all the stuff we’re learning as we go about racial justice, social justice, identity, happiness, like the thing that, quite frankly, in this COVID era are really becoming apparent about the inequalities that we have in our society and whether we’re really seeing the humanity in each other. So ultimately, you know, this podcast is not just for white women. You call it “Dear White Women” for two reasons, one, it gets your attention…

Joe: Yes, it does.

Sara: And you know, we were really surprised at the number of women, college educated when white women who voted for President Trump, who at that point it was really clear that he did not respect women and then made a lot of derogatory remarks about women. And so just this idea of what is with people voting against someone who seems to indicate a lack of fundamental respect for their humanity. And why are we overriding that by going with policy or just how do we justify that? And again, the disconnect between heart and mind, we were just really interested in exploring that. So it’s kind of as like that’s our target audience, like the people who were willing to discount their humanity in favor of some greater…like, how do we process that and how do we reach people like that to think more critically about the issues we all face as part of our our identity. And so is half Asian, half white women. We had like this a little step in to not be just like we both have immigrant parents. We we have this slight difference in perspective based on how we were both raised. And so that’s where the title came from…I mean, it was one of the first that we threw out there and it just stuck because it just made sense for us.

Joe: Right. And and if I remember correctly, so it’s a year now, but it blew up pretty quickly, like you guys have really established yourself and there’s a lot, you know, a lot of great reviews. You were one of, I forget, isn’t there some sort of like, you were one of the top podcasts in a certain…

Sara: And call it yes, The Colorado House of Pod, which is another podcasting center here in Denver. They had their inaugural podcast awards and we tied for first for an episode that we did interviewing a Native American woman, which is the narrative you don’t hear very much in this society. You learn she’s also an advocate. And as folks like she, she is just an incredible powerhouse of a woman, Crystal Echo Hawk. And she agreed to come on our show and talk about the Native American perspective of so much, you know, do you find certain sports teams names offensive? You know, how, what’s

Joe: Oh.

Sara: The reality of life? You know, as a you know, how do you how do you approach Halloween and people dressing up in Native American costumes? And what do you make of headdresses? I mean, we were able to really get real with some of the. I think that’s it. We get to get real on our on our interviews that we do. So we have several interviews. We have a bunch of ones that it’s just me and Misasha talking about it. But yeah, that episode won for best episode and then we were recognized by Fortune magazine’s Ellen McGirt, who does this incredible race ahead episode or an email, everything that she asked for, people’s favorite podcasts and we were mentioned in her like shortlist for

Joe: It’s great.

Sara: Race in history,

Joe: WOW!

Sara: Which was incredible!

Joe: Yeah.

Sara: So we’re pretty psyched. You know, the response we get from some of our super fans especially, I mean, we’re getting feedback on like, can you do it? Right now, we’re in the middle of an ableism episode, like an arc that was recommended by a listener who said, look, this is an issue that we deal with, can you help address it in the context that you do it? Because we have school districts saying they use us for equity work. I mean, it’s, it’s pretty amazing and I’m so psyched that I get to do it. It’s really fun and meaningful and I feel like this is something I’m really, really proud of.

Joe: And you can tell it comes across, right, it’s not like you’re just. It’s not just something that you do some sort of project that allows you to still have your voice be heard, but you’re still at home taking care of two children and it’s it’s not at all you. It’s is like I could tell when we sat down and talked about it, this fires you up. And it’s nice that you can, you’re tackling something that you’re passionate about. You’re getting your voice out there and the feedback coming…it’s always nice to have that kind of feedback where it’s just like, boom, you’re on the charts and people are recognizing what you’re doing. It’s really cool.

Sara: Yeah…

Joe: And you got me fired

Sara: Thanks…

Joe: Up to finally get get off my ass and get going.

Sara: You do your podcast, Joe! No, I found you, I mean, I’ve always found you to be a role model, I mean, you’re obviously we’re all really good friends, but I’ve always really respected how you have this drive to do stuff, because I think my internal, when I’m torn between like I’ve got to provide for the kids and be there for them, like I’m a little soft when it comes to being there for them and and taking time away and creating this vision and this drive and staying strong. And you’ve always had this like, I got this and I’m going to do this, I’m going to create this and I’m going to pivot. I mean, I think to me, I’ve learned so much from just knowing you and seeing the work you do that I love that, now you’re you’re, you’re here with a podcast and you’re doing these things that, that excites you but that really inspire other people.

Joe: Well, thank you. Yeah, it’s I, you know, this whole this whole COVID-19 thing I know has just devastated people and businesses. My own business, right!? My own, there’s nothing, there’s nothing coming in. But at the same time, this personally, I am not speaking in general in any way, shape or form, has been a complete gift for me because I’ve been able to get all the business housekeeping things done that I need to, to be ready on the other side of this. I’ve been finally able to do this pod…I literally I think if I look at the other day when I started the website to eventually do this, it was in 2015. That’s ridiculous!! That it took this long to do it. So everyone’s going to have their, their own thoughts about what we’re going through right now in April 2020 but for me and like Joe, JoEllen came up with this great phrase or this hashtag, #embracethepace. And for me, it’s, it’s like, I forget to use it when I post a bunch like on Instagram, but it’s I, I love it. And I’m a hustler, you know, that…like, I’m, I go, I go, go, go. But this pace right now is, is super cool for me and I’m getting stuff done. But it’s like it’s being able to do stuff like this that makes me happy.

Sara: That’s awesome. I love that #embracethepace

Joe: Yeah.

Sara: Because, you know, we’ve talked about John, I’ve talked about like a sacred pit, but embracing this right now. I mean, I was just telling John earlier today, I felt like I had this realization in the middle of the night, I woke up with, like this moment of like, I think for so long I was trying to justify why I wasn’t as much of a hustler or what like because I know I could do it if I had no other things pulling at my heartstrings and responsibility. But the kids are small still. Like they’re still needing a little…they’re great. They’re self-sufficient now and they’re a great age. But they still need a lot of hands on stuff and attention and playing and all this sort of stuff. And I think for so long I felt like I had to justify why I wasn’t hustling as much. And now it’s just like we’ll forget again, going back to like, let’s forget everybody else’s expectations. Like, I can finally just be like, it’s because I want to, I want to do a dance party with my kids instead of making an extra Instagram post for people, you know, like, I need to be here. This is really my priority and anything else I get to do as a bonus, except for, you know, the podcast. I’m just fired up about doing. I love that program. And I will move mountains to make enough time to do at least enough to maintain even if I’m not blowing it through everything and growing it at the moment because the kids are home and they need me and it’s OK. I don’t have to justify.

Joe: Yeah.

Sara: Is this realization of just like, you know, like you said, you built an incredible business between 2015 and 2020. You know, it’s not bad that you didn’t do the podcast until right now. You grew a huge thing!!

Joe: Yeah.

Sara: You are Joe Costello!

Joe: [laughter] I appreciate that. So what’s next?

Sara: Umm…this podcast for sure. I can see this going in definitely we want to write a couple of books. They change a couple of like the medium with which we’re delivering this message because it can, the purpose is to reach people and get them thinking a little differently or just thinking about themselves a little differently. And then I’m super stoked to be hosting in-person panel discussions. Locally, it’s started already, but within the schools, having a panel of minority people, people who identify as minority, speaking to a roomful of predominantly white people, white, heterosexual and just being like, look, this is my experience. Maybe you need that would be helpful if you understood that and had a in-person conversation about it, because that might change how you, for example, teach kids who look like me, that sort of thing. And so I’m super excited to be bringing it into like, taking it a step further, bringing it into real communities. And so there’s already a few schools lined up for the fall. I’m looking forward to doing more of those as this platform continues to grow and restrictions lift

Joe: Yup

Sara: From people being places. And so those are the two main things, and then, you know, eventually my big pipe dream of writing a novel about my mom’s history.

Joe: So that’s what I was going to ask ya

Sara: That’s on there too…

Joe: You. I was wondering, is there another book besides I guess,

Sara: There is a…

Joe: You know, you think, you just kind of went past saying, I mean, you mentioned it, that you might do one with Misasha as part

Sara: Yes.

Joe: Of the

Sara: Yep.

Joe: Podcast.

Sara: Yep.

Joe: So

Sara: As

Joe: You

Sara: Part

Joe: Guys

Sara: Of

Joe: Will.

Sara: The podcast.

Joe: Ok. And then then you eventually will do possibly your own again.

Sara: Yeah, well, and that is more of a I’ve never written a book like that before, I’ve never done fiction, but it’s like a historical fiction. My mom has this crazy story about her childhood and how she grew up

Joe: I know JoEllen

Sara: And it.

Joe: Was like, you should interview Sara’s mom, she.

Sara: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

Joe: She. She talked about the story a little bit. I was like, WOW! that’s really…

Sara: That’s something, right?

Joe: But yeah, but I’ll let you know, that should be yours for novel, not for

Sara: Right?

Sara: But,that’s what I want to write. That story is so crazy town that I want to write that story and she’d, like dive into that and I think it explains a little about who she is now because of her history. And I would love to again, like learn as I write about it, you know, and process it. So I’m really excited. That’s my longer term project, because that’s just a personal thing that I want to get out there.

Joe: Cool!

Sara: It’s you know, my voice is screaming to be heard about how my mom, what my mom had to go through as a child in post-war Japan. So. yeah, that’s it, that’s what I

Joe: Well,

Sara: Got.

Joe: Awesome!, you rock! So do, help me do this again, where can they find you have a website? Right? What’s the website?

Sara: So a personal website, sarablanchard.com “SARA” “BLANCHARD.com”, podcast dearwhitewomen.com and you can find our show anywhere you listen to podcasts. You can subscribe on Apple podcast, you can subscribe on Spotify on basically every main platform that you can find out there.

Joe: Ok. What about any of the other social platforms?

Sara: Social platform on Instagram and Facebook at @dearwhitewomanpodcast. It was too long for Twitter, so we’re DWWpodcast over there and then for my personal stuff, @sarahblanchardauthor at on Instagram and Facebook and I really personally…ugh, are you into Twitter?

Joe: I can’t it, just for some reason, every once in a while I go, oh God, it’s been like a week and haven’t posted anything up there. I just I, I get zero interaction up there.

Sara: Yeah, it’s not my, I don’t, I don’t enjoy it. I find it stressful every time I see something. So I personally do not, I do not have an active Twitter account.

Joe: Yeah.

Sara: I can’t do it.

Joe: I just can’t figure it out. I just don’t, I don’t know. You know? I don’t know…it’s not my thing right

Sara: It’s for

Joe: Now.

Sara: The young people

Joe: It’s

Sara: Hey?!

Joe: It’s for the young people…[laughter] All right. Well, you rock! I so appreciate you doing this, especially in the early stages of me getting my own podcast out there that you would come on. You’re an important guest as a friend and the stuff you’re doing and so I appreciate it! And I’m learning from you. You sound great. Podcasts is amazing. And umm…

Sara: Thanks,

Joe: You’re

Sara: Awwww…

Joe: Awesome. I appreciate

Sara: You

Joe: It.

Sara: Are awesome! I’m really psyched that you’re doing this.

Joe: Thank

Sara: Thanks

Joe: You.

Sara: For letting me be part of it.

Joe: Thank you. I love you. I’ll talk to you soon.

Sara: All right. That sounds good.

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