September Feminist Book Club box sign ups are live! Use code WILDCOZYTRUTH for $10 off your first month at feministbookclub.com. We haven’t announced our second product yet, but our first product is skincare from MJ Lemon Apothecary! The second is something I’m SUPER excited about. You’ll hear all about it from the company founder herself next week. Our book hasn’t been decided but it looks like it’ll be a toss-up between Girl Wash Your Face (Rachel Hollis), The Body Keeps the Score (Besser van Der Kolk), Circe (Madeline Miller), and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou). Keep your eye on the Feminist Book Club IG page (@feministbookclubbox) for the final decision this weekend!
Don’t forget to join us Tuesday for our live roundtable chat with the authors of Austenistan. They’ll be joining us from around the world – Pakistan, UK, Jordan. Here’s how to RSVP and access the call: https://www.facebook.com/events/428450604330392/
Today’s interview is with writer, speaker, and mother of 18 Jenn Taylor. Jenn has traveled several different roads on the way to motherhood and we chat about each one in this episode, but the majority of our discussion centers around foster parenting. It’s a topic I have a selfish interest in, as I’ve considered becoming a foster parent myself, so Jenn fills us in on all the joys and challenges that can be expected in the fostering experience. I’m so grateful for her candidness and willingness to share so openly about her own experience.
Find Jenn: jenntaylor.net or her podcast, Jenn Taylor #ReRouting on iTunes
Also mentioned in this episode:
Get your September box: http://feministbookclub.com
Listen to this episode using the player below, or find it on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, iHeartRadio, YouTube, or wherever you get your podcasts!
The Inner Critic
These essays can sometimes feel like a chore. I get stuck in a loop of self-doubt: Does anyone even like them? Would anyone notice if I stopped? Do people only listen to this part to judge me for being a navel gazer?
My inner voice is pretty bitchy and full of self-judgment. It’s extra loud during writer’s block. But this time I asked it why it was here.
Ultimately, I’ve stopped writing for myself and have begun writing for an audience. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but it’s a subtle shift that has me questioning every word. I climb into self doubt and let it cripple my voice. It hinders me and keeps me from feeling the joy I once got from writing, because I’m so worried someone will judge me… for the essay, for the format of the podcast, for the title that I’d honestly love to change but feel like I can’t so we’re all stuck with this clunky three-word phrase, so let’s get over it.
See? Even there I half-heartedly apologized to save face and allay your judgment. If I get to the punchline first, my inner critic is convinced you can’t do much worse. These mind tricks are real. Our brains are wired to certain patterns of thought, often beginning in early childhood. One of my strongest thought patterns is: Do whatever it takes to seem impressive to avoid feeling like a disappointment because that’s the worst. This plays out in weird ways, including total overachievement and exhaustion. I’m allergic to disappointing others so I judge myself to avoid others’ judgment or at least convince myself that it’s not so bad because I feel that way, too. This isn’t a great strategy. It’s all mental gymnastics.
Interrupting and redirecting these ingrained thought patterns is a difficult task. It takes so much energy and self-awareness, two things I tend to lack on the regular. Mindfulness is not my strong suit, but I’m trying.
This essay is one attempt. I tried to force something else, something I thought my listeners would find mildly earth-shattering. Every week I dream of sharing the next Eat Pray Love. But this is my truth today. This is what’s most present. If I took all the self-judgment and fear of judgment away, this is what’s left: I’m trying. I’m frustrated and afraid but I’m trying to let it all go. And you know what? Good enough is still good.