Wisdom from my Niece

I’m thrilled to share that our niece, Victoria Russell, has launched an incredible podcast called “Perennials Podcast“. I could not possibly be more proud of her, and I was deeply honored to be her first guest on the topic of “The Wisdom of Anxiety.” Victoria blew me away with her graceful and thoughtful interview skills, and she gently guided us into rich and vulnerable territory where we both shared aspects of our journeys with anxiety that the other hadn’t heard before! Victoria is an old soul in a perennial body, and she’s offering a beautiful gift to the world with this podcast – wisdom that extends far beyond the decade of one’s twenties. This podcast is for everyone.

A bit about her: Victoria is devoted student of life and learning. Over the past several years, especially since graduating from college in 2013, she has immersed herself in spiritual and psychological resources and has grown from a wobbly college grad to a poised and wise young woman. When she came to visit us this summer, I was struck by how much she has stepped into herself, especially compared to the young girl-woman who first visited us in 2013 after graduation. During the day, she works for the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival and in her free time she listens to enriching podcasts, reads voraciously, writes, sings, and spends time with her boyfriend, friends and family. She’s a true seeker, as you’ll soon hear when you listen to these interviews.

Here’s her description of the podcast:

Each week, I’ll be having conversations with special guests about what it means to truly grow up, get wise and try to live a good life. We’ll be talking about mental and physical health, spirituality and religion, work and education, relationships, and more.

This podcast really started brewing in me five years ago when I graduated from college and faceplanted into my quarter-life crisis. That’s when I started seeking out wisdom, gingerly dipping a toe back into spiritual waters, and having conversations with people who had made it through their twenties and come out wiser and maybe even happier for it I’m still seeking and asking questions of wiser people, and now I want to share some of that with others like me who are hungry for it. Perennials is a space for intergenerational conversations about what it means to really grow up, not just get older. It’s about wanting to not just check off boxes in an effort to “succeed” by some narrow definition but to explore the stuff in between and underneath the boxes, the questions that keep us up at night: Who am I? What am I doing? What do I believe in? What does “success” mean to me? What does living a good life mean to me?

For the past few months, I’ve been busy recording conversations with amazing people who have so many different perspectives and such deep insight to share. Having honest, deep, one-on-one conversations is my favorite thing to do, and it’s been a gift to spend time listening to and learning from such wise souls. I’m so excited to continue having and sharing these conversations. From here on out, I’ll be publishing a new episode every Sunday. Episodes 1 & 2 are up now! (Special shoutout to my life editor Melissa Adamo for being such a thoughtful, supportive early listener)

Episode 1 features Sheryl Paul, an incredible psychotherapist (who also happens to be my aunt!) talking about “The Wisdom of Anxiety”; in Episode 2, I talk about wellness and nutrition with Marisa Sweeney, a registered nutritionist, owner of Be Well., and co-founder of New Jersey VegFest

You can find the podcast by visiting the Perennials Podcast website or by searching Perennials Podcast in iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Google Play or Stitcher and follow along on Instagram @perennialspodcast. If you like what you hear, please subscribe, download, share it with friends, and leave a review to help others find the podcast

You can also sign up for my mailing list on the Perennials website to get new episodes delivered straight to your inbox (I promise I won’t spam you or share your e-mail with anyone!)

Feel free to reach out to me at perennialspodcast@gmail.com if you have any thoughts you want to share. I’d be happy to hear from you!

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And just so you have a glimpse into Victoria’s beautiful soul, here’s a poem she wrote inspired by the post I wrote years ago about oatmeal love:

Oatmeal Love

“Love is a bowl of oatmeal.”

–Sheryl Paul (referencing Robert A. Johnson)

 

Love is a bowl of oatmeal.

Not the split pomegranate,

with its dripping seeds

and juicy mythology;

not dark chocolate,

all bark and bite

and brittle.

A bowl of oatmeal.

The kind you wake up to

in the morning and turn to

in the middle of the night.

The kind your mother

(or your dream of a mother)

made for you, with cinnamon.

Warm, like her hands,

like a patch of winter sun

on the wooden floor,

socks on the radiator.

It sounds like the whistling kettle,

like the spoon and bowl clinking

together.

It smells like brown sugar,

feels like no more hunger,

like warmth in your hands,

in your chest,

against your lips, it feels

like home.

– Victoria Russell

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