Welcome to Permission to Heal! I’m thrilled that you are here. In today’s episode, I have the beautiful Sydney Weiss.
Sydney Weiss is a lawyer and the creator, host, and producer of Seek The Joy Podcast, your go-to podcast for heartfelt storytelling and conversations on all things self-love, joy, connection, wellness, and spirituality. Sydney’s greatest mission is to uplift and empower others to find their authentic voice, encourage them to step into their vulnerability and courage, all to seek their joy and bring about greater healing. Through Seek The Joy, she’s been able to do just that.
Inspired by our ongoing journey toward growth, empowerment, and self-love, every episode offers a fresh perspective, “aha!” moments, laughs, and stories, and wisdom that will stick with you throughout the week. In 2020, Sydney launched Stories of Inspiring Joy, a new space dedicated to sharing your stories, in your words.
There is real power in storytelling, and when we come together around shared love, loss, laughter, joy, and vulnerability, we build connection, create inspiration, and come together in community. We all have a story to share and a voice that is meant to be heard, and we want to share yours.
To contact Sydney & find her podcasts
Seek the Joy Podcast & Stories of Inspiring Joy
Seek the Joy Podcast website
Instagram (personal), Instagram (podcast), Twitter, Facebook.
Connect with Marci
Website, Patreon, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Clubhouse @MarciBrockmann.
***** Please join me on the Podcast Business Network LIVE EVERY Wednesday as I chat and take calls with KC Armstrong. Find us on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Deezer, Tune In, Stitcher, and Amazon Music Podcasts.
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Welcome Sydney. I'm so thrilled that you're here. Let's set it.
Yeah. Thank you for having me. I'm excited to sit down with you today. Me too, me too. I, I took a class called BC in accelerator with Jen Gottlieb and Chris Winfield. They own a PR company in New York city called , Super connector media. I don't know if you've heard of them. I hadn't heard of them before I saw them on Instagram.
And through the course, I wound up with this amazing comprehensive database of all sorts of media outlets and the contacts and their email addresses all over the country. I spent one night trying to scour this list for. The right podcasts or other media that would fit my messaging for me to contact.
And your name was on there. Oh, how cool you made super connector, medias media lists. I will take that. That's very cool. Oh, that seek the joy. That sounds like it means something. So I went and I listened to a few episodes and I'm like, hell yeah, I love this. Oh my gosh. Wow. Awesome. And then I read a little bit about you and I was like, Oh my God, I have to contact her.
So that's when I contacted you and I'm glad it all worked out. It's very cool. Wow. So, so you are a California girl born and bred from Southern California, from Los Angeles, born and raised. Haven't really left yet. I went to both college and law school out here in Southern California. So yeah, I've not left California born and raised.
Are you an only child? You have lots of siblings. What was your childhood like? Yeah, I am the oldest of three, so I have two younger sisters. You know, it was really interesting growing up. My, my sister who's born after me, my middle sister, we're about almost four years apart. And then my youngest sister and I are about nine.
And so it was so interesting, you know, growing up. Yeah. It's a big difference with nine years, but we formed, you know, different relationships as adults, I think, than we even had his children, which I think is natural. And I really love it. But I had a great childhood, you know, my parents always had such a loving household and we all got along and my grandparents.
Live down the street. And my grandmother, my mom's mom lived around the corner. It was just always so nice. You know, having sort of that very central. Family unit, you know, the, the eight of us, so to speak. So yeah, I had a great childhood and growing up in Los Angeles and, you know, I've had some of the same friends for most of my life, so yeah, it was, it was a good, it was a good childhood, I would say overall.
Yeah, that's very cool. Versus out here, everybody is so far apart. I mean, I guess there are certain families who do live in the same neighborhoods, but. I have a pretty big family and we don't see each other, even though we're all right here in New York and New Jersey. Yeah, a few who flown the coop to Florida or California or Scotland, but wow.
But mostly here, we don't see each other. I love that. You're so close knit like that. That's really cool. We're sort of unique in that way to be perfectly honest. A lot of my friends. You know, add close relationships with their grandparents or their extended family, but it never felt the same as the way it was set up with my family.
I think we're sort of unique in being very closely knit, with one another in that way. And, and I, I only have two first cousins and they live in the valley. And so we were always close with them for us. It's far it's like about an hour drive. You know, I don't know, mileage wise, but if you know anything about traffic in Los Angeles, I spent a week in Los Angeles in 2016 with both of my kids and.
Traffic. I thought traffic in New York in and around New York city was bad that it looks like a cake compared to yeah. Yeah. So going to see them or them coming to see us, you know, it's like the dedicated day long event because of how long it takes. But you know, we were always so close with them as well.
So I felt like we were super unique in that way, but I was really grateful for it. They really shaped the way I look at the world the way I feel in my family feel in the world. It was really beneficial for me in a lot of ways. That's wonderful. So, so you grow up, you have this nice close knit, close knit family, and you go to college, you decide to go to law school, you went to Pepperdine.
I, I, right. Yeah. And how do you, what, how do you help us figure out how you make the leap from I'm going to be a lawyer to two podcasts and a whole like media. Thing going on. So I was one of those kids grow up, hang up, who I think at 12, I just sort of declared to anybody who would listen that I was going to be a lawyer.
And at the time I didn't really know why I had some models of lawyers in my family, but it wasn't exactly that wasn't the type of law I necessarily wanted to practice. I just knew I wanted to be a lawyer and it wasn't until I actually. Went to law school that I started to realize maybe it wasn't so much about being a lawyer, but maybe it was more about being an advocate and really in the last year, I realized that for me, it really is about being an advocate.
It's about being an advocate for others. Speaking up for myself, speaking up for others. And I realized you can be an advocate. Through storytelling, through providing a space for other people to share their stories. And really that's my passion. And I really believe that's, that's my mission here. And so, yeah, I went to law school originally.
I wanted to be a prosecutor. I wanted to work in the district attorney's office. Your faith says it all. And I spent my first summer after my first year working in the major crimes unit, which if you know anything about the DA's office, you're doing that, right. Nobody can. So it was serial killers. And I spent my first, this whole summer working a trial where a very well-known serial killer and it was.
For me personally, I was like a fish out of water. I was like, this is not where I'm supposed to be. This is important work, but this is not my work. And so I had to go through this sort of journey within myself over the next two years of law school of who am I? What is it that I want to do? What am I passionate about?
And for me it was social causes. It was the environment, it was climate change. And I found these really wonderful opportunities to fuse. Entertainment with the environment. And, that's what I pursued about my first year out of law school. But part of the story that's really important is about a month or so before I graduated in May, 2016, I had shingled and I was 25.
And so that should have been my first, like, hello. Like you're not in the right place, sober strategy. You're overworked. I wasn't your body and my body literally screaming Marina. Yeah. Because like, if you look at shingles or anything of, in sort of that family, you usually see like a commercial for somebody over a specific age.
You don't really, we don't talk about in society, how it really can happen to anybody at any age. And so I felt like, what is this? Like, this doesn't make any sense. So I graduate from law school. I sit for the California bar exam, which. At the time was three days long. And for anyone that knows anything about any sort of bar exam across the United States or really around the world, it's very brutal.
It's mentally intensive, physically intensive, and I was afraid of the bar to be perfectly honest. I thought it was going to demolish me. Rather than me thinking I'm going to demolish it. And so, right. And so I was overworked. I was working 16 to 18 hours a day studying. And so by the time I sat for the bar, it completely just, my body was done with me by the third day was like, we were ju I was just pulling myself to finish the exam.
A month later, I had appendicitis, which is a whole other story. I had an emergency appendectomy and then it took me three months to recover. From that, , from the surgery, just so depleted at that point. So depleted and my body was done with me, like done. Like you have done too much to us. We are now done with you is really how I felt.
So by the time November, why down on this bed and you will not move until we say so I really like the couch and I became best friends real quick. So by the time November came around, which is when bar exam results come out in California. And I found out I didn't pass by 10 points. I was in such a deep space of shame and embarrassment frustration.
Anger, any emotion, you name it? I was sitting on the floor in my parents' living room and I said to myself, you are so stupid. How could you let this happen? You are such an embarrassment, like all the negative nasty things you could say to yourself. Well, of course, so I gave my name over say to someone else, never, but we say to ourselves because we are our harshest critic.
And so. I let myself sit in that space for about two weeks to a month, because I do believe in the pity party every now and then. And then I had this moment of reckoning with myself, where I said, you know what, we're going to pick ourselves up. Sydney, you are going to pick yourself up and you are going to figure this out.
So I spent the next nine months or so. Really embarking on this journey inward, which I didn't know, which was what I was doing, but that's what I was doing , exposing myself to turn podcasts and books and ways of thinking. And by that point, I had already established a Kundalini yoga practice, and I just had so much, I was really trying to learn more about myself, take better care of my body, take, take better care of my health.
And so by the time. I sat for the bar the second time in July, 2017, I was a different person, right? The way I approached the exam, the way I felt about myself, this negative self-talk was really not present anymore. And I remember sitting in my bedroom of my apartment September of that year, and I thought, God, I really want to start something.
I want to find a way to connect with other people who had similar stories or experiences or want to, to do what you and I are doing right now and just have a vulnerable conversation. And I thought. I'm going to start a podcast. They had no clue what I was doing. But I figured it out within two weeks they had the name, the premise of the show and I launched it.
And then two months after that I found out I passed the bar and I became a lawyer. And so I've really been a podcaster through seek the joy at the same time, I've been a lawyer they've existed. I'm very caring as an attorney now. Yeah. So they've existed on very parallel tracks. And so for me, the podcast has been my greatest healer.
It's been my greatest teacher, my greatest motivator. I've learned so much about myself and about others through it. Yeah. And it's just sorta, had to take, has taken off in its own way. So now three and a half years later, I have two podcasts. I have a blog series. I just finished hosting my first ever summit for the show. , but while also practicing law in entertainment. So not to my law. Yeah. So that's a little bit of my story and how I got treated. That kind of matches. Definitely. There's definitely symmetry, which I really enjoy and I'm super appreciative of. So again, that's how, that's how I got here from going to law school, to, to being in the podcast space.
That's cool. That's cool. I had a similar journey with the, not really, but my, the creation of permission to heal happened. As a sort of spontaneous thing. I was teaching, I had a guest speaker show up through Google meet to talk to my seniors. And his presentation is, an adjunct professor from a local college.
And his presentation was the art of the podcast. And I thought it would be good for my students. I thought they would be interested, not a single one of them. It felt that this resonated with them, but for me, it was a lightning bolt to the brain. And suddenly all the things that I had sort of been hazy about, I kind of want to talk to people and I want to talk to people to share people's stories.
And I have this firm belief that, that this. Connection sharing stories is where empathy is born. And I want that to grow. And I want to sort of continue the idea from my, from my books, permission to land and, and suddenly it was like, oh my God. And within two weeks I had launched also, like I had no idea what I was doing, but I had all the equipment from having.
Recorded my audio book for my, for my memoir. And so it was suddenly like I have all of the pieces. All I have to do is just implement it. Yeah. So I love that story because you know, the truth is, is you never know when. Inspiration will strike. You never know when you'll have an idea or something crosses your path.
And you're like, this is for me, this is something I have to do. And I think we often overthink those moments, right? Like we overthink it, like, should I actually be doing this? Do I know how to do this? I think often imposter syndrome comes up. It certainly comes up with me all the time. And I have just found that.
If you are excited by something, just dive in or just comes to worse. You stop, you figured this is not for me, but you have to give it a try. Yeah. Yeah. You just got to give it a go and I think, see what happens next? Do a little bit of research, get some of your ducks in a row and then just generally. Yeah.
Yeah. And if it works, it works. And if it doesn't tweak it and see if it works that way, you know, I'm just having. Such a good time. Oh, good. Wait. Like you should be having fun with it. I think the moment it starts to feel, more laborious and enjoyable is like a time to reevaluate. And I feel really lucky that, you know, this is a lot of work for me personally.
I do everything myself, but I haven't had a moment in the last three and a half years where I'm like, oh, it's too much. I can't see myself. Continuing to do it. I've had moments where I've doubted myself. We all have those moments, but, it continues to be so much fun for me. And, I'm right there with you.
So I'm going to keep going for as long, as long as it's fun, as long as that's awesome. Do you have any, is there any conflict of interest ever or awkwardness with your legal clients that you're on a podcast or on two podcasts? Does that ever come up? No, no, no. I work for a studio, so it's, it's very separate and distinct. So yeah, no, no. And I'm very, I work on the show late at night, early in the mornings or on the weekend. So it doesn't conflict with my work my day to day drop at all. So I've made a very clear, very clear boundary for myself, which I think is really important. Yeah. Interesting. Interesting. So, so we start with seek the joy and then you have stories of inspiring joy grew out of that.
How did, how did that work out? You had more stories to tell than you could, and we tell basically. Four months into having the podcast. I received an email from somebody and it said, Hey, I really love what you're doing. I would love to be part of it, but I don't know if I want to be interviewed or do you have another way for me to be part of your platform?
And I listed this email and I thought what, like, I've never thought about that before, like another way for someone to be part of your podcast or your space. And I, I sat with the, the email and I sat with the idea and then one day it came to me. We're going to start a series on the show. At the time it was called the power of storytelling or two to three people could send in their story and it would be compiled as one episode.
And I would share it once a month. And for me, this theory is the power of storytelling, which has now become its own podcast called stories of inspiring joy was really the heart of seek the joy because from the beginning, I really wanted to amplify as many voices as I could share as many stories as I can.
Could because I'm a firm believer that we all have a story to share and a voice that's meant to be heard. And often we don't feel, or we don't see instances where we can share our story. Right. We often think we're not a celebrity. We're not a big name. I'm not an influencer. Am I right? Exactly. And the truth is who are you not to tell your story?
So I started it in early. 2018. And it was constantly, always booked like three to five months in advance and then 2020 happened and it was February and those senior, or it was February or March. And the series was booked in through the, through the end of 20, 20 through December. And I thought this is not sustainable.
Like I can't have somebody wait 10, 11 months for their story to be shared. And I had been playing around with the idea of starting a second podcast for a while, and it was kind of like the last one. Well, like as motivation, like kick in the pants that I needed to just make this theory it's own podcast.
And so I launched stories of inspiring joy, in May, 2020, while simultaneously retiring the power of storytelling on seek the joy. And it has just had such a beautiful response. People really appreciate the opportunity to share who they are, share their music, their art, their poetry, how they built their business, how they wrote their book.
I mean, it runs really the gamut of topics and, and stories that are shared. And, you know, no story, two stories are alike, which of course not. Exactly. I find to be so beautiful and so refreshing, you know, even people who go back and listen to other episodes for inspiration, what you produce on your own is so, is so different.
So that's how stories of inspiring joy , came about by, by an email. Somebody had sent me. Very early on. It was like, I want to be part of what you're doing, but like, I don't know. I want to be interviewed. And I don't know if they were alluding to like me creating what I created or they wanted to do a blog, which eventually a blog series came in 2019.
But , either way I, I appreciated that email very much because it was like the light bulb moment of, Oh my God. There is more than I can do. That's awesome. And so obviously that person was involved in seek, seek the Joe stories of inspiring joy. Early on. Yes. From what I can remember, I think they ended up sharing their story.
I'm pretty sure I'm pretty sure they were part of like one of the first episodes of the power storing storytelling. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. I, I listened to quite a few of them when I was writing mine. And at first I tried to. Do it spontaneously, you know, like I know my story better than anybody cause I lived the damn thing, but I hated the first take because it was just rambly and there was no point.
And so then I actually wrote it and then ad libbed a little bit along the way. But, uh, but that's, I love the fact that they're all so different and so varied and all the different voices and all the different, um, The different lives people have lived. It's such a thoughtful moment of reflection. You know, how often do we take a moment to actually reflect.
On our lives or our journeys or how we built something or created something. I mean, I think if you're somebody that is writing a book or, or as the blog, or, you know, deeply introspective, you probably spend more time doing that. But I would say most of us don't spend a lunch for sure. I would say most of us don't spend a lot of time, in that reflective space as much as maybe we would like to or could be.
And so to have that opportunity to be that deeply. Introspective and reflective, it's incredibly healing. And I always ask people, you know, what is something that you have learned from sharing your story? And often the response is. How strong I am, how much I've grown, how much I respect myself and my journey.
I'm just, it's such a deeply healing moment to, to, to reflect on that. I think that a lot of people resist doing things like that at a fear, you know, they don't want to relive or dwell on things that happened in the past because it's too painful and. So there's all of these, scabs, you know, emotional scabs that are just sort of festering around.
This is a lovely conversation, lovely word. But, but I think, look at it because it's, it's a, it's a wound, it's a scab. And often when you retell the story or eventually relive it, you feel like you're either pulling off the scab or pouring lemon juice in it you mean is to revisit it and process it and to walk through the fear of doing that.
You know, you are strong enough to do it. And. You'll be better off on the other side of that whole thing. Yeah. Yeah. And I think that goes back to the fact that there is, I think, a productive or healthy way to process what it is that we've experienced. And you know, we're not always meant to do that processing alone.
Sometimes it means working with a therapist or a counselor, or, you know, someone in your life that you trust who can help you, I think, process in a way that it leads to your growth as a, as opposed to allowing you, I think too, right? Sit in the emotional, a Whirlpool, which I think we can all get lost in, you know, especially if you've gone through something and then you're tapping back into those emotions and then you're stuck in it and ruminating over and over again, like a hamster on a wheel.
Exactly. You need somebody sort of act as the guide to get you off the wheel and into a place where you can forgive yourself or forgive the circumstances or whoever is involved in that experience. Exactly. Yeah. How do you have advice for anybody who is reluctant to, to, to do a deep dive going backwards, like to figure out their, their path? Like do you mean their path moving forward in life or just wanting to share their story or. Actually kind of both, either one. I don't know. I mean, you've done both things. You're helping people tell their stories and you yourself have gone through a journey where you changed your path. So I think my question goes both.
Oh, please. I think I'll start with about sharing your story. If we start, if we can start there, you know, I think. Vulnerability is a word that we talk about a lot, especially in more mindful or wellness or even spiritual spaces and something that I think is often missing from the conversation of vulnerability is knowing for yourself, if you are ready to be vulnerable.
And I think we often feel this pressure or this sense of, I need to be vulnerable. I need to share my story because somebody next to me just shared theirs. Now I feel like I've got to share mine and I've always. Told myself. And what I've told other people Mo more recently is if you're in a moment where you were feeling like I need to be vulnerable, but there's resistance, or I want to be vulnerable.
And there's resistance. It's about taking a step back, I think, and checking in with yourself and saying, is this resistance because I'm afraid because I'm in a deep space of fear. Am I going to be rejected? How is this going to be received? How was it going to make me feel? Or is it your intuition speaking to you and saying, Hey, Hey, Hey, not yet.
We're not ready yet. We've still got some processing to do some understanding of our own journey to do before we can really. Dive in to being this vulnerable. And I think part of that too, is recognizing that when you make the choice to share your story, either privately or publicly, or you just want to talk a little bit about yourself in a way that's more vulnerable than you've done before.
I always remind myself of this truth, which is that the way in which it's received by somebody else is a reflection of where they're at in their journey, they're processing, uh, what they've experienced. It is not a reflection of you and what you just shared. And so making that real chin foreign point to remember making that distinction for myself and then in sharing that with others, for me has been so deeply healing because I often fear rejection.
I fear, oh my God. If I talk about this, how's it going to be perceived? The first time I talked about my journey with the bar exam on my podcast, it was so vulnerable for me because when you're. Going to law school, you're growing up. You, they don't talk about instances where people don't pass the bar it's you pass or you fail.
And if you fail, you're derailed, that's literally the message. And, um, I had not seen examples, really, of people who were successful after not passing the first time. And so I knew I had to share the minute I posted that episode and I continue to get messages today of people who say, Hey, I also had shingles at 25 or in my twenties, Hey, I didn't pass the bar three times.
And then I listened to your little, forget, this, this woman reaches out, says I didn't ask the bar three times. I listened to your podcast three days before I sat for the bar. This fourth time, I just found out I passed the mindset, right? Like the mindset you shared. And how you shifted your mindset, direct impact and an impact on me.
And I was like, That's enough for me to share my story, moving forward, knowing that it could impact somebody else in a beautiful, positive way. So I think looking at vulnerability through that lens and really evaluating with yourself, and if it is your intuition saying not yet, do some more, I think internal processing work within yourself, whether that's working with a therapist, a counselor journaling has been huge in my journey, finding books that yeah.
Finding books that really speak to you, I think in the. Personal development space is huge. And then to your other question, I think about your path and, you know, worrying it's twofold. I think we often worry, like, am I on the right path? Am I making them right? It is like, am I doing the right thing? And then part of that too, is recognizing that.
You know, life is not rigid. Life requires flexibility. And so nothing is ever going to go as planned. And if it does go as planned, that just feels like a beautiful moment when you are in flow and everything is just amazing. But often we don't have those moments. I mean, look at 2020 with the pandemic, nobody planned that, but it required flexibility on all of our parts.
Yeah. Everyone had to pivot everyone. And so life is the pivot. And so leading enough room for the pivot, leaving enough room to allow yourself to be flexible for me has been huge. Um, I was often in like law school. There's this analogy that a friend of mine often gave me, which was, he would say you're holding on too tight.
It's like being on a roller coaster and you're holding onto the handlebars so tight that you're, you're white knuckling your life. You need to let go. Now you don't have to put your hands in the air, like I'm on the rollercoaster and you're screaming. You don't have to do that if you're not comfortable.
Loosen the grip a little bit. And I always remember that sort of analogy, analogy, especially in moments where I am in such deep fear of what is coming next, or am I doing the right thing, or am I making the right decisions? I keep reminding myself it's important to have direction, but you can not be rigid.
You have to allow for flexibility. And for me that's been key. , because if I didn't allow for flexibility, you know, you and I may not be having this conversation. So for me, that's been huge is, is recognizing that you can control only so much. And then the rest of it is about letting go and releasing and then allowing yourself to have some fun within it.
Not everything has to be the most serious thing. Oh, definitely not. Definitely not. You know? And, and what makes other people happy along your journey? . Isn't really relevant. So many of us allow other people's opinions about what they think we should be doing. I hate that word should yeah. Yeah. We let that determine that the path or the course of action that we take are the things that we choose.
And then we could tend to feel stuck because we want to help. We want, we want to not disappoint the people who we love and who love us. And I, and I think that a lot of people get bogged down. Trying to do that. And you're not living someone else's life, you're living your own and they don't have to get up in the morning and go to that job that you hate.
You know, you do so you have to do something that you like. Yeah. Yeah. I think that's a really good point. You know, for me growing up, I was lucky in the sense that my family never projected a certain image on me, of what they wanted my life to look like. And really, I was the only one putting pressure on myself or they were going up with school and college.
There was nobody putting pressure on me. Always just me. And so I'll never forget the moment I told my parents, you know, I wanted to start a podcast and then a year or two later, as it continued to grow and I said, I want to do this with it. I want to do that. And my dad said, oh my God, thank God. And my mom went, oh my God, thank God.
Like you want to do something creative? You want to explore something more out of just being a lawyer. This is music to my ears. I mean, they were so excited because for them it felt like. I was loosening the grip on the image of my life that I thought I needed to have. And for them it felt liberating.
And then in turn, it was liberating for me too, but I think you're so right. You know, something interesting that happened to me, especially as I started to share about the podcast, because within the first six months, I didn't really post it on my personal social media pages because I just wasn't sure what people like talking about fearing rejection.
I wasn't sure what people were going to think or what they were going to say. Exactly who cares, but at the time I cared now, I didn't care, but at the time I cared and now I'm, I'm, I'm in the mindset of, I'm so proud of this thing that I've created. I want to share it. I want to share it with anybody and everybody who will listen.
And if you don't like it, you can kindly unfold. Like that's where I'm at mentally now. But at the time I wasn't in that space and I'll never forget. I had somebody who I was friendly with who. Um, I'm not so close with now who, who had sort of a strange response to me having a podcast was like, oh, you're doing this thing.
Like, it was very like, it didn't align with the image. Of me that they had in their head, which I think is a very interesting kind of flip side to what you're talking about is, you know, people often see you, I think, in a certain light or have a certain perspective. And then the minute you choose to sort of live your truth and be exactly who you are.
Some it'll stunned them, people will be like, oh, I didn't see that person in that light and you know what that's okay. Continue to just be you share what you're excited about, do what you're excited about because you're right. You're living, you got to live for yourself. You're not living for anybody else.
So I've certainly experienced, I think, both sides of the coin. And it's, it's really interesting, but at the end of the day, you're right. It's just, you got to do what makes you have faith options of what your, what it is that you're doing, whatever your decisions are, how they think you're living your life is irrelevant.
You know, and, and, and flawed, especially in the social media age where we're all curating the things that we're showing. Yeah. I mean, I might, I've gotten used in 2020, I've gotten used to not wearing makeup and I hardly ever wear any at this point. And, and I've gotten used to the way my face looks. So I'll post social media, photos of myself with no makeup on, and I would never have done that before 2020, man.
I tell you, I show up to work meetings in a sweatshirt. I would have never have done that before 2020. We were always like business casual put together. Now it's like, I'm here, I'm wearing a gray sweatshirt. How we all do it. And like, it's just amazing. The shift is amazing. Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. And you know, I've had people like before I got to, or as I was getting divorced 10, 11, 14 to Jackie a while ago, 14 years ago. I, I, there were a whole lot of people in my life who were totally confused because. Unbeknownst to me, the image that I was projecting was of like, you know, June Cleaver, you know, I had a job and I cooked and I had all these, this nice house and I had these kids and I made dinner every night and, you know, all the beds were made and, you know, and, and that was not the way the world felt from the inside.
And I was sort of shocked that somebody would be looking at me that way. So when I started. Living into my truth. Yeah. They had to either bend and change their perception and deal with it or leave, you know, It's just the way it is. And I've raised my kids that way. You know, you can care to a certain extent, obviously.
No, man is an Island. A woman is an Island, but you know, you've got to live your life to make yourself happy, seeking the joy yourself, you know? Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. I think that's such an interesting point too, because you know, you're right. We are in an age where what we share online is so curated and I've really tried to make a point to move away from being curated in that way and really share what it is that I'm feeling and what I'm experiencing.
And I've had moments where yeah. I want to share something, but I feel that sense of fear or hesitation. And so I do exactly what I shared is like, I take a step back and if it's just fear of how someone's going to receive it, I post it. If it's, I'm not sure I'm ready to share this yet. I, I wait and there's actually something that I think last month or the month before I shared online, right.
And I wish I remember exactly what it was, but I do remember I waited like five months because I really wanted to sit with it and make sure it was my truth and what I was experiencing and, and to really sit in those emotions before I shared it, which for me has been important. And for me to be authentic in that way has been important, you know, not to just like.
Fly by the seat of my pants, which I think sometimes we do, but also not trying to curate an image of something that doesn't exist or it isn't that way, but really making sure that I sit with those emotions and, and that experience first with myself before I go ahead and share it has been, yeah, exactly.
It's been so important for me to, to make sure that you feel safe enough within yourself to be able to do that because you don't want to feel. Like you're standing out on the plank and the pirates pushing you off into the ocean, near the shark, infested water, you know? Yeah. Level of like feeling exposed to, you know, which is why I think most people, hearing so much of what they show online because you, you hold on, I think to a certain image of how you see yourself and how you want the world to see you.
And so I think for a lot of us, when we deviate from that, it does feel like that sense of, Oh my God. Like. I'm totally exposed in this moment, but it's often those moments of feeling exposed that you create the deepest connections with others, that it fosters that sense of empathy and compassion and understanding.
And, I have made so many online friends or just friends that I've met online, through moments of being vulnerable and, and them also being vulnerable and, and me responding to it. And they have been some of the greatest friends of the podcast over the last three years. And so there's definitely a benefit, I think.
To taking a risk in that way. And I totally agree. Yeah, so many of us talking about joy and wellness and so on in, in, in our, in our messaging, we talk about self care and listening to your body and listening to the inside and letting you know, especially you, you ran yourself to shingles. You made yourself crazy, but when your body tells you that it's enough, you have to heat it and rest that's all you can do.
So this past Saturday I was. Exhausted. And I wanted to get up a certain time because I had it to do list and my body just said, hell freaking no. And so I just canceled my day, you know, which is really just me saying I'm not going to do it. And, and I just laid in bed until like, Two o'clock in the afternoon.
And I took a picture of myself, lying in bed, heres a mass, whatever. And I wrote this thing while laying on my pillow. You know, this is what self-care looks like for me today. My body said no, and I'm listening and I am resting and I. I had the most response from that post and people were like, yes, we have to do that.
And I'm so I'm so glad that you showed us that you're doing that because we're doing, we're doing that too, but we didn't want to say, cause you know, the ex society puts this weird expectation up on us that we have to be so productive, you know? And so even though we're saying self-care, when's that fitting in.
Yeah. Yeah. I think a lot of us derive our sense of worth or worthiness from being productive too. But I often try and tell myself or tell others resting is just as if not more productive than working it's in those moments of rest where you're allowing your body to breathe. When you're laying down in bed until 2:00 PM, you know, where you're actually integrating as well.
You're integrating things, you've learned the emotions you're experiencing and that. So much growth and healing, and then being that that's just a beautiful way to be productive in a way that we often don't talk about in society. I'd like to turn words on their heads a little bit. For me, that's always been important and I hear you.
I mean, We derive our sense of worthiness from being quote unquote productive and on that go, go, go hamster wheel. Um, and we often, I think, feel a lot of shame from taking care of ourselves, but self-care is really holistic. It has to be mind, body, and soul. It can't just be, it's not attrition and exactly it has to be addressed also.
Resting your body resting your emotions, your whole nervous system, your muscular skeletal system, everything. And sometimes I get the best ideas out of that. Like, I'll have a dream for sure. Lying in that limbo space between sleep and wakefulness, almost that meditative sphere, you know, and then lightning bolts, like that's the most obvious idea of solution in the universe.
Why didn't I think of that before? Because I didn't get quiet enough to hear myself. Yeah, there's too much noise. There's just way too much noise. I get my best ideas in the shower. I'm not gonna lie. Like that's really where I'll have a moment. Oh my God. where it's in the moments right before I'm about to fall asleep and then I get up and I write it down and then it's a whole process of calming down all over again.
But you're right. It's those moments where the noise has been eliminated, that we often have our best ideas or light bulb moments for ourselves and a deeper understanding for sure. Absolutely. When that happens to me, I grabbed my phone and I voice record myself into my note pad. And then I just say the idea, cause I can do that with my, almost with my eyes.
Cool. Yeah. You don't need to be writing anything down. I love that. That's amazing. Yeah. You know, and then it's in there in the notes and I can do it. I've I've wrote whole chapters of my book that way while driving or washing dishes or something. And I'm like, Oh my God, if I don't. Say this right now, I'm going to forget it.
And I'll just, you know, and then I can copy and paste it into the manuscript later or into my calendar or wherever. Yeah. Yeah. Storytelling, storytelling. It's amazing to me that you and I both fell in on this idea. You know, I been keeping journals for 38 years since 1983 30. I don't know. I can't do the math, but a long damn time ago.
And. Without knowing what I was doing to me, I was just writing. I was a kid. I was just writing, but what I was doing was processing all of the things that were going on in my life and my parents fighting, or me not getting along with my friends or stuff about school or, you know, whatever the hell it is that teenagers think about.
Yeah. It's been a way to really tell my story to myself in a way that allows me to understand the, obviously the narrative and the plot and the conflict, but also to understand my own feelings and process my own responses. And it isn't until sometimes until I've gotten some distance from the experience or some distance from writing about the experience.
And then I go back and I reread it and then the little nuggets of wisdom show up, you know? Yeah. You start to see patterns of behavior, you know, when mom does this, this is what I always do. And that it always makes the fight worse. Or this is what I do in it. And she doesn't like it, but it helps me process, you know, whatever it is that you learn.
I think it's all extremely beneficial. And, and I think talking about the things that we talk about, you talk about on your podcast with all your guests and the things that I've been trying to talk about with my guests, I think are really beneficial, too. Everybody who's listening. You know, like I always say like, this is my story, and yes, it's unique to me, but there's also lots of universality around around it.
You know, we all are, all the particulars might be different, but the underlying humanity and our feelings are the same. And ultimately, regardless of our differences, we want the same things. You know, we want meaning and joy in our lives. We want to feel connected and feel loved and feel like we have a sense of belonging.
Yeah. And the best way to derive that sense of belonging is through. Sharing and that level of sharing comes from connection. And, , over this past weekend, so you and I are talking on April 15th. So on the 10th, I hosted my first ever summit for the podcast. Okay. And what did they talk about that? Amazing.
It was, it was really incredible. And, and one of the sessions, the second panel of the day was about the importance of sharing our story. And as the women on the panel and myself, as we got going and started talking the chat. Was on fire with people saying, oh my God, me too. Yes. This is reminder, oh my God, I'm not alone.
Wait, what you feel this way too. And it just reminded me that, you know, we often feel so alone and so isolated in what it is that we are experiencing. And it sounds appealing. Absolutely. And for me, I've realized that comes from when moments I'm not opening up and from moments when I'm not sharing, or I'm not allowing that connection to take place with the people in my life or people that I meet or whatever it might be.
And the moment that we start to open up and share, we are reminded that we are not alone. We are reminded that, Oh, there is someone else out there who has felt this emotion or had this experience. And of course your story, your experience is unique to you, but there are elements of it just like you said, Marcy, that, are universal at the end of the day.
We are so much more alike than we are different. And there are things that we are searching for his people and longing for his people, , that are so universal. And if we can focus on what unifies us. You know, in that way. And I really believe it brings about greater compassion and empathy and understanding, and that session on Saturday, just so raw, like was such a beautiful reminder for me of that fall.
Um, and I was so appreciative all the people that were there that were like in the chat going, Oh my God, me too, because that's vulnerable to say to a group of strangers, me too. I also experienced this. So I was just blown away the whole time in, in the best, in the best way possible. Oh, I'm so glad. Yeah.
Well, you had a, really a large cast of, of speakers and presenters. Yeah. And people signed in, it was all a zoom thing on one day. Right. So it was a , summit on a Saturday, April 10th, and it was over zoom. And I know some of, so many of us have zoom fatigue, but I couldn't think of a better way to do this right now.
I felt like that was the best way to do this virtually, but you know, it was an incredible day. We had sessions on mindfulness too. Stepping into our joy and how to really step into a positive mindset. Uh, we had a journaling session. Speaking of journaling, we had a journaling session with people, loved that panel.
I shared about the importance of sharing our story. And then, we close with a conversation with, Kelly Rutherford about the connection between empowerment and joy. And so it was just a beautiful day. The themes of the day was really empowerment, wellness, and joy, and it was just. I had a blast putting it together, but then to experience it on Saturday, I am still coming down.
I'm still coming down. You're on a high. That's awesome. Absolutely. It was really incredible. Yeah. Yeah. So thank you for asking one. Hopefully I think next year, I think it will be something I do yearly. , It is quite an undertaking. Sure. If I can do this once a year, , and shift the theme every year and I just think that would be so much fun.
So I look forward to doing it in 2022. Yeah. It'll be wonderful. 20, 22, you know,
I know, I still think I know it's 20, 21, but I keep writing. Instead of two zero, two, one, I keep writing to zero, zero one and I know that's not right. We are definitely not in 2001 anymore. So funny. I keep writing 2020 and people keep saying Sydney it's 2021. Oh yeah, you're right. My bad. We, we are in a new year, but you know, time has just feels like it's very weird in a lot of ways.
It does. But I think by the time we get to summer will feel like it's a new year. I think, I think we're getting closer. Yeah. Did you get vaccinated partially? Partially. I'm almost there. You got the one waiting for the second one. I'm waiting for the second one, embracing myself for the, uh, the side effects, but you know what?
I will take that over. COVID yeah, it's not bad. I got the Johnson and Johnson one. Oh. At the very beginning of March, my school district partnered with Walgreens and got. Like many of the staff members over the course of one huge, very busy day, that is very exciting and sounds very well run. And I felt surprisingly was very organized and I.
Felt like somebody hit me with a very small truck the next day. Yeah. No grade fever, body aches, the whole thing, but then like, like it was timed, it disappeared and I felt fine. Like the sun had come out and I felt totally fine. Yeah. And with it came such a renewed sense of hope. No, I love that because I, I, I wasn't worried anymore.
You know, I didn't have to cause I'm, I see hundreds of people every day at school and while everyone's wearing masks and they're not doing social distancing anymore, they have the entire population of the school back. Except for the people who have chosen to stay online virtual. So I guess it's about 80% because 20% or so are still online and it's just a.
Nerve wracking to be with that many people in the middle of a pandemic. And they're all teenagers who think that they're invulnerable and you know, yeah. Well, I'm so happy for you. That's great. I'm sure. Yeah. I just feel empowered. I feel like, you know, I'm not going to restaurants. I'm still not going to sit in the movie theater yet.
I'm not quite there, but, I'm, I'm hopeful. And I know that even if I do get it, I'm not going to die and it's not going to be severe, you know, I don't know what the. It's an insurance policy, right? Like you feel you got it in your back pocket and feel a little safer, a little better out in the world.
Yeah. I, a hundred percent understand. Absolutely. And my stepmother yesterday called me, love her, but she was Oh my God, are you okay? I just read about the whole blood clot thing and I'm like, it was six people out of hundreds of thousands of doses. I'm okay. All of the problems happened. They have no idea what caused them.
They don't know that it was caused by the vaccine or some coincidental thing, but it all happened within the first three weeks of having it. And mine was like six weeks ago. You're more than in the clear you are more than in the clear, oh, absolutely. People get too afraid. And , I think it might stand in the way of their own health and wellbeing.
I hope they can calm down and. Open themselves up a little bit, not white knuckle. The whole thing like you were saying before. Yeah. I think we've all been in a very deep state of fear over the last year. And, yeah, everyone has a very different response, , to the vaccine, but I'm, I'm hopeful that more people than not will get it.
So yeah, I'm, I'm right there with you. We'll see how it all has to herd immunity. Amen. Amen. Yes. Excellent. So your podcasts come out. What days? What days of the week? Yeah, seek the joy. I've got a new episode every Tuesday and then stories of inspiring joy every Monday and Thursday. I also have a blog feature on my site called joy corner.
And I released two features, on that blog series, every Thursday. So got a lot of content. You're very busy. I'm very busy. I'm very appreciative for it. So, so yeah, so Mondays and Thursday, stories of inspiring joy, Tuesday seeks joy, joy corner on thirsty. Excellent. Excellent. So I will have all the links to all of these things in the show notes.
So anybody who's interested if you're driving, don't feel like you have to like park the car to write all this down. It's all going to be in the show notes. It'll be fine. You'll just scroll down. And there it'll be. And those of you who are looking at us on YouTube, well, You're probably seated anyway. So, you know, so go look down.
It's still there in the show notes there. It's all good. I love it. Sydney. This was so much fun. Thank you for being here, bringing the joy with you and the sunny sunshine from Southern California. Yes. Thank you for having me. So enjoyed this conversation and, it's just always so nice to meet other women, I think, or other people really in this space with a very similar mission and focus.
So I'm really honored to have been able to sit down with you. Thank you for having my absolute pleasure, sweetheart. This was great. It was really fun. Thank you.
So here are the six quick questions. What six words would you use to describe yourself? Oh, man. Okay. Um, I'm just going to go with the six that pop into my head. Uh, I think so, too.
Right? Caring, joyful, compassionate, inquisitive. Unrelenting. Ooh. And determined excellence. Yeah. Unrelenting. No one is ever. I'm going to write that one down. No one has ever said that. I like that. Does going with this things that pop into my head. That's awesome. I always think of it as less, but unrelenting is even better.
I think it's more, as I, as I said it, I thought to myself, God, I, I hope that's okay. Yes, exactly word. It's all good grammatically. Correct. Oh man. That's cool. I like it. Uh, number two, what is your favorite way to spend a day? Hm. I love the days where I can wake up without an alarm, which by the way, is the same time.
I would wake up with an alarm, which is seven in the morning. My body is like trained. I don't know. I don't know how it all, I think it's the days where I just went on my own and I, you know, take an hour or so to kind of, slowly start the day I lay in bed and don't really rush to do anything. And then I love it.
Just sitting on my computer, in my bed and working on creating something. Um, that's how I really love to spend my mornings. Um, and then if it's an ideal day from there with love, you know, to get out and take a walk, go and get a juice or something. Uh, and then I think spend the rest of the afternoon.
Outside and, um, whether that's in my backyard or with my family, or hopefully post COVID with friends and just really, I think kind of, um, allowing myself to come down the days where I let myself kind of come down from, um, work or stress or anything that I'm sort of obligated to do. Sure. Those are great days, days where I can just create for the sake of creating.
I really love those for sure. It's wonderful. I L I love stuff like that too. I am not a morning person. I do not like when the alarm goes off and 26 years now getting up at five o'clock in the morning to go to school. And my, I am a night person. My body does not like that. I don't blame you the alarms to get my, my sorry, ass out of bed.
I just can't do it. So on the weekend, I like sleeping in. I like reading in bed, reading in bed is like my favorite thing. I feel like I'm on a vacation. Fabulous. I love that. Number three. What is your favorite childhood memory? Oh, gosh. Um, I have so many, but one of my favorites is growing up. There used to be a professional tennis tournament that would take place at UCLA, which was only about 15 to 20 minutes from my house.
And my grandparents had tickets every year. And so I always used to love to go with them. My sister would come, um, and we would just spend the evening there with them, you know, getting dinner and sitting and watching the matches and. Um, my grandpa was always so cute. Cause we would leave early because we were young and they were tired and we were tired and um, there was always a line.
Outside as we were leaving, um, and not outside of the stadium, but like outside of the stadium, but not outside of the grounds. And there was always a line of, um, of people who were waiting for autographs, but my grandpa thought they were waiting to get in. So he would always give them our tickets and it wasn't until I was a teenager.
And I would go on my own with, with friends from tennis. Cause I used to play tennis, um, that I realized. These are people waiting to get in. Thanks for people just waiting to get an autograph. So there was really their lucky day. So that's definitely, definitely one of my favorite childhood memories for sure.
Yeah. That's awesome. Yeah. I remember my grandmother used to take me to. Watch the horse races at Belmont Raceway. I was a little girl. I had no idea what was going on and the, I just remember the snacks and she would always buy it and buy us lunch or there'd be pretzels or something. And as long as I had food and drink, yeah, that's all that mattered.
That's all that mattered. I didn't care what the horses were doing. It didn't matter. Yeah, no, I always think about kettle corn. I associate any at any sporting event with kettle corn, to be honest, but I'll never forget the kettle corn at tennis and my grandma's best friend had tickets right next to us.
Um, and she used to always give me kettle corn because, um, we never bought her own or we did, or my grandma ate all of it. It was like the whole thing. So I get you with the food. I get you with the food a hundred percent. It's not right. Okay. Speaking of food, number four. What's your favorite meal? Oh man.
Um, gosh, seasonally, this changes hormonally, you know, it does. And you know, I, um, My favorite meal. This is so hard. Okay. Um, I love my mom's lamb chops. We're just going to go with that. She makes some divine lamb chops. Um, with them. Brussels sprouts is probably my favorite meal, full disclosure. I have many dietary restrictions and I have a lot of the allergies.
So, um, Bri recognizing allergies, it probably would have been a pizza. Was the favorite meal, but post post and realizing all that I really look forward to when my mom prepares what's the allergy part, the dairy. Uh, gluten dairy and lots of other things in between. Yeah. Oh God. I got a lot going on. Yeah.
That's yeah. I quite have allergies so much as a lot of food intolerances then cause inflammation and sensitivities and gastronomical, gastrointestinal issues. And so like, There's more of us out there that we know, just pairing it all down. They're all down as hard. I was standing at the deli counter the other day, waiting for them to slice my Turkey.
And I was looking at all the cheese thinking, oh, I miss cheese. I think that all the time I got my new refrigerator, I bought it with two crisper drawers and one of them was designated as the cheese drawer. And you were like irrelevant to me. Well, the rest of the family can eat. Family can enjoy it, but I don't go in there anymore.
Now it's also has cold cuts and bacon and batteries. I don't know why. Anyway. Wow. They tend to last longer if you put them in the fridge. Wow. There's no really multipurpose drawer.
All right. Number five. What's one piece of advice you would like to give your younger self young Sydney. I think. Calm down, relax a little bit. Everything will come together. The way that it's supposed to. It's probably advice I would give myself currently as well. You know, we're always wondering what's next?
What does the next look like? And I think growing up, especially when I was much younger, I was always so concerned about. What was coming next and was I making the right choice and doing the right thing to prepare myself for what I felt was, you know, success in that moment or success to come. And so I would just tell a younger Sydney, calm down, relax, calm down together.
And I think part of that is trusting yourself to trusting what you're excited about. Trusting what makes you feel joyful or happy or good in your skin? You know, fall following those little breadcrumbs too, I think right. Balanced and comfortable. And. All that good stuff. Excellent. Answer number six. The final question.
What is one thing you would most like to change about the world? I know, I know, right? One thing I would like to change most about the world today, tomorrow could be a different answer. I think ultimately it would be. Finding a way to remind everyone that at our core, we are all more similar than we know, and that if we can tap into that similar illness, that sameness, that connection, that at the root of all of who we all are, is, uh, is love and a desire to be love and share that love.
I think there would be more harmony. I think there would be more compassion and understanding, and we would look at each other as being. Equals as opposed to different or, um, better than, or less than, or whatever words are sort of associated with all of that. So I think the one thing I would change, because there are so many, but the one thing I would change is really just finding a way to remind all of us of how we are really connected and how we're more alike than we realize.
Yes. Beautiful. Beautiful. Yeah. And, and I think you're a hundred percent, right. If we all realized that on, on a deeper, more fundamental elemental level, I don't think we'd have war anymore. You know, I think we would just see more compassion for the human experience and more compassion for what someone else is experiencing.
Um, who we are as people a greater understanding, greater depth. I don't think there will be war. I don't think there would be conflict. Um, I just think it's just that state of harmony and compassion that we're really missing. And so hopefully we continue to move in that direction. And I think, I think we're seeing small signs of it.
It's just going to take a little bit more time. Yeah. So I hope in our lifetime, we see, we see more of it. That's for sure. Fingers, your fingers, fingers crossed. Absolutely. I think we're moving in the right direction. I think it's going to get a little bit dicey before it calms down, but I think we're moving in the right direction.
Well, they always say things have to get worse right before they get better and often absolutely calm something. Yeah. Yeah. One of the two, but either way, either way. I think often things need to, to crumble or, um, need to be heightened before we actually see the Dawn of a new beginning. And I think you're right.
I think we're moving in the right direction and we're going to see probably more unrest or more disagreement or difficulty before we see system needs to be. Broken down in order for a new system to grow in its place. So what is flawed is not meant to remain, right. So we just got to wait and see. I wholeheartedly agree.
Excellent. Well, thank you very much.