SPARK, A Mother-Daughter Journey

Sophia Rae and Jenny Kierstead

Hi, this is Jenny Kierstead and Sophia Rae, a Mother-Daughter duo. We’ve been through a lot together the last few years. As we moved through COVID self-isolation, we also dealt with our own traumatic grief from the massacre here in NS, which claimed the life of Jenny’s sister, and Sophia’s Aunt, Lisa McCully. We decided to channel our desire to spark a light amidst the darkness by creating this podcast.Our hope for this podcast is to ignite honest, whole-hearted conversations that bridge the generational gap, heal trauma and light the path for a healthy, united future. read less

Way of the Peaceful Warrior- with bestselling author Dan Millman
Apr 21 2022
Way of the Peaceful Warrior- with bestselling author Dan Millman
*Potential Sensitive Content Warning*We are thrilled to introduce Dan Millman, who’s been transforming humanity for over 40 years, with his dedicated work on personal development and human potential. Author of PEACEFUL HEART, WARRIOR SPIRIT: the True Story of my Spiritual Quest, Dan is a former world trampoline champion, Stanford University gymnastics coach, martial arts instructor, and college professor. His 18 books are published in 29 languages and his first book, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, was adapted to film in 2006. As we mark the 2-year anniversary of the April 18-19th mass shooting in NS, we are so moved that Dan opened his schedule up to be with Sophia and I and give this gift to our people, many of whom are still hurting and confused.For what would have been Lisa’s 51st birthday, I, Jenny, posted this quote from Way of The Peaceful Warrior “Be happy now, without reason - or you never will be at all.” We started our chat by discussing the idea of happiness and how it’s possible to experience joy even amidst the grieving process. Dan exquisitely described the crushing pain of grief and how it softens over time, allowing us to move from grief into gratitude. He makes mention of mud and stars and how we always have a choice to see mud or stars in every moment.  He then describes success as making progress toward a meaningful goal and emphasizes the importance of taking action, sometimes small action, to help move us into a different place when we’re suffering. Dan invites us all to consider what we want to bring into the world, and the answer is something we can all work toward. We are most grateful for Dan’s wisdom teachings and we encourage you to visit:  www.PeacefulWarrior.com for his books, events, online courses, and free life-purpose calculator. We are also deeply grateful to you, our listeners and friends, for walking this path with us as we work to create meaningful change in the wake of the NS tragedy.
The Olympic Dream- with 3x Olympian Karen Furneaux
Apr 1 2022
The Olympic Dream- with 3x Olympian Karen Furneaux
In this episode, Sophia and Jenny share reflections on their public speaking to a school in NB, and have a good chuckle at Jenny’s rather intense approach to health and healing with grade eights. They discuss the training opportunities coming up with Women of Light and Girl on Fire Empowerment, and share some excitement about their upcoming visit to California. The conversation with Strong Beauty author, Karen Furneaux begins with the acknowledgment of what a generous and kind person Karen is and how much light she shines into the world. She then describes her journey as a young athlete, driven by big dreams who eventually joins the ranks of the small percentage of athletes who actually realize their Olympic dream. Karen discusses her rituals on the water that helped her to enter the flow state before every kayak race and the importance of breath for connecting her mind to her body, which she claims is a key factor in any performance. She shared about her transition from the role of athlete to that of CBC broadcaster and how she’s learned to view new beginnings as exciting, in order to manage stress and anxiety. Conversation closes with Karen‘s passion for speaking to students and her new role with kids help phone. She finds it deeply gratifying to support someone through their darkest moments, and we are all so blessed to have people like Karen walking the earth. To find Karen Furneaux, visit @strongbeautytribe on IG, And Karen Furneaux on FB
Life after Tragedy
Mar 17 2022
Life after Tragedy
As the Public Inquiry into the mass shooting of April 18-19th was approaching, the Mass Casualty Commission asked the public how the massacre has affected their lives?Sophia shares honestly about how unrecognizable she was right after the events. She withdrew from socialization for a year and a half and dealt with her feelings of hopelessness and fear by micro-managing her environment with A LOT of OCD tendencies. We talk about big picture questions, like "Why now, with the girls so young (they were 11 and 13)?" and "Why us, why our family?" Sophia expresses how important it was for her to process it all with us, since it might have been too much for her friends.She talks about her school experience, post massacre, during a pandemic. She wanted to talk about it and no one acknowledged it.She wishes someone would approach her and say, "I'm holding space for you and I want you to know I'm here for you, for whatever you need."This experience has inspired Sophia to increase awareness into trauma-informed best practices.After a small poll regarding trauma with her peers, she concluded that the majority of teens have been traumatized.Jenny talked about the prevalence of traumatized kids and how they act out to cope. She believes trauma literacy needs to become more of a priority in all of our workplaces.Jenny shared a quote by John Eldredge "The accumulation of event after event that we're assaulted by, erodes our confidence that we are a part of something grand and good and reduces us to a survival mindset." She then went on to share the common feelings of being anxious, overwhelmed, scared, irritable like a wild animal, much of the time after the April event.Jenny notices that her life is divided into life before and life after the massacre.She has noticed way more fear and has grown super cautious.And anger? Jenny notices a deep rage surface when she sees her sister's name on the news in google. She's thankful she's got tools to self-regulate, like RBC (relax, breath, choose) which she explains in her Mindfulness in Schools Manual.Both agreed that it's too much to take in for a reasonable mind, since what he did was in such a state of insanity.We hope this conversation supports your own healing journey. We invite you too to talk it out, with a family member or a professional, because it really does help. We’d love to hear your feedback so feel free leave a review!
TRAILER
Feb 3 2022
TRAILER
Welcome Everyone to SPARK, A Mother-Daughter Journey.This title  just seems to fit with our vision because it ties in so well with the Girl on Fire Empowerment program that I (Jenny)  wrote when Sophia was 8. But right now it’s really important to us because we're on a grief journey after losing my sister, and Sophia's Aunt, in the mass shooting here in NS last April. Since the massacre, I've been pretty lost, so this podcast and the process of working with Sophia has sparked a light in me that I wasn’t sure I’d ever rekindle. Our hope is that through our real conversations into intergenerational messiness, and post traumatic growth, that we can help to light that spark inside of everyone, especially in the aftermath of a global pandemic.Spark to me (Sophia) is lighting the path to my future. It is the beginning. Here I will share the knowledge I have acquired over the years of my life while also remaining a student on this journey. If you don't already  know me, I'm a singer/songwriter, mental health advocate, public speaker, dancer and now… a podcaster.Since Mom’s a leader in yoga and mindfulness, in every podcast, she’ll be sharing self care practices. We’ll chat about the issues that we’re facing, sometimes with a super interesting guest or an expert in the field we’re discussing. And at the end we’ll do a short Q&A, so send us questions or comments to spark@girlonfire.ca. Our overall vision is to provide you with sparks of insight to help light your way forward. By bringing our struggles, our silliness and our honesty to this platform, we’ll all grow a little stronger, embrace our true selves and rise in our lives. Welcome to the journey everyone!