The Magic of Mindfulness on Daytime TV


I shot a parenting segment for a daytime TV show yesterday. Flew from Colorado to Illinois to shoot at NBC Studios, downtown Chicago.

“If the light that shines on you is brighter than the light that is in you, the light that is on you will destroy you.” -Unknown

I was in touch with my light. I felt engaged in my magic that day.

The whole experience was built of bits of flashy stuff: Drivers and sweet hotel rooms, hair and make-up, photographers and producers.


But that flash also brought me front-and-center with those moments where it was possible (easy, even) to get so wrapped up in the experience that I let people tell me how they want me to show up. The way I did when I was working in Corporate America.  Doing the dance, getting the rewards, losing confidence in my ability to be me and get what I want out of life, simultaneously.

My sister-friend introduced my to a TV producer for The Steve Harvey Show who was looking for women who “practiced radical parenting styles.” Being an unschooler, a Black unschooler at that, is a needle in a haystack, they said. They’d never heard of it, and when she told them I was also location-independent, they wanted to talk to me immediately.

IMG_20160218_192010During several Skype, phone, and text conversations with three different producers, I realized that I would need to get clear about how I would represent myself on daytime TV, where people routinely performed for ratings and retweets, and their chance at celebrity status.

During those conversations, I felt engaged with my magic. I was present and I took the opportunities I needed to revise something I had said, or change my mind about something after I said it.  I reviewed some of my public pieces around certain Parenting topics and send them to the producers to support my assertions and make my stance clear.

I didn’t want to be misrepresented if I could help it; we’ll see when the show airs. I’ll see if my context makes it past post-production. For sure though, I was present and mindful, and firmly rooted in my magic.

akilah-richards-steve-harveyI spent the night and morning of the show in various forms of meditation. Being with my manifesto, revisiting my big, bold goal of opening an online unschool, and drinking sparkling grapefruit juice.

Anxious, monkey-brain thoughts popped up. I let them come. I examined them. And then I gave them space to keep on going. The end result is that I was calm and curious, and I enjoyed myself.

What happens when you allow yourself to be calm and curious?

Use this personal manifesto creation course to get more familiar with your You-ness. Or, go straight to this space where you can mine your personal magic.

No matter what though, find a way to understand what you need to feel connected to your own magic, and practice that shit with commitment and curiosity.

  • Follow your gut
  • Press back against anything that doesn’t feel safe
  • Practice being yourself more
  • Jeanean

    “Practice being yourself more” has been the hardest thing for me. I do well for a while, I follow my gut (even though I am scared shitless when I do so), I press forward anyway. Then it happens, fear/anxiety voices come at me strong and hard. I start shrinking back into old ways of thinking, old habits of being and then I am back at square one. At this point I am tired of being tired. Fear/anxiety/shame has ruled my life for more years than I can to say. I have decided to change tactics. Instead of going in so hard, I’m making smaller goals, taking steps instead of leaps and bounds. I want to own and be proud of myself, the good and the bad(but hopefully more good)!

    • Your new tactics sound right on point, Jeanean. Sometimes those small, steady steps are exactly what we need to walk down a new, unfamiliar path. Follow your gut. I think you will find out exactly how to own yourself and be proud of your whole self. You’re already on the path.

  • srobertson701

    YAY to you. Love and Congrats!

  • Leslie Bray

    you did a phenomenal job!!! as i watched and saw how they were setting things up, i was worried that your words/thoughts/ideas would be misread or edited out. i was so thankful that you held your own. you were grounded in your responses and didn’t let anyone speak over you!! reading this now, i can see that being centered and in touch with one’s self is the important, unseen work.

    • Thank you, Leslie! I had that same concern, particularly having no control over how the show was edited. I think Harvey’s team did a good job. I didn’t feel misrepresented in any way, and I’m thankful for that. I’m even more thankful that other alternative learning parents (like you) got something good out of the conversation. Thanks for your feedback!