Ep. 12: Peace
ON THIS EPISODE:
Today we talk about Peace - what it is, how we find it and most importantly, how we keep it! Things get a little hot and heated with #Morganization and in ‘On the Screen,’ we take it back to ‘80s PBS television programming.
Grannies Respond: https://www.granniesrespond.org/
I’m Morgan Hansow and this is my husband, Dave - we’ve spent the last 20 years on a wild adventure that’s taken us to Africa, the Oprah show, and Hollywood.
Welcome to Chasing Unicorns… a podcast about giving ourselves permission to chase our dreams, explore our faith, and figure out who we are, all while trying to keep our crap together!
As Creatives, Humanitarians, and Parents, we’re learning (sometimes the hard way) that the hustle and pursuit of the elusive unicorn will never satisfy.
Each week we explore what it looks like to live authentic, passionate, and connected lives while being a part of a movement that’s trying to transform the world through story + grace.
Overview of today’s show -
Welcome to Chasing Unicorns! Today we are talking about Peace - what it is, how we find it and most importantly, how we keep it! Things get a little hot and heated with #Morganization and in ‘On the Screen,’ we take it back to ‘80s PBS television programming.
As always, one of the highlights of my week...wearing headphones and gazing across the room at your hotty face!
I think we informally mentioned last week that we found a new recording location...so much is about acoustics when recording a podcast. So for first 10 episodes of Chasing Unicorns we recorded in our walk-in closet because all the clothes acted as padding for the acoustics, but it was quite ridiculous cramming in there with the set-up each week and so on a whim last week we decided to find the second best option...Dave you walked around the house clapping and decided Asher’s room was good.
I gotta ask...do you actually know what you’re doing when you’re clapping? Or is it kind of like when I’m at the grocery store knocking on watermelons? I think I heard I’m supposed to find a ‘hollow’ sounding one and that means it’s ripe, but I’ll be honest, after knocking up a bunch of watermelons, they all sound the same and I just make an educated guess based on appearances.
Alright, Let’s get to the GOOD NEWS - splices of what’s going right in the world
Even though we’re ‘hardwired’ to respond to bad news, we think it’s our mandate to be people who point out out the beauty and truth in the world wherever we see it
y good news this week is that Smoking Cigarettes has Reached an All-Time Low in the U.S. Back in 1944, over 40 percent of adults in the US smoked cigarettes, and that stayed pretty steady for the next several decades, even though the government began warning people in the ’60s that smoking was a major health threat. And then in the 90’s, it dropped to around 30%... and as of a recent Gallup Poll, we are now at 16%.
I think it’s so interesting how so many factors play a role in stats like this. I mean… we all had the information for 50 years that smoking was killing people, but it wasn’t until culture caught up with the information that it began to really change. The moment restaurants,bars, and airports began to ban smoking, there was a stigma placed on smoking that eventually influenced culture, and ultimately led to less people smoking.
My good news this week is about ‘Grannies Respond’ - It’s about a group of Grannies who rallied out with an idea of caravaning down to the Texas Border from New York to protest the detention of immigrant families and children. Regardless of what you think politically, I love the action - a group of Grannies who see something they see as an injustice and instead of thinking it’s someone else’s issue or that they are simply too old, they decided to do something. They’re starting out on July 31st in New York and then driving down stopping in various cities for some rallies and then ending at the detention centers on August 6th.
They envision their caravan growing as they go and they’re inviting anyone to join. They have some Spanish-speaking Grannies - Abuelas- who are helping organize it and they will be teaching the caravan spanish songs on the drive so when they get there they can sing and the detainees can hear them and know they aren’t alone. I love the following quote on their site:
“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say, ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.” — Fred Rogers (whom we know as Mister Rogers and whom we’ll talk more about later)
You can check out their site: https://www.granniesrespond.org - where you can learn more, support the mission, or join a caravan!
It’s time for our ome (Office) Huddle in which we Talk about what’s surfacing in our current pursuits—both personally and professionally—as a Husband/Wife duo.
In the last week, our conversations have revolved around cultivating peace both in our home and in our bodies.
Let’s be honest, when we were making a plan to record the podcast and I mentioned talking about peace, you gave me the ‘stink eye’ - why’s that?
Well, I’m know we’ll be getting into ‘why’ there’s a need for peace in our lives right now in a bit, but I just don’t want to be ‘those’ people that are constantly talking about the ‘hard things’ - the struggles and the disappointments. I mean, I’ve realized that whenever we try to accomplish bigger things in life, we are going to have setbacks, but in the past 5 years or so, I would say we’ve had our fair share - but we aren’t negative people, or even people that focus on the negative in life. BUT, we are vulnerable people - meaning, even in normal, everyday conversations we aren’t people who stick to surfacey conversations. We usually dive in, and sometim es that’s good, and sometimes I want to just lighten up.
Which I TOTALLY get, but we’ve also made a commitment that we want our lives (including Chasing Unicorns) to be marked by authenticity and no bullshit. And we know from the conversations we had in LA last week that while we wish it were different, the truth is that character and connection are forged by going THROUGH the struggle, not avoiding it or pretending it doesn’t exist.
Yeah, so we had a little chat about it and I totally came around. Sometimes vulnerability comes easy and sometimes it’s a choice. There’s enough masks and facades out there and of course our aim is to add to the beauty, but it’s to arrive there through truth, honesty, and vulnerability which we hope is attractive and inviting and gives you the permission you need to walk in vulnerability and freedom. So there you have it, a little behind-the-scenes into today’s podcast...You ready to talk peace hun?
Yep! Well, Peace is an interesting word that sometimes has fuzzy connotions. I mean, it gets associated with Christmas, it’s used for home decor or fashion, it’s spoken in liturgical practices, and we throw it around as our dream for the world and and opposite of war. But when you REALLY think of the word, what does it mean? How do you define it?
I’m really asking you Babe... how do YOU define peace?
Dave answers off the cusp… I think it’s just a feeling. Again… so hard to put it into words, but it’s something you know you have when you have it, and something you want, when you don’t have it.
The dictionary definition of peace is this:
A state of tranquility or quiet (including freedom from civil disturbance)
Freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions
A state or period of mutual concord between governments
Used interjectionally to ask for silence or calm or as a greeting or farewell
Obviously it’s the first and second meaning that we probably most associate with—A state of tranquility or quiet and Freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions—But I think the power of the word in our personal lives (including our spiritual lives) is so much bigger and deeper than we can articulate in words, don’t you think?
Yeah, I totally agree. It’s hard to find the words but I know the NEED I have for it and frustration I feel when I don’t have it. Which I guess takes us right into WHY we are talking about PEACE this week...
In the last couple episodes we talked about a Big dream we have for our next project—writing a screenplay to tell an incredible and inspiring story. Well, we got back from LA and a good and hopeful meeting and then it felt like the ‘attacks’ started. I don’t know how else to say it, but it literally felt like our home and our bodies were under siege. For the week since we’ve been home I’ve struggled almost daily with tension headaches.
And unfortunately that’s not new for you, your headaches are a telltale sign that your mind and body are under stress and tension
Yeah, unfortunately it’s true and they have gotten better over the years, but it’s usually how I carry my stress and so I was very aware that something was amiss. All the sudden I was feeling financial pressure to pick up business with my design company–as the life of a self-employed creative is either feast or famine— and at the same time I was struggling to hold onto hope for this future dream we had just taken a step in, and a lot of this was perpetuated by the email you received last week.
Ughhh, well I won’t go into details, but I got a super disheartening and hurtful email last week out of the blue about a project I had passionately worked on and their plan to take me off the project as it went to the next level. I spent a good day in tears off/on - incredibly saddened and confused, especially since there was friendship involved and it was the culmination of like 5 years of supporting this project... Within 2 days of getting home from LA where hope was beginning to rise and dreams felt like they were taking off, we were being overshadowed. All the sudden it was like a lid was put on top of all the hope and joy and promise that had started to bubble.
That’s a good analogy… thanks! It was crazy! Our bodies were physically responding to the stress and the pain - we became lethargic, I couldn’t bring myself to go work out, I struggled to sit down at my computer to work, my head was pounding and Morg, you just wanted to lay in our bed (which you did do for a day, and rightfully so, since that was a big disappointment on SO many fronts). What’s crazier is that for day or two, we had traded in our hope for despair - let’s just call it what it was. In addition to physically feeling despair, it was so easy to feel like it was affecting our overall emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Since we used Brene Brown’s term Gremlins last week (and since we’re ‘80s kids), let’s stick with that - the gremlins came in with the lies and the doubt...things like, “Who do you think you are dreaming so big?” Don’t you realize that things won’t actually change? And just overall feeling lousy.
And most prominent for me was the lie that felt like confirmation, but was really a chocolate-covered turd - “See, it’s happened again, another time when you’re part of something or headed somewhere and then you get passed up or pushed out.” At the time I bit in because it looked SO good and from my past experiences it ‘felt’ true, but the more I chewed it the sicker it made me.
Wow babe, you’re really going for the analogies today! I like it!
Haha! Yeah, I don’t know where that came from, I know I’ve heard chocolate-covered turd before but I’m not sure where. So we were living in our bubble of despair and then you had some sense (or truth) knocked into you, which is where we transition to peace….coming back around!
Yeah, I had this epiphany that our frustrations and despair doesn’t necessarily come from people or even the circumstances, but against the unseen gremlins - against evil and all that it includes. I think it was important for us to realize (as crazy as it sounds) that there was something raging war on our bodies, our spirits, our home, and our hopes and it was using disappointment, hopelessness and headaches. And that’s not to say that feelings can’t be validated, like the pain of betrayal or disappointment, but it’s one thing to validate feelings and another thing to choose despair and make generalizations about all of life (or our futures) based on circumstance. So I came to you Morg and we called it out and then decided that we weren’t going to be defeated and that we would battle for PEACE all around!
Heck yeah! And I’d say there’s a huge relief when we admit there’s gremlins and we aren’t crazy. Plus, I think it’s super important to point out that it’s not uncommon to experience troubles, disappointments, and setbacks when you take an intentional step in the direction of a dream, passion, pursuit, or risk. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, we’re in a war. We were born into a war - a war of good-truth-hope-love-justice-connection-beauty VS despair-fear-lies-division-hate-injustice-evil. When we take a bold and courageous step toward the former, we’re going to piss off our enemies and they’re going to use whatever tactic they can throw our way to get us to give up, abort our dreams, cower in fear, or choose hopelessness. Which is why we have to battle for PEACE - in our minds, our homes, and our bodies.
So practically speaking, the day after we opened the email I came across a song by Amanda Cook, who leads worship at our church, called PEACE - it’s a YouTube video from a couple weeks ago and this song has become an anthem in our home this last week - I’m playing it while I’m working, Morgan’s playing it on her phone and then sometimes we’re playing it on our living room TV. We are literally filling the airwaves of our home up with declarations of PEACE several times a day.
I highly recommend you listening to it - just search for Amanda Cook Peace on YouTube - we’ll include a link in the show notes too, but here’s a few of the lyrics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLSWtamikJk
You are Peace to the Restless Soul. Peace when my thoughts wage war. Peace to the anxious heart. That’s who you are You, You are Peace when my fear takes hold. Peace when I feel enclosed. Peace when I lose control. That’s you are you, that’s who you are. I’ve found peace far beyond all understanding. Let it flow when my mind’s under siege.
So good! For me, I can literally feel anxiety beginning to fall off when I listen to songs like this. And then from other practical standpoints, we’re choosing health of body - choosing to eat right and drink water, choosing to work out and even choosing to give ourselves permission to rest. We’re also giving ourselves permission to reach out to entrusted friends and family - making phone calls or sending texts - little SOS messages alerting them to the situation and saying we need prayer and encouragement. Like we said, the only way to peace is THROUGH, and that requires authenticity and vulnerability. All this helps us create peace.
Yeah, which is a good point - Peace is really something that has to be cultivated. I mean even the laws of physics prove that it goes from order to chaos, so we have to be super intentional to align ourselves—our bodies, our hearts, and our minds—with peace. It goes back to last week and us talking about preparing - what messages are we taking in, what reminders are we giving ourselves in our cars, around our homes and at our workspaces? Our good friend Matt has always said, what we’re enamored with we become… if our focus is constantly on the gremlins and agreeing with their foul and shitty lies, then of course we’ll fall into despair. But if we can get our eyes off the circumstances (even in the midst of the confusion, pain, or setbacks) and focus on truth/love/hope, than peace inevitably flows and settles into to all those anxious crevices - it’s Jesus’ promise to us! Peace beyond what this world can give. Promise of a hope and a future. Promise that the best is yet to come!
Alright it’s time for Morganization - Check in with Morgan on a project from her never-ending ‘to-do’ list and help bring some accountability (and sanity) to our home.
We haven’t checked in with Morgan since Episode 8 and I can tell she’s been avoiding it, so I’m gonna ‘go there’
Geez, thanks Babe! Oh Morganization - Yes, I’ve been avoiding the segment for the last couple months. I think the last time I talked about organization was in early June when I talked about painting the cabinets in our laundry room with this cabinet painting kit we got from Home Depot a year ago and I said I would go in and have the paint reshook and I would get the project done by the end of June.
Well, it’s the end of July and that has NOT happened! I did take the kit back to Home Depot to get the paint shook but realistically it just can’t happen during the summer and let me tell you why…
Well, for one, we were gone two weeks in June and so I wasn’t physically here and then we got home and I needed to keep the washer/dryer hooked up to do catch-up laundry from our trip, but really the main reason is the heat.
People who knew CA joked about Redding being hot before we came here and I was thinking “It’s Northern California, it can’t be that hot!” I mean it’s not Yuma or anything - my brother was stationed there for a couple years with the Marines and it was like 115º.
Silly me!!! You guys, we are in the middle of a two-week heat-wave stint where the temperatures are 105° or higher every day. We’re a week in and we have a week left and it could be longer! It could be longer because I can only see the forecast through the end of next week so it’s showing 100° next Friday and I don’t know I could go beyond that we could wake up and have a whole other week which would be a three weeks!
This is true! Just so you know like today’s forecast is 109° and tomorrow is 112° - you guys we have a pool and we can’t even go in it unless it’s in the morning or after the sun goes down. And even at night, it’s still so hot - the forecast shows it being 103° tonight at 8 o’clock which is just insane!
Exactly, so all that to say there is NO way that in this heat I can take the cabinet doors into the garage and paint when it’s like a sauna in there. I just evidently did not think it through — this is a fall or spring project, NOT a summer project so I am going to go on the record here and say that I am officially bumping the laundry cabinet painting project to the fall - which frees up morganization! I have a whole slew of things in my head and an ever-expanding to-do list of things I wanna get done but here’s the catch, yesterday we decided that since some things that had shifted in our schedule I could join my extended family in Rhode Island for a cousin/family reunion next weekend so with that said, next week I am leaving for a week - leaving you and with the kids (I wish we could all go, but you’re amazing babe!) and Sooooo…
My thought is handing over the Morganization batone to you for the next project...of course, I have a couple things in mind for you, but I’m Curious to hear what project you would like to tackle in my absence??
Well… when you leave, I go into survival mode. Between running kids everywhere, and working, I’m not sure how much I’ll have left. But?????
Okay, so there we have it...in my absence, Dave is going to tackle… and we’ll check back in in 2 weeks.
On the Screen - in which we visit and review what we’re watching this week
If you’re a regular listener you know that we’re a movie-going family that makes use of the MoviePass which is a card that allows you to see a movie a day at pretty much any theater across the country for a set fee of $9.99/mo. And in these past few weeks, we’ve seen a few new ones!
Well before we left for LA, Dave and I went to see ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor’ which is a documentary about the life and work of Fred Roger - most notably his beloved show, ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ which aired on national television, on PBS for over 33 years! We had several friends who had seen the film and told us we had to go see it but we had to wait a couple weeks for it to come to Redding and you don’t want to miss this film, especially if you grew up watching the show. I have fond memories watching the show growing up. My parents had a black/white television when I was born and it wasn’t until I was 3 or 4 that my uncle gifted my family with a color TV because he wanted me to know the smurfs were blue! I remember sitting on our brown patterned couch with a small red box of raisins in the mid-’80s watching my daily dose of PBS broadcasting which included ‘Sesame Street,’ ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ and occasionally, ‘Captain Kangaroo.’ Did you watch that show Babe?
I of course grew up knowing who Mister Rogers was, but I didn’t consistently watch it.
Mister Rogers...this is an absolutely fantastic film! It’s so rare for documentaries to get a national theatrical release but of course with 33 years on air, Fred Rogers touched SO many lives in the 70s,80s,&90s. His message was really revolutionary and centered around Love and acceptance and making a safe space for children to process the ups and downs of life. And until seeing the film I had no idea that Fred was a Presbyterian minister because his message never came across as ‘religious’ but looking back, of course, of course his message of love and acceptance and inclusion and joy and valuing children was seeped in the Gospel! How about you Babe? I know you loved this one too…
Dave - I LOVED it!!!! I couldn’t say enough about it. Morgan Neville did an incredible job with this film and we highly recommend you see this movie. It’s powerful and inspiring and for those reasons we’re going to give this a rating of 11 horns!
Out of 11 Horns! So 11 Horns on the 11th episode - double elevens! Whoot Whoot! But seriously, we’re not crazy, b/c Rotten Tomatoes gave this a 99% rating from the critics and a 97% audience score so we’re right on track!
Yes, it’s really SO good! And as filmmakers and producers who want to create media that adds beauty, connection and understanding to the world, it’s so encouraging to see a film like this do so well at the box office! Okay, so continuing on. We couldn’t be in the heart of the movie industry and not go to the movies so we went to 2 movies while we were in LA last week. We saw Marvel’s ‘Ant-man and the Wasp’ on the biggest screen we’ve ever watched a movie on and we loved it! It was entertaining and honestly really fun - and funny - l loved the humor. I’ve always been a Paul Rudd fan and then Michael Pena’s character in this is so funny! I’m a sucker for a good laugh! For a marvel film, it was just refreshing to watch - a good blend of action and lightheartedness and if you stick around until after the initial credits (as you do in all Marvel films) you’ll get the little easter egg that ties this film into the greater Marvel universe. I’m gonna say this is 9 unicorn horns, do you feel good about that rating Hun?
Yes, I’m totally tracking with you!!! So our last movie experience was more about the comfort of the lush oversized reclining seats than it was the the actual movie. In LA they really go crazy with movie promotion for premieres - in addition to billboards and buses, they plaster posters ALL over - trash cans, fences, concrete medians, etc. (in fact, here’s a little inside scoop we’ve heard from some friends in the industry… ) Skyscraper premiered last weekend and we saw Dwayne Johnson’s face ALL over LA and so between going to Erwin McManus’ church, Mosaic and meeting some friends for dinner on Sunday, we decided to go see it. I was in heaven with the fully reclining seats. As for the movie itself, it followed the typical Hollywood film blueprint of ‘The Hero’s Journey’ to a T, it was action packed, actually it was a little too action packed in my opinion. Everything that could go wrong goes wrong and I found myself needing a little breathing space but you know, Dwayne’s physique is on-point - I feel bad that he can’t enjoy donuts and ice cream in life. I wonder if he ever gets sick of having his health so tied to his career?
I don’t know, this was just about as predictable as a film gets… The problem is that Dwayne Johnson has been in a billion of these movies - and once you’ve seen one movie with The Rock, you’ve kinda seen them all. This is basically Rampage but with a building instead of a gorilla. I’m gonna give Skyscraper 5 horns.
Remember, we LOVE hearing from you!
This week we have an email reflection from Shanna in Denver. Shanna wrote:
I listen to the podcast while I drive to various assignments for the newspapers and had a few thoughts for you in response to episode 11:
On vegan ice cream: I too am always looking for a non-dairy alternative. My favorite in the Denver metro area is at Sweet Action! I don't know if they sell everywhere, but in addition to selling at their shop on Broadway, you can also find their pints in Whole Foods. My personal favorite is the vegan caramel carrot cake. You should check it out next time you're in CO.
As for writing: As a journalist and a storyteller, I recommend checking out Stephen King's On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. It describes his experiences as a writer and his advice for aspiring writers. It's my personal favorite.
That's all for now! Look forward to listening next week. :)
Yay! Love this! Shanna is actually a great friend of ours - our CO travels back in June were actually to attend her wedding in the Rocky Mountains. She married one of our best friends, Patrick Maxcy, which is how we met Shanna.
Shanna is an award-winning journalist. So of course we are down for any writing recommendations she has to offer - I’ve already added On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft to our Amazon ‘saved for later’ checkout cart. And as for vegan ice-cream, I have not heard of Sweet Action, but I’m digging the name and I love hearing about the expansion of the vegan ice cream industry. I mean, with 75% of Americans having some sort of dairy intolerance, it makes sense. Next time we’re in CO, we’ll meet you for some of that frozen deliciousness!
We REALLY DO want your voice, feedback, input and suggestions about today’s podcast. Share your stories of preparation. What practices do you have to cultivate peace? Tell us about your summer projects or share a childhood PBS memory with us! Whatever, you want to share, we want to hear it...
Please go to: ChasingUnicornsPodcast.com - record an audio message
OR send us an email at
Find Us At/Socials/request for subscription/reviews -
Chasing Unicorns Group on Facebook
If you enjoy this podcast we’d love to have your review and ratings, please take a couple minutes and give us a positive review in iTunes or wherever you listen to Podcasts - it really helps new listeners find us.
And lastly, in iTunes or GooglePlay go ahead and click the subscribe button if you haven’t done so already so that each Thursday you can get an alert when the new podcast goes live.