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My son leaves for college in August, so you can only imagine how much I have been reflecting on motherhood lately.

I’ve been thinking back on all those joyful hours watching Tommy play soccer since he was three years old, and the sleepless nights worrying if he’ll be okay as he changes and grows into the young man he is today. The essence of loving a child deeply reminds me of Elizabeth Stone’s famous saying –


“Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” 


These words have never felt more true than they do right now, and it has inspired me to re-release an early episode of the Cracking Open podcast with one of the fiercest and most radically loving mothers I know – the incredible Jodie Patterson.

Jodie is an award-winning author, public speaker, advocate, and entrepreneur whose work spans communities as diverse as fashion and beauty brands, to media and entertainment organizations, to queer and BIPOC advocacy groups. In 2019, she became the first Black person elected to the role of Chair of The Human Rights Campaign Board, America’s largest LGBT organization with more than forty years of experience advocating for the rights of this community.

Her first book, The Bold World: A Memoir of Family and Transformation, was hailed by Alice Walker as “marvelous”, and since its publication in 2017, Jodie has spoken weekly on topics of identity, gender, race, and beauty, along with how they play out in family dynamics. In 2021, she published her second book, Born Ready: The True Story of a Boy Named Penelope. It has won several awards and was gifted to all public schools in the state of Kansas. The picture book was inspired by Jodie’s child’s pronouncement at the age of three, “Mama, I’m not a girl, I am a boy”, as well as Jodie’s transformation into an unapologetic LGBTQAI advocate.

Jodie’s story has been featured in numerous daytime talk shows, evening news programs, national print publications, podcasts, and radio programs, including a short documentary produced by Cosmopolitan magazine that reached more than 11 million views and is currently used by the State of New York for diversity training of its employees. In 2015, Family Circle Magazine named her the #1 Most Influential Mom.

She is a truly inspiring woman and mother, and the conversation that we share is both poignant and passionate. Jodie’s voice is an important one to listen to if you want to experience the embodiment of true freedom in love and motherhood.



Purchase Jodie’s book The Bold World here, and Born Ready here 
Follow Jodie on Instagram


Molly’s next 3-month Cracking Open group coaching program starts in September 2024! Learn more here.

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