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Episode 127. Pursuing Your Passion: Going Back to School While Mothering & Working with Malika Dudley

Episode 127

Have you thought about going back to school, pursuing your certification, degree, or even masters degree? Or maybe you’re dreaming of starting a business or passion project…but you’re a mom and busy and life seems overwhelming as is…so you question whether you can truly add one more thing to your plate financially, time wise, or even just mentally, emotionally, or physically.

There are so many factors to consider when wondering if your dream can or should come to life. And right as you are working out the details in your head or journal, cue the mom guilt and imposter syndrome.

But at the same time you look around and see that other moms are doing it or have done it. If you are anywhere on this journey toward making time for school, yourself, and/or your dreams, this episode is for you.

Maui mama Malika Dudley is here to answer questions about her story that led her to obtaining her masters degree and starting a podcast called Comminification (all about the beautification of communication). All while mom-ing, working, and processing loss.

She and I share about our masters degree journeys—and while we dive into the pragmatics of it (scheduling, cost, etc). you’ll see that this is a much bigger conversation than the questions and pros/cons list you might be compiling. At the end of our interview I was really struck by how much our journeys were about more than those initial lists in our heads…when really it came down to alignment, learning about ourselves, our families and our communities.

This conversation is a living, breathing example of what it’s like when moms take the time to show up and pursue their passions. So if you’re thinking about going for it—whatever that means for you—get ready! You’re going to learn so much about yourself!

Malika’s Bio: Malika Dudley is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa where she was a Regent Scholar. She also attended Mississippi State University where she earned her certification in meteorology. Malika is a Pacific Century Fellow that has earned a Murrow Award, SPJ Journalism award, and two Emmy-nominations for her reporting. The former Miss Hawai’i has nearly 15 years of experience in media. She began her career in news at KGMB9 in 2007, worked for Hawaii News Now, America Now, was Chief Meteorologist for Maui Now/Big Island Now, and most recently, weather anchors for KITV4 Island News. Malika was voted “Best of Maui” Instagram two years in a row. She hopes that her “influence” helps to inspire those around her to be their best selves and recognize that we are all more similar than we are different. Malika has interviewed countless celebrities: Viola Davis, Bruce (Caitlyn) Jenner, Bruno Mars, Zac Efron, Colin Farrell, Emma Roberts, Joe Manganiello, Paul Rudd, Olivia Wilde, Adam Driver, Michael B. Jordan, Karen Gillan, Pierce Brosnan, Brian Cranston, Awkwafina, Freida Pinto, Laura Dern, Arnel Pineda, Connie Britton, the cast of Hawaii Five-0, and many more. She has also interviewed numerous hall-of-famers, top professional athletes and olympians, among them: Kelly Slater, Julia Mancuso, Bo Jackson, Kevin Millar, Cylde Drexler, Tim Brown, Paige Alms, Billy Kemper, George Gervin, and Jerry Rice. Malika also co-hosted a show on the Golf Channel for four years alongside Steve Young (one year was with Richard Karn). At the Miss America Pageant, Malika was voted Miss Congeniality by her fellow contestants.   After pivoting from Communicology (the scientific study of human communication) to Meteorology 15 years ago, Malika returned to graduate school to finish her Masters degree in Communicology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. The Communification Podcast is her thesis project. In her free time, Malika is passionate about helping her community. She enjoys donating her time hosting community events, teaching karate, singing the National Anthem, organizing donation drives for the Maui Food Bank, and teaching free CPR classes whenever she can. Malika lives in Pukalani, Maui with her husband and their two children.

In this episode, Malika & I talk about:

  • Her new podcast: Communification
  • Stage fright
  • Mindvalley Academy
  • Dealing with life publicly and privately
  • The natural ups and downs with life
  • Communication via technology
  • Living our most authentic lives
  • Recovering perfectionism
  • Not comparing yourself to online versions
  • Being part of an online generation
  • Being part of an online world
  • The Amazon Generation
  • Why Malika went back to school
  • We all experience falls and triumphs when it comes to education
  • “Phubbing” (phone + snubbing)
  • Parental phubbing & the negative consequences for parents
  • Growing up navigating the internet without guidance or rules
  • Communication tools for parents
  • Parasocial relationship (our relationship to influencers)
  • Answering your calling
  • How to decide whether to pursue a degree
  • Alignment
  • Life-long learning
  • Curiosity as a source of happiness and peace
  • Positivity bias
  • What took Malika and I so long to finish our masters degrees
  • The pragmatics of going back to school while mothering
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Serendipitous signs that we were on the right path
  • Finding creative ways to study and attend class
  • Modeling life-long learning for our kids
  • Family input in the big decision to start something new
  • Everyday life with more to do
  • How we included our family in our projects
  • Mom guilt
  • Balance…does it exist?
  • What happens when we show up as our whole selves
  • Giving ourselves grace
  • How we integrate technology into our lives
  • Scheduling classes and work for school
  • Slow progress is still progress
  • You find out who your friends are on this journey

Malika’s Links: Website, Instagram, and Podcast

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Blossom & Root. Today’s episode of Elevating Motherhood is sponsored by Blossom & Root a nature-based, Charlotte Mason inspired homeschool curriculum company that has been gently guiding and supporting families for years! This thoughtful, age appropriate curriculum begins at the preschool level with options all the way up to 4th grade with more grade levels being released each year.

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