485. The Mysticism of Motherhood & Raising Children for a New Earth w/ Kimberly Van Der Beek

Kimberly Van Der Beek

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

We’re diving deep into the intricacies of parenting and cultivating profound connections with our children with Kimberly Van Der Beek. Kimberly imparts invaluable conscious parenting tips that create strong spiritual and emotional bonds, foster trust and reverence, and embrace individuality.

Kimberly Van Der Beek was strategic advisor to a philanthropic billionaire, a producer, and activist before marrying James Van Der Beek, having six children, and moving their family to a 36-acre ranch outside Austin, TX.  She is now co-host of the highly regarded podcast Bathroom Chronicles with co-host Peggy Romerto and founder of an intergenerational clean beauty startup.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Welcome to another illuminating and heart-warming episode of The Life Stylist Podcast. Today, we embark on a profound exploration of motherhood and the art of raising children for a New Earth with the incredible Kimberly Van Der Beek. 

Kimberly Van Der Beek was strategic advisor to a philanthropic billionaire, a producer, and activist before marrying James Van Der Beek, having six children, and moving their family to a 36-acre ranch outside Austin, TX.  She is now co-host of the highly regarded podcast, Bathroom Chronicles, with co-host Peggy Romerto and founder of an intergenerational clean beauty startup.

Pregnancy became a catalyst for Kimberly's intuitive awakening, opening up a world of wisdom and growth. Throughout this conversation, we dive deep into the intricacies of parenting and cultivating profound connections with our children. 

Kimberly imparts invaluable tips on having truthful discussions with deep listening, preparing kids for the real world without overwhelming them, and fostering trust and honesty within the parent-child relationship. We explore co-regulation and self-regulation techniques, learn how to empower kids to be critical thinkers, and navigate the challenges of raising siblings. 

Kimberly gives insights into how she and her husband view discipline, and explains the studies and science supporting her favorite alternative education models that allow children to develop the most important life skills.

Finally, we uncover the wisdom and magic of motherhood as we journey through Kimberly Van Der Beek's captivating personal stories; from family road trips to navigating grief to bedtime songs her husband sings to their kids. Brace yourself for heartwarming accounts of home births and the transformative moments when her other children joined in. Stay tuned, my friends, as we embark on this soul-stirring voyage into the mysticism of motherhood.

00:00:00 — Kimberley's Childhood, Early Influences & Pregnancy Revelations

  • A synopsis of Kimberley’s childhood growing up in Washington
  • People who shaped and influenced her in middle school and high school
  • Situations that taught her valuable lessons (like initially being rejected from college)
  • How she viewed motherhood in her younger years
  • Her introduction into the entertainment industry
  • Watch: “I Call It Love” by Lionel Richie
  • Watch: Alter Eco
  • How pregnancy was the start of her intuitive journey
  • What her different birth journeys taught and gave her
  • Who teaches who in the parent-child relationship

00:00:00 — Nurturing Trust, Communication & Empowerment in Parent-Child Relationships

00:00:00 — Parental Modeling: How to Navigate Challenges, Emotions & Change

  • Why screwing up is an opportunity
  • Teaching kids how to express their emotions in a healthy way 
  • How much influence do you have over a kid's interests and passions?
  • Handling moving with kids from one city to another
  • Our experiences living in a rural area and how their kids have adjusted
  • How to handle conflict between siblings
  • Why “baby talk” is actually rooted in science
  • The impact of eye contact

00:00:00 — Conscious Parenting: Discipline, Alternative Education & Spirituality

  • Kimberly’s philosophy on discipline
  • Different parenting styles between herself and her husband
  • How much influence your kids' astrological signs have 
  • Why Kimberly loves the Finnish education system
  • What’s wrong with the general preschool system 
  • Benefits and logistics of homeschooling and alternative education
  • What does the world need in terms of the number of kids we're bringing in?
  • How her kids are part of her spiritual life

00:00:00 — Embracing Family Adventures, Grief & Emotional Resilience

  • Stories from family road trips
  • Navigating grief with late pregnancy miscarriages
  • What we’ve learned from observing James as a father
  • Her home birth experiences
  • What has happened when she invited her other kids in
  • Navigating survival mode with compassion and forgiveness
  • Learning how to hold space for emotions in the body

Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:00:00] This is Kimberly Van Der Beek, and you're listening to the Life Stylist Podcast.

Luke Storey: [00:00:04] I'm so excited to hang out with you today.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:00:06] Yeah. Hi, how are you?

Luke Storey: [00:00:08] I'm wonderful. And I was reflecting on-- we've spent quite a bit of time together--

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:00:14] We have.

Luke Storey: [00:00:14] Since I've moved here, I mean, comparatively with other friends in our lives. And it occurred to me a couple of days ago that I only know the you from the time we met to now. We've spent a lot of time in really deep and intimate processes and just mystical experience, if I dare elevate it to that. But I don't really know that much about you on a practical level. It's just like, back story, no idea. I know the you now, which has been wonderful. So where do you come from? What was your childhood like? Where did you grow up? Did you have brothers and sisters? Where are all the people now?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:01:00] Well, I grew up in Washington state, and I was born in a naval hospital, and my father was in the Navy. And at the age of three, four, they got divorced. My mom met somebody else and remarried when I was five. And I did not see my real father again until later on in my late 20s. So they raised me, and me and my sister Sierra welcomed another sister, Tiffany, with my dad, who is the person my mom married when I was five.

And then I grew up on the beach. It was really beautiful. You can get really, back then, affordable property right on the beach. And I say the moon was my best friend, and the beach raised me. I spent so much time down there with the rocks, and the shells, and the pisaster ochraceus starfish. Those were my favorite. So yeah, it was a lot of moon gazing and water splashing, and I literally would go and braid the grass, and lots of cartoons, and a really fascinating life growing up near a naval base because there was people from all over the world.

So I got exposed to so many different incredible cultures and kinds of food, and it got rougher on the edges in a lot of ways. There were a lot of gangs in certain areas where I grew up, so I definitely grew up in the culture of understanding gangs at a very young age from 11 to 16. And yeah, just had a very well-rounded, fascinating, street-smart childhood.

Luke Storey: [00:03:04] What kind of kid were you if you could be classified as preppy, stoner, jock? What was your scene? Who did you hang around? What were you interested in?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:03:13] I was a breaker. So there were the skaters, the preps. Yeah, the jocks. I definitely hung out with the breaker crowd with the JNCOs and the Fila jackets.

Luke Storey: [00:03:26] Really?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:03:27] Oh, yeah. Oh, yes. Yes.

Luke Storey: [00:03:29] Did you guys ever bust out the linoleum-

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:03:32] Absolutely. You put the linoleum in the garage, and you break dance every afternoon after school unless you're working. Absolutely.

Luke Storey: [00:03:41] I totally forgot about that. There were kids in my neighborhood that were into that. I was a stoner, metal head kid. But yeah, there were the kids, I don't even know if [Inaudible]-- I don't even know what they were listening to. I don't even know if rap-- I guess maybe rap started to come out at that time, but there would be kids in the neighborhood that had big pieces of flooring basically. It would be out there with the boombox doing their thing. I hated those kids, but I love you.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:04:10] That was me.

Luke Storey: [00:04:11] Well, we all learned to overcome our differences. Were you well-behaved in school? What kind of girl were you? Were you well-adjusted? Did you have problems?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:04:23] I was a straight-A, really amazing student up until junior high. And I got myself wrapped up in just, I don't know. I just went through something where I was off kilter, and I worked a lot. And it was hard for me to focus. So I never got my homework done. I actually got kicked off the cheerleading team, which I got some of my breakdancing friends to get into cheerleading. I was like, how cool would it be if we did it this way? So that was really fun.

Then my grades started to crash a little bit. And I don't know if I was dating the most level-headed people at the time. So that was an influence as well. But I explored life. Nobody will say I haven't explored so many different paths. When I got into high school, I started dating this other guy, Adam. He was a really good influence on me.

And he lived in this place called Kirkland, Washington, and his family was really, really lovely, and it was a very grounding experience for me. yeah. At that point, I started getting more into school clubs and starting to run organizations, and I was getting involved in broadcasting at that point, and I was like, I'm going to go to school, and I'm going to be a broadcast journalist.

And Mr. Tracewell and Ms. Johannessen were the best teachers, and they were such incredible influences as well. It's amazing how a few good teachers can really help you turn your life around, or the right relationship. So yeah, high school was some beautiful influences. I got just really passionate about activism. And actually, that's one thing I've always been from the age of five, just such a tree hugger, my parents called me.

I was so concerned about the Earth all the time, but that's because I was out there with the beach. And it's like, I don't want to see trash on the beach. And actually, I even tested the water. I'm getting into the nooks and crannies, but I was a very passionate activist for the Earth. And yeah, as I got into high school, I just got into a little more governance within the school and raised those grades.

Even still, though, I didn't get into the college I wanted, so I had to go drive to the college and tell them they were making an incredibly big mistake, and they actually let me in. So Washington State University, I haven't told my mom yet that I never actually got accepted properly.

Luke Storey: [00:07:23] But you learned how to advocate for yourself.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:07:25] Yeah. I drove six hours. I was like, I'm going to go stay at a friend's house. Actually, I'm going to drive six hours and go tell the college they made a big mistake. And actually, this is the way that I was in college too. I worked so much, I didn't have time for homework. But I worked at a sociological research center.

I was president of the AWC, Association for Women in Communications. I was secretary of, what was the journalist group? So so many things in college that I was just making happen and taking people on trips and helping people learn how to get jobs that even though I had like a C plus average, I was the second ever student of the month for the college.

Luke Storey: [00:08:11] Well played.

Luke Storey: [00:08:13] So I was like, yeah, thanks for letting me in. For me, it wasn't, and it never has, based on the way that I've grown up, been about book smarts. It's about shifting passion into pleasure. And when you are in your passion and there's something that you're super passionate about, you're going to put all your time and energy into learning everything about it in your own unique way. I was always very much against the grain of whatever everybody else was learning. I wanted to go deeper and different and learn from experience myself. I question everything. So for me--

Luke Storey: [00:08:50] It's one of the qualities I really enjoy about you.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:08:52] Thank you.

Luke Storey: [00:08:54] A kindred spirit, and not just assuming reality is as it seems.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:08:58] No, I'm the student of, okay, I'm going to college. Which company paid for me to take this class? I go all the way down. I'm like, why am I learning this information? And is it worth the very small amount of time that I have? Because I was working, and I did have a relationship. I had a relationship throughout all of college, and then we actually moved together to California.

Luke Storey: [00:09:25] To LA?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:09:27] Mm-hmm.

Luke Storey: [00:09:27] Okay. When you were a little girl or a teenage girl, did you envision yourself becoming an adult woman with six kids? Was kids part of your dream motherhood in the plans early on?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:09:42] No. I never really thought about it. I thought, I'll probably have kids when I'm 27. You know what I always knew? I always knew I'd have an incredible husband. I was like, I'm going to have an incredible husband. He's going to treat me really well, and we're going to have an amazing life together. I always knew that.

Luke Storey: [00:10:06] Well, you got that part right.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:10:07] I did get that part right. I did.

Luke Storey: [00:10:09] You got a great man.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:10:10] And I had a feeling I would have kids at 27. And I said it all the time. And I got pregnant with Olivia at 27. I had her when I was 28.

Luke Storey: [00:10:19] Really?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:10:19] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:10:20] Wow.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:10:20] But I never thought six.

Luke Storey: [00:10:23] Yeah. Well, that's one of the things I find most fascinating about you, going to your property and just seeing the orchestration of your family. So what was your plan when you moved to LA?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:11:52] So I went to school to be a broadcast medical journalist, and part of that education was learning how shady the medical broadcast journalism industry is. And I didn't know how I felt about it, but all I knew is we were going to go to LA, and I was going to work at Banana Republic to get a discount on my business clothes. And so that's what I did.

Luke Storey: [00:12:19] Nice.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:12:19] And when I was working there, I started another job as well working as a nutritional and vitamin advisor at a family-owned compounding pharmacy, Rancho Park Compounding Pharmacy, which is now closed. They had incredible pharmacists there. The guy that owns it was so helpful. And he would sit me down, and he was like, here's a bunch of studies to read. And I also worked the cash register.

It was very much a team effort. But if you came in to get a statin drug, I'm probably going to tell you to get milk thistle as well. So that was a bit of that. And then at that point, Barbara Bersell was somebody that would come in, and she's a big, huge casting director, and she lured me into the industry a little bit. I don't want to say lure. She was so much fun. So I ended up doing some casting with her. And I helped her with that.

And I had maybe a six-month stint in the industry because I booked my very first audition. It was wild. It's actually a crazy story. So I'm not a model, but I pretended to be for a minute, and I went to this audition. It was my first experience, and it was a for physician's formula makeup. And it was a two-hour line of women. And they were all tall, and stunning, and just poised. And they were dressed a certain way, and their makeup was a certain way.

And I arrived, and I was wearing Adidas slides, Adidas track pants with the three stripes, a tank top, and a brown cardigan sweater over it. And I had my hair up in a messy bun. And I was like, crap. What am I doing here? And then I saw them, and they're all looking like this, looking like this, this and this. And there's an art to it. And they were doing it, and they were beautiful and captivating. I'm like, shoot. So I just tried to pretend like I had it together and I knew what I was doing, and I did it.

And they called me, and I booked the thing. I was like, whoa. And my mom was so psyched because every time she walked in to the pharmacy that she worked at, she's a pharmacist technician, she always saw a little poster set up of me. I was in every pharmacy, on a billboard, on a bus. It was very cool and very cool experience to have as a 20-something year old. So I kept with it. I did a Lionel Richie music video.

I Call It Love, if you want to see. I'm the one playing Nicole Richie's snooty snobby friend with Adam Rodriguez. That was so fun. I love Adam Rodriguez's wife and kid. It's funny how you grow up and people weave back in. But yeah, so that's the early days of Kimberly. I went from breaker girl to hyper responsible and running the show and just wheeling and dealing to get myself caught up in life because I felt like I really wasted years in junior high, which I didn't.

They were so sacred and actually so many beautiful lessons, and depth of self, and compassion, and understanding of others have been there, but that's how I looked at it at the time. And then I went into the industry like that. And from there, I made business happen. I worked at a production company after that doing communications and publicity. I started building green homes. I worked with Adrian Grenier on one. I brought him in, and he helped get it on as a show on Discovery Network. It's called Alter Ego.

And you will not see me once on that. I was in the office building the house with products and making the calls and just making the whole thing happen. And then I started working with Jeff Skoll, who is incredible. He's the co-founding president of eBay, and I worked with him in strategy and communications, and that was such a profoundly amazing experience to see how he works and how he operates and working with world leaders, and the people that started microfinancing, and his organization, Jeff Skoll Group.

He's just such a beautiful human and still a very dear friend. And it was just such an incredible gift, I mean, to work with a philanthropic billionaire. He gives more money away than anybody I've ever met. And he does it in such a beautiful process. So it was just such a great experience in my life.

Luke Storey: [00:17:20] What's it been like to take a pause for all of these years? Because you're obviously a driven and talented person. It's like for whatever reason, you found success in all these different things in which you became interested. What's it been like to take a pause to be married and have all these kids?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:17:42] Well, I met James when I was working with Jeff. And I was like, oh, this is a problem. I'm going to really fall for this guy. So I started pushing him away right away. I'm like, I'm not ready. Career. But it took him a good five days to make me really fall head over heels. And that was it. And then it was done. We know how these things work. I got pregnant after six months, and it took me probably three children to learn how to be super present and just go right into being a mother.

So Olivia, when she was born, it was just such a sacred, beautiful experience. One, to watch him become a father, and one, for her to teach me how to be a mother and just really learning to my own instinctual processes. But it was a gradual thing too, coming into full acceptance. And one of the beautiful things about pregnancy is that it just opens the chakra system wide open.

A lot of people would say you're pregnant and emotional or moody. For me, I'm like, it's so beautiful. Your whole system is blasted wide open. You have this super deep connection to something inside of you, and it is just like, yes, of course, there are going to be so many feelings in that, and it just feels so strongly and so beautifully. And Olivia was my antenna to first start recognizing that I was having incredibly psychic dreams.

And so she opened up this huge thing for me, which became the start of my unraveling my intuitive journey. When Joshua was born, we moved to another house. And the beautiful thing about him is I wanted to have a home birth with Olivia, but I was scared into having a hospital birth with all the what ifs, what ifs, what ifs, what ifs. But my heart really was like, I want to do this at home. And I found out Joshua was breech.

And so they said, you have to have a cesarean and. I felt like I had to have a cesarean and maybe that is the best option for some people, but something was really bumping for me. My mom had my sister breech, and I magnetized this doctor in. By the way, Dr. Elliot Berlin in LA, if anybody has a breech baby, he's incredible. Sometimes he can help turn them. He's amazing.

But I got connected to Dr. Stuart Fischbein, and I had my first home birth with Joshua. So he birthed another part of me, and that was the part of me that's really listening deeply to my heart. So each baby births a new thing. Olivia was the opening of my intuition. Joshua was like, let's listen to your heart, what your heart wants, and magnetize those experiences into your life.

And even still, I thought, oh, I'm going to be working. And nothing really would manifest because really my heart really needed to be right there with my kids. That's not the case for everybody. That was the case for me. And I think that's really important to say too because motherhood, life, parenting, all of it, we all have such unique journeys. I've had six children. Not even every pregnancy is the same.

Every kid is completely and uniquely different. So it's really just honoring a process. It was with Annabel, I gave James a run for it. I was pregnant with her eight months, and we were up living on the top of Mulholland. And I looked at him, and I said, we need to move in two weeks. He's like, what? Yes. I will not have a baby up here. I definitely am not having a baby up here. My heart was like, no. And follow it.

And so James was a saint. And there's a whole magical tale. Maybe James can come on and tell you about how we found this house. It was 333 Roxbury. And we ended up birthing three children in the home at Roxbury. Yeah. So that was where I birthed Annabelle, and later Amelia, and then Gwen. And that was also the birthing of me really sinking really deeply into motherhood in another way.

Luke Storey: [00:22:38] I've always looked at a parent as the teacher and guardian of this soul that wants to come in. And I had one experience in a ceremony wherein I was in communication with this soul, and I was communicating my intention to it to be willing to play that role.

And it essentially said to me, you don't get it. What's happening here is I want to come in to be your teacher. So the question is, who's really the teacher? Because you mentioned you learned this from this one, and that from that one, and that from that one. Is it equal measure, or are you both each other's teachers? How does that work on a soul level?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:23:40] I would like to utilize the dancing metaphor. So I think it's a dance. One person swings and turns, another person catches and leads, and it's a dance. It's really a dance because the parent-child relationship is a co-creation. But I think with parenting, it's important that when we lead, we're allowing the human that we're leading to flourish, and to spin, and to twirl, and to watch their movements and see where they're excelling and maybe do a little more of this and that and maybe hear that if they're saying, hey, I want another twirl, or dip me, that it's really a beautiful communicative dance that you're having.

So a parent sets the container, and the parameters, and the rules, and also as a deep listener if we are not having a domineering relationship with our children. I think that's really important. And if you do have a domineering relationship with your child, it's like, okay, I get it. It's just like you got to be real with yourself. And we all go through these experiences. I've gone through experiences where I feel like I did everything wrong, and I've learned so much.

And now six kids later, I feel like I'm doing a lot of things right. And yet, I'm still learning because it's a different energy and a different human. So Olivia, she was up all night at 3:00 colicky in the morning. It was so difficult. And at one point, I was like, I cannot do this. I put her in front of a swing with Yo Gabba Gabba. Stunned her to stop. And she swung. And I'm like, this is the most irresponsible thing, but I need to sleep so badly. And now fast forward, Jeremiah, he's got his own thing. He bites all the time.

Luke Storey: [00:25:51] Really?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:25:52] I'm like, he's my first kid, and he's bites on my boob. Bite marks from him. I'm like, what are you doing? And he thinks it's hilarious. So my style of parenting with him needs to be totally different, but I would never dare do anything, well, I wouldn't say anything, but a lot of the things I was doing with Olivia, I have really learned along the way.

That's why it's one of my favorite subjects to talk about. Because if I could help somebody just have a little bit of advice and awareness, maybe, because when you're a parent, you have no sleep. Yeah, you have incredible instincts and also sometimes you're not sleeping. So there's a certain wired and tired that comes with that. But I like to save parents some time if I can.

Luke Storey: [00:26:42] Well, that's why I wanted to do this episode with you. I couldn't think of a better person to ask. I don't know a person with more experience just by sheer numbers. And also just seeing the way that you and both James interact with your kids. And I don't want to use the term well-behaved because that's not the right way to say it, but your kids are just vibrant, beautiful, fun, cool, free. I mean, they come in and out of the picture when we're hanging out over there, and I'm just like, whatever you're doing, you're doing it right, if there is a right, because it's working. By their fruits, you shall know them.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:27:20] I have some tips.

Luke Storey: [00:27:21] Yeah. So you got codes.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:27:23] I have some tips. Would you like me to share?

Luke Storey: [00:27:25] Lay them on us. Yeah.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:27:27] So the first one is truthful discussions with deep listening. Let's take childbirth, for example. My kids know that a baby comes out of the vagina. And there are three holes down there. So there's information they know. So that's what one age can handle. And as they get older, they can handle more. So know your audience, how old they are, and what their capacity is.

Luke Storey: [00:28:01] Tell that to the public school system right now. I'm sorry. Couldn't resist. Maybe you need to get back into advocacy and politics. No, I'm just kidding.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:28:14] Well, so when we take childbirth, honesty and truthfulness. It's not, I have a baby in my tummy, and I'm going to the hospital, and it's coming out. I was birthing stuffed animals for months before Joshua was born, showing Olivia what was going to happen. And I welcomed my children into the home births as well. So for me, it was like, here's life, and you're welcome to it, and you can handle it. And it's really beautiful.

In these ways, they can handle when it comes to subject matter. You have to teach children safety and parameters as well, but you don't want to terrify them. But I watched this video of, this is going to get a little darker, this guy trying to walk out with a kid that was just outside of her own family door taking out trash.

Luke Storey: [00:29:10] I saw that. Yeah. Gnarly.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:29:12] It's gnarly.

Luke Storey: [00:29:14] I don't wish violence on people, but when I saw that, I was like, I would fucking kill that guy.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:29:19] Well, it was a young child. Yeah. So I'm like, well, your child could be right there. So how do you prepare your child for the real world when they're not really developmentally ready to know that that kind of thing happens? So it's just having honest discussions with them like, sometimes things get a little crazy or people aren't completely with it. And we teach compassion and we teach parameters. I need you to stay within eyesight, or I need you to stay right by me. Or I need you to know that when we're at the airport, we're always connected. So eye to eye, we know.

And we work in maneuver as a team with James. But also when you do that, they learn to develop a trust with you and that you got them. And then when it comes to friends, I want to know everything. So our first rule is if somebody tells you not to tell me, that is the most important thing to tell me. But if it's about your friend's crush or something like that, I'll say, okay, somebody asked you not to tell me something.

What is the subject? Oh, it's a crush? Keep that private because that's information that-- it's good for you to keep privacy in a secret. You're a vault. That is what a beautiful, good friend does. If it has to do with somebody hurting, or pain, or something else, then I'll know if that's something you should tell me. But I keep their privacy. My kids will tell me anything, and they will never have to worry about me going and telling another parent.

Because if it's an emergency situation and I need to do that, I talk to my child. We now have trust, and I let them know why I would need to do that. And then it's a conversation on the result that happens. So my kids will talk to me about anything. They know they can completely trust me, and that they're sacred containers in that trust. I think that is the number one thing.

Luke Storey: [00:31:20] That's beautiful.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:31:21] Yeah, it's really important. And they will tell me everything.

Luke Storey: [00:31:25] Yeah, that's beautiful. And also, I have a bunch of things I want to get to on my list, but I'm getting other ideas as we go, so I'm just going to roll with it. When I did a podcast with Gabor Mate, we were talking about abuse that I experienced as a kid, and he was telling me that predators choose their victims based on the bond that they have between their parents.

And that if a kid doesn't have that open communication, and rapport, and trust with the parent, that's a beacon for harm, essentially, because it's like they're like the wounded gazelle that's separated from the herd and doesn't have that protection. He was explaining how kids are left alone, and I don't want to make this a conversation about predators of kids, but it is part of the experience of parenting. It is part of my own experience of being a child.

So that really stuck with me. How important that is. I mean, not only for the development of your relationship and the kid's life to follow, but in terms of creating safety for a kid, which is even though I don't have one yet, that is already my priority, especially because there were situations in my life where I wasn't safe. A lot of them. My worst fears are also that I'm unable to provide that. So I'm always keenly listening to that part of it and also just watching the way the world is now, seeing videos like that and just the craziness that's going on in the world.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:33:13] I think it always has been, but we haven't always had the videos, right?

Luke Storey: [00:33:16] Right. Totally. Yeah. So I like this idea of it's like honoring a kid as a sovereign soul. It's not like because a kid doesn't have an education or is just learning to talk that their experience is not valid or that they don't have wisdom carried over from who they were before they came here this time around. So it seems like it's a balance between honoring them as a sovereign soul and you finding the parameters by which you help guide and protect them. And it sounds like this open, trusting communication is a huge part of that.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:33:54] It's a huge part of that. And going into safety is a big one because you have to keep kids safe, and yet, you're teaching them how to have life outside of you. So you don't want them leaving the house and going to the bathroom by themselves for the first time. And so it's like also just being super deeply in your intuitive nature and teaching your kids how to do the same so that they're like, I'm feeling like I shouldn't be going outside in this moment, or just understanding their own intuition, which we can do 10 other podcasts on that.

But I also like to use the tree analogy as to when to not be overbearing with your safety and to maybe take a moment and see where maybe your own trauma is coming in. And I like to compare it to the tree. So my kids are tree climbers, and sometimes they climb so high, a couple stories high in trees. People are like, do you know your kids are in the tree? Or, oh my God.

Or their kids would want to follow my kids in the tree and maybe they wouldn't do so as safely because that starts at a really young age to do it safely. So, for example, Olivia started climbing the tree. Josh was like, mom, I want to climb the tree. I can't reach the first branch. What do you do? You take your kid, you put them in the first branch because the first branch is this high.

Absolutely not. I understand you really want to climb the tree. This looks really fun, doesn't it? Maybe we need to find a tree with a lower branch. Because if you can't get to that first branch, then you can't get down by yourself. So when you are able to climb to the first branch, then you know you can climb this tree. And so it took Joshua six or seven months to be able to climb up to that first branch. And then he did.

And he got up there, and he was like, I can't get down. It was like, let's take a look at what's happening. You put your foot here. What do you think you should do next? And asking questions. But through my observation, what happens, what can happen is the kid is in a tree, their parent is down here. Be careful. Be careful. Be careful. Be careful. What happens when that parent says be careful?

The child starts going outside of themselves to pay attention to the parent that is right over here instead of being one with the tree. And now it's a lot less safe because before, and this is something Olivia did really, really well, it's like you become one with the tree. You get to know each branch, what it feels like, and you start to feel responsible for your own well-being and your own safety. And you watch your kids self manage or ask for help when they need it.

But what I've seen, and I've just seen it time and time again is when a parent pulls them out of their own relationship with the tree, the kids become a little bit more reckless because my parent has me. And I feel like that is a really solid way to develop trust with a child too. It's like, I trust you to make these decisions. And you can have the conversation before you go on the tree. If you're going to go in that tree, you're responsible for yourself in that tree.

And you can ask me for help if you need it. But what are the things that you need to be aware of? What is the branch away? Because once you get in that tree, it's all you. And that's just a little microcosm for life. And it sounds so trivial and silly maybe, but if you go to a friend's house, now you're on your own. I'm not there. So how are you going to manage what you do, and how are you going to manage the conversations? And if a dangerous situation is present, what are you going to do?

I had a really big, really important conversation with my kids because there was this study where these people came, they brought their children, and they said, you're going to go to this other building. You're going to have to drive to it. One of you needs to drive. And this guy was part of the study. He knew what was going on. The kids didn't. And then this one kid that was part of the study comes in, and he's like, hey, I'm going to drive.

And like, yeah, I had a little drink. Just like, cool. In the study, every single group let that kid drive. There was only one kid that said something, and she was like, are you sure you should be driving? He's like, yeah. And she's like, okay, well, I'm going to sit in the front seat just to make sure you're cool. That front passenger seat is the most dangerous seat. So I see these videos, and I say to my kids, this is what happened.

Why do you think that none of the kids spoke up for their own well-being? I'm just asking them questions. Just ask them, and they'll start to brainstorm and critical think on their own in beautiful ways. And they'll talk to each other about it. And that's one of the things I love doing with James, is honesty.

I'm seeing an issue, potential issue in childhood, and I want to bring it to your attention, and where do you think this went wrong? And just empower them. And it's not that my kids make every decision right, but I do believe that you can really raise critical thinkers by giving them space to be themselves. And that is a really empowering thing to do.

Luke Storey: [00:39:30] It sounds like just asking questions is often foreign in the dynamic between parents and kids. It's like that, you mentioned domineering before. It's like parents often assume the role of the all-knowing and not asking questions. What do you think about this? What do you think about that? I like that, encouraging the curiosity and breeding that critical thinking.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:39:58] Yeah. Well, we were the because I said so generation, right?

Luke Storey: [00:40:02] Yeah. Yeah.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:40:02] So for me, if they're like, well, I don't want to do that, it's like, well, here's my reason why I'm asking that. This situation could potentially blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Do you have another idea? If you got a better idea, I'm open, but I got to keep you safe.

Luke Storey: [00:40:20] In the process of your first kid to your sixth, how has your use of language changed? Going back to the kids in danger, he's climbed up really far on the tree. I've heard some conscious parenting people talk about this where, say, get out of the tree. You're going to hurt yourself, or don't fall. Slow down.

It's like you're using the language of the thing you don't want to happen.  It's like an NLP thing, almost, where you're like, you're going to hurt yourself. You're going to hurt yourself. You're going to hurt yourself. What are they going to do? They're going to hurt themselves. How do you work with language, and how much of that is conscious?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:40:59] So we all have to catch ourself because in a moment, you scream like, be careful. Well, what does be careful mean? And even I do that. If you're running at the pool, it's like, hey, that pool is really slippery right there, so I want you to walk. Or can you be aware of how slippery that pool is, or you may be able to run like that around the pool, but if Jeremiah sees you and he starts running around the pool, what do you think can happen? But in a moment sometimes of hyper activity, you whip out whatever instinctual thing comes out. And sometimes it's just that because that-- 

Luke Storey: [00:41:37] Sometimes it's, you're going to fall.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:41:38] Yeah. Don't fall. And it just comes out. But I find that our breath-- and listen, this is me at my highest, sitting on a chair talking about a situation, not actually in it. But if I'm consciously aware of myself in a moment or watching myself, and I do try to do that sometimes, it's like, first thing is the breath.

Next thing is, pull kids over and talk to them if you can. But you never know. I mean, you have to be so forgiving of yourself as a parent. I've screwed up so many times on so many occasions, and you just learn so much from them that you accept them as part of your life training. And it's not really ever a screw up anyway.

Luke Storey: [00:42:23] You've done a lot of work on yourself--

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:42:26] So much.

Luke Storey: [00:42:26] As evidenced by the time we've spent together and just your depth as a woman. And so I can assume in the work that you've done, you've inherently, whether intentionally or not, learned how to self-regulate and manage your emotions and your nervous system.

Through years of meditation or whatever other practices, you gain this gift of self-awareness and witness consciousness, where you feel emotions welling up in your body, and there's an observer adult in the room, your higher self, you could say, that's like, okay, cool. Let's manage this. In other words, where you're not as reactive and things like that. What's been your experience of your kids co-regulating how you respond to situations based on the ability that you've gained to do that for yourself?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:43:19] Okay. So a few things. I am really great at self-regulating, and I have these tipping points where if I go over, I lose it. So I'm not perfect there, and I feel like all of us redheads have that fire capacity. It's just a thing that we have. Nobody triggers it quite like James. And also James and I have this super romantic, passionate relationship, and also he's the one that can get it out of me.

So on the occasions that I'm not, my kids actually come in and are like, mom, take a deep breath. Because that's my language with them. And so I really appreciate that. And it's like, oh yeah, let me use those tools that I have. But usually, I can observe that process of when I'm in a beautiful place. And I have these very often where you feel a trigger. I think the first thing is recognizing where your triggers are coming from.

So if there's moments where I catch myself not in my center, I'm like, ah, what's the pattern? What's the trigger? And you try to get ahead of it next time. And I've been using my voice more. So if I feel-- there's meditation and everything. It's all great, but I love the throat chakra for this stuff.

It's like, I feel like I need a minute right now because I just need to go take a breath, bring it back in, and just create space. Lots of parents are very familiar with going to the bathroom because you need a minute, not because you need to go to the bathroom. That's definitely a parenting thing. It's like, I'm going to go to the bathroom and just like, ha.

Luke Storey: [00:45:22] Is that why you started a podcast in a bathroom?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:45:25] The bathroom is incredible. It is a safe space for many things. Yes. Bathroom Chronicles, guys, it's my podcast.

Luke Storey: [00:45:34] I listened to it this morning.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:45:36] Yeah? Which one?

Luke Storey: [00:45:38] The one with James.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:45:39] Oh, yeah.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:45:40] I love it.

Luke Storey: [00:45:41] Yeah, that was powerful. I'm about three quarters through, and I purposely didn't even bring in any of that stuff that you guys talked about because it's a whole other animal. But yeah, it's beautiful.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:45:51] Yeah. That was a potent episode. Yeah. So there is breathwork, and there is meditation, but in parenting around triggers, and self-observation, it's a conversation that you have inside. And if you find that your body-- so there's two things. There's your emotional well-being, and then there's your body. So your body may feel tense, or it may feel, haa. And you can maybe emotionally regulate, but what does your body need?

Sometimes it just needs to unwind, and it just needs even 30 seconds. And with six kids, sometimes you can have five seconds. Just, ha. And it's a practice. It's a practice of catching yourself right before or catching yourself during. And I love when I screw up. I really love when I screw up around my kids because my kids are going to screw up, and I'm like, opportunity.

So, for example, one of my kids today was invading my space in a big, big way and just wanting to touch my boobs and everything because they're a child and that's what kids do. And I was like, oh, opportunity to teach body sovereignty. This is my body. I'm not giving you permission to touch it right now. Okay? And just like, but, mom. I was very clear on what I said, and I'm very clear on how my body feels right now. And I'm asking you that I need space at the moment.

I need this for myself. Just very clear, very direct. Or if I yell or shout, just coming back. And you know what? That is not how I want to react. I don't want to yell. I don't want to shout. I got to a point of overwhelm. I could have probably walked away earlier and took a breath instead. And I'm so sorry if that affected you. But having those conversations, if we're never screwing up, then how are we teaching our kids what to do when they screw up? It's like we have to lead by example. So screwing up is really an opportunity.

Luke Storey: [00:48:09] It goes back to that honesty too. I think that's something that I've observed with your and James's parenting style. You're treating kids like kids only to the point that it's necessary. There's certain things they don't understand. There's certain parameters they need in order to be safe. And of course, you're teaching them, you're informing their character, and things like that. But I think there's a sense of equality in that, communicating openly, and honestly, and owning your humanity.

And what I hear as you describe that is it's like teaching by modeling, not by teaching. You're just being an integrated person who's working on themselves, and improving, and acknowledging your faults, and forgiving yourself for those faults. It's like I'm putting myself in the position of one of your kids, watching you going, oh, that's how you're a human. It's like by just doing as imperfect as it is and not hiding it and pretending like, I'm the parent, and I have my shit together. Right?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:49:15] Yeah, exactly. Because who actually has their shit all the way together?

Luke Storey: [00:49:19] 0% of the human population.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:49:21] Nobody has their shit all the way together. If somebody is coming on your podcast saying, I got my shit together, you say you're a liar too, huh? We have it together in whatever way that we can. And that's true. I just prefer to have really open, honest conversations.

Luke Storey: [00:49:37] And what about teaching kids how to express their emotions in a healthy way, honoring their emotions, but not letting it just become a runaway train and giving them license to be little maniacs?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:49:53] Every kid is so different. And so that's where your intuitive nature and just trying different ways will come in. I have one child that will not tell me anything unless I am sharing with her the depths of myself. So if I start sharing with her maybe a tough time that I've been through or something like that, it's the only time she ever opens up to me. And for her, that's what she needs to set the stage, is that depth of vulnerability and sincerity.

And that's when she shares. Otherwise, she really stuffs things in. And I have to say, it looks like you have a lot on your mind. No. So you'll know if your kid has things to express or not if you just give yourself time to look at it. Sometimes we get so busy, it's like we just don't ask the question how the kids are doing. And sometimes I get caught up. A child pings me in my head, and I'm like, ah, I haven't really done a good check in with them lately.

But a good way to check in is doing whatever it is that they like to do. So I'm not in love with video games, but if your kid loves video games, you can hop on a video game with them and see what conversations happen in that space. Whatever it is that they really enjoy, to come in on that level and connect in that way, I find that they're more willing to express.

Luke Storey: [00:51:27] How much influence do you have over a kid's interests and passions? Like Joshua is obsessed with his bearded dragon. I forget the name.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:51:38] Charlotte.

Luke Storey: [00:51:38] Charlotte.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:51:39] And your wife? Alyson is Charlotte's godmother.

Luke Storey: [00:51:42] Yeah. Yeah.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:51:42] I was like, Josh, you know how to choose a godmother for Charlotte because you chose the animal power woman.

Luke Storey: [00:51:50] I like that one because when I was his age and many years before and after, I was obsessed with catching reptiles and amphibians. I still try to catch lizards. I'm just way too slow now.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:52:00] Oh, yeah. They got you covered.

Luke Storey: [00:52:03] Did he just figure that out on his own, or did you guys put a reptile book in his hands? One is going toward music and art, and one really likes math. How much of that is predetermined, and how much of it do you lead?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:52:15] Well, I think you can force a passion on somebody, that's for sure. This is such a dance, Luke, because I struggle with this myself. It's like my kids will show an interest in something, and then they change their mind. And I'm like, no, I need follow through. If you want to learn violin, I need you to follow through for a year because there's that hump that you got to get over before it becomes really fun.

So it's like a practice of discipline and each day you take one step, and you look back, you're like, I walked really far. I need to teach them how to like-- that's where teaching actually happens. That's where parameters actually happen. But they asked violin. So it's like music is so much a part of life. It's the human experience. It's joy. It's play. What do you want to learn?

Okay, we're going to stick to that. But they really do come in with their own unique ideas. And I think sometimes we look at it as, oh, they happen to go to this thing, and they found this passion. But I think that thing found them, that event found them to activate what they want to know. I think we magnetize experiences to us for who we are. So I really believe that's all really built in.

Luke Storey: [00:53:35] I asked that in part because I've thought about this sometimes when I see parents taking their kids to sports events and stuff. I mean, first we have to have the kid. We're working on that, but let's just assume that that is going to happen. I'm like, please, kid soul, please, God, don't be into sports because-- I'm sure it's really cute when it's your kid at the soccer game, but literally, watching sports, I would rather get a root canal than have anything to do with any sport on the planet.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:54:05] Can I tell you my example with that? I had three kids wanting to play soccer. I'm like, seriously? My whole weekend is soccer games. Every single weekend. The whole weekend. And during COVID, I was like, no more soccer. Yes. And then I started having guilt things. And then one of my children, we put them in sports camp, and she's like, you know what? I don't think I like soccer. I was like. And I will love going to a game and playing soccer, but I just don't want soccer games times six on the weekends because I got six kids.

Luke Storey: [00:54:41] That would be challenging. Yeah. I wonder about just kids proclivity toward certain talents, and interests, and things like that. And I just think like, how many kids are there that get into shit that their parents have no interest in or that their parents detest? You know what I mean? You mentioned violin. Say your kid becomes obsessed with drums, and so you're like, well, I'm going to get him a drum kit. What a nightmare that would be to have a kid banging on a drum kit in the other room?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:55:11] Joshua loves drums. We're having this discussion right now. It's time to get him some again. But then you look at videos where there are guys on the street playing the most magical sounding things with pots, and pans, and things they find around the house. I think a kid is always going to find their passion if they have space to. Also, how about the breakdancers on the linoleum? You figure it out. You figure it out.

Luke Storey: [00:55:39] Yeah, you do. What's it been like for your kids that are old enough to remember living in Los Angeles to make the transition to Texas? And for those listening, you guys, I mean, it's not like you live in the boonies boonies, but you have a big ass property. I think we call it the ranch. We call it the ranch, Alyson and I, at least. We're going over to the Van Der Beek ranch. Yeah, that's the word she uses. It must be such a different experience for them. Was there a period of adjustment where they got bored because they can't run down the street to the playground or whatever they were doing back in LA?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:56:14] Yeah. There are things I miss about LA. We definitely would walk as a family or skateboard to this one street with restaurants, and it was so fun. And sometimes I hear the board comments, but usually they're having a great time in the barn or running around the field and playing. And James just started building swing sets. So we're integrating more and more and more into the ranch. A lot of times they prefer the ranch. They really do love it. But we all have our little quirks that we miss about LA, including some people I love. Yeah. And they have friends that they love so dearly.

Luke Storey: [00:57:00] Good food delivery.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:57:01] Postmates. I don't get Postmates where I'm at. I'm like, ah.

Luke Storey: [00:57:05] You guys live pretty far out here. That's one thing we-- I mean, hey, this is first--

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:57:10] I should Postmate down here.

Luke Storey: [00:57:11] World problem. But when we when we moved to this neighborhood, for those listening again, we're outside of Austin, a half an hour or so. There's not really any organic food out here. It's all very seed oil and glyphosate, heavy slop.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:57:27] A lot of it is in LA as well.

Luke Storey: [00:57:29] Yeah. I mean, but you got Erewhon if you want to go spend $40 on a smoothie.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:57:35] Moon juice. Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:57:38] What about for you? What's it been like to-- I mean, you guys aren't exactly homesteading. I mean, you have electricity and stuff like that, but it's rugged out there. I mean, I remember one day we went over, and James, like, oh, we ran out of water. Some pump in the well went out, and he's like, Yeah, we have no water on the property. I'm like, what? No water?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:57:55] That's happened on many occasions.

Luke Storey: [00:57:58] Really?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:57:58] Yeah. James is amazing. I don't know if too many people could actually do what we're doing. We love it. I love it. We love it. It's crazy sometimes. And sometimes I'm like, take me to like a hotel. It's like scorpions, and tarantulas, and snakes, and porcupines, and the dogs getting porcupine where--

Luke Storey: [00:58:23] Oh, has that happened?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:58:25] Many times.

Luke Storey: [00:58:25] Oh, yeah, that's gnarly.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:58:27] It's gnarly.

Luke Storey: [00:58:29] It's funny too, because they don't learn. My dad's hunting dogs used to do that. And I'm like, oh, they'll never do that again. You spend three hours pulling all the quills out, and then two months later, they go and get another one.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:58:41] It's gnarly. And in fact, we've, two of the occasions, had to take them to the vet. They've just had way too many quills in their face and in their-- ah, it's a whole thing. But listen, it's a completely different life than the one that we were living, and we're very welcoming of it. My favorite spot is in this cavern on the land and then the driveway. My favorite thing is just taking really long driveway walks with the Texas winds on you. I feel like that's heaven.

Luke Storey: [00:59:12] I had one of those down your driveway the other day, and the wildflowers were blooming, and I was like, oh, this is so much nicer than walking around a neighborhood.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:59:19] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:59:21] And you could just go walk out in the field too, which I've done. We did a sweat lodge on your property. I've had some really magical experiences just out on the land. But the driveway is cool.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:59:32] The driveway is so fun. And the fire pit and just having a bunch of friends around with a guitar. It's a different way of life.

Luke Storey: [00:59:39] I dig it.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [00:59:40] Not a lot of people know this except for the people that came to our house. We lived this secret as much ranch life as you could in the middle of Beverly Hills. So in the middle of Beverly Hills, James would make a fire, and he would put a grate on it, and he would cook on the fire. So this didn't start for him in Texas. This started for him in Beverly Hills. And we would be outside all the time and still figuring out trees to climb, making my own milks. And we had a tiny little garden. And so I feel like I was prepping for this a little bit to whatever degree that I could.

Luke Storey: [01:00:21] Yeah. I'm thinking about your kids and the transition and what a different life it is, I bet that it's-- so I'm thinking back, of course, I can refer to my own experience, but I lived out in the country when I was a kid. And especially with my dad, he lived just in the middle of nowhere in Colorado, about equal to how you guys live. Rural. And I was so lonely, and I always hated it. I always wanted to be in the city.

My mom lived outside of San Francisco, and I just always wanted to be in the city. But I think for your kids, it's probably way cooler because they have a bunch of brothers and sisters. It's like they have people to play with. They're not just sitting out in a field by themselves going like, oh man, I wish I was at my skateboard back in the city.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:01:04] Yeah, I actually really understand why farms back in the day had so many kids. Because they do keep each other company, and they can all take on different roles. We have these routines, and this is where my kids fight me. It's like you feed the dogs, and you walk the dogs every single day in the morning, or these people do it in the afternoon. But each person has their own responsibility, and a lot more can get accomplished.

Luke Storey: [01:01:32] How do you handle conflict between the siblings?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:01:36] Yeah. It doesn't happen that often. It happens, and it's just like sitting down. And a lot of times, I was like, they'll come to me at a young age, like, hey, such and such hit me, or I'm upset about this. And I was like, well, go talk to them about it. And if you need, come back to me, but try talking to them about it first. I just try removing myself and letting them work their own magic.

Luke Storey: [01:02:06] So they're learning conflict resolution by just doing it in some cases?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:02:11] Yeah. And hopefully, I've demonstrated as well with them or in my relationship with James on those times I'm not ultra-triggered how to do conflict resolution. So they have some tricks in the bag. But also if I really need to sit there, or sometimes it gets really bad, and you're like, okay, let's create space. Let's just separate you two. You guys have time away.

If two people are really angry, sometimes they just need a minute. And then you come back later when all the feelings are good. I've seen the most beautiful conversations happen between my oldest two that really are humbling to me. Or my oldest three. The way that they're communicating with each other right now and working through stuff is like, phew, a lesson for me.

And it's really beautiful, and it's really heartfelt. You know what? I do have a suggestion here. A lot of times when everybody's upset, I'll say like, let's just rub the heart chakra three times and take a breath. And that really does help calm things. But sometimes first you still need to separate and do it with them separate.

Luke Storey: [01:03:30] What's the thing about kids needing baby talk and high pitch voices for six months?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:03:42] The scientists that discovered that actually--

Luke Storey: [01:03:46] Tell us that. I heard you talk about that before. I thought that was interesting.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:03:48] So kids ears are tuned to hearing higher pitched voices. Our instinct to actually speak to baby like, oh, it's a scientific one. They're more tuned in to that. And also the language that they hear for the first six months all goes into the mother tongue part of the brain. And any language they hear after that goes to a different part. So if they're exposed to numerous languages before six months, it all goes in one part of the brain, and everything after is another part.

So also their ears will attune to those languages. But yeah, that high-pitched voice for six months, it draws in the attention of the baby. And I'm not really sure why. I would imagine that if there's a room of talking or a lot of conversations going on, a baby might just need to know where to focus. Oh, I'm going to focus on that sound. And that sound is unique between a baby and somebody communicating with a baby. I don't know.

Luke Storey: [01:04:51] I know with our dog, Cookie, she's a perma infant, kind of. I don't think I could not talk baby talk to her like. She just elicits that, oh, you. It's like you just talk baby talk to her because she's a permanent baby. This is just observational. I don't know if this is true, and I'll see what your take is. I've noticed that there are certain parents that are maybe a little more progressive, and they talk to, not babies, but they talk to their very young children and mid-aged children like adults.

How you and I talk to each other. Hey, what are you doing over there? What do you want to do today? They just talk to them like they're a grown-up. And I've noticed that those kids seem to be more mature and well-adjusted. And I'll talk to those kids of those parents, and they talk to me like a normal person and not a grown up that's different or separate from them. There's not a hierarchical way of talking to one another. It's just more person to person. Have you and James, over the course of your kids, progressively talked to them in an adult way and not like, oh, I'm talking to you like you're a little kid still, or is it--

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:06:02] We haven't had this discussion. It just happened. And might I add that we don't go from, oh, my God, you're so cute to talking to them after their six-month birthday like, hey, would you like to eat? So there's a progression, and you just go with how you feel. But I think what you're saying is the person that does that typically tends to bring their child into the mix as opposed to like, here are your roles and parameters. And it's not a conversation.

It tends to be a similar personality that they talk to them like an adult, but also they have trust in who they are. And it's more of a conversation as opposed to like, this is how it is, and here are all the rules. And I love rules, and I think rules and parameters are really important. And I want to get better, actually, with those. But yeah, I just think it's not just the sound of the voice. It's the way in which they're speaking to them and a different respect will often come when you're talking like that.

Luke Storey: [01:07:13] Yeah, I guess that's part of the honoring. I mean, my experience of life is that reincarnation is a thing. So that's just an assumption that I make here. I just know that to be true, not because I've read it in a book. I just know it. And so the way I look at kids now, even when I meet a newborn baby like your little, Alyson calls him Mr. Potato Nugget, Jeremiah, I look in a baby's eyes, and what my conscious awareness is seeing is a newborn baby. But what my eyes see in those eyes is someone who's been here many, many, many times.

So we might have even met or have even had some relationship of some type. Who knows? So it's like that respectful honoring of them as a soul is a different experience that I think some people probably don't have because they don't have a belief system or the awareness that there's a person behind those eyes that this isn't their first rodeo.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:08:18] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:08:18] It's like it's their first rodeo in this body with you as their parents. And so you're the rodeo guide to whatever degree is appropriate for you, but there's an intelligence that they carry and a teaching that they carry that is not apparent on the surface.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:08:34] I think you just landed on gold. We can take away everything that I have said in the podcast and just push it aside. If we're all looking at each other's eyes, there is a respect, and honoring, and reverence, and remembrance. It doesn't even matter what you believe. There's some remembrance in seeing of somebody that happens when you do that. And it's not just a looking in a conversation. It's like I'm seeing you.

Luke Storey: [01:09:01] Yeah, yeah.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:09:02] And that's huge. And that's going to change your interaction with anybody.

Luke Storey: [01:09:08] Yeah, I find that to be fun with kids. Here in Texas, I'm around many more babies and kids than I ever have been in my whole life, but that's the place I like to get to with kids. Not in an invasive way like they would even know, but I just look at a kid just like I do with everyone, actually. I do it with you. I do it with anyone with whom I interact when I can remember, oh, yeah. This is the reality. There's a person behind the persona. And so it's fun to do that with kids and just look at them and go, who's in there? What are you thinking? Where have you been? What do you know that I don't know you know?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:09:44] Not only are you seeing them, but you're having a curiosity about them and an interest. And that's so beautiful. And I think that's going to bring out the best in anybody. Always.

Luke Storey: [01:09:56] Yeah, it makes for great interviews.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:09:59] There you go.

Luke Storey: [01:10:00] I'm so curious about people, just the individual expression of people. It's no accident that this is one of the things I do with my life, is just getting to know people. I'm just so curious. And sometimes you don't have the time. Like I was saying in the beginning here, we've talked about a lot of deep stuff. We've had some really profound experiences. I've learned a lot from you. We shared some beautiful moments, so it wasn't really necessary to know about your past because what's right now is really what's real. But I'm also very curious.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:10:31] Well, right now involves my past. It's part of the whole weaving of the thing. So who is sitting here right now has had a very fascinating life.  As we all have. Once you unravel anybody, and even like we're talking about parenting, I mean, if you had this interview with me a year ago, nobody would care to watch my-- or not a year ago, but with Olivia to watch my parenting advice. We're just all in a state of growth. But what you just said about eye contact, and curiosity, and seeing, I mean, if we're going to have a rule book for life, there you go.

Luke Storey: [01:11:06] Yeah.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:11:07] That's it.

Luke Storey: [01:11:07] What about disciplining your kids? How does that work? That's something that's always mystified me. If a kid really screws up, say, and does something mean to another kid, it's like you can't just be like, oh, well, how are you feeling? We'll just let that go. I mean, there needs to be some, I don't know, is it a timeout? Is it taking the toy away? You can't go to the soccer camp now. Punishment versus reward. All that stuff is really interesting to me.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:11:39] Well, I find that discipline perpetuates an issue usually, especially if it's unrelated. Okay, you're sneaking your iPad, you're grounded, or you're going to have time out. Time out rips people's hearts apart, is what I've seen with kids. And I've tried it before.

Luke Storey: [01:12:06] It's like solitary confinement. Oh shit. I've never thought about that.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:12:08] Yeah. And it makes them not feel even loved. It's like if somebody's not listening, there's something that's going on in there. If somebody is on an iPad all the day, they might be addicted. They might be addicted. Now, we have maybe an animal that's a bigger beast than the kid knows how to handle. So as a parent, what are you going to do? I'm pissed at you. I'm mad. I'm like, you're grounded. It's like we just handed a child something that they're addicted to.

It's beyond their capacity as a child to control or regulate. So that's why if you're going to give it, you better put parameters. Otherwise, it's like the child is sleeping in a bed you made for them. They may say they want it, but we have to know their capacity. We got our kids iPads to start some online schooling. And when we first got them, one of them, I found, was sneaking it.

And I was like, I saw this child sneaking it. And she threw it. And I was like, you're not supposed to be on that. And she goes, yeah. She cried. She's like, I'm really upset. I feel like I have to be on it, and I don't know what to do. And I was like, okay, I'll help you through this. Because we had parameters, and she went against them, but it's like she was just really honest about where it was.

But I'd imagine if I got in there and started yelling at her, it would have been a very different conversation. And now she's alone in this addiction and not knowing what to do. And so we did. We set parameters. And sometimes we have help with our kids. Sometimes they're not having the same parameters, or maybe I'm not clear with the parameters.

So one of the things I am in a work in progress with right now is getting super clear across the board with parameters because it's been so much of where I'm trying to shift them for six different kids that it gets all fuzzy. So I'm like, we got to create family parameters because that's just what we have to do with this many people.

Luke Storey: [01:14:23] They're just universal bylaws of the homestead.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:14:26] It's just what we have to do. But say you have a baby and the baby bites like Jeremiah's biting. What are we going to do? You separate them. Ouch. That hurts. Look, don't bite me. Communicate. What are you going to do to punish a 20-month old? Or if you have a two or a three-year old, and they're biting, and they're hitting, it's like, okay, we got to put a boundary here. That's not allowed, and I'm not going to let you do it. And we're going to take some breaths.

And when you calm down, if it's happening out of anger, what's the thing that angered you? And how can we work through that differently? So punishment doesn't typically help a child understand how to interact differently the next time they're put in that situation. So if we're doing punishments, it's like, are we parenting? Because the whole thing we want the child to do is to have the tools to understand what just happened and to interact with it differently. It's like, go think about it. I don't know. I don't know. I'm not into.

Luke Storey: [01:15:43] Well, that's interesting because I mentioned before, and, again, I don't like the term well-behaved because it just sounds, I don't know. I don't want to be well-behaved at the age I am now, let alone when I was a kid. But I don't know, being around your kids, they're not annoying. You know what I mean? It's like they're chill. They act cool. They don't do crazy shit.

Like last time we were over for dinner, all your kids are around, and they're doing different stuff and showing us their art and being kids, but they're not ever, in my experience, being inappropriate or rude. They're very respectful. That's the word I'm looking for. They're respectful of one another, of you guys.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:16:20] They're respected.

Luke Storey: [01:16:21] There you go.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:16:22] They're respected. Well-behaved or well-respected. They're well respected, and they understand what respect is. There are times where I'll do something, and Amelia, my daughter that just turned seven, she'll be like, mom, I'm really upset that you just did that thing. And I'll see it in her face and how serious she is. And I'm like, oh, she's coming to me in vulnerability, expressing herself. I need to really honor this. Oh, my goodness. Oh, my goodness. I'm so sorry.

And just having that relationship with them is priceless. And also on the flip side, I will share to make sure we all know this is an everyday dance and navigation system. I had some people fly in from LA. We're all sitting around the table. Gwendolyn Rose Van Der Beek, she loves attention, so she comes outside--

Luke Storey: [01:17:17] She's so freaking cute.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:17:18] Of the concrete table. She's so funny. And she goes, mom. And she just waits to make sure everybody's watching her. I was like, what? And she goes, what the fuck? I was like, what? What the fuck? What the fuck? What the fuck? What the fuck? What the fuck? What the fuck? What the fuck? And I'm like, Gwen. What the fuck, mom? Just doing it to get a rise out of everybody and captivate her audience.

And I'm just like, what do I do now? I'm like, Gwen, you shouldn't be saying fuck. It's not for you to say. And she's like, what the fuck? She just had this whole-- and so it's like, okay, so next time I need to make sure Gwen has a stage with everybody and she doesn't have to create her own stage. But can I get mad at Gwen, or punish her, wash her mouth out with soap? No. I swear.

Luke Storey: [01:18:16] How do you balance the good cop, bad cop between you and James? Do you have similar parenting styles, or is one of you more stern and the other one more lenient? Or is it always just a dance between both of you as well?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:18:33] It's a dance. And if James starts to get upset, I'm like, hey. I'll like, hey, hey. And he'll do the same thing with me. And this is where we're at now. It's been a journey. We've done this so many different ways. But where we're at right now, I feel like we're in a really good place with this dance we're doing together.

Luke Storey: [01:18:54] It's, I think, more classically the case that the dad would be the one who brings down the hammer, and the mom is easier to get one over upon.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:19:07] He's better with parameters, that's for sure. And I'm working on that, and rhythms, and grounding. I wouldn't consider that a bad cop move, though. I'm so glad that he is. And watching and learning sometimes from him.

Luke Storey: [01:19:25] I mean there's something, just thinking about-- my parents were divorced when I was really young, but if my dad said, hey, no, it was a whole different experience than if my mom said it. You know what I mean? And I loved and respected them both, but there's just something about male energy that will stop you in your tracks. You take it a bit more seriously maybe when you're a kid, in some cases.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:19:47] Kids are also learning their boundaries. So Gwen is like, is this something I can do? And how does my audience interact with this? And it's like, okay, I'm not going to go into a stage of embarrassment with her, but we're going to have a conversation about this later. Or if I feel like that ship has sailed, a conversation might just bring more attention to it and more rise for her too. So it's always just like feeling each thing out with the different personalities that you have. It's constant.

Luke Storey: [01:20:16] How much influence, if any, do you think your kids' astrological signs have upon them and your relationship to them?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:20:25] Interesting timing because I just had an astrology chart reading two days ago. A lot. A lot, but you can't limit a child to their astrological chart, but you can definitely learn some skeletal features of the chart, and it helps how to navigate or understand where somebody may thrive. I do find a lot-- Joshua is so intuitive and so deeply intuitive and ask these big, huge world questions. He's a Pisces. And then Olivia's very balanced and self-regulated. And she's a Libra. And Gwen has two sides, and she's a Gemini. And she is the life of the party. So it's like--

Luke Storey: [01:21:24] Do you have any Scorpios?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:21:26] No.

Luke Storey: [01:21:27] What sign are you?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:21:28] I'm Pisces-Aries.

Luke Storey: [01:21:30] Oh, okay.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:21:31] Yeah. So if you take me in the Vedic chart, I'm full Pisces. The Gregorian, I'm Aries with a Pisces moon.

Luke Storey: [01:21:39] Have you had human design readings on any of your kids?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:21:43] No. Human design is fascinating. My human design explained me so much. I can't remember what it was, but it was every single intuitive channel was blasted open, which I'm a really-- we're all intuitive, but I'm very in touch with my intuition. So I found that to be very fascinating.

Luke Storey: [01:22:09] Yeah. I think if I could describe you in one word, that might be the word.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:22:14] Intuitive?

Luke Storey: [01:22:15] Yeah. And just the time I've spent with you and things you've shared with me that there's no way you could know yet you know them, that kind of stuff.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:22:22] Yeah. A lot of that. Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:22:24] What about schooling? I know you guys have done some home schooling. I think you've had teachers come in there. And now some of your kids are going off to other schools. How have you and are you going to navigate that?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:22:38] Yeah, schooling has been a dance for us as well. I chose for most of my children to not have them in preschool and for them to just be playing at the park and having fun for their days after researching the Finnish education system. I love the Finnish education system.

Luke Storey: [01:22:57] As in Finland?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:22:57] As in Finland. There's a great book, Finnish 2.0, and basically it's similar to Waldorf in that they're not really teaching the alphabet until the kids are seven, and when they teach math, it's like, hey, grab a stick from the forest and this many rocks. And their younger years, they're teaching kindness and another language, which the best time to learn other languages is while you're really young. And it actually helps that focus part of the brain because before you're two years old, all language that you learn happens through eye contact.

Luke Storey: [01:23:33] Oh, wow.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:23:34] Yeah. So after--

Luke Storey: [01:23:35] Unless you're wearing a mask. Sorry. I'm trying to get over the past few years, but it's still pisses me off, especially as it pertains to kids and their development or lack thereof.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:23:50] Well, they're learning how to move their mouth and their tongue by watching and observing. And it's like, listen, they are coming out with some pretty serious effects like those younger kids are having because a child before, two, they really need to, well, look at the eyes is how the brain registers it, but they're watching the whole face. And they're learning expressions. And even babies, they're mimicking all of our expressions all the time. So it was very sad, that period of time, in some ways and beautiful in others.

Luke Storey: [01:24:24] I like this learning kindness, though. I've pondered this. For a human being to develop, what are the most important things they need to learn? And to me, it's like the spiritual principles that make life work are the most important things ever to learn. And some of us have to go through life and experience a lot of pain and misery, and make a lot of mistakes, and we get lost. That's been my case. Very lost. And finding my way back to center, to truth, has been through understanding principles.

So I think of kindness as a principle. It's like an aspect of God. Compassion, honesty. So many of the words that you've used to describe your parenting experience. So if I could envision a school for young kids, it would be teaching them principles, universal principles. Not dogma, not beliefs, not religion.

I mean, to each their own, but I mean, just teaching them the fundamentals of how the universe works would me more meaningful, I think, than math, or the alphabet, or any of these things you need to navigate the world. You have to understand like, oh, if I have $2 and I take one away, now there's one. But it's like what really brings one success and fulfillment in life is understanding just basic fundamental laws of nature, of the universe, of relating, of people. That's what matters.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:26:01] I do believe that the preschool system is hurting our children. I believe this very strongly. And not every preschool is created the same, but to take them from one subject to another subject to another subject and pretend that a five-year old needs to know how to read, they don't. But they do need to know how to play. And some five-year olds want to know how to read. Gwen is super interested in the alphabet and reading already, so I'll handle her a little differently than other kids.

But there's something so beautiful about letting a kid play. And what they found in Finland, because all their-- the kids in Finland would take their first test at the age of 15, and they were scoring, almost across the board, higher than every other European country. And they're like, why is this.

Luke Storey: [01:27:04] Huh. That's interesting.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:27:07] Because of the focus part of their brain. So what you want to do with a kid is to enhance the focus part of the brain. And how do you do that? Have them doing something that they so passionately want to do that they're super focused on it.

Luke Storey: [01:27:22] Oh, wow.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:27:23] And so now you have a great lifelong learner because they know how to focus. Yeah, they know how to focus.

Luke Storey: [01:27:31] I've read something the other day about the origins of the word kindergarten, and I think what it said was that it's, in German, translated as kids' garden. And so kindergarten in its original form was just kids growing food and playing in the dirt. But, again, it's just a meme or something I saw. I haven't fact-checked it, but it made sense. And that's what I envisioned. And I spent much of my childhood that way. I was outdoors a lot, thank God. I grew up in the era of be home before dark. Just running wild in nature, thank God. But yeah, I like this Finnish model. That's a cool-- 

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:28:18] It's so beautiful. It's similar to the Waldorf. And also not for everybody because-- but I think the principle is, what does your kid want to focus on? And just letting them do that as long as it's a healthy focus, a healthy brain focus.

Luke Storey: [01:28:38] Not World of Warcraft on their VR glasses.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:28:42] No. Here's the sad thing. It's like not everybody has the capacity to decide where their kid is going to kindergarten or preschool. Or a parent works, and they have to send their kid to preschool. And it's whatever one they can get let in because some preschools are like you'd swear you're filling out an application for the kid to run for president. It's insane. So some people don't have the financial resources.

And what I want to say to those parents specifically is as a child that was raised in the public school system, worked my way around some tough times, I also had a very beautiful experience that was completely tailored to what my soul came here to live up, and dream, and accomplish. And it all feeds into our own unique personal story, and we weave it into the future the way that we know and that we can. And even Olivia, I would have done so much differently. But also, she's so beautiful, just as she is. And now our relationship has evolved, and she's watched me grow up with her.

So we have to just take life for what it is and decide every day what energy we want to come forward with because we don't all get to make these decisions. We don't all have that capacity. And so many of us are really in survival mode. And I've seen that, and I grew up around that. And to just say to that person, if you can just look in the mirror and say, I'm here, and I'm doing my best, and I'm going to love myself the best way I know how, and that's going to be the best way to love my kid, that's what you do.

This is all ideal world. But at the end of the day, it's not all about the humanity that we are with our kids. It's the human dignity that we are with our self, which gives us the capacity to have dignity with our kids. And until we do that self-work, and that self-love, and that self-acceptance, we're not going to have much to offer.

Luke Storey: [01:30:54] Yeah, I think there's definitely a trap in the idealistic perfectionism and also the guilt of like, oh man, I got to put my kid in public school because I work all day or whatever. I'm glad you brought that in. We all do find our way despite-- if your parents intended to have a home birth like you, and then you didn't. You went to the hospital. It's like, Olivia is fine. She's thriving. She's great. And then you've done things differently subsequently with the other kids you had. But we're all here.

Brandon, over here. He's doing fine. His ass is probably born in a hospital, maybe a C-section. Who knows what? And he's fine. Went to public school. So I think as we grow, we find adaptation to those things. But I always also am pointing toward like a true north of the most optimal, of course, according to my preferences or beliefs. And so that's what I like to ask people. But I'm glad you brought that in, that it's not a cookie cutter scenario between birth and raising kids into school for every person. It's so circumstantial, and everyone's going to be fine, no matter how you do it.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:32:09] Yeah, I like my edges. I said to James, I was like-- I mean, I'm very street-smart. I may shock a lot of people, but I'm very street-smart. And I'm like, are our kids street-smart? And he's like, you know what? Each person calls in a different, unique circumstance. And I would say some of them really are. That's besides the point. But yeah, it's just so interesting. Like I said, that kid, if they want to drum, they're going to start with the pots. We'll always find a way. We'll always adapt.

And that's just what we do. And we listen to these conversations. And if we're listening to them with an open heart and curiosity and somebody wanting to see you or somebody wanting to see me, and hopefully they can reflect that on themselves to see what things feel right for them, what adjustments maybe their innermost self is calling for. And they're like, I resonate with that, and I don't resonate with that. And it's like, cool. So you take what you can in your life and what you want to, and you work with it.

Luke Storey: [01:33:17] With the homeschooling world, I've noticed that this has emerged as more of a thing in the past few years. I think people are identifying the instability and some of the faults in our society in general. And I've heard murmurs of co-op homeschooling, where different parents in a community will assume different roles. And it's becoming, in some cases, more possible for parents to have that as an option that wouldn't have formerly because there's more people wanting to do that, right?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:33:50] Yes, there's a lot.

Luke Storey: [01:33:52] What have you seen in terms of homeschooling, alternative education? What's on the horizon from your perspective?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:34:00] So in LA, we had a homeschooling co-op in our house until I got pregnant with Gwendolyn, my five-year old. We had eight kids at the house, and it was great because as parents, we could get together and decide what that looked like.  I think it was an ideal for me. And once that pregnancy happened, I said no. And then I had my kids go to another co-op at somebody else's house. And that one worked out really well because they set their house up really well for it. And it was really beautiful.

And the kids still talk about missing that school. The friendships were really, really close. But you have to be with the right kids because if there's something awry, it can get really messy really quick when you're not so spread out. I think it's a beautiful option for people because it's less expensive than hiring your own teacher. And it takes all the things off just one parent's execution.

So yeah, I think it's a phenomenal option. And there's a lot of teachers that this as well, it's got its own set of hurdles, like usually, teaching multiple different age groups at the same time, it's a particular skill set, and some of these people create pods with just one age group. But it takes having the right mix, just like any relationship. It's like, is this the right one for you?

Luke Storey: [01:35:36] Have you heard of this thing they have out here called forest school?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:35:40] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:35:41] Yeah? Do you know anything about that?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:35:43] I don't know a lot, but I think it's really beautiful. There's lots of educational systems around the world where the kids are basically in the forest all day. Yeah, I have a lot of respect for that. 

Luke Storey: [01:35:55] I mean, you live on a forest.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:35:56] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:35:58] Lucky for your kids, they can just walk outside and be in forest school pretty much.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:36:01] Yeah. No, I think it's beautiful because really energetically and the frequency of it can just really drop you in. And I think for me, so much of life is intuitively guided. And when we're learning to get in touch with our intuition or open up our passions and our creative channels, one of the easy ways to do that is strip away unnecessary stimulation. So fluorescent lights, sounds of buzzing appliances or equipment, to have that time to just be in nature can be very healing and allow you to get deeply in touch with yourself. I love it. I think it's great.

Luke Storey: [01:36:43] Yeah, me too. It's hard to imagine the things that you mentioned, the fluorescent lights, the little desks being inside, the school bell. When I think about public school, it's just, oh, man. My experience of it was like prison. I mean, from day one, hated it. So I think I'm very biased based on my own experience.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:37:10] I didn't like it. I thought it was a waste of my time. But I did enjoy connecting to people, and I did enjoy that I had some really incredible teachers in my life.

Luke Storey: [01:37:22] So you have six kids, and there's this belief that some people hold, which I don't believe to be true, that the world is overpopulated and that people should be having fewer kids. I am of the opposite belief. What's your perspective on under, overpopulation? Do you advocate for people having tons of kids like you have? What does the world need in terms of the number of kids we're bringing in?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:37:53] Well, gosh, I could do a whole podcast just on this question. In high school, environmentalist Kimberly went by what she was told and instructed, and I felt like I'm not going to have too many kids because it's not good for the environment. And kids do. They take a lot of resources? We have more trash, even though we try to be consciously aware than most people. It does. It takes an environmental toll.

Fast forward to Kimberly that goes into the business and got access to world leaders and having conversations with people that are very recognizable names, people that know a lot about what's happening in the world, there's a lot of conversation where people are saying, and this was 12 years ago, people are saying, in 50 years, we're going to have a population issue in which our population reduction will happen so much that actually we won't have a younger generation that has the capacity to support the older one with Social Security and such.

That there won't be enough people to support the amount of older people. So there were some conversations like that when you get into the political world and even people that care deeply about the environment. I haven't had those conversations in a long time, but that feeds and weaves into who I am today. And who I am today, these souls were always coming in.

This was a decision that goes far beyond my body being on Earth. I had a conversation with Jeremiah, my sixth child. I had two back-to-back late term near-death miscarriages. I was like, I am not getting pregnant again. It is not worth my life. I'm still not quite sure how I got pregnant with Jeremiah. The timing does not make any sense at all.

Luke Storey: [01:39:59] Really?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:39:59] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:40:00] In terms of ovulation and whatnot?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:40:02] Yes.

Luke Storey: [01:40:02] Huh. Interesting.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:40:03] Yeah. And same with Gwendolyn.

Luke Storey: [01:40:09] They're like, I'm coming, so get ready.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:40:11] So I had a conversation with Jeremiah before he came in. And I was like, there are a lot of women trying really hard to have babies, and I want you to go to one of those. And he was like, no, I got to come through you. It was this whole conversation that I had with a baby, and I didn't realize that I was already pregnant with him when I was having it.

Luke Storey: [01:40:35] Was this during a ceremony or something of that nature?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:40:38] Yeah. We go into these deep super meditative ceremonies and plant medicine sometimes. And yeah, it was a pretty big reveal. I'm like, okay, so we've already made this decision together, and I realized that my head was really scared, but my heart knew. My heart knew that was my baby. And in all parts of me outside of my brain really did want to welcome him in. And so it's interesting when you get into caring about the environment or the world. It's like we can make these brainiac decisions, but if they're not guided by the heart, what are they really?

Luke Storey: [01:41:23] Yeah. And are we really in control of any of this anyway? Who's to say how many people are supposed to be here or not? I mean, it's really grandiose, I think, to even try and control that. It seems there are people that want to control that now, which is just crazy.  It's just people playing God. I like your approach of just listening to your body and being in communication with souls and being receptive and open to surrendering to higher levels of awareness and understanding.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:42:00] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:42:01] It's like what makes life interesting is knowing that there are so many things you don't know and understand and never will. You just follow those breadcrumbs, right?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:42:09] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:42:10] I mean, your kids are all quite young. Do any of them have any awareness around the work that you do spiritually? Do you talk to them about God? Do they know you're going away to have a ceremony? What's their understanding of your spiritual life and your journey?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:42:29] My kids are my spiritual life. Yeah, they're very much a part of it. I talk to them about everything. A lot of people come to me with a lot of issues that I meditate, and I'll receive information from them. And so my kids are very well aware of these conversations, and witness them, and see the truth in them, and see the power of the universe exists within each one of us. And we all have access to everything, really.

And I have some kids displaying some pretty big gifts, and I think all of us have pretty big gifts when we're just open to seeing them. Breathwork, some meditation, these are all things my kids are very used to. In fact, I'll watch some of them just sit in a mudra and just take deep breaths like, oh, I'm upset.

Luke Storey: [01:43:41] It's so great.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:43:42] Or we'll be on vacation and Amelia will just go off on her own, and we'll be like, oh, she's over there. She's in meditation. Okay. So yeah, they know all.

Luke Storey: [01:43:58] What's it like when you guys take your Winnebago and-- this is one of the things I've looked at, especially with James, because he's like, parking the Winnebago, and I assume doing the driving. And I've looked at him, and I might have even said this to him like, dude, how do you do that? It's one thing like having a big property and there's some people around helping, but just imagining like, I got to go to the bathroom. How far is it? No, I want to watch this thing on the TV. I want to watch that. I'm just trying to picture what happens in a Winnebago with two parents and six kids. And I don't know if you bring your dogs, but that's a whole other part of that.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:44:31] We do not bring our dogs. No way.

Luke Storey: [01:44:33] On the property, it's like there's all these kids. You have like, what, five dogs? Yeah, five dogs, six kids.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:44:38] Too many. Honestly, I love my dogs. It's too much. The dogs are a lot. It's a lot. So James, I don't think a lot of people actually know who James is. He's so magnificent, it's wild. The way he cares for and loves the family and calls on adventure and utilizes his creativity for the betterment of our lives is one of the most beautiful things I've ever witnessed.

He said, Olivia is getting older, and she's not going to want to do road trips forever. So I want to do road trips right. And I'm getting this RV. And just the time and effort he took into getting that and the time and effort he takes into fixing that and setting it up. And yeah, me too, the time and energy I put into it. But he somehow drives this massive bus around with all of us.

Luke Storey: [01:45:33] It's like a tour bus. It's the size of a band's tour bus. It's huge. I haven't been inside, but--

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:45:39] Well, you know who talked us into getting that specific model?

Luke Storey: [01:45:43] Who?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:45:43] Alfonso.

Luke Storey: [01:45:45] Yeah. RV guy. Yeah.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:45:47] Yeah. So what's really funny, guys, is that we have the same RV, different year, as Alfonso Ribeiro and Angela, who we love and we travel with sometimes, and Mark-Paul Gosselaar and his family. Catriona, I haven't seen them or talked to them in so long, but we all have the same RVs. It's like the most hilarious thing for the '90s--

Luke Storey: [01:46:13] What happens? Because I remember last summer, I think you guys drove up through Washington. And I mean, everywhere is far when you live in Texas. Just getting to the edge of Texas is far. But you guys went way up and cruising through a number of states and stuff. Give me some stories. What's that like?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:46:32] Well, it's absolutely nuts. So we have the best time of our life and the most chaotic time in the RV. Everybody gets really good about learning family structures and taking care of their spaces. I will give you the first moment when we leave our driveway. It was already a story. So we get this RV. We're all so excited. We're going on our very first adventure in the tree. And I'm outside of the RV, and we're just trying to leave the property, really.

And James is clearing these trees, but he's not really thinking about you have the top of the RV and then you have the air vents that stick up that much. And a branch knocks that thing off. I mean, we're not literally out of the property yet in this brand new-- we spend all this money on an RV. It's like, ah. He had to get a chainsaw. He had to cut down a branch. It was insane. If you get in an RV, you can't even back the thing up because we're towing a truck. It's impossible. So just to go get--

Luke Storey: [01:47:40] Oh, you're towing a truck.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:47:42] We're towing a car that's big enough to fit all of us.

Luke Storey: [01:47:45] That's a whole thing, dude. When we moved out here, I got a, whatever, that tow ball thing put on the back of my car so we could drag a U-Haul. And it was a nightmare because, like you said, you can't back up.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:48:00] It's crazy. So even before we go grocery shopping, he has to find where the semis go and deliver food. And then he goes and stops there. And he gets on satellite camera just to get groceries. It's a whole thing. And that's why when we first got an RV, we didn't realize you needed to tow a vehicle. But if you want to go anywhere other than RV resorts, or really parking lots, sometimes, then you need to tow a car.

Luke Storey: [01:48:32] Right.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:48:32] So yeah, it's so wild. The adventures that we've had, though, have been so magnificent. We had this time where we said, whenever the kids need to go to the bathroom, we're just going to pull over and explore that area. And there was one time where we just took this walk, and we ended up passing these cool railroad tracks, and there were these old rusty pieces, and we took a few pieces, and James uses them as weights because it reminds him of this special memory.

And then there's this rushing river all off the side of a freeway where you'd never think anything would be interesting. And we saw these mushrooms growing, and it was just magical. It was just magical. You're getting up and exploring life, and you're figuring it all out together. And we always say that we go on these RV trips, and we come back with teammates. It's like we all go through an evolution, but we really earn it because it is wild. It's like we don't really have so much sleep. When everybody goes to sleep, it's like, oh, okay. It's just crazy. But it's the best thing in the world.

Luke Storey: [01:49:40] I bet it is a really incredible bonding experience for you guys. I'm thinking too of just the kids learning how to participate in problem solving, and finding solutions, and even just mapping, and routes, and where to park. And also just watching mom and dad deal with a very dynamic situation for quite a while. 

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:50:04] It's sometimes high stress.

Luke Storey: [01:50:05] Yeah. I would definitely be the guy that right out of the driveway, knocks the air vent off the tree.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:50:13] I really thought, could our next thing be a houseboat, and should we move on a houseboat somewhere?

Luke Storey: [01:50:21] I like it.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:50:22] We're nuts.

Luke Storey: [01:50:23] Houseboats are cool.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:50:23] We'll just get up and change our life in a minute. And we are so down for that.

Luke Storey: [01:50:28] Do you guys foresee yourself staying here on the property where you are now for a bit?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:50:35] Yes.

Luke Storey: [01:50:37] I know a couple of times James has mentioned to me he's like, oh, Kimberly woke up this morning and says we're moving here or there. I don't know what-- North Carolina. I forget what it was.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:50:45] Arkansas.

Luke Storey: [01:50:47] Yeah, yeah, Arkansas. He's like, oh, she does this. We're not going anywhere.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:50:50] I love Arkansas. I was chomping at the bit to get out of LA. And speaking of astrology chart, this woman said to me-- I was like, okay, what's the thing I need to work on? I don't like just all blah, blah, blah. I like to be working on myself all the time. She goes, well, past life, refugee many times. You need to get yourself comfortable at home and stay in one place. And she goes, and there's a lot of nomadic family action here, but find a home.

And when I am on the ranch, it always does feel so special to me, and it feels very much like home. However, we are renting it right now. So that's where I'm just like, I want to buy a place and plant trees. And we've done that anyways, and we've treated it like our home. But we just had a conversation, and I think that we will definitely be transitioning ownership, which is so weird to say somebody owns land. You can't look at that tree and say, that's my tree. That tree was there before you. That tree is going to be there after you. It's so wild. But this funny thing we do in life is we own land.

Luke Storey: [01:52:03] Yeah. I mean, we're in cooperation with the Matrix. There's a system that's been superimposed on the planet, and we seem to have chosen to participate in it.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:52:14] I would be one of those--

Luke Storey: [01:52:15] But I trip out on stuff like that too.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:52:17] Yeah, right?

Luke Storey: [01:52:18]  Yeah. Just like, a county line. What? What even is that?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:52:23] So your regulations are completely different because of some line somebody decided. This is-- 

Luke Storey: [01:52:30] But I'm also someone who just inherently doesn't believe in regulations.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:52:34] Oh, I feel you.

Luke Storey: [01:52:34] Except the laws of the land. Don't kill, steal, all that stuff. One thing I wanted to ask you back in the homeschooling portion of this, how do you handle-- let me just say like this. Let's say you get weird vibes from some parents, or a family, or kids with whom your kids want to play with. How do you handle the parameters of vibe's safety, healthy people, healthy family, healthy kids? When something's off and you sense that, how do you navigate that?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:53:11] I talk to my kids about it. I know you really like this person. I'm getting a funky feeling from here or there. Or my kids do that with me. Like, oh, this person, I've started to feel differently about them. I'm like, oh, let's talk about that. Put boundaries. It doesn't have to be-- you can put boundaries with the frequency as well. You can have people in your life and say, okay, this person is going to be in my life less frequently than this person. That's a normal thing to do.

Luke Storey: [01:53:42] So it goes back to that open and honest conversation and keeping the lines of communication open?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:53:48] Yeah. And it also allows my kids to do the same thing. You know what? I might be changing my mind about this person, or something's feeling off, or this person needs support, and I want to give it. Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:54:03] Cool.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:54:04] Yeah, it's pretty easy.

Luke Storey: [01:54:05] Cool. Yeah. I think one of the big takeaways I'm getting from this conversation is you honoring your kids as individuals and respecting them. And a lot of that seems to have to do with the communication and your authenticity and honesty with them too.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:54:26] Yeah, it goes both ways. Sometimes my kids want to be friends with somebody that I'm like, this is bumping for me. And before they get too attached, you just like, let's talk about this. How are you feeling? Is there anybody else that you'd rather have a playdate with? Let's do that instead. Is this really important to you? Because if it's really important to you, then we can foster a connection in this way.

Luke Storey: [01:54:57] How much the health in your relationship with James impact your parenting, your co-parenting together?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:55:06] It makes all the difference. So we went through a little bit of a bumpy territory when we were in a grieving process. And this is something coming out of it, now I can look back and say we were both in deep grieving, and we didn't know which way was up and which way was down. But when we had two late term losses, we were in grieving. Big time. And we were in overwhelm, and we didn't want to do anything. So that was tough to navigate, and that was tough for my kids to navigate too.

It was just like anything would set us off, anything would trigger us. And we both have such deep love and reverence for each other and our kids, but we were grieving. Yeah. It's like the fuse gets shorter when you're grieving. I just watched this thing with Brené Brown where she said she'll walk into a room and tell her partner, I got 20% today. And he's like, I got 20% too. And they say, well, let's have a conversation so we can make sure that we're not taking this out on each other.

And that would have been really great, solid advice for me to have while grieving. So I like that verbiage. And I sent that video to James too when I saw it. But our relationship is so beautiful right now. We're having such beautiful communication and just such honoring and such gratitude for each other. And he really knows how to be such a beautiful husband and dad. Whoa. I'm just in awe of him.

Luke Storey: [01:56:46] It's impressive. Me too. I'm always taking notes when I'm around James. And I've asked him too. The first time he and I really dropped in, and I've had this with a few dads that I admire in the community, I just looked at him. I was like, how do you do this? And essentially his answer was, it's just innate. You don't need to know how. You just are that. Telling me that I am that.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:57:12] Yeah. And you are that.

Luke Storey: [01:57:13] Helping me work through my fears of inadequacy in that department and whatnot. But yeah, he really is a great example.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:57:22] He is. He's so solid.

Luke Storey: [01:57:25] I mean, when a dad is a good dad to one kid, it's like, oh, that's impressive. To have a few of them, just the dynamic nature of that whole situation is just like, wow, that's a lot of movement. That's a lot going on.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:57:40] He's really genius.

Luke Storey: [01:57:41] And also to just be a provider and hold down the fort in that capacity too. But just what's required emotionally to keep that degree of presence, and leadership, and love, it's very impressive.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [01:57:59] I'm learning so much from him. He folds in certain rhythms and things that I'm watching the build up over the years of how that manifests. When he puts the kids to bed, they all have their own song that he sings them. And so each night he'll go to each kid, and he sings them a different song. Just really beautiful songs. One of them is Dear Theodosia, that I love. He added that second song for Amelia in there. And how the song has evolved over the years to them just laying in bed and getting sung to it, now they're singing it with him, and it's the sweetest and in the sweetest way.

And with Amelia, he started teaching her how to harmonize, sing a different note that harmonizes with his note. And so it's gone from that to her singing with him to like-- I'm just watching the evolution of this thing that they have together. I'm like, they're going to sing that together when she gets married probably. And it's going to be one of these markers of all the beauty of their life. And it's just like it's from his heart to theirs. It's like he found something that feels special to him, which his music.

And it's the way that he shares his heart and in his creativity, but just the consistency has had this blossom that's like the beauty of the moment encompasses the beauty of every night of their childhood that he's ever put them to sleep. And it's the most beautiful thing. I'm just in awe every single night. Every single night. And their nervous systems drop into complete just beauty, and love, and security, and knowing that they're loved and held by their dad just by that thing.

And he had to create that moment. When they were toddlers and didn't want to go to bed, it's time. And here's why. And he creates structures to support this. And I watched him go through these things where they would try interrupting him, and I want to do this, and I want to do that, and he would just keep singing. And he didn't budge from the song.

I'm like, dude, they're asking you a question. He wouldn't budge because he's like, at this point, I'm deciding what I'm doing with my time right now and I'm singing to you. And there's always going to be a million distractions, and I'm not going to buy into them. And he held that container. And it's just like I didn't always know that that was the right way. And it is like--

Luke Storey: [02:00:40] There's so much wisdom in that in terms of modeling to. That's what I'm getting from this conversation too, is so much of parenting is who you are. How you are, who you are, perhaps even more so than what you say or do. Because the cues that your kids are taking are more meaningful in that regard than probably the things that you're saying.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:01:05] Yeah, it's true. And they see us get upset, though. They see us get upset and all that, and it's all okay.

Luke Storey: [02:01:12] To be human.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:01:13] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [02:01:14] Yeah. One last question I have for you. What's it been like-- I'm fascinated by home birth because I just look at the way mammals make babies in nature, and they don't need the interventions that we sometimes need. And God bless the interventions when they are needed. Much respect to the system that's there, but I'm very attracted to the idea of home birth. And I've heard you talk about some of your birth experiences with candles being lit, and beautiful music playing, and a really etheric and spiritual experience.

And I think you've said that during some of your births, your other kids have been present in the room. Is that the case, and what's that been like? I can't imagine how interesting that whole scenario must be. If a kid has been present for one of their siblings birth, how has that affected them? How have they reacted? Is it normal to them, or are they just like, oh, this is life and they just innately know how to process that? Or is it crazy and weird to them and so on?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:02:22] Oh, I've got some good ones for that. Well, the first thing I want to say is I love the idea of a woman giving birth wherever she feels most comfortable.  And I love a dad that's open to home birth because that gives her permission to make a choice on what feels most comfortable. And sometimes births have a life of their own, and you need to shift around your birth requests. And so it's beautiful because your openness allows your wife to be open to that as well.

Listen, a woman can make her own decisions, but it's very helpful when somebody is open to whatever it is. So wherever somebody is most comfortable. Some people are most comfortable in the hospital. I'm not. So the first time I had children-- well, with Annabel, my third, I was putting the kids to bed in labor, so I was having contractions between labor, and I thought, I'm going to get the kids to bed first, and then I'm going to have the baby.

She happened so quickly, and the kids were downstairs, and then I was like, well, might as well just have them a part of it next time. So talk to them about it. I was on a breech birthing panel with some really incredible women, including Ina May Gaskin, and she, in the short period of time that we spent together, had a big influence on me too with how she was just so like, its birth. Let the village be present, or have it on your own. What feels right.

And so I was like, for Amelia's birth, I'm open to kids being there. And I was having pushing contractions, and Annabel was walking down the hall, almost two years old, and she watched her be born. And then immediately, her hands go like this, and she just goes, baby. She wanted to hold the baby. Baby. Baby. I want to hold the baby. It was so cute. Her little hands just went straight like that. And it was a rough end of the birth. And she was completely unfazed.

And again, I showed the kids at night. We were having story time. I'm talking about your vulva area. Here's how many holes there are. Here's where you pee, here's where you have babies, Here's all the things. And I was birthing stuffed animals, and I was making the sounds that would mimic birth. And I said to them too, I was like, listen, I'm going to be having a birth in the house. So I'm setting the stage for myself to be in comfort by preparing my children for what may happen.

There may be a lot of blood. That's very normal. There may be no blood. That can also happen. I may make loud sounds, and it could be quieter. It could be like, raa, because when I birthed Olivia in the hospital, it was really loud. And I was like, they're all me communicating with my body on how to bring the baby in. And everything is just going to be whatever it's going to be. I don't even know what it's going to look like. So we birthed stuffed animals in so many different ways because at the time, everybody would get up at night and like tell their own little story.

So that was my own little story, was birth. I did it 20 times. So they were all familiar before they ever went to a birth. And I even showed some videos sometimes, like, here's what birth looks like. As long as I'm approaching this with the energy of this happens every day and every single person you saw was born somehow, whether it was in a hospital, whether it was through surgery, whether it was home, whatever way, everybody was born. And birth is beautiful, and it brings so much beauty to the world.

And if I can be chill like that, then they're going to be chill like that. But it's like these conversations where, oh my God, I'm sitting, and I'm going to have the birds and the bees conversation. It's like it wasn't that energy. It was just like, this is what we do. With Gwen, Olivia and Josh were there, and apparently, I didn't explain it well enough to Josh because he was expecting Gwen to come out of my butt. So he was looking in the wrong area.

Luke Storey: [02:06:35] He got the anatomy--

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:06:37] But he was there.

Luke Storey: [02:06:38] Skewed?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:06:38] Yes. And Olivia was there. And that was a cool experience for them. Jeremiah's birth was a tough one, and everybody was there. It was so tough. Annabel is like, I'm leaving. 

Luke Storey: [02:06:53] Was it tough because he's a big little fella?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:06:55] That might be part of it. I think the way he was in there was the little tough too, and I was having to switch positions to adjust him. Let's put it this way. I'm holding crystals, calling on the sisterhood of the world to move through me because I was done. My own energy had tapped out. I was calling on a much bigger power to help me birth this baby. And I felt like all the women of the whole world that have ever birthed a child moving through me. It was that.

Luke Storey: [02:07:27] You had to call on some resources.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:07:29] I called on some resources. And Annabel left at one point and came right at that moment after. But all the other kids saw. And Olivia was like, okay, that one makes me second think having babies, but also was so sacred to her. And they all say, that looks tough. And you know what? Yeah, some of them are tougher than others, and that's okay. That's just what it was. And they didn't have to stay. It was a choice that they made to be there, and I felt comfortable in having them. So I invited them. If I didn't feel comfortable, I wouldn't have invited them.

Luke Storey: [02:08:09] Can you imagine-- and maybe you have imagined, it seems that it would be so impactful for your kids to watch you have another baby in their appreciation of what you went through to have them. It has to connect to them that like, oh, that's what Mom did for me too. That's what I did. I mean, that's--

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:08:33] It changed my relationship with the kids, actually, after having them. And yeah, even the miscarriages did that too. And just being honest with them through that, it's been super potent and powerful. My kids, when they were there as part of the birth, they were more likely to tend to me after, to take care of me and want to take care of me, which was really sweet and just more understanding of my needing sleep. I've been so tired. I'm like finally getting on the other end of that.

But there are so many years where I was just so tired. I've had six babies and five miscarriages, so it's like my body just needs rest, and I'm not always available to mom it. So at this point, I'm having to hire somebody to help me or even to work. So it's been really beautiful to connect to them in that way. So they always know this is where we came from. This is Mother Nature at its finest, giving life. Yeah. And there are many ways that it happens. And it was tough the last time for me.

Luke Storey: [02:09:51] Yeah, that's interesting because I would think each time it just would get easier and easier, and it doesn't work like that.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:09:58] Sometimes it does work like that, actually. Joshua was so much easier than Olivia because the first can tend to be the longest, and then the third they always call a toss-up. But Annabel was born in a half an hour, and they're like, you almost didn't make any sounds. And I wouldn't call it easy, but some people call these orgasmic bursts.

I'm like, who's having an orgasm during birth? Good for you if you did. Amazing. That would be my version. It was like the most peaceful birth. She came out. There wasn't a drop of blood in the water. It was warm water. It was so beautiful. Then I had Amelia in the water, and that was tough. They're all different. You never know what you're going to have.

But I think if a mom does want to welcome her children, she really needs to set the stage for herself by having her children have some understanding of the occurrences that could happen. Because if your kids are in a panic, that might not be the best thing for you. Or you might need somebody to say, ah. So the kids need to know how to leave the room if they need and feel like they can.

Luke Storey: [02:11:11] Right. They're not under a sense of obligation to hold space for you.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:11:16] Yeah. Be there if you want. If it gets a little scary for you or if the sounds sound like too much, just know that you can leave.

Luke Storey: [02:11:25] Wow. Damn, you're a trip.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:11:29] It's so interesting to me. It feels so simple. But then again, I've been doing it for so long. It's just being honest with each other.

Luke Storey: [02:11:37] Yeah, I love it.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:11:38] Utilizing this throat chakra that we have. I love it.

Luke Storey: [02:11:41] You're the best.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:11:42] I love you. I love Alyson. I love you together. I love you separately. I love all of our time together. It's an honor to do this.

Luke Storey: [02:11:53] Yeah, likewise. Yeah, I'm glad we waited because I remember I asked you maybe a year ago or something, and you were getting some social media heat.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:12:02] Oh, my God.

Luke Storey: [02:12:02] And you were like, ah, this might be a little too controversial. And I get it. No problem. We'll wait till the dust clears a little bit and people have settled down. So tell us about your podcast.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:12:15] I have a podcast called The Bathroom Chronicles with Peggy Rometo. Peggy is one of my best friends, and she's an intuitive expert. She actually teaches people on getting in touch with their own intuition. She definitely has inspired me in that way, and I think she's been one of those friends that has held my hand as I get deeply rooted in myself and my own understandings of the world. We do it in the bathroom because if ladies are at a dinner together and they go to the bathroom, they come back, and they're updated, just so you guys know.

Luke Storey: [02:12:51] I've observed that to be true.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:12:53] The ladies are updated. And the bathroom is its own portal. You could take a riff on all these things, but it's really true. You let shit go, you process, you laugh together, you cry together. It's just historically been the place where women go and connect. And if you're a parent, you go and you take a deep breath, or you take a little extra time because you need it. There's so many stigmas about the bathroom, and I think it's one of the most sacred places. And you look in the mirror, and maybe you look at your own eyes and you get curious about your own self. So yeah, that's why we decided to do a podcast in the bathroom.

Luke Storey: [02:13:37] And you're enjoying it so far?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:13:38] I love it. I do not like having to do all the things outside of just talking. I love going and sitting with my friends and people I love and talking, and the rest like, ah.

Luke Storey: [02:13:52] I know, I know. Well, I'm glad you I'm glad you stuck with it. I mean, in the years, I've been doing this seven years or whatever it's been, so many of my friends were like, I'm going to start a podcast. And I'm like, hey, good for you. I encourage you to do so. But just know that the-- it's like when you're a musician. All of the songwriting, and recording, and rehearsing, and waiting around, and all the things.

The time you actually spend on stage doing the thing is a small portion of all the work that goes into it. And I'm like, there's a lot that goes into-- I mean, if you want to scale a podcast and make it a thing and it's not just like a total just for fun hobby. But if you want to make it a thing, man, there's a lot that goes into it.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:14:32] Way more than you would expect.

Luke Storey: [02:14:35] Oh my God. Yeah. I always tell people, if it's going to be part of-- and I don't know what your business aspirations are with it, but I'm like, the tipping point is when you can get the podcast generating enough revenue where it at least pays for its expenses of production to get you as the host as far out of production as you can be because that's what started to burn me out in the beginning.

It's just like, any of it that's not the conversation started to become a drag really fast. And so I figured out, okay, I have to make money with this thing somehow so I can hire other people to do every single thing except the part that we're doing right now, which is the part that I'm best suited for anyway.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:15:16] Well, it's a different brain set. There are times in my life where I've done this, I've set up, I've structured everything, and that I've thrived in that space. And it's hard to cross over and do both. It's almost compartmentalizing it, and you just accomplish so much more.

Luke Storey: [02:15:36] You're so right. Yeah, it's funny. I had the same experience because I used to work as a fashion stylist for ages, and I enjoy being behind the camera. And just the logistics part of it. And there was some creativity in that too, but the logistics part of it is a totally different mind than the intuitive, empathy feeling part of having a conversation, or creating a piece of art, or performing in some way, or something. It really is a different thing, and it's very hard to switch back and forth for me.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:16:08] Yeah, it's very different. Well, the podcast right now, for me, is like the violin. You stick to it. You see how you feel. All I know is when I'm there with Peggy doing the podcast, I'm there with my whole heart, and we have a great time, and we cry, and we laugh. I think this is a unique podcast for you in that we're doing a lot of get to know. This, for me, on the podcast is a lot of this. I love this stuff because once we get to know anybody's story, we really realize that we're not alone. There's really no hierarchy. We're all figuring shit out. And we've all screwed up a million times over if we're being honest. And I just love that.

Luke Storey: [02:16:53] Yeah, I do too. I can't wait to come on. I think we have a recording booked at some point here in the future.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:16:59] I think in a week.

Luke Storey: [02:16:59] Is it? Cool. Yeah, I'm excited because I've only listened to it. I haven't watched-- you guys shoot video of it?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:17:06] Yeah, we do.

Luke Storey: [02:17:06] Yeah. I haven't seen the video, so I'm like, I don't want to even know what the set up is. I'm just going to want to walk in and be surprised.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:17:13] Oh, can I tell you one secret?

Luke Storey: [02:17:14] Okay.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:17:16] My favorite thing is that we don't have a table. We have a sink. So there's something about sitting across the sink that just doesn't happen too often that is just fun.

Luke Storey: [02:17:25] That's cool. Yeah, I love it. And what else do you have going on? Now, I mean, obviously, you have your hands full with being a mother, but you mentioned getting a little more help with that and taking your life back. I know when you came by the other day and you were a little under the weather, you're like, oh, my God, I haven't done anything for myself in months or years. And I was like, yo, come over. I got you some methylene blue, put you on the BioCharger, did some ozone, and you're just like, I haven't done this forever. I'm like, what? I feel spoiled now because I'm doing this every day.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:17:55] You're such a good friend for me. I came over. I was not feeling well, and I got the Luke and Alyson treatment. So I came, I sat down. You literally brought over all these supplements. You walked me through each thing. And I'm really educated in this stuff. I mean, that was my job at one point. But I actually learned even more, or there were intuitive things. I was in a meditation, and it was like, you need fulvic acid. I'm like, fulvic acid? Okay. And you brought me a product that had it in it.

Luke Storey: [02:18:30] Manna. Yeah.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:18:31] Yeah. The Manna, shilajit, and the way that you sat with me, and you looked at me, and you explained to me everything, and then you took me to your healing room with all these devices. Game-changing devices, by the way. BioCharger is amazing.

Luke Storey: [02:18:50] Yeah, I loved that you love that so much because it's hard to explain to people. And some people sit with it, and they're like, eh. Okay. Whatever. And some people like you are like, holy shit, what is this thing? I'm like, yes, finally.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:19:03] Wait, some people go in and they're not sure that it's doing something?

Luke Storey: [02:19:06] Some people are less sensitive to energy, I would say, or less aware of their sensitivity.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:19:12] That's like in your face to me. It was just so powerful. And I called James. I was like, I know what it's like to be taken care of now. I was like, oh my gosh. And then Alyson came in. You guys are yin yang. And she came in with the incense, and the feather, and the thing, and I was just like. It was amazing. I was in heaven. Thank you.

Luke Storey: [02:19:38] You're moving into receiving mode now. It's time.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:19:44] I like receiving. I also have other things happening right now.

Luke Storey: [02:19:47] Yeah. What else do you have going on now that you're moving into another phase in your life?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:19:53] Well, I got the podcast. I think that we would love to do fun things like live events or something in the future and just keep connection happening. Really, that's what that one's about for me. And I think Peggy as well. And then I'm starting a really cool business, which I'm having so much fun with. That has to do with the beauty industry, and I'll share more on that later.

But for me, it's really about when you're capturing somebody in the mirror, somebody young for the first time. Is it about altering your appearance right away, or is it something else? And it's about capturing that moment where we're deciding how we feel when we first look in the mirror. And I have a few other things happening, but I got to pace myself because I was such a worker bee before I had kids. Yeah, I'm definitely going to need to pace myself.

Luke Storey: [02:20:54] Right on. Well, I'm excited for you.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:20:56] Thank you.

Luke Storey: [02:20:56] Yeah, I'm pumped. Anytime you want to come over and get rejuvenated, I tell all my friends here that all the time, like, come over anytime, and they think I'm probably just saying that, but I love that. Especially when someone-- it's just the inner healer. I don't call myself a healer. I probably should because that's really what I am.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:21:14] That's what you did for me.

Luke Storey: [02:21:16] But it's something I enjoy, being of service in that way. It's really fun to take someone who is depleted in whatever way and just apply some inputs and introduce them to some tools. I get a huge satisfaction in the before and after effect. I'll be looking at you like, how do you feel? How do you feel? And I love when it works. And someone's like, damn, you know what? I do feel better. I just love that.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:21:43] Oh, yeah. It really took the edge off and started this unraveling for me, but also just feeling cared for. That was really big. Yeah.

Luke Storey: [02:21:55] Right on.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:21:55] I appreciate it.

Luke Storey: [02:21:56] I appreciate you. Well, thanks for making the time.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:21:59] Thanks for having me.

Luke Storey: [02:22:00] It's been fun. I feel like I finally got to ask you all the things that I haven't asked you when we've been together before.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:22:05] Yeah, apparently you would have not liked me in junior high.

Luke Storey: [02:22:09] Well, we might have found commonality in some ways. Yeah. Maybe not musically. But when I was a kid too, I don't think it's this way so much nowadays from what I observe in terms of you can like different types of music now, I think, as a young person, and that's acceptable. Not that you don't have your little tribal clans and stuff, but in my day, in junior high and high school, if you were into heavy metal and punk rock, you wouldn't be caught dead listening to any other kind of music or hanging out with any kids that didn't just like that.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:22:47] That's true.

Luke Storey: [02:22:48] It would seem to be much more siloed than it is now.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:22:53] I know. Back in the day, it was more compartmentalized.

Luke Storey: [02:22:56] Is that true, or is that just my perception?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:22:58] It absolutely was.

Luke Storey: [02:23:00] You were a rocker, or you were a jock. There was not a lot of intermingling.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:23:04] Well, we can watch Clueless and understand how back in the day used to work.  Well, not really, but really. I have one more thing I didn't share with you because you were going into my life and you asked me about my siblings and all that. When I was in my mid-20s, I found out, 26, I think, that I have two other sisters.

Luke Storey: [02:23:30] Wow.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:23:31] So my biological father, who I have a good relationship with now and an appreciation for, had two daughters, and I've met one of them.

Luke Storey: [02:23:43] Wow. Wow. How interesting.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:23:47] I know. Isn't that wild? Oh, by the way, you have siblings.

Luke Storey: [02:23:51] And how old were when you about learned of this?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:23:53] 26, 27. 27, I think.

Luke Storey: [02:23:56] Wow.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:23:58] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [02:23:59] That's so interesting.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:24:00] Right?

Luke Storey: [02:24:02] Yeah. And why have you only met one and not the other?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:24:06] So he flies private planes, and he flew one into LA and brought her and not the other one.

Luke Storey: [02:24:17] Oh, okay.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:24:19] That's it. Yeah.

Luke Storey: [02:24:20] Wow. And what was that like for you? Was there an arc of, I don't know if betrayal is the right word, but did you have to reconcile that being withheld from you or any deception about that?

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:24:38] No, I was very curious, and I was like, oh, what's my capacity to build these new relationships? I felt like I was a little bit at capacity. It's a tender unfolding, probably for them too, because they've known about me.

Luke Storey: [02:24:54] Oh, wow.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:24:56] So how about you've had an older sister that is not in your life and she hasn't been in your life. There's got to be some level of like--

Luke Storey: [02:25:07] Yeah. Well, see, there you go. You immediately went to, I wonder what their experience is like.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:25:14] Oh.

Luke Storey: [02:25:15] No, not in a bad way.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:25:17] But that's what I do in general.

Luke Storey: [02:25:18] It's a compliment.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:25:19] And I think that compassion is really important. Really, we can diffuse almost anything by doing that.

Luke Storey: [02:25:27] Yeah, totally.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:25:28] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [02:25:28] That's the thing too as you get older and hopefully wiser. I mean, this is definitely true when you think about your parents and things they did that we perceived to be mistakes, or things that hurt us, or whatever. As you get older, you realize your parents didn't know what the fuck they were doing, just like you don't. You know what I'm saying? My parents were 27 when they had me. I mean, God forbid I would have had any kids when I was 27. What their life would have been like. It would have been--

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:25:59] There are two parts to this.

Luke Storey: [02:26:00] Horrific. I think it's a great gift and skill to be able to put yourself in other people's shoes and imagine what their experience has been like. Not to condone bad behavior or forgive people that maybe don't deserve a depth of forgiving and things like that, but I mean, just in a general way, it's a really valuable skill to have.

And helps one to have diplomacy and just understanding that you can't always blame everyone else because every single person, as bad as their doing, is literally doing the very best they can. And no one wakes up in the morning and is like, all right, how can I be the shittiest person today and have the least success in everything I do? Everyone is just surviving and doing their best. And sometimes their best is not great.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:26:53] Not everybody's surviving.

Luke Storey: [02:26:55] Well, I mean, we're all making decisions that we think--

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:26:58] I've been in survival mode, and I know what that was. You know what I mean? So yes, there is the ability to thrive. And I want to say that for anybody that is surviving, but I love that we're fitting this at the very end because we have two things. When we're dealing with ourselves and when we're dealing with our kids. And it's like you can have compassion, and you can look at it from another perspective, and that helps you have compassion.

And I think forgiveness can be a natural thing that occurs after that as opposed to a thing that we force ourselves to do. But then the other part is to hold the hand of the child, or the feeling, or the emotion that may be somewhere held in the body and give that space. And that's a completely different thing to do. So you can do both simultaneously.

Luke Storey: [02:27:47] Yes, ma'am. I love it.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:27:49] Yeah. Okay. Thanks for having me.

Luke Storey: [02:27:52] Thanks for coming by. This has been really fun.

 Kimberly Van Der Beek: [02:27:54] Yeah. Cool.


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