Act 2: You're On!

The Intersection of Style, Psychology and Spirituality with Maria DiLorenzo

February 07, 2022 Kate, Rhonda & Linda Season 1 Episode 26
Act 2: You're On!
The Intersection of Style, Psychology and Spirituality with Maria DiLorenzo
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to a beautiful conversation with the particularly gifted orator and generous spirit, 

Maria DiLorenzo. Maria owns MFD style, a Boston based wardrobe consulting business. She lends her expertise in the intersection of style, psychology and spirituality. Maria's intuitive approach supports clients to find their authentic signature style, and use it to leverage more self loving beliefs. 


In this conversation, you’ll learn of Maria’s profound approach to style and wardrobe consultation. Maria shares her own journey and personal story of how we discovered a love for fashion while window-shopping with her mother. Maria also learned the hard but seminal lesson of spirituality and style as she dressed for her father’s funeral. Join us for this delightful conversation and hear about the fun adventure Kate had when she welcomed Maria into her closet.

Some of the highlights you’ll hear will include:

“A huge piece of my work is building that trust and having people feel more at ease and sort of just just Yeah, more accustomed to the experience as opposed to feeling, you know, nervous or anxious.”

“My mom really ignited something in me about the appreciation and sort of the aesthetic of fashion that was never about necessarily consuming or purchasing or having it - it was just about appreciating it for its own beauty. And, I think that was also something that got ignited for me when I started.”

On discovering the intersection of style, psychology and spirituality at her father’s funeral:

“I think I just got that little touch of grace, like you can do this, you can show up and do this really hard thing. And that wardrobe choice which sounds so silly in such a simple thing. It's like the lightbulb went off for me that I could not only could wardrobe choices, help me do this hard thing, but it made me connect with my own self value, and worth and love.”

“...now you're exposing someone to their body, right, and sort of how their relationship is with their body and their interpretation. And in that experience…whether it's internal, it's been external that has been imprinted on them. All the messages come out. And those experiences about how I look,  how I feel in this, what people say about me i -  there's so much that's wrapped up in our wardrobe choices and how we feel about our bodies and how we interpret that back out to the world.”

“Instead of saying…I have these crow's feet on my eyes, I really should get Botox. Instead saying, your eyes sparkle, you have the most beautiful blue, they look like the ocean. Being able to help reframe how people interpret their bodies. And I'm not here to feed a bunch of BS. It's about helping them really see what I see, and reinterpret that information in a way that they might take it in.”

You can find more information about Maria at:
Website : https://www.mfdstyle.com/

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Rhonda: Welcome to Act 2:

You're On. Join Us Weekly at our studio roundtable as Rhonda

Kate:

Kate

Linda:

and Linda invite spectacular guests to weigh in on staying sexy, vibrant and healthy.

Rhonda:

Launch your next great act with authenticity and purpose.

Kate:

Summon your courage superstar and step into the limelight. So grab a coffee

Rhonda:

or a martini,

Kate:

and let's set the stage for a grand entrance. It's Act Two. You're on. Greetings, friends and welcome I am Kate Leavey and I have the great pleasure of podcasting with these two amazing women.

Linda:

And I'm Linda Tighe

Rhonda:

I am Rhonda Garvin Conaway. And we are also joined by our very talented producer Cathy Carswell

Kate:

Friends, I am thrilled to talk to stylist Maria de Lorenzo today of MFD style. I knew Maria many years ago from our work together at Boston College. She was an infant at the time, but I can honestly say even back then, that I have always, always admired her style. She's just a person who looks so put together and so appealing. And she truly is. Maria is one of those people who when you mentioned her name, people say, Oh, I love Maria. And you do she is genuine, 100% authentic, and one of the kindest people you'll ever meet. So, let me ask our listeners and our viewers, when you look into your closet, does it excite you, depress you, or overwhelm you? Do you have a signature style? Do you know and realize how much your clothing reveals about the way you feel about yourself? Well, I had the good fortune to welcome Maria into my closet. And I have to say, I loved every minute, every second of it. I learned a ton, about my own style, but I also learned how to sift through and eliminate clutter and to weed out and release what clothing was not serving me. And it was not intimidating at all. I know Maria, so I knew that she would be full of wisdom and love. But I don't know you welcome someone into your closet. It's It feels very intimate, but it was instantaneously. Fun. Interesting, and I learned a ton. So, let me tell you about our guest, Maria de Lorenzo owns MFD style, a Boston based wardrobe consulting business, where she lends her expertise in the intersection of style psychology and spirituality. Maria's intuitive approach supports clients to find their authentic signature style, and use it to leverage more self loving beliefs. Welcome, Maria.

Maria:

What an honor. Ladies, thank you for having me,

Kate:

We are delighted that you are here. And I will tell you, my closet is still working for me.

Maria:

Kate, you did so well.

Kate:

It was an amazing experience. We'll get to that more as we get into the podcast. But I was very grateful. And I - for those of you who can't see me - I'm wearing a wonderful little outfit, I would never have put together these three different things that I owned. And I think I look fabulous.

Rhonda:

She looks amazing!

Kate:

Just take my word for it. But there were things that are already in my closet. When you work with Maria, it's not like you know, she's looking for you to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe. That's certainly an option. And she can take you on that search. But she's looking to - you can talk more to this Maria - looking to see what you have. And in just putting combinations that you'd never would have thought to put together. And that was g for me.

Maria:

Oh, it's so such a pleasure to hear you say that Kate, because I really feel like my superpower in the world is reimagining wardrobes; it's being able to sort of see them with a new set of eyes. And I like to say like breathe new life into them. Because, we all have that sort of feeling of stagnation, sometimes with our clothes. And so sometimes having that fresh perspective to come in and sort of work my magic, if you will, feels really good. And I think that's the really important part of not necessarily purchasing more, but also acquiring and looking at your own closet - shopping your closet, you hear that phrase a lot, I'm sure. And doing that in a way that feels like still you, right, and still connected to the things that you already own. So

Kate:

Yeah, that's it. Yeah. And I think we organize our closets in different ways. I, you know, go through every now and again and take things out that I think aren't serving me. But then I was hanging on to things that I felt like, well, they cost me a lot of money when I bought them and they served me well during this part of my career. And it was really helpful to have someone say, does it excite you? How do you feel about it? Or for me to say, I have no idea. Can you just tell me? Should I keep this but your logic was very straightforward, but it was very encouraging. I really - I've loved the whole process.

Maria:

So I'm so happy to hear you say that and I think I you really touched on something that I think is really important too when people think about wardrobe consulting or how Someone actually come into their home which you nailed it, it feels like a very intimate experience. And it is because coming into not only your home, but in usually someone's bedroom, or then they're off, you know, of course, their closet, if they maybe have a separate space, or it might just be connected right there. But to have somebody walk in and not necessarily know how that experience will go, you get to share and show parts of your kind of inner self that not everybody gets to see. So, I so appreciate what you said about sort of that very normal and human response. And I think sometimes an obstacle to when people think about working with a stylist, about just the realness of kind of exposing yourself that way. And that vulnerability. And obviously, a huge piece of my work is building that trust and having people feel more at ease and sort of just just Yeah, more accustomed to the experience as opposed to feeling, you know, nervous or anxious about an

Kate:

And, then trying on clothing you haven't tried on for a while. And yeah, you are into the room and you say I don't know, I feel like this is too. It's too tight. And then say you would say no, I don't know if that one works, or whatever gentle way you say it. But often, I got the Are you kidding me? Show off those curves a- aor some sort of encouraging thing. And I thought I will keep this and I'm actually going to wear this . So, you have a very gentle way. But you're also wise and y won't give away too many tricks of your trade. But, I loved that you showed me how to hang sweaters so that they didn't get those weird pucker marks. It was a revelation. So thank you.

Maria:

Oh, my pleasure. I've lots of tricks like that up my sleeve.

Linda:

Kate shared it with us. Yeah, we all now have it. I love it. So good.

Kate:

I am curious, because I knew you from from our professional career in higher ed. But when did fashion get into your blood?

Maria:

Yeah, it's so funny, because I think for anybody that maybe has worked in education, it's no big trade secret that you're not paid a whole lot in that experience. And so really, I stepped into wardrobe and fashion as a side hustle a gig to help me earn extra money, you know, so retail was like a really easy place to earn some extra money, flexible hours, right and not have to really feel like I had to learn a whole new skill. And so it started really from that very simple, logical place, practical place where I needed to have that additional income. And it grew to be this...it ignited a fire on that right side of my brain that was like the creative: oh my gosh, this is fun. This is different. You get to play with color, and texture and fabric and people and, and it just kind of got to be this thing that I really love to do even in my spare time. And so it grew out of, again, this practical experience, but then really helped me connect a real love for me. And I think wardrobe and style had always been something really fun. I'll tell you a quick little fun story when I was growing up. I grew up in Texas, I don't know if you I don't think I have a southern accent. But I can occasionally slip into the drawl. So if y'all jumps out from time to time, that's why. But I grew up in Texas, and we were a very middle class family. But I will say my mom was very conscious and very frugal and really responsible about our money. And so we were not one to necessarily buy and have all the special unique things that were you know, out in new. So she and I would spend quality time together and she would call it let's go wandering. And we would go to shops or boutiques or little places and just look look at displays merchandising the way stores sort of put out their clothing. And she really ignited something in me about the appreciation and sort of the aesthetic of fashion that was never about necessarily consuming or purchasing or having it - it was just about appreciating it for its own beauty. And, I think that was also something that got ignited for me when I started. You know, in retail, I worked with major retailers like anthropology and Nordstrom and I've worked for small women's boutiques and so I've had a lot of different experience kind of in that space. But it was always just for the fun of it that really always started from that space

Kate:

And was with your mom or was it with your experiences working at these stores that you realized how wardrobe choices can impact how a person feels?

Maria:

Actually that's funny, it was something that evolved over time for me and really I can now that I can look back in hindsight is always a really A beautiful thing to be able to utilize. But it really I can point it back to a very specific time in my life. And it's now going to be about almost 12 years ago that my dad died. And as for anyone who has lost a significant person in their life, most especially a parent, there's a really transformative experience that you go through that I, I won't try to parallel it to anyone else's, because it was my own. But I will say, in the experience of my dad, we had a memorial service for him. And I remember packing for that service. And you know, the traditional wear is a black dress or suit or you know, something very, that's just going to kind of commemorate this loss and significant grief, and all of these things, which, again, all normal. I think it was, it's part of the norm to be able to kind of default to wearing black, but I tell you, I have this significant uprising in me about I cannot wear black. For me, it triggered something about wanting to show up in a way that I could be supported, and feel confident, doing this really hard thing that having to show up and, you know, be present at a memorial where, you know, people are gracious and are expressing their sympathy and are trying to be present to you. But you're still processing, right? Like there's so much happening. I can remember thinking I can't go into this experience. With the Association for me with wearing black was about darkness and being insular and not being connected. And, and so, again, no offense to feet, people who feel connected to wearing black on those days, but for me, it just wasn't going to work. So I remember selecting this dress, and looking at myself in the mirror that morning as I was getting ready. And we were going to go to the church and looking at myself thinking, okay, I can do this, right I can, I can show up. And not only can I show up, but I'm really proud of myself like that sense of like self worth and love. I don't, you can only describe it coming from a place beyond oneself. Because I think I just got that little touch of grace, like you can do this, you can show up and do this really hard thing. And that wardrobe choice which sounds so silly in such a simple thing. It's like the lightbulb went off for me that I could not only could wardrobe choices, help me do this hard thing, but it made me connect with my own self value, and worth and love. And I think that's really been it ever since. And

Rhonda:

that is such a beautiful story.

Linda:

It really it really really is. You know, I used to do makeup too used to be a makeup artist for a while and, and I totally agree with you. I think what you wear is how you feel about yourself inside and you feel you're wearing something that you feel really good about you feel powerful, you feel sexy, you feel happy, you feel whatever it is, and I know doing makeup too. And I don't know if you find this, it's I found it very fascinating that every woman I put makeup on no matter how beautiful, whatever she looked like, had

all these things like:

I'm not very pretty, I just Oh with my skin and my eyebrows, or whatever it was, we as women in particular, have such issues about our body and how we look and, and and how we're supposed to dress. And so I wonder if you have noticed anything like that, like, what's your experience working with women with coding is, do you find any of those things come out in women?

Maria:

Linda, like, it's probably 99% of the time, right? That there's, it's really an important, and this is where, you know, to harken back to that sort of being present in this intimate space. And not only your intimate space, but now you're exposing someone to their body, right, and sort of how their relationship is with their body and their interpretation. And in that experience, I hear all the messages, whether it's internal, it's been external that has been imprinted on them. It's, you know, all the messages come out. And those experiences about how I look how I say how I feel in this, what people say about me in this right, like there's so much that's wrapped up in our wardrobe choices and how we feel about our bodies and how we interpret that back out to the world. So yeah, I think that is really normal. It's actually a really fragile part of the work that I do. Because I have to be really careful in that space. Because many times depending on the circumstance, you know, that conversation might lend itself to a more professional, maybe mental health, you know, a psychotherapist, right, someone that really needs to be kind of working with within this concept with them. And I'm not any of those things, but I have deep, profound respect for it. And also, I think I have a pretty good boundary for where I can support someone in that space and where it's beyond me, right, and being able to then refer accordingly. But it is a huge part of it. And I think I hope in some ways, this conversation will help normalize some of that for specifically women, because we all do it, we all have it. And so part of my work is about helping people flip the switch and that talk, like, what is that message that you're saying to yourself? And what would it look like feel like if instead of saying, oh, gosh, yeah, I mean, I have these crows, you know, crow's feet on my eyes, I really should get Botox. Instead saying, your eyes sparkle, you have the most beautiful blue, they look like the ocean, right, like being able to kind of help reframe how people interpret their bodies. And I'm not here to feed a bunch of BS, it's about helping them really see what I see, and reinterpret that information in a way that they might take it in.

Linda:

It's amazing, I love what you do. And I love your approach to it. And I love that, you know, taking, as Kate was saying, taking the wardrobe that you already have, and helping you feel beautiful in it, because we do all get kind of tired of it, or we see something else. And I think - I know I look at my closet all the time ago. So boring. I have I get so boring. And, you know, it's all like, feels like it's the same and but it's it's helping someone put it together in a different way and seeing it in a different light is is really exciting. And, and is a it's sounds, you know, on paper, like it's just this sort of, you know, thing where you just pick out different things. But it's a spiritual, it's a spiritual experience. But there is no other way to describe it as a spiritual experience. Because it does absolutely help you feel confident and different about who you are and how you look. And it's it's really important work. It's really important and fun. What a fun way to do it.

Maria:

It really is fun. Yeah, it really is. I mean, at the end of the day, I always have to sit back in that space and be like, This is really fun. Yeah. And to help other women see how it can be fun and how they can also be reinvigorated by their wardrobe in a way that can bring them some joy. I think that's, you know, that's kind of everything right now when everything feels hard and potentially not joyful.

Rhonda:

So, Maria, you've touched upon this in the conversation already, but I'm hoping you might expand on these ideas. Because to your point, we all pretty much every day except in lockdown got dressed, right? Some days, I stayed in my pajamas, but now I'm putting clothes on again. And it feels like a rudimentary habit that we all engage in. But there are some very, I would say deep rooted, thoughtful and intentional values that you use to guide you and you intersect the idea of psychology, spirituality that Linda mentioned, and style, that they all come together in your work. Can you say more about those three driving forces in doing what you do?

Maria:

Yeah, this, this is really everything. And it's such at the core of the business I do. And it's funny because I, when I talk with clients, I say to them, you know it, it's about the clothes, but it's not about the clothes, right. And so, in that experience, I'm helping them uncover some of what we've already talked about around belief, self beliefs around self worth, and value and sort of how that gets manifested through the choices that they're making, not just in their wardrobe, but it usually it sort of infiltrates and other aspects of their life that I can often see. But having this connection for me between style spirituality and psychology, it's like my my three great loves of my life. It's my Holy Trinity, if you will, because honestly, I I have found so much interest, my educational background, I should begin with that as saying is in psychology and spirituality and so have that sort of formational component of this, but it's beyond the sort of academic study for me, it was always about the interpretation of that and how that can really help connect me to other people. And so my skills in both the spiritual space and in the psychology space I think they're just so integral to the work that I'm doing. And many people might not even actually see it or interpret it that way, or see that I'm making the the connection between the three. But it's all in my approach. And it's all in the way that I appreciate Kate, what you said about I really am really intentional about the words that I use with people, and be very thoughtful and aware of how that might get interpreted right through their own communication style and their own brain and processes. And being very supportive, but not in authentic. Because nobody wants a stylus to come in and sugarcoat and sweet talk you, they want you to speak truth. But in speaking truth, that also comes the responsibility of doing it in a way that's loving and compassionate. And so part of this dance between style psychology and spirituality, it's like I am constantly jumping in and out of it. And it's the way that I know best to serve and be of service to the world. And I really feel like that's my sweet spot. And when you hire me as a stylist, you may not necessarily get all that right away, because I think so many people are focused on, you know, the physical, tangible aspects of the work, right, the actual clothes and the editing process or the shopping, right, like, those are all important key aspects of my work. But it's always in the sort of the back end, I had a client, tell me once, which I really value this, she said, Maria is this interesting mix of like a stylist, and a spiritual guru, like all kind of all wrapped up. And I just laughed, and I was so grateful for the description. Because I don't really think of myself, I don't come in with this sort of, you know, arrogance about being this pseudo. I don't know, someone that knows better, or that has all this experience, or that is even judgmental about how somebody is going to show up.

Rhonda:

This is what I'm hearing from you. I don't hear you saying, "This is what we should be doing and you should and the shirt and the shirt." And I often get that in a magazine article or in a soundbite on TV. But this is not at all where you're coming from that judgment free, authentic, human to human approach about how are you expressing yourself, because I'm certain when you shared that story about your the passing of your dad, if someone had said, well, Maria, you should wear this, it would have landed flat, it's all about how people are expressing themselves. And you open the door to that kind of safe setting, which is truly a gift, as you said, and a calling that you recognize that thank you,

Kate:

And who knew that fashion. And closet design was really about this, I guess I never thought about it. I always appreciate people who have, you know, that I don't know, inherent fashion, I feel like you do have a wonderful sense of fashion. Not that mine's terrible, but it's just not something that I've really thought about. But embedded in our experience. One, I never would have thought about having a stylist into my closet. And I'll tell you the aftermath, I feel great every day, I walk into my closet, because I'm a fairly organized person. But this makes so much sense to me. And we edit it down. And the whole experience has been wonderful. And I feel like I'm a person very committed to speaking positively about myself and others. But we definitely see hear things that impact us. And even if we are committed to saying positive things about ourselves, that we put on an outfit anything I don't know, I think I'm too old for this. There's something like, I don't know, some story or something that's that's been haunting you. And it's wonderful to have somebody who's actually an expert say, I don't know, well, let's give that another look and see if you teamed it up with this. It's it was a very encouraging experience in itself. But the aftermath has been just it makes every single day starts a little bit better because of it. And also, I didn't feel like it broke my pocketbook. Like I probably would have thought, oh, gosh, I could never afford something like that. And it actually was very affordable. And I am grateful every single day.

Maria:

Well, and I thank you for that. Especially because and I think maybe Rhonda you said this like, habitually, we live in a society where you make a choice about getting dressed every day, right? And so it's something you're going to do. So why not use wardrobe as a tool for support in your day because we're all doing all sorts of stuff. From the moment we get dressed as we launch ourselves through the rest of the day. So why not use that opportunity? That five minutes, whatever it might take for you to select something to put on your body that can really enable you to do this life better, and to feel better in your own embodied self as you're doing your life. And I think that for me was, it's, it's a game changer, when you can make that choice for yourself. It's all about the choice. And so if you can do that, I really do think it's sort of the domino effect and a good way of what else can come out of this, because I've made that choice on for myself.

Linda:

Wow, I think you just gave us the golden nugget. I get exactly. The mic. Yeah, because we are at that time, in our show, we're shifting to the golden nuggets, you know, which really, you just gave us you gave many of them. But that was rarely very, very powerful. So I don't know if there's any other thing that tips or anything that you want to add on, for our viewers and listeners, to help us get to that beautiful place you just described, you know that empowerment in the morning of, hey, I love my closet, I'm going to pick it out, pick out what I want to wear.

Maria:

Yeah, you know, the thing I would add, and this really speaks more to, I think your fundamental mission, as you're talking to people who are on their second act, right, and really embracing this perhaps unknown experience that you're going into, so I can say, you know, as an entrepreneur and being self employed, and this is all a very brand new game for me. And for someone like me, who I'm a creative spirit, but I, I have a very disciplined way about me, right? And I have always been someone who really appreciated order and organization and sort of the linear path, right? Well, the one if I have to offer a nugget for anybody who may be in this space, and really thinking about where they're going, maybe perhaps in their second act, to me, it was this very simple little phrase that sounds maybe trite, but has been very meaningful, is that the plan is there is no plan. And for me, how that gets interpreted is that it's not necessarily about the end game. And I I don't even really know what my endgame is. And what I have really learned in my own spiritual practice is about connecting with the emotion of the end game, like how do I want to feel in this experience? How do I want to be embodied in this experience, whatever it is, whether I'm working one on one with a client, I'm on stage with Brene, brown, I'm living my best life, like I don't know where this is headed, right. And so the plan is that there is no plan helps me stay a bit detached in a healthy way, from how this is going to go. And for me, for someone who really loves the house, like, what's the next step? And how am I going to get there? Who's going to help me? And how am I going to pay for that, right, like all of the very natural ego, intellect voices that we all have to keep us alive and protected. And well, I have really had to learn to quiet that voice. And really stay connected with this concept of I can stay connected to the end, feeling an emotion, the plan and all the steps and the in between. I'm just open to see whatever delights and shows up for me. So that to me has been the most transformative lesson nugget however you want to name it in this sucks.

Linda:

I feel transformed, just hearing you say it. And I think I understand why people call you a spiritual guru. I think that very often, at least I'm learning now in this second act of my life, is that we're not very tuned in to their body, and how do we feel? And how do you feel about it? And there's where your real knowing is? You can't a lot of pages that come here the messages that inform you, number one, and number two, you can then okay, what steps do I need to take to get there?

Kate:

Thank you. And honestly, that's

Maria:

what makes what I do intuitive. Like, I really mean that when I say when I'm with a client or with someone, I don't know how it's gonna go until I'm with them. Like, because I'm picking up on that energy. I'm trying to figure out what are the messages, right, like utilizing my own physical body to try to interpret and what's the best path forward so I sometimes I can't even really anticipate how an appointment might go because I need to kind of lean into that. Well, let's just see. Let's just see how this goes.

Rhonda:

I love that and love that you're you're removing and setting aside expectation and judgment. And that's sort of funny because the next question we have for you is what comes next? We can just take it away because there's no plan

Maria:

no So ways you know that it feels good to say like, I actually don't know. And there is a great amount of relief and sort of release and that for me too, because while I have ideas, right, there's plenty of spaces where I want to have an entree, one of which being my own podcast. So this is exciting or doing more speaking engagements so that I'm, I'm connecting with more people than just on an individual level. On my one on one side, I have a real passion in I've had some corporate experience. And I really feel like that's a that's a space where self image presentation self worth, is taking a pretty big hit right now. And so I think, for those that have employer sponsored benefits, I really am eager to sort of see Could I could I, is there a lane for me there to be able to support folks that are in that corporate space. So there's that there's lots of irons in the fire. But truthfully, it's really trying to stay connected to like, I don't know what's going to show up for me next, and I'm just going to try to stay receptive and open. And I think I will know when the yes is yes. And when the no needs to be a no. So fingers crossed, say some good send me some good vibes like

Kate:

Well, Ithink you got a lot of good karma. A lot of good Juju going on. Thank you for this wise and warm conversation. For this really fascinating conversation about the intersection of style, spirituality and psychology. Thank you for the good things that you're doing for the world in your particular fashion, in your fashion. I intended that pun. No, wonderful, wonderful to talk with you. And you're such a role model. And I feel so zen right now, not only do I look fantastic because of this outfit that really helped me assemble but you are just a very encouraging positive person. And thank you for sending all that good energy out to us and out to our listeners, because we certainly need to hear it.

Linda:

Thank you so much. And just so everyone knows you can learn more about Maria de Lorenzo app on her website at m as Maria F as in French and your real name but Diaz and de Lorenzo style.com.

Rhonda:

Thank you for today and a special thank you to our producer Kathy Carswell for making this all possible fingers

Kate:

left to me to say go forth. Be brave like Maria, live well and do good because it's act two, you're on. Act Two you're on was brought to you by act 2

Rhonda:

Share our stage. You can find us at a to wyo.com and also on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Please listen and subscribe wherever you find your podcast. You can support us using Patreon. Thanks for listening