Can our children teach us valuable life lessons? How can we guide our children into their authentic selves simply by observing their behavior? Is this authenticity synonymous with their ‘light’?

In this podcast episode, Veronica Cisneros speaks with Shelley Buck and Kathy Curtis about the greatest life lesson a mom can learn from her child.

Meet Shelley Buck and Kathy Curtis

Shelley Buck was born into a creative family in the Midwest and moved to California after college to follow her dream of working for Disney. It was there she met and fell in love with her husband, Chris, who worked in animation. After they married and had their first child, Ryder, she stayed home to be a full-time mom to him and the two brothers who followed.

She is a storyteller and artist, which she expresses through her original jewelry at ShelRae Designs. When Ryder was diagnosed with cancer and the journey went to unimaginable places, she poured her heart into writing their story. Her lessons in parenting through these tribulations, combined with the power of Ryder’s larger-than-life spirit, offer profound messages for living in the light.

Kathy Curtis moved into Shelley’s neighborhood when they were both 12 years old and in an instant, the lifelong friendship took root. She has worked as a healing artist and writer since 1991. Her programs support the transformation of grief, illness, and emotional barriers through creative expression. She is the author of Invisible Ink, a memoir about her own journey through grief. The unique writing process that brought her so much healing has since become a successful program, online and at various venues in the Midwest.

Kathy’s intimate connection to the Buck family, combined with her writing and healing background, made her the perfect person to partner with Shelley on the creation of this book.

Visit the website.

In This Podcast


  • Daily reminders
  • Is light synonymous with being unapologetic?
  • Shelley and Kathy’s advice to parents regarding allowing their children to flourish

Daily reminders

Shelley talks about how her son Ryder taught her how to be calmer with his own calm presence.

I was reminded by Ryder on a daily basis that I needed to be real, calm down, make room for him to be who he was. (Shelley Buck)

Shelley was caught between wanting to keep Ryder at home and “tether him down” for the sake of his health and his recovery, however she knew that she had to let him enjoy his freedom while he was a young man. She was trying to do everything she could, without really being able to do anything for him because that was his work, to lead his own life.

Is light synonymous with being unapologetic?

Ryder demanded that he do everything his own way, go through cancer his own way, take risks … I really believe Ryder helped himself to heal because he demanded that his journey through cancer never happened without him being fully embodied and in it in his own way. (Kathy Curtis)

Kathy discusses that your energy and your feelings about life are a factor in your light, feeling unapologetic, and they guide you in living authentically and shining. His light and lifeforce were given from a place of love.

Shelley and Kathy’s advice to parents regarding allowing their children to flourish

Shelley says to listen and watch them because they will lead you and tell you where they want to go and who they want to be. Parents need to get their own expectations for their children out of the way and encourage what lights them up.

Kathy goes on from Shelley’s point that when parents watch and take notice of their children, they can help to guide them in their decision making when their children are ever uncertain about which direction to move into.

Books mentioned in this episode

Useful links:

Meet Veronica Cisneros

Veronica Cisneros | Empowered And Unapologetic PodcastI’m a licensed therapist and women walk into my office every day stressed and disconnected. As a mom of three daughters, I want my girls to know who they are and feel confident about their future. I can’t think of a better way to help other women than by demonstrating an empowered and unapologetic life.

So I started  Empowered and Unapologetic to be a safe space for women to be vulnerable and change their lives for the better before she ever needs to see a therapist.

Whether you listen to the podcast, join the free Facebook communityjoin the VIP community, or attend our annual retreat,  you’re in the right place. Let’s do this together!

Thanks for listening!

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Empowered and Unapologetic is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you thrive, imperfectly. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom Podcast, Imperfect Thriving, or Beta Male Revolution, go to