Why Kindness?

Silvia 'Punkin' Mathis

Episode Summary

This week, producer, screenwriter, and actress Silvia “Punkin” Mathis shares how she's harnessed kindness as a strategic strength to move through challenges in her life, and provides moving insight into the relationship between kindness and spirituality.

Episode Notes

Trigger Warning: This episode discusses a specific person's experiences with domestic abuse. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence please reach out to National Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 or at thehotline.org

Producer, screenwriter, actress, and vocalist Silvia "Punkin" Mathis sits down with Jaclyn to discuss kindness as a strategic strength with uplifting and inspirational stories from her life. 

This podcast is one of the many ways we live out our organization's mission to educate and inspire people to choose kindness. Visit our site kindness.org and sign up to become a part of our global community which spans more than 100 countries. It's free to join and when you do you'll be the first to get access to our latest research, tools, and even episodes of this podcast. Let's build a kinder world, together. Contact us at podcast@kindness.org or on social at @kindnessorg

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Transcript available at this link. 

Episode Transcription

Jaclyn: Trigger warning. This interview discusses this specific person's experience with domestic abuse. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse of any kind, please reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Their phone number is 1 (800) 799-7233, or you can visit their safe, secure website, thehotline.org.

Intro: Kindness. Why kindness? Because it makes a difference. For connection. Kindness can change lives. It's contagious. The sign says you'll be glad you did. Kindness is... The key to a healthier, happier world. 

Jaclyn (Intro): Why kindness? While no one answer is the same, one thing is clear. Kindness is something we all know, but do we know why it matters? I'm your host, Jaclyn Lindsey, co founder, CEO of kindness.org. And you're listening to Why Kindness

Jaclyn: Hello friends. I am so honored and excited to be here with a woman, an incredible human being, a force of nature, Silvia 'Punkin' Mathis. This woman came into my life a few years ago and it was kindred spirits, the moment we met.

She embodies kindness and all that she does. She's a remarkable actress, filmmaker, storyteller, amongst many other talents. She's an activist, a mother, a wife, and an incredible citizen in her community and our world. And I am so excited for you to hear her story on the Why Kindness? podcast. Hello, Silvia.

How are you?

Silvia: Oh my God! Jaclyn! Did you do that to everyone- warn a fell! just amazing. Amazing, amazing, amazing to be here with you. Um, I'm the one that's honored. You are. 

Jaclyn: Thank you. 

Silvia: Yeah, I just, yeah, I love you. So, thank you for having me. 

Jaclyn: Love you. Let's do it. Okay. So let's get right into it. Why kindness, Silvia?

Silvia: Wow. Um, I'm going to start with my little definition of kindness, and maybe it's not little, but it's mine.

Uh, for me, the definition of kindness is love outpictured and people go, what does outpictured mean? Well, you can feel things. But for me, kindness is, um, an, an action word, you know, and, and that for me is the decision that you make every day, multiple times a day in every aspect of your life. There is no space in my space that doesn't include the activity of kindness.

And for me, the why is, um, it's, it's, it's multi layered, it's multi tiered, but ultimately it is, I believe that love never fails. There's a scripture that says love never fails. And since for me, kindness is love outpictured, it's the only way to be. I love it. That's, that's my reality.

Jaclyn: And that's a good one. What, when you grew up, shaped your understanding of kindness or who?

Silvia: Um, okay, so we're doing this. Okay. My- I had what probably most people would consider a pretty, you know, I was raised in a Christian home. Mom and Dad, they stayed together. My grandmother was our, Um, I wouldn't call her our nanny, but she was definitely our governess.

She lived with us. So I had a very solid upbringing, but I don't remember a time in my life, and I know I've mentioned this to you before, that I, I didn't have something in me, a seed of what I thought at the time was my, they used to always say I was so sweet as a child, but now my understanding of it now is that kindness is what?

It was just in me. I don't remember not feeling a sense and a pull and a push and a nudging from, um, my intuition, the Holy Spirit, to be a kind person. That said, I was not surrounded by, um, abundance of kindness at school. And so I would find myself in the company of kids who were probably, I would say, more verbally abusive and bullying than physically abusive, but it it I would come home, I remember coming home from school and I would say to my mom, I would be so upset and I'd be crying, Mom, they're so mean and I'm so nice to everyone and, um, and she said, sweetheart, you have, um, you are kind and don't ever stop being that way.

Because one of these days you're going to discover the power and I went, I didn't know what she was talking about, but I learned, uh, along the way throughout my life that it was because I was kind. I felt like I was being hurt, even as I grew up because I was kind in situations where people were not either receptive or didn't understand the power of kind and they took my kindness for weakness and all of that.

And then I came to a place in my life, um, after I was after my twins were born. Where I realized that kindness was not my weakness, kindness was my power. And it changed everything for me. That was 33 years ago. And it changed the way I saw life, it changed the way I saw myself. Um, and it really, the understanding of that also allowed me to...

Um, tap into that strength when I then gave birth to two neurodivergent children later. And so that was a very long answer, but that is really, I didn't have like a thing that happened, you know, I don't, that, that made me choose kindness. I don't remember not having that in me. Um, but it was not an easy way to be a child because, um, kids don't, and a lot of adults didn't even get it.

You know what I mean? It was, yeah. Um, but yeah.

Jaclyn: Yeah. I mean, I think when we think about it. It is the truth that kindness is within every human, every human has the capacity and we're also needing to cultivate it like a muscle and grow it and develop it and hone it. And when I hear a story like yours, you know, I then wonder how were you able to stay true to that in the face of bullying and adversity?

What was it in you that allowed you to keep it?

Silvia: I think honestly, it was my foundation, my spiritual foundation. Um, I, uh, became a Christian when I was nine. You know, by the time I was 12, I was directing the choir and singing solos and teaching Sunday school. So for me, that foundation of love and the love of God, um, and the, what stuck with me was that God's love is unconditional.

So someone else's behavior didn't have anything to do with my response. Even as a child, I knew that it wasn't always easy. And sometimes I'll go away and cry later, but it was just, I always could know. I had a sense that, um, the agape love of God is not based. Your response to people is not based on their reaction to their response to you.

And it wasn't easy. And I don't know, other than the fact that I just so wanted to. be a kind person. I just so wanted to be that. And, and for, and I, and, but what happened, I will tell you this too, Jaclyn, what happened was the kindness then somewhere in my teen years. Turned into perfectionism, which was not awesome, right?

So I started to think that if I could be perfect, if I could look perfect and get perfect grades and be the perfect child or daughter or friend or whatever that that would then initiate trigger Um, um, enact kindness back to me or acceptance back to me or validation back to me. So that's, it kind of got skewed, right?

It sort of became something else. Um, and as I said, it was later after, I think after my, yeah, maybe it's just having babies that did this for me, but after having my twin, it was, and, and I mean, I guess I probably buried the lead. I was diagnosed with cancer when I was pregnant with my twin. And I was given a death sentence.

Um, I was told that I would not live much after. They would be about a year old when I died, and I was 24 years old at the time. So coming on the, coming on the other side of that, having not only been completely healed of cancer, I was diagnosed in the third stage. If anybody knows anything about cancer, there's only four stages.

And it was inoperable. Uh, and other than that, I was healthy. And so, when I came on the other, came out, uh, on the other side of that, after giving birth to the girls, coming on the other side of cancer, completely healed, clean bill of health, there was, uh, a strength that was ignited in me. That was like, okay, I get it now.

You can't, it's too late, you can't, you can't convince me of anything else now. You know what I was... That was a pivotal moment for me. Yeah.

Jaclyn: Um, with this show, the hope and idea is showing people around the world, the power of kindness, the nuance, the complexity, it's helping to reframe our understanding of kindness.

And one thing we've thought a lot about and talk a lot about is the idea that kindness transcends. Things like religion, and I'm a person of faith, faith has played a big role in my life, um, and yet there's almost, uh, something with this work that goes beyond that, um. 100%. So I wanna, I don't wanna shy away from that.

I, I want, you know, your story is real and raw and powerful, and I would be curious, what would you say to the idea of the relationship between kindness and faith, or for the person listening who maybe doesn't have that piece of it? Yeah.

Silvia: You know, well, well let, first of all, let me sort of, uh, revisit. What I described as becoming a Christian when I was nine years old, that was very much a traditional missionary Baptist church girl kind of way of growing up later in my life, because I've always been inquisitive.

I started to ask questions about all kinds of things. And one of the things was what it actually means to be a person of faith. Because I was very aware, I'm a history buff, and I was very aware that there are stories that precede the physical manifestation of Jesus. And so what about all those people?

And even as a child, again, the empathy and the compassion in me was like, well, what about babies? What about babies who die, where they can't come, you know, I mean, there's all these questions and it, it, it pushed me, it, it, it, I don't like to use the term drove me, it, it guided me into a place of, um, truth that was not boxed into my understanding of faith and Christianity and it, it, it transcended religion, it transcended denomination and that's where I am now.

So I am the person, um, for your listeners who might not know kind of what all of this is. I am the person that will sit and meditate and pray and do my tapping EFT and all of that while I'm quoting scripture, because for me, it all comes from the same place, that spiritual foundation and the groundedness.

And even if you're someone who doesn't necessarily believe in, in God, the way I do, if you're someone who believes that it's the universe or that it's just, um, or it's, uh, um, something bigger than you, whatever that is, there's that thing inside all of us that just witnesses with love and the expression of love for me through the act of love.

Action of kindness. For me, it's, it's, it's a connective tissue. It is. And, and it flows through all of us and it's not dependent upon our faith in it. It's activated by, um, our sense of oneness, our sense of compassion, our sense of empathy. And it's, it's, it's all, it's all connected. They can't see me doing the big circle, but it's all connected. You know what I mean?

Jaclyn:  She's making a big circle. 

Silvia: I'm making a big circle. It's all connected. It all comes back to love. And I don't care where you're from, who you are. Everybody understands love. 

Jaclyn: So you you're I didn't know the story being 24 battling cancer you had twins. Wow. I didn't know that either.

And And so you make it through that. Thank you for sharing that. What was that journey like and when you did come out and this perspective change? What came then when you're like, wait, I'm here. I'm a mom. I've made it. How does your life then start to unfold, you know, those first few steps towards what it is today?

Silvia: Well, I mean, honestly, I would, I, I would love to tell you, give you a really dramatic story about all these things I had to go through with the cancer, but I didn't. What happened was I was diagnosed when I was five months pregnant, they found it in one of the regular biopsies, you know, not biopsies, but the regular little tests you get while you're pregnant.

And they came in and told me that this was the case. Um, and I, I, at the time, all I knew Jaclyn was. I have things to do. Dying is not on my list of things to do. I have stuff to do, you know? Um, and it wasn't easy, but this was a decision that I made. I gave birth to the girls. They were seven minutes apart.

And it was a whole, like, no C section. Bam, bam. They did another biopsy. Prepping me for a full hysterectomy, because this is the only treatment they thought to prolong my life to give me what they called quality of life to try to extend that, right? Um, the biopsy came back clean and the, my doctor, he walked in with my phone, with my file and took a sharpie and wrote medical miracle and closed the file and slid it back to me in his, uh, arrogance.

And. Enthusiasm. He said, um, I said, so you're telling me I never had it. Right. Right. Diagnosis was incorrect. No, it wasn't incorrect. I did it four times. The whole thing. It's just gone. And he just left. Okay. So then, uh, after that. You know, I had to come back every few months just to make sure everything was good.

After a year, they cleared me. And, um, some might say I've been in remission for 33 years, but no, that's not true. I'm, I have had no. That, for me, it was not the first time that I've had something miraculous happen in terms of my life being spared. I was born three months early. Three full months early. And they told my parents I would not live to see my first birthday.

Uh, and I often will, and they also told me at 16, um, at my first, you know, woman situation exam that, um, I would never have children. And what I always said, because I have what's called an infantile uterus. Can't carry a baby to term, but my, my joke with my kids is they told me I would never have children, but they forgot to tell my children.

So after my twins, I had two more. And they're, you know, and so all of that to say, in that time when the girls were born, um, I was in an abusive relationship, abusive, uh, marriage. And it was, uh, physically abusive, but it was physically abusive in the way that things would happen, um, to me that were not visible.

So I was kind of a trophy, so he never hit me in the face because he was a pk. There was a lot associated for those of you who don't know that means pastor's kids. There was a lot associated with how we looked. We looked very good. He's very handsome. The children were beautiful. It was our whole little, we sang together, but behind the scenes, it was really, uh, difficult.

And inside of that was where I discovered my power. It was when I, when I decided that. You know, I, I didn't marry with a B plan B in my mind, this was forever. And we were going to grow old together and raise our kids and have a life. But I knew that that being that living in that way was not what God had called me to, and I certainly didn't want to raise children in that environment.

I already understood that things imprint on children. And by the time they are five years old. Whatever has imprinted at that point, if it's still going on, it sticks like the alphabet, right? And I did, I knew that I didn't want my son to grow up and treat someone's daughter the way I was being treated.

Or have my daughters think that this is the way you should treat someone because that's how their mom was treated. So, at not quite 30 years old, I packed all four of the children up and I left. And we had, I had a gold record hanging on the wall, had mink coats in the closet, I had the whole thing. He's a songwriter, he's a producer.

And I left and took the children to a shelter. And I was in there for six weeks and I said to the kids, This is temporary for you. There are some kids in here who will grow up in here. You won't. So they went around and started helping people and, and um, praying for people and just doing all their little things when they were little.

It was the combination of all of that that strengthened my resolve to walk in love. Because that's, I knew, I didn't know all about it that I know now, but I knew that that's where the power was. That was my strength because when I got outside of that space, I felt weak. When I, when I let myself wallow in anger or pain or, or, um, uh, regret, it just made me feel weak when I allowed myself to, to be free of all of that and stand in a place of love, I felt empowered.

And I felt strengthened and that was going through that and coming out on the other side of old folks. So the old folks in my family say, I don't look like what I've been through, you know, and I determined to maintain who I am and understanding that that meant. Um, standing firm in who I am as a person that radiates kindness, and I fully believe that that's why I continued to grow in my life, to grow in my life spiritually, emotionally, um, Books began to be attracted to me.

That helped me grow. People came into my life to get me to the next place. It, it just, it just, it, it's from then to now, it hasn't stopped happening. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Um, but that's also why I can look back on that and not feel bitter. And I also, this is a lesson I'll say about this. I know this is a really long answer, but I decided very early on not to sow seeds of bitterness into my children, toward their father.

Mm-hmm. . Um, because they didn't know about any of that. They were little. And it would have been up to me to have made them hate him or to have made them feel embittered or, or angry or grow up with all of that. And I was, I was determined that I would not do that when they got old enough to ask about it, I would share with them truthfully, but without, um, Without anger, without bitterness, without, um, strife and all that nastiness.

Um, and I think it served them. It has served them today. It certainly has served me in watching them grow and become the awesome human beings that they are.

Jaclyn: Silvia, thank you for sharing that part of your journey. And, um, I mean, I have such deep compassion and sympathy for, um, walking through domestic abuse and being willing to have the strength to walk away, which is often the hardest thing for people in those situations.

Um, I am curious for the person in any difficult relationship where they might be being abused in some capacity to say that you were able to focus on the love and the kindness and not allow that bitterness to seep in. I think that's what everyone would want, but how difficult it is to do. Do you have any guidance of what you would say as a reminder of how to choose?

Cause it's a choice. Yeah. It's a commitment and it probably wasn't always easy.

Silvia: No. I think that, that my way of making that choice has evolved. Um, I think initially it was about, I just preferred the way that I felt when I chose kindness. It just, it just made me, it just made me feel better and it made me feel stronger.

And it also made me feel like, okay, I have a choice here. I can give this person all the power over me, not just physically, but emotionally. Or I can take back my power, which may look on the outside like weakness, but on the inside, I feel the strength inside of me. So initially it was just about, it just made me feel better.

And I just, and I needed, here's the thing. I needed to be strong because I had four little kids to take care of. By myself. Do you know what I mean? I couldn't just go off because, and it didn't mean that there weren't times that I would close the door after they went to bed and lock myself in the bathroom and cry.

You know what I mean? But it, it, it, it, I, I could feel the, the choice to stay in that space. I could feel it strengthening me. So that was initially what it was. Um, and I think after that, I began to research the power of making that choice and what it does for you in terms of planting seeds for the rest of your life, what it sows for the rest of your life.

So then the choice would become where, do I want to stay where I am? Or do I want to see something else for my future? And when I, I knew that I wanted to see something else, I started to think about what decisions do I need to make to so see toward that future, toward that outcome? And then I, so that's where the meditation came in.

And that's where the visualization came in. And the visioning came in. Um, and, um, Some of my favorite authors, uh, like Wallace Wattles and Neville Goddard and, and others, um, began to help me understand the power of my imagination. Not that God is imaginary, but God is in my imagination, is in my creative space.

So when I'm creating something that I want to see, if I infuse that with something other than love, and kindness and joy and peace and patience and gentleness and faithfulness and all of that. If I allow anger and bitterness and strife and, and, uh, ugly talk and all of that, it, it, um, it cancels it out.

And because I, I knew where I wanted to go, so I had to change what I was doing in order to get there. And that every time I would be, not every time, but most, a lot of the time when I would be presented with the opportunity to go off or to feel sorry for myself or to respond in kind rather than in kindness.

I would think about not only my future, but my children's future. So along the way, that, that became paramount in my determining who I wanted to be in this world. I don't affirmations are, I know, very popular. I prefer Question formation. So instead of, so I'll say, what would it feel like if, what would it feel like if everything in my world filled me with peace and joy?

What would it feel like if I were a purveyor of love and blessing to everyone who comes in my space? What would it, you know what I mean? So, so I started to empower that and my kids would make fun of me because sometimes I would spend a couple of hours in the morning, especially if I knew I had something major to deal with, and I would just spend time there so that I could come out with.

The strength and the power. And the, um, authority to do me and to be me. And now it's all kind of compressed into, um, a much more simple way of being in the world, but I find it to be every bit, if not more effective, more, uh, effective is, um, I I'm a very big tapper. I'm a very big EFT person. And, um, that for me has been probably one of the more significant.

Um, Additions to my world of, you know, uh, things that I do in order to be me, um, or the modalities that I use that has really changed not only my physical brain, the physiological pathways in my brain, but my mind, um, my emotions, my will, um, my focus. Um, freeing myself, not looking, not ignoring emotional baggage or pain or, uh, what some may refer to as samskara or pain body or flesh, not, not ignoring it, letting it be what it's going to be, but having it come up and out so that I can then, uh, bathe myself.

And the optimism and the outcome that I want.

Jaclyn:  I think that you're hitting on tapping onto something that I love that we've talked about. I think that you're speaking to kindness being a strength and challenging this narrative that kindness is soft, fluffy, weak, feminine. Um, and, uh, I really would love. To hear from you on that, you know, of course we assume the people listening are bought into kindness and yet the idea of showcasing why kindness is to go beyond what might feel like a surface level understanding of it and to get to it being the most powerful thing in our toolkit.

So what would you say to this idea of kindness being a strength? 

Silvia: Oh, you've I.ouched on it earlier. If kindness is a soft skill, if it's so easy, right. Or if it is weak, then when somebody's ugly to you, or when a situation happens that is hurtful, why don't you choose to respond with kindness? Rather than in kind every time, because it's not easy. It takes discipline. It takes emotional maturity, spiritual maturity. It takes, it takes, um, my grandmother used to say, I stick to it.

It takes, it takes a decision of quality every single time. And you can make that decision every morning, or you can decide decision quality. I am kind. I am kind. That's who I am. You still have to choose it every single time. And I don't just mean in the big moments, Jaclyn, I'm not saying not just to open the door for someone or give someone a smile, nothing wrong with those things.

Those are beautiful, but kindness isn't random. It's intentional, and in order for it to be intentional, there has to be a decision that precedes it, and that happens in the moment. It has to have already happened in order to even want to make the decision in the moment. But in the moment, for me, the big things are obvious.

It's those little snarky moments, those little moments where you can just be a little snarky, or a little passive aggressive, or a little bitey, or um, uh, a little sarcastic. Right. Those are the moments that, uh, forgive this old colloquialism, but let's separate, you know, the boys from the men, you know, man or mouse, you know what I'm saying?

Because that's not easy to do, especially over and over and over and over again, every single day. And even being kind to yourself. Because you spend the most time with you and if you can't be kind to that's where you practice kindness because that's where you can practice it all day every day is being kind to yourself.

So yeah, that, that for me, again, I asked the question, if it's so easy, then why don't we choose to respond with kindness? Instead of in kind, cause it's not easy to do. That's why. And you know what? Well, let me stop. I'll stop. I'll stop. Cause I'm just, I'm telling you, that's, that just.

Jaclyn:  No, we're on it. I love it. It's so good.

Silvia: That's real.

Jaclyn: Yes, it's real. Oh, it's, this is definitely the podcast soundbite is if it's so easy. Why don't you respond with kindness instead of in kind? It's so true, Silvia. Um, yeah, I love it. I'm all about it. Um, of course. Okay. So 

Silvia: We'll get a shirt. We'll get shirts. 

Jaclyn: Yes. Yes. Add it to the merch list.

Um, So we've got you up till about your thirties, remarkable journey. And then you have created this unbelievable life, this incredible career, so much that you've done so much you've achieved. I also of course, want to celebrate that you did find love, good, good love. Um, so tell us a little bit about how did you then become who you are today?

Silvia: You know what? I think I'm just a bigger version. I think I'm a grown up version of Punkin. That's why my company is called Punkin Studios. Somewhat people think that that's like, One of my girlfriends said, That's so country! Well, you know, think what you want to think about it. But Punjkin is... Punkin is optimistic.

Punkin believed, believed that all things, everything was possible. Punkin had big brown eyes and she used to look up in the world and just go, Yay! This is what we're going to do. She, that's still in me. And so, um, Big Me, Silvia Me is the physical embodiment of the authority and the maturity and, and, and life and, and where I am at this moment.

But Punkin is, is the optimism, bright eyed, let's go for it. Part of me that kind of, no matter how many times, you know, you get knocked down, it just pops back up and goes, okay, let's do it again, you know what I said all that to say, so who I am now, I think I've, I've kind of always been, uh, I think I'm just a more informed version of who I've always been.

Um, but my, my husband Mitchell has been such a significant part of the last 15 years of my journey. Um, because. When I was, when I was divorced, I was a single parent for a long time. And, um, It wasn't easy to do that, but I also was working full time in my career. And though there were times when I had to, I chose, I didn't have to, but I chose to shift from focusing on who I am as an actress, a performer, a singer, an artist, and focused into the more corporate side of me so I, so that I could have what I needed financially.

And in terms of taking care of the kids, do I mean? And do that. And so I've made those shifts, um, in my life along the way. And what Mitchell did was, we've known each other for 26 years, I think, 37 years. Um, he was married. I was married. We did not have any, we didn't even see each other that way. He was, uh, on staff at a church that I attended in Dallas.

And his first wife, Melinda, was someone that I was, um, very friendly with. And we spent time together. Um, And she was diagnosed with cancer. When Melinda was diagnosed with cancer, I was already back living in California with my children. And we'd been there for about six years when I get the call or my daughter got the call from the young man who was now her stepbrother.

My mom died today. And I, and I remember thinking, Oh, I need to call pastor mitt and, you know, express my condolences, but I grew up. in church. And so my first, this may sound nuts to people who didn't grow up in church, but this is the thought that came. Young, handsome pastor's wife passed away yesterday.

Yeah, you probably don't need to make that call just yet. Hang on a second. So, I told, um, the young lady who is now my, my bonus baby. I prefer the term bonus baby. Uh, Meredith. I said, just tell him, you know, that, She said, no, no, no, no, no. You need to give him a call. He would appreciate it if you call him.

Okay. So, I called him. We talked for two and a half hours. He said, can we just talk about anything other than, All of this, just catch me up over the last six years. Well, now that I've been married to the man for 15 years, being on the phone with him for two minutes, let alone two hours, is a miracle.

Because he hates being on the phone. And so, but it was, he got me. I got him. And I thought he's just going to be a great friend. And then, um, some months went by and some more months went by and we'd check in and talk to each other and then we realized there's something else was happening here. Um, about a year, I relocated to Atlanta and about a year after that we got married.

That was, that changed my life in ways that I honestly don't think I realized fully. Until probably about a year ago, our youngest son, um, is autistic. And he, his presentations for about three years there after Mitchell and I got married were extremely severe. And if Mitchell hadn't been there, I don't know, I don't, I know that God would have made a way in all of that, but I don't know.

What I would have done. He is so genuinely kind. He's so generous and kind. And he just said, whatever you need, I've got you. Let's don't worry about it. Right? You have a net. You're not by yourself anymore. Well, that allowed me to run around and, you know, build my company and audition for things and write screenplays and do all that and travel and do other things.

I wouldn't been able to do. That's how I've built the, the, the next level of my career that has manifest into CEO, uh, and, um, uh, entrepreneur and, you know, screenwriter and creative producer and all these things. 

Jaclyn: What a man, he is amazing. 

Silvia: He's a good guy. 

Jaclyn: I'm so glad you both were able to find love.

Silvia: He's pretty, too.

Jaclyn: Yes, okay, so I do want to talk a little bit about your incredible career. What are some of the latest projects you've done? been involved in. What are you most excited about that you've put into the world that you want to put into the world when it comes to storytelling? And we'll have it in the show notes who you are and all you've done, but just even tell us a little bit more about exactly what your roles have looked like through Punkin studios.

Silvia: Wow. So many amazing things. So many things. Um, one of the, one of the things. That happened that I'm really excited about. I've, I've been whining. I'm just going to be real and whining for months. I need a team. I can't do this. And, um, of course I did my, my visioning and my, all my things. And sure enough, the most wonderful team management team showed up in my life, Sandstone artists, and they signed me, Jaclyn, they signed me across the board.

They didn't try to. I get a lot of, you need to pick a lane. Are you a singer or an actress or a producer? I'm me and they got it. They go, we know, we get it. We want all of you. Uh, and they are so lovely. It's Tammy Hunt and Jamie Bradley and my dear, dear, dear friend, Kevin Nicholas, who is head of production over there actually introduced me to them and we had the best meeting and, uh, they've just been lovely.

It's a wonderful place to be right now. It's just another beautiful manifestation of the life that, um, that I'm in, that I'm living right now. And at the same time, on the heels of that, another company called Trey Image, a lovely gentleman named Charles Singleton, Also came in and said, I've been waiting to sign you for five years.

He signed me to a licensing deal, which is going to be amazing for the studio and for the Silvia Mathis brand. So those things are very, very big. And we do have a lot of things that we're working on right now. Film, television, non scripted, scripted, all the things. Um, uh, one of the, some of the more recent things that came out this year, uh, I, it's hilarious.

I, last year I went to Alabama and produced. And then I was literally, I had just wrapped that one, came home for the holidays, finished the cut. It got the call again to go back to Alabama and do another film. And it's so funny because the first one came out while I was filming the second one, which was really wonderful.

And now that that's over and we're in this time, we're in. It's actually been really good because I've been able to take the time to write and to get serious about the passion project that I have. And one of them is a short called Church Boy that, um, we are going to shoot in. Actually, we're going to, we're going into prep in a few weeks on that one.

Going back to Alabama to shoot that one again. And, um, I'm very, very, very excited about that. It's called Church Boy, B O I. And so it's got some, uh. Some storyline in it that some people might find challenging, but it's truth and hopefully it'll trigger compassion and, um, acceptance and self love in folks.

There's another one called 33 and a half hours that we're prepping for as well. We're in development on that one. Another short that I'm going to direct. That is about the 33 and a half hours that my youngest son was missing and, um, the film is going to be exactly 13 and a half minutes long. We're going to walk through that.

And, uh, and then we have a feature that we're looking at for next year as well. Another one at Hallmark and then, um, called, uh, Bewildered at Hallmark Hall of Fame. Yay! And then another one for Punkin Studios called Eddie's Son. Um, that I'm very, very excited about. It's a, it's a thriller. So yeah, there's a lot, there's music happening, there's non scripted, there's all kinds of, you know what I mean?

Really exciting things going on. And, um, yeah, we're excited.

Jaclyn: Congrats. I know the question everyone must be wondering is what coffee do you drink? Uh, tell us like, tell us your secret for. Endless energy.

Silvia: They can't see me, but this is my secret. I mean, honestly, I don't, I don't even, I just, man, Jaclyn, people ask me that all the time.

I don't know. Yeah. Yeah.

Jaclyn: It's so good. It's so infectious.

Silvia: Urban maté. There we go. 

Jaclyn: There we go. No, this is what the licensing deal is. He's licensing many little punkins that we're gonna all just going to carry around.

Silvia: Exactly. Exactly. He has this idea called punkin pops and it's just like this whole idea of just like these little sayings and they with these little punky pops like like like joy explosion joy.

Jaclyn: Yeah. Oh my goodness. I love it. I love it so much. Okay, so our round robin, basically like no wrong answers. I'm just gonna pepper a bunch of questions out. Um, how would you define kindness in one word?

Silvia: One word? I mean, it's, it's, it's, it's love. It really is. 

Jaclyn: It's, it's love. Yeah, yeah, okay. If you could get every human around the world to do one kind act today, what would you ask, have them do?

Silvia: Choose to smile and look everyone that they meet today in the eyes. And smile and see them. That's what I would say. 

Jaclyn: Mm hmm. See them. What's one of the most meaningful kind acts you've ever received?

Silvia: Oh, Jaclyn. Uh, when the children and I were at a particularly difficult transitional space, from living behind the gates in the big gorgeous home to living in a hotel room with all five of us.

In one room, I was, um, I didn't know how I was going to feed them that day. And I got a call from an old friend that said, How you doing? I just started thinking about you, just wanted to check on you. I'm good. Do you need anything? Well, you know, I'm, I'm, I'm good. And I looked at my account and they transferred 1, 000 into my account.

And just said, just pay it forward one day when you can. That was huge. In that moment, that was a very big deal. And so yeah, that was... That's the one that's on the top of my head. There are 8 quadrillion billion more, but that's the one on the top of my head. That's a really

Jaclyn: Good one. Did you, do you know, like, the memory of when you paid it forward?

Did you carry it somewhere and intentionally do that?

Silvia: Yes, but I, I've, I've done it. Many, many, many times now. Yeah. Yeah. And so, um, yeah, I can't, I can't identify a single moment where it was like the first time that I did it, but I've done it multiple times and it always comes to my mind.

Jaclyn: Um, what book are you reading or listening to right now?

Silvia: Oh, I am. I'm always reading something, and I just finished American Girl. And this is not even like a, like a self development situation. I'm always reading something that's either self development. So I'm usually reading something in that space, something that Nick Orner has written, or you know, I don't know, somebody, Sean Acor or someone.

But right now I just finished the most amazing book, and I'm looking it up because I wanna tell you guys who wrote this. Fabulous. Susie Finkfiner SU S I E F I N K B E I N E R, the Amer. Okay. The all, it's actually I'm wrong. It's called Be All American. 

Jaclyn: Okay. Um, and if kindness was a song to you, what song is it?

Silvia: Oh, wow. Um, I don't know. That's so hard. I think I'm stumped. I have to think about this one a minute. What song is it? For some reason, the song No Weapon performed against me so prosper is coming to my mind. That's an existing song written by Fred Hammond. That song comes to my mind. Uh, and, I don't know, there's too many in my head.

I can't think of one. If another one comes to me, I'll get it back to you. But that's the one that's coming into my head right now. [singing] No weapon worn against me shall prosper. It won't be worth no weapon. [spoken] Yeah.

Jaclyn: Okay. That was so amazing. Oh my goodness. We also need to make sure we add how to listen to you sing somewhere.

Um, that was incredible. Woo. Goosebumps. Um, and I just, I love, I just love you. I think you're a remarkable, remarkable human. I feel so honored to be in this journey with you and so grateful that you were on this. Um, we are going to end with action because as we said from the beginning, kindness is an action.

It's a choice and you're actively doing it. So as part of our partnership with Verizon and a call for kindness campaign, we're going to end by calling somebody, um, and letting them know. You're grateful for them, what you appreciate. So yes, who are you calling?

Silvia: Isn't she pretty??

Jaclyn: She is so pretty!

Silvia: That's my sister. 

That's my baby sister. She answered! Lee? 

Lee (on the phone): Yes? 

Silvia: Hi, sweetie. Guess what? 

Lee (on the phone): I don't know how to answer. What? 

Silvia: Because you answered on one ring. I'm on a podcast right now. I'm on a podcast called Why Kindness? And, um, I was asked to call someone that I love more than anything in this world and to say something kind to them.

Lee (on the phone): Oh my god!

Silvia: So I chose you, my love, you hear it, because I love you more than anything in the world and you know that. But this is my sister and I love her and she's beautiful and she's smart and she is a teacher and a minister and she can bake anything and she is, she should be on all the cooking shows and she's a designer.

And she's just fabulous. And I love her very much. I love you, baby. Listen, I'm going to, I'm going to let you get off this phone, but, um, in all seriousness, you know, I love you and stuff. 

Lee (on the phone): I know and I love you too.

Silvia: Yeah. You're pretty. Okay. Bye. That's my sister. I love her.

Jaclyn: Yay! Loved that! Woo!

Jaclyn (Outro): Thank you so much for joining us on this week's episode of the Why Kindness? Podcast sponsored by our friends at Verizon. To learn more about everything you heard today from our wonderful guest, definitely check out our show notes. We hope you're leaving this episode inspired and reminded that every kind act truly does make a difference. 

We'd love to hear how you're choosing kindness in your day-to-day. We write back to every email, so let us know what you think. And please leave a review on Apple Podcast or Spotify. This podcast is one of the many ways we live out our organization's mission to educate and inspire people to choose kindness. 

Visit our site today at kindness.org and sign up to become a part of our global community, which spans more than 100 countries. It's free to join, and one of the many benefits includes being the first to get access to our latest research tools, and even episodes of this podcast. We are so excited to get you involved in building a kinder world. 

Please tune in next week as we continue to explore this big question. Why kindness?