Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Category: Podcast Roundup Page 1 of 2

Tony Robbins, Aimlessness, and Free Speech

Yes, I finished reading The Mayfair Bookshop by Eliza Knight this morning, I’m too mentally and physically exhausted to write about today, as I was once again out galivanting around Southern California yesterday. Instead, I shall leave you with a quick Podcast Roundup!

On Purpose with Jay Shetty: Tony Robbins on: Breaking Negative Thinking & Unlock the Unlimited Potential of Your Mind

I’m not a Tony Robbins fan, but I do commonly find that even people I’m not in love with have wisdom to share. This one, though…I’m not sure if it was because my back and shoulder were hurting so much on the drive (I somehow hurt myself (hoeing, lol) pulling weeds last weekend), but the whole conversation was exhausting. I guess I’m not that much of a “driven” kind of person. All I wanted to do was yell at them to take a freakin’ breather.

Yeah, I was grumpy. But I did get a few little gems out of it.

We humans tend not experience life directly and in all it’s glory. We experience what we focus on. And we usually look for what’s missing instead of what we already have.

Also, humans tend to unconsciously mirror each other. What everyone else if feeling and projecting, so shall we. Pay attention to your surroundings, the people you interact with, the books you read, the tv/news you watch.

He also mentioned some ideas from The 4th Turning by William Strauss, which I thought I’d read in the past, but it’s not on my shelf, so maybe I heard of it or read about it somewhere else. I think it may be a book recommended by Oliver DeMille and his Leadership Education model. I will be adding it back to my TBR list.

Secular Buddhism: Aimlessness

The old “You’re not lost if you have nowhere you are supposed to be” thing. Sounds crazy to our “go get ‘em” culture, but it resonates with me. Aimlessness is one of the Three Doors of Liberation. It means letting go of where you think you should be and embracing where you are.

Hmm…suddenly I realized that this is related to the previous podcast.

Conversations With Coleman: The History of Free Speech with Jacob Mchangama

Book: Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media by Jacob Mchangama

I love the people that Coleman has on his show and this one really got me going, even on the long, later than I had expected, drive home from my adventures last night. Not only did I get to add another great book to my TBR list, I found another podcast to listen to. Clear and Present Danger is all about the principles of free speech as they apply today, where they came from, and how they evolved.

There was a lot of great stuff to think about in this episode, and when I read the book, you can bet I’ll be sharing THAT information with you here. Today just I’ll share my two favorite takeaways.

Censorship only brings more attention to words and ideas you don’t agree with. In most cases, the best thing you can do when you hear things you don’t agree with is simply scroll on by, don’t buy the book, watch the video, whatever. Saying “I’m certainly NOT going to listen to Joe Rogan on Spotify because he’s a bad man!” only makes me (and millions of other people) go find out who that is and what he said that upset people, and the subscribe to his channel because we’re curious what else he has to say. Buy banned books! Watch banned movies! Read, study, and decide for yourself what is right and wrong!

And some wise advice from the Stoics about social media. Detach a bit. Use it if you want to. It doesn’t matter what someone else says. That made me smile. I love sharing what I’m doing and finding in the world through social media, Facebook and Instagram, (that’s an invite to follow me) but negative feedback is hard on my insecure little heart. And reading other people’s negativity…well, remember what Tony Robbins said about humans unconsciously mirroring each other?

I’m doing what the Stoics teach; being me, loud and proud, and taking a step back from other people’s feedback. Like it or not, I’m here to stay.

And there you are! Only three podcasts and I found so much. Let me know in the comments if you decide to chase any of these links, or if you’ve read or heard any of the podcasts and authors. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Human Behavior, War, and More: Podcast Roundup

It’s been awhile since I did a Podcast Roundup so let’s dive in. It’s Friday so I’ll make life easy for both us with one-line (maybe two if need be) takeaways from each episode.

Practicing Human – No Wrong Emotions

Making space and being honest and accepting of my own feelings doesn’t mean I need to express them or make other accept them.

Secular Buddhism – When Things Fall Apart

The dishes always going to get dirty, then you wash them, put them away, and use them again. It’s the cycle of life to fall apart and come back together again.

EconTalk – Luca Dellanna on Compulsion, Self-deception, and the Brain

Your mind is an has emotional driver and your navigator (logic) makes up reasons for those emotions.

              Book: The Control Heuristic: The Nature of Human Behavior by Luca Dellana

Practicing Human – You’re Responsible for Your Happiness

Self-work is for everyone around you. It helps you slip into the water without making a huge mess of everything.

Cato Daily Podcast – Deregulate Low-Income Entrepreneurs to Address American Poverty

I took no notes on this one and I don’t remember any of it. I think I was in my head.

People I (Mostly) Admire – Does Death Have to be a Death Sentence?

When we turn our attention to the hard things in life, you’ll find a lot of beauty.

Book: A Beginner’s Guide to the End: Practical Advice for Living Life and Facing Death by BJ Miller, MD and Shoshana Berger

Quillette Podcast – Shmuel Bar on the War in Ukraine, and the Failure of Western Deterrence

When we look at other world leaders and their actions and think “That’s crazy!” or “That’s evil!” we’re not seeing their decisions and actions from their point of view, from the culture, background, and store of information.

Practicing Human – Self-Sabotage

If you think you know what you want but when you move toward it something always gets in the way, there may be something you aren’t willing or able to feel/experience yet.

human behavior

How’s that for a round-up?! I’m off to get this place ready for our Friday Night Happy Hour. I’ll be playing some mean pool and maybe…with a little luck…I’ll win a game, maybe even two.

PS I really need to learn to take a day off after a run into the city. I have so much going on in my head that I would love to quietly process. I took notes, and have stored the ideas away for later. Maybe tomorrow I’ll take the day to stare out the window and reflect.

Peace, War, and Education: Podcast Roundup

Today is Podcast Roundup Day! (insert fanfare music here) This week we dive into a little peace, some war news, and liberal education. Two hours of listening and five pages of notes. When I come in the door, sit down on the couch next to my husband, and open my notebook, he knows he’s in for some discussion and gets another beer.

Sidenote: I’m still devouring Attached by Levine and Heller and…holy moly… I feel like heart escaped and wrote a letter to my brain. This book is now required reading. You have an assignment and I expect an essay. More about THAT tomorrow…possibly. I may just need some time daydreaming about it, ruminating on how to use the information.

Another sidenote: I ordered Yung Pueblo’s new book Clarity & Connection the day before yesterday, and it was in my mailbox when I got home last night. You guys…get it. It’s freaking beautiful. It’s not going to be logged in my reading log. I’m just picking it up and reading a page when I have a second and soaking it in.

On with the roundup!

Secular Buddhism: #166 Welcoming the Unwanted

I chose an episode of Secular Buddhism to listen to first because I needed a reminder of peace, you know, while I got gas in my truck $$$$. I couldn’t have picked a better way to start the day.

Takeaways: There are pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral emotions. We tend to label them good and bad and treat them differently which causes problems. Instead, try welcoming them all in without putting a green or red sticker on them as they come in the room.

Feeling angry? I tend to get angrier at myself for having a feeling at all. That’s not helpful. I had the chance later in the day to sit with unpleasant emotions a while and attempt to see what they were trying to tell me. It got ugly and then better. Progress.

I’ll probably listen to that one again soon and hope it sticks in my brain better.

The Intelligence: Defog of War: Your Questions Answered


The Quillette Podcast: Russia’s Surprising Military Blunders in Ukraine

These two podcasts were chosen so that I might better understand how a close friend is responding to the current battle between Russia and Ukraine. They were short, enlightening, and gave me a better picture of what’s going on.

What they did not help me with is why it’s happening. I’d like to know more about what led up to the escalation, more history. But that’s probably way above my head and more details than I really need right now.

I’d highly recommend listening to these two episodes, especially the first. They are an hour combined and give a good overview.

I’ve added the following podcast to my listening because it was suggested during the Quillette podcast. I haven’t heard an episode yet, so I can’t say if it’s good or not, but it does look promising.

New Podcast: The Lost Debate

              “To use today’s jargon, we’re a “multi-platform media company.” We believe the most important conversations in society happen in the dark corners of the Internet—on platforms dominated by political arsonists, nihilists, and extremists. Our mission is to infuse more empathy, nuance, and objectivity into those conversations.”

Cato Daily Podcast: Let’s Be Reasonable: A Conservative Case for Liberal Education

I believe we have lost the concept of what a liberal arts education really is, and the differences between a university, college, and trade school education are expected to accomplish. I loved hearing Jonathan Marks’ positive outlook on higher education and Generation Z or iGen (a new term for those born after 1995 and raised with smartphones).

Yep…another book added to the TBR list. Will it ever end?! I hope not. I think once you stop learning, you die…like immediately.

Book: Let’s Be Reasonable by Jonathan Marks

“More than just a campus battlefield guide, Let’s Be Reasonable recovers what is truly liberal about liberal education―the ability to reason for oneself and with others―and shows why the liberally educated person considers reason to be more than just a tool for scoring political points.”

There it is, another Podcast Roundup. I’m excited because I added another show to my list. I’ve been looking for new input lately. I’m always open to ideas, so comment with your favorite podcasts if you have them!

You don’t listen to podcasts? Why? I honestly want to hear this. I’ve always been a talk show fan more than a music fan while I drive, so podcasts…they do it for me.

Prices And War: A Podcast Roundup

Sorry, my dear reader, but this is going to start out as a bit of a downer of a podcast roundup, but I have to be honest about what I’m exploring. Life is not all happy joy and flowers and entertaining novels.

Yesterday’s trip into the city was sprinkled with reminders that things are not right in the world. The first of which is that I’ve tried for three days in a row to get my hair cut in town and have run into “supply chain” and “lack of staff” issues.

prices and war
Minor, I know, but really Target?
A hard to remove sticker right in the middle of the title?

I filled up my truck with gas and paid a dollar more than I did last week, and last week’s prices were already higher than I have ever paid for gas in my life. You would think people would be slowing down and conserving gas on the highway, but no. Impatience and frustration was up. Once again, a woman passed me and another truck going uphill toward a blind crest, while crossing the double yellow line. Life apparently don’t mean much.

Some of it I understand. With gas this high, those (most of us) that commute to another town for work are finding it almost a waste of time to keep working, another reason for the “lack of staff” in certain places. We’re becoming more frightened for our future than we already have been.

I was able to eat lunch out with a friend INSIDE my favorite restaurant, so that’s a positive. But the prices were higher, understandably, and the menu was slightly limited. Not terrible but a sign none the less.

I noticed the local hospital billboard on the highway has lost its medical masked character. And Target and Kohl’s had no signs about having to be masked at all. I can’t help but feel like covid is being downplayed and set aside a bit, like maybe we’ll all forget what’s been going on and focus elsewhere. Hysteria and fear will just fade away. A cross between “Nothing to see here. Move along.” And “We have always been at war with Eurasia.”

I went into the city to see about getting some new sheets and a blanket for my guest room. My son is coming with his new girlfriend, and I want the room to look a little spruced up, even though I haven’t been able to paint it yet. Have I mentioned that paint now costs twice what it used to ten years ago and is going up still? I found a blanket on clearance for $35 (last one and it was $120…really?). And some sheets for $50. I remember paying $40 for REALLY nice, higher end sheets twenty years ago. That’s another story.

I am hyperaware of my ability to consider purchasing things I may need in the next few years before the prices go higher. I know we are lucky to work from home, so the price of gas is only having an effect on my leisure activities…for now.

There’s stress here, and I knowing I don’t have it nearly as badly as others doesn’t help. I have lived in earthquake country all my life, and I know the ground is always slowing shifting. Small earthquakes are said to keep the equilibrium, but right now…I don’t know. I feel like there’s pressure building up to a larger quake, and that scares me because what comes after isn’t predictable.

Do you hear the Lion King music?

That all being said, I do have a bright side to my thoughts. Life has always been unpredictable. Wars always rage on all over the planet. Sickness and death come to all of us. Things get complicated and then easy again.

The end of the world is not coming. The story keeps being told.

Podcast roundup! Remember? Here they are!

Ron Paul Liberty Report: Biden Bans Russian Oil. Are We Committing Economic Suicide Over Ukraine?

Things I didn’t even consider.

Quillette Podcast: Jacob Mchangama on His New Book, “Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media”

This, once again, made me add a book to my TBR list. Did he just compare Luther to Rogan? Yes, he did.

Book: “Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media” by Jacob Mchangama

The Intelligence from The Economist: War Stories: The View from Russia

A point of view we all need to remember. There are more than two sides. Two governments in conflict. The rest of the world’s nations and their governments vying for position. And then there is us, the people affected by such bullshit.

Conversations With Coleman: Covid: The Conversation We’ve Been Waiting For with Dr. Zubin Damania

Always an interesting take with Coleman. I love this podcast. The conversation can be maddening slow at times, but it always gets somewhere I never thought it would go. Dr. Zubin Damania is one of those rare people that can completely disagree with you but still make you feel like he understands your point of view and wants to come to some kind of working agreement for all of us. I highly recommend his website and YouTube channel, linked to his name above.

Me going for a walk in the wind!

I’m still reading Apocalypse Never by Michael Shellenberger and loving it. I think it will be added to my list of books I would make everyone read in my own universe. It’s uplifting and positive environmental discussion. Not, “Everything is fine, life as usual,” but “Hey things are looking up and here’s why and how we might do better!”

Thanks for reading even on one of my downer days!

Social Anxiety Win and A Podcast Roundup!

I conquered a battle with social anxiety yesterday and I want to share that win with you!

It was Drive Day yesterday and you know what that means!

Podcast roundup!

I was meeting a friend at a new place, and since I wasn’t completely sure how long it would take to get there, I was a half hour early. No worries. I brought my journal. That’s when I got a text.

“Traffic here, sorry, going to be about a half hour late.”

Well, shit.

That’s when I realized after all that driving, I really had to use the restroom.

Now you’re wondering, “So? You’re at a coffee shop, Michelle. What’s the problem?”

Anxiety. I’m in a strange place, alone. I’ll have to walk in there, use the bathroom, and order a cup of coffee…ALONE. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it’s a lot for someone like me.

I texted my husband the situation, “laughing” emojis galore. He knows the struggle. He’s been with me for 24 years. “Just do it baby. What’s the worst that can happen?”

“I’ll look like a fool somehow” is what I was thinking, but texted back, “I’m doing it! I’m going in!”

Some things are great stirrers of courage. Having to use the bathroom is a big one.

I grabbed my wallet, the key out of the ignition, and took a deep breath. “I can do this. Normal people do this.” Opened the door, locked the car, walked toward the coffee shop door, and opened it. So far so good.

I see the restrooms sign, my eyes move to the door handle and… combo locks on the door. Damn. A glitch. I’m going to have to go up to the counter and ASK to use the restroom. What kind of a world are we living in?! I’m already inside, there are only a couple others having coffee at the small tables along the wall. I steel myself again, “This is just what people do.”

“What can I get for you?” the cheerful young girl at the register chirps.

“Your restroom code first!” I laugh.

“Of course!”

She tells me the four-digit number. Oh, lord, I’m going to have to remember that all the way back to the front of the store, at least thirty feet away. Yes, that is really what ran through my head before I repeated the numbers back to her and turned away.

Don’t worry, I didn’t forget them!

With that out of the way, I ordered an Americano, black, and headed out to the patio with it, to sit and write in my journal while I waited. Finding it far too sunny there for this fair-skinned red headed girl, I went back to my car.

Safe back in my own space, I breathed a huge sigh. Yes, literally. Then I texted my husband again.

“I’m a bad ass!”

“Yes, you are hun! You can do anything!”

Then I proceeded to tell him that we should have a flask of whiskey for emergencies because that’s exactly what this was AND what this cup of coffee needed to be perfection in a paper cup.

That stressful ten minutes down, I settled in to do some scribbling while I waited for my friend to escape Los Angeles and join me.

On the drive there, I had the chance to listen to three podcasts, one of which made me (yes, MADE me) buy a book while I sat waiting. Here they are, in order of appearance, one quick thought for each. These thoughts are from memory because I had to borrow my mother-in-law’s car and there’s no center console to hold my notebook while I drive.

Quillette Podcast #178: Michael Shermer on Watching ‘Scientific American’ Go Woke

Science should not be politically correct. It’s science. The point is to throw things out there and prove or disprove them.

This conversation was eye-opening, some things I didn’t realize people really considered were discussed, and I had this thought about sports teams separated by gender. What if instead of male and female teams, we just had teams by ability? I’m thinking about baseball and football kinds of sports. But then…there would probably be very few female players on the team. There’s no way, no matter how hard I work, to lift and kick and hit as hard as these dudes. The same goes for some smaller males, true.

There was a term he used…damn… See? This is why I take notes while I’m driving.

Freakanomics – No Stupid Questions EPISODE 83 Can You Change Your Mind Without Losing Face?

Have you ever had to change your opinions about something after learning new information? I hope so. Why do we think our politicians, leaders, and educators should never “switch sides” of a debate?

The other thing that rang so clear to me during this podcast was hearing about how one politician changed his stance on gay marriage years after finding out his son was gay. Empathy is what brings us together.

Freakanomics – People I (Mostly) Admire EPISODE 28 Why Aren’t All Drugs Legal? (Replay)

This is the episode that held a gun to my head and made me order another book on Amazon. I wouldn’t have otherwise. I have “shelf” control. Ha ha ha! I thought it was a new interview, but I found out just now it was a replay episode. No wonder it was so familiar.

My stance on legalizing all recreational drugs has been long-standing, but the reasons have changed over the years. This interview confirmed some older reasons and gave me a few new ones. I can’t wait to read this book, and since it’s the second time the interview has come up, I felt compelled to have it shipped to me ASAP…and that looks like a month from now according to Amazon. Weird.

I didn’t listen to any more podcasts on the drive home. I was too high on the three-hour conversation my friend and I had over coffee…and then drinks…then sweet potato fries!

Interested in reading another Podcast Roundup? Check out Legacy, Science, and Coincidence

Legacy, Science, and Coincidence: A Podcast Roundup

FYI I hear “Woody’s Roundup” play in my head each time I write “podcast roundup,” so there…now you do too. Cue the music!

Yesterday’s podcast time, as usual, was far more productive and enlightening on the drive out than on the drive home. There are two reasons for that. The drive out is early in the morning when I’m at my most refreshed and alert. On the way home, I’m getting tired. I’ve talked, walked, ate, and shopped all day long and now I’m ready to be quiet and reflective. THIS is why I do an all-day adventure like this every week. It’s a sweet process that does my heart good.

I’m excited to share the roundup with you this week. I found a new podcast I enjoy, but I’m still looking for new ones, so shoot them my way if you know of any. And I discovered a couple new books to read, too!

Let It Be 001: Legacy

I took copious notes on this one, so many ideas popped into my head as these two women chatted. My favorite idea was “Don’t leave behind a mess.” Just like any time in your life, at the store, in the restaurant, or at home with your loved ones, when you leave this planet, do your best not to leave behind a mess.

The big takeaway here was the idea of that we build two lives: a resume life and a eulogy life. Here’s a TED talk (only five minutes) of David Brooks explaining it.

Quillette Podcast: Christopher J. Ferguson on Racist Orcs, Ableist Adventures, and Non-Binary Monsters

This one wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, and I’m glad of it. I’m not a DnD person, never have been. I’m not that kind of geek, but I know people who are. I had a lot of thoughts while I listened to this one too, like:

It’s strange lately how much we’ve changed our stories over the last thirty years. We’ve moved away from good guys and bad guys and focused more on how people change and relate. All those “bad guy” origin stories.

Do you play games online or in person? Do you have an avatar? Did you create it to look like you, or do you have an alternate personality? Do you play to escape everyday reality, or to connect and explore?

Here’s a link to Christopher J. Ferguson’s paper, Are orcs racist? Dungeons and Dragons, ethnocentrism, anxiety, and the depiction of “evil” monsters, if you’d like to check it out.

No Stupid Questions 84: Why Do We Find So Much Meaning in Meaningless Coincidences?

Humans…we love to connect things. It’s how we learn and change our environment. At the beginning of the show, they started talking about watch the new season of Succession (great show, by the way) and WE’RE watching the new season too! Coincidence? Here’s the weirder part. Yesterday morning, my husband moved aside a magazine I had open on the table. It was open to an ad for a cruise line and he mentioned the strange coincidence between us watching the show and the current plot crisis. (Insert Twilight Zone music)

People I (Mostly) Admire: 60: Cassandra Quave Thinks the Way Antibiotics Are Developed Might Kill Us

THIS was a good one. Cassandra Quave is a fascinating person with a lot of interesting ideas. She talks about her life and how she got where she is. I’m going to get her book “The Plant Hunter” to hear more of it. She has this crazy idea about balancing the body, remembering that medicines were first derived from plants, and that maybe all these sciences should be communicating with each other instead of competing.

BBC Bookclub Abir Mukherjee

I heard “crime novel” and almost moved on, but then I heard a Scottish accent from a name like Abir and wondered what the story was. I was not disappointed. His book “A Rising Man” is also now on my TBR list. It’s a crime/historical novel, based in India in 1919. I love listening to author’s talk about their books and the BBC Bookclub is always wonderful.

Let It Be 002: Entitlement

This one…hmm…I’m not a fan of these words “entitlement” and “deserve.” When people start throwing them around, I tend to tune out. It was my last podcast of the drive. I was tired, so I had a hard time getting past my distaste.

Here’s my take on things like this.

My perception of karma is like a giant tapestry, the warp and weave of which we all create with our lives. Everything happens because of something else that has happened, some of which we can control, most of which we cannot.

Make people’s lives around you a little easier by not being rude and obnoxious. It complements the colors of the thread around you, creates sparkles and highlights in the bigger picture.

That’s it for this week. I hope you found something you liked in all those links. Let me know if you have a favorite podcast, no matter the subject or genre. I’m always searching for more listening material.

Oh! And more thing…

I finished a journal today, so tomorrow is new journal day. Don’t you just LOVE new journal day?!

Want more podcasts? Check out my previous posts, Thought Wrangling: A Podcast Roundup or Rivers, Narrative, and Racism: A Podcast Roundup

Thought Wrangling: A Podcast Roundup

Thought wrangling is the gathering of individual thoughts and ideas to see what they’re trying to tell you, instead of running away and hiding from them.

This isn’t so much of a podcast roundup as it is a summary of one particular listening session. I’m calling it a podcast roundup because it was my weekly drive day, but instead of listening to several podcast episodes, I decided to play the recording of Cory Muscara’s Masterclass on Working with Thoughts.

I was heading out the door to run some errands, after looking back at least three pages of my journal filled with negativity and self-chastisement. “That is just about enough.” I told myself as I dried my tears and grabbed my keys. That’s when I received the text about the class. I read “how to work with difficult and ruminative thoughts, as well as how to cultivate optimistic, supportive, wholesome thoughts” and clicked “buy” as I walked out the door.

Sometimes things do come into your path right when you need them. The elements of the earth moving into a pattern for the perfect storm.

I have a recurring problem. I’m not my biggest fan. When I look back at my journals, I can see what happens and when, the aftermath of anger and resentment, fear. But how do I find the triggers and avoid them? How do I stop losing my shit at myself?

I knew I’d be out all day and I wouldn’t be able to listen in on the live event, but it was being recorded and I could play it back another day, so paid the $25 and set it aside…for two weeks. Yesterday, I remembered to play it.

Here are my highlight takeaways:

We have a body and a mind. They are partners in this life, and we need to respect each other. If the body is tired, hurting, sick, give it some time to recover without yelling at it.

This is something I know I’m better at today than I have in the past, but I’m still working on it. It goes both ways. Sometimes it’s my body failing my mind, and sometime my mind fails my body. My body says, “I have energy! Let’s do something!” and my mind says, “What’s the freakin’ point? Let’s eat cookies.” My mind says, “We should call a friend and go for a long walk!” and my body says “Yeah, no. I’m tired and my hip hurts.”

What can I do? Compromise and be kind to myself. Sounds crazy but it does work.

Is your life in alignment?

That sounds so cliché. In alignment with what?

Recently I discovered a pattern to my some of my behavior. I tend to want to make people happy. I go with what they want to do or be, and then I’m unhappy, blame it on them for being jerks and making me do whatever, and then slam the door on them. No one made me do anything. They asked if I wanted to, I was afraid to say no, and then all hell broke loose.

I’m not in alignment with who I really am. I’m afraid most of the time that if I really show people who I am, they won’t like me, so I don’t…and then I don’t like me, which is far worse.

The times I get stuck in negative thought loops are when I’m struggling with being “good” instead of “authentic.”

In comes the “thought wrangling.” Negative thoughts could just be an indicator that I’m out of alignment somewhere. What if I heard them out instead of judged myself for having them? Here’s a crazy thought…remember that scene in Legend when Lili is tempted by darkness, the dress, and dances with it? That’s what I imagine acknowledging thoughts to be like.

There it is, that thought, and you’re afraid of it, terrified. It means you screwed up again, or you’re about to. No one can trust you, not even yourself. You’re a mess. So, you run and push it away, but it’s still there trying to tell you something.

Instead, see it, dance with it, get to know it. You don’t have to embrace it as reality, act on it, make any decisions, just because you acknowledge its presence. You’re only dancing, not committing. See what it has to say, allow it some space, and then choose what to do with it.

Terrifying, isn’t it? But powerful.

A thought can keep you from real feeling.

I am terrible at real feelings. Approaching how I feel directly feels so ugly. You should just know what my feelings are without my needing to express them thoughtfully. I’m not sure where I got that idea, but I’m working on changing it. The meditation that Cory led us through in the masterclass helps us practice letting a thought in and not running with it so that we can get closer to the feeling and deal with it.

A perfect example would be the “disagreement” my husband and I had last week. We went to Home Depot. I was in a great mood, feeling a bit crazy and wild with excitement, a little silly, and he was focused on getting the things he needed to finish our entryway remodel. I reached for him to reassure me that it was ok to be a bit childish and he turned to look at baseboards.

thought wrangling at the home depot
These are a few of my favorite things!

I was crushed. The thought, “I’m bad, I’m distracting, I’m not helping,” washed over me and I couldn’t let it go. I left to go look at plants and recover myself. In my head I was thinking I’d go give myself a timeout and behave because he didn’t like me. I found out later that he was completely confused. Those weren’t his thoughts at all. He was just thinking about baseboards. There was a big wall between us for nearly 24 hours because I couldn’t simply face a feeling and express it to find out what was really going on.

What could I have done, knowing what I know now? I could have looked at the thought. “Oh, there’s that thought again. How are you doing self-consciousness?” I could have taken a quick break and then told him that I got my feelings hurt and needed a hug, because in my heart I know he loves the crazy part of me. He just gets hyper-focused, and the world isn’t always about me. I’m still thinking how I could have done things differently.

How was I unaligned at that moment? I was happy and feeling wild, and I assumed that his reaction told me that wasn’t what he wanted from me. I immediately went to change me…right now…quick before he doesn’t like you! Crazy making.

So much to work on and so little time, but really think I’m at the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. A while back, I mentioned Jared Diamond had said their 60’s and 70’s were their best years. I can see why.

The masterclass recording was a little over two hours long, and there are pages of written resources for me to read. I’m making a few meditation notecards to remind me of the practice he introduced at the beginning of the class. I think it was $25 well spent, don’t you?

I Need “Play Random” Button

Yes, you guessed it! Another sweet Podcast Roundup! I’ll admit this week’s selection was too quickly thrown into the playlist from podcasts I listen to FAR too regularly. I was struggling with time constraints yesterday. It makes me wish there was a “play random” button on my podcast player.

Let’s see here…meditation, lyme disease, Covid, and the state of humanity. Three hours of listening and I found nothing that made me squeal with delight. I suppose they can’t all be winners, right?

“Michelle, why are you sharing these if they didn’t inspire you? Why bother us with it?”

Well, my friend, for two reasons. The first being documentation! This is a record of the journey and wrong turns and false starts are part of the big picture. The second is because maybe they are what YOU need to hear right now. Who knows? So I throw it out there, see if it sticks!

Practicing Human – Is Desire Bad?

Is desire bad? Is wanting bad? Depends on what you mean by bad, I suppose. My take is that there are skillful and unskillful wants and desires. I desire the cookie, but I know it won’t lead me to the better health I’m working on. Then again, it’s really not the desire that is the problem, it’s the attachment to the outcome of that desire. I may want a thing, and strive toward it, but let go of ever getting there.

Quillette – New York Times Columnist Ross Douthat on His Hellish Experience with Lyme Disease

Here’s a thing I didn’t know. Doctors look askance at Lyme disease sufferers. What’s up with that? And it turns out that not everyone suffers the same way: short, curable illness for most, long-term chronic illness for others. Humans are so strange. How does a doctor diagnose it? Different ways. How do they treat it? Different ways for different people. It’s a crapshoot, like everything else. Irritates me. This guy wrote a book about his illness, and it sounds like something I might want to read in the future.

The Intelligence from The Economist – Hope for the crest: an Omicron wave hits India

I’m hesitant to post anything about Covid, but here’s this one. Listen in, make your judgments, decide for yourself. Unlike everyone else, I’m not going to tell you what to think, vote for a law or mandate, or otherwise make you do something to protect me.

Cato Daily Podcast – Rationality: What it is, Why it Seems Scarce, Why it Matters

I didn’t realize that this was another talk from Steven Pinker. I already heard him speak several times and I read his book, Rationality. Great stuff.

Rationally Speaking – Humanity on the precipice (Toby Ord)

Hmm…I liked this and then I didn’t. I think sitting around worrying ourselves crazy over global climate change and whether AI will destroy us is a waste of time. The individual has no control over these things. But then, if we don’t, who will? I just don’t know.

I do enjoy thinking on the future of AI. It’s fascinating, but I’m more in the camp of, if they end up smarter than us and take over, so be it. Evolution is a thing. He did say something that caught my attention and I have been thinking on it ever since. Frankenstein. Man creates a being, it scares him, he shuns it, the being hates its creator and tries to destroy it. Age old story that applies to AI as well.

EconTalk – Gregory Zuckerman on the Crazy Race to Create the COVID Vaccine

Yep, another Covid podcast. This one is about a book the guy wrote about the companies that created the vaccine. I listen to a lot of podcasts, read a lot of articles, watch a lot of videos about Covid and the response to it. I have a lot of opinions, but I typically keep them to myself in public (online). I’m not sure that’s all too healthy, and I have my reservations about that, but what can I do but sit back and watch for now?

That’s all I had time to listen to this week. I skipped the ends of a couple of these. I’d heard Steven Pinker before and I got bored with Rationally Speaking.

My podcast list is getting boring, people. If you have one you love, please share it in the comments. I’ve been running into that new-age problem of only finding new things that are related to things I’m already listening to. I’m in stuck in a feedback loop! Throw me a rope!

Rivers, Narrative and Racism: A Podcast Round-Up

I had to keep an eye on this one as I walked by. He tried to follow but I needed him to stay with rocks. They need him.

What do rivers, narrative and racism have in common? “Hush, and Clopin will tell you!” Yeah…too many Disney songs lately.

“She’s back and better than ever!” Or maybe, “Back by popular demand!” Neither are factually accurate, but they are what I like to tell myself. What can I say? I love listening to podcasts and feel COMPELLED to share what I find. Come to think of it, it’s the same reason I share what I read here.

Yesterday, I took a long walk at The Santa Margarita River Trail and found magic. Water was flowing all by itself with no pumps at one end and no tracks beneath the surface to guide boatloads of tourists. Yes, the whole thing reminded me of the Rivers of America, right down to the rocks along the sides and a beaver dam. I didn’t even know Southern California still had wild beavers!

This one had flowers in his hair and tried to speak to me in front of mortals.

Anywho…podcasts were listened to on the way there and back home again and THAT is what I’m here to tell you about today.

Practicing Human: Small Moments of Deep Mindfulness

I love Cory Muscara’s short reminders. This one was about how much worth there is in just a few minutes of focused meditation. We don’t HAVE TO set aside hours of our day. And if we can take “just a couple minutes” to scroll social media, it can do a world of good to swap that time out for some focus instead.

Cato Daily Podcast: The Busybody Coalition Against Short-Term Rentals

Ahh, the AirBnB battle rages strong in my neighborhood and I’ve grown weary hearing it. It seems like just another reason for people to get up in arms against each other. In my area, people use ALL the complaints that this interview discusses. Personally, I’ve been just as irritated with some of my permanent neighbors as those just spending a few wild days and nights here. The bottom line is property rights. Do YOU want the government to tell YOU what you can do with your property? Or is that rule only going to be for other people?

Imagine my surprise when a man with a camera was there when I returned through this portal!

EconTalk: Frank Rose on Internet Narratives

Book: The Sea We Swim In by Frank Rose

Human memory is story based, that’s why we’ve been telling them since we started communicating. How we tell stories changes, but not why. I can’t wait to read this book! PS I couldn’t listen to all of this episode because someone kept nose breathing into the microphone and it drove me crazy.

People I Mostly Admire: Jared Diamond on the Downfall of Civilizations – and His Optimism for Ours

Hmm…this one wasn’t my favorite, but he had great points. I’m far more optimistic than he is. All civilizations fall, but we don’t see it when it’s happening, just like we don’t see evolution. Sure, there are starts and stops, events that change things significantly, but in the grand scheme of things we just keep plugging along. I’m not going to cry myself to sleep that America isn’t what it was. I’ll wonder what it could be in the future.

Cato Daily Podcast: Partisanship, Polarization, and Political Hatred

Yeah, you know, this is why I have gotten so upset with people the past several years, especially when the Covid BS started. It’s terrifying to watch people launch into mob-mode. His delivery and attitude shut me down a bit, but he’s right about a lot. Give government, or one position in government, that much power and you’re bound to have fights to the death. Can we please not?

Conversations with Coleman: Woke Racism with John McWhorter

Book: Woke Racism by John McWhorter

The title tells you enough, I believe. I’m adding it to my wish list for sure, but I can’t buy it now because I promised a “no buy” January. I beg you to give it a listen. Hearing these two men talk gave me hope for the world. Reasonable people, speaking reasonably, proposing reasonable solutions.

The biggest takeaway from my podcast time this week was when Jared Diamond said, “Our best years are still ahead.” The man is 84 years old and has a million things he wants to learn more about and do. When asked what his favorite decade of life has been, he said it was probably his sixties and seventies, but he has so much more to live.

How’s that for inspiring? When we stop being curious and exploring the world around us, the people, the places, the books, the movies, the food…that’s when we start dying. Our best years are ahead of us. Let’s go see what’s out there!

narrative and racism
Go find a sunny rock to lay by the river on!

The Usual Suspects: Podcast Roundup #6

The usual suspects were heard on by drive this week. Due to some…just…lovely…construction on the highway, another hour was added to my drivetime once again. No problem for me! It just means another podcast episode. Yay!

Just in case anyone from CalTrans might be reading, though: There has got to be a better way to repair the one highway in and out of a small town. Like, what if we just used one side while you repaired the other, instead of one lane stopping and crawling while you move equipment in and out of the lane?

I get it. It does need repair, desperately, and I’m grateful it’s being done. But there are a lot of people in this town that work down the hill every day and for the next month or so, the construction is adding an hour to their one-hour commute. The tension is building. I seriously sat there trying to project peace into these poor people the whole time I sat there inching along. And then there’s the poor construction guys in the hot sun with all the angry around. Man, what a mess. All the technology in the world and we can’t find a better way to do this? I think figuring this out would be a better use of time and energy than space travel.

One more thing before I dive into the “Roundup.”

My trail cam photos are so much fun. I’m posting some of them on my page Desert Photos: Enjoy the view, but I had to share this one here because it was so funny.

the usual suspects
THREE jack rabbits at the water bowl!

That one watching in the background looks like he’s smirking. Like he did something to the water and is just about to tell them and they’ll spit it out. “What the hell, Joe?! What’s wrong with you!?” And he’ll be rolling on his back laughing at them.

If anyone knows an EASY way to make a video of a couple hundred photos (like a fast slideshow), I’d love to hear about it. Sometimes the progression of the pictures is the best part, and I can only post photos right now.

Let’s get on with the show!

Secular Buddhism – #107 Learning to be Silent

Can you guess why I picked this one? Silence is not my strong suit. I have a lot to say, people! But the takeaway for me today was when he said, “Have you ever judged a person by what you see or experience in one instance?” Made me think, “Yes, I have.”

That guy that cut me off. That mother in the store. That fast food worker. I could go on and on. People are not horrible in general. Let’s give each other a break.

Philosophy Bites – Kathleen Stock on What is a Woman?

Made me think on issues I didn’t even realize were there. What is the dividing line that makes one “woman”? And maybe we’re going about this gender thing the wrong way?

Interesting article, “Ignoring Differences Between Men and Women Is the Wrong Way to Address Gender Dysphoria” on Quillette, if you’d rather read her work instead of listen to an interview about it.

BBC Radio: Books and Authors – Making it new? Literature of the Twenties Special

We’ve been talking about the similarities between the 1910’s and the 2010’s for a while now. Will the 20’s continue in the same vein? I’m all for “roaring” but maybe we can avoid “depression” and “war.”             I already have “Ulysses” by James Joyce sitting on by TBR shelf. I’m inspired to conquer it once again.

CATO Daily Podcast – Will Onerous Regulations Stay Gone After COVID?

Takeaway: If you can suspend a regulation because of an emergency, did you need the regulation in the first place? Or were you using government to protect the status quo?

BBC Radio: In Our Time, Philosophy – Marcus Aurelius

I liked this but didn’t listen to the whole thing. The interviewer kept trying to get them to read quotes from “Meditations,” but they kept going back to explaining him and arguing whether or not his work was philosophy or self-help. And what’s the difference? Something I’ll be looking at in a future post.

BBC Radio: Bookclub – Lissa Evans – Old Baggage

Suffragettes and old women friends! Yes, please! This one is a comedy, too. Bonus. What do you do when you’ve accomplished your goals and now you must move on? My ears perked up when I heard the author say, “The character had been treading water since they got the vote for women and was still trying to find her new thing.” Hey! That’s a bit like me!

Book Added to the TBR List: Old Baggage by Lissa Evans

Conversations with Coleman – Critical Race Theory with Christopher Rufo

This links to YouTube but you can listen on any podcast platform. The more I hear about this, the more I don’t like it. It seems to be building walls between people instead of bringing people together. I like what Christopher Rufo says about building up on commonalities instead of separating by differences.

And there you go!

Yeah, it is the usual suspects. I have the same six shows I listen to the most, but they lead me in such interesting directions. I know there’s more conversation to listen to out there. Do you have a favorite podcast? Let me know in the comments. Hearing yours will help me expand my influential input!

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