In this interview, I am so honored to be joined by author Sonya Renee Taylor. Sonya is the author of the the New York Times Bestselling book, “The Body is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love.” She just recently released an updated version of that book, and the “Your Body is Not an Apology Workbook: Tools for Living Radical Self Love.” Sonya is joining me to talk all about radical self-love and joy. And, she shares that when we start to love ourselves, we can transform how we interact with others in the world.
One of my favorite parts of our discussion sits at the heart of something that has bothered me about joy recently; the question of “how can I embrace joy if that joy possibly comes at the expense of someone else’s freedom, joy, or access to things?” In other words, where does my own privilege enable me to experience joy when others may not have that same access to it.
In talking about altruistic joy, Sonya and I talked about how this relates to her frame work of “interest buying” or “detriment buying” – in other words, there are things that we do or things that we consume that are in the better interest of all people (altruistic) and there are things that we consume or do that are at the detriment of others.
And here’s where it got really juicy. Sonya shared that she feels that true, altruistic joy is the kind of joy that has no residue. And, this is perhaps one of the most amazing reflections I’ve heard about joy in the 7 years I’ve been talking to guests about it. Here’s what she had to say about it:
“What it brings up for me is: joy doesn’t have a residue. There’s no residue on joy. It’s beautiful. If there’s a residue, that’s information for you. That’s information to say, “this might not actually be best interest. This might actually be detriment by it. There is something on it that is not about simply living into the most joyful, highest vibration of myself in the world. There is something that says, ‘I’m trying to clean up something. I’m trying to fix something. I’m trying to extract something externally because it’s coming from a place of lack or scarcity.'”
That’s what the residue piece is. And so I think if we can start noticing and getting present with the question of is there a residue after I do a thing? And then, how can I let that be an indicator of whether or not I’m actually in a joy practice. Am I in an interest / buying practice? Or am I in a detriment practice?”
Sonya Renee Taylor and I talked about:
– her early joys of creating radio shows with her friend
– slam poetry festivals, and how entering them fed her soul
– how “The Body is Not an Apology” got started
– how the Genesis story in the Judeo-Christian tradition relates to shame and body image
– how to tell if your joy is coming from an altruistic place, or if it may have residue on it
– embracing radical self love
– why radical self love is not easy work
– the indoctrination of all of us in a society where the hierarchy has a vested interest in keeping us from embracing self love
– giving from your overflow, and how that can help you steer clear of burnout
– that choosing to spread radical self love feeds itself, and creates room for more radical self-love
In this episode, I’m delighted to have Fred Waitzkin return for his second interview, this time to talk about his brand new book “Strange Love.” Fred is the author of “Searching for Bobby Fischer,” which is based on his experiences with his son Josh who was a chess prodigy at age 7. In this new interview, we talk about his latest book (Strange Love), his time during COVID in New York and Costa Rica, and what drew him to write a story based in Costa Rica, and his writing process.
What I love about this conversation is the way that Fred talks about his creative process. I find that creating a podcast weekly also takes a good deal of creativity, for my clients and for myself. It’s always interesting to me to learn how other creative people tap into creative flow. Fred uses real life to inspire the events of his book, and he talks about three key things as far as how he goes about writing.
In this conversation, Fred Waitzkin and I talk about:
– his new book, Strange Love, and how he crafted the characters
– his inspiration for writing, often taken from day to day life and people he knows
– Costa Rica and New York City during the COVID pandemic
– his creative process in writing
– how the pandemic has changed us as people
– the resurgence of interest in his book, Searching for Bobby Fischer, after the release of The Queen’s Gambit
In this episode, I am sharing about a couple of parallel "paths" I've noticed in the past few months: those of Labyrinths, making mindful choices about what to do next, and setting boundaries to support those choices and new directions.
Your Unique Path
In December 2020 I took a week long course and became a trained labyrinth facilitator. The labyrinth has been around for centuries and is a helpful mindfulness tool, and a lovely walking meditation. It struck me that much like there are parallels between the center of a labyrinth and the messy middle of this pandemic.
Mindful choices on What's Next
This time in the messy middle has offered us a lot of time to think. I hear from other people that they are reflecting about what really matters, what things merit their time, what they really want to do when they can go back out in the world and do things with other people.
These two things (Labyrinths and honoring one's path) benefit from boundaries. A labyrinth without a clearly marked path is confusing, or, just a field. A life without boundaries is a free-for-all. So I want to mark things more mindfully, and make clear choices based on what I want and who I know I am. There is simplicity and beauty in knowing those things, and I want to honor them too.
What can you learn from your time in the Messy Middle of the pandemic?
Where has your path led you? Is it different than where you thought you'd go?
What kinds of boundaries could help define your path?
In this episode, I'm honored to be interviewing Lauren Artress. She is an author, Canon of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, founder of Veriditas, and a spiritual pioneer and a leading force in popularizing the Labyrinth in the US and around the world. I have been fascinated with Labyrinths for years, and this last December became a trained Labyrinth facilitator. I'm excited to have Lauren joining me to talk about her experience with the Labyrinth, The Labyrinth Movement, and how it offers parallels and insights into our lives.
In this episode, Lauren and I talk about:
- the labyrinth and what it is
- her journey in finding the labyrinth in Cathedral de Chartres, France
- the role of the labyrinth at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco - both now, and during the AIDS epidemic
- the Holy Fool and how it relates to the Labyrinth
- Hand labyrinths: how they work and how they came about
- The parallels and metaphors of our lives and the walk of the labyrinth