Thinking like a scientist with Jon (S2E12) by Mandy Wintink

I reconnected with one of my favorite students from Ryerson. He was that super engaged student who asked good critical-thinking questions and really took things to another level. So when he contacted me to say he developed a game on scientific thinking, I was super excited to meet up and learn more about his game. And what he showed met my expectations. Jon is reflective, intelligent, a deep critical thinker, and a social justice advocate. All of these elements came out clearly in our conversation about his game “Think Like A Scientist!”. In an age where information is both a commodity and exploited, learning how to think like a scientist is even that much more important! It was a fun conversation where I decided to mostly keep my scientist hat on. I did challenge him a little bit on his bias against natural and the conflict of interest in science. We broached the topic but didn’t go to deep, because it was simply beyond the scope of this audio. ;)

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The slowness of cancer with Sarah (S2E9) by Mandy Wintink

In this monologue, Sarah recounts her feelings over the past 3 years of dealing with cancer both how it looked from the outside and how it felt from the inside. At the beginning, she wondered "how am I going to come out the other side?” It felt like she was walking through a doorway in Alice in Wonderland and then suddenly stumbled upon the strange universe. She realized that the way that you look at the world shifts. And a big theme for her, is that cancer is slow. 

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What is the internet? And Blockchain... with Mike (S2E7) by Mandy Wintink

Ok so Mike learned a whole bunch about the blockchain a while ago when we bought some bitcoin and ethereum and all that fun cryptocurrency stuff. I didn’t. But then I started listening to the Zig Zag podcast and wanted to learn more about it. So… on our next date we find ourselves going down the rabbit hole of trying to figure it out. It got fun for me when we realized that I was part of the internet era before the world wide web and he was not. Mike’s 5.5 years younger than I am, which equates to 6 grade school years. So that’s a pretty big difference during the internet era. Anyway… it turns out our understanding of the internet and the world wide web was different. So we figure that one out and continue on talking about blockchain and ethereum, which we both think are important to watch and understand because they might end up being the next new “internet”.  This conversation is really funny to me… partially because I think in 5 years we’ll look back and laugh at this. Kind of like having a conversation about a phone WAY back when it started and asking questions like “so where do the voice live?” “Who delivers the voice?”. Even listening back 2 months later while writing these notes, I see that I know so much more now! Anyway… here is a conversation we should probably be embarrassed to share. Please don’t quote us on the details… like what gopher is! 

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Talking with Sarah about her Cancer (S2E6) by Mandy Wintink

Sarah and I have been talking for a long time about her cancer but this conversation was planned as a way of starting her series of episodes for Mandyland. We had a bunch of ideas planned but realized early that it was hard to figure out where to start. So we started with why she has been hesitant to share this, despite her desire to. That got us talking about her career and the impact cancer has had on her career. From there we talk about where she is now and a brief introduction to her cancer. We end with how valuable it is to talk about stuff.

The Biological and Neurological Basis of Mental Health (S2E4) by Mandy Wintink

It was a privilege for me to have this conversation with Paul about depression and mental health. We veer into a few different directions because, like I said, he is so curious, and just being around him and his curiosity gets me all fired up to talk about this. There are some basic conversations out there about mental health and then there are conversations that are more holistic and nuanced. This, I think, is more of a nuanced conversation about anxiety and depression. 

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After 3 Years... I'm Done Breastfeeding! (S2E3) by Mandy Wintink

This is a big one for me. I’ve been breastfeeding for 3 years and 2 months and I think…. I think… we’re done. Breastfeeding has been amazing and so hard in many ways, as it typically the case for many women. Sometimes it’s the act of doing it that’s hard… sometimes it’s the emotions around it. For me, it came naturally from a very physical sense but it’s been an emotional rollercoaster from then on. I’ve felt trapped and like my body is being used and on the otherhand I have loved it and been blown away by the awe of it all. Like I said, an emotional roller coaster. But… I think that’s all done now… wow.

Mike has cancer (S2E2) by Mandy Wintink

So we’re starting off with a doozy… me and Mike talk about his recent diagnosis of Renal Cell Carcinoma. Yup, that’s what’s been happening over the summer. It started with a few scans for an unrelated reason and a tumour in his left kidney was detected incidentally. Surgery is planned and there is a good prognosis for it being curable. Here we discuss our feelings about it… sort of.

End of Season Call Out by Mandy Wintink

Well, that's a wrap. It's been a year of this project and it's time to end one season and start anew. There are lots of ideas brewing so I can't wait to start. Therefore, it won't be that long before it starts again. 

If you want to send me a voice memo — which you can do from your iPhones, maybe other smart phones too — send it to me at awintink@canc.ca

 

Death and Dying with Terrance by Mandy Wintink

I hadn’t met Terrence in person before this conversation but Jenn Chan ​​​​​​ (another regular guest on Mandyland) mentioned him when I was talking about death one day. She told me that Terrence has a brother with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and that his brother was considering Medical Assistant in Dying (MAID). I provoked Terrence with a little facebook comment about having him on my podcast and he took the bait. We chatted a few times on facebook just to organize timing and then here we get right into it about death and dying. It was such a pleasure to talk to him and I look forward to doing it again. 

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Follow-Up About Depression and Anxiety with Dawn by Mandy Wintink

Dawn, who shared what it’s like to have depression and anxiety earlier this year, now shares her experience with her gradual return to work and ultimately her having to stop working. She describes her very visceral experiences as she attempts to go back and subsequently the failure she feels not being able to. Like before, this is a great window into the what it’s like to struggle with anxiety and depression. At one point I even admit that I want to help her and fix her and how hard it is for me not to. I’m sure I’m not the only one listening who will feel that same desire to “fix”. My hope is that listening and providing space to share these experiences is helpful in and of itself. 

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Birds Chirping Mindfulness Meditation by Mandy Wintink

I was walking with my dog Jett one spring day and noticed the beautiful sounds of the birds chirping. So I decided to record them as a 5-minute mindfulness meditation. 

Instructions: 

Just listen. Hear the sounds of the birds and any other sounds that come up. If you get distracted by thoughts, that's ok. Notice that too and then come back to just listening to the sounds in your ears. Try to be kind to yourself if and when you do get distracted, recognizing that mindfulness is more of the practice than a goal, even though the practice of paying attention often leads to a goal of being more mindful in daily life. But for now, just listen. Just practice. Just provide this opportunity to help train your brain to focus on this present moment.

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Intuition with Emily by Mandy Wintink

Talking with Emily made my friggen week! I didn’t know her before this first encounter except through email briefly. A few weeks before this, I put out a call for training proposals for a retreat that I’m running for my coaching/teaching staff at the Centre for Applied Neuroscience. Emily replied offering a workshop on intuition based on her PhD work in education philosophy. I was OVER THE MOON with her email and before even meeting her I booked her to train us! This conversation was our first official in-person meeting and I have to say that she is so absolutely wonderful in so many ways. I love her ideas, her ability to articulate her ideas, the sound of her voice, her knowledge, her curiosity, her story, her perspectives, and her wisdom. I hope that this is one of many times I get to talk/work with Emily. 


In the process of talking about intuition we cover what it is, how it works, how to experience it, the effect of believing in it, resistance to it as a way of knowing, feminism and oppression by the patriarchy, and spirituality. There is so much more I want to know from her so I’m going to read her thesis, which is linked to below. She’s also working on a more general public book that I am equally excited to read!

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The Female Brain with Greer by Mandy Wintink

Greer (another neuroscientist) and I began talking after I posted something on facebook about how I wanted to honour the female brain. She replied to my post with something like “YES!” and so we planned a conversation without any idea of where it would actually go. We went around and around and covered much ground including: 1) what does a woman leader looks like?, 2) valuing women in the workplace, 3) the female stress response of “tend and defend”and the maternal brain, 4) the difference between rearing boys' and girls’ brains and emotional brain development, 6) women’s intuition, and 7) the validation of #MeToo and #TimesUp. We wrap up with asking what are the characteristics of a female brain? We probably should have started with that, but we didn’t. We even tie in cryptocurrency. It ends a bit abruptly mostly because I deleted about 12 more minutes where we come up with a women's circle plan, which was interesting but a bit TOO much of a tangent. ;) 

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Giftedness with Kandace by Mandy Wintink

I recently started reading about giftedness in children. I came upon it somewhat by accident, more out of a curiosity prompted by many people commenting on Ashar’s unusual alertness since he was a baby, his incredible comprehension even before he was verbal, and always seems to be thinking. A few of these people suggested he might be gifted. So one day I googled it and became almost immediately captivated by what I was reading, mostly about the special needs of gifted children. 

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