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.
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. Read More
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! Read More
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. ;) Read More
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. Read More
We’re on a date night… and this is what we end up doing: talking about death! We talk about it from the perspective of my fear of dying and also from Mike’s perspective of not being afraid and then with respect to (assisted) suicide and enlightenment. Read More
I have always enjoyed consulting the cosmos for support. Actually, if I trace my psychology interests back, I can see it within my interests in the paranormal, for example, dreams, ghosts, telekinesis, superpowers, unsolved mysteries, and oracles.
Something about these unknowns deeply resonates with me and they bring me great comfort especially when I feel lost in other ways. To me, a session like this IS therapy, a therapy that feels a million times better than any other therapy I have ever tried. Often times, what I feel that I need is a perspective that I couldn't possibly come up on my own. Maybe that's why I have never really done any training in any of these metaphysical disciplines... I wanted them to remain a mystery.
In any case, I got HUGE benefit from this session, not too surprising for me. I came away with a new and refreshing perspective on my struggles as a mom, some affirmation having quit frisbee, and an unexpected new direction with my career.
I share this, despite that it is clearly very irrelevant to anyone other than me, except that this podcast is about the interesting conversations that I have with others, and this is definitely one of them. I share this because I know there are people out there who are curious about what it would be like to have an astrological or tarot card reading and just need a little glimpse into it before they can truly make that decision. So here is that glimpse. Read More
A few days before this conversation Jenn and I (along with our partners and kids and friends) attended an open house for an alternative school in our neighbourhood that we both want our kids to get into. The conversation natural meanders through a variety of topics including school ratings, learning styles, starting a new school, starting a summer school, tracking how kids learn, neuropsychoidiology, strength-based approach to learning... Read More
So I made a big decision recently, which was to quit playing competitive ultimate this summer. The process was gruelling for me and it brought up a lot of interesting things for me. I start with wrapping my mind around letting go of an identity (in my own monologue) to discussing my body with Mike and ending with confidence in how I want to grow old with my body and try to embrace death with Mike, Lindsey, and Bronwyn (and the kids in the background). Who knew it would be a spiritual journey to quit ultimate? Actually, it’s not that surprising when we consider how our egos get wrapped up in identities… and it failing to let go. The last conversation gets into so peripheral topics about what is an athlete and is it different for men and women? I also liked the deeper conversation about growing old with yoga. Read More
Jenn and I were meeting for a brainstorming session over “report cards” for home learning. We both highly value the importance of process a long with the outcome or the product. We decided to start discussing a tool to help parents (including ourselves) document the process of learning in their children, with a focus on learning that’s done at home. We don’t cover the nitty gritty of what we come up with — we’ll save that for later — but we discuss the value of process, other ways people/disciplines document learning, how to reward process, Read More
There are so many things I love about Dawn sharing all of this but one thing that I think deserves extra attention is how articulate and wise she with her mental illness. It’s like she sees it both through her own eyes and experience but also through the eyes of some looking from outside and also someone looking with a clinical lens. We cover quite a few topics including what it actually feels like to live with depression and anxiety. She paints a very visceral picture of what it feels like in her body and the thoughts that go through her mind. If someone has ever questioned the physicality of depression and anxiety, they should hear how Dawn describes it. But I want to make it clear that this took A LOT of courage for Dawn to share this and then allow her name to be attached to it. She’s so articulate and seems to comfortable with all of this that it’s hard to really tell with her. But she deserves a huge applause for doing this. I am truly grateful and know her sharing her story is of benefit to others, whether it’s people with similar experiences feeling less alone or for people without these experiences to grow more compassion. Read More
We’re at Merchants of Green Coffee in Toronto. Just before I started recording Mike said that he had the thought that everything is exactly how it is suppose to be. So I start recording as we are launched into a conversation about enlightenment, objective truth, and activism. Because we’re at a coffee shop, we have some great background music that sets a nice atmosphere, I think. The conversation ends with Mike's distraction. Read More
We’re having a house breakfast. It starts off with Ashar and Nyjah getting stuck while crawling under the couch. We’re talking about our white privilege and some of our resistances to our white privilege, particularly in comparison to disadvantages we might feel because of our gender and/or sexuality. Throughout the conversation you also get to hear us parenting our kids squabbles and requests. Read More
Mike and I somehow end up in a debate on “what is a hipster?” It’s an old conversation, from 2014. I honestly can’t remember how it started but it did lead to a deeper (?) conversation about craftship, apprenticeship, and mentorship. You have to wait about 10 min to get to that part but I found listening to us figure out what a hipster is, kind of amusing. Then, we talk about the difference between craft, apprenticeship, and mentorship compared to design-based problem-solution-type business models. Read More
This was a planned discussion about the role of neuroscience in coaching between myself and my friend and colleague Quinn Simpson. Quinn is a coach who works primarily within education. We cover a lot of topics including creativity, neuroplasticity, change and capacity for change, stress, decision-making, intuition, empathy, how to be present with others, and how to self-reflect on our own biases as a coach. We end with a look at how neuroscience can provide tolerance and compassion for others. Read More
Paul’s coaching me. We start this session with Paul discussing his proposed coaching process and then we talk about Mandyland. He helps me figure out some of the details and clarify some of the concepts. We cover why I did not feel inclined to be very niche-like with this podcast. Why cover the “why” of what I am doing. Paul also challenges me with the fractured aspect of my work as he tries to wrap his head around all that I do. I resisted it, as I typically do. He asks the questions I hate the most: What’s the common thread? What connects all these things that I do?
Jenn rants about her job for the first 13 minutes. So skip ahead if you don’t want to hear that. We eventually cover topics such as leadership, managing others, reference letters, challenges of being a working mom, brining your whole self to work, working/busy too much, life in balance, being addicted to work. Read More
This was recorded back in the summer of 2014, long before Mandyland was conceptualized. At the time, I thought I would have a podcast with mine and Mike’s conversations. You can tell it’s old because I refer to Jian Gomeshi as the host of the Q back before we knew what kind of asshole he was. Most of what we talk about is the career of ranting and my desire to have pursued that, had I known about it at the time. Read More
We are all over the map in our conversation. We spent a great deal of time talking about poop, which I’m actually not ashamed of. I think we should talk about EVERYTHING as a culture, poop included. And this isn't even about baby poop. Just plain old regular adult poop. And the anxiety that provokes it! But that’s not all we talk about it. We started talking this conversation with a focus on authenticity in our writing and other projects and we actually do come back to that. I think the conclusion was that we write for ourselves... and maybe others care about it too. Read More