Episode 94: Cancel Culture as a Lens on Resistance to Change

A few weeks ago, Jerry reached out and said that he wanted to do an episode on cancel culture, that he thought there were aspects about that debate that are relevant to the work we do. In his view, the debate around cancel culture was not a demand for change on the one side and desire for the status quo on the other, but rather a form of resistance on both sides. He felt those of us who desire change needed a "third way" approach, something different from the extremes that are currently dominating the debate. It is looking for that third way that drives our conversation in this episode.

Here is the diagram by Prochaska and DiClemente that Jerry references in this epiosde:
Process of Change by Prochaska and DiClemente

Episode 93: Jenn Cullom on the Value of Therapy

Therapist and friend of the show Jenn Cullom reached out after Jerry and I spoke of our reservations about therapy in a couple of episodes earlier this year. She felt our characterizations about therapy were narrow and not very accurate. So we invited her onto the show to talk about what she saw as our misconceptions and to speak to the benefits that therapy can offer.

Episode 92: On Skillfully Meeting the Discomfort of Change

The process of change isn't comfortable. Our comfort zone is the place we already are, and to change ourselves requires leaving that comfort zone.

In this episode, we talk about some areas in which Benjamin has seen his practices begin to come to fruition, and the feelings of discomfort that accompanied those practices along the way. We discuss whether it might be possible to learn to embrace the discomfort, to welcome it as a necessary step. We offer means to meet the discomfort more skillfully, so that we can move more readily into the change we seek.

Episode 91: Calling in Hope at the Vernal Equinox (A Better Story)

It's our second COVID spring, but this year at the equinox, there is reason to feel hope for the new world that we are building. The vernal equinox is a good time to reflect on hope: springtime, after all, is a time for renewal, rebirth, the planting of seeds. In this episode, Benjamin speaks of the seeds of hope he is planting for the months ahead, and asks you to consider what seeds you wish to see sprout in your own lives.

Episode 90: Jerry Got His First Vaccine Shot

Jerry got his first vaccine shot and found that it brought up a lot of interesting feelings. We start our conversation this week by talking about those feelings, and from there range into topics as varied as our responsibilities to others, the way two different cultural responses to COVID seem to be entrenching, and even the argument for a higher minimum wage.

Episode 89: RPE, Recovery, and the Intent to Thrive

In this episode, we revisit the practice of RPE, with particular attention towards what we should do when the experiences of our lives take us beyond the zone of moderation into levels of stress that lead to detriment, an experience many (all?) of us have lived over and over again--if not constantly--over the past year. We've spoken a lot over the past couple of months about thriving in the new world in which we find ourselves, and in this episode we speak very directly about how the practice of RPE will help us to do so, how we recover when we find ourselves beyond the zone of moderation, and how awareness of our experience in the present moment will (or at least should) dictate our responses to that moment and, more broadly, how we live our lives.

We also touch on some of the topics that arose in Benjamin's "Bottom Line" episodes of a few weeks back, and Benjamin takes a moment to speak his feelings on Texas Governor Greg Abbott's decision to end the mask mandate in his state.

Episode 88: COVID Aftereffects, Both Personal and Social

The impending anniversary of the COVID Zero Day, March 12th, got me thinking that it's been a while since I talked about my personal, physical experience as a COVID survivor. That day, when everything changed for all of us together, was also the day that everything began to change for me on a more personal level, as it was the day that the symptoms of what turned out to be COVID began to seriously affect me. It's now been almost a year, COVID still appears to be having ramifications on my health, and I can't help but wonder what the continued repercussions will be.

Jerry and I use my personal experience as the jumping off point for this week's conversation. We dive into the new reality of our world and the ways it affects health, wellness and fitness for all of us. We talk about how the continued unfolding of the pandemic is demanding lifestyle and outlook changes for all of us. Finally, we talk about how that understanding might lead us to treat ourselves and those around us better.

Episode 87 (RFB 21.0225): On Donald Trump’s Acquittal, the Filibuster, and the Belief That Drives Change

In the least surprising political event of 2021 so far, the Senate voted to acquit Donald Trump of the charge of inciting a mob to attack the Capitol Building. My question is this: should I even bother to be angry? Also in this episode, I discuss the horrific institution that is the Senate filibuster, and argue that this hideous holdover from an even more racist time than now should be put to rest. Finally, I talk about the beliefs that hold us stuck in the status quo, and how choosing to believe differently could start to bring change.

The Ezra Klein Show episode that I talk about in this episode can be found here.

Episode 86: A Good Coach Must Be a Good Student

At the beginning of February, Benjamin participated in a ski clinic at Angel Fire, NM. He found the experience so enlivening that it led him to this thesis: that any coach who is not him- or herself actively getting coaching is at the very least a bit suspect. That thesis was the jumping-off point for the conversation you'll hear in this episode. We talk here about (surprise!) the need for coaching, exploring first principles, how to find the right coach, and much more.

Episode 85: The Bottom Line, Revisited

A couple of weeks ago on A Better Story, I spoke of reaching a new bottom line with respect to the podcast: that I would no longer work on the podcast on deadline day. Now that I've had a little time to explore the significance of that bottom line, I want to share what I've learned so far, because that bottom line is proving quite important to the structure of my days and weeks. I believe that what I've learned so far will prove useful to anyone engaging in creative work, as well as to anyone walking the path of growth.