This Most Unbelievable Life!
Episode 68 - How to Quit!

Episode 68 - How to Quit!

June 15, 2021

Hello listeners! Did you ever quit something? Before we get started, I have to admit that of all of our episodes, the title of this one might be my favorite! A whole episode on how to quit! Yikes! Quitting has some pretty serious, if not outright extreme, connotations to it, doesn't it? I didn't resign, I quit! Did I step down from that position, or did I just quit? Was the job not the right fit, so I'm taking some time to reconsider my options, or did I... you got it... or did I quit? Moving on from something to do something else is one thing. Quitting, however, seems entirely different.

It sounds less like a career move, and more like defiance, and defiance doesn't come from a cost-benefit analysis, and it doesn't arise as a result of an intellectual conclusion. Defiance comes from the heart, and from the soul.

Sometimes, maybe it's time to just QUIT!

So what does it mean to actually quit, and when, why, under what circumstances, and how, might you do it? Can any good come from such an act of finality, and defiance? It might come as no surprise that we might suggest in this episode that the answer is... yes! If you're thinking about quitting something that isn't working, but you're not really sure, how can you really find that out? What are the questions that you might ask yourself that can help you get some clarity on whether or not it's time to quit? I mean, nobody likes a quitter, right, but what if quitting actually means putting an end to NOT listening to your true calling, and to stay means to give up on your goals, your dreams, and your true sense of purpose and self? 

What if staying in that situation means quitting on yourself? 

Give this episode a listen if you will, and let us know what you think!

 

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Episode 67 - Fear, Safety, and Creativity - or, The Episode Where the Power goes Out!

Episode 67 - Fear, Safety, and Creativity - or, The Episode Where the Power goes Out!

June 8, 2021

What is the relationship between creativity, safety, and fear? That is the question that we explore in this episode, as we’ve noticed that creativity often emerges at times when it’s “safe” to do so. Is the brain really such a “one-trick horse” that it can do fear and worry, or creativity, but not both simultaneously? Does a sense of safety lend itself to the ability to focus, and therefore allow the brain / mind to come up with novel ideas and perspectives? This podcast, now at 67 episodes and counting, serves as a testament to that relationship. So, we wonder: how we could test that???

Well, it turns out that we were given just that opportunity while recording this one. That’s right folks, it finally happened - and what more appropriate a time for it than while recording an episode about fear and creativity? Since this podcast began literally days before the pandemic lockdown began, all but two or three of these episodes have been recorded on Zoom. A stable and reliable platform indeed, but one that requires… um… electricity to operate. In other words, no power, no Zoom, and no recording, and what if this were to happen during a recording? We haven’t had to worry about this too much for the past year, so that’s great, but when it does happen, how do we react? How do we react to unexpected events that can play on fear, and hence, suppress creativity? To answer this question, we present to you, Episode 67! No worries… you’ll hear it when it happens. Enjoy! 

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Episode 66 - What is Nonviolent Communication?

Episode 66 - What is Nonviolent Communication?

June 1, 2021

Episode 66 - What is Nonviolent Communication?

Hey all! Welcome to June! Despite the unseasonable cold of the Memorial Day weekend here in the mid-Atlantic, it still marks the unofficial beginning of Summer. During this time, many folks plan for a little time away, where they can finally relax and get some rest and some much-needed relaxation. If you’ve ever tried to take a few days off, you might have discovered that sometimes they don’t always go as planned, and the days we set aside as being “off” don’t always meet our expectations. So often, all of our days, including the empty ones, end up getting filled with items from a “to-do” list. What is it that we really expect from our days off, and why do we sometimes feel like we need a recovery day from a vacation?

In this podcast, we talk through what might be going on here and suggest that the anxiety and discontent that some folks experience when attempting to have an empty day might be yet another phenomenon that we can chalk up to a communication problem. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a framework or a set of principles we could draw from to have these murky, uncomfortable conversations with ourselves and others? To that end, we present to you the principles of Nonviolent Communication, or NVC, as we understand them from our humble study thus far. NVC operates from the principle that all actions represent strategies to satisfy our needs, and this absolutely includes how we communicate what it is that we’re feeling, and what our needs with respect to those feelings really are. What would happen if we led from that place??? Check it out, and we hope you enjoy!

For more information about Nonviolent Communication, check out the following resources.

The Center for Nonviolent Communication

Rosenberg, Marshall B. Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. 3rd Edition. Encinitas, CA: PuddleDancer Press, 2003.

Sofer, Oren J. Say What You Mean. S.I.: Shambhala, 2018. 

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We'd love your support! If you would like to help out, here is the link to our Patreon site: https://www.patreon.com/thismostunbelievablelife

Episode 65 - Back to Basics, and Searching for the Unwind

Episode 65 - Back to Basics, and Searching for the Unwind

May 25, 2021

Ok folks… READY… SET… aaaannd RELAX!!

 

So, did it work? Were you able to immediately drop into a state of sublime relaxation and clear-mindedness, or are you, like many, feeling like you’re constantly a little bit on, even during times intentionally set aside for recharging? Maybe it might take a couple of days of intentional relaxation to get to the state of recharge, or maybe even longer if you’ve been intentionally “on” for a while. Although it seems nice just to have an opportunity to sit and have nothing to do, many folks find that during those times a lot of anxious, nervous, jittery energy can come through us. We think, “I should be relaxing, yet, here I am, feeling anxious and jittery with nothing to do.” When in this state, we recommend bringing an intentionality to your relaxation practice. 

 

Wait… practice? Are you saying that I need to practice relaxing

 

In this episode, we talk through some of the things that we do to assist in that intentional unwinding. We’re certainly not asking you to overthink anything here.  In fact, we find that when we intentionally engage in relaxation-type behaviors, we actually take up some practices that harken back to some of the most primal aspects of the human experience. We often engage in activities that, in some ways, really represent what it means to be human (think sitting around a campfire, under stars, cooking food over flames,...). We go through some examples, and we encourage you to take an inventory of the things that you do to help trigger a sense of release and unwind in you. Who knows? In these small moments we might discover that we’re human after all! 

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Support the Podcast!

We'd love your support! If you would like to help out, here is the link to our Patreon site: https://www.patreon.com/thismostunbelievablelife

Episode 64: Are Teachers Feeling Appreciation? Part 2 of a 2 Parter - The Heuristic!

Episode 64: Are Teachers Feeling Appreciation? Part 2 of a 2 Parter - The Heuristic!

May 18, 2021

Episode 63/64: Are Teachers Feeling Appreciation? Part 2 of a 2 Parter - The Heuristic!

As promised, here is part two the episode on teacher appreciation, wherein we introduce the heuristic! We recorded this one on the Friday of Teacher Appreciation Week, which just happened to occur, as it often does, the week of grade submissions at the institution where we both teach. We noticed an interesting juxtaposition that’s likely present every year: in our circles and on social media there was an influx of both posts calling for the importance of recognizing and appreciated the labor of teachers AND frustrated and, at times, pretty heartbreaking posts from educators who were just about at the end of their rope. The fact of the matter is: a week of appreciation is not enough to attend to the issues that make the teaching profession such a difficult one - and one wherein burnout is commonplace while sustainability seems illusive. 

So - what are we to do? And are the issues that plague the teaching profession unique to our line of work - or can we see symptoms of them throughout our culture? Well, these are not issues we can address in one podcast! And, while we split our conversation into two episodes this week, they also not matters that can be solved in two!  

What we do instead, is invite our listeners to hear more about our own experience with managing issues of labor, self, and working conditions. We then take space to walk through a heuristic (thinking tool) that we think might be of value for listeners, regardless of where (and if!) they work. We hope you’ll take a listen to both segments and continue the conversation with us on our social media outlets!

Related Episodes

If you’d like to explore this topic a little more with some previous episodes, please check out the following:

Episode 59 - Ways of Being

Episode 61 - Recognizing Habits for What They Are

Social Media Links

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Support the Podcast!

We'd love your support! If you would like to help out, here is the link to our Patreon site: https://www.patreon.com/thismostunbelievablelife

 

Episode 63: Are Teachers Feeling Appreciation? Part 1of a 2 Parter!

Episode 63: Are Teachers Feeling Appreciation? Part 1of a 2 Parter!

May 11, 2021

Episode 63/64 - Are Teachers Feeling Appreciation? Part 1of a 2 Parter!

This week you’re in for a bit of a cliffhanger! We recorded this one on the Friday of Teacher Appreciation Week, which just happened to occur, as it often does, the week of grade submissions at the institution where we both teach. We noticed an interesting juxtaposition that’s likely present every year: in our circles and on social media there was an influx of both posts calling for the importance of recognizing and appreciated the labor of teachers AND frustrated and, at times, pretty heartbreaking posts from educators who were just about at the end of their rope. The fact of the matter is: a week of appreciation is not enough to attend to the issues that make the teaching profession such a difficult one - and one wherein burnout is commonplace while sustainability seems illusive. 

So - what are we to do? And are the issues that plague the teaching profession unique to our line of work - or can we see symptoms of them throughout our culture? Well, these are not issues we can address in one podcast! And, while we split our conversation into two episodes this week, they also not matters that can be solved in two!  

What we do instead, is invite our listeners to hear more about our own experience with managing issues of labor, self, and working conditions. We then take space to walk through a heuristic (thinking tool) that we think might be of value for listeners, regardless of where (and if!) they work. We hope you’ll take a listen to both segments and continue the conversation with us on our social media outlets!

Related Episodes

If you’d like to explore this topic a little more with some previous episodes, please check out the following:

Episode 59 - Ways of Being

Episode 61 - Recognizing Habits for What They Are

Social Media Links

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Email

Support the Podcast!

We'd love your support! If you would like to help out, here is the link to our Patreon site: https://www.patreon.com/thismostunbelievablelife

 

Episode 62: Critical Thinking, or Critical Being?

Episode 62: Critical Thinking, or Critical Being?

May 5, 2021

Do we really need approval?  What are we looking for when we seek approval from others in our lives? We have noticed a tendency to seek out approval - we notice it in our students, in people we love, and, well, in ourselves. Yet - what does it really accomplish when we seek approval? Does approval give anyone the kind of connection boost we humans really thrive upon?  Why do we think we need approval? Believe it or not - our conversation about approval laid the foundation for a conversation about one of the most often mentioned and poorly defined concepts in both education and many other sectors as well.  

What concept is that?  Well, funny enough: it’s critical thinking. This conversation actually brought up a really curious idea! Is critical thinking, and the whole infrastructure of dialogue around it, really all there is to it, or all that it’s cracked up to be? What would our students, and ourselves, be capable of if they weren’t limited to only thinking? We talk through this point, and remember back on an earlier episode, which we titled, “The Rates of Things.” If we are truly capable of accessing, and considering, sources of information other than that of the thinking mind, how might our approach not only to education, but to literally everything we do, be different? 

Thinking mind, you don’t always have to be in charge. Sure, you have some good ideas sometimes but have a seat, and give this podcast a listen. There are other things too.

Related Episodes

If you’d like to explore this topic a little more with some previous episodes, please check out the following:

Episode 15 - The Rates of Things

Episode 43 - Contemplative Composing

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Support the Podcast!

We'd love your support! If you would like to help out, here is the link to our Patreon site: https://www.patreon.com/thismostunbelievablelife

Episode 61: Recognizing Habits for What they Are

Episode 61: Recognizing Habits for What they Are

April 28, 2021

Hey folks! Do you have any habits that come to mind? If so, are they the good ones, like making your bed, or taking out the trash, or are they the “other” ones… the ones that not too many people know about, and that we like to keep to ourselves? Maybe it’s just a little thing that comes up every once in a while, or maybe it’s a doozy that might be grounds for more urgent attention. Whichever the case, does that habit actually meaningfully address the root cause of what it is that you’re feeling and need, or is it something that happens more unconsciously, or without consideration for any sort of bigger picture of what is happening in your life? Is whatever it is contributing to solutions that add to your happiness, ease, and way of being, or is it just another thing that you don’t like that you do that is grounds for self-judgment?

In this episode, we explore some of our own habits and even consider some origin stories for a habit or two. We explore ways of being that might be habitual but not necessarily productive. How can we notice and explore our own habits, not with a judgmental eye, but with a bit of curiosity and openness to what we uncover when we take a peak at what we do, when we do it, and what we’re hoping to achieve in the process. 

If you’re in the habit (!) of listening to this podcast, we’d love to hear more from you about your relationship to your routines and quirky tendencies. What serves you well in your daily experiences? And for which habits do you wish your brain could discover a suitable alternative?

P + C

Related Episodes

If you’d like to explore this topic a little more with some previous episodes, please check out the following:

Episode 61 - Approaching the Finish Line

Episode 41 - Questioning how we Categorize

Episode 28 - When Discomfort Calls us to Adjustment

Social Media Links

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Support the Podcast!

We'd love your support! If you would like to help out, here is the link to our Patreon site: https://www.patreon.com/thismostunbelievablelife

Episode 60: Approaching the Finish Line

Episode 60: Approaching the Finish Line

April 21, 2021

How do you start your days? Do you jump right in or do you take some time to ease in and set a new intention for the day? And how do you continue on with those days, and are you able to notice that you’re running out of fuel? We have found, most years, that we come into the end of the academic year pretty tired out, without much fuel left. This year, however, we’re approaching the finish line of the year with a bit more energy than we have in the past. We’re coming to it with a bit more ease. We obviously find this to be a curious observation, and we’re happy to take some time in this episode to talk about why that is.  

What’s helped us find ease at the end of our academic term? We both seem to point to some sense of awareness and, of course, mindfulness, as being key to our experiences in this year. Some of this may arise from practices that we started before the pandemic began, yet some, it seems, may have arisen as a result of some of the changes in our days as a result of the pandemic. For us, mindfulness isn’t self care. Mindfulness is not a luxury item. Instead, it has become an essential part of what we know we need to not just survive, but to thrive in this unprecedented year. We find that this need has become particularly apparent even as we start to see the finish line of this pandemic emerging as a possibility, and as yet another new way of being, and doing, may be emerging. 

How are you approaching the finish line? Are you out of fuel? Have you used up all your resources? Are you coasting along from the momentum you built this winter?  We’d love to hear how you’re experiencing the feelings of change in the air! Give this one a listen, and let us know what you think! If you’d like to get started on your own mindfulness practice and you’re not quite sure where or how to start, give us a holla!

P + C

Related Episodes

If you’d like to explore this topic a little more with some previous episodes, please check out the following:

Episode 1: A Conversation about Missing the Point

Episode 21: Who Makes These Rules Anyway?

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Support the Podcast!

We'd love your support! If you would like to help out, here is the link to our Patreon site: https://www.patreon.com/thismostunbelievablelife

 

Episode 59 - Ways of Being

Episode 59 - Ways of Being

April 13, 2021

What is your way of being in the world? And while we’re at it, what does the phrase “way of being” mean anyway? At the core of this question, it seems, is the idea that people are who they are, and that we have a limited ability to change that. Is that really true? Or is this just a story that we tell ourselves? I mean, do you really wake up each day and make a conscious decision on how you’re going to be that day, or do you not really even think about it, and just let things unfold how they do? If you’re like us, you might find that there are some ways of being that you are quite intentional about while others feel more like reactions to the experiences you face in life. Can you tell the difference, and what might it take to get to the place where you can engage in what arises responsively, rather than reactively? This, friends, is how we develop our way of being in the world!

So, join us, as we take our own ways of being in the world, explore the ways of being we see within our communities, and consider the ways that priorities, values, personality, action, and attitude might all shape how we navigate our days and experiences. There may be some steps that we need to take, some adjustments we might need to take to start on this journey, but we promise you, they are worth taking! Give it a listen; tell us what you think!

P + C

Related Episodes

If you’d like to explore this topic a little more with some previous episodes, please check out the following:

Episode 22: 100% YES!!!

Episode 38: Coping vs. Thriving

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Support the Podcast!

We'd love your support! If you would like to help out, here is the link to our Patreon site: https://www.patreon.com/thismostunbelievablelife

 

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