We are 89 episodes in, and almost at our 2 year Bliss + Grit anniversary! So in this week’s episode we’re speaking about what it’s been like for us to do B+G over the last couple of years. From following our own mysterious divine calling, to running a business by trusting life and listening to messages, to reframing leadership as a vision of healing in public, we’re chatting about the inspirations we’ve gathered and lessons we’ve learned throughout our time on the show. We couldn’t have done it without you and we’re oh so grateful.
We are looking at how we shape people’s view of who we are with the words we unconsciously use about ourselves. Yet when we head into this territory, frequently teachings crop up, particularly in popular culture, about how we need to edit and suppress ourselves, or pretend to be something other than what we feel. We explore shame, blame, and superstition-free inquiries around how we can shift the words we use to describe ourselves and the world we live in.
This week we’re discussing turning towards the ache. We can often either resist the situations that trigger us. Or once we get triggered we can collapse into patterns of shame or blame. What if we instead met our triggers with an attitude of curiosity? What if we leaned into what we were afraid of as an opportunity to grow past the fear? In this conversation we are sharing our recent personal experiences of embracing the attitude of empowerment and moving towards what scares us.
Today we are joined by teacher Kiran Trace. Vanesa, Kiran and I have all had our own experiences with suicidality in our lives, and so with this issue so front and center culturally we decided to have a conversation about it to see if we could de-shame the topic and help anyone out there who struggles with suicidal ideation to feel not so alone, and to have some ways to navigate out of the pattern of not wanting to be alive.
After a recent request from a listener to share some more details about how we are connecting the dots between all of the amazing teachers we’ve had on the show, we’re doing an integration episode. Recently, we have seen so many similarities between teachings that Loch Kelly shared and those that Matt Kahn offers. They use completely different language, come from radically different backgrounds and offer different tools, yet when you boil it down the overlap is obvious. We are jazzed about what we've been experiencing and seeing since we had the pleasure of having conversations with these two luminaries back to back.
Today’s episode is with Matt Kahn, whose new book is titled Everything is Here to Help You. Matt’s teachings are very near and dear to our hearts and have made a tremendous difference to both of us on our paths, so we were thrilled to do this interview. Matt teaches directly to the needs of the energetically sensitive souls, or what we call the “sensies”; What others have called empaths, or highly sensitive people. In other words, us, our tribe here at Bliss and Grit. If you want a deep dive into what really is the ego and how do we make the journey to living not from ego but from soul? What really is the soul, and what is the interplay with the body as we go on this journey- well have we got the conversation for you.
This week we’re going deeper on a conversation we had a few months back on awakening and the nervous system. Through numerous personal experiences, recent interviews and a course we’ve been taking with a teacher named Neelam on the Awakening Nervous System, we’ve been getting an even more profound understanding of the role the nervous system may play in recognizing our true nature. From discussing what it means to be present, to the basics of poly-vagal theory and tools we can use to create shifts, we’re exploring the fascinating world of the human nervous system.
Loch Kelly is the author of Shift into Freedom, and the creator of the recent audio course offering through Sounds True, Effortless Mindfulness Now. He is a meditation teacher, psychotherapist, and founder of the non-profit, Open-Hearted Awareness Institute. Loch has collaborated with neuroscientists at Yale, UPenn and NYU. He has been teaching seminars, supervising clinicians and practicing awareness psychotherapy in New York for 30 years. It’s also worth mentioning that he teaches in our favorite lineage, the human being lineage! Which makes him a perfect teacher to have on Bliss+Grit. We so admire how he talks about awakening as a normal developmental potential for all human beings, and how his approach is so practical and available.
Over time, we can begin to label anger as wrong or “unspiritual,” essentially something “evolved people” don’t feel. Yet, as this listener shared in her letter to us, anger can also be an important step in healing and reaching a genuine place of forgiveness. Join us in exploring the differences between feeling and acting from anger, understanding anger as a boundary and how we can meet this often maligned emotion with heart.
In this episode we talk about a portion of Vanessa’s notes from her recent retreat with Matt Kahn that we found particularly resonant. We’re talking about no knowing, and how and why “I don’t know” is a powerful, clear, open, and relieving position to come from.
This week, inspired by a quote from Gangaji, we’re taking it deeper with a conversation on the importance of vigilance. If you’ve been listening to us for a while you know we’re usually speaking on how hyper-vigilance can create tensions and feed fears of unworthiness, yet, we also want to stay alert to ways in which our unconscious programs are running. Moreover, we are served in bringing our attention towards our own innate wholeness.
We’ve talked about bypass in the last several episodes as seeking to only feel bliss, to avoid the messiness of a human life and human emotions. Which can bring up the idea that maybe we really need to double down on the grittiness of life in order to be on a genuine path. What about when suffering becomes the bypass of choice- as always, unconsciously and in innocence- we can often subconsciously emphasize the struggle. Or over-tolerate the struggle. In which case we lose access to joy, to ease, to the nourishing movements of life.
Amoda Maa is a contemporary spiritual teacher, speaker, and author of Embodied Enlightenment. In our conversation with Amoda, we speak of course about being fully awake and fully human, we touch on spiritual bypassing, agendas, tenderness, and common misconceptions about the spiritual path.
Spiritual bypass is commonly held up as what the spiritual path IS. When in fact, it is in direct opposition to what the path is. As Dorothy Hunt says in her book Ending the Search, "Spiritual concepts and spirit are not the same thing... It is the use of an idea of spirituality that keeps us unconscious.” Or as Vanessa says, bypass is using the spiritual path to avoid your shit. Usually while wearing the identifiers we call “spiritual person”.
In this conversation we are talking with Dorothy Hunt about her recent book, Ending the Search. We explore what the term awakening means to her and what it would look like to “end the search.” We also speak on unconditional vs conditional love, how we can come closer to our true identity, what it means to be fully human, and so much more.
Today we’re talking about agendas that we are frequently, unconsciously and in innocence, acting out in our lives. These agendas may have helped our younger selves to feel safe but they are not who we fundamentally are, and they can create exactly the opposite of what we are desiring in our lives. We call out some of the top agendas that we all take on- the tough one, the victim, the martyr, the good girl or boy. On a relative level these agendas are creating repetitive painful patterns in our lives. And it’s nice to have lives that hurt less and are more satisfying on a soul level.
In today’s episode we’re speaking about what we’re calling micro-shaming; which we could describe as the subtle ways we can inadvertently shame people for being different than us. This topic felt especially relevant in this day and age where we have so many “gurus” out there giving well-intentioned, but sometimes unhelpful, advice that may be creating patterns in shame in us without us even noticing.
Today we are being with our heartbreak, grief, rage, and sense of helplessness after the latest US mass shooting. In this conversation we inquire about how to be with the really massive, raw emotions when they do come.
n this talk we’re discussing the differences between fitting in and belonging, the experience of being in a group and still feeling lonely, and the role that shame may play in creating our sense of isolation. We also go way down a rabbit hole on the origins of shame and the relational damage it can create.
How do we forgive? How do we forgive ourselves when we can’t yet forgive? How do we at least move towards it and soften in that direction and- really- let’s look at the benefits of actual lived forgiveness instead of the typical “you should forgive” platitude. Ultimately the internal process of forgiveness can be the most powerful healing remedy both for ourselves and also for the world.