In our conversation with Neelam we talk about coming to know yourself as presence, what trust in your true nature means- and how the genuine experience of that trust can change our lives, what true freedom is, and how we can discern the difference between when past is arising, and playing out it’s habitual patterns and using it’s built up momentum, and when we are actually present. We discuss in detail what Awakening and the capacity of the nervous system have to do with one another, what trauma actually is, and how to get out of the grooves and charges of the past so that we can truly be here and not in a remembered past or imagined future. We were also grateful that Neelam spoke so eloquently about tenderness and kindness as the true marker of if we are in the present, and how treating ourselves with tenderness can be the real alchemical agent.
We’re exploring conditioning, again, but after being with David we’re posing the question to ourselves “what if it’s all conditioning?” What if, while we are in ego consciousness, all of our thoughts are simply products of our culture and lineage that become habitual? And if so, what would that mean about how we can shift out of our chronic patterns of suffering?
Today we are talking with David Thomas. David is a self-realization teacher, speaker, and writer living in Virginia Beach, Virginia. We were both immediately struck by what a bright light David is. He has a very clear way of pointing out what conditioning actually is- how we are programmed and how we lose connection to life. His clarity on what the Being is- what direct experience is- versus our thoughts about ourselves can really rock your world in this talk if you sit with it. And his insights on the dark times we are living in as a result of how we have been forced to shut down our hearts is spot on.
In this episode we are speaking with our very special guest and friend Jeannie Zandi. Our conversation touches upon so much including what true power looks like, the imbalances our culture has perpetuated, what healing would look like through the lens of yin and how we can move forward together in dismantling the conditioning that has led to so much pain. For anyone exploring healing on both a personal and collective level this episode is for you. She put words to a revolution we’re just now realizing we’ve already been a part of.
Today we’re talking about when we are so contracted by very real things like chronic illness, chronic pain, or ptsd and we can’t reach a state of gratitude, or relief, and certainly not joy. Instead, we are coping with responses of our nervous systems and our physiology that feel much more akin to being trapped in a hell realm.
Today we are speaking with Dr. Miles Neale, author of Gradual Awakening: The Tibetan Buddhist Path of Becoming Fully Human. In this episode we go deep into what Miles calls the “sickness of paradigm”, which is fundamentally a life perspective that he believes is plaguing our modern culture. We explore whether spirituality has become a necessary medicine for our current crises, what may help us wake up a sense of interconnectivity, and the dilemmas presented to us by the trend towards watered-down meditation practices, which he has coined as “McMindfulness”.
Today we are speaking with Will Pye. Will’s first book is titled Blessed With A Brain Tumor; Realizing It’s All Gift and Learning to Receive. So needless to say, he was a perfect guest for us to have on as a follow up to our basic trust conversation from last week. We talk about what surrender is and what it isn’t. How life is life-ing and preparing us perfectly for our hero’s journeys, the projections we can have about someone’s terrible news, or in this case diagnosis, and how Will instead seems to be living like he’s on a really fun scavenger hunt or adventure, rather than as someone who is burdened by the reality of living with a brain tumor.
Basic trust is the implicit sense that we are connected, safe, held and supported by life. In this conversation we explore our perspectives on basic trust as well as AH Almaas’s definition; including how it is fed, how it is ruptured, and ultimately how we can go about healing.
What is awakening? Why does it get a bad, or weird, rap, why were we shy about admitting that in the past, and, well what is it again!?! We discuss what it means to us to “wake up” by looking at the difference between object-based reality and subject, or present-moment-experience-based reality. We get at new angles on what the ego is. And we open up about why we care about this, and why we refuse to be slaves to our own conditioning anymore.
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.