Is it possible to hold strong opinions and beliefs AND learn to express them without alienating and dehumanizing those who disagree with you? Can you really engage and have a robust conversation where you disagree without getting triggered and traumatized? 

In this episode, I introduce four practices that will help you learn to engage in tough conversations with grace and passion and leave conversations feeling energized instead of defeated and angry. 

Enjoy. 

I met Latifah Alattas last year when we started collaborating on a new project (The Fun Parts Podcast). I was immediately drawn to her creativity, her infectious laughter, and her commitment to honesty. She's a singer/songwriter who has written under many different monikers, including Moda Spira and Page CXVI. 

Latifah just released a new album called All (as Page CXVI). It's gorgeous, including old hymns she's rewritten to have gender-inclusive language and also some incredible original songs. 

You can check out Latifah's work at ModaSpira.com and PageCXVI.com,  and you can follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

Enjoy! 

I loved this conversation! Rebecca Bowers is an LGBTQIA affirming and inclusive therapist and advocate, living in southern Louisiana. She primarily works with clients who have gone through spiritual and religious trauma. She sees many clients who have experienced these specific traumas and works to help them reconcile and recover.
 
Trigger warning: We talked a lot about the kinds of trauma that LGBTQIA+ individuals experience from religious institutions and how to move toward healing.
 
Resources from Rebecca:
 
Disclaimer: Each resource may not be right for each person. If something does not rest well within your body or your mind, then leave it for now. You do not have to agree with what is on the screen. Before diving into resources, tell a friend what you are thinking and ask for their support. If you have a therapist, send them an email and tell them you may need to unpack some of what you read in your next session. I highly recommend therapy, but therapy may not be right for you- do the best you can for yourself, and always try to offer kindness towards yourself.

I recorded this episode based on a blog post I wrote a few years ago when the Me Too movement was just getting started. The blog was titled "An Ode to the Women Who are Too Much." We need to hear those voices, to hear their stories, and to stop telling women they are too much. 

Click here to read "An Ode to the Women Who are Too Much."

I also mentioned Sue Monk Kidd's gorgeous new book, The Book of Longings. It's an imaginative story centered on the question, "What if Jesus had a wife?" The main character is Ana, the wife of Jesus, who had a voice that needed to be heard. And, as Sue Monk Kidd suggests in the Author's Note at the end of the book: if any woman's voice would have been silenced, if Jesus did have a wife, it certainly would have been hers.

So, to the women who are "too much:" We need you.

The song Bang (from the album Divorce by Moda Spira - a.k.a my friend Latifah Alattas) was used by permission. 

Megan Westra is the host of a great podcast called The Podluck, and she's the author of a fantastic new book called Born Again and Again, which chronicles her evolving faith. Our conversation went everywhere from her super-conservative upbringing in the Southern Baptist Church to the questions she's currently still wrestling with.

Click here to buy Megan's new book, Born Again and Again. 

Find out more about Megan by visiting her website - and make sure to follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

Why is it that most of us listen to everybody else but neglect our own inner wisdom? Why don't we trust that voice? Is the heart (as the bible claims), really "deceitful above all things?" In this episode, I talk about how to learn to listen for your inner wisdom, how you can borrow true wisdom from others in order to find your own inner wisdom, and what we can learn about inner wisdom from a bizarre story called the 18th camel. Enjoy! 

Why do we get so triggered by Facebook posts with which we disagree? Why can't we just smile and move on? This episode deals with the idea of dualism, and how our brains are still hardwired to keep us safe from sabertooth tigers hiding behind the blueberry bush even when they aren't there. It also explores a mindful practice that can help you to move on more quickly by detaching yourself - and your identity - from your feelings. 

Also mentioned in this episode: Fun Parts Podcast! Check out the trailer for this brand new podcast that explores the relationship between sexuality and spirituality.  

Gena Thomas advocates for families who have been separated at the border. In this conversation, we talked about Gena's experience adopting Julia, a child who had been separated from her family at the border between the US & Mexico, and also about how she worked tirelessly to find Julia's mother, Guadalupe, so they could be reunited. You can read all about Gena's story in her book, Separated by the Border.  

You can follow Gena on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and find out more about her work at www.genathomas.com

Also mentioned in this episode: 

Kids in Need of Defense

Bethany Christian Services 

In the Country We Love

I recorded this interview with Austin Channing Brown in July of 2018, but it's incredibly poignant given the events of the last few weeks, with the killing of George Floyd, the global protest, and the overwhelming call for systemic change. Please consider buying her book (which is currently #15 on the NYT Bestseller list): I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness. 

Jessica Kantrowitz is a writer and theologian living in Boston, Massachusetts. She writes about theology, culture, social justice, and chronic illness, including her own struggles with depression and migraines. Her writing has been featured in places like Sojourners, Think Christian, The Good Men Project, and Our Bible App. She earned her MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
 
You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and you can purchase her new book, The Long Night: Readings and Stories to Help You Through Depression here. 
 

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