Tapping into Mental Strength to Overcome Fear ft. Amy Morin

We all have things that scare us. And it’s not because we’re doing life wrong; fear, in and of itself, is a normal emotion. So then what do we do with it? That’s really what this series, For the Love of Facing Your Fears, is all about. Today’s guest will be walking us through some strategies on facing our fears in a healthy way by showing us what habits mentally strong people employ in their lives. Amy Morin is a renowned psychotherapist, a bestselling author and she’s devoted her whole career to the exploration of what it means to be mentally strong. Her TEDx talk, “The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong” has been lauded as one of the most impactful TEDx videos to date.  Amy’s personal journey of loss juxtaposes with Jen’s recent experience of starting over again after 26 years of marriage–and they both discuss how fear played into their lives during these periods of grief and loss. Amy gives actionable, easy to employ behaviors that can set us on the course toward conquering our fears–no matter how debilitating. 

 

Moving from Insider to Outsider: Derek Webb’s Peaceful Disruption

Isn’t it fun to be part of the in-crowd? Where you can connect with people who are of like minds and spirits, where everyone seems to be headed in the same direction? But what if you start having nagging questions as an insider that don’t seem to get resolved, and even worse, are met with disdain or fear from other members of your group? This can be a scary place for so many of us. For the purposes of our conversation today–we’re talking about when it happens in religious spaces. For years, singer/songwriter Derek Webb was very much on the “inside” of what was happening in Christendom as a top selling, award winning Christian artist, songwriter and worship leader. It took a few disruptions to his own life that sent him down the road to evaluating his faith, his beliefs and how he wanted to move forward with the new information he’d gained. Now, decidedly an “outsider” who tries to still take up space in the Christian zeitgeist to potentially model a different way of living, Derek has gone on to record solo albums and also work with artists that aren’t typical to Christian music–like drag queen Flamy Grant—with whom, incidentally, he attended the Gospel Music Dove Awards in 2023 (and who also had a number one Christian song pop up on the charts), with the intention of making people who are Christian and LGBTQ+IA feel less alone. In this episode, Jen and Derek compare their journeys as “peaceful disruptors,” what it cost them and what they gained in the process.

 

The Vagina Bible: Debunking Myths and Misinformation Around The Female Body Ft. Dr. Jen Gunter

Do you ever feel like you don’t have all the answers and information you need around your very own body? Are there beliefs or “facts” you might have learned that maybe aren’t actually centered around truth or science? Perhaps you’ve entered various seasons of your life as a female (menstruation, fertility, childbirth, hormone fluctuation, perimenopause, menopause) where you’ve felt like your concerns were dismissed or you weren’t given the tools, knowledge or treatment to help you navigate these season as well as you’d like. Whether you avidly seek knowledge about your body, or you’re bumping up against walls in what has been, historically, a lopsided research culture where male health has been more highly prioritized, we’ve got a guest today who is determined to correct that inequity with scientific and experiential information, research and active destigmatization. Dr. Jen Gunter is an obstetrician gynecologist and a bestselling author (The Vagina Bible, The Menopause Manifesto) who has made it her goal in life to “fix the internet” regarding information about women’s bodies and correcting the misinformation that runs rampant there; long held myths that cause fear, stress and even shame around our female physiology. Dr. Gunter debunks common misconceptions around our periods, our hymens (fyi, it’s not a “freshness” seal), synthetic hormones, menopause symptoms and more. Bottom line: you deserve to know about your body, and this conversation opens the door to finding true and accurate information that will help dismiss the fears you may have around all the seasons of your female health experience.  

 

Exploring Our Senses as a Pathway to a More Peaceful Life ft. Gretchen Rubin

How often do you stop and think about how well your sense of smell is working? Or how well you’re hearing? When was the last time you really thought about your vision and how it’s impacting the way you interact with the world? We’re grateful today for a friend of the show who’s returning to remind us that when we tune into our body and senses, we can start to shape our sensory world to best fit who we are. And when we are comfortable in that world, peace is more easily attained. Gretchen Rubin has been studying happiness and human nature for over a decade. Her book The Happiness Project spent more than two years on the New York Times bestseller list, and she’s been featured in numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, Oprah’s SuperSoul Sunday, and Good Morning America. Her latest book, Life in Five Senses, is a thought-provoking exploration of how we experience the world around us through sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. 

 

This Year, Every Little Thing Counts: Jen’s 2023 Recap

Wrapping up another amazing and somewhat wild year here on the For the Love Podcast. For this special episode, Jen is flying solo to share her thoughts on what 2023 meant to her, what pinnacles were met, what didn’t go so well, and the many things add to the gratefulness list. From celebrating long time friendships and new friendships, to milestones with her kids, to being in a relationship as a “girlfriend,” to going through perimenopause and becoming gluten free, Jen recounts the blessings and the challenges 2023 brought to the table. And she gives us a peek into the process of writing for her brand new book that you won’t want to miss. For those of you who are struggling to find things to be grateful about over the last year, we’re here for you too. If you’re sludging through the remainder of the year, digging out of it a spoonful of dirt at a time, we’re here to remind you to keep going. Everything you’re doing, every teeny little moment holds within it grace or hope or strength or outright joy, and every single moment matters. And you, our listener, matter to us. On our gratitude lists, you are at the top–and we look forward to more good, hard, and worthwhile stories to share with you. Thank you for making this show a vibrant hub and a soft place to land for us all.

 

What Will You Leave Behind This Year? Father James Martin

In our ongoing pursuit of peace at the end of the year, Jen sits down with Father James Martin, one of America’s most beloved spiritual leaders and a New York Times bestselling author. Known for his thought-provoking books “The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything” and “Learning to Pray,” Jen and Father Martin talk about the premises in Father Martin’s new book “Come Forth, the Promise of Jesus’s Greatest Miracle,” which tells the iconic story of the raising of biblical Lazarus from the dead in a way we guarantee you’ve never heard before. If you’ve been in therapy for any time at all, you might have been advised to let go of things that don’t serve you, and lo and behold, this ancient story of Jesus calling Lazarus from the tomb has wisdom and inspiration for today, and promises to leave you pondering on what you might leave behind in your own tomb for a new life.

Finding Peace Within Our Grief: Sal & Im’s Tips for Good Mourning

In our ongoing pursuit of peace during the holidays, we’re tackling something this week that we might forget others are facing during the holidays (or perhaps we are trying to trudge through ourselves); grief.  Everyone’s grief journey is unique, but during a season where “joy” is being pushed 24/7, our grief can feel like it’s 10 times its normal size as we struggle to “show up” in the ways we usually do during the holidays. Our guests this week are here to remind us of several important things, including; it’s okay to grieve during the holidays, and it’s perfectly okay to take it slow, to pause, to rest. There’s no “right” way to grieve. 

And that’s why we’re grateful to have some return visitors to the show, the hosts of the Good Mourning Podcast – Sal and Im. Sally Douglas and Imogen Carn met in 2019 after their mothers suddenly passed away just months apart. Because of their shared grief experience, they met in a grief group and decided to launch a podcast together. They know that grief is intense. It hits you physically, emotionally, spiritually. And even during the holidays, during what should be happy moments. The community they’ve created around the topic of grieving brings people together during what can be a really lonely time and reminds them, they’re not alone. There are others out there who know exactly what you’re going through. And it’s okay to reach out, to seek help, and to take care of your mental health.

Sal and Im give us coping tools, show us how to establish boundaries when we’re grieving and also remind us; the pain does lessen over time. This is your journey, and you get to decide the pace. It’s not a race. It’s a process. So, take it one day at a time. You’re doing just fine.

You Deserve Time To Rest with Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith

Are you one of those people that says “I’ll rest when I’m dead?” We can relate. As busy people–partners, parents, career drivers, caretakers and a host of other hats we wear, rest seems like an elusive and sometimes impossible task–especially during the holidays. To kick off our new series, For the Love of Peace, we’re here to tell you–you need and deserve rest.  And lest you think rest is just getting 8 hours of sleep at night (wouldn’t we all love that), it’s more. We need emotional, creative, physical and mental rest, just to name a few. The stats are real; when we don’t rest we have increased cortisol levels, which then add to inflammation, which then add to every type of metabolic disorder that’s out there–from high blood pressure to cancer, to stroke, diabetes and more. It’s obviously important to figure out how to fix this rest deficit–but how? There is already a shortage of time for our overloaded to-do lists, not to mention being there for family, friends, work and exercise (if we even have time to fit that in). Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith has spent her career as an internal medicine physician, looking at the ways different kinds of rest are the little levers we can pull that renew our bodies, brains and souls. And good news–some of them only take 5 minutes to fit into our lives. When we put these rest practices into our lives, we avoid burnout, health issues and depression. Before you get to the end of seeing your own value to take care of yourself, consider Dr. Saundra’s advice and begin to respect the place that rest has in your life. By allowing it to sustain you, you’ll experience other areas of life much more joyfully. You Deserve Time To Rest with Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith

Two Friends Compare Notes On Therapy: Jen and Kelly

We’re bringing a close to our series on therapy, and we couldn’t be happier to have Kelly Corrigan with us to have a candid conversation with Jen around their thoughts on therapy, including when it first entered their awareness, and now, in a more enlightened age, how the next generation has more access to therapeutic help. Even as recently as 20-30 years ago, therapy was not talked about a lot in public. For Jen and Kelly, they didn’t see it modeled from their parents, it wasn’t mentioned in their church circles, and only earth shattering situations seemed to require it. But as they look back, they realized there were people in their lives who were likely touched by a host of mental health issues–like panic attacks, depression, anxiety–and they usually suffered in silence while others wondered why they were so “moody” or “different.” Now that therapy is enjoying its day in the zeitgeist, we can all benefit from the openness around mental health that is evolving daily. Kelly’s a dear friend of Jen’s and has been on our show numerous times–winning the coveted title of most appearances on our pod! Besides offering wonderful conversation and amazing insight here, Kelly is the host of her own podcast, Kelly Corrigan Wonders, and is the author of several amazing books including Tell Me More, Glitter and Glue, and The Middle Place. She also hosts a show called “Tell Me More” for NPR, and she and Jen discuss the value of the statement “tell me more” when relating to others about our deepest thoughts and feelings.

 

Freedom From Codependency with Melody Beattie

We’re back with some more therapeutic goodness as we approach the tail end of our therapy series with another fire episode! Awareness around mental health, trauma, dysfunctional family systems and more has been coming into the national awareness on a bigger level over the last 10 years. But back in 1986, the concept of codependency was really new. And unless you were deep into studying sociology or psychology or seeing a therapist yourself back then (also something that wasn’t as widely accepted), Melody Beattie’s book, Codependent No More, gave words to the masses who never had a way to describe these types of relationships in their lives. Codependency can worm its way into our lives—the definition being; those imbalanced relationships in our lives where one person enables another person’s self-destructive behavior (like addiction, immaturity, or even irresponsibility). It’s a bit insidious for those who don’t know what it looks like, and for so many, Melody’s book was a resource to help free themselves from something they may not have even recognized in their own lives. 35 years later, it’s still shining a light on those situations. Melody comes in with a scalpel to cut away to this very precise way of behaving and relating to another that is cloaked in good intentions and self-righteousness but is actually ruining our relationships. And fun fact, we were the very first podcast Melody has ever been on! Last year, she celebrated a new edition of her book honoring 35 years of its impact. Melody and Jen walk through how to recognize what codependency is and how it might be a part of your life and your relationships—which are the first important steps toward making an enormous change for the better.