Eps 120: Asking Questions of our Pain, Guest: Marcia Hyatt

Eps 120: Asking Questions of our Pain, Guest: Marcia Hyatt

It’s time for another Wednesday audio delivery of Spark My Muse.

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Nine Köpfer

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Today’s guest is Marcia Hyatt.

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Eps 57: The Healing Process of Writing– Guest Rachel Toalson

Eps 57: The Healing Process of Writing– Guest Rachel Toalson

Today my guest is a writer, a podcaster with her husband Ben, a very creative and productive woman, and also mother of 6 boys–including 3 year old twins:
Rachel Toalson.



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MIN 1:30

Rachel the writer and parent.

• In the boat with Ben – podcast
• WEBSITE for the podcast

Being creative and having a family.

Don’t give up your creative dream once you have kids.

Tools for pursuing dreams, intentional parenting and parenting with values.

MIN 3:30

Teaching our kids that parenting doesn’t mean we stop being who we really are but that we invite our children into a wonderful creative life.

MIN 5:30

What is Fairendale?
• Visit the Fairendale Page for a free Prequel

MIN 7:00

Our choices matter but they don’t define us.


On storytelling

MIN 12:30

• Crash test parents

MIN 14

Exploring the difficult parts of life in memoir.

MIN 18

The healing process of writing.

MIN 19:30

Writer’s guilt

MIN 20:00

Resources and services for writers

MIN 22:00

Our lives are like stories

MIN 24:30

Documentation of your strength as a human.

MIN 25:30

Inoculating yourself against having your joy sucked away during good times.

MIN 26:00

Advice to parents from a mom of 6 boys

Parenting in an emotionally intelligent way and really knowing your child.

MIN 29

Brene Brown – whole hearted living (click to read the 10 guideposts)

Rachel’s twins that share their own language and partner in “crime”.

• Visit Rachel at racheltoalson.com

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Special “Ask Sparky” Episode: Responses to 5 Burning Question

Special “Ask Sparky” Episode: Responses to 5 Burning Question

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Here, just the Father's beard could wipe out planet Earth
(Hey, God doesn’t have a body.)

Shownotes for the Special “Ask Sparky” Episode: Responses to 5 Burning Questions


1. It’s hard to pray to God as Father when you’ve had a bad dad. What should I do?

• How do we think about God? (usually like a human person or institution)

• God is Spirit not an old white man in the sky with a long beard.

What adjectives will help you connect with the Being typically called “God”


Hebrew word for God is a description too (yahweh “I am” a verb) that was not used. Adonai  was substituted and that simply means “Master/Lord” and is a term of respect.


It’s misguided to think that God can be contained or described well using a “Proper Noun”. God can’t be called a proper name/noun…like “Billy” (and that would make Jesus “Billy Jr.”).

Hebrew names are descriptive when referring to people (not how we use names to address people today).


YAHWEH (Hebrew word), means I AM (or “is”) and works like a verb denoting Presence an Love in Action. It defies typical proper names and descriptions.


2. On Forgiveness

“What should I do to forgive when I can’t forget?”


Forgiving is a continual process.

Thinking of forgiveness as transactional–a debt clearing mechanism. Be an accountant and don’t worry about your emotions being on the same page.


Remembering that you are not your thoughts.


What Justice is actually (Shalom). Making things right and reconciliation.


3. What to do about envying others (in this case writers in the field) and being jealous of their success.


Seeing the negative emotions as tools. Reframing them to use them to find our calling, gifts, and passions.


Not getting caught up in “should” and “oughts” and comparisons.


When you can say of your work, “Wow, I get to do this!” you can have enough gratitude to be comfortable with the success of others.


It’s common and normal to get feelings of jealousy. It’s only when the take over our hearts and mind do we need to reevaluate and recalibrate what we are doing and thinking.


Deciding that the options of other people and the opinions should have huge power is a choice we can change.


4. Getting over feeling guilt and shame that keeps resurfacing.

Daring Greatly Brene Brown (the difference between guilt and shame.

• Guilt is important so we can learn and correct and grow and become better people.

• Shame is a belief that something, un fixable, is wrong with you.

Shame whispers lies in your ears. Shame becomes a decision of who we are as person.


Being put to shame by parents and others.


A mistake isn’t part of who you are.

Redemption is always possible. You can start anew.


My caveat.


5. Church isn’t working for me anymore and I feel guilty leaving the church, but I don’t feel fed.

In the U.S. we often go to church as a consumers and look for what we can get out of it. Church can be piss poor.


Look for ways to give and minister and find connection in other ways.


For me, small groups were a starting point that lead me to seminary.


Bringing back the potluck and sharing life with people.


Sometimes we sense church isn’t “working” when meaningful connection is lacking.


“we” is better than “me”.

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Episode 2 (Wet Dog Fur Wine and Brene Brown)

Show notes:

Episode 2 (Wet Dog Fur Wine and Brene Brown)

Make sure your wine never tastes like wet dog fur. huh?


Spark my muse is The podcast for curious creatives types, wine newbies, and those willing to put up with my occasional silliness. Thank you so much for sharing your time with me.


How wine can go to the dogs and how to best store wine in the wine segment.

Plus, a bit about a topic and a book that has made a huge difference in my life.

This episode of the podcast is brought to you by:

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Having a pet in your care, who helplessly depends on your for life and well being can teach you a lot of things. 10 essays both funny and insightful written by 2 authors and plenty of memorable photos.

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Today’s wine segment!

Why might your wine taste like wet dog fur….and what to do about it?

Basic Stats:
A wine bottle has 25.33 oz. (750ml).
A serving (a glass) of wine is 5 oz . (Half way up the glass is full. Where the glass is widest (aroma reasons in the design)
1 bottle = five glasses.

If your wine smells stale or like wet dog fur…it is Corked!

(The cork is not working and too much air has mixed with the wine.)

Wine last 24 hours if the air is pumped out
Here’s the one I recommend we use it at work. It pays for itself after two uses.

Wine lasts only a few hours if it’s not pumped. It’s not harmful, but it won’t taste its best. Pushing the cork back in won’t help too much because air is trapped in there.

Another reason Wine is stored on its side to expand the cork. A bottle corked with a plastic cork won’t be helped by horizontal storage.

On the next PODCAST – I’ll talk about my favorite tool for opening wine and why, and the bottle opening tools you should (probably) avoid !


Now to spark your Muse

Brené Brown’s work made its mark on me before she did her famous 1st TED TALK which lead to you famous ins TED Talk on her research about shame and vulnerability at the University of Houston.



The topics in the book and some of the passages I’ll read to you have really gained new significance  because putting up a podcast is risky. I feel vulnerable and I feel like I might get rejected. Some people won’t like it and I can’t change that. I don’t want to fail. And I don’t want to look like an idiot. And looking like an idiot is extremely probable.

When we are about to step out into unknown territory or if we doing something that makes us more vulnerable the two main things we think are “who do you think you are?” and “You’rd going to look like a fool” and I might add one to that “You won’t do it right” (it ’s related to the 2nd one) Maybe you can think of others that come to you mind.

We seem okay to handle other people’s vulnerability but really reluctant to risk that ourselves.

Excerpts from Daring Greatly:

Pg 35 “I define vulnerability as uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure”

My note: We can’t risk feeling vulnerable if we are dealing with shame.

pg 68 “people who don’t experience shame lack the capacity for empathy and human connection”

My note: Social also social pain. We fear rejection and isolation.

pg 67 “shame derives its power from being unspeakable”

Language and story bring light to shame and destroy it

pg 71

Guilt is “I did something wrong”

Shame is “I am bad” (or “I am something wrong”)

• When new feel shame we lash out, get anxious, hide, or numb out, and really we need to do the opposite of those things to have victory.

• Instead of lashing out or hiding we need to reach out, to some one we can trust.

• Instead of overcompensating we have to cut ourselves a break. “I make mistakes. I’m moving on past this one.”

Pg 80 Brené says “If I own the story I get to write the ending.” I just heard a fascinating TED TALK from Monica Lewinsky and she sounds like she’s taking this advise. She said it was time to take back her story and control her own narrative.

Reaching out and being honest creates an environment of empathy, and that’s really why I’m sharing all this with you.

Don’t be afraid to create and do things that are your passion. And mess up while doing them. I’m messing up a lot, but I’m trying to not let those mistakes put me in a choke hold of shame and inaction.

I hope you will be inspired to do the same.

Thanks for listening today!

Or if you have read Daring Greatly, what was the most powerful thing you learned. I’d love to hear from you! Leave comments at sparkmymuse.com or the email contact@sparkmymuse.com

subscribe to the podcast….tell your friends what you and I have been up to. See you soon.

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On Preparing for the “Other Shoe to Drop”

Screen Shot 2013-06-16 at 10.35.49 PMMaybe it’s happened to you before too…

You look at your child who may sleeping, or being themselves, or doing something they love …and your heart fills with a rush of joy and good pleasure. This is quickly followed by dread.

“Maybe it’ll all be taken away,” you think.

Maybe something terrible is about to happen. Maybe things won’t work out. Fear.

Or perhaps this sort of dread will surface right after a big personal victory or good news.

It’s like that perfect moment of happiness has a gremlin that pops up and spits on it. For many of us, especially if we endured a bit of pain or disappointment, our Joy is followed by foreboding.

This strange death grip on joy is quite common. With a self-protection machete we slash down joy or happiness with contingency plans and preparation for the worst. Upcoming disappointment won’t catch us on our heals, we think.

It’s all about avoiding feeling vulnerable according to Brené Brown who talks about this in her book Daring Greatly. She’s done the research and says that those who’ve done regular preparation to avoid pain still aren’t prepared when disaster strikes. Instead they are devastated, just like the rest of us. But sadly, they have mortgaged away their joyful moments in on-the-spot while bracing for potential disappointment and pain.

So what can inoculate us from from short selling our joy?

It’s simple: In-the-moment gratitude.

Instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop, push aside the tormenting doubt, dread, or mistrust. Sideline the foreboding that steals that moment and latch onto to gratitude. Hold on with both hands. Gratitude sustains joy. It’s like a Defense Against the Dark Arts skill, says Brown. She’s right. It works.

It might go something like this, “Oh, my, we’re all picnicking and enjoying a wonderful time outside. No one’s fighting and everyone’s happy to be here. Yes, it might not last, but my how grateful I am in this very moment, this perfect beautiful moment. I’m going to let it soak into my bones. I’m breathing it in.”

Stay with it as long as you can. There is a guiding light in gratitude… and gremlins, as we know, are afraid of light.

The truth is that joy and sorrow are linked. They do a dance our whole lives, really. But, hope and resilience can win the day. That’s an important bit of useful knowledge to give our children, too. With some intention, we can live in the Joy.

Oh, and when the other shoe drops, use it as a planter.

(photo source)

Thank you for reading today. If you’d pass this article along to someone who needs it or out on the inter webs, I’d be grateful. You can  feature it on your blog too. Just click on the Permissions Policy for details to stay legit.

I hope you’ll sign up for future posts in the sidebar! Have a joyful day sustained by gratitude today, friend.

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