Eps 119: “Honey and Onions” [Insights for Idealists] Guest, Alessandra Pigni

Eps 119: “Honey and Onions” [Insights for Idealists] Guest, Alessandra Pigni

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Today’s guest is Alessandra Pigni. (pronounced: péen – yee)
She will be joining me and the rest of the group selected for the On Being Gathering in February, 2018.

Her book is entitled:
Idealist’s Survival Kit, The: 75 Ways to Prevent Burnout
(The book is published by Parallax Press which is the publisher founded by mindfulness teacher, peace activist, and Vietnamese monk, Thich Nhat Han.)

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Eps 94: The (untrue) Stories We Tell Ourselves in Relationships, Guest Scott Gornto

Eps 94: The (untrue) Stories We Tell Ourselves in Relationships, Guest Scott Gornto

Welcome to Spark My Muse!

• Each FRIDAY, guests join me in a conversation.
• Come back each Wednesday
(on “Hump Day” aka Midweek) for a brief Soul School “lesson”–something for your interior world and common life.

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THANK YOU so much.

Today my guest is R. SCOTT GORNTO (MDIV, LMFT, CST,) who is a therapist, speaker, and author based in Dallas, Texas. He’s the creator of the Auxano Approach® to relationships, The Truth About Marriage® workshops and intensives for couples, and the RQ Relational Intelligence program for C-level executives and leaders.

• Today, we discuss very useful concepts and methods from his book “The Stories We Tell Ourselves” among other things, including how we construct reality. 


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Eps 87: An Inefficient Conversation with guest Matt Inman

Eps 87: An Inefficient Conversation with guest Matt Inman

Welcome to Spark My Muse!

• Each FRIDAY, guests join me in a conversation.
• Come back each Wednesday
(on “Hump Day” aka Midweek) for a brief Soul School “lesson”–something for your interior world and common life.

LISTENERS, like you, support Spark My Muse with gifts and spreading the word about the show.
I’m honored by your love and help.

Your support has been heartwarming.

Today my guest is podcaster (Inefficiency Podcast) and licensed professional counselor and counselor supervisor, Matt Inman.


[Tweet quotes from this episode by click the BLUE BIRD when you see it]


MIN 1:00
Matt’s backstory of getting into his counseling profession

MIN 8:30

Doing therapy and supervising counseling and what made him want to do the Inefficiency podcast.

Therapy is expensive and inefficient, yet meaningful.

MIN 10:30

Our daily lives don’t often give us space to talk about what matters most or to talk about what we really really want.

Creating inefficient hours

What do people really want?

All people have the same “deathbed desire”

Relationship, convictions, and spirituality are the top things that concern many people.

“Did I live my life or someone else’s?”

“Was it okay to have been me?”

“Did I spend my time well?”

A beautiful burden

MIN 13:30

Being truly present

Relationships are inefficientTwitter

We need to play and be late and not take everything so seriously

MIN 18:00

Inefficiency as a decision filterTwitter

and exploring what it means in real life because it is a good way to be.

MIN 20:00

Repression and how it changes us. (A rock in a pond)


MIN 22:00

Making good use of what you learn

MIN 24:30

The Hawaii trip and the mind and body connection


MIN 28:00

TIM FERRISS show link (Erik Vance and the amazing world of placebo studies)

MIN 30:00

Disease mind/body connected

Reframing our reality

MIN 33:30

Western ways of seeing the world- silos

The spiritual community Matt is involved with now

Vox Veniae (Matt’s community / church)



The Incarnation is the ultimate act of empathy

MIN 38:30

(Matt is a 9)


“Disillusion” is a removal of your illusion.Twitter

MIN 40:00

Disillusionment or Delusional ?

MIN 43:00

Kester Brewin

My conversation with Kester:

Using Jesus as a drug

MIN 40:30

God escapes any boundary or encapsulation.

The conversations continue about meaning

MIN 49:30

The connection in dialogue and meaningful conversations that feed us.

Our deathbed desires matter.

MIN 51:00

What’s coming next

To Write Love on her Arms Jamie Tworkowski

Brian McClaren

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Eps 84: Recovering Your Mental Health, guest Michael Weinberger

Eps 84: Recovering Your Mental Health, guest Michael Weinberger

Welcome to Spark My Muse!

• Each FRIDAY, guests join me in a conversation.
• Come back each Wednesday
(on “Hump Day” aka Midweek) for a brief Soul School “lesson”–something for your interior world and common life.


Would you give $5, $10, or $20, today to support the program, today?
It’s quick and easy.

October is Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s hard sometimes to realize that our brain can become ill, just like any other part of our body. Sometimes the condition is lifelong and other times we can mitigate the problems with certain treatments. Today, my guest, Michael Weinberger, shares his story of struggle and recovery that I think will surprise and inspire you.




The misdiagnosis


The downward spiral, drinking and over eating and taking medicine wrongly, and over working.

MIN 7:30

Overdosing and hospitalization.

MIN 9:00

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and 12 step strategy brought the most relief.

(CBT) uses the theory that Thoughts precede Feelings which Precede Behaviors. The goal is to change beliefs.

11:00 The primary focus is 12 Step Recovery is addiction. You only have control over yourself. Humility and acceptance are key to success.

Mindfulness to deal with depression and anxiety that leads to emotional over or under engagement and reactions leading to negative outcomes.

Compassion for self and others.

All the methods and modalities need to be integrated into life.

MIN 13:00

Dr Denise Brooks

“Your diagnosis doesn’t matter.” (Manage your symptoms; Don’t blame the illness.)

MIN 14:30

Thinking of negative thoughts differently

MIN 15:00

Owning up to thoughts and feelings.

But not being ashamed and (also) getting some distance.

MIN 15:30

“Now, I witness my diagnosis responding to situations”

MIN 17:00

DBI (Dialectical Behavior Therapy)

Noticing the triggers create reactive states. (Notice the internal dialog to self and others and stopping repeat conversations.)

The treatments rewire your brain and get you unstuck and lessen stress.

MIN 20:00

Our human emotions are outnumbers by negative emotions so we have to practice gratitude to even things out.

MIN 22:00

The app Michael created called A Plan For Living.

The Happiness Formula:

Gratitude + Spirituality + Mindfulness = Awareness 

(Awareness = Happiness)

Seeing the world differently and being present.

MIN  34:00

Being prepared for war or thinking lovingly toward people in the first place.

MIN 35:00

Examining thoughts and making the process easier in real life through technology.

Measures progress

 • WEBSITE – a plan for living.com

• email: mweinberger@aplanforliving.com

• TWITTER: @aplanforliving

Available at the Play store and App Store

MIN 40:00

Reminders, medication reminders, micro goals for each day, track food, and challenge friends.

Staying in tune with how you are feeling and social sharing and emailing.

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EPS 39: Real Help for Loss and Grief with Alise Chaffins

EPS 39: Real Help for Loss and Grief with Alise Chaffins

Today’s guest is a blogger, author, musician and a woman who suffered a string of terrible events and decided to tackle the topic of grief to help others through the process.


If you’ve suffered a loss or know someone who’s grieving, this book will bring some needed comfort and give you helpful information to help better.  Alise and I have an important conversation today. Please scroll down to the shownotes to access the important links mentioned in the show.

Visit ALISE CHAFFINS‘ website.

Her book on grief.


Min 2:00
What is a good first step when someone is suffering?

MIN 3:00
“I’m sorry you’re going through this.”

Saying less is more.

Really listen to the language the person is using and echo it back to them and not the language that is comfortable for (you).

MIN 5:20
Using faith or heaven language might not be welcome.

MIN 9:30
About the string of suffering and trauma that brought grief to Alise and how she needed to get better through therapy and medication.

MIN 14:00
Medication during grief to process properly.

MIN 17:00
Isolation in grief. The paradox of uniqueness and universality of grief.

MIN 20:00
How we can share our grief with memories or with others in some way.

MIN 21:20
Grief Share organization and places to develop new rituals and finding community of other bereaved.

MIN 23:00

“Grief helps us find our humanity.”
Grief pulls us together. It’s the event that strips us of our humanity.

MIN 25:00
Attaching morality onto emotion is doing ourselves a disservice because it doesn’t allow us to feel what we feel. The actions beyond those feelings can be moral or immoral.

MIN 26:00
Grief and separation anxiety:

Grief is the (normal) human emotional response to loss. It is a common part of human experience and may produce growth. We can lose people, places, objects, relationships, and even ideas. Some losses may not be actual, but anticipated, or a perceived loss. (25) Acute grief looks remarkably similar to a classic anxiety attack (same physical symptoms). It is similar to the feelings felt in fear. In grief one fears the loss of self through separation, and experiences separation anxiety. (28) 

It is a function of attachment. It can be understood also as our emotions catching up with our reality. (38) The more we can love the more we can grieve. Our abnormal attachments show up (caused by an improper process of  grieving) as permanent emotional detachment or heightened attachment. (30)

R. Scott Sullender, “Grief and Growth: Pastoral Resources for Emotional and Spiritual Growth” Paulist Press, 1985.

MIN 28:30
Stages of grief like a water cycle and forgiveness and grace.

MIN 31:30
Extending forgiveness during grief and the risk and humility needed.

MIN 32:15
Healing and time and doing our part and letting go once we’ve done what we can.

MIN 33:15
A mustard seed of faith that the story isn’t over yet. Reconciliation can mean we put our weapons down and that’s restoration too.

MIN 34:15
Recognizing progress.

MIN 35:00
Being more aware of grief in others so that you can have more grace during trying circumstances.

MIN 37:00

Alise’s website:



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