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The First Four Episodes of Designing Yourself

It’s been a whole month since Paul McAleer and I started our podcast Designing Yourself and we’ve already launched four hour-long episodes. Whoa.

We pick a topic each week, usually one word, and just start talking. No script, no outline, just impromptu, fluid conversation. If you’ve listened, you’ve probably noticed how candid and personal we can be. That’s just us being real. We’re not trying for anything other than honesty and discovery. We want to get to know each other, we want to get to know ourselves, and we want to encourage others to do the same.

We both talk a lot in each hour (though I always fear I’m talking too much) and we say quite a bit, too. But every time I’ve played back a recording, I always think of all these other things I wish I’d said. I know Paul feels the same way. Frankly you can’t do justice to these topics in an hour. But at the very least we’re getting the discussion started, the wheels turning, and dislodging some emotions that may have been buried deep inside.

Our first episode, titled The Hamster Wheel, is all about getting started. How do we consciously step off the hamster wheel of life and pave our own path? I claim we make a conscious decision to start things well after we’ve actually started them. Paul talks about a desire to integrate his compartmentalized selves at work and home into one whole, and I echo the same. We talk about when we first met and how synchronicity seemed to take over. Sometimes it feels like things are started for you.

Episode 2, titled Too Much Future, is all about fear. I say that I love fear, which surprises Paul who hates it. We talk about where fear really comes from and agree it’s usually too much time spending dwelling on the future. I totally geek out on Eckhart Tolle and claim that fear can’t harm you in the present. That spirals into a conversation about meditation and Buddhism, which aims to eliminate fear by developing mindful presence.

Episode 3, titled Getting to Know You, is all about awareness — of ourselves and others. I talk a lot about the four quadrants of emotional intelligence and where awareness fits in. I assert that self-awareness is a precursor to empathy, but we agree that understanding the needs of others is much easier than understanding our own. Paul shares his personal journey towards greater self-awareness — mind, heart and body.

Episode 4, titled Good Enough, is all about balance. I admit I’ve never really found it, and sometimes wonder if it’s even worth having. “All things in moderation — including moderation.” Paul delves into the ambiguous gray area of life, and we both agree we’ve struggled with its ambiguity. Buddhism calls this the “middle way,” and teaches that moderation is the path to nirvana. We come to the conclusion that “good enough” is good enough.

We are in the process of self-development. We are each on our own path. But our lessons lead to insights and reassurance for the other, and we hope they lend you some support as well.

This journey takes courage, hope, trust, and a big dose of compassion — for others and for oneself. Many wise souls have come before us and many will come after. I’m grateful to be at this point in my life, in this time and space, and get to share some small piece of it with my wonderful co-host. Thank you, Paul. You give me a lot to live up to.

And to all those listening along the way, thank you deeply. All my gratitude and love.

Please tell us: what are you doing to design yourself?

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  • Sveta

    I find if sad that I cannot access to any of those episodes as one of 50 millions of deaf and hard of hearing people in USA.