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Conversations That Don't Suck

Conversations That Don't Suck

Author: Kyla Sokoll-Ward

Subscribed: 145Played: 1,643


In a world that is collectively starved for connection, why does it feel so hard to cultivate? Join Kyla Sokoll-Ward, millennial loneliness thought leader, in truth-telling conversations with community builders, professional empaths, and communication experts as we build a world where expressing your emotions is normal, having meaningful community is non-negotiable, and empathic communication is practiced on the daily. If you’re tired of the “What do you do?” and otherwise shitty conversations you keep finding yourself trapped in, you’ll love these deep-dive discussions around topics including connection, communication, community, and how to bring more realness to the world in a way that creates more belonging, not separation.
20 Episodes
A.J. Bond is on the podcast this week, and it's an eddddggyyyy oneee! A.J. is a writer, filmmaker, and shame educator based in Toronto. He is the host of the podcast Discomfortable and is currently completing his certification with the Center for Healing Shame in Berkeley. In this episode, we discuss: A.J.’s journey with discovering his own shame, the process of learning to work with shame, how to differentiate between our own shame and that of others, how my shame presents itself around arrogance, our shame as it relates to our bodies, aging, and sexuality, why acceptance and compassion are powerful shame antidotes, and how healing shame changes our quality of communication. www.discomfortable.netTwitter: @discomfrtble
Kyle Zamcheck, my sister from another mister, is on the podcast this week! Kyle is truly a remarkable human being and I'm so super duper grateful for this epic, raw conversation we had.In this episode, we discuss: the death of Toni Lane Casserly, how to make an impact, femininity in intellectual spaces, the humanity in Zoom calls, intimate communication in everyday life, the ego in altruistic work, the dark side of caregiving and “showing up” for others, healing our wounds through our work, my own shadow side with my work and my fears of judgement in that, and the Enneagram (duh).Kyle Zamcheck is the co-founder of Listenly, teaching cutting edge communication tools and matching people for listening sessions through a digital platform, in-person meetups, and remote workshops. She is a technology industry leader and an executive communication coach with the Speech Improvement Company. She is the former COO of Jackrabbit Mobile, where she led the team to become one of Inc’s 5000 fastest growing companies. She is currently working on healing the world through impactful communication. She trains leaders, startup CEOs, fortune 500 companies such as Google, and main stage speakers from Silicon Valley to the National Security Agency. Her work focuses on the intersection of humans and technology. Listenly website: www.listenly.coThe Connection Institute open house 5/18-5/24:
Jason Digges is on the podcast today!Jason is the co-founder of ART International, which offers life-changing courses that empower you to be more alive, awake and aware in all your relationships – with self, other, and the world. Jason leads ART’s sales, marketing, and business development efforts, manages enrollment, and is a senior course leader. He also makes major contributions to the curriculum based on his unique background and expertise. Jason is a modern renaissance man: Equal parts artist, philosopher, teacher, and video producer. From 2003-2012 he worked for Ken Wilber and other clients to create thousands of hours of educational media on the topics of transpersonal psychology, spirituality, productivity, and personal growth. For the past 4 years he has been a trainer and facilitator for groups within the authentic relating and circling realm and is obsessed with how humans can live and relate optimally.In this episode, we discuss: burnout from living your dreams, rugged individualism and identity, creating non-exclusive communities that provide connection without dogma, the difference between rules and practices, how I’ve created exclusion through connection practices, removing competition from vulnerability, and why the practice of Authentic Relating has grown so dramatically in recent years in response to technological
Veronica Kaulinis is on the pod this week, and we're getting vulnerable ... I mean... maybe not any more than usual ;)In this episode, we discuss: How Veronica’s relationship patterns led her to wanting to have more vulnerable conversations, her past fears around being seen as ‘too nice’, how vulnerable shares permission others to be themselves, the yearning of vulnerability, how she creates safe spaces for vulnerability, the importance of grounding after a vulnerable experience, and our different levels of comfort with confrontation.Veronica Kaulinis is a professional Community Builder and International Facilitator who's passionate about creating experiences and trainings that encourage, depth, authentic conversations, courageous vulnerability and leadership. Veronica is the Founder & Creator of Vulnerable AF, which is community event series that encourages vulnerability and deep and thought-provoking conversations in a safe space.Website: www.veronicakaulinis.comFacebook: Veronica KaulinisIG: @vulnerableafnyc   
Adar Weinreb is on the podcast today! Adar Weinreb is a social activist currently residing in Tel Aviv, Israel. He dedicates his free time to building bridges between Israelis and Palestinians and has a podcast of his own called Standing Up where he interviews activists from around the world.In this episode, we discuss: How Adar learned to see himself in Hamas terrorists as an Israeli soldier, how lifetimes of fear-based teachings become hate, my own shameful experiences of “othering” people in Israel, how connection is the solution for bridging fear-based divides, what’s really a “safe space”, why we tend to not normalize our enemies, the demoralization of Israeli and Palestinian communities and why most people don’t become activists even when they really believe in the cause, Viktor Frankel, existentialism, and suffering, how privilege affects morality, and the challenges of altruism.
Yuko Kudo is on the pod today! Yuko Kudo is native Japanese and immigrated to the United States in June 2003, landing in Los Angles, California, and settling there for 10 years until moving to New York City in 2013.  Yuko is a multi-dimensional artist and creator.  She uses art and storytelling to create community, while reminding people they are not alone.  Yuko is the Founder and Artistic Director of the "I AM" Series Global, which showcases artists' talent within themes focusing on claiming one's various, complex identities and belonging.  Through her work as a photographer, she has appeared in Forbes and TIME magazines, among other media outlets.  Yuko Kudo was a finalist for the Roger Sturtevant Musical Theatre Award for the Actor's Equity Association. Her latest work includes a self produced musical SOLO show entitled, "Good Bye... Love", focusing on diversity, mental wellness and women's empowerment. Upcoming off-Broadway musical "Poupelle of Chimney Town" based on Japanese Picture book. She has been facilitating the creation of collaborative educational spaces focuses on the intersection of art and activism.In this episode, we discuss: Yuko’s work as an artist and community builder and how those things intersect, how art makes difficult conversations more approachable, why Yuko was discouraged from talking about religion, politics, and race as an immigrant, why embracing discomfort is the only way to enter hard conversations, underlying motivations in conversation, HUMILITY, and why community requires action and giving.www.yukoislovelivelife.comIG: @yukoislovelivelife  Linkedin  @yukokudo 
Chelsea Simpson is on the podcast today! Chelsea is an educator, facilitator, and coach with more than 10 years experience at the intersection of transformational leadership, innovation, somatics, and diversity and inclusion. Chelsea has worked internationally, in English and Spanish, with a wide range of organizations, including Microsoft, the Smithsonian Institute, the NYC Mayor’s Office, the Centre for Social Innovation, Bloomberg Industries, Make the Road NY, and various organizations in El Salvador & Central America. Her TEDx talk, America Emerges, covers inside-out modern leadership. She is a certified Emotional Intelligence coach, mediator, teaching artist, and doula She is based in NYC, and is also adjunct faculty in the Strategic Design & Management program at the New School. In this episode, we discuss: Volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity as it relates to Coronavirus, why we need community to create change, why young adults tend to not prioritize community, what vulnerability actually is, humility as an entrepreneur, how I struggle with vulnerability in facilitation settings, and how collaboration is required for system-level change.
Kat Vellos is on the podcast today, and we're talking about creating and maintaining thriving adult friendships. I'm so grateful that I met Kat through a mutual friend - I actually fangirled prettyyyy hard when I met her because I had heard about her work and book and knew who she was.Kat Vellos is a user experience designer, speaker, and facilitator with a passion for helping people connect authentically. She’s researched, designed, and advised on the user experience of countless flows in digital products serving millions of people at companies like Slack and Pandora, and created community for hundreds more as a facilitator. With her debut book, We Should Get Together, she’s turned her expertise in user research and experience design towards helping people live healthier lives through the cultivation of deeper, more fulfilling friendships.In this episode, we cover: Our current overwhelm of Zoom meetings, how introverts are expected to adapt in an extroverted world, the challenges of friendship as an adult, how flakiness and other social characteristics can be analyzed through our geographical location, why having friends is not the same as feeling connected and why social connections will not always prevent loneliness, what is still possible through virtual connection, and how businesses can and must adapt to creating spaces of connection for their work
THE HEARTBREAK EPISODE IS HERE! (and I'm sharing some poetry!) Alright y'all, this one's been in the making for a while. Today I'm doing a solocast - no guest, just yours truly - and I'm talking about one of my favorite topics: heartbreak. Heartbreak is one of the most all-encompassing forms of grief. It's painful, inconvenient, and universal. It's something that has brought me profound insights and changes in my life and has truly deepened my relationship to myself. In this episode, I'm sharing some thoughts about heartbreak and ALSOOO (drumroll pleazzze) sharing a piece of writing that I've been working on for a few months around this topic. Sharing my writing is the most intimate, vulnerable thing I can do... so I figured why not broadcast it out into the ether. Buckle your seatbelt. Enjoy. 
Libby Crow is in today. Libby is a former coach of mine, fellow lover of personal development, and all around glorious woman. It was so lovely to catch up with her and get some of her sparkle and wisdom in this conversation. In this episode, we chat about: burnout and flow, the difference between emotional and physical shut-down, how social media makes us project our ideas onto other people, Libby’s relationship with her husband Scott, dating/love/heartbreak, and what people get wrong about us.Libby Crow is a global mentor for entrepreneurs helping them practice deep self-care while also growing their businesses and their minds. She is the founder of LC International, a marketing strategy company, blog & self-care resource for digital consultants, and Co-Founder of The Daily Shift, a personal development company for aspiring and accomplished entrepreneurs alike. She’s dedicated to helping entrepreneurs see the journey as a bridge to raising the vibration of the planet and then later as a portal for giving back philanthropically.
Today we have Yochai Maital on the podcast! Yochai Maital is the Co-creator Editor and Senior producer of Israel Story - a Hebrew and English storytelling podcast that is sometimes dubbed 'the Israeli This American Life'. Born in Haifa, he served eight years as an officer in the Israeli army before embarking on a new trajectory, studying creative writing at Tel Aviv’s Minshar College for Arts. Yochai has built multiple eco-houses, co-founded Tel Aviv’s first organic food co-op, worked at a hostel for youth offenders and was involved with the African refugee community. He currently lives in New-York with his wife and three kids. Beside producing Israel Story Yochai writes, creates audio and sound installations and produces documentary audio guides.We discuss: How Israel Story got started by 4 childhood friends and a lot of chutzpah, how working on this project has allowed its producers to step outside of their bubble, seeing the world through the lens of stories, how this work has been influential on Yochai’s identity, the future of Israel Story, why they shied away at first of being considered a “Jewish podcast” and who they have influenced through bringing human stories about Israel to the world, why storytelling is the most powerful medium to bridge divides, and what most people don’t understand about Israel.
In this episode, Brad Wolfe is joining me to talk about our most feared topic: Death. This was a super special conversation that came at an extremely timely moment in my life as death was consuming my life. This is a good one, folks. Listen up. In this episode, we discuss: Brad’s work with Reimagine End of Life, how Brad’s experiences with death have influenced his work and the way he relates to the world, how to remember our mortality and also seize the day, why breakups are their own form of death, how to create more beauty and creativity in life by confronting death, how our medical system is unprepared to handle death, how to have conversations about the end of life before it’s too late, and my own wishes for my death. Brad Wolfe is the founder and executive director of Reimagine, a new nonprofit that brings diverse communities together to explore death and celebrate life through creativity and conversation. With over 30,000 attendees to date--and with a belief that by facing death we begin to live more fully--Reimagine End of LIfe citywide festivals have quickly become the largest end-of-life events in the United States. Reimagine was recently named a "World Changing Idea" by Fast Company Magazine.Before becoming a nonprofit, Reimagine was initially inspired by OpenIDEO’s End of Life Challenge, and was led by Brad as part of an OpenIDEO project exploring art and end of life. Brad's personal interest in end-of-life began as he performed bedside concerts for his friend Sara L., who died of a rare pediatric cancer. In Sara's honor, Brad co-founded the Sunbeam Foundation for pediatric cancer research and formed Brad Wolfe & the Moon, a band which has performed concerts for other young people facing terminal cancer and been featured on MTV.  Brad has an MA in Sociology from Stanford and an MBA from UC Berkeley, where he has served as a lecturer on the topics of innovation and design.  www.letsreimagine.orgwww.bradwolfe.com’re Going To Die - open mic in San FranciscoBeginner’s Guide To The End by Shoshana Berger and AJ MillerThe Conversation ProjectThe 5 WishesBeing Mortal by Atul GawandeWhen Breath Becomes Air by Paul KalanithiBrad Wolfe and The Moon on Spotify
“Are you a gemini sun, virgo moon, capricorn rising?”“Ummm… have we met?”- My first interaction with Jeff BausemerJeff is a comedian, artist and spiritual and physical wellness advisor and counselor, as well as the founder of East Meets West.  He utilizes herbal medicine, astrological remediation and insight, ayurveda, chinese medicine, Jungian psychological principles, yoga and a variety of shamanic and energetic practices within his 1-on-1 work.  He's going to start a podcast soon.  He is forsaken by God, in addition to many demi-gods, in addition to Demi Moore.We discuss: Jeff’s journey past and present, psychedelics, herbal medicine, dealing with darkness, and of course… astrology.www.eastmeetswestfest.com
Friendcast! with Blair

Friendcast! with Blair


We're doing something a little different this week - we've got a FRIENDCAST, y'all. As a person who loves real conversation about shit that matters, I tend to surround myself with people who love the same. So I thought I'd sit down with a beloved pal, hit record, and catch up. What ensued was magic and wisdom and lots of silly laughter. Enjoy this very special friendcast with my very special friend Blair. In this episode, we discuss: Ram Dass, mindfulness, being okay with not being okay, obsessively using our phones and how to stop doing that shit, being humble and compassionate and empathetic, communication, and ego.
Jillian is on the pod! Jillian is committed to creating connection and community by organizing places where people feel seen, heard, and valued. As a professional community builder, public speaker, and writer, Jillian is most known for being the founder of The Joy List, a weekly newsletter with the mission of reducing loneliness in New York City and eventually the world. She's been sending it out every Monday morning for three years, helping thousands of people build connection to both place and each other. In addition to her successful career in community consulting and event design, Jillian has just released her first book and #1 Amazon new release, Unlonely Planet. We get into: Jillian’s work, The Joy List, her new book, dealing with imposter syndrome, how the world is missing out on community and belonging, what highly connected relationships look like in my life and Jillian’s life, the balance between going to facilitated events and spending 1:1 time in connection with others, our issues with Burning Man, why leadership is lonely and you should stop calling people “special” and “strong”, and the power of having the right people in your corner. www.joylist.nyc
In this episode of Conversations That Don’t Suck, I chat with Lucas Mack. In this conversation we cover being “real” on social media, vulnerability hangovers, men’s work, the balance of the feminine receiving in vulnerability and the masculine search for freedom, and giving love to ourselves.Lucas Mack is an Author, Speaker, and Healing Catalyst for people, especially men who carry concealed trauma. Through his transformative process—the 5 Vulnerable Truths of Healing—he creates a safe, sacred, and deeply healing container for his clients to liberate themselves from the shackles of shame, trauma, and abuse. His mission is to give men permission to put down their armor and experience the power of vulnerability and unconditional love—initiating their healing and empowering them to live with authenticity and purpose. He is the founder and CEO of 4th Avenue Media, executive director of Vulnerable Heroes, a nonprofit focused on helping men and their families heal from trauma, host of The Vulnerable Hero podcast as well as The Golden Rule Revolution podcast, the author of Everyone Has a Plan Until They Get Punched in the Face, and has spoken globally at events including TEDx, Microsoft, Society of Human Resources, and more. After healing from his own childhood abuse, he’s been devoted to freeing other high-achieving men from the trauma of the past.
In this episode, I'm chatting with Zo Flamenbaum, creator of School of Shine. We discuss: How Zo created School of Shine out of loneliness and a desire for deeper connection, the toxicity of feeling “not enough” as a human being and how connection can help with this, how Zo balances creating spaces for connection for others with receiving connection from others, how we can begin listening to ourselves and our bodies, what “failure” really means, how being highly connected has changed the way Zo relates to every part of herself, how Zo and I answer the question “What do you do?”, and so much more. Enjoy!Zo Flamenbaum started working for the ice cream man when she was 9 years old, and has been developing her own mindful methods of deliver happiness ever since. After receiving her business degree, Zo moved to Tel Aviv in 2010, where she realized that writing was her talent. She has been working as an independent journalist, marketing strategist, and conscious content creator to support initiatives dedicated to creating ripples of positive social change.   In 2014, Zo founded School of Shine, a learning space for women to explore our feminine intelligence through self leadership, brave expression, and holistic wellbeing. Zo designs and facilitates transformational experiences, creative workshops, and practical resources to empower personal freedom and awaken mind body connection, emboldening women to feel comfortable in their skin, confident in their voice, and connected to our global community of creative power women. You can find Zo reading, writing, dancing, sunsetting or performing her spoken words and raps :) Find her @schoolofShine on Facebook or Instagram at 
As a leading social innovator and TEDx speaker, Mark Shapiro is on a mission to fill the kindness void; inspiring businesses, communities, and individuals to a kinder standard of influence, connection, and authenticity.From giving the premiere TEDx Talk on authentic connection, facilitating inspirational workshops at Fortune 500 companies, producing the acclaimed 250 part podcast series "Are You Being Real?," and having sent 8,000 personalized appreciation videos to those he cares about, Mark is the CEO of Digital Humanity, Inc., and the founder of the LoveBomb app.In this episode, we discuss: Mark’s most recent business venture (you’ll want to hear about this), how we define kindness in our own lives, what death has to do with kindness, how authentic connection has altered Mark’s relationships and gatherings, and the art of asking questions,There are so many gems and practical ways to utilize what Mark and I discussed in this episode. It’s full of gems. I hope you love it! talk
www.authrev.org - Authentic Life Course online, Authentic Leadership Training, and other offerings
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Comments (2)

Susan Suzy

Also, I like the content, but could you please stop saying "like" every other word? Or ending every sentence with a question mark intonation? This way if talking makes you sound less intelligent and uneducated. Just like cursing, it distracts from your very important message!

Apr 9th

Susan Suzy

Why do you have to curse? It's really distracting and unnecessary.

Apr 9th
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