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The Way We Connect

Author: The Way We Connect

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Exploring the way we relate, date, and communicate. What does it mean to be a human being in the 21st Century? Grab a cup of tea (or wine) and join us as we explore relationships, friendships, family, workplaces, societies, sex, and our relationships with nature, technology, and ourselves. We'll look through several lenses - psychology, sociology, maybe even physics or biology - and invite experts on social connection (in other words, pretty much anybody who has interacted with other people in their lives).
19 Episodes
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Do you feel that you are truly connected to yourself, to others, and to Nature? What does it mean to suffer from 'nature deficit disorder'? How can we use ancient rituals such as tea ceremonies and sharing circles to bring about a more connected, conscious world?Christina Echevarria, MSc is a Transformational Mentor, Breathworker and Ceremonialist based in St. Petersburg, Florida. She is devoted to serving her community (virtually and locally) in ways that empower embodied awakening, heart-centered transformation, holistic healing, and authentic connections to ourselves, to others and to the Earth. I met her during our MSc course, where we were two of the only people who seemed to recognise the importance of spending time in nature for our overall wellbeing.In this episode, we delve into everything from heart-opening cacao ceremonies to how we can help society to face the existential crisis presented by the latest climate science. We discuss the importance of rituals and rites to bring us in line with others and ourselves, and emphasise how vital it is that we are able to recognise that we are part of nature.
What would you do if you came face to face with somebody who had killed a family member? What happens when we are able to see the humanity of those we normally 'other'?Jo Berry lost her father in 1984, after he was killed by a bomb planted by he IRA at the Grand Brighton Hotel. The man who planted the bomb, Patrick Magee, was released from prison in 1999 - and Jo decided to meet him. What happened next is not what you might expect... since their first meeting, Jo and Patrick have toured the world to promote peace and understanding. Read more about Jo's story here. In this powerful episode of The Way We Connect, we discuss this most unlikely of connections, the difficulty of working with our emotions of grief, anger and pain, the importance of breaking the cycle of revenge, and our visions of a more peaceful world.
How were you shaped by your parents or caregivers? What affect do we have on our children? And how do we raise healthy, happy children when we ourselves feel 'broken'?We explore what it means to be 'broken', how seemingly small things in our childhoods can contribute towards our trauma (and we all have trauma in some form), how we can use our adverse experiences to our strength instead of letting them hold us back, and how we can still raise children even when we are still a healing 'work in progress'. Join us for a frank discussion on what it means to be a parent who is still trying to deal with their own sh*t. 
What is ghosting? Why do people do it? And, perhaps more importantly, if you've been ghosted - how do you move on from the experience and evolve?My guest, Leah Marshall, is the founder and leader of the Esther Perel Discussion Group on Facebook, a global community of over 6,000 members who come together in person and online to discuss relationships, sex, dating, desire, and infidelity. In this episode, we talk about Leah's experiences with ghosting, how one was a massive springboard for her own growth and evolution, and the critical piece that's missing from so many dating experts’ advice on ghosting. Leah has authored dating and relationship content for media outlets including YourTango, ManTalks, Mend, Daily Urbanista, and more.
What is conflict and why does it exist? What are the real reasons behind conflict, and how can a mediator help people to resolve their issues? And while we're at it - what on earth is existential therapy?Yannick Jacob is an Existential Coach, Positive Psychologist, Coach Trainer & Supervisor, Mediator and the former Programme Leader of the MSc Coaching Psychology at the University of East London. In his own words: "I work with coaches, leaders and anybody who considers themselves to be in a “position of great responsibility” to help them gain clarity, make choices, build resilience and navigate their life. I believe in balance, understanding, helping people think (more deeply and effectively) and develop the courage to fully live across the whole spectrum of human experience. I believe that the key to sustainable happiness lies in not just accepting, not-avoiding or managing, but in embracing the inevitable struggles and challenges that life continuously throws as us."Join us as we discuss what drew Yannick to this field, how mediation works, the real roots behind conflict and perhaps how the existential approach ties in to all of this. 
Why do some people feel safe in one situation, while others are afraid? What does it mean to create a safe space? Does having a sense of community make us feel safer? And how can we deal with those times when we feel unsafe?Our guest, Desi, is a burlesque teacher and movement therapist, and has just started her own podcast - See You Next Tuesday - where she explores what it means to feel safe. Her own journey may have started with the rigorous safety training she received as a child, but true inspiration struck at the most surprising time. We discuss differences in safety between the USA and the Czech Republic, where we live, including why people react differently to sexual harassment. Through our conversation, we cover many topics - what it means to feel safe within your own body, how to create a safe space, and how our previous experiences shape what we perceive as safe and unsafe.
What is collective trauma? Are the wounds that we bear best addressed behind the closed doors of a therapist's office, or as a collective? How is collective, intergeneration trauma affecting us all?Patrick Dougherty, M.A., L.P. is a licensed psychologist with 40 years of clinical work and social activism. He is part of an international group working with and developing models dealing with collective trauma (www.pocketproject.org). He is a former US Marine who served in Vietnam and is leading a group specifically working with the collective trauma of armed violence and war (http://movingthroughit.org). In this episode, Patrick discusses what it was like to return to the US after serving in Vietnam to find that nobody wanted to know what had happened there, about the pain and shame he held inside and tried to work on through therapy, until one day is Jerusalem the words of three women changed his life and his perspective forever.Patrick argues that looking at trauma as an individual problem will never effectively heal collective pain - we need to work together in groups and communities to address the way different trauma lives in our bodies - and not only in those who identify themselves as victims. According to Patrick, our avoidance of discomfort and our fear of losing our own safety and privilege further drives feeling of trauma and separation. 
How can we feel a sense of connection with a new place? Is it easier to fall in love with some cities or countries than with others? Are some of us just more able to adapt to change than others, and is this a blessing or a curse?We begin our journey with a story of international love across the Iron Curtain. Our guest, Eva, grew up hopping between three very distinct cultures - Denmark, the USA, and Communist Czechoslovakia. A self-described novelty seeker and chameleon, Eva enjoys getting to know places. And yet - though she feels very at home in USA (and many European countries), it hasn't always been easy building a connection with the Czech Republic. She's not giving up though! Now she finds herself here, raising her teenagers and running businesses here in Prague. We talk about what it means to be a third culture kid, to ‘connect’ to a place and a people, and about what lessons we can learn from chimpanzees (she majored in Anthropology!) about being accepted in a new group.
Is compatibility something that just happens to us, or do we have to carefully construct and build it over time? Can we tell straight away how happy we might be with someone? If we are right for each other, should it always be plain sailing or does it require constant conscious effort?In this episode, we talk to Luiz + Barbara, a couple who have been together for ten years and consider themselves the world's happiest couple. But it wasn't love at first sight - their connection grew slowly over time, and their happiness takes conscious effort and work. We talk to them about how they got together, what keeps them together and explore whether an initial 'spark' of attraction is really the best indicator of a successful long-term relationship. 
What if there isn't somebody out there for all of us? What if there are multiple people, or - more radically - what if focusing on finding one romantic partner for life is stopping us from experiencing the full potential of our friendships, talents, or careers? What does it look like to shift the paradigm away from searching for the right person?In this episode, I talk to two fascinating people. The first, Rowen Bridler - singer, actress and author of Love Poems for People Who Don't Like Being in Love, talks to us about why she thinks people get so obsessed with finding a partner, getting married, and settling down, and about what it means to be a woman in your 40's who doesn't fit into society's expectations. We discuss the lack of positive role models for women who choose not to have children or conform to a 'typical' lifestyle, and what life can look like when you choose to focus on excitement, pleasure, adventure, and developing yourself.Then we talk to Natalie, who discusses what it means to be non-monogamous, demi-sexual relationship anarchist. Natalie is not looking for 'the One', but has their sexual, romantic and platonic needs met by a constellation of like-minded friends. We ask why do people feel that they have to spend their lives with just one person? Can't things be different?
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