Knowledge + Experience = Wisdom helps people realize their unique importance. Using my knowledge of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, my experience with therapy, coaching, somatic healing, and personal growth I create products to help you discover, develop, and express the elements of your identity critical to your health and your contribution to our world. My goal is to research, develop, and disseminate these materials so that every individual can reconnect with their uniqueness, realize their passion and purpose, and live the life they were born to live.
My stories and experiences about relationships, marriage, divorce, parenting, etc.
In this Episode I tried to get at what our ‘soul’ is. I’m not sure I succeeded, but I think we all can agree that there’s a part of us that can’t really be identified. The soul is not our mind, it’s not our brain, it’s not our ‘self’ (whatever that is, see Episode 34 for my attempt at defining Self), it’s . . . something else.
Sometimes I think the soul is real, other times I doubt it’s existence. Most of the time I know there is SOMETHING going on inside us that defines us. Our, personality? or something? It’s beyond our appearance, or attitude, or how we refer to a group of people (I use y’all and you guys interchangeably because I was born in the south but grew up in the midwest). It’s . . . . much more than any of those things.
So the concept of soul probably lies in the unknowable. It might be something we just don’t have words for or something we can’t quite define.
And none of this even addresses whether the soul is immortal, which many religions suggest. My point in this episode is really just to explore the idea of soul – that which we can speak about but not truly understand. It’s ok with me if the soul is something we’ll never define or truly know about. But most of the time, I feel like I do:)
Beliefs are things we see as truisms in our lives and regulate the decisions we make. In Episode 9 I talked about Old Beliefs. These are beliefs we learned as kids that protected us in some way, but no longer serve their purpose in our adult lives. The problem is, the old beliefs have been habituated and we continue to implement them.
Many of us become aware of our old or limiting beliefs in adulthood. Things like anxiety, imposter syndrome, feeling not good enough, addictions, relationships – all these things are, at least in part, learned when we were kids.
But I’ve talked at length about beliefs and how they hold us back. This episode is about how we change those old beliefs.
Changing beliefs has been very difficult for me. But that makes sense if you think about it. Limiting beliefs are usually old (hence the terminology), which means they’ve been with us for awhile. And during that time, these beliefs have been reinforced any time a situation comes up requiring you to make a decision. We refer back to a similar situation, remember whatever belief worked then, and simply apply it again. And again. And again. Pretty soon this process is automatic and habituated (See Episode 26: Habits). So these beliefs were acquired over time with much repetition.
So, of course changing them is hard. It’s logical to think that whatever time and energy went into building the belief would be required to change it. And as frustrating as that is, it may be accurate.
I tried to change my old beliefs for a decade, but I didn’t get satisfactory results. I learned about beliefs. I learned what my limiting beliefs are. I even learned where some of them came from. But I thought that the awareness of the beliefs would somehow be enough to change them. But it’s not.
I understood beliefs INTELLECTUALLY, but I wasn’t DOING anything about them. I needed to ACT. And those actions are multifaceted.
My research, therapy, coaching, and learning has led me to a list of actions that anyone can implement to change their thinking. The list is going to look very familiar and maybe even make you roll your eyes. It turns out the changing beliefs is really simple – it just isn’t easy.
Behaviors that can help you change beliefs:
Speaking daily affirmations
You can even add sleeping and eating well to this list, but those aren’t habits or actions I personally struggle with.
The point is, I have finally starting to believe (haha) that the above list, frequently touted by self-help and personal growth folks from all schools of thought, might actually produce the results I am looking for. So I’m on a mission to add them to my life slowly but deliberately and see if it works.
I go in to more detail about how and why in this Episode.
It literally took me ten years to figure this one out. After nearly a decade of Cognitive Behavioral and psychological therapies, I had figured out my brain, my issues, and what I needed with respect to personal growth and mastering my limiting beliefs. The problem was, I wasn’t seeing the changes I wanted.
Sure, learning about and understanding myself and other people had it’s benefits and made me feel better. But nothing about ME was really changing except for my knowledge. My equation was unbalanced. All K, no E.
So the Experience has to come in somewhere.
And what I’ve learned – over the past ten years but mores recently – is that our minds don’t really change as a result of thinking.
We only get so much time on Earth, and it seems to be the most limiting resource there is – except when it doesn’t. At times we’re bored and can’t wait to ‘get there’ or for ‘this to be over’ (I’m talking to you, COVID). And other times we just can’t get enough time in the day to do the things we want and need to do.
Work, career, a J. O. B. These things take out HUGE chunks of this limited time, and often fall into the ‘get this over with’ category. The lucky ones love their jobs and benefit from the appearance of having more time, since they enjoy the 40+ hours spent earning a living.
Usually, we don’t have enough time for the things that bring us joy. And that’s a shame. It’s like it’s backwards. We spend MORE time working and LESS time living.
This episode is an attempt to help us figure out how to make sure our lives our balanced in a way that lets us live a little while we spin around the sun.
For the seventh installment of the KEW Curiosity Interview series I had the pleasure of talking with Dan Tassone. Dan was introduced to me by our mutual buddy, Brian, who basically told me ‘this is one of the most curious cats I know. You HAVE to interview him’. Well, Brian knows me pretty well because Dan was awesome and we hit it off quickly.
Dan went to school for a long time (as we do, sometimes) to be a pharmacist, but he didn’t become a retail prescription filler. He ended up taking a haphazard journey through some very unique jobs that serve to illustrate how life is anything but linear. He now works in a research hospital where he gets to do all sorts of cool things.
These cool things, of course, stimulate his curiosity and he has a lot to say on the subject as you’ll see and hear. Dan also brings a unique perspective to a health care world often dominated by fairly uniform personality types (Type-A, if you will) and offers us a peek into his world.
Dan is also super relatable. He’s the guy you may be lucky enough to strike up a conversation with at a bar or mixer and end up super enthused and excited about your own perspective on life. You know the type. They’re not necessarily the loudest voice in the room, and certainly not extroverted, but if you end up talking with them you have a friend for life.
From CRISPR to mask compliance Dan offers an awesome take on American health care, the pandemic, and what it means to be curious in all that we do.
I hope you enjoy this interview and meeting Dan – and you are very likely going to learn something!
Dan Tassone is a self-described Type-Z personality working in the very Type-A world of professional medicine. A pharmacist by trade, he’ll tell you all about his unique role working in a hospital in Virginia’s capital, and his past experiences with indigenous cultures.
Talking to dan was extremely relaxing – and educational! He shares his expertise and helped me understand how the COVID-19 vaccines work, all about CRISPR technology and what it’s like being a curious outcast in the health care world.
I really, really enjoyed talking to Dan Tassone and hope you enjoy the full podcast and video, coming this Friday Knowledge + Experience = Wisdom.
I was just talking with my good friend, Paul Gadola, who you may know from KEW Curiosity Interview Series 1, about kids. He and his wife have chosen not to have any and are very happy they don’t, whereas I have four kids. It’s usually difficult for me to relate to non-parents to at least some degree, but with Paul it is not hard at all.
The differences reflect life choices, but a foundation of empathy connects us.
The point I want to make is that this episode is not just for people that have kids. It is valuable to understand all points of view in order to feel more connected to each other.
Parenting is the toughest job I have ever had. But that may just be me. After being a stay-at-home parent for several years, and generally speaking the primary caregiver for nearly 20 years, I now look at having a job as having a hobby that pays you money.
Now, some jobs SUCK hard, and that’s a little different. But many people enjoy their work, just like many people really love parenting.
But parenting is harder, again, in my opinion. It has more challenges and fewer rewards. And even though you may find it difficult to talk to your demanding and angry boss, at least he or she can communicate using grown up words.
The point of this episode wasn’t to knock parenting, or not having kids, or any of it. Rather, it is my attempt to balance the playing field so that we all understand one another, and can, like Paul and myself, be more understanding and empathetic to decisions we make.
And maybe that’s a model for everyone to consider about all issues.
Interestingly, and out of pure coincidence, I just did a guest interview on the Impactful Parent Podcast:
In just about any kind of self help endeavor you will be asked to identify your values. While this sounds pretty easy, the process is far from simple. Turns out we like a lot of stuff. We ‘value’ many things. The trick is determining your top 3-5 values that truly drive you to live your life.
Over the course of ten years of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), or talk therapy, I read and heard a lot about values, but it wasn’t until I put some real effort in that I discovered the, well, VALUE, of my values.
Values are things you believe are important in the way you live your life. Values determine your priorities and are a source of motivation.
That’s pretty good, but there are some easy-to-miss key points.
You BELIEVE values are important. Values are subjective and unique to you. YOU decide what they are. Values can be revealed by thinking about what you LIKE, or don’t like.
Values are things you prioritize; either consciously or subconsciously. Values can be identified by thinking about things you DO, or don’t do.
Values motivate you. Values are things that make you feel excited to get out of bed in the morning. Or, things you don’t value or want to do can make you wanna pull the covers up and go back to sleep.
There are TONS of resources on the inter webs that can help you identify your values, but all of these methods are deceptively simple. The KEY is to go through multiple iterations, take breaks, and to do some sort of ranking. I estimate I put in nearly ten hours of writing, thinking, journalling, rearranging, ranking, and repeating to get down to my set of 4 values.
There’s also a tricky side to values. Being humans, we tend to focus on things we consider to be ‘good’ and ‘healthy’ when considering our values. There are also values, many call ‘SHADOW values’ that also motivate you, help you prioritize, and reflect the things you do.
However, shadow values, at least on the surface, might not be something you’d be comfortable sharing with others.
Shadow values can be things like having a lot of money, being powerful, having people obey your word, being the center of attention, or wanting people to behave in ways that make you happy.
But the reason shadow values are beneficial are twofold: 1) They help you understand the darker side of your motivations and can help you achieve your goals and be your best self by embracing ALL of your characteristics, and 2) can almost always be softened to see the non-selfish attributes of seemingly nefarious concepts or intangible ideas.
For example. Being motivated by money doesn’t necessarily mean you are evil or Scrooge-like. Knowing you want to be wealthy can reflect a need for safety or a desire to protect your family. See how we can flip something that seems narcissistic to something that comes from a better part of your self?
The purpose of values and shadow values is to create a list of motivating factors critical to your life. I wrote mine down and keep them in several places to remind myself of why I do what I do. My values have become a tool I use to direct all of my personal growth and spiritual work. Knowing, and truly understanding my values, has enabled me to focus and to think less about things that don’t show up on that list. In short, this has made my life easier.
Much more in this episode, I hope you find this useful.
This week I share my story about identifying my values. Identifying values is one of those things that sounds easy, but is not simple. Sure, anyone can sit down with some online tools (like James Clear’s Life Lessons values journal), but it’s deceptively difficult to REALLY drill down to your personal values.
On the surface values are things like love, joy, safety, and other intangibles that motivate you to live your life. Values are things we strive for or consider important in our lives.
I spent nearly ten years on the surface of my values. While I had a vague idea what the things I valued were, I didn’t really understand the importance of knowing my values, and how to use that knowledge.
I’ll share how I ACTUALLY learned to identify my values, a bit about our ‘secret’ values, and why you will benefit from knowing about yours.