FLASHBACK! KEW Episode 55: The Bully and Your DNA: Part 2

In Part 2 of this series I dig deep into the link between our ‘ares’ and our DNA.

I am working on a theory, ‘The Uniqueness Imperative’, that describes a link between who we are and our DNA. I’m starting to look at psychology from an evolutionary biology perspective. I guess having a background in the evolution side coupled with an interest in psychology and therapy this is what you get.

In short, I wonder if it is our duty or responsibility to ‘express’ as much of our DNA as possible. A lot of this expression – how our DNA shows up in our individual person – is beyond our control. Most inherited traits just show up. But some traits require an environmental interaction.

Some genes give us a propensity for traits. The DNA provides the machinery and we develop this through practice.

We may grasp music or math better than other people.

We may have a very even demeanor and not react strongly to stress.

There are infinite possibilities.

And this makes sense with our understanding of genetics because there is a definite interaction between our DNA and the environment with respect to how some traits express themselves or develop.

So in the context of the Are vs Should Problem, our DNA becomes a major determinant in our ‘ares’.

In other words, the things we are ‘meant to do’.

Or the things we have a passion for.

The things that motivate us to get out of bed in the morning.

I’m suggesting these things have a genetic component.

Who we are is a big part of what we want out of life.

Original post with links to podcast audio and YouTube video here: https://chrisburcher.com/2021/07/23/kew-episode-55-the-bully-and-your-dna-part-2/

KEW Episode 73: What is Stress?

Ahh, stress, our bestest buddy. Our forever companion. The voice in our head telling us how much we suck. The ticking clock rushing us to work and home every day.

Yeah, you know what stress is, but what is it REALLY? And how can it be so many DIFFERENT things?

Can you define it if someone asks you? Beyond whatever it is in that particular moment that is bothering you? Like, generally, what is stress?

Well, Mirriam-Webster tell us (or we tell each other) that (and these are the definitions relevant to this discussion):

1: a state of mental tension and worry caused by problems in your life, work, etc.

She uses meditation as a way of reducing/relieving stress.Hormones are released into the body in response to emotional stress.

He needs help with stress management. [=ways to deal with stress]

2: something that causes strong feelings of worry or anxiety

I’m sorry for being grumpy. I’ve been under (a lot of) stress at work lately.

She is dealing with the stresses of working full-time and going to school.He talked about the stresses and strains of owning a business.

Ok, so mental tension (something you feel) caused by problems like anxiety and worry.

Yeah, ok, that’s pretty close. But it’s also very general. And ambiguous.

And what generalizations and ambiguity suggest is that we don’t rally know. And I’m cool saying I don’t really know what stress is.

But I DO know what it feels like. Generally, anyway.

But I’ll also argue that defining stress is like defining pornography in that you know it when you see it. It’s hard to define exactly what it IS is difficult.

MOREOVER, this generalizing causes us to lose perspective because we LUMP everything BAD we feel into one big feeling we call STRESS.

And I would argue that we would, ideally, like to be more emotionally intelligent. Don’t we want to be able to deconstruct our feelings, use more accurate terminology, and better UNDERSTAND how we feel. And then, certainly, it follows that this would facilitate us being able to understand WHY it happens and HOW we can address it?

Because wouldn’t it be awesome to change things that negatively affect our lives like fear, feeling unsafe, anxiety, and limiting beliefs?

IN FACT, I’ll argue that being able to piece apart the monster we call stress is CRITICAL to us changing and growing away from the difficulties of life and more TOWARD the peaceful and calm experience many of us prefer.

In this Episode I try to take apart stress and give it better names and even talk a little bit about potential causes and solutions. Not to OMIT stress from our lives, but to change our relationship with it and help us understand what it is to be human. Hopefully just a little better. Or as Dan Harris says, 10% Happier.

Full audio download or please subscribe to the Knowledge + Experience = Wisdom podcast and get automatic downloads: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/9593567-kew-episode-73-what-is-stress.mp3?download=true

YouTube video can be found here: https://youtu.be/IV73FU2ypIU

And, please, take the time to review or comment, subscribe or follow, and share what you see and hear with your friends. It’s how we facilitate change.

KEW Are vs Should Interview Series: Dalton Johnson

This was a really fun interview. I hesitate to say that, because it implies that not all the interview are fun, but I’m saying it anyway.

It’s kind of like when people say, ‘to be honest with you . . . ‘, because that implies they are sometimes dishonest.

But just watch Dalton Johnson talk and you’ll see what I mean. His enthusiasm and sense of humor are infectious. And his story is cool. His storieS are cool. And he has a lot to say about the Are vs Should Problem. Not the least of which was how the book, ‘The Alchemist‘, by by Paulo Coelho addressed a very similar issue.

Dalton talks a lot about the journey we take. I see it as the journey of the Are vs Should. Along our pathway we see choices. Some of these choices come from within (I want to do a podcast, Dalton wants to bicycle around New Zealand) and other choices come from without (and are in the realm of the shoulds).

What makes Dalton’s stories compelling, is he doesn’t seem to suffer from much of the Are – at least not the way I do. His journey, for the most part, seems to be about checking in with himself first, and asking the question, ‘what do I want?’. And then he does that very thing.

And if the passion and humor are any indication, I’d say Mr. Johnson has made very good choices. I could him as evidence that ‘following your are’ can lead to a successful life (measured not in money or power, but in other units). And this, I think, is a compelling model.

In the context of the Are vs Should Problem, it’s no secret that I am rooting for us all to choose more ‘are‘ and less ‘should‘. I present to you an example of how that can pan out for us. And it’s never too late.

You can connect with Dalton on instagram and see his gorgeous photography here: Dalton’s Instagram (incredible pics of incredible places) : https://www.instagram.com/daltonjohnsonmedia/

You can also check out his thoughts in his blog here: Dalton’s Blog (insightful reading): https://www.daltonjohnsonmedia.com/blog/learning-to-breath-in-the-moment

Here’s a link to the downloadable podcast, or please subscribe to my podcast wherever you get your podcasts (Stitcher, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, etc. – and don’t forget to provide a review!): https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/9593420-kew-are-vs-should-interview-series-dalton-johnson.mp3?download=true

Here’s the YouTube video version – please note that we had bandwidth issues toward the end and the video cuts out for a few minutes, but the entirety of the interview is in audio and video formats: https://youtu.be/0VP0kXOqIMQ

Thank you for listening, watching, reading, or participating with me in any way you are comfortable.

Preview KEW Episode 73: What is Stress?

You think you know what stress is, but do you?

I think the term ‘stress’ is oversimplified. Sure, sometimes just venting ‘I’m stressed!’ is helpful to get some of the negative energy out, let people know how you are generally feeling, or explain your behavior.

But ‘stress’ is so overused, so ambiguous, and so cliche.

And I only mention that because that means the word is losing it’s meaning.

Also, because stress is often a result of the ‘shoulds’, in the context of the Are vs Should Problem.

What is stress, then, really?




All that and more.

Stress is the result of a dissonance between how you feel and how you want to feel.

Generally, we want to feel good. Stress is a general description of feeling bad.

This week I dig into stress a bit and hopefully help us understand what it REALLY is, and that opens the door for doing something about it.

Because you need less stress.

Full Episode Friday, right here at KEW. Make sure to subscribe to my email list so you will be notified whenever something new is posted to my webpage.

You can also subscribe to the KEW podcast on whatever app you use, and subscribe to my YouTube channel. This all helps me know you are listening and I appreciate that.

Preview KEW The Are vs Should Interview Series: Dalton Johnson

Ok, so I got pretty lucky (again) when Dalton Johnson agreed to be interviewed on KEW. Like Dawn Bates, I met Dalton in a facebook group that links podcast with potential interviewees.

All I knew about Dalton is, again like Dawn, he seemed to live more in his ‘are’. From what I could tell he was a digital nomad interested in rock climbing and photography. He seemed like a total bada$$. Well, I wanted to know more and he was open to talking about the Are vs Should Problem with us.

Also, he rode his bike across New Zealand. And he tells us all about it.

He also refers to ‘The Alchemist‘ by Paulo Coelho and suggests it’s a great primer on the Are vs Should Problem. I had read it, but let’s just say I read it again immediately after talking to Dalton.

He’s an amazing dude with an impressive life and an honorable history. I know you will enjoy learning about him, hearing what he has to say about the living in your ‘are’, and seeing what is possible.

Full podcast and YouTube episodes right here this Thursday – Please subscribe to my blog email for updates whenever a new blog/pod/video is posted.

Dalton’s Instagram (incredible pics of incredible places) : https://www.instagram.com/daltonjohnsonmedia/

Dalton’s Blog (insightful reading): https://www.daltonjohnsonmedia.com/blog/learning-to-breath-in-the-moment

FLASHBACK! KEW Episode 54: The Bully and Your DNA (Part 1)

In this flashback Episode I separated the two main elements from the Are vs Should Problem. The Bully is the ‘Shoulds’, those voices in your head telling you to do things a certain way, follow a specific path, or make a decision that jibes with an influential element in your life. In Part 2, I talk about the ‘are’ which I argue is inherent in our DNA.

The idea of ‘shoulds’ is pretty common in therapy. ‘Shoulds’ are things we tell ourselves we are ‘supposed’ to do, or have to do based on membership to some group or allegiance to some system of thinking and behaving.

You ‘should’ go to church every Sunday.

You ‘should’ forgive your partner for being a jerk.

You ‘should’ attend every single one of your kids’ soccer games.

You ‘should’ not eat a second piece of pie.

You ‘should’ think white people are better than nonwhite people.

You know what I mean. Some people even use the phrase ‘shouldding all over ourselves’ to describe how we beat ourselves up with the ‘shoulds’. This is a key element in self-help in learning how to be self-compassionate.

So in Part 1 of the Bully vs Your DNA mini series I talk all about the ‘shoulds’. Where they come from. What they mean. And why the aren’t really our true nature.

Being aware of, and even resisting the ‘shoulds’ is critical to personal growth and understanding who you really are.

I hope you enjoy this episode.

The original post with links to the full podcast audio and YouTube video is here: https://chrisburcher.com/2021/07/16/kew-episode-54-the-bully-and-your-dna-part-1/

KEW Episode 72: What is Success?

If you said ‘money’ or ‘power’, you are not alone.

Sure, there are lots of different versions of success.

Getting a good grade.

Getting a raise or a better job.

Being invited to a prestigious event.

Being revered or treated like a celebrity.

But I think we can generally boil down the status quo definition of success to be related to having a lot of money or having a lot of power.

Mirriam-Webster tell us:

1 the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame

And we could measure these things in units that are NOT money or power. But do we?

That’s what I discuss in this week’s episode.

Personally, I think measuring success in dollars and power units like followers or likes or attention is limiting and short-sighted.

I would rather my life be measured in units of comfort. And peace. And calm. And love.

But that’s not sexy. Love doesn’t get you flashy cars or big houses. Or designer jeans. Or whatever it is that people value.

And there’s that word again: value.

It all comes down to our values.

What is important to you?

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

What do you find motivating?

I would guess that many people would say money or power. This is why it is so critical to really think about what you value in order to get on your best path.

Because I can’t imagine a life that considers money or power to be the only meaningful things one can experience.

In fact, I would say one needs to ‘get away’ from money and power to really experience the best things in life.

How did we get it so backwards? How is it that people measure success the way many of us do? How is it that we don’t see happiness or satisfaction as worthy achievements?

If nothing else, how do we let each other know that we value other things and that success can be measured other ways? How do we support each other in our alternatives?

Maybe that’s the question of the day.

So. How do you measure success?

Full podcast audio download here: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/9552536-kew-episode-72-what-is-success.mp3?download=true

Or please subscribe to my podcast on Apple podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Google podcasts, etc.

Full YouTube video here: https://youtu.be/3kzOPd_OLI8

KEW Are vs Should Interview Series: Dawn Bates

I found Dawn Bates on a podcast interview facebook site. She was looking for podcasts to do interviews and promote her story. She is a coach, an author, and a genuine warrior. She is on a mission to help people in as many ways as she can.

I reached out to her to discuss the Are vs Should Problem, and she agreed to weigh in on the subject.

I intentionally didn’t learn anything about her, and I’m pretty sure she knew nothing about me or my podcast. What you see in this interview is a natural and organic discussion between two people over a single interesting question.

Why do we struggle between the person we ARE, and the person we feel like we SHOULD BE?

As you will learn, Dawn does not seem to struggle with this question. Maybe she used to, she doesn’t say. I would say Dawn lives her live nearly entirely in the ARE. Which is envious.

During our discussion Ms. Bates gives me a quickie improvised coaching session. She pretty much nails a potential solution to my issues, offering the advice that I should just change how I think. For many people, that may do the trick. I have been down that road and it isn’t that easy for me. But you may find her approach compelling and it might work great for you.

Dawn also shares her thoughts on more than one controversial, even conspiratorial, issue which, again, you may or may not agree with and/or find compelling. I include it all here for the sake of honesty. In fact, this interview is not edited at all. It is the entirety of our conversation beginning to end.

And so, dear viewer/listener/reader, I offer you my chat with Dawn Bates and invite you to check out her coaching, her story, and her books at http://www.dawnbates.com.

And, as always, feel free to share your thoughts below or on YouTube.

Full podcast audio download here: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/9552358-kew-are-vs-should-interview-series-dawn-bates.mp3?download=true

Or please subscribe via your favorite podcast app (I use spotify)

Full YouTube video here: https://youtu.be/kUL4Hfg6G0U

I will be posting interviews over the next 8-9 weeks with a preview episode Tuesday and the full interview Episode Thursday. Subscribe to my podcast email list to get reminders.

PREVIEW KEW Episode 72: What is Success?

How do YOU define success?

I would like to say I define success in terms of happiness, satisfaction, and contentment.

But I’d be lying if I didn’t let money and power creep in there.

I think most of society, or at least the *SHOULD* elements from society and the process of Domestication teach us that money and power are the measures of success.

And to a large degree they are.

Look around. We are bombarded by ‘get rich quick schemes’, influencers with millions of likes, flashy cars and clothes, and seemingly perfect bodies.

All of these require money and power. Or at least that’s what we believe.

But many of us, myself included, DO measure our lives in different terms. We just feel like no one else does or cares.

And if I think it means a lot do be a good dad, but no one else does, it becomes harder to believe myself.

I wish we could normalize recognizing other measures of success so that we could all feel better about ourselves.

Because at the end of the day, all the money and power in the world isn’t going to solve our problems, make us happy, or find us love. Regardless of what Instagram tells you.

Full Episode Friday right here at Knowledge + Experience = Wisdom.

KEW Preview: The Are vs Should Interview Series: Dawn Bates

This week I am kicking off my second interview series IN ADDITION to my regular weekly episode.

I am asking folks about their thoughts on the Are vs Should Problem, or the struggle many of us experience between the person we ARE and the person we feel like we SHOULD BE.

Dawn Bates is a helper. She is a coach, author, and warrior. Her personality is confident and authoritative. You get an excellent introduction in our interview where she shares what she does, how she works, and what she believes (and doesn’t believe) in.

You even get to see her coach me and prescribe a way out of my own issues. The preview below pretty much summarizes my ten years of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy work.

While Dawn doesn’t explicitly answer my question about the Are vs Should Problem, she fills in the blanks with her own unique brand of self awareness technique.You can find out more about her at https://dawnbates.com

Full Episode this THURSDAY, right here at KEW. Please join my email list for announcements when new material is posted here.