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.

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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) :

Dalton’s Blog (insightful reading):

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:

FLASHBACK! KEW Episode 23: Who’s Right?

Would you rather be RIGHT, or HAPPY? Think about it. How many times have you faced this situation: You disagree with someone. A spouse, a friend, or coworker. And instead of getting curious and trying to understand each other, you end up in a posturing match of who will more strongly defend your position. How often does that end well?

Yet we all do it, and continue to do it. Somehow DEFENDING our positions is more important to us than UNDERSTANDING each other.

I don’t know about you, but when I get defensive I know something is up. Getting defense usually means I’m afraid of something. Sometimes I’m just afraid I’m wrong, and it’s too late to reveal that, so I double down. Other times I’m afraid my beliefs are abnormal, so I try and change my mind or concede to my ‘opponent’. More often than not, I think we get defensive because we really don’t know what we’re talking about – at least we don’t know well enough to defend it.

It’s like they say about teaching. To teach someone something you REALLY have to understand the topic. Same thing with defending your position on an issue when having a disagreement. You probably haven’t really thought enough about whatever it is to defend it properly. And then we panic. And panic often comes out as conflict.

Wouldn’t it be cool if we could normalize understanding rather than defending?

Preview video link:

Original post with audio and video links here:

Preview KEW Episode 35: Beyond Science. Metaphysics?

During my brief stint as a philosophy major I really wanted to learn about Metaphysics. Mostly because I thought it sounded cool, but I really knew nothing about it. I’m not sure much has changed in that respect. But I was thinking recently about things that can’t be explained using the scientific method, like Self and Soul (KEW Episodes 33 and 34) and, well, this led to Episode 35.

Science is great, but it was designed to measure things. And those things have to be measureABLE. Quantifiable. So we can use math. Physics might be the crowing achievement of the sciences (but they’re all good) but just can’t do it all. So I think of metaphysics as being beyond physics – beyond the best science into a new realm

In the Soul episode I wondered aloud whether particles might have some precursor to awareness, and that this might lead to awareness when organized into a human mind. As with most ideas I have, I’m not the first one to offer this theory, but it was new to me at the time. The alternative, of course, is that particles do NOT have any awareness and that human consciousness or awareness is unique, and maybe magical. Either way this isn’t a question science can answer. Very well, if at all.

I’m sure I’ll keep pushing into the soul/self/awareness/consciousness space because I find it interesting. But first, a bit about what science can and can’t do, and a plea for more philosophy.

Preview video here:

Full Episode this Friday.

KEW Preview Episode 23: Who’s Right?

My therapist posed the question to me once, “Would you rather be right, or happy?” and I have thought about it ever since. At the end of the day, I’d rather be happy.

Our desire to be right, to win arguments, or impose our beliefs and values on to others is contributing to the ‘us vs. them’ mentality so prevalent in today’s society – especially in the U.S.A. where I live.

This week I discuss how to deal with this situation and ask you for your input.

Preview video here:

Full episode this Friday