KEW Episode 64: The Forest for the Trees

I’m using the Forest for the Trees metaphor to suggest that humans have become exceptionally myopic. The only reason I know what myopic means is because after defending my Master’s Thesis a professor proclaimed that I was very myopic – meaning I had a terribly narrow view of the question I had asked and answered. I thought I was being pretty broad and was a bit hurt by his statement, but I also understood his point. I could have taken a ‘bigger picture’ approach, but by the time I realized that I was too far along to expand my view.

Anyway, I realized recently that myopia was again affecting my life.

During the decade I spent in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy I didn’t really change. And I knew I wasn’t changing, but couldn’t understand why. Sure, I learned a lot, but my problems stayed the same. At some point I realized that I understood what I was doing, and how to fix it, but only in an analytical way. My mind understood the logic, but my behaviors, attitudes, and habits weren’t changing.

I was still anxious although I understood how irrational many of my fears were.

I still believed I wasn’t good enough despite understanding where those beliefs came from.

I was still angry about many things, though I knew that energy didn’t solve any problems.

I understood why I was the way I was, but I’ll be damned if I learned anything about changing.

Until I realized I was looking at the trees.

In my metaphor, and maybe in yours, my logical, analytical brain was a tree. And it’s all I saw.

Recently, I came to understand I was not only a physical body and an analytical mind, but also an emotional and feeling body with equivalent mental and spiritual elements.

And my anxiety, depression, feeling not good enough, and angry parts were spread across all of these different trees – and together formed my forest.

In order to heal, I had to form a real forest, and not just a bunch of trees.

Paul Gadola calls this Integrity – and I needed some.

A stand of trees does not a forest make. They must integrate. Together. With all parts having meaning. And seeing and feeling each other.

In the context of the Are vs. Should Problem, the analytical mind and the physical body are where a lot of the Shoulds are aimed. The Shoulds bully us into forgetting about the Ares, which lie within our other parts. Our Ares are whole. We used to be whole. We are becoming quite splintered. Myopia is stealing our wholeness.

But we can get it back. We can resist.

Download podcast audio here: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/9221504-kew-episode-64-the-forest-for-the-trees.mp3?download=true

or subscribe to Knowledge + Experience = Wisdom on Spotify, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, etc.

Youtube video here: https://youtu.be/a08lb5Wol_M

KEW Curiosity Interview Series 5: Dana Humphrey

I hope you are enjoying this interview series as much as I am. Dana reached out to me because talking about curiosity sounded interesting to her. And she has some new and interesting points to make about the importance of curiosity in our lives. It’s so much fun to listen to other peoples thoughts about how being curious is important to them. We are all unique, and even a simple topic like curiosity can be very diverse.

Danas’ specialty is helping people realize their self worth and to learn better self love practices. She offers several coaching and learning programs to help you move away from imposter syndrome or feeling ‘not good enough’ toward a happier and more relaxed life. She embodies creativity and has some really cool stories about her interests in art and magic. I can totally picture her leading a self love meditation at burning man.

What I find fascinating about Dana is she is leaving behind a successful pet business to follow her purpose. In helping people understand their relationships with their pets (you can find her book, EmBARKing Down the Lease of Codependency here) she realized her role was much bigger. Now she provides guidance and leadership to help us find peace and contentment in all aspects of our lives.

As someone who struggled with codependency, I appreciate Danas’ elegant approach. As she says, we don’t really need much to exist in this world as humans, but without believing in ourselves our lives are not as full. And, moreover, by accepting ourselves for who we are we can reach the highest level of contentment and joy.

You can find out about Danas’ programs and background on her website, but this interview gives you a real look into who she is, how she operates, and what she finds to be most important with respect to self love. I found myself terrifically relaxed listening to her talk. She is not rushed and you can almost see her calmness – and it’s contagious. It is obvious she is good at what she does and I have no doubt a person can find great wisdom in her teachings.

I was extremely fortunate to have our paths cross and know you will learn something from our chat.

Podcast audio download here: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/8202613-kew-curiosity-interview-series-5-dana-humphrey.mp3?blob_id=37071637&download=true or via your favorite podcast app.

YouTube video here: https://youtu.be/l3J5lzbBUM8

Preview KEW Curiosity Interview Series 5: Dana Humphrey

Dana Humphrey (www.danahumphrey.com) can help you transform from being codependent to being independent. Already a successful entrepreneur, Dana has shifted to coaching others to live their best lives by realizing their self worth and focusing on loving ourselves more. She’s an amazing woman and shares with us a simple approach to living a better life. 

One of Danas’ central tenets is loving ourselves and focusing on self care. She shares her wisdom of her struggles and how she has realized, and come to embody, a routine of love and awareness. We can all do better at not beating ourselves up and there is a lot to learn in this interview.

Full audio and video episodes this Friday right here at K+E=W.

Preview video here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=271558324633370

KEW Curiosity Series Interview 3: DJ Doran

I met DJ Doran when he reached out to interview me about my podcast. We hit it off rather quickly, and of course I had to have him on to discuss Curiosity.

In fact, the whole Curiosity interview series was inspired by DJ!

See, DJ told me my podcast made him curious, and he’s a very curious guy as you’ll see. And I realized that I am driven, in large part, by curiosity. It’s in my daily life, it’s in my music, and it’s in KEW. But I had never thought about it, and certainly hadn’t realized it.

DJ is an amazing guy. After a successful career as a pilot in the Air Force Reserves, he has become a leader and visionary in the LGBTQ community. He has lived on a sailboat. He has a daughter. He’s the model of professionalism, yet super laid back. He’s knowledgeable as hell, but maintains a natural curiosity about the world around us.

Curiosity is funny like that. It isn’t obvious. Some people have it and others don’t seem to care. For people like DJ and me, we sort of automatically bring curiosity into our daily endeavors. We can’t help it. It’s natural. And, as DJ will explain, curiosity can be very nuanced.

Curiosity can be brave. It can be scary. And it carries with it a certain responsibility to grow.

Curiosity can reveal who your real friends are. It is our ally.

But I’m letting my curiosity be too verbose.

To maintain the organic nature of our chat, I include the entire conversation here. I apologize for my audio, which is distorted, but DJ sounds great.

Please explore DJ’s work. You can find links to most of what he does on his facebook site (his podcast) and at Aequalitas media (his media company).

I hope you enjoy listening to or watching the interview as much as we did doing it.

Full podcast audio download here:

or via Stitcher, Spotify, Apple, Google, etc.

Full YouTube video here:

Feel free to click the comment link above and share your thoughts!

KEW Curiosity series interview: Paul Gadola

One of my greatest character flaws is being resistant to people. When I meet new people I often assume they won’t like the ‘real me’ and this often prevents me from developing deep relationships. Sometimes this is protective, because some people might ridicule you or react negatively to who you really are. But the worst result from this type of approach is not giving people a chance. I’m not sure I did that with Paul, but when we first met I didn’t see the potential friendship because I was in my protective bubble – and that’s on me.

Fortunately for me, Paul reached out to me and we have developed a friendship which has grown easily and effortlessly. And I owe him a debt of gratitude for initiating that and sort of pushing through any walls I might have had up. This is the first lesson Paul taught me. I guess the lesson there is to be open to the world rather than closed off. To believe that the world wants and needs your unique vision and that it’s your responsibility to share it.

Paul Gadola owns a CrossFit gym (www.ironmountain.fitness) and his wife owns a healthy meals business (www.sunmealprep.com) so they literally embody the mind/body/spirit mantra, living it every day. Paul’s messages are so well informed, well thought out, and COMPLETE that it’s hard not to learn something from his videos and messages. His instagram offers so much to the spiritual thinker you will have plenty to chew on for weeks. And it’s hard to argue with how he has compiled so many viewpoints, so many belief systems, and so much diversity in his messages. He seems to have filtered out all the junk and come up with a holistic, all-inclusive organization of a way to approach enlightenment for our species.

Though I had a few issues during recording, we were able to capture a lot of Paul’s wisdom in this Episode and there is a lot here to help us all grow and understand ourselves better. I strongly urge you to check out his instagram series or his facebook page to go deeper into what he is offering. And maybe send him some encouragement to package all of this into a book or something;)

Full Podcast audio here: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/7514887-kew-curiosity-one-paul-gadola-interview.mp3?blob_id=33018568&download=true or via your favorite podcast listening app.

Full Video here: https://youtu.be/WkEuFewSmM4

FLASHBACK! KEW Episode 8: Goals and Accolades

And a little bit about the meaning of life . . . .

Many of us could use a little more self esteem. Yet we continually look for esteem outside ourselves in the external environment.

For me, it was attention from the opposite sex. Or getting hired by a good employer. Or publishing a paper. These things are well and good, but they are also fleeting.

It’s like your mom telling you your handsome. Or when everyone gets a trophy. It’s not our fault.

I struggle to ‘know’ that I am good regardless of my achievements and seek to learn how to self-validate my worth.

All that and more. Preview link here: https://business.facebook.com/kpluseiswise/videos/658581378406198/

Full episode here: https://chrisburcher.com/2020/06/12/episode-8-goals-accolades-and-the-meaning-of-life/

Episode 8: Goals, Accolades, and the Meaning of Life?

I struggle with getting praise for my accomplishments. Earning money, having a ‘good job’, winning trophies, making people like you, achieving, getting good grades – so much of life is tied to ‘chasing carrots’ to earn accolades.

In my youth my accolades were mostly self-realized. I was such a loner I had to learn to praise myself and realize my own accomplishments. These achievements were measured in things like satisfaction and happiness. But somewhere along the lines I switched over to external gratification and fell into a pretty big trap where I could never achieve enough to get enough praise to feel good about myself.

Those scenarios area little exaggerated, but you get the point.

As I age I realize my youthful naïveté was a better modus operandi. Now I am trying to relearn how to ‘esteem myself’ and appreciate my achievements from within myself and my close friends and family.

I argue that society goes through similar cycles and recent events put us right in the crosshairs for some serious self-reflection about what we really want out of life.

Podcast audio:

Youtube video: