Episode 14: Street harassment, trust and safe spaces: How do we deal with feeling unsafe?

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?

Screen Shot 2019-06-16 at 14.32.07Our 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.

Listen to the episode here: http://thewayweconnect.buzzsprout.com/160260/1261217-safety-street-harassment-and-trust-how-do-we-create-safe-spaces-and-deal-will-feeling-unsafe

Resources:

Connect with Desi (and her Burlesque personality, Fattyma Cous Cous) on Facebook, Instagram or her website

What happens in our brains when we feel feararticle 

The Neuroscience of Feeling Safe and Connectedarticle

Non-Violent Communication (and Safety as a basic human need): https://nonviolentcommunication.com or this summary 

How Fear is Wired in our Brains – video:

The effect of trauma on the brain and how it affects behaviours – video

Episode 13: Healing collective trauma with Patrick Dougherty

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?

patrickdoughertyPatrick 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.

Listen here: http://thewayweconnect.buzzsprout.com/160260/1203935-healing-collective-trauma-with-patrick-dougherty 

Resources:

The Pocket Project: https://pocketproject.org/

Moving through it: https://movingthroughit.org/introduction/

Healing Collective Trauma: http://www.healingcollectivetrauma.com/

Other articles and resources with Patrick:

Article by Patrick: Helping your Brain and Body Survive the Collective Trauma of 2017

Podcast interview with Patrick on Last Born in the Wilderness

Article by Patrick: Our Bodies Were Not Designed To Process Collective Trauma Alone

Interview with Patrick at the Trauma and Mental Health in Conflict and Migration online conference (do you recognise who’s interviewing him?)

Other resources:

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van del Kolk (https://besselvanderkolk.net/the-body-keeps-the-score.html) – a fascinating book about trauma

 

 

Episode 12: Wanderlust, Adaptability, Chimps and the Velvet Revolution – What does it mean to connect to a place?

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?

61665097_356121341928133_2118324114300076032_nWe 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 that she finds herself 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 into a new group.

Listen here: http://thewayweconnect.buzzsprout.com/160260/1189082-wanderlust-adaptability-chimps-and-the-velvet-revolution-what-does-it-mean-to-connect-to-a-place

Mentioned resources:

Expats.cz – giving expats in Prague information about news, jobs, events, services etc

Learn.cz – Eva’s business – teaching English and business confidence to Czechs

Migrants less likely to be retraumatised when they achieve cultural competence: George, M. (2012). Migration traumatic experiences and refugee distress: Implications for social work practice. Clinical Social Work Journal40(4), 429-437 (PDF)

Also useful:

If you’re interested in the behaviour of chimps when adapting to new societies, have a look at this article: https://www.mpg.de/12125811/grooming-social-relationship 

How to make a new city feel like home: https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/9-ways-to-make-a-new-city-feel-like-home.html

I also recommend www.meetup.com to find new events and groups!

Episode 11: Compatibility (Part 3) – Does it just happen, or is it carefully built?

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?

A Valentine’s Day poll from the university of Monmouth polling institute in 2017 found that ⅔ of US Americans believe in Soul Mates.

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.

Listen to the episode here: http://thewayweconnect.buzzsprout.com/160260/1122698-compatibility-part-3-does-it-just-happen-or-is-it-carefully-built 

Resources:

University of Monmouth study about beliefs in soulmates: https://www.monmouth.edu/polling-institute/reports/MonmouthPoll_US_020917/

Less That One – find out the statistical probability of finding your soul mate: http://www.lessthanone.com/ 

Barbara J Wilson – From Love at First Sight to Soul Mate: The Influence of Romantic Ideals in Popular Films on Young People’s Beliefs about Relationships – https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03637751.2013.776697

Books mentioned:

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Essentialism by Greg McKewon

Episode 10: Who says we need soul mates anyway?

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 and a 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?

While this is likely to be a controversial episode for those with deep-set beliefs about finding love, marriage, monogamy or commitment, it is also a refreshing look at alternative lifestyles. What can life look like if we free ourselves of the idea that we are somehow a failure if we don’t settle down for life with one perfect partner?

Listen to the episode here: http://thewayweconnect.buzzsprout.com/160260/1060853-compatibility-part-2-who-says-we-need-soul-mates-anyway 

Resources:

Rowen’s website: https://dontlikebeinginlove.com/

Childless & Childfree Role Models – after Rowen’s comments that we lack positive female childfree role models, I found this!

The Ethical Slut (Referenced in the episode): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ethical_Slut – a great book not only for people exploring polyamory/non-monogamy but for relationship communication advice in general

The Relationship Anarchy Manifesto – https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/andie-nordgren-the-short-instructional-manifesto-for-relationship-anarchy

 

 

Episode 9: The never-ending search for “the One”

Is our true soul mate out there? Do we need to find them or can we be perfectly happy by ourselves? How do we know when we’ve found the right person?

In this three-part series, we explore questions of compatibility, monogamy, and look at alternatives to the usual story of “meet person, fall in love, live happily ever after”.

Plato used to look at romantic love with skepticism, even horror, and yet today it seems that we are obsessed with romantic love and sex. While marriage was once a financial necessity or a way of ensuring peace between families or nations, we now live in the romantic dream that somewhere out there we can find a person who will complement and complete us in every day. We are bombarded with messages in songs, movies, books and magazines about sex, attraction, romance and finding true love – how are we supposed to feel complete when we are single in a world that focuses so much on pairing up?

In part 1, Louise shares with us her trials and tribulations in love. She’s had ups and downs, with stories both tragic and comic, but she remains positive that the right person is out there for her. Join Lis & Gwen in this frank, open discussion about dating, love, sex, and discuss what it means to be comfortable in your own skin without needing a partner to validate you.

Listen to the episode here: http://thewayweconnect.buzzsprout.com/160260/1037402-compatibility-part-1-the-never-ending-search-for-the-one 

Mentioned in this episode:

The Love Song for Shu-Sin – perhaps the oldest love poem? 

Dr Carol Dweck’s Growth vs Fixed mindsets 

Also worth checking out:

A Brief History of Romantic Love (and why it kind of sucks) – Mark Manson

Episode 8: What does it mean to ‘fit in’ somewhere?

How do we fit in to new places? What does it mean to feel like you belong? And is it harder to feel that you don’t belong in your home town, compared to a completely new place?

Amelia has lived in many places, from Kansas to Prague, but the biggest adjustment came from moving to Namibia as a Peace Corps volunteer. In this episode, we discuss what it was like to stand out in a small Namibian village, whether she felt homesick, and how Amelia has felt about ‘fitting in’ in a variety of locations, from Kansas to Prague and everywhere in between.

One idea that came up in this episode was whether or not it’s harder to handle the feeling of not ‘fitting in’ to your own home town, as opposed to somewhere that you’ve moved to and where being an outsider isn’t so unexpected, anyway.

“One of the reasons I want to live abroad… is because there’s something more painful about not feeling like you belong [when it’s] in your own home” Amelia.

Amelia would like to apologise for using some Colonial names for places in Namibia, and hopes that they did not cause any offence.

Listen to the episode here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/160260/1037383-what-does-it-mean-to-fit-in-somewhere
Find out more about Namibia:

https://www.info-namibia.com/info/general-information 

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/tribes-and-ethnic-groups-of-namibia.html

Find out more about the Peace Corps: https://www.peacecorps.gov/