Changeable with Dr. Amy Johnson
Change is natural and easy. Is that your experience? What about when it comes to breaking bad habits, or ending worry or anxiety? When it comes to bouncing back from disappointment or loss, or changing habitual patterns and reactions? Most of us experience change as difficult, with results that are shallow and short-lived. But that’s only because we’re stuck in an old paradigm, using strategies that don’t go deep enough. Join psychologist and author Dr. Amy Johnson for Changeable, a podcast about a new paradigm in psychology that reveals the ironic way change really works. It’s easier than you think.
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What is health? What is wellbeing? How do you know if you’re healthy and well?
Turns out, the way we answer those questions has huge implications for how well we feel.
I talk with John El-Mokadem in this episode about massively expanding our concept of what health and wellness really are.
We talk about how we can be well…we are well…despite what we’re feeling.
How health and wellness do not necessarily equal the absence of pain or anxiety. They do not necessarily equal a “cure”, or an external change at all.
Wellness is the space beyond experience.
John speaks about these big issues so clearly, with so much compassion and understanding. I know you’ll hear something helpful in this episode.
If you want to learn more about John, you can do that here. And if you are interested in the health course that John teaches with Karen DiMarco, I highly recommend checking that out. Their newest course begins in late May.
Harry claims that all problems in life come from overthinking.
All problems? Really?
I play devil’s advocate a bit in this one as we discuss the single, common source of all suffering. I love Harry’s personality and the way he talks about this understanding. He is fun and light and always puts the feeling first.
I hope you enjoy this episode!
Harry works in Native communities and does a lot of work with people in addiction. His book Evolution of Addiction Recovery shares how this new paradigm paints a very hopeful picture of the future of addiction treatment. Harry also co-hosts the show Addiction, Alcoholism, and the Three Principles.
There are so many safety nets built into our human design.
Seeing more about how we work…the forgiving, safe, self-correcting, can’t-be-damaged design we’ve all been blessed with…does a lot for us. But perhaps one of the most notable things it does is that it allows us to feel secure.
When we feel secure, we are free. Free to feel what moves through us because we know that we bounce back naturally. Free to think what our mind thinks, because it’s not ‘ours’ anyway. Free to have a big, varied life; to try things, to fail at things, to mess up, to experiment.
It’s a lot like being raised by loving parents who allow you to feel safe and unconditionally cared for. You are free to go off and explore, knowing there is always a ‘home base’ where you can return.
Home base is in all of us. Seeing that makes being human a much bigger, richer experience.
Jen had trouble sleeping for a long time. Seeing something about how her experienced worked helped...a lot.
In this episode, Jen and I talk about some of the things she came to see about how her mind and body work, and the role the “insomnia” label played in her sleepless nights.
Life is fluid. You aren’t an insomniac or any other label you might innocently slap onto yourself. Seeing the moment-to-moment nature of things can change so, so much.
I love the depth and simplicity in the way Jen shares. At the end of our conversation she looked at me and said “I can’t believe I just shared all of that in 20 minutes!” It’s not complicated. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy to see our way out of what we’re in, but solutions are always simple.
You can see more about Jen here: http://www.jenlucas.us/sleep
What if all of the stuff you think you think…is not really you at all?
Your opinions, preferences, obsessions, worries… I know they take up a lot of room in your mind. They sound and feel like you.
But when I’m listening to others go on and on about how they feel and what they care about and prefer, I often sense that what I’m hearing has nothing at all to do with them. It’s their mind having a conversation that they happen to be owning.
Know what I mean?
In Part 2 of my conversation about guilt with John Flaherty, we go deeper into where guilt comes from, why it is so pervasive, and how guilt is ultimately changeable.
This conversation can be so huge for all of us, but especially if guilt is something you feel weighing you down.
If you missed Part 1 of our conversation, you can listen to that one here.
And if you want a much deeper exploration into guilt, check out John’s book Guilt Unplugged: Waking Up from the Lie we Live.
Changeable is about the way humans work.
The way we’re inherently free, inherently healthy and at peace. And how, in our every day lives, we don’t always feel those things. We feel dis-ease, suffering, trapped.
What traps us? It’s always thought-brought-to-life that appears personal and real.
That thought takes many forms. In today’s conversation, I talk with John Flaherty about when the form is guilt. Guilt is so gripping, so pervasive, sometimes so subtle. It stands in the way of our peace and it doesn’t have to.
There was so much in this conversation with John that I split it into two parts. Enjoy Part 1 of my conversation about guilt, with John Flaherty.
Minds do some predictable things.
They bring up regrets and past mistakes, they predict the future, they compare and contrast, they fear, they judge…
These aren’t meaningful. It’s not personal to you when your mind is the one doing them. These are universal mental activities.
That means you don’t have to tune in so closely. Really.
What if you saw what your mind does as ‘just what minds do’? Imagine what it would free up, to not have to pay such close attention to what your mind was saying.
Erika Bugbee is the teen whisperer.
She’s also the parent-of-a-teen whisperer.
Erika works with teens and their parents in ways that look like magic, but are deceptively simple and full of common sense. She talks about liking your teen when it sometime feels difficult. Having goodwill in your relationship. And how understanding what a teen’s inner life is like–even just a little bit–can make a gigantic difference in the quality of your interactions.
If you are a teen or have a teen, you will love this conversation. Listen lightly, but listen for the depth and the feeling in how Erika speaks. It almost sounds too simple to actually work, but if you saw the impact she has with her clients you’d know that you were hearing truth.
You can see more about Erika and her work here. I highly recommend talking with her!
In this episode, Jason shares a pretty incredible transformation.
Jason was put on anti-depressants at age 9.
In his teens and early 20s he was a heroin addict, in and out of jail, and homeless at times.
Jason quit drugs with the help of a 12 step program, but swapped heroin for food and other addictions. It wasn’t until Jason came across this understanding that I share here on the podcast that he became truly free.
Jason’s story is a remarkable one and he’s a remarkable guy. I’m very excited to share this story with you!
Jason is now a coach in the UK. You can see more about him and his work here.