My dear friend and author Chris Morris joins me today. Chris is a long time advocate of issues surrounding chronic illness, and reconciling these with faith. As someone who lives with chronic illness himself and has family members with chronic illness, he knows the challenges chronic illness can bring – as well as some of the stigma, in particular around some religious circles.
Today Chris shares a bit of his story, lessons he’s learned and research he’s done behind the subject, all of which has resulted in the publishing of his new book, ‘Perfectly Abnormal’. Chris shares the truth behind a lot of stigma and misinformation, and the authentic experience of living with chronic illness – and gives hope and inspiration for those living with chronic illness themselves.
I’d highly recommend ‘Perfectly Normal’ to all those who live with chronic illness, and anyone who knows someone who lives with it In the book Chris strives to destroy some common myths facing the chronic illness community, including a poor theology of illness. From there, he begins a conversation about how to build a healthy place for the chronic illness community to be safe.
The book is available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, or wherever books are sold.
Today our ‘Questions We Don’t Ask’ series continues, with the fundamental question of ‘How Do I Believe?’
Continuing from where we left off last week, Charles Porter and I discuss how, whilst so often we discuss what we believe, that maybe the deeper, more fundamental question is how we believe.
These conversations aren’t merely about answering the question. The questions are more jumping off points into a much bigger, wider and deeper exploration of Christian spirituality and our own journeys – because ultimately, all our journeys are connected, and there’s many of us asking these kind of questions.
This question takes us from spiral dynamics, to the mystics, to Richard Rohr & non-dual thinking, via Trump & Brexit, and on to tons of other places. We explore some challenging, uncomfortable territory – but territory it’s absolutely necessary to cover to gain both a deeper understanding and depth to our spirituality.
Come and join us.
Season 2 of the Poema Podcast kicks off with a new series we’ll be doing on and off over the next few months – “Questions We Don’t Ask”. This series will see me and others discuss raw, honest and challenging questions of faith and our spiritual journey. Questions I’ve been asking myself a lot in the last year. The type of questions many of us don’t like to ask, but the ones we need to ask more than anything if we really want to grow and move deeper in our spirituality.
These conversations aren’t merely about answering the questions. The questions are more jumping off points into a much bigger, wider and deeper exploration of Christian spirituality and our own journeys – because ultimately, all our journeys are connected, and there’s many of us asking these kind of questions.
Today, my friend Charles Porter, previous guest, formerly host of the Fable Podcast and founder of the Neighbourhood Liturgies, joins me to discuss the first question.
“What Do I Believe?”
This conversation goes into some deep, wide and interesting places way beyond the initial question, places we never expected to go. I hope you’ll join us, and that this helps you explore this and other questions on your own journey – and maybe raises some more.
If we’re going to go create work, and share it with the world, there’s some serious questions we need to ask ask ourselves first.
Why do I create?
What am I doing this for?
Who am I doing this for?
And this leads us to some more fundamental questions:
Do I create because I love to write?
Do I create because I have something to share or a story to tell?
Do I create because I love creating and using my gifts to help people?
Do I create because I have something to offer others?
Do I create because my confidence and security rests on the outcome?
Do I create to boost my ego?
Do I create to impress?
Do I create to please others?
Do I create solely with intention of making money?
These are questions all of us creators need to ask. Writers, painters, musicians, speakers, coaches. All of us.
Because if we’re doing it for the second set of reasons, our work will never have integrity. The truth behind that piece of work is about self, it’s about ego, pride, money.
And people can always smell the money. The truth, heart and energy behind a piece of creative work always comes through.
Art always tells the truth about it’s heart.
Today on the podcast I share a reflection on my own journey of the last 18 months – both spiritual and creative – and the story of how the podcast, and all my creative work, has grown and evolved in that time.
I talk about the importance of taking a break, of refuelling, reimagining, disconnecting, and how this is absolutely necessary to our growth, and to creating more great work, and a thriving, healthy life.
This is the last episode of Season 1 of the Poema Podcast. Season 2 will begin in the Autumn, and in this episode I share more about this, why I’m doing it, and what you’ll have to look forward to in Season 2.
Today I’m delighted to host Matthew Brough, pastor, author and host of the ‘Spirituality For Normal People’ podcast. We talk about whole range of topics, including creativity, the spirituality of writing fiction, spiritual practices and more.
Matthew shares his own story, and talks about how writing fiction has influenced his spiritual journey, and the circle of creativity and our spiritual journey – where each impacts and is part of the other, and how this has impacted his own role as a pastor. He also talks about his own spiritual practices, and how these have evolved and changed and the impact they’ve had on his creative side, in particular the birth of his podcast, ‘Spirituality For Normal People’, which explores creativity and spiritual practice.
Matthew’s got a lot of wisdom and insight to share on both spirituality and creativity, and this is well worth a listen.
Today I’m joined by author and spiritual counsellor Joy Resor. Joy shares her own story of how deep suffering and grief set her on the path to finding her true purpose, and how she discovered joy in the process. It’s a powerful story of expanding spirituality, creativity as a healer, and how suffering can be a catalyst for authentic and even positive change in our lives.
Joy shows how it’s possible to have truly hopeful, joyful perspective on our journey, whilst still bearing the scars of our past. This is definitely worth a listen!
Today author, blogger and podcaster Rebecca Lombardo joins me on the podcast. For 25 years Rebecca has battled with mental illness of various kinds. She’s also had to undergo the trauma of losing both parents, and battled with suicidal thoughts. Yet through writing, publishing a book, podcasting, and an incredibly supportive husband, she has survived and is doing amazing work creating safe spaces for people to discuss mental illness.
Rebecca, with great courage and honesty, shares her story, and the truth that it’s not always about having a happy thriving ending, but that the challenges of mental health are ongoing, a daily battle, and that everyone struggling with mental health has to find their own unique way of surviving, and maybe even, occasionally, thriving.
Rebecca’s story will both challenge and inspire you, and leave you encouraged.
Michael and Lisa Gungor are on the podcast today. Husband and wife, creatives, musicians, Jesus-followers, Michael and Lisa have created some amazing music over the years and have some phenomenal wisdom on spirituality, creativity, and the personal journey.
Michael and Lisa share with great honesty and wisdom about their own personal journey, the challenges and struggles they’ve had to confront in recent years, and how they’ve shaped their spiritual and creative journey.
The Gungors talk about the creative process and spiritual journey behind their recent One Wild Life album trilogy, and how creativty is both a spiritual and an organic process. They also unpack more of their own spiritual practices, and we discuss together how a real spiritual practice can be as simple as playing with your kids, and the truth about our habits and decisions.
Finally, they talk about what’s happening in the world right now, the atmosphere of fear, of a force in the world “pulling back from the progress we’ve made” – and how and why here might be hope for us all.
This is truly inspiring, life giving and eye-opening interview, without doubt, one of the most amazing and inspiring I’ve ever done. Michael and Lisa have such wisdom, humility and grace, and this is well worth a listen.
“Spiritual practice is when you are sitting down and training your body and mind to engage with the divine in each and every moment” – Michael Gungor
“We often don’t make decisions about what we do. We act on habit.” – Lisa Gungor
“There’s a force in the world pulling back from the progress we’ve made” – Michael Gungor
Today I’m joined by Julida and Sean Alter, who make up one half of ‘The Blacksmith’s Daughters’, a folk/rock band from Minneapolis. The band is comprised of Julida and Sean, and Julida’s sister Anella Platta and her husband Brent. Julida and Anetta are from a family with a long history of being blacksmiths – hence the name ‘The Blacksmith’s Daughters’.
We discuss the creative process involved in songwriting and recording, and their unorthodox but effective approach to how they make their music. We also explore what true authentic creativity is, and holding in balance between creating great, honest work, but also wanting to put that work out into the world.
This was such a fun interview to do. Julida And Sean are a great couple who have great insight into the creative process, and offer encouragement to all of us to go out and make melodies in our own creative work, whatever that might be – and to be ourselves.