Poema Podcast
Poema S7 018 | Caroline McGraw on Why You Don’t Owe Anyone

Poema S7 018 | Caroline McGraw on Why You Don’t Owe Anyone

April 12, 2021

Today author and coach Caroline McGraw joins me to talk about her new book and why "You Don't Owe Anyone".  

Caroline explains to us how often we feel obligated to the world around us, feel we "owe" people and put impossible expectations on ourselves, and the unhelpful roles we can sometimes assign ourselves. We explore the dangers of perfectionism and how to free ourselves of it.

We also discuss why it's so important to name what we're carrying - fear, trauma, mistakes - and face up to it in order to be transformed and grow. And why continually pursuing growth is so important.

Finally, Caroline gives us some practical steps we can take to begin this journey in our own lives. 

****

Pre-Order Carolines book here (& get some amazing pre-order bonuses): 

https://awishcomeclear.com/james-prescott

Poema S7 017 | Sarah Bessey & Lisa Sharon Harper on the Rhythm of Prayer

Poema S7 017 | Sarah Bessey & Lisa Sharon Harper on the Rhythm of Prayer

April 6, 2021

Today I'm joined by author & speaker Sarah Bessey, and speaker, author, podcast host and activist Lisa Sharon Harper, to talk about the new collaborative book they've worked on and contributed to, along with many others, 'A Rhythm of Prayer'.

We talk about the background to the creation of the book in the context of the events of the last 12 months - global pandemic, the murder of George Floyd, the US Presidential election and the weight this book carries and the message it wants to send us in these times of grief & uncertainty. 

We talk about the inspiration for Lisa's own contribution, Sarah's reasons for creating this book and the importance of new liturgies for a new time - and the significance of all of these voices being women. 

"A Rhythm of Prayer" is available now at all online booksellers. 

Poema S7 016 | James’ Story - hosted by Becky Castle Miller

Poema S7 016 | James’ Story - hosted by Becky Castle Miller

March 29, 2021

In this special episode, I sit with Becky Castle Miller and tell my own story.

A story of childhood trauma, multiple grief experiences, and a journey through the unhealth of certainty and spiritual abuse, into deconstructing not just my faith, but my life and my identity.

It's a story of transcendent spiritual experiences, betrayal, suicidal ideation and nearly losing it all.

A journey of healing, transformation and embodiment. 

My story. 

Poema S7 015 | Kelly Wolfe on Lust, Desire and Faith

Poema S7 015 | Kelly Wolfe on Lust, Desire and Faith

March 22, 2021

Today my friend Kelly Wolfe joins me, to talk about sex, desire, lust, masturbation and healthy ways we can connect these with Christian faith. 

We talk about the damage purity culture and shame has done to so many people, and how we need to unlearn this and begin to talk about these subjects openly and honestly, and be honest about our desires and how our bodies work, and need to express themselves sexually. 

Kelly talks openly about how masturbation in the right context can be a healthy expression of our sexuality - and how and why this fits with the way of Jesus and honours how we were created.

Finally, Kelly also discusses the difference between lust and desire, and why we should have no shame in discussing and ethically exploring our sexuality - and why this is a beautiful, divine gift.  

 

Poema S7 014 | Dr Hillary McBride PhD on Grief & the Language of Our Pain

Poema S7 014 | Dr Hillary McBride PhD on Grief & the Language of Our Pain

March 15, 2021

I'm delighted to be joined today by Dr Hillary McBride PhD, therapist, researcher, author and former co-host of The Liturgists podcast (this episode was recorded before she announced her departure).

We just started talking and let the conversation flow - it began by Hillary sharing her own journey and about the experience of being a therapist during a pandemic. 

Hillary and I also talked about where following our curiosity can take us in our lives, conversations, art and our own personal journeys.

She also talks about growth, and how we can often find growth & meaning even in the midst of hardship. Hillary then shares how we need to become familiar with the language of our own pain, and how this can be helpful in our journeys of growth and healing. 

We end by exploring grief in more depth, and how historically we have dealt with grief as a culture and how we can use the energy of grief on a broader scale to bring about cultural change. 

This was hands down one of my all time favourite conversations for the podcast, Hillary is inspiring, wise and encouraging. I'm excited for you to hear this. 

 

 

Poema S7 013 | Anita Grace Brown is a Kamikaze Yogi

Poema S7 013 | Anita Grace Brown is a Kamikaze Yogi

March 10, 2021

Today I'm joined by Yogi and author Anita Grace Brown to hear her story and talk about her work exploring the connections between Christ, Yoga and how this intertwines with our journey of growth.

Anita shares with us how we can use yoga and the story of Jesus to help us enter healthy state of centeredness. She tells us how the human soul might just be God's muscle which we need to work on strengthening - and if we do, we could be transformed. 

Anita believes we are more resilient than we think, and more conscious than we think - and today we explore this.

*****

Anita's book Kamikaze Yogi is available now!

Poema S7 012 | Dr Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, Ph.D. on Activist Theology, Compassion & Connection

Poema S7 012 | Dr Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, Ph.D. on Activist Theology, Compassion & Connection

March 1, 2021

Today I'm joined by Dr Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, Ph.D, Transqueer Activist Latinx Scholar, Public Theologian, and host of the Activist Theology podcast.

Dr Robyn tells their story about their lived experience of living with autism, how they became aware of their diagnosis, and not just freedom it brought but also the grief of realising how this may have impacted others pre-diagnosis. 

They then talk about what this time of lockdown and a global pandemic can teach, and how we can use this time to connect with ourselves each other. We also talk about the pandemic has amplified the flawed, unequal system of capitalism we all live in. Dr Robyn shares how our relationships have been impacted by this mindset, by a transactional model over one of connection and compassion.

Dr Robyn then explores his work, and what action he's been taking & we can take to subvert the system and bring about a more compassionate, connected world.

______

Find more of Dr Robyn's work at www.irobyn.com 

Poema S7 011 | Dr Khaleah Bradshaw on Black Women, Patriarchy & Singleness

Poema S7 011 | Dr Khaleah Bradshaw on Black Women, Patriarchy & Singleness

February 22, 2021

I'm honoured to be joined by Dr Khaleah Bradshaw, who shares her own story, and also talks about her experiences and research on patriarchy and singleness within the black community. 

We talk about the challenges all single people face, and why it's better to wait and find a partner who's a good match, than rush in. We also discuss how the challenges of breaking down patriarchal systems which can shame people for singleness. 

This was a fun and insightful conversation, which will challenge and inspire. 

Poema S7 010 | Shelley DeJong LPC, CSAC on Addiction, Rock Bottom & Transformation

Poema S7 010 | Shelley DeJong LPC, CSAC on Addiction, Rock Bottom & Transformation

February 15, 2021

In this episode I'm joined by certified life coach and therapist Shelley DeJong.

Today Shelley shares her own story of addiction, rock bottom and transformation, and the challenges and stigma she's faced with multiple sclerosis.

She talks about her lowest moments and how she shifted out of those places into recovery and healing, and the lessons she's learned in both her life, and her work now as a therapist and a life coach, about healing and personal transformation.

Poema S7 009 | Jenna DeWitt on Sexuality, Gender Identity & Faith

Poema S7 009 | Jenna DeWitt on Sexuality, Gender Identity & Faith

February 11, 2021

Today my friend Jenna DeWitt joins me. She tells her story of discovering her own sexual and gender identity having grown up in a more traditional Christian environment.

Jenna shares about the wide variety of types on the asexual spectrum, and how she discovered a community of people just like her, and found a healthy faith community which accepted her. She likens the wide variety in every aspect of creation, planets, plants, races, animals, how all are different yet all are beautiful and belong.

She also talks about the diversity of the divine themselves, and how this should and is reflected in his creation, including humanity. 

This was a wonderful episode to record, Jenna has so much wisdom and insight in this area, take a listen and give her a follow on Twitter at @Jenna_DeWitt.

Poema S7 008 | Matt Nightingale on Coming Out as a Pastor

Poema S7 008 | Matt Nightingale on Coming Out as a Pastor

February 8, 2021

Today LGBTQI+ pastor Matt Nightingale joins me to tell his story. He shares when he first began to realise he was gay, how this impacted his marriage and his work, and finally coming to the painful and courageous decision to go public, and end his marriage. 

We then discuss the consequences of this for him, his family and his work and how he's now moving into more freedom and creating communities and safe spaces for LGBTQI+ online, and how it's impacted his role as a pastor. 

Matt is so inspiring and courageous, it was amazing to talk to him. 

Poema S7 007 | Alexis De Weese on Creativity as a Spiritual Practice

Poema S7 007 | Alexis De Weese on Creativity as a Spiritual Practice

February 1, 2021

Today I'm joined by writer, theology and the arts MLitt student & book marketer Alexis De Weese to talk about how creativity & the creative process can be a healthy spiritual practice. 

We both share experiences from our own lives & work where the creative process has allowed us to connect with ourselves and the divine, and how creativity can be a sacred act which opens us up to experience the divine in fresh, and deeply intimate ways.

And Alexis offers practical tips for us to help make creativity a sacred space for us.

This was such a fun, insightful and inspiring conversation, Alexis has such wisdom in this area and it was great to chat to her. 

 

 
Poema S7 006 | Dr Kate Thomas & Dr Kyleanne Hunter on Invisible Veterans

Poema S7 006 | Dr Kate Thomas & Dr Kyleanne Hunter on Invisible Veterans

January 28, 2021

In this episode we talk to Dr Kate Thomas and Dr Kyleanne Hunter about a unique grief & trauma experience, but one which is becoming increasingly relevant in a pandemic and future post pandemic world - the experiences of military women when they return from services.

We talk about the unique challenges this represents for so many women, which impact all aspects of their lives, from mental and physical health to career - and how some have developed resilience and learned to move forward positively, whilst others have found more difficulty. 

In a world where we are all going through a collective trauma and grief, and will one day need to go into the world again, this conversation - held in late March 2020 - feels more relevant than ever. 

Poema S7 005 | Jonathan Puddle on Why You Are Enough

Poema S7 005 | Jonathan Puddle on Why You Are Enough

January 25, 2021

Today I'm joined by podcaster and writer Jonathan Puddle, host of the 'Puddcast', to talk about loving ourselves as we are - and loving ourselves the way we're loved by the divine. 

Jonathan tells the story of how he doubted myself and condemned himself, and even hated himself—until he was reminded and had the word of Jesus 'love your neighbour as yourself' come to him from a whole new perspective. He talks about how this shift in perspective led everything in his life to change.

Jonathan tells us how important it is to love ourselves, just how the divine sees and loves us, and some practical tips for learning to love ourselves better.

Poema S7 004 | Dr Devon Price on Why Laziness Does Not Exist

Poema S7 004 | Dr Devon Price on Why Laziness Does Not Exist

January 18, 2021

Today I'm joined by social psychologist and author Dr Devon Price to discuss their new book, 'Laziness Does Not Exist'.

Devon explains how the myth of of laziness developed through the rise of capitalism and the 9-5 working week, and how this is totally contrary to a sustainable, healthy life. They discuss the concept of productivity and numbers and how these have become a marker for a successful life, when in fact this isn't true.

Devon alsos explain the damage these myths have done to us individually and as a society, in terms of physical and mental health, and other ways. Finally, Devon tells us what we can do to change this - including some practices and mindsets we can adopt which can help us live healthier lives. 

Poema S7 003 | Allison Fallon on The Power of Writing It Down

Poema S7 003 | Allison Fallon on The Power of Writing It Down

January 11, 2021

Today Allison Fallon returns to the show to talk about her new book 'The Power of Writing It Down'.  In this episode we explore the power of a writing habit to transform our lives.

Allison shares stories and science which both prove conclusively how the act of regular writing can improve both our mental, physical and emotional health. We talk about how writing can connect us with ourselves and reveal truth about us and our lives we might not notice otherwise. 

Allison also shares how we can overcome creative blocks, and build a healthy writing habit, and how writing can ultimately be a self-care practice. 

Poema S7 002 | Lauren Larkin on Grief, Narcissism and Certainty

Poema S7 002 | Lauren Larkin on Grief, Narcissism and Certainty

January 7, 2021

Today podcaster Lauren Larkin joins me to explore the connections between unprocessed grief, religious certainty, and narcissistic behaviour & systems. 

We talk about how unprocessed grief can often be controlled and repressed by religious certainty and how the longer this goes on, the deeper the disconnection between us and our true selves, and even to the realities we live in - leading to narcissistic behaviour & religious/cultural systems growing and becoming powerful, such as fundamentalist evangelicalism & Trumpism in the US

We then go on to explore how and why we need to process our grief and name it, and how this can transform not just our spirituality but our very being. 

Poema S7 001 | Abby Norman on Talking to God About Our Grief

Poema S7 001 | Abby Norman on Talking to God About Our Grief

January 4, 2021

For the first episode of 2021, pastor and author Abby Norman joins me to reflect on 2020 and to discuss the importance of talking to each other and to God about our personal, and collective grief. 

Abby talks about how we need to learn how to embrace lament, to name our grief before others and with God. We talk about examples of this in our own lives, and in scripture.

Abby shares how grief and lament have the power to give us healing and invite us into personal and spiritual transformation, and connect with Jesus and the divine in more intimate way. 

Poema S6 064 | The Blacksmiths Daughters - Forged At Christmas

Poema S6 064 | The Blacksmiths Daughters - Forged At Christmas

December 21, 2020

Today my beloved friends Julida Alter and Anella Platter - AKA the Blacksmith's Daughters - join me to talk about their Christmas album, Forged at Christmas. 

Anella and Julida talk to me about the creative process behind several songs of the album. Then we explore how what we create is often a reflection of our own journeys, and also how knowing the story behind the work can help us connect with music and other art more deeply, as well as what the creative process does to us. 

And to top it all off, we get some live performances of some of the songs on the album, including some of the ones we discuss. 

Poema S6 063 | Jamie Kocur on Her CCM Soundtracked Life

Poema S6 063 | Jamie Kocur on Her CCM Soundtracked Life

December 17, 2020

Today I'm joined by author and musician Jamie Kocur, who tells us her personal deconstruction story, told in her book ' My CMM Soundtracked Life'.

She shares how Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) seemed, for her, a perfect place to nestle into, but eventually became a place to hide.

Jamie dreamed of becoming a Christian singer-songwriter and this dream took her down some unexpected paths, including a literal journey through four continents where she came face-to-face with some of CCM’s biggest artists and Hollywood stars. She tells of how the more she experienced the world, the more the evangelical Christian bubble she had lived in was exposed.

She tells us how this led to her faith deconstruction and how this deconstruction impacted her, her life, faith and vocation - and how when she began to explore doubt and mystery, she found a new way to experience God, and a new song to sing. 

 

Poema S6 062 | Melissa Kircher on Enneagram Paths & Processing Trauma

Poema S6 062 | Melissa Kircher on Enneagram Paths & Processing Trauma

December 14, 2020

Today Melissa Kicher, a certified, practicing enneagram coach, joins me on the podcast to explore the enneagram in more detail than ever before on the show.

In this episode we go in depth into the characteristics and traits of every enneagram number, and examine how each might be responding to the grief & trauma we've experienced, including sharing our own lived experiences which only confirm just how accurate Melissa is.

Melissa concludes by sharing some practical tips for each enneagram number, about how we can get through this time and manage the stress we're going through well. 

Poema S6 061 | J Nicole Morgan on Living Fat & Faithful

Poema S6 061 | J Nicole Morgan on Living Fat & Faithful

December 10, 2020

Today I'm joined by author and advocate J Nicole Morgan, to discuss fatphobia and fat-shaming, and fat positivity. 

Nicole shares her lived experience of being fat, and her own journey of discovery, from at first thinking God required her to be thin to be loved and accepted, to a fat positive perspective, an understanding of the truth God loves and accepts her as she is. 

Nicole discusses what she learned about fatphobia and fat-shaming not only in evangelical culture but western culture, and some misconceptions and misunderstandings she learned around things like diet, obesity and health.

Nicole reminds us in this episode that no matter our body size, we are loved and accepted as we are. 

Poema S6 060 | Victoria Sun Esparza on Human Centred Design & Faith - 3: Story

Poema S6 060 | Victoria Sun Esparza on Human Centred Design & Faith - 3: Story

December 7, 2020

Today we conclude our series on Human Centred Design and Faith with Victoria Sun Esparza, founder and CEO for In the Water Designs, a consulting firm that specializes in design-thinking strategy for religious organizations and non-profits.

In this episode we draw all our discussions on empathy and curiosity together into a focus on story. We discuss the power of story to connect us with each other, help us in building relationships, and in creating spaces & communities which connect with the needs and stories of those they serve.

And to conclude, we explore how story impacts our lives and how it can help deepen and widen our faith perspectives and even connect us with those we disagree with. 

Poema S6 059 | Victoria Sun Esparza on Human Centred Design & Faith - 2: Curiosity

Poema S6 059 | Victoria Sun Esparza on Human Centred Design & Faith - 2: Curiosity

December 1, 2020

Today we continue our series on Human Centred Design and Faith with Victoria Sun Esparza,  founder and CEO for In the Water Designs, a consulting firm that specializes in design-thinking strategy for religious organizations and non-profits.

In this episode we shift organically from Empathy to Curiosity in the design and creative process. We explore how curiosity can guide us in creating spaces and communities where people can grow and deeper in their faith, and can help us understand the needs of our communities in an ever-changing world, so we can serve them better & meet them where they are. 

Poema S6 058 | Victoria Sun Esparza on Human Centred Design & Faith - 1: Empathy

Poema S6 058 | Victoria Sun Esparza on Human Centred Design & Faith - 1: Empathy

November 27, 2020

Today I'm joined for the first part of a 3 part series with Victoria Sun Esparza on Human Centred Design and faith. Victoria is the founder and CEO for In the Water Designs, a consulting firm that specializes in design-thinking strategy for religious organizations and non-profits.

In the first part of this series we explore the concept of human centred design and how it impacts the world we live in and how we engage with the world.

And we also discuss  the importance of empathy when we are building and creating spaces and communities of faith - and in the creative process as a whole - and share some examples of how this can impact our lives in unexpected but significant ways. 

Poema S6 057 | Barry Taylor on 2020 & ‘The New Normal’

Poema S6 057 | Barry Taylor on 2020 & ‘The New Normal’

November 23, 2020

Today author, philosopher, theologian and speaker Barry Taylor joins me on the podcast. Today we talk about the impact of the pandemic and the murder of George Flloyd on both faith and culture.

We talk about the illusion of 'going back to normal' and how we struggle to come to terms with the changes in our lives, and how we often hide this grief with certainty. And then speculate on the possibilities and changes to our world, to our culture and the church as a result of what we've seen in 2020.

All this, and a lot more with the brilliant Barry Taylor. 

Poema S6 056 | Tim Fall on Running for Judge

Poema S6 056 | Tim Fall on Running for Judge

November 20, 2020

Today author and superior court judge Tim Fall joins me to discuss his book 'Running For Judge', and explore how the pressures of his election campaign, being a judge and some events in his own life impacted his mental health. 

We discuss how he learned healthy practices and routines to improve his mental health and deal with the trauma he experienced, and this intertwined with his faith journey - and the impact writing a book telling his story has had. 

Tim's got great wisdom, lived experience and insight into mental health and faith, this was such a great conversation. 

Poema S6 055 | Chuck DeGroat on When Narcissism Comes To Church

Poema S6 055 | Chuck DeGroat on When Narcissism Comes To Church

November 17, 2020

Today I'm joined by author, therapist, spiritual director Chuck DeGroat to talk about his work and in particular the themes of his book 'When Narcissism Comes To Church'. 

Chuck shares from research and experience about narcissistic behaviour and how this has manifested itself in toxic religion, evangelicalism and fundamentalism, how it's almost become an ideal or idol in that world. We then dive into the damaging impact this can have on the church, and indeed the wider world - including the election of a narcissistic President back in 2016.

Chuck explores ideas co how we can move on from this way of doing church, and have a faith, a church and a spirituality free of narcissism and toxic fundamentalism. 

Poema S6 054 | Kimberly Stover on Reflection, Recovery, & Rising from Toxic Religion

Poema S6 054 | Kimberly Stover on Reflection, Recovery, & Rising from Toxic Religion

November 9, 2020

Today I'm joined by writer and advocate Kimberly Stover, in an episode recorded pre-2020 Presidential election. Kimberly creates resources and written material for those leaving evangelicalism behind and on the journey of spiritual journey. 

In this episode Kimberly shares her own spiritual journey, her experiences of growing up in evangelicalism, how she broke free of it and the impact this journey had her relationships, her spirituality, her identity, and her life as she knew it. 

We also talk about Trumpism and its links to evangelicalism and its' impact on the church, on her own life and on America, and the deeper issues its exposed. Kimberly tells us how we can break free of toxic religion, and find genuine freedom, and our truest, most authentic selves. 

Poema S6 053 | Brandan Robertson on our Nomad Journey

Poema S6 053 | Brandan Robertson on our Nomad Journey

November 2, 2020

Today my beloved friend, pastor, author and activist Brandan Robertson returns to the podcast to discuss his own recent journey, the release of two new books, and the movement of the spirit which we might be seeing and how this has been reflected in recent politics in both the UK and USA. 

Brandan talks about his own experiences and reflections of the last four years, the toxic evangelical system of power and his own experience of it as an LGBTQ progressive Christian, how we might move forward, and his own hopes and vision of what the future might bring. 

Brandan also shares more about his own personal journey, and the creative process behind his new book of devotionals, and talks about his faith journey of the last 8 months, the questions and doubts it brought, and how the pandemic has impacted his experience and understanding of the divine. He also talks about how we can find a sense of God, of hope, if the worst happens in the US election.

I left this conversation with a real sense of hope, I believe you will too. 

Poema S6 052 | Fundamentalism, Politics & Religion with Stephanie McCown

Poema S6 052 | Fundamentalism, Politics & Religion with Stephanie McCown

October 30, 2020

Today my friend Stephanie McCown joins me to discuss fundamentalism and its impact on politics and faith in both the UK and US. 

In particular we discuss progressive fundamentalism, which has grown and become more toxic, more abusive and more damaging as time as gone on - both to individuals, the church and our politics. We also share our own experiences and perspectives on this politically from our respective countries, talk about the progressive "purity test" and a lot more.

We then move to explore this in context of the story of Jesus, who Jesus was and what he stood for - and find a striking metaphor for today's world from Jesus story, and from a popular movie franchise. And explore what a more inclusive, non-dualistic, non-fundamentalist faith and politics might look like - and where we are finding hope. 

This episode releases 4 days before the 2020 US Presidential election - and feels more timely than ever.

Poema S6 051 | Irene M Cho on Finding the Inbetween

Poema S6 051 | Irene M Cho on Finding the Inbetween

October 26, 2020

Today I'm joined Irene Cho. Irene is a national speaker, writer, consultant, and advisor, focusing predominantly on youth identity and faith development, race and diversity, organizational leadership, and women in leadership. 

In this episode Irene shares her experiences of white evangelical Christianity, and this was contrasting with her own education and understanding of the way of Jesus. She talks about how she was exposed to a variety of different theological perspectives of God, and how this has impacted her and her work.

Irene shares her own perspective on God, and how she believes he looks at the world with what is happening in 2020. She then talks about the capitalist, evangelical, patriarchal system we live in, and its systemic racism, and her own experiences of this system.

Irene goes on to talk about what action we can take to tear down this corrupt system and create a world, a system which is loving, inclusive, just and more in tune with the true way of Jesus.

Poema S6 050 | D.L. Mayfield on the Myth of the American Dream

Poema S6 050 | D.L. Mayfield on the Myth of the American Dream

October 19, 2020

Today author D.L. Mayfield joins me to discuss her book 'The Myth of the American Dream' and her journey out of the evangelical/capitalist system into a deeper awareness of what the commands of Jesus really mean for us. 

D.L shares how the idea of the way of Jesus preached by evangelicalism and the system it supports, contrast so much with the basic commands of Jesus - to love our neighbour. She then explores four dimensions to we this - affluence, autonomy, safety, and power - and the uncomfortable truth of who white privileged Christians might really be in the Jesus story.

She talks about privilege, and her experience of how when the system benefits us, it can blind us to the lived experience of reality of how things really are for the oppressed and marginalised. And then, where that leaves people who want to be truly faithful to the teachings of Jesus. 

 

Poema S6 049 | Suzanne DeWitt Hall on Sex with God

Poema S6 049 | Suzanne DeWitt Hall on Sex with God

October 15, 2020

Today author Suzanne DeWitt Hall joins me to talk about her new book 'Sex with God: Meditations on the sacred nature of sex in a post-purity-culture world '

Suzanne shares her own story, experiences in purity culture and the impact it had on her and her faith. She also talks about how she broke free of purity culture and discovered a healthy, sacred sexual ethic.

Then Suzanne dives deep into exploring how we can invite God into our sex lives, and how can transform sexual intimacy into an experience with and in worship to the divine. 

Poema S6 048 | Jamie Lee Finch on Why Your Body is a Person

Poema S6 048 | Jamie Lee Finch on Why Your Body is a Person

October 12, 2020

Today my friend, embodiment coach Jamie Lee Finch, joins me to discuss how we can become fully embodied, to connect more fully with ourselves and our bodies.

Jamie talks about the big shift from seeing our bodies not as an it, but a he/she/they - a person, and the profound impact it can have on our own personal journeys. She talks about how we learn to listen to and respond our bodies as they speak to us, and the transformation she had in her own life when she learned to do this, and how she's seen this in her clients.

We also discuss my experience of doing this in my work with Jamie, and the real time change which can happen in so many aspects of our being, including our mental and emotional health, and in escaping toxic purity culture. 

Jamie also shares some simple, practical steps we can all take to begin doing this work, and knowing and listening to our bodies better.

Jamie's work has been transformative for me - I know it can be for you too.

Poema S6 047 | Shelby Forsythia on Your Grief, Your Way

Poema S6 047 | Shelby Forsythia on Your Grief, Your Way

October 5, 2020

Today my friend, author intuitive grief guide Shelby Forsythia, returns to the podcast. Together we discuss and our collective grief experiences of 2020, both from our own individual perspectives and from a broader perspective.

Shelby tells us about healthy ways of naming and processing our grief, the knowing before the knowing, the grief before the grief, and grieving people we've never met but who've inspired us.

We also explore how this years collective grief, can trigger familiar grief responses. Shelby talks about her new book of reflections for grievers, with a reading from the book, and how people can use these to help with the grieving process.

Shelby also shares how grief never leaves us, and how we can build a healthy relationship with our grief. We also discuss our shared experience of losing a mother, the unique type of loss this can be, and how we all process grief differently. 

There's also some fun intuitive comments from Shelby which were uncanny in relation to my own story - and there was a real sense of solidarity, with two friends who've both lost a mother, sharing our stories together. 

*****

Get Shelby's new book 'Your Grief Your Way' on all online booksellers & Audible now.

Poema S6 046 | Rob Bell on why Everything Is Spiritual

Poema S6 046 | Rob Bell on why Everything Is Spiritual

September 28, 2020

This week I'm joined by special guest Rob Bell, to chat about his new book, about grief, birth, death, mental health, creativity - and why everything is spiritual. 

In this episode Rob tells us of his experience of lockdown, and we explore different types of grief. Rob shares about the 'good grief' of a season of life ending and something new and wonderful being born. Sharing from his own story, Rob also talks about how grief is always an engine room for growth.

We also discuss how Rob processed mental health challenges when leaving the church he planted and found healthier ways to live.

And finally Rob talks about the creative journey, both in art and in life, writing from the heart, and finding joy and freedom from the need to perform and impress, and embracing a life of risk and adventure - where everything is spiritual.

Poema S6 045 | Chad E Jarnagin on Learning To Be: Part Two

Poema S6 045 | Chad E Jarnagin on Learning To Be: Part Two

September 24, 2020

This is the second of my conversations with Chad E Jaragin, recorded 9 months after the previous episode, we reflect on the changes in the world in those 9 months. 

We discuss the global pandemic, the death of George Floyd and increasing awareness of systemic racism, and the collective grief and trauma we are all experiencing, and it's impact - both present and future - on all of us. 

We explore how grief and trauma, if we process it well, can be an engine for transformation, and how we can practice self-care, contemplation and have more grace with ourselves in the midst of all that's going on.

Chad then explores where we can find the divine in this time we're living and how our relationship to him/her/them, could be impacted by it - in positive and negative ways - and where we can find hope. 

Poema S6 044 | Chad E Jarnagin on Learning To Be: Part One

Poema S6 044 | Chad E Jarnagin on Learning To Be: Part One

September 21, 2020

This week I'll be releasing two episodes with author & Priest Chad E Jarnagin - this first episode was recorded in January, before the global pandemic, murder of George Floyd, and the other traumatic events of January really unfolded.  The second, coming out later this week was recorded this month.

Chad talks about his life & work, true spiritual transformation beyond simple deconstruction, and learning to be.

He explores how people are not able to move forward with new, healthy practices and rhythms without first healing from past toxins, abuse, and unhealthy patterns, and how we need to go on an inner pilgrimage to have our emotional and spiritual health transforme.

Chad explains how we can explore a discover and deeper peace and knowing within us, and improve our spiritual & emotional health through contemplative spirituality, and how contemplative practices can help us go deeper in intimacy with the divine, and with ourselves, as we are. 

 

Poema S6 043 | Brittney Moses on Mental Health, Faith & The Pandemic

Poema S6 043 | Brittney Moses on Mental Health, Faith & The Pandemic

September 17, 2020

This week I'm joined by mental health advocate, author and podcaster Brittney Moses. Brittney works on issues at the intersection of faith, culture & mental health and is host of the Faith & Mental Wellness Podcast, studying clinical psychology at UCLA.

In this episode we explore the challenges the pandemic, lockdown and grief of 2020 has given us in terms of our mental health, our routines and our faith. We discuss how little day to day disruptions can impact us, and whats happening could affect us emotionally, mentally and physically - and what steps we can take to love ourselves better and take care of our mental health.

Brittney also tells her own story, of losing and coming back to faith, her mental health challenges, and how she began exploring the intersection between mental health and faith, becoming a mental health activist. She also talks about mistakes churches and pastors have made in dealing with mental health, and how we can create church communities which are trauma informed.

Brittney ends by saying how important it is for us - and for churches - to name the mental health conditions we're struggling with, and how this can be the beginning of healing and transformation, both in individuals and church communities.

Poema S6 042 | Jess Mally on Systemic Racism & Discovering Who We Are

Poema S6 042 | Jess Mally on Systemic Racism & Discovering Who We Are

September 9, 2020

My friend, writer and activist Jess Mally, joins me to tell her powerful story, and share her lived experiences of systemic racism*.

Jess shares the incredible story of how she tracked down her birth father, with the most random set of coincidences happening in a row - and how she rebuilt her relationship with him. She also shares about her challenges with depression, and how she has encountered systemic racism. 

Jess goes on to talk about the racial murders in the US, the false accusations made by Amy Cooper and shares what it was like to observe these racial murders & incidents as a black person, including the grief and trauma this caused her personally and the collective grief of the black community.

She shares what it's like to feel unsafe as a black person, and then talks about the importance of anti-racism work, and the work white people need to do to bring about change.

_

*Please note this episode was recorded in early June, before the death of Chadwick Boseman and other racially-motivated murders or attacks since. 

Poema S6 041 | Shari A Smith on Deconstruction, Grief & “End Times”

Poema S6 041 | Shari A Smith on Deconstruction, Grief & “End Times”

September 6, 2020

Today I'm joined by writer Shari A Smith. Shari is a blogger and writer for Ezer Rising, and today she tells her story of faith deconstruction, in the context of grief, and the global pandemic.

Shari talks about her upbringing and end times theology she grew up with, and how her journey led her to question her theology and her perspective on faith. Then we shift into talking about the grief of leaving evangelicalism and shift into talking about grief in the context of the pandemic and how all our lives have changed. 

Shari also talks about how the dynamic of her relationship with God changed through deconstruction, and grieving what she'd left behind. She also shares how writing was a cathartic, therapeutic practice for her, and we discuss how writing and the creative process can help us process grief and our emotions generally. 

Shari concludes by coming back to the divine truth she holds on to which gives her rest and peace, grounded in the reality of what we are living through - and how we're not alone. 

Poema S6 040 | Adam Asher & The Edge of Adventure

Poema S6 040 | Adam Asher & The Edge of Adventure

August 31, 2020

Today I'm joined by Adam Asher, creator and host of 'The Edge of Adventure' show and podcast,  where he takes his viewers to some of the most remote corners of the globe in search of what matters most & introduces his audience to some of the most inspiring travelers on the planet.

In this episode he talks about his work and his passion for travel and sharing stories, and shares some experiences of discovering unseen people doing incredible work in different parts of the world.

He shares about what he believes is our longing to do work which matters, to do something out of our normal routine - and make the most of our time here. And how this work can be something big or small, seen or unseen, but it all matters.

Adam concludes by saying our lives can become so much better when we stop centering ourselves, and look outwards to serving and honouring the needs, stories and experiences of others. 

Poema S6 039 | Jo Luehmann on Decolonizing Theology & Faith

Poema S6 039 | Jo Luehmann on Decolonizing Theology & Faith

August 23, 2020

Today I'm joined by activist & writer Jo Luehmann. Jo tells her own story, her background in evangelical Christianity and journey out of this into an awareness and understanding of how it was actually part of a systemically racist, oppressive, patriarchal system, including purity culture. 

Jo shares her journey out of this system and how it impacted both her marriage and her faith and how she deconstructed and decolonized her faith and found a new, more authentic understanding of Jesus spirituality.

Jo goes on to talk about how we can decolonize our own faith and theology, and how true faith/life deconstruction can only happen if it involves unlearning systemic racism and decolonizing.

Finally, Jo discusses how white people in particular can unlearn systemic racism and toxic theology, and find a faith which is free from the colonial, racist, patriarchal system which has been built around it.

Poema S6 038 | Rev Rob Lee on Church, Mental Illness & The Pandemic

Poema S6 038 | Rev Rob Lee on Church, Mental Illness & The Pandemic

August 16, 2020

I'm honoured to be joined by Rev Rob Lee today. Rob is a pastor and author who has bipolar disorder, who is known for his mental health and anti-racism work in the US. 

Today he shares about life of a pastor during a pandemic, the experience of living with bipolar disorder as a pastor in a pandemic, and finding the divine in the midst of times of struggle and trauma. 

He talks about how we need to sit with trauma, how we can find comfort in the midst of difficult times. He also discusses the power of healthy community, including church, to support those facing mental health challenges, and his own experiences of this. 

We end with some thoughts and reflections on what life, church and faith will look like post pandemic, the scars we will carry - and whether will acknowledge them like Jesus did, or hide from them. 

Poema S6 037 | Megan K Westra on Being Born Again & Again

Poema S6 037 | Megan K Westra on Being Born Again & Again

August 12, 2020

Today author and podcaster Megan K Westra joins me to discuss her new book 'Being Born Again & Again', and the idea that salvation isn't a product, or something we acquire - but an invitation to radical transformation. 

Megan discusses how she learned how the message of the Bible has been twisted and distorted, in particular to serve political / capitalist, purposes and support oppressive, systemically racist systems. She tells me how God is forming a new family, where we all belong, and we're all connected.

Megan shares how she discovered how we can dig back to the roots of the Jesus story, and then allow ourselves to be truly challenged. She tells me the idea that the call of Jesus is a call to acquire, but a message to surrender and be radically transformed - and what this might mean for us.

*****

Get Megan's book wherever books are sold, and find info on her work at meganwestra.com

Poema S6 036 | Shirley Fessell on Redemption from Biblical Battering

Poema S6 036 | Shirley Fessell on Redemption from Biblical Battering

August 9, 2020

**Trigger Warning: Domestic Abuse**

 

Today author and domestic abuse survivor Shirley Fessell joins me to share her powerful story of living with and surviving domestic abuse, how she got free - and how she took her story and used it to help others. 

Shirley shares the seven levels of confusion victims of domestic abuse can get drawn into, and several practical steps to get out from under these confusions and find freedom from abuse & the abuser.

She also talks about how evangelical Christianity and church have played a role in enabling abuse and reminds us it is possible to get free, and begin again.

 

Find her work at: https://shirleyfessel.com/ 

Poema S6 035 | Holly Stallcup on Singleness & The Global Pandemic

Poema S6 035 | Holly Stallcup on Singleness & The Global Pandemic

August 2, 2020

Today my friend Holly Stallcup, Executive Director of Now She Rises, joins me to talk about the challenges of singleness - both coming from an evangelical Christian background and how the global pandemic and lockdown, have created new challenges and issues for single people.

 

Holly and I are both single so we were able to cover a lot of ground and share some of our own unique experiences as single people and challenges we are facing during lockdown, including loneliness and social disconnection, and its impact on mental health. We also talk about how things might look for singletons going forward in a post pandemic world, as well as acknowledging the gifts and freedoms singleness allows. 

 

This is an important episode both for singletons and those in couples who know singletons - singleness is an issue we need to discuss and become more aware of collectively, in a culture tilted in favour of coupling, and Holly has some amazing insight into this. 

Poema S6 034 | Holly Oxhandler on Mental Health & Church During & Beyond The Pandemic

Poema S6 034 | Holly Oxhandler on Mental Health & Church During & Beyond The Pandemic

July 26, 2020

Today researcher and podcast host Holly Oxhandler Phd, LMSW joins me to talk about how the church can deal better with mental health - in particular during and post pandemic in the new realities it presents.

 

Holly shares the challenges the church faces dealing with people with mental illness and shares her thoughts on how churches, social workers, therapists and other professionals can work together in a healthier way to provide positive support to those struggling with their mental health. She also shares practical steps churches can take to deal with the issue of mental heath in a much healthier way without stigma. 

 

Holly also discusses how managing mental health, including in the church, post pandemic, will change and what we need to do to adapt - and how church and mental health professionals need to work together much more and better if we're to deal with the grief and trauma the pandemic had brought us. 

 

 

Poema S6 033 | Marlena Graves on Why The Way Up Is Down

Poema S6 033 | Marlena Graves on Why The Way Up Is Down

July 19, 2020

Today author and speaker Marlena Graves returns to the podcast to talk about her new book 'The Way Up Is Down'. We explore how we can grow deeper in our spirituality, and come closer to the divine through emptying ourselves, through the act of surrender and letting go of materiality, ego, and pride - in contrast to how a lot of Western culture and even parts of the church have taught us.

Marlena tells her own story, of her recovery from the grief of leaving a church community which had hurt her, the challenges she faced with her relationship with God and how she came to a place of raw honesty in her interactions with the divine. 

Marlena shares the raw truth about Jesus's example of how when we humble ourselves, surrender, pour ourselves out, it's there we find true intimacy with the divine, and freedom to grow and become more like the Jesus we follow. 

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