Poema Podcast
Poema S7 036 | Geek Philosophy: Emma Morrison on Star Wars, Deconstruction and Grief

Poema S7 036 | Geek Philosophy: Emma Morrison on Star Wars, Deconstruction and Grief

July 26, 2021

Today in the vlatest of my 'Geek Philosophy' series I'm joined by good friend Emma Morrison, and we talk about the world of Star Wars and its links to deconstruction and processing trauma.

Emma tells her own story, sharing how Star Wars - and in particular the character of Leia Organa - influenced her growing up, how she inspired her and how as she went her own deconstruction journey she saw this reflected in the character development of Leia and others in the Star Wars canon.

We also explore the topic processing grief and how this ties in with the journey of Anakin/Darth Vader, the importance of Qui-Gon Jin, and how the Jedi and Sith can be metaphors for toxic religion and religious certainty. We talk about where we see embodiment and the journey of identity, and where we can see hope in these stories. 

This was such a fun and insightful conversation, I hope you like it!

Poema S7 035 | Geek Philosophy: Kevin M Nye on the Theology of the MCU

Poema S7 035 | Geek Philosophy: Kevin M Nye on the Theology of the MCU

July 19, 2021

Today I'm joined by author and writer Kevin M Nye, contributing author of the book 'Theology of the Marvel Universe' to explore this subject in more depth.

As the latest MCU movie 'Black Widow' hits theatres we explore some of the deeper themes behind several characters stories and different movies within the MCU.

We talk about where we see metaphors for faith deconstruction, decolonialism, patriarchy and other massive issues/lived experiences which we see playing out in today's world and in the realms of spirituality. We also each discuss where we see stories in the MCU reflecting our own spiritual and personal journeys.

We conclude by highlighting, how these movies, stories and characters can inspire and challenge each of us. 

Poema S7 034 | Geek Philosophy: Mario-Francisco Robles on the Philosophy of Superman

Poema S7 034 | Geek Philosophy: Mario-Francisco Robles on the Philosophy of Superman

July 12, 2021

In this new series, I explore with guests the philosophy, theology and mythology of geek world - superheroes, Star Wars, and more. 

This episode, I talk to Mario-Francisco Robles of 'Superman on Film', about the mythology and philosophy around Superman and the early Superman movies. We each share our own experiences of this character and what he's meant to each of us.

We also talk about Superman's journey, his experiences - including those of grief and loss - as well his identity and values. We explore how these have shaped each of us, and why they're more important than ever in our wider cultural context.

This was such a fun and meaningful episode to do, one of my most personal too.

Poema S7 033 | Kristin Kobes Du Mez on Jesus & John Wayne

Poema S7 033 | Kristin Kobes Du Mez on Jesus & John Wayne

July 5, 2021

Today, historian and author Kristin Kobes Du Mez joins me to talk about her bestselling book "Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation".

We talk about the forces in US evangelical culture which led to the rise and election of Donald Trump as President, dating back to the 70s and 80s and the Presidency of Ronald Reagan. We touch on the truths President Jimmy Carter confronted the US with...which they chose to ignore in favour of certainty. 

We discuss the patriarchal and systemically racist system of evangelicalism and capitalism, how this has impacted wider US culture, and where we see this in the UK, where colonialism and patriarchal system had its genesis.

In the process, we discover how the election of Donald Trump was almost an inevitable, and how this system counterintuitively sees white evangelical men percieve moral failings and law breaking almost as a badge of honour. We also explore how all of this has led to many people beginning to deconstruct their faith and from this system, and where this could all go.

Kristen ends by sharing how the response to her book has given her hope that things can change...and shares this hope with us. 

 

Poema S7 032 | Dalaina May is a Deconstructing Missionary

Poema S7 032 | Dalaina May is a Deconstructing Missionary

June 28, 2021

In today's episode, recorded early on in the pandemic, I'm joined by Daliana May, who lives in South East Asia doing anti-trafficking work and advocacy for social justice. 

Daliana tells us her story of being a missionary, and then how she moved into deconstructing her faith.

She talks of the challenges she faced in her deconstructing her faith, leaving patriarchy behind and decolonising as a white woman with experience in missions, and how she discovered new meaning and purpose in anti-trafficking work and social justice activism.

Poema S7 031 | Kate Boyd on Spiritual Community in a Post-Pandemic World

Poema S7 031 | Kate Boyd on Spiritual Community in a Post-Pandemic World

June 14, 2021

Writer, speaker and podcaster Kate Boyd is my guest today. Together we explore and discuss how spiritual community has evolved and changed as more people deconstruct their faith, and how the pandemic will impact spiritual communities. 

Kate shares what she's learned through her own story and work, and the challenges she's faced and that spiritual communities need to confront as we move forward post-pandemic. 

We also talk about how churches can become safe spaces for those deconstructing, who've been hurt by the church. Finally we talk about the tough questions which leaders of spiritual communities - and the communities themselves - need to ask going forward. 

 

 

Poema S7 030 | Maria French on the Pandemic, Church, Certainty & The New Normal

Poema S7 030 | Maria French on the Pandemic, Church, Certainty & The New Normal

June 10, 2021

Today my beloved friend Maria French joins me for a discussion on the post-pandemic world and it it will impact culture, our day to day lives and the church. 

We dive deep into the concept of the 'new normal', and discuss the myth that our lives will ever 'go back to normal' and how people and even institutions may try, unsuccessfully, to act like the pandemic never happened. We also talk about how people may try to find a new form of certainty, to try and avoid dealing with the collective trauma we've experienced.

Finally, we discuss  what the post-pandemic world will look like for the church, and how it will need to adapt and change, to stay both accessible and relevant as the world moves forward.

Poema S7 029 | Grief Stories: J Elizabeth Hanson

Poema S7 029 | Grief Stories: J Elizabeth Hanson

June 7, 2021

Today I'm joined on the podcast by J Elizabeth Hanson. She shares with us the story of losing her son to suicide several years ago and how this impacted both her and her family.

J Elizabeth talks about how her experience of processing and carrying grief, and how this led her to do work alongside others grieving.

She talks about the work she does in giving people processing loss practices and rituals which allow them to process grief in a healthier way, alongside the vital work of professional therapy, and how often creativity can play a part in the healing process. 

 

Poema S7 028 | Lisa Delay on The Wild Land Within

Poema S7 028 | Lisa Delay on The Wild Land Within

May 31, 2021

Today, podcaster and author Lisa Delay joins me to talk about navigating 'The Wild Land Within' - doing the internal work of healing and spiritual transformation. 

She shares with us the power of spiritual & liturgical practice to navigate our inner world, and, alongside therapy, to help us explore and process what we're carrying inside. Lisa gives examples of healthy spiritual practices which, alongside support from mental health professionals, can allow us to confront, manage or process our grief and pain, which can lead us to deeper encounters with the divine and aid our spiritual formation. 

Lisa also reminds us of the importance of naming and confronting our internal terrain, our grief and trauma, and doing the work of healing and transformation. 

*****

Lisa's book 'The Wild Land Within', where she explores these issues more, is available now at all online booksellers. 

Poema S7 027 | Sarah Robinson on Loving Jesus but Wanting to Die

Poema S7 027 | Sarah Robinson on Loving Jesus but Wanting to Die

May 24, 2021

Today, author Sarah Robinson joins me to talk about depression, mental illness and faith, as she discusses in her new book "I Love Jesus and I Want To Die".

Sarah tells her own powerful story of growing up with depression in the context of traditional evangelical Christianity, and the challenges she faced in naming and getting support as she faced these challenges. 

Sarah talks about bad experiences with 'Christian counselling', and the importance of finding a good therapist and building a healthy support network. She also discusses practices those of us struggling with any kind of mental illness can use to help us as we live with our condition. 

And finally, Sarah and I explore how we can have healthy expressions of faith whilst also living with mental illness, and how and why the church needs to become a safe space for mental illness. 

Poema S7 026 | Abby Norman on the Power of Lament

Poema S7 026 | Abby Norman on the Power of Lament

May 17, 2021

Today Abby Norman returns to the podcast to talk about the importance and transformative, healing power of lament - as she discusses in her new book "You Can Talk to God Like That". 

We talk about the importance of naming our pain, feeling our pain, and giving voice to the grief and trauma we carry. We explore how naming our pain and lamenting it, actually robs it of its power, and opens up the pathway to healing. 

We also talk about how lament and naming our pain, allows us to find deeper connection to ourselves, to each other, and to the divine. 

***

'You Can Talk To God Like That' releases May 18th in all formats in the US & on Kindle / Audiobook in the UK, and in paperback in the UK on July 20th.

Poema S7 025 | Jenna DeWitt on Taylor Swift, Identity & The Enneagram

Poema S7 025 | Jenna DeWitt on Taylor Swift, Identity & The Enneagram

May 13, 2021

In the second in our short 'Taylor Swift' themed podcast series, my friend Jenna DeWitt joins me to discuss Taylor Swift's story and music in the context of identity and the Enneagram. 

We go through Taylor's career and see how her music reflected her own personal journey into discovering and owning her own power and voice, and what we notice about her personality type - Enneagram 3 w 4 - through this journey. 

Jenna shares her own personal experience growing up with Taylor's music, being a similar age and personality type, and how it connected to her own growth and empowerment. I also share how Taylor's music has connected with me on my journey, as a 4w5. 

This episode again touches on how music can connect with us so personally at different stages of our journeys, and how we find our own stories through the art and stories given to us by master storytellers like Taylor. 

Poema S7 024 | Heather Thompson Day on Taylor Swift & The Art of Storytelling

Poema S7 024 | Heather Thompson Day on Taylor Swift & The Art of Storytelling

May 10, 2021

This week we're doing a short series of Taylor Swift-linked podcasts. In today's episode, we examine Taylor's journey as a storyteller, as told through her music. 

Heather and I explore the art of storytelling, and how Taylor has perfected and practiced this through her musical career.

We also discuss the power of sharing our stories in our art and why good stories are so compelling, and where our own stories have connected with Taylor's work. 

This episode is a great insight into the power of story, what makes great art, and how we can find ourselves through sharing and hearing stories. 

Poema S7 023 | Jay Bakker on Faith, Doubt & Transformation

Poema S7 023 | Jay Bakker on Faith, Doubt & Transformation

May 6, 2021

Today my guest is the inspiring author and speaker Jay Bakker. In this episode, recorded in July 2020, he shares his own powerful story of personal and spiritual transformation.

He shares more about the trauma, grief, and losses he's experienced and how they impacted his life, theology and faith, as well as the mental health challenges he's faced. 

We explore how the things Jay experienced changed his perspective on spirituality, Christianity and the church. We also discuss the potential impact of the pandemic, as we experience a collective grief and trauma.

It's a powerful and inspiring story, and well worth a listen.

Poema S7 022 | Our Grief Stories: Amanda Held Opelt

Poema S7 022 | Our Grief Stories: Amanda Held Opelt

May 3, 2021

In this episode I'm honoured to be joined by Amanda Held Opelt, to share her stories of grief. 

Amanda shares her experiences of grief, from losing a beloved grandmother, miscarriage, and the death of her sister Rachel Held Evans.

She tenderly and honestly shares the impact grief has had on her life and faith, the questions it raised, how it's shaped her own journey - and we talk about how we as a culture, and individuals, need to develop healthier rituals to name and process our grief. 

(This episode was shared with Amanda's consent). 

Poema S7 021 | Our Grief Stories: J. A. Browne

Poema S7 021 | Our Grief Stories: J. A. Browne

April 26, 2021

Today a new on-off series 'Our Grief Stories' begins with author J. A. Browne telling the story of the loss of her mother in 2015, and then her dad in 2019, how she experienced grief, her reaction, and the lessons she learned. 

She tells us how she learned how we experience life differently through the lens of loss, and how the loss of a parent is a very particular, and very painful type of grief. She tells us the physical, emotional and bodily trauma responses.

In talking about this I resonated and shared a bit of my own journey, as we found shared experiences and reactions to the loss of a parent, how life changes, how it influences our life choices, and how we have both discovered healthy ways to process and manage our grief.

 

Poema S7 020 | Rev Dr Kate Hanch PhD on Reclaiming Women’s Voices & Finding Hope

Poema S7 020 | Rev Dr Kate Hanch PhD on Reclaiming Women’s Voices & Finding Hope

April 22, 2021

Today Rev Dr Kate Hanch PhD, comes on the show to talk about her study on prophetic humility through the lens of women, and marginalised women. 

Fully acknowledging her own inbuilt bias and white privilege, she talks about how we need to centre women in conversations around theology, and historical women theologians whose voices have been silenced due to patriarchy. 

Dr Kate then moves on to talk about how and where she is finding hope in these difficult times we're living in and how her faith helps her face challenges.  And then she talks about finding joy in the midst of pain, and lessons we can learn from periods of struggle.

 

 

Poema S7 019 | Bob Doto on Sitting with Spirits

Poema S7 019 | Bob Doto on Sitting with Spirits

April 19, 2021

Today I welcome writer and speaker Bob Doto to the show. In this episode we explore how we can have a form of relationship with the spirits of those who have passed.

Bob explains how he discovered and experienced how we can encounter spirits and do spirit work through the lens of biblical hermeneutics, magical and mindfulness practices, shadow work, and self-inquiry. 

Bob shows having a relationship with the spirits of those who have passed is not only possible within the all Christian traditions, but is inherent to the faith as a whole - and we discuss exactly how this fits in with the practices and experiences of lament and grief.

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.

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