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My Vulnerability Hangover

Maybe I said too much? Maybe I went too far in exposing myself? Those were my immediate thoughts after listening to my interview with Dr. Craig Heacock. Embracing my mortality means I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Right? I do believe that risking being vulnerable in an attempt to be authentic is the path to closeness and connection. Yet, there is no guarantee. Is it worth it?

On the Path Where Our Lives Intersect

Want to know what it’s like for me to practice psychotherapy while going through cancer treatment again and again, suffering from the illness and treatment and facing my mortality? Well, here’s your chance. Dr. Craig Heacock, Psychiatrist , interviews me for his own Podcast, “Back from the Abyss”. How do I keep showing up for others given what I am going through? Connecting to my struggle brings me closer to understanding your struggle. And, I will happily meet you on that path where our lives intersect.

We Are More Alike than You Think

It’s normal to think your experience is uniquely yours. Well, because it is. And, when we are struggling, suffering, in pain, we often believe that no one could possibly understand what we are going through. It is a source of isolation and loneliness. It’s also normal to run away from other’s pain. We insulate ourselves by believing that “we are different” and therefore that awful thing couldn’t possibly happen to us. I argue that we are more alike than we think. And, running and distancing from the painful part of being human is a missed opportunity to foster connection. This episode is also an invitation to you to reach out to me and let me know what you are hearing in the Precarious Podcast. Tune in and find out more.

Sitting in the Sacred Space

As a psychotherapist, I feel privileged to sit with my clients in their hardest moments. I see it as a Sacred Space. Dr. Brooke Schneider, Integrative Psychiatrist, and I talk about what it’s like for us to do this type of work. Brooke is both open-hearted and vulnerable in sharing her story of becoming a psychiatrist. Letting go of what she thought she was supposed to be and embracing her true self, messiness and all, is the practice of medicine and the key to creating this sacred space.

I Have Nothing to Lose

Joe and I first talked about Radical Acceptance back in July and how their life paths are more similar than different. In this episode, Joe checks in with me as I am back in treatment for cancer. I love that he asked me what some people might say “the hard questions” about my illness. It gave both of us the opportunity to break down barriers and connect in a heart-affirming way about our struggles, our fears and our hopes as we walk this shared human path. Listen to our transparent and vulnerable conversation about what it means to live life with nothing to lose.

It's Okay to Call it Quits

Have you ever felt shame for wanting to quit something? A job? A relationship? I’ve been thinking a lot about this concept lately as I’m enduring treatment for cancer yet again. It’s been hard in so many ways that I often want to quit. Yet, I’m aware that I feel pressure to not give up, to keep going. We live in a culture that encourages us to persevere in the face of adversity when maybe the best decision is to stop and listen to our hearts and minds about what is best for us.

I Finally Found Self-Compassion

Cancer and cancer treatment are not for the faint of heart. I ended up in the ER and a hospital stay last weekend. During the darkest moments of that experience, I stopped fighting what was and surrendered to what is. I was overcome with a sense of peace. And, then the tears came. I realized what I was feeling was self-compassion: a feeling I had not felt in the seven years of living with cancer. Self-compassion is the key to self-soothing. Yet, it is often misunderstood and and so many resist its practice. Let me tell what I learned from facing fear.

In the Face of Unimaginable Loss, She Endured

How much pain can one person endure? That’s what I was thinking when I heard Michell Venus tell her story of two unimaginable losses. And, as heart-breaking as her story is, I left the interview feeling hopeful about the human spirit and the the ability of our hearts to heal. This is a story of resilience.

You Are My Person

Over Christmas, I found out that cancer is growing again which means I’m facing more intense chemotherapy. Living with terminal cancer has shown me how much I need people. The person I’ve needed the most is Brian. He is My Person. This is my love story about him, the power of two and how love conquers all.

The Opposite of Certainty – My Conversation with Janine Urbaniak Reid

Leah and Janine have much in common. They both know what it’s like when best-laid plans go awry. Janine tells the beautiful and heart-breaking story tracing her son’s diagnosis and subsequent treatment of a brain tumor. Janine is the epitome of grace and hope. Her book, “The Opposite of Uncertainty” captures her struggle with making sense about something that makes no sense. You will fill uplifted after listening to this episode.

Janine Urbaniak Reid has been published in the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, and widely syndicated. Hoping to bring humanity into the healthcare discussion by sharing her experience as a mother of son with a brain tumor, she penned a piece for the Post which went viral. She has been interviewed on national news networks, and continues her work as a spokeswoman for healthcare justice.
Janine writes about her imperfect life, what connects us, and addresses the question of what it means to love fiercely in a sometimes dangerous and always uncertain world.
She lives in Northern California with her family and a motley assortment of pets. She attends St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Marin City: all are welcome

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