"What's the F***ing Point?" — ep 31 — Travis Cooper on the power of authentic movement

Travis Cooper is one of those people you can tell is a dancer just be seeing him walk down the street.

He carries himself with such presence, grace, and fierceness — and as I mention on the intro, has a truly magnetic (except LOL I said infectious because I couldn't think of the right word, ehhh #getvaccinated and use “magnetic” instead 😜) personality to match.

I was delighted to get to know Travis in this interview, and I know you'll feel the same way! We talk about his spiritual path from Christianity to atheism to seeking out what a more authentic spirituality, and how his emotional and spiritual growth have impacted the way he views his dharma as a dancer and choreographer.

To listen to the episode, stream from the player below, or subscribe in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your fave podcast app.

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About Travis Cooper

Travis Cooper is a choreographer, dance educator, and lover of movement based in Nashville, TN. Dance is often the medium he uses to connect and empower the people around him. He believes that one of the best ways you can honor yourself and the world around you is by living authentically!

Additional Resources + Stuff Mentioned on This Episode:

"What's the F***ing Point?" — ep 29 — Lisa Olivera on being human first

Lisa Olivera is not the therapist that's going to "help" you or fix your problems... and that's exactly why she's your dream therapist.

When I started following Lisa on Instagram (@lisaoliveratherapy), I was immediately drawn to her energy and her content. We are definitely on the same wavelength in a lot of ways, which made for a really fun conversation.

I so admire how Lisa is navigating the tricky territory of self-disclosure as a therapist on a public platform, and we have a rich discussion in this episode about how the old model of rigidity around self-disclosure in the therapy room is outdated and not as beneficial in creating the kind of genuine relationship that facilitates the most healing and supportive work between clinician and client.

Lisa's personal story as an adoptee, which she shares about in the episode, will likely make you want to throw things, and then hug people... which is a testament to the work that she has done both with her own healing, and how she's been able to bring the universal themes from her experiences into a career of holding sacred space for others who are on their own paths of healing.

To listen to the episode, stream from the player below, or subscribe in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your fave podcast app.

And remember that taking 30 seconds to leave a review right from your phone gives you major karma points :D

About Lisa Olivera

Lisa Olivera is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist— but you might also call her an encourager of self-acceptance, a listening (like, truly listening) ear, an advocate for vulnerability, and a holder of space for hope and healing. She believes we require less fixing and more accepting – less perfectionism and more good-enough – less criticism and more self-compassion.

In her practice, Lisa supports people who want to find more acceptance in who they are, but feel suffocated by self-criticism, doubt, sadness, anxiety, overwhelm, or fear. Through holistic and integrative practices, she helps clients create more compassion for themselves, more capacity to feel the hard stuff, and more understanding of how to manage the stressors and impacts of our history, our environment, and our daily life.

You can find Lisa online at www.lisaoliveratherapy.com and on Instagram @lisaoliveratherapy.

Additional Resources + Stuff Mentioned on This Episode:

"What's the F***ing Point?" — ep 27 —Timothy Gordon on weaving a life of meaning

Hot damn, y'all. Words do not suffice to describe my interview with The Zen Social Worker, Timothy Gordon. This was probably my favorite conversation yet.

Grab your notebook, your tissues, and get ready for your brain to explode onto the ceiling as mine did during our call. (I am happy to report that I am now back in one piece.💁‍♀️🧠)

I can already say Tim will be a repeat guest — and on this episode, here's what we dig into:

  • How the universe kicked him out of the “safe” path and into entrepreneurship

  • Mindsets of collaboration versus scarcity

  • The impact that his adoption and trying to connect with his birth family has had on his self worth

  • The value of befriending our difficult/painful thoughts and feelings, and recognizing when that it can also be adaptive to distract or avoid

  • The importance of unhooking from our unhelpful stories and beliefs to chase the life that you want

  • Why we need to acknowledge cultural appropriation within yoga and how we can become part of the solution rather than the problem

  • The issue with viewing yoga as primarily an athletic, physical practice

  • The basics of Tantra yoga philosophy

  • How we can create a false hierarchy and patriarchy if we misinterpret yoga (or anything else for that matter)

  • Universal versus individual consciousness

  • The epistemology of yoga - why do we do what we do?

  • Ontological versus a-ontological philosophy - how do we structure our beliefs about reality?

I strongly encourage you to check out Tim's YouTube Channel, and his book (co-authored with Jessica Borushok) The ACT Approach, which won the 2018 Benjamin Franklin Award for editorial and design excellence in the Psychology category.

To listen to the episode, stream from the player below, or subscribe in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your fave podcast app.

And remember that taking 30 seconds to leave a review right from your phone gives you major karma points :D

About Tim Gordon

Timothy Gordon, MSW, is a social worker in Canada and internationally recognized peer-reviewed ACT trainer. He specializes in treating attachment and trauma related disorders. Tim is also a yoga teacher who integrates movement and yoga practices into his work. Tim's research has included yoga as a mental health intervention, ACT for chronic pain, and ACT with neonatal intensive care units. Tim is passionate about empowering people in various settings to use ACT, he has worked with Canada's Parliament and is involved in bringing ACT to subsaharan African countries with his colleagues at Commit and Act.

Additional Resources + Stuff Mentioned on This Episode:

"What's the F***ing Point?" — ep 24 —April Lang on Staying Curious & Being Vegan for the Animals

We hear about "going plant-based" for health all the time — it's probably up there with the Keto Diet as the biggest dietary trend right now, and The Economist called 2019 the year of the vegan.

The environmental impact of eating meat and dairy has started to gain more traction in the media as well, with numerous recent studies agreeing that ditching animal products from your plate is the single biggest way to decrease your impact on the earth.

But if you're like I was until a couple years ago and don't happen to run in the same circles with many animal activists, there's not as much discussion in mainstream media about the animal rights side of veganism.

In this episode with my guest April Lang, we each share about why we decided to go vegan — not just with our diet, but also our overall lifestyle choices.

As I mention in the intro, it's very important to me that anyone listening knows that I am not judging them for their food choices. There is plenty I do on a regular basis that is "judgeworthy," but I certainly hope that others give me grace for the things I am still learning and working on. There are many different causes and issues to spend your limited time and energy on (animal activism being just one), and we need all stripes of people committed to all different kinds of social and environmental justice work to keep moving the planet in the right direction.

To listen to the episode, stream from the player below, or subscribe in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your fave podcast app.

About April Lang, LCSW, SEP

April is a psychotherapist in New York City, Certified Humane Education Specialist, and author of the book, Animal Persuasion: A Guide for Ethical Vegans & Animal Advocates in Managing Lief's Emotional Challenges. She also writes the column, "The Relational Vegan" for the online magazine La Fashionista Compassionista,and is a Certified Humane Education Specialist. In addition to working with ethical vegans in her private practice, she does couples counseling and helps individuals through life transitions, animal bereavement, and trauma. She also runs support groups for vegans and those who have lost an animal family member.

And remember that taking 30 seconds to leave a review right from your phone gives you major karma points :D

Additional Resources + Stuff Mentioned on This Episode:

  • As always, if I forgot anything from this list and you can’t find the link you want, just comment here, shoot me an email, or DM on Instagram!

What's the F***ing Point episode 23: PaQuita Pullen on Cultural Humility in Mental Health

I have love for folks of alllll Enneagram types for different reasons, but put 2 sevens together and WEEEEEE, you get one hell of an energetic conversation.

I first met PaQuita Pullen when we briefly overlapped working in residential mental health treatment, and she's now well on her way to getting her doctorate in Counselor Supervision and Education, while teaching yoga with YMCA and Small World Yoga and taking breaks to get her Marvel fix.

PaQuita is a pint-sized spitfire with a smile that lights up the whole damn room. She is not here to take anyone's shit— and yet, she is graceFULL and receptive to peoples' (at times less-than-sensitive) questions around race, leaning into opportunities to help others see their blind spots and gain greater cultural awareness. (Hell, she was kind and patient with my fumbling for "the right" words a few times during the interview.) She is exactly the kind of person you want helping counseling grad students navigate the sticky, important questions around racial and cultural humility.

In this interview, PaQuita and I go deep with these issues, including her dissertation focus around the misdiagnosis of depression in African American males, lack of representation in yoga, how her love for superheroes (#teammarvel) relates to her deeper passions, and a lot more.

A word on semantics (see what I did there?!): In our conversation, PaQuita uses the terms 'African American' and 'person of color' (POC); so while some other folks may prefer the term 'black,' I stick with her chosen terms in this description and in the interview to honor the identification and preferences of the INDIVIDUAL I'm talking with. #culturalhumility

To listen to the episode, stream from the player below, or subscribe in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your fave podcast app.

About PaQuita Pullen, MA

PaQuita is a Registered Yoga Instructor and currently completing her licensure as a Professional Counselor and doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision. She is passionate about connectedness, authenticity and all things love. In addition to her counseling roles, she is working hard to further develop her yoga business, One Love Yoga Nashville, and plans to establish a private practice that primarily serves African American males experiencing mental health symptoms and issues within the 2019 calendar year. PaQuita aspires to be a trailblazer as a future counselor educator and supervisor in the betterment of mental health treatment and services for individuals of racial/ethnic identity.

And remember that taking 30 seconds to leave a review right from your phone gives you major karma points :D

Mentioned on This Episode:

  • As always, if I forgot anything from this list and you can’t find the link you want, just comment here, shoot me an email, or DM on Instagram!