Everyday Thin Places

Everyday Thin Places

In each episode of Everyday Thin Places, birth doula Elizabeth Varaso and interfaith hospice chaplain Rachael Gallagher draw from their experiences supporting birthing people and dying people to explore with honesty, authenticity and humor how we can all become more truly-living people. Although birth and death are two of the only truly universal human experiences, we often think of them as painful, frightening and best kept behind closed doors. But behind those closed doors Rachael and Elizabeth have experienced the wonder and delight of “thin places” - those points in space and time where the line between known and unknown, between temporal and eternal, between the ordinary and the transcendent become beautifully blurred. No matter if you are the kind of person who finds the topics of birth and death thrilling, terrifying or just not all that interesting Rachael and Elizabeth’s conversations with each other and with guests from all walks of life will draw you in and keep you coming back for more. No topic is off-limits and every episode will have you seeking and savoring the everyday opportunities to visit life’s thin places.


February 13, 2023 55 mins

In this very special episode, it's time for the Super Bowl. Joining us for the first time is Erik Johanson, Philadelphia sports fanatic. In the last 5 months, Philly fans have gotten quite a bit of excitement with both the Phillies and the Eagles competing in championship games. We talk to Erik about how his love for Phladelphia and it's sports teams developed, and how it has become a thin place for him. And we explore on...

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Rachael and Elizabeth react to Everyday Thin Places turning two years old, before reflecting on the amazing guests we have had the privilege to host. Plus, what’s next for Everyday Thin Places?!

As promised, click here to read about the astounding good news announced this week that is a game changer in cancer research. 

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May 23, 2022 40 mins

Elizabeth has been keeping busy making teacher appreciation gifts, and Rachael has been watching her teacher friends on social media as they wrap up the school year. It feels like a great time to talk about teachers and the impact the have made on our lives.

•To share a teacher/student story for a future episode, reach us at everydaythinplaces@gmail.com

•Follow the podcast on Instagram (@Everydaythinplaces).

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May 9, 2022 67 mins

This is a second episode with Marla Taviano because she HAS A NEW BOOK in the world! We explore the poetry within "Unbelieve - Poems on the Journey to Becoming a Heretic". From "I was wrong" to "God Loves Everyone" to "growing up evangelical" to "chirp chirp", every poem in this new book is eye-opening and relatable and honest and authentic.

Everyday Thin Places appreciates...

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April 25, 2022 46 mins

Rachael and Elizabeth record an actual conversation about silence! In their conversation, Rachael discusses her thoughts on how silence can be used as a weapon. Plus, Elizabeth talks about how she's gotten curious and open to silence. SPOILER: She's starting to offer spiritual direction and is using silence as a tool.

Don't forget to rate and subscribe so you never miss an episode.

  • You can email...
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April 11, 2022 8 mins

Nope, this isn't a glitch or a mistake.

We'll be back to talk about silence in our next episode.  

But for today we invite you to take 7 minutes of silence for yourself.  

Think of this as an experiment. 
As a treat.
As an opportunity to experience an everyday thin place. 

Because sometimes there aren't words.
Because sometimes silence is the friend that you need.

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Rachael Gallagher and Elizabeth Varaso are joined by Angela Dobrynski, a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Grief Specialist.  While Angela has a wealth of professional experience in the world of grief and loss, this conversation focuses on her own personal story of grief, loss and the surprises that led to her building the family that she has today.

You can connect with Angela on her website angeladora.org or ...

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March 14, 2022 42 mins

Rachael and Elizabeth talk all about ADVANCING (most notably, the Battle of Little Round Top, chemotherapy, and athletic training). Also, Elizabeth shares about an advance she received in order to help her neighbors and her family.

Everyday Thin Places appreciates its supporters! Want to support? Buy us a coffee! Sign up: https://www.everydaythinplaces.com/donate.html

Follow along on the Everyday Thin Places Insta...

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February 28, 2022 36 mins

On this very special edition of "Everyday Thin Places", it's finally time for our first ever Everyday Thin Places RETREAT!!!!! We discuss our differing opinions on taking baths, our motivations for being in water, what we think about retreat, and some ideas for small everyday opportunities for retreats before we make the big announcement that we're hosting a retreat! 

To register for our upcoming virtua...

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February 14, 2022 43 mins

Rachael Gallagher and Elizabeth Varaso break down the everyday thin places we experienced in the Disney film, Encanto. Encanto is amazing, and if you haven't seen it yet, do yourself a favor and go watch this movie on Disney+. We will share some spoilers in this episode, but the movie is still worth watching even if it's been "spoiled".  And of course, because this IS Everyday Thin Places, we talk about birth an...

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January 31, 2022 32 mins

Life Coach, Melissa Jill Clark joins us on the Everyday Thin Places podcast to talk about having all we need within us now, yoga as embodied prayer, and Melissa's poem that was recently published in book form: Your Chrysalis: A Message of Hope for End of Life.
We really talk about everything. Yoga? Yes. Fulfilling our legacies? Obviously. Birth and death? Of course.
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Today on the podcast, hosts Rachael Gallagher and Elizabeth Varaso talk with Philadelphia-area-based pastor and author, Matt Gorkos. Matt has built Storied Church Ministry Consulting , focused on cultivating connections through stories. One of his latest efforts: The Storied Church: A Strategy for Congregational Renewal explores the power of a good story and how harnessing that power can be impactful in the church and beyond.

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January 3, 2022 22 mins

Today on the podcast we go down memory lane - 2021 has been another doozy. We reflect on our hopefulness and cautious optimism last year at this time. Rachael reflects on the struggles that existed in 2021 as well as her ideas of how life would be once vaccines became available, and then Elizabeth shares her resolution that she made last year and that she's carrying into 2022. Thanks for listening!

  • To reach us, yo...
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December 27, 2021 24 mins

In this special mini episode, Elizabeth interviews Rachael about the last six months of living back in her home state of Florida! Rachael talks about her latest projects and how this new lifestyle has become a thin place for her. Thanks for listening!

Contribute to the show at https://ko-fi.com/everydaythinplaces.
Email us at everydaythinplaces@gmail.com.

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December 20, 2021 22 mins

On this week's episode, Elizabeth Varaso shares about her latest thin place endeavor.


  • How she went from being the proud owner of 25 fragrance oils to owning 122 fragrance oils.
  • Why she receives 55 pound bags of salt delivered to her home regularly.
  • How Sharon Weiss fits into all of this.

Everyday Thin Places is powered by subscribers like you! To keep all of our Everyday Thin Places content free and ad...

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December 13, 2021 16 mins

Rachael and Elizabeth celebrate miniature things. Elizabeth shares about her household's delight in the thin places of miniature things and Rachael talks (again) about her love of small dogs. Then, we talk about the power of miniature things working their ways into places that larger things cannot: little things can have huge impacts.

You can email the podcast at everydaythinplaces@gmail.com.

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Just in time, it's the last night of Hanukkah and so we are replaying this episode from last year.  

In this episode, Rachael Gallagher and Elizabeth Varaso are joined by Dr. Liam Robins to discuss Hanukkah, embracing Judaism as an adult, the "thin place" experience of lighting the Hanukkah candles, and more.

Buy us a cup of coffee:


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November 29, 2021 47 mins

This week Rachael and Elizabeth are hosting a conversation with David Richman, author of the book Cycle of Lives: 15 People's stories, 5,000 miles and a Journey through the Emotional Chaos of Cancer. 

After losing his sister June to cancer, David was inspired to push the limits of what his body was capable of, and to engage his heart and mind with the emotional journey of those who have been diagnosed with cancer, th...

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November 22, 2021 7 mins

Rachael and Elizabeth give thanks for each other, for this podcast, and for our listeners. Plus, we take some time to share how you can help to support the podcast. Everyday Thin PLaces is powered by subscribers like you! To keep all our Everyday Thin Places content ad-free, consider making a donation by buying us a cup of coffee!

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November 15, 2021 43 mins

This week, we bring you a conversation about generosity as a thin place.

More than anything, this episode felt like a really fun, yet super meaningful time of reflection.


  • different motivations for generosity
  • the spiritual practice of generosity
  • barriers to generosity
  • Elizabeth's research into the origins of the word generosity
  • a challenge to practice generosity this week

Check back to see t...

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