Radical Discernment Podcast

Radical Discernment Podcast

Each week, host Katherine Golub offers practical tools to help social changemakers cultivate the capacity for impact and joy. If you ever feel exhausted, frustrated, disappointed, bewildered, overwhelmed, alone or stressed out in your efforts to make a difference in the world, this podcast is for you. Episodes are short to fit your full life and offer immediately-implementable takeaways.

Episodes

February 28, 2024 10 mins
Have you ever heard a self-help teacher or friend say the words—Don’t should yourself…? As if should were a nasty word? If so, what do you think about this phrase? For a long time, I’d hear people admonishing themselves for saying the word should, and it would rub me the wrong way, but I didn’t quite know why. Then I discovered that the English word should comes from the same root as the Dutch and German word schuld, which means ...
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Would you love a dedicated practice of proactively setting clear goals, priorities, and commitments to yourself? If so, I wrote this for you. Most of my clients don’t have a practice like this when they first come to me. Many spend their days putting out fires and reacting to the next request/demand that comes their way. Others are in the habit of prioritizing other peoples’ needs while rarely checking in with themselves about thei...
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A client of mine recently discovered that she’s pregnant and shared this question with me this week: “I really hope that everything is safe and sound with my pregnancy. I’m trying my best to stay positive, but I have moments of anxiety. I am wondering how to feel my fears while not being consumed by them and how to remain positive while not getting sucked into worst case ‘what-if’ scenarios. Suggestions?” Now, you might not be p...
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This week, a client in my mentorship program who’s leading the development of a brand-new community center, shared that while things are going really well, she’s also noticing a lot of uncomfortable feelings coming up in response to the work. She wrote: “Things are good, and I have waves of self-doubt and fear that make me anxious - Like, how can I possibly actually do this? Often it comes in the form of a negative self-comparis...
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January 24, 2024 10 mins
What most people call time management or setting boundaries, I call the work of crossing through little gates. Gates are moments where we say no to one thing in order to say yes to something else. Gates don’t always take the shape of doors, however. Sometimes, they look like thresholds, portals, crossroads, moments of truth, healing crises, or emergencies. When I’m approaching a big gate, I sometimes imagine myself walking throug...
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January 17, 2024 6 mins
Sometimes along the journey through life, we come to a place where it feels like we’re pounding on a locked door. Maybe we come really close to getting our dream job, but they hire someone else. Or our partner leaves us unexpectedly. Or we pour our hearts into a campaign and lose. The time I most felt like I was standing at a locked gate, unable to open it, were the long years we spent applying for my son’s dad’s visa. We were m...
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January 10, 2024 14 mins
When facing a big decision or life transition, have you ever heard a voice in your head saying any of the following?: What if you’re not ready? What if you regret your decision? What if you have no time left for anything else? What if it wrecks your relationship(s)? What if you burn bridges? What if you never find something as good as what you have now? What if things turn out shitty like they’ve always been? What ...
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On Valentine’s Day 2013, at a small community center in New Hampshire, I attended a workshop with Dr. Lewis Mehl-Madrona, Lakota-Cherokee shaman and narrative psychiatrist. The workshop began with a talking circle in which each of the forty or so participants shared a personal story about love. At the beginning of the day, I was excited. I’d read all of Dr. Mehl-Madrona’s books, and I was eager to learn everything I could. But as ...
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December 20, 2023 14 mins
I invite you to imagine that you are a great big bus driving through life and that all the passengers are different parts of yourself—the part who wants everyone else to like you, the part who just wants to be left alone, the part who is excited about your big goals, the part who just wants to do nothing, and so many other subpersonalities with their own desires and beliefs about the world. Sometimes, you’re driving along the path...
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December 13, 2023 10 mins
Imagine that you’re an antelope. You're grazing on the savanna, minding your own business, when suddenly, out of the shadows, bounds a lion straight toward you. You can’t fight the lion, so you leap into action, running as fast as you can. You run, run, run, and miraculously, you escape. Then, once the lion is gone, you do something that most mammals do after surviving a threat—You shake. As the antelope, escaping the lion is ke...
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December 7, 2023 9 mins
I invite you to pick up an imaginary rubber band. Hook one end of the rubber band around your right forefinger and the other around your right thumb, with your palm facing away from you. Your forefinger represents the world and the life that you long for. Your thumb represents your current reality. Imagine pulling the rubber band between your forefinger and thumb and feeling the tension.[1] I call this inevitable chasm between w...
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November 22, 2023 7 mins
Despite all of the evidence of your abilities and intelligence, does part of you believe that you’ll never be enough? When someone congratulates you or compliments you, does a voice in your head immediately start naming a litany of reasons why you don’t deserve it, telling you things like… Yeah, but that was just random luck. I didn’t work hard enough. It could have been better. I probably won’t be able to do it again. They didn’...
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  Your Next Experiment “Caminante no hay camino. Se hace el camino al andar.” —Juan Manuel Serrat sings this in Cantares, one of my all-time favorite songs. In English, the quote is translated as: “Traveler, there is no path. We make the path by walking.” This quote is attributed to many sources, including the First Peoples of Australia.   I invite you to ask yourself a question: What parts of your life do you love the most? Th...
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  What You Really Need “We have been raised to fear . . . our deepest cravings. And the fear of our deepest cravings keeps them suspect, keeps us docile and loyal and obedient, and leads us to settle for . . . many facets of our own oppression.”[1] —Audre Lorde, The Uses of the Erotic   I used to think it was indulgent and selfish to acknowledge my needs and desires, especially when so many people in the world suffer so much more ...
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  What You Feel “White supremacy has used the suppression of feelings to hold down communities. If you block the pain, you’ll likely block the feelings needed to fight back against oppression.” —Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement   Your body is your compass. I invite you to imagine that you’ve just been dropped into the middle of a vast wilderness. What do you want to make sure you have in your backpac...
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October 25, 2023 22 mins
  Self-Resonance: How “When people change the way they speak to themselves, they change the way their brain works.” - Sarah Peyton   In the last episode, I introduced the concept of resonance—that experience of relaxation we feel when we’re accompanied and truly understood by another—and I shared how self-resonance lays the soil in which all the other practices of radical discernment can take root. When we accompany ourselves with...
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  Self-Resonance “We are all rather like tree rings and shell patterns in that what has happened to us leaves a permanent record. The goal of trauma work, therefore, as I see it, is not to erase or cure but rather to expand and include and grow larger than whatever has happened to us.”[1] – Francesca Mason Boring   It Feels Good to be Heard One day when my son, Kai, was six, he and his friend were playing with a balloon at a birt...
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I invite you to ask yourself this question: When you feel hungry, angry, lonely, tired, sore, stressed, or sad, how do you respond? Do you ignore how you feel, bypass your body's signals, continue to power through your day, or lecture yourself about what you should be doing differently to feel better? Or do you approach your uncomfortable feelings as a cue to pause, get curious about what you need, and choose a step toward meeti...
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October 4, 2023 16 mins
A few years back, I took a course on organization with one of my favorite business coaches, George Kao. Until then, I had a constant sense of living for tomorrow, always hoping I’d have time to enjoy my life once I finished the current project. But seeing George’s schedule inspired me and, in retrospect, changed my life. After seeing George’s calendar, I changed my calendar from a default monthly view to a weekly view, scheduled ...
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My clients are often burned out high-achievers who come to me because they realize that they’ve been doing too much for too many people, taking responsibility for more than what is theirs to handle, and struggling to say no or make clear requests of others to step up. They long for a sense of balance so that they can continue making a contribution without sacrificing themselves. Sound familiar? If so, I’m excited to share with yo...
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