If you’re a regular listener to this podcast you’ve probably heard me bash capitalism a lot. The reality is there’s no escaping it, it’s taken over nearly every corner of the world. That certainly hasn’t stopped me from wincing whenever I travel to a far-away lands and am met with local trinket shops and people peddling their wares. But who am I to judge whether this is good or bad for a society. Oftentimes these are poor, macho communities with substantial pressures on them. They see the money come in and out of their world without them able to touch it. Often these countries also have remote destinations that house incredible archeological sites, but have a community that remains poor and helpless to take advantage of its history. And then there’s the question: should they? And if they do, what would that do to their culture? Would it be a positive or negative thing to suddenly take capitalism and mix it with something like archeology?
I don’t know about you when I was growing up, I had a super-skewed perspective on what business and working was all about because everywhere I looked were articles about entrepreneurs raising tons of money or celebrities in the business world reinventing everything. Or it was my parents that pushed specific occupations— be a doctor, a lawyer, get to work and sit in an office— but that’s a super limited and incredibly unrealistic view of the working world. The options that you’re exposed to are just so limited. So many of us end up finding a safe place professionally, pretty early and staying there because it’s safe.
Imagine if you actually had the power of seeing a spectrum of choices in front of you. That power of visibility would be incredible. You’d have the ability to see what other people were doing, what options you were attracted to and various paths you could go. It would totally open the world up to you.
The stories we told around campfires have been replaced by animated fairy tales that frame our cultural values to kids and adults. Those stories live inside us well beyond childhood. Not too long ago, they used to represent a misogynistic, racist culture and told us that, for example, if you’re a good girl, you’ll get married and live happily ever after. Today, they approach more authentic and meatier issues like depression, loss, and warnings on what could happen if we rely too much on technology. There are people, like this week’s guest, the first academy-award winning director for an animated feature, Brenda Chapman, who fought tooth and nail to stop telling silly princess stories and finally show women who wanted something beyond true love. That movie was Brave, and it was a movie she conceived of, wrote, directed and then, at the last minute was forcibly removed from the project. Brenda has led a new generation of creators who understand the gravity of these stories and aren’t afraid to tackle tough subjects that feel relevant and meaningful instead of idyllic fantasies.
She's has worked on legendary movies like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Little Mermaid, The Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Prince of Egypt, Cars, and of course her baby, Brave. She remains the only woman to have directed a feature length animated film.
All of us can relate to covering up something in our lives. For many of us, that can end up being a huge part of who we really are. We can find ourselves living as outsiders pretending to be something we’re not whether that’s at work, with our friends or in our relationships. These lies can literally destroy our life. “Coming out” isn’t something sequestered to the LGBT community. Coming out means bravely uncovering who you really are and it’s a practice that we can all learn from. In this case, Morgana did it in front of millions of people. In front of co-workers. In front of absolutely everyone she knows. And she did it more than once. When you listen to her story you realize just how much keeping secrets can hurt and just how powerfully becoming outwardly authentic can be.
Come to think of it, I don’t remember ever wondering what sex therapy was or who it’s for but after my conversation with somatic sex therapist, Elizabeth McGrath, I realized I could have saved a million sessions with my therapist and a lot of time and money if I just would have started with someone like her. Sure, there’s plenty of other non-sexually related issues you can chat with your Counsellor about like facing mortality, how your parents were total assholes, and your fear of meat but at least for me, most of my issues have had to do sex and relationships. If I would have spent time unraveling those, I would have known so much more of myself, so much faster and that would have leaf blown a million mental boxing matches. Just have a listen to this conversation with Elizabeth McGrath and you’ll see what we mean. We cover a massive range topics and really helpful advice that will, no doubt, lead you to the same conclusion I had: Sex-therapy is the new must have.
There’s a lot out there about marriage. Recently, who has the right to marry whom, as been all over the media and, as we all know, there’s a massive industry focused on profiting from “that special day.” But what happens after that? The rest of your married life is not so clear. As you grow from young adult to middle age and, if you’re lucky, your golden years— what does marriage look like and what do we expect from each other? This week’s guest, Jenna McCarthy, is the author of many books on relationships and her TED talk on “What you don’t know about marriage” has almost four million views. She’s hilarious and a lot of fun to talk to, you’ll get a lot out of our conversation about what midlife spouses want from each other.