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Conversations on Life – Episode 11

Love Yourself First, to Love Others Well

I sobbed in a homeless man’s arms. I did not know the man. Most likely I will not see him again. But, I will never forget the moment our hearts touched in the intimate dance of raw truth: he lives on the street and me in a warm apartment.

Our exchange began when I commented on his dog. He smiled very proud and said, “Yea, she’s great. I’ve got her back and she’s got mine.” As he spoke, gently petting the dog, I reached into my wallet and took out all the money I had. Without counting or caring what he would do with it I handed it to him. He hesitantly took it. As our hands touched my tears began.

The man reached out, wrapped me tightly in his arms and said, “It’s okay. We’re okay out here. Thank you for caring.”

As I turned to leave he said, “I love you.” I looked him in the eyes and said, “I love you too.”

  • Love is more than caring and affection for those closest to us.
  • To love is to display the integrity of our heart.
  • Without fear or hesitation.

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Conversations on Life – Episode 10

Share Responsibility, Share Opportunity

In this episode I sit down with Eren Cannata, Emmy winning songwriter, singer, and producer to get his thoughts on what it means to be a man. A father of two sons, Eren believes the old blueprint of what it means to be a man needs to be revised. And, while some people are scared of change, his experience as a man who embraces change in the form of respect and acceptance of all people, has resulted in a freer and healthier life.

  • It’s beautiful to be rid of the old macho, got to dominate, bread-winner mentality.
  • The “old school” dad who comes home, cracks open a beer, puts the emotional wall up doesn’t work anymore, at least not for me because it doesn’t teach my children or family anything positive.
  • To fix what is broken we must teach our children to respect themselves and to be accepting of difference so they will respect others.


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Conversations on Life – Episode 9

Chris Pelch
Chris Pelch

I don’t want to be right, I want to get it right. 

In my conversation with Chris Pelch, husband, father and full-time graduate student, we learn that he thinks men are often characterized as macho, hard-headed, and stubborn and there is a good reason for this portrayal. He sees that many men dig in their heels when it comes to their opinions. But Chris thinks it’s a mistake for men to ignore the perspectives of others. He believes men should not bulldoze their way forward.  Chris shares:

  • If we truly want to be a man we need to view women as equals.
  • As men, we must be willing to listen to facts that are contradictory to what we want to believe, accept them, and adjust our perspective accordingly.
  • Men need to be willing to get it right instead of just wanting to be right.

Read Chris’ essay on this topic HERE

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Conversations on Life – Episode 8

Free Speech is Very Expensive

When we think of free speech we immediately think of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. We do have the constitutional right to free speech. Yet, just because we have the right to say what we want, doesn’t mean there isn’t a cost to what we say.

  • Too often we take our right of free speech for granted without understanding we have an equal responsibility for the consequences.
  • We can’t ignore the fact that how we communicate sets the stage for the kind of relationships we have.
  • To be successful in our relationships and life, in general, we must care that our words and actions define us and what we value.

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Conversations on Life Podcast – Episode 7

I’m Proud to be Red, White, and Blue.

What is most important about being American is that we stand united on the common beliefs of our representative democracy. To do so we must remember the first President, George Washington and other founders of our country, justifiably feared the likelihood of corruption and abuse of power that would arise from two-party divisiveness.

  • A constant jockeying for ruling power creates an environment where cooperation is impossible and inaction the norm.
  • Those of us who say we love our country must value electing public servants of integrity, not politicians.
  • Honest public servants, whether Democrat, Independent, Centrist, or Republican, are willing to cross the aisle to do what is best for the country and its variety of citizens.

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Conversations on Life Podcast – Episode 6

#MeToo. And you, and you, and you …

… is a reality for all of us no matter where we live, or how old we are, or if we’re female or male. When we have been abused, used, belittled and made to feel less than, we must learn to keep our heart open in order to heal. We have an opportunity to lead the way in righting the wrongs we see in the world by changing ourselves and our families so our part of the world changes.

  • The rampant abuse of patriarchal power against one half of the world’s population is a huge spiritual wake-up call.
  • So what is the answer? What can you and I do?
  • As men and women of all or no religious faiths, we must wake up to what it means to be emotionally healthy.

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Conversations on Life Podcast – Episode 5

Mona Lisa

I’m gay. So was Leonardo Da Vinci by the way.

Leonardo Da Vinci was a genius. He is loved not only for The Mona Lisa but also for The Last Supper, the most reproduced religious painting of all time. We also adore the work of his contemporary Michelangelo whose sculptures of the David and the Pieta are divinely inspired masterpieces. Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo were amazing artists that continue to make the world better for their having lived.

  • We are meant to create a beautiful work of art from our precious life too.
  • The art of our life does not have to be in marble or fresco.
  • Our great work of art is to lovingly touch the heart of others so our life will be seen as a masterpiece in God’s eyes.

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Conversations on Life Podcast – Episode 4

Cheddar Man

There’s Black and Brown in this White Woman.

Growing up in the southern part of the United States during the 1960s I was surrounded by white supremacy and privilege. I’m gay so I know how it feels to be considered and treated less than. Yet, as a gay woman, I go through life with the choice of being out or not and being white I walk through life unaware of my color. My dark skin brothers and sisters still do not have this freedom.

  • The scientific fact is, all human beings – black, brown, white – can trace our common dark skin ancestors back to Africa.
  • Each of us is a member of the human race.
  • That’s why my brown and black friends and I agree we don’t have a race problem. We have a respect problem.

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Conversations on Life Podcast – Episode 3

Of course, I’ve been visited by aliens! Hasn’t everyone? 

Okay, I imagine you’re saying to yourself, “Hey, this lasagna lady is nuts.”  I get it since close encounters of the third kind are highly suspect. Unless of course, you are discussing the matter with Giorgio A. Tsoukalos or Erich von Däniken. But, if you’re not a fan of Ancient Aliens or have not read Chariots of the Gods, my experience will seem odd. You’d certainly have doubts if the only aliens you’ve encountered are in movies or on TV. If you only know the Klingons, Romulans, Vulcans, or Borg of Star Trek fame maybe you would think I’m a six-pack short of a case.

  • You can imagine how surreal and strange it must be to grow up with a secret you are not able to share with anyone for fear of being labeled crazy.
  • Finding others who share the same experience is comforting because you can’t be crazy when someone, anyone, steps up and says, “Hey, that also happened to me.”
  • Each experience you and I have in life is a unique opportunity to grow our sympathy, empathy, and compassion for others.

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Conversations on Life Podcast – Episode 2

Barbara Simon
Please visit: BarbaraSimonYoga.com

The Devil Does Yoga. My Mother Told Me So.

Mom recently told me she read a letter to the editor in her local newspaper about yoga being the work of the devil. At almost 94 mom is not really surprised by much but she seemed quite surprised to learn some people believe yoga is related to Satan. Really? And who are the people who believe yoga is related to the Devil and why do they believe it? I’m curious because I’ve been doing yoga for over fifteen years and not once have I even had a bad thought much less become possessed by Satan. To learn more I’m joined by yoga expert Barbara Simon.

  • Our mind has an opinion about everything but that does not mean our mind’s opinions or even the beliefs we hold are true.
  • It’s responsible to think about why we think what we do and to challenge why we think others must believe what we do.
  • I feel certain Jesus would question the motivation behind using fear to teach in his name.

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