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Meet leaders who recognized their own pain, worked through it, and stepped up into greater leadership. Each week, we dive into how leaders like you deal with struggle and growth so that you can lead without burnout or loneliness. If you're eager to make an impact in your community or business, Rebecca Ching, LMFT, will give you practical strategies for redefining challenges and vulnerability while becoming a better leader. Find the courage, confidence, clarity, and compassion to step up for ...
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We're going through all 81 verses of the Tao Te Ching. We're searching that flow that all the masters talk about. We're going for that groove in life where effort is replaced by joy and ease. Does it really exist? Let's find out together! This podcast is David's exploration with friends into the Tao, surrender, flow, and finding a way to love.
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Is your family thinking of adding a fish tank or pond to your home? Fish tanks and ponds are wonderful places to observe a habitat on a smaller scale. Its like having your very own window into a fresh water riverbed or saltwater ocean. Keeping aquarium fish is a pleasurable and educational hobby for families around the world. Keeping fish as pets has been a tradition going back to ancient Egypt and China. Today, many more different, beautiful and fascinating kinds of fish and other aquatic a ...
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Many of us are familiar with the kind of person who easily earns the moniker ‘toxic’ and instills fear, rage, and frustration in those around them. What do you do when you work with a toxic leader? How do you feel when toxic leaders continue to get promoted and receive accolades? And what do you do when others make excuses for these toxic leaders, …
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Do you feel frustrated by recurring struggles with self-doubt, hypervigilance, and overwhelm? Behind many of your inner doubts, self-judgements, fears, and insecurities lie echoes from old betrayals or relational hurts. These breaches of trust in important relationships don’t necessarily lose their impact on how you lead and work just because they …
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Have you ever done something steadily, week in and week out, for a period of time? What did you learn about yourself and the world around you in the process? Was there anything that came up that surprised you? Putting in consistent reps and hundreds of hours towards something inevitably shapes and changes you, and producing this show has been no di…
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Have you ended a relationship to get relief from tension and conflict? Do you struggle with developing a clear sense of boundaries around what’s your responsibility and what’s not, especially when feeling responsible for how others think and feel? When relationships are toxic, abusive, and oppressive and the other person does not have the interest …
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What is your relationship with conflict and disagreement? Do you see conflict as bad or dangerous or simply a natural part of relationships and being in a group or on a team? What helps you move through conflict and differences of opinion when things are heavy and charged? Do you avoid it at all costs? Or do you try to be a peacemaker and help ever…
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Do you find yourself in a constant state of proving? Proving that you are a good enough leader, parent, partner, fill in the blank? Do you know what drives your need to prove to others and yourself? When does the need to prove you are good enough and worthy enough show up the most? At work, in your relationships with others, or maybe in your relati…
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What is your relationship with your anger? How much of your stress and exhaustion is fueled by repressed anger and rage? And how do you respond when those around you express anger? Our experiences early in life, experiences at our places of work and education, and our conditioning from culture all play significant roles in how we view and respond t…
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When you experience injustice, how do you respond? Do you immediately speak up and fight back? Maybe you get introspective and go deep into reflection, weighing out different options and scenarios before deciding how or whether to take action. Or do you suppress your authentic emotions and maintain a facade until you have figured out your next move…
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What worked for you in 2023? What did not work this year? What data did you collect about yourself, your work, and your relationships? What do you want to take into 2024, and what do you want to leave behind? Yes, it’s that time of year when I share one of my favorite and most fruitful practices of looking back and looking forward - my annual debri…
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Jellyfish exhibits in public aquaria have held a certain mystique and fascination for decades. Early jellyfish aquarium systems and hardy species became available to hobbyists with some success. As systems evolved further and more difficult species better understood, the interest in jellyfish keeping continues to expand. My guest today, Travis Bran…
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As you approach the new year, do you focus on results-oriented New Year’s resolutions, or do you prefer to set broader intentions for the year? In a time where we are overbooked, over-committed, and weighed down by all that is going on in the world, messages promising the results we crave can make us vulnerable to feeling like we are doing somethin…
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Have you ever felt like what you are known for does not fit you anymore? Or maybe you feel like it is time to change your professional focus, but you question whether you have the credentials or whether people will take seriously the shifts you want to make. So many of us experience angst when we want to change things up in our work and life. We ch…
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What is your relationship with money? Do you have a healthy or neutral relationship with money? Or do you fall into the common extremes of worrying about it, constantly thinking about acquiring more money, or avoiding knowing what is happening with your finances or checking out on your responsibilities around money? And what is your relationship wi…
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When you see a need, what do you do? Do you jump in and try to solve the problem? Or do you think about it for a while and workshop all the options and scenarios in your head before deciding whether to take action or not? Both ways can be valid, needed, and valuable. And both have their pitfalls. When we jump in to solve a need or problem, we can e…
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When people talk about gender bias and sexism, what comes to mind? Are you clear about when gender bias happens to you and around you? Or does it feel so common it’s hard to discern? The mixed messages about how to respond to gender bias and sexism keep us flailing, even when there are efforts to make meaningful change. We need to make these change…
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Reef aquaria - from nano tanks to large, complex, high-tech systems - have exploded in popularity with increased knowledge and more advanced lighting and filtration. My guest today, Dr. Alex Hall, a recent vet school graduate with interest and growing expertise in reef diseases, has made a name for himself on social media as “thereefvet.” Join us, …
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Would you call yourself a powerful person? Do you trust yourself with power? Does owning your power feel a bit like holding a hot potato? The many ways we learn about power–often by having it taken away from us, seeing it taken away from others, or seeing people go to great lengths to take and keep power, no matter the cost or casualties–understand…
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Do you know if you have ever been a part of a cultish or high-demand community? Do you know what qualities to look for in a high-demand community? High-demand communities may bring images of cults with extreme behaviors, demands, and rituals to your mind. But when you examine the communities you love, some fall on the spectrum of cultish or high-de…
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Your relationship with grief impacts all your relationships - whether you know it or not. While the experience of grief is universal, we still react to grief in ways that often stigmatize and alienate our grief or the grief of others in the name of professionalism, boundaries, and self-protection. And when we face a loss from suicide and all the la…
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Groups are a microcosm of life and the greater systems in which we live and work. We learn so much about ourselves and others in groups. They refine our leadership and communication skills. They highlight our growth edges and our capacity for conflict. And they can bring out the best - and the worst - in us, sometimes at lightning speed. So many of…
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When you look back on your career trajectory, what do you notice? Do you see an even trajectory in your career path? Or has your career taken some hard curves outside of the expected norms? What can seem like a setback in our planned career path can sometimes lead us to experiences that we would never have pursued - opening us up to ideas and possi…
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Do you have a relationship with play? Do you integrate time to play into your life around work and rest? Or does play feel elusive or like a luxury? If it does, you’re not alone. So many of us are weary and weighed down, trying to stay afloat while keeping up with life, work, and being engaged citizens. And we live in a culture that continues to pr…
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My guest today, Nick Mayer, is an award-winning artist whose science background and passions for aquatic life and fly-fishing both inform and inspire his beautiful, vibrant works. Join us, as Nick explains his metamorphosis from child naturalist to globe-trotting marine biologist to, finally, celebrated nature illustrator - specializing in fish and…
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Have you ever wondered if you are too much or too needy? We carry a lot of baggage around our needs, others’ needs, and the many mixed messages about having needs but doing everything possible to not be seen as ‘being needy’. The result? A relentless pursuit to keep our needs hidden, fueling feelings of scarcity, shame, and worry. But needs are an …
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The catfishes - members of the order Siluriformes - include over 3000 species that vary widely in size, appearance, biology, and ecology. So what do catfish eat? Fishkeepers are often confused and assume that a one-size-fits-all approach works. My guest today, Rebecca Bentley, has a lot to say on that subject! Rebecca is an ichthyologist with a bro…
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Inclusion. It’s a word that evokes strong emotions and reactions for many people. Some see it as a polarizing issue that elicits extreme rhetoric, while others recognize the need for us to confront discomfort and take responsibility for the impact of our leadership. We have to consider what inclusion means to us, what it feels like, and how it show…
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Are you a safe person? Do you cultivate and lead spaces that are safe? And how do you know the difference between lack of safety and discomfort? The hard truth is that we can never declare a person or a space “safe.” We can do all we can to cultivate safety within ourselves and we can be intentional about doing our best to be safe but we cannot nam…
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Conflict and discomfort are inevitable–in all areas of our work and life. Now, most of us carry some kind of relational or betrayal trauma. And these burdens impact how we lead and move through conflict, discomfort, and difference. So when a rupture happens, there is often a rush to find comfort with some kind of a bid for repair. But if we do not …
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Aquarium retail stores are the primary ‘gateway’ to the hobby for many beginners. How do large retail chains work to ensure quality animals and to provide good fishkeeping information? My guest today, Jay Springer, is Director of Pet Services and Live Animals for Pet Supplies Plus, one of the largest pet store chains in the U.S. Join us, as Jay dis…
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Your past experiences and relationships inform how you lead and run your business today, whether you are aware of it or not. Overworking, perfectionism, fear of failure, crappy boundaries due to people pleasing or micro-managing can all stem from our relational history. One of the more insidious aspects of trauma that can impact leaders and entrepr…
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Do you consider yourself a sensitive person when it comes to sounds, smells, physical sensations, or taste? Do you judge this kind of sensitivity in yourself or others? Many people feel caught in the vice grip of having a nervous system that responds strongly to various kinds of sensory stimulation while also feeling judged and deeply misunderstood…
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What does it mean to you to be broken? To be normal? And who gets to decide what it means to be broken or whole? We live in a culture obsessed with fixing anything deemed broken - from stuff to people. We need to create spaces where we do not see difference as broken. And we do this by not settling for our current ways of navigating our discomfort …
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Coral reef tanks continue to gain in popularity, and advances in technology and coral reef biology and ecology have made reef keeping much more accessible. My guest today is Chris Meckley of ACI Aquaculture, a well-known coral aquaculture and wholesale facility in Plant City, Florida. In Part 1 of our Reef and Coral Keeping 101 series we discussed …
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When you see a need or have a vision for something, what do you do? Especially when there is a lot going on in your life and in the world. Do you jump in and take action or do you get in your head with all the what-ifs and to-do lists so much so that you do not even start to explore or take action? Many of us do both. But there are folks who take a…
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“Do you respect yourself when you look back on the hard times in your life?” Do you look back on your hard times and feel good about how you led yourself and others? And when you go through a perfect storm of events in your life, what are the certainty anchors and relationships that helped you stay afloat when it felt hard to keep breathing? Taking…
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Psychedelics are having a mainstream moment. They continue to gain a bigger presence in our cultural awareness beyond their druggy stereotype over the last several decades. Psychedelics also continue to grow as an approach to treating certain mental health conditions leading many people to rethink the role of these drugs from solely being dangerous…
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Rugged individualism occupies the heart of American mythology. We pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. We ignore structural inequality and rely on our “can do” attitudes. We take on the personal shame of job loss or bankruptcy or health struggles. And we unquestionably accept that to make it in America, all we need to do is work hard. Are we happie…
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Coral reefs are considered the rainforests of the sea – dense, hotbeds of biodiversity and beauty. Covering less than 1% of the ocean floor, they are believed to contain about 25% of all known marine species. It’s no wonder that interest in reef-keeping, as well advances in reef tank technology have increased exponentially over the past 10-15 years…
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How we talk about health matters. Conversations about health are pervasive–when we get to know each other, when we play catch up, at kid pick-ups, and in between calls or meetings. Many of us see these conversations as benign since they are so commonplace and seem universal in their relatability. Yet, these conversations matter because so many of o…
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Fish medicine has come a long way in the past 30 years, with more and more pet owners seeking veterinary care for their sick fish. My guest today, Dr. Jessie Sanders, owner and chief veterinarian of Aquatic Veterinary Services, is helping lead the charge of this next generation of wet pet vets. Join us, as Jessie shares her professional and persona…
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We need to talk about power. Like, get into the nitty gritty details on what we believe about power, how we move around power, and how we see ourselves in relationship to power. We need to get really clear on how we define it so we can truly understand the impact that our definitions of power have on our beliefs and actions. There are too many exam…
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When we ignore our collective losses and tragedies, we only compound the pain they generate. And when we feel like our pain is ignored or we cannot share it, remembering can become complicated. And how we lead can become toxic. No matter your age, you have moments in your life that are embedded in your nervous system–the time, the place, who you we…
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Today I am bringing back my annual debrief to the podcast. Looking back on 2022 has been fruitful and offered a lot of data collecting. You know I love to collect data and review what choices, behaviors, and commitments were kept and which of them were not honored. But looking back has not always been a practice or something I enjoyed. In fact, it …
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We all connect with the power of vulnerability in ourselves and in others. And vulnerability continues to be misunderstood and misappropriated in marketing businesses and services, political campaigns, legislative agendas, and leadership, to name a few. These days, discerning between true vulnerability and what today’s guest calls #vulnerability ca…
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One of the biggest challenges to self-care is that it means different things to different people. Is it bubble baths and facials? Nice vacations and or buying a coveted outfit or pair of shoes? Or is it advocating for reasonable wages and safe working conditions? For some, self-care is a justification to splurge or just take a dang day off when a j…
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Conscious consumption is one of the hottest trends in retail marketing. We shop to make a difference, have an impact, build a better world. But many of the businesses that claim to be doing good are running on business models or operating principles that are hardly disruptive. Instead, they're counting on consumers' desire to both have their cake a…
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The mental load we all carry right now is next level. But just because this load is invisible does not make it any less important. Kids, pets, aging family members, school, work, the economy, democracy, access to safe and affordable health care, chronic health issues - the list goes on and on, and feels like it keeps piling on without relief or end…
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There is a difference between nice and kind. Niceness is appeasing and complacent. Kindness is loving and generous. Niceness, in IFS terms, can be experienced as a strong protector shielding us from vulnerability and risk by over-accommodating others. True kindness, on the other hand, connects us to our compassion and our values. We sacrifice our i…
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We all carry pain. All of us. We navigate the vice grip of the pains from our past along with the pains from the present while trying to keep it all together. And when things break, we often carry the blame and responsibility for our pain because we’ve absorbed the messages that our struggles are our sole responsibility; neglecting to see the syste…
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Quick-fix solutions abound for mental health challenges. As leaders, we’re fed the same advice over and over again. Generic one-size-fits-all “thought work” designed to alleviate our gloom and get us back on the road to success. But that generic advice comes up short. And much of it further stigmatizes mental health struggles, failure, and doubt to…
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