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The Thoughtful Life

The Thoughtful Life provides a set of structured digital materials that examine existential questions and provide practical paths toward living a more engaged, meaningful existence. Each podcast and blog post series blends philosophy, literature, theology, psychology, science, art, and humor that offer listeners and readers an enjoyable deep dive into life’s rich questions. The first meditative series, “Making Space for Your Self,” is a ten part analysis of different ways you inhabit space, different options you have for making it, and different ways that you can think of your self as a result.

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Warning: This podcast is a series podcast

This means episodes are recommended to be heard in order from the very start. Here's the 10 best episodes of the series anyway though!

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Making Space for Yourself Episode 1: Introduction

Making Space for Yourself is a ten part meditative workshop in the form of a podcast. Its purpose is to identify different kinds of spaces and ways you can explore them to allow a more thoughtful, joyful, authentic life. This segment, Introduction, orients you to the space of this workshop: it gives an overall sense of the structure, content, and purpose for listening to each segment.

24mins

26 Mar 2019

Rank #1

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Making Space for Yourself Episode 2: Annihilation

Making Space for Yourself is a ten part meditative workshop in the form of a podcast. Its purpose is to identify different kinds of spaces and ways you can explore them to allow a more thoughtful, joyful, authentic life. The three segments in Part One relate to space understood as absence. You probably intuitively understand space in this way, as an absence, an emptiness. Making space as absence clears away ghosts from the past and distractions in the present, allowing you to breathe when life seems to stifle you, providing room for your true self to emerge. This segment of absence, Annihilation, explores the need for making space from your past, when the feeling that nothing matters overwhelms you. Doing this requires that you compassionately sacrifice the things that are not and never were, that nonetheless fill your life.

26mins

26 Mar 2019

Rank #2

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Making Space for Yourself Episode 3: Distinction

Making Space for Yourself is a ten part meditative workshop in the form of a podcast. Its purpose is to identify different kinds of spaces and ways you can explore them to allow a more thoughtful, joyful, authentic life. The three segments in Part One relate to space understood as absence. You probably intuitively understand space in this way, as an absence, an emptiness. Making space as absence clears away ghosts from the past and distractions in the present, allowing you to breathe when life seems to stifle you, providing room for your true self to emerge. This segment of absence, Distinction, explores making space in relation to others. It begins by tracing how identities initially form through exclusion, and indicates how a respectful way to make space comes through temporarily identifying with another’s preference rather than identifying as part of a space.

26mins

26 Mar 2019

Rank #3

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Making Space for Yourself Episode 4: Subtraction

Making Space for Yourself is a ten part meditative workshop in the form of a podcast. Its purpose is to identify different kinds of spaces and ways you can explore them to allow a more thoughtful, joyful, authentic life. The three segments in Part One relate to space understood as absence. You probably intuitively understand space in this way, as an absence, an emptiness. Making space as absence clears away ghosts from the past and distractions in the present, allowing you to breathe when life seems to stifle you, providing room for your true self to emerge. This segment of absence, Subtraction, explores making space as depth by removing things that exist—complementing the process of annihilation, which removed the nothings that did not. Subtraction lets you find freedom by eliminating what is not necessary from your life, opening yourself to grace through courage and forgiveness.

27mins

26 Mar 2019

Rank #4

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Making Space for Yourself Episode 5: Immersion

Making Space for Yourself is a ten part meditative workshop in the form of a podcast. Its purpose is to identify different kinds of spaces and ways you can explore them to allow a more thoughtful, joyful, authentic life. The three segments in Part Two relate to space understood as presence. You’ve sensed this when embraced by the warmth of a space radiating with love, the heaviness of a space sogged with grief, or felt on edge in a space bristling with anger. Making space as presence, rather than creating absence, empowers you to thoughtfully gather and direct the depth, judgment, and values of the vibrant spaces you inhabit and make for yourself. This segment of presence, Immersion, explores the strange alchemy of making space by identifying how values fill public spaces, the value of engaged activity, what it is to be absorbed in your life, and the virtue of delighting in your space.

27mins

26 Mar 2019

Rank #5

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Making Space for Yourself Episode 6: Evaluation

Making Space for Yourself is a ten part meditative workshop in the form of a podcast. Its purpose is to identify different kinds of spaces and ways you can explore them to allow a more thoughtful, joyful, authentic life. The three segments in Part Two relate to space understood as presence. You’ve sensed this when embraced by the warmth of a space radiating with love, the heaviness of a space sogged with grief, or felt on edge in a space bristling with anger. Making space as presence, rather than creating absence, empowers you to thoughtfully gather and direct the depth, judgment, and values of the vibrant spaces you inhabit and make for yourself. This segment of presence, Evaluation, uses a metaphor of outer space to explore how shifting contexts in social spaces trap you into feeling judged as lacking: making space for your self-worth requires developing a sense of inwardness and solidity.

29mins

26 Mar 2019

Rank #6

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Making Space for Yourself Episode 7: Addition

Making Space for Yourself is a ten part meditative workshop in the form of a podcast. Its purpose is to identify different kinds of spaces and ways you can explore them to allow a more thoughtful, joyful, authentic life. The three segments in Part Two relate to space understood as presence. You’ve sensed this when embraced by the warmth of a space radiating with love, the heaviness of a space sogged with grief, or felt on edge in a space bristling with anger. Making space as presence, rather than creating absence, empowers you to thoughtfully gather and direct the depth, judgment, and values of the vibrant spaces you inhabit and make for yourself. This segment of presence, Addition, explores adding a depth dimension to your space by investigating ways you receive gifts: how reciprocity balances getting things, how some gifts let you find things you didn’t know you had, and how to gain depth through a humility that allows growth.

26mins

26 Mar 2019

Rank #7

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Making Space for Yourself Episode 8: Imagination

Making Space for Yourself is a ten part meditative workshop in the form of a podcast. Its purpose is to identify different kinds of spaces and ways you can explore them to allow a more thoughtful, joyful, authentic life. The three segments in Part Three relate to space understood as potentiality. Potential is the presence of an absence, the insinuation of a likelihood, the almost that may never develop in reality. Potentiality is neither fully absent—because you can sense it—nor fully present, for it is not yet. It opens spaces of uncertainty (wishes, dreads, hopes), insinuating almosts that flicker on the border of reality. These three segments emphasize spaces you’re moving toward, actively experiencing them as next. Making space for yourself as potentiality asks you discern how to create a space that provides your true self with its best opportunity to emerge.  This segment of potentiality, Imagination, explores how you fuse the real with the unreal through language and stories, how character is made by performing parts and becoming roles, and how integrity becomes a key virtue in maintaining spaces of self-wholeness.

29mins

26 Mar 2019

Rank #8

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Making Space for Yourself Episode 9: Anticipation

Making Space for Yourself is a ten part meditative workshop in the form of a podcast. Its purpose is to identify different kinds of spaces and ways you can explore them to allow a more thoughtful, joyful, authentic life. The three segments in Part Three relate to space understood as potentiality. Potential is the presence of an absence, the insinuation of a likelihood, the almost that may never develop in reality. Potentiality is neither fully absent—because you can sense it—nor fully present, for it is not yet. It opens spaces of uncertainty (wishes, dreads, hopes), insinuating almosts that flicker on the border of reality. These three segments emphasize spaces you’re moving toward, actively experiencing them as next. Making space for yourself as potentiality asks you discern how to create a space that provides your true self with its best opportunity to emerge. This segment, Anticipation, explores how you orient your body as you move toward the future by contrasting how prediction based on apprehension limits wonder, and then exploring games before discussing why confidence is key in making space for yourself.

28mins

26 Mar 2019

Rank #9

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Making Space for Yourself Episode 10: Invitation

Making Space for Yourself is a ten part meditative workshop in the form of a podcast. Its purpose is to identify different kinds of spaces and ways you can explore them to allow a more thoughtful, joyful, authentic life. The three segments in Part Three relate to space understood as potentiality. Potential is the presence of an absence, the insinuation of a likelihood, the almost that may never develop in reality. Potentiality is neither fully absent—because you can sense it—nor fully present, for it is not yet. It opens spaces of uncertainty (wishes, dreads, hopes), insinuating almosts that flicker on the border of reality. These three segments emphasize spaces you’re moving toward, actively experiencing them as next. Making space for yourself as potentiality asks you discern how to create a space that provides your true self with its best opportunity to emerge. This segment, Invitation, considers the difference between a demand and a choice based on the presence of vulnerability. Looking at non-temporal possibilities of invitations leads to a concluding reflection on hospitality as a way to make space for yourself before others.

30mins

26 Mar 2019

Rank #10