Season 1 / Introduction to Bad Vibes: Purposely Uncomfortable

In the intro episode of the season, Ariana shares the heart and vision for season 2. She doesn't shy away from talking about where we were hoping to take it and where it's ended up. This has been a year for the history books and all of our lives have been affected in dramatic and subtle ways; challenging our very way of life. The world seems to be flooded with crisis upon crisis and it can be overwhelmingly uncomfortable to stop and think about even one of those things.

Hopefully this season's guests and stories will help provide clarity in some areas and cause us all to encounter discomfort within ourselves; allowing us to create a community of empathy.

Welcome to season two of the Active Listening podcast. I'm your host, Ariana. And I have the great pleasure of unearthing the stories and thoughts of others.

Seeing as this is the first episode of the new season, I'd like to share a few thoughts. For one, I'm really excited about all the topics and stories we are going to cover in this season. We already have some great conversations recorded. I don't know about you, but over the last year, I've had countless situations come up that have made me incredibly uncomfortable and have challenged my way of life and thinking (yes, I'm talking about you COVID-19, and the US elections, and even the Black Lives Matter movement. I could go on and on).

That being said, we've decided to call this next season of the podcast, Bad Vibes: Purposely Uncomfortable. I don't know about you. But my natural tendency is to avoid all things that would make me feel uncomfortable; conversations, clothing, exercise food, you get the idea. As a sort of personal experiment, I've actively decided to do many of the things my mind is telling me not to. And let's be real, it hasn't all been a lot of fun. And so many of them I didn't have a choice about with all the craziness this year has been.

But in an attempt to understand the thoughts and stories of others better, I'm forcing myself to do it. I'm having those tough conversations about respecting the regulations in place because of COVID, about why people would vote for Donald Trump, about religion versus politics and individual versus community, about calling out fake news or even knowing where to find legit news, about letting myself feel hunger to know what it's like to wonder where the next meal will come from, about why I can go to bed at night and not worry about whether I'll be shot. I'm creating opportunities to practice empathy.

Now we had originally planned to take this season in a completely different direction. But like so many other things this year, something happened that caused us to take a good hard look at what we believe. And it just didn't feel right to ignore all the current issues at hand. The situation I'm referring to in particular was regarding a teacher of the Enneagram community being accused of spiritual and psychological abuse. I had already completed an interview with them and it was great, then I found out this news. So what do I do with this new found information? How do I hold the teaching of the Enneagram (that has meant so much to me and especially the teaching of this particular person), with the wrongs they are being held accountable for? Do I discount everything they've said because of their failings? Or do their words still hold value even if they didn't value their own words? These are the types of questions we had to ask ourselves.

We came to the conclusion that the understanding and insight we can receive from the Enneagram is incredibly valuable. But it saddens us to know that some people are not practicing what they preach so passionately about and seem to love so dearly.

So it's with a heavy heart we have decided not to endorse their work or post the interview. However, we still hope to do a season on the Enneagram with other awesome guests, and explore the value found in understanding who we truly are; finding our way back home. That all being said, this is only just the beginning of learning to live with discomfort and have uncomfortable conversations, which will lead us to a greater understanding of what having empathy for others really means and to help guide us on a path towards loving others well.

Some of the topics covered in this season may be triggering, or they may cause you to begin dismantling your beliefs. Please be wise in how you choose to engage. But for our listeners who are ready to dive in, or are learning to be uncomfortable with topics and issues you don't fully understand, welcome to the table. There's always a place for you here.

Now for some fun news. After having a successful first season, we would love to take Active Listening even further. You can now support us and become a part of the Active Listening community. There are several ways you can do this, but the easiest is to simply buy us a coffee.

What you do is visit our website and click on the buy us a coffee button. Done. You've helped keep us going just a little bit longer. You can also visit listening to see even more perks to supporting us; like live community hangouts, blog posts for each episode, personalized notes mailed to you and more. You can also become a monthly or yearly supporter. Basically, it's like Patreon that sounds way cooler.

All in all, we care deeply about fostering a community of people who are actively seeking truth, enlightenment, guidance, love, peace, knowledge, whatever it may be. We want you to feel safe in this space and always welcome to sit with a cup of coffee, listening to the stories and wisdom of others. But know this - you won't find certainty here.

So please join me as we begin this next season; Bad Vibes: Purposely Uncomfortable. You may shift in your seat or tilt your head at what might be said, but we're so glad you're here. May we see each other as complete humans regardless of differences. And while we're at it, maybe we continue to love well.

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