59 episodes

A podcast about engaging with creative spirit, deep sensitivity, and playfulness to make space for peace, meaning, and human connection in a world that struggles to slow down.

The Gentle Rebel Podcast Andy Mort

    • Education
    • 4.9 • 30 Ratings

A podcast about engaging with creative spirit, deep sensitivity, and playfulness to make space for peace, meaning, and human connection in a world that struggles to slow down.

    57 | Coach or Marketer? (with Adam Kawalec)

    57 | Coach or Marketer? (with Adam Kawalec)

    If you're a freelancer or solo practitioner, you likely need to wear many different hats to keep your business going. It can be tiring and confusing at times. An understandable trend in the age of algorithmic social media is people donning the social media marketing hat more and more, sometimes at the expense of their core craft.

    In this episode of The Gentle Rebel Podcast, I chat with my friend, Adam Kawalec. He explains what he means when he says he's a coach, not a marketer or social media influencer. He describes how he's intentionally built his business through word-of-mouth referrals and relationship marketing.


    In our conversation, Adam demonstrated what happens when we shift our focus from persuasion, traffic, and engagement to depth, connection, and potency. The invitation to find more meaningful, gentle, and person-centred ways of building a sustainable business left me feeling hopeful and enriched.

    This goes against the growing trend where the drive for social media influence trumps professional training and development. This is why I wanted to speak with Adam about the ethicality of coaching and how to remain focused as a coach not a marketer.

    Ethics For Coaches and Marketers

    It's a companion to the episode with Megan Malone when we considered the cost of reputation damage to coaching as a trained skillset due to a series of documentaries and exposés highlighting nefarious, manipulative, and abusive practices performed by people calling themselves coaches. It often happens when the focus on developing skills as a coach is gradually eroded and replaced by marketing and sales.

    During our discussion, Adam mentioned the Ethics For Coaching project. It's a crucial initiative to educate consumers and support coaches in practising their craft with integrity, safety, inclusivity, and professionalism. This project's four pillars serve as a guide, highlighting red flags to watch out for and expectations you can have with a safe and competent coach.

    Much of it speaks to the question of whether someone is a competent coach or simply a persuasive marketer. Stay tuned for my conversation with Margarit Davtian, a board member of EFC and a consumer rights expert, who sheds light on the project's mission and her role in it.

    In the episode, Adam and I explore:

    * Why marketing doesn't have to feel like marketing when you approach it in the right way

    * Ways coaching differs depending on the setting (and the stakeholders)

    * The difference between traffic marketing vs relationship marketing

    * Ethical responsibilities when marketing and practising as a coach

    * The importance of slowing down if you want to speed things up

    * What it means to be truly remarkable, and how to be so good they can't ignore you

    * Finding the sweet spot in your daily rhythm to commit to growing without burning out

    Over to You

    What are your thoughts on the topics we discussed? I'm eager to hear your takeaways. Feel free to share your comments or drop me a message.

    Connect with Adam

    Website: https://adamkawalec.com/

    Inside The Comfort Zone Podcast

    • 1 hr 11 min
    56 | Does Your Voice Sound Like You?

    56 | Does Your Voice Sound Like You?

    In this episode of The Gentle Rebel Podcast, we delve into the intriguing concept of voice, the third element of our creative spirit that we've been looking at recently. Check out the episodes on Sound and Noise if you haven't already done so.

    What do we mean when we talk about creative voice? Is it something we are born with or something we develop?


    Character is inadvertently forged in our workshops of adversity.Performance is intentionally forged in our workshops of necessity.Voice is the taste we leave for others.Character can be flexible or brittle.Performance is a wall or a window.Voice is sweet or bitter.

    I intuitively wrote down those words when preparing and attempted to untangle their meaning during the episode.

    Other Things I Explore In The Episode:

    * How art transcends anyone else's desire for it

    * Ways we lose our voice in the pressure to fulfil, please, and satisfy an external demand

    * Voice isn't easy to describe, and it can't be contrived

    * Performance as shaping, forging, fabricating, embodying (and how performance can be a window or a wall - deepening or alienating our relationship with our voice)

    * Mr Rogers described Voice as "something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person."

    * Ways to find your voice after losing it

    * What other people can tell us about the sound of our voice

    So, what does voice mean to you? I'd love to read your reflections. Share them in the comments or drop me a message.

    The Fireside Membership | Sound, Noise, Voice

    The Fireside Membership offers a unique opportunity to step back from life's distractions and disturbances. It's a place to reconnect with who you are and consider how you would love your life to look in the future.

    The membership materials, between session reflection questions, and personalised coaching calls are designed to support you in your endeavours.

    Whether you have a particular challenge you want to overcome, a project you would love to complete, or you're looking for a clear way forward. I designed the program to help you come home to your innate creative spirit and accomplish your aims on YOUR terms and in YOUR way.

    • 42 min
    55 | Making Sense Of The Distractions, Disturbances, and Noise

    55 | Making Sense Of The Distractions, Disturbances, and Noise

    The noise we encounter can significantly impact how we perceive the world and what we believe about it. This can be multiplied tenfold for sensitive types who naturally absorb and respond to subtle environmental shifts and sensory disturbances.

    So, how do we learn to acknowledge and address the noise that can otherwise derail and distract us?

    I explore that question in this episode of The Gentle Rebel Podcast, which follows from last week's exploration of personal sound and the idea of "coming to our senses."


    The Difference Between Noise and Buzz

    Buzz is not a technical term, but it helps us differentiate different types of external stimulation. In the episode, I discuss how noise disturbs the senses, diminishing our capacity to enjoy while buzz enriches the experience, adding to the atmosphere and energy.

    Distinguishing between noise and buzz helps us gauge whether an environment supports our objectives and desires in any given moment.

    We might recognise how the same stimulation can be met differently by people. For example, some find silence distracting and seek sensory input to create a buzz to concentrate, while others lose focus if anything is happening around them. This highlights the subjective nature of these perceptions, which requires understanding and negotiation, especially in shared spaces like open-plan offices and living environments.

    Sources of Noise

    Noise reaches us through our senses, our thinking, and bodily sensations. We can perceive and feel disturbances in many ways and from various sources, some more overt than others.

    Sensory Noise

    Sensory noise is stimulation that directly enters our senses: noisy sounds, tastes, smells, touch, sights etc. Input becomes noisy when our ability to process sensory data or receive information through other senses is impaired.

    Cognitive Noise

    We might not notice how noisy our thoughts are when we are habituated to an overthinking mind. Thoughts might include the voice of the inner critic and the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, one another, and the state of the world.

    Digital Noise

    I wasn't sure where to put mobile technology but it certainly belongs on this list. In fact, we might find it under every item. But rather than being a direct noise source, it tends to act as an amplifier for many other noise sources.

    The phone brings sensory noise through the sights and sounds of relentless news feeds and reels. It can also amplify cognitive noise, triggering internal judgements based on comparisons as we glimpse images, videos, and updates flying past our eyes, not to mention exposure to the relentless flood of real-time information that we wouldn't get in such abundant volume without technology.

    Cultural Noise

    Current events, news stories, and social trends flow into our conscious awareness from outside. They take up capacity for thinking and feeling and become noise when we don't have a creative outlet to process and release them.

    Cultural noise also flows through the values and beliefs we absorb from society and judge ourselves by.

    Somatic/Physical Noise

    We might feel noisiness in our physical beings. It can be experienced as pain, tension, tightness, aches, throbs, tenderness, etc.

    • 40 min
    54 | Coming To Your Senses (How To Find Your “Sound”)

    54 | Coming To Your Senses (How To Find Your “Sound”)

    We can lose connection with our "sound" if we experience over-empathy, people-pleasing, and an "I'm OK if you're OK" filter. This can happen if the nervous system learns to perceive danger and safety by taking responsibility for the well-being and reactions of people (and things) it can't control.

    Our creative spirit gets stifled when these patterns settle into our systems. It gets harder to locate our preferences, opinions, and desires. And choices become filtered through their potential social consequences rather than their intrinsic value and importance to us.

    Creative spirit has three core elements: sound, noise, and voice.

    In this episode of The Gentle Rebel Podcast, we explore the role of sound in each of us and how we can find our way home if we're out of connection.

    What does it mean to have a personal sound? Why does it matter? How does it feel? Where is it? How do we find it? What causes us to lose connection with it?

    As thinking, feeling, and consciously self-aware creatures, creative spirit flows through our very beingness. It is the invitation to shift the trajectory from what would have happened without us into what COULD happen with us. It stems from the faintest aromas and grows through the slightest cracks of light.

    While voice is how we express ourselves in the world, our sound is how we perceive, sense, and notice the world. Sound is the intuitive, creative instincts that precede the interference and noise that clouds it out.

    In this episode, we will consider how to attune to this natural and personal part of our being as humans.

    Coming To Our Senses

    We often talk about someone coming to their senses when they return to sensible compliance and conformity with how they ought to act, think, and approach things. Sometimes, this is necessary, but often, it's a way to keep our sound hidden. It keeps our creative spirit squashed and unable to breathe.

    Truly coming to our senses is about recognising our first perceptions, noticing what we notice, including what we are drawn towards and away from before the noisy filters kick in. Filters like social pressures, expectations, and cultural injunctions leave us doing, chasing, and valuing things that don't matter to us and fearing, avoiding, and hiding from the things that do.

    If This Isn't Nice, I Don't Know What Is

    Kurt Vonnegut's uncle Alex had a saying: "If this isn't nice, I don't know what is." He says, "What Uncle Alex found objectionable about so many human beings is that they would seldom notice when they were happy."

    Happiness is a fleeting encounter with something that catches the sleeve of our attention and brings us into harmony with the moment. The mind isn't caught up in rumination and worry. It is present, aware, and alive. It can't be experienced anywhere or anytime other than here and now.

    We connect with our sound when we pause to say, "If this isn't nice, I don't know what is."

    In her book Anchored, Deb Dana says that "glimmers are all around us, but from a state of protection, they are very hard to find." For many sensitive souls who have developed deep defensive patterns that seek safety by avoiding threats, it can be challenging to notice glimmers. When our nervous systems are stressed, busy, or numb, we are less attuned to the points of connection around us.

    Catching Our Sleeve On Our Sound

    In his book Several Short Sentences About Writing, Verlyn Klinkenborg writes:

    • 33 min
    53 | The Money Changed Everything

    53 | The Money Changed Everything

    Where does your mind go when you read the phrase, "The money changed everything"?

    In this episode of The Gentle Rebel Podcast, I want to share points from our recent Haven discussion when we used this prompt to chat and play.

    Where did the money come from? What difference did it make?

    Before our gathering, I stumbled on an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents called "Reward to Finder". The story is about Carl, who finds some money in a gutter on his way home from work. Instead of returning it to its rightful owner (in exchange for an unspecified reward), as he promised his wife, Anna, he keeps it hidden in his attic. Eventually, Anna discovers that he is counting the money and demands a share. She threatens to go to the police if Carl doesn't comply. As she spends the money, the situation escalates. Ultimately, they both decide to take action. This changes everything.

    It was like poison; it got into our bloodstream.Normal life became something obscene.We couldn’t see straight. I lost you in the haze.Neighbours hear banging through the walls of this doorless maze.A dark cloud hanging like a fur coat.In limbo, awaiting the verdict.

    Words inspired by Reward to Finder

    The story highlights a familiar scenario we may have encountered in various situations. The arrival of money can often trigger possessiveness, control, greed, and envy, causing relationships to crumble. This can happen dramatically, as depicted in the story, or gradually over time. Over time, resentments build up, stories take hold in the characters' minds, beliefs shift, values change, and people stop seeing people. Instead, they see obstacles, hindrances, opportunities, and gold mines. But perhaps, instead of bringing about fundamental changes, money reveals what was already there.

    But The Money Can Make a Positive Difference

    It was interesting to notice how my personal response to the prompt had a negative flavour. This attitude might be called "Why does money always ruin good things?" There are many examples of this. But I wanted to explore how money can positively change everything. That would be the first place people go in response to the prompt.

    An unexpected gift that took the pressure off or saved the day, approval for the loan that got the business off the ground, or the grant that transformed the community.

    What Would You Choose To Do If Money Wasn't an Obstacle?

    What Would You Choose To Do If Money Wasn't an Obstacle? is a classic coaching question. But it's also an interesting one to dissect. The responses seem to vary depending on whether having a vision precedes the availability of funds or vice versa.

    On one hand, we may ask, "What is something you would love to do but can't due to a lack of resources?" Perhaps there is a particular project you would love to undertake, a place you would like to visit, or changes you would like to make. In other words, if you had the money, you would know exactly what to spend it on. For me, it's finishing my album. Incidentally, if you have £5000 lying around (or know someone who does), gimme a shout!

    The other way of reading the question is, "If you suddenly came into a chunk of money, what would you do with it?" It's the "What would you do if you won the lottery?" question. Responses tend to be more vague.

    • 38 min
    52 | Are You Suffering From Boreout?

    52 | Are You Suffering From Boreout?

    Adam Grant explores how our practice can lead to boreout in Hidden Potential. In this episode of The Gentle Rebel Podcast, I dive into this idea and reflect on the role of playfulness in maintaining our motivation with the things that matter most.

    We consider the distinctions between burnout and boreout and delve into the contrast between obsession and passion. I ask how the demands and pace of hustle culture might lead to chronic boredom. We look at why we need not stress about discovering our purpose and passion despite the societal messages we are bombarded with.

    "It is neither work nor play, purpose nor purposelessness that satisfies us. It is the dance between."

    - Bernard de Koven

    Boreout is the emotional deadening you feel when you’re under-stimulated to the point of disconnection. But it might also occur when we are chronically overstimulated and unable to pause between life's ceaseless bombardment of noise.

    Practice and Boreout

    Boreout is a phenomenon that often arises when we lose our sense of purposeful connection and intrinsic joy with the task at hand. When it comes to practice, it can turn into an obsessive slog rather than a meaningful journey towards progress and growth.

    Deliberate play isn't about avoiding work. It's about shifting our mentality and seeing how potential can be reached sustainably by finding ways to playfully engage in practice, learning, and growth.

    "You're not supposed to enjoy it; it's piano practice!"

    We fall into a trap with certain endeavours. We believe that practice ought to feel like a slog. This leads us to stories of forbidden fun. Some things are meant to feel like punishment.

    However, Adam Grant refers to a study conducted on renowned concert pianists, which revealed most of them practised the piano for just an hour a day during their early years, and they weren't raised by controlling and dominating drill sergeants. Their passion ignited, and their parents and teachers gave them the conditions to maintain their motivation and enthusiasm.

    They practised, not because they had to, but because they were interested. They enjoyed working with teachers to explore the craft more; excited, engaged and wanted to learn, improve, and practice.

    When we treat it as something we've just got to repeat and repeat, practice can lead to boreout. It can also extinguish passion and cause us to resent things that used to be exciting and joyful.

    In the episode, I also explore:

    * Harmonious passion vs obsessive passion and which is more useful

    * How my drum teachers used deliberate play to keep me on track with my exams

    * Why a lack of creative coaching led me to quit a football team

    * Similarities between burnout and boreout

    * How it can be more relaxing to create than to do nothing

    * Why overstimulation can leave us bored and disconnected

    * The way algorithms overstimulate our senses with sameness - and how variety and difference are sources of energy and inspiration

    * Collective boreout through cultural drift

    * How uncertainty gives rise to creativity, passion, and play (and the danger of trying to avoid it)

    * And more...

    Over to You

    So, what resonated for you in this episode? Leave a comment below or get in touch via social media ...

    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
30 Ratings

30 Ratings

KingLouie74 ,

Well being oasis

Just found this podcast through episode 319. At a moment when I’m working though isolation as part of nhs. This really hit the spot and I found the episode so relatable. Would recommend for anyone who needs a podcast that comes across a good friend style chat rather than the usual Dr to patient dynamic.

Sylvie, thinking. ,

One of my favourites

When much of the world is just a bit too loud or busy, this podcast carves out a creative space to think and be at peace. Andy’s considered and thought-provoking explorations offer fresh perspectives and helpful nudges, along with the comforting reminder that we’re not weird or alone. :) Super soothing (can I say perfect to fall asleep to?) and I wouldn’t want to be without it.

Akanicola ,

Really good

Listened to the podcast on social hangovers today, and i appreciated how it affirmed an experience I have a lot and am only recently learning how to notice and cope with better. The advice given was thoughtful and kind, and it's the first time I've ever really found advice on this aspect of my life, and the advice itself was based on experience and attended to the complexity of what goes on for you after social situations

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