80 episodes

Calming the Chaos is a podcast by Licensed Mental Health Counselor Tracy Kenela, who interviews a variety of professionals around the world in an effort to find different ways to help people (and herself!) find peace in a chaotic world. Each episode contains Information, tips, tools, and resources that come from different schools of thought, and are presented as a fun and entertaining way to help you move toward a more peaceful and enjoyable life.

Calming the Chaos Tracy Kenela

    • Health & Fitness
    • 5.0 • 16 Ratings

Calming the Chaos is a podcast by Licensed Mental Health Counselor Tracy Kenela, who interviews a variety of professionals around the world in an effort to find different ways to help people (and herself!) find peace in a chaotic world. Each episode contains Information, tips, tools, and resources that come from different schools of thought, and are presented as a fun and entertaining way to help you move toward a more peaceful and enjoyable life.

    A Radical Life of Chaos with Elizabeth Mikotowicz

    A Radical Life of Chaos with Elizabeth Mikotowicz

    A Radical Life of Chaos…And Beyond! – Interview with Elizabeth Mikotowicz
    If you would like to hear from someone who has had a radical and chaotic life…from Domestic Violence to drug addiction to becoming a prisoner in federal prison, then join us for a talk with Elizabeth Mikotowicz, who has found a way out radical chaos and found a way into a new life.

    I. Intro – Tell us about yourself and your past chaotic history

    II. What sorts of chaos did you experience?
    • Survival of Domestic Violence
    • Addicted to opioids
    • Seizures
    • Being a single mom and pregnant
    • Turned away from a Domestic Violence Shelter
    • Injury to her windpipe
    • Child Protective Services
    • Getting involved with drug dealers, pimps and thugs
    • Going to federal prison for a non-violent drug charge
    • Another Drug conviction and prison time
    • No double jeopardy for drug charges
    • Health Insurance ( and lack thereof) – so no access to counseling or medication

    III. How did you turn it all around:
    a. Realizing I am in a state of crisis / chaos
    b. Painting murals in prison
    c. Designing clothing
    d. Making and selling artwork
    e. Working for legislation change to provide more resources for vulnerable populations who struggle with domestic violence, addiction and mental illness
    f. Working with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)

    IV. Products and Services you’d like to promote

    a. Upcoming book “No Justice…Just Us”
    b. Adult coloring books
    c. Clothing items
    d. Artwork

    V. Website Tour


    VI. Social Media Links:

    Linked In www.linkedin.com/in/elizabeth-mikotowicz-409773220/

    TikTok https://www.tiktok.com/@epm_art_1111

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/epm_art_1111/



    Christina Randall’s YouTube playlist about life in Prison at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eaIGMRr30w&list=PLiGmHSdJna3cvz4SuF77G_5_udUDYh6OF

    List of State Agencies for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation:


    Take care, and have a great Summer!

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Transcending Weight Bias - Interview with Amelia Meacham

    Transcending Weight Bias - Interview with Amelia Meacham

    Transcending Weight Bias and Treating Eating Disorders using a Health at Every Size Model – Interview with Amelia Meacham
    Did you know that Eating Disorders affect at least 9% of the population worldwide? About 28.8 million Americans, will have an eating disorder in their lifetime. Eating disorders are also among the deadliest mental illnesses, second only to opioid overdose. About 26% of people with eating disorders attempt suicide.

    There are a variety of different ways of treating Eating Disorders. And today, joining me is Amelia Meacham, who is a Senior at The University of Puget Sound in Washington State. Amelia has a Psychology Major and a Religious Studies minor, she’ll be graduating this May with her Bachelor of Arts Degree, and she is also my current practicum student. (Practicum = where Amelia and I create opportunities for her to learn about Eating Disorders and treatment using discussion, session observations, and other creative ways she can learn about individuals who struggle with Eating Disorders).
    And I have learned so much from Amelia! Today, Amelia will be sharing her thesis about how to treat eating disorders better using a “Health at Every Size” (HAES) model. She will also be my first podcast guest to illustrate what I hope to be a new, shorter format that I’ll use with future guests in my next season of Calming the Chaos.
    Intro to Amelia – Tell us about yourself and about your studies
    1. How did you get interested in treating eating disorders?
    2. What is a Weight based model of treatment?
    3. What is a HAES model of treatment? ASDAH has the trademark on HAES, so we’ll use this definition in part from the ASDAH website:
    a. Definition: The Health At Every Size® Principles promote health equity, support ending weight discrimination, and improve access to quality healthcare regardless of size. More info at https://asdah.org/health-at-every-size-haes-approach/
    4. So what is a “Weight Bias?”
    5. What barriers to treatment happen when Doctors, Therapists and Dieticians have weight biases?
    a. Lack of perceived need
    b. Failure of clinicians to diagnose and refer appropriately
    c. Lack of treatment resources
    6. How does a HAES Approach to Eating Disorder Treatment help people transcend these barriers and move toward lasting recovery (vs. relapsing)?
    a. Weight neutral, holistic care …vs. Weight-based care
    b. Weight inclusive framework, including intuitive eating and self-compassion work
    c. Intuitive Eating Information can be found at http://www.intuitiveeating.org/
    d. A non-discriminative type of care that combats the weight-centered approach. The weight-centered approach utilizes the biased BMI measure and discriminates against those in bigger bodies, often intersecting with race, disability, and gender. HAES works to combat this discriminative care.
    Takeaway: Individuals and organizations that align with the HAES movement advocate against weight bias and discrimination in healthcare. This means that not only is HAES is helping individuals with eating disorders, but it is also combating the issues that influence the development of eating disorders.

    ASDAH = Association for Size Diversity and Health at www.asdah.org
    NEDA = National Eating Disorders Association at www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
    FEAST = Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders at www.feast-ed.org
    ANAD = National Association of Anorexia and Associated Disorders at www.anad.org
    IAEDP = International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals at www.iaedp.com

    • 27 min
    Surviving The Chaos of Life - Interview with Charles Smith

    Surviving The Chaos of Life - Interview with Charles Smith

    Surviving Chaos - Interview with Charles Smith
    Are you interested in having a better quality of life, and yet aren’t ready to see a psychotherapist? If so, join us for a talk with Charles Shaw, who has experienced a LOT of chaos in his life! He offers his stories and a series of self-help books / workbooks which are in the “Life Long Experience” Series.
    These books / workbooks help people learn wellness skills: from mental health to safety and security, with topics such as:
    Trauma / PTSD
    Grief and Loss
    Finding Success
    Addiction Recovery
    Positive Thinking
    Survival Skills for Safety at Home, School, and on the Street
    In this podcast, Charles tells some of his stories about chaotic life events relating to these topics. He also provides some tips and tools to those who are struggling with these sorts of chaotic life events He offers hope to all generations, but especially the younger generations who are still trying to figure out life as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Intro – Tell us about yourself and what drove you to write these books
    I. Describe how you were able to overcome obstacles and “flip the chaos,” move past the hard times, survive them and grow stronger
    a. Overcoming obstacles – Breathing and Mindfulness
    b. Freaking out but staying calm (Flipping the chaos?
    c. Moving toward safety in tough times
    d. Surviving PTSD
    e. Growing Stronger
    f. Helping Others
    II. Speak to the younger generations and offer them hope, as many of them are
    a. Discouraged and hopeless (at the state of the world)
    b. Scared about the future (future fears of failure)
    c. Overwhelmed (too much stimuli and social media)
    d. Checked out (avoiding people and school)
    e. Fearful (school and mass shootings)
    Website: https://www.lifelongexperience.net/
    Books in the Life Long Experience Series - Information on all 7 books can be found here: https://www.lifelongexperience.net/self-help-workbooks
    All 7 books are now available as Audiobooks
    Amazon Link to books: https://www.amazon.com/Life-Long-Experience-8-book-series/dp/B08RP3P3X7
    Social Media Links:
    Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/lifelongexperience/
    YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJeX8zym5bBTcperE4pqxPw
    Episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/shorts/UrlphxCtaZY
    Twitter: @author_long
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/charles-smith-29681513/

    • 54 min
    The Dark Voice of Depression

    The Dark Voice of Depression

    The Dark Voice of Depression - Interview with Pastor Michael Scholtes
    Do you struggle with depression, especially during the darker months of the year? And is there some shame that comes with having depression? If so, join us for a talk with Michael Scholtes, who is a Pastor in Pennsylvania who is very open about his struggles with depression, his attempted suicide.
    Michael is an ordained Minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He has served in several congregations in Eastern Pennsylvania. He talks with Tracy at Calming the Chaos Podcast about how he has lived with major depressive disorder for most of his life. Michael also shares how he was able to calm the chaos of a lifelong struggle with depression. He also shares with us his writings, sermons, reflections, poems and his new book that was released in 2022 called “Darkwater: A Pastor’s Memoir of Depression and Faith.”
    I. Intro – Tell us about yourself as a Pastor who struggles with depression (Candid talk about himself and depression)
    II. Michael’s stories of depression
    a. When did you realize you had depression (Intro to the “dark voices”)
    b. The stigma around being depressed, and being a Pastor
    c. What drove you to attempting suicide
    III. How Michael moved through his severe depression and attempted suicide
    IV. Any tips, tools or techniques that can help anyone in our audience who is struggling with depression and / or suicidal thoughts or urges
    a. Embracing the brokenness
    b. Remembering God’s promises
    c. Calming the stigma of depression
    V. Tour of the website / blog at www.thescholtes.com
    VI. Social Media Links:

    Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DarkwaterAuthor
    Twitter: @DarkwaterAuthor

    VII. Products / Services
    • Michael’s Blog: at www.thescholtes.com
    • Michael’s Book “Darkwater: A Pastor’s Memoir of Depression and Faith” at https://thescholtes.com/darkwater-the-book/
    o At Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Darkwater-Pastors-Memoir-Depression-Faith-ebook/dp/B0B3LWW9BR/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
    o At Barnes & Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/darkwater-michael-j-scholtes/1141656286?ean=9781633376014
    o At Target at https://www.target.com/p/darkwater-by-michael-j-scholtes-paperback/-/A-87451855

    • Subscribe to Michael’s Newsletter at https://biblialuna.substack.com/
    • Michael can do Public Speaking. Find out more at https://thescholtes.com/speak/

    • 47 min
    Using Dungeons and Dragons to Calm the Chaos

    Using Dungeons and Dragons to Calm the Chaos

    Dungeons and Dragons – Mental Health Lessons from Playing Online
    In this episode, I have edited our livestream done on 3/31/23 to reflect some Mental Health Lessons we learned from playing Dungeons and Dragons online.
    In this livestream, we will demonstrate how to handle chaos in a Dungeons and Dragons World! Here are our characters:
    Tim - Dungeon Master
    Tracy - Anka, a Tiefling
    Katie - Edgar, a Sorcerer
    Mark - Father Hands, a Cleric
    Scott - Owen, a Wizard
    Scott and Tracy - Thokk - A Half Ork Fighter
    Here are the Mental Health Lessons we learned from Playing Dungeons and Dragons online together
    1. Meeting new friends and congregating with old friends
    2. Noticing, sensing and listening
    3. Assessing obstacles that get in the way of our goals
    4. Brainstorming with your friends
    5. Be Creative
    6. Come up with a plan
    7. Not all plans work
    8. Have courage
    9. Persist
    10. There is always another solution
    11. Deal with Interruptions
    12. Know when to stop, pause and think it over

    Thank you to all of my faithful subscribers…old, and new. We appreciate you!

    #dungeonsanddragons #dungeonsanddragonsonline #gaming

    • 46 min
    Chaos in My Brain | Interview with Steve Wilson

    Chaos in My Brain | Interview with Steve Wilson

    Chaos in My Brain – Living with Bipolar Disorder – Interview with Steve Wilson
    Bipolar Disorder is a mental health condition / mood disorder that is present in an estimated 4.4% of adults in the United States. Steve Wilson is one of those people. He joins Tracy at Calming the Chaos to talk about what it is like to struggle with Bipolar Disorder using stories from his own life. He also talks about the forms of treatment he has experienced, and about his newly released book called “Teetering on a Tightrope: My Bipolar Journey.”
    Intro – Tell us about yourself and about your book
    Teetering on a Tightrope, my bipolar journey, is the story of my lifelong battle for balance. For most of my 73 years I have suffered from bipolar disorder. Descending into the depths of suicidal intentions or rising to the high of watching the births of my children, I have endured a roller coaster ride of epic proportions.
    1. When did you first notice some disturbances in your mood?
    2. How did you get diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder?
    3. In what ways has having Bipolar Disorder affected your major life domains? (such as, physical health, mental / emotional health, social, relationships, vocational / school, legal, etc.) – Some stories here
    a. Physical = medication’s effects on kidney; transplant
    b. Mental / Emotional = Depression and attempted stabbing of Dad, shame
    c. Relationships = Isolation, staying silent
    d. Vocational = Not able to keep a job long term
    4. How did you seek treatment?
    5. Did the treatment work?
    6. Suggestions for anyone listening who has Bipolar Disorder
    Book Links



    Resources for Bipolar Disorder:

    Suicide Prevention Hotline: Call 988

    24 Hour Crisis Line: https://www.crisisconnections.org/24-hour-crisis-line/

    National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) Suicide Prevention: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention

    Lifeline: https://988lifeline.org/chat/

    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
16 Ratings

16 Ratings

Jennifer Moorman Bolanos ,

Fantastic Topic

Loves listening to this episode with Elizabeth. She is inspiring. Love that she is working to change laws and to produce art at the same time.

Merattjm ,

Awesome podcast!

I love listening to this podcast! Tracy has such a pleasant calming voice and she is so enjoyable to listen to. She brings on interesting guests who provide great information. This is a must listen podcast for anyone that has ever felt stress in their life (so everyone)!

Dave composer of Rachel's Song ,

Prescription for peace

I sure enjoyed talking with Tracy about the positive results from listening to my music for those who are experiencing chaos in their life. Tracy and I both have the same objective of spreading peace and tranquility around the world as best we can.

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