Originally recorded in mid-January of 2021, we've decided to make this episode our final installment for Paradise Reclaimed Podcast Season 1, for reasons of circumstance and...let's call it editorial convenience. And in that it works quite well, actually, in that it ends the season with unusual spirit and some unexpected twists and turns. These twists and turns may well, we hope, hint at what's to come in Season 2, which we hope to bring to light after a short hiatus.
But more on that later.
For now, take a listen to what starts out as a free Dr. Teri coaching session for Achmad, but then transforms quickly into...well you decide. However you describe what follows, there's inarguably more interplay between Achmad and Dr. Teri than on prior podcasts. There's more of a side-by-side comparison of their views of normative and non-normative states and behaviors.
Responding to Dr. Teri's prompts, Achmad observes, "Knowing myself as well as I feel I do now...entering a new situation, a new context...with a discipline to keep my freak flag furled at the outset, and then to gradually unfurl it over time...the joy comes from realizing that I've reached a point where I can fully wave that doggone freak flag."
Achmad compares the process of transcending human embarrassment to writing poetry, in that both require a certain mastery of existing groundrules, conventions, and grammars to do effectively.
For her part, Dr. Teri sees the stakes and the outcome of getting past human embarrassment in different terms altogether.
"Be who you're going to be, wherever you can, safely," she counsels. "I hear in what you're saying that there's a lot about the objective of being able to wave your freak flag. And I find that true, but there's something different in the way you're approaching that I don't 100% identify with. I identify with a much softer, much more inner-journey acceptance of self-acceptance and self-love, and I get the sense that you have this belonging in the community aspect that's much stronger about showing who you are, and I'm more like, 'no, I'm going to be who I am even if it means not being in the world."
So do yourself a favor and listen to Episode 20: The Embarrassment of Being Human. It's for entertainment purposes, so we hope there's some vaudeville value in if for you. And do take us up on our invitation to send us your responses to the question, "How do YOU wave YOUR freak flag?" Send those to email@example.com.
Now, to our hiatus: given the net-positive developments that Dr. Teri now finds herself penning two books and designing two new web sites, and that Achmad's contributions at work have led to a surge in demand for his involvement across a growing range of projects, we feel the time has come to press pause for a few months while we review what we do well as a podcast series and redefine the way we do that in a way that satisfies all the requisite gods and goddesses.
In the meantime, please be sure to subscribe, bookmark, or favorite Paradise Reclaimed Podcast. That way, you'll be among the first to know when we're back. And we'll have a great big, freaking reunion party.
[Graphic credit: Photograph by Sharon McCutcheon. Used under Creative Commons CC0. Source: Unsplash.com]
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