42 episodes

A show about creating rites of passage for real-life transitions.

On Shame Piñata, you will hear from people who have supported themselves through tough life transitions by embracing community and ceremony. You will also hear from experts in the field of ceremony and ritual.

You should listen if you are going through a tough time and aren’t sure how to move forward, if you’re feeling stuck, or if something significant has happened and no one gets it.

Shame Piñata Colleen G Thomas

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 5.0 • 9 Ratings

A show about creating rites of passage for real-life transitions.

On Shame Piñata, you will hear from people who have supported themselves through tough life transitions by embracing community and ceremony. You will also hear from experts in the field of ceremony and ritual.

You should listen if you are going through a tough time and aren’t sure how to move forward, if you’re feeling stuck, or if something significant has happened and no one gets it.

    Surviving a Recent Loss

    Surviving a Recent Loss

    What do we do when the unthinkable happens and we lose someone we love? How do we create space for our heart, our pain and our love which is now expressed as an overwhelming grief? How do we do that while simultaneously putting one foot in front of the other each day?
     
    Music by Terry Hughes
    Episode image credit Bruce Tang
     
    Notes
    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    Voice: 800-273-8255 or Chat
     
    Be Ceremonial App - App Store & Google Play
     
    Rate This Podcast
     
    Also Check Out:
    The Materials of Ritual (Material Feels Podcast)
    The UnBaby Shower (Tristy Taylor)




    Full Transcript
     
    What do we do when the unthinkable happens and we lose someone we love? How do we create space for our heart, our pain and our love which is now expressed as an overwhelming grief? How do we do that while simultaneously putting one foot in front of the other each day?
     
    This is Shame Piñata. I’m Colleen Thomas. Welcome to Shame Piñata, where we talk about creating rites of passage for real-life transitions. You know how when you go through a really big transition, the world seems different? Like you’re still you but everything around you has changed and the pieces don’t fit together anymore? Well, I’m coming to you from one of those times right now. My mom recently passed away and life is different. 
     
    Today’s show isn’t going to be a regular episode of Shame Piñata because my heart is needing space and time right now. We will bring you a regular episode of Shame Piñata soon, and I'm really excited that we will be speaking with Megan Sheldon, creator of the world's first ceremony creation platform, an app called Seeking Ceremony. It gives you the ritual tools you need to create your own ceremony. Please check it out in the App or Google Play store and join us again next time to hear how it was created. 
     
    MUSIC
     
    So my mom passed away a month ago. We spent a week coordinating and holding the funeral and the burial and dealing with those immediate sorts of things and then I spent two weeks sitting on the porch watching the clouds. I need more time with the clouds, more time with my memories, and more time with the shifting sands of being the only remaining member of my family on the planet. 
     
    But I wanted to reach out to you, to tell you we're still here, and share a little bit about the daily rituals that are helping me make sense of this transition. So consider this an honest reporting from the early days of big personal loss.
     
    Some of the rituals that are helping get by are tending with great care to the emotions that arise, however irrational or unrelated to the loss they might seem. I know that on the journey of losing someone who cared for me at an early age, feelings may come up that are from earlier days, or that don't make sense, or that are from my unconscious mind. So that's number one, being tender, open, and attentive. I suppose that's more of a state of being than a ritual but it informs how I'm living my life and structuring my time right now. 
     
    Another thing that's helping is inviting my community to sit with me for maybe a half hour at a time one on one to let me talk about my mom and the experience of losing her. Basically each conversation revolves around the question: What is today feeling like? This was actually an offshoot of having so many amazing friends come at me the week she died asking, "What can I do?". I was in no fit state to speak with anyone those first few days but I knew their support and presence would be invaluable later on in that oh so quiet period after the funeral is over and everyone else has gone back to their regular life. So one day on a whim, I created a spreadsheet and asked them to sign up for a time to have a phone call over the next few months. This actually turned out to be a really lovely act of self-care. It's given me constant support, taken the pressure off of my husband to be my sole shoulder to cry on,  created space

    • 9 min
    Bonus - The Materials of Ritual (Material Feels Podcast)

    Bonus - The Materials of Ritual (Material Feels Podcast)

    Ritual can help begin things, end things, bridge over from one thing to the next. What differentiates one kind of ceremony from another often comes down to intention. But what are the materials of ritual and how can we use them to design ceremonies to support us in doing "the thing"?


    Links:

    Material Feels Podcast

    CXM Designs


    Shame Piñata Opening & Closing Music by Terry Hughes
    Material Feels Podcast music by Liz de Lise
     
    Rate This Podcast


     
    Full Transcript
     
    Colleen Thomas: I have to contain my natural excitement a bit, so to be quiet and to listen, cause what my job is, is to listen and to hear and to hear between the words and to say, oh, wow. I tell me more about that….a lot of deep listening and just profound respect for their process and gratitude that they would in that they are involving me in their process. Um, cause they’re letting me in, even if I’m not in the ritual, I’m helping them plan it and probably going to check in with them afterward just to sort of get a debrief on how it went.
     
    I feel in the zone the whole time I’m in ritual space, especially if I’m not facilitating or having to be my brain, if I can just be in my body, you know? I feel most empowered when I feel like I’m not doing it alone,when whatever is moving, maybe being witnessed by people, listening to this thing I’m sharing or watching this thing I’m doing, and they’re with me, you know, they’re a hundred percent with me. They’re like linked up with me, like energetically in this space. I feel like I’m like connected to spirit, to ancestors, to, you know, in my case to the goddess or all it is, well, then I feel like I’m, I’m not alone. And that, that is very, very freeing and comforting.
     
    Colleen: My name is Colleen Thomas I’m a ritual artist and an independent audio producer. I am based in the San Francisco bay area. materials that I work with are time and space and elements.
     
    Catherine: How would you define a ritual?
     
    Colleen: It’s intentional space that’s created with one or more people and it is, um, usually has an intention, with a sacred space of some kind created, um, whether that’s or an intentional space, I could say, cause it’s not always the, the word sacred and religion kind of go together.
     
    Like that bridge to juniors thing I had when I was leaving brownies was a ritual. It was very secular ritual, you know, anyway, and it wasn’t, and they didn’t make a big deal and invoke any gods or goddesses or anything obviously. But you know, like it was an intentional space. Like parents came, it was like, there was a program, it was like a, this is the purpose of this gathering. It was a ceremony.
     
    Welcome to Material Feels, where we explore the intimate relationships between people and the materials they have fallen in love with. I’m your host, Catherine Monahon.
     
    Just a heads up this episode is a bit intense: ritual and ceremony is a deep topic. It can bring up heavy emotions, and the kind of work Colleen does asks us to go to a vulnerable place. You might need time to process during or after so I encourage you to press pause, jot down some thoughts, listen with a friend and maybe give yourself some extra time after listening to decompress. Please take care of yourself.
     
    The interview with Colleen was recorded on Ohlone land in Oakland, California, and this episode was produced on the traditional territory of the Kumeyaay. The Kumeyaay’s territory has incredibly diverse geography in the state of California, stretching from the coast to the desert, with valleys and mountains between. The Kumeyaay have intimate knowledge of this topography, their cultural practices in tune with the seasonal changes.
     
    San Diego County has more reservations than any other county in the country. Every time I do a land acknowledgement, I don’t just google “Whose land am I on?” I take time to read and listen to the voices of the people. Indigeno

    • 53 min
    Nothing Can Prepare You for Motherhood

    Nothing Can Prepare You for Motherhood

    Sometimes the cultural limits we grow up with can become our norms. Like the water we swim in, we forget to question them. What happens when we notice them and push back? Today Grace Chon shares her story of what happened when she dedicated a few moments a day to creative expression as a new mom and the photo series that went viral.
     
    Grace Chon
    Creativity School Podcast
    Grace's Photo Series
     
    Shelter in Place Podcast Labs Weekender
     
    Music by Terry Hughes
     
    Rate This Podcast



    Also Check Out:
    S2 E5 The Unbaby Shower (Tristy Taylor)
    S2 E10 Finding Your Own Magic (Erica Sodos)




    Full Transcript
     
    Chon: I'm just really glad that I, you know, didn't buy into the stories of what's possible as a mother, what's possible as a working mother, and that I've really been able to experience that like, you can be all all of you!
     
    Sometimes the cultural limits we grow up with can become our norms. Like the water we swim in, we forget to question them. What happens when we notice them and push back? Today Grace Chon shares her story of what happened when she dedicated a few moments a day to creative expression as a new mom and the photo series that went viral. This is Shame Piñata. I’m Colleen Thomas. 
     
    Welcome to Shame Piñata, where we talk about creating rites of passage for real-life transitions. Several years ago when I was considering starting this podcast, I stumbled upon a show called “Creativity School with Grace Chon”. My husband and I listened regularly on our way to the train station each morning and then I continued to listen as I walked from one foggy bus stop to the next in downtown Oakland. Grace was just starting Creativity School then, and she regularly shared what a scary journey it was for her: putting herself out there, being bold enough to think she had something relevant to say, worrying no one would listen. I could relate to all of that! And yet, she did it and she modeled for me and all her listeners how to just go for it, believe it yourself, and make it happen. But not just simply to “go for it, believe in yourself, and make it happen” - but to really get on a deep level that starting a new project is a hugely vulnerable thing. It takes deep courage and chutzpah and there's a simple reason for that. Our creative projects are actually little bits of our souls. In creating them we are letting a bit of our soul-essence come into a form that can be shared with our world. That sounds completely safe and easy, right?
     
    Grace and I recently sat down to talk through another transition in her life - becoming a mom for the first time. We focused on what that huge transition was like for her, how she took care of herself throughout it, and how she found time to keep expressing her creative self. 
     
    Thomas: So take us to that time in your life, what was what was going on? How did it feel to be there?
     
    Chon: Ah, gosh, it was a really hard time in my life. Nothing can prepare you for motherhood. And I think, in hindsight, it's easy for me to see what was so hard about all of it. Aside from it just being a brand new experience, you're doing something you've never done before, the lack of sleep, the postpartum depression, all of that. But I think what I've realized is also being a type A workaholic overachiever where I prepare myself as much as I can by reading all the things. You can't do that with motherhood at all. Like nothing you read, nothing you try to prepare yourself with can prepare you for this moment and for this experience. And so I was just grappling with a lot, I think, not just physically, like, literally not sleeping, trying to take care of a baby, but emotionally, mentally… All while trying to juggle that with a career too. Because I was, you know, self-employed career as a photographer, and I only did a three month maternity leave and then I just jumped right back into work. And so it was a lot going on and I kind of felt sometimes, like I was lo

    • 22 min
    Coming Out as a Rite of Passage

    Coming Out as a Rite of Passage

    It can take great bravery to come out of the closet, to let the people we know the best know us on that deep, real level - especially if knowing the true us might be hard for them. There isn't a commonly held rite of passage for coming out as queer, but that doesn't mean we can't create one.

    Links:
    The Self-Confident Queer (A Free Guide for Queer Folks To Build Your Self-Worth)
    Queer Spirit Podcast
    Before Stonewall (NPR)

    Music by Terry Hughes

    Rate This Podcast



    Also check out:

    Daily Magic for Peace (NEW!)
    A Queer Pagan Handfasting (Also featuring Nick & Thom)


    Full Transcript
    Venegoni: You know, even though I feel like I was very lucky and very privileged to, when I did come out, like, my family did accept me for the most part compared to other people, but it's still there's... you know, a misunderstanding and a challenge there that it's not really like celebrated.
     
    It can take great bravery to come out of the closet, to let the people we know the best know us on that deep, real level, especially if knowing the true us might be hard for them. There isn't a commonly held rite of passage for coming out as queer, but that doesn't mean we can't create one. 
     
    This is Shame Piñata. I’m Colleen Thomas. Welcome to Shame Piñata, where we talk about creating rites of passage for real-life transitions. Joining me today are returning guests Nick Venegoni and his husband Thom. Nick and Thom joined us way back in season 1, when they gave us a look into their handfasting ceremony, a wonderfully full-bodied ceremony which invited their entire community to weave a love spell together. Check the show notes for a link to that episode if you’d like to know more! Nick and Thom also joined me in an exploration of favorite questions to ask my guests: What is a rite of passage you wish you'd had? As queer folk, we shared the experience of coming out and spent some time thinking through what a coming out ceremony might look like. Nick, who works with the deeper questions around queerness and spirituality as a therapist and coach, led us off.
     
    Venegoni: Yeah, so a ritual passage ceremony I wish I could have had would be something along the lines of a coming out ceremony. You know, I think that for so many queer people that not only is it not honored, but it's something to be ashamed of or to hide. And so I think that there's... there's a big opportunity that is lost there. And that it… not only you lose an opportunity for feeling proud or feeling empowered about who you are and the way you show up in the world, but it can for many people just create a wounding around shame. And that's part of why I, through my therapy practice and my coaching practice, have created, you know, some workshops and processes for people to be able to go back to repair those experiences, to maybe feel more empowered and to carry that power forward into their life.
     
    Thom: Yeah, I would... I mean, my whole thing is I wish that nobody had to come out. 
     
    Thom: That because if all of these forms of sexual expression are just… are natural, which is what we're just in denial of as a society, and as a culture. We don't ask straight people to come out. So I hope we get to a place where nobody has to “come out”. That we somehow learn how to make it as organic a process as supporting the psychosexual development of heterosexuality. And queer people, of course have to go through the process of being enculturated as heterosexual and we have to have like two brains. And it's almost like when we come out, we're sort of saying, "Okay, I'm kind of tired of like being putting on the other brain for you. I now know I need you to put on a different brain for me." Like people don't understand that like, "Well, I have already been struggling and suffering to make you comfortable. So when you say 'I am now uncomfortable', it's like, oh, you have had one moment of discomfort and I have had a lifetime of pain." 
     
    Thom brings up a

    • 18 min
    Bonus Daily Magic for Peace E2

    Bonus Daily Magic for Peace E2

    Announcing Our New Series: Daily Magic for Peace!
    - The first few episodes of Daily Magic for Peace will be released here.
    - To continue receiving episodes to your podplayer, subscribe at the links below!
    - Help us send good energy! Subscribe & share with one friend today!
    ---------------------------
     
    Daily Magic for Peace offers a quick and simple way to focus your intentions, prayers, and actions toward healing the crisis in Ukraine. By gathering one or two items and joining the circle, you will help send positive energy to counterbalance injustice, anger, and fear. Music by Terry Hughes. Find us on your favorite player or at shamepinata.com. 
     
    Ways to Listen:
    - Add Daily Magic for Peace to the end of your news playlist.
    - Listen first thing in the morning to start your day with hope.
    - Listen before sleep to relax.
    - Listen before participating in any activity for which you want to be fully present.
     
    Subscribe:
    - Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/daily-magic-for-peace/id1613640092
    - Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6My8jcSF7g7IURys9nSkHi
    - Overcast: https://overcast.fm/+4JDR_J4Ec
    - Amazon Music: https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/c1dcc878-f686-4ee5-a695-cc54bdc3f8fb
    - Show Website: https://ever-changing.net/daily-magic
     
    If you feel like you've done all you can but still want to do more, join us in doing some Daily Magic for Peace.
     
    _________________
     
    Donation Sites
    - CNN: https://action.publicgood.com/campaign/
    - NPR: https://www.npr.org/2022/02/25/1082992947/ukraine-support-help
     
    Prayer, Chanting & Ritual
    - Russill Paul: https://www.facebook.com/russill.paul
    - Jennifer Berezan's Song for All Beings: https://youtu.be/DzPTHstpJ2I
    - Starhawk's Spell for Justice: https://starhawk.org/a-spell-for-justice/
     
    Stay Informed
    - State of Ukraine (NPR): https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510366/state-of-ukraine
    - NYT The Daily: https://www.nytimes.com/column/the-daily
     
    Make Your Voice Heard
    - President Joe Biden: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
    - US House of Representatives: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
    - US Senators: https://www.senate.gov/senators/senators-contact.htm
    - UK Parliament: https://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-an-mp-or-lord/contact-your-mp/
    - President Emmanuel Macron: https://www.elysee.fr/en/contact/
    - Chancellor Olaf Scholz: https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-en/service/contact

    • 10 min
    Bonus Daily Magic for Peace E1

    Bonus Daily Magic for Peace E1

    Announcing Our New Series: Daily Magic for Peace!
    - The first few episodes of Daily Magic for Peace will be released here.
    - To continue receiving episodes to your podplayer, subscribe at the links below!
    - Help us send good energy! Subscribe & share with one friend today!
    ---------------------------
     
    Daily Magic for Peace offers a quick and simple way to focus your intentions, prayers, and actions toward healing the crisis in Ukraine. By gathering one or two items and joining the circle, you will help send positive energy to counterbalance injustice, anger, and fear. Music by Terry Hughes. Find us on your favorite player or at shamepinata.com. 
     
    Ways to Listen:
    - Add Daily Magic for Peace to the end of your news playlist.
    - Listen first thing in the morning to start your day with hope.
    - Listen before sleep to relax.
    - Listen before participating in any activity for which you want to be fully present.
     
    Subscribe:
    - Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/daily-magic-for-peace/id1613640092
    - Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6My8jcSF7g7IURys9nSkHi
    - Overcast: https://overcast.fm/+4JDR_J4Ec
    - Amazon Music: https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/c1dcc878-f686-4ee5-a695-cc54bdc3f8fb
    - Show Website: https://ever-changing.net/daily-magic
     
    If you feel like you've done all you can but still want to do more, join us in doing some Daily Magic for Peace.
     
    _________________
     
    Donation Sites
    - CNN: https://action.publicgood.com/campaign/
    - NPR: https://www.npr.org/2022/02/25/1082992947/ukraine-support-help
     
    Prayer, Chanting & Ritual
    - Russill Paul: https://www.facebook.com/russill.paul
    - Jennifer Berezan's Song for All Beings: https://youtu.be/DzPTHstpJ2I
    - Starhawk's Spell for Justice: https://starhawk.org/a-spell-for-justice/
     
    Stay Informed
    - State of Ukraine (NPR): https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510366/state-of-ukraine
    - NYT The Daily: https://www.nytimes.com/column/the-daily
     
    Make Your Voice Heard
    - President Joe Biden: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
    - US House of Representatives: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
    - US Senators: https://www.senate.gov/senators/senators-contact.htm
    - UK Parliament: https://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-an-mp-or-lord/contact-your-mp/
    - President Emmanuel Macron: https://www.elysee.fr/en/contact/
    - Chancellor Olaf Scholz: https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-en/service/contact

    • 4 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
9 Ratings

9 Ratings

Julie G. / Prose Poet ,

So much wisdom!

I love the practical ideas and models for honoring everyday transitions and the big stuff, too.

DakMaynerdfriend ,

Colleen, I love this!!

Brilliant, beautiful work! And so helpful. I can’t wait to hear more!

YellowCircles ,

Reinventing Ritual - Excellent podcast!

Ok, I’m a little biased, since this is my wife’s new podcast, but my enthusiasm is genuine! I am so proud that in her inaugural podcast Colleen has created such a professional quality show. The content is original and addresses an area of life that we can forget to make our own. It’s a reminder to bring ourselves into the rites of passage we celebrate, and to deepen their impact in our lives by creating from our soul. My favorite quote from guest Tria Chang in the first episode is: “The complications can be beautiful.”

The production value is top notch in this new show, and the music from Terry Hughes is fantastic!!

Give this show a try if you have a celebration or rite of passage coming up or if you just want to think about how you can honor a transition you are going through.

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