200 episodes

The Gentle Rebel Podcast is a podcast for quietly creative misfits, hosted by Andy Mort. It explores how we might slow down and become more aware of what's going on, both in and around us. So that we might live life with more meaning and intention, and without becoming overwhelmed by all the noise, absurdity, and posturing of today's world.



Andy is a songwriter and professional slow coach; and he shares his experiences of a world that won't stop shouting, assuming, and demanding. He asks how we might take better care of ourselves and each other, so that we can nurture the courage required to tune into our creative sensitivity and change the world from the inside out. Are you ready to join the gentle rebel alliance?

The Gentle Rebel Podcast Andy Mort

    • Education
    • 4.8 • 78 Ratings

The Gentle Rebel Podcast is a podcast for quietly creative misfits, hosted by Andy Mort. It explores how we might slow down and become more aware of what's going on, both in and around us. So that we might live life with more meaning and intention, and without becoming overwhelmed by all the noise, absurdity, and posturing of today's world.



Andy is a songwriter and professional slow coach; and he shares his experiences of a world that won't stop shouting, assuming, and demanding. He asks how we might take better care of ourselves and each other, so that we can nurture the courage required to tune into our creative sensitivity and change the world from the inside out. Are you ready to join the gentle rebel alliance?

    336 | Are You Walking in Circles?

    336 | Are You Walking in Circles?

    Walking in circles sometimes has negative connotations. It conjures an image confusion, chaos, and an inability to commit to the right path forwards.



    But what happens when the path IS circular?



    I think this is a really helpful way to think about personal growth. It doesn't happen in straight lines. It always happens in roundabouts, seasons, and loops.



    The 'Circular Hike' is a great teacher. The end goal is to get back to the start. But the enjoyment is results from what happens along the way.



    I went on a long walk with a couple of good friends last weekend, and it inspired me.











    It's a great metaphor of slow living, seasonal shifts, and the deep transformation that occurs over time.

    The End Goal is The Starting Point

    When you embark on a circular walk, your ultimate goal is to get back to where you started. But we all know that is not the purpose of such an activity. The sense of meaning is found en route.



    We can learn a lot from this image, about what injects meaning into life. And how we might accidentally overlook the opportunities for growth and learning, because we are focussed on 'getting to the end'.

    Gentle Rebellion as Counter-Productivity

    What is the point or purpose of going on a long walk?



    Good question.



    None of the reasons we might respond with are quite enough to support it as an efficient or effective use of time. The fact you end up where you started is counter-productive in a most beautiful way.



    The most efficient ways towards health, fresh air, social time, good views, and the pub, are not always the most meaningful, enjoyable, or creative.



    Where else is this true in life?

    The Waypoints Are the Whole Point

    If we want a purposeful journey that we can relax into and enjoy, we need an idea of how to get to where we're going. Which in this case, is back to where we already are.



    A circular hike requires some kind of plan. We need to know where we're going to travel so that we are able to find your way back to the start.



    Waypoints anchor us along the path we have chosen to take. We know we're on the right road because of certain recognisable signs that tell us we are.



    I love this as a metaphor for life's projects, hopes, and dreams. If we're constantly thinking "I wonder if I'm going the right way" and second guessing ourselves, we run the real risk of getting stuck. Halting ourselves and chasing our tail. Unable to ever oscillate in a meaningful way.



    Sometimes we engage with life a bit like this. We are so fixed on the idea of a destination (the end of the rainbow), that we can lose sight of the present. And we fail to identify the simple steps we can take through and past meaningful waypoints on our way back home.



    We think that if we just keep going we will eventually land where we want to be. Yet chances of that happening are incredibly slim.

    There's Always a Way Back

    Over time the anxiety and panic sets in. What am I doing? Where am I? All of this feels so unfamiliar and I don't know which way to go.



    But this is not the end of the matter. If we just stop for a moment, look up, and find ourselves on the map, there is always a way back. And even this will become part of that adventure.



    Because the treasure is found right here, right now. The stories (getting lost), the views (looking up), the perspective (look how far I've come), that leave us fundamentally changed when we finally make it back to "the start".



    Our final panoramic trick shot. Camera changed hands 3 times (like a relay baton). Slightly irritated by middle shadow. Otherwise pleased with the result.

    • 29 min
    335 | Shallow Rivers are Noisy, Deep Lakes are Silent

    335 | Shallow Rivers are Noisy, Deep Lakes are Silent

    Derek Sivers recently reminded me of an old proverb. It says “shallow rivers are noisy. Deep lakes are silent.”



    What does that say to you?



    How does it speak to your own life and experiences of the world?



    In this week's podcast we are diving right into it. We'll have a swim around and see what it can tell us about gentle rebellion and the hyper-sensitivity of an otherwise insensitive world.









    In the Episode I Talk About:



    * What this proverb tells us about different types of people (and how noisy rivers make the world around them noisy)

    * How our physical environment can be a source of shallow, highly-charged, anxious inner tension...and on the flip-side, how it can be a place of slowness, reverence, and rest

    * The impact of noise in the online space, and how it breeds distrust and frustration when it could build trust and connection

    * Why we seem to be attracted to the noisy empty vessels in the world around us

    * How we can begin reframing the concept of sensitivity - moving from height to depth

    * Why we need a clearer distinction between sensory processing sensitivity and the term "high" or "hyper" sensitivity

    * The difference between alertness and awareness (and why it matters)

    * Why we need to let go of the idea that we should "just do something" when facing some kind of crisis

    * How we can use our innate sensitivity to nurture the deep lakes in and around our lives



    Over to You

    What does this proverb say to you? Where are the shallow rivers and deep lakes in your life right now? I'd love to read your thoughts in the comments below, or via email.

    • 27 min
    334 | Am I Growing?

    334 | Am I Growing?

    We are pretty good at beating ourselves up with increasing levels of imagination and creativity. I recently scanned past a message on social media that said, “if you're not grimacing every time you look at old work, then you aren't growing.”



    Although on first glance it didn't catch my attention. In fact it seemed to make sense.



    But later that day I paused and had a double take.



    "Hold on, what!?" I said to myself, thinking back to the quote. So if I'm not grimacing...EVERY TIME I look at my old work, then I'm NOT GROWING.



    Oh.











    It's no wonder so many people experience the modern world under a cloud of inexplicable anxiety and dissatisfaction.



    These kinds of messages aren't intentionally harmful. They don't want us to feel bad about ourselves. They are a symptom of a world that requires us to believe in the bad infinite.



    A world that encourages us to pursue a painful grimacing path. Why? Because we're promised a soothing balm for our discomfort...just a little further.



    And we encounter an ironic (and perfectly natural) contradiction. Growth and wilting are two sides of the same coin.

    Cycles of Becoming

    Our story of becoming is one of growth and degradation, seasons and cycles.



    The grimace seems like a rejection of this truth. A dismissive turn away from our humanness.



    If we grimace at what has been then we will forever be grimacing, while tethered to a carrot of false magical thinking that tells us we will get there if we keep on growing. Even though all we find when we get 'there' is another fragmented window through which to look at our past and grimace.



    All we have is now.



    Our relationship with who we were before we got here, and who being here will take us to become, is a complex web of experimentation, play, pain, growth, and entropy. We’re moving in circles as we oscillate forwards. The inhale and the exhale.



    What if the grimace is a warning sign? The pain of our inner-child expressing itself in the mirror. A whisper from the soul. Pointing to the ways we've become internally fractured, alienated, and disconnected. The cost that comes from sacrificing ourselves to the perpetual empty promise of future satisfaction.

    • 24 min
    333 | Everyday Magic

    333 | Everyday Magic

    This week’s podcast is about the magic we find in the cracks of everyday life. I am joined by Lindsay Celeste who is the voice of the Magic for Realists podcast. She loves drawing metaphors, magic, and meaning from everyday experiences and the world around her. She sees seedlings of potential everywhere, and even the most seemingly mundane object could spark inspiration for something new.



    In our conversation LC and I chat about the liminal nature of our lives so far. We explore the difference between splitting and converging. And how knocking down the dam that keeps different parts of ourselves separate can be the source of creativity and flow. It's where the magic happens.



    We discuss how creative ‘genius’ emerges from the apparent tensions and contradictions at the core of our being. And how unique creativity expands when experiences, passions, and values converge to give rise to something new.









    In The Episode We talk About:



    * Life As a Liminal Estuary - an estuary is a unique ecosystem at the joining of different tributary flows - when we allow our different passions, pursuits, and experiences to flow into one space, there is a chemical reaction

    * How piecing the world of stuff together can give us a sense of reconciliation within ourselves…sorting, relating with, and processing our things is a meditative integrated process

    * The magic of everyday life - the wonder and mystery of the mundane (state of the house, dishes at the kitchen sink) - the impact of ideas on everyday walking, talking, moving, cleaning

    * The difference between the mechanic (systemised efficient order) and the organic forest (wild abundant broadcast)

    * How we might find freedom in slowness

    * How the fallen log is the story of the forest, and as such is part each tree's personal story - by throwing it out and hiding from the reality of death we miss out on a nutrient rich compost that fertilises our onward journey into becoming

    * What it looks like to develop a practice of expressing yourself in the way you need

    * Why the millions of creative ideas that fall from you and don’t come to fruition are not failures but active seeds in the story of true success

    *

    How true creativity leaves us fundamentally changed…it’s a joint venture - at the same time we create, we too are being created



    Links to Articles and Resources Mentioned in the Show



    * Get the Extended Play Private Podcast: https://patreon.com/andymort

    * The Magic for Realists Podcast

    * Alain de Botton (Religion for Atheists)

    * The Return to Serenity Island Course

    * Listen to my music: https://music.andymort.com/



    Connect With Me

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/ap_mort

    Facebook: https://facebook.com/andymort

    Instagram: https://instagram.com/ap_mort

    The Haven: https://the-haven.co

    Watch This Episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/OU8vXaCrjow

    • 1 hr 5 min
    332 | Creativity, Tranquility, and Inspiration (Summer 2021)

    332 | Creativity, Tranquility, and Inspiration (Summer 2021)

    During The Haven year we explore 9 broad pillars of gentle rebellion (change, belonging, serenity, strength, confidence, adventure, creativity, tranquility, and inspiration). The Summer Season is about to start, where we will be looking at those final three themes. And in this episode of the podcast I discuss the angles from which we will explore them this year.



    This year's lens has been 'Letting Go'. In particular the notion that if we want to get a better grip of things, sometimes we need to release them first. We often think we can gain control by holding tighter. But this is rarely true. And it's certainly not true when it comes to allowing more creativity, tranquility, and inspiration to flow through our lives.



    So much of our world is underpinned by a desire for control. We take the self-organising, organic, interconnectedness of being. And turn it into predictable, measurable, mineable systems that can be reproduced with scale and efficiency.



    There is a time and place for this. But when we apply it to everything, we can end up alienating ourselves from ourselves and the world around us.



    Learn more about The Haven here.









    In This Episode I Discuss:



    * The difference between mechanic and organic approaches to creativity. And the dangers with systematising and mechanising every part of our lives.

    * Why nurturing good conditions for creative growth is more rewarding than following systems of productivity.

    * How my definition of creativity can apply to every area of life..."to bring something into the world that wouldn't exist in the way it does without your presence in the process of its becoming"

    * Why there is a difference between the deliverable containers of creative work (books, CDs, prints etc) and the work itself. And how being aware of that difference can set us free.

    * The difference between inside-out (positive) boundaries, and outside-in (negative) boundaries. Why both are necessary, but need not be confused.

    * How our sense of tranquility is established at the doorways in and around our lives.

    * Why 'inspirational stories' are not always what they seem to be.

    * What we actually connect with when we hear inspiring tales of success...we want the green light to fail successfully.

    * The way we've been socially conditioned by stories that drop us off at the beginning, believing it's the end.



    And I play a couple of songs to test drive my new microphone setup. Gravel Heart (Arrow of Time EP) and This Grave (Year 0).

    Connect With Me



    * Twitter: https://twitter.com/ap_mort

    * Facebook: https://facebook.com/andymort

    * Instagram: https://instagram.com/ap_mort

    * The Haven: https://the-haven.co

    * Watch onYouTube: https://youtu.be/ZUqYtZfzrmw

    • 1 hr
    331 | Meditation

    331 | Meditation

    Meditation is a broad word. It describes a set of tools that create conditions for a deeper state of awareness and focus. And as such, it doesn't describe one particular approach or method.



    Every practice has its own unique characteristics and features. Outside of a specific school, there is no right or wrong way to meditate.



    In this episode of the podcast I speak with my friend David Johnson. He practices the Gelug-pa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. And has done for over 30 years. He shares some gentle thoughts about how to start, nurture, and develop a practice (regardless of what tradition you might be drawn towards).

    Practice and Meditation

    There is a temptation to give up or try something else when things get hard. But in any kind of practice, the process IS the goal. It is through repetition that success is seeded, nurtured, and grown. When we are not attached to an outcome, we succeed every time we show up.



    And in the case of meditation, we see it working through a deeper awareness of what's going on within.



    Awareness expands inside the space between stimulus and response. This is where we can watch thoughts, emotions, and reactions rising within us, as we experience life and the world around us. Rather than identifying with those things, we begin instead to choose how (and if) we want to engage with the thoughts, feelings, and urges that spring to mind.









    In The Episode We Talk About:



    * What meditation is (and maybe isn't).

    * Why meditation practice can become overwhelming and confusing. And what we can do when we find ourselves down rabbit holes.

    * The sole (or soul!) concern of meditation.

    * The difference between the use of meditation and mindfulness as a sticking plaster and meditation as a doorway to inside-out transformation.

    * The practice of Tonglen.

    * Why goals around meditation should be broad.

    * How to know if meditation is ‘working’. And why that’s not necessarily a great way to think about it.

    * Why community (being with others) is important when it comes to building meditative practices into your life.



    Over to You

    Do you have a meditation practice? What have been the biggest challenges and joys for you? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments below. Or get in touch directly through email or social media.

    Connect With Me

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/ap_mort

    Facebook: https://facebook.com/andymort

    Instagram: https://instagram.com/ap_mort

    The Haven: https://the-haven.co

    Watch This Episode on YouTube

    Links to Articles and Resources Mentioned in the Show



    * Get the Extended Play Private Podcast: https://patreon.com/andymort

    * Listen to my music: https://music.andymort.com/

    * Nick Danzinger - Danzinger’s Travels: Beyond Forbidden Frontiers

    • 1 hr 11 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
78 Ratings

78 Ratings

Sew13678 ,

Thank you

So glad I found this podcast. It was perfect timing. This podcast feels like a wonderful breath of fresh air.

Kenpg67 ,

Very interesting podcast!

So I just found this podcast but Andy’s style is very slow and relatable. It is definitely needed in a world that says you have to do this and do that. Almost the cross between a philosopher and counselor. Listen to this show if you want to take a break from the noise of this world and take a breath of fresh air.

waybigsky ,

Similar mind on the journey

Andy does an awesome job of putting words to the kind of angst we face in this noisy world, and more than the insights and ideas he offers for getting unstuck - which are excellent - I value the chance to spend an hour walking alongside a friend and fellow traveler on the journey.

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