118 episodes

In this intimate podcast we explore how attention can be a tool for living a more intentional life. This season, Atheist chaplain and co-creator of Harry Potter and the Sacred Text Vanessa Zoltan guides guests through questions of quitting with empathy and humor. Vanessa has always been a big advocate of quitting – she believes quitting doesn't mean 'giving up,' it means you've tried something and realized that it doesn't work.
The Real Question is produced by Not Sorry Productions, a feminist organization that produces podcasts, educational content, live shows, and immersive experiences with the explicit goal of addressing the spiritual needs of its participants. Through community, rigor, and ritual, we treat traditionally secular things as if they were sacred. To learn more about what we do, visit https://notsorryworks.com/

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The Real Question Not Sorry Productions

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 386 Ratings

In this intimate podcast we explore how attention can be a tool for living a more intentional life. This season, Atheist chaplain and co-creator of Harry Potter and the Sacred Text Vanessa Zoltan guides guests through questions of quitting with empathy and humor. Vanessa has always been a big advocate of quitting – she believes quitting doesn't mean 'giving up,' it means you've tried something and realized that it doesn't work.
The Real Question is produced by Not Sorry Productions, a feminist organization that produces podcasts, educational content, live shows, and immersive experiences with the explicit goal of addressing the spiritual needs of its participants. Through community, rigor, and ritual, we treat traditionally secular things as if they were sacred. To learn more about what we do, visit https://notsorryworks.com/

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Quitting: A Thesis

    Quitting: A Thesis

    Is there something in your life that's making you miserable, but you feel like you need to just put your head down and get through it? Have you considered... just not doing it instead?
    This week, Vanessa starts our new season of The Real Question with a thesis on why we should all be quitting more.
    Next week, you'll hear from our first guest who is considering quitting. And if you'd like to be on the show, you can submit a question here.

    --
    We are so grateful to our supporters on Patreon who make this show possible. If you can, please considering chipping in!

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 17 min
    Should I Quit: My Name?

    Should I Quit: My Name?

    When Eleanor got married, she took her husband’s last name. Now, nineteen years and three kids later, she’s working on a PhD. The PhD feels separate from her family life, something she’s doing just for herself. And so she’s started to wonder: Do I want to get this PhD under my married name? Or would it feel more ‘me’ to get it under my maiden name? 
    This week on Should I Quit? Vanessa and Eleanor explore the power of names and what it means to feel like ‘you’ and be a mother at the same time. 
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    We are so grateful to our supporters on Patreon who make this show possible. If you can, please considering chipping in!

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 24 min
    Should I Quit: Texas?

    Should I Quit: Texas?

    Mae lives in Texas. She grew up there, her whole family is there, there are a lot of things she loves about her life there. But now that she's raising two small kids, she's beginning to think: Is this really the environment I want my kids to grow up in? 
    This week on Should I Quit? Vanessa and Mae explore the questions: What does it means to make a home in a hostile place? And at what point do you leave? 
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    We are so grateful to our supporters on Patreon who make this show possible. If you can, please considering chipping in!

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 27 min
    Should I Quit: My Dad?

    Should I Quit: My Dad?

    Our guest this week has a hard relationship with her dad. After years of hoping it would get better, she’s starting to feel like it might be time to quit. 
    This week on Should I Quit? Vanessa and our guest explore the question: How do you love someone when they continue to hurt you? 
    CW: This episode addresses addiction and includes reference to abuse. 
    --
    We are so grateful to our supporters on Patreon who make this show possible. If you can, please considering chipping in!

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 28 min
    Should I Quit: Watching Youtube?

    Should I Quit: Watching Youtube?

    Casper spends a lot of time scrolling through YouTube videos. He feels like he should have a better evening routine, but the algorithm always pulls him in! Is it time to just go cold turkey? 
    This week on Should I Quit? Vanessa and Casper ter Kuile explore what rest and self care look like in our day to day lives. 
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    We are so grateful to our supporters on Patreon who make this show possible. If you can, please considering chipping in!

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 28 min
    Should I Quit: My Small Business?

    Should I Quit: My Small Business?

    Since the start of the pandemic, Shannon’s confectionary business has really been struggling. Now she’s getting kicked out of her shop space and she's wondering: is it worth it to move somewhere more expensive? Or should she just cut her loses and end the business? 
    This Week on Should I Quit? Vanessa and Shannon explore when to accept failure and when to go all in.
    --
    Please help us support Sweet Lydia’s by contributing to our fundraising campaign! You can send us money through our Venmo, and we’ll get all money to Shannon and keep you updated on the total. We’re hoping to reach $5400 by Christmas! 

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 25 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
386 Ratings

386 Ratings

Kim Casko ,

Thank you

I started listening to this podcast in January 2023 when I was in the midst of trying to decide whether or not to leave my job sooner rather than later. It was a really dark and challenging period, but this podcast was a bright light and beacon of hope. I tried to imagine what Vanessa would ask me and how I would respond. I felt great empathy and got great insights from those who so vulnerably shared their own stories. And then there was the laughter …which I hadn’t realized how much I needed. These decisions are tough and Vanessa has such a gift for not only asking very direct questions in as compassionate a way as possible but also finding ways, when appropriate, to laugh at the situation and especially human behavior. I am sorry it has taken me so long to write this. You don’t know it but you were an instrumental part of helping me to quit something I very much needed to and I am so much better for it now a year later. Thank you, Vanessa and team!

hscarf ,

you guys are great

this podcast (and all that came before it in the not sorry body of work) have helped keep me sane. i felt especially seen with the “quitting my comfortable relationship” episode, because it sums up pretty niftily how trying to date has gotten so unbearably icky, and how hopeless it feels to try and search for partnership while maintaining a modicum of self-worth. anyway. love you guys, keep it up.

LoveChaat ,

Permission to Quit

Listening to the opening episode of, “should I quit?” I actually got emotional, something that doesn’t happen often. I’m at a crossroads moment in my own life, as we all inevitably come to. But it’s more than that. This podcast has resonated at the deepest level for me, and made me at least start to be curious about why my moral compass has always insisted that endurance, perseverance, and commitment for the sake of it were so important. It’s made me wonder why quitting, which is actually a really rational decision, feels like such a referendum on myself. Vanessa’s questions to her guests, her compassion, and her insights have helped me enormously in this journey. The podcast is helping me to give myself permission to quit what no longer serves me. I’m so grateful.

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