The Shwell is an audio magazine exploring ancient tools of contemplative practice for modern living.
How might we reach up and back, through time and collective wisdom, to ground ourselves in the present moment and, in turn, the presence of God?
We are by no means experts. We are friends, sister sojourners, pilgrims on the Way who have traveled the path of spiritual formation (such as it is) sometimes gracefully, but more often than not by fits and starts, tripping over ourselves or various and sundry pitfalls, temporal and eternal. We can’t promise we’ll always be profound, but we will be honest, if sometimes painfully and/or hilariously so. We’re goofy and we know it.
Episode 4.1: A Conversation with Carlos Rodriguez of Happy Sonship | About Home (Coming and Going)
The author/pastor/activist Carlos A. Rodriguez, founder of Happy Sonship, is about to move with his wife, Catherine, and their three young children from Raleigh, North Carolina back to his native Puerto Rico to help with the ongoing recovery efforts in the wake of last year's devastating Hurricane Marie. Carlos and Cath, who are both parents of children adopted from Africa, go deep to talk about what "home" really means, what makes a family a family, the idea of homecoming that pervades scripture, food as the preeminent spiritual love language, prodigal children, prodigal parents, and what a rich, terrifying, messy, sacred time of transition this moment is for all of us.
Episode 4.2: On Location at Rainbow Ranch | Leaving Home to Find It
Kell and Cath (and special guest Jonathan Martin) take a field trip to Rainbow Ranch Petting Zoo in rural Nashville, Illiinois. Kell's longtime friends Alan Blumhorst and Marty Stanberry, have operated Rainbow Ranch for 16 years on the family farm Alan's family has owned for more than 150 years. As some of the couple's dozens of exotic and domestic animals—including peacocks, a zebra, camels, alpacas, flocks of sheep and goats, potbellied pigs, a macaw named Max and a blind llama named Lover settle in for the night as sun sets over the farm fields—Alan talks about growing up gay in the heartland, leaving home to come out and coming home to find his true calling, and what it means to make a home your own in this far-reaching, funny, poignant, and surprising group conversation.
Come for the peacocks squawking in a 170-year-old pecan tree. Stay for the profound insights about family, legacy, and a place of one's own.
Episode 4.3: A Conversation with Jonathan Martin | Searching for Home in a Season of Change
Cath and Kell are joined by their friend (and sometimes traveling companion) author/speaker/preacher/pastor/podcaster-extraordinaire Jonathan Martin for a particularly honest (and vulnerable) conversation about what home means when you're in a liminal space. Where is home? How do you find it? Who is home? How do you know? What does home feel like? How do you discern which "home" God is calling you to next in a season of epic change?
At least two of us got a little verklempt more than once, so you might want to have a box of tissues on hand. And don't forget to check out the Resources & Tools section of TheShwell.com for links to pretty much everything we mention.
Episode 4.4: Meta-Tation/Coming Home to the Present Moment
What does it mean to do all things through Christ? Does it just apply to the hard stuff? Or does it mean ALL the stuff?
In this meta-ration Kell explores what it means to come home to the present moment and within that moment find the fruits of the spirit—and, in turn, to be able to do even the smallest things out of the love and patience of a Christ consciousness.
I4 BONUS: Sit With This | A 10-Minute Meditation (Homecoming)
To accompany her Meta-Tation on the theme of homecoming, Kell guides you through a 10-minute mindfulness meditation to help you "come home to the present moment."
The Shwell EXTRA No.2 | Meta-Tation: The Practice of Heresy
In this meta-tation, Kell explores the practice of disruption as it relates to our spiritual development and also our spiritual grounding. How can we engage seemingly "heretical" thinking to move us forward into a reconstructed faith and how can we be intentional about placing ourselves in challenging worship spaces that keep us centered in our faith? Kell discusses a seminal moment in her journey reading M.Scott Peck's A Different Drum and his theory on the Four Stages of Spiritual Development as well her more recent reading of Rohr's Falling Upward. Also, articles from the Harvard Crimson on Harvard taking on Orthodox Christianity and the America Magazine's account of Pope Francis' warning against Gnosticism. All this and the story of Kell's most humiliating moment of her life - on stage, in front of a room packed with 20 year old Evangelicals.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Just. So. Good
I can’t think of a better way to spend my time than listening to an intelligent podcast as I drive or walk or take on the countless tasks of tidying. What a gift to find an honest, entertaining podcast with fresh voices and topics, all from a Mindful perspective. Kelley hooked me with her first interview and the story of her nephew whose Christmas request was a day with her. The way Kelley unravels an ordinary moment into an extraordinary tale made me want to be a better mother, friend, aunt, human being. I also loved the episode on mentoring. Nick Otten is a gem and the candor of the Nick/Kelley relationship shines through in their conversation. I look forward to future episodes. Mostly, I am proud these women are offering their creative energy for a larger cause through the lens of awareness with grace and compassion.
Love the format! Love the content! Keep it coming!
Great insight and interviews!
Loving this podcast! Both the guests and hosts offer just a ton of terrific gems and insights into this beautiful journey called life and everyone can benefit from this as they embark on their own spiritual pilgrimage and navigate their interpersonal relationships especially the one with themselves. Can’t get enough of The Shwell!