Chronic illness and other health challenges can be a real bummer--but they don't have to be the end of joy and fulfillment. It turns out we can still have epic lives, even when our bodies have plans of their own. Join San Francisco psychotherapist Lauren Selfridge for honest, humorous, and inspiring conversations with people who get what it's like to live with health challenges. Whether you're in the car, on a walk, in the waiting room, or lying in bed, we'll be here to keep you company along the way.
70: The Abundant Living Conference for Therapists, April 8-10
Welcome to a bonus episode of This is Not What I Ordered! I’m so excited to announce a special upcoming event. It’s called the Abundant Living Conference for therapists with chronic illness and health challenges.
We will hear presentations from clinicians Celia Hilson, Amanda Pratt, Andrea Barbour, Becky Robbins, Julie Novas, Michelle Horton, Onyx Fujii, Hayley Quinn, and Emily Whitish. They’ll present topics that range from yoga and self care practices to resilience and preventing burnout. Bonus activities include a therapist social, a healing sound bath, and a special pre-conference tea tasting event. We’ve curated a very soothing weekend for you, and we can’t wait to learn and grow together.
You can register for the Abundant Living Conference at abundantlivingconference.com, or by visiting the podcast website. It’s going to be a lovely weekend, and we hope to see you there.
69: Season Three Finale
Welcome to the Season 3 Finale! In a year filled with COVID-19, a racial justice movement, wildfires, an election, and now the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, this has seemed like so much more than just one year. At this very important moment in time, I am so thankful that we have been able to stay connected through these episodes all along the way.
For today’s finale, we will revisit each episode over the past year, and listen to some key moments from each and my thoughts about them, as well as some updates and messages from many of our guests. I’ll also offer my thanks to all who are involved in producing the podcast, introduce you to some of these talented people, and draw the episode to a close with my ‘State of the Podcast’ address.
This season brought us so many heart-centered moments, and just as many pearls of wisdom from our guests, and I am just delighted to share them once again. Thank you all once more for being a part of this remarkable community – as you will hear repeatedly today, it has come to play a large and valued role in the lives of so many, especially my own.
68: Apart Together with Monica Michelle + Courtney Brame
Podcasting has brought so much to my life, both as someone who loves hearing others’ stories and as someone who wants to learn from the experiences of others. Hearing an array of experiences is what makes This is Not What I Ordered so powerful to me, and to listeners, as well.
Today’s episode touches a bit on how podcasting is a form of therapy — both for the hosts, the guests, and the listeners. It also combines conversations about podcasting, chronic illness, and life in quarantine with two past guests: Monica Michelle and Courtney Brame. This conversation is full of fun banter and deep, powerful conversations.
What I appreciate most about this conversation is that Monica and Courtney don’t shy away from sharing their own experiences during the pandemic, as well as prior to the pandemic. It’s so important to see how we all experience life through the lenses of our chronic conditions, as well as through our human lenses. I hope you find this conversation as refreshing and insightful as I did.
67: Race + What We Don't Say, Pt. 2
Today’s episode marks the second part of my conversation with relational therapist, social justice educator, intuitive narrative coach, and social justice consultant for the podcast, Celia Hilson, which we started in Episode 66. As we find ourselves in the midst of a racial justice movement and a pandemic, this special conversation about race is as enlightening as it is necessary.
We begin this week’s episode by talking about the nutrients of intergenerational legacy, Celia’s experiences with White women, and my understanding of internalized dominance. Celia shares her hopes for the current focus upon race, injustice, and equality, and we explore how the killing of George Floyd reignites so many past traumas. We conclude our conversation by looking at the complex layers of the construction of race, class, and division, the interplay of oppression, defensiveness, privilege and healing, and the concepts of conscious relationship and undefended loving.
World events have rendered this time in history as one ripe for deep analysis of what was once status quo, but can never be so again. In the relational space Celia and I created in this conversation, I am grateful for the openness we were able to share about these profoundly important issues, taking the time to peel back layers of complexity. As you listen in today, I sincerely hope that you will gain greater empathy and understanding, and that you will find the insights shared as valuable and thought provoking as we have.
66: Race + What We Don't Say
This week I'm sitting with Celia Hilson, who's returned to the podcast after joining me on Season 2 (Episode 28). Celia is a relational therapist, social justice educator, and intuitive narrative coach fostering cross-cultural understanding. She helps clients to heal through remembering and reclaiming lost parts of identities.
Celia has joined me over the past few months not only as my friend, but as someone who I recently hired as a social justice consultant for the podcast. As you know, we've been in the midst of a racial justice movement, and in the midst of a pandemic, all that the same time. It's been a really challenging, powerful period for our world. During this time, Celia and I recorded a special conversation talking about race. We created a two-part series of episodes, and this is part one of that conversation.
In this week's episode, Celia and I explore the origins of our relationship as friends and social justice educators, and how our racial identities impact how we relate to one another and to the world. Celia shares about her evolving relationship with ancestral, intergenerational trauma and what liberation looks like. She also shares her perspectives on worthiness and building cross-cultural relationships of trust. I hope you enjoy this conversation as we explore some of the themes that are necessary to address in our cultural evolution towards racial justice.
65: Grieving, Acknowledging + Taking Action
Delightful host with an important topic
Lauren is extremely joyful to listen to and she approaches a tough subject with love and optimism.
This podcast is invaluable and immortal for me. I eagerly await new episodes, re-listen to episodes (always finding comfort and new insights), and I play them on nights when I can’t sleep - for me they are perfect sleep stories.
I always find them to be good medicine for whatever is ailing me.
Comes across a tad narcissistic “inspiration-porn”. Hear my comments...
As a young person with a serious chronic illness (not MS, but I have: severe fibromyalgia, arthritis, crippling chronic fatigue, ME/CFS, chronic migraines, neuropathy, partial paralysis, dizziness, severe muscle, joint, nerve, and bone pain, brain fog, hair loss, vision loss, and memory issues) who is also interested in potentially becoming a therapist to help others as Lauren has, I was excited for this podcast. But after listening to 3 episodes, I felt very disappointed. I’m sure Lauren’s intentions are good, but I think she doesn’t realize how she comes across to someone who is severely debilitated by extreme illness and functional impairment. Her words of wisdom (things about how this is her “destiny”, talking about the blessings, “you can do anything” attitude, “nothing can stop me”, etc) are helpful for those with less severe illness and inspirational to healthy people, BUT... to someone who is bedridden, this comes across as annoying “inspiration-porn”. The worst symptoms she has during a “flare” are brain fog, fatigue, and dizziness - this is a mere FRACTION of what I experience 24/7, unrelenting. I am not mad at her for “having it better”, but what I would like to see from her is to carry herself with a bit more humility and come down to earth a bit. The reality is that many people with chronic illness have far worse symptoms than that, and it isn’t helpful to have a therapist try to make herself into an inspiring story ... I would literally cut off an arm and a leg to be as functionally impaired as she is as opposed to how I am. A bit more recognition of this can help decrease the already present stigma in the field of chronic illness - the stigma where your mom/sister/friend listens to “inspiration porn” like Lauren’s own story and says to you, “See!!! If she can do it you can too!”. I don’t think Lauren realizes how much the way she talks actually perpetuates this stereotype and causes harm. Thanks for reading.