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6 minutes | Jun 6, 2022
252: Pause & Plan
Taking a little pause to focus on moving & back end stuff.
38 minutes | May 23, 2022
251: Neurodivergence and Queerness with Leela Sinha
Today’s episode is a recording of our talk with Leela Sinha on the intersection of neurodivergence and gender. This is definitely not an “inside-the-box” topic. You can find the full discussion in the Embracing Intensity community at firstname.lastname@example.org. Show Highlights: The overlap between autism and gender diversity How neurodivergence is defined as a very broad umbrella term for the different ways that people’s brains function Why the definition of queerness has changed over time but is still used as an umbrella term The overlap between queerness and neurodivergence How growing up with a different sense of known reality will cause attitudes and moves of self-protection How deconstruction occurs in society and feels “right” to stigmatized people Why identifying as non-binary or trans has become trendy as people have become more aware of their options for exploration Challenges in the non-binary gender spaces because of bias even in inclusion views How a fully nourishing environment helps neurodivergent kids understand their options and feel safe to express themselves How the progression occurs in media representation for queer representation and non-binary representation How pathologizing neurodivergence or queerness can affect a person’s ability to access resources and care Why accessibility is often not accounted for in the help and support spaces Resources: Connect with our community: email@example.com Connect with Leela Sinha: Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and www.leelasinha.com
43 minutes | May 9, 2022
250: Passive Income and Side Hustles with Sadie Smiley
We all have our “beyond our wildest imagination” dreams that we never realistically hope to achieve. This is not true for today’s guest. She truly is living her dream in a place she never thought possible, and she’s teaching others to reach for the unimaginable also. Join us to learn more! Sadie Smiley created Passive Income Pathways, where she gives expert advice about online businesses and how passive income can help achieve your wildest goals. She pushes people to learn how to make full-time money with part-time work, teaching them to “create, sell, kick ass, and repeat.” Show Highlights: Why Sadie is intensely passionate about helping people make money beyond their wildest dreams The key to Sadie’s success: networking with others with different superpowers as a trade-off for the things she doesn’t love to do How Sadie’s personal brand of intensity in being “too much” means that she submerges herself 100% into whatever she does Why a time audit color code can be a game-changer for entrepreneurs How to charge your “happy price” and feel good about it How Sadie, with ADHD and autism, was a gifted student with good grades who had problems following rules How Sadie helps clients make money, no matter what barriers they have How Sadie learned where she was “masking” herself and learned to feel loved, cared for, and respected through the love of her husband How Sadie’s intensity has felt out of control many times because of her neurodiversity and personality issues, but she has learned to “grow through” the intensity How Sadie uses her fire for good in channeling her intensity into coaching and helping others How Sadie feels safe in her life now and doesn’t worry about doing things wrong “according to the experts” Why showing up consistently for her family, clients, and readers has helped Sadie manifest everything she has achieved How to focus on something small that is within your control when you feel the “shame spiral” Why Sadie loves helping others identify their passions and interests to give them what they need Sadie’s parting advice: “Work hard on showing up authentically and with consistency. Do something every day to move your business forward, and success will be the only option. Picture your wildest, craziest dream–and then work backward from it to show up every day to make it happen.” Resources: Connect with Sadie at www.sadiesmiley.com or here to learn about the Passive Income Pathways membership program. Visit www.embracingintensity.com/community for more information and to learn about future events!
61 minutes | Apr 27, 2022
249: Outside-the-Box: Thinking About Time Management with Emily Roach-Griffin
Today’s episode is a recording from last fall about time management from a neurodivergent perspective. We are joined on the guest call by Emily Roach-Griffin, who is ADHD and gifted, and her insights resonate soundly with many of us. She is a business coach and speaker at BizBFF who loves helping business owners and those with an entrepreneurial spirit to build businesses and lives they love. Join us to hear Emily’s nuggets of wisdom about practical time management strategies! Show Highlights: Journaling prompts about what’s most difficult about time management Why time management should be thought of as “task management” Why we need to unravel and untether ourselves from much of our traditional thinking about productivity and self-worth The importance of a toolbox of strategies, realizing that different tools may be effective on different days: Tools to help with “time blindness” and time awareness, like a timer and to-do list Tools to help with being on time, like an app Tools to help with tasks, like breaking large tasks into “baby tasks” Tools to help prioritize tasks, like containers How Emily has “game-ified” her household tasks to change her perspective Why time management is NOT about getting more done in less time How to use a check-in system with your energy level to determine what is possible Why avoiding certain tasks might be our attempts to conceal our pain Resources: Connect with Emily: Biz BFF and Facebook Why Bother: Discover the Desire for What’s Next by Jennifer Louden Visit www.community.embracingintensity.com to find the library of all EI guest calls and to RSVP to future events!
48 minutes | Apr 11, 2022
248: Tap into Your Intuition with Cam Werley-Gonzales
Today’s show carries a timely message for those of us who returned to work or school after the anxiety-ridden shutdown of the pandemic. As we try to move forward, many of us still face anxiety and burnout. My guest’s message of tapping into your intuition and doing things outside the box is relevant to almost everyone. Join us to learn more! Cam Werley-Gonzales is an intuitive, living visionary, gifted embodiment expert, and intuitive unschooling catalyst. She is the owner of the Cambria Institute, a company that celebrates learning and living fully outside the proverbial education “box.” With over 25 years as an expert educator, it is Cam’s deepest conviction that while learners can engage with some success in typical schools, they are optimally served by alternate learning pathways, most notably “unschooling.” The Cambria Institute supports gifted families to embody their giftedness in all areas of life. The truth is that we get to learn, friend, work, love, parent, hobby, and enjoy all the things that come along with this intense and massively phenomenal gifted life with ease and alignment, uniquely in our own way. Show Highlights: Why Cam is intensely passionate about unschooling and her family’s unconventional life of travel and location independence as digital nomads How Cam opened an alternative-style brick and mortar school in Pasadena in 2019–right before the pandemic chaos began Why the Cambria Curated Community (CCC) was formed as a community of unschooling families How Cam’s personal brand of intensity means big feelings and big emotions–all the time How Cam’s intensity affected her in childhood with the need to hide her true self and be a people-pleaser in her family How Cam learned “to play the school game” really well as a kid but was traumatized, in part because of Pragmatic Language Impairment Differences in Pragmatic Language Impairment (PLI) and autism How Cam noticed communication differences the most in relationship with her spouse, who comes from a different cultural background How Cam learned to tone down and tune herself out in her professional career as a teacher and just follow what she was told to do How Cam’s intensity got out of control when she was homeschooling her oldest son How Cam uses her fire for good to help families learn unschooling and live intuitively How unschooling is defined: “Trusting that each person will intuitively be drawn to learn all the things they need to learn in their lifetime to tap into who they are as individuals so that their learning caters directly to them. The focus is on self-direction in learning.” How our intuition relates to our authenticity as a unique person and promotes emotional intelligence How Cam harnesses the power of her intensity by tuning into her happiness and joy with her life, family, and work Why Cam adopted the personal habit of giving herself the gift of “slow mornings” How Cam helps others use their own fire by teaching people to tap into their true intuition and authenticity
29 minutes | Mar 28, 2022
247: Drama vs. Passion with Alexandra Loves
Today’s episode is the Embracing Intensity Community Call with guest speaker Alexandra Loves. The topic is Drama vs. Passion, which is highly relevant to intense people. I’m excited to share this with you! You can find the full discussion at www.community.embracingintensity.com. As I’m working hard to finish out this school year, I am busy behind the scenes with some great projects planned for this coming summer and fall, and I’ll be sharing more about those later. Enjoy the call with Alexandra! Show Highlights: How Alexandra defines the concept of drama vs. passion: “Passion is an intense desire or emotion sourced from within from a loving place. Drama is a chaotic, ungrounded emotional desire that comes from a place of fear and is sourced from ‘out there’.” A personal example of a conversation Alexandra had recently with someone about their passion–but it felt manipulative What it feels like when someone says, “You are being dramatic.” How Alexandra has learned to look for clarity and mutual trust in relationships Why your passions are worth protecting with high standards and boundaries How to deal with intense emotions and discern between drama and passion Resources: Connect with Alexandra and claim a free download, Unstuck: Remedy for Internal Toxicity: www.alexandraloves.com. Find her Woke Wisdom Podcast. Join our community: www.community.embracingintensity.com
25 minutes | Mar 14, 2022
246: Rising Up Against Imposter Syndrome with Kate Arms
Imposter syndrome is something that most people have felt at some point or another. Intense people may feel this in magnified ways, as the world tells them they are not welcome as they are. Join us on this guest call to learn more! Kate Arms is a return guest to the show, and I’m thrilled to welcome her back for this guest call. Kate is a classic overthinker, high achiever, and multipotentiality who exudes intensity. Her career has spanned being a lawyer, arts administrator, coach for gifted and twice-exceptional adults and parents of gifted and twice-exceptional kids, and an Agile Coach in a high-tech company. She is the author of several books and has experience in coaching, leadership development, and psychology. Kate is here to help us understand imposter syndrome and how to reduce our suffering within it by building more connections. Show Highlights: Kate defines imposter syndrome as “a group of symptoms clustered together to make us feel like we don’t belong” How symptoms can include anxiety, hypervigilance self-consciousness, self-sabotage, perfectionism, and a sense of hiding who you really are How these symptoms pair with suffering to make us feel awful and ashamed How symptom relief and root-cause relief work together Why imposter syndrome boils down to belonging, connection, and a feeling of, “They won’t want me if they know who I really am.” How we are programmed (especially intense people) to think we are not welcome as we are because of childhood shaming, being told to “tone down,” and being too much or too sensitive How the “mismatch” occurs and how to address it How the process of learning happens when we start out blissfully ignorant The difference between identity and character vs. skills and experiences Why we must to learn to be comfortable in being ourselves–even if it makes others uncomfortable Why it’s hard to risk having the courage to overwhelm others with who we really are How we can build our sense of belonging through building our community How feeling connection with at least three people in your group will foster your feeling of belonging Resources: Hear the follow-up conversation with Kate: Community.embracingintensity.com
40 minutes | Feb 28, 2022
245: Educating Gifted Students and Their Families with Barry Gelston
Today’s show focuses on the twice-exceptional experience. As with so many people in this line of work, my guest looks to provide for students and families the help and support that he needed–and didn’t have as he grew up. Join us to learn more! Barry Gelston is the president of GHF, Gifted Home Education Forum. They do amazing work with gifted and twice-exceptional families. Barry is an educator through “Mr. Gelston’s One Room Schoolhouse,” an online homeschool program focused on providing individualized educational services for gifted and 2E learners. In this episode, we enjoyed discussing how being 2E ourselves led us to the work of helping and supporting 2E families. Show Highlights: Why Barry is intensely passionate about making a difference by being a positive activist who loves his family and tries hard to be a good person in the world How Barry’s personal brand of intensity shows up with constant focus and rumination about one topic at a time and being aware of sensory overload How Barry grew up totally dysregulated as an underachiever with social and emotional issues from being in a divorced family How Barry approached his problems with his attempt at executive functioning skills to become a good student and make more of his life What Barry would say to the adults in his life “back then” Why Barry’s work today revolves around what he needed as a 2E child How Barry learned to overcome his reading struggles and dyslexia to become a voracious reader Why wonderful things are happening in strengths-based approaches with 2E students How Barry’s cultural identity formed largely around growing up in a Jewish family in Queens Why Barry always felt like he had to tone himself down or tune himself out as he grew up and learned the art of conversation How Barry’s intensity felt out of control in early adulthood because of social pressures How Barry uses his fire for good through teaching and his work, trying to fix for others what he wishes would have been fixed for him How mindfulness, meditation, self-centering, and 2E awareness have helped Barry harness the power of his intensity How creating systems and structures has helped with executive functioning for Barry–and how he uses it to help students How Barry helps others use their own fire through connecting and learning from each other Resources: Connect with Barry: GHF Learners and Mr. Gelston's One Room Schoolhouse
48 minutes | Feb 14, 2022
244: Giftedness, Twice-Exceptionality, Autism and ADD within the Overexcitability Framework
Today’s show looks at the differences and overlap of giftedness, twice-exceptionality, autism, and ADHD within the overexcitability framework. Join us to learn more! Chris Wells is a writer, therapist, and researcher on all things Dabrowski. She has a nuanced take on the concept of overexcitability, a topic on which she has focused much time, energy, and study. Chris is our first three-time guest on the podcast, having appeared most recently to discuss positive disintegration. Let’s hear more from Chris! In this episode: How Chris came to overexcitability in 2014 on her quest to learn more about twice-exceptionality How Chris was identified as gifted as a kid but felt more disabled and mentally ill How Chris felt broken and emotionally intense by the time she was 40 How overexcitability turned around her perceptions of herself as problematic and defective How Chris became hyperfocused on understanding overexcitability How Chris found Dabrowski’s early work, which identified four types of overexcitability: psychomotor, imaginational, sensual, and emotional How the gifted education world has finally accepted overexcitability as a characteristic of giftedness Why overexcitability is an umbrella term that brings together all the elements of neurodivergence Why Chris says autism and ADHD are “clearly neuro-cousins” Why there are so many misunderstandings about overexcitability in gifted education How overexcitability brings a whole different reality to those who have it How Chris’s imagination would take her to another place and another reality when she was growing up–and overexcitability gave her the answers for it The problem in learning to live with overexcitability Why giftedness is a meaningful difference, even in adults How we can best support those with overexcitability in light of the knowledge we now have and the labels we use Why we struggle as a whole to figure out the right language to use Resources: Check out our calendar of upcoming events: www.embracingintensity.com/community
43 minutes | Jan 24, 2022
243: A Difference-Maker in the World of Neurodivergence
Today’s show introduces you to a difference-maker in the world of neurodivergence. Her collective endeavors to advocate for kids, parents, and families are truly making a difference. Join us to learn more! Debbie Reber is an author, speaker, and parenting activist. In 2016, she founded Tilt Parenting, a website, top podcast, and online community aimed at helping parents raise differently wired kids from a place of confidence, connection, and joy. Debbie’s most recent book is Differently Wired: A Parent's Guide to Raising an Atypical Child with Confidence and Hope. In this episode: Get to know Debbie, who lives in Brooklyn with her husband and 17-year-old neurodivergent child; they lived in the Netherlands for several years prior to moving back to the US Why Debbie is intensely passionate about learning, being curious about everything, writing, helping kids and families, and running How Debbie’s personal brand of intensity comes through in her inability to stop doing things and not being able to stop or rest How Debbie grew up as a misunderstood child and class clown who channeled her energy into sports because it was the one area in which she was competent How Debbie, as a high school student, worked just hard enough to get by and didn’t care about applying herself How cultural factors affected Debbie: her family didn’t prioritize academics and didn’t teach her to value herself; there were strict religious rules that she wasn’t allowed to question How Debbie’s best friend’s family w ere the ones who introduced her to museums, travel, and a world outside her small Pennsylvania town How Debbie learned to tone herself down during her college years because she wanted to be perceived in a certain way to achieve her “means to an end” Why Debbie felt close to burnout during COVID and learned to prioritize what’s really important to her How she has learned to enjoy her life more and not work so much How Debbie uses her fire and drive to help people and make a difference How making things sparks her and fulfills her How Debbie has learned to be really organized from her beginning with poor executive functioning skills and is constantly hacking her own systems and processes Why Debbie’s discipline around exercise and fitness is the key to mental and emotional health for her How Debbie helps others use their fire by helping them create the lives they want Why Debbie began Tilt Parenting almost six years ago because there were so few resources for parents of neurodivergent kids How more and more adults talking about their neurodivergence is helping to “fuel the movement Connect with Debbie: www.tiltparenting.com Visit this site for Debbie’s podcast, multiple resources, and more www.debbiereber.co Find Debbie on Facebook and Instagram. Books by Debbie mentioned in this episode: Differently Wired: A Parent’s Guide to Raising an Atypical Child with Confidence and Hope Doable: The Girls’ Guide to Accomplishing Just About Anything Run for Your Life: A Book for Beginning Women Runners
14 minutes | Jan 10, 2022
242: My Most Downloaded Shows of 2021
Welcome to 2022! In today’s solo episode, I’m reviewing some of our most downloaded episodes from 2021 and sharing our upcoming guest speaker series and topics already scheduled for this year. It’s going to be a great year, so come along for the ride with me! Show Highlights: The countdown of our top ten most downloaded episodes from 2021: #10: Ep. 231 Intuitive Flow with Kari Betton Our July Guest Call was on Intuitive Flow and Creativity. Kari is a coach and mentor for highly sensitive and twice-exceptional people, and she has a passion for helping them find their innate sense of intuitive flow. #9: Ep. 239 Perspectives in Giftedness with Gail Post Being gifted can complicate many situations in life. It is wonderful to know that empathetic and supportive professionals are dedicating their lives to advocacy for these individuals. Learn more with psychotherapist Gail Post. #8: Ep. 229 Thinking Patterns I have seen a lot of posts about the overlap and similarities between ADHD and Autism, and it got me thinking about some observations I’d made both personally and professionally testing neurodivergent kids over the years. I also asked for feedback from neurodivergent people on social media about the patterns they related to most. #7: Ep. 235 Playing with Your Inner Critic with Jeff Harry This show allows you to listen to our recent group call with Jeff Harry of Rediscover Your Play. Jeff provides tips, insights, and interactive exercises to learn more about “Playing With Your Inner Critic.” Find the full discussion in the Embracing Intensity Community. #6: Ep. 202 Chipping Away at Societal Conditioning with Julia R. Wild This show focuses on highly sensitive people. My guest loves helping HSPs uncover the layers of conditioning put on them by society and bloom in their uniqueness. Julia R. Wild is a bestselling author, spiritual teacher, and trauma educator with a Master’s degree in psychology. She is also a writing, creativity, and life coach. #5: Ep. 207 “But I’m Not Really THAT Smart” I’ve heard a lot more comments lately along the lines of, “I relate to your work, but I’m not really gifted.” In this episode, I discuss why gifted folks might not recognize their own gifts, along with some resources to explore if you suspect that you might be gifted. #4: Ep. 236 Gifted and 2E Assessment This solo episode is about a topic that I’ve thought about for a long time, so I’m happy to bring it to you. We will discuss getting an assessment as a gifted or twice-exceptional adult, so I hope you find my thoughts and tips helpful. #3: Ep. 208 Coaching and Mentoring Neurodivergent Adults with Dr. Kimberly Douglass I found this guest in the most unusual place: TikTok! I first noticed her work with gifted and twice-exceptional people, and I knew I had to have her on the show. Dr. Kimberly Douglass is president and CEO of Remote Learning Solutions. #2: Ep. 226 Asynchronous Development in Gifted Adults with Tiff Choumm Our June Guest Call was on Asynchronous Development in Gifted Adults. Asynchronous development is a hallmark of the gifted experience, when we may have developed far ahead of our peers in some areas and have fallen behind in others. This can continue into adulthood, especially for those who are also twice-exceptional, and it can impact many aspects of our life experiences. Find the full discussion in the Embracing Intensity Community. #1: Ep. 205 Twice Exceptionality–When Giftedness Meets ADHD Last year, I participated in an event called Camp ADHD, where folks around the world shared talks and discussion on topics related to ADHD. I spoke about twice-exceptionality, specifically as it relates to ADHD, and the topic seemed to resonate with many, so I decided to share my talk on twice-exceptionality on the podcast as well. I’m super excited to announce our 2022 guest speakers and general topics! (Specific details are subject to change.) You can find the schedule listed in the events calendar on the Embracing Intensity Community, and it will soon be on the 2E Connection and Embracing Intensity website calendars! January 22–Leela Sinha, from Ep. 7: The Intersection of Queerness and Neurodivergence February 19–Alexandra Loves, from Ep. 67: Passion vs. Drama March 19–Boontarika Sripom, from Ep. 177: Play April 16–Cosette “CoCo” Leary, from Ep. 181: Building Confidence and Resilience May 21–Aileen Kelleher, from Ep. 241: Perfectionism June 18–Mara McLoughlin, from Ep. 230: Neurodivergent Social Connection August 20–Dr. Kimberly Douglass, from Ep. 208: Navigating Systems as a Neurodivergent September 17–Dr. Matt Zakreski, from Ep. 240: Self-Advocacy October 15–Nadja Careghetti, from Ep. 198: Tidying Up Your Brain (Marie Kondo-Style) November 19–Julia Wild, from Ep. 202: How to Heal Resources: Find more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
39 minutes | Jan 10, 2022
241: Making Room for the Voices of Others with Aileen Kelleher
Today’s guest has wonderful Instagram posts, many of them covering her work with twice-exceptional adults. I’m a fan of hers, and she’s a fan of the podcast, so it’s exciting to introduce her to the Embracing Intensity audience! Aileen Kelleher is a licensed clinical social worker, therapist, and coach. Her therapy practice in Chicago specializes in helping gifted and twice-exceptional children build social-emotional skills, self-compassion, and confidence to recover from anxiety, depression, and other mental health difficulties. Her international coaching practice focuses on helping gifted and 2E women harness their talents to help them find fulfillment and fun in their personal, professional, and social lives. Show Highlights: Why Aileen is intensely passionate about working with 2E people and sharing tools and resources How Aileen’s personal brand of intensity manifests in her passion and her ability to embrace conflict and argumentative engagement; she appears intimidating to others and feels emotions deeply Growing up, Aileen experienced bullying from her peers that put her “on guard” with anxiety and fear where there was the capacity for negative emotions; she also had an early sense of social justice How Aileen identifies now as a 2E person who has anxiety, depression, and some ADHD characteristics In school, Aileen was a student who was eager to please her teachers and experienced solid support from her mother; she struggled to fit in and be accepted with peers How, as she grew older, she began challenging authority, rebelling, and calling out injustice How being from a large, Irish Catholic family trained her to use direct bluntness that not everyone accepts How Aileen learned to tone herself down and tune herself out by escaping in reading books and watching TV; in later life, she numbed herself through substance abuse to “check out” from reality How Aileen experienced her out-of-control intensity through raging at people as a young person and now uses writing, exercise, and art as ways to maintain control How Aileen has learned not to be “the biggest voice” in the room but to lift up and make room for the voices of others in community and collaboration How Aileen uses her fire for good by being helpful and learning all that she can about what she feels passionate about; she has also learned to admit her mistakes and keep going How Aileen helps other 2E adults find meaning, joy, and purpose in their lives How relationships with family and friends have helped Aileen learn to reach out for help and trust herself Why Aileen likes helping others define and find their personal values How ACT (acceptance and commitment therapy) helps gifted kids figure out what they care about beyond simply proving how smart they are Parting words from Aileen: “You are OK just the way you are, even if you feel like you don’t belong in a certain situation. That doesn’t mean that there is something fundamentally wrong with you, and it’s OK to ask for help if you need it. Gifted and 2E can have full and satisfied lives, and the fact that we are different shouldn’t stop us from pursuing what we want--and what everyone else gets to have.” Resources: Find Aileen on Instagram or at www.coaching4gifted.com. Her work with kids is at www.aileenkelleher.com.
35 minutes | Dec 22, 2021
[Rerun] Twice Exceptional Relationships w/ Dr. Melanie Hayes
Continuing our top 2019 reruns. This has been one of our top episodes from it’s very start! 2019 was our first year of guest speakers, and we took a break for 2020 but had a great run in 2021. I’m super excited about our upcoming 2022 series especially because all of my top choices got back to me right away and agreed to speak. I’m still waiting on a few scheduling clarifications, but I’m pleased to announce that Jan. 22 we will have Leela Sinha, author of “You’re Not Too Much” talk about the Intersection of Queerness and Neurodivergence, and Feb 19th we’ll have Alexandra Loves talk about Passion vs. Drama! Get on our mailing list for updates and log in information at www.embracingintensity.com. You can support the continued growth of these free calls by joining our community at community.embracingintensity.com or supporting Embracing Intensity on Patreon! Navigating relationships successfully can be one of the most challenging things we ever do. The intensity and outside-the-box nature of twice-exceptionality (gifted plus disability), adds in a whole new layer of challenge. In this episode, Dr. Melanie Hayes shares both the joys and the hurdles of twice exceptional relationships. In this episode: Common issues in all relationships. Additional challenges for twice-exceptional people. Meeting our unmet needs in relationships. A recipe for twice-exceptional people to connect with who they really are and have fulfilling lives. Links: Embracing Intensity Community Support Embracing Intensity on Patreon
16 minutes | Dec 13, 2021
[Rerun] Gifted AND ADHD?
Continuing our top 2019 reruns. One of my most popular topics is twice exceptionality, especially as it relates to ADHD. This is what prompted my work in sharing stories of twice exceptionality on YouTube and my upcoming 2E Comics. I’ll be launching a Kickstarter in the new year to help fund support with illustration so I can make it happen with my limited time! Coincidentally, this episode features input from Brendan Mahan of ADHD Essentials, and he just shared his most recent episode with me on twice exceptionality this week! Go listen to “Giftedness is Not Achievement w/ Aurora Remember Holtzman on ADHD Essentials! I've been asked a lot about twice-exceptionality recently and especially on how to identify ADHD when giftedness is also involved. In this episode: Characteristics observed in people who are both gifted and ADHD. Characteristics that may be common with giftedness, but are even more extreme when ADHD is thrown in. Assessment patterns I've observed with kids with ADHD. Links: Embracing Intensity Community Brendan Mahan's ADHD Essentials
45 minutes | Dec 6, 2021
[Rerun] On Positive Disintegration w/ Chris Wells
Continuing the tradition of reruns for the month of December, and this month I'll be sharing some of my top episodes from 2019. The top guest episode was on Positive Disintegration w/ Chris Wells, and she has a new podcast on the topic that just came out recently! You can find the discussion recording and her latest talk on Overexitabilities in the Embracing Intensity Community. Kazmiers Dabrowski was an early proponent of what we now call the neurodiversity movement. He asserted that what was viewed as "neuroses" were not an illness, but in fact a sign of high developmental potential! His theory of Positive Disintegration views the importance of falling apart, or disintegrating, before integrating into a higher whole. This week, Chris Wells, Director of Qualitative Research at the Gifted Development Center, dives deeper into Dabrowski's life, what led to his theory and how it applies to us in the current day. In this episode: How Dabrowski's theory relates to the current neurodiversity movement. How his own life experiences and trauma impacted his theory. The importance of values. The three factors of developmental potential. How dynamisms, or the forces that drive our actions, serve as a catalyst to higher development. Links: Chris' New Podcast on Positive Disintegration! Finding Treasure In Ruins Blog Post Embracing Intensity Community Gifted Development Center
41 minutes | Nov 8, 2021
240: A Grown-Up Gifted Kid Helping People Through Therapy and Training with Dr. Matt Zakreski
I first met today’s guest when he enthusiastically shared some of my animated shorts on 2E experiences. We have followed each other, and I’m a big fan of his advocacy work. Join us to learn more! Dr. Matt Zakreski is a psychologist who works with gifted and twice-exceptional folks. We have connected over social media, and I’m excited to talk to him today and introduce him to the Embracing Intensity audience. Show Highlights: How Matt is intensely passionate about his experience as a “grown-up gifted kid,” helping people through therapy and training, ultimate Frisbee, craft beer, Bruce Springsteen, and comic books Why Matt’s personal brand of intensity means that he wants things to be “this way,” and has a tough time when they aren’t; he wants to know expectations ahead of time How Matt learned to embrace his giftedness later in his school years and had to find his people in the arts Why Matt speaks the language of caring and wants to be around people who care about something How even with ADHD and giftedness, Matt appreciates authenticity in himself and others In his school experience, Matt realized how to “flex” his gifts in language arts but struggled in STEM classes How Matt advises families to learn from his mistakes to “work smart, not hard” How Matt felt responsibility and a lot of expectations as the oldest child in his family How Matt felt the divide in high school between living in the sports world as an athlete and the arts world How Matt tried to tone himself down and embrace his leadership style of being second in command How Matt felt his intensity out of control significantly when he was bullied in 8th grade How Matt uses his fire for good by helping kids learn to lift others up instead of tearing others down Why getting in touch with his emotional world and being vulnerable have helped Matt harness the power of his intensity Personal habits that have helped Matt use his fire positively are taking time daily for long walks, podcasts, and music How Matt helps others use their fire by helping them be their best selves Why it’s energizing to make time for yourself Parting words from Matt: “If you are too much for some people, then those are not your people. Do something for you, and do your version of it. Have the confidence to put your own spin on what self-care looks like for you. We have to value putting ourselves in inspiring and charging situations instead of draining ones. You are worth putting yourself first.” Resources: www.drmattzakreski.com Find Matt on Facebook.
46 minutes | Oct 25, 2021
239: Perspectives in Giftedness with Gail Post
If you or someone you love is a gifted person, you understand that it can complicate many situations in life. It’s wonderful to know that empathetic and supportive professionals are dedicating their lives to advocacy for these individuals. Join me to learn more about one such psychotherapist in today’s episode! Gail Post is a clinical psychologist, parenting coach, workshop leader, and writer. In clinical practice for over 35 years, she provides psychotherapy in the Philadelphia area with a focus on the needs of the intellectually and musically gifted. Gail does consultations with educators and psychotherapists and parent coaching throughout the US and Canada. Dr. Post served as a co-chair of a gifted parents’ advocacy group when her children were in school, and she continues to advocate through workshops in schools and parenting groups. Her writing related to giftedness includes online articles, several books, chapters, plans for an upcoming book, and a long-standing blog, Gifted Challenges. Gail is just one of the popular gifted writers whose work is included in the book, Perspectives on Giftedness: Sound Advice from Parents and Professionals by GHF Press. Show Highlights: Why Gail is intensely passionate about working with gifted and twice-exceptional teens and adults, advocacy, parenting issues, nature, art, music, and trying to make a difference How psychotherapists help clients with mirroring and attunement to create encouragement for the changes people need to make Why it’s difficult to find psychotherapists who specialize in giftedness Why Gail’s personal brand of intensity looks like overthinking and being passionate about her work and values How Gail grew up feeling things intensely and feeling out of sync with others as she tried to fit in How Gail was affected by white privilege and by other issues of the 70s like the Vietnam anti-war movement, women’s right, and civil rights How Gail had to tone herself down as a shy child when she learned to hide her abilities and talents Why Gail got out of control when she felt things and reacted strongly, especially in work settings How Gail uses her fire for good in helping people, writing, and utilizing her strengths, and engaging with her interest in the human psyche and behavior How Gail harnesses her power by knowing her strengths, pacing herself, and managing stress How she helps others by encouraging them to feel safe and accept themselves with empowerment in challenging situations Gail’s upcoming book, Perspectives in Giftedness, written with several other authors: her articles include “How to Explain Giftedness to Your Child,” one about what happens when kids know they are smart by society or school tells them they are not, and one about college planning to teach students and parents what they don’t know about the process Why we shouldn’t tell kids their IQ number because it can harm them or hold them back Final words from Gail: “I encourage everyone to work on self-acceptance with who you are because that’s the foundation for moving forward in life. It’s also important to accept your child’s imperfections and all of who they are.” Resources: Gail Post Gifted Challenges Connect with Gail on Facebook. Perspectives on Giftedness: Sound Advice from Parents and Professionals, (A Collection of Essays by GHF Writers)
31 minutes | Oct 17, 2021
[Bonus] 5th Anniversary!
We are celebrating our 5th anniversary of the Embracing Intensity Podcast by sharing past guests, listeners and community members answer to the question "What does Embracing Intensity mean to me? I'm also launching my new website at EmbracingIntensity.com - go check it out and explore!
50 minutes | Oct 11, 2021
238: Happy 5th Anniversary and The G Word Film
The podcast is marking a huge milestone this week as we celebrate our 5th anniversary! In today’s show, we go outside the box as we discuss the importance of storytelling when it comes to giftedness, equity, identity, and inclusion. Join us to learn more! Marc Smolowitz is a previous guest on the show, and I’m thrilled to have him back to talk about one of his projects, The G Word film. Marc is a multi-award-winning director, producer, and executive producer who has been involved in more than 50 independent films. His works have touched viewers on five continents and screened at the world’s top-tier film festivals. Marc is currently in post-production on The G Word, a feature-length documentary that aims to be the most comprehensive film ever made on the topics of gifted, talented, and neurodiverse education across the US. The film tells seven stories with different perspectives and asks the urgent equity question, “In the 21st century, who gets to be gifted in America, and why?” The film is poised to premiere in 2022. Show Highlights: How the pandemic has affected Marc’s work on The G Word and other projects A broad overview of The G Word and the important stories highlighted by the film How changemakers are working to make a difference in the gifted and talented community How we can use our voices to be allies for the disenfranchised How a zip code can be ultra-defining in the resources and opportunities available to people How Marc is working to “take the temperature” of people around the country in assessing how giftedness has been affected by the pandemic A look at the spirit of G/T/N Awareness Week (gifted, talented, neurodiverse), which is scheduled for October 25-29; this is a FREE five-day slate of virtual programming with a different focus each day. (See Resources to register.) Why free and appropriate public education is a social contract--a promise made to all parents for their children Why we as advocates and allies cannot quit fighting to make a better civil society for “more of us rather than less of us” Why we need a much more communal and collective narrative around giftedness and neurodiversity in our country Why The G Word is a mainstream educational film Resources: The G Word Film Find out more about the film, find resources, and sign up for G/T/N Awareness Week. Find the film on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
44 minutes | Sep 27, 2021
237: Passionate about Equality for Neurodiverse People
I’m excited to introduce you to today’s guest. She’s a highly esteemed expert in the area of neuroscience and twice-exceptionality. Join us to learn more! Dr. Nicole Tetreault is a compassionate author, meditation teacher, and international speaker on neurodiversity, neurodevelopment, creativity, mental health, and wellness. Her book, Insight into a Bright Mind, explores groundbreaking research examining the experiences of unique, creative, and intense brains while advocating for new directions of human diversity and neurodiversity. Nicole is the founder of Awesome Neuroscience and translates the most promising neuroscience and positive psychology for people to live their best life. She is on the faculty at Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity and Education, and she leads a new generation of meditation practices by fusing novel discoveries in neuroscience with the ancient art of meditation. As the recipient of the Milton Career Exploration Prize from CalTech, she founded the novel nonprofit, Beyond the Cell, a transformative program to rehabilitate incarcerated women through guided meditation, neuroscience, literature, and expressive writing. Nicole believes we have the ability to wire our minds for positive plasticity through compassion and wisdom to live the life we dream. Show Highlights: Why Nicole is intensely passionate about neuroscience, positive psychology, and understanding diversity with compassion How Nicole knew from a very young age that she was different than others and greatly affected by social injustices How Nicole struggled when her intelligence didn’t match up for her in the classroom How Nicole spent her adult years rewiring her brain with new patterns, thoughts, stories, and ideas What Nicole would tell her former teachers about how they were “missing” each other How Nicole experienced stereotyping and white privilege growing up as a blond Caucasian girl in a private school in a part of Los Angeles with a large Latino and Chinese population How Nicole had to tone herself down in phases in her life, mostly by learning to hide in middle school and again in grad school How Nicole’s intensity got out of control in grad school when she felt pressure and anxiety to be perfect Nicole’s transformational meditation practice to regulate her intensity and emotional intelligence The challenge in balancing a good mindfulness practice with what goes on in today’s world Nicole’s take on spiritual bypassing and toxic positivity How Nicole uses her fire for good in connecting and partnering with others who are passionate about equality for neurodiverse people Nicole’s habits that help harness the power of her intensity: giving herself breaks for investigation, creativity, and curiosity; meditation; writing every day in a journal; and partnering with other creatives in the community How Nicole helps others use their fire by helping students see their magic and helping other people see their individual gifts How Nicole’s book: how it came about when she listened to her gut, how it inspires others, and how she wants to change the language about being twice-exceptional Resources: Nicole Tetreault Find Awesome Neuro on Instagram and Twitter Insight into a Bright Mind: A Neuroscientist’s Personal Stories of Unique Thinking by Nicole A. Tetreault Connect with me: 2E Connection
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