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The Mark and Robin Show
19 minutes | Oct 25, 2021
The Mark and Robin Show: How to Kill Your Marriage Before It Starts
Wisdom can come from 3 divorces and 1 solid 20-year marriage. Mark and Robin sat down with a Young Couple recently, before the WEDDING in a group setting and answered the questions: "How do we stay married?" "How can we avoid divorce" We have a quick show that shares both!
24 minutes | Jul 14, 2021
The Mark and Robin Show: I Hate My Spouse
"I hate my spouse" "She never picks up after herself" "He always ignores me" When you get to this stage, it's called Contempt. The Mark and Robin Show talk about one tool they are using to combat this attitude, that unchanged could result in divorce. Yes it's that serious.
25 minutes | Jul 14, 2021
The Mark and Robin Show: Dating With Kids?
The Mark and Robin Show this week tackle "What Is It Like Dating someone with kids?" We discuss WHAT NOT TO DO, plus some ideas on how to keep it real and have boundaries. Robin has 4 kids and Mark has 0 kids, so they have some stories to share!
12 minutes | Jun 4, 2021
The Mark and Robin Show: Short Podcasts: Boundaries w/Work & Friends
Putting up a boundary and showing strength is better. Sometimes being a flake can make things worse. It can be fatal in relationships. Do you do all the work? Are you the martyr? The Mark and Robin Show Podcast
11 minutes | May 27, 2021
The Mark and Robin Show: Short Podcasts: Boundaries w/Church & Family
Today on the Mark and Robin Show we discuss weak Boundaries in Church and Family and some ideas on how to solve them. Improving boundaries can help make your relationships grow stronger. The Mark and Robin Show is a relationship podcast. Focusing on improving marriages, yourself and more. The Mark and Robin Show is a Christian-based worldview of improving relationships.
10 minutes | May 21, 2021
The Mark and Robin Show: Short Podcasts: Boundaries in Marriage and Children
Are Boundaries bad? Are they mean? What if we told you weak boundaries actually make your relationships worse? Today on the Mark and Robin Show we discuss weak Boundaries in Marriage and with Kids and some ideas on how to solve them. The Mark and Robin Show is a relationship podcast. Focusing on improving marriages, yourself and more. The Mark and Robin Show is Christian-based, in their worldview of improving relationships.
36 minutes | Apr 20, 2021
The Mark and Robin Show: Men Only: After the Affair
More Real MEN ONLY Talk this week a 3 Man Roundtable Discussion. After the Affair, the After-Math. Moving On and Lessons Learned after Infidelity and Divorce. 3 Guys share about how they dealt with life after being cheated on, and how they recovered. Many people think that it's men who cheat. But we have news for you, women do it too. This is the 3rd part of an all-guy discussion.
15 minutes | Apr 18, 2021
The Mark and Robin Show: Men Talk About Being Cheated On: Blame
More Real talk this week, 3 Man Roundtable Discussion. Blame Game; She Cheated on Me and Blamed Me For It. 3 Guys share about how they were blamed for their wife's affairs. Many people think that it's men who cheat. But we have news for you, women do it too. This is the 2nd part of an all guy discussion. The Mark and Robin Show this week is exclusively Mark with 2 Guests for an all guy podcast.
14 minutes | Apr 17, 2021
The Mark and Robin Show: Men Talk About Being Cheated On
Real talk this week, 3 Man Roundtable Discussion. "What was it like when you found out that she cheated on you?" Many people think that it's men who cheat. But we have news for you, women do it too. This how the guys felt after finding out. The Mark and Robin Show this week is exclusively Mark with 2 Guests for an all guy podcast.
27 minutes | Apr 7, 2021
The Mark and Robin Show: Psypreneur Productivity Coach
Be stagnant and die. The Mark and Robin Show interview Joey, the Psypreneur. He's a successful Productivity Coach for Entrepreneurs and Executives. Level 1: Personal growth small changes Level 2: Grow network Level 3: Manage Time We learned some ways to get started on fixing yourself before you jump into your next relationship. Don't bring your old "you" to the next one! And if you are in a relationship, remember that being stagnant is a killer! The Mark and Robin Show is a relationship podcast.
25 minutes | Jan 19, 2021
The Mark and Robin Show: Divorce Sucks
The Mark and Robin Show, with 3 divorces between them share what people really say Before and After Divorce. Sharing real life so you can know what is on the other side. The Mark and Robin Show Podcast is about relationships and learning all we can together to make lemons out of oranges.
33 minutes | Dec 31, 2020
The Mark and Robin Show: Self Care 101
Been through a bad breakup or does your marriage need a spark? How is your level of Selfishness? Could Self Care be a vehicle for improving yourself and your relationship? We have lots of ways to get back to the real you! The Mark and Robin Show with 3 divorces between them have found some ways they have rediscovered themselves and made their lives noticeably better. Your friends will say, "Oh that's the person I remember!" The Mark and Robin Show podcast is about relationship improvement.
28 minutes | Dec 9, 2020
The Mark and Robin Show: Patricia Ryan Madson, Improv Author Part 2
We loved Patricia Ryan Madson so much we kept her for another segment. Patricia Ryan Madson, Author of "Improv Wisdom: Don't Prepare Just Show Up" joins the Mark and Robin Show to discuss how thinking on your feet and enjoying the moment can open doors to life, work and even relationships. So much wisdom! Her 13 Maxims for Life Include: 1. Say Yes, 2. Don't prepare 3. Just Show Up 4. Start anywhere 5. Be average. Great show! You have to listen! Improv Wisdom: Don't Prepare Just Show Up, has been translated into 9 languages. In 1996 Patricia Ryan Madson founded the Creativity Initiative at Stanford, an interdisciplinary alliance of faculty who share the belief that creativity can be taught. The Mark and Robin Show is a relationship podcast, exploring how to improve relationships and avoid red flags.
36 minutes | Dec 8, 2020
The Mark and Robin Show: Patricia Ryan Madson, Improv Author
Patricia Ryan Madson, Author of "Improv Wisdom: Don't Prepare Just Show Up" joins the Mark and Robin Show to discuss how thinking on your feet and enjoying the moment can open doors to life, work and even relationships. So much wisdom! Her 13 Maxims for Life Include: 1. Say Yes, 2. Don't prepare 3. Just Show Up 4. Start anywhere 5. Be average. Great show! You have to listen! Improv Wisdom: Don't Prepare Just Show Up, has been translated into 9 languages. In 1996 Patricia Ryan Madson founded the Creativity Initiative at Stanford, an interdisciplinary alliance of faculty who share the belief that creativity can be taught. The Mark and Robin Show is a relationship podcast, exploring how to improve relationships and avoid red flags. Mark: [00:17] All right, here we are with another Mark… Robin: [00:19] And Robin Show. Mark: [00:20] And today, we have an incredibly great magical guest, right Robin? Robin: [00:25] Yes, she's magical. Her name is Patricia Ryan Madson, and Patricia Ryan Madson joins us all the way from California. And she wrote an amazing book called Improv Wisdom: Don't Prepare, Just Show Up. And welcome to the show, Patricia. Patricia: [00:40] Thank you, Robin and Mark. Lovely to be here. Robin: [00:43] We are so glad. And I'd like to just start off by saying the reason I'm so glad that Patricia is joining us today is, I would say, that she's one of the reasons how Mark and I ended up having a friendship and relationship and now a podcast. So it's pretty funny because the book… and that's why I wanted to have you on the show is to talk about how improv in life works. And so can you just give the listening audience the main gist of your book? For me, I know exactly what the sound is when I hear the [ting]. Patricia: [01:14] [Ting] Mark: [01:15] Try this. Patricia: [01:16] Try this. Well, the premise of the book is that our life is an improvisation and we're all improvising all the time, even when we try to plan. So why not use some of the rules and the principles that improvisers use when they're trying to study improv for theater and see if these rules don't help open up our options and give us more adventures in our life? And then the book lays out those different rules and how you can try them on and see if they make any difference. And I think the rule that Robin is talking about that brought them together is the cardinal rule. And no matter who you study improv with is the rule of acceptance that you say yes to whatever the premise of the offer is that your partner gives you and you build on that. It doesn't mean you have to like it, but it means you work with it. So you don't reject it or argue. So it's very different from our current political system, for example. Robin: [02:16] Exactly. Mark: [02:17] Indeed. Robin: [02:17] And I would say that it’s almost like social media is a form of communication today, is that people almost want to instantly attack or go against what you say. There's not a lot of agreement, everybody wants to put in their mark on it, which, again, that's awesome. Mark: [02:24] It's true. And talking about social media, there's always the person who, no matter what you say, they're the curmudgeon, they're the “It's my job to be the editor of everybody else, and to step in and disagree and always be the devil's advocate and always say no.” Robin: [02:54] Right. And actually, I think you talk a little bit about that in the chapter I was just listening to earlier this morning is can you talk a little bit about the heart of being critical instantly when an idea comes to you, and what to do with that? Patricia: [03:07] Yeah, I talk about three different lenses or sets of glasses that we put on, and one lens is the critical lens. And if you've ever been involved in higher education, the critical lens is what is prized, and what we really try to cultivate, which is what's wrong with something, how it doesn't work, what are the fallacies in this? And so the critical lens, which I think most people are walking around with is “What's wrong with is this problem, or this day, or this morning, or my coffee, or anything?” And so the critical lens also seems to be something that's high status, academics are sort of famous. When you write a dissertation, you have to, first of all, defend why everybody else is wrong about the thing you're writing about. Anyway, and then the other lens is I call the scientific lens, which is one in which you're supposed to be objective, where you're not critical, you're not favorable, you're supposed to be looking at something realistically - the scientific method. And then I say, the third lens, and the one that I'm going to promote as an improviser is the lens of looking at what's right about the situation, what's good, what's useful, how we're being served. [04:24] A really good example of this right now is we're often, in these days, stuck at home, on calls with customer service people trying to get something solved or some technical issue worked out. And often these people are stressed, they might be sitting in the Philippines, or they're not having a great day. And so it's really easy to get sort of annoyed with the level of customer service. Mark: [04:55] Customer no service. Patricia: [04:57] Right, customer no service. But what I think is really important to see is that despite their attitude, despite any kind of tone in their voice, they are helping us solve the problem. And that what we have to look for is what we're receiving, rather than what we don't like about what we're receiving. And so the improviser always sees what's going on as a gift that they can work with. And just like a real gift, sometimes you open the gift and it's a green sweater, and you hate green, but it's still a gift. And if you look at that as the gift it's intended to be, rather than something you don't like, by changing perspective to put on the lens of looking at the gift, you can really transform your life. I've seen it happen. And I think that's probably the part of the improv story that is maybe most useful, because most of us are interested in ourselves and we’re interested even in relationships of getting what I want, and how the other person is maybe not exactly providing that. I don't know, if you turn that around and just ask, “What am I receiving?”, looking at it [like] “The same husband that annoyed me with something just brought me my coffee, my goodness.” Thank you. Mark: [06:23] Ooh coffee. Coffee is one of Robin’s love languages by the way. Robin: [06:26] It is one of my love languages. Patricia: [26:28] Exactly. So it’s the lens that we look at things from. And I promote, and the improviser has to have the lens of looking at what's right or useful, or what I can do with whatever comes my way. So it's turning around the way the self or the ego interacts. And I think that's probably at the heart of most relationship problems is that “I'm interested in me and getting what I need. But I don't know how interested I am in giving what I can to help my partner.” So that’s like, “Well, of course I give to my partner,” but I think we have to all work on our egos and give them a back seat. Robin: [07:15] Agreed. Mark: [07:17] That's so interesting. Robin: [17:19] Did you have something? Mark: [07:20] Yeah, one thing that when you were talking about that, it just reminded me, because we're all asking the question, “How can I have a more successful joy-filled, great relationships sort of life?” I remember there's an author, Tom Stanley, he wrote a book called The Millionaire Next Door, and one of the things he talked about in his study of millionaires, and then decamillionaires, people who are successful financially is they saw everything that happened to them as a positive thing. Anything that happens to me, the mindset is, “This is good. I can use this to be successful,” whether it's something bad or challenging, or something that most people would consider to be, “Oh, yeah. That's a good thing.” Whether it's good or bad, a successful person sees it as good and “contributing to my success”. Robin: [08:14] Yeah. Patricia: [08:14] That's exactly the secret. There's a little improv game where we give each other imaginary gifts and you have to have to say to the gift, “Oh, good. I needed that,” and then put why you needed it. It’s the same thing about the millionaires, “Oh, good. I needed that cancer diagnosis because, during this time when I've been taking chemo, I was able to” yadda yadda, because we can all find the lemons and the lemonade-- Robin: [08:44] Especially if you have a teenager. Patricia: [08:46] Right. But it's not our first response. I think our first response is often the negative. And so the millionaire is right that if you take everything that comes your way as something that you can use, doesn't mean you have to like it, but how can you take these things that are going on that are troublesome, and instead of focusing on the negative-- And then you turn it around, and sometimes they are things you can't do anything at all about, so you accept them and then you do what you can do. There's a long list of 13 maxims. There are four things that maybe your listeners can remember that are real easy, the four A's. Robin: [09:30] Oh, Okay. What are those? Patricia: [09:32] The four A's of improvisation are attention-- First of all, you have to notice what's going on all around you. You have to kind of get out of your own head and your own little emotional stew and notice, pay attention, attention, attention. And two, there's acceptance, and that's what we were just talking about, Mark, accepting what comes your way and opening to it. What is this that's happening? The third is appreciation - noticing how whatever that is that you've just accepted is some kind of a gift or some kind of something that can benefit us as a world. And then fourth “A” is action and “What's my part? What do I do in response to this?” Attention, acceptance, appreciation, and action. Robin: [10:18] Wow. Mark: [10:19] That's so good. And I think about the studies they have done where they ask children who are kindergarteners, “Are you a good artist? Can you draw?” Every single kindergartner goes, “Yes! I’m a great artist. I love it!” And then they ask sixth-graders, “Are you a good artist?” And about 25% of them say yes, 75% of them have been convinced that they are not a good artist, which is not true. Patricia: [10:45] Exactly. I don't know. The comparison and stuff really get in the way or “He's not as good as he was.” Someone was saying that they were listening to diners in very expensive, high-end restaurants, and how often, the things that they're talking about is comparing the meal that they have to some other meal that they had that was better or not as good. Robin: [11:17] I've never done that! Patricia: [11:23] Yeah, we just got to learn to live in the moment that we're in and really appreciate - savor everything. While you're washing those dishes and the kids are screaming, gosh, you've got hot water to wash them with. How wonderful? Mark: [11:37] That’s true. Patricia: [11:39] Do you know what today is nationally? Mark: [11:41] What is today? Robin: [11:41] No. What is today? Patricia: [11:42] Today is National Toilet Day. Robin: [11:45] Oh! Mark: [11:45] Yes, I love toilets! Patricia: [11:49] National Toilet Day. Look it up. Robin: [11:50] Yes. Mark: [11:51] How about that? Patricia: [11:52] Absolutely. Robin: [11:52] That's hilarious. I do social media for a living. So I end up finding out it's like National Hot Dog with Relish Day today. They're always like the most random things. Oh, here's my favorite, National Produce Misting Day. That's really a day. It’s hilarious. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to cut you off, go ahead. Patricia: [12:11] I love that. Mark: [12:12] But there was once upon a time, there was no toilet, you would just have to-- Robin: [12:15] Right, exactly. It was national hole day. Mark: [12:17] Yeah. National go to the outhouse or to the hole in the ground. So this is a great thing that is in our lives that makes people's lives better. Robin: [12:27] Well, and one thing I think that helped me with your book, and this is where I think I'm seeing this more amongst people dating today and especially people in their 30s, we've moved into this area where people communicate using social media and text. And obviously 2020, I mean, let's just throw that away. But people don't communicate with each other in person as much so a lot of times the beginning of a relationship will happen over text. And what I'm seeing is there's just more fear there. They will communicate but as far as building upon it and pushing down their fears, it's almost like, “Oh, I like someone. I'm going to go investigate the heck out of them and know what color car their mother drives by the time I've finished the first text.” We can do that. Mark: [13:20] Criminal background checks. Robin: [13:21] It's like criminal background checks. But I think we can get to where we communicate that way. And what I want to help people do is empower them. How do they get over their fears? I mean, you had said as one of your things in your book was fear is a matter of misplaced attention, focus on redirecting it. So perhaps if you could, you got any ideas on maybe how couples who are just starting out on how they could work through that fear? Patricia: [13:50] Well, here's the thing. There's a premise in what you're saying that we need to work through the fear, or we need to somehow deal with the fear first. And that's the misconception. We can feel the fear and do it anyway. There's a way that when we give that fear our attention, when we bring it in for a cup of tea and call our friends and talk about it and write poetry on it, and everything, then it just lives. You don't get rid of it. But what you do is you replace it, you turn on a light, which is start doing something while being fearful. And it's very interesting that when you get engaged, especially in something physical, the body doesn't handle fear and for example running or working hard in the garden. When we get engaged in life, and that's one of the problems now, I think, with all of us sitting at home at the outset, or at most being in a Zoom Room with someone, we're able to imagine scenarios of how things are not going to go okay, and how he won't like me, all that we make. So what we need to do, I think, is cut through by while being fearful, make that phone call or write that letter. [15:24] I'm not much of an expert on how to cut through the world of texting. And I know that texting has replaced what we old folks used to call conversation that you talk to people or you even called them on the phone. Today, you have to make an appointment to talk to somebody on the phone. My gosh, how weird is that? So what I say is that shift the attention from what it might be, to having something happen, whether it's starting that first phone call or text, or let's have a Zoom meeting and see what happens. But what where relationships, I think can start to grow is if you develop an interest in the other person, rather than focusing on how cool you are and presenting yourself as-- Yeah, we're all worried about what people think of us. I mean, I am, I continue to be. I thought, “Oh, I'm relieved that this is a phone call today because my hair is terrible.” The last year cut was ages ago, and I don't want anybody to see me, and I'm nervous about what folks think. What we have to do is suck all that up, set it aside and say, “Oh, what needs to be done? Let's have the phone call, or let's have a Zoom call, or I don't know how people are meeting today but it's a great [alternative]. Here's an example. My husband, who is a genealogist, did a DNA thing and got a profile back and has discovered a cousin that he has living in the East Coast with the name Karen. Well, he was really excited, and he contacted her and she's very lively, contacted him back. And that was three months ago. And now they talk every day. Robin: [17:20] But made the call. Mark: [17:21] Definitely. Patricia: [17:21] Really, it was amazing to me. And now they have a friendship greater than-- I'm a little bit jealous. I have to ask him every day what's new with Karen because now every night on social media, through Facebook and through email and whatnot, they've told stories of their life and sent pictures of their ancestors. And there is this burgeoning, blossoming, lovely friendship that has never been in person, but it's because of the effort they both put in to share things. I think what we're afraid to do is divulge stuff. Sometimes there are relationship coaches that say, “What do you do on a date? Did you ask them questions?” Okay, being interested in the other person-- Mark: [18:06] Oh gosh. Robin: [18:07] We have to stop for a second because that's all I do is ask Mark questions. I get these question lists from the Gottman Institute. So I'm so sorry. I didn’t mean to just stop you mid-sentence. Mark: [18:18] Yeah, our first date, I took Robin to a fancy steak place. And so she's like, “So--" Robin: [18:26] We haven't even left the neighborhood yet and I'm-- Mark: [18:29] Yeah, giving me going to be the third degree and so, “So you wrecked your car the other day, huh? So were you drinking before this accident?” And I’m like, “No.” And so yeah, it was pretty funny. Patricia: [18:45] But my advice is the opposite. Divulge things about yourself. Open up and tell some stories about yourself, including things that are not necessarily “the week that I won the prize,” but we all find the other person more human if we discover that they too maybe you've had a bad hair day, or I don't know, but being able to tell stories about yourself is a great way to begin to grow a relationship. Mark: [19:14] That’s true. Yeah, we've done a series of podcasts on the subject, in terms of relationships of narcissism. And we're talking about clinical narcissism, an actual personality disorder. Patricia: [19:30] Oh, yeah. Mark: [19:31] Not that… Robin: [19:32] He's a jerk. Mark: [19:33] …He's a selfish jerk. And one thing we've talked about with that is whenever you give information to a narcissist, they weaponize it against you. So if you've ever been in a relationship like that there's fear, right? Patricia: [19:49] Yeah, sure. Mark: [19:50] Going into relationships with actual human beings-- Just kidding. Just because someone is a narcissist doesn’t mean they are not a human being. Sorry. Robin: [19:58] It's kind of funny. Mark: [19:59] But getting past that fear and actually taking action like you talk about-- One quote of yours that I liked was Nike’s snappy logo, “Just do it” reminds us that it's necessary to be motivated, get ourselves together, that it's unnecessary to be motivated, get ourselves together, or even feel like doing it. The key is to get up and go. Patricia: [20:28] Right. Mark: [20:29] And I think, from what you said, the thing that that fear is what keeps us from doing it, whether it's fear of failure, or-- Robin: [20:36] Fear that I’ll look bad, Mark: [20:37] That I'll look bad, or fear that I'll be hurt again. That's what a lot of people, especially people who might have gone through a divorce or a really bad breakup. They don't want to go back there again. Patricia: [20:53] Well, I think there's another misconception. We assume that it's the fear of failure or whatnot that's keeping us from getting up and doing it. No, it's that we haven't gotten up and done it. Our body has not gotten up and done it. So it's the behavior we haven't done. We connect it to the feeling and assume, “Because I'm afraid I don't do X.” There's a lot of times that I'm afraid and I do X. So it means that our behavior is always in our control. Don't give that fear, credit. It's a misunderstanding between emotion and action. One of the things I've learned is I'm always in control of my actions. And I'm almost never completely in control of my feelings. They come and go. Golly, if I was in control of my feelings, I would just set the dial on “great” and stay there. Mark: [21:49] That is so profound. Patricia: [21:49] So feelings come and go, but my behavior, I can still-- Being a parent is a testament to this. I can still get up when the alarm goes off, even though I don't feel like it. So don't give me that, “I didn't do this because I was afraid.” That's a myth that we tell ourselves. Mark: [22:05] Or I can't be happy because this person did me wrong or whatever. Patricia: [22:11] Exactly. Right. Mark: [22:14] Yeah, speaking of people on Facebook, I posted something about, “I sold this Land Cruiser of mine that I loved because the girl I was with at the time said I should get rid of it.” And some random dude just pops up and he goes, “No, you sold the Land Cruiser because you chose to sell the Land Cruiser.” Basically, don't put it off on this other person. Take responsibility for your choices. And I was like, “Oh, yeah.” Robin: [22:40] Oh, yeah. Mark: [22:40] Thanks random stranger. Patricia: [22:45] Yeah, that's my point. Notice that we're always in control of our behavior, whether we do or not do. And that's really good news. Because we can make up these stories all the time, “I did this because of this or that,” and that because is a story. We make it up. Mark: [23:01] That’s true. Patricia: [23:02] And it will keep therapists in the bankroll for years. Mark: [23:07] Yeah, I remember Zig Ziglar, who's passed away now, God rest his soul. He used to say “I was 30 pounds overweight for 30 years by choice because I have never accidentally eaten anything. Patricia: [23:25] I love that. That's wonderful. Robin: [23:29] You brought this quote up, the second one, I'm going to just read it right quick. It says, “The most consistent road to unhappiness that I know--” This is Patricia's words in her book, Improv Wisdom: Don't Prepare, Just Show Up, who we have as a guest on our show today. Patricia Ryan Madson wrote, “The most consistent road to unhappiness that I know comes from turning a blind eye to reality. We do this when we wish potato chips weren't fattening and eat them anyways, putting off doing the bills just one more day, live an unhealthy lifestyle. We fail to heed warnings on the label or don't even read the label or focus on our partner’s shortcomings and spend time trying to talk him into doing things our way.” Patricia: [24:14] Yep. Mark: [24:15] Wow. Thank you, Patricia, because what I’ve stood around and I think is how can I be a total failure? How can I be unhappy in my life? And so you just laid it out for us there. Robin: [24:26] Well, I think that ends up being a problem for a lot of people is you talk to someone who's in the middle of a breakup and their entire focus is on their partner’s shortcoming. And if you go to any 12-step program, you walk in the door, yeah, maybe they made you walk in that door because of their addiction, but really the only person you can fix is yourself. And that's where people just if they can't figure that part out and own what's theirs, they're just going to go find someone else who may look completely different, and have a different lifestyle or status, but it doesn't matter, it's the same person you're going to pick because you didn't fix yourself. Mark: [25:04] Yeah, and two of the four A's is acceptance and appreciation. Robin: [25:09] Appreciation! Mark: [25:11] Appreciation is gratitude. And if we're looking at our significant other and ticking off a list of their faults, we're not appreciating them, and we're not accepting them. A lot of people [are] like, “Well, this guy I'm dating or this girl I’m dating, they have some problems, but they're kind of a fixer-upper and I think I can fix them. What do you think about that, Miss Patricia? Patricia: [25:40] Well, we know that's not going to work anyway. So it's a common thought. The whole idea of acceptance is a lifelong practice. And if you stay in a relationship long enough, the only way it will continue to grow is that you accept especially those things about your partner that drive you nuts. You have to love through them. One of the things I do is I'll notice, “Ah, he's telling me these genealogy stories now, and he knows I'm not interested in them.” And I have a choice right at that point of just standing there and being annoyed or saying something like, “I don't care.” Or at that moment, I accept what's going on and I listen harder. And I think, “If he died today, I would be missing him telling these stories that drive me crazy.” There's some way in which I have to love around those things because it's just my own little preference that I don't care about genealogy but there's nothing wrong. I have a sign that I say, “What if there's nothing wrong?” Mark: [27:07] And I love that. Patricia: [27:08] How about that? And all I have to do is accept my partner and myself as well. I can accept that I get annoyed by X. But I don't have to go there. And I used to go to the gym and there was one guy we used to call him Mr. Pounder, who came in every day, and he got on the treadmill and he stomped for an hour. It was the loudest thing in the world. And I would come to the gym and I said, “Oh, there's the pounder again. Oh, I hate this.” And he's driving everybody crazy. So I thought, “Okay, that's going to be my spiritual practice for the week.” I'd go in and I would get on my treadmill thing, and he would be pounding, and I realized, he's just fine, just as he is. There's nothing wrong. And I could find a way that my own annoyance would just finally dissolve because it's not about me. We're all here, using in the gym to the way that serves us. And I think how great that this guy's taking care of himself. And you can take a thought that is troublesome and see if you can't work on it until it evaporates. And it's especially useful with the things that drive you nuts. Robin: [28:25] That's wonderful. Mark: [28:26] That is wonderful. And I catch myself being critical sometimes, and sort of in the same vein, you'll see an overweight person who's running down the sidewalk or something and you'll look at him and go, “Whoa, look at Fat Albert running down the sidewalk over there.” But if you'll stop for a moment, you'll realize what courage that person has to get out on the sidewalk and to run and to seize the opportunity to make a better life for themselves and to be healthier. I mean, you should get out of the car and applaud. Way to go, you beautiful human being. Patricia: [28:05] Absolutely. Find the good and praise it. That’s another one of my little signs. I make these little etegami cards. I have a Flickr account, and anybody can go on. Robin: [29:18] Oh please, what is that? Patricia: [29:22] I think it's Patricia Ryan Madson but if you go to flickr.com/photos/patmadson-albums, Pat Madson, M-A-D-S-O-N, you'll find several hundred of my artworks that are all public. And you're welcome to download any of those. They are quotations like, “What if there's nothing wrong?”, “The thing you're worrying about is not what's happening now.” Anyway, they are sort of counterintuitive ideas that I do think right now we're in a time in history where our own self-absorption is the deep problem. And it's at the center of the political problem, we're all into our point of view and our whatnot. We're not listening to each other. And it's so easy just to point fingers at those folks, whatever it's about. Mark: [29:27] It's so true. Patricia: [29:32] And relationships, as you all know, it's everywhere. It's in our families, with our kids, with our parents, our relationship to our pets. And so the way we get to be better, I think, is to be less concerned about ourselves, less self-absorbed, and more accepting of others, and more appreciating, because acceptance is the first step to appreciation. My favorite chapter, I had hoped you would ask. Robin: [31:05] Hey, Patricia, what's your favorite chapter? Patricia: [31:07] It’s “Wake Up to the Gift.” It's telling the story of how I went to Japan and I sat in a cubicle for a week-- Mark: [31:14] Oh gosh. Robin: [31:15] I was listening to this this morning on the way over. Patricia: [31:18] And I was looking at the job was to record in my mind what I had received from other people in a positive way, not sort of, “I got a swift kick in the butt from my dad” or something. But what have I received? And what have I given to them? Trying to quantify that. And what trouble and bother have I caused them? So you go through your life asking those questions, and we all have trouble that we've caused others. In fact, all the time, but we don't think about that because we're real good at knowing the trouble other people cause us. Mark: [31:55] That’s so true. Patricia: [31:55] We are experts at that. We are quantum smart about all that other people are troubling me. But do I look at the ways in which my behavior troubles others? We don't. But when we do, I think we put on that third pair of glasses. It's not just being grateful for stuff I like, it's noticing that my place in the world and my impact on it, and how, in any situation, I'm part of the problem. And I really encourage people to do gratitude practices or to start to notice what they're receiving from others, not just the stuff they like, that surly customer service rep who helped you. And we're also lucky to be alive today and to have the technology that we have to connect. So do it in a way that allows you to expand your world. During this time, too, we've been able to get in touch with relatives or write letters or thank you cards and stuff. It's a marvelous time to take stock. Mark: [33:14] It's true. We're out of time for this segment. But if you don't mind sticking around, Miss Patricia, maybe we could talk a little bit about 2020 and how to be improvisational about our lives. Would you mind sticking around for one more segment? Patricia: [33:31] Yes. Now for the next half hour or so? Robin: [33:36] Or 20 minutes. Mark: [33:36] Yeah, 15, 20 minutes. We’ll keep it short. Patricia: [33:38] Twenty minutes? Great. Robin: [33:39] That would be great. Okay. So for those that are going to be listening to the podcast, if people want to get in contact with you or buy your book, how would they do that, Patricia? Patricia: [33:47] Yes, well, I've got a website from the book title, improvwisdom.com, it's pretty easy to remember, improvwisdom.com. And the book itself is available in various formats, as just an audiobook. If you can stand the sound of my voice, I drone on for a few hours. Robin: [34:06] It's wonderful. I have to say your audiobook is awesome. I highly recommend it. Patricia: [34:11] Oh, thank you, guys. I had fun making it. So the website will also have an email link to me and I love to get emails from friends and readers and happy to respond. So that's really the best way. Robin: [34:25] Wonderful and your book is in different languages, right? Mark: [34:28] Nine. Patricia: [34:29] It is. Nine different languages. Mark: [34:30] That’s amazing. Congratulations. Robin: [34:32] Come on, you got to pat yourself on the back, Patricia. You have a book that's in nine languages. Come on. Mark: [34:38] Hey, is one of those languages Japanese? Robin: [34:40] Oh, is it? Patricia: [34:42] Yeah, it’s in Japanese. That was the third translation. And it's in two versions in Chinese, one in complex Chinese characters and the other in simple. One was done in Taiwan and the other was done in Beijing. And now I've got former students who are in Beijing teaching Improv Wisdom in Chinese. How about that? Robin: [35:04] That is so cool! Mark: [35:05] That is so cool. All right. Well, so we'll ask you more about Japanese stuff on the next show because we love Japanese. Patricia: [35:11] Sure. Mark: [35:11] All right. Well, this has been the Mark-- Robin: [35:14] And Robin Show. Mark: [35:15] Talking to Miss Patricia Ryan Madson, who's an author and magician. Thank you. And so we will talk to you one more segment. Robin: [35:24] Yeah. Mark: [35:25] All right. Patricia: [35:26] Great.
26 minutes | Nov 21, 2020
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