I love talking with you, so every Friday I’m going to release a new episode of my podcast, “A Pocketful of Wisdom.” I hope that my message and the sound of my voice will inspire, motivate, and/or comfort you when you need it.
There are times in life when we exercise that impulse to NOT feel our feelings. This is a short excerpt from a talk I gave on stillness: the art of sitting with our emotions, walking with our pain and simply being with our feelings. As sixteen year-old Robbie from London says, “We must learn to wrap ourselves in a cloak of stillness.” If we can begin to trust what we know deep in our souls, there is a chance we can recognize that we don’t have to do anything to deserve love. You breathe. You belong. You are more than enough.
Who takes care of us while we are taking care of someone else? How can we believe in our ability to transcend the darkness and begin again? What are the things we can do to help navigate through, what one teen poetically coins, “my private midnight?” Caring for ourselves while we take care of other people, is an important yet often forgotten task. In this talk, Scott offers ideas and inspiration for the caregiver. It was recorded live at the Conference on World Affairs in Boulder, Colorado.
My friend, Leslie, likes to say that “some of the most interesting things about a person are hidden on the top shelf of the closet.” In this podcast, I explore what it means to “come out of the closet” and live an open life of self-love and acceptance.
The invisible kingdom is the home of our resident ghosts and our indwelling dreams, all laid out upon the backroads of memory and the imperceptible life. It is also the title of my second book. This podcast tells the story of how my invisible kingdom was created, drawing upon childhood memories of my grandfather and my parents. It was recorded in front of a live audience at St. Mark’s Church in NYC, celebrating the publication and launch of the book. The song, “I Remember” is from the off-Broadway musical “Yours Anne.”
Who stands beside us in life’s unbridgeable moments? Who will help us transcend as the internal voices echo our sense of aloneness? Who will believe with us in our ability to transcend the darkness and begin again? This podcast explores the answers by helping us to find our “C’mere Person,” that loving other who opens their arms and says, “Come here, I will follow you into the dark.”
It was recorded live at Camp Biluim, Quebec, in a session with a group of female teens.
This podcast is one of my favorite tales to share with middle school students. It’s the true story of a group of boys at summer camp who shared their secrets in the darkness of their cabin one night. Zach teaches us that if we can reckon with and offer up the aspects of our internal hideouts, there’s a chance we can find peace. His bunkmates teach us that in willing ourselves over to the wisdom of others, we just might find the healing we seek.
How do you define your life? What is your prayer as you consider your death? This talk explores these questions and the lessons we can learn when we receive the gifts by facing an illness.
Taped before a live audience at the Conference on World Affairs in Boulder, Colorado, this talk became a career highlight when I got to share the stage with the brilliantly unabashed Molly Ivins, award-winning columnist, author and political commentator, before she died from breast cancer.
The day after the shootings at Columbine High School, a teenager in New Jersey handed me a poem. Her words speak volumes.
There are a few spots where the audio quality isn’t great and I’m sorry if it’s distracting.
The song, “Yardsale,” on this podcast was written by Tom Anderson. The pianist is Bryan Schimmel. It was recorded in front of a live audience at St. Peter’s Church in NYC.
Once upon a time, before the advent of highly active anti-retroviral therapy for HIV, most of my friends died of AIDS. It was gruesome and it was devastating. But since there was no way to hide the wounds, it was also a time of true tenderness and rich vulnerability. Remembering some of the more than 130 friends who died of AIDS, I explore the question: “Even though, in the world today, we can hide our wounds more easily, who asks you, ‘Where does it hurt?'”
The world of HIV/AIDS is changing for the better. The amount of new HIV infections worldwide has dropped more than 50%, according to the World AIDS Day report. Yet there are there still so many people having unsafe sex and getting infected with HIV. This podcast explores the contradiction of human behavior in this new age of AIDS and tries to offer a solution. Giving a voice to the mothers who lost their sons to AIDS a generation ago, imagine what they might say to today’s young men and women putting themselves at risk for HIV. Recorded in front of a live audience at Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, NYC for World AIDS Day Shabbat. Tissues recommended.