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.
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.
Find Matt on Facebook.
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.
Connect with Gail on Facebook.
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!
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.
The G Word Film Find out more about the film, find resources, and sign up for G/T/N Awareness Week.
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.
Connect with me: 2E Connection
Today’s 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 it helpful for me to share my thoughts and tips.
Connect with me: Aurora Remember
Find out our upcoming group call on Overexcitability with Chris Wells: Embracing Intensity
Check out the following resources:
Cognitive Processing Inventory at LDinfo
Gifted Adult Checklist at Gifted Development
Paula Prober’s Giftedness Checklist from Your Rainforest Mind
Today’s show lets you listen to our recent group call with Jeff Harry of Rediscover Your Play. Jeff helps us with tips, insights, and interactive exercises to learn more about “Playing With Your Inner Critic.” Join us to learn more!
Jeff Harry is a Workplace Play Consultant, International Play Speaker, and Positive Psychology Play Coach. He helps individuals and companies navigate difficult conversations and address their most challenging issues using play and positive psychology. While we spend most of our time pretending to be important, serious grownups, it’s when we let go of that facade and just play that the real magic happens. Fully embracing your own nerdy genius gives you the power to make a difference and change lives. Jeff believes that we already have many of the answers we seek, and by simply unleashing our inner child, we can find our purpose and help to create a better world.
Today’s guest is truly a multipotentialite with interests spanning gender nonconformity, psychology, healthy eating, photography, and the creative arts. He has discovered ways to embrace his creativity and merge his talents to offer meaningful help to others in their struggles. Join us to learn more!
Greg Halpen is a food blogger and food photographer who created the food blog, Craving the Yum: Eating After Chemo. Chemotherapy can do a number on our palates, leaving our taste buds desensitized and frustrated about what to eat that actually tastes good. Greg gives chemotherapy patients the steps and practical tools to reimagine meals without compromising the YUM factor. Through his food blog, he shares the secrets to preparing meals that are simple, healthy, and extra.
Get Greg’s FREE mini-cookbook, Eating After Chemo!
Visit our website to learn more about the Embracing Intensity community and events
Visit our new platform with resources and events for the 2E community
I didn't promote last week's episode very much because I got super deep into the rabbit hole on a new project that really. Kind of pulls together a lot of the little projects that I've been doing in this past year.
It's called 2E Connection, and it's a directory for twice exceptional folks to share, explore and find support!
In this episode:
My guest today was diagnosed with ADHD and twice-exceptionality later in life. We have connected through TikTok and are learning a lot from each other. He demonstrates kind accountability in his TikTok posts and shows authenticity in his longer YouTube posts that I greatly appreciate. Join us to hear his unique perspective.
Sean Szolek-Van Valkenburgh grew up in Indiana surrounded by orchestral, classical, and contemporary music. His formal musical education began at age 7 when he started studying piano and performing in choral ensembles. As his musical education progressed, he noticed that he had the unusual gift of chromesthesia. Through TikTok, Sean avidly posts about being a professional musician and artist and connects with over 680,000 followers; he refers to them as “kings, queens, and monarchs.” He hopes to provide a safe, inclusive, and entertaining platform that prioritizes genuine content creation and critical thought.
Find Sean on Instagram: @seanszolekvanvalkenburgh
Find Sean on Twitter: @SeanSzolek
Find Sean on TikTok: @seansvv
Our July Guest Call was on Intuitive Flow & Creativity with Kari Betton
Kari Betton is a coach and mentor for highly sensitive and twice-exceptional people, with a passion for helping them find their innate sense of intuitive flow.
Too often, we can be focused on developing our mental health, physical health, intellect, etc, but including intuitive development in our personal development practice creates an easier foundation for all types of development within you to be congruent with each other.
A personal intuitive wandering practice can have profound implications on achieving the results and designing the life that you desire. In this call, Kari will focus on how to attain clarity and enough space in your life to listen to the inner wisdom that you already have.
In their spare time, Kari enjoys recording and producing their podcast Decolonizing Sexuality, vegan foodie adventures with friends, and painting galaxies.
You can find out more about Kari and their work at: simplybybeing.com/
In this episode:
I’m excited to introduce you to a speech therapist whose work is informed by the autistic community and her personal experience in identifying as twice-exceptional. Her heart and passion are to help give a voice to those who can’t speak for themselves. Join us!
Mara McLoughlin has over ten years of professional experience working with autistic and other neurodivergent people and their families. She has been a student and teacher of yoga and mindfulness for over 25 years, knowing that building these skills can help build a better world. She is a certified provider of the PEERS program that exists for the educational and enrichment of relational skills. With both her bachelor’s and master's degrees in Communication Science and Disorders, she knows that communication is fun, difficult, and the key to life. To learn and gain confidence in the initial steps of founding friendships and self-regulation skills can help improve the lives of everyone.
Connect with Mara: irl Social Skills.com
Find IRL Social Skills on Facebook and Mara McLoughlin on Twitter and @pawsomesocialskills on Instagram.
There are lots of upcoming great events happening in the EI Community. Check us out at Embracing Intensity
A while back I had 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.
More recently I posted the same questions with elaboration on TikTok and the responses were fascinating!
I think my biggest takeaway from hearing personal accounts from so many neurodivergent folks is that even when there’s a consistent pattern that is statistically more likely in a specific area of neurodivergence, they are not hard and fast rules.
I met today’s guest through the neurodivergent community on Twitter. Join us to learn more about his inspiring story.
Joseph Gitau is a writer, singer, and blogger who has been diagnosed with ADHD and Bipolar I. With his childhood and youth being spent between his native Kenya and the US, he has a unique perspective about how neurodivergence is treated differently in both countries. Joseph uses his talents to promote mental health throughout his creative outlets.
Find Joseph Gitau on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
Today’s conversation is with a creative who has overcome obstacles to find her place in the world where she isn’t afraid to be seen and heard. She helps others connect and engage, no matter how they have been “othered” by society, and she has learned how to effectively use her superpowers. Join us to learn more about making the world a brighter place for us all.
Jen Sujin Yoon is a creative consultant, storyteller, people-connector, and future-builder. We met on TikTok and immediately vibed with each other’s content. Jen is starting a new adventure as she launches The Dork Web Production Company. She lives in the Bushwick community of Brooklyn and loves this “cool hood” filled with passionate artists.
Find The Dork Web on TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram. Website coming soon at The Dork Web
We had our first neurodivergent book club on Saturday, and one of the things we talked about was the complexity of labels. On the one hand, they serve as a tool to get information, support and connect with others, but it can also serve to separate us into "us and them" if we're not careful.
In this episode:
Today’s show is all about taking a holistic approach to achieve balance and take back control of your life. Join us to learn more.
Zarya Rubin is a physician and functional medicine health coach. She is a formerly stressed-out mom who now helps women in mid-life get to the root of their health issues and manage their stress to take back control of their lives.
Find out more about Zarya and her work, and find her FREE Guide to Becoming Stress-Proof:
The foundation of my work on my blog and podcast has been about intensity, and it's origins came from my work on excitability, also known as over excitability. Excitability is when you receive and respond the world more intensely than others.
In this episode:
Today’s show is with yet another intriguing person I met on TikTok. I’m especially interested in her experience with twice-exceptionality and the work she’s doing in TV.
Shadi Petosky is an Emmy winner and Wendy’s Employee of the Month-winning TV showrunner. She co-created and showran the Emmy-winning Danger and Eggs for Amazon Prime Video, which was also a Critics Choice and GLAAD nomination. She executive produced Twelve Forever for Netflix and the upcoming live- action, gender-bending sci-fi series Forever Alone with Adaptive Studios. She most recently directed the live-action comedy pilot, Let’s Go Atsuko for Quibi, and her show, Pretty Cursed, is in development at Circle of Confusion TV. She was the animation supervisor for all 72 episodes of the hit show Yo Gabba Gabba.
I once again had other plans for this episode but I realized I've hit survival mode for the school year. Every year since 8th grade, I've had what I called Spring Fever when I'd crash at the end of the school year. I've come to realize that it's the fatigue that comes from over taxing my executive functioning skills for too long.
Add a pandemic, last minute taxes, aging hormones, unfavorable med change and adapting to my son's new schedule getting up earlier Mondays, and my brain's pretty much toast today!
In this episode:
Today’s guest had all the markers of traditional success, an Ivy League Education, letters after her name and a well paying career, but she realized she was miserable because she was not being authentic to herself. She broke out of the medical system to help people in a more holistic way. Join us!
Dr. Zarya Rubin is a Harvard-educated physician and certified health and wellness coach who is passionate about helping people heal through functional medicine. She partners with her clients to get to the root cause of symptoms and create a roadmap to wellness.
Visit Zarya’s website to get her FREE Guide to Becoming Stress-Proof
Instagram Wild Lilac Wellness
LinkedIn Wild Lilac Wellness
I've observed a lot of themes around integration and disintegration recently so I thought it would be a good time to do a quick overview of Kazmier's Dabrowski's theory of Positive Disintegration.
You can find a more comprehensive overview on ep. 154: On Positive Disintegration with Chris Wells, and my Blog Post “Finding Treasure in Ruins.”
Dabrowski believes that intensity/excitability is a sign of high developmental potential, and neuroses, which we might call neurodiversity, anxiety, existential depression etc., can be positive if they move us towards our higher selves.
In this episode:
Today’s show focuses on strategies for success. My guest combines her late-in-life diagnoses, training, and experience to help clients accomplish their goals.
Maaya Hitomi is an ADHD coach and academic strategist who supports ADHD, autistic, and otherwise neurodivergent clients to build strategies for better coping. At Structured Success, Maaya’s own coaching and consultation practice, she builds upon her Master’s training in psychology, her experience as a coach, and her lived experience as a neurodivergent person. Being ADHD, autistic, and dyslexic herself, Maaya credits her academic and professional success to the coping strategies she learned along the way. Focused on collaboratively building individualized coping strategies to support her clients, Maaya helps them make the healthiest thing the easiest thing.
Connect with Maaya: Structured Success
Find Maaya on Twitter: @structuredsucc
Find Maaya on TikTok and Instagram
I’m super thrilled to share the recording of Nneka Coxeff’s talk on Writing to Heal from this month’s guest community call! You can find the full discussion in the Embracing Intensity Community!
The wRITE to Heal Project was developed by founder and editor-in-chief of BLP magazine, Nneka D. Coxeff. As a Master Life Coach and Empowerment Practitioner, she offers transformative writing classes, workshops and wellness retreats to gently guide clients through the raw emotions of grief caused by loss, tragedy and transition.
Nneka D. Coxeff is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Black Lace + Pearls magazine, a creative and healing arts publication devoted to empowering women around the globe to live out their divine purpose. A by-product of BLP magazine is her wRITE to Heal Project where she hosts writing workshops and wellness retreats in order to guide guests through the emotions of grief caused by death, tragedy and trauma.
Through writing prompts, exercises and discussion, she assists guests in breaking free from the torture caused by unanswered questions and the sin of blame. She encourages them to sit with the pain and to own all their emotions in order to move through them and acquire some clarity and guidance. Nneka understands that relationships can be devastating to the soul when abruptly interrupted. However, she believes that it is our relationship with Self that needs to be strengthened in order to understand and to move forward.
As a consultant, she helps her clients put voice to their truths, experiences and life lessons learned along the way in order to help them heal and to inspire others as well. Everyone has a story to tell and it is Nneka's mission to help individuals value their journey, own their truth and stake claim to a more enlightened tomorrow. Writing has been a tool of healing throughout her journey and it is through this artful gift that she assists others along their path of ascension. You can find out more about Nneka and her wRITE to Heal Project at: blacklaceandpearls.com/write-to-heal.html
This is a part of our 2021 Embracing Intensity Community Speaker Series.
Support the wRITE to Heal Project on Patreon! Link Coming Soon!