Interviews

Creating Our Own Lives

On Being Studios

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We’re called to create a better world, but what about the more immediate task of creating our own lives? Inspired by a quote of Thomas Merton, host Lily Percy asks people to think through how they shape their lives. And hopefully by listening, we lea...Show More
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[S2] Mark McCleary: Laughter Is a Cloak That Surrounds You

11:18 | Jun 8th, 2017

“The best laugh in the world, is laughing at things that are unhappy. And there's probably a certain level of that in Northern Ireland, a laughing-at-things-that-are-bad.” Mark McCleary grew up in Northern Ireland during “The Troubles” — a 30-ye...Show More
[S2] Hari Kondabolu: Comedy Is Therapeutic but Not Therapy

16:32 | Jun 8th, 2017

“My mom has a very dark sense of humor. I think that’s how I learned how to recycle pain.” Hari Kondabolu is not your average stand-up comedian. He has a Masters in Human Rights and worked as an immigrants rights organizer — all of which you hear in ...Show More
[S2] Sam Sanders: If I Can Laugh With You, I Can See You

17:25 | Jun 8th, 2017

“I cannot tell you how many times laughter has connected me with all different kinds of people throughout the country, of all kinds of political persuasions.” When politics and comedy mix they can become mean, sarcastic, and divisive. Reporter and NP...Show More
[S2] Terry McMillan: Humor Is a Form of Hope

14:44 | Jun 8th, 2017

“I don’t think that humor is evasive at all. It’s how we protect our hearts from just bleeding to death.” Bestselling author Terry McMillan knows how to write funny yet complex female characters: Savannah in Waiting to Exhale, Stella in Stella’s Got ...Show More
[S2] Amichai Lau-Lavie: Deep Laughter in the Place of the Deepest Pain

13:47 | Jun 8th, 2017

“Humor is always about ‘as if.’ And it just relaxes everybody. We’re going to laugh.” Transparent creator Jill Soloway describes Amichai Lau-Lavie as “a God-optional, patriarchy-toppling, Jewish modern mind.” He uses humor to connect — to himself and...Show More
[S2] Heidi N. Moore: When It Comes to Finance and Comedy, It’s All About Patterns

15:39 | Jun 8th, 2017

“What makes humor is pattern recognition. Finance is very helpful on that front because there are a lot of patterns that keep repeating themselves.” Heidi N. Moore uses humor as a tool for understanding the world of finance. She tells stories about t...Show More
[S2] Daniel José Older: How We Love Is by Roasting Each Other

21:37 | Jun 8th, 2017

“Humor reminds me a lot of magic, in that there’s no way to quite replicate it. There’s a power to that” The humor in Daniel José Older’s writing makes his characters come alive. Whether in the playful banter of books like Shadowshaper, in his spirit...Show More
[S2] Alexis Wilkinson: Disarming People with Laughter

18:59 | Jun 8th, 2017

“Humor gives me release. Sometimes there’s just too much tension and you have to let it go. Laughter is such a great natural physical response to do that.” Humor has been a tool for success for Alexis Wilkinson, and not just a tool for survival. She ...Show More
[S2] Maureen Craig: This Strange, Peculiar Family I Call Mine

16:19 | Jun 8th, 2017

“Humor establishes new ground for parents and kids to relate on that isn’t just parent-kid.” For Maureen Craig, humor is central to how she understands and relates to her family. As a parent, a wife, a daughter, and a brand strategy executive, she be...Show More
[S2] Lalo Alcaraz: We Have Entered the Satire Dimension

16:57 | Jun 8th, 2017

“I use humor as a way to let our community know that we’re not invisible, at least not to us.” Chicano cartoonist and writer Lalo Alcaraz explores his dual identity by creating characters and places where he can be seen. He’s known as a writer for th...Show More
[S2] Emily Nagoski: Laughter Is Like Orgasm

15:51 | Jun 8th, 2017

“When you are helpless with true laughter, it’s like orgasm. Your body gets taken over. If it didn’t feel so good, you’d think there was something wrong.” Sex scientist, researcher, and romance novelist Emily Nagoski sees humor as a way to understand...Show More
[S2] Lindy West: Comedy Helps Us Love Our Bodies

20:20 | Jun 8th, 2017

“When everything feels horrible, what tiny detail can we seize on and laugh about.” Writer Lindy West talks about being fat and being a feminist with an honesty and vulnerability infused with humor. Titles of her essays and books — “My wedding was pe...Show More
[S2] Derrick Clements: Humor Can Break Down Barriers of Pride

17:32 | Jun 8th, 2017

“The real Book of Mormon is on my shelf, and next to it, the Book of Mormon Musical. And I’m spiritually enriched by both.” Ask anyone who isn’t a Mormon what they know about the faith — chances are, they’ll cite something they learned from South Par...Show More
[S2] Margaret Cho: The Deep Connection Between Anger and Humor

14:55 | Jun 8th, 2017

“The best expression of humor is something that comes out of suffering and comes out of a sense of alienation.” Margaret Cho opens difficult conversations about rape, abuse, addiction, failure, and anger through her work as a comedian and writer. Ang...Show More
[S2] Jonny Sun: Jokes Make the World a Little Less Lonely

14:20 | Jun 8th, 2017

“Humor is a tool for inclusion and for making everyone realize: we’re all together on this.” Jonny Sun has formed a devoted community of almost half a million followers on Twitter — tweeting through his alter ego, a lonely alien who views the world a...Show More
Season 2 Preview — Humor as a Tool for Survival

02:12 | May 18th, 2017

Humor as a tool for survival. That’s the theme of our second season of Creating Our Own Lives. Host Lily Percy speaks with 15 different voices on the surprising ways humor shapes them and brings meaning to their lives. Including insights from writers...Show More
[S1] Mike Stavlund: Running is an Inherent Good

05:29 | Jul 29th, 2016

“When I’m running, I’m in my body, with all of its limitations but with all of its capabilities at the same time.” Mike Stavlund is the author of “A Force of Will” a memoir about the death of his 4-month-old son.
[S1] Justin Whitaker: ChiRunning: A Sitting Meditation

04:09 | Jul 22nd, 2016

“If you watched me run, you wouldn’t think I was sitting or thinking about sitting.” Justin Whitaker is a writer, a ChiRunner and a Buddhist. For Justin, running is a part of his spiritual practice.
[S1] Sarah Khasawinah: Active Freedom

05:17 | Jul 15th, 2016

“When I’m running, I feel like I’m actively expressing gratitude.” Sarah Khasawinah works in the Senate to improve policies for older Americans. Her work requires focus and discipline, something that she also finds in her spiritual practice of runnin...Show More
[S1] Roger Joslin: Preparing for Both the Run and the Prayer

07:06 | Jul 8th, 2016

“I began to notice that my running life and my meditating life were beginning to merge.” Roger Joslin is an Episcopal priest and the author of “Running the Spiritual Path,” a how-to guide on running as meditation and prayer.
[S1] Mallary Tenore: I Always Think of My Mom When I'm Running

06:56 | Jul 1st, 2016

“My love for running started with me running towards my mom.” Mallary Tenore’s mother, Robin Jo, introduced her to one of the defining practices in her life: running — which has been equal parts destructive, spiritual, and healing.
[S1] Simran Jeet Singh: A Simple Way to Shatter Stereotypes

05:25 | Jun 24th, 2016

“Running challenges people to see me from a different perspective.” In Sikhism there is a duty to “hone the spiritual body in the same way that we hone our spiritual selves.” Simran Jeet Singh holds that in his practice as a runner.
[S1] Christy Marvin: I Want to Be God's Feet When I Run

06:30 | Jun 17th, 2016

“I cannot even begin to push myself to the extent that God can help me to push myself.” Christy Marvin is the mother of three boys and a mountain runner. She’s won six different Alaska mountain races. For Christy, running is a spiritual practice.
[S1] John Cary: My Best Conversations with Men Happen While Running

05:26 | Jun 10th, 2016

“You’re running often side-by-side, or one person in back of the other, rather than looking somebody in the eyes as you’re being vulnerable with them.” John Cary is an architect, a father, and a marathon runner. For him, running is a spiritual practi...Show More
[S1] Ashley Hicks: The Blessing is Outside Your Comfort Zone

05:53 | Jun 3rd, 2016

“Running has helped me become more present.” Some people turn to prayer or meditation or yoga as a way to slow down and make sense of their lives. Ashley Hicks, the co-founder of Black Girls Run!, found that in running.
[S1] Christina Torres: My Body Can Do Things

06:32 | May 27th, 2016

“What else have I been lying to myself about? What else have I been hiding from ’cause I was scared?” Teacher, writer, and Mexipina Christina Torres on how running helps her deal with anxiety, body image, and understanding her deepest sense of self.
[S1] Billy Mills: Olympians Are Chosen by the Gods

09:57 | May 20th, 2016

“The number one objective of my Olympic pursuit was to heal a broken soul.” Gold medalist Billy Mills set a world record in the 10,000-meter race at the 1964 Games. He shares how running created a refuge for spirituality and personal growth.
Preview | Creating Our Own Lives

01:24 | May 13th, 2016

A sneak peek into Creating Our Own Lives, a new podcast from On Being Studios.