About a year ago I was sitting next to a friend at the dinner table of a leadership summit we were attending. I verbalized a dream to her, a desire to start my own podcast.
I saw this friend again just recently at a similar event and I was reminded of our conversation from last year. And in that moment I experienced a sense of deep satisfaction that I followed through on that dream; stepping up to the challenge, literally stepping up to the mic to start the B-RAD Podcast.
When I first started this podcast I wondered if I had the guts to do it.
Do I have anything valuable to share that hasn’t already be shared? All the people who have influenced me – just go talk to them, read their books, listen to their podcasts. Maybe I have nothing to give.
Does my voice even matter?
But during the first season of creating and producing this podcast, as I’ve struggled with self-doubt and inadequacy, I’m learning to trust myself and my intuition. To devote energy, space, and resources to what is emerging in me and what I want to share with the world.
I turned forty the same week of launching this podcast, and in honour of that milestone birthday I set a goal of releasing forty episodes this year. I didn’t quite reach that goal. I am ending my first season of the B-RAD Podcast with thirty episodes. And I’m proud of my work here.
This thirtieth and final episode of the first season feels like a good time to tell you what B-RAD means and what it means to B-RAD.
I’m a self-diagnosed self-development junkie. I seem addicted to the process of growth and development. I’ve read books, participated in programs, hired coaches, attended webinars and seminars; anything I can get my hands on.
I’m naturally motivated to study and learn, to contemplate and be a deep thinker. But when the subject of my study became myself, I became enthralled with the process. Perhaps that’s narcissistic? But perhaps not.
Maybe the study of self does lead to a fulfilling life. A life of contribution, when we know who we are.
Three teachers were especially influential early in this journey.
Thanks to Bob Proctor and his course Thinking into Results I started understanding the particular patterns of the subconscious mind. I learned how to change and shift internal paradigms, unshackling myself from living small.
I started to think differently and therefore I started to behave in ways more attuned to what I truly wanted, expanding my vision for what’s possible.
I’ve also came to trust the voice of Les Brown. His messages, spoken with southern gospel fervour, imbued in me a sense of my own indomitable spirit. The belief that no matter what difficulties come my way, I’m capable of handling it.
In his book The Power of I Am, Joel Osteen helped me see that:
whatever follows the ‘I am’ will eventually find me.
Seeing this principle at work, I’ve become more selective with what words come out of my mouth, knowing that I have the power to speak things into existence.
These, and many other teachers, have been crucial in my journey of self-development. I’m grateful for what I’ve been taught and what I’ve experienced. And although I’ve grown into new books, new teachers, and new ideas these were the foundation.
When I “signed up” for self-development I didn’t realize I was saying yes to the evolution of myself. I wasn’t just saying yes to growth and greater well-being, but to change. I was saying yes to some very difficult lessons.
Saying yes to the process requires a cost. Things will shift inside of you. It’s not always fun, joyful, or an immediate positive experience. It’s difficult and sometimes we stop the train too early. But it’s so worth carrying on to experience the full expression of who we are and what we can be.
What is B-RAD?
The B-RAD Podcast is my contribution to the world of ideas in which I’ve been immersed. It comes out of what I’ve learned and am still learning, always a student. It stands on the shoulders of all these teachers who have influenced and changed my own life.
But what does it mean to B-RAD?
B-RAD is a play on my name Brad. But the RAD needs some explaining.
Rad is short for radical. Back in the 90’s, when I was a teenager, radical and rad were slang for “cool”.
But radical is a much older word than the slang of my youth. Radical is from the Latin word radix, which means to “proceed from a root”.
Radical is about the base of all things, the origin, the root.
It’s the source.
To be radical is to be connected to the root, to proceed from that root.
The path of discovery
Being radical is primarily the path of discovery, of going to the root.
For years, I’ve considered myself a seeker of truth, knowledge, and understanding. This was an active, purposeful pursuit, a “doing”. But I’m learning a new posture of discovery that takes the pressure off of doing and finding.
As Michael Singer says in his course, Living from a Place of Surrender,
surrender is letting go of what’s not true, or not living the truth. Our purpose is not about finding the truth, but releasing ourselves from ignorance.
Viewing my life through the filter of self-development, I thought it was up to me to make something out of my life. I needed to bolster my resolve, create affirming “I am” statements, generate the results I desired.
What I’ve come to understand, is that to live sustainably – spiritually, physically, emotionally, financially – we must discover what is at the root. And this root becomes the necessary foundation for any dependent action.
If our focus is simply action, making life into what we want it to be, we are tempted to think we are in charge, we’re the source.
We’re no longer discovering, we’re just busy developing.
At some point in my own journey I realized that the further I stretched my “doing” from my “being”, the more my life lacked integrity and felt incongruous.
I can do many good things to develop myself. But when my activity is pulled apart from my sense of being, and Being itself, the whole enterprise of self-improvement and self-development becomes an unsustainable burden.
Learning how to Be
In his book Everything Belongs, Richard Rohr provides a blueprint for a sustainable and surrendering self-development.
Rohr borrows this line from the Psalmist of the Hebrew scriptures.
Be still and know that I am God.
And then he simplifies it.
Be still and know that I am.
Be still and know.
As each line is pruned, the landing point shifts. The message is distilled.
Your being is the primary access point to everything else in your life.
It’s hard to define what “being” is, but here’s what being is not.
Your being is not your label, identity, personality, history, body, name, nationality, gender, list of preferences, religion, background, or aspirations.
Your being is that substance which is firmly rooted in the soil of the universe. It’s the sense you have that your life, even in those moments of swirling chaos and insecurities, is part of something so much bigger than just yourself.
Words fail in describing exactly what this is, but it is big, bold, beautiful, and beyond comprehension.
How to B-RAD
Being grounds you. It’s unfathomably secure. It’s untouchable.
The philosopher Ken Wilber says that we are given the incredible opportunity of a “radical transmutation and transformation at the deepest seat of consciousness itself.”
This dramatic change in form (transmutation and transformation), proceeding from the root (radical), is what it means to B-RAD.
It is a becoming from the ground up.
It is being radical in the process of self-discovery, out of which grows self-development and the surrendered and active expression of our gifts and talents, our voice and contribution to the world.
That’s what B-RAD is all about.
Join me in this last episode of season one as I recall my first big gains in the journey of self-development, tell stories from my youth (anyone else know what it’s like to dig an elevator shaft?), and trace the meaning of the B-RAD podcast to its latin roots. (And here you thought it was 90’s slang!)
Media & Resources mentioned in this episode:
Music by Flux & Brad Toews.