“Uncomfortable and taboo are not synonyms.”

We talked about intra-family political differences last week – eep! – and you know what? It worked out just fine. So this week – screw it, it’s Black History Month – we’re talking about white privilege and exploring our (unwitting) complicity in racist systems! Because, you know, life is short. So let’s just go there.

We feel guardedly optimistic that we handled this subject with grace and tact; hopefully you’ll feel that that’s the case, too. Please share your thoughts in the private Facebook group!

And ps: the Peggy McIntosh essay that we used as a foundation for this week’s episode is here:

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“Is today the day the vultures come?”

So we managed to do this podcast for twelve entire episodes without getting into politics! But then we hit Episode 13. 😂 Don’t worry, though, it’s not bad. In fact we think it’s really good! Apropos of our family visit in Vermont, Jamie unpacks his evolving and complicated feelings toward his parents, whom he loves very much, but from whom he has realized he’s on the opposite side of a vast political divide over this last couple of years. We explore how and why that situation has recently improved, in the hope that it might help someone out there who’s been experiencing the same thing with their family or loved ones. It was a great discussion – a very vulnerable discussion to have in front of microphones – and we hope it holds some value for you.

And then in the second part of the episode, we talk through a listener topic from Jean W. When is it okay to be selfish? Spoiler alert: Shannon has some cool and somewhat avant-garde thoughts about this.

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“Maybe that’s why they do twelve eggs. One egg per month!”

It’s a Listener Topic Bonanza! We have been quietly hoarding extra Listener Topics for the last couple of months … and today we’ve devoted the whole episode to tackling a bunch of them. Topics covered include:

– Favorite moments at concerts that shaped who we are as musicians
– Fears we’ve overcome over the last couple of years
– All-time favorite songs

… and a whole bunch more. There’s some spontaneous singing … there are some personal moments … and there’s a lot of cracking up. And! We have made a Spotify playlist, at misfitstars.com/episode-12-listen-along, so that you can listen along as we stroll down our musical memory lane! HOW FUN.

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“It’s like the Waze app … for life.”

“Just do the next right thing.” We hear this sometimes, as a sort of vague direction for how to decide what path to take next in our lives … but what the heck does it actually mean? We spend some time trying to figure out precisely where the rubber meets the road for us in the ways that we translate our values into action. (Thanks to Scott S. for the topic suggestion!)

And then in the second part of the episode, we address a Listener Topic from Mystery Star “T”: what’s it like to be in a relationship where one person is sober and one person is a “normie?” Spoiler alert … she’s not exactly a normie.

Subscribe in your podcast app of choice to get our biweekly free episodes, and unlock access to member-exclusive episodes at patreon.com/misfitstars!

“Are any of us men yet?”

It’s been a big week for toxic masculinity! We have personal experience with this, from both the inside and the outside of it, and that’s what we talk about for the entirety of this episode. Jamie talks about his experiences growing up as a boy, how they informed the young man he became, and how that young man evolved into the person he is now; Shannon talks about her experience as a woman dealing with the various ways men act toward women – for better and for worse.

We’d LOVE to hear about your experiences with this. Please head over and voice your thoughts in our private Facebook group! If you’re not yet a member, see below to sign up.

Subscribe in your podcast app of choice to get our biweekly free episodes, and unlock access to member-exclusive episodes at patreon.com/misfitstars!

“… it’s like iocaine powder!”

Mental roadblocks! We all get them. But why? Where do they come from? And how can we get rid of them? We’re no stranger to these in our lives, and we spend the first half of this episode unpacking some of our thoughts around that.

And then our listener topic this week, from Libby L., is pet peeves. The fun thing about pet peeves is that there’s no way not to sound like a petty a-hole when you try to explain them to other people, and we prove in the second half of this episode that we’re no exception to that rule. Don’t judge!! You do it too.

Subscribe in your podcast app of choice to get our biweekly free episodes, and unlock access to member-exclusive episodes at patreon.com/misfitstars!

“Orange and Pink Flowers”

Things get personal in this one. We had a pretty heavy experience this week, in which we encountered a family member with whom we have an unresolved and painful relationship. We thought we’d use it as an opportunity to explore some ideas around how to walk into potentially uncomfortable or distressing situations with other humans, with peace and confidence. Easier said than done, sometimes – but we found some positive and helpful takeaways, and we hope you might find something resonant in them.

And then in the second half of the episode we talk through a listener topic from Jeff H., on how to keep that January 1 enthusiasm, momentum, and optimism lasting all year. Jamie has a bunch of strategies for setting realistic goals and keeping yourself on a healthy track toward their accomplishment – and Shannon has a different take entirely!

Subscribe in your podcast app of choice to get our biweekly free episodes, and unlock access to member-exclusive episodes at patreon.com/misfitstars!

“We’ve solved world peace! Done.”

We thought we’d start things off easy in the new year. So, in the first half of this episode, we talk about how to make peace with past versions of yourself. No big deal!

And then in the second half of the episode, we tackle a closely-related listener topic from Julie A., regarding overcoming your past mistakes and turning difficult times into learning opportunities.

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“Let’s Build a Time Machine”

In which we take a look back at 2018! Our favorite tour moments … the new music we obsessed over … our best new experiences … our highest and lowest personal moments … we break down our year and then we put it all back together.

We experimented with a new format in this episode … we agreed upon questions prior to the show, and we each thought of our answers in private, and then we interviewed one other and surprised each other with our responses. It came out excellently. Our favorite episode yet!

Subscribe in your podcast app of choice to get our biweekly free episodes, and unlock access to member-exclusive episodes at patreon.com/misfitstars!

“Just Outside the Comfort Zone”

Apropos of an email exchange we had this week, we unwrap some of the layers of assumed identity and protective persona that we humans armor ourselves with as we navigate the world.

And then in the second half of the episode we share our thoughts on an unintentionally seasonal listener topic from Lee Ann W., about how people with differing views can treat one other with respect.

Subscribe in your podcast app of choice to get our biweekly free episodes, and unlock access to member-exclusive episodes at patreon.com/misfitstars!