From Warrior to Protector with Max Rathburn

From Warrior to Protector with Max Rathburn

Max is an arborist and black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu living in Vancouver, British Columbia Canada. He and Denis talk about the ‘street-readiness’ mindset of Jiu Jitsu, and how training and experience has brought him on a voyage from warrior to protector.

Moving Forward with Adrian Michael Kelly

Moving Forward with Adrian Michael Kelly

Reading Adrian's novel, Down Sterling Road was an emotional experience for Denis. They talk about Adrian's writing, and growing up in a small town in 1970s Canada. Adrian also shares the tools (from the book, The Tools) that help him move forward and strengthen his commitment to writing.

Adrian’s next book, a collection of linked stories, comes out this October and is titled, The Ambassador of What. You can learn more about Adrian, his writing, teaching, and coaching at his website, https://adrianmichaelkelly.com/ 

Problems Are No Reason To Suffer

Problems Are No Reason To Suffer

Denis goes to Boston to see Radiohead with his son, Matvey, and their generous friend, Dave. Denis mentioned how Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now provided some perspective as even a perfect trip like this is not without its problems.

My Legs Stopped Working

My Legs Stopped Working

In this episode of the Sunday Shit Show, Denis talks about his anniversary with Marjorie and how his legs stopped working and how he thought he was having a stroke and how he then performed a daring and romantic feat of telepathy.

It was a good day.

Winning Might Be Nice Too

Winning Might Be Nice Too

Why not win? All it takes is micro-transactions in The Field, combat on the mats, and regular cleansing from demoralization with help from The Mother.

How to not get screwed by your software developer

How to not get screwed by your software developer

Even when software developers have the best intentions, they themselves may be deluded into believing they can give you a useful solution, on schedule, and for a reasonable price. Despite bad estimates and misplaced priorities, you can take a few simple steps to ensure you end up with a proven solution that is worth the cost.

Should I help you kill yourself?

Should I help you kill yourself?

Physician assisted suicide is legal in some states and countries. Should mental health counselors play a part in that process? Or is suicide a therapist's ultimate failure? What is our job anyway?

History in the Making - Vancouver

History in the Making - Vancouver

I came to Vancouver to take part in history. I discovered a socialist paradise, the greenest city in the world, and a gym full of patient veteran BJJ black belts.

I Quit My Job

I Quit My Job

In this edition of The Sunday Shit-show on The Lens, Denis talks about why he quit his job at the recovery center, the pain of terminating relationships in the helping professions, turning 49, taking a psilocybin trip with his son, and cleaning the rusty pipes of the psyche.

Chris Benker

Chris Benker

Denis and Chris catch up after 20 years of not seeing each other. They talk about the miracles of their birth and the stunning impermanence of their work. Lola the aztec mountain chihuahua performs her high and lonesome song.

Marquean Tucker

Marquean Tucker

Today on the Lens I talk to Marquean Tucker… or maybe you know him as ENOK. Marquean is a DJ and producer of experimental trap music. He is the opening act for many of his DJ, EDM, TRAP, and DubStep idols. He’s got even bigger things planned in his professional and personal life this year. We talk about music, race, church, the EDM club scene, his upcoming wedding, and how he grows in his craft by seeking out criticism from his EDM heroes.

Abdul Sallaj

Abdul Sallaj

Abdul Sallaj is a psychiatrist in Chicago. We talked about aspects of the developing mind that are unique to growing up in household steeped in religious fundamentalism. We also talked way too much about spanking... ouch! Abdul and Denis conducted their interview in Undergrounds Coffee House and Roastery, converted a year or so ago from a funeral home.

Jon Elston

Jon Elston

Jon Elston is a playwright who, in 2003, co-founded Road Less Traveled Productions, a theater company in Buffalo, NY. Jon has won numerous awards for his writing. We talked about how a love for the truth can lead to a crisis of loyalty. We explore the #MeToo movement and its aftermath. We talk about Jon's play After America: Wasteland 2015, and Jon gushes about the writing and character development in Game of Thrones. Jon also collaborates with his fiancé, Winifred Storms. Her play  Branches is going into production soon and Denis will link up to show dates just as soon as they're available.

Brian Herberger

Brian Herberger

Brian is an educator who wrote the young adult novel, Miss E. Brian began his career in the Washington DC area, teaching middle schoolers. He continues to work in a DC area school district to help educators make the best use of technology. We talk about his book, Miss E., and the impact it made on my mind. Brian's next book, Cross Country is due this Spring.

Valerie Masai-Aspaas

Valerie Masai-Aspaas

Val is also known as "Valociraptor", she is the first professional woman MMA fighter to hail from our Western New York region. 

A Predator Like Me

A Predator Like Me

Today I heard my friend's voice pronounce that I was old. I was out of touch. And I was a predator. And a predator like me should never be allowed to become a mental health counselor.

Phil Stutz

Phil Stutz

Phil wrote this about himself 15 years ago...

"I've been a psychiatrist for over 25 years. From the outside, it looks like a quiet, almost serene, profession. But it's never felt like that to me. My days are prolonged battles. And the fight isn't directly with my patients. They're in pain. They want to get better. The fight is with an invisible force that dominates them. A force with an other-worldly power to destroy their happiness."

"The idea of tools were, in essence, really weapons used in a war."

Phil wrote The Tools,  and  Coming Alive with his writing partner Barry Michels. Their tools are helping thousands of people (me included) live courageously by releasing them from traps set by resentment, fear, inauthenticity, worry, hurt feelings, demoralization, lethargy, and self-gratification. I first discovered Phil three years ago on Marc Maron's WTF. Mind blowing! I bought the book immediately. Life changing! Phil was back in Marc's garage just a few days ago.

Abby Spindelman

Abby Spindelman

Abby created Intimacy Alive, where she offers coaching in relationships and intimacy. She is also a yoga instructor. We talked about her transition from interior design industry employee in NYC to business owner in Buffalo.

Omeri Monroe

Omeri Monroe

Omeri writes and performs his own songs. He strives to learn, collaborate, absorb, and inspire. Omeri grew up listening to the solid gold soul sounds playing on his godmother's radio every day.  Omeri performs two of his songs, "Let's Go", and "You're My Medicine"... prepare to groove ya'll. From an early age he developed independence and ability to provide for himself. As far as I'm concerned, he's a natural-born leader.