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***See below for a complete topic breakdown.***

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This episode is sponsored by Maps of the Mind and their upcoming workshop Facilitating Psychedelic Experiences, happening on Saturday, July 2nd.

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Facilitating Psychedelic Experiences is a four-hour interactive online workshop on trip sitting, guiding, and organizing solo and group trips.

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“We all know shame:

it’s that unpleasant feeling that makes us think there is something wrong with who we are. It’s more than just embarrassment or regret—shame can shake us to the core. And worst of all, it tells us that we need to be, feel, and act differently in order to be seen, loved, and accepted. But is that true?”

These are the words of AJ Bond, who is on the show to look at shame with us.

AJ Bond Shame Attmind Podcast 162A.J. Bond is a Toronto-based writer, filmmaker, and shame educator. After experiencing a life-changing “shame breakthrough” in therapy several years ago, A.J. dedicated himself to educating others about our “master emotion” through Shame Ed classes and one-on-one coaching. A.J. is certified as a shame-healing practitioner by the Center for Healing Shame in Berkeley and has also trained in Nonviolent Communication and Authentic Relating. A.J. recently published a book about his journey through shame, entitled Discomfortable, and is the host of a podcast under the same name.

Together, we talk about what shame is, what it feels like, and how it impacts our sense of self and perception of the world. We also talk about healthy vs unhealthy shame; internal vs. external shame; attachment styles and shame’s link to our developmental past and early relationship with our parents; intimacy and how shame hinders our ability to truly connect with others; unconditional love and ayahuasca’s impact on AJ’s healing through shame; and, of course, how to navigate shame in a way that supports healing the wounds around which our shame directs us.


Visit www.discomfortable.net to connect with A.J. Bond.

ಠ_ಠ
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Episode Clips

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Episode Breakdown

  • (0:00) Opening | Ad for upcoming workshop sponsoring this video
  • (6:01) Interview Begins
  • (6:31) Why shame is an important topic for psychedelic culture
  • (8:31) Shame: what it is and what its made of
  • (11:57) The affect of shame
  • (13:34) Shame as an evolutionary survival adaptation
  • (21:07 ) Healthy vs. unhealthy shame
  • (24:30) Internal vs. external Shame
  • (27:58) Narcissism, cancelling, and toxic shame
  • (34:35) Shame’s link to our developmental past and early relationship with our parents
  • (40:01) Healing the past to liberate ourselves from unhealthy shame | getting discomfortable with shame
  • (46:18) Why how we do a thing matters as much as the thing we do
  • (51:58) Bringing our shame healing/liberation to a systemic level
  • (55:40) All the ways shame will weave itself into your healing
  • (57:32) Intimacy and how shame hinders our ability to truly connect with others
  • (58:18) Connection and relationship is essential components of our healing
  • (1:05:07 ) Unconditional love and ayahuasca’s impact on AJ’s healing through shame
  • (1:11:59) Develop a meta-scaffolding that allows us to be with our reactivity in a healthy way
  • (1:14:06) Some basic steps for navigating shame
  • (1:18:26) Follow-up and social links
  • (1:20:41) Outro | Info about workshop sponsoring this video

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3 Comments

  1. Hi James, thanks for sharing this.
    Few things I didn’t feel it covered though.
    Firstly, why is such a powerful emotion needed in order to learn social norms? And why is it associated with even harmless activities that simply have been deemed socially undesirable?
    I would say we can learn social norms without shame, and we can choose (even under duress) to behave in a certain way without being motivated by shame. We can also accept that we want to behave in another way, but cannot, without involving shame. So shame seems very unexamined to me. I don’t think it is positive for reflective adults.
    Also bit of a different topic, but sometimes shame does not deter you from the behavior but instead reinforces it. Shame is often associated with paraphilia and becomes an integral part of the motivation. Dissolving shame then also often dissolves the obsessive-compulsive behavior which may have become a core part of a person’s identity. I think people should walk that path, but it does imply that we need to be more aware of the psychic origins of paraphilia rather than simply affirming them as is currently the fashion to do.

    • Excellent comment, CPJ!

      why is such a powerful emotion needed in order to learn social norms? — from what I understood we spoke about this as it being an impediment to the “yes” feeling, serving us is its power being to deter or stop of from doing things we are inclined to do but might threaten our social inclusion, integrity of the social group, and thus physical survival as well.

      And why is it associated with even harmless activities that simply have been deemed socially undesirable? — not sure about that. I figure shame can be ported into anything as a part of our social conditioning, and the root of social and cultural norms feels like a big piece of pie.

      Your other two comments are also great, although forgive that my capacity to respond to them is not with me ATM.
      I am, however, going to nudge AJ to take a look here.

      • When shame is interpreted in what is often called a “toxic” way, as in, “This emotion means there’s something inherently wrong with me”, it can indeed reinforce the very behaviour that stimulated the shame in the first place because it creates a self-limiting belief that I can’t change. The healthier interpretation of shame (which some people refer to as “guilt”), is that shame is temporary and stimulated by a specific incident, not a sign of some permanent, fundamental flaw. This interpretation tends to motivate things like learning, change, repair. Of course these interpretations also stem from our childhood conditioning, so they aren’t easily changed.

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