The Meaningful Life with Andrew G. Marshall
Ep.55 John McCullough: Seven Ways Poetry Can Make Your Life Richer, Deeper and More Meaningful

Ep.55 John McCullough: Seven Ways Poetry Can Make Your Life Richer, Deeper and More Meaningful

October 25, 2021

Your last encounter with a poem may well have taken place in a grim classroom, perhaps a painful dissection of WB Yeats or Matthew Arnold.

Poetry can be something entirely different, however, and prize-winning poet John McCullough gives us poetry that is a source of joy, mindfulness and sheer fun.

John McCullough “guides us through a world of déjà vu, doubt and rapture” (Helen Mort). His poetry gives us “fresh insight into vulnerability and suffering”, according to the judges of the Costa Poetry Award.  His poems reference Kate Bush, Lady Gaga, birdlife, Grindr and My Little Pony, while exploring love, loneliness and issues like homelessness and homophobia. 

In this episode Andrew and John talk about the ways poetry can make your life richer, deeper and more meaningful. Poetry helps us live in the moment, it offers a rest from relentless rational thinking and it helps us to process our experiences and make sense of them.

John McCullough's latest book of poems, Reckless Paper Birds, won the 2020 Hawthornden Prize for Literature and was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award. He has also won the Polari First Book Prize and his collections have been named Books of the Year in The Independent, The Guardian and The Observer. He is featured regularly in magazines such as Poetry London, Poetry Review and The New Statesman. Most recently, his poem 'Flower of Sulphur' was shortlisted for the 2021 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. John lives in Hove with his partner and two cats, and teaches creative writing at the Open University and the University of Brighton. 

 

Follow Up

Join our Supporters Club to access exclusive behind-the-scenes content, fan requests and the chance to ask Andrew your own questions. Membership starts at just £4.50.

Read Reckless Paper Birds, John McCullough’s Hawthornden Prize winning collection.

Find out about John McCullough’s other books.

Follow John McCullough on Twitter @JohnMcCullough_ and Instagram @mrjohnmccullough

Get Andrew’s advice on creating change in your life and relationships in his book Wake Up and Change Your Life: How to Survive a Crisis and Be Stronger, Wiser and Happier.

Listen to Andrew’s interview with author Josh Cohen on “How to Live: What You Can Learn From Your Favourite Literary Character”.

Andrew offers regular advice on love, marriage and finding meaning in your life via his social channels. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube @andrewgmarshall 

Ep.54 Viv Groskop: How to be Heard, Really Heard

Ep.54 Viv Groskop: How to be Heard, Really Heard

October 18, 2021

Many of us, particularly women, experience endless frustration because we don’t feel heard. At work and at home, it seems like we are constantly interrupted and rarely feel in control of a conversation.

This week Viv Groskop, journalist, podcaster, stand-up comedian and author of How to Own The Room and Lift As You Climb, talks with Andrew about how to speak so that people will listen. Diving into the world of stand-up taught Viv about pacing, pausing and gauging people’s reactions; but most importantly, about quieting your own ego and tuning into your audience.

Andrew and Viv discuss why exactly it is that many women struggle to be heard. At the practical level, it is crucial to enter the discussion assertively. We also need to make sure we are not self-sabotaging by pre-judging our own contribution as “not good enough”. 

Viv Groskop hosts the chart-topping podcast How to Own The Room. She has written five books and this year will be a judge for the International Booker Prize. She is a regular guest presenter on BBC Radio 4 and has appeared on Woman’s Hour, Today and Front Row. Viv is also a fluent Russian speaker and is a trustee of Pushkin House, the  independent centre for Russian culture in London. 

 

Follow Up

Join our Supporters Club to access exclusive behind-the-scenes content, fan requests and the chance to ask Andrew your own questions. Membership starts at just £4.50: https://www.patreon.com/andrewgmarshall 

Listen to How to Own the Room, Viv Groskop’s podcast: https://vivgroskop.com/podcast/ 

Read How to Own the Room: Women and the Art of Brilliant Speaking, Lift As You Climb: Women, Ambition and How to Change the Story, Au Revoir Tristesse: Lessons in Happiness from French Literature and Viv Groskop’s other books

Visit Viv Groskop’s website: https://vivgroskop.com 

Follow Viv on Instagram and Twitter @VivGroskop

Read Andrew’s blog How to Be a Better Listener https://andrewgmarshall.com/help-better-listener/ 

Get Andrew’s book on communicating better with your partner Help Your Partner Say Yes: Seven Steps to Achieving Better Co-operation and Communication: https://andrewgmarshall.com/book/help-your-partner-say-yes-seven-steps-to-achieving-better-co-operation-and-communication

Andrew offers regular advice on love, marriage and finding meaning in your life via his social channels. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube @andrewgmarshall 

Ep.53 Graham Johnston & Matt Wotton: Good Boundaries: The Foundation of Happy Relationships

Ep.53 Graham Johnston & Matt Wotton: Good Boundaries: The Foundation of Happy Relationships

October 11, 2021

We all know that good boundaries are pretty much essential if we want happy relationships. There is a lot of confusion, though, about what exactly a boundary is and how to make it work. Can we have too many boundaries? Should we ever compromise on the boundaries we set?

This week Andrew talks about boundaries with Graham Johnston and Matt Wotton, psychotherapists and co-founders of the London Centre of Applied Psychology. Matt and Graham share their own experiences of creating good boundaries in both love and parenting, and what it means if we are struggling to get this right.

Our ability to set boundaries is linked closely to our attachment style: those with an anxious attachment may allow their boundaries to crumble too easily; while those with an avoidant attachment can have so many rigid boundaries that they struggle to let anyone in.

Andrew also shares a prayer for good boundaries, which he often uses with marital therapy clients:

'I am me and

You are you.

It's a miracle that we've found each other

But I'm responsible for my stuff

And you're responsible for yours'

 

Graham Johnston is a psychotherapist and educator. He is Director of Policy at The Bowlby Centre, the UK’s leading training institution in attachment-based psychotherapy, and has also worked for the UK Government, specialising in home affairs. He and Matt Wotton are the Co-Founders and Directors of LCAP. 

Matt Wotton is a psychotherapist and executive coach, and also Chair of The Bowlby Centre and Director at LCAP. Matt has over two decades of experience in forensic mental health in the criminal justice system - in operations, coaching leaders, and advising ministers. He led the review of Race in the Criminal Justice System (The Lammy Review), commissioned by the Prime Minister, and has been a member of the Prison & Probation Board. 

 

Follow Up

Join our Supporters Club to access exclusive behind-the-scenes content, fan requests and the chance to ask Andrew your own questions. Membership starts at just £4.50.

Learn more about the London Centre for Applied Psychology (LCAP), where Graham Johnston and Matt Wotton work as Directors.

Learn more about The Bowlby Centre,  the UK’s leading training institution in attachment-based psychotherapy.

Follow LCAP on Twitter and Facebook @LCAPsychology.

Read The Mindful Athlete by George Munford.

Read the poem “On Marriage” by Kahlil Gibran.

Read Andrew’s book on making meaningful change in your life, which also discusses attachment theory Wake Up and Change Your Life: How to Survive a Crisis and be Stronger, Wiser and Happier.

Read Andrew’s blog Three Secrets of a Happy Relationship:

Andrew offers regular advice on love, marriage and finding meaning in your life via his social channels. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube @andrewgmarshall 

Ep.52 Tracy McCubbin: Identifying Blocks to Letting Go: How to Declutter Your Life

Ep.52 Tracy McCubbin: Identifying Blocks to Letting Go: How to Declutter Your Life

October 4, 2021

Is your home environment helping you to live the life you want, or does it get in the way? Clutter - the piles of stuff we don’t need and don’t use - can be a major block to our desire for clarity and meaning. 

If we dig deep into the reasons we hold onto possessions, we can learn some uncomfortable lessons. Are we struggling to leave behind past relationships, past selves? Do we need more help to cope with grief and loss? Or are we endlessly waiting for a special occasion, so we can bring out the “good china”, rather than celebrating the beauty in the everyday?

Tracy McCubbin’s story is full of warmth and inspiration: growing up with divorced parents, one of whom was a hoarder, she “turned her psychic wound into her business”. She built a hugely successful company to help her clients create home environments that support them in their lives. 

Tracy is also the Co-Executive Director of OneKid OneWorld, a non-profit helping schools stay open in Kenya and Central America. 

Follow Up

Join our Supporters Club to access exclusive behind-the-scenes content, fan requests and the chance to ask Andrew your own questions. Membership starts at just £4.50. 

Buy Tracy McCubbin’s book Making Space, Clutter Free: The Last Book on Decluttering You’ll Ever Need.

Visit Tracy McCubbin’s website: www.dclutterfly.com

Follow Tracy on Instagram, Facebook @dClutterfly and as Tracy McCubbin on Youtube

Take a look at the charity of which Tracy is Co-Executive Director, OneKid OneWorld. 

If you struggle to talk to your partner about issues like clutter, read Andrew’s blog Three Secrets of a Happy Relationship

Get Andrew’s advice on creating real change in your life and relationships in his book Wake Up and Change Your Life: How to Survive a Crisis and Be Stronger, Wiser and Happier

Andrew offers regular advice on love, marriage and finding meaning in your life via his social channels. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube @andrewgmarshall 

Ep.51 Robert Hopcke: Synchronicity: Meaningful Coincidences, How to Spot and Use Them To Grow

Ep.51 Robert Hopcke: Synchronicity: Meaningful Coincidences, How to Spot and Use Them To Grow

September 27, 2021

Have you ever experienced a strange, inexplicable coincidence that left you feeling “like a grand, mysterious character in a story?” One that seemed to suggest a particular relationship was “meant to be”, or, on the flipside, that it was time to let go?

This week Andrew talks to Jungian analyst Robert Hopcke about synchronicity: the strange coincidences that make us feel like the universe is sending us a message, or trying to turn our lives around. 

These coincidences have the potential to help us find the meaning we’re seeking. Synchronistic events can offer a sense of underlying wholeness in our lives. They often happen in times of transition, and help us move to the place we need to be. They offer us the opportunity to recognise the symbolic quality of everyday life, and to be alive to the symbolism that everyday objects, events and people present.

Robert Hopcke is a Jungian analyst, author and a licensed marital therapist in private practice in Berkeley, California. He is the author of two books on Jung’s concept of synchronicity - There Are No Accidents and There Are No Accidents in Love and Relationships - and a number of other books about Jung. 

Follow Up

Join our Supporters Club to access exclusive behind-the-scenes content, fan requests and the chance to ask Andrew your own questions. Membership starts at just £4.50.

Read Robert Hopcke’s book There Are No Accidents: Synchronicity and the Stories of Our Lives

Read Robert Hopcke’s book There Are No Accidents in Love and Relationships: Meaningful Coincidences and the Stories of Our Families

Take a look at Robert Hopcke’s website 

Get Andrew’s advice on creating real change in your life and relationships in his book Wake Up and Change Your Life: How to Survive a Crisis and Be Stronger, Wiser and Happier

Read Andrew’s blog on journaling and find out how writing can help you bring more meaning into your life

Andrew offers regular advice on love, marriage and finding meaning in your life via his social channels. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube @andrewgmarshall 

Ep.50 Dr James Hollis: How to Be Resilient

Ep.50 Dr James Hollis: How to Be Resilient

September 20, 2021

For Andrew, it is the writings of Dr James Hollis, one of the world’s most eminent Jungian analysts, that have “sustained me through my dark times”. James Hollis' books also regularly help Andrew’s marital therapy clients to create change in their relationships and recover from infidelity. 

For the 50th episode of The Meaningful Life With Andrew G. Marshall, Andrew speaks to James Hollis about what it means to be resilient - how do we discover and develop the strength nature gives us to “walk through the forest” when we inevitably hit dark times? 

Bookshops and the internet are full of “five steps to happiness” style self-help manuals, telling us that if only we wake up earlier, change jobs, or eliminate caffeine, we will solve all our problems.

In fact, life is fractious and difficult, and requires us to persist. The best way to do this is not an external solution, but to find and trust the strength within ourselves. 

James Hollis is a Washington D.C. based Jungian psychoanalyst and the author of seventeen books. He was Executive Director of the Jung Educational Center in Houston, Texas for many years and Executive Director of the Jung Society of Washington (JSW) until 2019. He also worked as a Senior Training Analyst for the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts and as a Director of Training of the Philadelphia Jung Institute.

 

Follow Up

Join our Supporters Club to access exclusive behind-the-scenes content, fan requests and the chance to ask Andrew your own questions. Membership starts at just £4.50. 

Take a look at James Hollis’ website.

Read Andrew’s review of James Hollis’ book Swamplands of the Soul: New Life in Dismal Places.

Read Andrew’s review of James Hollis’ book Living an Examined Life: Wisdom for the Second Half of the Journey.

Read Andrew’s review of James Hollis’ book Living Between Worlds: Finding Personal Resilience in Changing Times.

Read Under Saturn’s Shadow: the Wounding and Healing of Men by James Hollis.

Listen to Lisa Marchiano of the This Jungian Life podcast speaking with Andrew about meaning and motherhood.

Get Andrew’s advice on creating real change in your life and relationships in his book Wake Up and Change Your Life: How to Survive a Crisis and Be Stronger, Wiser and Happier.

Andrew offers regular advice on love, marriage and finding meaning in your life via his social channels. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube @andrewgmarshall 

Ep.49 Dr. Warren Farrell: The Boy Crisis: How to Help Your Son Flourish

Ep.49 Dr. Warren Farrell: The Boy Crisis: How to Help Your Son Flourish

September 13, 2021

According to Dr Warren Farrell, the world is facing a “boy crisis”. Suicide, ADHD and weak educational outcomes are among the problems boys and their parents face. Many bright boys are experiencing a “purpose void,” feeling alienated, withdrawn, and addicted to immediate gratification.

Andrew and Warren discuss why boys are struggling and what parents, teachers, and policymakers can do to help our sons become happier, healthier men and fathers and leaders worthy of our respect.

Dr Farrell is an author and academic specialising in men’s issues. He has been chosen by The Financial Times of London as one of the world’s top 100 thought leaders, and by the Center for World Spirituality as one of the world’s spiritual leaders. He is also the only man ever elected three times to the Board of the National Organization for Women in New York City. Dr Farrell has been interviewed by Oprah, Barbara Walters and Larry King, and has been featured in Forbes, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

This week’s episode takes a slightly different format: Andrew interviews Warren Farrell at the annual MANN SEIN conference in Berlin, an international gathering to talk about masculinity in today’s world. 

Follow Up

Join our Supporters Club to access exclusive behind-the-scenes content, fan requests and the chance to ask Andrew your own questions. Membership starts at just £4.50.

Find out more about the MANN SEIN annual conference in Berlin/online.

Learn more about Warren Farrell on his website: https://warrenfarrell.com 

Read Warren Farrell’s book The Boy Crisis: https://warrenfarrell.com/product/the-boy-crisis/ 

You can follow Warren Farrell on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Instagram @drwarrenfarrell

Read Andrew’s book on how to be a great parent and have a happy marriage, Can We Start Again Please? Twenty Questions to Fall Back in Love: https://andrewgmarshall.com/book/can-we-start-again-please-twenty-questions-to-fall-back-in-love/ 

Watch Andrew’s video on the Ten Golden Rules of Happy Parenting: https://youtu.be/Ksk6PQSGhQs 

Andrew offers regular advice on love, marriage and finding meaning in your life via his social channels. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube @andrewgmarshall 

Ep.48 Oliver Russell: How a Near Death Experience Changed My Life

Ep.48 Oliver Russell: How a Near Death Experience Changed My Life

September 6, 2021

Are you jogging along, not really noticing how time is passing? Avoiding the big questions by spending hours on distractions that don’t really add much to your life? For most of us, if we knew death were around the corner, we would most likely use our time differently.

Oliver Russell was one of the first people in the UK to be infected with COVID-19. All of his major organs shut down and a police officer was ready to visit family with the news of his death. 

Oliver was already struggling to deal with the long, empty-seeming days of the new retiree, the needs of his aging mother, and an over-reliance on alcohol. COVID tore this troubled existence apart. After a long, frightening journey to the edge of death, he was pushed to make major life changes. Oliver stopped using alcohol, transformed his social circles so that they were positive and rejuvenating, and found a new appreciation of the small pleasures of life.

Follow Up

Join our Supporters Club to access exclusive behind-the-scenes content, fan requests and the chance to ask Andrew your own questions. Membership starts at just £4.50. 

Read Andrew’s advice on dealing with painful feelings

Read Andrew’s thoughts on creating real change in your life and relationships in his book Wake Up and Change Your Life: How to Survive a Crisis and Be Stronger, Wiser and Happier

Andrew offers regular advice on love, marriage and finding meaning in your life via his social channels. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube @andrewgmarshall 

Ep.47 Dr. Linda Berman: Seven Ways To Become Your Authentic Self

Ep.47 Dr. Linda Berman: Seven Ways To Become Your Authentic Self

August 30, 2021

Have you been told “just be yourself”, only to feel confused about what exactly that means? This week Andrew discusses with Dr Linda Berman seven important starting points for finding your authentic self. 

Linda Berman is a writer, artist and retired psychotherapist. Before her retirement she worked privately, including in a psychiatric hospital, and for the NHS. Linda was also a counsellor and supervisor with Relate for many years.

Linda has written a book, Beyond the Smile, exploring the importance of photographs in people’s lives and in psychotherapy. She has degrees in literature, psychotherapy, and fine art, and also a PhD, for which she researched the effects on survivors of telling the Holocaust story. Linda writes a weekly blog about mental health, psychotherapy, life and relationships.

 

Follow Up

Join our Supporters Club to access exclusive behind-the-scenes content, fan requests and the chance to ask Andrew your own questions. Membership starts at just £4.50.

Read Linda Berman’s blog waysofthinking.co.uk - it covers mental health, psychotherapy, life and relationships.

Take a look at Linda’s book Beyond the Smile: the Therapeutic Use of the Photograph

Follow Linda on Twitter @LindaBerman4

Read Andrew’s advice on keeping a journal of your life and emotions at https://andrewgmarshall.com/top-twelve-benefits-of-journaling/ 

Get Andrew’s advice on creating real change in your life and relationships in his book Wake Up and Change Your Life: How to Survive a Crisis and Be Stronger, Wiser and Happier: https://andrewgmarshall.com/book/wake-up-and-change-your-life-how-to-survive-a-crisis-and-be-stronger-wiser-and-happier/ 

Andrew offers regular advice on love, marriage and finding meaning in your life via his social channels. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube @andrewgmarshall 

Ep.46 Fran Bushe: How I Stopped Thinking My Body Was Broken (and Dealt With Vaginismus)

Ep.46 Fran Bushe: How I Stopped Thinking My Body Was Broken (and Dealt With Vaginismus)

August 23, 2021

Half of all women have experienced pain during sex. Yet the subject remains taboo, and help and understanding from the medical profession can be very hard to find. 

In this week’s episode Fran Bushe, author of My Broken Vagina, shares her funny, moving quest to fix her sex life (and yours). During her journey toward understanding vaginismus, Fran was advised by doctors to have a glass of wine to loosen up, male friends suggested she just hadn’t tried the right penis yet, and she even visited a Sex Camp. 

Andrew and Fran discuss how understanding the vagina better can enhance sex lives for women and men. They also talk about how to overcome pain during sex, move past the idea of penetration as “real sex”, and find a deeper level of pleasure for both of you. 

Follow Up

Join our Supporters Club to access exclusive behind-the-scenes content, fan requests and the chance to ask Andrew your own questions. Membership starts at just £4.50.

Read Fran Bushe’s book My Broken Vagina: One Woman’s Quest to Fix her Sex Life, and Yours

Get tickets for Fran’s one woman show Ad Libido at the Soho Theatre in August/September 2021.

Follow Fran on Twitter and Instagram @franbushe

Find out more about vaginismus from The Vaginismus Network

Read Andrew’s blog Three Secrets of a Happy Relationship

Read Andrew’s book Have the Sex You Want: a Couple’s Guide to Getting the Spark Back

Andrew offers regular advice on love, marriage and finding meaning in your life via his social channels. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube @andrewgmarshall 

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