Episode 6Final
Emily

Welcome to the Sacred Gyre Podcast, staying connected to your deepest values as you work for change.

When I started this podcast, I named it Spirit and Change. I liked the name because it indicated that I was interested in going deeper than just ideas. I wanted it to be about feelings, ways of knowing, complex relationships, and all the other things that go into how we are in the world. I'd researched the name and to me it looked different enough from other podcasts and website names to be viable. After creating five episodes, I decided that I was sure enough about the value of this project to get the name trademarked, so I got an account on legal zoom.com and made an application. It turned out that my original name was in fact, too close to one, already trademarked, so I had to find a new one.

I ended up with Sacred Gyre, which is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. I love the name because it points to the way I see our lives as circles that never close, but tend to return to similar places, and to me, life itself is sacred. Unfortunately, this meant I had to make major revisions to my podcast episodes.

When I created them, I did not know what the impact of changing the name would be. So I created the full episodes with the introductory words and music or intros and closing words and music for outros attached to each episode as I published them. To save room on my hard drive. I deleted all but the finished episodes with Intro and Outro.

I could not figure out how to edit all the intros and outros, or how to detach them from the episodes and reattach new ones, so I had to delete them, rerecord all the episodes, plus new intro and outro with a new name, reattach the intros and outros to each episode and save them again. Then I had to delete all the episodes from my WordPress website and put the new ones back in. This in addition to the fact that I use two programs, Audacity and Descript, to record and publish the episodes. Now I am not a programmer. All these different programs are unique systems that I do not find easy to learn. So it took me a full month to fix all this. I experienced a lot of frustration. Frequently, I muttered angry words at my computer.

All this was happening as I faced delicious challenges at work and at both of my volunteer positions. There were times when I wanted to do nothing but fix the podcast episodes and times when I wished they didn't even exist. I had to work hard to not let the podcast frustrations bleed over into the rest of my life.

I think I was mostly successful, and that term, delicious challenges, is part of the reason why. Delicious Challenge is a term I came up with when I was working to change the denial of gender confirming surgeries by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

As I said in episode five, I was successful in that effort, in large part because I made a commitment to assuming that people meant well and were doing the best they could under the circumstances, even when I strongly disagreed with their reactions to my effort. I still felt anger, frustration, and fear, but was able to not act out those feelings most of the time.

I would take a breath or two or three before speaking or writing my responses. At one point, while commiserating with a friend, I was describing something I needed to do in response to a government official that left me feeling very angry and confused. I spontaneously said something like, "Well, it is a delicious challenge."

I immediately felt a little smile come over me, and my mood lightened up a bit. I hadn't thought about this phrase, it just came to me in the moment. Looking back, I can see it was sparked by my conscious determination to live by those positive assumptions by my reading and trainings I referred to in episode four, studying meditation in the 1990s by my dry sense of humor and other factors.

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