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Is That What You Believe? The Thoughts That Shape Our Reality – Episode 149

In this episode, Dara once again finds himself considering his mental health battles. Emerging from a very recent depression, he examines the difference in his thinking when he is embattled versus when he is well. Why would he choose to believe one reality and not the other? Why, in spite of very persuasive negative thoughts, does his ‘better’ self prevail? And why does he compare these differing states and beliefs to acting reviews?

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Turning 50 – If I’m Calm, It’s the Jedi’s Fault! – Episode 138

Dara has just turned 50, and in this episode he lets his mind hover over the moment in an attempted stocktake. Even as he argues for gratitude, he acknowledges how challenging the world is right now. This leads him to consider whether enough weight is attached to softer impulses and emotions. In these times of fracture and isolation and estrangement, should we attach greater significance and worthiness to love and positivity and connection?

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Survival, Transcendence, and the Myth of Whatever Doesn’t Kill You – Episode 108

In this episode, Dara talks about the affection for survival narratives and considers the respective legacies of the recently deceased singers and songwriters Tina Turner and Christy Dignam. He wonders whether we should be defined by what we’ve overcome in life. He also questions the value of legacy and argues for the need to be more concerned with our present-tense impact.

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Foundational Beliefs of Identity and Gender-Neutral Parenting, or How I Got Cool With Being a Girl-Father! – Episode 99

In this episode, prompted by Spike Lee’s He Got Game (1998), Dara examines his convictions as a parent, and recalls how an ill-fated Irish journalist helped him get comfortable with the idea of becoming a father to a daughter. He identifies a pillar of his parenting approach that he hopes he will manage to keep intact. He also looks at the idea of gender-neutral parenting, something he tries to adopt with his daughter.

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The Vulnerable Idealism of Living With an Open Heart, or There’s One Born Every Minute! – Episode 96

In this episode, Dara examines the centrality of heart to his own personal philosophy. He recognises that his concept of the metaphorical heart is suffused with his natural idealism, and how that can lead him into situations where he can be easily wounded. He argues against the interpretation of open-heartedness being equal to naivete.

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The Four Agreements of Don Miguel Ruiz – Episode 47

In this episode Dara has a good look at the bestselling 1997 New Age text, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, the Mexican spiritualist and New Age thinker. The four agreements in question relate to how we speak or use language; how we receive the actions of others; the limitations of what we can know about anybody else; and the commitment to always trying to use the best of ourselves. Easier said than done, but Dara tries to examine them in a context of personal responsibility and everyday behaviour, and recognises how they can be applied in his own life.

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