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Intentionality, Clarity, Self-Care, and The Belief in Positive Change – Episode 151

In this episode, Dara is doing what he thinks he should have done last week; namely, reflect on the throughline of one hundred and fifty episodes of the podcast. His mission statement from the original blog iteration of The ClearOut in 2013 remains just as relevant over 10 years later – Decluttering. Clarifying. Connecting. Those three imperatives continue to assert themselves on the weekly attempt to offer something of use to the listener. They, attached to an eye-rolling scepticism about toxic positivity, are at the heart of the podcast’s subheading – Wellness with Attitude.

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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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Was That Absolutely Necessary? or, Keeping Calm in an Age of Chaos! – Episode 145

In this episode, Dara is rolling over some recent themes. He is convinced that cultivated internal calmness is a key part of responding healthily to the chaos of the world. When he talks about the importance of a ‘proportional response’ to whatever afflicts us, he acknowledges the connection of that idea to the philosophy of traditional martial arts practice. The implication of control is central to that idea and it is why Dara doesn’t have a lot of love for UFC competition, where that restraint is often disregarded.

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The Absolute ‘Ick’ Episode – Going Granular on My War with Myself – Episode 140

In this very personal and occasionally difficult episode, Dara decides he can’t not examine his near four-decade-old impulse to destroy himself. A follow-on from last week’s episode in which he spoke more generally and euphemistically about a recent onset of anxiety-fuelled depression, this time he wants more transparency, more openness, more keeping it real. He understands that for some people this type of sharing gives them the ‘ick’, hence the title of the episode.

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Existential Framing: Pathways, Destinations, and Empty Spaces – Episode 139

In this episode, Dara tries to remind himself of the existential power of understanding life as an unending path that leads to endless unknown destinations. In relation to a recent rough mental health episode, he is also happy to be reminded that the path of life will continue past the present moment, no matter how challenging it might be.

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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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