Episode 16: The unbearable heaviness of being perfect

Welcome to Episode 16 of Hello You Podcast!

Come in, sit down and get comfy … all in the name of exploring discomfort. It turns out that reflecting on things that make us uncomfortable is the emergent theme for this month’s episode and, as ever, Neil & Louise dive in.

Come on in – the Salon is open and we’d love you to join us. Follow this link to listen inshownotes are below to give you a flavour of what you’ll be dipping into …

Unexpectedly (and that’s for us, not just the listeners) we start with a discussion about wild garlic, because it’s that time of year and when Neil mentions sunshine, Louise remembered she’s recently been out picking ransoms. Here’s the wild garlic pesto recipe she’s tried; also here’s a vegan recipe.

We shimmy our way into a conversation about pitching and the discomfort of looking for external validation: is the pitch (or even the pitcher) only any good if they win the work? From there we forage our way into a discussion about what ‘good enough’ means and why we struggle with it. That’s both we, as in Neil & Louise and the ‘bigger we’ of UK society.

Collaboration crops up (a bit of a perennial topic on this podcast!) and what part fear plays in stopping us from doing the vulnerable sharing that’s essential for good collaboration. We also dip into flow states, find an article on getting into flow as a team here.

Of course, vulnerability is often a little uncomfortable which brings us to a recent experience of Louise’s, where she felt intimidated and uncomfortable with the thought of reading Chen Chen’s poetry, written in English and Mandarin. Here’s the Twitter thread that sent tendrils out in Louise’s direction and please do consider how powerful it is for the author to share THEIR linguistic world. A huge thank you to Tulika for sharing this with Louise 🙂 This reply to the original tweet also features in the podcast discussion. More about Chen Chen can be found on their website.

Language crops up (as it so often does) – Louise & Neil pop into the idea of learning a new language and what this might reveal about the world around us. Here’s a question, lovely listeners: if you could start learning any language today, what would it be and why? Let us know in the comments below!

Our final and fertile discussion point is Neil’s take on ‘They’ by radical queer writer Kay Dick. Louise admits to feeling uncomfortable and wanting to run away, but also wanting to read it. Neil talks about They evoking things that are uncomfortably like things he’s experienced.

Some things we love

They, written by Kay Dick and originally published in 1977 is enjoying a revival of interest and has us both spellbound with it’s dystopian discomfort style social commentary on art, artists and groupthink.


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