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Exploring the Nature of Paradox with
Brandi Stanley

Brandi Stanley is a walking and talking paradox and you are, too. This episode is a long-form podcast between two people that don’t know how to be bite-sized. Often discussed through the lens of paradox where paradox is the answer and not the problem, and pleasure is found in the pursuit of all the questions. In it, Brandi discusses finding purpose in her life as a generalist for whom curiosity is always burning. We talk about aliveness as a North Star for purpose in that, according to Brandi, “whatever wakes up aliveness is your purpose.” We talk about connection – both connecting disparate ideas and also what happens when we become disconnected and it manifests as illness in our bodies, divisiveness in our culture, and breakdowns in our ecology. Brandi shares about the role of religion in her life and her exploration of the intentional split between matter and the sacred, and how she is reintegrating them in her life. We explore the idea of ‘living in the gift’ and how we can share our gifts with the world and how we can receive the gifts of others. 

We also talk about: 

  • The intersection of eroticism + aliveness
  • Learning to stop cutting off pieces of yourself to belong
  • Holding complexity 
  • Finding purpose in illness 


Find Brandi

Instagram: @thisplusthatpod

Selected Essays from Brandi: 
Scientific Faith vs. Scientific Religion
Waste + Aliveness
Gravity + the Erotic 

Further Reading:
Matter and Desire: an Erotic Ecology by Andreas Weber – Sacred Earth Sacred Soul by John Philip Newell
Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman
Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein 
Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein 
Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown
The Work of Carlo Rovelli 
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
Underland by Robert MacFarlane

Resources Mentioned: 

Nadia Drake 
The movie ‘Arrival’
Spiral Dynamics explanation on Rob Bell’s Podcast (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Related Ground Work Episodes:

Erin Pata 

Current Discounts for GW listeners:

  • 15% off Farm True ghee and body care products using code: KATEKAV15
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