Skip to main content
Mindful Conversations, with Shamash & Calvin

Mindful Conversations, with Shamash & Calvin

By Shamash Alidina & Calvin Niles

Helping therapists, coaches and other mental health practitioners help their clients lead richer and more meaningful lives, by combining Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with mindful storytelling.
Join Shamash Alidina, best-selling author of Mindfulness for Dummies and Mindful Storyteller Calvin Niles, as they view mindfulness through the lens of Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey.
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Spotify Logo

Spotify

Introducing the Certified Mindful Storytelling Course
Introducing the Certified Mindful Storytelling Course
Join Shamash and Calvin for a Mindful Storytelling workshop, on March 9th 2022, to discover how to use the Hero's Journey to enable transformation.
02:00
February 14, 2022
Episode 12: Return with the Elixir: living your purpose
Episode 12: Return with the Elixir: living your purpose
In the final episode of this series, Shamash and Calvin return with the elixir, and complete their Hero's Journey into mindfulness, through storytelling. Join Shamash and Calvin for a Mindful Storytelling Workshop, on October 4th. This remote workshop is for coaches and therapists, to explore the Hero’s Journey using insights from mindfulness, acceptance and values-based action. In this episode: Kush Kanodia counsels against following gurus, and suggests we be our own guru. Mari Williams shares how she works with parents, teachers, and leaders to step into a larger role and support others. Dr Mehwish Sharif looks at helping someone actively vs passively, and how self-fulfilment allows us to be more helpful to others. Dr Vikki Barnes describes the ways in which her teaching has informed others to spread the message and power of positive psychology. Mindful Conversations is hosted by mindfulness teacher Shamash Alidina and mindful storyteller Calvin Niles.
21:55
September 15, 2021
Episode 11: Resurrection to Discover Your Power: Post-traumatic growth and the transcendent self
Episode 11: Resurrection to Discover Your Power: Post-traumatic growth and the transcendent self
With the end of this series almost in sight, Shamash and Calvin enter the resurrection phase of the Hero's Journey, examining the transcendent self and exploring the growth that can come after a traumatic experience. Dr Vikki Barnes opens by setting out the positive psychology idea of post-traumatic growth, rejecting the notion of "negative emotions". Dr Mehwish Sharif uses rainbows as a lens through which we can explore the fleeting nature of post-traumatic growth. Mari Williams shares the story of someone working on a children's cancer ward, who experienced how parents deal with what is likely their darkest experience. Kush Kanodia describes the process of coming back together after a life-shattering experience, using the Japanese concept of kintsugi ("golden joinery"). Dr Steven Hayes points to the mind as a modern notional concept, and explores the way we can sometimes run away from positive emotions as well as negative ones. Jill Bolte-Taylor's TED talk In the final episode of this series, Shamash and Calvin will return with the elixir, and wrap up their learnings from the past eleven weeks. Mindful Conversations is hosted by mindfulness teacher Shamash Alidina and mindful storyteller Calvin Niles.
34:57
September 08, 2021
Episode 10: The Road Back: Finding grit
Episode 10: The Road Back: Finding grit
This week, Shamash and Calvin begin the journey back home. As ever, they have help along their Hero's Journey through mindfulness and acceptance. In this episode: Dr Vikki Barnes offers some advice for anyone having difficulty finding their grit. Kush Kanodia approaches the search for grit from the scientific perspective, and explores how grit interplays with long-term systems change. Mari Williams counsels us to find the mini version of ourselves that we can identify with, as the carrier of our inner determination. Dr Wendy Molefi brings up the idea of equanimity: meeting our thoughts and emotions without getting caught up in them. Dr Mehwish Sharif uses the analogy of a swimmer to illustrate what we can do when caught unawares. Dr Steven Hayes chats with Shamash about competence, and opens up about the challenges he faced writing the book on Acceptance and Commitment Training. Next week, we explore post-traumatic growth and reveal the transcendent self. Mindful Conversations is hosted by mindfulness teacher Shamash Alidina and mindful storyteller Calvin Niles.
32:57
September 01, 2021
Episode 9: Wake-up Moments: the solution could be the problem
Episode 9: Wake-up Moments: the solution could be the problem
This week, Shamash and Calvin explore the eighth chapter of the Hero's Journey into mindfulness and acceptance: the Ordeal. Along with acceptance, what can commitment allow us to achieve, and how can we spot when commitment turns to stubbornness? Social entrepreneur Kush Kanodia opens the episode with a story of commitment that led to a life-changing opportunity Therapist Mari Williams shares her approach to helping people deal with those moments in life where we need the reassurance that we're going to be OK Dr Mehwish Sharif discusses strength in vulnerability, reducing the clutter in clients' minds, and encouraging flexibility ACT originator Dr Steven Hayes plays out a conversation about self-inflicted pain, and is candid about the difficulties he's faced with his own physical pain and the unhealthy thoughts that arose as a result. Next week, we seize our reward and begin the journey back home. Mindful Conversations is hosted by mindfulness teacher Shamash Alidina and mindful storyteller Calvin Niles.
21:54
August 26, 2021
Episode 8: Approaching the Inmost Cave: the dark night of the soul
Episode 8: Approaching the Inmost Cave: the dark night of the soul
This week, Shamash and Calvin venture into the inmost cave and do battle with hopelessness in the long dark night of the soul. Luckily as ever, they have help in their Hero's Journey through mindfulness. In this episode: Therapist Mari Williams shares how she counselled herself through a difficult time in her life, by remembering that healing takes time. We hear from social entrepreneur Kush Kanodia who recounts his own painful experience, and how being thrown into chaos helped him discover his purpose. Dr Wendy Molefi talks philosophically about the passage of pain, but also uses the Buddhist idea of the second arrow to describe sitting with that pain. Dr Steven Hayes, originator of ACT, shares a story with Shamash about a meeting with a professor and the setting of an impossible task. Next week, we explore our gifts and uncover the power of grit. Mindful Conversations is hosted by mindfulness teacher Shamash Alidina and mindful storyteller Calvin Niles.
24:10
August 18, 2021
Episode 7: Tests, Allies and Enemies: The supportive nature of values
Episode 7: Tests, Allies and Enemies: The supportive nature of values
This week, our heroes Shamash and Calvin are out of their comfort zone, and have moved into a new special world where difficult challenges ensue. When examining acceptance and commitment therapy through the lens of the Hero's Journey, we see how tests and enemies align, but who are our allies? Our values. In this episode: Therapist Mari Williams describes how we live out our values, and how they filter and inform even the smallest decisions we make. Social entrepreneur Kush Kanodia combines purpose and values by looking at them in terms of core and flex: those things we hold sacred vs those we can compromise on. Dr Steven Hayes, originator of ACT, recounts a spiritual experience that informed his work, and discusses the ways we judge our own feelings and how that judgement can lead to anxiety. Dr Mehwish Sharif sets out some the questions she asks clients to help them explore the emotions behind the choices they make. Next week, we approach the inner-most cave, and understand what can be gained from engaging in a long dark night of the soul. Mindful Conversations is hosted by mindfulness teacher Shamash Alidina and mindful storyteller Calvin Niles.
26:47
August 11, 2021
Episode 6: Crossing the Threshold: committing to a choice
Episode 6: Crossing the Threshold: committing to a choice
What is choice? How do we make good choices, and how important are the choices we make? This week, Shamash and Calvin cross the threshold on their next leg of their Hero's Journey into mindfulness. In this episode: Therapist Mari Williams describes how a lack of choice, real or perceived, can make us feel trapped, but that realising we have choice – even if unfavourable – is valuable. Dr Mehwish Sharif looks at the growth mindset behind choice, its relationship to decision-making, and how the first step we need to take is accepting the choices we make. Dr Steven Hayes, the founder of ACT, explores the negotiations we have with ourselves in the mirror. Social entrepreneur Kush Kanodia shares his personal paradox that the more he knows the more he realises he doesn't know. On next week's episode, we'll tackle tests, allies and enemies. Mindful Conversations is hosted by mindfulness teacher Shamash Alidina and mindful storyteller Calvin Niles.
17:46
August 05, 2021
Episode 5: Meeting the Mentor: Opening your mind to curiosity, learning and encouragement
Episode 5: Meeting the Mentor: Opening your mind to curiosity, learning and encouragement
Shamash and Calvin embark on the next leg of the Hero's Journey, weaving mindful storytelling with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. This week, the Meeting with the Mentor: how our mentors can be people who've brought impact into our lives, but could equally be other sources of inspiration: books, films, even podcasts. In this episode: Social entrepreneur Kush Kanodia speaks to the value of finding a mentor. Dr Wendy Molefi sets out the benefits of speaking with someone close – a friend or a colleague – to help you shift a difficult problem. Speaking of shifting a problem, therapist Mari Williams describes how she encourages her clients to see her work as helping to roll a heavy boulder uphill. Dr Vikki Barnes shares the introduction to the world of psychology that would go on to shape her career. Dr Mehwish Sharif explores at the benefits of working with someone who has walked your same journey, and can act as a guide. Dr Steven Hayes, Professor of Psychology at the University of Nevada and the originator of ACT, shares his powerful realisation around accepting anxiety rather than letting panic set in. Next week, we cross the threshold. Mindful Conversations is hosted by mindfulness teacher Shamash Alidina and mindful storyteller Calvin Niles.
17:21
July 28, 2021
Episode 4: Refusal of the Call: Avoidance ain’t always a good idea
Episode 4: Refusal of the Call: Avoidance ain’t always a good idea
Shamash and Calvin embark on the next leg of the Hero's Journey, facing their first challenge: do they heed the call to adventure, or ignore it? In this episode: Dr Mehwish Sharif explains how we build our reality through our experiences, judgements, and filters. Therapist Mari Williams delves into the unconscious mind, how it can protect us, and how guilt can get in the way Dr Vikki Barnes describes the positive approach she takes with her clients, to help them achieve better outcomes. Social entrepreneur Kush Kanodia helps us reframe challenges as puzzles to be solved. Dr Wendy Molefi shows us what can happen if we don't take time to decompress, or spend time enjoying the little things. Read the Serenity Prayer quoted by Shamash. Make sure to join us next time, when we have a Meeting with the Mentor. Mindful Conversations is hosted by mindfulness teacher Shamash Alidina and mindful storyteller Calvin Niles.
18:26
July 21, 2021
Episode 3: Call to Adventure: the opportunity of life’s challenges
Episode 3: Call to Adventure: the opportunity of life’s challenges
Shamash and Calvin accept the Call to Adventure, discussing the next leg of the Hero's Journey and how it relates to films we already know. In this episode: Therapist Mari Williams recounts her childhood call to adventure and the decisions her early family life presented her with in adulthood. Social entrepreneur Kush Kanodia talks openly about his disability, and how humbling a painful struggle can be. Dr Mehwish Sharif discusses uncertainty, and the challenges she faced following the birth of her son. Dr Wendy Molefi reminds us that our instinctive response to flee is designed to keep us safe, but it can lead to difficulty accepting hard challenges. Dr Vikki Barnes describes the human negativity bias, and how facing adversity can help build tribes founded on empathy. Make sure to join us next time, when we talk about the Refusal of the Call. Mindful Conversations is hosted by mindfulness teacher Shamash Alidina and mindful storyteller Calvin Niles.
26:35
July 14, 2021
Episode 2: The Ordinary World: the dangers of living on autopilot
Episode 2: The Ordinary World: the dangers of living on autopilot
Shamash and Calvin embark on the first step of the Hero's Journey: the Ordinary World, taking a look at what can happen when we move through life on autopilot. In this episode: Social entrepreneur Kush Kanodia shares some wise words from Ferris Bueller, reminding us to "stop and look around once in a while". Dr Wendy Molefi highlights why humans have an autopilot setting: the benefits it can bring, and the dangers it can pose. Dr Vikki Barnes explains some of the ways in which autopilot can manifest itself in our bodies, which can lead to discomfort or lack of sleep. Therapist Mari Williams looks at the stories we tell ourselves, and the danger in not revisiting those stories to check if they're still relevant to our real lives. Dr Mehwish Sharif shares an exercise she encourages her clients to do, to help them be more mindful of their surroundings when on autopilot. Make sure to join us next time, when we take up the Call to Adventure! Mindful Conversations is hosted by mindfulness teacher Shamash Alidina and mindful storyteller Calvin Niles.
21:27
July 07, 2021
Episode 1: The Hero's Journey
Episode 1: The Hero's Journey
Calvin introduces Shamash to Joseph Campbell's "Monomyth", better known as the Hero's Journey, examining how it has informed storytelling from the Epic of Gilgamesh, to T*he Lord of the Rings*, to T*he Matrix*. Go deeper Christopher Vogler, Hollywood executive ScriptLab's breakdown of The Matrix using the Hero's Journey The Mindful Storyteller Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Mindful Conversations is hosted by mindfulness teacher Shamash Alidina and mindful storyteller Calvin Niles.
29:54
June 30, 2021
Trailer
Trailer
Shamash and Calvin introduce the podcast. Follow Mindful Conversations now to hear the first episode when it arrives on July 1.
00:39
June 08, 2021