Rhett Smith Podcast

Therapist + Writer + Speaker In this long-form interview format Rhett explores the lives of various thought leaders to discover what helped them thrive in multiple areas of their lives, and what lessons we can learn from them. Rhett is particularly interested in the intersection of self-care and relationships, and he loves to explore how one can thrive physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. He interacts with people such as therapists, athletes, spiritual leaders, entrepreneurs and many others, covering a variety of topics from fitness, leadership, mental health, and spirituality. What would your marriage look like when you are thriving? What does your parenting look like when you are thriving? What does your work look like when you are thriving? What does your faith look like when you are thriving? When we thrive in these areas of our lives we become people who are "life-giving." And when we are "life-givers" we impact all the relationships around us in positive ways. So engage the podcast and discover how you can thrive personally and relationally.
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Now displaying: November, 2015
Nov 25, 2015

I have tried over the years to do a better job of giving thanks daily and living in gratitude. But like many of you I struggle. It would seem that I would have starts and stops, and then I would get excited about it again when a holiday like Thanksgiving rolled around to remind me about the importance of giving thanks.


But this is something that I know is important. The letters of Paul in the New Testament are filled with this idea of being thankful and giving thanks. I particularly like the Greek word for eucharist that Paul uses. The word means to literally give thanks and to be thankful (among other things), but also embedded in the word is the concept of grace coming from the Greek word charis (English translisteration/spelling). So eucharist is both an acknowledgment of what we are thankful for in the act of giving thanks, but it's also a recognition of the grace of God in our lives. I think giving thanks and living in gratitude is about both....being thankful and experiencing the working out of God's grace. Now it's been 16 years since I studied Greek and the finer points of my Koine Greek scholarship may be a bit rusty...but I think this view of eucharist is really important to our lives.


About two years ago I noticed that most of the people I listened to on podcasts, and the books I was reading, and the videos I was watching...there was a common thread. And the common thread was the importance of a daily practice of being thankful and living in gratitude for all these people. What was even more interesting was that this practice was a common thread across all kinds of factor such as race, gender, faith/non-faith background, socioeconomic status, etc. Everyone I was coming across was talking about how important this practice was to their lives. In fact, it was such a huge factor that despite circumstances, being thankful and living in gratitude changed the trajectory of their day, and of their life.


This may seem like common sense, especially from someone who grew up in the Church around the tradition of eucharist (communion, Lord's supper, etc.), and who is taught to give thanks in all circumstances. But knowing something and living it out are two different things. So this last January I asked for the Five Minute Journal for my birthday, and the beginning question in the journal is to name 3 things you are thankful for. This began my more disciplined practice this last year of daily looking to be thankful, living in gratitude, and experiencing the grace of God in my life.


In this episode I explore:

  • the meaning of eucharist as both a giving of thanks and receiving of God's grace.
  • ways to practice giving thanks and being grateful.
  • journaling our thankfulness; verbalizing our thankfulness; creating a thankfulness tree.
  • something you can practice this week.

Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Five Minute Journal

The Bible

Nov 18, 2015

Hanging out at our Marriage Strong training in Malibu, CA.

Hanging out at our Strong Marriage training in Malibu, CA.

This last week my wife and I spent two days training with Sharon Hargrave in her Marriage Strong curriculum. There were several reasons why we wanted to attend the training: 1) We know how much working through our Pain and Peace Cycle has transformed our own marriage; 2) We have a desire to lead these groups in our neighborhood, community, and at workshops and conferences; and I in my practice. 3) I absolutely love the work of Terry and Sharon Hargrave.


In 2010 my colleague and good friend Todd Sandel started telling me about these amazing 4 day marriage intensives taking place at The Hideaway Experience in Amarillo, Texas. After going up and sitting in a few of these marriage intensives, I eventually went on staff as one of the therapists, and helped co-lead marriage intensives there until 2014 when I eventually stepped off staff because of time constraints with my own practice and family life. It was here that I learned about the Pain and Peace Cycle through the 5 Days to a New Marriage model developed by Terry Hargrave and Shawn Stoever for The Hideaway. I put this model to work fairly quickly in my own marriage...and it was then that a radical shift took place that has helped us really transform our marriage into what it is today.


I then went back to my therapy practice and began using this model not only with couples, but also individual clients and I saw people's lives dramatically change. It was through these experiences that I came to realize and really believe in the work of the Pain and Peace Cycle, and I wanted to do everything I could to become a better practitioner of it. So this last year I spent time training with the founder of the Pain and Peace Cycle, Marriage and Family Therapy pioneer, Terry Hargrave. Through my training with him I officially became a Level II certified therapist in Restoration Therapy.


I have used this work with individuals, couples, families, church staffs, corporate managers and directors...and I have seen it transform people in all of these areas.


So when my wife and I had the chance to go train in Marriage Strong which has Restoration Therapy as it's foundational piece, we jumped at the opportunity.


We had a great weekend learning more about each other and talking about how we can intentionally continue to improve our marriage. As we spent time doing this I came to realize that there are a certain number of skills that I think if couples practice, they would benefit greatly from...they would see their marriage shift in some really positive directions.


So in this podcast I took all of my training that I've learned at The Hideaway Experience, Restoration Therapy, Marriage Strong, and other things that I've learned and developed along the way as a clinician...and I boiled it down to 5 skills. Of course there are a lot of varying skills couples can practice, but instead of always looking for that "silver bullet" to fix everything in a marriage, I think more couples need to really focus on a few skills and just practice...practice...practice...practice...practice. You get the point. Marriages grow and become strong through practice, not through some shiny or sexy new skill that will fix everything.


So in this episode I talk about these 5 skills:

  • identifying and practicing awareness around your negative pattern of interaction made up of your feelings and coping (Pain Cycle).
  • taking responsibility for yourself (your Pain Cycle) and learning to emotionally regulate yourself, rather than expecting your spouse to.
  • identifying and developing your positive pattern of interaction made up of your truth and action (Peace Cycle)
  • learning how to problem solve out of your Peace Cycle.
  • fostering your sense of "usness" in the marriage.

Resources and People Mentioned in the Episode

Marriage Strong The Hideaway Experience 5 Days to a New Marriage Restoration Therapy Terry Hargrave Sharon Hargrave Todd Sandel LifeGate Group Restoration Therapy: Understanding and Guiding Healing in Marriage and Family Therapy Using the Restoration Therapy Model to Transform You, Your Relationships, Churches, Organizations, and Corportations

Nov 10, 2015

Imagine you are in a room and two different type of men walk in. One is encouraging, inspiring and vulnerable. He's not just there physically, but he has shown up emotionally as well. He's connected to those around him. And because he shows up this way, others will feed off that and grow. He's what I call a life-giving man. But the other man is there only physically, not emotionally. He's not connected to those around him. He tends to be critical, lives in fear, and is often quick to anger or be impatient. He's someone who sucks the life out of those around him...the total opposite of a life-giving man.


In this episode I share briefly this idea of life-giving man which I have written about extensively, but I also dive into 3 important messages that life-giving men communicate to those around them. In this episode I talk a lot about the father/son relationship, but just because you may not have a son, there are probably other men in your life that need you to be a life-giver. And if you are woman listening to this episode, then I talk about the importance of having this insight into the men in your life.


In my book What it Means to be a Man, I quote a passage from Richard Rohr's book, The Wild Man's Journey: Reflections on Male Spirituality. In this quote you get an essence of these two very different men.

"When a father tells a child that he can do something, he can do it. I don't know why that is, except to say that there is some mysterious energy that passes from the male to his children. It is some sort of creative energy that can make things be when they are not, and without which things cannot come to be. When male energy is absent, creation does not happen, either in the human soul or in the world. Nurturance happens, support and love perhaps, but not that new 'creation out of nothing' that is the unique prerogative associated with the masculine side of God...Without the father's energy, there is a void, an emptiness in the soul which nothing but that kind of energy can fill. I have seen it in too many people, men especially. It is a hollow yearning that feeds on praise incessantly and is never satisfied. It is a black hole that sucks in reward after reward and is never brightened by it. It becomes a nesting place of demons--of self-doubt, fear, mistrust, cynicism, and rage. And it becomes the place from which those demons fly out to devour others."

In this episode we explore:

  • what a life-giving man is and isn't.
  • the three questions that a father "needs" to communicate to his son according to Larry Crabb in his book The Silence of Adam.
  • how men can use those three questions to be life-givers to those around them.
  • how to look for opportunities to be a life-giving man in your relationships whether in marriage, parenting, the work place, etc.

Please listen and subscribe to my podcast in the following places, and then leave a comment letting me know what you liked about the show, or what guest you would like to hear from. Thank you so much for your support.

iTunes -- Stitcher

Player FM -- Libsyn


Resources Mentioned in the Podcast

What it Means to be a Man: God's Design for Us in a World Full of Extremes by Rhett Smith

The Silence of Adam: Becoming Men of Courage in a World Full of Chaos by Larry Crabb, Don Michael Hudson, Al Andrews

The Wild Man's Journey: Reflections on Male Spirituality by Richard Rohr and Joseph Markos

A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis

Derek Redmond and his inspiring 1992 Olympic run. (In my podcast episode I mistakenly referred to his Olympic run as being in Seoul in 1988, rather than in Barcelona 1992).

Nov 6, 2015

In the last episode (Rhett Smith Podcast 34: Nine Practices and Disciplines That Will Help You Transform Your Morning Routine) I talked at length about my morning routine and the nine disciplines and practices that accompany (on most good days). But in that episode I didn't address a couple of very important issues, even though after I recorded it I was thinking that I had missed talking about some things.


But a couple of people contacted me to ask if I had any thoughts or suggestions on the morning routine in various stages of life...most specifically with an infant, or young kids in the house. And the other great question was how to you navigate maintaining your own morning routine in a relationship with a person who also has/wants to have their own morning routine as well? One that wasn't mentioned, but that I thought of as I was recording this follow up was single parents and the difficulty then often have maintaining a morning routine.


So in this short episode I address these issues:

  • how to navigate the morning routine with infants or kids in the house.
  • the importance of acknowledging the stage of life you are in and making allowances for that.
  • how to explore, support and encourage the morning routine of your partner.
  • what does self-care in a morning routine look like for a single parent.

Please listen and subscribe to my podcast in the following places, and then leave a comment letting me know what you liked about the show, or what guest you would like to hear from. Thank you so much for your support.

iTunes -- Stitcher

Player FM -- Libsyn

Nov 4, 2015

It seems to me that how I start my day off...especially the first 1-2 hours, often dictates how the rest of my day goes, or to what degree I will navigate the ups and downs of it successfully. And I’m not alone in thinking this. It’s not surprising that many of the podcasts I listen to often ask their guests what their morning routines or rituals look like (i.e. Tim Ferriss, Rich Roll, Lewis Howes, etc.). They do this because they know that a lot of research both statistical and anecdotal point to the fact that how we start our morning plays a big part in how are days go.


As a life long night owl this has been a really hard reality for me to not only wrap my head around, but actually come around to practicing it. But if a 12am-2am’er such as myself can go to bed by 11pm so he can start his day off right the next morning..then maybe that tells you all you need to know about how important our morning routines are.


I have by no means mastered my morning, and I really doubt I ever will. Because life is life, and sometimes it gets complicated and busy. But I can tell you this. I have worked really hard over the last several years to experiment with and implement different disciplines and practices into my life to see not only how they would affect my morning routine, but to really test out if becoming a morning person was all that important.


And after much trial and error I’ve come up with 9 disciplines and practices that I use pretty regularly in my morning routine. The routine is not perfect, but more often than not when I’m hitting on all cylinders, these 9 practices are evident in my daily morning routine (even as I write this post for the podcast I did have 8 of the 9 disciplines present in my morning routine -- Headspace didn't happen today -- that tends to be the one I trade off with the journal). And even when I’m not running on all cylinders, you can find me practicing most of these disciplines on a daily basis.


The good news is that after much experimentation and practice with one discipline at a time, I was slowly able to add another one, create a habit, till eventually most of my morning routine is less of a laborious conscious effort, and one that has developed into a nice flow and rhythm in my day.


In this episode I will explore my 9 practices and disciplines that embody my first few hours of my morning routine:

  1. Body Movement (running, lifting weights, yoga, stretching, cycling, swimming, etc.)
  2. Listening to podcasts that inspire growth and challenge beliefs.
  3. Avoid the consumption of technology that dictates my day rather than keeps me from creating (email, news feeds, social media feeds, etc.) for the first 1-4 hours of my day.
  4. Make the bed.
  5. Make a green smoothie
  6. Connect with my wife and kids.
  7. Do the Five-Minute Journal
  8. Use the Headspace app
  9. Prayer

Please listen and subscribe to my podcast in the following places, and then leave a comment letting me know what you liked about the show, or what guest you would like to hear from. Thank you so much for your support.

iTunes -- Stitcher

Player FM -- Libsyn


Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Rich Roll Podcast

Lewis Howes' podcast The School of Greatness

Tim Ferriss' Podcast

On Being Pocast with Krista Tippett

The Five-Minute Journal


5 Morning Rituals That Help Me Win the Day (Tim Ferriss in this podcast episode talks about his morning routine and the importance of making the bed)

What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast (Success Magazine)

The Morning Routines of the Most Successful People (Fast Company Magazine)

My Green Smoothie Recipe (This is the typical green smoothie I make each morning, though I will change things up. You have to adjust to your own liking, but this is my typical measurements for two people. By the way, I'm known to not really measure things, but this is what I typically aim for. If there is a brand we typically, and consistently use, I mention it here. And I use a Vitamix which creates a great consistency: Coconut Almond Milk (2 cups, Califia), Plant Based Vanilla Protein Powder (1.5 scoops, Garden of Life Raw Meal), Maca Powder (1 tbsp, Navitas Naturals Organic Maca Gelatinized Powder), Chia Seeds (1 tbsp, Nutiva Organic Black Chia Seeds), Hemp Hearts (1tbsp, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts Raw Shelled Hemp Seeds), Kale, Spinach, Dates (3 pitted dates), Goji Berries (1/2 cup of berries), 1 tsp of Spirulina, 1 Banana, 1-2 cups of Ice.

Here is the video on shot on my morning routine about 7 months ago. In it I talk about The Five-Minute Journal and Headspace