Mythology of Otherness: Building Resilience, Forgiveness, and Connection with John Crowley Ph.D. & Wendy Sanford MFA

Original Air Date Wednesday, May 11, 2022 

When we take a moment to go through the thought experiment of putting ourselves in the shoes of another, the perceived lines of differences begin to fade and we gain a better understanding of the other person and ourselves. Being mindful of our feelings and emotions allows us to decenter and observe the mind’s automatic responses so we can preserve our well-being and make better choices.

To discover the daily practices that help us open our minds to healing, Positive Psychology Podcast Host, Lisa Cypers Kamen, speaks with two guests who study the brain’s socio-evolutionary abilities and limitations. John Crowley promotes mindful meditation to reduce stress and overcome automaticity. Wendy Sanford shares the personal journey that inspired her to write, These Walls Between Us: A Memoir of Friendship Across Race and Class, about stepping out of her white privileged upbringing.

John Crowley Ph.D. — Resilience & Forgiveness:

  • John Crowley describes his research on mindfulness meditation and how it allows our bodies to combat stress and disease. [3:08]
  • Socio-evolutionary work studies the useful, and insidious aspects of the brain’s categorizing functions. [8:13]
  • Decentering is a way to observe thoughts and feelings. [10:42]
  • Expressive writing and other daily practices that regulate stress and cortisol for well-being. [18:33]
  • How to bring closure to issues to heal trauma and release ourselves from the burden of stress. [22:06]

John Crowley with a blue shirt, guest of podcast episode about mythology, forgiveness, and connection with Wendy SanfordJohn Crowley Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Delaware. His research, teaching, and service focus on understanding how to help individuals, especially those within marginalized or historically underrepresented communities build resilience to cope with the stress associated with difficult and discriminatory life experiences. John’s research has focused on disclosure, forgiveness, and emotional support. His current research is funded by both the Villanova University’s Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society (WFI) and the National Institute on Aging from the National Institute of Health (NIH).



John Patrick Crowley Ph.D.
@jpcrowls on Twitter 

Wendy Sanford MFA — Building Connection:

  • Wendy Stanford describes her experience of growing up with white privilege. [31:28]
  • As a contributor to the book, Our Bodies Ourselves, Wendy was able to give a voice to women exploring their sexuality. [36:29]
  • Wendy was married to a man for 10-years before becoming involved in a 40-year relationship with a woman. [43:26]
  • At 12, Wendy met a life-long friend who was outside of her normal, limited white circle and helped her learn about the existence of racial injustice. [47:05]
  • Wendy offers advice for white people who want to move outside of the white bubble. [51:48]

Wendy Sanford with a green shirt, guest of podcast episode about mythology, forgiveness, and connection with John Crowley After growing up in privilege in Princeton, NJ, living through the turbulent 70’s when she became a feminist, lesbian and a Quaker, Wendy Sanford attended seminary at Harvard Divinity School. She began to read works of women of color as a way to remedy her exposure to mostly white male authors.

Book: These Walls Between Us: A Memoir of Friendship Across Race and Class



Wendy Sanford

This episode of Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio about mythology, forgiveness, and connection is sponsored by:

Are We Happy Yet? Eight Keys to Unlocking a Joyful Life A boot camp manual for greater emotional fitness. Happiness waits for no one and sometimes we all need support. What is getting in the way of your happiness right now? 

HFactor: Where is Your Heart? — Lisa’s documentary film explores the journey of human happiness. Emotions are contagious and happiness is a universally desired state. We tend to forget we all have the freedom to be happy or the liberty to be miserable each day.

“When we take ourselves out of the equation and bear witness to what we are feeling, thinking, smelling, etc, we can naturally de-escalate.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“The restructuring of the narrative allows us to see the journey, the suffering, has served transcendence and transformation.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Forgiveness doesn’t let the other person off the hook, it lets ourselves off the hook.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“If you look across the globe, white is the minority.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“When the body and the mind are constantly under stress that is when the body begins to give way to illness and disease.” @jpcrowls on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“I think COVID has presented to us so much uncertainty especially at the beginning stages and uncertainty is related to stress.” @jpcrowls on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Socio-evolutionary work tries to explain why the brain has created ways of categorizing people and things quickly.” @jpcrowls on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“One of the most important things that we as human beings need to be doing is trying to get a sense for the way the mind functions so we don't fall prey to it.” @jpcrowls on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“The idea of decentering is slowing down the Automaticity to watch thoughts and feelings as an objective observer.” @jpcrowls on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Mindfulness science, boiled down, allows us to observe the contents of our mind and our feelings.” @jpcrowls on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“It is very important to let your emotions out when you are writing.” @jpcrowls on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Early second-wave feminism was quite dominated by white women.” — Wendy Sanford on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Talking about sexual violence is a very important aspect of coming to stand in our full sexuality.” Wendy Sanford on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“There were so many assumptions I made coming out of that white bubble that weren't accurate and that were hurtful.” Wendy Sanford on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet



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