Soul Forge Podcast
She Lives In Her Van - 98

She Lives In Her Van - 98

April 25, 2019

Stacey Arrowsmith lives a minimalist life in her van.

For many years Stacey lived a typical, traditional life. She had a husband, children, a four bedroom house with a garage. And lots of things. She had so much stuff. Then she got a divorce and started downsizing. This is the story of how a person can go from a traditional life to a minimalist life. But this isn't the story of minimalism. This is the story of how Stacey found her happiness.

Stacey works for Canada Post as a Route Measurement Officer. We discuss a little bit of what this job entails, but mainly we find out how she lives her life on the road in her van. We learn how to downsize your possessions quickly and efficiently. We find out where and how to store your extra belongings if you have any. Also, the necessity of a physical address even if you do not have a physical, stationary location.

When living in a van, you must pay close attention to the weather and to the temperature. It can be a lot to adjust to, both physcially and mentally. There is also the social stigma, other challenges and the many reactions from various people.

Stacey also tells us about how she does her laundry, and the types of clothes she is able to have in her van. Food prep can be a challenge depending on circumstances. And finding places to park and sleep is also something to think about.

Join us on this week's Soul Forge Podcast as we journey into the world of living in a van. You can follow Stacey's blog at www.chipmunksrvlife.com and on Twitter @chipmunksrvlife

This week's podcast promo: Spooky Dudes

My Transgender Friend - 97

My Transgender Friend - 97

April 18, 2019

My transgender friend Crystal opens up about her life.

Coming to terms with who you are as a person is often a difficult process. It can be even more difficult when you are a trans individual. This week, our story begins with In The Turn, a documentary about the Vagine Regime, the queer Roller Derby collective. Crystal's story, and the Vagine Regime story intersect in a fascinating and unique way.

Crystal was a fun loving and confident child. Then the school decided she wasn't allowed to play sports because they couldn't figure out which team to place her on. This naturally lead her to withdraw from a lot of life's activities.

Many people in her life were afraid she was suffering from a mental illness of some kind. The doctor suggested that Crystal's mother buy her a dress. The dress unlocked a massive change in behaviour. Crystal felt whole. "Skirts don't cure mental illness."

Also in this episode we learn about the reactions people have towards Crystal, as well as the amount of intolerance she faces. She teaches us how to interact properly with a trans person, and which pronouns to use. You'll hear about rudeness, acceptance, stealth trans people and more.

Crystal shares her story in an unflinching and brave manner. We learn about hormone blockers, mental health, acceptance and gender re-assignment surgery.

If you would like more information, as always you can email the podcast at soulforgepodcast@gmail.com or contact Crystal directly on Twitter @blinkthunder

This week's podcast promo: Caster Quest

Camping Season - 96

Camping Season - 96

April 11, 2019

It's time to pitch a tent, because camping season is upon us! On this week's Soul Forge podcast, Shawn and Deidre share some of their camping memories.

What is camping anyway? We looked up a definition just to be funny. According to Wikipedia, Camping is an outdoor activity involving overnight stays away from home in a shelter, such as a tent. Typically participants leave developed areas to spend time outdoors in more natural ones in pursuit of activities providing them enjoyment. To be regarded as "camping" a minimum of one night is spent outdoors, distinguishing it from day-tripping, picnicking, and other similarly short-term recreational activities.

We touch on a lot of various topics including Deidre's time in both Girl Guides and Pathfinders. Shawn briefly talks about his time at Air Cadet camp.

Of course, we also talk about the regular camping stuff such as fires and marshmellows and getting rained out. You'll hear about the time Shawn went hiking with his brothers and how that turned out to be a disaster. We talk about crawdads, fishing for squirrels, pitching a tent in the backyard and more. No discussion about camping is complete without a reminder regarding tent etiquette. We may have also mentioned something about drinking and a horrible grade 8 class trip.

This week's podcast promo: The Flopcast

Signs From The Universe - 95

Signs From The Universe - 95

April 4, 2019

We all experience or receive signs from the universe. However, not all of us are open to such signs/signals/messages. Most surprising of all, the universe doesn’t always make these things totally obvious, or even always easy to see. But if you start paying attention, you will realize that the universe is sending you signals all the time that show you where you need to go and what you need to do to create the life of your dreams.

This can all seem a little bit 'out there' or even a bit 'woo-woo.'

We've often asked ourselves if there really is a universal force guiding us on our journey. Or, are we simply imposing our thoughts, feelings and desires on the situation at hand?

If this universal force does indeed exist, you may choose to call it God, Allah, the Great Maker, or some other similar concept. There is no way to know if a higher power exists, and yet, these signs do seem to come from somewhere.

In this episode, Shawn and Stephanie discuss and explore this topic with examples from their own lives.

5 signs from the universe:

  1. Special numbers in a sequence.
  2. When you experience a delay.
  3. When you experience a coincidence.
  4. When a book, person or course appears in your awareness.
  5. When your intuition seems heightened.

After the end credits we play a snippet of Paulo Coelho talking to Oprah about his book The Alchemist

This week's podcast promo: The Monster SciFi Show