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Listening And labeling: Learning About Ourselves And Why We Are 'The Way We Are'

Ever wondered what makes listening the most challenging skill to learn? Or how to cultivate a healthy ego? Maybe you’ve thought about exploring psychedelics…

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these, you’ll want to join Heidi for her chat with writer, podcaster and creator Tom Ahern. Their wide-ranging discussion touches on religion, psychedelics, ego, EMDR, toxic masculinity and the art of becoming a better listener.

What to expect in this episode

  • What makes listening the most challenging skill to learn?
  • Ways to become a better listener
  • Why is validation important?
  • Why do some people not want to listen and seem to be just waiting for their turn to speak?
  • Why having an ego isn’t always a bad thing
  • How can you help others in their own journey to self knowledge?
  • Psychedelic mushrooms
  • How does religion play a role in society?
  • How to deal with anger?


  • Some experiences of Tom’s mind-blowing podcast with his guests. [03:15]
  • What are the characteristics of an effective listener? [08:15]
  • The power and influence of mirroring behaviours. [10:24]
  • Do people need to be validated? [11:10]
  • People don’t really listen, they just wait for their turn to talk. [11:38]
  • What is ego. [14:20]
  • “I am…” – Establishing your sense of self. [17:15]
  • What happens when we label ourselves? [18:54]
  • The influence of self perception and how it manifests in our daily lives. [21:00]
  • Tom’s experience of identity formation. [24:58]
  • Gender norms – mental health and toxic masculinity. [29:24]
  • Tom’s advice to his younger self. [31:21]
  • Advice for anyone lacking motivation. [43:25]
  • How mind expansion is simultaneously good and bad. [54:42]
  • The feeling of being loved despite of your imperfections. [1:03:21]
  • What makes someone a bad person? [1:05:43]
  • Argument: Different views of religions and beliefs. [1:13:30]
  • Original sin – doctrine that says that everyone is born sinful. [1:16:08]
  • Kids need to know appropriate ways to deal with their anger. [1:20:21]
  • How to understand and recognize your anger. [1:22:35]


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