Ep.77 - Spiritual & Religious Abuse: Raising Awareness & Supporting Black Survivors | Nikki G ― January is Spiritual Abuse Awareness Month and today's episode features a very special guest. Nikki G is a Certified Trauma Recovery Coach, co-host of the Surviving The Black Church Podcast, and a vocal advocate for spiritual and religious abuse survivors. Nikki shares briefly about her personal history growing up in a narcissistic family system, time spent in five different cults, and her personal path of healing. She speaks about the subtle yet sometimes critical difference between spiritual and religious trauma, then offers guidance around how best to seek support and healing. Nikki generously walks us through a brief history of The Black Church, speaking to how intergenerational trauma must be a consideration when supporting Black folks who are recovering from spiritual and religious abuse. The term ‘church hurt’ is discussed; specifically how in Black Communities, when applied too broadly, it leads to the glorification of suffering and implicitly encourages abuse survivors to stay-put and endure. Candice shares suffer-in-silence parallels in the wellness world, and the two discuss how even though the gaslighting shows up differently, it ultimately results in a similar outcome - spiritual bypassing and a disconnection from self. Nikki speaks to the many invisible wounds folks grapple with upon exiting a high-demand religion or spiritual community and then describes what post-cult ‘rehab’ might look like. She shares how coming home to her body has been so pivotal in her healing process; and Candice asks for Nikki’s input on the unique challenge of healing from trauma that occurs within the space of an embodiment practice. The episode wraps with a teaser into another upcoming convo with Nikki that will be recorded later this month, focusing on how religious ideologies have been systematically shaping American politics for decades. This is a rich conversation; be sure to listen to the end! details + transcript
January 31, 2024

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Ep.76 - When Did I Start Hating My Body? 'Snapshots From The Body Image Brink' | Susan McCulley ― This week, we’re keeping our finger on the pulse of diet ‘cult’ure. Our guest is a former affiliate of 'the Org' and a valued contributor in the Deconstructing Dogma series over on Patreon. Susan McCulley recently joined Candice for heart-to-heart, and we’re sharing the first half of the convo here on the main feed. In 2016, Susan wrote a powerful essay about the double-life she was living as a holistic fitness instructor touting ‘body love’ who was secretly struggling with body acceptance and a lifetime of disordered eating. You’ll hear Susan read excerpts from this remarkable and revealing piece where she shares 'snapshots' from her life in a body - ie. the calorie book she discovered at 10 years old & why even as a grown-ass woman she didn’t think to fire her “shitty shitty doctor.” She & Candice discuss the subtle-yet-critical differences between restriction and genuine self-care, how shame and perfectionism keep us from normalizing body image struggles, and the lip service they each gave (but didn't fully embody) while teaching the 'Org' practice. Candice reveals how she’s actively shifting the language in her classes, and Susan offers up the personal mantra she now uses when she catches herself judging/comparing bodies. The two get real about day-to-day capacity when it comes to challenging diet-culture norms, and then reference the work of Kate Manne and a radical reframe - body reflexivity. Finally, Susan shares a few ways that she is using her thin privilege to actively support folks living in larger bodies.
January 24, 2024
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Ep.74 - Breaking Free From Diet ‘Cult’ure & Embracing Health At Every Size | Tara Wike - Part 1 of 2 ― Plot twist! Our plans have changed and it turns out, the ‘cult’ure series isn’t wrapping just yet. In the intro to the first episode of 2024, Candice why she’s decided not to wrap the series just yet; then lays the foundation for this week’s convo. Originally recorded as a Patreon bonus, this content is too timely to keep behind a paywall. Candice and friend of the pod, Tracy Stamper, welcome a very special guest. Tara Wike joins us for part one of a two-part deconstruction of diet ‘cult’ure, orthorexia, and the red-flag language of so-called ‘cleaning eating.’ Tara shares a bit about her personal background, time spent teaching and training with ‘the Org,’ and an ah-hah moment that woke her up to her own history with disordered eating, leading her down a path of personal recovery and social activism. And she describes how she’s been inspired to share her discoveries with others. This convo was recorded in two sessions; and when you get to the end of today’s episode you’ll hear about what happened when Candice took time to reflect on Tara’s revelations and how it led her to her own personal realization. It’s moment of raw emotion and vulnerability that she’s likely to not be alone in. This conversation will continue here on the main feed next week.
January 3, 2024
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Ep.75 - Our Bodies & Our Biases: Where We Get It Wrong & Why | Tara Wike - Part 2 of 2 ― We’re back with the second half of our conversation with Tara Wike. (If you missed Part 1, you'll wanna circle back and start there). In the lead-in, Candice reads from listener comments & lays the foundation for Part 2. Then, picking up where we left off last week, Tara shares how changing her ‘visual diet’ is expanding her definition of beauty; and also, speaks to the culty collateral damage done when we critique our bodies publicly. This leads into a discussion around mixed messages at ‘the Org’ and how - despite loads of lip service - its practitioners are in no way immune to the influence of diet culture; Tara highlights how generational differences around body acceptance may be at play. The social determinants of health are discussed, as well as the danger of insisting that wellness is in all cases ‘an inside job’ — especially when systemic barriers and biases are so prevalent. Tracy asks us to take a critical look at ‘emotional eating’ — is this always a bad thing? And then Tara shares how recovery from a brain injury revealed to her the insidiousness of diet culture. We touch upon body positivity and body neutrality, and then Tara shares how she’s doing her part to try and shift attitudes within her own social spheres. This is an important and timely episode in the series line-up; one that you won’t want to miss!
January 10, 2024

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Ep.73 - Patreon Sampler: Frenemies, Spirit Barbie, Law of Attraction, Intimacy vs. Intensity, & 'Org' Extra | Deconstructing Dogma w/ Special GuestsThe 'cult'ure series is scheduled to wrap next week. In the meantime, here's one last sneak peek at the Deconstructing Dogma bonus series that will be streaming through the new year over on Patreon. There are currently 40+ bonus episodes available to patrons of the pod, and this sampler features some of our favorite moments from recent releases. In this Patreon Sampler, you'll hear excerpts from: Frenemies: The Not-So-Fringe Reality, where Candice & Tracy unpack how top-down power dynamics have seemingly spread into 'Org' communities worldwide; Spirit Barbie: The Performance of Wellness - a one-hour deconstruction of the how we are socially conditioned to present ourselves in the world of wellness; ie. 'high talk', dieting, and detox culture; Maria Skinner once again joins Candice & Tracy, this time to take a critical look at The Law of Attraction. We trade personal stories and talk 'manifestation', channeling, and mindset vs. magical thinking; Intimacy vs. Intensity - Candice shares about the helpful advice she once received from a therapist who was well-versed in relational dynamics at 'the Org.' She & Tracy unpack it a bit, then chat about the forced intimacy that is so often created in wellness training environments; And Adi Goren returns for a bonus convo, this time to to deconstruct The Economy of 'the Org.' Adi invites us to examine how the business model of the company is a feudal system where the many work in service to those at the top; then we talk free labor and the challenges of moving on after leaving. If you want more of what this episode has to offer, consider becoming a patron of the pod for as little as $5 a month.
November 15, 2023
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Ep.#71 - The Elephant In The Room: 'Cult'ure Clashes & 'the Org’ International | Adi Goren - Part 1 of 2 ― The ‘cult’ure series is set to wrap in a few short weeks at which time main feed podcast production will be on hold indefinitely. But first, we have a final conversation to share with you. Back in August, Candice and good friend / wing woman, Tracy Stamper, sat down with former Org affiliate Adi Goren, who joined the pod from her home in Israel. This lengthy conversation was recorded prior to the unfolding crisis; as such, the intro to the episode, Candice speaks briefly to the unintended-yet-timely nature of this episode’s release. About 15 minutes in, Adi is introduced, and Tracy & Candice listen in as she bravely offers the first half of her story - sharing what it was like growing up in Israel and South Africa; about her early adult life a wife, mother, and an architect; and how it is she came to discover ‘the Org.’ Adi chose to devote herself to the business and the practice, saying in her own words: "My name and the Org became synonymous. And it was my identity." For years, Adi taught classes, produced events, and helped to build a thriving Org community in Israel. After a few glorious years, things got complicated, thanks in part to the ‘producer program’ and communal discord resulting from a lack of integrity, leadership, and guidance at the top. Adi speaks candidly about her own confusion and about what she felt to be a threat to her very livelihood. She describes how, in early 2010, she reached out to the Org’s founder to request mediation and support only to be publicly shamed. Adi opens up about the understandable humiliation she felt and what happened when the Org CEO came to Israel to offer his support. It was the beginning of a pivotal relationship that would ultimately shape Adi’s future with the company. The episode wraps with a disturbing revelation that left both Tracy & Candice slack-jawed.
November 1, 2023
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Ep.72 - Beyond Words: Moral Injury & Reclaiming Autonomy (Over Our Bodies & Our Lives) | Adi Goren - Part 2 of 2 ― Welcome to the second half of our two-part conversation with Adi Goren (recorded back in August). If you missed Part 1, you’re gonna want to circle back, because we’re picking up right where we left off! Last week, Adi shared a bit about her personal life, how she first discovered ‘the Org’, and her subsequent devotion to the practice. Part 2 opens as Adi reveals more about her relationship to ‘the Org’ CEO; how she saw him as a ‘father figure’ and how he groomed her for a role within the company. She shares what it was like working remotely from her home in Israel, fielding calls while trying to overlook the many red flags - ie: love bombing, high employee turnover, and teachers regularly calling in with worrisome requests. And then Adi bravely tells Tracy & I about the staff meeting that shattered her faith in the business and its leadership once and for all; sharing about the moment when she challenged the Org CEO, appalled by his dehumanizing rhetoric. Unsure of how to transition away from the work she’d structured her entire life around, Adi held onto her job for another few months before being fired unjustly. She expresses what it was like stepping away; how she was sick with grief and how her classes doubled in size once she was no longer devoting all of her precious life force to someone else’s bottomline. Adi speaks candidly about what she’s learned from her experiences with the Org. She talks boundaries, and why she thinks she was personally vulnerable to exploitation and power-over abuse. Then, the three speak about how collective trauma may factor into: why so many women gravitate toward the practice; why the vehicle of movement is so damn potent; and what happens when ‘joy’ becomes an addictive and dissociative escape. Coming together in collective cult recovery, we seek to answer to the question - how do we heal from moral injury and reclaim a sense of autonomy (and agency) over our bodies and our lives?
November 8, 2023

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Ep.70 - The Cult of Gender: A Panel Discussion w/ Former 'Org' Affiliates | Maxx Boyd, Troy McCall, & Lainie Magidsohn ― This week’s ‘cult’ure series release is a very special rollover from the Patreon-exclusive deconstructing dogma bonus series. Three former ‘Org’ affiliates join Candice for a panel discussion examining wellness-cult dynamics through the intersectional lens of gender and sexuality. Together they explore how mainstream socialization around the heteronormative gender binary is very often reinforced in spirituality and wellness spaces. In this conversation, LGBTQ+ perspectives are centered, as guests share about their personal & professional experiences. Lainie invites us to look closely at language, and how terms like 'masculine' & 'feminine' reinforce problematic stereotypes; and she shares briefly about her experience on the Org’s short-lived DEI Counsel. Troy initiates a discussion about why the Org's clothing line was/is so problematic and opens up about how an unwillingness to 'dress the part' - both literally and interpersonally - can limit professional advancement. Maxx speaks to how pressures around gender expression started way back in childhood and were reinforced in wellness spaces; and he celebrates younger generations who are providing to language for his long-lived life experiences. We chat about how capitalism factors into systemic reinforcement of the gender binary and then share some full-belly laughs during a lively (and very revealing) discussion about homoerotic energy on the dance floor. What's that about really? This is an episode not to be missed.
October 25, 2023
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Ep.68 - The ‘Art’ of Cult Recovery: Music, Theatre, & Trauma-Informed Anti-Cult Activism | Lennox & TeruyoTeruyo & Lennox are theatre artists in cult recovery, currently hard at work on a musical inspired by their personal experiences in a shamanic cult. They explore what it's like to break away from high-demand influence, while offering a socio-political deconstruction of the colonial headspace that informs it. Music from the play’s soundtrack is woven throughout this powerful conversation, which touches upon a whole helluva lot in an hour. Teruyo & Lennox describe how crafting a musical - both in storyline and soundtrack - enables them to give greater voice and vehicle to the trauma they’ve experienced. Teruyo shares: how their upbringing and mixed-racial identity primed them to 'cult hop' and spend sixteen years in devotion to their last cult; how the so-called 'Freedom Convoy' in January 2022 was the final straw that inspired them break free; and how their own internalized white supremacy kept them 'in' the cult and separate-from their Japanese heritage for most of their life. Lennox opens up about their own early in life conditioning, Baptist summer camps, and time spent in a coercive and controlling relationship prior to joining the shamanic cult the musical is based on. They invite us to challenge our collective hyper-fixation on narcissistic cult leaders, turning our attention instead toward understanding why it is that the 'spells' cultic leaders cast over us work so damn well. Music brings dimension to this conversation, as we dive even deeper into what it might actually mean to decolonize the work of cult recovery. How are our cult experiences microcosms of systemic oppression? And why is anti-colonial, anti-racism work so essential and relevant to holistic cult recovery?
September 27, 2023
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Ep.69 - Intersectional Advocacy: Including Racialized, Queer, & Neurodiverse Perspectives In Cult Recovery | Priscilla EylesThis week, Candice welcomes Priscilla Eyles for a discussion on intersectional cult recovery. Priscilla, who comes to us from the UK, is a DEI/JEDI consultant who shares about their time spent in two different cults: Landmark, an LGAT offshoot of est, and OneTaste, a wellness organization that is currently under FBI investigation for sexual exploitation and forced labor practices. When Priscilla stepped away and began grappling with their back-to-back cult experiences, they immediately noticed how cult recovery spaces often overlook the perspectives of marginalized folks. As a neurodiverse, racialized, queer cult survivor, they have since become an intersectional anti-cult activist/advocate who centers the perspectives of multiply-marginalized survivors. Priscilla generously agreed to join the pod to help Candice and TDP listeners better understand how to respectfully platform marginalized voices - without being tokenistic or extractive. Priscilla speaks candidly about their own neurodiversity, how multiple marginalizations can complicate the process of cult recovery, and why culty groups can be so attractive to those who have been systematically marginalized. Victim blaming is once again discussed, only this time from an intersectional perspective. This is an eye-opening conversation, and a reminder than there really is no such thing as homogenous cult survivorship.
October 18, 2023

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Ep.67 - Trauma & Control: How Authoritarianism Shows Up In Wellness Culture & In Our Bodies | Magdalena WeinsteinThis week, Candice sits down with Somatic Trauma Specialist, Magdalena Weinstein. Originally from Chile, Magdalena spent the first 17 years of her life living under the rule of an authoritarian dictatorship. In this episode, she shares about her childhood, her family life, and what motivated her to immigrate to the US in 2004. Magdalena speaks very candidly about the challenges of being in immigrant in America, and about time spent in a series of traumatizing and controlling environments - dictatorship in her formative years that stoked an early hunger for autonomy; years spent as an Iyengar yoga student and teacher striving for whitewashed dominion over her body; and a decade of investment in a coaching program where she experienced mind control and ongoing racial micro-aggressions. She generously shares each of these stories with us, poignantly illustrating what all of these seemingly unrelated experiences have in common. In 2019, Magdalena trained as a trauma specialist; and in the final third of the episode, she helps us to understand how trauma around control gets stored in the body, and what - both individually and collectively - we might be able to do about it. She describes the differences between control and personal agency, particularly when it comes to owning and choosing psychological and somatic states. Then, Magdalena calls on wellness practitioners to trade western idealism for a more realistic and collective approach to the growing challenges we now face as humans.
September 20, 2023
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Ep.65 - Decolonizing Identity & 'Capital-C' Cult Recovery | Aleyah-Erin Lennon - Part 1 of 2 ― Candice is back on the main feed, asking for help as she deconstructs the striking overlap between cult dynamics and colonial harm. Inspired by the work of BIPOC educators and anti-racism activists, she explores how social location factors into collective cult recovery. Then, artist, activist, and educator, Aleyah-Erin Lennon joins Candice for the first half of a two-part conversation that explores what it might mean, if we, as white women in the world were to take radical responsibility. Aleyah identifies as a second-generation diasporic Irish descendant and white settler Canadian who has lived her entire life in the territories of Anishinaabeg nations. She has been privileged to work alongside and learn from Indigenous communities across the Great Lakes region for the last 15 years in service to their ecological and educational visions. Together, Aleyah and Candice explore what unconscious colonial identities have in common with the cult mindset, picking apart what it might actually mean to break free from the cult of whiteness. Aleyah shares about her background and how a search for spiritual community inspired her to take up decolonizing identity work, and she cites the wisdom of Indigenous mentors who have generously offered their consent and support for this conversation. Decolonization is defined in the context of intergenerational healing on all sides of the colonial and racial divide. Aleyah shares how a threefold methodology of deep listening, critical self-reflection, and embodied action can guide us toward relational accountability. Aleyah shares how reclaiming a connection to her ancestral roots has been pivotal to her living activism and points to how we all might find a deeper sense of meaning and recovery as we grapple with where we’re headed.
August 30, 2023
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Ep.66 - Cultural Appropriation & The Hunger That Drives It | Aleyah-Erin Lennon - Part 2 of 2As a lead-in to this week’s episode, Candice spends some time defining cultural appropriation, specifically in western spirituality and wellness spaces. Then things pick up where they left off last week, with the second half of a two-part conversation with artist, activist, and educator, Aleyah-Erin Lennon. Aleyah shares why she was so drawn into the world of wellness and contextualizes how she realized she had to step away. Spiritual appropriation and misuse of ‘the s-word’ (shamanism) is explored, along with how unconscious colonial entitlement can be so hard-wired that we, white folks, can become ´takers’. Aleyah offers a deeply compassionate approach to this topic, one that takes into account the cavernous spiritual hunger that drives appropriation; and she shares what her Indigenous mentors have taught her about how we might grow in humility and in our collective spiritual capacity. Aleyah and Candice ponder the question: How might we explore spiritual tools that help and add value to our lives without co-opting, stealing, and perpetuating colonial harm? Cognitive dissonance and emotional triggers are discussed, as well as how an understanding of cult recovery can support us in our anti-racism learning and unlearning. Aleyah invites the investigation of ‘the poverty of whiteness’ and shares what it might look like to co-create expressions of spirituality and personal growth that are relationally accountable. The episode wraps with an invitation to support Aleyah and her collaborators to share their knowledge more widely.
September 13, 2023

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Ep.64 - Patreon Sampler: Summer 2023 | Deconstructing Dogma w/ Special Guests ― Here's another sneak peek at what’s been happening over on Patreon in the ongoing deconstructing dogma series. Every week, Candice sits down with friends and former colleagues to critically examine culty indoctrination in the wellness world, and there are now 30+ bonus episodes available to all patrons of the pod. This episode features some of the best moments from recent releases. Excerpts include: Sample cuts from a recent solo episode with Candice where she shares a bit about a recent surge in listenership and all the feels it's bringing up for her & others over in the private After The Org recovery community. Inspired by the work of Matthew Remski, she speaks about survivor shame and also why so many folks double down in defense of the practice. Snippets from a two-part convo with former Org trainer, Dr. Barb Wesson, who joins Tracy & Candice to deconstruct spirituality - sans all the cultiness. How do we recover a sense of meaning in the aftermath of all that dogma? Excerpts from a timely convo with veteran fitness pro, Fiona Winter, who joins Candice & Tracy from Wales to discuss why she recently decided to let her Org license lapse - after two decades. Fiona also shares how she's incorporating greater consent & inclusivity into her teaching practice. The episode wraps with a sample of a long-form interview with Valerie Branch, who worked as a frontline receptionist at 'the Org' back in the early aughts. She & Candice trade stories about the years they spent working together at Org HQ, and Valerie delivers some welcome hindsight wisdom to those just stepping out. To access the Deconstructing Dogma bonus series in its entirety, visit patreon.com/thedeeperpulse.
August 16, 2023
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Ep.62 - Destiny or Deception? Another Former ‘Org’ Trainer Joins The Pod | Shannon Geltner - Part 1 of 2 ― The series continues with a peek inside ‘Org’ training ‘cult’ure. Candice opens the episode with a longer than usual intro, sharing details about the Org training hierarchy for the first time as a lead-in to the first half of a two-part convo; one that was originally intended for Patreon but was, in turns out, 'destined' for the main feed. Shannon Geltner was affiliated with the Org for 14 years, progressing through the ranks to become an NGT (or next generation trainer) right alongside good friend of the pod, Tracy Stamper - who also joins this conversation. The convo opens with a discussion about how it feels (scary AF) speaking out in defiance of the Org’s cultish indoctrination. Nevertheless, Shannon shares how she felt when the company began soliciting a whole new generation of trainers, years after she'd been so callously fired without explanation. Gossip is discussed, but not the toxic kind; the sort of ‘gossip’ that reinforces accountability and keeps us safe from harm. The three share a belly laugh when talking about how, back in the day, they each had to regularly offer up “but it isn’t a cult” defense to outsiders who just didn't get it. And then, Shannon shares about her personal journey with the Org; her ‘this is it’ moment, and what it was like progressing through the various belt-level trainings. She shares details surrounding the first red flag she remembers, which leads into a discussion about fawning in which Candice reveals a fairly-recent experience with this doe-eyed nervous system adaptation. Shannon offers empathy to all who were (like her) body shamed in the Org training environment, then speaks to what it was like being “courted” as a second-generation trainer. Part 1 wraps with Shannon and Tracy giving us all an insider’s peek into the initial recruitment process, as well as the disorienting mixed messages received once they signed on as trainers.
July 26, 2023
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Ep.63 - Masks Off: Ritual Revelations, Shared Grief, & Outrage | Shannon Geltner - Part 2 of 2 ― [CW: This episode features reference to emotional abuse and coercion.] This week, we pick up where we left off in a two-part conversation with former ‘Org’ trainer, Shannon Geltner. The episode opens with Shannon & Tracy deep breathing through their emotional triggers to offer us a peek inside of yet-another disturbing trainer training - and a group sharing ‘exercise’ that has cult-vibes written all over it. Shannon shares how it felt being publicly shamed in front of her peers, then shares how going through a divorce (and finding a good therapist) helped her come to terms with her own codependency; which delivered up some startling insights about not only her marriage, but her fourteen-year relationship to the Org. She expresses her grief openly, and shares why she hung onto the practice and her primary source of livelihood for as long as she could, until an interaction with ‘Marissa’ the Org's co-founder really opened her eyes. Shannon began expressing her boundaries and was soon after fired as a trainer. She tells us what it was like receiving her demotion letter; not only how it felt but also why she chose to walk away silently and without protest. She delivers a powerful message to her fellow trainers - current and former - who are listening, and Tracy experiences an unexpected swell of emotion that leads us into a shameless and fiery discussion about anger, outrage, and the pressure to forgive. The episode wraps with Shannon’s share around her personal experiences at Tony Robbins trainings, and how there is really nothing new under the sun when it comes to packaging and selling self-development. This is long episode, with lots of twists and turns, and we're hoping it opens all of us to more nuanced discussions around shared accountability.
August 2, 2023

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Ep.61 - Dancer Boy: Betrayal, Loss, & In Real Time Recovery | Mark Frossard - Part 2 of 2 ― We’re back with Part 2 of our convo with former ‘Org’ studio owner, Mark Frossard. If you missed part one, you'll definitely wanna start there. This conversation was recorded during Pride month and we pick things back up just as Mark is sharing about annual Pride events he led during his tenure as a studio owner. He and his former business partner didn’t always see eye-to-eye, and this leads into a discussion of how social movements are very often appropriated and commodified by corporations. And how the experiences and perspectives of those who are supposedly being represented get erased entirely. Mark then continues with his story, sharing about rising tensions at the studio, as well as painful realizations he began having around his business partnership. When he finally chooses to use ‘the a-word’ and name aloud the abuse he and others are experiencing, chaos ensues and Mark is emotionally isolated from his community - and from speaking his truth. He shares details around attempts at business mediation and how it came to be that - despite being the general manager and the majority owner of the studio - he eventually surrendered to a $0 buyout. Mark reveals why he believes the Org founder was in many ways instrumental to these failed negotiations, supporting his claims with details surrounding her communications with him directly. He speaks with vulnerability about his exit and the sorrow and humiliation that he felt during his last days at the studio. Then, he opens up about his healing process - what it’s been like to experience trauma triggers for the first time, and why continuing to dance has been such a pivotal part of his healing journey. Finally, Mark speaks directly to his community for the first time since leaving, reminding us all why the compassion and humility he was once shamed for is, in fact, his superpower.
July 19, 2023
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Ep.59 - The Victim Label: Gaslighting, Victim Shaming, & Tone Policing for Social Control ― Candice is back with another solo episode, this time asking some big questions: What is gaslighting & why is it such a thing? Why are so many people allergic to the word victim? And is spiritual dogma getting in the way of relational accountability? The episode opens with a peek into Conspirituality - and a new book by the same name - leading into an exploration of spiritual supremacy and how/why social stigmas around victimhood have become so prevalent. Candice shares personally about her long and messy history with gaslighting, and devotion to new ageism only added to the confusion. She challenges the notion that all suffering is meant, then breaks down the cognitive biases that fuel a victim blaming/shaming culture. True victimhood isn’t something we choose, and it’s very often shame-inducing because of how it is culturally conflated with unloveability and learned helplessness; examples of this are offered, as well as a critical look at the impossible standards that victims (and/or advocates who speak out on their behalf) are held to. Tone policing is defined and examined as a deflection of accountability, as well as other tools in the arsenal of those who are truly ‘playing the victim’… aka co-opt the language of the oppressed in order to justify retaliation in the face of restorative resistance. This is a jam-packed episode as a lead-in to the final few conversations in the ‘cult’ure series - which will roll out from now through August.
July 5, 2023
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Ep.60 - Legacy: Former 'Org' Studio Owner Breaks His Silence | Mark Frossard - Part 1 of 2 ― This week, the 'cult'ure series circles back to ‘the Org’. Tracy Stamper joins Candice once again for a two-part interview with Mark Frossard. In 2013, Mark became the majority owner in an internationally-recognized movement studio that became a destination for Org affiliates worldwide. But in 2021, he stepped away from the practice for good due to a falling out with his former business partner who was a rising star in the practice. Mark was not permitted to speak out at the time. Two years later, he breaks his silence, revealing details about his experience publicly for the very first time. In Part 1 of this conversation, Mark shares how it was his passion for art that first introduced him to the Org practice and the studio space that would eventually become his home away from home. He speaks about the red flags that were present in the Org training environment - as well as in his business partnership - and shares why he thinks he excused the culty dysfunction for so long. Mark recounts what it was like being one of the only men in the practice, which leads to a discussion of gender norms and a general lack of diversity & representation at the Org. Mark bravely opens up about the somatic dominance and body shaming that he experienced as a teacher and choreographer; and about how he was deliberately shut out of legacy negotiations going on behind closed doors. Little did he know where it would all leave him - heartbroken and empty-handed.
July 12, 2023

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Ep.58 - Enough Already: Marketing, Manipulation, & An MLM Escape Plan | Jennifer Rajala - Part 2 of 2 ― In part two with former MLM Coach, Jennifer Rajala, she shares her struggle to sustain top-tier status at Arbonne. In 2020, despite being investigated by the FTC, dozens of MLMs chose to leverage vulnerability and ramp up recruitment during a global pandemic, and Jennifer tells us why this didn't sit well with her. She also shares how the body-shaming culture at Arbonne impacted her personally, and why she decided to join the inner circle at Rank Makers as an MLM coach. When her clients weren’t getting the results that the high-dollar investment promised, Jennifer assumed she just needed more training, so she doubled-down, powering through a series of 'mastery' events with Tony Robbins. Jennifer tells us what those workshops were like - the tools that were helpful and as well as the misogynistic red flags that were waving wildly. Jennifer also offers us an invaluable peek behind the curtain when it comes to persuasive marketing and the carefully-calculated manipulations that leaders use to justify coercive sales-funnel strategies. Jennifer shares why she left Arbonne and was subsequently excommunicated from Rank Makers when stress led to a health crisis and a series of wake-up calls. The episode wraps with Jennifer’s message of hope to anyone who is concerned that their loved one is stuck in the world of MLM.
May 31, 2023
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Ep.56 - Cult-of-One Captivity: Only I Can Save You | Emma Stevens ― This week on the pod, we explore one-on-one cult dynamics with memoirist, Emma Stevens. Emma’s story begins with a peek inside of her first book - The Gathering Place: An Adoptee Story. She shares why she felt compelled to share her story of relinquishment and how the industry of adoption is problematic and ‘a little culty’ in sense that it doesn’t always serve the best interests of the children it serves. Emma describes being adopted into an authoritarian family and how having so little room for individuation has made her more susceptible to cultic influence as an adult. The conversation then turns to her second memoir, A Fire Is Coming, where she shares what it was like to fall victim to a narcissistic therapist who coerced Emma to leave her marriage and move in with her. She describes how this individual fostered a slow-burn dependency that preyed on Emma’s core wounds and fostered a disorganized attachment bond. Thanks to support from the outside, Emma was able to eventually move away from this relationship and take legal action against her abuser; but it would take her years to come to terms with her experience. Sobriety, in every sense of the word, paved way for deep healing, and now Emma is bravely sharing her story with the world in hopes of bringing awareness to the cult-of-one dynamics that are so common in abusive one-on-one relationships.
May 17, 2023
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Ep.57 - The MLM Mindset: A Former MLM Coach & Top-Tier Earner Blows The Whistle | Jennifer Rajala ― Jennifer Rajala’s TikTok page reads: “For 8 years I was deep in two MLM CULTs. I got people in, now I help them GTFO.” In part one of a two-parter, former MLM Coach, Jennifer Rajala, sits down with Candice to share her story. When Jennifer was pregnant with her second child, she left behind a career in social work to join the world of multi-level marketing. After a few years of high-minded hustle, she became a top-tier earner and was offered coveted White Mercedes status as an Arbonne rep. But despite her continual hard work (and the literal street cred) life as a ‘successful’ MLM’er didn’t pan out as promised. So she doubled down, expanding into the world of MLM Coaching. Jennifer was soon invited to join the 100K Inner Circle at Rank Makers, a culty collective of network marketing entrepreneurs who follow the daily-drop guidance of MLM Power Coach, Ray Higdon. Jennifer shares how her journey in the world of MLM had her hustling nonstop, perpetually leveling-up but continually unable to deliver genuine results for herself or her clients. She describes the slow burn indoctrination of MLM ‘cult’ure and how fixation on personal mindset kept her from seeing the many flaws inherent in the so-called business model. What happens when the world of multi-level marketing collides with status-driven power coaching? Even more people get taken advantage of. A few high-earning online consultants make bank through exploitative labor practices, teaching others how to employ the same hyper-capitalistic predatory sales practices that they themselves engage in. And all of this is in service to an industry with a 97-99% failure rate. Jennifer offers us a brave and unabashed peek behind the curtain.
May 24, 2023

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Ep.55 - Yoga ‘Cult’ure: Whitewashing, Red Flags, & Repair | Sybil Nance ― This week, we're stepping outside the bounds of wellness 'cult'ure etiquette with an honest peek behind the curtain of a multi-billion dollar industry - YOGA. Cultural appropriation. Wealthy white-centric standards of wellness. Spiritualized abuse of power. These are some of the mainstays of western yoga. Sybil Nance has been involved in the world of yoga since 1994 and has worked as an international teacher trainer, studio co-owner, and yoga therapist. In this episode, she shares some of her personal experiences and hard-earned insights around retreat culture, trauma-informed considerations, and culty norms like performative trauma therapy. Candice shares about her own experiences in yoga/wellness training environments and how an understanding of confirmation bias has helped her to demystify 'the practice.' Sybil grapples with her former role as a teacher trainer and how she was trained to mimic a teaching style that, upon closer inspection, was traumatizing and coercive. She speaks openly about the regret she experienced when she realized she was paying her trauma forward. She and her former colleagues have since reunited and made repairs with students they once trained, and she shares how the impact has rippled outward. More recently, Sybil was delivered a white woman wake-up call during a trip to India, and her story inspires a discussion around the insidiousness of a colonizing headspace. Finally, Sybil shares why she thinks the idea of 'making a living' as a yoga teacher is problematic and may be actively contributing to ever-increasing inequity.
May 10, 2023
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Ep.53 - New Age Disillusionment: Why Spiritual Bypassing Can't Save Us | Monica Welty ― One year ago, Monica Welty shared her story with TDP listeners on the pod - see Ep.29 Grief & Gratitude - and now she’s back for another heart-to-heart about moving on after loss. Candice opens the episode with a commentary on spiritual bypassing, and then Monica joins her to share recent insights she’s been having in her own process of cult recovery. Monica spent a decade training at ‘the Org’ in addition to other new age wellness circles, all of which emphasize radical body awareness, the law of attraction, and magical thinking. She describes how her grief was compounded by new age indoctrination when she tragically lost her newborn son, her fertility, and her marriage; and how despite the initial benefits, her new age worldview came crashing down. Monica also opens up about how childhood conditioning combined with a culturally-absorbed pressure to spiritually bypass contributed to denial surrounding her husband’s ongoing infidelities, and Candice chimes in with her own personal reckoning with cult of one relational dynamics. Candice shares how she has restored agency when it comes to trusting her instincts on the other side of her culty experiences; and then together she and Monica discuss the dangers of the new age there-are-no-victims mindset, how it’s shaped by privilege, and why it’s so important to seek out spaces where we can show up authentically. This conversation a two-parter; the second half rolls out over on Patreon later this week when Monica & Candice pick up where they left of with a discussion on what it's like to find meaning on the other side of new age disillusionment.
April 5, 2023
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Ep.54 - Patreon Preview | Deconstructing Dogma Series Sampler w/ Special Guests ― The ‘cult’ure series continues with a carefully-curated sneak peek at what’s been happening in the deconstructing dogma series - streaming exclusively over on Patreon. Every week, Candice sits down with friends and former colleagues to critically examine culty indoctrination in the wellness world, and you can now access 14+ hours of bonus content over on Patreon. This episode features some of the best moments from those convos to date, including excerpts from a dozen episodes with regular contributor, Tracy Stamper. She and Candice have been unlearning out loud as part of their cult recovery. Excerpts include: a critical look at day-one Org teachings and what happens when helpful tools meant to liberate self-expression do just the opposite; coercive marketing and recruitment practices and how they’re used to justify exploitative labor practices down the road (and up the hierarchy); culty language and how damn difficult it can be to lose the lingo and learn to think critically again; and ‘triple isolation’ what it is and how to recover from it. You'll hear more from Monica Welty in a Patreon-exclusive bonus where she and Candice continue their main feed conversation and discuss how to make meaning without making shit up. Former Org trainer, Maria Skinner, joins the pod and poses some hard questions about Org leadership and the differences between transparency and TMI. Also, a sample from a recent two-part Patreon release with yoga mentor and former yoga teacher trainer, Sybil Nance. Sybil and Candice discuss retreat red flags and how to make repairs in the aftermath of our inherited trauma.
May 3, 2023

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Ep.52 - Cult Born & Bred: A ‘Problem Child’ Takes Back His Life | Christian Studebaker ― [CW: This episode contains reference to child abuse, addition, mental illness, and suicide. Please listen with care.] In December of last year, I released my conversation with Trina Studebaker who shared about the fourteen years she and her family spent an abusive religious cult (See Episode #42). In addition to offering a refreshingly-honest peek into her own personal journey, Trina spoke about her regrets as a mother; how due to cultic indoctrination, she’d been unable to protect her children from the wrath of the cult's fundamentalist rhetoric and the heavy hand of their father who had himself been raised in the group. Trina wept as she described the terror that had been unleashed on her eldest child, Christian. Not long after #42 dropped, Christian requested the opportunity to offer his own honest-yet-hopeful perspective, and it’s an honor to share his story with you today. His is a story that is difficult to hear, but remarkably inspiring. Christian speaks candidly about what it was like living in a home where he was continually beaten and gaslit around the helpless rage he experienced as a result of ongoing abuse. He shares how he spent the first half of his life internalizing the messages he received at home and at school and how he escaped the pain through addiction before turning a corner through 12-step recovery and trauma-informed therapy. Christian has since reclaimed his right to love, compassion, and opportunities that were once unimaginable. Listen in on his uncommon journey from solitary confinement as a ten-year old to the Graduate in Architecture program at MIT. Christian bravely reminds us that it's possible to heal, and to build a bridge from resilience to recovery.
March 29, 2023
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Ep.50 - Growing Pains, 12-Step 'Cult'ure, & The Sobriety to Walk Away | Stacy Parish ― Stacy Parish is this week’s guest on the pod. Stacy is an artist, and the creator and host of the Full Spirals podcast. In this wholehearted convo, she & Candice discuss how Stacy’s experiences in early childhood shaped her passion for creative expression as both voice and vehicle for healing. Stacy repressed memories of the early childhood trauma that she experienced; and in her thirties, an ongoing battle with addiction required she unearth them in order to heal. She was gaslit by her immediate family, which was an experience that left an indelible mark. In this conversation, Stacy speaks to why she feels it’s so crucial (and difficult at times) to trust ourselves. Stacy also spent time in ‘the Org’ and she explains why, despite the remarkable benefits of the practice, her experiences elsewhere kept her at a healthy distance from the inner circle. From there, the conversation centers around the two decades that Stacy spent in 12-step recovery communities. She explains what worked about it, what didn't, and why she made the difficult choice to walk away two years ago. The two discuss everyday cult dynamics that show up in these communities, including: commitment expectations, boundary violations, and bounded choice... just to name a few. The 'cult of personality' is also explored, as well as some of the harmful consequences that can result when this power is abused and the cycle of pain is perpetuated by people who refuse to look outside of group dogma for answers. CW: This episode includes reference to addiction and childhood sexual abuse. It may be triggering to trauma survivors, those in 12 step recovery programs, or anyone who has experience in high-demand groups or emotionally coercive relationships. Please listen with care.
March 15, 2023
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Ep.51 - Unsilenced: Exposing The 'Troubled Teen' Industry | Lindsay Spyker ― At age sixteen, Lindsay Spyker woke in the middle of the night to two strangers hovering over her bed and by order of her parents, she was transported to Cross Creek - a youth ‘rehabilitation’ center in La Verkin, Utah where she would spend the next two years of her life. Today, she shares her harrowing experience with us. The 'troubled teen' industry is a multi-billion dollar money machine that preys on parental anxiety and uses deceptive marketing tactics to sell a high-dollar dogmatic approach to ‘treatment’ wherein children are separated from their families and indoctrinated to believe that they are flawed and in need of fixing. Each year, countless youth are sent to therapeutic boarding schools, youth rehab centers, and conversion camps, many of which are led by untrained staff and special interests groups. There have been tens of thousands of reports of abuse and psychological coercion in these environments spanning many decades; and yet, they continue to operate across the US and abroad. Breaking Code Silence - now known as Unsilenced - has been shining a spotlight on survivor stories since 2014, and Lindsay is here today to share her experience with us and to advocate for accountability and widespread legislative change. She shares what it was like for her as a ‘uncontrollable’ child as well as the terror of being sent away as a teen. She offers a peek behind the curtain at Cross Creek and shares openly about the abuse she witnessed and suffered there. Today’s episode is bid for collective activism on behalf of children everywhere and a cautionary tale reminding us all (parents especially) that youth rehab facilities aren’t always what the shiny brochures promise them to be.
March 22, 2023

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Ep.49 - Reimagining Leadership: Creativity & Anti-Cult Activism | Gerette & Lisa - Part 2 of 2 ― Candice returns with the second half of her convo with new friends of the podcast and co-founders of the #igotout movement, Lisa & Gerette. If you missed part one, circle back because the conversation picks up where it left off. Gerette shares what a relief it is 'being human’ after 18 years spent striving to perfect herself in a therapy-based cult. Lisa acknowledges activists who are blowing the whistle on her very first guru, who has since rebranded himself. Candice wonders aloud at how so many wellness influencers rely on spiritual lineages that reinforce oppressive ideologies, referencing her own recently discovered blindspots. Gerette inspires a discussion about healthy leadership - what is it and how do we create it? Then Lisa emphasizes the importance of deconstructing hierarchies, sharing personally about the learning curve she has faced as the #igotout content curator. She reads aloud from Geoffrey Wallace’s book - A Voice From Inside - which inspires a lively dialogue about the power of creativity and critical thinking. Candice shares how she was discouraged from asking questions in new age wellness circles, and Gerette voices an encouraging open-invitation to us all. The three discuss why collaboration and organic growth is so critical to the reinvention of leadership; then, Lisa speaks in depth about anonymous activism, providing a helpful template for easing our way into cult recovery spaces. The episode wraps with a peek into the future of the igotout movement.
March 8, 2023
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Ep.47 - Coaching ‘Cult’ure Red Flags: When Help & Harm Collide | Kathleen Oh ― In the final episode before a self-care break, Candice is thrilled to sit down with Kathleen Oh, a fellow writer, coach, and new-age wellness survivor. Kathleen lays the foundation for her cult-like experiences, sharing how she was born into high-control environments. She opens up about how the resulting black&white thinking shaped her choices at home as a young mother, and as in her work as a coach. Kathleen expresses her regret and speaks openly about how she is still coming to terms with the ways in which she spread misinformation and unknowingly used coercive sales tactics. She and Candice trade stories about the love&light ‘cult’ures they occupied, underscoring just how much the lies they learned - and helped to perpetuate through their work - are really just a byproduct of capitalist-cult, supremacist self-help rhetoric. Kathleen breaks down the real differences between therapy and coaching and shares how she learned (the hard way) what can happen when coaches are not, in fact, trauma-informed. Candice shares about the boss-babe business training she invested in, and Kathleen has an even more humbling story to share when it comes to predatory sales practices. The episode wraps with a variety of resources for folks who want to learn more about a small-yet-growing counterculture of coaches who are calling themselves, and one another, ‘out’… with the hope of mitigating the culty and harmful business practices that run rampant in the coaching industry.
January 25, 2023
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Ep.48 - #igotout: Why Our Stories Matter | Lisa & Gerette - Part 1 of 2 ― The ‘cult’ure series continues with a a two-part conversation with the co-founders of igotout.org. In Part 1, Candice shares how #igotout was a saving grace when she first released her story publicly. Lisa & Gerette join her to share about the origins of the movement, speaking about the hashtag’s conception and why it is so important for cult survivors to have safe spaces to share their stories. Gerette makes a distinction between recognizing and ‘reckoning with' the harm we experience, and Lisa speaks to why anonymous activism is something she continually champions. Candice shares how the idealism that hooked her is also what enabled her to get out, and Lisa expands upon this with a potent declaration that bears repeating. The three discuss how involvement in cult communities and abusive relationships very often results in arrested development; how we stop thinking critically and our fears are leveraged and used against us. Carlos Castaneda’s influence is explored through a peek into Lisa’s childhood and family history, and she shares intimately how growing up in the hippie movement primed her for entry into a cult at age 19. And a fascinating dialogue about death leads Gerette toward a personal ah-ha around how grief shaped her exit from a a therapy-based cult.
March 1, 2023

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Ep.46 - Patreon Bonus | Deconstructing Dogma: 'Drama' & Disobedience ― Surprise! This week's Patreon bonus episode is dropping here, too! It's a sample from the Deconstructing Dogma series that's been rolling out over on Patreon. We're sharing it publicly because this chat is timely; right on the heels of a pivotal convo with Yamuna Benedict - where so many of the Org's unspoken rules of engagement were broken (sorry, not sorry). Tracy & Candice unpack three major no-no’s at the Org - gossiping, complaining, and ‘creating drama.' They discuss how often helpful signposts for self-awareness were misunderstood and misused, often resulting in silence and complacency. Tracy shares how hypervigilance around self-expression is antithetical to ‘see something, say something’ reminders that we have a responsible to speak up when something ain't right. Candice speaks to the importance of nervous system co-regulation and points toward a painful truth; that social guidelines are too often about reinforcing a ‘cult’ure of compliance, obedience, and top-down whitewashed supremacy. Tracy does her best to shed the stigma when it comes to the ‘work-arounds’ we employ to forge connection, and Candice attempts to normalize feelings of guilt or shame that some folks might feel even listening to the podcast. The episode wraps with a critical examination of purity ‘cult’ure and what an ongoing rejection of ‘drama’ really means... and why the cost is just too damn high. If you enjoyed this episode and want to explore more from the deconstructing dogma series, head over to patreon.com/thedeeperpulse.
January 20, 2023
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Ep.44 - Devidasi Devotion: Service & Self-Sacrifice | Yamuna Benedict - Part 1 of 2 ― According to Hare Krishna tradition, a ‘devadasi’ is a female who devotes herself to a lifetime of service. Upon her birth, this week’s guest was given the name Yamuna Jivana Devidasi by the founder of ISKCON, Swami Prabhupada. Yamuna’s parents ran the Berkeley Hare Krishna Temple when she was a child, and she grew up believing that her purpose in life was “to be a servant to the servant to the servant.” She carried this foundational approach to life with her into adulthood, and it has delivered some mixed-bag results. Tracy Stamper (see Ep.34-37) rejoins Candice on the podcast to welcome Yamuna, who was once an ‘Org’ executive team member, trainer liaison, and all-around go-to gal. Yamuna was drawn into the inner circle at 'the Org' in 2010, a pivotal time in the company's growth. True to form, she went ‘all-in’ devoting her devidasi spirit to the company's mission. She worked overtime - underpaid - for five years before being let go with staggering insensitivity (a story she'll share in Part 2). Eight years later, Yamuna is ready to step out from the shadows and break her unspoken vow of silence. Not to “gossip, complain, or create drama” (see Org’s implicit-rule book for thought-terminating cliches on all that) but to liberate herself from a cycle of self abandonment that existed before and after her time at the Org. She hopes that sharing the details of her experience might help her and others to better understand why so many of us are drawn into cultish communities, and also... why we stay put when the red flags are impossible to ignore.
January 11, 2023
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Ep.45 - Behind The Curtain: CryDay, Chaos, & Disorganized Attachment | Yamuna Benedict - Part 2 of 2 ― Yamuna Benedict is back to share Part 2 of her story. Tracy offers a telling reflection to kick things off regarding how Yamuna’s Krishna-cult conditioning may have contributed to long hours at 'the Org.' Yamuna describes the demanding and chaotic work environment, as well as some disturbing details regarding the Org’s discriminatory hiring practices, chronic gaslighting, and overt body shaming. She shares candidly about fielding ongoing sexual harassment claims and explains why she chose not to support a harassment lawsuit against the company early on. Yamuna describes how her codependent connection to the Org’s CEO mimicked her early-in-life relationship with her father, which may explain why she continually shielded him, and the Org's founder, from accountability. She talks candidly about keeping up appearances in order to make sure that no one could see 'behind the curtain.' Candice asks for the backstory surrounding the infamous bathing suit exercise that Tracy described in Ep.34, and the three speak about just how often abuse of power was reframed as an exercise in psychospiritual endurance. Finally, after eight years of silence, Yamuna shares the details around her sudden and painful termination from the Org, the devastation she experienced, as well as how she was regarded by those still ‘in.’ Reflection on the aftermath leads into a fiery discussion about whether or not the ‘the moves’ explored at the Org are proprietary (spoiler: they’re not), and Candice shares why she believes that lifetime membership fees - for any reason - are culty AF. Tracy reveals what her own research has taught her about susceptibility to cult dynamics, and then the episode wraps when Yamuna shares what she’s doing to heal and move her life forward.
January 18, 2023

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Ep.43 - Cult Curriculum Mindf*ckery & How To Break Free w/ NXIVM Whistleblowers, Sarah Edmondson & Anthony ‘Nippy’ Ames ― [CW: This episode contains brief reference to physical and sexual coercion.]. You may recognize Sarah Edmondson and Anthony ‘Nippy’ Ames from the critically-acclaimed HBO docu-series, The Vow. Sarah & Nippy left a self-development organization known as NXIVM in 2017, and they were immediately thrust into the spotlight, working alongside a handful of other whistleblowers to bring NXIVM’s leader, Keith Raniere, to justice. In this episode, Sarah and Nippy speak candidly about the NXIVM curriculum, where it came from (really), what they thought it was, and how it was eventually weaponized against them. Nippy shares his take on NXIVM’s ‘exploration of meaning’ exercise, and Sarah shares how - despite the early benefits of EMing - the technique was eventually used to coerce her into getting a ‘sisterhood’ brand on her body. Candice shares how much she can relate to the mindfuckery of always “being at-cause” and how she’s still unraveling it after 16 years. Nippy elaborates, speaking to how this no-victim mentality feeds shame - which is then leveraged to keep people from leaving or speaking out. Sarah breaks down NXIVM’s Stripe Path - which is uncannily similar to ‘the Org’ hierarchy - and then shares about a moment when Keith Raniere revealed the truth aloud to her - referring to it as something meant to offer "the illusion of hope." Nippy gets uber-honest about the anger he felt when he learned his wife had been branded, and Sarah shares openly about her lingering PTSD and how it's impacted her most intimate relationships. The episode wraps with a disarming response to folks who only want to ‘focus on the good.’ Listen in for a crash course in self-development-cult survivorship.
January 4, 2023
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Ep.41 - dō(n)TERRA: MLM ‘Cult’ure & 'Wellness' Red Flags w/ Jamie Smith ― Candice welcomes friend and activist Jamie Smith to the podcast for an illuminating discussion on the ‘cult’ure of MLM. Jamie spent four years as a sales rep with dōTERRA, a multi-level marketing company known for its high-end essential oils. She shares when she became involved in the company - while battling postpartum depression and shortly after the death of her father - as well as what drew her into work as a distributor. As a health coach, Jamie found dōTERRA’s emphasis on health education to be a major selling point, but soon enough she'd be spending the majority of her (unpaid) time recruiting new distributors. Despite loads of lip service from top-line mentors, Jamie began to see through the gauzy promises and eventually left the world of MLM for good. A few years later, she realized that very few anti-MLMers were naming dōTERRA - an MLM who, in Jamie's own words, has taken great pains to “polish the turd” - so she began speaking out publicly on social media. Jamie insists that multi-level marketing is across-the-board problematic, calling it “capitalism on steroids,” and she shares the red flags to look out for when being pitched. Candice and Jamie also discuss pay-to-play privilege in the wellness world, as well as how they were both trained in coercive sales strategies in the coaching industry. They trade some real-talk on magical thinking, and the way in which they were each taught to believe that their business failings were a result of faulty vibes - versus a rigged system - and they discuss moral injuries and how they’re each learning to trust themselves again. Jamie pitches the idea of a ‘rest mindset’ versus all the endless self-helping, and together they discuss how gate-keeping (and other culty bs) sometimes bleeds into their cult recovery circles. Candice wonders aloud if the evolving business structure at ‘the Org,’ might also be a little MLM-ish, then the episode wraps with some helpful advice.
December 21, 2022
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Ep.42 - Resilient AF: Surviving Shame & Christian Fundamentalism w/ Trina Studebaker ― [CW: This episode contains reference to physical and sexual abuse, mental illness, and mention of suicide. Please listen with care.] It takes a tremendous amount of self-inquiry to get to a place in recovery where you can finally use the four-letter word - cult - and Trina Studebaker has done the work. In this episode, Trina bravely shares her life story with us. It's a story of cultic influence that starts early-in-life with sexual abuse and an ongoing battle with anorexia, culminating in an all-in devotion to Christian Fundamentalism. Trina shares how she first got involved with the group; how it hooked her, made use of her many talents, and why it felt impossible to leave despite the devastating toll it was taking on her family; courageous to the bone, Trina shares a number of shameful secrets for the first time. After 14 years, she and her family eventually left the group, only to find themselves in another non-religious-yet-culty situation that resulted in Trina being asked to testify against someone she'd long considered a friend, mentor, and respected leader in her community. Trina shares how she survived it all - including a suicide attempt in 2010 - and speaks poignantly about her continual path of healing - which has required a painful reckoning with chronic pain, shame, and bittersweet resiliency. This conversation is highly illustrative; together Candice & Trina touch upon many tools of ‘cult’ural indoctrination as identified in previous episodes, including: undue influence, control of language, and how we go about recovering a sense of inner authority when there's so much good mixed in with the bad.
December 28, 2022

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Ep.40 - Higher-up & Better-than: Origins of The Cult Persona ― In another solo episode of the 'cult'ure series, we take a deep-dive into childhood conditioning and explore how ‘family systems’ might shape susceptibility to influence. Candice shares a recent ah-hah around her 'triggers’ and how allowing herself to feel has been helping her to step outside of culty indoctrination. Complacency is discussed, as the near enemy of mindfulness and as a roadblock to authentic self-awareness. Inspired by the work of John Bradshaw, Candice shares how to tell the difference between healthy and toxic shame, and how the latter reinforces 'the cult persona,' and a tendency to act as if we are more or less than human. She then shares what it’s like living just outside of Sedona - a new-age mecca that wreaks of 'cult'ural appropriation. Find out the history behind Sedona’s claim to fame - the energetic vortexes, and what the spiritual ego has to do with it all. Finally, be sure to stick around, because the episode wraps with the poignant (and anonymous) sharing of former Org members' stories. Purity culture is reality checked, orthorexia is defined, and a wake-up call is inspired by the work of courageous body-positive activists who are calling out the cults of ableism and anti-fat bias. There’s a lot packed into this episode; you may have to listen twice.
December 14, 2022
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Ep.38 - Conspirituality, Coercion, & Cult Recovery | Janja Lalich, PhD ― Candice sits down with world-renowned cult expert Dr. Janja Lalich -- who retired for a hot minute in 2019 until the pandemic hit and her inbox began blowing up. The episode opens with Janja’s personal story about her involvement in a far-left political cult back in the late ’70s & early '80s. She shares about her role in leadership and the eventual disbanding of the group, speaking candidly about the mental health challenges she faced during her own cult recovery. Dr. Lalich shares some of what she's learned working as an expert in cults & coercive influence for over three decades, including a brief history of the human potential movement and how it’s since morphed into present-day conspirituality culture. Large group awareness trainings are a byproduct of this modern-day self-help economy, and Janja describes how LGATs alter judgment and erode personal agency in real-time. She highlights some of the red flags to look out for when it comes to cultic influence, as well as the #1 thing that people who join cults appear to have in common (it’s probably not what you think). Candice shares how she regrets moving from one wellness cult to another in her late twenties and early thirties, and Janja underscores the importance of psychoeducation to avoid this common ‘cult hopping’ tendency. Other topics covered include peak experiences and why they’re so addictive, common misconceptions about coercion, what makes us vulnerable when it comes to recruitment, and Janja’s groundbreaking bounded choice framework.
September 21, 2022
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Ep.39 - Drink Up! Undue Influence & The Subtleties of Persuasion ― Candice is back with a reboot of the ‘cult’ure series. The episode opens with a big announcement and an intimate peek behind the scenes. She speaks about grind 'cult'ure, the work of Tricia Hersey, and why regular breaks from creating content are so damn important. Fawning is once again defined and explored in greater detail, including a share about a recent wake-up call - a ‘fan girl’ moment when Candice nearly lost her sh*t AND a valuable opportunity. Capital ‘C’ cults are explored as well as the super-subtle ways we are all indoctrinated to perpetuate systemic oppression. Undue influence is defined and illustrated through one of Candice’s most treasured childhood possessions, and we begin our deep-dive exploration of the f’ed-upedness of wellness ‘cult’ure... with all its good intentions. The episode wraps with a list of questions to strong consider when entering or exiting a group, and a very critical and timely PSA for those who are still active in ‘the Org.’
December 7, 2022

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#37 - Fawning vs. Freedom: Debunking Sacred Pseudoscience ― Candice & Tracy reunite for one final sit down, almost six months after recording the last three episodes. They discuss what it’s been like sharing their stories & unpacks the major takeaways on the other side of a transformative few weeks. Tracy shares how her perspective on the tools-turned-weapons of self-help has dramatically evolved, along with how she envisions ‘doing’ group culture differently in the future. Candice identifies the two nervous system adaptations that are most commonly overlooked in group training environments - fawning & freezing. She describes the distress signals she often witnessed at the Org and cites the work of Robert Jay Lifton regarding the ’sacred science’ of culty culture, making a case for the many limitations of new age spirituality jargon. Tracy examines why, after four-plus years, she’s still unable to teach or attend movement classes, and the two are adamantly in agreement that spiritual authority is an inside job. Tracy shares why the idea of ’spiritual hustle’ is a total misnomer. Candice speaks critically about the conflicts inherent in a culture where personal development are codified and commodified, and she gets pretty fired up about whether or not those who’ve invested in the Org’s training need to stick around in order to make use of the best parts (spoiler: not so much). The episode wraps with a share regarding unprecendented response to the series, and what listeners are saying about the ‘cult’ure series.
August 31, 2022
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#35 - Guarding The Family Secrets: Flying Monkeys & Lifelines — In the fourth episode of the 'cult'ure series, Candice is back with Part 2 of her conversation with Tracy Stamper. In a follow-up to last week, Tracy shares candidly about the devastation she felt in 2017 when she was fired from the high-demand 'cult'ure where she'd devoted sixteen years of her life. She was let go within hours of her father's passing, and the loss - of a parent, a job, an identity, and a community - resulted in feelings of grief and overwhelm. Tracy shares about the months-long struggle she experienced as she fought to reorient herself to the outside world without revealing the Org family secsrets... that is until chronic physical pain prompted her to speak out via Facebook. Candice describes what it was like to witness the shitstorm that resulted [cue the flying monkeys!] and why it is she chose to reach out to Tracy in the midst of the social media frenzy. Tracy shares what it was like to receive the unexpected support, and the two discuss how it felt to compare notes after over a decade of silence. Toward the end of the episode, Candice gets personal, sharing why their reconnection was so damn timely and how it clued her into her own family-of-origin cult dynamic. The episode wraps with Tracy describing why, despite how things went down last time, she decided to push through her fear & share the full story of her experience on this podcast.
August 17, 2022
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#36 - Braving The Storm: Sour Grapes & The Aftermath ― Due to unexpected weather patterns, Candice opens up the episode from her bedroom closet where she’s riding out a monsoon thunderstorm. The metaphor is a timely one, as she speaks candidly about a humbling week that put her face to face with her number one challenge — speaking hard truths & disappointing people. This leads directly into the third and final segment of the conversation she had with Tracy Stamper back in March of this year. In part 3 of their chat, Tracy wraps up her personal story of exiting the Org. She speaks about the shame she felt after speaking out back in 2018, and how difficult it was to re-orient herself to a world outside of the practice. Candice shares more of what she has learned while doing research into cult dynamics, specifically the role language plays in groupthink ideology and how thought-terminating cliches can sometimes keep us from taking restorative action. She & Tracy discuss how cult fitness ‘costumes’ communicate credibility and allegiance, and how awkward it can feel to step outside of group norms. Tracy has an ah-hah moment when Candice shares the three reasons she thinks she was/is susceptible to high-demand influences, and then the episode wraps with a reality check around the new age ‘cult’ure of idealism.
August 24, 2022

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#34 - Dancing on Eggshells: Love Bombing & Bounded Choice — In Episode 33, Candice shared intimately about what it was like to work in the ‘cult’ure of new age wellness; and this week she sits down with former colleague and long-time friend Tracy Stamper who has agreed to share her own personal story of separation from ‘the Org’ (referenced in the last episode). Tracy will be joining Candice for a series of episodes where the two reflect on what it’s like to survive the aftermath of a culty culture. In part one of their convo, you’ll hear about how they met one another and individually progressed through various levels of high-demand training - both of them ‘dancing on eggshells’ on opposite sides of the country. Tracy bravely shares about her own experiences working in the inner circle, sharing stories about the mixed messages she received and how disorienting it was to perpetually reframe chronic anxiety as ‘an exercise in personal power.’ She talks about why she felt sadness and betrayal when Candice left and started leading classes in another modality (no longer barefoot, wtaf?!), and Candice shares about the time she re-entered the practice and felt like the only sober person in the room. Tracy speaks about the addictive nature of the group awareness training environment and offers an intimate peek inside of the highest level of training, sharing about an exercise that leads the two into a fascinating discussion about agency and bounded choice. And the episode wraps with the red flag that helped Tracy to realize that stepping away from the practice wasn’t going to be as simple as it seemed.
August 10, 2022
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#32 - Under The Influence: The 'Cult'ure Series — In the first episode of the 'cult'ure series, Candice invites us to get real about the relationships and groups we occupy. What does it mean to be psychosocially ‘under the influence’ and why are we humans so prone to surrendering personal agency? Candice shares more about what's challenged her most when it comes to living at the center of her own story, revealing the recent therapeutic ah-hah that led to the creation of this podcast summer series. Spiritual wounds are defined, as well as the Buddhist concept of near enemies and what they have to teach us about abuse of power, specifically in group wellness circles. She challenges the thought-terminating cliche 'there are no victims' and speaks openly about the dangers of idealistic generalizations arguing that often the suppression of pain is far more oppressive than laying claim to victimhood. We unpack the 4-letter word 'cult,' embracing its nuance with an acknowledgment that the dynamics of social control can be both subtle or severe and that, in either instance, they have a measurable impact on human agency. Ernest Becker's work helps us to understand why it is do-gooders are so often the ones making such a goddamned mess of things, and Candice unpacks ‘bounded choice’ - the psychological mechanics of staying put - why it is we stick around even when we shouldn't. The episode wraps with a sneak-peek into the 'cult'ure series gameplan moving forward. This episode is foundational for the conversations to come, so light a candle, pull up a floor cushion, & get thee some headphones! [cue culty music]
July 27, 2022
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#33 - Behaving Gladly: The Cult of New Age Wellness Turns out the ‘cult’ure of new ageism isn't really all that new, but it is positively alive and well; and its over-emphasis on love & light can blinding. In this episode, Candice speaks transparently about the decade she spent working and teaching in new-age wellness circles. She tells you how she extricated herself from a pseudoscientific yoga cult in 2002, and what it might’ve cost her had she stayed. She speaks transparently about the three years she spent working in the inner circle of an international mind-body fitness organization, and how she struggled mightily to leave despite growing physical discomfort and nonstop interpersonal dysfunction. An addiction to idealism & new age prosperity gospel only exacerbated her feelings of self-doubt and stuckness (because gaslighting is real, y'all). Toward the end of the episode, she describes the life-changing moment when the spiritual scaffolding she'd built her self-worth around finally came crashing to the ground and shares how it led to the most destructive relationship of her life. In between stories, Candice borrows wisdom from cult experts, sharing about about the mechanics of 'culty' cultures and how & why we get so damned enmeshed. You'll learn about love bombing, milieu control, and moral injury; then the episode wraps with a critique of commercialized wellness and the problems inherent in a capitalist 'cult'ure - where mental health and meaning are branded, packaged, and sold. It's jam-packed with cautionary tales & educational content that will help you make meaning out of the relational messes in your life.
August 3, 2022

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#31 - Freedom With: Codependency & The Sovereign Self w/ Kim Dawson. Candice is wrapping up the spring season with a special guest and dear friend, Kim Dawson. Kim candidly shares her personal story and the pivotal moment when her dream of becoming a prima ballerina were shattered due to an ‘emotional injury’ that would linger for decades. She talks about what it was like working in Silicon Valley back in the 80s when blatant misogyny went unchecked and how resentment around her early-life successes eventually led her to make self-sabotaging choices in her professional life. Candice shares how she & Kim met, and they speak honestly about what it was like to work for a personal growth organization where self-sacrifice and codependency were the norms. Candice tells you about the teaching colleague who woke her ass up by setting an example of sovereignty that rocked her world wide-open and why. Kim gives you a taste of her work, leading Candice in an exercise that demonstrates how often what we see in others is what we most need to recognize within ourselves. Sovereignty is defined and discussed, as well as how the shift from 'freedom-from' to 'freedom-with' can help us to reinvent our relationship to the world around us. The episode wraps with a very intimate moment when Kim shares about the recent passing of her mother and how she is re-authoring her life anew.
May 11, 2022
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#30 - Birthing Business: Leadership & Letting Go w/ Christy Goldsby. This week’s guest is long-time friend and business founder, Christy Goldsby. Candice & Christy were in a marketing group together in 2013 when Christy first launched Honey Mama's to-die-for, artisan-made truffle bars. Since then, the Honey Mama's brand has become a staple at health food stores all across the country. Christy shares how close friendship and a shared desire for better health inspired her to develop this genius superfood sweet treat, and how it all started with a monthly booth at the local farmer’s market. Ten years later, she leads 67 employees and the company has taken on a life of its own. She shares what it's like to found - and lead - a self-inspired business that has become a source of livelihood for so many others. Candice talks about why sovereignty is so critical when it comes to inspiring a creative work environment, and together they hash out how authenticity inspires personal agency. Christy shares how her meditation practice is making her a better leader and that learning how to let-go has become a daily practice. Together they explore conscious entrepreneurship and how a more ‘feminine’ (aka holistic & integrative) approach to business has the ability to up-level innovation and usher in new social paradigms.
May 4, 2022

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#29 - Grief, Gratitude, & Life After Loss w/ Monica Welty. Grief has a lot in common with gravity; it's an unavoidable force of life that can knock us to our knees in an instant. Monica Welty knows all about that. In 2013, she tragically lost her newborn son, Harvey; this episode releases on what would've been his ninth birthday. Since then, Monica has been bravely sharing her story and providing others a space to be witnessed in their own experiences of loss. In this episode, she explains why she chooses to grieve such an intimate loss with public transparency and talks about why there are some losses we never fully recover from. Candice & Monica discuss how grief paradoxically requires we come to terms with deep existential truths while also finding ways to reconnect to everyday aliveness. They wonder at the way we ‘do math’ in order to make meaning out of our losses, and how & when this is helpful. Monica gets uber-honest about the shameful thoughts she had just following the loss of her son, and Candice shares how her current spiritual practice is all about believing in nothing and learning to relax into the mystery of life. The episode wraps with an unscripted moment where Candice shares a story of loss that she’s never before shared publicly.
April 27, 2022
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#27 - Self-Trust & Life's Dark Directives w/ Karima Borni, PhD. Join Candice for an inspiring dialogue with a long-time friend and coaching client, Karima Borni. Together, they take a philosophical deep dive into self-trust, specifically as it relates to life's dark directives. Kari shares how passage into motherhood triggered a 'primal' response in her body and mind, forcing her to re-author her entire approach to life. They reflect on the ongoing struggle to restore inner authority and embody the soul-self as our center of gravity; naming specific challenges that result when hard-earned identities are threatened by the passing seasons of life. Candice tells the story of a recent job offer, her ambivalence, and how she's learned to discern between fear and intuition. Kari speaks to how she’s been able to trace so much of her suffering back to social conditioning and fears around mortality, and how she’s now learning to approach life with greater equanimity and acceptance. This is a soulful dialogue that circles us back to the earliest episodes of the podcast, reminding us that no matter how much we seek to control life, it's gonna do its thing and continually remind us... trust is an inside job.
April 13, 2022
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#28 - Express The Mess: Real Life & Honest Art w/ Kelly Williams. Candice welcomes truth-teller and gifted encaustic artist, Kelly Williams, to the podcast. Kelly shares how a unique and challenging childhood shaped her reliance on self-expression as a means of survival and how, many years later, she discovered painting as an outlet for deep healing and personal transformation. She describes the fascinating, natural mediums through which she works, and how the process of painting offers a therapeutic avenue for the expression of the unspeakable. Kelly now guides students to reveal their secret selves safely, without the risk of unhealthy emotional over-exposure, explaining how art is an object lesson, revealing its maker, and how making a mess (or not) can become a valuable tool for self-awareness and/or social commentary. She and Candice discuss the difference between healthy exposure and performative vulnerability. Candice shares a personal discovery - how trying to be of service to others inadvertently gets in the way of being helpful - and together, they get real about things like imposter syndrome, survivor guilt, and sustaining creative integrity while operating in an online marketplace.
April 20, 2022

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#26 - Individualized Medicine & Women's Health w/ Samantha Levine, ND. Candice sits down with naturopathic physician, Samantha LeVine, to discuss individualized care, particularly as it pertains to women’s health. Dr. Sam tells us about the moment when, at age seven, she realized she would become a doctor specializing in women’s health. She describes naturopathic medicine, what differentiates it from conventional practice, and how regulations vary from state to state. Candice shares how Dr. Sam’s approach was a real game-changer for her own personal journey of health and self-care. The two discuss how emotional landscapes can impact physical health, and Dr. Sam emphasizes how essential it is to be physiologically informed when it comes to emotional challenges. Dr. Sam offers a fascinating explanation of how sugar, both positively and negatively, impacts the brain and whether or not there is a difference between medicine and medication. The episode wraps up with some very practical guidance regarding peri-menopausal and post-menopausal considerations. Dr. Sam tells us how to better prepare the body for this 'change of life' using proper testing and then talks candidly about whether or not hormone replacement therapy is a good idea.
April 6, 2022
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#24 - The 'Nature' of Self-Care w/ Monica Maggio. What on earth does pruning plants have to do with self-care? More than you might expect. Candice talks with ‘plant nerd’ and pruning coach, Monica Maggio, about her experience working as a plant care specialist. Monica explains how consciously carrying for perennial plants fosters self-awareness, empathy, and accountability. Monica gets personal, sharing a watershed moment in high school that inspired her to pursue environmental studies and horticulture. Now, after over a decade of working intimately with clients and their plants, she has uncovered a fascinating overlap between pruning methodologies and how we care for ourselves. Candice is all-in on this topic, admitting how her own 'stuff' has long been reflected in how she goes about pruning her rose bushes. The two discuss what plants have to teach us about trauma and resilience, and Monica walks us through a handful of helpful pruning techniques. Together, they marvel at how each approach provides a useful metaphor for self-development and our place in the natural order of things. Monica continually invites us to turn our attention toward indigenous cultures who have long embodied an interdependent relationship with nature.
March 23, 2022
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#25 - Transgender Visibility: Beyond Adjectives w/ Rachel Kaufman. In honor of Transgender Day of Visibility, Candice sits down with her dear friend, Rachel Kaufman. Rachel speaks about how the pandemic impacted her work as a massage therapist and reflects on what it’s like to live as a trans woman during this time of unprecedented political backlash. She generously shares about why she decided to come out as a trans woman, and the many challenges she has faced along the way. She tells us how therapy and a strong support network carried her through her journey of transitioning and speaks to why, as a binary trans woman, she personally yearns to be received plain and simply as a woman, without all the awkwardness and adjectives. Candice digs into why it is we so often inaccurately conflate cognitive dissonance with safety concerns, and the two discuss healthy alternatives to transphobic projections. They explore how misogyny and internalized homophobia so often lead to violence and pathological enforcement of gender norms, and how legislation (even the bills that fail to pass) are actively endangering LGBTQ+ individuals as we speak. Rachel shares tangible examples of how cis gender folks often do harm by treating trans people differently, and she offers some practical tips for self-awareness in an effort to help cis folks up-level their support - from hollow promises of allyship toward meaningful action.
March 30, 2022

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#23 - Elder Wisdom: The Journey to Invisibility w/ Katherine Howells. Candice sits down for a heart-to-heart with elder and dear friend, Katherine Howells. The two discuss how a moment of shared transparency in their bi-monthly book club sparked an ongoing conversation around resentment and feelings of invisibility. Katherine shares her story of growing up on a farm and how conventional gender roles shaped her choices as a wife and mother. She speaks openly about 44 years of marriage, and about how life as a stay-at-home mom often resulted in feelings of invisibility and a yearning for something more. After her children left home, Katherine's identity shifted as she began reclaiming her inner authority and revising her approach to life. She shares how this new way of being has impacted her personal relationships and her approach to self-expression; and she explains how, now that she has learned to embrace 'invisibility', she feels more clearly seen than ever before. Candice shares how she has been navigating her own mixed feelings when it comes to visibility. Together, they explore a variety of tools they use to tap into deeper awareness when faced with strong emotions and/or difficult choices in life.
March 16, 2022
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#21 - Cultivating Sanity in Crazy Times w/ Erika Ruber. Erika Ruber is a psychotherapist, movement facilitator, and trauma-informed educator. She & Candice speak openly about the collective mental health challenges we now face, and Erika shares about the group and individual support she has been able to offer her clients throughout the pandemic. She speaks to the practical importance of movement and self-regulation, offering examples of how we can validate ourselves when we are faced with social isolation, existential dilemmas, and/or emotional triggers. Together they explore the subtle-yet-profound difference between ‘being seen’ and being visible in a world of social currency. As a breast cancer survivor, Erika shares about an intimate healing experience she had in Maui, and invites us to re-orient our selves toward embodied self-compassion as a practice. Candice opens up about how somatic therapy was a turning point in her own healing journey and how the power of emotional intelligence has been key to her mental health and healing. The episode wraps up with an example of a triggering moment in Erika's life and how she used the tools of mindfulness to re-orient and practice self-empathy.
March 2, 2022
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#22 - A Return To Our Senses w/ Erika Ruber. The continuation of an inspiring dialogue with psychotherapist and friend, Erika Ruber. In part two, Erika offers insight into how each of us can consciously expand our ‘window of tolerance’ when emotions are high. She explains why and how a willingness to surrender to relaxation directly impacts our ability to find and sustain center, then explains what clinical research has revealed about shame and its effects on the body. Candice puts Erika on the spot about a recent Instagram post — involving a trip to Costco and a tiger track suit, yeah you read that right — and the two discuss why it’s so imperative to actively choose playfulness when life feels ho-hum-mundane or challenging. They discuss the critical difference between the top-down processing and bottom-up feeling of emotions, and examine how self-awareness helps us to live inside our values. Toward the end of the episode, Erika shares 3 Q’s that have the power to anchor us in authenticity and presence in any given moment, then the two wrap things up with an acknowledgement of how the painful moments in life create resilience and force us to source ourselves internally.
March 9, 2022

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#20 - Healing, Transparency, & Toomuchness w/ Niles Comer. Candice sits down with grad-school friend, nonprofit director, and addictions specialist, Niles Comer. Niles shares his personal story of trauma and loss, and opens up about his lifelong journey of addiction recovery. He shares the statistical realities of addiction rates in a post-pandemic world; then together, they discuss the essential, and often complex, interplay between inner authority and community. Candice unpacks how her early years of personal empowerment crossed over into spiritual bypassing, and how she learned (often the hard way) the fundamental difference between positive psychology and toxic positivity. Niles chimes in as they discuss how the industries of self-help and wellness very often leave people feeling less equipped and more isolated than ever. This episode contains some intimate shares [trigger warning for abuse survivors] and also lots and lots of shared laughter.
February 23, 2022
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#18 - Hard Truths & High Talk w/ Sylvia Bueno. We are shifting gears in 2022, and Candice is inviting you into her inner circle. In Episode 18, she introduces you to her closest friend and confidant, Sylvia Bueno. Sylvia makes room as Candice unpacks an honest & ass-kicking ah-hah that inspired her to re-imagine the format of the TDP podcast moving forward. Sylvia recaps the courageous feedback she offered Candice about her experience as a friend and listener, and the two talk about how it landed in light of Candice's struggle with Imposter Syndrome. Candice details how she was able to complete the project (and minimize vulnerability) while recording the first seventeen episodes, and she offers a peek into what she calls 'high talk’ and her theory into how&why so many personal growth purveyors so often use it to armor up and guard against emotional exposure. Together, they explore the cost of high talk when it comes to preserving authenticity and forging deep connection.
February 9, 2022
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#19 - Love, Humaning, & Hotflashes w/ Sylvia Bueno. Candice & Sylvia pick up where they left off, reflecting on what twenty years of friendship has taught them about love, especially during hard times. Inspired by the wisdom of bell hooks, they explore an expansive definition of love, and Sylvia speaks about where her capacity to offer compassionate support may have originated. She speaks transparently, and somewhat tearfully, about how the knowledge that we are loved can carry us through life's darkest moments. Together, Sylvia and Candice get fired up about how love is often 'sold' to us as a commodity and the pressures to produce/perform in a capitalist society. And the episode wraps up with a conversation on menopause filled with all sorts of hilarity and laughter. Headaches and hotflashes aside, if you sometimes grow tired of tempering yourself to squeeze yourself inside of other people’s expectations, this episode may be for you.
February 16, 2022

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#17 - Results Are In :: AGENCY Part 2. Candice has spent nearly two decades consumed by a curiosity: Why is it that some people are so capable of creating meaningful change in their lives, while others continually struggle to find traction? It was her desire to find an answer to this question that led her to pursue a Master's degree in Social Impact. Fresh out of grad school, she shares some potent takeaways from her postgraduate research on human agency and social change - weaving together personal stories, data, and scholarly research to help you identify some of the barriers that might be standing between YOU and the changes you seek to make in your own life and in the world at large.
November 10, 2021
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#16 - Make Your Move :: AGENCY Part 1. We explore what keeps us moving in life and why it is we get stuck. Candice walks you through the five facets of human agency and explains how a deficit in any one of these areas can erode agency over time. We explore why choice is so damn complicated and how motivation is rarely as simple as finding the energy to do the thing. As usual, honest stories bring the content to life. This episode is a great place to start if you're feeling stuck or unsure of your next move. And, it lays the foundation for the final episode in our long-running series on self-expression where Candice will reveal the illuminating results of her post-graduate research on human agency.
October 27, 2021

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#15 - Wake Up Call :: INTEGRITY Part 2. Candice tells you about her college professor Dr. Dennis Dailey, a trailblazing agent of social change. We illuminate the paradox at the heart of the symbolic self - the fear of being seen and the fear of going unnoticed. What does it take to rise above self-consciousness? Collective politics is shaped by intrapsychic forces, by how we each internalize and translate our experience of the world through our own unique lens.
October 12, 2021
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#13 - Love & Limits :: SOVEREIGNTY Part 2. Sometimes the ways in which we ‘do love’ inadvertently sabotage wholehearted connection. Patterns of codependency are explored, and this episode delivers some counterintuitive realizations. The more we self-center, the less selfish we become. The more we express our limits, the greater our capacity for loving connection.
September 15, 2021
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#14 - Grit & Gravitas :: INTEGRITY Part 1. Integrity is integration with ALL that life has to offer. When we are willing to step outside of our personal identities, we mature emotionally and grow into trans-rational understanding - a worldview that is connective and universally accepting. This episode will help you reconnect with grittiness, grace, and your own center of gravity.
September 28, 2021

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#12 - Beyond Boundaries :: SOVEREIGNTY Part 1. What if you can live life authentically while exuding an internal power that liberates you from the weight of other people's opinions? What if you can cultivate a capacity within you that offers an alternative to cutting ties and erecting walls? What if it's possible to go beyond boundaries? Learn about the 4 domains of sovereign self-expression.
August 31, 2021
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#10 - I Feel You :: EMPATHY Part 1, Empathy. It's lubricant for connection. Candice invites you to look closely at how you show up to support others, particularly when strong emotions are at play. You’ll learn about three different types of empathy, and how ‘emotional intelligence’ and how our inner and outer worlds continually intersect. And much much more.
July 21, 2021
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#11 - More Heart, Less Heroics :: EMPATHY Part 2. Let’s get real about self-sacrifice. Candice shares a few hard-earned lessons she learned while waiting tables, along with an intimate peek into how she and her partner often mess things up when it comes to offering empathy to one another. We’ll explore how hijacking vulnerability isn’t the same thing as helping, and explore options when it comes to supporting (versus saving) the people we love.
August 3, 2021

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#9 - Trauma.Triggers.Truth :: VULNERABILITY Part 2. {trigger warning} Candice opens the episode with a story from her past and a peek into an intimate therapeutic breakthrough. She illustrates the primary difference between coaching and therapy. And then finishes up the episode with a crash course on the nervous system
June 28, 2021
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#7 - The Growth Spiral :: FREE MINI-COURSE. Candice introduces you to a helpful visual model she developed over the course of her many years working as a life coach. The Growth Spiral is a theoretical model detailing the six stages of change. It is a tool of self-awareness that supports us as let go of what no longer serves us and risk a reach into the great unknown.
May 18, 2021
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#8 - All The Feels :: VULNERABILITY Part 1. Candice speaks intimately about her childhood and how a legacy of trauma has informed her path in life. She speaks about the power and privilege of healthy emotional expression. In order to express what is most alive within our hearts, we must feel safe, seen, and held.
May 26, 2021

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#6 - Staying Put vs. Staying Stuck :: HUMILITY Part 3. Candice speaks about the limits of the rational mind, and invites you to align with your intuition - not as a reflexive mechanism, but as a soulular intelligence that can point you toward meaning-driven choices. You’ll soar with her on a paragliding adventure in Slovenia, and get clear on the difference between staying-put and staying-stuck.
May 5, 2021
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#4 - For The Love of Fear :: HUMILITY Part 1. Humility requires courage. Candice shares her first memory & how being raised in a protestant/atheist home shaped her emotional landscapes. She offers a peek into her two-decade struggle with a panic disorder and how it forced her to befriend her fear and forge an alliance with anxiety.
April 19, 2021
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#5 - Come (& Go) As You Are :: HUMILITY Part 2. We explore Ernest Becker's staggering look at how unconscious denial of mortality keeps us stuck and unavailable to live life fully. Candice offers five practices to help you grow through the school of anxiety and know the peacefulness that comes from accepting yourself & your full humanity.
April 27, 2021

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#3 - Making Peace With Power :: AUTHORITY Part 2. We take a deep dive into personal power. What is it? And why do those of us who are more empathically wired so often shy away from self-expressing at full potential? You’ve likely heard a lot of talk about the higher self, but what do you know about the deeper self?
March 21, 2021
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#1 - Welcome to TDP :: Welcome to the introductory episode of The Deeper Pulse. Candice shares a personal story from her early adulthood and then offers an expansive definition of courageous self-expression.
March 4, 2021
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#2 - What's Your Story :: AUTHORITY Part 1. Candice offers an intimate glimpse into her childhood, revealing a repeating narrative that kept her in a paradoxical holding pattern well into adulthood and introduces the 1st key of courageous self-expression: authority.
March 12, 2021