Whole Phil
The podcast where I talk about whatever I want with whomever I want.

S2E1 - Meditation Pt 1: WTF & Why tho?

SEASON 2 PREMIERE! The first in a new 12 part series of episodes on starting your own practice!

Welcome to The Whole Phil podcast, I am your host, Phil Reese, the DJ, that's my Facebook name, Really Phil Reese, that's my Twitter, Phillip J Reese, that's my Instagram, my dot com and my real life. Tweet me right now, hashtag #getyourwholephil and tell me about yourself. I am a loving, lovable, chubby, queer, sober, spiritual, vegetarian, feminist radical leftist web developer, and deejay in DC. This is the podcast where you get your whole Phil. I talk about whatever I want, with whomever I want, and do whatever I want, because there's no rules, no format, and no fucking censors. Let's start the show.


Today is Saturday, October 23, and we’re going to start talking about getting started with a meditation practice.

This is going to be the first in a whole new multipart series on beginning a meditation practice. Right now I have 12 episodes planned, but that could expand.

A few months ago I did a podcast episode recommending meditation apps for beginners, but app or no app there are a few things a beginner to a meditation practice can do to make it worth their while.

A lot of us KNOW that we SHOULD be meditating, but the idea of getting started with something that seems so exotic and mystical can be intimidating. What even is meditation, anyway? What’s it do? What’s it for? How’s it done? What’s it like? Questions and uncertainties can hang over our heads and prevent us from getting started and just doing it.

So what even is meditation? Well, meditation can be a lot of things, and there are countless meditation traditions, some with religious affiliations, but what they all have in common is meditation is simply the practice of becoming intentionally aware of your thoughts and feelings and focused on how your mind is working. It’s basically watching what’s going on in your mind. So to what end? What good is watching my thoughts?

Well, it seems counterintuitive to think so, but we’re actually usually not very aware of what’s going on in our heads at any given moment. We’re not very focused on our focus! Modern American society is extremely fast paced and our attention is often split in a hundred different directions at once. It’s difficult to keep up with all of the things popping in and out of your conscious mind at all times. But this computer that we call our brain is constantly rewiring itself. The things popping in and out of our conscious mind are also affecting our subconscious mind. Connections are being made between ideas and sensations we have no control over, and this can lead us to mental anguish when we can’t get to the bottom of what’s bothering us.

There are many ways to unpack traumas and triggers, and conquer them, like good talk therapy. But a lot of people can also find a lot of relief through what’s become known as mindfulness meditation and other forms of mind-quieting meditation. It’s not a replacement for talk therapy but can do a lot of good for us in between sessions.

So how do you get from knowing that meditation can be helpful for you to conquering your monkey-mind with it? Well, lots of practice of course, and that practice starts with jumping into meditation now, regardless of whether or not you have any experience with it.

I’ve been meditating regularly -- almost every day and sometimes several times a day -- since early 2019 now, and I’ve seen a massive change in the way I handle situations that previously exacerbated my general anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder. Like me, you don’t have to have any formal training in meditation to get started -- you just need time and patience. This week, I just want to encourage you to try out meditation and commit to doing it regularly.

To get started with meditation, you will need to find a quiet spot with minimal distractions and you should set aside at least 15 minutes at first. The idea is to quiet your mind for a bit, so the more you can minimize distracting sounds and scents, and keep lights at a calming level, the better. We call this set and setting. The deeper into your practice you get, the more you will learn what works best for you for set and setting, but start with these minimums today. More on set and setting in the next episode.

Next, you’re going to need to get your body ready. The idea of a meditation pose may conjure ideas of legs folded in pretzels and the like. But when you’re getting started with meditation, you’re going to want to get comfortable. Not so comfortable that you might fall asleep, but you don’t want cramps, pins-and-needles or pain to distract you. The best position to start with is usually sitting in a solid, comfortable, straight backed chair that allows you to keep your feet firmly, flat on the floor. More on poses in future episodes.

Let's start with some deep breaths. During the meditation it's okay to both inhale and exhale through just your nose -- all your inhales are going to be through your nose -- but for these initial deep breaths, open your mouth slightly. Using your nose, slowly breathe in deep and even, letting your lower belly expand. Let this in breath last for a slow easy count of six. Now hold that breath in for four, before using your nose to slowly, easy and evenly exhale out of your mouth for a count of eight. Hold that empty feeling for a count of two. Now repeat. More on breathing in future episodes.

Return to breathing normally, and set a timer on your cell phone or watch or even a kitchen timer to at least 15 minutes. With our eyes closed, let’s pay attention to our breath. Whenever we get distracted by what’s happening in our brains, or an external sound or scent, let’s go back to paying attention to the sensation of our breath, in and out through the nose. When thoughts come into our brain -- and they will -- don’t give too much energy to that thought. Just let it come and go out of your mind, and try to watch it from a distance. More on this in a future episode.

Keep this up, with your body still, your eyes closed, your breathing regular until the timer goes off. You probably won’t be feeling zen and refreshed after this session. That’s okay. It takes time and patience to build a practice, and over the next 11 episodes I’m going to give you a few pieces to build on this basic routine to get more out of your meditation. But for now, congratulations, it may not have been perfect, but you just dipped your toe into meditating.

Over the next few weeks, as we expand our practice together, try to find 15 or more minutes a day where you can set aside time to meditate. Whether in the morning, middle of the day, right after work if you’re working right now, or at night. Schedule the time ahead of schedule, and commit to it. If you really want to feel the benefits of meditating, you’re going to have to practice, practice, practice, every single day.


That's it for today. I hope you're enjoying the show. If you like what you hear, please subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts, just search Whole Phil or go to bit.ly/findwholephil, and please drop me a rating. Tweet me at @reallyphilreese with topic ideas you think I should cover.

Follow my Facebook page, Phil Reese the DJ, or my Twitter, @reallyphilreese. My facebook page or my website is the best place to see when my upcoming virtual dj parties are coming up, like my new Tuesday and Thursday afternoon short live sessions, Club 45. And, remember, if you enjoy what you hear here, you can throw me a tip via Venmo, to help support me while I'm out of DJ work. My venmo is at phil-dash-reese. That’s at p-h-i-l-dash-r-e-e-s-e.

And, finally, remember, be good to yourself, love yourself, and we're all in this together.

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S1E17 - Let's Start a Conversation!

Tweet me, Instagram me, or Facebook me! I am eager to get your thoughts!

Episode Notes

Notes go here

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S1E16 - Self Help Guru: Help thyself!

Why is it so hard for those life coaches, meditation teachers and self-improvement leaders to say "Black Lives Matter?"

Welcome to The Whole Phil podcast, I am your host, Phil Reese, the DJ, that's my Facebook name, Really Phil Reese, that's my Twitter, Phillip J Reese, that's my Instagram, my dot com and my real life. Tweet me right now, hashtag #getyourwholephil and tell me about yourself. I am a loving, lovable, chubby, queer, sober, spiritual, vegetarian, feminist radical leftist web developer, and deejay in DC. This is the podcast where you get your whole Phil. I talk about whatever I want, with whomever I want, and do whatever I want, because there's no rules, no format, and no fucking censors. Let's start the show.


Today is Monday, June 8, and We’re talking about self improvement culture in the face of a radical social paradigm shift.

It’s no secret I’m pretty woo-woo hippie-dippie, and I talk a lot about self-improvement, and the ways I am trying to improve myself all the time. I want to share with others the tips, tricks and coping mechanisms I have found that have been invaluable to deal with my addictions, compulsions, behavioral issues, depressive disorder and generalized anxiety. I believe that the search for serenity and peace is a just and prudent pursuit for any human and every human.

But we do not live in a vacuum. The world around us continues to turn even as we are doing work internally, and we are not exempt from having to interact with that change.

For me, at least, the goal of self improvement is to make myself more capable of making the world a better place. I believe that the point of life is to leave the world better than you came into it, to spread goodness. I can’t be at my best in my efforts to affect change in the world if I’m ignoring the mess inside that constantly gets in the way. But those two activities have to occur concurrently. I am doing no good if I completely shut out the world and everything happening in a misguided effort to find serenity for me and me alone. That’s not self improvement, as Tyler Durden says in Fight Club, that’s masturbation.

It’s impossible to be at your best to participate in the efforts to make change when you are still healing from past traumas or you are otherwise not doing the work you need to do for yourself to be able to dedicate yourself mentally to the fight in front of you, so by all means, a balance is necessary and good. You can’t be physically on the front lines of the protest every single day 365 a year. It’s impossible. You can’t be having difficult conversations with those in need of education 24/7, it’s too mentally exhausting. You can’t donate all of your money to the causes you believe in, you got to pay rent and utilities, and buy food and medicine first. As Lauryn Hill says “How you gonna win when you ain’t right within?” Balance your advocacy with time to heal.

But early in the past few weeks of protest, I perceived that a lot of the people I respected, from whom I have learned a lot about making myself a better person over the last year, were hesitant to dip their toes into the discussion of George Floydd, Black Lives Matter, Police Brutality and the protests. And many have unfortunately emphasized the internal work over the community advocacy as a response to this. In short, lots of self-help gurus are suggesting everyone just go meditate a while instead of protest and we’ll all be better off. This is a crock of shit.

Meditation isn’t a crock of shit, I’ve been meditating every day, even through all this, though I will admit my concentration has been shot, and my mind is wandering more than usual, and my meditations are shorter and less fulfilling than usual. But they are bringing me a little more peace than I would otherwise have. But I would not be authentically Phil if I wasn’t also doing what I can to push against the systemic problems I see in the society around me. I am here, after all to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Working to better myself, and provide guidance to others who are seeking help to better themselves is only part of who I am. And I have to be my whole self. That’s the name of the damn podcast after all.

When we see police brutality against people of color and trans people, and then we see people from all over rising up and finally saying enough is enough, and our response to that is that everyone just needs to meditate more, it’s no different than that asshole who sees someone post “Black Lives Matter,” and decides to respond with “All Lives Matter.” YES we need to all seek a future where we can all be at peace and serene. We’re not there yet, that’s what we’re trying to do, because avenues to that life are COMPLETELY closed off for most people of color at the moment, and the powerful people in charge of those avenues aren’t going to budge if we ask nicely. YES, all lives SHOULD matter, but right now, it’s obvious that those in power don’t believe that applies to black lives. Saying black lives matter doesn’t mean white lives don’t matter. It means we need to shine a light on this specific problem right now.

If you have the privilege to be able to tune out what’s happening right now because police brutality and racism do not personally affect you, it’s your duty to take a break from your crystals and your yoga block and proactively push for a paradigm shift right now. Sinking into your own little world right now is complacency with a fucked up racist system. And the complacency of the privileged is complicity with the racist power structure. Complicity with the racist power structure makes you, what? A racist. Sorry, I don’t make the rules. But white silence is violence. Put that in your chakra and smoke it.

Right now is not the time to be encouraging everyone calm down. Right now is the time to use your privilege FOR GOOD, to advocate for change in a racist criminal justice system, and the way that our society looks the other way. Talk to those in power about replacing the militarized -- decidedly non-zen, by the way -- police force where you are with a community-based alternative. Advocate for better government funding in education and social support. Demand law enforcement be held accountable for their actions. And say it loud, and say it often: Black lives matter.


That's it for today. I hope you're enjoying the show. If you like what you hear, please subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts, just search Whole Phil or go to bit.ly/findwholephil, and please drop me a rating. Tweet me at @reallyphilreese with topic ideas you think I should cover.

Follow my Facebook page, Phil Reese the DJ, or my Twitter, @reallyphilreese. And, remember, if you enjoy what you hear here, you can throw me a tip via Venmo, to help support me while I'm out of DJ work. My venmo is at phil-dash-reese. That’s at p-h-i-l-dash-r-e-e-s-e.

And, finally, remember, be good to yourself, love yourself, and we're all in this together.

Black Lives Matter.

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S1E15 - Meditation; but make it cheap

Expensive subscription based apps might work for some, but what if you are just starting out and you're not ready to commit to all that?

Welcome to The Whole Phil podcast, I am your host, Phil Reese, the DJ, that's my Facebook name, Really Phil Reese, that's my Twitter, Phillip J Reese, that's my Instagram, my dot com and my real life. Tweet me right now, hashtag #getyourwholephil and tell me about yourself. I am a loving, lovable, chubby, queer, sober, spiritual, vegetarian, feminist radical leftist web developer, and deejay in DC. This is the podcast where you get your whole Phil. I talk about whatever I want, with whomever I want, and do whatever I want, because there's no rules, no format, and no fucking censors. Let's start the show.


Today is Sunday, May 10, and we're talking about the best meditation apps for your phone that don't require a subscription.

You're probably familiar with apps like Calm or Headspace. Maybe you're even subscribed. They're very popular apps, but they also have ongoing subscriptions to use most features, which for a lot of us can be prohibitive. Maybe you're new to meditation, and you're not sure subscribing to an app that charges you every month is for you yet.

First of all, let's talk about why you should meditate. It may seem hippie dippie woo woo at first, but peer reviewed study after study has proven regular meditation has a measurable positive effect on the way your brain works. There are lots of claims that meditation can do just about anything from cure your physical ailments to bestow immortality to you, and many of these are dubious. But we do know for sure a consistent, regular meditation practice can relieve or even eliminate the symptoms of trauma,depression, anxiety, addiction, stress, PTSD, it can improve cognition and memory, increase your productivity, can reduce your risk of heart disease, and will help you get better sleep.

Not to mention, I believe it can make you a better human being by making you more conscientious, compassionate, patient and empathic. These are of course my words, not from studies, but these are the benefits I've seen in my life.

It's your brain, and it's your right to have access to letting it reach it's full potential. You shouldn't have to pay out the nose for something pre-recorded to get there.

Almost all of these apps keep a record of your progress and have a social component so you can share your meditation experience with others on the app or your real world friends.

There are three kinds of apps I'm going to review here: guided meditation apps with meditations created by qualified instructors, non-guided meditation resources, and non-meditation apps that can help with meditation.

First app is Smiling Mind: 100% free Custom programs depending on your experience with mindfulness meditation Easy to use and great introduction

Let's meditate: Donation based Guided meditations of various lengths and types Sort and organize by time, or name, favorite meditations to come back to the ones you like Set up a meditation schedule to start a regular practice

Meditation Studio: Free for the basic lessons, one time $3.99 purchase unlocks everything Guided courses for beginners, to experienced meditators Collections for topics and specific issues like stress and anxiety, insomnia, depression, health problems, and developing love and kindness Build a library of favorite meditations, and use Chromecast to stream to your tv

Stop, Breathe and think: Free for basic lessons, one time $4.99 purchase unlocks everything Check in with your body and emotions with a quick questionnaire and receive recommend meditations based on your results Collections of meditations on hundreds of topics Each meditation has several versions, you can usually choose between English or Spanish, select instructors, or choose between shorter or longer versions of the same meditation Save favorite meditations for later Set meditation reminders

After a quick break, we'll discuss non-guided meditation resources.


I want to pause for a moment to encourage you to keep this discussion going. If you like what you hear here, please share my podcast on social media or text the link bit.ly/findwholephil to your friends. We can keep this conversation going on Twitter, I'm @reallyphilreese, use the hashtag #getyourwholephil. If you're new, subscribe at the bitly link I just mentioned, and give me a rating wherever you subscribe. Thanks, fam.


Now on with the show.

Not everyone wants to be guided through their meditation every time. You may want to guide yourself. Here are some apps that may help.

Insight meditation timer: Create and save a timed sequences with bells and knocks at various intervals Add background sounds like birds or water flowing to pick up your mood. Set reminders to do a meditation every day

White Noise Lite Choose from various sounds like nature sounds, chimes and bells, city sounds, or other white ambient noise Mix sounds together and save recordings Set multiple reminders to be sure you meditate throughout the day Access collections of mixes, or hear other people's recordings

My noise Granular mixing of various types of sounds to get the perfect rain storm or perfect forest scene through their highly customizable equalizer Set a timer, or animate your equalizer to gradually bring you from a rainy thunderstorm into a serene forest after the storm, automatically

Brain Waver If you know about the 5 brain waves: gamma busy thinking waves, beta consciousness waves, alpha subconsciousness waves, theta sleep waves and delta deep sleep waves, you probably already know the theory that listening to sounds that oscillate at the same frequency of these waves can encourage your brain to start producing the wave you want. These are colloquially called binaural beats Brain Waver lets you customize how much of each frequency you want in your beat, creating customized beats for you, with advanced options for timer, gradual changing of beats, type of noise, etc.

Podcasting apps like Castbox: Access thousands of free guided and instructional meditation podcasts, with some I recommend being Coffee with Raph, Guided Meditation Podcast, Learn to Meditate, Mindful 15, Meditation Oasis, The One Mind Meditation Podcast, 60 Seconds of Solitude, Daily Meditation Podcast, Meditation Station and Deep Energy Podcast Castbox has a Zen Mode where you can mix nature and ambient sounds and set a timer for timed meditations or just to fall asleep

YouTube:

There are literally hundreds of thousands of meditation and ASMR YouTubers out there and I'm not going to list any here, but I'll probably do another podcast at some point on meditation podcasters and YouTubers. Search for specific types of meditation you'd like to do, like mindfulness meditation, Zen meditation, contemplative meditation, open monitoring meditation, focus meditation, vibration or trans meditation, which is the free, non-trademarked version of transcendental meditation, mantra meditation, chanting, raja yoga meditation, insight meditation, vajrayana meditation, autogenic meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, the relaxation response, daoist meditation, tantric meditation, movement meditation, I am meditation, etc.

The important part is to give a specific meditation practice you want to cultivate a chance before you abandon it. Try an app or a type of meditation every day for two weeks, and see how it makes you feel. Then, if you're just still not getting anything out of it, try a different one out every day for two weeks. Eventually you'll find something that affects you positively, and you'll be able to cultivate a healthy daily practice!


That's it for today. I hope you're enjoying the show. If you like what you hear, please subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts, just search Whole Phil or go to bit.ly/findwholephil, and please drop me a rating. Tweet me at @reallyphilreese with topic ideas you think I should cover.

Speaking of meditation, this coming Saturday, May 16, I am hosting Euphoria, a free, live, virtual meditation and dance party. I have wanted to do something like this for a while, and now is the perfect time. We will kick off with about a half hour of very slightly guided meditation over some meditative beats, and as that wraps up, we will gradually transition into dancier and dancier beats, until the music has evolved back into the kind of groove you can move to. Share it and join with your friends and make it a great Saturday night! Follow my Facebook page, Phil Reese the DJ, or my Twitter, @reallyphilreese or bit.ly/philreeseeuphoria for more info. And, remember, if you enjoy what you hear there or even here, you can throw me a tip via Venmo, to help support me while I'm out of DJ work. My venmo is at phil-dash-reese. That’s at p-h-i-l-dash-r-e-e-s-e.

And, finally, remember, be good to yourself, love yourself, and we're all in this together.

Support Whole Phil by donating to their Tip Jar: https://tips.pinecast.com/jar/whole-phil

Find out more at https://whole-phil.pinecast.co

This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

S1E14 - What are PRAYERS for the deityless?

Even those without a deity can say their PRAYERS: it's all about cultivating your higher mind.

Welcome to The Whole Phil podcast, I am your host, Phil Reese, the DJ, that's my Facebook name, Really Phil Reese, that's my Twitter, Phillip J Reese, that's my Instagram, my dot com and my real life. Tweet me right now, hashtag #getyourwholephil and tell me about yourself. I am a loving, lovable, chubby, queer, sober, spiritual, vegetarian, feminist radical leftist web developer, and deejay in DC. This is the podcast where you get your whole Phil. I talk about whatever I want, with whomever I want, and do whatever I want, because there's no rules, no format, and no fucking censors. Let's start the show.


Today is Sunday, May 3, and we're talking about what prayer is for the deityless.

When most of us think of prayer, we think of worship of a deity. Getting down on a kneeler, making the sign of the cross and repeating a 2000 year old mantra. But can those of us who don’t have a deity pray too?

I’ve talked before about what spirituality means to me, and how you can be spiritual without having a deity -- even atheists can work on their spiritual side. But how does prayer fit into that?

If the essence of spirituality is the health of your higher mind, as opposed to advancing your rational mind through learning new things, then prayer are those things that advance your higher mind -- the part of you that deals with your personal morals, ethics, and your relationships with your immediate communities, your greater society and the universe or nature itself. Prayer is what you do internally to make sure you are on the path to becoming a better human being, and you don’t need a deity to do it.

When you focus on yourself, when you are self-involved, when you are driven by your own id, when you lose sight of your positive goals, when you beat yourself up over things you can’t change, when you take the good things in your life for granted, when you hate others and lack empathy for others -- even the people it’s hard to have empathy for -- when you manipulate others to get what you want, when you undermine others or throw others under the bus, when you fight against the natural flow of the universe and nature: all of these things do damage to your higher mind.

While I am not an atheist, my conception of a higher power is not a personified, anthropomorphic being. I believe in the flow of the universe, the natural progression of time, the power and energy that moves around and throughout everything. Because I believe that my higher power is the flow of the universe and nature, I harm my higher mind when I fight against these things, and I want to stay spiritually fit, because I believe that life is best when we work with nature rather than against it.

When we come back, we’re going to talk about how PRAYERS can help those of us without a deity to build up our higher mind.


I want to pause for a moment to encourage you to keep this discussion going. If you like what you hear here, please share my podcast on social media or text the link bit.ly/findwholephil to your friends. We can keep this conversation going on Twitter, I'm @reallyphilreese, use the hashtag #getyourwholephil. If you're new, subscribe at the bitly link I just mentioned, and give me a rating wherever you subscribe. Thanks, fam.


Now on with the show.

Every day I turn my will and my destiny over to the care of the flow of nature, and try to open my mind up to see that flow so that I can follow it. In order to do that I say my PRAYERS. I don’t pull out a rosary and say 53 Hail Marys though. Here is what I mean by PRAYERS: I Park my ego--or id -- and my self-will and self-interest. I Reassess and realign my goals and hopes. I Affirm to myself my good qualities and the positive qualities I want to foster more of. Your -- or rather my -- gratitude list happens every day. I practice the joy of appreciating the good things in my life, and remember I am grateful for those things, so I don’t take them for granted and risk losing them. I Empathize with everyone, especially my enemies and people who I could easily dismiss. As difficult as it is, and as often as I can fail at it, this means people like Donald Trump, famous homophobes, and other evil people. I Return to the flow of life, nature and the universe, and I atone for anytime I’ve screwed that up. I Serve others, and show generosity and compassion.

Park your ego, Reassess your goals, Affirm your positive qualities, Your gratitude list, Empathize with everyone, Return to the flow of nature, and Serve others. P. R. A. Y. E. R. S. Prayers. That’s how I execute my PRAYERS even though I do not have a deity.

A lot of people who have a deity don’t even do all of these things. That’s why we see that a lot of people who have a deity are very unhappy. While they put a lot of focus on “R”, their goals and their hopes, they treat prayer like it’s their Amazon wishlist, and they are angry when the old man in the sky doesn’t deliver. But PRAYERS aren’t about what I want, or what my will is. That’s why the first thing I do is park my will in the garage and put it away. How is nature flowing, and how can I get into that current and follow it, instead of fighting it. If my goals and hopes -- my wish list -- aren’t in line with that flow, I jettison them. If I hold onto them, I’m going to get sucked into the undertow and drown.

A few words on empathy, probably the hardest part of this. If you only show empathy for people who already show you empathy, you’re not doing anything difficult. The more difficult act is to show radical empathy. To empathize and see the humanity in even the people who have behaved the most inhumanely. This doesn’t mean excusing them of their wrongs. If they’ve not atoned for their wrongs, there is still an imbalance and I don’t endorse that. But I can forgive and see the basic human dignity in everyone. I can. I don’t always do, but I can.

This is an important and powerful step to making your higher mind HELLA strong. You don’t have to like people to empathize with them. You don’t have to sign off on what they’ve not atoned for. But you do have to afford them basic human dignity, give them the space and freedom to atone for their wrongs if they decide to, and forgive them and move on whether or not they take that opportunity. Grudges and resentments are a poison that I drink expecting other people to die. So dump the poison out.

Just because I have empathy for evil people doesn’t mean I’m going to start watching the Cosby show, go to the Super Bowl with George W. Bush as my guest, or playing R Kelly in my DJ sets. They still have not atoned and I cannot sign off on the imbalance in justice that they are refusing to correct. But I can move on, and at the very least, put them out of my head and let them be the flawed people they are on their own time -- nowhere near my life -- and let them go.

If PRAYERS were easy, everyone would do them. This is hard work, and I often fail at following this as well as I should. My id is very strong. I often foolishly think that my way is best -- better even than the way of the universe itself. And reality often hilariously reminds me how very incorrect I am, when I do this. That’s why I try to start my day parking my id and my will, and opening up my mind, to how I can best operate in the world I already live in, instead of trying to force the planet to bend to me. That opens me to be able to practice the rest of my PRAYERS.


That's it for today. I hope you're enjoying the show. If you like what you hear, please subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts, just search Whole Phil or go to bit.ly/findwholephil, and please drop me a rating. Tweet me at @reallyphilreese with topic ideas you think I should cover.

About my DJ gigs: which I usually discuss here. I don’t have any right now. I still have my day job, and my rent is paid every month. But my monthly income has been cut by at least one third, and things are tight. I live in DC, after all. That monthly paycheck is spent pretty much as soon as it comes in. There are people struggling much more than I am, but things get dicey at the end of the month. I hope to set up some virtual DJ sets soon, so keep an eye out for that, but if you want to support me and help me break the ramen cycle with a pizza or burrito every once in a while, my venmo is at phil-dash-reese. That’s at p-h-i-l-dash-r-e-e-s-e.

But please remember there are people right now with NO income who need it more than I do. I did want to put that out there, though. In the mean time, do keep a look out on Twitter and the Phil Reese the DJ Facebook page for upcoming announcements of virtual DJ sets. Ben Norman I and I did a great Kicks & Giggles virtual set last week, streamed from both of our apartments uncut, which was a technological marvel and was a lot of fun. I can’t wait to do more of these.

And, finally, remember, be good to yourself, love yourself, and we're all in this together.

Support Whole Phil by donating to their Tip Jar: https://tips.pinecast.com/jar/whole-phil

Find out more at https://whole-phil.pinecast.co

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S1E13 - How not to be a total A-hole during a global crisis

Put your health and welfare first, but remember, this is not about you!

Be good to one another, love each other and remember, we're all in this together.

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S1E12 - Spring has Sprung!

Do you see Spring as the true beginning of the year?

Welcome to The Whole Phil podcast, I am your host, Phil Reese, the DJ, that's my Facebook name, Really Phil Reese, that's my Twitter, Phillip J Reese, that's my Instagram, my dot com and my real life. Tweet me right now, hashtag #getyourwholephil and tell me about yourself. I am a loving, lovable, chubby, queer, sober, spiritual, vegetarian, feminist radical leftist web developer, and deejay in DC. This is the podcast where you get your whole Phil. I talk about whatever I want, with whomever I want, and do whatever I want, because there's no rules, no format, and no fucking censors. Let's start the show.


Today is Sunday, March 8, and we're talking about Spring!

Whether or not it feels like it, Spring is upon us. It's been a long, weird Winter, and Spring gives us a wonderful opportunity to really begin the year with a positive energy and solid goals.

A lot of people like to make New Years Resolutions, or give up something for Lent. I prefer, however, to set my intentions for the year at the beginning of Spring. Winter is a terrible time to set goals, at least north of the equator. Even if you don't suffer from Seasonal affective disorder, what kind of mental state are you in in Winter? I know I am not of my right mind during Winter. I hold off on making big plans for my year until Spring.

I'll be right back to go deeper after a quick break.


I want to pause for a moment to encourage you to keep this discussion going. If you like what you hear here, please share my podcast on social media or text the link bit.ly/findwholephil to your friends. We can keep this conversation going on Twitter, I'm @reallyphilreese, use the hashtag #getyourwholephil. If you're new, subscribe at the bitly link I just mentioned, and give me a rating wherever you subscribe. Thanks, fam.


Now on with the show.

The world is dead during winter. Positive energy is lacking. Nature springs back to life in Spring, and so do I. As the morning frosts begin to be fewer, and the cherry blossoms begin to wake up around the tidal basin, I find the energy of the year really turning on.

Now that the world is starting to wake up, I am ready to do the same. Now is a great time for me to look optimistically into the future. This year, nearing the end of my first year in sobriety, I'm ready to make some big swings to make my life more fulfilling and positive. This month is a wonderful time to meditate on my goals for the year and to make decisions on where I'd like to be next spring.

Living in harmony with nature is very important to me, so I live on nature's calendar, not man's. Therefore, this is the real beginning of the year for me. Do you like setting new goals in Spring? What kind of goals are you setting for your year? Tweet me at ReallyPhilReese and tell me about how you may or may not use Spring to set your intentions going forward.


That's it for today. I hope you're enjoying the show. If you like what you hear, please subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts, just search Whole Phil or go to bit.ly/findwholephil, and please drop me a rating. Tweet me at @reallyphilreese with topic ideas you think I should cover. Learn more about my upcoming DJ gigs at my website phillipjreese.com. And remember, be good to yourself, love yourself, and we're all in this together.

Support Whole Phil by donating to their Tip Jar: https://tips.pinecast.com/jar/whole-phil

Find out more at https://whole-phil.pinecast.co

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S1E11 - FAKE (meat) NEWS!

The skinny from an actual vegetarian on the diet craze that's supposedly going to save the world.

Welcome to The Whole Phil podcast, I am your host, Phil Reese, the DJ, that's my Facebook name, Really Phil Reese, that's my Twitter, Phillip J Reese, that's my Instagram, my dot com and my real life. Tweet me right now, hashtag #getyourwholephil and tell me about yourself. I am a loving, lovable, chubby, queer, sober, spiritual, vegetarian, feminist radical leftist web developer, and deejay in DC. This is the podcast where you get your whole Phil. I talk about whatever I want, with whomever I want, and do whatever I want, because there's no rules, no format, and no fucking censors. Let's start the show.


Today is Saturday, February 22, and we're talking about fake meat.

Plant based food is having a moment, and as a vegetarian, lots of you omnivores have asked me how I feel about these foods.

I went full vegetarian in the Spring of 2010 -- I'm coming up on my 10th vegeversary! I had been pescatarian for almost 3 years at that point. Ten years ago, Boca and gardenburger were about the only options for me if I wanted to have a burger, so we've definitely come a long way. Today, any type of junk food meat you can imagine has a popular plant-based analog. From chicken nuggets, to tofurky bacon and deli slices, to fish sticks, holiday turkey, and yes, the famous Beyond Burger and Impossible Burgers that have all the look, feel and taste of good old-fashioned pink slime processed ground round, right down to the bleeding.

Meat analogs, as they're called by the industry, are plant-based processed foods meant to mimic the experience of eating processed meat-based foods. The most important function they perform is allowing people flirting with a plant based diet the ability to try it out without changing their eating habits.

These fake meats aren't made for us long-time veggies. They're for you, the omnivores who can't imagine your life without kielbasa, bacon, nuggets and Whoppers. Meat analogs are all the heartburn and preservatives of a regular junk food binge without the guilt that another living creature with feelings and a family was herded into a dark stinky room, terrified, and shot in between the eyes with a glorified nail gun, where it may or may not have died instantly, and if it didn't, was then subjected to unspeakable pain and torture before it was served up for you where you promptly and thoughtlessly gobbled it down without even a thought in under 3 minutes.

But as far as being a "healthy alternative" to meat, that's debatable. If your diet consists of delicate, unprocessed, small farm raised, grass fed beef and lamb, and no junk food, switching to meat analogs is NOT healthier for you. But if your diet consists of at minimum 3 fast food trips a week, you may want to consider it. These plant based proteins are definitely highly processed and full of weird stuff, but if you're a junk food buff, absolutely none of that stuff is any worse than what you're already putting into your body. Side-by-junk-food-side, beyond burgers are lower in calories, cholesterol and saturated fats, pound-for-pound than your local dive's burger. However, they have tremendously higher sodium and other additives (all plant based and natural, but additives nonetheless) not present in your Angus burger, all while being devoid of iron and b vitamins.

A bigger impact you may be having, though, is on the environment. According to NBC news, Beyond and Impossible patties require 87-99% less water, 93-96% less land, and 89-90% less fossil fuel emotions to get to your plate than traditional burgers. With no methane-leaden cow farts involved. But these emissions statistics are still five times higher than traditional fresh veggies and legumes.

After a short break, we'll talk about these fresh veggies and legumes.


I want to pause for a moment to encourage you to keep this discussion going. If you like what you hear here, please share my podcast on social media or text the link bit.ly/findwholephil to your friends. We can keep this conversation going on Twitter, I'm @reallyphilreese, use the hashtag #getyourwholephil. If you're new, subscribe at the bitly link I just mentioned, and give me a rating wherever you subscribe. Thanks, fam.


Now on with the show.

Yes, if you're eating like the average middle class American, substituting meat analogs into your already processed-food heavy diet is relatively better for both you and the environment, though they are at least twice the price. But this is missing the point. Both you and the environment would be even more better off if we all ate a hell of a lot less meat and fake meat and a hell of a lot more fresh vegetables and legumes. Remember the lack of iron and b vitamins in these foods? Spinach, beans and peas, asparagus, leeks and dried apricots are all high in iron and b vitamins.

If you're worried about protein, you have a complete protein any time you combine a grain (which has half the amino acids of a complete animal protein) and a legume (which has the other half). Some legumes, like peas and soy/edamame already have all the protein, as do some grains like chia and buckwheat. All of this is FAR FAR FAR lower in calories, saturated fats, cholesterol AND sodium than any meat OR meat analog, and are far far better for the environment too, especially in terms of fossil fuels required to farm and distribute.

If you're a junk food eater looking for a low barrier of entry route to vegetarianism because it means you are helping your body, the environment and opt out of a system of misery and torture for animals, a great start is to switch to these meat analogs in place of your processed foods. But it should be a stop on the way to an actually healthy diet of fresh, unprocessed fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes. And ultimately that is best.for your body, the environment, animals AND your wallet.

Thank you to Josh V. for suggesting this topic.


That's it for today. I hope you're enjoying the show. If you like what you hear, please subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts, just search Whole Phil or go to bit.ly/findwholephil, and please drop me a rating. Tweet me at @reallyphilreese with topic ideas you think I should cover. [DJ GIGS Thur Fri sun] Learn more about my upcoming DJ gigs at my website phillipjreese.com. And remember, be good to yourself, love yourself, and we're all in this together.

Some of my facts and figures come from: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/fake-meat-better-you-or-environment-n1065231 https://www.theguardian.com/food/2019/jan/27/the-trouble-with-fake-meat-beetroot-burgers-food-substitutes

Support Whole Phil by donating to their Tip Jar: https://tips.pinecast.com/jar/whole-phil

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S1E10 - The End of the World

Some things just feel like the end of the world.

Welcome to The Whole Phil podcast, I am your host, Phil Reese, the DJ, that's my Facebook name, Really Phil Reese, that's my Twitter, Phillip J Reese, that's my Instagram, my dot com and my real life. Tweet me right now, hashtag #getyourwholephil and tell me about yourself. I am a loving, lovable, chubby, queer, sober, spiritual, vegetarian, feminist radical leftist web developer, and deejay in DC. This is the podcast where you get your whole Phil. I talk about whatever I want, with whomever I want, and do whatever I want, because there's no rules, no format, and no fucking censors. Let's start the show.


Today is Saturday, February 17, and we're talking about the end of the world.

Or, at least, what feels like the end of the world.

I'm the type of person who can get fixated on a specific problem or issue and not be able to move on. Sometimes this can be good. When faced with a problem at work or in an organization, I am a problem solver. I will work doggedly at an issue until it is fixed. But a lot of times in my personal life, this asset becomes a huge liability.

I can get mired in how I'm currently feeling and get spiritually stuck. I start putting as much energy into my negative feelings as I do with a piece of website code that isn't quite working right, and in this case it just makes everything worse.

For the last month I have been dealing with back pain and back issues that have been so acute and persistent it's started to feel like the end of the God damn world. This week I got extremely depressed over it. I was frustrated over the pain AND the mental and physical exhaustion of trying to get through the day with said pain. I was also feeling guilty and disappointed I had to miss two paid DJ gigs over it, and use up PTO at work. On top of that I was dropping all sorts of dollars on doctors and chiropractor appointments, yoga, massage, back braces and meds. In addition I had to bow out of a ton of other obligations, and I was feeling guilty over that.

And all of that and I wasn't feeling any better.

Stick around and in a minute I'll tell you whether or not the world actually ended.


I want to pause for a moment to encourage you to keep this discussion going. If you like what you hear here, please share my podcast on social media or text the link bit.ly/findwholephil to your friends. We can keep this conversation going on Twitter, I'm @reallyphilreese, use the hashtag #getyourwholephil. If you're new, subscribe at bit.ly/findwholephil, and give me a rating wherever you subscribe. Thanks, fam.


Now on with the show.

The truth of the matter is this back pain sucks right now, but it's not going to last forever. I'm only at the very beginning of my treatment, and this pain may very well last a while longer. But the worst of it IS over. It's frustrating to have spasms and aches pop up frequently, but it's already reduced in severity. I really want to go to the massage, the chiropractor, yoga, and get up off the table or the mat, and be done with this. But that's not how this is going to work. I'm frustrated my injury recovery isn't happening more rapidly, but none of us has control over the timeline that things like healing from an injury happens on.

I only have control over one thing, my reaction to this, and while I was trying to stay positive about all of this for a minute, I got impatient. And impatience is NEVER a constructive emotion.


That's it for today. I hope you're enjoying the show. If you like what you hear, please subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts, just search Whole Phil or go to bit.ly/findwholephil, and please drop me a rating. Tweet me at @reallyphilreese with topic ideas you think I should cover. [DJ GIGS: Thurs Feb 20, Thurs Feb 27, Fri Feb 28, Sun Mar 1, Mon Mar 2] Learn more about my upcoming DJ gigs at my website phillipjreese.com. And remember, be good to yourself, love yourself, and we're all in this together.

Support Whole Phil by donating to their Tip Jar: https://tips.pinecast.com/jar/whole-phil

Find out more at https://whole-phil.pinecast.co

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Minisode: What's Up This Week?

I ran out of time to record the episode I wrote, so here's a quickie with what's up this week and 2 podcast suggestions!

I ran out of time to record the episode I wrote, so here's a quickie with what's up this week and 2 podcast suggestions!

Support Whole Phil by donating to their Tip Jar: https://tips.pinecast.com/jar/whole-phil

Find out more at https://whole-phil.pinecast.co

This podcast is powered by Pinecast.