Best of Sex Birth Trauma Podcast 2022

As 2022 comes to a close, I decided to ask some of the members of my team what their favorite podcasts of the year were.

Five years ago, when I started this podcast, I had no producer, no intro or outro, and questionable audio quality. But I knew that if I waited til I had everything in place and perfect, I would never do it.

 

170 episodes, 1 million downloads, 1 rebrand (formerly the Magamama podcast) and many AMAZING guests later, here we are.

 

Lauren Hatch Pokhrel writes the show notes. Here are her top 5:

“Stillness Practices for Courage in Times of Change with Octavia Raheem” (Feb 1), EP 148

This episode felt delicious for me–I loved the reading of the Introduction, Octavia’s soothing voice, and how Kimberly and Octavia connected deep rest to both coming out of the pandemic as well as the early postpartum period.

“Shame, Desire + Motherhood in ‘The Lost Daughter’ with Bethany Saltman” (Jan 18), EP 147

I loved this episode both for its discussion of the film which blows open the stereotypes and myths around motherhood as well as Kimberly and Bethany’s analyses of it. The film and the episode unpack the binaries of womanhood and mothering and explore shame and desire as central themes of these roles.

“Second Spring–Discernment, Intuition, and Healing During Perimenopause and Menopause with Kate Codrington” (Jul 1), EP 160

Menopause and its cycles are rarely discussed in mainstream culture; even as the postpartum time is becoming more acknowledged (much thanks to Kimberly’s work!), there are still so many myths and misconceptions around it. I loved how this episode shares how powerful, intuitive, and restorative this time can be as we learn to forgive and heal our younger selves and transition into this new phase.

“Friendships, Desire, and Healthy Attachments with Deborah Bagg” (Oct 30), EP 171

I loved this episode because this is SUCH an important topic that isn’t discussed much as we age into motherhood and romantic relationships. To me, this episode shows the importance of friendships not only for our own healing and sense of connection, but for the broader importance of community in a hyper-individualized culture that prioritizes the nuclear family. Also, attachment is often talked about regarding parents and partnership, but rarely in relation to friendship, so this episode explores what secure attachment looks like from that perspective.

“‘Girls on the Brink’ Unpacking Mental Health Issues in Girls with Donna Jackson Nakazawa” (Dec 19), EP 176

This episode moved me deeply; I am only a few years older than the young women this book examines, and so much of it rang very true from my experience of adolescence and moving into adulthood. The research explored was both fascinating and heart-breaking, and I found it particularly interesting as this conversation mirrored much of Cece and Kimberly’s episode just a few weeks prior.

“Wildness, Embodiment, and the Feminine Needed in Our Time, “The Wild and Sacred Feminine Deck” (Nov 21) EP 172 would be my 6th choice!

 

Jackson Kroopf is the podcast editor and producer. Here are his top 5:

“Stillness Practices for Courage in Times of Change with Octavia Raheem” (Feb 1), EP 148

One of my favorite, if not my favorite, episodes we’ve done. There was a deeply meditative quality to this episode – a beautiful symbiosis between the content and the sonic experience. You two got in a zone and invited us into that zone, and when I was done listening, I carried a bit of that zone with me.

“Shame, Desire + Motherhood in ‘The Lost Daughter’ with Bethany Saltman” (Jan 18), EP 147

I also loved this episode in that it felt like the perfect intersection of zeitgeist and KJ/the guests’ passions. It also didn’t involve someone speaking so explicitly about their own work, and instead had this text to reckon with that Bethany and Kim did with both analytic and personal depth. I was a big fan of the film as a filmmaker, but listening to this conversation certainly expanded my thinking on the layers the film contained.

“Writing, Shame & Sex with Melissa Febos” (April 26), EP 153

Found the connection between Melissa and Kim, as fellow writers of the personal, pretty infectious here. My favorite episodes tend to be like this: where I sense the guest and Kim working something out together. Where we get to hear about the process in a way that pulls the curtains back a bit.

“Non-Dual Reality, Boundaries, Attachment & Core Energetics with Ishita Sharma” (June 10) EP 159

I mean…just reading those four phrases…you’ve got me. And I dug Ishita’s perspective. I think Kim thrives off philosophically expansive guests – where you sense the guest is working through ideas still and not just doing another interview on a press tour. I also happen to be making a film with/about someone who shares some of Ishita’s beliefs about embodied energy/spirituality so listened with a vested interest.

“Friendships, Desire, and Healthy Attachments with Deborah Bagg” (Oct 30), EP 171

Also loved this episode! We spend a lot of time talking, thinking, therapizing about family/partner/kids but friendships play a big role in our wellness too! Friendships are also something almost all people have a relationship with, so found it to be pretty broad in terms of audiences’ it could deeply touch.

 

Michelle David was the Jaguar wrangler for the 2022 Year of the Jaguars.

Michelle’s top pick was “Healing Addiction, Spirituality and Internal Family Systems with Ralph de la Rosa” (Nov 30), EP 173

I loved it because Ralph is the real deal in embodying radical, soft love and healing. And what I love from the episode was he/them saying that trauma can be healed.

When you come from the depths of agony, the first step is often simply accepting that this is something that you’re living with. Learning to live with it through love. And then, as things get better, you get happier and healthier and more able to hold pleasure in your person!

But the trauma is still there. And, at that stage, a belief often creeps in. A belief that the trauma and pain will lessen, yes, but that they will be there forever. THAT feeling, that the trauma will be there forever… In my experience that, itself, binds you to the trauma. There’s a part of it that’s healthy (the “I am able to live with it”) and a part of it that’s not (“I will be tortured forever”). To me, that second one feels like throwing the miracle out with the bath water.

I believe that healing from the agony of trauma is possible. We can live with what trauma arises AND hold the door open for a trauma-free way of being. And I stan a neuro queer human who takes a stand for that healing.

 

Katherine An is my new operations co-pilot.

Katherine’s top pick was “The Gut/Brain Connection and Regenerative Nutrition for Women’s Health with Kate Pope” (Feb 22), EP 149

“I love this episode for how easy it is to understand and share. Amidst all of the swirling information available to us, this episode calmly and succinctly delivers simple advice for adjusting one’s diet to support healing and wholeness.”

 

So here are the top 5!

  1. Stillness Practices for Courage in Times of Change with Octavia Raheem (Feb 1), EP 148
  2. Shame, Desire + Motherhood in ‘The Lost Daughter’ with Bethany Saltman (Jan 18), EP 147
  3. Writing, Shame & Sex with Melissa Febos (April 26), EP 153
  4. Non-Dual Reality, Boundaries, Attachment & Core Energetics with Ishita Sharma (June 10), EP 159
  5. ‘Girls on the Brink’ Unpacking Mental Health Issues in Girls with Donna Jackson Nakazawa” (Dec 19), EP 176

 

Birth Sex
Trauma

with Kimberly
Ann Johnson