Zen Parenting Radio

Todd and Cathy Adams

Zen Parenting is a weekly online radio discussion between a spiritual and emotional mom (Cathy Cassani Adams) and a logical and practical dad (Todd Adams). Anyone else living a life like that?

All Episodes

Todd and Cathy discuss being flexible with how we see ourselves, our interactions, and our past experiences. They share how we can be realistic and optimistic, and how we can reframe challenges to benefit our future selves.

Dec 7

41 min 32 sec

Todd and Cathy discuss being flexible with how we see ourselves, our interactions, and our past experiences. They share how we can be realistic and optimistic, and how we can reframe challenges to benefit our future selves.

Nov 30

54 min 57 sec

Todd and Cathy discuss dysregulation and how it relates to self-awareness, social awareness, and our relationships overall. They discuss how when we yell, storm out, or lash out during a meeting, conversation, or even online it’s an indicator of dysregulation. They process how to become more aware, find calm, and act in congruence with our values.

Nov 23

55 min 31 sec

Cathy and Todd discuss how feelings are physical body-based sensations and how thoughts are mental constructs like beliefs, opinions, and judgements. They discuss the definition of trauma and how to recognize and respect our shadow.

Nov 16

50 min 6 sec

Cathy and Todd discuss the paradox of suffering, how it can be viewed as negative, important, as a path to awareness, and also as a way of staying stuck. They discuss why people run marathons, why and how we grieve, and how make exhaustion and productivity a status symbol.

Nov 9

50 min 21 sec

Todd and Cathy discuss why we sometimes need to disappoint others so we don’t disappoint ourselves, and how we need to stay curious and open when it comes to connecting with our children. They discuss the writing of Thomas Merton, Anne Lamott, and Mary Oliver, and share why doing enough and doing more is always a work in progress.

Nov 2

53 min 20 sec

Todd and Cathy discuss cognitive distortions, or habitual ways of thinking that are often inaccurate and negatively biased. They discuss how addressing these distortions are at the heart of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). They also share their favorite scary shows for spooky season and why it’s best to not work through other people’s problems.

Oct 26

51 min 24 sec

Cathy and Todd discuss how “loading the language” and using jargon can be purposeful in building community, but can also veer toward excluding and feeling more “special” than others. They discuss how certain wellness communities, organizations, and workout facilities can feel “cult-ish” and how personal agency and individual integrity are essential in staying grounded.

Oct 19

1 hr 7 min

Cathy and Todd discuss why order, disorder, reorder is a natural parental rhythm, and why getting out of rhythm is an opportunity for new learning. They also discuss why not knowing what comes next keeps us human nd why it’s OK to not be good at everything.

Oct 12

46 min 37 sec

Todd and Cathy talk with Jayson Gaddis about his new book Getting to Zero, and how to manage conflict in our most important relationships (partnership, parenting, even work!). Todd & Cathy walk through a few of their challenges and Jayson offers reframes & considerations that focus on compassion toward ourselves & each other. Available today!

Oct 5

59 min 11 sec

Cathy & Todd discuss why difficult conversations are necessary and allow for deeper connection and intimacy. They also answer a listener question about how to talk to our young teens about relationships and sex.

Sep 28

41 min 7 sec

Todd and Cathy talk to Rob Bell about his new Everything is Spiritual Tour and how our creative impulses and willingness to speak up keep us true and connected.

Sep 21

1 hr 1 min

Cathy and Todd discuss Cathy’s book (now available for preorder, available everywhere 2/1/22) and the process of condensing 10 years of podcasts, 20 years of clinical practice, and 50 years of living into one book.

Sep 15

46 min 28 sec

Todd and Cathy discuss an episode of We Can Do Hard Things and the difference between feeling deeply and feeling cognitively. They discuss how each style has its benefits, and why the blend of both can help us take action and create change.

Sep 14

54 min 25 sec

Cathy and Todd discuss the new Texas law that strips women of their privacy, their dignity, and their physical and mental health.

Sep 7

40 min 15 sec

Cathy and Todd discuss how to declutter our parenting minds so we can really be with the child who is in front of us. They discuss how parenting is rollercoaster, how life is a toggle between fear and joy, and how life is not a linear journey like a train, it’s a sailboat ride filled with adventure.

Aug 31

58 min 16 sec

Todd & Cathy discuss the difference between saying “I have anxiety” and “I feel anxiety” and the difference between anxiety and fear. They also discuss three different stress responses in kids and how we can better support them when they are feeling overwhelmed.

Aug 24

50 min 14 sec

Cathy & Todd discuss self-betrayal, taking breaks, and how to share our opinion while respecting the inherent dignity of others. They discuss how to keep going when we feel stuck and the pillars we can rely on in the midst of a crisis.

Aug 17

58 min

Todd and Cathy discuss shifting from summer into school year, and why it can feel anxiety provoking. They also discuss how we can better understand our worry, and how we can help our children find balance this year.

Aug 10

55 min 49 sec

Cathy and Todd discuss how similar anxiety and excitement feel, and how we can channel the negative arousal of anxiety into a motivating experience of excitement. They also discuss Simone Biles’ decision to make her mental wellness a priority, and why rejection carries wisdom if we are willing to examine our experiences.

Aug 3

50 min 51 sec

Cathy + Todd discuss Dr. John Duffy’s recent CNN article, Your tweens and teens are lonely – and they want your help. They share why our kids may be pretending to be okay when they are not, and how we can stay connected and engaged even when our kids seem to be pulling away.

Jul 27

56 min 14 sec

Todd and Cathy discuss how to allow for difficult emotions while releasing judgment, shame, or fear about how we are feeling. They also discuss why labeling ourselves can be counterproductive and what it means to feel sparkle and terror.

Jul 20

45 min 23 sec

Todd and Cathy discuss the strengths of Highly Sensitive People and how these traits can be understood and utilized to navigate parenting and partnership. They also discuss why the brain can remember every word from an 80’s song but it can can’t come up with a simple word like “mailbox”.

Jul 13

56 min 54 sec

Cathy & Todd discuss offering and receiving feedback from our children and why it’s important to stay curious rather than defensive. They discuss how parents say that “their kids can tell them anything”, but how kids don’t always feel this way due to poor communication and overreaction.

Jul 6

49 min 9 sec

Cathy and Todd discuss Chatter: The Voice in our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It by Ethan Cross and how our capacity for introspection can morph into a cycle of negative thinking. They discuss some of his suggested tools for self-regulation and real-world examples of taming our inner voice.

Jun 29

47 min 1 sec

Todd and Cathy discuss a Freakanomics interview with Angela Duckworth about self-esteem, and what it takes to raise children who feel empowered. They also discuss how we can find meaning in our experiences, and the difference between heeding and exceeding limits.

Jun 22

1 hr 5 min

Todd and Cathy discuss Najwa Zebian’s book, Welcome Home, and how we can find a home inside ourselves instead of searching for home in other people. They also discuss the concept of “praxis” which means turning theory into practice and then reflection. They celebrate Pride month and share why all people (especially parents) need to become competent and educated allies for the LGBTQ+ community.

Jun 15

47 min 53 sec

Todd and Cathy discuss Ethan Hawke’s TED talk about creativity and why what we love is our offering to the world. They discuss why creativity matters and how offering and receiving sustains us. They share how creativity effects our relationships and parenting, and how we are either “jackhammers” or “hummingbirds”.

Jun 8

57 min 35 sec

Cathy and Todd discuss Adam Grant’s article about languishing (the middle place between thriving and depression) and Rob Bell’s podcast about discomfort and “upgrading”. The process how word usage plays a role in our motivation and why doing nothing is an important something.

Jun 1

53 min 50 sec

Cathy and Todd discuss graduation season and why it's both beautiful and difficult. They discuss the importance of recognizing Mental Health Awareness Month and what Oprah & Prince Harry's show, The Me You Can't See, teaches us about internal vs external success.

May 25

1 hr

Todd and Cathy discuss what they’ve learned over 10 years and 600 episodes of Zen Parenting Radio, and they describe what Zen Parenting means to them (Cathy’s book titled Zen Parenting comes out in 2/22). They also discuss why the perseverance to do something different demonstrates grit, and why Gen Z calls certain millennials “cheugy” (pronounced chew-gee).

May 18

1 hr 1 min

Cathy and Todd revisit Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism and why now is an important time to reconsider priorities and focus energy on what really matters. They discuss why deciding what’s essential makes us more content and ironically more productive in the long run.

May 11

44 min 18 sec

Todd and Cathy discuss how like rocks in water, we were flooded with information, challenge, and uncertainty in 2020. 2021 is about focusing on our mental wellness and recognizing how like rocks in water, we have been changed and reshaped by difficult times. In Kruti Joshi’s words, The most beautiful rocks have faced the hardest waves.

May 4

54 min 4 sec

Cathy and Todd discuss Esther Perel’s 5 interventions and how they can help us cope with uncertainty and grief. They also discuss why the only way out is through, and how looking for the bright side too early can be a form of spiritual bypassing.

Apr 27

1 hr 1 min

Cathy and Todd discuss “invisible” situations (such as being neurodivergent, anxious, have migraines or an autoimmune disorder) and why we are sometimes not “believed” when we try to explain our challenges or differences (this comes from Julie Lythcott-Haims new book, Your Turn: How to Be an Adult, in the chapter about self-care). They also discuss how our attention creates our reality, and why knowing what brings our life meaning is an essential step toward contentment.

Apr 20

44 min 55 sec

Todd and Cathy discuss fear, The Golden Girls, and we interview Mercedes Samudio of Shame Proof Parenting where she discusses EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)

Apr 13

1 hr 7 min

Todd and Cathy discuss this transitional time and why we need to be compassionate with ourselves as we gently and slowly return to a more pre-covid way of living. They discuss why transitions are difficult and how grief plays a role, and why we should rely on compassion, curiosity, mindfulness, and connection to get us through.

Apr 6

48 min 42 sec

Cathy and Todd discuss the natural waves of life, and how we have to appreciate the good moments and also move through the hard times. They discuss the importance of asking for help and setting boundaries when in the midst of a crisis, and why Brene Brown says the most compassionate people are also the most boundaried.

Mar 30

40 min 39 sec

Cathy and Todd talk with Soraya Chemaly, author of Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger and Executive Director of The Representation Project. They discuss the importance of emotional competence, how to discuss gender inequality with our kids, and why we should pay attention to our own gender conditioning.

Mar 23

54 min 53 sec

This podcast dates back to May of 2017, but is one of our favorites.  Todd and Cathy discuss why “figuring out” our partner will cause frustration, but why staying present with every new experience will create intimacy. They use a post from fellow coach Jayson Gaddis They discuss why it’s important to ride the waves with your partner rather than trying to control their emotional expression, and why unpredictability can be just as connecting as predictability. They share a recent miscommunication, explain why labeling family members is detrimental, and practice saying toy boat really fast without messing up.

Mar 16

1 hr 1 min

Cathy and Todd discuss Oprah’s interview with Meghan and Harry and how it relates to boundaries, freedom, and our unconscious internalized beliefs about women. They also discuss International Women’s Day and the obstacles women confront when they embody empowerment.

Mar 9

1 hr 1 min

Cathy and Todd kick-off boundaries month by discussing internal boundaries and the clinical understanding of family enmeshment. They discuss how we take on other people’s emotions, why it’s hard for us to be happy if the ones we love aren’t happy, and how to take care of ourselves while we take care of others.

Mar 2

53 min 23 sec

We talk with our daughter Jacey who identifies as gay, her friend Grace who identifies as bi-sexual, and her friend Edgar who identifies as gay. They share their coming out stories, family reactions, and experiences that have been helpful and harmful. They discuss how to be an ally and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and how to support your kids when it comes to embracing and understanding sexuality.

Feb 23

1 hr 3 min

Todd and Cathy discuss Creativity and Balance, Part 3 of Empathy Volume Month. They discuss ideas and tools to take care of ourselves during uncertain times, and how to bring balance to our self-care and relationships.

Feb 16

1 hr 4 min

Todd and Cathy continue their discussion about empathy volume and focus on how to turn down empathy to avoid burnout. They discuss the 3 types of empathy and how we can remain empathetic without exhausting ourselves. They also discuss Adam Grant’s new book Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know and how our ability to be “cognitively agile” keeps us curious and connected to the ones we love.

Feb 9

59 min 53 sec

Todd+Cathy discuss mindful caring as a kick off to their “Empathy Volume” month (how to turn it up and stay connected, how to turn it down to avoid burnout). They share three ways to make empathy a priority, and how having clear intention about what means the most impacts how you show up. They also discuss Dr. Robert Livingston’s new book about racism and bias called The Conversation, and how two-hit wonders are a real thing.

Feb 2

57 min 8 sec

Cathy and Todd discuss the “messages and arrows” of our emotions, specifically that they give us the information we need to understand ourselves and teach our kids. Every feeling has an underlying reason, and the more we understand our emotional messages the easier we will see the arrows that point to what matters most. They share that February is “Empathy Volume” Month (Turning empathy up to stay connected, turning empathy down to avoid burnout). Listen to this month’s Zen Parenting Radio podcasts and join Team Zen for an in-depth discussion around empathy volume filled with resources, practices, and community (use coupon code Team Zen for one free month).

Jan 26

1 hr 6 min

Cathy and Todd discuss how accountability leads to unity, and how impunity or justifying something deeply harmful leads to more divisiveness, not healing. They discuss how this is true with our government and the insurrection, and also when we have challenges in our partnerships, parenting, and friendships. Forgiveness is what we do for ourselves, not others, and comes after a process and practice of realizing that we can’t change what happened (it often takes a great deal of time). Forgiveness does not mean reconciliation, condoning a person’s behavior, justifying the offense, or denying or forgetting the impact on our lives. It means cutting the cord and taking back the energy that is rightfully ours while never forgetting the wisdom we gained.

Jan 19

57 min 1 sec

Todd and Cathy continue their discussion about how and why we grow and share specific colors that represent our stages of development (often referred to as spiral dynamics). They discuss how this effects politics, values, “fake news”, sports, leadership, and our need to belong.

Jan 12

1 hr 15 min

Cathy and Todd discuss the question that they hear the most – “How can I get my partner to….” – they discuss why this question is multi-layered, messy, and not easily answered. They discuss why wanting to change others feels easier than changing ourselves, why true wisdom comes from quiet, and the life-changing advice Oprah has for all people.

Jan 5

1 hr 2 min