The Heart of the Matter Podcast: Episode 1

It seems that ChatGPT is the hot topic of the week – AI that is capable of writing text. My brother has written a series of posts talking about its capabilities and impact on industry. Brenda wrote a post about the concerns of educators and also software that can detect it.

But you know what I’m fairly certain what AI can’t do? Tell heart stories about friendship, connection, warmth, and growth.

In his new book, Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life, Dacher Keltner, a professor of psychology at UC Berkeley, gathered stories of awe from people in twenty-six countries. He and his PhD students distilled themes from these stories and his overall takeaway from this project and his other efforts to study awe is this:

“How can we live the good life? One enlivened by joy and community and meaning, that brings us a sense of worth and belonging and strengthens the people and natural environments around us? Now, twenty years into teaching happiness, I have an answer:


Dacher Keltner, Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life

In our own small effort to find awe, today we are launching the podcast for Sharing The Heart of the Matter. It’s a podcast that is going to focus on the telling of heart stories. The stories that move us, bring new perspective, and most of all, matter.

In our first episode, Vicki and I talk about why we are here – creating a podcast in a world full of podcasts. And also recounting how we connected as bloggers and friends thinking about community.

Here’s the link to the podcast (you can also search for and subscribe on Spotify or Apple podcasts as Sharing the Heart of the Matter) or via this link on Anchor: Episode 1: Why We Are Here We are on Spotify and Apple now and hope to be on other podcast platforms soon as we get this rolling. Our plan is to release a podcast every Friday morning.

Show Notes

Podcast Link: Episode 1: Why We Are Here

Wynne Leon

Wynne Leon is an optimist, an enthusiast of endurance sports and a woman intent in charting her own path. Which is a combination that has led to an unconventional life. When she was younger a life of adventure meant climbing mountains, traveling the world and being an entrepreneur. More recently, it’s been starting a family as a single parent at age 46, having another child at age 50 and adopting a highly-strung kitten, even though she really is a dog person. Her writing projects include technical computer manuals, articles about meditation and parenting, and Finding My Father’s Faith, a memoir about spirituality, solace and her relationship with her beloved father.

You can find more of my writing on my personal blog, Surprised by Joy and I also write for the Wise & Shine blog. Follow me on Instagram @wynneleon and Twitter: @wynneleon

Vicki Atkinson

If you like, you can also refer to me as “Dr. Vicki” because that’s another part of my identity.  I hold the credential of licensed counselor and earned degrees in counseling, psychology and a doctorate in adult and higher education, enjoying many years as a counselor/therapist, and as a college Dean.

I’m also a consultant in my own leadership and life coaching business and I love what I do.  Most importantly, I’m blessed to be a mom and I’m proud to say my husband’s my best friend.  Oh – I’m also the guardian for my disabled sister whose life has been a labyrinth of challenges.   That’s me!

I’m also a thinker and an ambivert – the personality type that’s equal parts extraverted and introverted. I believe in the power of individual expression to uncover strengths and to ‘make meaning’ in our lives.  My quiet side enjoys the solitary opportunities to think and mull as I write about ‘what matters most’. Reflection is wonderful – but equally impactful?  The lift and positivity that comes from readers, fellow storytellers as experiences are shared.

Check out my Victoria Ponders blog and follow me on Instagram: @victoria.atkinsongroup

17 thoughts on “The Heart of the Matter Podcast: Episode 1

  1. Wow, wow, wow! My heart is just so full. I love the Iead-in to the podcast (and am excited to know your brother’s on Substack. He just gained a new follower 😊).

    I was jotting notes as I listed to you and Vicki, and there’s just too much to comment on. But I guess the over-arching takeaway for me was your discussion about vulnerability and authenticity. By sharing who we are – not who we wish to be or who we wish to be presented as – we connect at a deep/heart level.

    There honestly was so much I got out out of this podcast, and I’m grateful to you both. Besides that, it was exceptional well done!

    One last thing – in the interest of authenticity, I’ll be honest enough to say I hadn’t been sold on the podcast idea. I supported it because I support the two of you, but internally I wasn’t “there.” But after hearing this first episode, I get it. It brings a whole new dynamic to the connectivity taking place here. Hearing the emotion behind the words. Hearing the voices. So, I’m in now. ☺️ Thank you both for what you’re doing! ❤️

    Liked by 4 people

    1. There’s so much to love about this comment, Kendra. First, I’m laughing that you weren’t sold on podcasting – you are gracious to be supportive. But I love that we sold you on it! And secondly, the “By sharing who we are – not who we wish to be or who we wish to be presented as – we connect at a deep/heart level.” Wow wow wow – yes!

      And thank you for following my brother. I’m so grateful to be connected to you!! Can’t wait to see where this journey takes us all!!

      Liked by 4 people

    2. I have to parrot everything Kendra said. The podcast episode was incredible! Similar to Kendra, I was totally supportive of the project, but wasn’t completely sold that it was filling a niche nor about getting involved myself. However, after hearing the first episode, I get it, and I can’t wait to hear future conversations. ❤️

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Oh, Kendra! Thank you so much, you speedy listener, you! 😉 I appreciate your point about ‘why podcasting’ because I’ve shared it — along with ‘why blog’ but Wynne keeps reminding me that there can be millions of both – blogging and podcasting platforms – but being true to our intentions and voice? That’s the point! And…thank you so much for joining us in the journey. xoxoxo! 💕

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hello,

    Just listened to your podcast and thought it was very well done. Didn’t hear much about Wynne’s book, but got a good feel for what you and your team hope to do with the Heart of the Matter blogs and podcasts.

    You have definitely launched into a whole new career!!!

    And, love the piece you just wrote ‘Heart, Mind and Soul!’ What a beautiful way to link Bro`st Heart and our tattoos. Fun to read and so meaningful.


    Your sister, Linda


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Linda! Stay tuned for next week’s episode — it will be all about Wynne’s book, “Finding My Father’s Faith.” So grateful to you for listening…Wynne, too! And…I’m glad you liked my post today about you…and our tattoos! Xo! ❤️❤️❤️


  4. I don’t think I like this A.I. business at all. There’s already too much to be skeptical about without wondering about whether or not a person is a robot if you aren’t dialoguing face to face. But I tend to agree. I think it’s a while yet before A.I. can develop convincing sensorial or experiential algorithms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a good point about interacting online. I just had a support experience where I’m pretty sure I was just talking with a bot but it wasn’t clear.

      Yes, I agree a convincing sensorial or experiential algorithm will be hard to replicate – maybe nearly impossible? Human emotions are complex things! Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

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