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How do you learn to want the things you want to want?

Jonathan says – “with attitude.”  He says, approaching attitude intentionally will increase the likelihood that your attitude will be successful, and a successful attitude is one that gets you closest to your intentions with the least amount of fuss.

Kayla describes her attitudes throughout her life, and how she learned to have more influence over her attitude as she became more conscious of it.

Nikiah says that “being herself” happens to be a pretty successful attitude, because she is naturally generally positive about the world. And that when she gets into negativity troubles, she calls upon (you guessed it) silliness to get her out of them.

Kayla sleeping 1992 Green BayHere’s the blog post that Jonathan referred to when he said I was describing a successful attitude, and here’s the picture that helps Kayla remind herself to have compassion for herself.  <3


Jonathan's Universe

Jonathan and the gang

Jonathan and the ‘Forward Thinking Novel’ gang


In this episode we hear Jonathan’s current (abridged) thoughts, questions and feelings about life, the universe, and everything (or something).

To listen to a lot more of musical Jonny (aka Captain Wild), check out his SoundCloud page. And if you’re up for some LOLs, you should check out my sister’s Forward Thinking Novel which features all kinds of Captain Wild and much, much more.

Amy Childs | Happiness Consultant



Fire Out | Captain Wild

Well it could start anywherepeaceful wild
just goes from here to there
cross the room through the air
Another broken dream
exactly as it seems
in repair, like we don’t care
no more

When I awoke
I found I wished
I had spoken out
for all those feelings
I’m holding down
so I’ll breathe fire out

So let your curiosity grow
until it bursts all the walls of your throat
into sound, just let it out
and in the process of becoming yourself
you must let go of all your panic and doubt
for awhile and find that smile
Jonathan in waves1998
when I awoke I found I wished I had spoken out
for all of those demons I’m holding down
well I’ll breathe fire out

When i found out how everything speaks
I must have listened to the silence for weeks
at a time, no I don’t know why
But I found faith in the rhythm of our hearts
As they beat out a pattern on the dark
Oh it is time for our skies to be reborn

when I awoke I found
I wished I had spoken
out for all of those demons
I’m choking down well
I’ll breathe fire
I’ll breathe fire
I’ll breathe fire

Meaning of Life


When Jonathan was about three, he once asked me “What’s going on, and what’s the meaning of it?” It has been a family question ever since.

My poor children, when they agreed to be interviewed for Season 9, didn’t realize I’d be asking them to answer such impossible questions.  In today’s episode, they attempt in 5 minutes or less to explain the meaning of life.  I hope I’m not arrested for child (or childs) abuse.

fairies in pike house

Amy Childs | Happiness Consultant

C42: Curling Up in a Ball in the Middle of the Floor


So, “for the fun of saying words,” my son Jonathan told me a bit about his “past session of craziness,” his frustration with his own emotional detachment, and wanting to vomit away the nonsense.

But, as you’ll hear, evenBrian Andreas Bittersweet when Jonathan is crazy and curled up in a ball on the floor, he’s still happy – because he’s allowed to curl up in a ball on the floor. (Speaking from my own experience I can say that yes, it really is that simple.)

He also talks about what he’s learned from his cats, about developing an appreciation for everything, about his fiancé’s skepticism of curling up in a ball (and why he’s grateful for that too),  and his new motto (“take your time as it comes”) which he likes for lots of reasons but especially because it doesn’t exactly make sense.

We unveil our new theories about the value of talking (or lack thereof).  Jonathan’s is that he agrees with everything that anyone has ever TRIED to say, it’s just that nobody ever succeeds at saying what they’re trying to say.  Mine is loosely connected to that picture going around of Rick Santorum composed of thousands of tiny pictures of gay porn.

We swoon over Brian Andreas’s art for a while, then get to wondering: What makes us want to curl up in a ball?  In response, Jonathan muses about people exposing their sensitive regions (unlike most animals), suggests that perhaps we slouch in order to hide, and reports some curiosity about the difference between putting palms up or down in meditation.Strange People by Brian Andreas

To top it all off, The Twenty-One Balloons by The World is Not Flat brings us another musical exploration of what it’s like to be a human being.

A pretty fun-filled and exciting bunch of things for a show about curling up in a ball, doncha think?

Whatever whatever.  Amen.





C41: We're All Confused


In the last Consciousness episode, Jonathan and I made a list of “our basic point of view in a nutshell,” and item number three was “Everyone is confused.”

Today I expand on this idea.  I hope it’s not too confusing.

At the end of the episode you get to hear a song from [drum roll please]… Carsie Blanton’s new CD! This is so exciting and not at all confusing. Yippee!

And happy valentines day too, while I’m at it.




“Don’t want to give the end away, but we’re all gonna die one day.”
-Carsie Blanton

C40: Basic Nutshell of Our Point of View (maybe)


Just before recording this episode, Jonathan had listened to the Consciousness37 episode of WWA, in which my guest (Daniel Mackler) shared his basic point of view, an essay he wrote in list form.  This had inspired Jonathan to want to make his own bullet point list of his basic point of view, which led us to sit around for hours in discussion, which led to making a list of our own, which led us to want to talk about our list into the microphone, which led to today’s podcast.

We hope you will be inspired to make your list too! And if you do I hope you will someday share it with us.

So now for the spoiler…. Our list!  We titled it
All the things we forgot to say, or have forgotten that we said
(an ever-expanding list)
(or, as some people call it, “gibberish.”)

1.    Everything is
2.    We tend to overestimate the knowability of the universe
3.    We’re all confused
4.    This is getting confusing
5.    We are all connected
8.    That was nice
9.    Nothing matters
10.    But that’s no reason to mope around
11.    But sometimes we do
12.    Tea and snacks are a good solution


When I was in Philly I stopped in at Briel's work for you-know-what

After listening to all the gibberish, you’ll have a chance to get down to Fame and Riches by Jake Snider.  Then maybe you’ll have some tea and snacks.

Humanly yours,

C39: Occupy Wall Street


When my son Jonathan was about three years old, he asked me “What’s going on, and what’s the meaning of it?”  I didn’t know then and I don’t know now, but in the ‘consciousness’ thread of this podcast I continue to wonder.

That question came to mind when I heard that folks were congregating in cities all over the country in some kind of an undefined protest against … all the bad things.

In an attempt to make sense of the whole shebang, I skyped with some smart cute people* who filled me in.  Yet, as is so common at times like these, the answers simply made way in my brain for a bazillion more questions.  C’est la vie.

I guess if it were possible to identify and fix “the problem” in 30 minutes, it would’ve been done by now, so I’ll try not to feel badly that I haven’t yet been able to arrive at anything too helpful here.  Perhaps it’s time for me to get back to some breathing and see how that goes.  I’ll be sure to let you know.

At the end of today’s show we’re treated to another tune by Plume Giant – a “retro folk trio with no frontman, just guitar, violin, viola, and three voices” who are, by the way, one of the most frolicking acts you’ll ever have the pleasure to see – if you should be so lucky.

Yours and wondering,



C38: Kara Helps Me Talk About Free Will (and other things)


Today Kara and I explore my fear of confronting the topic of free will, of scaring away (or being attacked by) kitty cats, and the monsters of bardo.  Also why I want to be a “mum” (= a monk + a nun).

If you’re interested, here’s a sample of some of the things I’ve been reading about free will by Sam Harris.

And BTW, I actually was attacked by a cat the other week, so maybe that accounts for my fear as much as anything.

amy childs

I was attacked by a kitty

healing scratches

but now it looks pretty cool











Kirsti Gholson just released a new album and today’s song Happy and Free made me a little… verkelmpt- so thanks Kirsti for letting me share it with you guys too.

Living and learning,


C37: Certainty and Urgency


Today’s episode borders on daytime TV drama – if only Daniel and I had lamps to throw at each other!

Just kidding. Sort of.

Daniel first talks about stating things as fact, the challenges of giving the “answers” without “showing his work,” then reads his first draft of a new essay (only hours old), “The Briefest Nutshell of My Whole Point of View.”

I thought the essay was awesome for lots of reasons, one of which was that it shines a glaring light on “the gap” that I experience between Daniel’s point of view and my own.

More food for thought, in case your thoughts get as hungry for food as mine do.  Although to be honest, at the moment I’m feeling rather stuffed and ready for a nap.


C36: Consciousness Intermission - The Game of Life


In today’s little ditty of a show I expound upon the “game” analogy that popped into my head when pondering the meaning of life.

When Season Six continues, these are some of the things I want to talk about with Daniel.  In the meantime I thought I’d talk about it with you.

And thanks again to my podcrush Duane Rutter for sharing more of his music with us.