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Welcome to the Soul Forge, a place of silent mystery, quiet contemplation, and outright mayhem! Shawn Vanderloo guides you through the adventures of living! We all want to love and be loved. Am I normal? Are you normal? Is happiness possible? Let's find out together!

Welcome to the Soul Forge, a place of silent mystery, quiet contemplation, and outright mayhem! Shawn Vanderloo guides you through the adventures of living! We all want to love and be loved. Am I normal? Are you normal? Is happiness possible? Let's find out together!
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Welcome to the Soul Forge, a place of silent mystery, quiet contemplation, and outright mayhem! Shawn Vanderloo guides you through the adventures of living! We all want to love and be loved. Am I normal? Are you normal? Is happiness possible? Let's find out together!






Tall Girl Problems - 84

Christina is 6' 5" and she's got tall girl problems! Having a height advantage can be a wonderful thing, but too much height can cause unique problems. On this episode of The Soul Forge Podcast, Christina shares some personal experiences regarding being a woman of a certain stature. As far back as she can recall, Christina had to adapt to her surroundings. She has always had to endure comments and 'witty' observations. She had to balance out the composition of school pictures. Many people...


Cape Fear - 83

Cape Fear! Not the movie, nor the remake, but a state of mind. Cape fear is what occurs when you are not comfortable in a particular style of clothing or fashion. The Sunday Morning Coffee Club is a rather new experiment in socialization. The club was founded by your ever-present host, Shawn. Through the club, new friends are made, and interesting conversations are had. Coffee club has lead to several ideas for Soul Forge topics. Cape fear is just such a particular topic. Fashion...


Shawn's Tarot Card Reading - 82

Happy New Year Soul Forgers, and welcome to the first episode of the year! Presented for your listening pleasure, is audio of Shawn's first ever Tarot card reading. Is there a secret source of knowledge hidden by the universe? Can Tarot cards, psychics or tea leave readings uncover this mysterious wisdom? Can arcana be real or is this all just made up mumbo jumbo? We may never know for sure, but we can have fun speculating about it. Join Shawn as he gets his first Tarot card reading. What...


Year In Review 2018 - 81

Looking back at the year that was 2018 - this is our Year in Review special. Shawn is joined by two of his semi-regular co-hosts, Tracy and Jason. On this episode, the Soul Forge gang takes a peek at some of the most significant episodes produced by the podcast in 2018. Highlights include love, loss, and minimalism. Strippers, booze, and drugs are also mentioned, as is divorce and intimacy. A major topic this year was the idea of sex. Sex appeared in a number of episodes. Shawn talked...


The Power of FANDOM - 80

Saving the world while perched on the edge of normal! We're taking a look at how fandom is changing the world for the better. What is fandom? It is a group of like-minded people who come together to form a community of sorts. Social media has been a major factor in the changing face of fan acceptance. Without it, many fans (geeks, nerds, dorks, outcasts, misfits) would have trouble finding their people. Celebrities, often geeks or fans themselves, have used their star power to help unite...


The Lonely Shawn Problem - 79

The lonely Shawn, also known as, the sad Shawn episodes were a series of Rusted Robot Podcast shows. For a time, Rusted Robot was co-hosted by husband and wife team Shawn and Brigitte Vanderloo. For a variety of reasons, that relationship fell apart. Yet, the team decided to continue on hosting the show together. However, due to various circumstances, this was not always possible. Shawn felt the show must go on, even if there wasn't always a co-host around. Shawn was so dedicated to his...


Thoughts On GOD - 78

Now is the perfect time of year to share some thoughts on God, religion and the Christmas season. This episode starts with ruminations on the Christmas decoration season and goes back into history with a tale of Christmas carol annoyance. We wrap up the holiday talk with a look at how the corporations use the season in their manipulative marketing ploys to get us to spend money on things we don't need by playing to our emotions. We then take a look back at religious education. When they...


Sleep and Dreams - 77

Sleep and dreams on episode 77 of the Soul Forge Podcast. Shawn and Tracy are discussing their earliest memories of sleep, and talking about bedtime habits and routines. Everyone you know has a unique set of night-time rituals. Napping is a thing that some people love to do, while others have never gotten into the nap habit. Insomnia can totally destroy your enjoyment of sleep. Ideal sleeping conditions also vary from person to person. What do you need for a good night rest? Do you prefer...


Preparing For Baby - 76

There's a baby on the way! There's a baby on the way! When time is running out, and there's a baby on the way, how do you prepare for the arrival? Jay stokes the fires of the Soul Forge with his take on preparing for baby. The first thing we talk about is getting the existing child(ren) ready for a new addition to the family. The obvious age gap between the children is an obstacle or opportunity depending on how you prepare. Kids can feel replaced by baby, but giving them ownership of the...



We are celebrating 75 episodes, and we are doing it by letting loose, cursing, laughing and going totally random! Shawn and Tracy are joined by first-timer Melissa. Jay was unable to make it this time. Canada Post is on strike and we discuss how that is affecting and disrupting daily life here in Canada (remember that Shawn is a letter carrier). Things we will never do again - a topic that deserves its own episode, but we touch on a few things here. Pet Peeves: other drivers is a common...


How Social Media Changed The World - 74

Social Media has changed the universe of human interaction. What is social media anyway? There are many types of social media, including: MySpace, FaceBook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, chatrooms, etc., How does social media improve your life (connections and interactions) and how does it destract from your life (addiction, lack of attention span, cyberbullying) Social Media and its obligations can feel like a part-time job, and applications such as Second Life can lead to a false sense...


Meditation: A Brief Introduction - 73

Your meditation and meditating guide is here! This week we're talking about what meditation is, what it entails, how and where to do it, as well as our personal experiences with it. It's alright to feel ridiculous at first. We will fill you in on the techniques, the kinds of meditations there are, the apps, and the equipment you can use. What is meditation used for: comtemplation, reflection, concentration, heightened spiritual awareness, breathing, etc. Kinds/uses of meditation: falling...


72: Just Survive Somehow - Suicide

Suicide. It is a delicate topic. There are no easy ways to talk about it, other than directly. This week on the Soul Forge Podcast, Tracy makes her return to the show and opens up about her struggles with depression, anxiety, and guilt. In this emotional episode, she shares her story, her history and what lead her to try taking her own life. You will hear the story as it was recorded. There was no editing of any kind. There are no ad breaks or promotions. This is Tracy's story.


71: Weed Love To Talk

Weed is now legal; welcome to Cannabis Canada! No matter what you call it (Pot, Weed, Blunt, Chronic, Wacky Tabacky, Cannabis, Marijuana, Ganja, Mary Jane, Dope, The Devil's Lettuce) roll up a fancy cigarette and listen to our breakdown of the topic at hand. LEGAL STUFF: We discuss our personal experiences with weed and other drugs, including the first times we tried smoking up. We explore some family history, our initial opposition to cannabis and our eventual acceptance. We talk about...


70: Adult Friendships

How to make friends: a brief outline! The Soul Forge is tackling the tricky world of making friends as an adult. Some people say developing new friendships in adulthood is really difficult. We take on that idea and turn it on its head. Jay used to have a hard time making friends, but now he talks to everyone. You too can talk to strangers. Have a single-serving friend today! Shawn and Yohann created an intense friendship, but it did not start on that way. Also included: having a coffee...


69: SEX

Sex is this week's topic. What else could we be discussing on episode number 69? Shawn is joined by Karen and Jason for this brief look at sexuality. We talk about how old we were when we lost our virginity, as well as where the event occurred and who it was with. Then we transition over to public sex and the possibility of getting caught while doing the deed. Sex in public parks is a great location because of wind on skin, and sex in a car or on the side of the highway is also a great...


68: The Brigitte Episode

The long awaited, much anticipated Brigitte episode is finally here! Listen in as Shawn discusses the relationship from its very beginnings right to the end. Remember, these are Shawn's memories, and are accurate to the best of his ability to recall the events mentioned. Topics include how Shawn and Brigitte met, where they worked, and the start of a very interesting friendship. There will be talk about subconscious attraction and how that manifested and developed. What did a Christmas...


67: Pumpkin Spice Everything

Hallowe'en is just around the corner and that means pumpkin spice is in the air! This episode is a friendly chat between Shawn and Tracy about local events, the pumpkin spice season, favourite podcasts, and a bit of Brigitte stuff. Our Hallowe'en talk includes such topics as the proper age for Trick 'r Treating, and the types of candy we do or do not enjoy. In a surprise twist, we do not mention anything about costumes or parties. Shawn had an encounter with a bear this week. We talk a...


66: Would You Rather?

What will you do? Choices. Decisions. Deliberations. Choose your own adventure! This week, Shawn and Tracy pose a series of questions to each other. These queries range from the philosophical to the downright silly. One thing all the questions have in common is that they will make you stop and think. Is there a better option? Why would someone pick that choice over another, perhaps more advantageous option? Join the Soul Forge this week and ask yourself the same questions. We would love to...


65: Other People's Kids

Kids. Children. Offspring. Yours, mine, and ours. This week we tackle the topic of living with kids that aren't biologically yours . We are going to use the term step-parent even though many of the stories and situations do not necessarily involve marriage between the couple. Gender: The age of the child/children will have a great impact on the relationship between the other person's kid(s) and the new step-parent. Discipline styles also differ and this can have an affect on the child....