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B-RAD with Brad Toews

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Originality is Overrated

There's a lot of pressure in our culture to be original. And the self-actualization subculture isn't any better. It's probably worse. Do you have to be an original? What if being original is overrated? In the music world artists regularly cover other people's work. Musicians like Jamie Cullum prove that a good cover is a valuable art form, in and of itself. What many other great artists and individuals know is that filtering another person's ideas (their art, music, parenting or...


30 - This is B-RAD

I turned forty the same week of launching this podcast, and in honour of that milestone birthday I set a goal of releasing forty episodes this year. I didn’t quite reach that goal. I am ending my first season of the B-RAD Podcast with thirty episodes. This thirtieth and final episode of the first season feels like a good time to tell you what B-RAD means and what it means to B-RAD. I’m a self-diagnosed self-development junkie. I seem addicted to the process of growth and development. I’ve...


29 - Knowing What's Unknown

John Maxwell, renowned leadership expert, New York Times Bestseller List author, well-known speaker and septuagenarian says that as he has matured, the things he truly “knows” can be summarized with the five digits on one hand. Those are the things he knows that he knows and he can’t be budged on those points. But he has learned to let go of everything else he thought he knew. I love knowledge, studying, researching, and reading. I'm a learner. But I wonder if we've elevated knowledge to...


28 - Obviously

The story by David Foster Wallace goes like this; there are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “what the hell is water?” This simple story challenges us to ask, at the very least, what are we really swimming in? And how can we even become aware of it? Simone Weil...


27 - Goodness Me

The phrase "good enough", which is so ubiquitious in our culture, implies that there is something better than good. Perfection, something without flaws, something pristine and ideal, is better than good. Isn't it? In the beginning creation was declared good. Tov is the original Hebrew word which we translate as "good" in English. But Tov is so much more than just good. It's a word that celebrates life in all its diversity - birth, death, re-birth, seasons, warmth, cold, the messiness and...


26 - I am Human

Labels aren't bad, they're necessary for making our way through the external world. Imagine navigating city streets or an airport terminal with no labels. Labels are obviously good. Labels are also a necessary part of our internal framework and personal structure. They help us identify where we're from (Toronto, Canada) and who we are (man, husband, dad, friend). But we all know from experience that labelling isn't all good and isn't always helpful. A label reaches the end of its...


25 - Smart Water

Water covers 71% of the earth's surface. The average adult body is 60% water. A human can survive for weeks without food, but she'll live mere days without water. Water has no nutrition, per se but we require it, above almost all things, to live. We're not exactly sure how water arrived on the planet but scientists propose it may have arrived as ice in meteors, which means that "the same liquid we drink and that fills the oceans may be millions of years older than the solar system...


24 - All in One

Rudolf Steiner, who lived from 1861 to 1925, is remembered and revered as a prophet of renewal, asking and answering the question how do we create systems, protocols, and procedures that works alongside what nature provides humans? How do we be a part of the progress of the natural world in healthy, sustainable, and spiritual ways? One of the answers to those questions was the creation of biodynamic farming. I’ve learned all of this since visiting the Benziger Family Winery; a beautiful...


23 - Home Body

Home - What does it mean? Where is it? There is a sense of safety and security attached to the idea of home. The dictionary definition of the word homebody is a person who likes to stay home, especially one who is perceived as unadventurous. I'd like to challenge that idea. I think a true home body - someone at home in their body - is definitely adventurous. In fact, the biggest adventure you embark on, might just be the adventure of "finding home". While I've been traveling this year,...


22 - That Four Letter Word

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." - Marianne Williamson I grew up thinking that a certain four letter word - starts with an F, ends with a K, with UC in the middle - was the worst possible word. You had to stay clear of that word. All the while I was trapped by another four letter word, something much more insidious, dark, and damaging than a swear word. I was trapped by fear. Fear has been a powerful force in my...


21 - Chew On This

Chewing is an integral part of our experience with food. How we chew has biological and psychological affects on our whole body. After watching the video (link on my episode blog post) by Emily Rosen on the Psychobiology of Chewing I came away with four takeaways: But as much as I'm keenly interested in nutrition and healthy eating, which is a big part of my life, I'm equally interested in contemplating how I "chew on life". To be fully nourished by food we must experience it. We...


20 - Whose Line is it Anyway?

We have all been given a script in life. We are born into a culture, a community, a family that follows certain rules and norms. This script forms and informs how we live. It's how we make our way in the world as humans. This is how we survive and learn, by starting with what the past teaches us, reading our lines and playing our part. But at some point in our development we decide for ourself. Am I going to keep living my life from this script? What values are important to me? What do I...


19 - The Art of Good

Jorey Tessier has a passion for youth and wanted to work in a capacity where he could encourage and influence young people. So he decided to be a teacher. But when he was graduating from university and was considering his next step, the transition to teacher's college, something inside him had changed. The goal he was pursuing for the last eight years of his life no longer inspired him the way it once did. Asking himself the question, "what would be the best thing to do now?" the first...


19 - The Art of Good

Jorey Tessier has a passion for youth and wanted to work in a capacity where he could encourage and influence young people. So he decided to be a teacher. But when he was graduating from university and was considering his next step, the transition to teacher's college, something inside him had changed. The goal he was pursuing for the last eight years of his life no longer inspired him the way it once did. Asking himself the question, "what would be the best thing to do now?" the first...


18 - The Sum when Some Givesome

Have you ever had an idea to create something great that had the potential to make a significant change in people's lives? In this podcast I interview someone just like that. Someone with a great idea to revolutionize the charitable giving landscape. An idea that was born in an unlikely encounter, an idea that took thirteen years to come to life. When Jay Whitelaw went to Namibia fifteen years ago he thought he was just going to Africa to teach. He wasn't planning to start a charitable...


17 - The Curse of Comfort

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." - Martin Luther King, Jr. We live in a click culture. We value comfort and convenience. We idolize the instant success stories, we look for shortcuts. The problem with the click culture mindset, with taking the shortcut, choosing fast and easy, is that not only does it produce lower quality results but it robs us of the personal gains we...


16 - Hurts Like Hell

"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” C.S. Lewis Pain as Teacher In her raw, deeply-moving and well-written memoir "Love Warrior", Glennon Doyle Melton says that pain is like a traveling professor. When pain knocks on the door — wise ones breathe deep and say: “Come in. Sit down with me. And don’t leave until you’ve taught me what I need to know.” Hard words to read. Hard words to live. Is it...


15 - The Best Game in Town

"You can lose when you outscore somebody in a game. And you can win when you're outscored." — John Wooden My kids love playing the game Shotgun. This is not a game with real guns, we're urban Canadians. I'm referring to the game where a person claims the front passenger seat when riding in the car. Shotgun, the game, is a finite game. It has known players, fixed rules, and an agreed upon objective. There is a winner and everyone else is a loser and losers sit in the backseat,...


14 - The Little Things aren't so Little

“Success in life is founded upon attention to the small things rather than to the large things; to the every day things nearest to us rather than to the things that are remote and uncommon.” — Booker T. Washington Have you ever installed a door? The process requires framing and positioning a doorjamb, with special attention to the hinges. When you've installed a door well you don't even notice it's done correctly, it just works. And when you use the door you don't think about the hinges,...


13 - What Lies Beneath

Guillaume Néry is a record-breaking freediver. In his fascinating TED Talk, he explains the life-transforming experience of the freedive. His diving adventures challenge the belief that we can only go so far and give a new meaning to the religious phrase, "born again". Néry's diving experience teaches us about what lies beneath. So too does meditation. I'm a newbie meditator but I've been practicing meditation for a couple years and I'm acquainted with three different meditative...