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Episode 146- The New Surrealists

Throughout my entire life I have been fascinated by the act of shocking people out of their automatic modes of living. As such, I was intrigued by Salvador Dalí’s revolutionary perspectives on morality and society. He was a rebel and the genre of art that he worked under, Surrealism, was as well. Surrealism, Futurism, and Avant-garde are all thought provoking movements on the act of breaking the paradigm. To subvert the status quo is always my goal, to help my peers redefined their perception of what is possible, and those movements have evolved into something wholly unique: a New Surrealism that I believe is led by artists like Marilyn Manson and Megadeth, comedians like Key & Peele, and athletes like Anton Krupicka. A disparate bunch, but the one thing that they all have in common is that they break the paradigm. Blazing our own trails is not only an artistic mission, but an actionable tool for positive societal change and so always remember this: stay true to yourself!

AUM,

Jarod Contreras

Sources:

Artaud, Antonin. “The Theater of Cruelty (First Manifesto).” The Theater and Its Double. Grove Press, 1958, pp. 89-100.
Marinetti, Filippo Tommaso. “The Futurist Manifesto.”
Dalí, Salvador. “The Moral Position of Surrealism.”
Fronsdal, Gil. The Dhammapada: a New Translation of the Buddhist Classic with Annotations. Shambhala, 2008.
Marilyn Manson. “Disposable Teens.” Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death), Nothing Records & Interscope Records, 2000.
Megadeth. “Peace Sells.” Peace Sells…but Who’s Buying, Capitol Records, Inc., 1986.

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Episode 145- Jessica Morey: Meditation for Teens

“A lot of the work is giving enough to get them curious and willing to look inside and see.”

-Jessica Morey

Youth is a nebulous and intimidating concept to some, especially the farther one moves away from it. However, this week’s guest, Jessica Morey, embraces youth, despite the fact she is not one herself anymore, and works to give back. Jessica has spent a lifetime meditating, she began when she was 14, and now spends her days teaching teenagers how to meditate. That fact, coupled with her passion for the task, fascinated me and so I asked her on the show. Teenagers, and young people in general, are a unique group, I know seeing as how I am one, and a group that society typically misunderstands. However, today Jessica and I sit down to go deep into her story, how she found meditation, how teens aren’t as confusing or mysterious as one might think, and that teens too can and do benefit deeply from meditation. I hope our conversation today provides you perspective on what meditation can do for you.

AUM,

Jarod Contreras

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Episode 144- Do Your Own Research

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Episode 144- Do Your Own Research

How do an art & literature Bible class, Robert Browning’s 1842 poem “Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister,” and building a steel frame fixie bike with gravel geometry from scratch all relate? Through research, is how. Research is the key component in understanding, interpreting, and/or executing all of these projects and topics. Research for your personal edification is not an intellectual’s pastime, but a vital activity for everyone to become conscientious media consumers. In our world of passionate opinion making, “alternative facts,” and lies from the highest office, it is important to process this onslaught of information using the sieve of your own knowledge. But, that knowledge can only be helpful if it is fueled by multiple perspectives, has a strong foundation, and helps you to become more well-rounded. Listen today as I delve into the process and topic of doing you own research.

AUM,

Jarod Contreras

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Episode 143- Productivity is Not King

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Episode 143- Productivity is Not King

The stories we tell ourselves and each other are reminders on how to be better. That is what I try to achieve each week in this podcast. As I worked this weekend on my various endeavors I slowly, but surely checked off items on the to-do list that I had made for myself. However, that got me to thinking about the near constant reinforcement of the idea that the more you get done the better you are that I see in the media. Our culture is obsessed with productivity and people, too often, invest their happiness in judging how much they have gotten done that day. The more the better, right? Wrong. Happiness does not come from productivity and productivity must not be your prison. When accomplishing tasks, whatever they may be, you must stay present, stay focused, and remember to take a step back from what you do to gain a better perspective. Fall in love with the process, as I always say.

AUM,

Jarod Contreras

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Episode 142- Walking On with New Perspectives

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Episode 142- Walking On with New Perspectives

While I may talk a big talk on this podcast week to week, in reality I am human and I am not perfect. The truth of the matter is that I often allow myself to be controlled by stress and distractions, leading to sometimes calamitous results. On the small and large scale I allow myself to be prisoner to stress, it shaped my emotional wellbeing last year, and it is rare that I have the complete self-awareness to recognize it. I may talk, but I don’t always act. That imperfection is where I can learn, however. It provides me an opportunity to grow, something I will need to do to best enjoy this new school year. Going forward I hope to reshape my perspective into something that supports me, instead of tears me down. Listen in today as I discuss the consequences of my flaws and the perspectives that I must take to learn from and better them.

AUM,

Jarod Contreras

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Episode 141- A Mentor's Follies Are Not Your Own

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Episode 141- A Mentor's Follies Are Not Your Own

There are countless people throughout, and currently in, each of our lives who positively influence us. Those mentors hold a powerful sway on your path and your betterment, but no one is perfect. When those mentors go astray you must realize that their past message, that at one point positively influenced you, still can. Their current mistakes or negativity does not cancel out their past influence. However, the current mistakes or negativity should cause you to let them go and move on, all the while holding dear their message that does influence you to be better.

AUM,

Jarod Contreras

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Episode 140- Remember Cooking?

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Episode 140- Remember Cooking?

Too often we speed through our lives without taking the time to recognize the multitude of opportunities we have available to us to find personal peace. The practice of cooking is one of those opportunities and yet our society has forgotten the importance of cooking at home. Today's episode is a simple reminder of the importance of cooking and eating at home, because it is not only an opportunity for mindful peace and presence, but also an opportunity to fuel your body right. For me, cooking is a metaphor for life, because it allows you to be present amongst each step while workings towards the whole. Let's all remember that.

AUM,

Jarod Contreras

Sources:
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3639863/
washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/03/05/the-slow-death-of-the-home-cooked-meal/?utm_term=.1fc0601eb846
Tao Te Ching, trans. Stephen Mitchell

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Episode 139- Crew Your Trail

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Episode 139- Crew Your Trail

In each moment of our lives we each blaze our own personal trail and that trail must be crewed by those who truly have an enlightening influence on you and challenge you to be better. Whether they are friends or family those that surround you must be positive influences on you and your path. If those that surround you are negative influences who hold you back you must make the committed decision to let them go, with compassion, so that you can be better. It will be a difficult process, but one that will, ultimately, free you to live a life even more true, happy, and fulfilled. Today we delve into stories of the benefits of letting go those negative influences and how to embrace the people that truly support you.

AUM,

Jarod Contreras

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Photo Credit: Julie Contreras

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Episode 138- Let's Talk About Tea

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Episode 138- Let's Talk About Tea

Let's talk about tea, because while the US may still be a coffee culture, tea is becoming more popular and is a staple of many people's daily lives. I am an avid tea drinker and have been so for probably longer than I have been a coffee drinker. For me, tea is a much gentler experience and one that provides more overall benefits than coffee. One of the main attributes of tea that I love is the fact that it can so easily be a positive personal ritual, an active meditation, that benefits me each time I take the time to focus on the process. Today I make the case that tea can and should be an active meditation for all of us to center us in the moment. Join me as I delve into tea's vibrant history and its numerous positive and negative health effects. I hope we can all be better from this discussion.

AUM,

Jarod Contreras

Sources:
tea.co.uk/tea-a-brief-history
mightyleaf.com/history-of-tea
nam.ac.uk/explore/opium-war-1839-1842
nytimes.com/2015/10/06/upshot/what-the-evidence-tells-us-about-tea.html
livestrong.com/article/414169-the-health-dangers-of-tea/

Music: purple-planet.com

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Episode 137- Let's Talk About Coffee

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Episode 137- Let's Talk About Coffee

Let's talk about coffee. The wonder drug of our society and a staple of most our daily rituals. To me it seems that coffee is so readily available and commonly used that we don't think much about it, at least I don't. After many years of coffee consumption I've recently done some thinking on my, and society's, relationship with coffee. As I look around me day to day I see so many people who live in a state of fatigue and use coffee to temporarily drag themselves out of it. However, I believe that coffee must be used as an added bonus to our day, for its flavor and energetic properties, but not as a crutch. To combat our state of fatigue, and shift into living in a state of energy, we must learn to listen to our bodies and respond intelligently. That intelligence only comes by equipping ourselves with the right knowledge of how to treat our bodies as machines and temples. So listen in to today's episode as I delve into the lush history of coffee, its scientific benefits and drawbacks, and how we can all redefine our relationship with coffee to learn to listen our bodies.

Gracias,

Jarod Contreras

Sources:
ncausa.org/About-Coffee/History-of-Coffee
historyextra.com/period/medieval/history-coffee-facts-discovery-use-drink-social-revolution/
africaresource.com/house/news/our-announcements/21-the-history-of-coffee
etymonline.com/word/coffee
healthline.com/health/caffeine-effects-on-body#1
medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271707.php

Music: purple-planet.com

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Episode 136- Don't Beat Yourself Up

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Episode 136- Don't Beat Yourself Up

As humans we constantly have ups and downs. Whether those ups and downs are emotional or physical, we feel them each day. Over the past few weeks I have, quite honestly, been feeling down. It is not constant nor overwhelming, but I have noticed a distinct shift in my mental wellbeing towards the negative. The main reason I believe that shift has occurred is because I feel like my business and sport endeavors have come to a sort of stand still. That perception of staleness is only a matter of perspective, I know, but it is still difficult to walk the walk, instead of just talking the talk of betterment. I have realized that one of the key ways I can work through and with these feelings is through not beating myself up about how I feel. Instead, I must listen to my body, work with it, and learn from it. As such, I hope that you can learn from these musings that I share today. 

AUM,

Jarod Contreras

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Episode 135- On Hobbies

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Episode 135- On Hobbies

There are many aspects of our day to day lives that we take for granted or simply don't think about. Over the past few weeks, as I have been working to manage my fatigue and injuries, I have been doing a lot of thinking about how I spend my time each day. For any of us, what we do with our time each day must be things that are positive and fulfilling, that better us. One of those things, something I have refocused on recently, are hobbies. Having a hobby may seem childish, pointless, or just not possible to some, but I posit in today's episode that hobbies are vital aspects of building a peaceful mental headspace and a truly fulfilling life. Hobbies have a multitude of benefits that contribute to becoming a more well-rounded human being. They can become part of our process of personal betterment and presence, if we let them. Listen today as I delve into hobbies and how you can find and focus on yours.

AUM,

Jarod Contreras

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Photo: Panther at King Tut exhibit in the California Science Center

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Episode 134- Lynsey Dyer: One Foot in Front of the Other

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Episode 134- Lynsey Dyer: One Foot in Front of the Other

"That's the ticket: putting energy into it, even when no one else can see it."

-Lynsey Dyer

Humans have an uncanny ability to connect and converse with people of wildly different backgrounds, because when it comes down to it we all share a common experience. Today's guest is many things, mainly known as a big mountain skier and filmmaker, and while I may not do those two things Lynsey Dyer and I still connected and conversed. I believe that whatever sport, focus, or job that we do, if we do it with intent, good will come of it. Lynsey is a prime example of that sentiment and coupled with the fact that she has lived her life breaking paradigms, she was a perfect guest for the show. Our conversation is barely concerned with the mountains or even storytelling, instead we explore the mindset and spiritual side of things. Today we delve into growing up, finding purpose, finding yourself, and staying true to yourself. All topics not often discussed, on this show nor in life, so it was a special treat to have Lynsey share her thoughts on them. Enjoy!

AUM,

Jarod Contreras

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Episode 133- Managing Fatigue

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Episode 133- Managing Fatigue

We all deal with it, but we rarely take the time to step back and focus on it: fatigue. Our hectic lives are so easily negatively impacted by a string of heavily fatigued hours, days, weeks, or even months. The causes of fatigue are so common in our lives, as well. Personally, it has been an issue that I have been dealing with for the past few weeks and I have only recently made committed, planned efforts to solve my high level of fatigue. Today we delve into the causes of and solutions to fatigue, a topic that I think will benefit us all. Just remember this: play it smart and KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid).

AUM,

Jarod Contreras

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Photo: My dad, Gabriel Contreras, running in Smith Rock State Park, OR.

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Episode 132- Learning Acceptance

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Episode 132- Learning Acceptance

Whenever I sit down to record an episode for this podcast I always hope that whatever story I may tell, you may take what you will from it and use it to better yourself. Today I tell the stories of my past few weeks. I have completed my first year of college, adventured, road tripped, and spent time with my family. I delve into the stories of those experiences and how they have shaped the end of my first year at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. I also delve into two events that have recently transpired in my life that took a toll on my mindset, instantly redefining my preconceived notions and preconceptions about who I am and what I am capable of. It is hard to not let these events stop me or slow me down, but I can only do so by focusing on acceptance and diligence. Those two focuses are what have driven me over the past few weeks, so let's dig into how I am learning from them.

AUM,

Jarod Contreras

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Episode 131- Charlie Engle: From Low to High

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Episode 131- Charlie Engle: From Low to High

“It doesn’t matter what happens to us, it only matters what you do about it.”

-Charlie Engle

Charlie Engle has been called many things, but behind all of the judgments and snap assumptions that people have thrown at him there is a wise and fascinating man. I have known about Charlie for quite awhile now, but only recently realized how perfect of a guest he would be. He was excited to come on the show and to be honest with you this episode is not about Charlie's story. If you want to know his story, from crack addiction to Running the Sahara to prison and more, then read his incredible memoir Running Man. Today is about Charlie's head: how he endures what he puts himself through, how he found acceptance of prison, how he learned from addiction, and who Charlie, the real Charlie, is. I am honored that I was able to sit down with him today, we had a long conversation that could have gone on for hours more. As always we are wide-ranging in this episode as we delve into Charlie's next expedition, his mindset towards prison & addiction, learning from suffering, embracing challenge, and so much more.

Om shanti,

Jarod Contreras

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Episode 130- Maria Walton: La Mariposa

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Episode 130- Maria Walton: La Mariposa

"I'm always seeking happiness."

-Maria Walton

I believe Maria Walton's spirit name of La Mariposa encapsulates her personality: simple, free, and kind. Maria may be best known for being the girlfriend of Micah True, known as Caballo Blanco in the bestseller Born to Run, in the few years leading up to his sudden death in 2012. However, Maria is so much more than just a girlfriend of some guy in a book. Maria embodies the ideal so often discussed on this show: to live a life as true to yourself as possible. She does not distract herself with materialism or ego, instead she lives a simple life fueled by nature, running, and community. Those topics turn out to be the common threads of discussion in today's episode. Maria and I delve into her relationship with Micah, her story, the community forged by running, reconnecting with nature, living a fulfilled life, minimalism, and the pure love for running free.

Muchas gracias amigos,

Jarod Contreras

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Instagram: @mariposaapache instagram.com/mariposaapache
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Episode 129- Tyler Tomasello: Emotion Conveyed

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Episode 129- Tyler Tomasello: Emotion Conveyed

“I find comfort in uncomfortable situations.”

-Tyler Tomasello

Someone who, when it’s summer, actively seeks out time to camp and tell stories instead of staying inside is someone that I want to talk to. Tyler Tomasello is that someone. Whether he is in Afghanistan running with a women’s ultrarunning team or at the Born to Run Ultramarathons, he is always looking for a way to convey the emotion he sees around him. We met at the Born to Run Ultras where it was immediately apparent to me his love for being in touch with nature. What fascinates me about Tyler is his simplicity, in life, photo, and words, that he uses to impart such passion. Today Tyler and I discuss the art of storytelling, connecting with people and other cultures, finding peace in the outdoors, fueling our bodies right, community, travel, learning from discomfort, and more. Enjoy!

Gracias,

Jarod Contreras

Find Tyler:
tylertomasello.com
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Twitter: @tylertomasello1 twitter.com/tylertomasello1
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Episode 128- Morgan Hope Sjogren: The Running Bum

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Episode 128- Morgan Hope Sjogren: The Running Bum

"You really have to face yourself."

-Morgan Hope Sjogren

A self-described dirt barbie Morgan Hope Sjogren, also known as Mo or Running Bum, is an adventure fueled storyteller par excellence. I first discovered Mo through Instagram and was fascinated by her ability to convey her love for the desert, mountains, canyons, and valleys in photography and in words. She is a professional writer who continually displays her knack for translating the complexity of nature onto the page. I met Mo at the Born to Run Ultras where she ecstatically agreed to come on the show. We are wide-ranging today as we discuss keeping sane in a hectic life, finding peace in the outdoors and in discomfort, the running family, the concept of "women in the outdoors," being active political and social citizens of this planet, and storytelling. Do enjoy!

Muchas gracias amigos,

Jarod Contreras

Find Mo:
therunningbum.com
Instagram: @running_bum_ instagram.com/running_bum_
Twitter: @running_bum_ twitter.com/Running_Bum_

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Episode 127- Born to Run Ultramarathons: The "Run-aissance"

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Episode 127- Born to Run Ultramarathons: The "Run-aissance"

Welcome to the shantytown, to the freak show, to the extravaganza, to the world of the Born to Run Ultramarathons. Held once a year in May in Los Olivos, California I was able to finally make it out, for the first time, to this wild event. The core theme of running carries a common thread through all of the passionate people who attend: we all have a deep love for running far. That love for pushing our bodies transcends into other wild antics that populate the days of crazy that is the Born to Run Ultras. There was everything from a Tarahumaran bola race, lucha libre wrestling match, and race between legends Scott Jurek and Arnulfo Quimare to a beer mile, talent show, and wedding. Today, in a special episode, I chronicle the events, tales, and experiences of my weekend at Born to Run utilizing a multitude of perspectives from people who attended the event and who each had their own story to tell. Sit back and enjoy the absurdity!

Run free,

Jarod Contreras

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Music: purple-planet.com

Special Thanks:
Luis Escobar
Jenn Shelton
Patrick Sweeney
Anders Dahl
Clint Welch
Gabriel Miossi
Scott Smuin
Barefoot Ted
Graham Kelly
Todd Kaplan
Amy Kaplan

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