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What is a Good Life? #31
Being Intimate With Life with Alex Carabi
On the 31st episode of the What is a Good Life? podcast, I'm delighted to be joined by Alex Carabi. Alex is an author; his most recent book is "On Relationality," a leadership coach, and co-founder of Yellow, a group which offers spaces to learn, connect, and explore without predetermined outcomes or expectations.
In this episode, we delve into the meaning of building greater intimacy with others and life itself, exploring various ways of relating to people that transcend manipulation and our typical defences. Our discussion uncovers the profound sense of aliveness, feeling, and depth that arises when we meet others and ourselves in the moment where we presently are. Moreover, we reflect on the alchemical potential of exploring the aspects of ourselves we have numbed.
If you find yourself yearning for a deeper connection and greater intimacy in a world often characterised by superficial interactions, if you're tired of performing and acting at the expense of genuine connection and vitality, this conversation will provide ample food for thought.
You'll gain insights into reshaping your approach to relating with others, along with fresh ideas to explore and incorporate into your own good life.
The weekly clip from the podcast (2.5 mins), my weekly reflection (3 mins), the full podcast (70 mins), and the weekly questions all follow below.
1. Weekly Clip from the Podcast
2. My weekly reflection
The more I've been reflecting on my life over the last several years, and determining what truly brings me joy - instead of focusing on what looks good to others - I have to say I hold genuine, connecting, and intimate conversations as one of the greatest treasures in life.
We often use the term "intimate" in relation to a lover or partner, but as Alex points out in this interview, we can develop a level of intimacy in many other relationships, and indeed in life itself, when we are willing to go a little deeper.
It doesn't mean we have to perpetually bare our souls or reveal our deepest, darkest secrets to one another. It simply requires us to let go of the games and manipulations we often adopt, the projections and narratives we use to defend ourselves, and the use of conversations as a means to win or achieve something.
It's not always possible and may not always be the most appropriate strategy for your own or someone else’s needs at the time, but if we never delve into these places or spaces with one another, life can feel very separate, utilitarian, and lacking a sense of aliveness.
When we engage in a dialogue with someone else with no premeditated intentions, when we can suspend our judgments (and acknowledge when judgments arise again), when we are not directing it toward a specific outcome, when we are willing to share what we are thinking and feeling in real time, something truly incredible happens.
A connection occurs that you rarely experience in life. The conversation becomes its own living entity, a co-creation, a step into the unknown, a place where there is nowhere to reach, where time dissolves, and you get to genuinely meet the other person. Regardless of whether the conversation's content is deeply personal or not, the conversation generates its own energy, and no matter what is discussed, you leave feeling energised.
This point of connection with another human provides me with more fulfilment than any other external thing or experience in my life. Something beyond words unfolds in this space; we move into a place where our separateness momentarily dissolves or suspends through our connection and creation.
Before this sounds too utopian, we may not even agree in this space, or we may even explore conflict, but we don't do so from a closed, competitive, or separate standpoint. The conflict isn't as personal, and our curiosity and connection enable us to explore it from a different perspective and energy.
As Alex and I discuss in the conversation, the more we come into contact with this experience, the less frequently our desires to perpetually go somewhere else or consume more things influence us. It soothes a space within us that we often try to appease through means that never truly satisfy it.
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3. Full Episode - Being Intimate With Life with Alex Carabi - What is a Good Life? #31
4. This week’s Questions
When is the last time you conversed with someone and you were completely transparent with what you were thinking and feeling in real time?
What feeling arises first when you consider the thought of being fully seen by another human being?
I am a Coach based in Berlin, via Dublin, Ireland. I left behind a 15-year career in Capital Markets after I became extremely curious around answering some of the bigger questions in life. I started this project in 2021, for which I’ve now interviewed over 150 people, to provide people with the space to reflect on their own lives and to create content that would spark people’s own inquiry into this question. I am also trying to share more genuine expressions of the human experience, beyond the facades we typically project.