Cover art for podcast Unleashing Social Change

Unleashing Social Change

45 EpisodesProduced by Becky MargiottaWebsite

Each episode we interview a badass social change leader and learn the ins and outs of what they're doing to make the world a better place. This podcast will help you feel optimistic that we can make a difference and give you practical tips about how to go about doing so in a big way.


Episode 39: Dr. Julia Colwell, “Shifting from Reactive Brain to Creative Brain”

39: Dr. Julia Colwell, “Shifting from Reactive Brain to Creative Brain”


In this episode, we talk with our friend, the brilliant and insightful psychologist Dr. Julia Colwell, about the physiological experience of shame and why it’s so important that we learn how to shift out of our reactive brains - and the hierarchy that comes with it - back into our creative brains where collaboration, connection, and creativity are possible. Join us for this fascinating conversation about how our brains work and how we can use our brains - and our bodies - to advance love and justice in our world. You’ll want to download the handout you can find on our Unleashing Social Change website to follow along with the show. 

Show Highlights:

  • The evolutionary purpose of shame is to dominate another person into submission
  • How, as Tema Okun says, “Shame is a place to visit but not to stay.”
  • The difference between power versus force 
  • How the energy of shame is close to death 
  • How pride and contempt can lead to violence
  • The difference between blaming and non-blaming anger
  • The two problems with staying in reactive brain
  • The importance of realizing when you are in fear and a persona so you can minimize any harm you might do from that place 
  • Reactivity is useful for survival, but not for thriving
  • Getting unstuck from the “I’m not bad, you’re bad” narrative and shifting to appreciation
  • Moving from “It shouldn’t be this way” to the neutrality of “this is what is”
  • Anchoring yourself in ways that generate energy
  • Repairing relationships by engaging above the line
  • Implications for scarcity versus abundance from your brain state  
  • Connecting the dot with reparations and creating the world we want to live in
  • Fuel, rest, move - getting out of the stress mode and taking care of our bodies


Stephen Porges, Polyvagal Theory

Dr. David Hawkins, “Power vs. Force”

Caste by Isabel Wilkerson

Fear Melters - Gay and Katie Hendricks

john powell - Linked Fate

The Open Focus Brain by Les Fehmi and Jim Robbins

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