The Real Question

Vanessa Zoltan and Casper ter Kuile learned in divinity school about the art of paying attention. In this podcast, they turn that attention to a variety of everyday scenarios in their own lives to see what’s really at stake. Each week, Vaness...

  • 23 minutes 2 seconds
    Should I Quit: Buying New Books?

    Charlie James can't stop buying books. Every time they’re in a bookstore, there seems to be a new book calling them, a new trove of knowledge ready for them to explore. But Charlie's not reading books as fast as they’re buying them. Should they quit buying books and focus on their ‘To Be Read’ pile? Should they get rid of the books they already own?


    This week on Should I Quit? Vanessa and Charlie discuss what it means to be a ‘reader’ and its relationship to consumerism. 


    if you want to check out Charlie’s comedy work, you can find them @nonbinarycowboy on TikTok, Instagram and X.


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    This show is completely funded by Patreon, and we are so grateful to our supporters who make it possible. If you can, please considering chipping in!


    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    8 July 2024, 2:24 pm
  • 28 minutes 23 seconds
    Should I Quit: My Relationship with My Mother?

    It’s our last episode with Mauricio Bruce filling in as a guest host! This week on the show, our anonymous guest shares about the difficult relationship she has with her mom. Things have been painful for a long time and she feels like now is the time to ask: at what point should she put up some stricter boundaries? 


    This week on Should I Quit? Mauricio and our guest discuss what to do when people want different things from the relationship and how to protect your happiness. 


    Mauricio is a transpersonal therapist, chaplain, and the co-leader of our What Matters program. You can learn more about What Matters at: https://www.literarychaplaincy.com/what-matters


    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    24 June 2024, 2:00 pm
  • 14 minutes 5 seconds
    Special Edition: Storytelling and Taylor Swift (with Margaret H. Willison)
    Vanessa is joined for a small bonus conversation by Margaret H. Willison, faculty on our upcoming Taylor Swift Pilgrimage on Cape Cod. They explore why Taylor's music is such a rich text for sacred reflection and share the things they're most looking forward to on this trip! If you're interested in joining us in November, you can sign up on our website!

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    14 June 2024, 4:00 pm
  • 27 minutes 9 seconds
    Should I Quit: Waiting for a Partner to Have a Baby?

    We’re continuing our short series with Mauricio Bruce filling in as a guest host. Mauricio is a transpersonal therapist, chaplain, and the co-leader of our What Matters program.


    This week on the show, our guest Katie shares with Mauricio about her desire to be a mom. She’s nearly 34 years old and she feels like the clock is ticking. The problem is she hasn’t found a life partner yet. She’s wondering: is it time to think about becoming a single parent? 


    This week on Should I Quit? Mauricio and Katie discuss what to do when things don’t fall into place like you hoped they would.


    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    10 June 2024, 2:01 pm
  • 26 minutes 3 seconds
    Should I Quit: My City?

    For the next few weeks on the podcast, while Vanessa is traveling, we have the wonderful Mauricio Bruce filling in as a guest host. Mauricio is a transpersonal therapist, chaplain, and the co-leader of our What Matters program.


    On our first episode with Mauricio, our anonymous guest is struggling with a tough decision about moving. On the one hand: She loves the currently city she is in. She feels the most herself, the most comfortable, the most at home, that she has felt in a long time. On the other hand: Her father is dying back home in Alaska. Should she give up her wonderful life (and the future she's building) to go be with her father?


    This week on Should I Quit? Mauricio and our guest discuss what we want to do versus what we feel we need to do.


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    This show is completely funded by Patreon, and we are so grateful to our supporters who make it possible. If you can, please considering chipping in!


    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    27 May 2024, 2:11 pm
  • 7 minutes 1 second
    The Best Advice Show: Deciding with Nell Wulfhart

    Instead of a regular episode this week, we're sharing an episode of one of our favorite podcasts, The Best Advice Show. Last week, Vanessa had the pleasure of guesting on the show. You can listen to Vanessa's episode here, but today we're dropping a different episode from their archives – Deciding with Nell Wulfhart.


    Here's how the wonderful host, Zak, describes the podcast: The Best Advice Show is your reminder that there are weird, delightful and effective ways to make life slightly and sometimes profoundly better. In every (very short) episode of the show, a different contributor offers their take on making life more joyful, healthful and livable and it's likely gonna be something you can try today, if you want. 


    We'll be back in two weeks with our regular format! In the meantime, be sure to subscribe to The Best Advice Show.


    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    13 May 2024, 2:00 pm
  • 19 minutes 59 seconds
    Should I Quit: Being a Therapist?

    Kelsie doesn’t always feel good about the work they're doing at their non-profit therapy job – and what’s more, they’re burning themselves out at it. Is there a better version of this work? Or do they just need to accept that in a broken world, we’re mostly going to have broken solutions?


    This week on Should I Quit? Kelsie and Vanessa discuss when it’s productive to compromise on your ideals. 


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    This show is completely funded by Patreon, and we are so grateful to our supporters who make it possible. If you can, please considering chipping in!


    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    29 April 2024, 2:00 pm
  • 23 minutes 5 seconds
    When to Quit Thinking About a Problem (with Mauricio Bruce)

    Mauricio Bruce is a transpersonal therapist, chaplain, and the co-leader of our What Matters program. This week he joins Vanessa to talk about visualization as a decision-making tool and how to tap into your feelings.



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    This show is completely funded by Patreon, and we are so grateful to our supporters who make it possible. If you can, please considering chipping in!






    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    15 April 2024, 2:01 pm
  • 23 minutes 6 seconds
    Should I Quit: Being a Stay-at-Home Parent?

    Sophie decided to take some time off work when she had her second child, but she always thought she would go back to her career in law. Since then however, one of her kids has become disabled and it has felt less and less possible to go back. Should she just give up on having a career? 


    This week on Should I Quit? Sophie and Vanessa discuss how to be a caretaker and also take care of yourself. 


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    This show is completely funded by Patreon, and we are so grateful to our supporters who make it possible. If you can, please considering chipping in!


    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    1 April 2024, 2:09 pm
  • 26 minutes 34 seconds
    Should I Quit: Making Political Donations? (with Beth Silvers)

    A few weeks ago we had on Sarah Stewart Holland of Pantsuit Politics and today we're joined by her brilliant co-host, Beth Silvers. Beth makes small donations to political campaigns because she feels like it's 'the right thing to do.' Lately, however, she has realized that her heart isn't really in it. Can she just stop making them? Or does that betray her platform, which is based on the idea of folks being politically engaged?


    This week on Should I Quit? Beth and Vanessa discuss what to do when you feel like a fraud.


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    This show is completely funded by Patreon, and we are so grateful to our supporters who make it possible. If you can, please considering chipping in!


    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    18 March 2024, 1:59 pm
  • 27 minutes 8 seconds
    Bonus Conversation: How We Misunderstand Homelessness with Charyti Reiter

    For our annual fundraiser at Not Sorry, we are again supporting the wonderful organization On The Rise.


    On The Rise’s work begins with individuals experiencing homelessness in Cambridge, Massachusetts and continues if and when they secure housing. From their origin as a women’s organization, their programs have evolved toward inclusion of those historically and structurally oppressed on the basis of gender.


    In today's episode, Vanessa sits down with On The Rise’s Director of Clinical Services, Charyti Reiter to talk about misconceptions around homeless. We hear also from one of On The Rise's participants, JS. 


    You can help us reach our goal of $10k by donating here


    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    14 March 2024, 1:07 pm
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