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  • Writer's pictureJH

Episode #5: Learning to Trust With Bethany Butzer, PhD

I met Bethany maybe 10 years ago when she was the guest speaker at a networking event I attended. We were probably both living different lives at the time. Sort of. I was mostly freelancing and trying to figure it all out. I'm still freelancing - and still figuring it out - but also drumming and podcasting now. Hmmm ... maybe things haven't changed that much after all.

Well, at least not for me.

Bethany now finds herself in Prague, Czech Republic, lecturing in psychology at the University of New York in Prague. She has taken a few turns to get there, including working at Harvard University, and making what turned out to be a high profile exit from what she thought was her dream job to live for two months in a cabin in the woods and try to figure out her life.

Her TED Talk, “Stop Trying So Hard: Achieve More By Doing Less” is based partly on that experience. Of course, she took a lot of backlash for making that move and talking about it from people who didn’t understand the circumstances (or the fact that she saved barely enough money from a modestly-paid post-doctoral position at Harvard to survive for that short period of time in the woods).

I’m fascinated by Bethany’s approach to life and science. She marries traditional academics with a keen spirituality at a time when spiritual awakening needs credentialed voices. She had a lot of interesting and instructive things to say in our interview about taking chances, listening to intuition, and looking after your mental and physical health.

I hope you take as much from our conversation as I did. Shout-out as well to Bethany for tipping me off to the Sedlec Ossuary (aka the Bone Cathedral) in Kutna Hora, Czech Republic, where I spent a memorable and creepy morning on tour with Sarah Smith in 2017.


Follow Bethany and read her blog at

Download the episode at:

Or just listen right here:

If you haven’t seen it yet, here is Bethany’s TED Talk:

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