Category Archives: self-care

Namaste' Project

The Namaste Project & Spiritual Self-Care (with Dr. Holly Oxhandler)

Welcome to Episode 55 of #AskSteveAustin Podcast, with Steve Austin and Dr. Holly Oxhandler. The show is sponsored by – sign up for your free month’s membership at!

Namaste' Project


  1. Hot off the presses! I’m in the news. Go to Deseret today and read her story on the epidemic of despair that is plaguing our country.
  2. I’m launching a Kickstarter campaign in the next few weeks, so save your pennies! If you believe in what I’m doing and you’d like to sponsor this new book, Catching Your Breath, please keep your eyes peeled for the launch of my Kickstarter.
  3. Follow the blog at for practical self-help tips and self-care advice from my perspective as a life coach and former pastor. (Also – sign up for my newsletter and get a free excerpt from my upcoming book, Catching Your Breath.)
  4. Are you interested in life coaching? I offer free consultations to anyone who’s ready to take their life, business, or relationship to the next level. Get all the details at and clicking on the coaching link.
  5. The #AskSteveAustin podcast is sponsored by, and if you’re an Audible customer, my Amazon best-selling memoir, From Pastor to a Psych Ward, is now available! Want to listen to my book for free? Go to
  6. Are you a member of the Messy Grace Tribe on Facebook? It’s an exclusive, closed Facebook group for supporters and guests of the AskSteveAustin podcast. If you’re looking for a way to continue this conversation every single day with other like-minded, grace-filled people, join the Messy Grace Tribe on Facebook! You can sign up for as little as $1 a month by going to
  7. Music this episode by Act of Congress, and “Angel Band” by The Stanley Brothers.

The Namaste’ Project and Spiritual Self-Care – Questions:

  1. Could it be dangerous to have these conversations? Are there situations where this kind of talk could be harmful?
  2. What kind of impact could it have if helping professionals like LCSW’s started focusing on the whole person?
  3. How do you think holding sacred space for clients could impact their progress, recovery, or just everyday lives?
  4. What does the word Namaste’ mean, and what is this new project?
  5. What if you are a social worker who claims no faith or your religion is completely different from your client’s? How would that impact the client’s care?

Dr. Holly Oxhandler is the Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development and an Assistant Professor at Baylor University’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work. Holly studies religion/spirituality, health and mental health, and is especially interested in whether and how mental and behavioral health therapists discuss their client’s religious/spiritual beliefs in treatment. She developed and validated the Religious/Spiritually Integrated Practice Assessment Scale, has written for numerous academic journals, and her research has been featured in the Washington Post, Consumer Affairs, Religion News Service, Baptist News Global, and more.

Holly lives in Waco, TX with her husband, Cory, and the couple has two children: Callie (2012) and Oliver (2016). She loves to read, paint, meditate, learn about others’ stories over a cup of coffee, and most of all, spend time with her loved ones. You can follow Holly online at  and on Twitter @HollyOxhandler

AskSteveAustin Podcast

Mailbag Episode: Ask Me Anything! (with Steve Austin)

Welcome back to the #AskSteveAustin Podcast, episode 54, sponsored by Audible. This mailbag episode includes Steve Austin’s responses to listener questions about: faith, abuse, boundaries, stillness, and more!

Show notes:

  • For a free 30-day trial and one free audiobook? Just go to
  • Follow blog at
  • My new book, Catching Your Breath: The Sacred Journey from Chaos to Calm, is due out in September! Want to stay up-to-date with all that’s happening with this new book? Sign up at! Subscribers get a free excerpt of the book, exclusive bonus content, earlybird discounts, and details on how to join the launch team.
  • Leave a 5-star rating and review on iTunes for a shoutout on the podcast!
  • Music by Act of Congress
  • Are you a member of the Messy Grace Tribe on Facebook?  You can sign up for as little as $1 a month by going to If you’re looking for a safe and diverse community of people who care about compassion, unity, and humanity – and aren’t obsessed with denomination, dogma, or doctrine, join The Messy Grace Tribe! Sign up at

This week’s questions:

  • When you know you’re called to speak out against toxic theology (or other toxic systems), what do you do to keep yourself from getting poisoned in the process? Speaking out against it also means being exposed to it, which can make me feel sick sometimes because it’s so toxic.
  • What does the word faith mean to you?
  • Did your relationship with God and your faith change radically after you dealt with the abuse that happened to you?
  • In your opinion, how does Jesus move through the Sacraments?
  • When you’re overwhelmed, how do you practice stillness without becoming more overwhelmed by all the things you’re not doing while practicing stillness?
  • How do you slow down without stopping?
  • I no longer trust my therapist. Can I just leave her?
  • What are some boundaries you recommend all people put in place?
  • How do you set boundaries with people who don’t respect your boundaries?
  • What is your perspective on 1 Corinthians 2:11?
  • What’s the reason you do all that you do – podcasts, blogs, books, speaking, life coaching, etc.?

Tweetable moments:

  • You’ll make more progress by telling people what you’re for, rather than what you’re against. The world is tired of divisiveness and negativity.
  • Faith is trust in what we cannot see. Faith is a gritty hope that better days are coming. It’s the embrace of Mystery. It’s a belief that there is some power greater than we can possibly comprehend that is ultimately working for our good.
  • Abuse impacts us at the level of our trust, but Jesus was abused too.
  • Boundaries remind me that I still belong. They’re a marker.
  • The Spirit of God in me recognizes the Spirit of God in you.

gifts of grief

The Gifts of Grief? Are You Serious?

In Episode 42, Steve has way too much fun with the best-selling author (and ok, fine, his friend, Natalie Can-I-Get-Your-Autograph Brenner).

gifts of grief

So, in many instances, the AskSteveAustin podcast has become the place where progressive Christian authors and artists come to share their work. And let me tell you – Natalie Brenner has written a book that I love. This Undeserved Life: Uncovering the Gifts of Grief and the Fullness of Life is beautiful. The writing…omg…it’s beautiful. There are a few writers I know whose words like sing right off the page, and they are, Sarah Robinson, Anne Voskamp, and Natalie Brenner.

When books make me silently weep, without fanfare, just cry those big fat releasing tears because my soul is saying yes – that’s a good book. That’s a really REALLY good book.

Questions about the gifts of grief:

  1. You talk about Jesus in a very genuine and loving way – but your heart at times has nearly been crushed under the weight of grief. How do you reconcile the two? And what the heck do you mean when you say the gifts of grief?
  2. Can we talk about the struggle with church hurts when all you really want to do is love Jesus and his people?
  3. Who is Jesus?
  4. Why is it so important to create a safe space for others to be vulnerable?
  5. What’s it like to parent a child of a different race?
  6. Autographed book giveaway! Retweet this week’s pinned post on twitter @iamsteveaustin for your chance to win a personalized, autographed copy of This Undeserved Life by Natalie Brenner
  7. Compassion means to co-suffer. OMG. Yes, she said that.
  9. Music:
  10. Get all of Steve Austin’s info at

Do you Feel Hopeless?

Do you feel hopeless? Listen to this.

In Episode 40 of the #AskSteveAustin Podcast, Steve Austin shares some encouragement from his own life for folks who feel hopeless. If you’re ready to give up, tired of running, or feel like you’re drowning, please listen to this very personal bonus episode.

Do you Feel Hopeless?

Want more?

self-care holidays

12 Snarky Self-Care Tips for the Holidays

This Holiday Bonus Edition of the #AskSteveAustin podcast features Steve Austin and Robert Vore, chatting about several snarky (but honest) self-care tips for the holidays.

self-care holidays

Self-Care Tips for the Holidays

The holiday season is upon us. I can hardly stand the excitement of family get-togethers and out-of-town guests. No, really…I can hardly stand it. If you dread the holidays as much as me, today’s bonus episode includes a whole list of ways to guard yourself against the holiday chaos everyone somehow looks forward to every single year.


Intro by Alex and Jason (or is it Jason and Alex?) of Not Your Pastor’s Podcast.

Robert Vore has worked for various ministries & non-profits in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and England. His writing has been featured on The Mighty, Relevant Magazine, Charisma News, Thought Catalog, Patheos, and more. Robert also co-hosts a podcast on Christianity & mental health called CXMH, as well as being a certified QPR Suicide Prevention Instructor for groups of any size. He is currently working towards his Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

Get Steve’s book, Self-Care for the Wounded Soul, at today!

Weekly Affirmation: I AM at Peace.

Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.
-Henri Nouwen

Who are you? At the core of your being – who are you? Steve Austin’s weekly affirmation #5 is all about being at peace. When we learn to live in peace with God, others, and (most importantly) ourselves, the wind may howl, the waves may crash, and the thunder may boom all around us, but our hearts remain unshaken.

Welcome to the 5th and final week of Steve Austin’s affirmation episode. This week’s theme: peace. This special feature is a mix of affirmations, meditation, contemplation, and prayer. Steve hopes it encourages you to get silent, look deep into your soul, below the surface of all the noise and find out who you are at the core of your being.


Order your copy of Self-Care for the Wounded Soul: 21 Days of Messy Grace, by Steve Austin today on Amazon.


burned out sabbath

Burned Out? How to Sabbath in a Noisy World

In episode 36 of The #AskSteveAustin Podcast, Steve Austin chats with J. Dana Trent about her new book, For Sabbath’s Sake: Embracing Your Need for Rest, Worship, and Community. If you’re burned out and ready to learn how to create a sabbath plan in this busy, 24/7 world, this is the episode you’ve been waiting for!

burned out sabbath

Show notes:

Today’s questions:

  • What are the roots of sabbath and why is it applicable in today’s world?
  • How can we begin to see Sabbath as liberating, rather than just one more thing to add to our already insurmountable to-do list?
  • For those of us who identify as clergy, or even spiritual helpers, self-care often gets tossed to the wayside, due to the various tasks that seem to beg for our immediate attention. What are a few tips you’d give to those who are too busy to practice much Sabbath on Sundays?
  • What issues does the church (as a whole) need to address when it comes to sabbath-keeping?
  • What do you mean when you say relational Sabbath?
  • What are some practical tips for overcoming obstacles and keeping sabbath in a noisy, 24/7 world?
  • You talk about crafting a sabbath plan. Where do we even begin?
  • Stealing Sabbath Back (series from 2014)

The Rev. J. Dana Trent is an ordained Baptist clergywoman, award-winning author and World Religions faculty member at Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, NC. Her work has appeared on, Religion Dispatches, Religion News Service, The Christian Century, and Sojourners. Her second book, For Sabbath’s Sake: Embracing Your Need for Rest, Worship, and Community, is available now. She loves naps with cats, vegetarian food, and teaches weight-lifting for the YMCA. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @jdanatrent on Facebook.

4 ways to recover your life

4 Ways to Recover Your Life

In Episode 35, Steve Austin chats with his friend and life coaching colleague, Sheena Jeffers, about practical and powerful ways to recover your life.

So many people feel buried under piles of shame, secrets, fear, and unrealistic expectations. If you’re tired of just barely getting by, and are ready to start living the fullest life possible, this is the conversation you’ve been waiting for!

4 Ways to recover your life

Sheena Jeffers is a writer, dancer, yoga teacher, and wellness life coach currently living full-time on her sailboat in Norfolk, Virginia. Originally from Richmond, Virginia, Sheena grew up the granddaughter of a Southern-Baptist preacher in a small town.

She studied English and Journalism at Virginia Commonwealth University and after graduating college, she started the internationally-known dance education blog, Ballet Shoes & Bobby Pins.

She wrote for while completing graduate school where she studied innovative learning techniques through the arts.

Sheena founded and co-owns WELLwomen, Inc., a corporation dedicated to the replenishment of women. She promotes wholehearted living through private yoga and life coaching sessions, as well as her writing on her blog and

Sheena lives on a 43-foot Catamaran named Seas Life, and hopes to bring wellness to the world around her wherever she travels.

Show notes:

Today we’re talking about some of life’s big questions:

  1. Who are you?
  2. Why are you here?
  3. Where are you going?

After listening to today’s episode, listeners can go to and click on the show notes for today’s episode to sign up for my FREE Self-Discovery Starter Kit. ( This free resource includes a series of 4 emails with printable worksheets for each day.

4 Steps to Recover Your Life:


i am connected

Weekly Affirmation #4: I AM Connected

We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.

Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.

-Brene’ Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

i am connected


Who are you? At the core of your being – who are you? Steve Austin’s weekly affirmation #4 is all about being connected. When we are connected to God, others, and (most importantly) our selves, it is hard to feel alone. Thomas Merton said, ““Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.”

Welcome to Week Four of Steve Austin’s weekly affirmation episode. Each week, this will be a mix of affirmations, meditation, contemplation, and prayer. Steve hopes it encourages you to get silent, look deep into your soul, below the surface of all the noise and find out who you are at the core of your being.

brene brown quote connection

If you have a suggestion for this weekly feature, please email Steve at today. If you’d like to suggest a topic or request Steve’s perspective on a particular word, please reach out!


Music provided by Tony Anderson. Check out Tony’s website here. Tony says, “What I write is simply an overflow of interactions I have with my own brokenness. Some of it comes in dreams – other times it emerges from seasons of sorrow, humiliation, warfare, joy, and pain. In each piece, I am audibly sharing my heart, and it is the highest privilege to hear from people who resonate with it.” Music from the score of “The Heart of Man”. Get information on the film here.

How to Design a Life of Authenticity

How to Design a Life of Authenticity

In Episode 31 of the #AskSteveAustin Podcast, Steve is joined by two of his IRL friends, Dennis Gable and Angie Von Slaughter. Dennis and Angie are designers who know a thing or two about messy grace and vulnerability. Listen to this powerful conversation between three great friends.

How to Design a Life of Authenticity

Show notes:

  • Story and the power of vulnerability
  • VLNRable app
  • What does it mean to be held with open hands?

  • When we say “design” or “art”, are we talking about the same thing?

  • At the root of design is problem-solving.

  • Self-Care for the Wounded Soul, by Steve Austin

  • Article by The Atlantic about Alice Rawsthorn and her book, Hello World: Where Design Meets Life

  • “Design is one of the most powerful forces in our lives, whether or not we are aware of it, and can also be inspiring, empowering and enlightening,” – Rawsthorn

  • “I find the old-fashioned assumption that design is somehow inferior to art to be deeply damaging.” – Rawsthorn

  • “As digital products become ever more powerful and versatile, design has an important role to play in enabling us to use them confidently, efficiently and, if we’re very lucky, enjoyably.” – Rawsthorn

  • “If you believe in design as a powerful and productive medium that can help to build a better life, it stands to reason that we need the best possible designers to do so,” she continued. “We are not likely to get them if design is seen as so marginal a discipline that its practitioners are eager to reclassify themselves as artists. Also, the richer, more diverse, and [more] inclusive design becomes, the more compelling it will seem, thereby enabling it to attract the high caliber of designers that society needs.” – Rawsthorn

  • When you ring the doorbell at someone’s home, do you use your index finger or thumb?
  • “If your identity is broken, your life is broken.” -Mike Foster

  • “There’s no greater place of freedom, being a human, than to look in the mirror and like who you see.” -Dennis Gable

  • “Design should always be in the service of a better life.” – Rawsthorn

  • “Hope is in the struggle. Joy is in the rebuilding.” -Dennis Gable

  • CXMH Episode with Kay Warren

  • “Hope is the thing with claws.” – Steve Austin

  • 8 Habits of Love, by Ed Bacon

  • “We have this really weird way of compartmentalizing ourselves, but that’s not how it works. God is everywhere, and in all, and accepting, and loving, and sitting with us in it all.” – Angie Von Slaughter

  • “The biggest problem with the church is that we have this fallacy that we have to be perfect to lead and help people. People are leaving the church in droves because they want realness.” – Angie Von Slaughter

  • “We forget to give people permission to be fully human. We were human before we were ever anything else.” – Steve Austin

  • “Not one of us are alone in the macro details of our life.” – Dennis Gable


Dennis makes a living as a creative director & designer. He’s lives in PHX with his wife & two phenomenal children. He cares deeply about people getting out of the place they’re in and moving forward into something greater.

Angie Von Slaughter is a Phoenix-based creative, musician and speaker. She is the Founder of Mousse Creative, a branding & design agency as well as Co-Founder of VLNRABLE, an app, and podcast that dives into vulnerability and living genuinely. After years of living a partitioned life, she seeks to guide others down a path of wholeness. She frequently speaks on authenticity, creativity and the intersection of faith and sexuality. Connect with Angie at

Do you like who you see in the mirror?