Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott is the author of seven novels including, Hard Laughter, Rosie, Joe Jones, Blue Shoe, All New People, and Crooked Little Heart (the sequel to Rosie), as well as five bestselling books of non-fiction, Operating Instructions, an account of life as a single mother during her son's first year and Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, a guide to writing and the challenges of a writer's life, Traveling Mercies, a collection of autobiographical essays on faith, and Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith. Anne Lamott has been honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship, and has taught at UC Davis, as well as at writing conferences across the country. Anne's biweekly Salon Magazine "online diary," Word by Word, was voted The Best of the Web by TIME magazine. Filmmaker Freida Mock (who won an Academy Award for her documentary on Maya Lin) has made a documentary on Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird with Annie (1999). Anne's last collection of essays is Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith. Her most recent novel, entitled Imperfect Birds, was published in Spring 2010. In the Fall of 2010 Anne Lamott was inducted into the California Hall of Fame. Her latest book, Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son, is non-fiction and was released in Spring 2012. In her next book, Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers (November 2012), Anne gives us three prayers to assist us in trying times. She is also working on an essay collection entitled As in Life: New and Selected Pieces, about moving through grief and loss.

Author photo © Sam Lamott

Listen to Tami Simon's in-depth audio podcast interview with Anne Lamott:
Radical Self-Care Changes Everything »

Neal Allen

Neal Allen is a writer, spiritual coach and speaker whose chief interest is removing obstacles of the ego. He is the author of Shapes of Truth: Discover God Inside You (Self Published, 2021), and Better Days: Tame Your Inner Critic (Namaste Publishing, 2023). A former journalist and corporate executive, he earned master’s degrees in Political Science and Eastern Classics. He lives with his wife the writer, Anne Lamott, in Northern California.

Also By Author

Anne Lamott and Neal Allen: Taming Your Inner Critic

Many people have written and taught about the inner critic. But few have illuminated the subject with an approach as refreshing, innovative, and accessible as the one Neal Allen presents in his new book, Better Days—which includes a foreword by his wife, the celebrated writer Anne Lamott. 

In this podcast, Tami Simon sits down with the uniquely talented, often quirky, and always insightful couple to hear how they’ve come to understand and reframe the sneaky inner voice that manifests as an unnecessary source of torment for millions of people. Give a listen as they discuss: vulnerability as a path to relationship—and to the divine; radical silliness; the protective role of the superego (and why it’s so reluctant to give up control); the empty chair technique in gestalt therapy; giving your inner critic a new assignment in life; reclaiming the value of curiosity; destroying your false identities; anxiety and its source; tips for identifying the sometimes subtle voice of the inner critic; the futility of arguing with your inner critic; exploring the truth of who you really are; the “saying yes” practice; acceptance and surrender; and more.

Note: This episode originally aired on Sounds True One, where these special episodes of Insights at the Edge are available to watch live on video and with exclusive access to Q&As with our guests. Learn more at join.soundstrue.com.

Radical Self-Care Changes Everything

Anne Lamott is the celebrated author of many books of fiction, essays, and memoirs. Her works include Bird by Bird, Hallelujah Anyway, and Crooked Little Heart. In this special edition of Insights at the Edge originally recorded for The Self-Acceptance Summit, Tami Simon speaks with Anne about acts of “radical self-care” and how they are essential for anyone’s well-being. Anne talks about self-acceptance as an innately feminist concept, especially around issues of body image and self-esteem. Finally, Anne and Tami discuss how it is necessary to fully accept oneself before being able to show up for others, and why modern society often argues the opposite.

Anne Lamott: Radical Self-Care Changes Everything

Anne Lamott is the celebrated author of many books of fiction, essays, and memoirs. Her works include Bird by Bird, Hallelujah Anyway, and Crooked Little Heart. In this special edition of Insights at the Edge originally recorded for The Self-Acceptance Summit, Tami Simon speaks with Anne about acts of “radical self-care” and how they are essential for anyone’s well-being. Anne talks about self-acceptance as an innately feminist concept, especially around issues of body image and self-esteem. Finally, Anne and Tami discuss how it is necessary to fully accept oneself before being able to show up for others, and why modern society often argues the opposite. (54 minutes)

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Episode 1 Bonus: Open Sentences

This bonus episode will support you to take the main insights from Episode 1, “Love and Loss,” deeper into your life. Jess will guide you through a simple yet profound exercise called Open Sentences where you’ll be prompted to speak from your heart. It will take about 25 minutes. 

All you’ll need is a friend and a place that is quiet enough for you to speak freely and listen carefully to one another. If that’s not possible and you want to try this alone, you can answer out loud or write the questions in a journal. 

The prompts for this exercise are:

  • Some things I love about being alive on earth today are…
  • What breaks my heart about living on earth in this time is… 
  • If I withhold my feelings about what’s happening in the world right now, I do so because… 
  • What keeps me going when the world breaks my heart is…

We recommend starting a podcast club with friends or family to do these practices together. Links and assets to help prompt reflection and build community can be found with every episode on WeAreTheGreatTurning.com.

Judith Orloff: The Healing Power of Empathy

When we think about those special traits or abilities we consider to be “superpowers,” empathy isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind. In fact, empathy is often seen as a weakness, not a strength. Through her bestselling books and her work training new psychiatrists, Dr. Judith Orloff is helping to change the narrative around empathy. In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Orloff about her new book, The Genius of Empathy, and how we can each begin to cultivate an empathic style that supports a thriving life. 

Tune in now for their conversation on how empathy opens the heart and fosters healing, the beauty of self-empathy and how it differs from self-compassion, empathy overwhelm, the four styles of empathy and how to identify your own, boundary-setting tools for empaths, the empathy spectrum, empathy deficiency disorders, trauma and empathy, letting go of resentment and helping it let go of you, empathic attunement, the practice of shielding, transmitting empathic love to people and places in need, observing without absorbing, and more.

Note: This episode originally aired on Sounds True One, where these special episodes of Insights at the Edge are available to watch live on video and with exclusive access to Q&As with our guests. Learn more at join.soundstrue.com.

Anita Moorjani: Embodying Love in a Fear-Based World

How do we stem the tides of fear and aggression sweeping over our divided world? How can we spread the love that heals and uplifts everyone? Sharing insights from her bestselling book, Dying to Be Me, and her latest work, Sensitive Is the New Strong, Anita Moorjani offers her hope-giving answers to these questions of compelling urgency for our times. 

Tune in for this remarkable teacher’s inspiring (and in many ways utterly mind-blowing) conversation with Sounds True’s founder, Tami Simon, as they discuss: a nonlinear understanding of time; living fearlessly; how to attune to the helping beings that surround us at all times; raising your vibrational frequency; the practice of asking for signs; following your intuition; how humanity’s belief in scarcity is contributing to our self-destruction; the root cause of the divisiveness in today’s world, and why we need a new way of defining “strength”; moving beyond limitations inherited from our families and cultures; the consequences of repressing oneself; becoming unapologetically who we are; the body as a reflection of our state of consciousness; multiple lives, one soul; embracing your gifts as an empath; and more.

Note: This episode originally aired on Sounds True One, where these special episodes of Insights at the Edge are available to watch live on video and with exclusive access to Q&As with our guests. Learn more at join.soundstrue.com.

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