The Soul Forge Podcast The Soul Forge is a place of silent mystery, quiet contemplation, and outright mayhem! Shawn Vanderloo guides you through the adventures of living, but mostly talks about stupid things he has done because of girls. Topics include life and love, sex and dating, joy and heartache, memories and loss, and so much more! Don’t worry, it’s not nearly as pretentious as it sounds.

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Soul Forge Podcast Welcome to the Soul Forge, a place of silent mystery, quiet contemplation, and outright mayhem! Shawn Vanderloo guides you through the adventures of living! We all want to love and be loved. Am I normal? Are you normal? Is happiness possible? Let's find out together!

  • Time For A Change - 118
    by Shawn Vanderloo on September 12, 2019 at 10:08 am

    Yup, it's time for a change. When things become stale, old or boring, we must look for a fresh perspective. We cannot continue to live by our old patterns. Like a snake that sheds its skin, we too must start over, begin again. This episode of the Soul Forge will take on the topic of change. Your host Shawn is joined by his brother Robin, and together they discuss and examine the changes in their lives. Robin has recently changed everything about his life. He had a job, a car, and a house in Sault Ste. Marie. Due to certain circumstances he lost all of those things. He needed to make a change. He could have remained in his hometown, or he could start fresh. Start fresh is what he did. Moving in with his brother Shawn helped Robin financially and emotionally. Shawn recently turned 43. The seasons are changing. The postal routes are also changing next week and Shawn is forced to change his shift. It is time for a change. Everything needs to change. Shawn would like to leave Timmins. He wants a new job, a new car, a new house. Winning the lottery is not an option, and yet something drastic needs to change in Shawn's life. Perhaps this is a continuation of his recent existential crisis. What changes will Shawn make? Will he stay stuck in familiar patterns? Only time will tell. This week's podcast promo: The Nerdy Laser

  • DragonCon 2019 - 117
    by Shawn Vanderloo on September 5, 2019 at 10:08 am

    DragonCon 2019 is over, but it was an amazing experience. On this episode, Shawn talks about all the adventures experienced, incredible people met, the panels attended, and so much more. DragonCon is held in Atlanta, Georgia over the Labor Day weekend. This was the 33rd event. To get to Atlanta, Shawn drove his little black car from Timmins, Ontario. He crossed the province of Ontario, and then drove through 5 states. Each way, there and back again, took approximately 22 hours over 2 days. Would he do it again? He certainly would! 4500 kilometres is a long way to go to get your geek on, but totally worth it. On this episode, you will hear about the celebrity panels Shawn and friends attended. The number of people Shawn met is beyond counting. One of the highlights was meeting Kine Corder from episode 41 of the Soul Forge Podcast. Other highlights include Jarman Day, Mike and Judy Faber, Robert J. Sawyer, Mike Gordon and the rest of the ESO Network crew. Sweet Tea is amazing.Don't stay at the Motel 6 in Findlay, Ohio.Check out Shawn's Facebook page for the DragonCon photo album: https://www.facebook.com/vanderloo This week's podcast promos: ESO Patreon and Earth Station Who

  • Roots Run Deep - 116
    by Shawn Vanderloo on August 29, 2019 at 10:05 am

    Geek roots run deep. What is the fake eyeball sneeze story and how does it provide the jump into this episode? You can thank Chantale for this.... Shawn has always been into the worlds of science fiction and fastasy. He also strives for deeper meanings and connections in the world. On this episode, Shawn takes you on a journey into the heart of himself. You will discover why his geek roots run so deep, and where these roots came from, and how they took hold. Through poetry, collecting, work and the like, Shawn discusses how he has tried to reach other people. The world is a scary and lonely place, but he believes that through common experiences, and a bit of communition, connections with others can be made. For the benefit of self, and the rest of humanity. This episode is wide ranging. There are so many ideas and topics covered, but some of these are collecting, selling, television, podcasting and toys. This week's podcast promo: Earth Station One &nbs

  • The Skeptical Atheist - 115
    by Shawn Vanderloo on August 22, 2019 at 10:05 am

    In conversation with Jarman, the skeptical atheist and co-host of A Play On Nerds Podcast. Friend of the show, Jarman, whom you all know at the voice of the opening narration of this very podcast, sits down for a chat with Shawn. They engage in an animated discussion regarding the world the atheism. We learn about Jarman's religious upbringing, what changed, and where he is today. Topics includes morality, prayers, dating and so many other things. You'll also learn something about Shawn's spirituality. Atheism is not an affirmative belief that there is no god nor does it answer any other question about what a person believes. It is simply a rejection of the assertion that there are gods. Atheism is too often defined incorrectly as a belief system. Despite the fact that atheism is not a religion, atheism is protected by many of the same Constitutional rights that protect religion. That, however, does not mean that atheism is itself a religion, only that our sincerely held (lack of) beliefs are protected in the same way as the religious beliefs of others. Similarly, many “interfaith” groups will include atheists. This, again, does not mean that atheism is a religious belief. This week's podcast promo: Flopcast

  • Move Along Home - 114
    by Shawn Vanderloo on August 15, 2019 at 10:10 am

    It's time to move along home. This week on the Soul Forge Podcast we are talking about moving. We mainly focus on what it is like to move as a child when you have no choice in the matter. Of course, we also touch on moving as an adult, although this is usually not as traumatic. So get ready, pack your bags, and join us on a journey into the unknown. Our guest this week is Steve. He comes to us from the A Play On Nerds podcast. This is a great podcast and if you haven't checked it out yet, you owe it to yourself to do so. Steve's mom was a pastor. As such, they were required to move every few years. These moves were often across the country. Steve found himself in a lot of strange situations. What is it like to be one of the only white kids in your class? You'll find out on this episode. So listen to us chat away about our various moving experiences. This may not be a 'lessons' episode, but you'll be highly entertained as we move along home. This week's podcast promo: DragonCon Khan Report

  • Tactical Minis or Quick Shots - 113
    by Shawn Vanderloo on August 8, 2019 at 10:10 am

    With this experiement of an episode, the Soul Forge Podcast presents something wholly new. Whether we call them tactical minis or quick shots, each segment brings you on a journey. While most podcasts invite you to experience a single topic, this episode presents several different ideas. A tactical mini is an idea. It is an idea with such focus that it cannot be expanded upon. Each mini will touch on a feeling that is unable to be contained. Single ideas. Single topics. Focus. Depth. Call them quick shots or tactical minis -- the name has not been locked down as of yet. The basic idea is that something has come to my attention and is intruding upon my mind. I need to get it out of my system. Therefore, I drill down into the heart of an issue and get it off my mind, and I free my soul. These tactical minis or quick shots are only three to five minutes in length. The concept is such that the topic of the mini is too small to become an entire full length episode. Therefore, I have recorded 4 minis and put them into this one episode. It is the first of its kind - an experiment of sorts to see if this whole idea is workable. Your feedback is encouraged and appreciated. What do you think of this idea? You are more than welcome to record a tactical mini of your own to be played on a future episode of the Soul Forge Podcast. Send your emails to soulforgepodcast@gmail.com or tweet your feelings on the show to @soulforgepod This week's podcast promos: Cigar Nerds, Pop Culture Cosmos, The Monster Scifi ShowRusted Robot Podcast

  • Faith and Magical Thinking - 112
    by Shawn Vanderloo on August 1, 2019 at 10:10 am

    What is faith and magical thinking? On this episode of the Soul Forge Podcast we take a deep dive into the world of the unknown. Faith is something that you just have, or have not. And we are not talking about religious faith in a god of some kind. No - this is the faith you have that things will work out for the best, even though you don't necessarily know how this is going to come about. Magical thinking is related to this concept, but in a much more basic way. We start by discussing superstitions such as wishing upon a star, or birthday cake candle wishing. This form of faith and magical thinking is where we get our beliefs about the world. We all want to impose some type of control over events which cannot be controlled. We all want control. Magical thinking is the idea that 'if I do this, then this thing will happen.' The episode moves into the idea that we don't always get what we want, but somehow we get what we need. The universe has a way of providing for us. Some of us have an absolute unfounded faith in things just working out for us. We provide several examples from our own lives as evidence. We round out the topic by covering how we are connected to nature. And we wonder if we are all in some type of simulation. Are we somehow controlling aspects of the simulation without knowing or realizing it? This week's podcast promo: The 42 Cast

  • The Cheryl Saga - 111
    by Shawn Vanderloo on July 25, 2019 at 10:08 am

    The Cheryl saga started about 4 years ago. Although we had known each other for about a decade longer, the actual start of anything resembling intimacy began in August of 2015. As most things do, this began with flirtation and a great sense of fun. Shawn was looking for that indescribable feeling that he lost when his marriage fell apart. Cheryl was willing to stand by Shawn's side no matter what Shawn said or did to push her away. On this episode, Shawn and Cheryl discuss many aspects regarding their 4 year cycle of on-again, off-again relationship. You'll learn about the good times, the bad times, and the interference they faced from those around them. Sit back and get ready for a tale you won't soon forget. It's the Cheryl Saga! This week's podcast promo: Earth Station On

  • Drunken Fun - 110
    by Shawn Vanderloo on July 18, 2019 at 10:09 am

    It's drunken fun with Shawn and Stephanie. And Karen. And Jason. This is the fifth of the 5 episodes in the Stephanie cycle. At the end of February, my old pal Stephanie came for a visit and we recorded 5 episodes back to back to back. Starting with episode 90 these shows have been released every 5 weeks. So for the complete experience, you'll want to listen to episodes 90, 95, 100, and 105 before listening to this, episode 110. However, you do not need to have heard the other shows to enjoy this one. As we recorded, we tried several craft beers that Stephanie brought with her. This episode, unlike the other 4, does not have a coherent theme. You could almost consider it pure chaos, except for the fact that it is hilarious. It turns out that when I (Shawn) am drunk, I become a raving loon. There is a certain amount of structure to the episode, but most of it is people trying to keep me on topic. Enjoy this episode for what it is. Raw and unedited. This week's podcast promo: Myopia Defend Your Childhood

  • Booze, Babies and Motorbikes
    by Shawn Vanderloo on July 11, 2019 at 10:10 am

    What do booze, babies, and motorbikes all have in common? They fill out the background of this very special episode. Our friend Whit returns for his third time on the Soul Forge. He's already talked with us about sex and virginity. Now he has a few things to tell us about his life before podcasting. The first thing we do is get an update on where Whit is currently, and what he's been up to lately. This episode was recorded just a couple of days before the birth of his first child. You will get to hear about his thoughts and feelings on the upcoming birth. Learn about his fears and his excitement. I will provide you with all the baby details at the end of the episode. 2016 was the worst year of Whit's life. After years of people who were close to him dying, he had had enough and was completely over life. Too many deaths lead to depression and feelings of helplessness. Whit had been working out and trying to lose weight. After a particularly difficult death, he began drinking heavily. Drinking lead to some drug use. Destructive behaviour was on Whit's menu. He tells the story of his drinking and drugging and how he heard the wake up call. Almost trying Meth snapped him out of his dark behaviour. Find out all the details on what Whit learned. This week's podcast promo: Nerdbliss

  • Now Entering High School - 108
    by Shawn Vanderloo on July 4, 2019 at 9:57 am

    Grade 8 graduation and entering high school is a major milestone in a young person's life. On this week's Soul Forge I sit with my son Bishop to get his take on this life changing time. We do this episode in two parts. We recorded the first half before he graduated, and before he went on his year end trip to Toronto. We then followed this up with a second recording after his return, and after the graduation ceremony. These two conversations are melded together into this podcast. You will learn what Bishop's thoughts and hopes and fears are. He will regale you with stories from his Toronto trip. Toronto is a big place and the school kids went to many places and experienced many events. And we top it off with his hopes for the future, and how he felt about graduation day. Grade 9 is only two months away, and he has a few thoughts about this as well. This week's podcast promo: Watchalon of Rassilon

  • Lisa Beere - Author, Poet, Brain Injury Survivor
    by Shawn Vanderloo on June 27, 2019 at 10:10 am

    On episode 107, Shawn has a chat with Lisa Beere. She is a children's author, song writer, poet, and a brain injury survivor. On Writing: the challenge of longer stories vs stories meant for children; paying attention to the details in long format writing. Lisa talks about the writer's routine and what she does daily. The publishing industry can be difficult to navigate. Two useful resources for aspiring writers are Writer's Market 2019: The Most Trusted Guide to Getting Published and Guide to Literary Agents 2019: The Most Trusted Guide to Getting Published. We learn about Lisa's website and some of her book events. She tells us about some currents and upcoming works, as well as a few things about the people who have illustrated her books, such as Stephanie Daze who drew the picture used in the cover art for this episode. Brain Injury: Lisa recounts her story and how she came to acquire a brain injury. She talks about concussions, impact areas and the factors of recovery. She goes over the positive effects from her injury. We will also discuss mindfulness and slowing down to focus on the moment. You will also learn about the extent of Lisa's brain injury, her speech issues and hearing problems. And you will find out about what happens when listening to music, the radio, telephone sounds and what she has learning about noise desensitization therapy. Find Lisa's website at http://lisa.beere.ca/ and catch her on Twitter https://twitter.com/LisaBeereAuthor This week's promo: ESO Patreon

  • Weirdest Guest Ever - 106
    by Shawn Vanderloo on June 20, 2019 at 10:10 am

    Get ready for the weirdest guest the Soul Forge Podcast has ever had! Following up on the recent existential crisis episode, our guest this week touches on 3 emotions that everyone is familiar with...that being fear, anger and anxiety. Interestingly, these emotions are not, by definition, linked to depression in all cases. We dive into the loss of both a wife and a mother within a year of each other, and what that can do to a person's mental health. These events become linked. It becomes difficult to separate one from the other and find a healthy way to deal and heal. Many of us have a strong desire to help others at our own expense. As such, we tend to surround ourselves with a variety of friends with poor mental health. Let's call these people Mental Illness Friends. It is easier to help others than it is to deal with our own issues. Loss leads to feelings of impermanence. Nothing feels like forever. Walls of emotional isolation are built and fortified. We must face our expectations of reality and what actually is. How do we deal with our anger and other feelings? Find us on YouTube by going to this link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCataaeTRQltObb7n1GHW_qw/videos This week's podcast promo: Nerdbliss Podcast

  • Time Slice Witnesses - 105
    by Shawn Vanderloo on June 13, 2019 at 10:06 am

    What if you could send your mind through history and witness a slice of time? Where would you go? What would you see? On this episode of the Soul Forge, Shawn and Stephanie use this thought experiment to discuss their dreams and desires. Starting off with a brief discussion about what super powers they would have, and why, the duo dive into the past. Join them and recreate your own mind adventures. In this scenario, your consciousness is sent back in time. You cannot change any event you are a witness to. You can experience the feelings of the people you see. You can watch from above like a flying drone camera, or you can be inside the head of a person living at that time. Where will you go? In this episode, Shawn discusses going back and seeing what the Woodstock music festival of 1969 was really like. It's like being there without all the mess. Stephanie wants to see the crucifiction of Jesus firsthand. What really happened and what were the people thinking? Did the events really go as reported in the Bible? Was Jesus even a real person? The only way to know for certain is to be a time slice witness. The death of Socrates, the first few meetings of your grandparents, and the first time you made love are further ideas discussed in this episode. Shawn's earliest memory is just after his baptism at approximately 9 months old. The memory is vivid. Did the event really occur as in his memory? The only way to know for sure is by becoming a time slice witness. This week's podcast promo: Cigar Nerds

  • Wanna Start A Podcast?
    by Shawn Vanderloo on June 6, 2019 at 10:11 am

    If you wanna start a podcast, there are some things you gotta know! Okay, so, here it is; I'm going to tell you the basic outline on how to start a podcast of your very own. I'll be going over some of the basic facts, and I'll be sharing my story and what I have learned from my five and a half year journey. Keep in mind that this is my own perspective and other people have gone about things in different ways. The first thing you will need is an idea to base your show around. In this episode, I tell you what went into my thought process. What knowledge did I already have that would help me to create a show that I would enjoy producing week after week? Remember that the name of your show is extremely important for your branding purpose. And episode titles are likely the hardest part of the whole enterprise. Equipment is important but there are many different kinds and set ups. Depending on your level of experience, income and passion, your equipment set-up will be unique to you. You're going to need some kind of microphone. These range in price from $10 to several hundreds or more. You need software to record your voice onto. You need editing software. And you are going to need a host in which to upload your finished episodes. Post your episode to as many different places as possible including TuneIn, Stitcher, and iTunes. Social media can be your friend. Post to as many places as possible and interact with everyone you can. Cross promote with similar podcasts. Make connections. Use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and any other platforms you feel comfortable with. Almost everything I have learned about podcasting is included in this episode. I've made many mistakes, and made many friends along the way. The number one thing to remember is that if you have a passion for something, podcast about it. If not, podcasting may not be for you. This week's podcast promo: The PWR Spot Show

  • Road Trips & Rock Walls
    by Shawn Vanderloo on May 30, 2019 at 10:11 am

    Shawn is back from all the road trips and has stories to tell. Enter the Soul Forge for all the details. You'll hear what it is like on a road trip in an old RV with fathers and sons. Listen in for the what it's like in the north eastern part of the United States. Did Shawn ever track down Stephen King? How many break downs occurred? What are the Reversing Falls? Bear and Deer and Moose, oh my! Robin gives us an update on his working situation and tries to contain his laughter. Any further show notes would just spoil the episode. This week's podcast promo: ESDCU

  • The Happiness Ninja - 102
    by Shawn Vanderloo on May 23, 2019 at 10:45 am

    The Happiness Ninja visits the Soul Forge Podcast! Meet Lisa Wilson. She wears many hats as a successful life coach. She is known as a transformation champion, the happiness ninja, and a communication guru. Being a life coach brings with it many responsibilities and as such requires many differents kinds of skills. You will learn exactly how and why Lisa entered into life coaching as a profession. Her Human Resources experience was a definite asset to her new career. The whole thing really got started when she was laid off from work. Most people would see being let go as a negative experience. But not Lisa. She viewed this change as a gift, and as a push to start anew. Transformation services: we learn how this works as a career or a job. When someone is laid off from work, Lisa will come in as part of what is called transiition services. She helps the former employee as they are leaving their work for the last time. Life coaching: we hear about the specifics of the job as it relates to personal and corporate clients. No. The word 'no' can be a complete sentence. We are over extended in our personal and professional lives and sometimes just saying no is the best option. No explanation or excuses needed. Communication. It is important to learn how to communicate with others, but it is more important in some cases, to communicate with ourselves. We need to get to know who we are as people, and we need to listen to when our bodies tell us we need to slow down. Be comfortable with yourself. The happiness equation. Society is always telling us that we need more stuff to be happy. We are always chasing happiness. Society tells us that DO + HAVE = BE HAPPY.  But that equation is wrong and needs to be looked at another way. We need to be happy and do things that are fulfilling and then we will have what we need. BE + DO = HAVE. Find Lisa on the web at lmwcoaching.ca and on all social media at @lmwconsultation This week's podcast promo: Geekly Oddcast

  • Existential Crisis - 101
    by Shawn Vanderloo on May 16, 2019 at 11:08 am

    It's time for an existential crisis! We were all just about due for one anyway. Just like clock work, here is a nice big one for you all to digest. This week on the Soul Forge Podcast, I will be going over the details of my partial mental breakdown. Mind you, this is not a complete collapse. I still retain my sanity and self-awareness; as well as my self preservation instincts. Some times people need help. This is one of those times. You will be hearing about how I have been crying at commercials and television shows. I am not one to express emotions very easily, and yet, they seem to be leaking from me beyond my powers to control them. The irrational anger and irritibilty may just be one of the most intensely annoying aspects of this crisis. Worrying about things that will never or can never happen is exhausting. It is especially bad when you make up scenarios without realizing you are even thinking about them. I suppose it is normal to worry about a road trip where you will be in a motorhome for a week with family members that do not always get along so well. I have that to look forward to in the coming week! I have learned I need to stop putting other people first. I need to take care of my own needs. And I need to stop being afraid of ending up alone. Time to stop taking the unhealthy relationships just because they are there. Other concerns of mine include the collapse of civilization, the extinction of the orangutan within the next 10 years, the garbage in the oceans, and all the money we are wasting which could be better spent on saving the world from human misconduct. This week's podcast promo: Nerdy Laser Podcast

  • Birthday Sex - Episode 100
    by Shawn Vanderloo on May 9, 2019 at 10:10 am

    Sex for your birthday is a wonderful experience. It is even more spectacular when you are losing your virginity. So what better way to celebrate the one hundredth (100th) episode of The Soul Forge Podcast than by a look back at the time Shawn lost his innocense? The best part? On this episode, the girl involved is on the show to tell her side of the story. For episode 100, Shawn and Stephanie get together and listen to episode 31 of the podcast. On that episode, Shawn broke the story of his first love. He reviewed his thoughts, feelings and memories. And he speculated on what would make Stephanie decide to sleep with him. Stephanie after all, is a lesbian. It's not every man that can say he lost his virginity to a lesbian. So on this episode, we hear Stephanie's perspective on the situation. If you have not listened to episode 31 you may want to go do that first. It is not necessary to enjoy this 100th episode, but it would add some context to the discussion at hand. That episode was recorded without any input from Stephanie. Shawn was going through his memories and filling in the background details of his life. Sit back and relax as we celebrate 100 amazing, crazy, head-scratching episodes of The Soul Forge Podcast. Soul Forge - the only podcast that makes you take a hard look at your own life. This week's podcast promo: Rusted Robot Podcast

  • My Brother's Keeper - 99
    by Shawn Vanderloo on May 2, 2019 at 10:16 am

    Shawn's brother Robin has moved in, and now it is up to Shawn to be his brother's keeper. Robin is undergoing a complete reboot and overhaul of his life. It is up to Shawn to guide and nurture Robin on this quest. On this recording, the brothers discuss their new endeavour. They discuss the new living situation as well as what it is going to take to put Robin back on the right track. Robin talks about what went wrong in his life to bring him to this point. He analyzes what he has left behind him. He talks openly and with candor about what he needs to do, and what he wants in the way of help from his brother. Listen in as Robin tells you about the jobs he has lost, and the reasons for this. He will explain his ways of thinking. Robin explores his passions and his hopes and dreams. He may have hit rock bottom, but he has not given up hope, and he is not alone. Shawn and Robin explore what it is going to take to make a success out of what they have been given. This week's podcast promo: Pod Cassero