For those who innovate, deviate, and create their own path–the place where I interview the brave few who step out of line. Welcome to the Out of Line with Cat Poland podcast! I’m new to podcasting, so bear with me as I grow and improve, but I’m really enjoying this new venture. You can listen right here, or find me in iTunes, Spotify and Google Podcasts:

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You’ve seen the puzzle pieces, the lighting it up blue, the walks…but autism is so much more than these well-intentioned, but sometimes harmful awareness campaigns. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful autism is in the common lexicon now, but I am very passionate about telling the rest of the story. Or rather, letting autistic people tell the rest of their story. In this episode, I interview Heidi and Victoria, two Australian women who are also autistic. Their new podcast, Aspies Etc., caught my attention, and I wanted to pick their neurodiverse minds on everything from how to better raise my autistic daughter and what it’s like to launch into the podcast world. I’ve been writing about my daughter and autism for years. I haven’t always done it right. But I’ve done it. And I have …

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“A third-degree burn to the soul.”

This is how my mom describes the pain of losing a son to suicide after revelations of clergy sexual abuse and a cover up from the Catholic Church. She’s a fierce advocate for survivors and their families, and I’m so proud of the impact she’s had. 

As our family lit the candle of hope this week of Advent, I knew I needed to interview my mom, especially after I experienced a fairly severe mental health recently. Hope has a distinct meaning to our family.

My mom was also a teacher for many, many years, and was happy to answer questions from former students. Growing up, I was known as “Mrs. Patterson’s daughter,” and that’s an honor I proudly carry.

There’s so much more to unpack here. Our family’s story is…a lot. But …

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“Risk is the tightrope that connects us to what we want.”

Those words. This woman. (Who took great delight in the fact that I’d gotten water stains and a honey crisp apple sticker on her memoir.)

This week’s guest is poet and author Irene O’Garden, who Elizabeth Gilbert calls a “walking, writing, beam of light.” And she’s right. Irene shares with us her wisdom on how gratitude can be transformational, and why, in spite of all that is falling apart around us, we should be glad to be human. We talk about her newest book, and about the memoir that brought us together. Enjoy this week’s episode, and let gratitude fill as much space as possible in your life.

Learn more about Irene at https://ireneogarden.com. 

Check out catpoland.com/podcast for all episodes and show notes, and subscribe on …

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