Rowan Mangan and Martha Beck, with Rowan's arm around Martha

BewilderedTM

with martha beck
and rowan mangan

What if we stopped listening to the controlling voice of the culture around us, and instead learned to reconnect with our own true nature? 

Sometimes we aren’t even sure why we feel so bewildered… and discontented… and even downright miserable. Often it’s because we have let the forces of society replace our own instinctive knowledge of what is right for us. 

Now, it’s time for us to find that voice again—before it’s too late.

For Martha and Rowan, Job One is to live according to our deepest truths, making the commitment to feeling good even when it means looking weird. We believe that this is how we will reinvent our world—from the inside out— to create a society that’s kinder, more equitable, and more ecologically sustainable than the one we see around us right now. 

This is the vision that we laugh and stumble and chat and feel our way towards here on this podcast.  Did we mention LAUGH? We want no part of personal and global transformation if it isn’t fun!

So if you struggle to find a place where people who are as idealistic and brokenhearted, as silly and deeply sincere, as bewildered as you are—you might have just arrived. 

Welcome!

Latest Podcast Episodes

Episode #34

Cave Early

Image for Episode #34 Cave Early for the Bewildered Podcast with Martha Beck and Rowan Mangan

Our culture stresses that we should never, ever give up on anything, no matter what the cost to our happiness or health. Yet our bodies have a way of telling us when something isn’t right—first in a whisper but [...]

Image for Episode #33 Elizabeth Gilbert gets Bewildered! for the Bewildered Podcast with Martha Beck and Rowan Mangan

Martha and Rowan have a very special guest on this episode of Bewildered—the incredible Elizabeth Gilbert! 

The bestselling author of EAT PRAY LOVE joins Martha and Ro to discuss the question: Why is our culture so hostile toward women who [...]

Episode #32

Longing and Belonging

Image for Episode #32 Longing and Belonging for the Bewildered Podcast with Martha Beck and Rowan Mangan

It’s that time again on Bewildered…Martha and Ro are bringing you another installment of The BeWild Files, where they talk about things that YOU, their listeners, are trying to figure out.

In this episode they dive into questions from listeners [...]

Episode #31

A Space for Dreaming

Image for Episode #31 A Space for Dreaming for the Bewildered Podcast with Martha Beck and Rowan Mangan

Culture teaches us to strive for stability—and that once we have it, we’re never meant to change. But in nature, everything is always changing, including us.

In this episode of Bewildered, Martha and Rowan explore the fascinating process of letting [...]

Image for Episode #30 [Best of Bewildered] As Good As It Gets? for the Bewildered Podcast with Martha Beck and Rowan Mangan

Martha and Rowan are taking a brief break, but the podcast is still here for you! This week we have another “Best of Bewildered” episode for you to enjoy.

Why is it that sometimes when life looks most amazing, it [...]

Image for Episode #29 [Best of Bewildered] Perfection Paralysis for the Bewildered Podcast with Martha Beck and Rowan Mangan

Do you strive for perfection? Or does the need to be perfect prevent you from striving?

We all have some kind of beauty or wisdom inside of us, but “perfection paralysis” often stops us from sharing it. In this episode [...]

Episode #28

Scary Scary Freedom

Image for Episode #28 Scary Scary Freedom for the Bewildered Podcast with Martha Beck and Rowan Mangan

Freedom. Many of us value it above everything else—so why does it sometimes feel so terrifying?

In this episode of Bewildered, Martha and Rowan talk about how the culture teaches us to fear freedom—that to be safe we must do [...]

Episode #27

Raising Wildlings

Image for Episode #27 Raising Wildlings for the Bewildered Podcast with Martha Beck and Rowan Mangan

When it comes to parenting, culture comes on strong. There are so many contradictory opinions out there, and the judgmental attacks on parents come fast and furious about every little thing.

Under this kind of pressure, how can parents raise [...]

Image for Episode #26 Brainwashed into Happy for the Bewildered Podcast with Martha Beck and Rowan Mangan

Have you ever found yourself answering “I’m fine” when the exact opposite was true?

Toxic positivity, or what Martha and Ro call “happy-washing,” is the cultural pressure to force ourselves into a state of performative happiness.

In this episode of Bewildered, [...]

Episode #25

Are You a Messy?

Image for Episode #25 Are You a Messy? for the Bewildered Podcast with Martha Beck and Rowan Mangan

A gracious German author once asked Martha if she was “a messy” after seeing the disorderly state of her hotel room. (She’d been frantically searching through her luggage moments before.)

But is being “a messy” a permanent label that defines [...]

Image for Episode #24 The Vanishing Horizon of “Enough” for the Bewildered Podcast with Martha Beck and Rowan Mangan

Is enough ever truly enough?

In this episode of Bewildered, Martha and Rowan examine our culture’s pursuit of “enough”—a pursuit that never satisfies because it never ends. 

Drawing on Asian philosophy, their own helpful (and often hilarious) stories, and the occasional [...]

Episode #23

Outfoxing Anxiety

Image for Episode #23 Outfoxing Anxiety for the Bewildered Podcast with Martha Beck and Rowan Mangan

Did you know anxiety disorders have risen 400% since the pandemic?

(And that’s just the diagnosed cases.)

The cultural idea is that we’re victims of our chemistry. But when it comes to anxiety, we have a lot more choices than we [...]

Episode #22

The Time-Bound Mind

Image for Episode #22 The Time-Bound Mind for the Bewildered Podcast with Martha Beck and Rowan Mangan

Is the culture trying to pull the wool over our eyes about time?

(Spoiler alert: YES.)

In this episode of Bewildered, Martha and Rowan explore the concept of time and our complex relationship with it.

From the “rubber time” of non-Western cultures, [...]

Image for Episode #21 Letting Yourself Off the Hook for the Bewildered Podcast with Martha Beck and Rowan Mangan

Every culture has what Martha and Ro refer to as “hooks”—powerful influences that compel us to behave a certain way and that even shape our identity. How much we buy into the culture determines the extent to which we [...]

Image for Episode #20 Toothpicks, Dinosaurs, and Snakebites for the Bewildered Podcast with Martha Beck and Rowan Mangan

They’re back! Martha and Ro are bringing you another installment of The BeWild Files where they talk about the things that YOU, their listeners, are trying to figure out.

In this episode, Martha and Ro answer questions about how to [...]

Episode #19

Perfection Paralysis

Image for Episode #19 Perfection Paralysis for the Bewildered Podcast with Martha Beck and Rowan Mangan

Do you strive for perfection? Or does the need to be perfect prevent you from striving?

We all have some kind of beauty or wisdom inside of us, but “perfection paralysis” often stops us from sharing it. In this episode [...]

Episode #18

Creative Contrarians

Image for Episode #18 Creative Contrarians for the Bewildered Podcast with Martha Beck and Rowan Mangan

Back by popular demand! In this episode, Marty and Ro deliver another installment of The BeWild Files where they talk about the things that you, their listeners, are trying to figure out.

Marty & Ro discuss the importance of contrarians [...]

Episode #17

Unshamable

Image for Episode #17 Unshamable for the Bewildered Podcast with Martha Beck and Rowan Mangan

Shame. It’s a powerful tool for socialization and the strategy culture uses to keep us in its little box. In this episode of Bewildered, Marty and Ro dissect the ways we can be shamed and how we can move [...]

Image for Episode #16 Rings, Ducks and Earbuds for the Bewildered Podcast with Martha Beck and Rowan Mangan

You spoke, and Marty & Ro listened: they’re pioneering a new type of episode featuring things that YOU, their listeners, are trying to figure out. Introducing…The BeWild Files.

In this episode (which contains more factoids than you probably care to [...]

Episode #15

Ten Thousand Spoons

Image for Episode #15 Ten Thousand Spoons for the Bewildered Podcast with Martha Beck and Rowan Mangan

Some of us have plenty of energy to meet every cultural demand, but most of us have less. Enter Spoon Theory, Christine Miserandino’s brilliant analogy in which every action we take costs us a unit of energy represented by [...]

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