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Discovering Yourself In Tragedy: Steph Catudal On Love, Grief, Healing & Finding Meaning in Life’s Profound Moments

By October 16, 2023No Comments
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Episode #787



Your darkest moments will either break you beyond repair—or make you stronger.

This was the choice faced by Steph Catudal as she navigated mortality, motherhood, and the search for self while her husband—beloved ultra-runner Tommy Rivs—battled a rare form of lung cancer that nearly took his life.

Beautiful and heart-wrenching, Steph relates the intimacies of this experience in her New York Times bestselling memoir, Everything All At Once—an arresting, must-read perspective on trauma, rebellion, faith, tragedy and the painful struggle to identify one’s place in the world.

If you count yourself among the millions deeply impacted by Tommy Rivs’ brush with death and return to life—one of the most beloved episodes the history of this podcast—then today’s conversation is non-negotiable.

“Life exists between the extremes. It’s not good or evil, it’s everything all at once.”


This is a conversation about the big things in life: trauma, death, grief, pain, identity and faith.

An artist with words, Steph shares the details of her complicated upbringing, the loss of faith that catalyzed a decade of rebellion, her journey with substance abuse, and the experience of very nearly losing her husband Tommy—juxtaposed agains the mirrored trauma of losing her father to lung cancer during her adolescence.

This is about seeing healing as a never-ending journey—and the importance of assigning meaning to life’s profound moments.

It’s also about how to cultivate gratitude—how to recognize love and beauty amid tragedy, while also holding space for pain, anger, and sorrow.

In other words, how to allow everything all at once.

The visually inclined can watch this one on YouTube or Spotify. As always, the audio version streams wild and free on Apple Podcasts.

I was very moved by Steph’s vulnerability—and the power with which she owns her story.

May you find this conversation equally impactful.

Peace + Plants,

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Thank The Team: I do not do this alone. Send your love to Jason Camiolo for audio engineering, production, show notes and interstitial music; with additional audio engineering by Cale Curtis and additional music by Moby; Blake Curtis & Dan Drake for video, & editing; graphics by Jessica Miranda & Daniel Solis; portraits by Davy Greenberg, Grayson Wilder & Gizelle Peters; video clips for social media are created by AJ Akpodiete; copywriting by Georgia Whaley; and theme music by Tyler Piatt, Trapper Piatt & Hari Mathis.

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