Podcast: Practice without Preaching

Practice without Preaching is an ongoing conversation between Ali Kirkpatrick and anyone willing to engage with her about what it means to raise spiritual (but not necessarily religious) children in an increasingly secular world. It includes, but is not limited to: her blog, #Signs of Love, the Practice Without Preaching podcast series on Contemplify, a book proposal that is slowly making its way around the publishing world, and one-on-one conversations with friends, family, and strangers on an almost daily basis.  If you’re interested in being part of the conversation, subscribe to #Signs of Love. It all starts here.

The Contemplify Podcast Collaboration


In my desire to kindle a more examined life, I came across the work of Paul Swanson, host of the Contemplify podcast and contemplative educator at the Center for Action and Contemplation. In Paul, I met a kindred spirit, if not a kindred life. On the surface of things, we don’t have much in common. He’s a decade younger, a midwesterner and mountain man, with a storied past as a reformed vagabond and former evangelical. However, we share a curiosity about all things spiritual, and a deep desire to embody what we think we believe. We also have an unfailing ability to talk ourselves silly.

Somewhere along the way, Paul thought it’d be a good idea to record some of our musings and share them on Contemplify.  Here are the episodes we’ve collaborated on so far.

Episode 17: Voicemails: Alison Kirkpatrick on The Conscious Parent 

(Mini Series) Practice Without Preaching: Creating a Family Spirituality with Ali Kirkpatrick

Opening Interview: Paul interviews Ali and sets up the conversations ahead.

Episode One: Ali talks about shifts in religion, tradition and parenting that affect so many us raising our children in the 21st century.

Episode Two: If you aren’t going to stay “in the box” when it comes to your family’s spirituality, Ali walks you through some different options. Are you looking for a “do-it-yourself” project, or do you want a starter kit to work with?

Episode Three: What’s more important: virtues, or values? Intellectual Assent, or embodied practice? How do you raise kids with a faith that is more than something they simply believe in? How can you create rituals and traditions that reach your kids on a soul level?

Episode Four: Ali interviews two friends, one a former Mormon, one “post-Catholic,” both of whom are finding new ways to foster a faith  for their families and a spirituality that resonates more fully with their deepest held values.

Episode Five: In this wrap up interview, Ali talks to her friend Brie about being raised as an Evangelical, missionary kid in the Catholic world of Spain, and all the beautiful, disorienting experiences she had there. They talk parenting, theology, feminism, new cosmology and the importance of growth and change as a part of any healthy spirituality.