Listening to Our Disconnection with Lyndsey Medford

Interview by
Dr. Chad Prevost
Dr. Shelley Prevost
Published on
July 17, 2023

In this episode

We are living in a world that is sick. Both literally sick, with 60 percent of adults in the US living with a chronic illness and rising rates of autoimmune diseases in particular, including long COVID, and figuratively sick, facing ever increasing rates of burnout, anxiety, and disconnection.

As a writer, activist, and theology student, Lyndsey Medford was used to critiquing unsustainable medical, environmental, economic, and social systems from a theoretical perspective. But when her autoimmune disorder roared out of remission, she discovered that her own body's systems lived at the very real vortex of all those systems' dysfunction.

Learning to cooperate with her body would require her to change every aspect of her life--and in the process, to seek a radical reimagining of the world, from a place where sickness is an individual affliction to an interdependent ecosystem where sustainability is a community way of life. In this beautiful and inspiring book, Medford draws on her experiences with a rare autoimmune disease to illuminate the broader lessons we need to learn, in order to heal what ails us individually and communally. Whether our burnout stems from illness, systemic racism, poverty, or simply sin's separation, we're all in need of hope, and we are called to heal together.

My Body and Other Crumbling Empires points out the beauty and ubiquity of our limitations; the importance of accessibility, broadly construed; the interconnected nature of individual and public health; and the badly needed wisdom we have gained from living with our particular bodies.

Our Discussion

How much is available to me to support my body? 0:00

Introduction to today’s show. 1:33

The big self vs the liberal self.

The meaning of the term big self.

Using your body as a launching point for spiritual connection. 5:05

The disconnection from her body for years.

How she learned to recognize her spiritual connection.

The importance of connecting to your body. 8:22

The third part of her journey.

Transactional vs transformational coaching.

Rediscovering yourself and how that is healing.

Understanding the complexity of the immune system. 12:55

Understanding the immune system and autoimmunity.

Getting back to back all the way to fixing.

How to deal with perfectionism. 16:37

Overworking perfectionism and the church culture.

Struggle with the auto-immune experience.

Connecting to the world. 20:33

Healing for a world that is sick.

Do one thing that scares you every day.

Relating across the differences of society right now.

How good it feels to be in community.

Why was that not a very nice side of the house? 26:34

The liberating simplicity of being simpler.

Guest Speakers

Lyndsey Medford

Lyndsey writes at and to her email list via