Lesson is Love Podcast S1E7: Tender Touch, Practice vs Performance, and The Skill of Tracking | Aaron Johnson

Welcome to this episode of The Lesson is Love Podcast! Click here for all episodes and podcast information on the Grisha Stewart Academy.

“For me when I think of consent, particularly black bodies and animals and touch and the violations that have been historically in place and how we’re finding new language and new ways to be together, I feel like the question I often have is: can we slow down and acknowledge what’s happened? Can we see all the levels of choice that are given to folks, and all the ways that choice is not given to folks?” -Aaron Johnson 

Join us for the seventh episode of The Lesson is Love, as I speak with Aaron Johnson, a facilitator, public speaker and touch specialist working to identify and interrupt barriers between people.

In this episode we talk about singing (and other activities) as a spiritual and life practice versus a performance, the importance of tender touch in our lives, consent, the practice of tracking to expand our awareness and cultivate safety for others, and how our relationships with dogs can teach us about community. 

Show Notes:


About the Host, Grisha Stewart: 

Grisha Stewart is an author, international speaker, dog trainer, and online dog school facilitator based in Oregon, USA, who specializes in dog reactivity and canine empowerment. She’s been  training dogs since 2003. Her two most recent books are Behavior Adjustment Training 2.0: New Practical Techniques for Fear, Frustration, and Aggression in Dogs and The Official Ahimsa Dog Training Manual: A Practical, Force-Free Guide to Problem Solving and Manners. In 2022, she revealed the update to BAT 3.0 (BAT 2.0 is still the best book on the subject).

She presents dog training and behavior seminars around the world and lessons online.  There are over 100 different courses in her innovative online dog training school, with more coming every few weeks from a variety of instructors, including Grisha. In addition to her professional pursuits and projects, Grisha is an avid conversationalist and enjoys exploring topics of connection, love, communication, and interspecies community.  


About the Guest, Aaron Johnson: 

Aaron Johnson is a facilitator, public speaker, and touch specialist working to identify and interrupt barriers between people. As co-founder of both Holistic Resistance and Grief to Action, Aaron takes the time to hold the stories of black people around homophobia, transphobia, internalized racism, and those that are Chronically UnderTouched. Because oppression is a part of historical and present American culture, the long-term impact of those trauma stories should be acknowledged and held as a map for our collective healing. Aaron Johnson practices and invites various methods of moving through these stories, such as the communal listening ear, sound healing, meditation, and closeness to the earth.



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