Mike Bender

"Embracing Uncertainty"


“Instead of analyzing things, be a curious observer." – Mike Bender

This week we are thrilled to welcome Mike Bender to the DENtalks podcast. This episode touches on the importance of embracing nothingness and living in the moment, which all of us are faced with currently. You may know Mike as the writer of “Not Another Teen Movie,” or the author of two children’s books, or perhaps as the genius behind the hilarious blog “Awkward Family Photos.” Given the list of Mike’s many creative endeavors, we have A LOT to talk about in this episode.

When Mike first started “Awkward Family Photos” in 2009 he was still working as a writer in Hollywood, but the immediate response to the website inspired him to go with the momentum and 11 years later, it has continued its legacy and even expanded into a docuseries AND touring museum! Mike talks with us about what inspired him to create Awkward Family Photos as well as the transition of an unexpected career change and how it altered his perspective to embrace ‘nothingness’ and live in the moment.

We also talk about his diagnosis of Lyme disease and a program he’s been working to manage his symptoms called Dynamic Neural Retraining System. If you are suffering from any chronic illness such as depression, food sensitivities, PTSD, lyme disease etc, Mike explains to us how the DNRS program works to alleviate trauma in the limbic system and regain the building blocks that are needed for healing. Much like the Law of Attraction, we can actually rewire our brains with our thoughts so they stop triggering the neural pathways that cause us harm.

At the end of the episode, Mike shares with us his favorite T.S. Eliot quote he uses as a reminder to embrace endings in life as something beautiful.

“There’s something about a picture book that is timeless to me.” – Mike Bender



  • T.S. Eliot quote



  1. What’s the most inspiring book for you? The Giving Tree
  2. What’s your current obsession? DNSR
  3. What’s the first thing you do in the morning? I try and redirect my thoughts, especially in the morning right when I wake up to some things that give me a lot of pleasure or positivity or appreciation. Instead of waking up with fear – fear of the day, fear of what’s gonna happen, I really try to redirect that in a more positive way.
  4. What’s your go-to food or drink? I’m obsessed with pizza right now.


  1. Inspirational Teacher 
    Martin Luther King 
  2. Favorite Documentary or Movie
    What Dreams May Come
  3. Current Obsession 
    Omad Lifestyle
  4. Food, Drink, or Object you can’t live without 
    Apple Cider Vinegar


  1. Type of Meditation you rely on most?
    Psychic Meditation which is energy tools, visual meditation which is also her personal practice
  2. Helpful tip for valuable meditation?
    Focus on your breath, take the pressure off yourself that you have to do it right. Keep showing up and try different meditation to find what works for you.
  3. Self-Care Hack? 
    I make sure to clear everyone out of my space every night and get out into nature. I clear people’s energy by creating a bubble out infront of you, putting everyone from the day in that bubble, and then blow up the bubble. This gives the person their energy back.
  4. If you could give any piece of life advice what would it be?
    If you don’t like how things are going, believe that you can change your perception and everything else will change.