If you are like many people on our society today you are feeling stress and overwhelmed. It seem like our world is moving at an astronomical pace and people are moving as fast as they can to keep pace. The question we should all be asking is keeping pace more important than our overall health and relationships?

In Paul Huljichs’ new book entitled ” Stress Pandemic-9 Natural Steps to Break The Cycle of Stress and Thrive” Paul provides the reader with practical and compelling advice that can sound simple, but implementing it into our daily routines is the key.

Paul outlines the nine steps which are: 1) Take Charge 2) Kick Your Bad Habits 3) Learn to Say No 4) Affirmations 5) Exercise 6) Nutrition 7) Sleep 8) The Power of Awareness 9) Never Give Up.

Paul’s person story is one of determination and survival a mental breakdown after having build a multi million dollar health foods company in New Zealand. He ended up being institutionalized for his mental breakdown and he lost everything he has worked for, house, cars business. As you can imagine the stress prior to the breakdown, and after were immense. Paul’s personal story is very compelling as are his unique strategies for stress reduction.

If you are like me, you are dealing with stress on a daily basis. Paul new book provides practical guidance on how to eliminate that stress and live a fulfilling life. If you want to learn more about Paul, please click here to be directed to his website or click here to go to his Facebook page.

 

Heather ReedEveryone today is focused on wellness, and it is a topic that deserves a lot of focus and attention.  I had the pleasure of interviewing both Dr. Matt Mumber and Heather Reed about their new book entitled “Sustainable Wellness-An Integrative Approach to Transform Your Mind, Body and Spirit.”.   I must state that Matt and Heathers approaching to achieving sustainable wellness uses an integrative medicine approach which if followed properly will certainly help one achieve sustainable wellness with lasting results.

I found their  analogy of using the three legged stool a great way to explain how they both approach the topic of wellness.  If you can imagine a three legged stool with the seat being spirituality , and the three legs physical activity, nutrition, and stress management all feeding into our spirituality.   The stool rests on awareness, which is the foundation of where all wellness begins.   This provides a great visual of the integrative approach that both Matt and Heather take when working with their clients to achieve truly lasting wellness.

Achieving sustainable wellness begins with reflection and exploration.  In the book you will find many opportunities where  Matt and Heather  provide the reader with questions for reflection and thought.  They have also have created and an eight (8) steps process to follow in exploring your personal wellness RX.  Those steps include mindfulness, know thyself, life review and planning, nutrition, physical activity, stress management, spirituality, bringing it all together.  If you follow these steps and practice the wisdom that the authors have outlined in “Sustainable Wellness” you will most likely  achieve a new level of health and vitality for yourself.

Matt Mumber, MDI invite you to listen to this great podcast with both Dr. Matt Mumber and Heather Reed while we explore questions for the listeners about obtaining a peak level of health, vitality and wellness.  If you would like to learn more you can click here to be directed to the Sustainable Wellness website, or you can click here to watch a Youtube video interview with Matt.

Risa KaparoOur body speak to us, the question is are you listening?  In my recent interview with author Risa Kaparo we speak about her new book entitled “Awakening Somatic Intelligence“.  Risa states “This book offers a practice that brings immediacy to presencing the unbound source of all existence.

In Somatic Learning I use the term presencing as a verb to imply the embodying of spaciousness with awakened Somatic Intelligence. “Extended presence” refers to the process of living into the unknown, relaxed and curious, without efforting to grasp anything–aware of what happens in the bodymind as you ease the struggle to “wrap your mind around something”.  When we can be present or mindful as we live into the unknown, the infinite reveals itself to us so that we can come to know it intimately.

If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort in your body then “Somatic Intelligence” is a great opportunity to explore what is causing this pain and to transform it.  As Risa states the word “somatic”comes from the Greek root some, for body.  The conventional use of the word “body” in English implies an “object” observed from the outside. That is way I use the term “soma” to refer to how we sense the unfolding of life from within. And I use the term “somatic” to imply a first-person, here-now, all-at once, embodied intelligence-how we sense, feel and know ourselves on a precess level–from the inside out.

Risa says that listening to our body is the “ultimate practice”, embracing whatever is arising through our fill embodiment. As a result we “drink in” the infinite, we presence or “take up” vast spaciousness, infusing our whole being with consciousness that pervades all of existence.  And as we “kiss back”, our heartfelt savoring overflows, embuing this spaciousness with the luminosity of love. The ecstatic “practice” refers to the deepening of our capacity to bear the infinite as beloved, as intimately as our breath, bones, blood.

Awakening Somatic Intelligence” is a book that is alive with stories, exercises and provides the reader with a whole new way to approach any dis-ease or discomfort of our body.  Is is the embodiment of years of study and blending of a innovative bodymind approach to transformative healing and self-renewal.   It teaches embodied mindfulness through breathing, sensing, movement and touch to revitalize the body’s self-organizing intelligence.

If you would like more information about “Awakening Somatic Intelligence” I recommend that you visit Risa’s website by clicking here or watch a YouTube video on Somatic Intelligence by clicking here.  Enjoy this great interview with author Risa Kapro.

Elisha GoldsteinThis is my second interview with author Elisha Goldstein, about his new book entitled ” The Now Effect“.  Is a wonderful book for anyone wanting to calm their anxious mind and take control of the incessant stress that so many of us are under.

If you are like me the anxious mind is something that is always there, I just need to learn better techniques to calm it and gain more focus.   When you learn the techniques taught by Elisha, you will certainly be able to approach your difficulties with more grace and less stress.

Elisha states that “The Now Effect” will literally change the way you think before you think and break free from subconscious beliefs and old programming that don’t serve you.   You will have more choice points in your life, bringing back a felling of aliveness and opening the doors to greater potential, opportunities and possibilities.  You will also learn how to increase your emotional intelligence and be able to relax more effectively in moment of distress.

The Now Effect” loaded with wonderful stories as well as at the end of each chapter Elisha provides what he refers to as “Now Moments”.  These are located at the end of each chapter and designed to have you reflect or do an exercise that will reduce your stress and increase your awareness.

One of the important lessons that Elisha teaches is about something called the “Triangle of Awareness”.  Elisha states that in in given moment, no matter what you’re doing three basic things are happening to make up your immediate experience: thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. He states that in the past we thought that these elements we independent from one another, but nothing could be further from the truth.  A thought can trigger and emotion and the emotion can trigger a physical sensations.  The key is awareness, understanding what we are doing to ourselves to create this chain reaction.  If you can become more aware of what the subconscious mind does while on auto pilot, then these thoughts, feelings, emotions and physical sensations are easier to control.

Elisha new book is filled with wonderful examples, stories and exercises that guide the reader to a heighten level of awareness.  He has also included QR barcodes in the book which take the reader to short video pieces to help you understand the practice the techniques that he is teaching.  This is a wonderful book for anyone who is looking to take control of the stress, anxiety and lead a more peaceful lifestyle.

If you would like more information on Elisha Goldstein please click here to be directed to his website, ore click here to be directed to the book website.

 

Enjoy this wonderful podcast and interview with Elisha Goldstein the author of ” The Now Effect”.

Kelly HowellThere has been lots of discussion about the importance of exercising our minds so that we stay sharp and astute as we age.  I recently had the pleasure of interviewing both Michale Gelb and Kelly Howell the authors of a great new book entitled “Brain Power, Improve Your Mind as You Age.”

What Michael and Kelly reveal in our interview together is that what we previously thought  about aging and our brain is faulty.  That current science and the studies being conducted on how our brains work, connect  and  stay sharp are revealing amazing findings.

As discussed in “Brain Power” their are many factors that attribute to good mental acuity, some of them are optimism, forgiveness, being a life long learner not to mention that nutrition and exercise play a significant role in our minds ability to stay sharp.   As a matter of fact, exercise and nutrition the most important factors in our brains health.

I recently conducted an interview with Dr. John Ratey MD and professor of psychiatry at Harvard about his book entitled “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain”, and he explains that in addition to promoting better muscle tone and cardiovascular fitness, exercise is “one of the best treatments we have for most psychiatric problems.” Ratey presents compelling research demonstrating the efficacy of exercise in sharpening cognition and memory, and in overcoming anxiety, stress and depression.

As Kelly and Michael explain, our environment is another important factor for good brain health.  Every aspect of our environment stimulates our brain for better or for worse. The sights, sounds, textures, aromas, tastes, and other sensations that you experience every day serve as nourishment for your mind and spirit.  They also state in “Brain Power” that the people that we hang around with and the communities of support we develop are a very big factor on staying brain healthy.  Study after study has shown that the bigger or community of support and connect to others is a significant factor in the reduction of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

 

If you are looking to stay mentally sharp today and well into your advanced years, then I highly recommend that you read and study the techniques discussed and taught in “Brain Power“.  This book could have a meaningful impact on how you decide to treat your body as well as exercise you mind.

 

I hope you enjoy this wonderful interview with Michael Gelb and Kelly Howell.  For more information about Michael Gelb please click here to be directed to his website, or click here to be directed to Kelly Howell’s website.

Shyalpa Tenzin RinpocheWhat an amazing interview with Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche about his new book entitled “Living Fully“.  The essence of the Rinpoche’s book is the importance of each breath and the life force and joy in each breath.

Now I am aware that at the pace we move in the Western world, understanding the importance of our breath is so essential; but really how many of us pay attention to our breath or are aware of the gift of each breath.  When you distill the message of this book into these terms and the simplicity of what we all take for granted you begin to see the beauty and transformational power within the message of “Living Fully”.

As Rinpoche state in “Living Fully” “Whether we realize it or not, our deepest aspiration is to experience the richness and fullness of our being in every moment. Each of us has the capacity to live fully, but how do we recognize our potential? ”  In my interview with Rinpoche we discuss the many desires and attachment we have to the physical world and how these desires and attachments really are not bringing us happiness and joy and distract us from “Living Fully“.

Happiness and joy are fulfilled when we look deep inside and content with who we are regardless of all of our worldly possessions.  As Rinpoche mentions in “Living Fully” instant pleasure is not the true way to enjoy our freedom.  When we know how to surrender, we can truly appreciate our freedom. This ability to surrender comes from a disciplined approach to life.  Surrender is not submitting to a higher authority, like an army recruit saluting a drill sergeant.  Rather, we surrender when we give up trying to satisfy all of our hopes and expectations.

If we abandon our efforts to fabricate a “perfect” world, we all experience genuine freedom that is not corrupted by endless craving or something better.  Understanding the philosophy and practice of the Buddhist way is quite simple.  Finding our essence of our precious human nature is learning how to live in the moment, enjoying each and every breath and the joy that it brings.

While this might sound like utopia, because we are all aware the plethora of distractions our material world brings, it  would certainly be nice to not just capture these moments but to become one with them permanently without programming our brains to remember how to remember what it feels like.

So if you are so inclined and want to learn from a master then I would recommend that you read and emerse yourself in the teaching of Rinpoche.  His new book is delightful, and something all of us in the Western world need to become more aware of how important the aspect of something as automatic as our breath teaches us about the joys of life.

 

If you would like to learn more about the book click here to be directed to the Rinpoche’s website or listen to a YouTube interview with the publisher Marc Allen at New World Library by clicking. here. Enjoy this great and inspirational interview with a wonderfully compassionate man.

Bill CrawfordI recently had the pleasure of speak with author Bill Crawford about his book entitled “Life From The Top of Mind“.  I think we are all aware of the incredible amounts of stress that fills our world, and I found that Bill’s book does a wonderful job of not only explaining how stress effects us, but provides a layman’s explanation of what happens to our bodies and what we can do about it to counter act the stress.

I think that for most of us we want to know what techniques are available to us in learning how to cope with stress.  But what is equally important is to understand what Bill refers to as “The Cycle of Stress/Frustration”.  It truly starts with the “Stressors”, economy, deadlines, customers etc then moves to our “Reactions” frustrated, stressed, anxious, angry etc. I think you got it!!

Bill outlines three ways to change, which are 1) Change the cause 2) Change the effect or 3) Become the cause.  It is the third option which is very unorthodox but is the main point of “Life From The Top Of The Mind“.

Bill is advocating that we look at the three C’s, Clarity, Cconfidence, and Creativity which means living our lives  from the “top of mind”  taking full responsibility for our lives.  Bill states that when you combine what he calls the POWER Model with the three C’s we can begin to see how they support one another.

The POWER model is an acronym for Purpose, Our Past, Wisdom of Serenity, Energy, and Responsibility.  When we become clear about our purpose we become more powerful. When we have more clarity about our past, meaning old habits, learned reactions and preconceptions that are incongruent with our higher purpose we can change the beliefs that are driving these habits. When we become clear about the wisdom of serenity, or value of using serenity as a precursor to accepting what we can’t change so that we have the courage to change those aspects of our live ove which we have the most influence we become more powerful. When we become clear about the type of energy we want to drive this process, and actively choose this energy to motivate our thoughts, emotions and behaviors we become more powerful.  And finally when we are willing to take full responsibility for our ability to respond so that we need nothing to change in order to practice this “Top Of Mind” perspective, we become powerful.

So to sum it up, the more control you are of your emotions, feeling and thoughts the less stress will invade your life.  Bill’s approach is so accurate but requires tremendous practice and diligence to recognize what state of mind we are in.  As he advocates if you can maintain a “Top of Mind” perspective your stress will be reduced substantially.  I highly recommend this book and the approach the author takes to help the reader reduce stress.

 

If you would like more information about author Bill Crawford please click here to be directed to his website .  Enjoy this wonderful interview with author Bill Crawford.

Allan LokosIn a recent interview with author Allan Lokos we discussed his new book entitled ” Patience: The Art of Peaceful Living“.

Allan’s book was born one summer evening when a dear friend made a comment “Just about every mistake I have every made and every unkind word I have ever spoken might have been avoided if I had been more patient.”  Allan thought that this was a stunning statement revealing remarkable insight, and it was the birth of this book.

The development of genuine, open-minded patience may very well lead one to also examine one’s experience of anger and its root causes.  Although impatience and anger are not the same, they live in the same neighborhood states Allan.  In fact, it is as if they live in the same house with barely a flimsy curtain between them, anger ready to join in when impatience shows the slightest interest in emerging from its thin-shelled cocoon.  Not coincidentally, the journey that develops patience is traveled along a path similar to that which undermines the deceiving appeal of anger and what at times can appear to be anger’s uncontrollable nature.

The development of patience requires an understanding of the  root causes of our stress, anxiety, and frustration.  Then we must be willing to relinquish the type of thinking that leads to the loss of patience.  Although anger and patience are not opposites, they can be thought of as two side of the same coin.  When one side is visible the other is hard to see.  When one side is active the other is unlikely to emerge.

Allan is a teacher of Buddhist practices and his approach is not to get attached to the emotions that anger and frustration stur up within one.  To become more mindful from moment to moment which includes being nonjudgmental.  Because of anger’s enormous potential for danger, it would be an exaggeration to say we call on patience to come to the rescue, to save the day, perhaps even to save a life.  The courageous act of starting to address one’s anger and develop greater patience is, to me , a sacred act.  The simple act of pausing invites the mind and body to stop, to allow fiery thoughts to cool and subside before giving them expression.

 

If you want to cultivate more patience and reduce the dangers of anger and frustration, then you ought to read and take in the very important message of “Patience: The Art of Peaceful Living“.  This is a book worth the read, and especially in the complex world we are living in today that frequently tests our patience.

If you would like more information about Allan Lokos and his new book please click here to be directed to his YouTube video.

Rick Hanson Ph.D.Author Rick Hanson is one of my favorite authors, and he has created a great new little book entitled “Just One Thing, Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time”.  Rick is right on when he speaks about practicing. In my estimation it is the operative word,  one must start the practice, because practice is the only thing that will continue our ability to improve and reach heightened states of consciousness.

In my interview with Rick we discuss the daily practices that Rick has articulated in his book.  These practices are mainly inside your mind and are designed to support and increase your sense of security and worth, resilience, effectiveness, well-being, insight, and inner peace.  Some of the practices include taking in the good, protecting your brain, feeling safer, relaxing anxiety about imperfection, not knowing, enjoying your hands, taking refuge, and filling the hole in your heart.

Rick states that it’s a two-way street: as your brain changes, your mind changes; and as your mind changes, your brain changes.  This means–remarkably–that what you pay attention to, what you think and feel and want and how you work with your reactions to things all sculpt your brain in multiple ways.  The details are complex, bu the key point is simple: how you use your mind changes your brain–for better or worse.  There’s a traditional saying that the mind takes the shape it rests upon; the modern update is that the brain takes the shape the mind rests upon.

For instance, you regularly rest your mind upon worries, self-criticism, and anger, then your brain will gradually tak the shape–will develop neural structures and dynamics–of anxiety, low sense of worth, and prickly reactivity to others.  On the other hand, if you regularly rest your mind upon, for example, noticing your’re all right right now, seeing the good in yourself, and letting go–three of the practices in this book–then your brain will gradually take the shape of calm strength, self-confidence and inner peace.

It is the beginning of a New Year, and we can all use great ideas to help us establish better patterns and habits that help and serve us.  I hope that you will read Rick’s new book “Just One Thing” because he provides the reader with 52 new practices to help you become more mindful, centered and develop peace and bliss in your life.  What a wonderful thing!!!

 

If you would like more information on Rick Hanson, please click here to be directed to his website or click here to go to his Facebook page.  He also has some great videos at Youtube.