• My guest this week is Brett Larkin, yoga instructor and author of Yoga Life: : Habits, Poses, and Breathwork to Channel Joy Amidst the Chaos (affiliate link).

    Topics we discussed included:

    Practicing yoga with awareness The appeal of yoga for helping us remember that we’re more than our minds and brains Yoga as a “science laboratory” to observe what’s happening internally and how one responds to life The moment my guest discovered what yoga can teach us about ourselves How to distinguish our highest Self from the inner strategist that keeps us in unhelpful patterns Looking for opportunities to move through life in a new way Crafting a yoga practice to offer you what you need 20 minutes as a thoroughly adequate length of yoga practice Self-care and being one’s own parents The complementary energies of the masculine (Shiva) and feminine (Shakti) Balancing acceptance and change, as in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Prioritizing the breath in yoga as a means to awareness The non-optimal inhibited breathing we often get trapped in A brief guided experience in healthy breathing Discovering through yoga that there is a healthier way to live

    Brett Larkin is the founder of Uplifted Yoga and the author of Yoga Life.

    She has trained thousands of yoga teachers, and her training has set the standard for quality online certification since 2015.

    Brett’s award-winning YouTube channel has with over half a million subscribers, and her Uplifed Yoga Podcast empowers listeners to actively design their lives using yoga’s ancient wisdom.

    Yoga enthusiasts love her courses on Kundalini, Prenatal Yoga, and the Uplifted Yoga Academy.

    Learn more about Brett and her practice at her website.

  • My guest this week is psychologist Dr. Steve Taylor, author of the new book, The Adventure: A Practical Guide to Spiritual Awakening (affiliate link).

    Topics we discussed included:

    The practical components of “enlightenment” or “spiritual awakening” Commonalities across different spiritual traditions The unease and anxiety created by a sense of separateness from the world and others The fundamental background unease humans tend to feel The hijacking of spiritual awakening by the ego Aligning yourself with the organic impulse toward growth and greater awareness The process of waking up and transforming through intense suffering The naturalness of waking up, which often happens spontaneously Disidentification with the thought mind as the first step in spiritual awakening The difference between identifying vs. deidentifying with a worry The power of emptying one’s mind The relative amount of time spent in absorption, abstraction, and awareness A “gentle mental nudge” to spend more time in awareness Accepting your non-acceptance and embracing your imperfections

    Steve Taylor, PhD, is the author of many bestselling books.

    He’s senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Beckett University and the chair of the Transpersonal Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society.

    Steve’s articles and essays have been published in over 100 academic journals, magazines, and newspapers.

    He blogs for Scientific American and Psychology Today.

    Visit him online at his website.

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  • My guest this week is psychologist Dr. Beth Kurland, author of the new book, You Don’t Have to Change to Change Everything: Six Ways to Shift Your Vantage Point, Stop Striving for Happy, and Find True Well-Being (affiliate link). We begin with a calming guided meditation that Beth led.

    Topics we discussed included:

    The assumption that not feeling at ease is a personal failure Being with our distress without being swallowed up by it Cultivating well-being in the absence of happiness The role of self-compassion in well-being Recognizing and connecting with a deeper part of ourselves, whether we call is Self, spirit, or soul Seeing the world from our Wise Self Living from our head vs. being more connected to and aware of the body Contraction vs. expansion in the area around the heart Why we don’t habitually run toward our body and wise Self as refuges A simple practice for coming back into one’s body Proper breathing for calming the nervous system

    Beth Kurland, PhD, is a clinical psychologist with three decades of experience.

    She is also a TEDx and public speaker, a mind-body coach, and an author of three award-winning books: Dancing on The Tightrope; The Transformative Power of Ten Minutes; and Gifts of the Rain Puddle.

    Beth blogs for Psychology Today and is the creator of the Well-Being Toolkit online program. She lives in the Boston area.

    For more, visit her website.

  • My guest this week is Dr. Peter Levine, who is well-known for being the developer of Somatic Experiencing. He’s also the author of a new book: An Autobiography of Trauma: A Healing Journey (affiliate link), which we focused on in this very enjoyable and meaningful discussion.

    Peter shared about how his own wounds from early in life were a big part of what led him into the field of trauma therapy. We explored how the healing continues, even now in Peter’s ninth decade.

    Topics we discussed included:

    What Peter means when he describes himself as a modern “Chiron” Using our own wounds in life as we’re working to help others Getting to trauma memories and healing through embodiment in somatic experiencing The horrific trauma Peter experienced early in his life The dream that led Peter to share this book rather than writing it only for his own healing The significance of dreams for waking life Learning to attend to the promptings of the unconscious mind The relation between somatic experiencing and an approach like cognitive behavioral therapy The role of the vagus nerve in the trauma response and in healing Using the body to encounter our traumas in a healing way Why a union of the body and mind tends to reduce anxiety The disconnection we so often experience between our minds and bodies Peter’s reaction to a meditation workshop several decades ago The idea of “living your dying” Connections between death and the divine The promises and pitfalls of psychedelics

    Peter Levine, PhD, is the renowned developer of Somatic Experiencing.

    He holds a doctorate in medical and biological Physics from the University of California at Berkeley and a doctorate in psychology from International University.

    The recipient of four lifetime achievement awards, he is the author of several books, including Waking the Tiger, which has now been printed in 33 countries and has sold over a million copies.

    Learn more about:

    Peter Levine Somatic Experiencing An Autobiography of Trauma
  • My guest this week for part 4 of our series on midlife is Dr. Tim Windsor. Tim has done many research studies on adult development and how we change in midlife and older age. I took so much from this conversation as Tim described what we know about how to have a great second half of life.

    Things we discussed included:

    My guest’s research in lifespan developmental psychology Optimizing one’s potential to live well in later adulthood How Tim came to this area of research The challenges and opportunities that come with an aging population The U-shaped curve in happiness across adulthood The struggles we often face in midlife The socio-emotional selectivity theory of Laura Carstensen at Stanford The downturn in happiness that’s typical of oldest old age Variability in the slopes of well-being across adulthood Organizing our lives in ways that maximize well-being in the second half of life Developing psychological immunity in older age Emotion regulation in older age The benefits of using “positive reappraisal” to rethink one’s perspective The goodness-of-fit between situation and emotion regulation strategy The average increases in mindfulness with older age and the research of Leeann Mahlo Coping through accommodation or assimilation Using momentary ecological assessment to measure how mindful acceptance affects one’s reactions to daily hassles Awareness of losses and gains in older age How my guest’s research influences his behavior as he looks toward older age

    Tim Windsor, PhD, is a Professor in Psychology and Deputy Director of the Flinders Institute of Mental Health and Wellbeing at Flinders University.

    His research focuses on examining social and psychological resources that promote well-being in older adulthood, links between views on aging, health and well-being, and developing interventions to promote engagement with life.

    He is Director of the Generations Research Initiative at Flinders and is a Distinguished Member the Australian Association of Gerontology, and a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America.

    Learn more about Tim and his research at his faculty website.

  • My guest this week is Nick Davies, back for his third time on the podcast. This time we focused on issues related to midlife, as this is part 3 of our series on that topic.

    Things we discussed included:

    Nick’s personal backstory and his decision to make a big change in his mid-thirties Asking the right questions that can lead us to fulfillment The danger of “normality” that doesn’t serve us well Waiting for life to open up for you vs. creating the life you want Unhelpful beliefs that can lead us to take a passive role in our own lives Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior Setting up your environment in a way that helps you flourish (e.g. life-giving relationships) Knowing when to change ourselves vs. changing the situation Returning to my clinical practice with a different mindset

    Nick Davies is a Tony Robbins-trained coach with over 20 years of experience in the corporate world.

    Nick’s sweet spot for delivering value is working with high achieving financial advisors who want to add zero’s to their business but aren’t willing to sacrifice their health or time with family,

    Growing up in England, living across 3 continents and 5 locations, Nick takes the lessons from his extensive exposure to people and business, and applies them to his life and his clients.

    His focus is to get to the heart of what people really want. Nick believes most of us leave our personal and business potential on the table and settle – and is on a mission to relieve the suffering that can bring. With over 3500 hours of coaching and counting, Nick has worked with many different types of people and businesses to create massive awareness and abundance in those areas.

    He believes in holding high standards for himself and his clients. That means a focus on results, but also a focus on compassion.

    Find Nick online at LinkedIn.

  • My guest this week is Dr. Kieran Setiya, a philosophy professor at MIT and author of Midlife: A Philosophical Guide (affiliate link).

    Topics we discussed included:

    The extent to which midlife is a time of crisis Elliott Jaques’s coining of the term “midlife crisis” in 1965 Data showing that life satisfaction is U-shaped, with a low in middle age Common significant challenges in midlife Past, Present, and Future The feeling of having missed out on other possible lives The tremendous loss we would experience if missing out were not possible The power of philosophy in the self-help space The poetic quality of Kieran’s writing and its likely origins The overvaluing of having options for their own sake, even if it costs us in absolute satisfaction Value beyond removing problems and suffering A vision of life beyond striving for “neutral” The tension between feeling like what we do matters, and yet life feels completely pointless The profundity of hobbies as gratuitous activities that aren’t aimed at solving problems What my guest has found is worth doing beyond addressing unmet needs The distinction between telic (project) and atelic (process) activities The societal pressure and value to be project-focused Why we’re bothered by our nonexistence after death much more than our nonexistence before birth Understanding what it would really mean to be immortal How the arc of a life is different from a movie or a book

    Kieran Setiya, PhD, is professor and philosophy section head at MIT.

    He works mainly in ethics, epistemology, and the philosophy of mind.

    Kieran’s other books include Practical Knowledge, Reasons without Rationalism, Knowing Right from Wrong, and Life Is Hard, which was named one of the best books of 2022 by the Economist and the New Yorker.

    Kieran has also written about stand-up comedy, HP Lovecraft, baseball, free will, and the meaning of life.

    Find Kieran online at his website and on Substack.

  • My guest this week is Dr. James Hollis, a therapist and author of many books, including Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How to Finally, Really Grow Up (affiliate link).

    Topics we discussed included:

    Common struggles one tends to experience in midlife The part of our psyche (soul) that knows us better than we know ourselves The agenda of the first and second halves of an average-length life Why certain issues tend to arise at midlife and not sooner The Buddha’s experiences before and after enlightenment Missing out on the opportunity to find a different solution to unaddressed problems Asking metaphorically what the gods intend through us Living in harmony with our inevitable mortality The Self working to overthrow the ego Asking what the symptoms we’re having are pointing to or asking of us Depression as a reorienting of energies when we’re at odds with ourselves Why popular culture ideas about intimate relationships tend to lead to unhappiness The contrasting realities of “being in love with” and loving another person What it means to leave one’s family of origin for the second time The projection that is part of the origin of any relationship The growth that often comes through challenges and pain The cost to ourselves and our loved ones of denying our calling Aligning vocation with one’s work life How to successfully navigate the challenges of midlife

    James Hollis, PhD, is a Jungian analyst based in Washington, DC.

    He is the author of many books, including his latest, A Life of Meaning (affiliate link).

    Find Jim online at his website.

  • My guest this week is Dr. Joel Minden, a clinical psychologist, therapist, author of Show Your Anxiety Who’s Boss (affiliate link), and frequent guest on the podcast. This conversation focused on men in therapy.

    Topics we discussed included:

    The extent to which men tend to be interested in and open to psychotherapy Fears that men might bring to therapy The significant overlap in the issues men and women deal with and what brings them to therapy The challenge of dealing effectively with anger More frequent externalizing disorders among men, e.g., substance use, aggression Gender differences in suicide attempts and death by suicide Male/female differences in therapy based on roles, e.g., mom vs. dad, husband vs. wife Variability among men or women compared to average differences between men and women Changes over time in men’s attitudes toward and participation in therapy Trying to suppress strong or difficult emotions Deflecting the thread of a discussion when running into difficult material The idea of reclaiming an “alpha” masculinity Confusion and uncertainty about what it means to be a male in our society The benefit of normalization in therapy and in life

    Joel Minden, PhD, is a clinical psychologist specializing in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety and related disorders.

    He is the author of Show Your Anxiety Who’s Boss (affiliate link), founder of the Chico Center for Cognitive Behavior Therapy, diplomate of The Academy of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies, and lecturer in the Department of Psychology at California State University, Chico.

    Find Joel online at his website and read his blog on Psychology Today.

  • My guest this week is Dr. Michelle Drapkin, a clinical psychologist, therapist, and author of an excellent new workbook called The Motivational Interviewing Path to Personal Change: The Essential Workbook for Creating the Life You Want (affiliate link).

    Topics we discussed included:

    What motivational interviewing (MI) is and why the name is misleading Ambivalence toward change and how it’s addressed with MI Living our values in the midst of our ambivalence Finding different and more productive avenues to pursue our values Prochaska and DiClemente and the Stages of Change model Pre-contemplation Contemplation Preparation Action Maintenance Why change is not a completely linear process How much of our behavior is conscious and intentional vs. automatic Realizing that it’s normal for the mind to think of off-the-wall things The meaning (or meaninglessness) of dreams The book The Alchemist What led Michelle to adapt MI for a self-help workbook The practice of “rolling with resistance,” now renamed “dancing with discord” Encouraging change talk vs. trying to convince someone they have to change

    Michelle Drapkin, PhD, ABPP, is a board-certified psychologist who owns and operates the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Center, and has worked in behavioral science for over 20 years.

    She has held various roles as a behavioral scientist in industry, including leading the development and deployment of behavior change interventions at Johnson & Johnson.

    Michelle was a national motivational interviewing (MI) trainer at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and was on faculty at the University of Pennsylvania.

    She completed her PhD in clinical psychology from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; and joined the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) in 2008. She has trained thousands of health care professionals and industry leaders in MI.

    Find Michelle online at her website and on LinkedIn.

  • My guest this week is Dr. Regine Galanti, a licensed psychologist and author of the amazing new book, Parenting Anxious Kids: Understanding Anxiety in Children by Age and Stage (affiliate link). It was Regine’s second time on the podcast and we had another great conversation.

    Topics we discussed included:

    Regine’s fantastic new book Less-frequently recognized signs of anxiety in young kids Why anxious parents often have anxious kids The online information for parents that often makes kids’ anxiety worse The issues my guest takes with “gentle parenting” The negative effects on kids of missing school due to anxiety Parents’ concerns about how the way they respond to their child’s anxiety will hurt their relationship Building the relationship with a child outside of the “anxiety zone” The shortcomings of so-called “tough love” when it comes from anger or fear The challenges when a parent of an anxious child isn’t ready to face their own fears All-or-nothing approaches to responding to a child’s anxiety The opportunities that kids offer in terms of parents’ growth Ways that a parent-child relationship can grow by working through hard things together

    Regine Galanti, PhD, is a licensed psychologist who focuses on helping kids and teens with anxiety. She specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and has expertise in treating OCD, anxiety, parenting, and behavioral problems.

    She’s the founder of Long Island Behavioral Psychology, where she brings warmth, sensitivity, and a problem solving approach to her practice.  Regine specializes in effective short-term treatments that work for anxiety and related disorders, including exposure therapy.

    She lives in Long Island, New York with her husband and three daughters.  She’s quick to acknowledge that they all get anxious sometimes, and that’s okay.

    In addition to this new book, she’s also the author of Anxiety Relief for Teens and When Harley Has Anxiety.

    Find Regine online at her website and on Twitter and Instagram.

  • My guest this week is Dr. David Tolin, a clinical psychologist, researcher, author, and expert on effective treatments for many psychological conditions.

    In this conversation we focused on hoarding disorder, and then segued into a more general discussion about cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and other treatment approaches.

    Topics we discussed included:

    The continuum of hoarding The diagnostic criteria for when hoarding is considered a disorder Instances of needing to buy a second home due to hoarding The prevalence of hoarding disorder The causes of hoarding How those who are at risk for hoarding disorder can minimize the risk of developing it The limits of reason and logic in treating hoarding Effective hoarding treatment The possibility that the medications atomoxetine and venlafaxine might be effective The role of distress tolerance in treatment Prioritizing living better over feeling better The value of strategies from motivational interviewing Effectiveness of the best treatments The effects on hoarding of general talk therapy Whether cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the best treatment for every condition How to harness the placebo effect in therapy Finding mutual respect across therapy traditions The need for more effective psychological treatment Doing higher quality research studies What to do when the best-tested treatments aren’t helpful Historical advancements in CBT for panic disorder The textbook that David wrote calling Doing CBT

    David Tolin, PhD, ABPP, is the Founder and Director of the Anxiety Disorders Center at the Institute of Living, and an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine.

    He is the Past-President of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, the Past-President of the Clinical Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association, and a principal investigator for the National Institutes of Health.

    He received the Awards for Distinguished Contribution to the Science of Psychology, Distinguished Contribution to the Practice of Psychology, and Lifetime Contribution to Psychology from the Connecticut Psychological Association.

    David is the author of over 200 scientific journal articles, as well as several books, including (affiliate links):

    Doing CBT: A Comprehensive Guide to Working with Behaviors, Thoughts, and Emotions Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding Face Your Fears: A Proven Plan to Beat Anxiety, Panic, Phobias, and Obsessions.

    He has been featured on the reality TV series Hoarders and The OCD Project, and has been a recurring guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

    Find David online at his website and at the Institute of Living.

  • My guest this week is Nir Eyal, author of the excellent book Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life (affiliate link).

    Topics we discussed included:

    The connection between Nir’s first and second books Nir’s own history of distraction and needing the techniques of Indistractable Using psychological principles to create positive habits the same way social media and advertising companies exploit the principles for their own profit Differentiating between helpful and harmful uses of technology The cost of pervasive distraction Missing out on the important things in life The distractibility that is part of our basic nature The inherent cost of every new technology The internal factors that often drive distraction, e.g., anxiety The 10-Minute Rule from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) The psychological reactance that arises as a rebellion to abstinence “Surfing the urge” of challenging emotions to resist unproductive urges A fascinating study about cigarette smoking and nicotine cravings Using time boxing to prevent distraction Turning values into time Being stingy with time and generous with money Prioritizing easy and urgent work over hard and important work The tyranny of the to-do list The joy of doing exactly what you said you were going to Planning time for spontaneity

    Nir Eyal writes, consults, and teaches about the intersection of psychology, technology, and business. Nir previously taught as a Lecturer in Marketing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford.

    Nir co-founded and sold two tech companies since 2003 and was dubbed by The M.I.T. Technology Review as, “The Prophet of Habit-Forming Technology.”

    He is the author of two bestselling books, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products and Indistractable (affiliate links). His books have resonated with readers worldwide, selling over 1 million copies in over 30 languages.

    Indistractable has received a lot of critical acclaim, winning the Outstanding Works of Literature Award as well as being named one of the Best Business and Leadership Books of the Year by Amazon and one of the Best Personal Development Books of the Year by Audible. The Globe and Mail called Indistractable, “the best business book of 2019.”

    In addition to blogging at NirAndFar.com, Nir’s writing has been featured in The New York Times, The Harvard Business Review, Time Magazine, and Psychology Today.

    Nir attended The Stanford Graduate School of Business and Emory University.

    Find Nir online at his website and connect with him on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

  • My guest this week is Oren Jay Sofer.

    Topics we discussed included:

    Oren’s new book, Your Heart Was Made for This The ways that our minds and hearts are shaped by the world Scarcity Separation Depletion Understanding the roots of suffering and how to relieve suffering Our mistaken belief and wish that consumption will finally provide ultimate fulfillment and satisfaction Oren’s realization at a young age that all of life is in flux Common effects of social media use, and what drives it How becoming a dad while writing his most recent book affected Oren and how he sees the world Finding unconditional love and acceptance My guest’s experience of persistent Lyme Disease Finding a kind of joy that doesn’t depend on our conditions The inseparable nature of joy and sorrow The joy that comes from living in alignment with the truth Embracing the mess of our lives, just as they are

    Oren Jay Sofer teaches Buddhist meditation, mindfulness, and communication internationally.

    He holds a degree in comparative religion from Columbia University and is a Certified Trainer of Nonviolent Communication and a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner for the healing of trauma.

    Born and raised in New Jersey, Oren is the author of several books, including the best-selling title Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication along with his latest, Your Heart Was Made for This.

    His teaching has reached people worldwide through online communication courses and guided meditations. Oren lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and son, where he enjoys cooking, spending time in nature, and home woodworking projects.

    Find Oren online at his website and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

  • My guest this week is Dr. Paul Kesselman, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Devon, Pennsylvania.

    Topics we discussed included:

    The difference between healing and curing My own experience of illness and curing vs. healing A therapy scene from the Oscar-winning movie “Good Will Hunting” Validating pain and then pivoting to what is productive Show about a wrestler born with no arms (HBO?) Reacting to difficulties in life such as a poor night’s sleep How we react to our mistakes When therapy is over (or paused) Preventing therapist burnout Shifting as a therapist from curing to collaborating Asking what we can learn when we feel stuck Growth vs. fixed mindsets The value in being emptied out Being authentic as a therapist The intense feelings that are often present in the therapy room Non-romantic love as part of the therapy process The therapy-based TV show “In Treatment”

    Paul Kesselman, PsyD, completed his doctoral degree in psychology at Yeshiva University. He has taught college level courses in child psychology. He has been working in private practice seeing individuals, families, and running groups since 2003.

    Paul works with children as young as four years of age and sees children, pre- teens, adolescents, families, young adults, and adults. He has also conducted research studies on social anxiety at New York State Psychiatric Institute.

    Paul grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He and his wife have five children; he enjoys spending time with his family, listening to music, and playing baseball when he is not helping patients and families.

    He has a passion for his work and enjoys the opportunity to work with issues such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, learning issues, OCD, anger issues, impulse control disorders, school avoidance and refusal, and adjustments issues.

    Paul has spoken at both public and private area schools on a variety of topics including ADHD, anxiety, special needs children, and school anxiety.

    Learn more about Paul and his therapy practice at his website.

  • My guest this week is Dr. Steve O’Brien, author of the excellent new book, The Essential Guide to Treating Child and Adolescent Anxiety (affiliate link).

    Topics we discussed included:

    The ongoing epidemic of anxiety among young people Greater anxiety responses to smaller triggers Falling levels of resilience Overstimulation of kids’ bodies and minds The overload of information through social media The critical trio for basic health: sleep, nutrition, exercise Less obvious signs of anxiety in children Recognizing and respecting the challenges that come with parenting Kids’ deep need to feel understood Using a developmental systems lens Why we fall in love with therapists What to tell parents who blame themselves for their child’s struggles Overestimating the effects of parenting Inherent brain and temperamental differences between kids The bidirectional influences between children and parents Offering support while also encouraging kids to face their anxiety (empathic empowering) Slowing down our reactions

    Steve O’Brien, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist in Tampa Bay, Florida, with over 30 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and families.

    He specializes in the treatment of childhood anxiety, depression, ADHD, and autism spectrum disorders.

    Steve utilizes an integrative, developmental-systems model and relies heavily on psychoeducation, cognitive behavioral methods, interpersonal and client-centered approaches.

    A national speaker, on-air mental health reporter, and trusted media psychologist, Steve also developed the first-of-its-kind app for obtaining a child’s perception of family life (psychtouch.com). He is the author of The Essential Guide to Treating Child and Adolescent Anxiety (PESI Publishing, 2023).

    Find Steve online at his website.

  • My guest this week is Rob Bell. I was so happy that I got to speak with Rob. I’ve been a fan of his work for quite a while now—I listen to his podcast all the time and have read a few of his books, and I’ve just found his work so helpful. I  actually had an opportunity to spend a couple of days at the Rodale Institute where Rob was hosting one of his events where about 30 people come and bring an issue, a question, or a stuck point, and one by one we each sit and talk with Rob as the rest of the group observes. It’s hard to describe exactly what happens, but something kind of shifts and opens up. That was definitely my experience.

    So it was great to speak with Rob here. We focused mostly on his really cool new book called Where’d You Park Your Spaceship? An Interplanetary Tale of Love, Loss, and Bread (affiliate link). If you haven’t read it already, I strongly suggest you get a copy! It’s fantastic.

    Topics Rob and I got into included:

    The ways that Rob shows up in his new novel The outside-of-earth perspective that Where’d You Park Your Spaceship offers The crucial importance of surrendering to the narrative when telling a story, vs. trying to make a point The sense that there is a creative entity within us that to seems to have a mind of its own Following interest and curiosity vs. debt, duty, and obligation The main character’s existential sense of loneliness The importance of moving past denial The Enneagram and knowing the pain of your number Setting aside the pattern and energy of explaining things Reference in the book to Rob’s play, What’s a Knucka? Themes of anger, defiance, and liberation Recognizing one’s part in creating a system one is opposed to The forthcoming second installment of the series

    Rob Bell is the New York Times bestselling author of 14 books and plays which have been translated into 25 languages.

    His visual art can be seen on Instagram, his band is HUMANS ON THE FLOOR, and his podcast is called The RobCast.

    Rob lives with his family in Ojai, California.

    Learn more about Rob at his website.
  • My guest this week is Yemado. He’s the director of the Boston School of Boabom, and he’s been teaching Boabom for over 20 years. As you’ll hear, Boabom is a Tibetan system of meditation, relaxation, and self-defense, and this was such an interesting discussion. The topics Yemado and I explored were really familiar ones, and they were also in a whole new context. One of the most valuable parts of this conversation for me was his description of “crashing into yourself” when you pursue consistent practice with something like yoga or meditation or Boabom. Eventually you’ll discover inconvenient truths about yourself, and with persistence you can learn better ways to work with yourself. Toward the end you can follow along as Yemado leads us through a brief guided meditation.

    Topics we got into included:

    How Yemado discovered Boabom A book Yemado translated called Recycling with the Mind (affiliate link) What it means to meditate Habitual pathways in the mind, and creating new, more intentional pathways Meditation as rerouting the pathways in the mind Connections among the different benefits of meditation, such as relaxation and mental focus Meditation through movement Finding a “just-right challenge” in meditation Seeing through unhelpful assumptions The risk in skipping from one form of practice to another, and the value in practicing one approach over time “Crashing into yourself” through consistent focused practice Discovering truths about yourself that you’re not happy with through meditation Psychological self-defense as not taking on unnecessary additional stress A brief guided meditation from the Boabom approach

    Yemado is the foremost teacher in North America of Boabom, an ancient Tibetan system of meditation, relaxation, and self defense.

    He has brought this practice to thousands of students around the world over more than two decades of teaching, and he has trained Boabom teachers around the world.

    Yemado is the creator of Boabom Journey, a new 5 star app and video course that allows anyone to learn Boabom on their own schedule.

    He is the director of the Boston School of Boabom, the principal school dedicated to Boabom in North America. Yemado is also the co-translator and editor of a number of books about Boabom.

    You can download the highly-rated Boabom app here. Check out a free Boabom class, and learn more about Boston Boabom where Yemado is the Director and senior teacher.

  • My guest this week is Brent Franson, an entrepreneur and founder and CEO of a company called Most Days. I met Brent a while back when he had me on his podcast. I really wanted to talk with him after I listened to an episode of his podcast where he described the things that led him to the work he does now, which is focused on helping people make positive changes in their lives. Brent talked about his history of addiction and what helped him overcome it. We talked about self-compassion, which is built into the Most Days approach, and the limits of self-improvement.

    Topics we got into included:

    The events that led to Brent’s interest in and motivation for positive behavior change Brent’s history of addiction The destructive dynamics of addiction My guest’s experience in rehab Honest with oneself as an essential starting place for change The importance of self-compassion Balancing self-compassion with structure and discipline The important difference between self-criticism and self-critique The limits of self-improvement Allowing yourself to have some off-days The influence of meditation and mindfulness on my guest’s life and work Learning about one’s “inner talk track” Focusing on consistency before intensity when building new habits

    Check out the Most Days Show and the Most Days app, and contact Brent here.

    You can hear Brent tell his story on his podcast: Part 1: The Story of Most Days and Part 2: The Importance of Big Decisions.

    Brent Franson is the founder and CEO of Most Days. A serial entrepreneur, Brent’s interest in entrepreneurial endeavors began in high school when he founded a full-service search technology marketing agency.

    After moving to Palo Alto in 2005, Brent was on the founding team of Reputation.com, the worldwide leader in online reputation management. Reputation.com was named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum and was backed by Kleiner Perkins, Bessemer Venture Partners, and August Capital.

    Most recently, Brent was the CEO of Euclid Analytics, a leader in retail data and analytics backed by Benchmark Capital, NEA, Harrison Metal, and Groupe Arnault. Under his leadership, Euclid was acquired by WeWork in 2019. Brent has been named a LinkedIn Top Voice, and has regularly contributed to Forbes, LinkedIn, Inc, Entrepreneur, and other publications.

    Brent is a father, and an athlete who enjoys his routine, reading, running, skiing, skydiving, and anything that involves pushing his own boundaries.

  • My guest this week is Dr. Mitch Abblett. Mitch and I talked about how we can move through anxiety and stress by what he calls “owning the moment.” We explored what that means, how to do it, and maybe most important of all, how to remember to do it. The process itself is really simple—we just bring our attention to the present and let things be as they are. But as I’m sure you know, that’s much easier said than done. Mitch has some really helpful ways to practice more of this style of being in the moment. It involves something he calls “momentology,” which you’ll hear him explain. I really enjoyed this conversation, and toward the end Mitch led me through a short guided exercise that you can follow along with, too. I’m guessing you’ll like it as much as I did.

    Topics we got into included:

    What it means to be “mindful” Owning the moment Letting go of a fixation on stories and beliefs The value of coming into the moment when feeling stressed or anxious Using the breath to slow down and create space Engaged acceptance of not having control or possession of our kids How to help ourselves remember to come back to the present and release control The limitations of “hacks” to practice mindful presence The toxic anticipation of “nexting” Finding a resonance between ourselves and our experience, akin to jazz music How to commit to a consistent embrace of the moment Whether formal mindfulness practices are essential for developing a present focus A meditative practice based on the acronym “OWN” The present backlash against mindfulness and meditation

    Mitch Abblett, PhD, is a clinical psychologist, author, consultant and national/international speaker.

    His latest book is for parents, educators and helping professionals – Prizeworthy: How to Meaningfully Connect, Build Character, and Unlock the Potential of Every Child.

    His other publications include:

    The Five Hurdles to Happiness and the Mindful Path to Overcoming Them The Self-Compassion Deck, Growing Mindful , and other mindfulness-related card decks Helping Your Angry Teen From Anger to Action Train Your Mind Like a Ninja The Unwinding Anxiety Deck (with Dr. Judson Brewer)

    Mitch’s work has appeared in numerous online and print media such as Psychology Today, Mindful Magazine, The New York Times, Newsweek, Tricycle Magazine, and USA Today. His frequent blog posts regarding mindfulness applications in family and relationships can be found in Mindful Magazine’s companion website Mindful.org as well as on Psychology Today.

    A clinician in the Boston area for over 20 years, he brings a wealth of clinical, administrative and leadership experience from various settings (hospitals, outpatient clinics, residential facilities and therapeutic schools) to his practice and consulting. For 11 years he served as the Clinical Director of the Manville School at Judge Baker Children’s Center in Boston – a Harvard Medical School-affiliated therapeutic school program for children and adolescents with emotional, behavioral and learning difficulties. He has also served as the Executive Director of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy.

    Mitch lives with his wife and two children in Newton, Massachusetts.