Category: Mindfulness

No Struggle, No Swag

In this podcast, George speaks with Sounds True founder, Tami Simon, about seeing clearly, loving greatly, and “finding your swag” through the struggles we encounter in pursuit of our goals. George and Tami discuss: His personal journey from the basketball court to the path of meditation and mindfulness; the Four A’s: awareness, acceptance, action, and assessment; right effort and balance, or how “slow is smooth and smooth is fast”; generating hope and optimism instead of falling into fear and negativity; uncovering the “masterpiece” of your inner nature; the importance of self-honesty; “pure performance” in business or athletics; and more.

Becoming a Trauma-Informed Spiritual Explorer

Mindfulness meditation, yoga, and other spiritual practices bring many benefits, but for those struggling with trauma, those practices can actually amplify their symptoms. That doesn’t mean they should avoid these practices. By adopting trauma-sensitive principles, those healing from trauma often have the most to gain.

In this episode, Sounds True founder Tami Simon speaks with Dr. David Treleaven, a leading voice in Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness (TSM), to explore the five principles of TSM, why the breath is not always a neutral or safe object of attention, how to tell if an intense meditation experience is helping or not, when to lean in to your practice and when to change direction, techniques to re-ground and regulate, guidance for meditation teachers, the importance of supportive relationships in TSM, and much more.

Hard Pivot

In this podcast, Apolo joins Sounds True founder Tami Simon to discuss his new book, Hard Pivot: Embrace Change. Find Purpose. Show Up Fully. Tami and Apolo also discuss being relentlessly curious; fear of failure and “FOPO”—fear of other people’s opinions; doing the hard work; how to work with disempowering self-talk; the power of visualization; the concept of “process over prize”; having a full dedication to one’s craft; the Japanese principle of ikigai; maintaining self-discipline; and Apolo’s Five Golden Principles for building resilience, overcoming self-doubt, reinventing ourselves, and pivoting gracefully into new opportunities for success.

What Is Wanting to Find Expression Through You?

Dr. James Hollis is a Jungian analyst, a former director of the Jung Society of Washington, DC, and a professor of Jungian Studies for Saybrook University of San Francisco/Houston. He is the author of The Middle Passage, Living an Examined Life, Through the Dark Wood, and Living Between Worlds, among many others. With Sounds True, he’s released the expansive audio program A Life of Meaning: Exploring Our Deepest Questions and Motivations. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with James about the journey for personal fulfillment—how it starts, what it demands, and how it changes your life. James explains what it really means to take responsibility for your life’s path, as well as how you can rediscover and reclaim your innate authority. Tami and James discuss how childhood experiences shape our present behavior and what it takes to live fearlessly. Finally, they talk about overcoming lethargy and the joy of becoming comfortable with mysteries.

What You Can Do to Make Your Relationship Work

Elizabeth Earnshaw works with individuals, couples, and families and is the founder of A Better Life Therapy. She holds a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy, is a licensed marriage and family therapist, and is a certified Gottman Method couples therapist. Elizabeth also trains and supervises new therapists seeking their licenses in the counseling field. With Sounds True, she is the author of I Want This to Work: An Inclusive Guide to Navigating the Most Difficult Relationship Issues We Face in the Modern Age. 

In this podcast, Sounds True founder, Tami Simon, speaks with Elizabeth Earnshaw about what she has discovered to be the building blocks for a successful relationship—and the most common pitfalls that can lead to irreparable damage. They also discuss the unique approach of the Gottman Method and the research behind it; the importance of turning toward your partner (and the dangers of turning away); “bids for connection” as key moments in relationship; the “four horsemen” of unhealthy communication: criticism, defensiveness, stonewalling, and contempt; the three Rs of a healthy relationship: reliability, respect, and responsiveness; interdependence, or how we balance our desires for connection and our desires for autonomy; repairing broken trust; the recent dramatic decline in the divorce rate; the connection between happy relationships and physical health; avoiding the trap of “triangulation”; and more.

How to Bloom in the Dark: Self-Compassion, Compost, an...

Compassion is the magic ingredient that turns our personal “compost” into personal evolution.

 Some time ago, I found a strange bloom in the kitchen. It was elegantly twisted, like a dragon at a Chinese New Year celebration. It was frilled, purple, and pungent. This exquisite thing grew out of a chunk of purple cabbage that I’d put under the sink to go out for compost. Instead of fading quietly however, it burst into new life in the dark grotto of my cabinetry. It blossomed into something unexpected, unusual, and fiercely beautiful.

Reflecting on the discovery of this “flower” in the shadows, I’m reminded of, and heartened by, the fertility of dark times. Many people are feeling a collective spiritual darkness now, exhausted and frustrated, maybe also angry and scared. Having compassion for ourselves and others is especially important in times of literal and metaphorical darkness. How can we do this if we already feel overloaded?

Nature is our ultimate model and guide—in the light, in the dark, and in the most surprising and gorgeous ways. Cue the weird, glorious cabbage flower which came to life in the dark. What was being shown there?

There is the clear compost metaphor. Compost is the stuff we reject, the moldy, wilted, too hard, too soft, nasty bits that don’t make it to the table. It’s also the leftovers from delicious things we appreciate and enjoy, silky mango skins, green tea leaves, dark coffee grounds.

It all transforms into a rich sloop that eventually nourishes future plants. Our personal work includes processing our own “dark” sides, the parts we’d like to hide or discard. Self-compassion (and compassion for others) holds both the rejected and respected parts of who we are. Like composting, it isn’t always pretty, but it’s potent. Research shows self-compassion helps us stay present and kindhearted without sinking into absorptive empathy, which can lead to overload and burnout. This meditation is part of the toolkit in the audio course Shining Bright Without Burning Out.

The cycles of the natural world, into which we are interwoven, take time. It’s hard to be patient, to let everything, both scorned and enjoyed, stew in our symbolic personal compost piles. The speed with which that brew changes from nasty to nourishing varies widely with the internal and external conditions. Sometimes all those different elements take a long time to dissolve and break down. Sometimes it turns around faster than we think possible, like time-lapse photography of a log rotting on the forest floor with new green shoots springing to life overnight. Compassion is the magic ingredient that turns our personal “compost” into personal evolution.

The dark supports transformation. Times of literal darkness are needed for regeneration. Roots, seeds, and bulbs prepare. People and animals sleep. Times of symbolic darkness are also helpful. In darkness, transformative processes happen without spectators, often below the level of our conscious awareness. These are periods of catharsis, healing after trauma, cocooning in preparation for the next version of ourselves and our world.

We sometimes feel hopeless and helpless in the dark. Our society avoids sinking into it. Instead, we gravitate towards purveyors of easy “love and light!” spirituality, shying away from the deep, gooey work that happens to the larval versions of ourselves (and those around us) when we’re in the darkness of the cocoon. Self-compassion is most needed when we’re a mess.

The dark is a vital part of the wheel of our days, our years, our lifetimes. We need it to survive and be healthy in the long term. So, let’s embrace it, explore it, and be gentle with ourselves as we confront our fear of it. From this darkness we are nourished to bloom into the light.

@ 2021 Mara Bishop MA

Order Shining Bright Without Burning Out now! 

Mara Bishop has
over 25 years of experience helping people find spiritual health and
well-being. Her Personal Evolution Counseling™ method blends shamanism,
psychology, intuition, energy healing, and nature-based practices. She
lives in Durham, NC with a beloved family of people, animals, and
plants.

More information about Mara is at www.WholeSpirit.com

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