Category: Mindfulness

Learn to walk the profound journey of healing individu...

We are facing what is perhaps the greatest civilizational crisis of our time, the global ecological emergency. If the underlying challenge to climate change (and other systemic social problems) can be traced to human disrelation—a state of being out of accordance with nature, ourselves, and other humans—then I propose it to be a fundamentally spiritual problem, as much as an environmental, scientific, technological, cultural, psychological, economic, or historical one. At the root of this spiritual problem is collective trauma.

My work as a teacher over the past 20 years has focused on the integration of science and mysticism. Over time, as my training programs and retreats developed what emerged was a clear need to address collective trauma. 

Attuned: Practicing Interdependence to Heal Our Trauma—and Our World is a guide for anyone committed to the healing of our struggling world. With practical instruction on reducing stress and building  resilience, along with practices such as transparent communication, my book is intended to support each of us and our communities in embracing our interdependence. As you learn to attune to others, you begin to refine  your capacity to relate  — and to walk the profound journey of healing individual, ancestral, and collective trauma.

The complexity of challenges we face in the 21st century demands a new level of human collaboration. To respond with creativity and innovation to these challenges, we must think holistically. In this way, we awaken our most intrinsic biological gifts: the powers of our soul’s intelligence – that which inside us knows how to heal and restore.

Perhaps, rather than finding ourselves alive in a time of exponential, unstoppable decline, we will discover the power to access the evolutionary gifts that appear dormant in us. To accomplish this, I believe we must do it together—not separately, but in relation, as communities dedicated to healing our collectives.

It may take only a small number of us to establish a new level of collective coherence—to share our light, heal our wounds, and realize the unawakened potential of our world. Will you join me on this journey of attunement?

With gratitude,

Thomas Hübl


Thomas Hübl, PhD, is a renowned teacher, author, and international facilitator who works within the complexity of systems and cultural change by integrating modern science with the insights of humanity’s wisdom traditions. Since the early 2000s, he has led large-scale events on the healing of collective trauma, with a special focus on the shared history of Israelis and Germans, and facilitated healing and dialogue around racism, oppression, colonialism, and genocide, among other topics. He is the author of Healing Collective Trauma and Attuned (both with Julie Jordan Avritt). He has served as an advisor and guest faculty for universities and organizations, and he is currently a visiting scholar at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute. For more, visit www.attunedbook.com.

Five Dos and Don’ts for the Minimalism-Curious

My recent book Travel Light is a how-to guide for the practice of what I call “Spiritual Minimalism,” which is not to be confused with regular old minimalism.

Long story short, in 2018, I was living in a beautiful two-bedroom apartment in Venice Beach when I felt an inner calling to get rid of everything that didn’t fit inside of my 22-inch carry-on bag. My bag would effectively become my new apartment as I would begin living nomadically around the world.

It took me 30 days’ worth of yard sales and Craigslist posts to get rid of over four decades of furniture, art, photo albums, yearbooks, letters, clothing, knickknacks, winter coats, books, my cars, Vespa, and everything else.

And about six months into my nomadic journey, I realized something: I still had too much stuff. So I got rid of the carry-on bag and downsized into a backpack. And now, five-plus years later, I’m still happily living from a backpack as I continue to hop around the world, from hotels to Airbnbs to friends’ extra bedrooms.

Travel Light is written for those who also feel called to live with less, but you’re not sure where or how to start. Truth be told, there are numerous ways to start, depending on your individual situation.

If this approach intrigues you, I want to share five common mistakes many new minimalists make—and a handful of simple recommendations to get you started on a more mindful, purposeful minimalism journey:

Don’t get rid of too much too fast
Although I completely emptied my entire two-bedroom apartment within 30 days, I had been intentionally prepping to live from a carry-on bag over the previous year by experimenting with taking only what I actually used while on my dozens of work trips. So in 2018, getting rid of my stuff was merely the final step in a long progression of steps.

    My first recommendation is to go slow. Decide what sort of end result you desire, and start experimenting with what it would be like to only use what you envision keeping. Maybe get a storage room and put a handful of items in it each week until you run out of things you don’t use. Otherwise, going too fast could prove to be unsustainable and discouraging.

Don’t make it about the external space
Getting rid of clutter doesn’t resolve deep emotional wounds or past trauma. And some of that could be the root cause of why you engage in retail therapy or why you may cling to stuff you don’t use or wear. And until you start doing deeper work on yourself, you can live in the most minimal-looking setting, but still feel cluttered inside.

    Commit to daily meditation as a means of efficiently releasing stress, and engage in other inner work, such as therapy, journaling, seva (service), and daily gratitude practices to clear away the internal clutter. This is what is meant by Spiritual Minimalism. It’s minimalism practiced from the inside-out.

Don’t treat minimalism as a one-time experience
Minimalism is less of an act, like Spring cleaning, and more of a lifestyle, like getting into shape. It doesn’t end once you get rid of your stuff. Like being in shape, minimalism continues to inform what you do, how you do it, where you go, why, and pretty much every other choice you make in life. In other words, you recognize that every choice you make is either supporting the lifestyle or taking away from the lifestyle.

    Start seeing everything you do (big and small) as an opportunity to reinforce the minimalist mindset, and make choices that support your desired mindset.

Don’t forget to adopt a larger purpose Getting rid of stuff for the sake of looking like a minimalist is ultimately unfulfilling, and it’s recommended to adopt a larger purpose for your minimalism adventure. That way, you will bring more enthusiasm and passion into your minimalism choices. You’re not just getting rid of something for the sake of getting rid of it. It’s going to help you by making space to exercise, create content, or to use as the meditation corner of your home.

    My recommendation is to answer this question: How does becoming a minimalist help you help others? The answer is a clue into your purpose, and just know that there is no wrong answer. Or rather, it’s an ever-evolving answer that will come into greater focus as you begin your journey. All you need for now is a loose idea of your why.

Don’t compare yourself to others
The quickest way to make minimalism a drag is to compare yourself to other, more popular minimalists. It’s certainly good to be informed of best minimalism practices and get tips from minimalist influencers, but their paths or suggestions may not work as well for your situation.

    Be open to blazing your own path into minimalism, and be willing to adjust along the way. If you treat the entire thing as a learning experience, there are no mistakes. And you’ll have a lot more fun along the way.

For more tips and insights on the ways of the Spiritual Minimalist, I invite you to check out Travel Light: Spiritual Minimalism to Live a More Fulfilled Life.

Light Watkins

Three Black Men

We know that we’re living in a critical time in human history. We know that we can no longer say, “It’s not my responsibility.” What is it that this time begs us to see? In this podcast, Tami Simon joins visionary leaders Bayo Akomolafe, Orland Bishop, and Resmaa Menakem for a compelling conversation about the intersection of past, present, and future and the creation of new rituals and pathways for healing, equity, and belonging for all people.

Tune in as Bayo, Orland, and Resmaa discuss with Tami: “facing the monstrous” and reconciling that which we’ve chosen to avoid; how transformation is inevitably disabling; stopping the propagation of violence and fear in the human psyche; the metaphor of the fissure in the road; the power of ritual to foster inclusion and “metabolize” trauma; initiating the shift from the profane to the sacred; tapping the generative energies awaiting expression; imaginal cells and the analogy of the caterpillar and the butterfly; the evolution of music and trusting the maturation of creative acts; the Trickster archetype, and how oppression is never complete; getting out of the habit of predicting what comes next; and more.

Note: This episode originally aired on Sounds True One, where these special episodes of Insights at the Edge are available to watch live on video and with exclusive access to Q&As with our guests. Learn more at join.soundstrue.com.

What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You

Though I’m fairly certain you’ve heard otherwise, emotions are a vital part of everything you are: every thought, every choice, every relationship, every dream, every failure, every triumph, every act of violence, and every act of love. When you can learn their language, you can change your life for the better.

And when we can all learn their language, we can change the world.

Hello! I’m Karla McLaren, and I’m excited to announce the upcoming release of the revised and updated edition of The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You, which will be available in bookstores on June 27th.

Whether you’re a reader of the original Language of Emotions, or if you’re new to this work, I welcome you to this complete guide to the wisdom in every emotion you have.

The original 2010 version of The Language of Emotions was the first book to approach the emotions in terms of how they function, what they do, and how to work with them. Instead of treating emotions as problems to be solved or eradicated, I focused on them as essential aspects of meaning-making, behavior, and intelligence (which is what they truly are). I approached the emotional realm as an intelligent system that requires all of its members, including tragically disrespected emotions such as shame, anxiety, depression, jealousy, envy, panic, and the suicidal urge (among others). And in so doing, I discovered the healing messages inside all emotions.

But because most of us have been taught to distrust emotions, I was working without a net as I wrote the original version of this book, and I missed some things. Now, after more than a decade of further research and practice, and with the support and camaraderie of an international community of colleagues and friends, I’ve had the opportunity to understand the emotions more deeply.

For centuries, emotions have been repressed, idealized, distrusted, and even despised, yet they were never truly understood. I’m honored to share this updated celebration of the brilliance, ingenuity, healing power, and jaw-dropping genius of our emotions.

 

Welcome!

Karla McLaren, M.Ed.

Karla McLaren, M.Ed., is an award-winning author, social science researcher, and empathy innovator. She is CEO of Emotion Dynamics Inc., developer of Dynamic Emotional Integration®, and creator of EmpathyAcademy.org. Karla is the author of Embracing Anxiety, The Dynamic Emotional Integration Workbook, The Art of Empathy, The Power of Emotions at Work, and the multimedia online course Emotional Flow: Becoming Fluent in the Language of Emotions. For more, visit karlamclaren.com.

The Trauma Response is Never Wrong

We have been tricked to believe that the trauma response is a sign of weakness and disorder. What science shows us is that the trauma response is in fact a sign of strength and proof of an inherent human drive to survive. We need society to catch up with science, and fast. We are no longer living in an era where we can assume that trauma impacts a minority of the population. Trauma impacts us all. This has always been true, but we can no longer pretend otherwise.

Unbroken is a book about the miracle of the trauma response, the importance of acceptance and self-compassion, and the transformative healing potential that lies within us all. Drawing on my experience as a trauma researcher, coach, as well as my own personal journey of healing, this book offers a new perspective on trauma that emphasizes the wisdom of the body and the resilience of the human spirit.

If you’re struggling with the after-effects of trauma, Unbroken can help you understand your experience in a new light. You’ll learn how trauma impacts the brain, the body, and the spirit, and how you can use this knowledge to start your journey of healing. You’ll discover practical tools and strategies for managing trauma triggers, regulating your emotions, and cultivating self-compassion. Most importantly, you’ll learn that the trauma response is never wrong – it’s a natural and adaptive response to a difficult situation.

One of the most important lessons of Unbroken is that the trauma response is never wrong. This means that even if you’re struggling with symptoms like anxiety, depression, or dissociation, your body is doing exactly what it needs to do to protect you. By embracing this truth, you can start to shift from a place of shame and self-blame to a place of self-compassion and empowerment. The book is chock full of tools that will help you understand and appreciate your trauma response and how to intervene when that response is tripped off unnecessarily. I can’t wait for you to dig in and I can’t wait to hear how this book changes you. It certainly changed me.

MaryCatherine McDonald, PhD, is a research professor and life coach who specializes in the psychology and philosophy of trauma. She has been researching, lecturing, and publishing on the neuroscience, psychology, and lived experience of trauma since the beginning of her PhD in 2009. She’s published two academic books and many research papers, and she is the creator of a trauma-based curriculum designed to serve previously incarcerated folks and veterans

Tony Schwartz and Kimberly Manns: The Reckoning: Seein...

Who could you become if you fully allowed yourself to accept what you really want and go for it without reservation? What’s standing in your way? With their audio learning program, The Reckoning, celebrated leadership consultants Tony Schwartz and Kimberly Manns invite you to a deep-dive exploration of why you are the person you are, and who you can be—as a human being and a leader in today’s world. 

In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with Schwartz and Manns about their empowering seven-session audio program and their own journeys through the material they continue to learn even as they teach it. Give a listen as they discuss childhood development and confirmation bias; white male privilege and power; superiority, worthiness, and “defender” personas; the insecurity of oscillating between better than and less than; the three selves framework; encountering your core self; IFS (Internal Family Systems) therapy; the Enneagram; somatic work and trauma healing; the brave act of personal evolution called “the reckoning”; re-parenting yourself; the profound starting place called noticing; becoming a “chief energy officer”; the collective reckoning for the human species at this time; upgrading the human operating system; the four intelligences—the mind, the heart, the body, and the spirit; the qualities of one who reckons; responsibility and ownership; and more.

Note: This episode originally aired on Sounds True One, where these special episodes of Insights at the Edge are available to watch live on video and with exclusive access to Q&As with our guests. Learn more at join.soundstrue.com.

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