Daniel Pinchbeck

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Daniel Pinchbeck is an author and journalist whose feature articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone,and Esquire, among others. His first book,Breaking Open the Head, was heralded as the most significant work on psychedelic experimentation since Terence McKenna. His second book, the bestselling 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, links indigenous prophecy, the environmental crisis, and modern technology in a new paradigm www.2012thebook.com.

Pinchbeck is a monthly columnist for Conscious Choice magazine and the editorial director of RealitySandwich.com.

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Daniel Pinchbeck: The Many Angles of 2012

Tami Simon interviews journalist Daniel Pinchbeck, the author of 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, in an exploration of the various views on the meaning of 2012 and examine their validity. By doing so we dive into the broad array of different perspectives, held across the world, on the importance of this quickly approaching date. (49 minutes)

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Tracking Wonder

Jeffrey Davis is a researcher, consultant, and the founder of the Tracking Wonder Consultancy. With Sounds True, he’s released the new book Tracking Wonder: Reclaiming a Life of Meaning and Possibility in a World Obsessed with Productivity. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Jeffrey about his lifelong work of understanding and spreading wonder. Jeffrey explains the six emotional facets that come together to create wonderment, as well as how to cultivate each in your daily life. Tami and Jeffrey discuss the value of accepting confusion, what we can learn from challenging times, and the positive emotions wonder cultivates. They talk about “wonder interventions” in the workplace and the untapped potential of focused daydreaming for robust creativity. Finally, Jeffrey and Tami discuss the power of personal devotions and the joyous act of gifting someone else with wonderment.

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

Preorder 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

What We Long For

Becca Piastrelli is a writer, speaker, ancestral folk medicine keeper, and women’s group facilitator. She is a leader in women’s empowerment and earth wisdom, teaching women how to cultivate a greater sense of belonging. With Sounds True, she has authored the book Root and Ritual. In this podcast, Becca joins Tami Simon to discuss the lifelong journey of reclaiming our sense of belonging, with a particular focus on four areas: land, lineage, community, and self. Becca and Tami also explore the concept of loneliness as both a personal and a systemic challenge, humbling ourselves to the natural world, confronting the pain and grief of colonization, listening to the soul of your home, healing the “great severing” of our root systems, the Indigenous concept of the “ever happening” and receiving the support of our ancestors, the somatic experience of ritual, the importance of being witnessed in our journey of transformation, and much more.

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