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Balancing the Brain and the Power of Choice

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a Harvard-trained neuroanatomist and the New York Times bestselling author of the memoir My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey, in which she describes experiencing a rare form of stroke and her eight-year recovery. In this episode, Dr. Taylor speaks with Tami about the two hemispheres of the brain and how to integrate them, how to maintain a balanced brain, and the importance of nurturing the right brain in today’s left brain-dominant society. (65 minutes)

See Dr. Jill with singer-songwriter Carrie Newcomer in August 2014. Visit WakeUpFestival.com for more information.

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Matt Gutman: Conquering a Lifetime of Panic Attacks

28% of Americans will experience a panic attack in their lifetime. Some researchers say that number is closer to 50%. Renowned ABC News correspondent, Matt Gutman, never felt afraid when assigned to active and dangerous war zones. Yet when he had to speak on live television in front of a viewership of 9 million people, the seemingly unflappable reporter suffered intense panic attacks that nearly cost him his job. To help anyone whose life has been impacted by this often misunderstood mental health challenge, Gutman shares his personal journey in No Time to Panic

In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with Gutman about the book and the hard-won insights he brings his readers, exploring: The importance of destigmatizing panic attack disorder; conventional and alternative healing modalities; “retiring the drill sergeant” (aka managing the inner critic); excavating unresolved grief; how panic disorder can metastasize into other psychological issues; physical threats vs. social threats (and how we tolerate them); the evolutionary purpose of anxiety; how vulnerability is often the first step toward healing; the paradox of welcoming your panic; psychedelics and ego transcendence; the power of mindfulness and meditation; 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.

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.

David Spiegel: Self-Hypnosis for Well-Being

The practice of hypnosis is considered by many people within and outside of the medical profession to be useless, dangerous, or both. Yet studies are showing how hypnosis offers us a reliable, remarkably powerful therapeutic tool for managing pain and stress, changing unwanted habits, improving sleep, and overcoming a broad range of health challenges. 

In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with author and psychiatrist Dr. David Spiegel to separate the facts from the fiction, exploring: hypnosis as a naturally occurring state of highly focused attention; letting go of our usual preconceptions about ourselves; cognitive flexibility (not “suggestibility”); Dionysians, Apollonians, and Odysseans—three categories of hypnotizability; the Spiegel eye-roll technique; a guided experience of self-hypnosis for stress and anxiety; hypnosis vs. meditation; respecting and protecting your body; focusing on what you’re for instead of what you’re against; and a case example using self-hypnosis to heal trauma and dissociation (please note: this example occurs at 39:10–41:03 and includes a reference to sexual assault).

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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