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The Neuroscience of Change

Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist, award-winning lecturer at Stanford University, and leading expert on the mind-body relationship. Dr. McGonigal is the author of The Willpower Instinct and Yoga for Pain Relief, and with Sounds True she has created an audio learning program called The Neuroscience of Change. In this episode, Tami speaks with Dr. McGonigal about how we can consciously change the “default settings” of our brain, what we can do to tune into ourselves at a physiological level during difficult emotional situations, and how self-criticism can hinder our attempts to change our behavior. Dr. McGonigal also shares a practice of cultivating self-compassion. (57 minutes)

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Not Being a Prisoner to Your Nervous System

Jeffrey Rutstein, PsyD, is a clinical psychotherapist, trauma expert, and a longtime student and teacher of meditation. In collaboration with Sounds True, Dr. Rutstein is hosting the upcoming Healing Trauma Program: A Nine-Month Training to Regulate Your Nervous System, Embody Safety, and Become a Healing Presence. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Rutstein about the physical aspects of trauma and how to understand their influences on daily life. He explains his model of “the owner’s manual of your nervous system” and how actively reading your body state is the first step to unraveling traumatic aftereffects. Tami and Dr. Rutstein also discuss self-regulation during stressful situations, practices for anchoring in the body, and how our understanding of trauma has evolved over time. Finally, they talk about consciously interrupting trauma-born behaviors, as well as the ongoing work of teaching emotional literacy and resilience.

Trusting the Gold

Tara Brach has been practicing and teaching meditation since 1975, as well as leading workshops and meditation retreats throughout North America and Europe. She has a PhD in clinical psychology, is the founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington (IMCW), and is the author of Radical Acceptance, True Refuge, Radical Compassion, and most recently, Trusting the Gold

In this podcast, Tara Brach speaks with Sounds True founder Tami Simon about rediscovering the inner “gold” of our intrinsic goodness, love, and purity. In addition, they discuss Tara’s teachings on the “trance of unworthiness” and how we can break free from it; recognizing the secret beauty in others and mirroring it back; relaxation for the go-getters; working with difficult emotions; how shame can become a portal to freedom; the RAIN practice for self-compassion; the power of the phrase “this belongs”; the practice of “softening” in response to contractions of fear or anger; and seeing the sacredness in all things.

Radical Self-Care Changes Everything

Anne Lamott is the celebrated author of many books of fiction, essays, and memoirs. Her works include Bird by Bird, Hallelujah Anyway, and Crooked Little Heart. In this special edition of Insights at the Edge originally recorded for The Self-Acceptance Summit, Tami Simon speaks with Anne about acts of “radical self-care” and how they are essential for anyone’s well-being. Anne talks about self-acceptance as an innately feminist concept, especially around issues of body image and self-esteem. Finally, Anne and Tami discuss how it is necessary to fully accept oneself before being able to show up for others, and why modern society often argues the opposite.

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