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Resolving Anxiety at its Root, Part 2

Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Friedemann Schaub, author of the Sounds True book The Fear and Anxiety Solution. Dr. Schaub’s breakthrough method of self-empowerment combines his medical expertise with Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Time Line Therapy™, and clinical hypnotherapy and has helped thousands overcome persistent fear, anxiety, depression, and other chronic issues. In this second half of their two-part conversation, Tami and Friedemann discuss cellular memory, our “blueprint for wholeness,” and how to root ourselves in our essence instead of continual, low-level anxiety. They also discuss the inner protector at the root of our negative self-talk and a “Parts Reintegration Process” for working with this inner protector. (62 minutes)

The Presence of Spirit

Deena Metzger—author, poet, teacher, and the creator of the classic Sounds True audio title This Body, My Life—has an in-depth conversation with Tami Simon. Tami and Deena discuss her work with the ReVisioning Medicine organization and the necessity of listening to the story that chronic illness is trying to tell you about your body. They also talk about creating a “literature of restoration,” intended to promote values other than those pushed by materialistic society and to focus on what is truly life-giving. Finally, Deena expounds on the idea of the coming “Fifth World” and the steps necessary to create it. (62 minutes)

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.

Unbinding the Heart

Agapi Stassinopoulos is an author, blogger, and motivational speaker who conducts seminars worldwide on embracing one’s natural gifts. With Sounds True, she has released the audio version of her book Unbinding the Heart: A Dose of Greek Wisdom, Generosity, and Unconditional Love, enhanced with new guided meditations. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Agapi and Tami Simon speak on how disappointment can be an important teacher and how each of us needs to define success for ourselves. They also talk about lessons Agapi learned from her mother—including potent slogans she shared with her daughters. Finally, Tami and Agapi address the expectations of young women just starting their careers and how contributing to the lives of others may be the true path to freeing our hearts. (63 minutes)

Spiritual friendship

What if the leading energy in our lives were to be our heart and our heart’s cry? What if living a “spiritual life” was actually synonymous with living a “heart-centered life”? These are some of the questions I have been asking myself—and the answers have pushed me more and more into prioritizing what I am calling “spiritual friendship.” What is spiritual friendship to me? It is the genuine meeting of two people who are vulnerable and open and truth-telling and available for actual contact and communion at the feeling level.

For the past eight years, I have been working closely with a Hakomi therapist (Hakomi is a type of therapy that works with mindfulness in a body-centered way). One of the principles of Hakomi is that the interpersonal wounds we have experienced in our life (for example, early wounds from childhood in relationship to our parents … sound familiar?) can only be healed in relationship with others. What this means is that interpersonal challenges can’t be healed on the meditation cushion or in solitary retreat.

Wounds from relationship require the context of relationship for healing. This seems pretty obvious, huh? But as someone who has been a meditator now for almost three decades, this was not something that was obvious to me in the early stages of my journey. Somehow I thought I was going to open completely to the universe and all of its mystery without ever needing to relate closely and vulnerably with others.

What I am actually finding is that connecting with other people in a heart-centered way is not just about healing. It is actually the most rewarding and fulfilling part of my life. Period. There is something about being fully received by another person and fully receiving another person, without the need for any part to be edited or left out, that feels to me like the giving and receiving of the greatest soul nourishment that there is.

blossom

Recently, I found myself in a room alone with a renowned scientist who specializes in the field of perception. We were at a conference and were sitting with each other in a room that had been set aside for presenters at the event. Finding ourselves alone in the room together, we both seemed a bit awkward at first. What would we talk about? I decided to bring up the topic of uncertainty as I knew that he taught quite a bit about uncertainty in the context of perception (for example, how we never know if what we are perceiving is the same as what someone else is perceiving, even when we are looking at the same thing).

Right at the beginning of what I feared would be an awkward conversation, this scientist said to me, “When you really start investigating how uncertain everything is, it’s enough to make you feel totally insane. There is only one thing that has kept me even the least bit sane, and that is loving relationships.” When he said this, I leaned over and said, “Would it be okay if I kissed you now?” He looked quite shocked. I gave him a big kiss on the cheek and said, “I never thought I would hear a scientist say such a thing. I have come to the same conclusion, but I thought that was just because I was some kind of a mushy-mush person.”

That moment in the green room was a moment for me of spiritual friendship, a moment of genuine connection where the heart breaks through any awkwardness or fear or holding back. I am finding those moments occurring more and more in my life, often in unexpected ways, and it is those types of moments that I hope will fill the Wake Up Festival from start to finish. We need each other so much. We need each other’s acceptance and reflection. We need each other’s unhurried presence. We need our love to break through. We need “community” in the sense of knowing that we are connected to others who are on a similar journey, where the vulnerability and tenderness of our hearts are leading the way.

Accompanying each other

Recently, someone who works at Sounds True asked me if I would be her “buddy” in an experiment. She is getting married in June,and she has historically been a nail-biter. She wants her finger nails  to look beautiful and elegant when she reaches out her hand and her husband-to-be places the ring on her wedding finger (perhaps you can see the photograph of this moment in your mind?). Her question to me: Would I stop biting my finger nails (I have been an engaged nail-biter since childhood….it’s all coming out here on the ST blog site) as a way to support her in this goal?

At first I thought, forget it. I have never been successful at stopping biting my nails for very long and why should I bother with this. And then I thought, I love this person. And she almost never asks of anything of me. And she is getting MARRIED after all. I have to say “Yes” without giving this another thought. So I quickly took the leap and agreed.

Now here is the interesting thing: It has been almost a month since we made this agreement,  and so far, I have been supremely vigilant in upholding my word (one small nail was ripped off, but otherwise I am ready to scratch anything with 9 long nails). Why is this approach working? Obviously, it’s not because I care about having good looking nails (since I haven’t for decades). It’s because I care about this person. I feel inspired by my love of her and my desire to support her in any way that I can. And beyond that, her goal matched a goal that I have that has been lingering under the surface.

And this has made me think about all of the support groups that exist for all kinds of things (from Weight Watchers to AA), and the tremendous power of creating a resolve not on our own but in relationship with another person. This is such an OBVIOUS point, but I have never seen this so clearly before. And as the Publisher of a company dedicated to transformation, I am asking some new questions: How can we help the Sounds True community link up (“buddy up”) with people who share similar transformational goals? Perhaps we could create “practice partnerships” where people check in with each other on a daily basis for a period of time in order to follow through on a commitment to a specific spiritual discipline? What type of vulnerability does it take to reach out and ask for support and how can we encourage people to do this? What other areas of my life do I want to “buddy up” with someone (whether that be a friend or coach) to achieve certain outcomes?

And at another level, I am reflecting on how much we simply need each other to grow and change. How another person’s love and presence can inspire us to stretch and do something differently, perhaps something we have always wanted to do but just didn’t have enough forward-motion on our own. And how this is the power of being accompanied and is something readily available we can offer and receive from each other.

And to take this even further, there are certain Sounds True authors who I feel are “accompanying” me on the spiritual path. Some of them might suspect they are playing that type of role in my life, others probably have no idea. These people are inner “touchstones” — their life and work inspires me to continue with my own life and work.  Occasionally, during a difficult moment, I invoke their name or their face, and I feel heartened.  And since this is all happening in the inner chambers of the heart, it is very possible that we don’t know who is feeling “accompanied” by our life, who is deriving strength and perseverance and follow-through from invoking our name and presence. I feel so grateful for all of the writers and teachers, past and present, who I draw on as “buddies”. It sounds trite to say “we need each other” and it is not strong enough language. My sense is that we actually exist for each other and because of each other. And the more wildly and passionately and freely we can acknowledge our companionship, the more daring we can be. We become supportive and supported risk-takers. We become fellow travelers on a journey where our love for each other calls us ever-deeper.

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