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Meet Your Host Tami Simon
Founded Sounds True in 1985 as a multimedia publishing house with a mission to disseminate spiritual wisdom. She hosts a popular weekly podcast called Insights at the Edge, where she has interviewed many of today's leading teachers. Tami lives with her wife, Julie M. Kramer, and their two spoodles, Rasberry and Bula, in Boulder, Colorado.
Author photo © Jason Elias
Dr. Paul Conti is a graduate of Stanford University School of Medicine. He completed his psychiatry training at Stanford and at Harvard. Dr. Conti has served patients and clients throughout the United States and internationally. With Sounds True, he has released a new book called Trauma: The Invisible Epidemic: How Trauma Works and How We Can Heal From It (featuring a foreword by Lady Gaga). In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Conti about healing the unresolved trauma we hold inside both individually and collectively. They also discuss how trauma operates differently in different people, overcoming “reflexive shame,” self-inquiry and the embrace of a “true life narrative,” perseverance and self-compassion, strategies for dealing with traumatic triggers, resolving our grief, how trauma affects the map of our inner landscape, inherited trauma, become a healing resource for others, and much more.
Patricia Stark is a personal coach and certified body language trainer. With Sounds True, she’s released the book Calmfidence: How to Trust Yourself, Tame Your Inner Critic, and Shine in Any Spotlight. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon talks with Patricia about what it takes to cultivate “calmfidence”—a combination of robust confidence and inner calm that grounds you no matter the circumstances. Patricia details her own journey from a painfully shy childhood to becoming a sought-after speaker. Tami and Patricia discuss tools and tricks for building calmfidence, including on-the-spot exercises such as the Snow Globe or the Sack of Potatoes practices. Finally, they talk about the hidden advantages of nervousness, the necessity of active listening, and why each of us has a personal truth waiting to be shared with the world.
Paul Hawken is a world-renowned environmentalist, activist, and author. His works include Blessed Unrest, Drawdown, and Sustainable Revolution. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Paul about the call to action in his newest book, Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation. Paul and Tami discuss the accelerating effects of climate change and how global society might respond. Paul comments on the lack of public engagement with the situation, emphasizing that old and entrenched human behavioral patterns won’t solve the problem. Tami and Paul talk about the nature of social change, resources for everyday climate action, and the fascinating climate-shifting possibilities of the Azolla fern. Finally, they speak on the importance of staying active and joyous even when the scale of the crisis feels overwhelming.
Dr. Joanna Macy is an ecophilosopher, activist, and Buddhist scholar who has been at the forefront of movements for social justice and environmentalism for more than five decades. She founded the Work That Reconnects Network and has written many books, including World as Lover, World as Self. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Joanna about hope in times of chaos and dissolution, as well as how hope is something we do rather than just feel. Joanna and Tami discuss apathy as a refusal to face the inevitability of suffering and why the state of the environment can be especially heartbreaking. Finally, Tami and Joanna talk about our relationship with the earth as a natural birthright—one that is actually the source of all our energy and joy.
Elizabeth Stanley is a Georgetown University professor and the creator of Mindfulness-based Mind Fitness Training (MMFT)®, an approach taught to thousands in civilian and military high stress environments. A U.S. Army veteran with service in Asia and Europe, she holds degrees from Yale, Harvard, and MIT. She is the author of the book, Widen the Window: Training Your Brain and Body to Thrive During Stress and Recover from Trauma. In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with Elizabeth Stanley about her 8-session online course, Mindfulness-Based Mind Fitness Training: A Trauma-Sensitive Online Course to Build Resilience and Thrive During Stress. They also discuss why MMFT is a practice we can all benefit from; the value of expanding our “window of tolerance”; the relationship between personal agency and trauma; the “thinking” brain versus the “survival” brain; when stress becomes trauma; the importance of recovery from stressful situations; and more.
Kelly Wendorf is an executive and personal development certified master coach, educator, spiritual mentor, and socially responsible entrepreneur. She is the founding partner of EQUUS, a leadership development organization that works with high-performing individuals, groups, and thought leaders. Her evidence-based approach to creating conditions for breakthrough transformative learning has earned her worldwide acclaim. In this podcast, Kelly joins Tami Simon to talk about her new book, Flying Lead Change: 56 Million Years of Wisdom for Leading and Living, and the unique evolutionary relationship between human beings and horses. Kelly and Tami also discuss the five central values of equine culture (safety, connection, peace, joy, and freedom), the community we share with the larger natural world, and much more.
Lance Allred is a former NBA player (who was the first legally deaf player in the league), public speaker, and author. With Sounds True, he has published The New Alpha Male: How to Win the Game When the Rules Are Changing. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Lance about the experiences he had in professional sports that led him to reevaluate what it means to be a man in contemporary society. Lance explains how his upbringing in a rural, polygamous commune informed his original ideas about masculinity, highlighting the subconscious assumptions about money and power that affect American men’s self-worth. Tami and Lance also discuss the roles of emotional vulnerability and surrender in the lives of modern men. Finally, they talk about the principle of perseverance and the increasingly urgent need for all cultures to reexamine their assumptions and core values.(63 minutes)
Micah Mortali is the director of the Kripalu School, a certified yoga teacher, and a longtime wilderness guide. With Sounds True, he has published Rewilding: Meditations, Practices, and Skills for Awakening in Nature. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Micah about humanity’s growing disconnection from the earth and how “rewilding” can help slow that trend. They talk about rewilding both as individuals and as part of whole ecosystems. Micah also shares the story of an intense, revelatory trail encounter with a bear and comments on the “species loneliness” of urban environments. Mulling the sense of grief they have for humankind’s effects on the environment, Tami and Micah consider how modern people can grapple with being in exile from the natural world. Finally, they discuss the barriers many have to reentering nature, as well as ways to initiate your own rewilding experience no matter where you are.(64 minutes)
Christian Conte, PhD, is a mental health specialist and leading authority on anger management. With Sounds True, Christian has published Walking Through Anger: A New Design for Confronting Conflict in an Emotionally Charged World. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon talks with Christian about his Yield Theory of emotional management, focusing on the process of “listen, validate, explore options.” Christian explains the events that led to his interest in anger management, as well as the origins of Yield Theory. He emphasizes the importance of meeting others where they are, giving them the opportunity to drain anger’s charge from their limbic system. Christian and Tami discuss why it’s necessary to cultivate humility and how Yield Theory might be applied to our currently divisive culture. Finally, they speak on “the cartoon world” that angry responses often create, as well as the importance of watching what we add to our minds.(63 minutes)