Gabor Maté: The Roots of Healing

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March 21, 2017

Gabor Maté: The Roots of Healing

Gabor Maté March 21, 2017

Dr. Gabor Maté is an author, speaker, and physician who specializes in addiction, stress, and childhood development. His many books include In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts and When the Body Says No. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Maté about his views on modern mental health evaluation—specifically the widespread diagnoses of ADHD and depression. They discuss the connection between emotional expression and immune response, as well as how the body can be an effective teacher. Finally, Dr. Maté comments on how mental health issues can often be rooted in compensating behaviors from childhood and how healing can be approached from a bio-psycho-social perspective. (68 minutes)

Dr. Gabor Maté is an author, speaker, and physician who specializes in addiction, stress, and childhood development. His many books include In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts and When the Body Says No. His signature psychotherapeutic approach, Compassionate Inquiry, reveals what lies beneath the appearance we present to the world.

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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.

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Gabor Maté: Healing Principles to Embody in a Traumat...

Why do we suppress our authenticity? How do we reconcile the need to accept things as they are with a desire to change them? What is the pathway to healing in a world that’s breaking our hearts? In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with renowned physician and author Dr. Gabor Maté about these profound questions, and how the approach he calls Compassionate Inquiry can help us find the answers within ourselves. 

Listen in to this informative, inspiring, and at times “fiery” conversation exploring how to bridge the gap between understanding and embodiment; the “full heart beneath a broken heart”; paying attention to tension; growth, not perfection; the neuroscience of emotions; the connections between sensitivity and addiction; activism and advocacy as an element of healing; the dance of acceptance and agency; psychoneuroimmunology; the search for truth and where it emanates from; 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.

Gabor Maté: Healing into Wholeness in a Toxic Culture

Celebrated author and physician Dr. Gabor Maté has become one of the world’s foremost voices on the journey of healing from trauma—in large part because it is a path he walks himself. In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Maté about his new book, The Myth of Normal, sharing breakthrough insights into the nature of trauma and some of the necessary steps for our personal and collective recovery. 

Give a listen as Tami and Dr. Maté discuss the truth of our interconnectedness; disease as a process, not a distinct entity; self-compassion and honoring our suffering; an inquiry practice—the happy childhood challenge; the emotional work that healing requires; the concepts of wholeness and recovery; the essence of trauma—disconnection from the Self; experiencing your own natural goodness; psychedelics and the veil between the conscious and the unconscious; closing the gap between science and the practice of medicine; learning how to say no before your body does; and more.

This episode first aired live and on video on Sounds True One. To watch Insights at the Edge episodes live and on video, and to access additional bonus Q&A, please visit join.soundstrue.com to learn more.

Gabor Maté: The Roots of Healing

Dr. Gabor Maté is an author, speaker, and physician who specializes in addiction, stress, and childhood development. His many books include In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts and When the Body Says No. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Maté about his views on modern mental health evaluation—specifically the widespread diagnoses of ADHD and depression. They discuss the connection between emotional expression and immune response, as well as how the body can be an effective teacher. Finally, Dr. Maté comments on how mental health issues can often be rooted in compensating behaviors from childhood and how healing can be approached from a bio-psycho-social perspective. (68 minutes)

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5 Tools to Create More Space in Your Mind

Busyness, distraction, and stress have all led to the shrinking of the modern mind.

I realize that’s a strange thing to say. Most of us don’t think of our mind as something with space in it, as a thing that can either be big or small, expensive or claustrophobic.

But just think about the last time you felt overwhelmed, stressed, or out of control. Chances are, you might not even have to think that hard. You might be experiencing that state right now as you read these words.

What happens in these moments? 

First, our mind wanders. It spins through all sorts of random thoughts about the past and the future. As a result, we lose touch with the direct experience of present time.

Second, we lose perspective. We can’t see the big picture anymore. Instead, it’s like we’re viewing life through a long and narrow tunnel. We become blind to possibility, fixated on problems.

Put these two together and you’ve got the perfect recipe for eradicating space in the mind. The landscape of the mind begins to feel like a calendar jammed with so many meetings, events, and obligations that these neon colored boxes cover-up even the smallest slivers of white space. 

So it could be nice for our partner, for our kids, and, mostly, for our ourselves to consider: how can we create more space in the mind?

Here are five tools for creating mental space. If you want to go deeper, check out my new book with Sounds True on the topic called OPEN: Living With an Expansive Mind in a Distracted World.

1. Meditation.

You’ve no doubt heard about all of the scientifically validated benefits of this practice. It reduces stress. It boosts productivity. It enhances focus.

That is all true. But here is the real benefit of meditation: it creates more space in the mind. To get started, try it out for just a few minutes a day. Use an app or guided practice to help you.

2. Movement.

So, maybe you’re not the meditating type. That’s fine. You can still create space in the mind by setting aside time for undistracted movement.

The key word here is “undistracted.” For many of us, exercise and movement have become yet another time where our headspace gets covered over by texts, podcasts, or our favorite Netflix series. 

There’s nothing wrong with this. But it can be powerful to leave the earbuds behind every once in a while and allow the mind to rest while you walk, stretch, run, bike, swim, or practice yoga.

3. Relax.

When it comes to creating headspace, we moderns, with our smartphone-flooded, overly-stimulated, minds seem to inevitably encounter a problem: we’re often too stressed, amped, and agitated to open.

Relaxation – calming the nervous system – is perhaps the best way to counter this effect and create more fertile ground for opening. When we relax – the real kind, not the Netflix or TikTok kind –  the grip of difficult emotions loosens, the speed of our whirling thoughts slows, and, most important, the sense of space in our mind begins to expand.

How can you relax? Try yoga. Try extended exhale breathing, where you inhale four counts, exhale eight counts. Try yoga nidra. Or, just treat yourself to a nap.

4. See bigger.

When life gets crazy, the mind isn’t the only thing that shrinks. The size of our visual field also gets smaller. Our eyes strain. Our peripheral vision falls out of awareness.

What’s the antidote to this tunnel vision view? See bigger.

Try it right now. With a soft gaze, allow the edges of your visual field to slowly expand. Imagine you’re seeing whatever happens to be in front of you from the top of a vast mountain peak. Now bring this more expansive, panoramic, way of seeing with you for the rest of the day.

5. Do nothing.

Now for the most advanced practice. It’s advanced because it cuts against everything our culture believes in. In a world where everyone is trying desperately to get more done, one of the most radical acts is to not do — to do nothing.

Even just a few minutes of this paradoxical practice can help you experience an expansion of space in the mind.

Lie on the floor or outside on the grass. Close your eyes. Put on your favorite music if you want. Set an alarm for a few minutes so you don’t freak out too much. 

Then, stop. Drop the technique. Drop the effort. Just allow yourself to savor this rare experience of doing absolutely nothing.

Nate Klemp, PhD, is a philosopher, writer, and mindfulness entrepreneur. He is the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Start Here and the New York Times critics’ pick The 80/80 Marriage. His work has been featured in the LA Times, Psychology Today, the Times of London, and more, and his appearances include Good Morning America and Talks at Google. He’s a cofounder of LifeXT and founding partner at Mindful. For more, visit nateklemp.com or @Nate_Klemp on Instagram.

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