For Life on Purpose Episode #81, my guest is Christopher Plowman, CEO of Insight Timer, the most popular meditation Timer in the world. Home to more than 3 million meditators, Insight Timer is rated as the top free meditation app on the Android and iOS stores.
Christopher joined me for insightful conversation on Insight Timer, the challenges of maintaining his own meditation practice, the value of community to meditation, The Maharishi Effect, his past ventures in the start-up world and how Insight Timer is different, and the crucial importance of keeping the app free for everyone with no monthly subscriptions or lockdowns.
"How do you build a profitable company when you’re committed to a free product which costs millions of dollars a year to run?"
NOTE FROM GREG: I've personally been using Insight Timer nearly every day since early 2014; it's easily my favorite and most valuable app, which is why I was excited to have this conversation with Christopher!
About Insight Timer:
The Timer: Every day our community logs more than 50,000 hours of meditation.
7,461 free Guided Meditations: Every day our community spends more than 6,000 hours listening to guided meditations.
1,609 of the world's best meditation teachers: Every day our community connects with 1609 meditation teachers in 25 languages.
4,937 Groups: 3,000,000 meditators discussing topics from humour and compassion to spirituality and support.
3 million meditators: Every day we welcome more than 2,500 meditators to our community.
To learn more about Insight Timer, visit: https://insighttimer.com/.
For Life on Purpose Episode #80, my guest is Suzanne Scurlock-Durana, one of the world’s leading authorities on conscious awareness and its transformational impact on the healing process. For over 30 years, she has been empowering people to experience joy in each moment without burning out. The practical tools and skills she teaches have helped people all over the world improve every aspect of their lives, from their health and well-being to their relationships, their careers, their creativity, even the growth of their businesses.
Suzanne joined me for an excellent conversation on her latest book Reclaiming Your Body: Healing from Trauma and Awakening to Your Body’s Wisdom, in which she provides the tools and guidance necessary to reconnect with our body’s inner guidance system of sensation, imagery, and inner knowing.
“While the English language frequently refers to what our bodies know — 'gut feelings,' hearts 'reaching out' to others, etc. — many of us have learned to ignore, deny, or even mistrust our body’s inherent wisdom. Even worse, a lot of people don’t like their bodies very much at all. As a result, we often cut ourselves off from one of our greatest allies."
About: Suzanne Scurlock-Durana is the author of Reclaiming Your Body: Healing From Trauma and Awakening to Your Body’s Wisdom and Full Body Presence: Learning to Listen to Your Body’s Wisdom.
As one of the world’s leading authorities on conscious awareness and its transformational impact on the healing process, she has been empowering people for over 30 years to experience joy in each moment without burning out. The practical tools and skills she teaches have helped people all over the world improve every aspect of their lives, from their health and well-being to their relationships, their careers, their creativity, even the growth of their businesses.
After decades perfecting her methods, Suzanne created the comprehensive Healing From the Core training curriculum in 1994. Today it includes a robust selection of international workshops, webinars, speaking engagements and audio programs. You can visit her online at http://www.healingfromthecore.com.
To learn more about Suzanne's work, visit: http://healingfromthecore.com/.
For Life on Purpose Episode #79, my guest is author and women’s leadership expert Tara Mohr, who gives women (and the men in her audience/community) the practical skills to voice and implement the changes they want to see—in themselves and in the world.
Tara joined me for a great conversation on her new book Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead, which was named a best book of the year by Apple’s iBooks. It provides real, practical tools to help women quiet self-doubt, identify their callings, “unhook” from praise and criticism, unlearn counterproductive "good girl" habits, and begin taking bold action.
“How did Playing Big come to be? I felt like all around me, I saw women playing small. Brilliant women with fabulous ideas, provocative questions, visions for how the world could be different and better. But those ideas and visions and questions weren't being voiced. And I was very attuned to that because I was struggling with that myself.
I sent out a survey and asked my readers and asked them, 'What's the biggest challenge in your life?' and I listed a bunch of the challenges that we typically think loom so large in women's lives. But because of what I'd seen again and again, I added one more challenge to the list, 'I'm playing small.' When the survey responses came back, 'I'm playing small' was what the most women deemed the biggest challenge in their lives."
About: Tara Mohr is an expert on women’s leadership and well-being. She helps women play bigger in sharing their voices and bringing forward their ideas in work and in life.
Tara is the author of Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead, named a best book of the year by Apple’s iBooks and now in paperback. In the book, she shares her pioneering model for making the journey from playing small–being held back by fear and self-doubt–to playing big, taking bold action to pursue what you see as your callings.
Tara is the creator of the Playing Big leadership program for women, which now has more than 1,500 graduates from around the world, and creator of the global Playing Big Facilitators Training for coaches, therapists, leadership development professionals and other practitioners supporting women in their personal and professional growth.
A Coaches Training Institute-certified coach with an MBA from Stanford University and an undergraduate degree in English literature from Yale, Tara takes a unique approach that blends inner work and practical skills training.
Her work has been featured on national media from the New York Times to Today Show to Harvard Business Review, and has captivated women from all walks of life.
To learn more about Tara's work, visit: http://www.taramohr.com/.
For Life on Purpose Episode #78, my guest is spiritual teacher, entrepreneur, author, and coach Eric Klein, who for the past three decades has been a leading voice in the movement to bring greater spirit, mindfulness, and meaning to the workplace through his writing, training, and speaking via his company Dharma Consulting.
Eric joined me for a very timely conversation on his new course Sacred Sanity for Crazy Times: Wisdom from the Bhagavad Gita, based on the teachings of one of the world’s most precious texts of spiritual wisdom, which Eric calls a guidebook for out times. We attempt to answer the question: "How can you stay connected to your deepest purpose and wisdom – even in difficult and uncertain times?"
We also discussed the concept of dharma; the difference between knowledge and wisdom; how to re-engage with the lantern of illumination; the benefits of a meditation; practice vs. non-attachment; and the three levels of awakening to our deeper purpose.
“The challenges of stress, struggle, and spiritual confusion aren’t new. People have been wrestling with how to live an awakened life for millenia. One of the clearest, deepest, and most practical answers to this profoundly human question is a yogic text that is over 2,500 years old. It’s called the Bhagavad Gita."
About: Eric Klein & Devi Bliss are ordained lineage holders in the Kriya Yoga lineage. As a couple, they’ve been practicing and teaching this path for over 40 years, integrating the deepest spiritual principles into a full life of marriage, children, entrepreneurship, and creativity.
Along with being a spiritual teacher, for the past three decades, Eric has been a leading voice in the movement to bring greater spirit, mindfulness, and meaning to the workplace through his writing, training, and speaking via his company Dharma Consulting.
He’s worked with over 30,000 leaders from a wide variety of settings: Fortune 500 companies, healthcare, governmental and non-profit organizations as well as mid-size companies.
Eric is the author of the bestselling book Awakening Corporate Soul: Four Paths to Unleash the Power of People at Work (over 200,000 copies sold) and To Do or Not To Do: How Successful Leaders Make Better Decisions based on research and experiences with more than 200 companies.
His book You are the Leader You’ve Been Waiting For won a 2008 Nautilus Award as a world changing book in the conscious leadership/business category.
To learn more about Eric's work and community, visit: http://wisdomheart.com/.
For Life on Purpose Episode #77, my guest is CEO and author Mary Shores, who joined me for a fantastic conversation on her groundbreaking Conscious Communications system, which produces positive results through positive action.
We also discussed her unique life story (including her work as founder of Midstate Collection Solutions, Inc., one of the most unique collection agencies in the country!), as well as how to get your thoughts, words, and actions in "Alignment"; our words as a mirror to our subconscious beliefs; probabilities vs. possibilities; cleanse or clog;;the power of "now"; and her brand new book Conscious Communications: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Harnessing the Power of Your Words to Change Your Mind, Your Choices, and Your Life.
“Whether we realize it or not, the words we use dictate and control our lives. The messages we repeat can frame our thoughts and trap us into a mindset that is difficult to break. It often manifests itself with statements like 'I can’t,' and 'I’m not good enough.' This is a common mindset, and many times we do not stop to consider the profound impact that these limiting words have on our mentality, life choices, and the path of possibility that we manifest."
About: Mary Shores is a business owner, CEO, thought leader and communications specialist. Like all accomplished people, Mary has created a principle that she lives by: Words That Work.
Mary is the owner and founder of Midstate Collection Solutions, Inc., one of the most unique collection agencies in the country. Mary has spent her entire career listening to problems and getting positive results under the most stressful conditions possible.
What makes her business successful is what makes her life successful: her three-step Words That Work system of communicating. The principle behind Words That Work is to recognize the importance of effective communication and problem solving skills in the service of leading a more results-oriented and happier life.
Unlike others who have tackled the subject of effective communication from the vantage point of psychology, philosophy, linguistics or negotiation, Mary Shores’ Words That Work is based on experience.
She has had the great pleasure of seeing her own successes echoed in the lives of her employees, customers and clients once they are taught, understand and implement her Words That Work method of creating dialogue.
Mary Shores’ communication system, Words That Work, will take you, and any part of your life, from chaos to being a well-oiled machine.
To learn more about Mary's work, visit: http://maryshores.com/.
For Life on Purpose Episode #76, my guest is Dr. Eric Maisel, a retired family therapist, active life coach, and the author of more than fifty books.
Eric was one of my first guests on Life on Purpose and returns to the show for a wide-ranging conversation on meaning, life purpose, and the epidemic of phantom "mental disorders" in children. And we focus on his new book, Your Difficult Family: 8 Skills for Thriving in Any Family Situation, in which he shows how to stay sane when family isn’t, providing practical strategies that can be implemented immediately.
This empowering book is a “field guide” to common types of dysfunctional families, and a big helping of real life success stories that are dinner table tested and approved. Readers will learn to maintain inner peace in the midst of family chaos and maybe even create a better life for their whole family.
“There is no pill that can make family life easy. There is no pill that can spare you pain if one of your parents is alcoholic, one of your children is troubled, or your mate is cheating on you. M. Scott Peck begins The Road Less Traveled with a simple, eloquent announcement: “Life is difficult.” Tolstoy famously begins Anna Karenina in an equally eloquent way: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”"
About: Eric Maisel was born in the Bronx, New York, where he lived until the age of 5. He grew up in Brooklyn, attended Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, and briefly attended Brooklyn College. After serving in the Army from 1965 – 1968 he attended Oregon State University and the University of Oregon, where he received a B.S. in philosophy.
Dr. Maisel subsequently lived in Boston, New York and San Francisco and traveled extensively in Europe, spending time in London, Dublin and Budapest. He earned a master’s degree in creative writing from San Francisco State University while ghostwriting mysteries and nonfiction and self-publishing fiction. In the ’80s he returned to school and earned a second bachelor’s degree in psychology, a second master’s degree in counseling, and a doctorate in counseling psychology.
After completing training, Dr. Maisel became a California licensed family therapist and worked exclusively with creative and performing artists. In time he moved from therapy and the medical model to coaching, where he founded the profession of creativity coaching.
Dr. Maisel has a son, David Maisel, by his first marriage, and two daughters, Natalya Maisel and Kira Maisel, with his wife Ann Mathesius Maisel. In 2012 Eric and Ann celebrated 35 years together. They live in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Dr. Maisel served as adjunct faculty at St. Mary’s College (Moraga, California) for ten years and created and wrote Callboard Magazine’s Staying Sane in the Theater column. He has presented lectures and workshops for the American Psychological Association, the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, the Paris Writers Workshop, the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Savannah College of Arts and Crafts, the U. C. Berkeley Counseling Center, and many other venues.
Dr. Maisel has been a guest on, quoted in, or interviewed by Redbook, Glamour, Cosmo Teen, Men’s Health, Body and Soul, KRON television news, Martha Stewart Living, Self, Marin Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Daily News, The Arizona Republic, Common Boundary, and has provided hundreds of radio, television, and print interviews.
Dr. Maisel has been the keynote speaker at the Jack London Writer’s Conference, Pikes Peak Writer’s Conference, William Saroyan Writer’s Conference, Indiana Arts’ Administrators Conference, Mendocino Writer’s Conference, Santa Fe Conference on Creative Tourism, Arizona State University Arts & Letters Convocation, and many other conferences.
He presents workshops at the Omega Institute, the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, the Esalen Institute, The Hollyhock Centre (in Canada), the Open Center, and Rowe; and at locations worldwide, including in San Francisco, New York, London, Paris, Antwerp, Prague, and Berlin.
Dr. Maisel writes the Rethinking Mental Health blog for Psychology Today online, a monthly print column for Professional Artist Magazine, and occasional pieces for the Huffington Post. He hosted a hundred episodes of The Joy of Living Creatively and Your Purpose-Centered Life with the Personal Life Media Network and provides core trainings for the Creativity Coaching Association.
To learn more about Dr. Maisel's work, visit: http://ericmaisel.com/.
For Life on Purpose Episode #75, Peaceful Warrior's Dan Millman returns to the show! Dan is a former world champion athlete, university coach, martial arts instructor, and college professor. After an intensive twenty-year spiritual quest, Dan's teaching found its form as the Peaceful Warrior’s Way, expressed fully in his seventeen books — including the seminal Way of the Peaceful Warrior — and lectures. His work continues to evolve over time, to meet the needs of a changing world.
In this inspiring conversation, we discussed his brand new book, The Hidden School (Simon and Schuster), the long-awaited conclusion to the Peaceful Warrior saga. Dan takes readers on an epic spiritual quest across the world as he searches for the link between everyday life and transcendent possibility. Along the way, he uncovers lessons of life hidden in plain sight—insights pointing the way to an inspired life in the eternal present.
“In Way of the Peaceful Warrior, Dan Millman established himself as a master of teaching through story. Now, in this exciting adventure, he reveals how deep learning can be found in unexpected places. The wisdom he shares will illuminate many lives."
don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements
About: Dan Millman is a former world champion athlete, university coach, martial arts instructor, and college professor.
After an intensive, twenty-year spiritual quest, Dan’s teaching found its form as the Peaceful Warrior’s Way, expressed fully in his books and lectures. His work continues to evolve over time, to meet the needs of a changing world.
Dan’s seventeen books, including Way of the Peaceful Warrior, have inspired and informed millions of readers in 29 languages worldwide. The feature film, “Peaceful Warrior,” starring Nick Nolte, was adapted from Dan’s first book, based upon incidents from his life.
Much of Dan’s time is devoted to writing and speaking. His keynotes, seminars, and workshops span the generations to influence men and women from all walks of life, including leaders in the fields of health, psychology, education, business, politics, sports, entertainment, and the arts.
Dan and his wife Joy live in Brooklyn, NY. They have three grown daughters and four grandchildren.
To learn more about Dan's work, visit: http://www.peacefulwarrior.com/.
For Life on Purpose Episode #74, my guest is writer, artist, career coach and community leader Emilie Wapnick, the Founder and Creative Director at Puttylike, where she helps multipotentialites (people with many passions, skills, and creative pursuits) integrate all of their interests to create dynamic, fulfilling and fruitful careers and lives.
In this inspiring conversation, we discussed her brand new book, How To Be Everything, A Guide for Those Who (Still) Don't Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up (Harper Collins), in which she flips the script on conventional career advice. Instead of suggesting that you specialize, choose a niche, or accumulate 10,000 hours of practice in a single area, she provides a practical framework for building a sustainable life around ALL of your passions.
“You don't have to choose one thing! That's the big secret no one tells you. "
About: Emilie Wapnick is a writer, career coach, blogger, and community leader. She is the founder and creative director at Puttylike.com, where she helps multipotentialites (people with many passions and creative pursuits) integrate all of their interests to create dynamic, fulfilling, and fruitful careers and lives. Unable to settle on one path herself, Emilie studied music, art, film production and law, graduating from the Law Faculty at McGill University.
Emilie’s TED talk has been viewed over 3.7 million times, and has been translated into 36 languages. She’s been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Financial Times, The Huffington Post, BBC, and Lifehacker. Her book How to Be Everything: A Guide for Those Who (Still) Don’t Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up, came out with HarperCollins in May 2017.
To learn more about Emilie's work, visit: http://puttylike.com/ or http://howtobeeverything.com/.
For Life on Purpose Episode #73, my guest is the pioneering therapist Dr. Judith Orloff, a New York Times best-selling author and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA who has helped patients find emotional freedom for more than 20 years. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality to achieve physical and emotional healing.
In this enlightening conversation, we discussed her brand new book, The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People (Sounds True), in which she offers an invaluable resource to help EMPATHIC people survive in an often insensitive world, plus her life and career as "the positive energy guru."
“Empaths feel things first, then think, which is the opposite of how most people function in our over- intellectualized society,” says Dr. Orloff. "The key to self-care is to recognize when you’re experiencing the first signs of sensory overload or when you start absorbing negativity or stress from others. The sooner you can act to reduce stimulation and to center yourself, the more balanced and protected you will be."
About: Transforming the face of psychiatry, Judith Orloff MD asserts that we are keepers of an innate intuitive intelligence so perceptive that it can tell us how to heal -- and prevent -- illness. Yet intuition and spirituality are the very aspects of our wisdom usually disenfranchised from traditional health care.
Dr. Orloff is accomplishing for psychiatry what physicians like Dean Ornish and Mehmet Oz have done for mainstream medicine -- she is proving that the links between physical, emotional, and spiritual health can't be ignored. Dr. Orloff is a New York Times bestselling author and is on the UCLA psychiatric clinical faculty. She specializes in treating empaths and sensitive people in her Los Angeles based private practice.
She has spoken at medical schools, hospitals, the American Psychiatric Association, Fortune Magazine's Most Powerful Women Summit, and alternative and traditional health forums -- venues where she presents practical intuitive tools to doctors, patients, and everyday people. In response to her work, The Los Angeles Times calls Dr. Orloff "a prominent energy-based healer."
Dr. Orloff's latest book “The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People” (Sounds True, 2017) is an invaluable resource to help sensitive people of all kinds develop healthy coping mechanisms in our high-stimulus world without experiencing compassion fatigue or burnout. Then empaths can fully embody their gifts of intuition, creativity, and compassion.
In Dr. Orloff’s first book, "Second Sight" she chronicles her struggles acknowledging and then finally embracing her gift of intuition. Her second book, "Dr. Orloff's: Guide to Intuitive Healing" shows how breakthroughs in healing our body, emotions, and sexuality can be accomplished by listening to intuition.
"Positive Energy," which has been translated into 25 languages, takes a probing look at the American epidemic of exhaustion and how we can reverse it using specific strategies to build energy and combat draining people. Her New York Times Bestseller, "Emotional Freedom" describes how to transform negative emotions into positive ones with specific techniques.
Finally, "The Power of Surrender" describes the power of letting go in everyday life, health, and wellness--an enlivening and sane alternative to pushing, forcing, and over controlling people and situations.
Dr. Orloff's work has been featured in O Magazine, Forbes, Newsweek, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, Self, Cosmo, The Washington Times, Teen Vogue, Scientific American, and the New York Post. She has appeared on The Today Show, The Dr. Oz Show, CBS Early Show, CNN, PBS, BBC5, and NPR. Dr. Orloff is also an Elephant Journal, Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, blogger.
To learn more about Dr. Orloff's work, visit: http://www.drjudithorloff.com/.
For Life on Purpose Episode #72, another "Soul Series" interview, my guest is author and minister Maria Felipe, who joined me for a fantastic conversation that can change lives. We discussed her unique story going from a successful (but ultimately unfulfilling) career as an actress, model, and Latina boxing announcer to spiritual teacher and motivational speaker.
And we talked about her brand new book, Live Your Happy: Get Out of Your Own Way and Find the Love Within (New World Library), in which she shares more than twenty years of experience studying and living the principles from A Course in Miracles (ACIM). Live Your Happy is not a philosophic explanation of the Course; it is a practical guide for living it.
The book includes real-world examples from the author’s life and from her students’ experiences. In nine crystal-clear chapters, she shows readers how to get the “cuckoo voice of the ego” out of the way, connect with their “inner teacher,” and access personal power and strength.
“This book is a simple but not necessarily easy guide to learning to live your happy. I will share practical spiritual tools to get you there, along with stories of my own journey and of people I’ve counseled. I empower my clients not by telling them what to do but by helping them understand that they have the answer within,” she writes. “I ask that you trust me and be gentle with yourself. Step by step, I will train you to listen to your right mind. In turn, you will become free to live in happiness consistently. You will even be happy when you have so-called ‘problems.’ How’s that for a miracle?”
About: a Cuban-American born in Miami, Maria Felipe stands at 5’9" tall with a towering personality to match. Her charisma has captivated thousands of viewers across the United States and beyond, as her pursuit of an acting career resulted in dozens of appearances in national commercials, hosting successful TV shows (including World Wrestling Federation shows with live audiences of 20,000), and traveling the world as a model.
After success in her field she felt called inward, and studied to become a Reverend with Pathways of Light, an accredited religious school inspired by A Course in Miracles.
Maria is a dynamic speaker in both Spanish and English. She leads services monthly at Unity Church in Burbank, where she created the church's first regular Spanish service, as well as performing services in English. Her talks now draw both Spanish and English speakers from all over Southern California. She also leads workshops.
Maria has created her own channel on You Tube by hosting MariaCoconut TV, a show designed to share and expand the message of love by interviewing other spiritual leaders. In 2013, Maria been a regular guest on Unity Radio, Awakening Together Radio and Center Of Light Radio.
She’s also recently appeared as a motivational speaker on TV shows and news programs for Univison, Telemundo and CNN. She has also spoken alongside prominent teachers David Hoffmeister and Gary Renard in Los Angeles, Mexico, and Greece.
People magazine once referred to Maria Felipe as ’’Una Campeona Sin Rival,’’ which means a champion without rival. This is an apt label for this young, vivacious and talented actress, host, and minister. And the gifts she can share with countless others continue to multiply as she allows the expression of her talents to be guided by the inner light of God.
To learn more about Maria's work, visit: https://www.mariafelipe.org/.
For Life on Purpose Episode #71, my guest is psychologist Rachel Harris, PhD, who joined me for an enlightening and hope-filled conversation about her new book Listening to Ayahuasca: New Hope for Depression, Addiction, PTSD and Anxiety (New World Library).
Ayahuasca, a psychedelic brew from the Amazon rainforest, is entering the Western lexicon through the popular media, the internet, and first-person reports. Considered a medicine by practitioners, the tea has great therapeutic potential that is just beginning to be studied. As a result of her own personal experience with ayahuasca, Dr. Harris was inspired to research how this medicine was being used in North America in the largest study of this kind to date. Listening to Ayahuasca describes her findings, including miracle cures of depression and addiction, therapeutic breakthroughs, spiritual revelations, and challenging or bad trips.
“This book is intended for people considering ayahuasca and for people drinking the medicine. I hope it will help them integrate their insights and visions into their daily lives. There is much work people can do on their own to maximize the healing that ayahuasca offers,” writes Dr. Harris. “I also hope this book will inform psychotherapists about the process of integration after ayahuasca ceremonies, so they can provide a supportive and respectful container for the unfolding of healing.”
About: Psychologist Rachel Harris, PhD is the author of Listening to Ayahuasca: New Hope for Depression, Addiction, PTSD and Anxiety. She was in private practice for thirty-five years working with people interested in psychospiritual development. During a decade working in research, Rachel received a National Institutes of Health New Investigator’s Award and published more than forty scientific studies in peer-reviewed journals. She has also consulted to Fortune 500 companies and the United Nations.
Rachel was in the 1968 Esalen Residential Program, Big Sur, CA. This intensive six-month program focused on meditation and body work. In the early seventies, Rachel studied with Dorothy Nolte in the movement system, Structural Awareness, based on Dr. Ida Rolf’s Structural Integration (Rolfing). Rachel also co-edited the Journal of the American Dance Therapy Association for three years. Awareness of how people live and move in their bodies has always been an aspect of Rachel’s approach to psychotherapy.
During the mid-eighties into the early aughts, Rachel led workshops at Omega Institute, NY and Esalen Institute, CA. She wrote Twenty Minute Retreats: Revive Your Spirit in Just Minutes a Day with Simple, Self-Led Practices (NY: Holt, 2000). This book describes many of the psychological, meditative and body awareness exercises she taught in her workshops.
In 2005 Rachel traveled to a retreat center in Costa Rica and serendipitously found herself with the opportunity to drink ayahuasca with Ecuadorian shamans. The morning after her first ceremony, Rachel began asking questions about the therapeutic potential of this medicine. She conducted a three-year research project with Lee Gurel, PhD that resulted in “A Study of Ayahuasca Use in North America,” published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs (Summer, 2012).
Rachel has a married daughter, Ashley Mason, who sings in the chorus at the Metropolitan Opera in NYC. Rachel is the co-author with Dorothy Nolte of Children Learn What They Live and Teenagers Learn What They Live (NY: Workman, 1998 and 2002) and the author of 20 Minute Retreats (Holt, 2000). Rachel spends eight months of the year on a remote island in Penobscot Bay, ME and winters in Napa, CA.
To learn more about Dr. Harris' work, visit: https://www.listeningtoayahuasca.com/.
For Life on Purpose Episode #70, my guest is transformational photographer and coach Robyn Ivy, who has 20 years of experience helping clients transform themselves by shifting their focus and learning to see their world through a new lens.
Robyn joined me for an inspiring conversation about photography as a tool for transformation (a conviction I share), her life and work, and PROJECT 3.8, the compelling campaign she started to raise awareness for pediatric cancer. Robyn brings a deep understanding of what holds people back and brings it into the light so it can be seen and overcome.
"Have you ever stopped to consider that the way we look at and experience our world is often done by default? Did you know that our vision can be strengthened, like a muscle, and when we exercise it, it transforms, changing the way we view our world and ourselves?"
About Robyn: Much like the world around us, I am constantly evolving—driven by an intense passion to help businesses and individuals transform themselves by learning to see their world through a new lens. As a professional photographer, visual brand strategist, creative director, speaker and coach, I explore opportunities from a variety of perspectives that help my clients see the possibilities, truths and solutions to problem that remain invisible others.
For nearly two decades, I have encouraged others to step outside the box, shifting their focus to tell a different story about themselves; one in which the heart of who they are and what they stand for shines through for all to see. The impact of storytelling is very real, and I pride myself on uncovering the deeper message behind my clients’ brands and communicating it to the world through powerful imagery.
In 2016, I created Project 3.8, a compelling visual campaign to raise awareness for pediatric cancer, born from the heartache of a close friend losing her 8-year-old son to Rhabdomyosarcoma. I produced a traveling gallery of 20 large scale metal portraits of children ages 3-18 who were either active in their fight against cancer or celebrated survivors.
The show’s inspiration, Dorian J. Murray, was our only angel. While I learned much from this experience, my mission was simple: to teach people to “see” childhood cancer in a different light and the impact is has on far too many families. Project 3.8 moved thousands of people and, I’m happy to say, will be an annual event.
I share this with you because of how passionate I am about helping people see themselves and their cause from new and unexpected vantage points. When you understand what holds people back and bring it to the forefront so it may be overcome, there’s truly no limit to what you can accomplish.
Whether you’re looking to create new pathways to growth, increase ROI, find innovative solutions to difficult problems, or guide others in the direction of our true purpose to make a difference in this world, I want to be part of that journey. I want to be part of your journey.
Through my photography, I shoot for a wide range of commercial, corporate and editorial clients, as well as entrepreneurs and those who want to change the world. I also offer workshops and speaking presentations on how to transform your business, your brand or your life by changing your viewpoint.
Now that I’ve told you about what I do, I’d like to tell you a bit about who I am. Though I’m a native New Englander, in my heart, I am a citizen of the world. At 15, I spent a year in Germany as an exchange student and it changed my life! Traveling became embedded in my DNA and I spent my youth finding ways to see more of the world. A free spirit by nature, I love a great road trip and the kindred spirits you meet along the way.
Long before I was a professional photographer, I worked with baby chimpanzees in Africa, led German tourists on adventure camping trips in Alaska and beyond, taught English to folks in Europe, and spent a year working my tail off with an anti-hunger coalition in Vermont.
In 2001, I became a mom and began life’s most valuable journey: raising my two boys, who have quickly (yet not quietly) become teenagers. I'm pretty obsessed with Instagram and I’ve promised myself that one day, I will learn how to knit!
To learn more about Robyn's work, visit: http://www.robynivy.com/.
Do you believe in life after death? Does consciousness exist outside our bodies? Does the language of the dying points the way to a transcendent world beyond our own?
For this special Soul Series episode of Life on Purpose, my guest is author, linguist, educator, and poet Lisa Smartt who founded the Final Words Project, an ongoing study devoted to collecting and interpreting the mysterious language at the end of lives.
Lisa joined me for an inspiring conversation about her new book, Words at the Threshold: What We Say as We’re Nearing Death (New World Library), in which she decodes the symbolism of those last words, showing how the language of the dying points the way to a transcendent world beyond our own.
She shares the compelling language she has heard and the coherency that emerges in even the most puzzling phrases. She also provides tools for more meaningful communication with loved ones who are at the end of life. And we discuss her work with Dr. Raymond Moody, the pioneering researcher who coined the term Near Death Experience (NDE) in the 1970s.
“Words at the Threshold marks a new era in the understanding of the process of dying. Lisa Smartt’s work has profound psychological, spiritual, and clinical implications for the care of terminally ill patients and their families. And I believe that her work also opens unexplored pathways for the genuinely rational investigation of human kind’s deepest mystery: the prospect of life after death.”
— from the foreword by Raymond Moody Jr., MD, PhD, author of Life After Life
About: Lisa Smartt, MA, is a linguist, educator, and poet. She is the author of Words at the Threshold: What We Say When We’re Nearing Death (New World Library 2017). The book is based on data collected through The Final Words Project, wwwfinalwordsproject.org, an ongoing study devoted to gathering and interpreting the mysterious language at end of life. She has worked closely with Raymond Moody, guided by his research into language, particularly unintelligible speech. They have co-facilitated presentations about language and consciousness at universities, hospices and conferences.
About Words at the Threshold: A person’s last words can often be enigmatic, confusing or powerfully meaningful; they can also offer tantalizing clues about the ultimate fate of the human soul. Until now, no author has systematically studied end-of-life communication by collecting and analyzing the final utterances of the terminally ill. When her father faced his final weeks, linguist Lisa Smartt began transcribing his conversations and noticed that both his language and personality underwent inexplicable changes.
Smartt’s father, a skeptical man with a secular worldview, developed a deeply spiritual outlook in his final days — a change reflected in his last words. Baffled and intrigued, Smartt began to investigate the near-death utterances of others, collecting over a hundred case studies with interviews and transcripts. In Words at the Threshold, Smartt decodes the symbolism of those last words, showing how the language of the dying points the way to a transcendent world beyond our own
To learn more about Lisa's work, visit: http://www.finalwordsproject.org/.
Have you ever asked yourself what is your life purpose? Have you considered what you are doing here and whether you are on the right track to being fulfilled?
For Life on Purpose Episode #68, my guests are world-renowned Human Design experts Chetan Parkyn & Carola Eastwood. They joined me for a fascinating and timely conversation about a tool that can help answer those questions: Human Design and their brand new book The Book of Destinies: Discover the Life You Were Born to Live (New World Library). The book offers readers the opportunity to use the place, date, and time of their births to reveal their Life Theme, which offers a portrait of their true nature and allows them the peace of knowing who they really are.
“Just like the storyline of a book, or the theme music to a movie, there is a unique, consistent, and recognizable undercurrent to your whole lifetime. It is your Life Theme, which is your melody, your part in the symphony of life, and only you can play it,” say Chetan and Carola. “Knowing and accepting your particular Life Theme is truly transformative. Embodying this awareness gives you reassurance and clarification about your life purpose.”
About Chetan Parkyn: Chetan Parkyn has been giving Readings to people of all walks of life and all nationalities for over 35 years. He has spent the past 23 years mastering Human Design. He is more than a leading practitioner of the system. As the author of the first major book on the subject, which has been translated into eleven different language versions, he has made it his mission to bring Human Design to the whole world.
An entrepreneur’s son by upbringing and an engineer by training, Chetan has fully explored both the mystical and the technological worlds. He’s been a deep-sea dive engineer and a devoted student of meditation. Travels in India and time spent in the company of the enlightened mystic, Osho, finally opened Chetan to his own purpose — helping people develop self-knowledge.
The details of how Chetan discovered his abilities came about through a reading he experienced from a Chayyashastri (Shadow Reader) in Bombay, now Mumbai, in 1979. Finding himself no longer satisfied with everything he had understood about himself especially in the field of engineering, Chetan was guided to have a session to find some personal clarification. Chetan was given a transfixing view of himself in all aspects of his life. He was told things about himself that he had long forgotten, barely imagined, or never considered important. At the end of the session, the Shadow Reader asked Chetan to come and work with him : ".......because you know how to do this kind of work."
Completely startled by the depth of the information he had just received, Chetan declined the invitation. The Shadow Reader laughed in response and told Chetan that it did not really matter .... "because you are going to do this work anyway," he said. "There is a system that is going to come into your life, and you are going to write books about it, and introduce it to many thousands of people all over the world, and you are going to transform their lives.....and my advice to you is to find a way of reading for people that you like and practice it so you are ready."
A week later, Chetan met a Psychic Palm Reader who for 10 minutes showed Chetan about many of the lines and markings in a hand. At the end of the 10 minutes, the Psychic Palmist closed up Chetan’s hands and said : "That's enough! Now go practice!" And for the next 14 years, Chetan gave Readings for everyone who held their hands out to him. He also studied numerous systems of divination and ways of revealing people to themselves.....all the time wondering what this "system" the Shadow Reader had been talking about could be.
In 1993, Chetan met a man called Ra Uru Hu, who had been given Human Design and who first introduced it to the world. Chetan worked with Ra over the next 7 years, beginning his journey towards fully mastering the system. Chetan’s unique gifts include a balance of technical skill and pure intuition. In addition, Chetan is a compelling speaker — fun, inspiring, down-to-earth and personal. Simply through hearing him, many experience the beginnings of deep inner change.
As Chetan studied Human Design over many years, gave thousands of personal and partnership Readings, he began to realize how few people had access to its extraordinary riches. In 2000, he felt called to make the system accessible to a far wider audience. Chetan began offering Trainings and Seminars along with his life-partner Carola Eastwood. The couple also started training Practitioners in the art of giving wholesome Human Design Readings. But this was not enough.
In 2009 Chetan wrote the first major book on Human Design, published by Harper Collins UK, and in 2010 by New World Library in the US, and subsequently in many other languages. Combined with powerful free software, the book makes it easy for everyone to create and interpret his or her own Life Chart. Recently, he and his wife, Carola created the first On-Line Human Design Comprehensive Report. Thanks to Chetan Parkyn, Human Design today is becoming available to the whole planet. And as more and more individuals live in alignment with their unique design, the quality of life on Earth will change!
About Carola Eastwood: Carola Eastwood has been a Human Design consultant, teacher and coach since 1999.
Prior to that she had an established counseling practice and an Astrology clientele in Santa Fe, NM and in San Diego, CA. She has been author of the monthly column, “Planetary Cycles” published by the Life Connection since 1988, and is a highly acclaimed astrological consultant and intuitive counselor. Carola has appeared on national TV, hosted radio shows, and spoken at national conventions.
As a young woman, Carola discovered her passion to help others awaken to a richer view of themselves and their world, by finding their inner essence, that core of being within each person that is the Spirit expressing in form.
She undertook years of post graduate training in a variety of human development disciplines, including psychology, psychosynthesis, past life healing therapy, intuitive reading arts, and the science of spirituality. When she discovered Human Design, she realized that this was the missing piece of the puzzle in helping others to change their consciousness and create their own destiny.
Today, she co-presents Human Design seminars and trainings alongside her husband and partner, Chetan Parkyn. Carola created the experiential seminars as a tool that quickly puts one in touch with one’s own Human Design, and with the Designs of others. She also assists Chetan in presenting Human Design Consultant Trainings.
Her passion is to assist others to awaken to their own power to create the life they have always dreamed of.
To learn more about Chetan and Carola's work, visit: http://humandesignforusall.com/.
For Life on Purpose Episode #67, my guest is tailor made careerist Julian Mather, who says he wasn’t at school the day they taught conventional career planning. A chronic truant, he self-educated and read between the lines to find the secrets to turning his obsession into his profession. From high school failure to Army sniper to globe trotting TV cameraman to kids entertainer to online entrepreneur he really hasn’t felt he has a worked a day in his life. And at 55 he says he’s only just beginning to hit his straps.
Julian joined me for a high-energy chat about realizing your career potential after age 40; how to use your own life experience/journey to create content that others can benefit from; shifting from an hourly rate model to charging for value; and tales from his own unique life story.
"The day and age of the massive corporations that take care of us from beginning to end are over. That’s just a reality. Workforce change is upon us. It is time to look for alternatives. As a 40+ worker, you must expand your options. Allow me to show you the way.
In the decade or so that I've been earning income online something struck me along the way. The 20 to 30 year olds are taking the lead with this but they have relatively little experience to impart. 40,50,60 year olds don’t even know about this and they have rich experience that is going to waste."
About Julian: This is the best time ever to be over 40. Never has it been so easy to leverage your life experience, your hard won knowledge, your relative financial stability, your wits and your deep down belief that you have more to say, more to give, more to ‘be’, than just a cog in the big post industrial workforce.
Your guide Julian Mather wasn’t at school the day they taught conventional career planning.
A chronic truant he self educated and read between the lines to find the secrets to turning his obsession into his profession. From high school failure to Army sniper to globe trotting TV cameraman to kids entertainer to online entrepreneur he really hasn’t felt he has a worked a day in his life. And at 55 he says he’s only just beginning to hit his straps.
And he wants you to realise your potential too.
Whether for income or just for fun, creating your own career is possible, it’s very real and it’s the best time history to do this.
350,000 hours in the making, Tailor Made Career gives you tools, resources and roadmaps so you don’t go to the grave regretting the job choices you made.
To learn more about Julian and his work, visit: https://www.tailormadecareer.com/.
Life on Purpose Episode #66 is the long-promised return of the LoP Round-Table! For my third RT, I was joined by Marsha Shandur, Charles Gupton, and Rick Charlie. They are each storytellers and creatives who work in a variety of different mediums (podcasts, storytelling, blogs, photos, video) and each use prompts on social media to examine the human condition and show that "I Don't Have It All Together", as Marsha's weekly Tuesday post proves!
They joined me for an in-depth conversation on the topic of "pretending" — both online and in-person — including examining why we do it, what's actually behind the "look how cool I am" postings many of us make, and what purpose is pretending serving? We also discussed practical tips for being more authentic, intentional, and vulnerable in both your online and IRL interactions.
This discussion was prompted by the following Facebook post from Rick Charlie, based on a question originally asked by author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek:
Something to think about: How much of your time and energy is put into pretending?
Pretending things are okay, when they are not.
Pretending there is not pain, when inside you hurt so much. Pretending that you know what you are doing, yet are actually terrified of the next step.
Pretending you have a really good life, but you are totally unsatisfied in it.
Pretending that all those past things don't affect you, yet they really continue to plague you like an addiction you can't shake.
Pretending that you have it all together when you don't even have a clue what it all is in the first place.
About LoP Round-Table #3 Guests:
Marsha Shandur is a Storytelling Coach, Memory Scavenger, and Networking Mentor at Yes Yes Marsha as well as the Benevolent Dictator at True Stories Told Live Toronto.
To learn more about Marsha and her work, visit: http://www.yesyesmarsha.com/.
Charles Gupton is a photographer, videographer, and visual storyteller at Charles Gupton Productions. He also produces the The Creator's Journey podcast, on which I'm honored to have been a guest.
To learn more about Charles and his work, visit: http://www.charlesgupton.com/.
Rick Charlie is a computer forensics expert who knows how to ask probing questions about life, including the prompt that was the inspiration for this discussion.
To learn more about Rick and his work, visit: http://rickcharlie.com/.