Dr. Thomas Verny on The Secret Life of the Unborn Child, The Embodied Mind: Understanding the Mysteries of Cellular Memory, Consciousness, and Our Bodies, and More (#175)

Thomas R. Verny is a psychiatrist, writer, and academic. He has previously taught at Harvard University, University of Toronto, York University, Toronto, St. Mary’s University, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute. In 1974 Verny wrote his first book, Inside Groups, for McGraw Hill. The Secret Life of the Unborn Child (with John Kelly), Summit Books, 1981 followed this. The Secret Life of the Unborn Child has become an international bestseller published in 27 countries. The Secret Life has changed the pregnancy and childbirth experience for millions of mothers and fathers.

In 1983 Verny founded the Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Association of North America (PPPANA, renamed APPPAH—Association for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health – in 1995), and served as its president for eight years. In 1986 he launched the APPPAH Journal – the Journal of Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health (JAPPAH) (Human Sciences Press, New York), which he edited from its inception until 1990.

His most recent book, The Embodied Mind: Understanding the Mysteries of Cellular Memory, Consciousness, and Our Bodies, was published by Pegasus, New York and Oxford in 2021 continues his exploration of very early memory and the mind. In this work, Verny sets out to redefine our concept of the mind and consciousness, compiling for the first time,  research that points to the mind’s ties to every part of the body and the intelligence of cells. The mind, Verny holds, is fluid and adaptable, embodied but not unskilled.

In addition to eight books, Verny is the author or co-author of 47 scientific papers and articles. He has participated in more than 250 newspaper, radio, and TV interviews, including appearances with Donahue, Merv Griffin, Oprah, Sally Jessy Raphael, Barbara Walters, and Unsolved Mysteries. Vision TV, Toronto, Canada, produced a 15-minute special on Verny and his book, Gifts of Our Fathers, in 1996.

Verny’s books, professional publications, and the founding of the PPPANA and the Pre- and Perinatal Journal, have established him as one of the world’s leading authorities on the effect of the prenatal and early postnatal environment on personality development. He has lectured and given workshops on Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, South America, and Southeast Asia. In 2004 Mothering Magazine, in recognition of Verny’s contributions to the field of parenting and child-rearing, named him one of their “living treasures.” In 2005 the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute bestowed on Verny a Doctorate of Humane Letters (DHL).

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This podcast is brought to you by Newsletter. If you’d like to learn more about what I am reading, new documentaries, what I am learning new, recent podcast updates, things I am experimenting with, or anything —which I share extensively in my weekly short and sweet “Friday Newsletter”. No spam ever! I hate that too!

Connect with Dr. Thomas: Website | LinkedIn | YouTube

Book: The Embodied Mind: Understanding the Mysteries of Cellular Memory, Consciousness, and Our Bodies

Continue reading “Dr. Thomas Verny on The Secret Life of the Unborn Child, The Embodied Mind: Understanding the Mysteries of Cellular Memory, Consciousness, and Our Bodies, and More (#175)”

William Richards (Bill) — The Promise of Psychedelic Substances, Studying with Abraham Maslow, Psychedelics and Mystical Experiences, Administering Psychedelics Psychotherapy, Origin and The Future of Psychedelics, End-of-Life psychedelic Psychotherapy, and More (#174)

The Nishant Garg Show

William A. Richards (Bill) is a psychologist in the Psychiatry Department of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Bayview Medical Center, a consultant/trainer at sites of psychedelic research internationally, a teacher in the Program of Psychedelic Therapy and Research at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and also a clinician in private practice in Baltimore. His graduate degrees include M.Div. from Yale Divinity School, S.T.M. from Andover-Newton Theological School, and Ph.D. from Catholic University, as well as studies with Abraham Maslow at Brandeis University and with Hanscarl Leuner at Georg-August University in Göttingen, Germany, where his involvement with psilocybin research originated in 1963.

From 1967 to 1977, he pursued psychotherapy research with LSD, DPT, MDA, and psilocybin at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, including protocols designed to investigate the promise of psychedelic substances in the treatment of alcoholism, depression, narcotic addiction, and psychological distress associated with terminal cancer, and also their use in the training of religious and mental-health professionals. From 1977-1981, he was a member of the psychology faculty of Antioch University in Maryland. In 1999 at Johns Hopkins, he and Roland Griffiths launched the rebirth of psilocybin research after a 22 year period of dormancy in the United States. His publications began in 1966 with “Implications of LSD and Experimental Mysticism,” coauthored with Walter Pahnke. His book, Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious Experiences was released in English by Columbia University Press in 2015 and has since been translated into 6 additional languages—hopefully, more coming.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: These plants and compounds are illegal in many countries, and even possession can carry severe criminal penalties. None of this post constitutes medical advice or should be construed as a recommendation to use psychedelics. There are serious legal, psychological, and physical risks. Psychedelics are not for everyone—they can exacerbate certain emotional problems, and there have been, in very rare cases, fatalities.

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This podcast is brought to you by Newsletter. If you’d like to learn more about what I am reading, new documentaries, what I am learning new, recent podcast updates, things I am experimenting with, or anything —which I share extensively in my weekly short and sweet “Friday Newsletter”. No spam ever! I hate that too!

Connect with Bill: Website | Bill Richards Center for Healing

Book: Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious Experiences 

Spotify playlist: Psilocybin Research: John Hopkins, Sacred Knowledge, William A. Richards

Blog post: End-of-life Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Psychedelics Awareness

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Dr. Amber Elizabeth Gray — Movement–Based Therapies, Restoration and Healing, Ceremonies for Healing, Somatic Psychology, Journaling for Processing Trauma, and More (#173)

“THE MOST POTENT SKILL FOR A THERAPIST IS THE ABILITY TO STEP WILLINGLY INTO THE FULL HUMANITY OF OUR PERSONHOOD” You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have really lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.

Henry Drummond

Dr. Amber Elizabeth Gray is a licensed human rights psychotherapist, innovative movement artist, board-certified dance/movement therapist, master trainer and educator, Continuum teacher, and public health professional. She is a frequent invited and keynote speaker known for her engaging, participatory style and bold, speak truth to power voice and spirit. 

In her father’s words, Amber was born “dancing, fighting, and has never stopped”. Her life-long commitment to social justice and planetary, animal, and human rights; her passion for the natural world and everything wild; and her commitment to service have all inspired and shaped her work. An innovator in the use of somatic psychology, eco-somatics, and movement-based therapies (Dance/Movement Therapy, Yoga, Continuum) with survivors of trauma, torture, war, and human rights abuses, Amber has spent the last 23 years in service of her belief that “Every human being has the right to inhabit their body in the way they choose”. In support of TRI’s mission, Amber believes that every sentient being has the right to freedom, safety, and well-being.

Amber’s expertise is represented in many published articles and chapters, keynote addresses, professional collaborations, and presentations around the world. Amber has provided clinical training on the integration of refugee mental health and torture treatment with the creative arts, mindfulness, and body-based therapies. Her work has traveled to more than 30 programs for survivors worldwide since the late 1990s. She has held a leadership role on staff support programs in numerous disaster and complex humanitarian emergencies (Haiti, Indonesia, Darfur, Jordan/Syria/Lebanon, amongst many others), and trained thousands of local health care & mental health professionals and paraprofessionals to support their communities with embodied, creative approaches to Psychological First Aid, Mental Health and Psychosocial Services, and crisis counseling. She brings every ounce of her passion and commitment to social justice; social change and planetary rights to the projects TRI and partner organizations co-create.

TRI is a pathway to action. It offers partner organizations and partner colleagues opportunities to collaborate on meaningful, local & Indigenous-inspired projects that directly benefit those local communities. TRI expresses its founder’s heart and spirit.

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This podcast is brought to you by Newsletter. If you’d like to learn more about what I am reading, new documentaries, what I am learning new, recent podcast updates, things I am experimenting with, or anything —which I share extensively in my weekly short and sweet “Friday Newsletter”. No spam ever! I hate that too!

Connect with Amber:

Website | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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Reflections on Relationships, Childhood, Healing, Clarity, and More

The Nishant Garg Show
The Nishant Garg Show

As part of my morning routine, I love writing down my thoughts and they just flow through me. In this post, I mention some of the things I wrote in the mornings – these cover healing, inner-work, my childhood realizations, relationships, and more. I also add some great short writings from other authors that I’ve enjoyed. Personally, I created this post for myself to review some of the short paragraphs written by me and others. Why lose the track of thoughts? If at least one other person can benefit from this post, that’s all it matters to me.

Let’s begin:

“Spaciousness allows me to listen to my inner voice, my body, and the emotions I’m going through. To do nothing can be a challenge for some. I still struggle with doing nothing at times. While growing up, I never learned how to relax, how to enjoy the holidays, and mistakenly considered free time with boredom.Life isn’t rosy and flowery every day. I can choose the meaning I want to give. I can choose how I want to live. I can choose to create new possibilities even when I am afraid. I can choose to give way to my passion. I can choose to be with the unpleasantries of life. I can choose to stay with “It is what it is”. I can choose not to resist reality. I can choose and so can you.”

“I dislike the word ‘toxic’ when used to describe a human, attribute, or experience. The so-called ‘toxic’ behavior is usually a decontextualized threat response; usually a result of relational trauma or disempowerment. So when we label this person toxic, we disempower them further and perpetuate a systemic cycle of disconnection and shame.” Natalia Rachel

“If you focus on what you have, you gain what you lack. And if you focus on what you lack, you lose what you have.”Greg McKeown

“You can always look into the past. Past can never be changed, nor will the same experiences – good or bad will never occur again in the same exact fashion. I am looking at the past and smiling at it, and saying thank you for being a wonderful teacher. I don’t wish to have bad times for myself and others. I’ll say that I’ve learned the most and have grown tremendously in moments of emotional pain, breakdowns, and heartaches. Crises are the invitation to go within for introspection, learn and grow. Let’s enjoy and cherish the good times. Good or bad are just labels and are temporary. Good is followed by bad. Bad is followed by good.”

“I have to admit that I go through my own loneliness and depressive episodes. There are times I feel empty inside of myself. But, I don’t judge myself for anything. I seek ways to come back to the normal emotional and mental states of being. It’s Ok to feel low. There is always going to be low when you want to feel high. You can’t live in one state forever. If you laugh, you will cry. If you are happy, you will be sad. Why not just embrace the full range of emotions and be just human?”

“In times of challenging situations, ask yourself-What happened to me?-What’s my emotional reaction? How do I feel? What’s my opinion/interpretation/perception of the situation? This is a Compassionate inquiry exercise from Gabor Mate.

Continue reading “Reflections on Relationships, Childhood, Healing, Clarity, and More”

Rhonda Magee on Inner Work and Healing Ourselves, Mindfulness in Race and Justice, Resolving Conflicts and Handling Difficult Conversations, and More (#172)

“Mindfulness is about having a regular daily commitment to a kind of practice that is about awakening and awareness, in a very deep way, that is ongoing for one’s life.

Rhonda

Rhonda V. Magee (M.A. Sociology, J.D.) is a Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco and an internationally-recognized thought and practice leader focused on integrating mindfulness into higher education, law, and social change work. A prolific author, she draws on law and legal history to weave storytelling, poetry, analysis, and practices into inspiration for changing how we think, act and live better together in a rapidly changing world.

Born in North Carolina in 1967, Rhonda experienced a childhood of significant trauma and challenge. Yet, she was gifted with the insight that through a life of caring engagement, self-development, and service with others, she could find a way up and out. She has dedicated her life to healing and teaching in ways that support others in a journey to wholeness and justice. A student of a variety of Buddhist and other wisdom teachers, including Norman Fischer, Joan Halifax, and Jon Kabat Zinn, she trained as a mindfulness teacher through the Oasis Teacher Training Institute of the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness.

She teaches mindfulness-based interventions, awareness, and compassion practices from a range of traditions. A former President of the board of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, Professor Magee is a Fellow of the Mind and Life Institute, where she recently completed a two-year term on its steering council. She is a member of the board of advisors of the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness and the board of directors for the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute.

Rhonda has served as a guest teacher in a variety of mindfulness teacher training programs, including those sponsored by the Mindfulness Awareness Research Center (2017, 2018), led by Diana Winston, the Engaged Mindfulness Institute, led by Fleet Maull (2017, 2018), and the Center for Mindfulness (2017), led by Saki Santorelli and Judson Brewer. She serves as daylong or retreats co-leader and solo teacher at centers including Spirit Rock Meditation Center, the Garrison Institute, the Shambhala Mountain Center, the Omega Institute, Esalen, and New York Insight Meditation Center.

You can read more about her biography here.

Her first book, The Inner Work of Racial Justice: Healing Ourselves and Transforming Our Communities Through Mindfulness, was published in September 2019 by TarcherPerigee, a member of the Penguin Random House Group. Order your copy now.

Please enjoy!

Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, or on your favorite platform.

Also available to listen on YouTube

This podcast is brought to you by Newsletter. If you’d like to learn more about what I am reading, new documentaries, what I am learning new, recent podcast updates, things I am experimenting with, or anything —which I share extensively in my weekly short and sweet “Friday Newsletter”. No spam ever! I hate that too!

Continue reading “Rhonda Magee on Inner Work and Healing Ourselves, Mindfulness in Race and Justice, Resolving Conflicts and Handling Difficult Conversations, and More (#172)”

Erica Keswin—Rituals Roadmap: The Human Way to Transform Everyday Routines Into Workplace Magic, Working with Executives and Leaders, Grounding Practices, and More (#171)

Good things happen when people connect”. Purpose has to be actualized in every day to day work.

Erica Keswin is a workplace strategist who has worked for the past twenty years with some of the most iconic brands in the world as a consultant, speaker, author, and professional dot-connector. Her bestselling book, Bring Your Human to Work: Ten Sure-Fire Ways to Design a Workplace That’s Good for People, Great for Business, and Just Might Change the World, was published by McGraw-Hill in the fall of 2018. Her second book, Rituals Roadmap: The Human Way to Transform Everyday Routines Into Workplace Magic (McGraw-Hill), was published in January 2021 and made the Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly and USA Today best seller lists.

Erica’s work and insights can be seen in various media outlets, including Harvard Business Review, NY Post, Forbes, Huffington Post, O Magazine, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Mogul, Conscious Company, Quartz, and Fast Company.

Recent keynotes, workshops, and webinars (virtual and IRL) include the American Red Cross, SXSW, TIAA, IBM, New York Times, HighTower Associates, AllianceBernstein, Standard Industries, Banfield Pet Hospital, and Radio Flyer. Erica was named one of Marshall Goldsmith’s Top 100 Coaches in 2020, as well as one of Business Insider’s most innovative coaches of 2020.

Please enjoy!

Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher ,or on your favorite platform.

This podcast is brought to you by Newsletter. If you’d like to learn more about what I am reading, new documentaries, what I am learning new, recent podcast updates, things I am experimenting with, or anything —which I share extensively in my weekly short and sweet “Friday Newsletter”. No spam ever! I hate that too!

Connect with Erica:

Website | Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter

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Continue reading “Erica Keswin—Rituals Roadmap: The Human Way to Transform Everyday Routines Into Workplace Magic, Working with Executives and Leaders, Grounding Practices, and More (#171)”

Marla Mervis — ‘Love Your Body Love Yourself’, The Recipe to Feeling Good, ‘Over-eating and Over-exercising’, and More (#170)

Here in this body are the sacred rivers. Here are the sun and moon as well as all the pilgrimage places. I have not encountered another temple as blissful as my own body.

Marla Mervis-Hartmann is the the creator of Love Your Body Love Yourself. After years of struggling with her own dysfunctional body-relationship, Marla has transformed her experiences into services to help women discover honor and find appreciation for their bodies. As a professional Marla, has been featured at TEDx Salinas. She was the leading body image expert and Reiki Master at Journey Malibu, a Drug/Alcohol rehabilitation center.

Marla has followed her passion for women’s health down many paths of study including women’s sexual wellness; postpartum care; Restore Your Core educator; Tantra teacher certification; Yoga teacher training, and massage therapy. This collected body of knowledge shines through in her offerings of Love Your Body Love Yourself. In all of her work, Marla is devoted to empowering women to feel good about themselves and to live the life they desire.

She lives in LA with her husband and son where she works full-time as a professional coach, speaker, facilitator and Living Light Reiki Master and Teacher.

Please enjoy!

Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, or on your favorite platform.

This podcast is brought to you by Newsletter. If you’d like to learn more about what I am reading, new documentaries, what I am learning new, recent podcast updates, things I am experimenting with, or anything —which I share extensively in my weekly short and sweet “Friday Newsletter”. No spam ever! I hate that too!

Connect with Marla:

Website | Instagram | Facebook | TedTalk | Youtube

Download Audio:

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Ruminations on Healing, Awareness, and Inner Work

I started capturing each and everything I learned on the web in Evernote since 2021 started. It’s better to capture what I’m learning so that when I look back a few years later, I can go back to my notes and see how far I have come. If you’ve been followed my work for a while or new to my work, I’d like to say that I find immense pleasure in sharing my learnings with you all.

This post highlights some of the fantastic quotes and contemplations on healing. I hope you enjoy this post as much as I did in creating it. A few years down the road, I can revisit this post and tap into my inner peace and tranquility.

Below, you’ll find musings from the masters such as Wayne Dyer, Anthony de Mello, Gabor Mate, Young Pueblo, Michael Ostrolenk, Rumi, and many others.

Now, let’s begin:

“Heal yourself, not just so you can thrive, but to ensure that people who cross your path in the future are safer from harm.” —Yung Pueblo

“The word healing comes from the Anglo-Saxon word for wholeness and the essential nature of trauma is that it’s a loss of wholeness. It’s the impact of what happened and how that’s manifesting as a disconnect right now in our lives, and how we can reconnect. A proper understanding of trauma actually says, This happened inside me, it’s with me in the present, and because it’s with me in the present, I can do something about it.” —Gabor Maté

“I am just saying it is so much more helpful to see every manifestation of what we call illness, whether physical or what we call mental, as a manifestation of a life, a life history and a multigenerational life history, in the context of a certain society. If we reflect on all that, we can be much more effective in helping people, no matter what their issues are. Biology rarely provides the full picture, least of all in what we call mental illness.” — Gabor Maté

“Trauma isn’t what happens to you, it’s what happens inside you.” Gabor Maté

” I’m not going to ask you what you were addicted to, I often say to people, nor when, nor for how long. Only, whatever your addictive focus, what did it offer you? What did you like about it? What, in the short term, did it give you that you craved or liked so much?” — Gabor Maté

“I’ve had a lifelong interest in recognizing that we don’t have to be pushed by our culture and our family of origins. We can generate a sense of internal freedom to begin to design our own lives. We can learn to optimize ourselves mentally, emotionally and physically, as well as other aspects of ourselves.” — Michael Ostrolenk

A lot of people’s traumas, whether it’s sexual abuse, physical abuse, mental abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, or whatever happens to be, or even at scale, smaller versions of all those same things. For many people happens before they have a mental self sense, which means in practice that if you don’t work through their nervous system, you don’t work through their body. You can’t really help heal them or help themselves heal themselves through just cognitive behavioral work. Because it’s not just a thinking issue. It’s a physiological somatic issue. ” — Michael Ostrolenk

“I know you are tired but come, this is the way.
These pains you feel are messengers, listen to them” — Rumi

“Today I escaped the power of circumstance, or rather I cast all circumstance out — for it was not outside me — but within me, in my judgments.” — Marcus Aurelius

“The doorway to the higher purpose opens inward, and most of us spend the lifetime looking for it outside.” — Wayne Dyer

“Embrace Silence. Silence is not empty. Silence is full of answers. No matter how many times you cut silence into half, you only get silence. Silence is a way to know your true self.” — Wayne Dyer

“Everything passes, everything. If you seek thrills, get ready for sadness. These are the swings of the pendulum. One end of the pendulum swings to the other. Never “identify” with that feeling.” — Anthony de Mello

“I saw grief drinking a cup of sorrow, and called out, “it tastes sweet, doesn’t it?” You’ve caught me – grief answered, and you have ruined  my business. How can I sell sorrow, when you you know it’s a blessing.” — Rumi

“Forgiveness feels like, we’re given a big pair of scissors to cut the tie and regain personal power. It starts with a choice and then becomes a process with no neat ending. One day you can forgive and the next you may hear the detail of what happened and feel angry all over again.” — Scarlett Lewis

“Look at where you were three/six months ago and compare to where you are now.  Realizing that you have experienced growth/momentum may help ease the frustration that you’re not as far as you want to be.  Most of us are not.  However, none of us ever get it all done…none of us!”  — Terri Lonowski

“Recognize that life itself is an incredible gift.  It is a miracle that any of us are here.  Sit with that for a moment.  All of life is at any one moment on the fragile brink of non-existence.  Behold the wonderment in the moment.” — Terri Lonowski

Continue reading “Ruminations on Healing, Awareness, and Inner Work”