Dr. Keren Tsuk — Wisdom To Lead

As the saying goes, if you don’t have twenty minutes to practice meditation, practice for an hour.

Being mindful means that we must feel every emotion we experience in every moment, without disengaging and letting our emotions manage us.

This post highlights a written interview with Keren Tsuk, Ph.D. I sent her a few questions and she’s been kind enough to send me the responses. It’s my honor to bring forth her experiences in this short post. I’ve absolutely loved her answers which feel meditative to me.

Keren Tsuk, Ph.D., is a keynote speaker, consultant, and thought leader in 21st-century leadership sought-after speaker, As the founder and CEO of consulting firm Wisdom To Lead, she specializes in the development of senior management teams and corporate leadership. Tsuk guides companies and senior management teams to reach their full potential using various techniques in the field of mindfulness. She is also the author of Mindfully Wise Leadership: The Secret of Today’s Leaders.

Connect with Keren: Website | LinkedIn | Facebook

Please enjoy this conversation with Karen!

Nishant: What books—or even movies and documentaries—would you recommend to someone who wants to live a meaningful life? What books have you gifted the most, and why?

Keren: One book that had a deep impact on me was The Alchemist, about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who consults a Gypsy fortune-teller about the meaning of a recurring dream. The fortune-teller interprets the dream as a prophecy, telling the boy that he will discover a treasure at the Egyptian pyramids. After Santiago sets out, he meets various people on his journey. From everyone, he learns something about the world, and, in particular, he learns how to realize his true self from a wise alchemist. As he progresses, his challenges increase. He needs to believe in himself and in the journey. The story demonstrates that to fulfill our calling in the world, we need to search within ourselves, while also being open and curious to the signs outside that help us find our path.

I truly believe that each of us has wisdom, and nobody can know about ourselves more than we each do. This is the reason I called my company Wisdom To Lead: In order to lead, we need to connect to the wisdom within ourselves.

What touched me most from this book is that even on our challenging paths, everyone has a present to bring to the world. This present is our unique quality and calling in the world.

In order to fulfill your calling, you will also need to find your unique path. While you move forward in life, and people around you will show you the way, give you signs, open doors for you, and connect you to the people you need to meet to fulfill yourself. They will teach you what you need to learn along the journey. And as you go in your path, you need to connect deeper to your inner self and overcome fears and distractions. And as we get closer to our treasure and fulfillment, the challenges get bigger and we may have to face our fears. However, this is a sign that we are on the right path. We need to dare to get out of our comfort zones to experience the meaningful lives we wish for ourselves.

Another meaningful book is: When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron, which teaches us how to handle uncertainty and adversity. When I read the book, it gave me a wider perspective on challenging situations and how to handle them. Each and every one of us goes through tough times especially today under pandemic conditions that are transforming the world. We are experiencing uncertainty, ambiguity, and complexity. It looks like the uncertainty is here to stay. This is why being present and being able to navigate in uncertain and challenging times is a crucial skill that we need to embrace and nourish.

At the beginning of her book, Chodron shares a difficult experience she went through when her husband divorced her and her life fell apart. She felt a lot of anger and fear. However, this turning point brought her closer to her mission in life, as she encountered Buddhism and went on a path to become a teacher. In the end, she was thankful for the experience, and that is a major theme of the book—the idea that life is all beginnings and endings. Moreover, she talks about becoming familiar with fear and looking it right in the eye so that we can really come to terms with what we feel that we cannot address. This resonated with me so much; this is what being mindful truly means. Being mindful is to feel our various emotions without disconnecting from them, and choosing freely how to react instead of being managed by our own feelings and emotions. So, if I feel fearful right now, I will accept that — that part of me feels scared right now but I won’t let this fear paralyze me. Acknowledging fear allows us to keep on going toward our goals.

Continue reading “Dr. Keren Tsuk — Wisdom To Lead”

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.

Please enjoy!

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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!

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Payal Nanjiani: Globally Acclaimed Leadership Expert — Sharing Short Advice and Experiences

This post highlights a written interview with Payal Nanjiani. I sent her a few questions and she’s been kind enough to send me the responses. She and I connected on LinkedIn, and it’s my pleasure to bring forth her experiences in this short post.

I crafted a list of 10 life’s philosophical questions that I wanted to answer for myself. I thought—what would it look like if I ask the same set of questions to the best in the world from the different domain—so that I can learn from them—what they do, how they think on the same questions, and much more! 

Payal Nanjiani is a top leadership speaker and one of the world’s renowned leadership experts who to date has helped a million people and numerous organizations lead and succeed against all odds. Her work is embraced by Fortune 500 companies, large 0rganizations, government officials, and many celebrity CEOs. 

A former Human Resource Manager, Payal witnessed tremendous success in her early work life. When she moved to the United States of America in the summer of 2000, Payal was constantly reminded by friends and family that she is stepping into a land of opportunities where people are very successful. Excited for her new journey, she quickly rose to higher roles at her work. To learn more about her, visit page

This post highlights my conversation with Payal Nanjiani on such questions.

Connect with Payal: Website | LinkedIn | Instagram

Please enjoy this conversation with Payal!

Nishant: What books—or even movies and documentaries—would you recommend to someone who wants to live a meaningful life? What books have you gifted the most, and why?

Payal: The one book I most often recommend and re-read myself is Tough Times Never Last but Tough People do by  Dr. Robert Schuller. It was a book that was gifted to me by my father when I was in college and since then it’s helped me a lot in my own life. It’s a book that helps shape your leadership in crisis.

Nishant: You have interacted with many successful people over the years – what have you found are the most beneficial exercises that people really feel have changed their lives for the better?

Payal: If I was to name just one practice that I’ve found common across every successful leader I’ve interacted with, it is the practice of self-awareness. It just opens up the neuropathways of your brain and leads you to be accountable for your karma (actions).

Continue reading “Payal Nanjiani: Globally Acclaimed Leadership Expert — Sharing Short Advice and Experiences”

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!

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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

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

Denise Shull — The Role of Emotions in Decision Making, Resolving Mental Blocks, Performance Coach to Professional Athletes, Understanding the Feelings, Experiencing Peak Performance, and More (#169)

“Every performance improvement anyone can want is on the other side of a better approach to the so-called negative emotions.”

“If you keep considering feelings your enemy, you are war with yourself. If you embrace your emotions as information, they become much more friendly. You actually reduce the odds of acting on them by making them explicit or conscious.”

Denise Shull is the CEO and Lead Performance Coach at the human performance and decision-making consultancy, The ReThink Group Inc. Leveraging her unique combination of expertise in Neuroeconomics and Modern Psychoanalysis she has developed The Shull Method™ a unique approach to mental skills which prioritizes emotion in the pursuit of peak performance and the resolution of psychological roadblocks.

After working at IBM, Ms. Shull’s Wall Street career began in 1994 when she traded at one of the first E-trading firms in Chicago. She moved to Schonfeld Securities before being invited to run a desk in NYC in 1997. She founded ReThink in 2003 and continued to trade financial futures through her membership at the Chicago Board of Trade through 2009.

Her 2012 book, Market Mind Games: A Radical Psychology of Investing, Trading and Risk has been reviewed as the “best of its genre” and a “veritable Rosetta Stone of trading psychology.” In 2015, Shull was invited to consult with the writers on Showtime’s drama BILLIONS and in 2016 Bloomberg Tradebook released the Trader Brain Exercise based on ReThink’s IP. In 2017, Shull and ReThink delivered HEADSx, a robust talent assessment tool used by select hedge funds to hire exceptional talent. In 2018, her work with Olympian Lindsey Jacobellis was featured in the New York Times.

A highly engaging speaker, Shull has delivered talks at NASCAR’s Hendrick MotorSports, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, MIT, US Ski and Snowboard Association, Harvard Business School, CFA Societies and Leaders in Sport among others. In 2019, Shull is featured on REAL VISION – the disruptive financial TV start-up. She has also appeared on CNBC’s Halftime Report and Squawk Box both in the US and Asia. FORBES, WSJ, FT, Bloomberg Markets, and New York Times’ Dealbook have run profiles on her while FOX Business, Bloomberg, Cavuto, PBS and The Discovery Channel have also invited her commentary.

She holds a Master of Arts in neuropsychoanalysis (1995) from The University of Chicago. Her thesis research, “The Neurobiology of Freud’s Theory of the Repetition Compulsion,” was republished in 2003 in the Annals of Modern Psychoanalysis and was cited in 2013 as one of the first papers written in neuropsychoanalysis. She is also a 2009 alumnus of Harvard’s Kennedy School Executive Education program, Investment Decisions and Behavioral Finance.

Get her book Market Mind Games: A Radical Psychology of Investing, Trading and Risk

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!

Connect with Denise:

Website | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Book: Market Mind Games: A Radical Psychology of Investing, Trading and Risk

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Dr. Jacinta M. Jiménez — ‘The Burnout Fix: Overcome Overwhelm, Beat Busy, and Sustain Success’, Science-backed steps to address Burnout and increase Resilience, and More (#168)

“Your worth is not measured by your productivity”.

“Let go or be dragged”

Dr. Jacinta M. Jiménez (also known as “Dr. J”) is an award-winning Psychologist and Board-Certified Leadership Coach with a 15+ year career dedicated to the betterment of leaders. She has worked with individuals in top organizations in Silicon Valley and throughout the world. A graduate of Stanford University as well as the PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium, Dr. J is a sought-after expert in bridging the fields of psychology and leadership. She contributes to national news and TV outlets, including CNN/HLN, Business Insider, Forbes, Fast Company, Oprah, and Bloomberg.

As the former Global Head of Coaching at BetterUp, she was a key leader in the development of ground-breaking science-backed coaching approaches for helping today’s top organizations, while also leading a global community of 1500+ international Leadership Coaches in over 58 countries. Her new book, The Burnout Fix, covers the topic of resilience, sustainable success, and peak performance at work. Dr. J holds a certificate in Diversity & Inclusion from Cornell University and provides consultation on topics related to this important topic as well.

Check out her new book: The Burnout Fix: Overcome Overwhelm, Beat Busy, and Sustain Success in the New World of Work 

Please enjoy!

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

Listen to this episode 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!

Connect with Jacinta:

Website | LinkedIn | Twitter | Book: The Burnout Fix

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Continue reading “Dr. Jacinta M. Jiménez — ‘The Burnout Fix: Overcome Overwhelm, Beat Busy, and Sustain Success’, Science-backed steps to address Burnout and increase Resilience, and More (#168)”