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!

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Website | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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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)”

Wayne Dyer — Don’t Die With Your Music Still in You

There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.

Thick Nhat Hanh

I found this audio Control Your Thought And Mind from Wayne Dyer in 2017 when I was struggling in life in many ways. Fast forward, I’ve listened to this audio a hundred times/ This teaching from him came to me at the right time when the needed it the most. I was able to forgive my father and realized how he’s been a teacher in my life. I was able to forgive everyone in the past who wasn’t good to me.

Since I had listened to this audio many times, I had written an excerpt to read and remind myself in the tough times about my intention, why I am here on this planet, and what matters to me at present.

I had written this draft post about 2 years ago, and while I was going through the drafts list, I thought it’s the perfect time to put it out in the universe and may be this post helps someone in need of some soothing. Wayne Dyer has been an instrument in my life for opening my mind and heart to the new possibilities and I dedicate this post to him.

Now, we begin with Wayne Dyer:

There is a spiritual solution to every problem.

“Don’t die with your music still in you”. These words are coming out of my mouth right now, come out of the silence. Some of us hear a different drummer and we must march to the music we hear. But, all of you have some music playing and all of you have a heroic mission.

There are no accidents in this universe. We all show up here with a purpose. There is an intelligence that is part of everything and everyone and all of us are connected to it. And, many of us are afraid to listen to that music and march to it. I know you have a book you want to write, I know there is a song you want to sing at someplace. Who knows what it maybe, maybe you just want to travel and see the world. Maybe you want to get into a relationship with someone, but you’ve been afraid to, but your heart says it’s the right thing to do.

I know what my music is and it’s playing right now. Who you are, whatever that music is, however distant it may sound, however strange, however weird others may interpret it to be — don’t get to the end of your life and know that you are going to leave and not have it played yet.

Don’t die with your music still in you.

Continue reading “Wayne Dyer — Don’t Die With Your Music Still in You”

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.

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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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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!

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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 Marla:

Website | Instagram | Facebook | TedTalk | Youtube

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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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Continue reading “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)”

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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Book Mentioned:

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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)”

How I Approach Busy Powerful People and Influencers — Experimenting with Multiple Templates Included

The podcast “The Nishant Garg Show” started without knowing anyone in the mental health and mindfulness industry. Why am I specific to only the mental health and mindfulness industry? When I reached out to people, usually their first question was “what’s this podcast about?” Therefore, I had to pick a topic that I cared for and had been personally practicing for some time. If I had chosen a topic I wasn’t passionate about, I’d have given very early on. So, the key is to focus on the topics you care about and are passionate about. Fast forward, I’ve covered many other topics such as trauma healing, relationships, leadership, and more, as my interest level grows and I evolve with time. Growth is never a linear process – not sure who said this.

I had to start from somewhere. Some of my kindest friends said yes to being on the show in the beginning to boost my confidence and courage. You will need more courage than confidence when you literally know nothing about podcasting or any new venture. Remember – courage overconfidence.

I knew that if I want to go further, I can’t just rely on a few friends. I had to try something else. To begin with, I started connecting with people on LinkedIn and start pitching my little heart. I had zero experience in cold messaging. As they say, you just start, keep refining your approach with time, and observe what’s working and what’s not.

As of writing this, I must have done thousands of cold-pitches. I had a lofty goal since the beginning although I didn’t know where exactly I want this podcast to go. My only intention was “building skills and developing connections” in this process even if I stop doing this so-called podcasting. I, personally, am not a fan of “networking” as I am a person who likes to create deeper connections with a few souls only. I don’t believe in creating superficial connections with many-many bodies.

Cold pitching is not an easy thing. Know that, busy people and influencers won’t have time to respond to you even when you have got a perfect pitch. When I was approaching someone busy (almost everyone was busier than me ;)), I always made sure to keep it short, sweet, and clear, and tried to make it easy enough for them to respond with either YES or NO. Did this approach work? Yes, it did get me to this stage, but not all the time. Most of the time, I didn’t get any response. It was a practice ground for me to become comfortable with NOs and No Responses, and still is.

Your patience is going to be tested. When you don’t have credibility, it’s really difficult to get people to say YES. However, it’s possible though. It’s a numbers game. When you’re just starting, don’t start with reaching out to people with a huge following – I did that mistake so many times early on. Your message will be lost in the overwhelming requests they receive or you will get a NO from their assistants. Here is the thing, be nicer to the assistants – they are the gatekeeper and they can let you in. So, be nice even when they say NO. You never know when the equation changes.

I realized that if I approach 100 people, at least 10 would say YES. That’s it. That’s all you need. It’s a numbers game. Now, after launching 167+ episodes, I very rarely cold-pitch people and I purely rely on referrals and connections.

Cold pitching is very time-consuming and I strongly believe that it’s the best option for anyone starting afresh. In this process, you will learn to take NOs and rejections less personally. Busy people already have a lot on their plate, hence, the timing and luck definitely matter.

I was lucky enough to get some big influencers (Guy Kawasaki) early on. Maybe, they read my emails when they were in a happy mood or less busy, who knows.

The first step is to test with different email templates. Be precise and clear with your message about why you’re reaching them. Don’t write pages of emails – no one has time for that.

Don’t be pushy and salesy. Follow up 2-3 times over the weeks/months. It’s ok if you don’t get a response. The world is full of amazing people. If one says no, there is always another amazing person who will say yes. NO isn’t a rejection if we look at it from different. It simply is that they are not enrolled in your mission.

In my messages/emails, I showed empathy at the end by giving them a clear exit if they don’t have time to respond or were uninterested in my pursuit. Ex: I understand that you get such an inbound request all the time, and If you have read my email this far, it means a lot to me. I am not in a rush to do this. Thanks in advance.

Two books, which really helped in understanding the purpose and mission, and being comfortable with rejections, are The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life and The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact.

I started capturing each cold pitch that worked for me in my go-to Evernote. To inspire you that it’s possible to make this happen from zero level, I’ve copied some pitches below. Nobody wants to be enrolled in a podcast; therefore, I had to create a mission and purpose around it, because we all human beings want to be part of a bigger purpose. I am glad to share that this little show is helping some people live a fulfilled and abundant life and they are the source of ripple effects.

Template 1:

“Hello X, I hope you are well and I will be brief here.

My name is Nishant. I’m originally from India and now live in Austin, Texas, USA. I am an Engineer and the Podcast host of the show “The Nishant Garg Show” where I invite world-class experts including Researchers, Psychologists, Business Tycoons, Mindfulness Experts, etc,  to share tools and practices to improve the quality of life. I am on a mission to help people live a fulfilled life and live more mindfully.

You have been on my mind for a while and have heard about you many times on Tim Ferriss and The Trauma Therapist Podcast. Thank you for making a difference in society.
My intention from this email is to invite you to my podcast as a guest, and I’d be honored to have you join me in this mission and share your wisdom with the listeners. As of writing this email, I have published 112 episodes in just 10 months. I understand that you get such an inbound request all the time, and If you have read my email this far, it means a lot to me. I am not in a rush to do this. Thanks in advance.

Much Love to you and Gratitude.”

Continue reading “How I Approach Busy Powerful People and Influencers — Experimenting with Multiple Templates Included”