My Personal Favorite Podcasts from 2021 and 2020

Whenever people asked me what my personal favorite podcasts are, I always struggled to answer this. I always responded with a smile — “how can you differentiate among your children, who’s your favorite and who’s not?”

I found myself repeating the same and realized that it’s time to write about it. When something keeps appearing in life, it’s a sign from life telling us something. Better to listen to life as one of my friends says life gives you a curriculum. Well, I finally decided to write about it rather than dodging this question every time.

Yes, every podcast episode is very dear to me as so much work goes behind the scenes. To shortlist my favorite ones was challenging and I had to think about some criteria to limit the list.

The criteria are:

  • I’ve become friends with the guests.
  • The podcast did exceptionally well beyond my expectations and self-judgments.
  • The podcast was very self-satisfying to me even though it didn’t do very well in terms of downloads.
  • Guests introduced me to their friends for future guest potential. Therefore, I’ve interviwed 185+ experts from different areas.
  • They have coached me in some capacity.
  • Guests promoted the hell out of the podcast on their social platforms and newsletters.

Below is the list of podcasts. This list is in the decreasing order of publishing date. It’s not in the order of my favorites.

1) Mo Edjlali — Inner state of being, Mindful Leadership and Contemplative Practices, Uncovering Unconscious Beliefs, Processing Grief and Sad Emotions, and More (#176)

2) 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)

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

4) 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)

5) Dr. Romie Mushtaq — Optimizing Brain Health, Cure for Busy Brain, Restore Sanity, Sleep, & Sense of Connection, Wellness Paradigms, Connection with Divine, Root causes of Depression, and More (#167)

6) Raj Sisodia on Wholeness and Healing, Spiritual Journey in the Himalayas, Mind Maps for Writing, Ayahuasca Experience, Feminine and Masculine Energy, Conscious Capitalism, and More (#159)

7) Ora Nadrich — Questioning your Thoughts, Transformational Thinking, Cultivating Calm and Relaxed State, Mindfulness in Motion, Dream Work, Live True, and More (#158)

8) Debbie Millman on Deep Relationships, Creativity and Growth, The Importance of Therapy, Hope and Resilience, and More (#154)

9) Sarah Sarkis on Mastery, Psychological Flexibility, Emotional Skills and Self-Regulation Practices, Relationship with Risk, Sense of Wellness, and More (#153)

10) Jeremy Hunter on The Quality of Life and Attention, Meaningful and Engaged Life, Why Moments Matter, Japan Bathing Culture, and More (#152)

Continue reading “My Personal Favorite Podcasts from 2021 and 2020”

Allison Jackson Interviews Nishant Garg — My Personal Story, Self Care Non-Negotiable, Letting Go, and More (#178)

Usually, I interview experts on The Nishant Garg Show, but this time, tables were turned. In this episode, my friend Allison Jackson interviews me about how I go to Where I am, my superpower, my recent favorite books and etc etc. Allison Jackson is the founder of Allison Jackson Fitness. She is passionate about all things health and fitness, but she really loves sharing her knowledge and expertise to help corporate moms get lean eating foods they love so they can be at their best. Allison has spent the last seven years training and competing in figure competitions – even winning three pro cards in one year – so she has a crystal clear picture of what it takes to get to your ideal weight and stay there.

I interviewed Allison in 2020 and you can find that interview Allison Jackson – The 3-Legged Wellness Stool: Nutrition, Movement & Spirituality

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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Karen R. Koenig — The Psychology of Dysregulated Eating, Steps Towards Ending Emotional Eating, The Rules of Normal Eating, Improving Relationship with Food, and More (#177)

We are not addicted to food, we are habituated. 

Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, M.Ed., is a licensed psychotherapist, motivational speaker, and international author who has specialized in the field of compulsive, emotional, and restrictive eating for more than 30 years. She received a B.A. from Boston University, an M.Ed. from Antioch College, and an M.S.W. from Simmons College School of Social Work. She lives, teaches, and practices in Sarasota, Florida.

She is a co-founder of the Greater Boston Collaborative for Body Image and Eating Disorders and a former member of the Professional Advisory Committee of the Multi-service Eating Disorder Association of Massachusetts.
During the past three decades, she has taught and made presentations to venues such as the adult education centers of Sarasota, Florida and Boston and Brookline, Massachusetts, Manatee Memorial Hospital, University of South Florida School of Social Work, National Organization for Women, Center for Disordered Eating, Bayside Center for Behavioral Health, Boston Women Communicators, Women on the Scene, American Business Women’s Association, Florida Writer’s Association, Minnesota’s Breast Cancer Awareness Association, and Lake Austin Spa.

She has conducted professional trainings for the Multi-service Eating Disorder Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the Massachusetts Dietetic Association, the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, T.W.I.C.E. Educational Seminars, Simmons College School of Social Work and Feeding Ourselves.

Among other publications, her essays and articles have appeared in Social Work Today, Social Work Focus, The Newsletter for the Society for Family Therapy and Research, Positive Change, Attitudes Magazine, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, The West Roxbury Transcript, Equal Times, and Single Living. She has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Ladies’ Home Journal, AARP Online, Women’s Health, Shape, Self, Berner Zeitung, and OK magazines. Among three of her books, there are 10 foreign-language translations.

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 Karen: Website | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook

New Book: Words to Eat By: Using the Power of Self-talk to Transform Your Relationship with Food and Your Body


Continue reading “Karen R. Koenig — The Psychology of Dysregulated Eating, Steps Towards Ending Emotional Eating, The Rules of Normal Eating, Improving Relationship with Food, and More (#177)”

Mo Edjlali — Inner state of being, Mindful Leadership and Contemplative Practices, Uncovering Unconscious Beliefs, Processing Grief and Sad Emotions, and More (#176)

The Nishant Garg Show

Mo Edjlali is the Chief Community Organizer of Mindful Leader, our mission is to enable people to foster the advancement of mindfulness and compassion in the workplace. He has served as a board member or advisor to multiple non-profits including Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC, Insight on the Inside, Minds Incorporated, Think Impact, Art for Humanity, and Hungry for Music.

Mo is a serial entrepreneur and has over 20 years of experience in management, technology, and marketing for start-ups, non-profits, F500 companies, and government agencies. He graduated with a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Virginia Tech. In his free time, he likes to go on toddler safe adventures, sometimes he takes his toddler, baby girl, and wife along too.

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 Mo: Website | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook

Continue reading “Mo Edjlali — Inner state of being, Mindful Leadership and Contemplative Practices, Uncovering Unconscious Beliefs, Processing Grief and Sad Emotions, and More (#176)”

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).

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 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.

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 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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Continue reading “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)”

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!

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 Amber:

Website | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Download Audio:

Stream the audio here

Download this audio by right click and choose “save as”
Continue reading “Dr. Amber Elizabeth Gray — Movement–Based Therapies, Restoration and Healing, Ceremonies for Healing, Somatic Psychology, Journaling for Processing Trauma, and More (#173)”

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)”