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!

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

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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”

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)”

Sergey Young — The Ultimate Book Recommendations

I had the real honor of interviewing Sergey Young on my podcast recently. The interview is coming out very soon. Sergey recommended some great books in our conversation on happiness, peace of mind, improving quality of sleep, and in other areas. I love to know about new books that happy and successful read to learn, grow, and help others.

This post is just about that — highlighting Sergey’s selected book recommendations. You might be wondering — who’s Sergey?

Sergey Young is a longevity investor and visionary with a mission to extend the healthy lifespans of one billion people. To do that, Sergey founded Longevity Vision Fund to accelerate life extension technological breakthroughs and to make longevity affordable and accessible to all.

Sergey is on the Board of Directors of the American Federation of Aging Research (AFAR) and the Development Sponsor of AGE REVERSAL XPRIZE global competition designed to cure aging. Sergey is also a Top-100 Longevity Leader, who is transforming the world, one workplace at a time, with Longevity@Work – the first non-profit corporate longevity program of its kind.

Sergey Young has been featured as a top longevity expert and contributor on CNN, Fox News, and Forbes. As the author of books such as ‘The Science and Technology of Growing Young. Sergey is passionate about sharing news from the exciting world of longevity

Connect with Sergey: Website | Twitter | LinkedIn | Instagram

Here you go!

Continue reading “Sergey Young — The Ultimate Book Recommendations”

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”

Teresa Quinlan on All about Podcasting: How to Start, Finding Guests, Editing, Purpose and Vision, and More

I wrote down 40 questions based on my podcasting experience and refined them by keeping in mind how to map out a podcasting life cycle journey in a simple and fun way, and someone who’s on any spectrum in their podcasting journey can take the bullets as the foundation and test their hypothesis. I didn’t know any better when I started in Jan 2020 and kept incrementally improving every week and as a result, I’ve interviewed 170+ world-class experts in different domains. 

If you’re planning to start a podcast, or have already started and may want to tweak things, this post is for you.

I asked Teresa Quinlan who hosts a podcast TNT ESQ, has been on my podcast and we discussed Emotional Intelligence, Self-Awareness, and some Mindfulness. Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts , SpotifyStitcherGoogle Podcasts, or on your favorite platform.

Teresa Quinlan is a human first and an alchemist second. She believes that the synthesis of one’s intellectual quotient (IQ), personality, and emotional quotient (EQ) is the key to breaking through one’s talent quotient (TQ). 

Connect with Teresa Quinlan: Website | LinkedInYoutube

Please enjoy my conversation with Teresa on everything about Podcasting. Take what works for you and leave what doesn’t.

Let’s begin!

Nishant Garg: What was your motivation to start the podcast? What skills and lessons have you learned in podcasting that is transferable in other projects and life in general?

Teresa Quinlan: My motivation to start our podcast, along with my co-host Rhys Thomas, was to be able to contribute to the global community, in a positive way. We wanted to be able to provide our insights through the stories and lessons of our guests, to the bigger scale, the global scale. We believed that the best way to do this was through the podcasting platform. Second to this, our motivation included the goal to personally grow and develop through other people’s experiences – expanding our own perspectives and challenging our own status quo. This is how we determined the name of our podcast TnT (Teresa and Thomas) ESQ (exploding the status quo).

The skills and lessons I have learned are actually the other way around – the skills I have from other areas of my experiences I have applied to the podcasting platform. Skills in public speaking, listening, coaching, curiosity, compassion, assertiveness, organization, courage, and planning.

Nishant Garg: What’s your current guest recruitment process look like? How do you approach someone whom you don’t know? Any advice or template for cold-outreach that has worked for you? 

Teresa Quinlan: We begin with an interest in the individual; their story. We do this because this is the foundation of our podcast conversation. And so, we decide who we would like on our podcast based on their story – which means that one of us needs to get to know the guest prior to our invitation. We do this by reaching out and establishing a connection. Reaching out can happen in any number of ways – social media and email are our two preferred methods for initial contact. We then move to a virtual conversation to get to know the person better and after at least one conversation of building a relationship, we ask if they would like to be a guest on our podcast. Often, since we(host and co-host) are meeting people individually and jointly know our podcast purpose and guest ‘profile’, we can make the decision of who to invite without needing to first confirm with our partner. We trust each other to make great decisions in alignment with our purpose.

Cold outreach/contact is definitely one way to go about inviting guests. My advice in using this method would be to first research your guest; learn about them. When you reach out, explain why you are doing so, what it is about them that interests you, and ask for their interest in participating as a guest. Oh…and stay diligent. When you ask high profile individuals, sometimes you have to ask several times over several months before you receive a response.

Continue reading “Teresa Quinlan on All about Podcasting: How to Start, Finding Guests, Editing, Purpose and Vision, and More”