It’s not often that I interview someone on the mindfulness and psychotherapy blog who has put out a novel. However, Diana Gould has had a long career in film and television and in her practice with mindfulness. She currently teaches at InsightLA in Santa Monica, California and has recently released her first novel Coldwater. She has also put out a special Coldwater Challenge contest: Find the Mindfulness! Nestled within the pages of this noir thriller are little nuggets of mindfulness teachings. How many can you find? Make a list, give your reasons, and submit to email@example.com. The winner will receive your choice of a free basics class at InsightLA or a personal consultation with Diana about dharma practice & writing or both!
Today, Diana talks to us about what inspired her to write this novel, how mindfulness integrates into the novel, the themes of destruction and redemption are applicable in our lives, and some thoughts for the times we are suffering.
Elisha: What inspired you to write Coldwater?
One of most essential relationships in life is with the food we eat. What we bring into our bodies affects our level of energy, ability to pay attention, and general well-being. That is why being mindful in our lives has to integrate the food we eat. Brandt Passalacqua, author of the audio program Being At Peace With Food, is also a speaker who discovered yoga and meditation after struggling with his weight, food and substance addiction, and serious illness. Since founding Peaceful Weight Loss™ Through Yoga, his personal journey has served as an inspiration to countless others looking to make peace with food. You can also check out his webinar here.
Today, Brandt talks to us about what our most impactful bad eating habits are, how he developed a healthy relationship to food, a meditation to get us started and a little advice at the end.
Elisha: Hi Brandt, to get us started tell us what some of the most impactful negative eating habits are that affect us today?
All of us have an innate desire to heal our suffering and step into a wiser and happier life. Today it is my great pleasure to bring a favorite author, teacher and psychologist of mine who is at the forefront of integrating mindfulness into psychotherapy and our lives. Tara Brach, PhD is author of the recently released and the soon-to-be-a-classic True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart, bestselling book Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha, and many more. Tara has weekly podcasts from her Wednesday night sitting groups and is senior teacher and founder of the Insight Meditation Communityof Washington. She embodies and emphasizes that beneath the turbulence of our minds and hearts is a loving awareness that as we learn to tap into over and again can reveal a source of resiliency, peace and genuine happiness.
Today, Tara will talk to us about her own journey through suffering that led to true refuge, the differences between true and false refuges, key practices to begin with this in our lives, how this applies to anxiety and depression and a final message for us to walk away with.
Elisha: One of the aspects of your book that I deeply appreciated was your personal journey from suffering to find your true refuge. Can you share a little of that with us here?
As children, we can’t help but get in touch with creativity, we’re starting to learn how the world works, everything comes from a beginner’s mind. As we begin practicing and repeating things, the brain eventually figures it out and moves onto the next thing. Eventually, our curiosity for most things fades away as life begins routine and we miss out on the possibilities around us. That is why I’m always impressed and inspired when I find someone who uses creativity as a modality for healing.
Today I wanted to bring to you a former New York television executive Deb Eiseman, who after suffering debilitating chronic pain after a car accident found healing through creativity. Her life has now been transformed from one riddled with chronic pain to feeling happy as an artist and designer. She contends that it was through finding her creativity that she was healed. Can we do the same?
Elisha: Can you tell us what role finding that little $2.98 water color set played in your healing?
Eating is something that is a part of all of our lives, and for some of us, it’s a source of please and pain. Try as we might to avoid it, we get caught in unhealthy styles of eating in attempts to soothe discomfort. Unfortunately, this is followed by self-judgment, which takes all the joy out of eating.
This is why I am thrilled to bring to you a true expert on the topic, Susan Albers, Psy.D., who has authored the latest book “But I Deserve This Chocolate!: The Fifty Most Common Diet-Derailing Excuses and How to Outwit Them,” along with “50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food,” and the classic, now in its second edition, “Eating Mindfully: How to End Mindless Eating and Enjoy a Balanced Relationship with Food.”
Today, Susan will talk to us about why we sabotage healthy eating, the mind traps involved and give us some tips to get started on a healthier mindful eating.
Elisha: What’s behind our subtle drive to sabotage healthy eating?
We’re all experiencing the intersection of social media into the landscape of our culture and daily lives. That is why bringing mindfulness to how we interact in this medium is more important than ever.
It’s my pleasure to bring to you Howard Rheingold, an author who has been talking about our interaction with the online world and how it has changed our reality for years. Howard is author of many books, the most recent being Net Smart: How to Thrive Online.
Today in our debut video. Howard answers questions on the landscape of social media today, why mindfulness can help and what the future looks like.
In the west, the concept and practice of learning how to be more present in our lives has enjoyed an exponentially growing audience in the last 10 years. There have been a number of people and books raising awareness of the importance of cultivating greater mindfulness for the purpose of healing great stress, anxiety, depression, addiction, chronic pain and even creating great joy.
However, it wasn’t until now that someone within our own government began working to help transform our society from the inside out, in a recently published book A Mindful Nation.
If you haven’t be introduced to him yet, it is my pleasure to bring to you an exclusive interview with Congressman Tim Ryan as he shares with us why there’s a need for change, who inspires him as mindful change makers, some wisdom from Bobby Kennedy, and the quiet revolution happening in America right now.
I often say that there are two things in life that we can count on besides death and taxes and that’s stress and pain. With that said, it’s my pleasure to bring to you Christy Matta, MA. Christy has over 15 years experience in the mental health field, is author of the recently released book The Stress Response: How Dialectical Behavior Therapy Can Free You from Needless Anxiety, Worry, Anger, and Other Symptoms of Stress, founder of the blog Dialectal Behavior Therapy Misunderstood and contributor for the Huffington Post and MentalHelp.Net.
Today, Christy talks to us about what Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is, how it can help with your stress right now and some advice for those of us who are struggling.
Elisha: Can you give us a brief synopsis of what Dialectal Behavior Therapy (DBT) is and how it relates to stress?
When many of us think about mindfulness, we might picture a common misperception of someone sitting on a floor in a state of peaceful meditation. Mindfulness is so much more than that. That is why I’m so happy to have my friend, colleague and Neuropsychologist Marsha Lucas, PhD, author of the newly released book Rewire Your Brain For Love: Creating Vibrant Relationships Using the Science of Mindfulness to show us how we can bring mindfulness outside of ourselves, to change our brains and improve our relationships.
Today Marsha talks to us about how our brains can actually rewire in relationships, where our relationships with our parents influence our relationships today and a practice that can get us started in rewiring our brain for love.
Elisha: I love the title of your book. Can you give us a few ideas on how we can actually rewire our brain for love?
If you’ve been following The Mindfulness and Psychotherapy Blog, you’ve read and interacted around the psychology and neuroscience of mindfulness in relation to stress, anxiety, depression, addiction, trauma, and so much more. Today, I have the honor of interviewing, Megan Cowan, Co-founder and Executive Director of Mindful Schools bringing mindfulness to children. Megan will be speaking at the upcoming Bridging the Hearts and Minds of Youth at UCSD February 4-5 2012.
Today Megan talks to us about why mindfulness helps children and gives us some tips to begin working with our kids at school and at home.
Elisha: A couple years ago the video below came out via ABC News with some amazing responses captured by the children who were touched by Mindful Schools. Looking at this video, what is it about what you do that leads to these results?