Before The Afterlife

In these times of upheaval and crisis, what's it take to be happy, serene and peaceful? I've put the question to as many healers, mystics, monks, psychics, authors, brain geeks, authors and more. Now, in the midst of incredible global turmoil, I figure we all need healing more than ever. Which is why I started this podcast ... so we can get it right before we go!
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Before The Afterlife


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Nov 1, 2017

I spent a fascinating half hour with spiritual facilitator Robert Schwartz, discussing his important work. Robert is a gifted regression therapist, and in his BLSR sessions he connects people to their own unique ‘Council of Elders’. These are assorted beings on the other side – sometimes ascended masters, angels, departed loved ones, and even well known spiritual figures – with whom we make agreements before we are born.

Those agreements, known as ‘pre-birth planning’, guide many of the big incidents in our lives, including relationships, accidents, addictions, disabilities, illnesses, and even financial stresses. Yet each of these hard experiences are great learning experiences, say our guides. After Robert connects his clients with their own Council, he supports them to understand the circumstances of their lives more fully.

In this way, they are able to release their victim mindsets and understand the rich opportunities within their situations.

In speaking with Robert, I learned

  • What a BLSR (Between Lives Soul Reading) is and why past lives and soul agreements are so critical to our general happiness
  • What the Council of Elders is and what is it like to spend time with them regularly
  • Patterns in BLSR’s he has observed that help us move forward in greater peace and happiness
  • A compelling story about a woman’s accidental encounter with a pipe bomb, and how it changed her life … for the better
  • How pre-birth planning facilitates full forgiveness
  • The ‘big lesson’ that seems to come out of all BLSR’s
  • Why there are ‘mass extinctions’ such as the 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami that killed 227,000 people
  • What channels say about the Trump era and how this will impact humanity overall

Robert Schwartz is the real thing – a truly respected member of the metaphysical and spiritual community. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.


Your Soul’s Plan

Your Soul’s Gift

BLSR and Other Sessions with Robert --

Robert’s Website --


In Robert’s own words:

As a regression therapist (certified by the International Between Lives Regression Network), I offer Spiritual Guidance Sessions, Past Life Soul Regressions, and Between Lives Soul Regressions to help people heal, resolve life issues, and understand their life plan. I care very much about my clients and infuse my work with compassion and empathy. My books Your Soul's Plan: Discovering the Real Meaning of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born (previously titled Courageous Souls) and Your Soul's Gift: The Healing Power of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born explore the premise that we are all eternal souls who plan our lives, including our greatest challenges, before we're born for purposes of spiritual growth. 

Oct 25, 2017

A while back on this show, astrologer John Marchesella noted that astrologically we are in a period of deep revolution. In fact, the stars are aligned just as they were in 1776, and they will be for several more years. We’re certainly feeling that in the U.S. – but we’re also having more than our share of natural disasters as well, from massive wildfires to historic floods and hurricanes.

These catastrophes seem to be about more than just global warming. From a spiritual perspective, there seems to be the chaos afoot that comes just before our lives become fertile, whole and complete. But then … my shaman is not surprised.

“Chaos is where creativity comes from,” Michaela McGivern says. Her views in this interview may begin with some 10,000 foot views about current politics, but quickly they shift to a far bigger message -- about the spiritual lessons of this time we live in.

This is a profound time of transformation, as Michaela confirmed with some spot-on channeling from her guides. Together we share thoughts about what these dark times mean for us.

Among other things I learned;

  • How to deal with the current outbreak of worldwide chaos
  • How children in her practice are coping with and understanding the current state of chaos
  • How the desire of having power over another has seeped into the culture
  • How we are changing as a planet and what she sees every day in her practice
  • Shadow activities in governments and within ourselves and how to runs us
  • How ‘fallen angels’ can serve us energetically
  • What all light beings are being called to do now
  • The impact of video games and violent films on our planetary vibe
  • How childhood trauma manifests in adulthood if it’s not treated early on


It’s a thought provoking conversation. Feel free to share your thoughts with us on my Facebook page and look for this podcast.

Oct 18, 2017

Uma Girish describes herself as a ‘Grief Guide’. Lovingly, she holds space for individuals who are grieving from any number of losses, from divorce to death. This is something she has done beside the dying in hospices, as well. And why? Because her own grief around the death of her parents led her here.

In 2008, Uma came to the U.S. from India, and within two and a half years both of her parents had died. The shock of the loss put her on an entirely different life trajectory, changing the very core of her values and her sense of purpose in life.

“Pain is really the portal to purpose,” Uma Girish says in this wonderful interview.

 Besides having an extremely soothing voice, and a supremely gentle manner, Uma is also highly articulate on this subject. Her view is that around death, “…people’s masks fall off.” And so working through the layer of emotions that are unleashed becomes not only critical healing work, but a profound opportunity as well.

 Listen and learn: 

- Why story telling is essential to a whole grieving experience

- Is there a difference between grieving the end of a relationship and a death?

- The incredible value of ritual around grief

- How to keep on working and managing everyday life when you feel crushed by grief

- How to deal with the brain fog that comes with grief

- The cost of not grieving fully … and how to go about a full expression of grief

Despite – or perhaps because – of the topic, this is an amazingly uplifting conversation. Enjoy!


Uma’s Website (LINK TO

Uma’s list of 10 Gentle Ways to Beat Brain Fog in Grief [LINK TO]

Death Cafés [Link to]

Uma’s Book – Losing Amma, Finding Home; A Memoir About Love, Loss and Life’s Detours

[Link to ]


Uma Girish is a Grief Guide who supports spiritually-oriented women who are grieving any kind of loss. Her memoir "Losing Amma, Finding Home: A Memoir About Love, Loss and Life's Detours" was published by Hay House. Uma hosts a podcast The Grammar of Grief and is co-founder of the International Grief Council. Visit www.umagirish.comfor more.


Sep 28, 2017

This particular podcast is a very personal one for me. In this episode, I have the privilege of interviewing the mother of Amera, the young woman who received my daughter Teal's heart and kidney after her death.

As one mother to another, Debi and I certainly connect out of simple empathy for the path of motherhood. And we are both happen to be people who love to laugh, and enjoy a good chat. In fact, we genuinely like each other!

But we are also people who started out as total strangers, only to become inextricably linked on August 24, 2012.

We are mothers who know what it’s like to sit by the side of your daughter’s bed, fearing her imminent death. And we are mothers who learned such decisions are not up to us, and so we both had to learn when to fight … and when to surrender.

Today, we are mothers whose DNA is shared in the body of one extraordinary young woman. And we are definitely better for this shared connection.

Some might call this karma. It sure feels like it to me. My path with Debi has been a really interesting one, because we didn’t even know each other until about three months ago. It was not until five years after Teal's death that we all finally felt like we could meet. So we met at Ocean Beach, the very place where we scattered Teal’s ashes – which was Amera’s idea.

Amara is a thoughtful and highly sensitive young woman with an amazing life ahead of her. That much I'm sure of. And as for me and Debi … well, we’ve both been through the ringer, but we agree that we have emerged better for it. Our experiences have been remarkably similar, as this episode will tell you.

Listen and you’ll learn how Amera made her way with congestive heart failure for more than seven years. And what it was like for Debi knowing her daughter’s death was always in the shadows … until her life was finally saved because of my own daughter’s death.

It’s a conversation filled with hardship, hope, light and a lot of love.

I recommend you listen to this when you have a moment, and really get into the idea that we are all truly interconnected. Every last one of us. Even those of us who do not know each other at all. It's a pretty wild concept when you think about it, and organ donation makes that truth extraordinarily clear.


Sep 20, 2017

If you haven’t experimented with binaural beats, may I suggest you give today’s podcast a good listen? Or perhaps you already have.

Karen Newell is the co-founder of Sacred Acoustics, and she and her co-engineer have created a clean, beautiful way for us to put our brain power to best use.

Binaural beats help you get rid of ‘monkey mind’, settle down and either get things done, go to sleep, or just relax. And they are mightily effective. The beats pair two frequencies, one in each ear of your (recommended) headphones. One beat is attuned to waking, analytic consciousness … while the other matches the vibration of your preferred state, i.e. a Delta wave, for relaxation, or possibly an engergizing Alpha wave.

This prompts the brain to basically get with the program, and supports you in whatever you’re trying to accomplish. In this interview, Karen goes on at length about how the beats are particularly helpful in transcending everyday reality, so you can travel more easily to the other side. Or, say, hang with your divine guidance.

How cool is that?

In this broadcast, we also play a brief sample of the beats Sacred Acoustics has created. The variety of topics and interests they cover is vast. A favorite of mind: Heart Center.

 Here’s what I learned:

  • Actual, real life applications and stories of how people have used binaural beats for healing and spiritual connection
  • Why headphones are so important when using the beats
  • Current research into using beats for pain relief
  • Tips on how best to use them
  • When NOT to use binaural beats (important!)
  • How much is too much exposure to the beats?
  • The best ways to use beats for spiritual journeying
  • Why they offer different beats for Beginners and Experienced users?

If you dig in and try binaural beats, do let us know how they are working for you!


Sacred Acoustics 

Free Download:

Free Trainings

As an innovator in the emerging field of brainwave entrainment audio meditation, Karen Newell empowers others in their journeys of self-discovery. Using Sacred Acoustics recordings, she teaches how to enter and engage your own consciousness in order to connect to inner guidance, achieve inspiration, improve wellness and develop intuition.

At international workshops presented with best-selling author Dr. Eben Alexander, Karen demonstrates key practices of consciousness exploration: heart awareness, intention, maintaining neutrality, emotional management and cultivating internal knowing.

Karen joined with Kevin Kossi to create original recordings unmatched by any others either of them had experienced. Together, they created Sacred Acoustics.

Sep 13, 2017

Dr. Eben Alexander is a force field. I had the Incredible opportunity to chat with him about his new work around consciousness. Consciousness, you say? Yes... consciousness. In about five weeks, Dr. Alexander will launch his new book, Living in a Mindful Universe.

Here's the thing.  in order to be happy, we have to really surrender to the fact that we have these big, bulky, difficult, meandering minds. So how to tame them? It's Eben Alexander’s choice at this moment to probe all of that, and we are the better for it.

 If you're not familiar with his work, he is an academic neurosurgeon who contracted Bubonic plague, went into a coma, and managed to travel to the other side. Instead of dying, he wrote about all of this in his best-selling book Proof of Heaven.

 Eben was forever changed by this experience. Today he lives to tell anybody he can find about the transformational insights he received about the mind and the soul and how they travel together through time and space.

 If this sounds esoteric, bear with it. You're going to be glad you did. Eben Alexander is the real thing.

 Here's what I learned:

  • The importance of developing your “Observer self” and why that’s so helpful
  • The first words he uttered after coming out of his coma, and why this matters
  • The spiritual roots of the placebo effect
  • How he used binaural beats and Sonic meditations to change his thinking
  • How anyone can develop deeper spiritual connection and greater consciousness
  • How the “gift of desperation” changes us forever

I hope you enjoy this chat as much as I did.

Next Podcast: An interview with Eben’s co-author, and sonic healing expert, Karen Newell, co-founder of Sacred Acoustics. Check this one out if you’re curious about the healing power of binaural beats.


Eben Alexander, MD, was an academic neurosurgeon for over 25 years, including 15 years at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical School in Boston, with a passionate interest in physics and cosmology. He is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Proof of Heaven and The Map of Heaven.

Sep 6, 2017

I begin this week’s episode with my own little essay about what it takes to move through a mid-life crisis … and what the ‘life lesson’ potential is of such time. Interestingly, I compare my own five year journey back to serenity – and beyond – with that of my father, who went through a similar letting go in his fifties.

And why do I focus on life lessons? Because, hey, that’s what it’s all about … right? Hence my invitation for the following guest.

Deepak Romala is a 25-year-old Indian with an intense passion for learning. Particularly, he loves those little lessons in life that are so critical … and that we learn from our fellow common man, not from great pundits.

Indeed, some may say such lessons are the very purpose of life. Over the last eight years, Deepak has collected more than 65,000 of them.

After working extensively with the Indian school system to gather lessons, he developed a way to share them through interactive learning experiences – so many people could learn from one person’s experience.

Now he speaks to all manner of people, “from ages five to 100,” as he puts it. And his website shares a TedX talk that summarizes just why these lessons may be important. Our conversation was fun, energizing and very deep at the same time. I loved this chat and I hope you do, too.

From Deepak I learned:

  • How his completely uneducated mother inspired him with her own life wisdom
  • How he had to trick people into giving him life lessons
  • How to share life lessons with teenagers so they stay interested
  • Patterns he’s noticed in life lessons
  • The surprising common theme to many life lessons (it’s not about love!)
  • How he, himself, has been changed by listening to so many life lessons
  • The greatest lesson Deepak has taken from all of this

This is a particular meaty interview. Enjoy!


Where to Submit Your Own Life Lesson [INCLUDE FROM SITE]


Deepak Ramola is Founder, Artistic Director of Project Fuel.

Aug 16, 2017

Did you know we have more nerves in our belly than in our brain? This is why the belly is often referred to as ‘the second brain’. And why we do ‘gut checks’ when making big decisions.

 This delicate system can actually become clouded or blocked by our anxiety or other emotions, just as easily as by our digestive issues. So says Claudia Mansbach, a 17 year practitioner of the ancient Chinese medicine bodywork, Chi Nei Tsang, Chinese medicine bodywork that focuses on the abdomen and internal organs.

 This would explain, for me at least, why my gut is the first thing to get tense when life stresses me out. Your health, your emotions, your energy, your alignment … and yes, your happiness … are rooted here.

Claudia’s life work is to help anyone with digestive issues heal them using Chi Nei Tsang. But she also helps people who don’t have ‘gut issues’ per se, but nervous system issues instead.

Author Allison Post refers to this work as ‘Unwinding the Belly’ and that is what it is at the core.

People who experience the work fall asleep having their tummy rubbed, and wake up to find their energy restored, their sleep deepened, and their digestion much improved.

Listen to Claudia’s soothing and grounded voice as she explains things like:

  • Why the ‘core’ of the body is where some of the most powerful healing can happen
  • How healing the gut can affect the rest of the body
  • How (and why) anxiety lives in our gut
  • The connection between grief and anxiety
  • How stress affects the various organs in the gut … and the entire body
  • The importance of the solar plexus, and where to find it
  • How Chi Nei Tsang can actually heal the entire nervous system
  • The importance of letting go in refining your own gut instinct
  • How Claudia found this deep work … and how it has changed her





Claudia believes deeply in the intrinsic ability of our bodies, minds and spirits to heal. She has been learning to live well and in alignment with her body, mind and spirit through the study and application of diverse healing modalities as her life practice.


Chi Nei Tsang, Chinese Astrology, Tibetan Mantra Healing, Five Element Cooking/Nourishing Within, Spino-Mandibular Equilibration, Breast Wellness Massage, Somanautics Dissection, Therapeutic Touch, Therapeutic Massage, Ergonomics and Creative Movement and Body Correctives.

 Claudia has taught classes in

Chi Nei Tsang Fundamentals at the University of East West Medicine, Clinical Chi Nei Tsang, Qi Gong, and Qi Gong for Pregnancy as well as Awakening the Pelvis for women. I have also been a guest teacher on cleansing and fertility and for an in-service training at an AIDS healing center.


Aug 7, 2017

“There is no death … okay? They’re still around after they go,” began psychic Suzanne Northrup as we started the interview.

Suzane has been a medium and grief counselor, helping people connected to their loved ones in the Afterlife, for more than 30 years. And after all those readings, her big takeaway is this: “Whatever’s going on in your world, or in your life, the most important thing is love. It’s the only thing you have the power to control.”

I got interested in speaking to Suzanne after my own high-intensity delve into this world since my daughter Teal’s death in 2012. I had to find out what it was like to actually live and breathe other worldly connection all the time. And I found out!

Suzane got her gift as a very young child, and has basically followed that thread throughout her life. After an Emmy award-winning television show, and multiple books, Suzanne still works with people in group seminars and gallery talks she leads around the country. (You can find out more about these in the Resource section below.)

 If you’ve ever lost someone you love, this podcast is for you.

 In this fascinating, far-ranging conversation, I learned the following:

  • How Suzane got her gift
  • How anyone can connect with their own deceased loved ones
  • The variety of ways in which souls connect with us
  • Do dead souls actually ‘age’?
  • How dead souls use electrical energy -- and appliances -- to contact us
  • Do dead souls drift away over time … or are they still there?
  • How this work has changed her own life
  • The arc of grief, and the unexpected time that is the worst
  • The surprising connection between grief and being able to contact dead souls
  • Is our ‘work’ with the dead ever done?





For over 30 years, internationally acclaimed Medium, Grief & Bereavement Expert, TV and Radio host and author of three books, Suzanne Northrup has helped thousands recover from loss. She helps to bridge the gap between the world of the living and the spirit world where the departed reside.

 In addition to top selling books, Suzanne hosted an Emmy-nominated TV series, The Afterlife. The Suzane Northrup Radio Show continues her broadcast work on Blog Talk Radio every month. She has lectured extensively in the US, Canada and the UK.


Jul 19, 2017

This week we are celebrating our first six months as an up and rolling podcast. (Hooray!) You are the reason I do this … so I want to thank you for listening and adding your comments. This week you’ll hear fun snippets from our three most popular episodes.

In my interview with astrologer John Marchesella, he shares the astrological dope on the current political situation in the U.S. and what the overall trend is for the next 8 years. Then hear from Michaela McGivern, a California shaman, about how she does her work by crossing to the other side. Finally, inspirational author, life coach and happiness blogger, Shannon Kaiser has some relevant words to say about how to go a whole lot easier on yourself. Don’t forget her new book, Self-Love Experiment. 

So … in honor of all of this …  I’m sharing an essay I wrote about how the podcast came to be. Which is, not surprisingly, a magical but true story. One that taught me a lot about right timing.

Thanks so much for being in the game with me!

I drove up to Sebastopol on a foggy Bay Area morning last fall because something was pushing me. I just kept feeling the urge to go back to this sweet town where I once lived. At the time, I felt stuck. I couldn’t move forward, though I badly wanted to.

In my meditation, when I asked what was next for me, the image of Sebastopol’s main street and its intersection in the middle of town was shown to me. It was an image that had come to me repeatedly since Teal’s death, at one point prompting me to live there for a year and a half.

Although I moved away, Sebastopol still calls to me and invites me in …this is a place where I resonate and where Teal’s spirit really comes alive for me. Especially as I drive up there.

While I was driving on that particular day, I felt so lost. I was at some kind of crossroads with my work. The novels were being published but I felt incomplete. I submitted an excerpt from my memoir to an agent and was waiting for her feedback. I was ‘on hold’ and I didn’t like it.

So I prayed to Teal as I drove. “Please show me what I’m supposed to do. Make yourself apparent to me. Help me know what is next.”

After I got to Sebastopol, I did what I always do … I went into Infusions, ordered a cup of tea and a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie, and put down my backpack. Then I looked through the big glass doors of the tea shop.

Standing there was a blonde woman talking to Magick, the psychic who usually sits outside. I studied her. I was instantly drawn to her though I really didn’t know why. It could have been because she is beautiful, but there was some other, bigger reason I couldn’t put my finger on. I thought perhaps I knew her.

Then I realized it was Michaela, the shaman who Teal had done a session with her only a week before her death. It was Michaela who’d gotten Teal so very interested in shamanic healing in the first place.

It was in this very spot that I’d run into Michaela several times over the last four years. I said hello to her, we hugged, then spontaneously sat down to tea together.

Ninety minutes later, I had a clear sense of my purpose moving forward.

Because Michaela is a shaman, she ‘travels between worlds’ and often talks to beings such as Teal who inhabit the other side. We started chatting and inevitably Teal’s essence began seeping into the conversation.

We talked about life and then moved on to the topic of organ donation. Teal’s heart was donated to another young woman about her age whose life was saved, and who moves through this walking life right now because of Teal.

Michaela began to receive all kinds of information from Teal, then, about what happens to the stored memories in the cells of the transferred organ. She went on to channel Teal at length, ending with these words.

When my heart stopped I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it. My soul was ready to go, but I was not aware that my heart had a different trajectory … when I was young I didn’t understand the pain that my heart was in. And I didn’t know if I could sustain it. There was an aspect of denial that is part of being young, which prevented me from expressing the pain and working with it in a substantive way.

And yet, my heart’s journey was really to impart information from another dimensional aspect, so people could hear the wisdom of my heart and other hearts. I was not capable of doing that psychologically in my body, and with the personality that I had. I wasn’t evolved enough to understand that in order to heal the heart, I had to experience what the heart was harboring.

Now when I look at it, it’s more like I had to learn how to play the chords, so that I could improvise in a major way. I’m now improvising in a major way, but I didn’t have the tools to do that when I was young and alive.”

Then Michaela looked at me. “Teal says, ‘To be continued,” she said.

Michaela had no way of knowing that that Teal was a musician … a musician who loved to improvise. Nor did she know that when Teal was dying, she came to me several times as thoughts in my head. When I asked what she was doing, she told me, “I’m trying to reconcile my heart and my soul.”

At the end of our conversation, we both felt great. Uplifted, serene, content, happy. And energized in an entirely new way.

And suddenly I knew exactly what I needed to do next – the path was crystal clear. I knew I was to create a podcast and have Michaela as my first guest … and a repeat visitor. It was to be an exploration of the Afterlife, and whatever we can learn from this side of the divide.

I got my confirmation on the drive home. Sensing Teal around me once more, I turned on my iPod which is always set to Shuffle. Immediately, I heard Teal humming the beginning of the introduction I’d recorded a few years earlier for a podcast that never happened.

Of the nearly 2000 songs on my iPod … this was the first one I heard Now it all made perfect sense.


Won’t you please let us know in a review on iTunes how you liked this episode? Thanks so very much! 

Jun 26, 2017

“If there’s something I want strongly enough … I will find a way to make it happen” says my guest Linda Claire Puig.

Linda has had a successful career teaching people how to create Internet based businesses … and what she wanted, and badly needed, was a sabbatical. In fact, she was ‘desperate’ for one, as she put it. So she took one … for a total of ten months.

After literally years of working her heart out, Linda set out to travel the world. She planned the year as she went along, seeing The Northern Lights in Norway, Belgium, France, Russia, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Greece, Estonia, Latvia, Argentina, and Uruguay.

During this time, Linda kept her own Net business going. But she worked only 5 to 10% of her normal rate.

So … short of receiving a windfall … how does the ordinary person do this?

Linda didn’t have a windfall, but she did have a very strong intention to make this miracle happen. For her, it began with taking a cold, hard look at her finances, and how she truly wanted to live.

The lessons she learned were significant. And she didn’t lose a damn thing. In fact, if anything, Linda gained a great deal. For one thing, she saw what she had been doing to herself with her overwork. And she discovered the power of not doing … anything.

This is an important talk for anyone who’s been feeling stressed, confused, exhausted or just plain fed up by life. Is it time for you to plan some kind of a healing break as well?

Listen as Linda shares the nuts and bolts on how she managed to take her sabbatical – and how it changed her life.

Here’s what I learned from Linda:

  • How she realized she needed a sabbatical
  • What exactly is a sabbatical? Or a semi-sabbatical?
  • How she could afford to take this massive break
  • Specific ways to make this travel around the world affordable
  • What else she learned from stripping down her life dramatically
  • The sense of doing nothing – and what she gained from it
  • How she ran her business on the road
  • What the big takeaway was from her year of travel



Linda Claire Puig is an internationally recognized marketing expert who helps solo-business owners develop profitable relationships and portable businesses that go with them wherever they want to go. Linda has taken her own business abroad for months at a time all over the globe. Linda's 6-Figure Newsletters division provides done-for-you newsletter articles and do-it-yourself newsletter training, while her Portable Profits Club provides the training and support to help travel-loving entrepreneurs take their business on the road with them. She is also the founder of a new global home exchange community for entrepreneurs. Linda is an award-winning journalist and writer for the past 30 years, and her articles have appeared in newspapers, magazines and newsletters around the world.

Jun 19, 2017

“I’m not a teacher, I’m not a guru, I’m not an anything. All I am is a sharer, and it seems unusual because it’s the stuff no one talks about … “ begins author Timber Hawkeye.

Best known for his book, Buddhist Boot Camp, Timber has continued to write and speak about what It means to be at peace in this world.  Particularly, he loves to talk about letting go, and how to appreciate what’s right in front of you. And people lap up his message. Awarded 900+ five star reviews on Amazon, Buddhist Boot Camp continues to be a perennial best seller.

It’s odd that we need reminding about the simple truth of letting go. And yet … we do. In fact, Timber says, letting go and seeing our world as abundant removes the barriers between us.

“There’s a constant flux of incoming and outgoing, if I live with this perspective of abundance and enough … that nothing is missing. The moment I realize that I have more than enough – I pass it on and that keeps the abundance flowing to all. That breaks the boundary between us and them.”

In our conversation, I was really struck by how light-hearted, genuinely peaceful and fun Timber is. He has an admirable clarity and calm in a time most of us find turbulent.

Timber Hawkeye calls himself ‘A Soldier of Peace in the Army of Love’ … and I agree.

Here’s what I learned from him:

  • How a quest for simplicity drew him to Buddha’s teaching
  • Letting go as a spiritual practice
  • Why letting go of our extra stuff liberates the soul
  • The difference between non-attachment and detachment
  • How and why we identify constantly as victims
  • Why it’s easy to be a minimalist in a get-get-get culture
  • How to redefine what ‘enough’ is
  • Is life really ‘a piece of cake’? … and how to make it truly so
  • The difference between unconditional kindness and ego
  • How we learn to be separate from others
  • On using social media vulnerability
  • How to live in ‘this time’ of political turmoil
  • Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate


Timber writes:

Ten years ago, when I left the corporate world and moved to Hawaii, I started emailing my friends and family every month to let them know what’s going on in my life. About eight years later, my friend Kim suggested that I share those emails with the world because she found the letters inspirational, and she figured other people would benefit from reading them as well. That’s how the blog-to-book Buddhist Boot Camp was born! Each chapter is only a page or two long, and you can read them in any order.

Faithfully Religionless reads more like a conversation that we might have on a park bench somewhere. It is an open and honest memoir that gets more intimately personal than Buddhist Boot Camp did, while still sharing the underlying intention to awaken, enlighten, enrich and inspire.

Kim was right! People all over the world have found the message in Buddhist Boot Camp refreshing, inspirational, and more importantly, motivational!

Jun 12, 2017

Here is the ‘Part Two’ I referred to in my last podcast with Chel Hamiton. Honestly, we had such a fired up conversation going, we just kept recording. And so this episode was born.

 It’s on getting real about life

 Chel Hamilton, a successful hypnotist and host of the Meditation Minis podcast, says: ‘We are literally being programmed all the time … any time we are on social media, standing in check out surveying candy and magazines, turning on the TV. If we practice getting calm so we can remain clear for most of five minutes, and we then reengage in life, we can see this life as it really is.’

 This statement got me thinking. What if the antidote to the rampant fake news that is now sweeping the world is … meditation?

 Can it really walk us back to a more perceptive, less inundated frame of mind, so we can accurately pinpoint what is true and what is false around us?

 In this wonderful, wide-ranging conversation, Chel shares her ideas about ‘Knee jerkery’ – the impulse to respond quickly and without thinking. She says the more we can get knee jerked by life, the less we embrace reality.

 She notes how belief structures keep us stuck in webs of illusion. These would be the realms of addiction, politics, romance novels, pornography, advertising and compulsive shopping, among other things.

 And yet … there is hope.

 Take a few breaths, Chel advises. Go back to nature – even if that is looking out the window at a tree. Sit and breathe and reconnect yourself to the planet. That’s where re-acclimating your senses begins.

What I learned in this episode:

  • How we are literally ‘sensing beings’
  • Scientific proof that everything is vibrational around us
  • What does it mean to see life as it really is?
  • Why do children speak pearls of wisdom – seeing life as it really is – when we can’t?
  • How to navigate these times of Fake News
  • The simple meditation practice that helps us reground
  • What’s happening when we binge on TV, food, alcohol, etc 


Chel Hamilton is the founder of Columbus Ohio Hypnosis. She has been practicing as a full time Hypnotherapist since 2007. Before that she worked with alcoholics and drug addicts for over 11 years helping them overcome their addictions and recreate their lives.

In addition to seeing clients one-on-one, she also teaches classes in weight loss hypnosis four times a year through the Upper Arlington Life Long Learning Program. Chel speaks at events and schools about hypnosis, hold day long workshops in subjects such as Past Life Regression Hypnosis, Self Hypnosis for Sports Performance, and more.

Chel sees clients ages 8 to adult for a wide variety of issues and offer a mix of weekend, evening, and daytime appointment hours.



Jun 5, 2017

Chel is the host of the popular Mini Meditations Podcast, and has been a successful hypnotist for more than ten years. She’s also an articulate spokeswoman for the landscape of the mind.

 If you’re inclined to lie awake at night, this one’s for you. So yeah … ultimately, this episode is about that healer of all healers, meditation. Which also turns out to be a powerful tool for insomnia.

 I begin this episode with my biggest question: can meditation heal insomnia? (Take note if you’re a woman of a certain age who hangs out for hours, awake, at night.) Chel says, “It’s like creating an anxiety attack … only you’re doing it in bed.”

 So true! “On a neurobiological level we are being programmed all the time,” Chel notes. That includes any time we are on social media, standing in check out lines surveying candy and magazines, or just turning on the TV.

 The antidote is meditation, which allows us to get into a calm place, Chel says. Without this we can make the worst decisions and take the worst actions. But if we practice getting calm and clear even just for five minutes per day, we can ultimately see this life as it really is.

 I invite you to listen in to what was a fascinating discussion of the impact of meditation on the mind … even if you think you’re not a meditator.

What I learned:

  • How meditation heals insomnia
  • How to stop obsessing over chocolate chip cookies (!)
  • The cost of a few glasses of wine before bed
  • Why we ‘get busy’ thinking in the middle of the night
  • How negative self-talk interferes with rest
  • Why meditation matters to your overall well being
  • The value of mindset shifts and how to use meditation for them
  • The difference between silent meditation and guided meditation recordings on the brain
  • How a Type A person can approach becoming quiet and sit in meditation


Chel Hamilton is the founder of Columbus Ohio Hypnosis. She has been practicing as a full time Hypnotherapist since 2007. Before that she worked with alcoholics and drug addicts for over 11 years helping them overcome their addictions and recreate their lives.

In addition to seeing clients one-on-one, she also teaches classes in weight loss hypnosis four times a year through the Upper Arlington Life Long Learning Program. Chel speaks at events and schools about hypnosis, hold day long workshops in subjects such as Past Life Regression Hypnosis, Self Hypnosis for Sports Performance, and more.

Chel sees clients ages 8 to adult for a wide variety of issues and offer a mix of weekend, evening, and daytime appointment hours.


May 29, 2017

I start this episode with some ideas about something I call a ‘Why Not List’. Kind of like a To Do List, but infinitely more joyful. Because if you’re like me, that relentless taskmaster is always keeping score of what we get done.

 So this is a sweet way around that heavy burden.

 I’ll also be interviewing popular happiness podcaster Jen Riday on this hot topic: ‘If mom ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy’ …

 Jen reminded me of this old phrase in telling her story. She’s a mother of six (yes … six!) who does not send her children to daycare. And yet she still has a flourishing career as a happiness coach and podcaster. So how the heck does Jen do this?

 The key, she says, is getting clear about the things that are important to us. After getting her PhD, she had a clarifying thought: “How would I like my children to remember me? Will it be as a frustrated, grumpy mom with a big to do list … or will it be as a move involved, more present parent?”

 So Jen’s self-care efforts shifted accordingly. This included no longer baking six to twelve loves of home baked bread per week, but instead, spending more quality time with her kids. And still keeping her head on straight with hot yoga and all sorts of self-care. Which is exactly what made me want to speak with her!

 Here’s what I learned from Jen:


  • Multi-tasking … does it hurt or help happiness?
  • Words that keep teenagers in line …
  • The one moment practice that can help you get back to peace and serenity
  • How connecting to a Higher Power supports letting go
  • Achieving the balance between doing and being
  • How children keep you grounded in reality
  • How our values intersect with our happiness
  • A useful exercise for defining your values
  • What strong boundaries are and how to keep them
  • How do our schedules get so out of control
  • The best 5 minute mood-bosting exercise that exists (even for your kegels!)
  • How she knew she needed greater self-care


Jen Riday is the host of the Vibrant Happy Women Podcast, and speaks and writes about how women can find greater light and meaning – regardless of their circumstances – through meditation, listening to intuition or a Higher Power, letting go of the “shoulds” and filling their cups. She believes every woman on this planet has something special to contribute to the world and will be happiest when she is living true to her purpose.

May 22, 2017

This week I’m turning my mind towards angels and how to connect with them. I’ve had my own angelic experiences, which I share in my intro. But then, just to seal the deal, I invited in an expert in angels of all kinds.

 I had such a delightful time speaking to Sandra Rea, an Irish angel expert who helps people transform their lives thru energy healing … Her lovely voice and accent evoke misty walks on moors and all manner of mysteries, angelic and otherwise.

 And, as expected, Sandra had much wisdom to share. She said this to me:

 “We are all holding ourselves back in so many ways, so it is important to step into our lives more fully. I’m the catalyst to help people to do that …” Indeed, she is.

 In our free-roaming, all-things-Spirit, conversation, Sandra and I talked about angels, vibrations and just how Spirit intersects our daily lives.

 “We come from Spirit and it is unrestricted, unlimited, free and unbounded, and to it we will return. It’s like returning home … you remember your essence, who you truly are. So it becomes like a relief when you return to the Other Side.”

 Bottom Line: The angels are always there for us … so we must invite them to be there for us. Unless we ask them for help, they can’t interfere with our lives.

 Yes, ‘interfere’ … that is the word that is used. Me, I love a little divine interference! Maybe you, too?

 Here’s what I learned talking to Sandra:


  • How she began as an angel interpreter or healer
  • How to call on your own personal angels
  • What exactly Reiki is and why it works
  • The difference between Reiki healing and Angel healing
  • Why we don’t experience Angels directly in our human bodies
  • Why do higher vibration frequencies heal more efficiently
  • What happens energetically when we connect with the Other Side … and why it can leave us so elated
  • How angels help us live our purpose
  • How to call in the angels right now to assist you
  • Have angels ever taken human form?
  • Do people we loved who passed over act as guides?


Sandra’s Healings – (Scroll down to see her helpful Chart of Angels)

Sandra’s Angels Aid Book

About Sandra

Sandra is here to help you to feel better than you have felt in years. Release the blocks which have been holding you back (some of which you may not even be aware of). Gain clarity in your life and step into your power and purpose.

Think of Her As…

…your zen Deity of transformation. Through Reiki Healing, Angel Healing, Intuitive Mentoring, and her Courses, she turns your suffering into ease, your pain into relief and your confusion into clarity.

She Believes…

…that everyone has the ability to heal, that healing comes from within – not from a healer (I simply facilitate the healing process) and all illness/issues have a purpose. When we learn the lessons the problems we’re facing have to teach us, we can integrate the teaching and heal on a deep level, becoming unstuck and allowing our lives to move forward.

May 8, 2017

Once in a while, I get the rare chance to sit down and talk with a person who is truly happy. Andrew Matthews, a happiness expert and author in Australia, is just one of those people.

 Frankly, I’ve often been suspicious of ‘happiness experts’. Sometimes such people are secretly tormented, right? But what I learned from Andrew is that a) he’s not actually a happiness ‘expert’ per se. He just likes to think about such things. And b) even happiness experts experience hard times.

 This made me feel infinitely better! What Andrew does is help us reframe our current situation to get back to more peace, more serenity, and more ease in life. And who doesn’t need this? It’s like a great infusion of joy at just the right moments.

He says gratitude is the key. “People often think, ‘When I am happy, then I’ll be grateful.’ But here’s the reality … when I’m grateful, then I’ll be happy.”

 Here here! Enjoy this stimulating chat. I did!

Here’s what I learned:

  • The basic things we must do to turn life around so it becomes easier
  • Why the happiest people also seem to have the biggest problems
  • How his happy neighbor irritated the heck out of him … and what he learned from it
  • The truth about achieving success
  • The ‘X Factor’ that makes all the difference … and how to get it
  • The hardest experience of his life and how he was shaped by it
  • His very personal connection to spirituality
  • The pitfalls of ‘thinking happy thoughts’
  • Why getting out of your comfort zone is so good for your soul
  • The value of giving others on compliments
  • The place of ‘no other options’ that inspires so much forward action.


Millions of people have seen Andrew Matthews speak. His blog, The Being Happy Podcast, is top rated. And he is one of the world’s most widely read self-help authors,

His books are best-sellers in the USA, UK, China, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Germany, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia – and Iran!

Andrew is a popular international speaker who has addressed over 1000 international corporations. His presentations are laced with humor, and he draws lightning-fast cartoons as he speaks.

Andrew’s clients include Shell, McDonalds, Lenovo, Wal-Mart, Hewlett Packard, Toshiba, Honda and HSBC.

May 1, 2017

A few years back, Tony Wrighton’s life was changed by a tropical virus after some overseas travel. For three months, he languished in bed, while even the top specialists in London were unable to determine how to treat him. He describes feeling “sad and weak … as if I had chronic fatigue syndrome.”

And yet, I can tell you after a half hour chat with Tony, he is anything but that.

This man – whose podcast is rightly called Zestology – has an infectious love for life, a natural exuberance, and boundless joie de vivre. These days he’s also especially excited about ‘tapping’, also known as EFT, the Emotional Freedom Technique. For it was EFT that actually healed his strange disease. After a skilled practitioner tapped on Tony’s face the very first time, he had an intense emotional release. And soon the virus was completely gone.

Join us as Tony talks about maintaining a zestful life, and what his ‘magic bullet’ is for Emergency Zest as needed.

Here’s what I learned …

  • The 12th Century cure for hangovers that still works
  • How EFT works and some miracle stories about it
  • Tony’s surprising high energy breakfast drink (it involves butter!)
  • Other early morning high energy practices
  • Why the face is so important in overall health and healing
  • The perils of hanging on to control and why we really do have to let go

… and just a great general ramble through all kinds of interesting topics around energy, healing and pure love for life!



Tony Wrighton is the host of top-rated podcast Zestology, interviewing a wide range of experts in the field of health and personal development, and having lots of fun along the way. He regularly appears as a guest on other shows talking about energy, vitality, and motivation.

Tony has been a presenter on Sky Sports in the UK since 2006. He is a regular on Sky Sports News HQ, and also the regular presenter of Golfing World. He hosts a roster of other sports on Sky Sports channels 1-5.

Tony is also a personal development author and presenter. He has three books published with Virgin Books in 12 languages and is one of the country's foremost experts on NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming).

Apr 24, 2017

Can exercise support personal transformation … or is it really just about heaves, grunts, and getting into a beach body for the summer? I put that question to a popular Oakland coach, Will Belew. At his business, The Fitness Alchemists, he and his business partner believe that exercise can affect transformational change that include our beliefs, our attitudes and our overall approach to life.

It turns out not only can exercise reboot your brain – it actually ‘cleans house’ as it moves through the brain tissue. Hence our positive feelings, our increased confidence, and our general mojo as we move forward from a good workout. Furthermore, exercise can teach the body new ways to adapt to life’s circumstances, whether you’re a vet who lost a limb or a middle-aged woman who needs renewed confidence.

This wide-ranging conversation touches on everything from how a really good workout routine teaches us a patience to how to overcome the natural desire to crap out on the way to the gym.

Will’s natural enthusiasm and downright passion for fitness left me inspired. I hope you are, too.

 Some of the things I learned from Will:

  • Why a personal trainer or a coach is such a good idea, and maybe even a critical part of self care
  • Why exercise is such a great thing to do when you’re grieving or going through a major life transition
  • How brain cells ‘self clean’ as a response to exercise … and what that does for you
  • Whether or not we have a ‘strength set point’ or natural range beyond which we cannot stray
  • Inspiring stories of where a regular exercise habit has affected the rest of someone’s life
  • What to say to yourself when you’re simply avoiding going to the gym
  • Why Will works with groups, and what group members get out of that


The Fitness Alchemists 

Will Belew, a Coach and Co-Founder of The Fitness Alchemists in Oakland, California, brings an "elusive combination of high EQ [emotional intelligence] and deep knowledge" to his daily interactions with clients. His background includes industry-leading certifications in nutrition and strength & conditioning, as well as over 4,000 hours of hands-on coaching. He takes pleasure in his work with people from all backgrounds, including competitive athletes, corporate executives, public-school teachers, and people with Parkinson's disease to name just a few.

Apr 17, 2017

Carl Jung said, ‘It’s a privilege in life to find out who you really are.’ Tapping into your inner wisdom has gotten short shrift in the hectic rush of our lives today. Yet there’s so much more to discover by tuning in, according to today’s guest Laura Coe.

Our bodies have wisdom. Yet we drift away from our natural passion and purpose simply because we forget to listen.

‘What do YOU want right now?’ Laura asks – and it’s a wonderful question. For some of us, it can even be a little hard to answer. In my own experience, I have often been unable to tell the difference between my own thoughts and the opinions of others

In fact, in the first part of this podcast, I share a relevant essay I wrote last year, called “Why It’s So Difficult to Know What You Want?”

 You can begin by talking about micro truths, Laura advises. And try -- even just for today -- to be honest, real and authentic in your small decisions.

Ask yourself, ‘What do I want?” and then start to notice the floodgate of sentences that follow.

For most of us there will be a pattern of denial or acceptance, and from this we can discover more pathways back to happiness.

Here’s more that I learned as I talked to Laura:

  • How her own mid-life mega-shift came about, and told her what to do next
  • What to do about ‘life inertia’ when life is ‘fine’ … but, actually, it’s not
  • How an inauthentic life takes root, and where it comes from
  • How to tune into our bodies instead of our brains to find our own personal truth
  • Where anxiety, depression and disease originate in our bodies and minds
  • Simple easy solutions for getting back in your body and healing your own ‘emotional obesity’
  • How to create new healthy mindsets for ourselves – and a simple test to see what your own are
  • How to use yoga to get back to the authentic self

Where ever you are at with your own authentic self, may I encourage you to let the sun shine in!
And may our thoughts steer you well, today.

Thanks for listening!



Emotional Obesity; A Philosophical Guide to Lighten Your Life

By Laura Coe


The Art of Authenticity Podcast 



Laura Coe co-founded Litholink Corporation, a healthcare company serving over 350,000 patients per month nationally. When Litholink sold to a Fortune 500 company, she left corporate America to pursue lifelong passions.

Even while working in corporate healthcare, Laura always specialized in breaking down complex concepts for to make them easy to digest, understand, and apply. Now she channels that unique skill into “translating” philosophy and ancient wisdom – breaking down monumental, life-changing wisdom in a way that everyone can apply to their own lives.

Laura currently devotes her energy toward writing, coaching, helping others implement spiritual teachings in their everyday lives. Her first book, Emotional Obesity, is available for purchase. And now she is the host of the popular podcast, The Art of Authenticity.

Apr 10, 2017

Today I'm thinking about happiness ... and how to 'get' it. My own experience, which I talk about in the intro, is not that you 'get' happy. Instead, I believe you become happy -- and often as the direct result of some of life's most challenging experiences.

I wanted to speak to Dr. Robert Puff, a clinical psychologist, because he's one of the leading experts out there on the subject of happiness. Specifically, I wanted to find out more around the 'science' of happiness. Is it about circumstances, good or bad, or can we actively shift our own thinking, attitudes and ideas towards living a happier life?

Or ... perhaps ... there is some other approach that doesn't have anything at all to do with thinking or philosophies OR circumstances?



Dr. Robert Puff is an internationally recognized clinical psychologist and host of the Happiness Podcast  He teaches a holistic approach life.  He has authored 13 books on a variety of topics, including relationships, anger management, holistic healing and happiness.  He is regularly sought by the media for his expertise on a variety of healthy living issues and has been quoted in the media over 1000 times. The Happiness Podcast is one of top self-help podcasts on iTunes and focuses on ways for all of us to find happiness. For years, Dr. Puff has been a regular blogger for Psychology Today.

Dr. Puff consults with businesses and nonprofits on a variety of topics, including personal and work relationships, depression, career success and happiness, stress and anger management, workplace stress management and meditation. He can be reached at or 714-337-4889 (his cell phone).

Apr 3, 2017

Since June of 2015, the American-born mystic Maria Terese been traveling around the world at the behest of her spiritual guidance. And she’s been doing it entirely on a donation basis. Maria Terese’s story is both a testament to extreme faith and the courage, and humility, that comes with it.

Her story is a remarkable one.

In 2015, acting on her guidance, she let go of all attachment to belongings, packed her life up in a suitcase and became a minimalist. The first place she went was Bali, having no idea where she would live or how she would even survive when she got there.

A 7 day fast in Bali with no food and water taught her to be okay with this plan of Spirit’s – no matter what happens. And she has learned is a long, graceful lesson in non-attachment. To anything.

While some might call her a medium or a spiritual healer, Maria Terese eschews all titles, preferring the more general phrase, “a divine vessel of love and light.”

She does not charge a set amount for her services, but instead accepts whatever people feel moved to pay her. Including nothing. Not only has it worked out well for Maria Terese, she has no plans to live any differently in the foreseeable future.

As she puts it, “As long as you have the faith and the trust and follow those inner steps, it will always work out.”

In this episode we discuss

– The striking story of how she found her spiritual awareness at age six

– How she receives clairaudient messages …. And what she did to start that process

– How clairvoyance shows up for her … and what she uses it for in readings for others

– What it takes to choose a good, solid, reliable medium or healer

– How it’s worked to accept only donations for her work

– How Spirit guided her travels to 25 countries … on a donation basis …and what happened when she got there

– How it was to get along on only a few dollars a day

– How has her personality evolved as a result of this experience

– What we can draw from observing her experiences … and how this relates to all of us


Maria Terese, a divine vessel of light and love, travels the world on donation base helping humanity heal and ascend.  It is through energy work, meditation, and the raising of Self-awareness that she is able to make such a global impact – using her vessel to lead, guide, and inspire.  After touching 25 countries and hundreds of Souls while living out of her suitcase, she is now moving throughout America sharing her story, speaking at events, guiding meditations, and co-creating spiritual retreats.

To connect with Maria Terese, please visit her website and/or connect with her on

Facebook @iammariaterese or Instagram @iammariaterese.

Mar 27, 2017

Galitta is unique – a singer who combines very personal, very creative work with an almost magical healing vibe that includes Kabala, shamanism, and more.

Galitta translates those healing tools into art forms … which you can experience firsthand through the very cool videos on her website at Her zest for life is infectious and this episode will put a smile on your face!

Galitta’s desire to heal people arrived when her daughter was in intensive care, having a life or death procedure. In those agonizing hours, she discovered her own ability to handle stress by singing and chanting. Until then, she’d simply been a big band and jazz singer who loved music … but now she had more to share.

Her stories are warm and generous, and her passion is overflowing! You will be enlightened and inspired by what Galitta has to say.

Interesting things I learned … and you will too:

  • The mysterious connection between healing and the creative arts
  • How we can tap into our body’s innate knowing as a way to heal trauma and more
  • How to use your creative expression to hang in the midst of a major crisis … even if you’re not ‘creative’
  • What happens mechanically in the body when you sing or chant … and why it’s so healing for the soul
  • How we can tap into our own ‘Inner Voice’ that guides our creative expression … and our own healing
  • How you can use this even if you’ve never done anything ‘creative’
  • The power of achieving balance between our masculine and our feminine

As a healer Galitta is a certified practitioner of Theta Healing and Reconnective Healing and has practiced since 2000, the Sound Healing and Shamanism. Galitta is an inspiring force in the world of artistic expression and personal development. She is a happiness guide and transformational midwife, a mother and a woman with a passion for voice and self-expression. She is on a mission to share the creative force, scientific nuggets and mystical knowledge and secrets about happiness.

Galitta grew up with strong tribal traditions and her own journey took her through Europe as an accomplished artist, entertainer, coach and sound healer. An inspiring force for female creative expression and personal development, Galitta has performed and spoken at hundreds of events around Europe.

Galitta’s tribal heritage, prolific artistic range, and entrepreneurial drive led her to produce the Grand Dessert show, sound healing album “The Thirteen”, and The Fertile Ground Studio, which is a center for learning.
Galitta is the founder and originator of the Happy Goddessa teaching program.
To date Galitta has led hundreds of events and workshops in Europe, inspiring countless numbers of people to find their voice and live a better life.

For more information:

Galitta's Wonderful Healing Videos

Galitta's free gift: What Is Your Intuition SuperPower? 

Mar 20, 2017

Have you ever had a job that destroyed our soul? I did, and so did my guest on this episode. But both of us found our way back to an enduring happiness. What it really boils down to is getting clear on your values.

So how are your values? Do you know what they are?

I have to say, until my daughter’s death in 2012, I was mighty foggy on my own.

Interviewing Shannon Kaiser reminded me of my own time in advertising, back when  I lost my soul. Day after day I did a soul-sucking job that chafed against my very purpose in life – or so my twenty-something brain believed. I’d been hired to write TV commercials and print ads for products like Colgate Toothpaste, Irish Spring Soap and Salem Cigarettes … and by the time it was over, I was a wreck.

But as I grew older, I began to see the purpose of that time in advertising. Not only had it yielded a good income and necessary benefits as I worked to define myself and the best way to use my talents, it actually taught me my values, as well … in an unexpected way.

In this episode, I start with a brief audio essay about those defining days in my life. Because our values really are our compass in the storm of life.

Then I chat with my guest in this episode, Shannon Kaiser, a happiness expert who shares about her experience defining her own values and using them to build a purpose-filled life. It’s a warm and informative talk, and I think you’ll like it!

Some of the things Shannon and I talked about include …

  • Why she wasn’t always happy … despite making lots of money and having a successful career
  • The first steps that helped her move out of clinical depression
  • How a visitation from her spiritual guides changed her life
  • How advertising – a career she hated - taught her about living her values
  • How to know when you’re not living your values
  • How to rediscover your values
  • Some useful tips for recovering our basic sense of self-worth
  • Why we resist our values … and why it can be hard to find them
  • Some helpful thoughts about forgiveness

I hope you enjoy our chat as much as I did.

For more information:

Mar 12, 2017

How do you respond to a Guided Call?

Laila Ibrahim is a spiritually guided, best-selling novelist. Her books arrive in magical flashes of insight – and each has a purpose of spreading compassion, and create bridges where there have been divides.

It took seven years to write her first novel, but now – five years after the initial publication – she sells 8,000 to 60,000 copies per month. (Yes, you read that right.)

When Laila got the idea for her first novel, she was a preschool teacher who had never even thought of writing a book. I interview her about the writing of all her books, including

Yellow Crocus, a novel that begins in the antebellum South just before the Civil War.

In the book, a white mother gives birth to a privileged child. The baby is nursed by an enslaved black wet nurse who becomes the most important person in the child’s life as she grows up. It’s a powerful story to read in these turbulent times, and a serious look into the inhumane customs and laws that shaped American history.

Also, Laila reflects on her most recent book, Living Right, about a Christian family who attempts conversion therapy for their suicidal son, and the vision that informed this book.

Her story a fascinating example of how one person can respond seriously to a guided call … and create a major difference in the lives of many, many people with the gift of writing.

Listen to our conversation, and you’ll hear about:

  • The remarkable story of how the book ‘found’ her … and became her life purpose
  • How she came to publish the book herself
  • How African-Americans and white Americans both react to the book
  • How Laila used her spiritual guidance to create a book with a larger social mission
  • How she fought through her self-doubt around the project again and again
  • The larger, spiritual purpose of Yellow Crocus
  • The story behind her most recent book, Living Right

… and so much more.

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