January's Guest Mentor - Raphael Cushnir, AuthorThe One Thing Holding You Back: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Connection
An Mp3 teaching and Audio Book Giveaway! Leave a comment below to win!
I had the pleasure of speaking with Raphael Cushnir on his latest projects and his work. During our conversation, Raphael explained his work and one of his projects in 2012, "Teaching What We Need to Learn" (http://www.TeachingWhatWeNeedToLearn.com), in which he interviewed over 30 modern Spiritual Teachers and Guides about their deep, personal growth. His mission with this series was to have a different conversation – a more vulnerable conversation – than what they normally have. Our conversation spanned awareness, meditation, personal transformation, and where he’s headed next.
I have read Raphael’s books and audio recordings for years and he is just as grounded and open-hearted as his writings. Emotional Connection is a big part of his work and he’s committed to helping others learn how to connect with themselves and others. He has a strikingly realistic approach to how many people function in the world and observes, “Resistance to emotions is what makes the world go round, in terms of drama and the trauma.” He goes on to explain that his goal is to “create a field of emotional connection between himself and other people” and give them the space to explore their lives.
More than anything, Raphael’s message is expressed in a quote from his book, Bliss: “Our commitment to vulnerability in a subtle paradox is what renders us truly invincible. The most courageous choice in our lives is to be vulnerable.” I can’t help but to agree. I truly hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did. Listen to the interview and teaching here.
Leave a comment to be entered into the Giveway Drawing to win the audio book of The One Thing Holding You Back, courtesy of the publisher, Sounds True.
Raphael Cushnir is a leading voice in the world of emotional connection and present moment awareness. He has shared his unique approach to personal and professional development with millions of readers in O, The Oprah Magazine, Beliefnet, Spirituality and Health, Psychology Today, and The Huffington Post. He is the author of six books, lectures worldwide, and is a faculty member of the Esalen Institute, the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, and the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies. In addition, he coaches individuals and teams at Fortune 100 companies, governments, religious organizations, and leading non-profits.
Raphael’s own heart was opened by an experience of profound grief. In 1996, both his career and his marriage fell apart. “It was a classic dark night of the soul,” he remembers. “Many people experience something similar in their own lives. The particulars are always different but the essential experience is the same – a deep, depressing, gut-wrenching pain. In my case, everything I thought I knew about life went completely out the window.”
Then, luckily, one of Cushnir’s mentors convinced him to embrace the pain instead of turn away from it. He suggested that, in fact, this was a perfect opportunity to “wake up.”
Cushnir took his mentor’s advice and ran with it. Over a decade later he’s waking up still, one moment at a time. Helping others do the same has become his new life mission. His website is http://www.Cushnir.com
The One Thing Holding You Back is published by Sounds True. You can learn more about it here. Return to Home Page
In last month's issue, BCL had the privilege of reviewing Marc Allen's new book, The Magical Path.
(You can read that review here.
) Marc is a visionary teacher and writer.
Many years ago, he and friend, Shakti Gawain, sat at a kitchen table and scratched out a vision for a publishing company focused on human transformation. Today, Marc is the head of this company, New World Library. NWL is a major player in the publishing world of self-help books. To this day, Marc remains passionate about providing people with the tools they need to live lives of extraordinary brilliance and well-being.
Recently, Leann Harris and myself had the unique opportunity to speak with Marc about his book. We were easily swept along by Marc's passion. It's easy to, as you'll hear in this 25 minute audio interview, and, we dare say, you'll be inspired to begin walking your own "magical path." Marc Allen serves as our Guest Mentor for December.
In his teaching, he covers these important topics:
• why he wrote The Magical Path
• what "magic" is
• 2 simple things we need in this world to achieve enlightenment
• how to clearly dare to dream and set goals in our minds
• the "Middle Pillar" meditation
• one practice he does faithfully that helps him connect with divine revelation/magic
• the Core Belief process which cuts through self-sabotage of goals
• how he used these principles to get out of poverty and create success in his life
• how loving and serving others creates long term success
We're confident you'll enjoy this powerful teaching. And we're hopeful you'll put Marc's suggestions to work in your life so you, too, can walk a magical path!
You can learn more about Marc Allen and his good work in the world at his website: www.marcallen.com
THE MAGICAL PATH
Creating the Life of Your Dreams and a World That Works for All
This book presents a series of simple, powerful tools that anyone can use to find a short, effortless route to success and fulfillment. You will discover tried-and-true techniques that deliver quick results. In fact, these shortcuts to success are so simple, accessible, and effective that you will quickly call them magical. Marc Allen developed these tools over several decades, and refined them over many years in a series of life-changing seminars. The results have been wonderful, even miraculous, for a great many people. Learn More.
An Enlightening Interview with Guest MentorMax HighsteinJan Lundy, EditorBuddha Chick Life is pleased to present a very special guest this month, Max Highstein. If you don't know about Max and his good work in the world, you should. He is considered by many to be the "father of Guided Meditation." He was one of the first people to explore putting words and images to music for the purpose of relaxation and healing.
Today, Max is a spiritual facilitator, author, and music composer best known for his series of guided meditation programs beginning with the bestseller, "The Healing Waterfall,"
which has sold over 100,000 copies worldwide. For over 28 years he has helped listeners and clients learn to deeply relax, connect to their higher consciousness, and heal from within.
I first discovered Max and "The Healing Waterfall" in the 1990s when I was struggling with health issues, especially anxiety. This guided imagery recording was invaluable to me. I am pleased to say that About.com recently announced it to be the "Best Meditation Tool of 2012," and, this, over 20 years later!
Recently, I spoke with Max, inviting him to be our Guest Mentor
for the month of November. He graciously agreed and in a 25-minute telephone interview he spoke with me about:• How he came to create "Healing Waterfall"
• How guided imagery and guided meditations work • How guided meditations are not a crutch but an important gateway to traditional meditation
• Why relaxation tools like these are important • How we can begin to heal any issue with the help of Guided Meditations
He also offered us a powerful prayer for healing that anyone can use.
I am grateful to have benefitted from Max' creative genius over the years and am confident you can too.
Thank you, Max for being our Guest Mentor this month!
To help us stay on our path of awakening, Max is gifting us with a
FREE Guided Meditation too ~ "Gateway to Peace."
Big Fat Lies with Guest Mentor Amy Ahlers and A Book Giveaway!
Please welcome our Guest Mentor for January. Amy Ahlers is a seasoned life coach and author of the new book, Big Fat Lies Women Tell Themselves: Ditch Your Inner Critic and Wake Up Your Inner Superstar.
(New World Library, 2010)She has a power-packed message for us, just in time for the launch of the New Year.
She and I had a delightful conversation about her new book and the falsehoods and insecurities we're inclined to listen to. She shares 3 powerful steps we can take to stop doing this and to begin to live in an empowered new way. We also talked about the importance of spiritual practices and Amy revealed hers. I hope you will listen in and take Amy's wise advice—stop talking badly to yourself, toss out self-criticism, and embrace the beautiful being that you are. 2012 can be your year to shine!
Listen to the 20 minute podcast
Join the Giveaway! Leave a comment here after listening to the podcast or reading this insightful excerpt from Amy's book. We are giving away one copy of Big Fat Lies Women Tell Themselves to one lucky winner. It could be you!
Big Fat Lie #54
I don’t need a spiritual practice.
by Amy Ahlers
The Truth: Honey, we all need a spiritual practice ... especially in today’s fast-paced, chaotic world. The trick is to find a practice that works for you, one that feeds your soul, fuels your spirit, and fills you with delight.
I’ve coached thousands of clients from all kinds of religious backgrounds: Catholic, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Wiccan, agnostic, atheist, and more. And I can tell you from experience that the happiest and healthiest Inner-Superstar-shining-bright people have a daily practice. They have found something that connects them to themselves and their spirit every day. Whether is it praying, meditating, dancing, walking in nature, or playing the drums LOUD, they are doing it regularly in order to free themselves of their Inner Critics and to become fully present to their own hearts and magnificence. It’s not about finding the time; it’s about creating and claiming the space for you to cherish you.
You need to view the time you spend doing your practice as a gift to yourself, not as an obligation or burden. It’s time to stop making excuses about why you’re not doing it and begin today.
Challenge: Let’s create a daily practice that will feel absolutely divine and delicious:
• Begin by thinking about what fuels you. Do you love music? Is nature your church? Is silence a cherished rarity in your life? Are you crazy about dancing? Decide on one joyful, nourishing ritual to do for a daily practice experiment.
• Next, decide on the time of day that is the most sacred for you. I recommend morning time, but being a busy working mom myself, I know that mornings can be total chaos and it could be easy to miss your appointed time. Use whatever time of day works for you, and slot your practice in between two established habits. In other words, tether your daily practice to something you can count on yourself for. For example, you could sandwich your practice between brushing your teeth and drinking your cup of coffee or tea. Or put it between putting your kids to bed and watching TV.
• Set a timer for your practice experiment. Using a timer will give your practice a beginning, middle, and perhaps most important of all, an end. If you’re starting from scratch, begin with only a three-minute commitment. Work your way up to fifteen or twenty minutes throughout the next few months. Remember, your practice, which can be anything from breathing deep to listening to your favorite song to standing outside barefoot in the grass — whatever feels right — is going to be fun and nurturing.
• Go easy on yourself! Allow this new habit to be fun. Take bold baby steps to create your new habit.
• Notice how you feel when you gift yourself with a daily practice. Do you feel more centered? Less stressed? More present?
Sometimes it can take time for your daily practice to have a powerful positive effect. When I first started my daily meditation practice, on some days I would sit and breathe and watch in horror as anxiety bubbled up as I obsessed over my to-do list for fifteen minutes. Not exactly what I had in mind! But I kept with it, and now I feel so blessed to do my practice. It gets me completely present so I feel alive and plugged into my life.
Want more juicy ideas? Christine Arylo and I created a wonderful eBook called Super Power Your Day: Daily Practices for the 21st Century Woman that you will receive for free in the reader’s tool kit at www.BigFatLiesTheBook.com.
Affirmation: I joyfully pause, meditate, and visualize each day. It is my habit, and it is sooo easy.
“Let us be silent,
that we may hear the whispers of the gods.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, American philosopher and poet, leader of the Transcendentalist movement
Excerpted from the book Big Fat Lies Women Tell Themselves: Ditch Your Inner Critic and Wake Up Your Inner Superstar © 2011 by Amy Ahlers. Printed with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA. www.newworldlibrary.com or 800-972-6657 ext. 52.
, the Wake-Up Call coach and co-founder of the Inner Mean Girl Reform School, is the author of Big Fat Lies Women Tell Themselves: Ditch Your Inner Critic and Wake Up Your Inner Superstar
. Visit her online at http://www.wakeupcallcoaching.com
Daphne Rose Kingma is an undisputed expert on matters of the heart. She is the author of 12 books related to love and relationships, including: The Future of Love: The Power of Soul in Intimate Relationships; Finding True Love; and the classic on the journey of ending a relationship, Coming Apart. Her newest book is The 10 Things to Do When Your Life Falls Apart: An Emotional and Spiritual Handbook. Daphne has been a six-time guest on "Oprah." She lives in Santa Barbara, CA.
Daphne was our very first mentor in the original "Buddha Chick Basic Training" program offered in the Fall of 2010. She guided us through to do when our lives falls apart, including the use of spiritual practices, having a relationship with beauty, living simply, and gratitude.
I hope you will enjoy these guided teachings this month from one of the most gracious and generous spiritual luminaries of our day. I am pleased to call her friend. She hails from my hometown, Grand Rapids, Michigan. In this Issue, Daphne speaks about the meaning of life crisis and how to proceed when and if your life falls apart. She also provides her answer to one of the biggest questions of life, "Why are we here?"You will have to copy and paste these URLs into your browser to listen. Part I
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In the previous issue of "Buddha Chick Life," we heard from SARK, everybody's favorite personal growth expert and artist. This issue, SARK invites us to explore some powerful areas within ourselves that may need healing, loving, compassion.
I'm confident you'll enjoy this never heard before, 27 minute interview I did with her. We began by talking about my concern for women and our lack of self-care. That even though there are thousands of books and courses on the subject—we KNOW we are supposed to take good care of ourselves, and we want to—but we aren't. Women continue to get more and more sick. The diagnoses of immune system disorders, anxiety, obesity and heart disease are on the increase. With typical SARK candidness, she shares her wise thoughts on the subject
Then we weave our way through these timely topics:
• Loving and trusting our "disorders"
• Hugging therapy
• Practicing self-love (the key is "practicing")
• Becoming a "Transformational Change Agent"You will have to paste this URL into your browser to listen.
May you enjoy, and be GLAD—no matter what!(If you missed Part I of SARK's teaching, you can find it here.)Return to Home Page
—Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy—has become one of the today's most beloved writers and teachers. She is a best-selling author and artist, with sixteen titles in print and well over two million books sold, including the national bestsellers Succulent Wild Woman, Bodacious Book of Succulence, Eat Mangoes Naked, Prosperity Pie,
and Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper.
Her newest book is Glad No Matter What.
To learn more about SARK, her work in the world, and her book, Glad No Matter What,
If you're a personal/spiritual growth aficionado, you'll recognize her books in a nanosecond. They boast colorful, handwritten prose that leaps off the page with a zest for life.
SARK—Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy—has become one of today's most beloved writers and teachers. She is a best-selling author and artist, with sixteen titles in print and well over two million books sold, including the national bestsellers Succulent Wild Woman, Bodacious Book of Succulence, Eat Mangoes Naked, Prosperity Pie, and Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper. Her newest book is Glad No Matter What.
I'm delighted to say that I had the most wonderful conversation with SARK a few months ago in celebration of this new book, which is suitably and simply nicknamed, "Glad..."
For it is just that. A ripe invitation for us to be glad—in touch with all the good parts of our feelings, even the hard ones—when times are tough. Especially when times are tough!
And in trademark SARK fashion, she shows us how to do all of this with creativity and verve through journaling, artistic expression, list making, ritual enacting, and reflection. She invites us to "say what is," not hide from ourselves and our feelings, and allow our "wise self" to rise up and pave the way for healing.
So how DO we get glad—no matter what? As a Guest Mentor for "Buddha Chick Life," SARK offers us 2 recorded teachings. In this Issue's podcast (9 min.), she guides us into an early exploration of: • the "Gifts of Loss"• living in "the messy middle" of emotions• "responding" not "reacting" to life so we don't live in the extremes
To listen, you will have to paste this URL into your browser:http://www.awakenedliving.com/podcasts/SARKBlog.mp3We hope you enjoy this broadcast and will return for Part 2 in our next Issue of Buddha Chick Life!
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To learn more about SARK, her work in the world, and her book, Glad No Matter What, visit www.planetsark.com
Toni Bernhard is a remarkable woman whose healing journey is inspiring thousands of women around the world to live as she is with grace and "khanti" (patient endurance) while navigating chronic illness. She is the author of How to Be Sick: A Buddhist Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers.
As a Guest Mentor for "Buddha Chick Life", Toni offers us 2 recorded teachings this month on "Extraordinary Loving Mindful Self-Care"—a topic that is vitally important because everyone faces significant challenges in life. Toni's challenge is living with a mysterious long-term illness. She reminds us that if we desire to be good and kind to others, we must be good and kind to ourselves too! You can read more about her personal story and her wonderful book below.
In this Issue's podcasts, Toni guides us into a deeper understanding of:
• why self-compassion and its practices are so important to our
healing and everyday well-being
• powerful practices for acceptance and non-resistance
• techniques for treating ourselves more kindly
Listen to her 30 min. podcasts. Enjoy!
And don't forget to leave a comment or ask Toni a question!
(These are not live links. To listen, you will need to copy them into your browser.)
About Toni and her book ..."I fell ill on a trip to Paris in 2001 with what the doctors diagnosed as an acute viral infection, but I never recovered. I wrote this book while bed-bound – on my back, laptop on my stomach, notes strewn about on the blanket, printer within arm’s reach.
My goal in writing it was to help and inspire those who must meet the challenges posed by any chronic illness or condition: coping with the relentlessness of symptoms; weathering fear about the future; coming to terms with a life of relative isolation; facing the misunderstanding of others; dealing with the health care system; and, for a spouse, partner, or other caregiver, adapting to so many unexpected life changes.
The book contains easy-to-learn tools and practices to help people live skillfully, maintain equanimity, and even find joy despite the profound changes in their lives. Each tool and practice is illustrated with examples from my own experience, so the book is also highly personal.
Although our bodies may be sick or otherwise disabled, our minds can be at peace.How To Be Sick is about living skillfully with the challenges of any chronic illness or condition. I wrote it for sufferers and for their caregivers (the latter includes people involved in hospice, chaplaincy, and elder care); for those interested in chronic illnesses and conditions (health professionals, family and friends); and for people interested in Buddhism (illness can function as a metaphor for suffering which, along with the cessation of suffering, is at the heart of the Buddha’s teaching).
Chronic illnesses or conditions – such as arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes (three among dozens) – while not immediately life-threatening, are life-disrupting and stressful. The book is unique in that each chapter contains easy-to-learn tools and practices to help the chronically ill and their caregivers live skillfully, maintain equanimity, and even find joy despite the profound changes in their lives. A recurring theme in the book is that, although one’s body may be sick, one’s mind can be at peace."
Learn more about Toni and her book at her website: