Many people have described having near death experiences (NDE), and so has neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander. After coming down with a mysterious illness, he spent a week in a coma, his mind on an odyssey in between worlds.
In his bestselling books, "Proof of Heaven" and "Map of Heaven," Dr. Alexander describes what he experienced, and what he learned about the mind, and consciousness, while he was in a hospital bed unconscious.
I caught up with Dr. Alexander at the Conscious Life Expo in Los Angeles, and he shares his experience and what he learned in this episode of Lisa.FM Thrive!
To read more on this topic, visit the blog post at WellnessTalkShow.com
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The Monkey Mind: That endless stream of troubling thoughts or other distracting chatter can zap confidence, preventing a person from focusing on what is truly important.
In today’s fast-paced world of multi-tasking, working lunches and drive thru dinners, attention spans seem to be getting shorter and shorter.
But, with a little mindfulness, the monkey can be tamed.
“Mindfulness means paying attention,” said Lalli Dana Drobny. She teaches classes in mindfulness as well as other subjects at Santa Barbara City College.
Drobny, who has been meditating for 25 years, started offering mindfulness classes in Santa Barbara about eight years ago as a public service
“Because I knew how important it was, and I had seen the difference in my own life.”
Intention is an important component of mindfulness, so Drobny asks students to choose one goal for class.
“Everyone who comes to my mindfulness classes comes for a reason,” she said.
They want to handle their (physical or emotional) pain, they are distracted or angry, they can’t focus, or they want to be able to make better decisions.
“They want to change. They aren’t accepting where they are. (But) it’s a paradox. Because mindfulness is really about accepting what IS in every moment.”
Being ‘in the moment’ can be as easy as sitting quietly and focusing on your breath for a minute or two.
In my Lisa.FM Thrive podcast, Drobny offers three short and simple mindfulness exercises, and the results are remarkable. I was surprised how at ease I felt after just breathing slowly for a couple of minutes.
Drobny suggests bringing mindfulness into daily activities, which can be as simple as paying attention to what you are doing (and thinking) while brushing your teeth, or eating lunch.
“We do a mindfulness eating exercise, where we take four minutes to eat one raisin… You digest your food better, you actually eat a lot less, so it’s good for the environment, good for your budget and things that we are eating.”
A simple mindfulness technique consists of sitting still, feet on the ground. Pay attention to your breath… inhale, pause, exhale, pause… repeat.
It’s okay if your mind wanders, instructs Drobny. Just “kindly, gently, ever so sweetly, bring your attention back to the breath.”
Don’t think you have time for Mindfulness? Think again
“In mindfulness circles there’s a joke,” said Drobny, “If you feel like you don’t have 20 minutes to sit (in meditation) today, sit for 40 minutes. Because time expands.”
Drobny shares a story about one of her students who was having a hard time sitting for a formal 20 minute mindfulness practice. She instructed the woman to incorporate mindfulness into the time she spent with her young child.
“So she was totally mindful as she spoke, watched and listened to her daughter. And, she came back the next week to report that both she and her daughter were happier. So she didn’t add anything extra to her day, she simply did it with a different focus.”
In this podcast, Lalli Dana Drobny walks you through three short and simple mindfulness breathing and focusing exercises.
It’s okay if your mind wanders, just “kindly gently, ever so sweetly, bring your attention back to the breath.”
America’s prescription drug and heroin problem has grown to epic proportions. Across the country, families – many in middle class and affluent neighborhoods - have lost loved ones. Others may have a child, brother or sister who’s actively using, or fighting to beat their habit.
In this podcast you'll hear from "Eric," a 26 year old recovering addict who started using hard drugs as a teenager. He shares his story of being in and out of rehab three times, and achieving three years of sobriety before he started using again a few months ago.
You'll also hear from Dr. Constance Scharff, director of addiction research at the Cliffside Malibu treatment center and author of "Ending Addiction for Good." She will explain how this drug epidemic got started, who is getting addicted and how easy it can be to get hooked.
You may also be interested in these Lisa.FM Thrive! blog posts and podcasts
Don't miss an episode of Lisa.FM Thrive! Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Blubrry,Stitcher, Libsyn, or listen on Tune-In and WellnessTalkShow.com. Thanks in advance for sharing this podcast with your friends, rating the podcast and posting reviews!
February is considered the 'month of love' for some romantics. For others, Valentine's Day (or February) is just another reminder of being single. But, if you would like to, chances are it's not too late for you to find a sweetheart. Lisa Amador, owner of Santa Barbara Matchmaking, is a matchmaker and dating coach. She offers dating and relationship coaching as well as personalized matchmaking services to clients who are looking for true love.
In our podcast conversation, Amador offers advice for navigating the world of online dating. For starters, she suggests writing a solid profile and posting flattering, non-blurry (recent) photos (which can be taken with your smartphone).
In the online profile, Amador urged Lisa.FM listeners to show off some aspects of your personality. "Share what's exciting and wonderful about you.... Tell me a story that shows who you are. Or, give something unique to allow the person to see who you are."
"You should be very transparent (in your profile) and let people know what you are looking for so you don't waste your time."
The Santa Barbara matchmaking maven says one of the biggest challenges of her job is helping her clients to get in the proper mindset - to be ready for love to come into their lives. Confidence and feeling good about yourself and your body can translate into a better dating experience.
"You're going to attract what you are putting out... so you want to attract the best," said Amador.
In our podcast, Amador talks about how to choose the best online dating site for your needs. Tinder is known for offering a platform for 'hook ups,' which isn't the best option for anyone who wants true love. But, Amador doesn't rule out any site, since you never know (where you will find Mr or Ms Right).
Just in time for Valentine's Day! Santa Barbara Matchmaking is hosting a "Meet Your Match 2016" party at Globe in Santa Barbara, February 13th from 6:30pm-9:30pm. She says this is traditionally her most successful event of the year. "People come and they're hopeful. They're excited there's a chance to meet somebody."
So, don't be shy if you are looking for love - just go for it! And, please keep me posted on your stories and success!
Don't miss an episode of Lisa.FM Thrive! Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Blubrry, Stitcher, Libsyn, or listen on Tune-In and WellnessTalkShow.com. Thanks in advance for sharing this podcast with your friends, rating the podcast and posting reviews!
Best-selling author Laura Day explains how to use intuition as a resource to help create your best life.
Day doesn't like the word 'psychic' to describe her work. She says everyone is intuitive and, when taught how to 'tune-in' to our intuition, it can be used to help achieve goals and make better decisions.
While listening to this podcast, pick a personal goal and she will walk you through the steps toward achieving it.
Connect with Laura Day and find out more about her work at PracticalIntuition.com
For more Lisa.FM podcasts, go to WellnessTalkShow.com
Think it's hard to get fit, lose weight and eat healthy? Maybe you're being too hard on yourself.
"You don't need to spend an entire hour working out," said Lanré Idewu. The former medical student turned certified trainer and celebrity fitness instructor suggests working more activity into your day naturally. "The key is to get moving."
As for strict diets, he isn't a fan. "Everything in moderation, including moderation.... if you eat a piece of cake, don't beat yourself up."
An important key to achieving the body you have always dreamed of is in finding a way to be happy with your appearance now, before you begin your fitness regime.
In this podcast, Lanré explains why strict diets don't always work, how you can easily add more activity into a busy day, and the affects the stress hormone cortisol could have on your body.
Anyone who has attended an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting has likely heard of the '12 Steps."
The spiritual program based on 12 steps, worked through step by step in consecutive order, was created by Bill Wilson in the 1930s. Since then, it's helped a lot of people overcome their addictions to alcohol and drugs.
Today, the 12 Steps have been modified and are used in many lesser-known self help programs such as Al-anon-Alateen, Adult Children of Alcoholics as well as Gamblers Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Narconon and many more.
"(Before the 12 steps came along), alcoholism was regarded as a moral weakness," said Dr. Ken Pfeiffer, a Carpinteria-based psychologist and pain expert. "The traditional way of dealing with alcoholics was with scorn, and condemnation and punishment... We know now that this only makes the situation worse."
"What Alcoholics Anonymous does now, is it brings together people with a similar mind, added Dr. Pfeiffer. ".. if you go to AA, you're meeting with other alcoholics who understand your situation.... so there's a lot of love and understanding and camaraderie."
In this podcast, Dr. Pfeiffer will walk you through the 12 steps, and offer ideas, hope and healing to you or your loved one who is suffering with the disease of addiction.
For more podcasts on health, wellness and personal growth, go to WellnessTalkShow.com
A new year seems like a logical time for making a fresh start. I thought why not do a podcast about reinforcing a new year’s resolution or goal with ritual? So, I turned to one of my favorite yoga instructors to walk you and me through this process.
I’d imagined she would suggest doing something spiritual like lighting a candle and gazing at a crystal cluster in a meditative state. Or, setting some meaningful mementos and fresh flowers in an area of your home that could serve as a small alter, reminding yourself of the person you wish to become.
But, I was wrong. She did suggest the meditation part – sitting still doing deep belly breathing for five minutes a day.
“Meditation is a wonderful ritual every morning, to set space for self respect, to set the tone of our attitude. To realize who we want to be in that day and how we want to meet others,” explained Suzanne Marlow, a Santa Barbara area marriage and family therapist (LMFT) and Insight Yoga instructor at Yoga Soup.
For those who have trouble sitting still she suggested a meditation alternative she calls Beditation, which can be done first thing in the morning.
“Five minutes before you get out of bed, put your hands on your belly. Feel the breath moving in and out. Relax into who you are, and then kind of set your mind to who you want to be.”
She also offered some practical ideas for weaving mindful rituals into daily life, such as expressing gratitude. “Every time you walk through a door, can you slow down a bit, and just take a breath and remember how fortunate you are to be in this moment… even the moments that don’t seem so fortunate.”
Marlow calls cleaning the space inside of us mental flossing. “As we develop into healthier human beings…. we need to think more wholesomely… We need to be honest about what is going on inside (ourselves).”
For more information on Suzanne Marlow’s yoga and counseling services, including her new mindfulness group therapy program, go to Suzanne Marlow.com.
And for more podcasts and blog posts on how you can go from merely living to Truly Thriving, go to WellnessTalkShow.com
It's probably not realistic to eliminate all stress from daily life, so the key is how well can you manage it? Yoga and other forms of routine exercise can work wonders. Essential oils can also be an effective tool for helping to promote a feeling of peace and calm. The products I use are from Young Living, because they are medical-grade (unadulterated), so the quality is top-notch.
Lavender is a great all around oil and has been known to help with relaxation. Rub two drops of lavender oil in your hands then brush across your pillow can help promote a restful night's sleep. Dabbing a drop or two of Stress Away on wrists or temples can help ease frayed nerves. Stress Away (featuring the aromas of vanilla and lime) is one of my favorite essential oil blends from Young Living, and it seems to live up to its name.
I recently spoke with my friend and Young Living mentor, Carla Cohen, about her favorite essential oils for relaxation. In the podcast (click link above to listen), she shares a funny story about how she learned by accident the relaxation-power of Stress Away. Carla also shares another of her favorite de-stressing-oils, which you may have in your kitchen: Marjoram.
"It has an uplifting scent," said Cohen. "Marjoram was known as 'the herb of happiness' for the Romans, and the Greeks called it 'the joy of the mountains.'" But, Cohen went on to explain why you need the pure essential oil in order to enjoy the full uplifting benefit of marjoram, because dried herbs have virtually no manna, or beneficial powers, "It's a living organism with the essential oil," said Cohen.
Ruta-Va-La is another Young Living blend which you may find helpful in calming nerves, promoting sleep and managing stress. It contains Valerian, which is sometimes referred to as 'nature's Valium.'
While I can't promise you that essential oils will work for you in managing stress, promoting a sense of calm or easing anxiety, you may find these oils sometimes known as 'nature's medicine' can be of help to you and your family.
Essential oils have been around since ancient times. They've been used to promote health and induce a feeling of peacefulness in meditation (such as Cedarwood, Hyssop, Frankincense & Myrrh). Today, scientists are studying Frankincense for use as a treatment in brain cancer research, and for promoting healthy brain function.
Because Young Living Essential Oils are very pure, it only takes a drop or two to be effective. You can also add one or two drops to a carrier oil (such as coconut, olive, or other oil) for massage. When ordering these products from Young Living, please be sure to use my ID #1734225, so you join our team!
You might consider getting seven hours of sleep each night a luxury, but your body probably needs at least this much to function properly.
“Sleep is absolutely critical to our overall functionality,” said Dr. Helene Emsellum,medical director for the Center for Sleep & Wake Disorders. “Sleep restores us both physically as well as psychologically. We can take on the next day with a clear head to get to the things we need to do.”
Emsellum says adults need an average of 7-9 hours of sleep a night.
“I like to think of seven hours of sleep as the lower legal limit…. You drop below six hours of sleep a night, we can put you on a driving simulator and you’ll drive drunk.”
Young children need 10-11 hours of sleep, adolescents need 8.5-9.25 hours of sleep a night.
She says our brains need sleep in order to properly store the information gathered each day.
“During the night we have to prioritize information, we need to store the memories we want to keep.”
Sleeping your way to your ideal weight
A good sleep routine can also help a person maintain a proper body weight. “Our weight control is based on adequate sleep.”
“The reality is, if you overstay your welcome in wakefulness … and you don’t get your minimum threshold of adequate sleep, a whole system of hormones in your body ….direct the cells to store more calories at any moment in time.”
If you are on a diet but not losing any pounds, you might want to try getting some extra sleep.
Light is not your Friend
Establishing a healthy sleep routine can be a challenge.
“We live in this crazy 24/7 lit society,” said Dr. Emsellum. “…. it really does take discipline (to get a good night’s sleep). We don’t have ten hours of mandatory darkness our ancestors had 150 years ago at night.”
Because of this, Dr. Emsellum suggests creating a routine that offers ‘wind down’ time that separates day from night. Staring at a bright computer screen too late in the evening can make it harder to get to sleep, so try to log off at least an hour before going to bed. Sleeping in a dark room can also help you get a good night sleep.
Learn more in my conversation with Dr. Helene Emsellum.
This segment was produced by Carolyn Branson.
Christmas is the time of year when a lot of couples tend to get engaged. A new study out of UC Santa Barbara takes a closer look at the economics of tying the knot to determine who is most likely to say ‘I Do.’
Economist & demographer Shelly Lundberg, UCSB’s Leonard Broom Professor of Demography, conducted the study based on previously published research with economist Robert Pollak of Washington University.
Most of us never imagined that going to work in an office could be bad for our physical health, even if we don’t like our job. But, now that sitting has been deemed ‘the new smoking’ more people are becoming aware of the potential health hazard of being too sedentary.
Santa Barbara entrepreneur Joel Heath has come up with a solution. He created a board that workers stand on – and now they get a workout while working.
Heath talked to me about his invention and how it’s catching on with big tech companies. He also offers insight into the business start-up scene in Santa Barbara from an entrepreneur’s perspective.
Grief, Despair, Depression and Shame are all aspects of emotional pain. And this kind of pain is a part of daily life for a lot of people. But, it is possible to release these emotions and start to heal. Dr. Ken Pfeiffer, a Santa Barbara-based psychologist and pain expert, offers these tips to move toward healing.
More than 5 million people in the USA are suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, and that number is expected to triple by 2050. While there is no cure for this common form of dementia, experts say there are things you can do to help reduce the risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s later in life.
Neurologist Dr. Kenneth S. Kosik has been researching Alzheimer’s Disease for 35 years. The Harriman Professor of Neuroscience Research at UC Santa Barbara, and co-director of the Neuroscience Research Institute, shares these important tips to help ward off Alzheimer’s.
“Know your Numbers”
“Know your blood pressure, know your glucose or sugar level, know your cholesterol or lipid levels,” said Dr. Kosik. If any of these numbers are abnormal, a person is at greater risk of Alzheimer’s.
If your numbers are off, talk to your doctor about what you can do to get them back on track. Keeping these numbers in check can also reduce the risk of diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
Small Changes can make a Big Difference
Adopting these five lifestyle habits can help fend off Alzheimer’s Disease:
Dr. Kosik goes into detail on these tips, and offers other valuable insights, in our conversation in this Lisa.FM podcast (click below to listen)
You’ll find more valuable information on this subject in Dr. Kosik’s Reader’s Digest story, Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease: 8 Daily Habits a Neurologist Swears By.
Pick up Dr. Kosik’s book “Outsmarting Alzheimer’s: What You can do to Reduce Your Risk” (Readers Digest 2015).
A story that a good friend posted on Facebook caught my eye. The headline read “Scented Candles and Air Fresheners Cause Dangerous Health Risks.” It went on to describe how synthetic fragrances in these products can disrupt hormones and make you sick.
Reading this made me feel grateful that I’d discovered Young Living Essential Oils, as these products contain no chemicals or toxins. Diffusing Young Living oils will make your home smell great, and may even eliminate toxins rather than bring them into your living space.
If cutting back on the use of toxic chemicals is on your list of New Year Resolutions, I encourage you to consider Thieves Household Cleaner & home products such as laundry detergent and soap from Young Living. They are effective and infused with pure essential oils, so you will enjoy the fresh aromas while doing chores using these products.
While you’re at it, consider what you are putting on your body. Many cosmetic products and lotions (even the expensive ones) contain harmful ingredients such as propylene glycol sodium laurel sulphate. Young Living beauty products do not contain these ingredients and they come with the extra boost of pure essential oils, which have been used since to promote health and beauty since ancient times.
Certain blends of Young Living Essential Oils can also be used to help you stick to your New Year Resolutions. Tune-in to my podcast with my friend and Young Living mentor, Carla Cohen, to learn how you can use these delicious oils to focus on success, set goals and set the intention to make 2016 your best year ever!
Conifer oils such as Idaho Blue Spruce may bring your awareness to the areas of your life in which you need to make changes. “A lot of the oils that come from the tree bark or trees, the conifers especially, can be very grounding, while at the same time can be used to help move through emotional barriers.” said Cohen.
If developing a new income stream is your goal in 2016, consider becoming a Young Living team member. It can be a fun way to make extra money while sharing these healthy, natural products with your friends and family. Please be sure to use my ID #1734225 when purchasing, so you join our team!
Expressing creativity can be a great way to free your mind of worry and anxiety, and to help improve your attitude & outlook on life. This podcast features an interview with two emeritus Santa Barbara Poet Laureates followed by a collection of poems read by the artists who wrote them. Listening to this podcast just may inspire you to get in touch with your inner artist!
The book is a collection of poems inspired by “Flock,” the large art installation (2015) at Ganna Walska Lotusland, the Montecito estate and former home of the late opera singer who indulged in her passion for exotic plants.
Artist Nancy Gifford curated Flock at Lotusland, and served as an editor on the Rare Feathers book. Nancy and her husband, Michael, hosted the party and poetry reading at their home in Montecito.
In this podcast, you’ll hear my interview with Gunpowder Press publishers Chryss Yost and David Starkey, both artists who are also emeritus Santa Barbara Poet Laureates. You’ll also be treated to some of the poems from Rare Feathers, read by the poets who wrote them
Following my chat with Starkey & Host, you will hear several Flock poets reading their poems.
Poets featured on this podcast include Mary Brown, Susan Chiavelli, Gabriella Klein, Perie Longo, Enid Osborn, Melinda Palacio, Christine Penko, Santa Barbara Poet Laureate Sojourner Kincaid Rolle, Emma Trelles and George Yatchisin.
The bonus content in this episode features my chat with artist Nancy Gifford, who put together the art installations at Lotusland that these poets are writing about.
Lisa.FM Thrive! is a podcast that covers all aspects of health & wellness as well as personal development. You’ll hear from doctors, holistic health practitioners and others about how to go from merely living to thriving.
Topics covered include managing stress, oral-systemic health, integrative medicine, the power of a good night's sleep, tummy tune-up, as well as the power of positive thinking, essential oils, aromatherapy, anti-aging techniques, mindfulness, natural remedies, and reducing toxins in your environment.
This podcast is based in Santa Barbara, California. So, along with experts in the health, wellness and personal development fields, you will also hear from some local artists, entrepreneurs, philanthropists and others who are living their passions, which I hope will inspire you to also live your dreams.
You can also hear some of these podcast interviews on KCBX FM, Public Radio for the Central Coast, airing in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.