Every Tuesday, come hear wisdom about connecting as our guests are interviewed by therapist and Sidewalk Talk founder, Traci Ruble. When we hear each other we change the world by creating belonging, inclusion, and wellness.
What do your opinions have to do with spirituality? Turns out when we enter a conversation only looking to share what we know, we miss out on the mystical potential that comes from opening up to what we do not know in dialogue. An editor of Evolve Magazine in Germany and Cultural Anthropologist, Dr. Nadja Rosmann shares how connection and dialogue liberate the human spirit into possibility.
Biography: Dr. Nadja Rosmann has been a member of the evolve editorial team since October 2014. Nadja is a cultural anthropologist with a focus on identity research. She works as a journalist, communication consultant and scientific project manager primarily on topics from the fields of business and spirituality and operates the think.work.different weblog.
Quotes Worth Sharing:
Show Notes: There are so many systemic structures in our work organizations to improve individual performance but not to connect people inside those organizations. Companies want more productivity but the systems they create to produce more create also more isolation. But more isolation creates less productivity.
The real solution is we must change the structures within which we live and work.
Connection is a sphere you shouldn’t try to observe from just functionality. Connection is aliveness like in nature or any living organism. You would ask a tree why he is standing there and growing just like you wouldn’t ask why it is important for people to connect.
The entry points to cultural change and human well being might be different than what we used to think. And this is also a very spiritual perspective. You have to trust in something greater than just what is functional. We simply have to explore, experiment, and experience it.
At the same time, the process of connecting doesn’t leave behind thinking, it just puts it into a different context. Opening oneself up, being more transparent, makes us more aware of our human fragility. If you can see in one other person’s eyes the same fragility you sometimes suffer from you connect on a completely different level and then realize that we are all connected.
We all are hiding, in a way, with fake smiles or stoic distance because we are still looking for better ways to connect but we don’t know how.
Sharing our fragility really needs time because we are just at the beginning of how to learn this.
Evolve Salons creates a space where you don’t have to get too personal. Getting too personal is not our main interest. Sometimes if we are getting too personal we expect something back. But our focus in on just opening up in the dialogue, not getting a response back. And we have to be aware of how profound this is – a real cultural shift - because there really are no places to have an experience like this. And you can’t really know it but let it come in through the back door through experiencing it.
You kind of have to trust that between human beings there is an unknown potential and trust – trust and try.
No one is doing anything in the dialogues we structure for Evolve Magazine. We are only holders of the space. We are just helping others feel and become aware of the space they are inhabiting and the potential and resonance between two people.
What creates more opening in dialogue?
What closes dialogue down?
Meditation helps to get into the listening mindset. If you can sit for awhile on a cushion and just open up - it is easier to remember this inner gesture when we are in dialogue.
And I do fail at this listening. But we need to get rid of these feelings of guilt and shame when it comes to failure because failure is the best teacher of all. Especially when it comes to listening and dialogue there will never be a space where we totally have it right. If we think we do then we aren’t listening any more.
To find more info about Nadja’s work and Evolve Magazine
One World Dialogue https://oneworldindialogue.com/
Visit Dr. Nadja Rossmann’s Blog: http://www.zenpop.de/blog/
Evolve Magazine: https://www.evolve-magazin.de/
Stand Out Quotes
Dr. Charlie Easmon is a Primary Care Physician specializing in Travel Medicine, Mental and Occupational Health. He trained at St George's Hospital Medical School in South London and performed his medical elective period in Ghana. Since then he has worked with a number of international medical organizations and charities including Merlin, Raleigh International and Save the Children in Rwanda, and ECHO in Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan.
Working under appointment for the Foreign Office, Charlie has operated across Africa and in countries such as Egypt, Israel, Tunisia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines. He has been actively involved in a number of different types of medical aid emergencies including medical evacuations and following these high-level international experiences Charlie has some of the highest levels of expertise in travel medicine and public health.
However, Charlie’s deep interest is in mental and occupational health in the corporate setting, and particularly within high stress arenas. He has wide ranging experiences into the consequences of staff working in varying conditions. He is concerned about the aspect of late referrals and how the all-too-often lack of appropriate mental health support resources can impact on the well being of his patients.
Find more out about Dr. Easmon here:
And See Dr. Easmon's TEDx Talk here:
Dr. Easmon joins me as he makes his way home from his busy medical practice.
He says that ”These days people don’t come in for physical injury any more but because they have had their head caved in mentally. What is the point of human evolution if the workplace has become a stress pen for all of us?”
The western world has gotten many things wrong in their march for technological supremacy. His clients have forgotten to examine the quality of their life, joy, and peace.
And our mental health and physical health are suffering because of how our world is set up. You can treat the problems but Dr. Easmon also says we need to change the systems that are making us sick.
Ninety percent of our health has to do with the system within which we are living, not some problem inside of us but because the market rules mentality is what drives how we live. We are not creating health-promoting systems that would make us get well evolutionary.
Dr. Easmon shares his own experience of discrimination and how discrimination stress is linked to things like high blood pressure.
He is fond of the work of the Anne Frank Foundation. They send people into schools to talk about discrimination and strongly believes a history of prejudice should be taught in every school curriculum and teach it throughout history. And dealing with the rise of the far right. These groups thrive in vacuums of ignorance, but these groups directly and negatively impact our health.
Social innovation is not communist it is simply a way to create cooperation to create a society that is based on something other than greed. Not all mindsets can be changed so Dr. Easmon recommends we are thoughtful in where we put our energies. For him, he has partnered with George Kinder and the Golden Civilization Project. George will be on our podcast very soon.
About our guest, Nina Horne:
Nina Horne is founder and CEO of Samara Family Services, a company focused on building healthier teens and happier families through skill-building and mentoring: samarafamilyservices.com As a public policy expert, large-scale systems builder, and emotional health advocate, her goal is to ensure every teen and young adult has the skills needed to manage difficult times. Most important, she’s a mom who’s been there and back. At home, Nina teaches meditation in nature and is a reiki healer for underserved cancer patients in Oakland, CA.
Nina was born and raised in the deep south and grew up steeped in southern hospitality. But she is also a natural extrovert who was shaped by her genuine curiosity.
She believes that if she hasn't found something interesting in a conversation it was because she was asking the wrong questions.
After she left her higher education publishing career, Nina went on to become an Oakland City commissioner for Oakland, California but quickly learned that she didn't have all the tools she needed to make good decisions. So she took her natural curiosity and went back to grad school.
Nina soon found herself taking on very complex challenges for the UN, several White Houses, the EPA, and The State Department. She has used her many years of being a natural connector in representing the US in negotiating with other nations.
But her internal work was also a huge part of her learning. Hear how Nina's own work in therapy with her own anxiety using techniques like EMDR radically shifted her from being a connector to a more deeply related human. Nina has shepherded her own teen through anxiety and now helps families and teens navigate mental health - She has a heart for helping families and teens thrive.
You can learn more about Nina and Samara Family Servcie's work on their website here.
We hope you enjoyed this dialogue. As Sidewalk Talk has doubled in size since February of 2019 to today, we need 100 folks to invest monthly to keep us providing free listening on sidewalks and this podcast in 2020. Upcoming and past guests include Harville Hendricks, Spring Washam, Parker Palmer, Charlie Easmon, David Kessler, George Kinder, Howard Stephenson, and Ashanti Branch. You can invest here or share this conversation with all those who would be lifted up by it.
All of us have something to give to the world. There is greatness in you.
Our attention is so divided and that hurts me.
I believe each and every one of us have greatness but sometimes we need others to remind us to help bring it out in us.
An influential voice in today's culture, she is regularly invited to inspire and motivate various women groups and conferences in the UK and Africa.
Nana has been nominated Best Media Personality by Women4Africa Awards, and her Talk Show was nominated Favourite Talk Show led by a woman by Screen Nation Awards in the UK.
Nana has also been to BET Experience to interview all international artists in LA.
Nana believes there is greatness in each and everyone of us. And dreams come true if you don't quit. Her catch phrase is "see you at the top."
Nana is a wife and a mother of four. She resides in London.
Nana is the model of walking around the world with an open heart. She is so interested in connecting that she finds her way to her award-winning show. Would she have met a videographer from Afghanistan if she hadn't been asking about someone's day? Would she find her way to professional footballers if she wasn't a natural connector.
Listen as you hear how she sees her show as an opportunity to bring the greatness out of people. She has a gift of getting people to open up. Listen, as she unearths why people open up to her.
"I make people feel important, no matter who they are. I give them all of my attention and presence."
Her ability to be genuine and totally present allows two spirits to connect. When she talks, you can hear that even in her talking, she is connecting.
We are so excited to bring you Nana Churcher's story. You can find out about Nana's book and show.
Please check out and support Nana's life giving work!
The Nana Churcher Show on YouTube Here.
Nana's Book, The Power of Your Word Here.
They see my whole mess and they love me anyway. (Traci Ruble)
My heart is never wrong. It's just getting in there that is the challenge. (Traci Ruble)
Boundaries are about finding that balance between connection and protection. (Rebecca Wong)
Biography: Rebecca Wong
All of my life, I’ve been fascinated by what it means to be human together.
This has driven me deep into the study of art, film and storytelling, experiential learning, relationships, sexuality, the human reproductive life cycle, the transmission of intergenerational trauma, parenthood, attachment, loss and human behavior, and performance. And the same drive has guided me to deepen my professional studies into Relational Life and Sex Therapy. My experiential teaching style draws from a range of leadership experiences over the past decades ranging from Wilderness Field Instructor to TMI Project Workshop Facilitator.
Rebecca Wong's spirit and her way of being are so audible in the way she speaks, breaths, takes long pauses to take in an interaction fully, and to let connection drive how she relates. I am thrilled you get to meet her here. I hope you will join me in listening to one of my favorite podcasts, up for an award. Find Rebecca's therapy work and her podcast at Connectfulness.
I admire Rebecca so much even though we have never seen each other in real life. I consider her a wise sage who has balanced challenging the status quo with grace and artistry few have matched, imho. While out wandering through the woods, I had a thought. "Maybe I should talk about why I am doing this podcast on the podcast." But I want to be "in discovery" and "in connection" - not rehearsed.
As I listen to my own words here, I can hear how internal I am. But what is more, you can hear how being 'in connection' as Rebecca does so well, allows you to go deeper. Rebecca captures the essence of my heart and I learned about myself and for that, I am so grateful to get to be in dialogue with her.
You can find more out about Rebecca on her website here.
Stand Out Quotes:
Marc Brackett, Ph.D., is founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and professor in the Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine at Yale University. His grant-funded research focuses on: (1) the role of emotions and emotional intelligence in learning, decision making, creativity, relationship quality, and mental health; (2) the measurement of emotional intelligence; and (3) the influences of emotional intelligence training on children’s and adults’ health, performance, and workplace performance and climate. Marc has published 125 scholarly articles and has received numerous awards, including the Joseph E. Zins Award for his research on social and emotional learning and an honorary doctorate from Manhattanville College. He also is a distinguished scientist on the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development and on the board of directors for the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).
Marc is the lead developer of RULER, a systemic, evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning that has been adopted by over 2,000 public, charter, and private pre-school through high schools across the United States and in other countries, including Australia, China, England, Italy, Mexico, and Spain. RULER infuses social and emotion learning into the immune system of schools by enhancing how school administrators lead, educators teach, students learn, and families parent. Research shows that RULER boosts academic performance, decreases school problems like bullying, enriches classroom climates, reduces teacher stress and burnout, and enhances teacher instructional practices. Marc is the author of Permission to Feel (Celadon/Macmillan), which will be released in September of 2019.
In this episode, Dr. Brackett is committed to teaching emotional intelligence as you can hear it deeply touches his own personal story of being bullied in school. He does not create a cheesy "fix it all" mentality to teaching emotional intelligence. Instead, his work is thoughtful, research-backed, and he is calling us all in to do better in understanding our own feelings so we can then understand the feelings of others.
What makes Marc unique is his own willingness to share his vulnerable story, to challenge institutions with grace, and his understanding of social injustices that may not afford some kids and schools the support they need to teach emotional intelligence.
Follow along as you learn about Ruler. And apply it in your own life. This is definitely a book you will want to get and share with your kids, colleagues at work, and in any workplace where you currently live. We need to give each other permission to feel and stop sending the "get over it" or "quit being so emotional" message that is deeply harmful to us humans.
Dr. Narendra Thagunna is an advocate for suicide awareness and cross-cultural psychology in Nepal. He teaches and runs a research foundation called Psychdesk.
Sidewalk Talk has become a way to make therapy and sharing what is really on someone’s mind a normal part of life in Dr. Thagunna’s city. In fact, when Sidewalk Talk listeners in Katmandu, all therapists, sit on the sidewalk, they are still offering the same “non-therapeutic listening” but often it becomes a gateway for people to feel comfortable going to the clinic for a second visit if they need it. The community now sees that these therapists are people just like them by being out on the street.
There are big hopes to take Sidewalk Talk up on their community grant program that will supply four more chapters with the tools they need to start a Sidewalk Talk in other parts of Nepal.
This is where you come in. Today is #GivingTuesday. We need 100 people to raise their hand and say “YES! I know this connecting work is the thing that is going to make a real difference in healing all the divides that make people, our communities, our politics, and our planet well.”
Will you be one of the 100 to invest monthly in Sidewalk Talk to sustain Dr. Thagunna’s work and all the other chapters around the world?
Stand Out Quotes:
Dr. Tania Singer is one of the foremost researchers in the world on compassion. She hails from the Max Planck Institute in Berlin, Germany. See her info here. She set up a very specific experiment that allowed people to practice "contemplative dyads" where a listener and speaker come together to operate in a kind of meditative listening in connection.
She tested three different styles of dyads or pair work. Her findings are stunning.
Just attention based mindfulness does not create any reduction in cortisol stress after three months but an interpersonal practice leads to a 50% reduction in cortisol stress. HUGE! HUGE! Ever wondered if what we do at Sidewalk Talk directly impacts the world? HERE IS THE PROOF!
Dr. Singer has been a mindfulness practitioner for many years. And she took up a topic of research that, at the time she began, was not cool, and certainly there were not many women doing research as a neuropsychologist. I am looking forward to more work collaborations with Dr. Tania Singer. And please listen to this interview all the way through the end to hear the very special message Dr. Tania Singer offers to Sidewalk Talk listeners the world over.
Please check out Compassion-Training.org.
Stand out quotes:
Do you want to hear someone who knows how to be real and connect? Ashanti Branch was raised by a single mom on welfare in Oakland, CA. A fateful day, a teacher broke through to him and changed his life and he went on to one of the most prestigious engineering schools.
Yeah, he likes math.
If that wasn't enough to admire the guy for excelling at a subject most of us dread...he was making oodles of money and he left it all!
He went back to become a teacher and impact lives... only...it did not go well and he wasn't reaching his kids. Can you imagine what that would be like? To give up your career only to realize "Maybe I am not cut out for this?"
He didn't give up though. Instead, he listened.
This is a story of youth and teaching but if you lead ANYTHING, big or small, Ashanti is also teaching us how to be an equitable, caring, humble, yet strong leader. Leadership requires the ability to listen.
From Fullbright Fellowship, Rotary Fellowship to Teacher of the Year, you won't want to miss the magic that is this human being and clarity that oozes from him.
He is the founder and executive director of the Ever Forward Club that was the subject of the documentary film, The Mask You Live In.
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