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Wet & Wild, Paw Protection, Mindfulness Meddling By Cynthia Brian

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Empowerment

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If you are looking for upbeat, life-changing, and mind stretching information, you’ve come to the right place. Host Cynthia Brian takes you on a journey of exploration that will encourage, inspire, and motivate you to make positive changes that offer life enhancing results. It’s party time on StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®. And YOU are invited! Join us LIVE 4-5pm Pt on Wednesdays or tune in to the archives at your leisure. Come play in StarStyle Country.
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Rain, rain, and more rain! With the many years of drought experienced in California, can our parched soils accommodate the abundance of precipitation or are we getting a prescription for flooding, landslides, and toppling trees. Find out ways to manage the winter H20.
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Are you dressing your dog for the cold? Be careful, you may be overheating her. Tips on protecting your pet from the elements to keep pooch be healthy and happy.
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The mindfulness movement is growing. Are you being sold marketing claims or are you benefiting. Cynthia Brian gets honest with commercial promises.
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LIVE IN TEMPE-WTR - 26
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The award winning positive talk radio program, StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® broadcasts on the Voice America Empowerment Channel LIVE every Wednesday from 4-5pm Pt/7-8pm ET.  .  Cynthia Brian and Heather Brittany are the Mother/Daughter dynamic duo who have been co-hosting this program live weekly since 1998 bringing upbeat, life enhancing conversation to the world. With Cynthia’s expertise in interviewing the trailblazers, authors, and experts and Heather’s healthy living segments, these Goddess Gals are your personal growth coaches helping you to jumpstart your life while igniting your flame of greatness. Brought to the airwaves under the auspices of the literacy and positive media charity, Be the Star You Are!®, (http://www.BetheStarYouAre.org) each program will pump your energy to help you live, love, laugh, learn, and lead.
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Your Life as a Meditation By Ariel & Shya Kane

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7th Wave
Your Life as a Meditation By Ariel & Shya Kane

January 25, 2017: Your Life as a Meditation

It is possible to experience the benefits normally associated with meditation – reduced stress, clarity, relaxation, happiness, well-being, Transformation – simply by living your life rather than thinking about how to be a better you. Listen in and discover how Being Here can have you experience Transformation Made Easy.

Listen Live this Wednesday, January 25th at 9am PST / 12pm EST on the VoiceAmerica 7th Wave Channel

After this Wednesday, you can stream or download this episode and 500 others on a wide variety of topics from our archives here.

You can also listen to Being Here on the go! Stream or download new and archived episodes to your smart phone or mobile device with these applications:
Podcasts app for iPhone 
Stitcher Podcast app for Any Device
VoiceAmerica app for Apple
VoiceAmerica app for Android

Thinking Is Overrated By Ariel & Shya Kane

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Thinking Is Overrated By Ariel & Shya Kane

December 14: Thinking Is Overrated

Most people don’t actually think, they have thoughts – automatic and repetitive thoughts about themselves or their surroundings. Tune into Being Here and discover how to step out of your thoughts, into the moment and into your life. Callers welcome at Tel# 1-866-472-5795!

Listen Live this Wednesday, December 14th at 9am PST / 12pm EST on the VoiceAmerica 7th Wave Channel 

After this Wednesday, you can stream or download this episode and over 400 episodes on a wide variety of topics from our archives here.

You can also listen to Being Here on the go! Stream or download new and archived episodes to your smart phone or mobile device with these applications:
Podcasts app for iPhone
Stitcher Podcast app for Any Device
VoiceAmerica app for Apple
VoiceAmerica app for Android

Who is the Designated Driver of Your Life? By Ariel & Shya Kane

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Who is the Designated Driver of Your Life? By Ariel & Shya Kane

Who is the Designated Driver of Your Life?
by Ariel & Shya Kane

Shortly before the car accident that our friends were in that could potentially have ended several lives, one passenger in back seat had the passing thought, “I wish I was in the driver’s seat,” but he didn’t pay attention to his intuition. Another back seat passenger saw that the driver wasn’t heeding the signs indicating a turn ahead and thought, “Oh well, she knows what she is doing and where she is going.” The front seat passenger gave the driver’s chatter and the route no thought at all. He wasn’t in the driver’s seat after all.

Luckily, the ensuing car crash due to “distracted driving” only totaled the car but did not seriously injure anyone. But it got us thinking that in that car, on that night, there was no designated driver. Each person, including the woman operating the vehicle, abdicated responsibility for the drive and arriving safely at their destination.

Of course many accidents are just what the name implies: an accident – an unintentional, unfortunate happening, something that is unexpected. But many of life’s “accidental” events are really an extension of how we are living our lives. We are often times passengers being carried along by circumstances and subject to the whims of those around us rather than living life directly, rather than being our own designated driver on the road of life.

If you want to get back in the driver’s seat, start by keeping your word with yourself. Every time you say you are going to do something and then blow it off you get a little bit sleepier, you will find yourself dull. Next, actually be where you are. The people in our car accident story were either lost in the past – talking about their childhood, trying to extend the “fun” from the party from which they had just departed or they were wishing they were home in their beds already, rather than being engaged in the ride.

Last but not least engage, be interested, be direct. Why not pay attention to your hunches and act upon them? Why not speak up when in doubt? It is your life after all. Why not sit firmly in the driver’s seat of your own life with your hands upon the wheel?

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Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, in the UK, Germany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here radio show or join their email newsletter at http://www.transformationmadeeasy.com/. Also get information about their four award-winning books. Their newest book, Practical Enlightenment, is now available on Amazon.com

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Congratulations! You’re Normal by Ariel & Shya Kane

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Congratulations! You’re Normal by Ariel & Shya Kane

July 27: Congratulations! You’re Normal
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“Instantaneous Transformation takes an ordinary, mundane life and turns it into a magical one.” ~ Ariel & Shya Kane

It’s normal to think that you are messed up – or to try to prove to yourself or others that you are not. Self-deprecating/limiting thoughts are the norm – the good news is you don’t have to listen to them! Don’t settle for “normal”. Join Ariel & Shya Kane in Being Here and experience Instantaneous Transformation. Callers welcome at Tel# 1-866-472-5795!

Listen Live this Wednesday, July 27th at 9am PST / 12pm EST on the VoiceAmerica 7th Wave Channel.
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After this Wednesday, you can stream or download this episode and over 400 episodes on a wide variety of topics from our archives here.
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You can also subscribe to BEING HERE on iTunes!
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HOW MINDFULNESS CAN STRENGTHEN YOUR EFFECTIVENESS AS A LEADER by Hemda Mizrahi & Josh Ehrlich

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Business
HOW MINDFULNESS CAN STRENGTHEN YOUR EFFECTIVENESS AS A LEADER by Hemda Mizrahi & Josh Ehrlich

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Mindful Leadership expert Josh Ehrlich, Ph.D., author of MindShifting: Focus for Performance, joined me on “Turn the Page” to discuss how you can practice mindfulness, and integrate it as a team sport in your organization.

Dr. Ehrlich highlights that “mindfulness does not just mean meditation.” It is reflected in the way we breathe, walk, eat, smile, and work. Examples include managing our access to electronic devices and communications such that we can be focused and present while on conference calls, during learning and development activities, etc.

Dr. Ehrlich provides additional guidance to support you and your organization in your practice of mindfulness, and in reaping it’s many research-based benefits:

MINDFULNESS AND PRODUCTIVITY
“Fortune 500 organizations are teaching mindfulness to employees not because it makes them feel better (which it does), but because it makes them more productive. We get more productive when we focus on our process (how we get results), not just on outcomes (the scorecard of results themselves). Mindfulness helps us focus on our own process and thus to learn and perform more effectively.”

MINDFULNESS AND NATURE
“It’s as if many of us have ADD—Attention Deficit Disorder. Our environment and constant stimulation from technology creates it. So we feel restless, and this impulse correctly asks us to move. But instead of racing around we can practice moving mindfully while walking from one meeting to the next, or while stretching (which is the essence of yoga). Moving mindfully outdoors is especially beneficial. We evolved outdoors, so it makes sense that nature would bring us back to our senses (Kabat-Zinn, 2006). Spending time in natural settings seems to reduce symptoms of attention deficit, as well as make us more creative problem-solvers (Park, Tsunetsugu, Kasetani, Morikawa, Kagawa, & Miyazaki, 2009). Thus, we can speculate whether our societal challenge is attention deficit or really nature deficit. When we design buildings where we have access to nature, we get higher productivity, lower stress, and the restoration of attention (Ryan, Browning, Clancy, Andrews, & Kallianpurkar, 2014). So, go take a hike. It will restore you and make you more productive.”

MINDFULNESS AND DECISION MAKING
“Excessive urgency is the enemy of clear and creative thinking. We are running frantic, trying to keep up with our own and others’ expectations. So slowing down is helpful. At the same time, mindfulness does not mean going slow. We can practice mindfulness in the beginning by stopping the action and curtailing some of the input and noise to make it easier. So we may close our eyes and shut the door and breathe quietly for a minute. Ultimately through this practice we can do our job mindfully and run meetings mindfully, making decisions quickly when needed. We can make decisions more effectively because our mind is clear. Speed up when you need to, but don’t loose your awareness of yourself or your breath.”

MINDFULNESS AND SELF-ACCEPTANCE
“Leaders facing increasing pressure and uncertainty attempt to do more with less, multitasking and transacting instead of connecting. These overloaded leaders show up as fragile, less effective and less able to learn and adapt. Great leaders are mature. They have a stable sense of self that is not vulnerable to short-term setbacks. They learn from failure and are eager for constructive feedback. The foundation for this is positive self-regard. However, many leaders do not feel good about themselves. They are regularly told the bar is being raised and that they need to achieve more to get the same rewards.

We try to solve this problem backwards. We try to create a sense of self from the outside in (building self-esteem), instead of from the inside out (cultivating self-acceptance). However, we cannot control extrinsic sources of self-esteem: material rewards, approval and accomplishment. The result is leaders and employees who show us their immaturity and dark side (Hogan, 2015). They demonstrate fear, judgment and hostility. In contrast, self-acceptance is based on a solid intrinsic foundation: alignment (being in sync with our values and purpose), self-regulation (riding emotional ups and downs), and self-support (treating yourself with kindness vs. self-criticism).

Mindfulness doesn’t mean being passive or letting others bully you—it means trusting your gut, listening to your feelings and speaking your truth—your experience. So while self-acceptance is based on compassion and being kind to yourself, it is not about being a ‘softy.’ You still have to stick up for yourself when your boundaries are being violated. This is practicing kindness towards yourself too.”

MINDFULNESS AND INCLUSIVITY
“Mindful self-acceptance enables us to create inclusive organizations. Self-acceptance helps us be less biased and interested in difference, thus helping us build environments where everyone feels welcome. Inclusive environments engender psychological safety, which results in a sense of belonging, better ideas and better teamwork (Google, 2016).

The application of mindfulness to diversity is about opening and appreciating rather than rejecting difference. Instead of focusing on biases and stereotypes, we can talk about how to cultivate curiosity and openness. Rather than emphasize diversity quotas and statistics, which is especially prevalent in the US, we can focus on the business case for inclusive environments. This means welcoming all kinds of people, ideas and styles. The outcome is better decisions and greater innovation for teams and global organizations. Next time you are on a bus or train or plane, look at the faces of those around you. Notice any inner withdrawal or mild revulsion. See if you can look at difference with curiosity. Who are these fascinating strangers?

Here is my prayer for inclusivity:

If I can accept myself, I can be open to you
If I can be open to you, I can be curious
If I can be curious, I can avoid judging

Most interactions at work are focused on problem solving. So it seems strange to focus instead on empathy and connection. But that is precisely what a mindful approach to work suggests. This helps us build relationships that are the foundation of effective business. Work gets done through relationships, not transactions. When we tune in and understand each other at a deeper level, we are able to connect with our employees and influence key constituents with more impact.”

THERE’S MORE
Dr. Ehrlich invites you to integrate mindfulness practices to improve quality of life and performance in your organization by exploring these resources:

Two segments of his video series:

• Practicing Mindful Leadership introduces Dr. Ehrlich’s model and how to apply it to leadership (5:18 min)

• Creating Mindful Organizations outlines ways you can create more mindful teams and cultures (5:29 min).

Read his article about mindful leadership, and his book, “MindShifting: Focus for Performance.” Learn more about his services at www.globalleadershipcouncil.com.

Listen to my conversation with Dr. Ehrlich to learn more about the ways that you can practice mindfulness to build leadership skills, foster engagement, increase your work-life satisfaction, and more.

Minding Your Business: The Value of Mindfulness by Maureen Metcalf

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Business
Minding Your Business: The Value of Mindfulness by Maureen Metcalf

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Stress, regardless of how we try to avoid it, is a given. It is part of everyday living, but how we choose to acknowledge and approach it makes all the difference. Stress can be either productive or destructive depending on how much of it you have and how you process it. Think of a time when you performed better, prepared more, and worked harder because you were able to harness it and use it to your advantage. Now think of a time when you performed worse because of stress, perhaps spiraling out of control? What made these situations different for you?

This post is based on the work of Maryanna Klatt, PhD, professor of Clinical Family Medicine at The Ohio State University. An expert in integrative medicine, she has spent more than a decade studying perceived stress, sleep, cortisol, and salivary alpha amylase levels in saliva—an indicator of the fight-or-flight response we experience in stressful situations. Her research is helping people of all ages and professions reduce their stress and improve their overall wellness. “We all have the same stresses—lack of control is a big one people struggle with, lack of time, continuous partial attention is a huge problem,” says Klatt. This post is a companion to the Voice America radio interview focusing on mindfulness and leadership.

Klatt uses mindfulness as the foundation for her research. “Mindfulness is characterized by nonjudgmental, sustained moment-to-moment awareness of physical sensations, perceptions, affective states, thoughts and imagery.”

Using the analogy of a hurricane, Klatt explains that mindfulness training can help you navigate to the eye of the storm—the calmest part—and figure out a way to deal with the chaotic circumstances swirling around you in a positive manner. To do this, she developed Mindfulness in Motion, an eight-week program that combines weekly group meetings on awareness and relaxation techniques with a 20-minute individual practice done daily. The daily practice is available using audio downloads. The weekly group meetings can be facilitated by Mindfulness in Motion trained facilitators.

To better understand how mindfulness works physiologically, and to underscore that it is much more than just a trend, we want to share a brief summary of what happens in the body when one engages in a mindfulness practice. According to an article published in the July 2015 Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE):

“Mindfulness has been found useful as an intervention that increases attention and has been associated with changes in brain structure and function. For example, the changes in gray matter brain density impacts cognition, while changes in the amygdala impact emotional reactivity. This may explain some of the positive benefits associated with stress reduction worksite interventions that teach non-reactivity for personnel who work in a chronic high stress work environment.”

In a study with intensive care unit nurses at Ohio State, Klatt found the program contributed to a 40 percent drop in the fight-or-flight indicator. Nearly 100 faculty and staff participated in a recent pilot program; participants reported significant declines in perceived stress and improvement in resilience and sleep quality. “I don’t think people have to leave work to learn some strategies to reduce their stress,” Klatt says. “Translational research is the sweetness that comes with scientific research for me.” In other words, being able to translate research in the laboratory into meaningful health outcomes in one of Klatt’s goals and pleasures.

That translation extends beyond the university setting to inner city school children and city refuse workers in Columbus, Ohio. Klatt has trained OSU Extension staff who, in turn, have led the program in communities across Ohio, and the University of Minnesota sublicensed the program and offers it as a fully covered benefit to employees through their health plan. She has also worked extensively with organizational leaders in the business community.

So, why do leaders care about mindfulness?

During a VoiceAmerica interview, Klatt pointed out that one of the primary causes of stress is dealing with people. This stressor is common in most work environments, whether it be a clinical setting or board room, and whether people are medical professionals or those engaged in business.

One of the factors we discussed in the interview is the fallacy of multi-tasking. In reality, humans aren’t wired to perform multiple tasks simultaneously, rather we engage in continuous partial attention and task switching. One of the important takeaways from this conversation is that by being mindful of how we invest our time—giving full attention to the tasks at hand—we are able to reduce our stress level, perform our tasks more effectively and efficiently, and improve our interactions with others.

As leaders, this has a direct correlation to improved productivity and focus. Like a domino effect, a better ability to focus improves interactions with others that can improve employee engagement, customer retention, and loyalty. It can also reduce stress and absenteeism.

So, the question to leaders is: If you could improve your performance and the quality of your work life with an investment of 20 minutes per day, wouldn’t you do it? The cost to benefit ratio is invaluable. You’ll likely never find a 20-minute investment to yield such great and lasting results that permeate every aspect of your personal and professional life. I highly recommend Klatt’s Mindfulness in Motion program!

SO….what can you do about becoming more effective? To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills.

PERFORMING OPTIMALLY UNDER PRESSURE by Hemda Mizrahi & Renita Kalhorn

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PERFORMING OPTIMALLY UNDER PRESSURE by Hemda Mizrahi & Renita Kalhorn

Renita Kalhorn Head Shot-VA

Leadership and performance training expert Renita Kalhorn, MBA, joined me on “Turn the Page” to discuss “How to get a Mental Six Pack.” Renita teaches entrepreneur CEOs and their teams, and Navy SEAL candidates the mental toughness skills that are essential to optimal performance under pressure.

After the show, she elaborated on some of the core principles that underlay peak performance strategies, which relate to how we manage our thoughts and emotions. Renita shares:

FIRST PRINCIPLE
“Whatever we do now, we’ve “trained” ourselves to do through repetition. Changing our behavior takes retraining.”

SECOND PRINCIPLE
“Emotions are chemical reactions in our body, so we can become “addicted” to stress, anxiety, frustration, and other emotions, just like any chemical substance. We can continue to have the same emotional patterns or reactions, regardless of our circumstances, because we “crave” the emotional fix. Even if it’s not pleasant, it’s familiar and it reminds us of our identity.”

THIRD PRINCIPLE
“Going through our day without processing the emotions that come out of our thoughts/interactions with others, will keep us from being present and productive. It’s like driving with the parking brake on.”

Renita offers strategies through which you can retrain yourself to be more productive:

UNRAVELING FROM THE “ADDICTION” OF CHRONIC STRESS
“One client was a rock star in business development, bringing in $25M deals. She had a lot of stress and anxiety around maintaining a high level of performance and it was affecting her health and relationships. No matter what the circumstances were, there was always something to be anxious about: an upcoming negotiation, getting a promotion, getting a bonus, a new deal. She created a strategy to be more mindful (meditation, petting her cat, gratitude journal) and, on particularly stressful days, brought PRESENT MOMENT AWARENESS by simply noticing what she was doing using “I am” statements: “I am preparing a proposal.” “I am walking to the subway.”

RESPONDING TO CHATTER FROM YOUR “INNER CRITIC”
“Because our thoughts are so ephemeral and yet feel so real, it’s important to CONCRETIZE them. When clients have lots of chatter from their inner critic in “high stakes” moments, such as important meetings and negotiations, I suggest they give that voice a name, and even find a mascot to represent it, that will help them to take it less seriously. Mine is a pink duck with an afro; one client’s is a porcelain alligator wearing red high heels. Have conversations with your mascot as if it’s another character – this helps create distance from the critical voice and enables you to see that there are other interpretations of what’s happening.”

BE MORE VIGILANT
“Start noticing when you’re going around and around in a thought loop or maintaining a negative emotion. Ask: “Is this a good investment of my energy? If I had to pay a $1 for each of these thoughts, would it be worth it?” One person who attended my “mental six pack” presentation said he had a colleague who would periodically email for help in solving essentially the same problem. Each time he got the email, he would be annoyed, but would answer the email without addressing the source of the annoyance. While it would require upfront thinking and energy, a better investment would be to take thirty minutes and have a conversation with the person to get at the essence of the issue: e.g. Does he even realize that he’s asking variations of the same question?!”

MORE ON “HOW TO GET A MENTAL SIX PACK”
Renita recommends “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create A New One” by Dr. Joe Dispenza

Learn more about Renita’s leadership and peak performance training by visiting her website, and listen to her “Mental Toughness for Mavericks” podcast featuring Navy SEAL Mark Divine, self-disruption expert Whitney Johnson, and performance psychologist Dr. Sian Beilock.

Access my conversation with Renita, through which she shares THREE STEPS to developing a mental six pack!

Enlightenment, No Effort Required! by Ariel & Shya Kane

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4/27/16 – Enlightenment, No Effort Required!

Enlightenment isn’t a mystical state that requires years of effort to achieve. It is a practical lifestyle that you can have right now. Join Ariel & Shya Kane and experience living life without worry, stress or anxiety – no effort required! Callers welcome at Tel# 1-866-472-5795!

Listen Live this Wednesday, April 27th at 9am PST / 12pm EST on the VoiceAmerica 7th Wave Channel.

After this Wednesday, you can stream or download this episode and over 400 episodes on a wide variety of topics from our archives here.

You can also subscribe to BEING HERE on iTunes!

Slowing Down, An excerpt from Being Here: Modern Day Tales of Enlightenment

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Slowing Down, An excerpt from Being Here: Modern Day Tales of Enlightenment

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Slowing Down
An excerpt from Being Here: Modern Day Tales of Enlightenment
by Ariel & Shya Kane

It was a cold sunny day in New Jersey and the first thin layers of ice were forming on our pond. We were scheduled to go to Pilates that day, our private exercise class with a trainer, but we liked doing some cardio workout first. Usually, weather permitting, we would take a walk through town before our class.

Even with the sun out the cold was not appealing, so we opted for a more rigorous half-hour of exercise on our treadmill and elliptical machines. Here is what happened:

First, I noticed that I was watching the clock: Uhh-Oh, trying to get it over with… You know… What you resist persists and takes lonnngger. I mentioned to Shya that I was clock watching and we began to chat which took our thoughts away from the time. As we moved along, joked and sweated, I came to realize that something had been bothering me since the day before. I had made a couple of mistakes in the last few days. Not big ones, just a red flag that something in me was not quite as crisp as I would have liked. I was not operating from the bull’s eye of my own personal center.

I mentioned it to Shya. I told him the little details that were plaguing my thoughts. Here is what he had to say: “Ariel, slow down. Just a little bit. You are trying to do too much, too fast.”

And that was that. We finished our workout at home and then went to work out with our trainer. Class was fun. I didn’t try to get it over with. I exercised to the best of my ability and we joked with the trainer (and continued to sweat).

On the way home I felt my body rest back against the seat. I took time to look out the windows. I watched the trucks and cars in the lanes next to us. And then, as we took our exit off Route 78, I gazed out my window and saw a majestic creature walking down the edge of the nearby service road. It was a male ring-necked pheasant, a stately bird, roughly the size of a rooster.

“Oh, Shya, a beautiful pheasant! Don’t go home – turn right. You have to see it!”

Shya made a right, gliding our car to a stop near the most beautiful pheasant I had ever seen. He sported long tail feathers. His head, neck and chest were iridescent turquoise, green and cobalt blue with a patch of bright scarlet splashed around his eyes. I rolled down my window and we sat and looked at him and he looked at us. Then he took his time strolling away into a nearby field.

Shya and I simultaneously reached out and took one another’s hand. Sometimes simple things, little moments are so profound. It was as if this bird had given us a gift by allowing us to fill our hearts with his image and essence. He wasn’t hurrying off to get something done. He seemed to be saying, “Don’t worry. No need to hurry. Everything you need to do today can be accomplished and you can do so with elegance and grace.”

Taking your time and being where you are is certainly a blessing. Not only do you get to witness and enjoy life in all its glory, oddly enough, you get more done.

I was reminded once again of something important that day: Sometimes you need to speed up to fully engage and at other times, you need to slow down.

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Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, in the UK, Germany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here radio show or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their four award-winning books. Their newest book, Practical Enlightenment, is now available on Amazon.com.

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