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Health & Wellness

Naomi Shihab Nye

When my wife was dying, we were both sponges for anything that brought meaning to our experience and inspired us. Friends got in on the act, bringing us poems, art, anything that would help us connect with life while recognizing how short hers was likely to be.

I don’t remember who brought us the poem Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye, but for the past 20 years, I retained the essence of the first two lines:

“Before you know what kindness really is
You must lose things,
Feel the future dissolve in a moment
Like salt in a weakened broth.”

The idea connected for me; that we were learning to open our hearts, to find our kindness, in the midst of this challenging time. The poem gave me a sense that this was livable, that I might be able to discover hidden treasures in the mud. So when I read Elaine Mansfield’s book, Leaning into Love, before having her on Good Grief, I was stunned to find that poem in the book, creating meaning for Elaine and her husband Vic during his illness too.

I told Elaine about it, and she immediately said, “You have to have Naomi on your show.” This was, in itself, an act of great kindness and left me in wonder at what I am offered in the process of hosting Good Grief, especially the amazingly generous people I am privileged to meet. Not only did Elaine share this idea, but she helped me to make it happen. And so, on November 4th at 2 Pacific time, I will have the great honor of welcoming Naomi Shihab Nye to Good Grief. Even better, we will be talking about her book, Transfer, which she wrote after the death of her beloved father, weaving him into the poems and speaking to their relationship and her grief.

Sometimes life hands us gifts we could never imagine. I am truly grateful for all that Good Grief brings me. Sometimes I can only whisper “thank you”.

Bob Sima: Picking Up Where John Lennon Left Off

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Bob Sima: Picking Up Where John Lennon Left Off

bob Sima 250

Bob Sima is to music what Wayne Dyer, Don Miguel Ruiz, and Eckhart Tolle are to books and Rumi, Hafiz, and David Whyte are to poetry. He has been called “Eckhart Tolle with a guitar.” He is a “Transformational Troubadour,” a way-shower, a guide, an awakener, and a musical mystic. Through the medium of melody and message, he leads listeners to an expanded consciousness, deeper sense of connection, and inner peace and purpose. His music bridges daily life and soul consciousness, the eternal with the now. He delivers instantly accessible songs that take up residence and resonance in your soul. Don’t miss this episode of The Self Improvement Show. And, yes, we WILL play some of his amazing music.

The Art of Inspiration

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Cheryl Esposito welcomes Shailja Patel, an award-winning Kenyan poet, artist & political activist. Growing up in Kenya Shailja experienced the impact of war on the lives and spirit of the people. Her path took her on a journey from working on Wall Street to living a monastic life, running non-profits, eventually finding her voice in poetry. She uses text, voice, body and critical thinking to delve for truth and dissect power.Today she is a performance artist bringing her work to people around the world. Her one-woman show, Migritude, unfolds hidden histories of women’s lives in the bootprint of Empire, from India to East Africa.

Shailja’s powerful performances bring her audiences to an introspective space of connection with the raw emotion and impact of war and oppression. The irresistible passion and eloquence of her words touches people at a core level and inspires them to take action. I saw Shailja on the main stage at a Bioneers Conference with a standing room only crowd of hundreds of people. Her performance was breathtaking, and we were all moved so deeply – it was as if we were in a trance, not able to move from the moment. Have you ever truly “heard silence” ? It was as powerful as her oration. Then at once, the entire audience leapt to its feet and began applause and cheers and tears that went on and on. Following that performance Shailja said, “The fifteen-second pindrop silence after I finished my performance was worth three standing ovations.”

Words shape us. They inspire. Join the conversation with Cheryl Esposito and Shailja Patel for a conversation…inspired.

Tune in to Leading Conversations  Friday 3/20/15 @ 10am  PT on the VoiceAmerica Business Network

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