In early 2009, international reporter Laura Ling found herself in China standing on the boundary of North Korea as she sought to bring attention to North Korean refugees escaping the region. This was not the first time Ling was in a high-pressure area but she was not expecting to find herself captured and indefinitely detained by North Korean military.
She was so far from her family and was unsure whether she would ever return home. She was able to receive letters from home and knew that candlelight vigils were being held in the hope of seeing her safely returned, but in the midst of a tumultuous political climate, who know if that would happen? In the space of not knowing what her future would hold, Ling began a practice that would change her life forever. She shares her moving story here: Continue reading →
Gabby Bernstein is a jack of all trades. Thought leader, yoga and meditation expert, speaker and author, the essence of that best friend you call who always knows what to do and always found wearing a big, beautiful smile that can change the mood of a room, Gabby is a person who has been living with intent for a long time.
Life gets busy and the demands on your time can be endless regardless of where you live, station of life, season. So how does one stay plugged in and listening to themselves?
Mallika Chopra got to sit down with Gabby Bernstein and talk about what it means to stay out of the craziness and focused on the direction of your aspirations and dreams.
I have a memory of a family lunch at a famous seafood restaurant in Boston. I was 14 years old and my brother, Gotham, was 11. After ordering our food, members of the Boston Celtics basketball team marched through the entrance, scattering themselves among tables near us. Larry Bird, Dennis Johnson, Kevin McHale, Danny Ainge, Robert Parish – they were all there. Gotham stopped breathing. Not because he had choked on a piece of swordfish – but because he could not contain his excitement. His eyes went wide with disbelief. He literally could not speak.
My father was appalled. “These are just kids who can throw a ball in a hoop,” he chastised Gotham. “Doctors, scientists, humanitarians, these are the heroes you should be worshipping!” Gotham ignored my dad. He was in a sacred place, and nothing could take away his joy. The fact was my brother’s Religion was Sports, and these were his gods. Continue reading →
As humans we are drawn to other humans. We find comfort and strength in bonding together to form close knit groups that keep in mind the interests of the entire group rather than focusing solely on the needs of any one individuals. We call these groups communities and we create them in nearly every aspect of our lives; our neighborhoods are communities, at work we may have another close knit community and via the web, we can have communities based on common interests not bound by geography. With community playing such a key role in our lives, it seems like a natural step to create financial communities. This was the vision that Josh Siegel had in 2003 when he founded StoneCastle Partners which has grown to be one of the largest and most respected firms in Community Banking.
“It’s the purest of banking,” Siegel explained recently in an interview with Deepak Chopra for the series One World on Newswire.fm. “All they do is they collect the local dollars of people like us, they put in together and give it to a person in their community; its very community oriented. Its starting a business, it’s buying their first house. It’s doing something very connected and personal.”
These community banks are not only better in terms of the personal touch that they provide; they also tend to do a better job fiscally as well. “They lose less money, believe it or not, than the money center banks, they earn a better rate of return for their investors and they do more good,” says Siegel. In other words, they do everything that the larger mega banks do but on a manageable scale which allows them to be more successful.
It’s a simple and refreshing model; one that keeps a community’s money in that community and making sure those dollars are working for the people who need them. Josh recounts unusual stories of community banks helping in towns where natural disasters have hit without focusing on how they will recoup profits. Why? Because the banker is a member of that community and has a personal connection to the people with whom he does business. It is the humanization of fiscal responsibility. Banks don’t have to be the huge, profiteering machines that they so often turn into. Banks can and should treat people like people. It’s not just a pipe dream. Josh Siegel has proven that it works.
After being given an unnecessary hysterectomy at the age of 42, Michelle King Robson saw a dramatic shift in her health. She went into menopause overnight, gained weight, experienced hot flashes, joint pain and memory loss. “I got so sick that I didn’t want to live anymore,” she recalls of the experience. Her struggles with the procedure and the long road to recovery that followed, lead her to create her website EmpowHER.com.
Michelle recently sat down with Deepak Chopra to have a discussion on her experience as part of the One World series on NEWSWIRE.FM.
As Michelle struggled through recovery, she searched for someone who had been through something similar. After visiting hundreds of websites and reaching out to doctors across the country, she couldn’t find a single person who could tell her what to expect, recommend a course of action or even give her any words of encouragement. “I got sick, I got well, and then I got mad and that’s when I decided to start a company.” Michelle explains. EmpowHER was created to ensure that no woman has to go through the struggles that Michelle went through around her health.
“What happened with me was I didn’t advocate for myself, and most women don’t. We advocate for everybody else…but we don’t do it for ourselves.” She told Deepak for the One World episode. EmpowHER allows women to not only find support when they are dealing with a variety of health challenges; but also helps women (and men alike) take control of their health with condition-specific medical information and access to a dynamic community.
EmpowHER offers resources to women around what questions they should be asking of their healthcare providers and what things they can be doing to advocate for their health. “I wanted to make sure women have valuable information and support because that’s what I was lacking.” This is how EmpowHER’s 24-hour promise was born. Anyone can log into the site, ask a question and they are guaranteed a FREE answer within 24 hours. In this way, Michelle can ensure that no one gets left behind. “We all deserve answers, validation and support around our health.”
As caregivers in most societies, women are taught to put their own wellbeing last. With EmpowHER, Michelle seeks to turn this trend on its head. “It’s ok for you to be first in your life. Because if you’re not first guess what happens? The whole family suffers.” Rather than becoming bitter as a result of her own experiences, Michelle has created the support system and tools she wishes she had. EmpowHER brings credible health information and women together in a safe trusted community. “When you have information, you have the power to change outcomes in your life and every life you touch.”
Since establishing EmpowHER, Michelle has become a nationally-recognized women’s health and wellness advocate spending her time speaking before women’s groups, health care organizations, political leaders, regulatory bodies and the media about women’s health and the importance of women advocating for themselves and their loved ones.
You can see Deepak’s whole conversation with Michelle at NEWSWIRE.FM
So often in modern society, we look at success as being defined narrowly as attaining money and power. Particularly in the business world, there is a tendency to forget that there should be other measures of success including health, well-being, empathy and morality. These are the things that make up the Third Metric and there is a move by many in the business world to ensure that more emphasis is places on these things. Arianna Huffington is one business leader who is speaking passionately about this move.
When Arianna recently sat down with Deepak Chopra for a One World discussion regarding the Third Metric, she emphasized the importance of her mother in introducing the concept of the Third Metric to her. “She had always lived differently by putting relations and the heart and connections at the heart of everything and I had to catch up with her and to recognize why this is the only way to live.”
The entirety of that conversation is available now on NEWSWIRE.FM and one of the more striking points about the interview is that despite Arianna’s successes in digital arena, she is fully aware that being too wrapped up in technology is not conducive to well-being nor is it conducive to continued creative success. She explains to Deepak Chopra that “It is no longer possible to dismiss the value of meditation, sleep, learning to unplug from technology and reconnect with ourselves.” Human beings need more time alone, more space for self-reflection and a time to find the sources of creativity within ourselves.
Adrianna’s new book Thrive: The Third Metric to redefining Success and Creating Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder, which will be released this month, focuses on the ways in which we must take care of their own bodies and minds to achieve success. Without our health and well-being, money and power will never be enough to satisfy us.
The Third Metric does not however only focus internally. Rather, as Arianna explains in the One World episode, giving is also a critical part of what makes a person thrive. “We can now see how giving and compassion are one of the fastest ways to happiness.” So much of what makes a person stressed is their inability to look beyond themselves and at the bigger picture. Conversely, when we focus on being giving and compassionate people, we are viewing life with a wider lens which more often than not is a way to put our own stressors into perspective.
So much of the purpose of the Third Metric is ensuring that we are viewing our own lives from the right perspective. “Very often, life has a bigger imagination than we have and we just need to be open to it” Arianna explains. Not everything will always go as planned but finding happiness and truly being able to thrive requires openness to the changes in life and a willingness to face them with genuine intentions and a clear mind.
As one of the highest earning hedge fund managers of his generation and the founder of the highly successful Robin Hood Foundation, Paul Tudor Jones is no stranger to success but it is his faith and passion for enhancing the conscious mind that have made him a true maverick. In fact, he attributes much of his success as a businessman and a philanthropist to his spirituality.
As a person of deep faith and spirituality, Jones feels strongly about the connection between the health and wellbeing of the mind and the health of a person as a whole. As a philanthropist, he has a passion for giving back. Paul Tudor Jones and his wife Sonia have been able to combine these two passions by introducing the contemplative sciences more fully to the religious studies department at the University of Virginia.
The model that Paul Tudor Jones has provided at UVA is a great example of the ways in which giving back to the community can and should focus on more than just one aspect of the human experience. As an alumnus of the University of Virginia, Paul Tudor Jones first set out to introduce yoga to the UVA community and ended up creating something much larger.
“We found this enormous thirst, this unquenched thirst for anything that can help people better themselves,” say Jones in his interview with Deepak Chopra. “Not just physically through something like yoga or tai chi but also mentally through meditation and a variety of other mind-body techniques that help people become better individuals mentally, spiritually, emotionally and then tap into the larger collective good.”
Paul Tudor Jones believes that being able to look beyond everyday life to a higher purpose, will lead not only to personal growth but will result in a more peaceful and just society overall. When individuals are given the time for self-reflection, they have the ability to connect more positively with their fellow man and the world around them. He embodies this in his charitable work, like that done by the Robin Hood Foundation. The idea behind the Robin Hood Foundation was to create a successful charitable organization that was enhanced by interaction with the free market. Using sound investment techniques, Paul Tudor Jones has made the Robin Hood Foundation a leader in the fight against poverty in New York City.
The Robin Hood Foundation is an example from Paul Tudor Jones’s own life of how self-reflection and an understanding of the conscious mind can lead to “more collective goodwill” in today’s society.
What is your higher purpose?
You can watch the entire interview with Paul Tudor Jones here.
This week’s episode of “Perfectly Imperfect Parents” on The Chopra Well is all about lying and how parents handle it with their kids. Deepak Chopra makes a guest appearance to discuss the grey areas, but one voice remains adamant that lying is never okay: Dr. Cara Natterson is a pediatrician and author of The Care and Keeping of You. We interviewed her on her firm stance against lying and how parents can model the merits of honesty to their kids.
The Chopra Well: What’s your view on kids lying – sometimes okay, never okay?
Dr. Cara Natterson: The best advice I ever got, ever in my whole life I think, was this:
Never tell a lie and then you won’t have to remember what you said.
As a pediatrician and as a mom, my rule is that lying is never okay. This is a boundary – and an important one at that – because it keeps kids safe. I don’t really care what my kids might be lying about. For me, there are no gradations here. A lie is a lie, and teaching the importance of honesty trumps the subject matter. Now that said, all kids lie. At least, at some point they do. It is a developmental right of passage. And so it’s not so much that lying is entirely preventable (because it’s not), but rather that parents shouldn’t tolerate it. Your kids will do it, and they will seek your reaction. In my house, the response is pretty firm.
CW: Isn’t there kind of a fine line between kids embellishing/using their imagination and outright deceiving?
CN: Sure there is. This is part of that developmental phase. Kids must explore the concept of consequences. And they need to learn how to draw a line between reality and fantasy. I think it gets increasingly hard from generation to generation as there are more visual cues (TV, video games, movies, apps) that further blur those lines. But by the time a child is in grade school – certainly by 2nd or 3rd grade – embellishment turns to deceit. And I think many kids are asking to be caught because they want to know the limit. Their job is to push us and test us, and our job is to respond consistently.
CW: Can you tell us an anecdote about catching one of your kids in a lie and how you handled it?
CN: My daughter is a horrible liar. Gotta love that. She has no poker face and she bursts into tears when she thinks she has let someone down. So I would have to dig deep to find a story that involves her lying and not just melting and revealing herself within 30 seconds.
My son is craftier than his older sister. Not in a bad way, mind you, but he just watches and learns. So he does not fear stretching the truth like she does, and precisely because she doesn’t do it that much he doesn’t fear the consequences either (because she doesn’t really have any). His most frequent lie is about thumb sucking. I will be reading with him at night and see him slip his thumb into his mouth – a habit he’s been trying to kick since he was four, but at seven-and-a-half he just loves a drag or two on that thumb. I will see him do it, or a shiny, moist digit will pop into my peripheral vision while we are reading. And at this point, I don’t even say anything. I just grab at his thumb as fast as humanly possible because it’s a race to see if I can feel the moisture before he wipes his thumb dry on his pajama bottoms. When he wins the race, he smirks at me. When I win, I smirk back. And either way, his thumb gets covered with a Band Aid, which is the only deterrent that keeps it out of his mouth. There’s the consequence, and he just keeps checking that I am going to follow through. Every single night.
CW: How have truth and deception played into your work as a pediatrician? Do your patients ever lie to you about their health and habits?
CN: Parents lie much more than the kids do. Parents are invested in making life look perfect, or at least in putting their best face forward, so they will shower me with positives about how their kids are always in car seats or there is no soda in the house or whatever it is they think I want to hear. And most of the time, the kids will out their parents. “We do too have soda, mom!” When people lie about their health choices – like when a father tells me he has given up smoking and I can smell the cigarette fumes wafting from his clothes – they usually do it because they have shame. So it doesn’t help to further shame them. When I know someone is lying, I will ask the questions in a different way or try to explain why I am asking in the first place, and oftentimes I get the truth out.
CW: As parents, what’s the greatest lesson we can teach our kids about honesty, and how can we convince them that telling the truth is always worth it?
CN: It’s simple: honesty keeps you safe. And it really does. It keeps you from getting in trouble, it keeps you from getting hurt, and it keeps the story straight. I try to point to real-life examples of how lying creates bigger problems. We talk about events in the news related to lying or something that happened to a friend who lied at school. Recently my mom was driving one of my kids and she used the cell phone while driving. My daughter knew that I had asked her not to, and so when she did it my daughter said something. She said, “Nana, mom’s rule is no phone in the car. And there’s a reason for that rule – everyone drives better when they aren’t on it.” An amazing thing happened. My mom isn’t always perfect about following my rules, but she became perfect on this one. She hasn’t picked up the phone in the car since. I think it’s because my daughter told her why. She gave a rationale, and it made sense. It reminded me that explaining the reason for the rule is as important as the rule itself.
Subscribe to The Chopra Well and don’t miss next week’s episode of “Perfectly Imperfect Parents”!