Body

103: Strong Inside Out—Pivoting from OCD and Depression toward Mind-Body Alignment with Amy Clover

103: Strong Inside Out—Pivoting from OCD and Depression toward Mind-Body Alignment with Amy Clover

Amy Clover has a powerful story to share about pivoting her mindset from one of self-flagellation and control toward acceptance and flexibility in body, mind and spirit. After battling for years with eating disorders, depression and a failed suicide attempt in a fitness industry that grew increasingly oppressive, she now teaches people how to build strength from the inside out. In her own words:

I know what it’s like to look in the mirror and hate who’s looking back, to feel like you have no control whatsoever over your mind or your life, to feel like you’re so broken that you’re beyond healing. I’ve struggled with clinical depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and eating disorders throughout my entire life. In fact, they almost killed me. I hit rock bottom in 2005 when I was hospitalized on suicide watch. 

Having my freedom stripped from me in that hospital shocked me back to life: it hit me that I’d given up. I’d never even tried to take action to feel better because I just assumed that nothing would ever work for me. With this realization fresh in my mind, I committed to working on myself from the inside out as soon as I was released. After all, the worst had already happened. I figured I had nothing else to lose.

Amy's recovery, and the mindset and methods she developed that created a true sense of freedom, are what we'll cover in this week's show, along with some of her recent business pivots. 

101: The Soul of an Octopus—Exploring Consciousness and Animal Communication with Sy Montgomery

101: The Soul of an Octopus—Exploring Consciousness and Animal Communication with Sy Montgomery

When exploring a branch of highly evolved animal consciousness that evolved in parallel (and completely separate) from our own, Sy Montgomery is sure of one thing: “If I have a soul, an octopus does too.” If you want even the tiniest dose of confirmation, try to keep your eyes dry while watching this octopus thank its rescuer in a two-minute video that has garnered 11 million views and counting: releasing a stranded octopus. (If you have more time, Amazing Octopus: Most Intelligent Animal on Earth is a must-watch too!) 

I am over-the-moon to bring you this week's interview with Sy, who became an instant soul-friend the moment we started talking. I'm in awe of her career as a naturalist writing about and befriending pigs, tigers, dolphins, hyenas, and now octopuses (not octopi as many assume for plural form!) around the world. I love her passion for animals, and the heart with which she shares their beautiful stories and spirits. 

Sy has been described by the Boston Globe as "Part Emily Dickinson, part Indiana Jones.” Researching articles, films, and her 26 books for adults and children, she has been chased by an angry silverback gorilla in Rwanda, hunted by a tiger in India, and swum with piranhas, electric eels and pink dolphins in the Amazon. Her work has taken her from the cloud forest of Papua New Guinea (for a book on tree kangaroos) to the Altai Mountains of the Gobi (for another on snow leopards.) 

For her recent book (the one that inspired me to reach out), The Soul of an Octopus, a National Book Award finalist, Sy befriended octopuses at the New England aquarium and scuba dived and snorkeled with wild octopuses in Mexico and French Polynesia. We also talk in detail about The Good, Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood (2006), a memoir about her 14-year relationship with her pig who grew to be 750 pounds, famous within her town of Hancock, and beloved by all who met him. 

At the end, we briefly dive into her routines for such prolific writing while traveling, and her practice of reflecting beyond the details of what happened to "what that day showed me."

Turning Pain Into Purpose: Blind Adventurer Erik Weihenmayer on Kayaking the Grand Canyon, Climbing Everest and Building No Barriers

Turning Pain Into Purpose: Blind Adventurer Erik Weihenmayer on Kayaking the Grand Canyon, Climbing Everest and Building No Barriers
"My father had been like a broom, constantly sweeping me out into the world, and my mother was like the dustpan gathering up the shattered pieces and rebuilding me, only to have my father sweep me out again."
—Eric Weihenmayer, No Barriers: A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon

This week's guest, Erik Weihenmayer, needs no introduction beyond his incredible life story and mission, and I cannot wait for you to meet him. Erik is an adventurer, author, activist and motivational speaker, who has also become a celebrated and accomplished athlete despite losing his vision at the age of 13. 

He was the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest, on May 25, 2001, and completed the Seven Summits the following year, joining 150 mountaineers at the time who had accomplished that feat, but as the only climber who was blind. In 2005, he co-founded No Barriers, a nonprofit organization with the tagline, “What’s within you is stronger than what’s in your way.” The organization helps others with diverse backgrounds and abilities attack challenges head on, problem solve, build winning teams, and serve others. In September 2014, Erik and blinded Navy veteran, Lonnie Bedwell, kayaked the entire 277-miles of the Grand Canyon, considered one of the most formidable whitewater venues in the world.

That’s the focus of his recent book, No Barriers: A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon. In the foreword, Bob Woodruff said, “Erik is simply one of the most remarkable men I have ever met.” I agree, and not just for what he has accomplished, but for who he is—full of heart, soul and inspiring hustle. This episode is one you won't want to miss. 

Musician Trevor Hall on Karma, Healing, Soul Maps From the Stars + Fruitful Darkness Song Premiere

Musician Trevor Hall on Karma, Healing, Soul Maps From the Stars + Fruitful Darkness Song Premiere

"Mama well she told me time / is such a wonderful gift / You're not running out / You're really running in."
—Lyrics to You Can't Rush Your Healing, by Trevor Hall

I am absolutely elated to bring you this week's guest—one of my favorite artists, singer/songwriter Trevor Hall. Trevor's divinely-guided music is infused with soul and spirit, and lifts me (and so many others) up who crave connection to meaningful lyrics and exquisite melodies.

We talk about the inspiration behind his new album, The Fruitful Darkness, with a special song premiere of "Karma" at the end of the episode (I got to choose my favorite from the new batch—which was not easy to do)! We also dive deep into astrology as a guide to our inner blueprint, how he "hears" songs before he even knows exactly what they mean, staying in flow while touring around the world, and finding blessings in the dark, unwanted, or unknown times of life. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did :) 

Former CIA Agent Michele Assad Returns: On Transforming Insecurities Into Intuition and Faith

Former CIA Agent Michele Assad Returns: On Transforming Insecurities Into Intuition and Faith

"Though trepidation has haunted me every step of this journey, I have a trusted force that I cannot see." —Michele Rigby Assad, Breaking Cover: My secret life in the CIA and what it taught me about what's worth fighting for

When faced with life-or-death situations on a daily basis, Michele Rigby Assad knew she had to turn to something greater than herself for support. Drawn toward international affairs as a child obsessed with reading National Geographic, she later spent 10 years working undercover in the CIA, interrogating terrorists while stationed in the most dangerous war zones across the Middle East.

Michele's journey is a fascinating one, and I loved our first conversation so much (listen here) that I asked her back for round two to celebrate her book, Breaking Cover, launching this week!! After a seven year journey with this project, we talk about finding courage in unexpected places, trusting that puzzle pieces are falling into place even when she felt stuck or blocked, and how allowing herself to "be shaped" has provided far greater blessings and guidance than she could have ever imagined.  

Hunch: How to Translate Intuition into Business Ideas with Bernadette Jiwa

Hunch: How to Translate Intuition into Business Ideas with Bernadette Jiwa

"Anxiety over being more innovative leads entrepreneurs to create solutions instead of problems. But what if you could use your intuition to identify an existing problem that’s begging for a solution?”

—Bernadette Jiwa, Hunch: Turn Your Everyday Insights Into The Next Big Thing

When Bernadette Jiwa’s little book that packs a big punch, Hunch, arrived in the mail, I immediately thought, “I wish I wrote that book!” But I’m thrilled that she did, because Bernadette’s beautiful heart shines through every page as she describes tools and stories to help you transform everyday insights into big ideas that make an impact.

In this episode you’ll learn how to tap into your innate curiosity to uncover better business ideas, why distraction and external inputs are the enemies of insight, and a deeper look at the formula for uncovering your best hunches: a combination of insight (patterns and practices) and foresight (potential and predictions). 

21+ Travel Tips, Tools and Apps — with Jenny Blake

21+ Travel Tips, Tools and Apps — with Jenny Blake

As you board planes, trains and automobiles to head home (or adventuring) over the holidays, I'm sharing 21+ of my best travel tips, apps and tools—everything from preparing to booking to packing, to travel day and routines on the road. 

Keynote speaking is one of my favorite ways to earn a living, and this year I took about 30 trips, or one every other week. In today’s episode I share the strategies, routines, apps, and products that keep me relatively healthy, happy and sane while traveling, and that help me recharge when my batteries are running low but I’m away from home.

Soul Groups: Transparency in Relationships with Penney Peirce

Soul Groups: Transparency in Relationships with Penney Peirce

“See yourself from the soul's point of view: flaws are just temporary mistakes of perception."
—Penney Peirce, Transparency

We're back at it, folks! There was so much juicy material from Penney Peirce's new book, Transparency: Seeing Through to Our Expanded Human Capacity, that we decided to dive in even deeper in a follow-up episode of the Pivot Podcast (if you haven't already, check out first part, Transparency Part 1: What does your soul know?

In this conversation, we talk about transparency as it relates to relationships: how does it help us connect with soul groups and soul mates? What happens when we're trying too hard or putting on a show just to gain approval? Why, if we're all part of a collective soul group, does it seem like there's so much chaos and violence in the world? What's it like to connect with a business or book community from a transparent/soul perspective rather than marketing shoulds? I absolutely loved hearing Penney's insights on all of the above, and I know you will too :) 

BREATHE. From Burned-Out Bodybuilder to Yin Strength Trainer with Anders Varner

BREATHE. From Burned-Out Bodybuilder to Yin Strength Trainer with Anders Varner

"I was broken. Everything hurt. How could I know so much but constantly be in pain? I could go fast with the best, but I was a complete amateur at going slow."
—Anders Varner, founder of The Lower Back Fix

When Anders Varner reached out to me to share his story, I only got halfway through his about page when I knew it was an immediate YES! for a podcast conversation. Many of you know that one of my passions is exploring the intersection of mind, body and business—particularly how we make time to rest, recharge, and take care of ourselves during intense career-building times so that we don't burn out, and can instead build sustainable careers (and bodies) we love.

I had a blast jammin' with Anders about his journey from ego-centric bodybuilder and Crossfit gym owner (where he also got connected to become John Cena's training partner) to an aha moment about slowing down, learning to breathe, and shifting inward. The result is Anders' new focus on yin strength training—that's right, incorporating mindfulness even while muscle-building. I loved this conversation and I know you will too! 

Finding Faith, Courage and Confidence as a Secret Agent—Michele Rigby Assad's Pivot from CIA to Author

Finding Faith, Courage and Confidence as a Secret Agent—Michele Rigby Assad's Pivot from CIA to Author

"Was it hard to be a CIA officer with all of the challenges and change that entailed? Yes. Scary? Of course. But if I was going to fulfill my life mission, I had to conquer my instinctual tendency to freeze in place. Fear would get me nowhere. Faith, however, would take me to places I could never have imagined."

—Michele Rigby Assad, Breaking Cover: My secret life in the CIA and what it taught me about what's worth fighting for

Grab a cup of coffee or tea and settle in, because this weeks guest is a fascinating one, a one-of-a-kind woman I'm lucky to call a friend. Michele Assad was a self-described "sweet, faith-based southern girl" in high school, the last you'd expect to become an international undercover agent for the CIA, interrogating terrorists while stationed at war zones across the Middle East. But that's exactly what she did for ten years with her husband in a real-life Mr. and Mrs. Smith situation.

In this conversation we dive into what it was like to work as a woman in interrogation rooms even when everyone told her she'd only succeed behind the scenes doing paperwork; the role of faith in Michele's career, how she honed her skills around intuition and reading body language, and what it's like for her to "come out" and try to build a public-facing platform after so many years of being required to keep her entire life secret.