Month: April 2021

Shedding Your Armor

You deserve to be loved without having to hide the parts of yourself you think are unlovable.

Today I turn 51.

Four simple words. And yet, my heart flutters as a type, and I feel something akin to…fear. I have lied about my age for so long that I feel as if I’m pulling off some armor of acceptance. I fear if I “out” myself for being over a certain age, I will suddenly be deemed, unworthy, unattractive, unrelatable even unlovable.

As I type. I realize how crazy and superficial it sounds. I also realize how real it feels.

Let me explain.

I was told to start lying about my age at 26.

I worked in the entertainment industry in TV and Radio Broadcasting with some small acting work thrown in the mix here and there. As a woman in that field at that time, age, experience, and wisdom weren’t valued. The qualities of youth, vitality, energy, and attractiveness were important and considered “marketable”. (It took me a long time to learn they these qualities are not mutually exclusive of each other).

And so began a decades long career of lying. I use the word “career” literally and figuratively.

However, I wasn’t just lying at work or at auditions. I was lying about my age to friends, acquaintances, dates.

The more I lied, the more I believed THE LIE that if I revealed my real age people’s perception of me would change for the worse.

As I started to unravel the neurosis that I had built myself, I realized that we all hide the things about ourselves that we think will make people perceive us as “less than”.

The hidden parts can be actual literal things… like our thighs, our salary, our age. They can also be qualities and characteristics that we think make us unworthy, like our insecurity, our anger, our mental health issues.
As I started pulling the hanging thread on this jumbled ball of myself, the more I shook loose. I realized that although my age was what I was overtly hiding from the world, it was just a symptom of so many other things I was hiding, first and foremost from myself.

And so began what I like to call the dissection process. The cutting apart and examining myself with the precision of a surgeon and the compassion and gentleness of a nurse.

 Finding old wounds, old blocks, old triggers was a slow and tedious process. Once I discovered what these areas were, I moved on to the slow and painful process of figuring out where these issues stemmed from. The final step was healing. Healing was also slow, tedious, and painful, yet invaluable.

Healing involved forgiving myself for the traits and things that I thought made me “less than” or lacking and realizing that they were not flaws, just parts of being human.

My best friend passed away at 37. My brother died 6 months ago at 58.

I now know age is something to be grateful for, to be celebrated, admired, lauded. Each day is truly a gift. 
My “age hang-up” was just a symptom. 

I also now know that the things each one of us hides under our custom-designed ,impenetrable armor are also things to be grateful for. 

The purpose of our lives, as I see it, is to explore, understand, and tap into the beautiful wholeness that we are. Those “soft spots” and perceived shortcomings are where the real work begins. Not in “fixing” what we think to be the problem, but in realizing that there are no problems, only opportunities for growth.

Bonus Episode: ZigZag – The Pulse

In our latest TED Radio Hour episode, we explored ways to revitalize ourselves… especially when we feel exhausted. In this bonus follow-up episode from ZigZag, host Manoush Zomorodi shares stories of listeners navigating their own experiences of burnout and hears insights from MIT Humanist Chaplain Greg Epstein.

Heart Wisdom – Ep. 126 – Freedom, Gratitude, & the Buoyancy of Hope

What is freedom? Nelson Mandela—when he got out of 27 years in prison and stood up in front of the newly remade nation of South Africa with such magnanimity, graciousness, and wisdom he spoke of freedom and said: “You are not yet free, you merely have the freedom to be free.” No matter what the situation, we are offered the freedom to choose our highest intention, to choose to be free. When we understand intention, we are given the opportunity to set the compass of our heart. This is what will transform our world.

The post Heart Wisdom – Ep. 126 – Freedom, Gratitude, & the Buoyancy of Hope appeared first on Jack Kornfield.

The Tylenol Murders /// 480 /// 481

The Tylenol Murders /// 480 /// 481 

Part 1 of 2 

This week we explore an unsolved case out of the Chicago area. Back in the early 80’s the Tylenol Murders became the most extensively covered news event since the assassination of JFK. In just three days, seven people died all exhibiting the same symptoms. Symptoms that pointed to cyanide poisoning as the cause. 

Beer of the Week – Mama’s Little Yella Pils by Oskar Blues Brewing Company Garage Grade – 3 and 3 quarter bottle caps out of 5 

Our show – True Crime Garage “Off the Record” is available only on Stitcher Premium. For a FREE month of listening go to and use promo code GARAGE

Schizophrenia and Exercise

Schizophrenia and Exercise

Schizophrenia is a complex brain disorder estimated to affect approximately 1% of the population. Onset usually happens in adolescence or young adulthood. While the cause isn’t fully understood, it seems to involve an interplay between genetic and environmental factors.

People with schizophrenia experience a range of symptoms that impact their physical, mental and social function. These can be divided into:

  • positive symptoms – that is, symptoms that are added to usual everyday experience, such as hallucinations and delusions.
  • negative symptoms – those that take away from usual experience, such as social withdrawal and reduced motivation.
  • cognitive symptoms – those that affect cognitive functions, such as issues with attention and working memory.

There is currently no cure for schizophrenia, but generally, positive symptoms are often managed with medication. The negative and cognitive symptoms of Schizophrenia are much harder to treat. Mounting evidence is also showing that physical activity plays a key role in managing all three types of symptoms and helps to reduce the gap in health and life expectancy experienced by people with schizophrenia.


People with schizophrenia are at significantly higher risk for developing other health conditions. For example, a study including over 1,800 Australians living with psychosis found that three quarters of participants were overweight or obese, and more than half had metabolic syndrome (a cluster of risk factors that increase your likelihood of developing chronic disease such as diabetes). Some of the key reasons for this elevated risk include:

  • the side effect profile of antipsychotic medications, which tend to cause significant weight gain, referred to as anti-psychotic induced weight gain
  • the negative symptoms of Schizophrenia make it more difficult for those living with the disorder to be motivated to engage in activities that promote good wellbeing, such as exercise and cooking healthy meals
  • the cognitive symptoms associated with Schizophrenia make it more difficult for those living with the disorder to sustain the organisation and planning required to engage in activities that promote good health and wellbeing. For example, being able to cook a healthy meal requires you to have budgeted time and money to complete grocery shopping prior.

As a result, people with schizophrenia have a life expectancy 10-20 years less than people in the general population, much of which is related to preventable conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Physical activity plays a vital part in improving or maintaining cardiometabolic health and mental health, making it especially important for people with a condition such as schizophrenia.


An increasing number of studies are showing that regular exercise can enhance physical and psychological wellbeing in people with schizophrenia. For example, a review of 20 studies published in 2015 found that physical activity interventions led to improved physical fitness and a reduction in positive and negative schizophrenia symptoms. The greatest benefit was seen in people who engaged in 90 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week. This is important, because improved physical fitness can reduce your risk for developing cardiometabolic disease and people living with Schizophrenia tend to have a significantly lower baseline level of fitness.

A 2017 study showed exercise could improve cognitive function in people with schizophrenia, with greater amounts of exercise linked to larger improvements.


It is important to remember that any physical activity is better than none, and the type of activity you choose is less important than doing something. It’s best to find a type of exercise you’ll enjoy, so that you can keep exercising for the long term.

People living with schizophrenia should aim to meet the minimum recommendations for physical activity, which advise that on a weekly basis, Australians aged 18-64 years should accumulate:

  • 150 to 300 minutes (2 ½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity, or
  • 75 to 150 minutes (1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity, or
  • an equivalent combination of both types of activity.

You should also aim to do activities that strengthen muscles (such as resistance training with bands, dumbbells, or body weight) at least two days per week.

Also, you don’t need to become a fitness junkie to reap the benefits of physical activity. Look for small opportunities to be more active, such as taking the stairs instead of the lift and walking rather than driving for short distances.

Aim to be active on most days and reduce the amount of time you spend sitting down.


People living with schizophrenia often have complex health needs. It’s wise to get some guidance from an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) before starting an exercise program.

As there is currently no cure for schizophrenia, and exercise is good for you anyway, it’s important to find an exercise routine you’re likely to stick with. Exercise needs to become part of a long-term lifestyle that helps you maintain optimal physical and mental wellbeing and quality of life.

Importantly, research has shown that people with schizophrenia achieved greater fitness improvements when their exercise program was supervised by a health professional such as an AEP. Another study showed dropout rates were lower when physical activity programs were designed and supervised by qualified professionals.

An Accredited Exercise Physiologist can tailor a program suited to your needs and goals, considering factors such as your health status, living and working situation, medications, and exercise preferences. As your fitness improves, they can update your program accordingly. If needed, they can also train your support people to ensure exercise becomes a regular part of a healthy lifestyle that helps you enjoy better physical and mental wellbeing.

Click here to find an exercise physiologist near you.

exercise right blog

Written by Amanda Semaan and Kara Foscholo. Amanda and Kara are Accredited Exercise Physiologists and Co-Directors of Active Ability.

Finding Ways to Elevate Corporate Training? Try Adaptive Learning!

Adaptive Learning

Advancement in technology has given the learning landscape a facelift with the introduction of eLearning. And now, with Virtual and Augmented Reality being introduced, the industry is advancing yet again. The use of gamification features has also seen a sudden rise.

However, despite all these efforts, the learning designers and the L&D professionals of various organizations can still be seen tackling challenges like learner motivation, retention, and engagement among many.

That’s where adaptive learning in employee training can do wonders for organizations. More organizations are now adopting adaptive learning because it helps personalize the training for their employees. Adaptive learning combined with the online learning platform like Skilljar LMS is all you need to an improved engagement rate and ROI.

But what exactly does adaptive learning mean?

Meaning of Adaptive Learning

When it comes to training and learning, one concept that every organization should be mindful of is that one size does not fit all. Adaptive learning is the method that is adopted to ensure that the corporate training is in accordance with the needs and understanding of the learner.

Let’s understand the concept further with the help of an example.

When you host a standard training, your employees log in to the LMS, complete their course, attempt the questions at the end of the course, and either go to the next topic or re-attempt the quiz if they fail. In this training, every learner has a similar experience and attempt similar questions.

With adaptive learning, your employees might start with the same content. However, on the basis of their answers and their confidence levels during the quizzes, the platform will feed them content that is relevant to them. This content is offered to the learner on the basis of their real-time performance.

Now that we know what adaptive learning is, here are a few benefits of adaptive learning in corporate training and how it can elevate employee learning.

Improved Time Efficiency

With the help of adaptive learning, learners can actually understand concepts in almost half the time that they might take when standard training is initiated. This is because learners don’t have to actually go through all those concepts that they are already aware of. Their entire focus is shifted to the content that helps them become more competent.

Personalized Learning Paths

Adaptive learning feeds the content to the learners on the basis of the data that it collects as the learner progresses through a module. This enables organizations to target the personal goals of learners and meet their needs. This also gives the HR managers an indication of whether an employee is ready to take the next step aka to get a promotion in the upcoming cycle or not.

Attention to Individuals

With adaptive learning, managers and leadership can provide focused attention on an individual.

With the standard eLearning methods, providing personalized feedback is nearly impossible.

Adaptive learning addresses that issue. This technology makes use of the algorithms to accustom the training module to the needs of the learners. This is done on the basis of the data or the responses by the learners.

Confidence-Based Approach

In the adaptive learning approach, learners are asked to answer only those questions that they claim to be confident about.

This is a confidence-based approach that helps to understand where does the learner truly stands. It helps to unveil those areas that learners are consciously and unconsciously aware of. This helps to provide personalized learning as well as feedback.

To wrap it up, with its personalized approach to learning and providing feedback, adaptive learning is perhaps the solution to making training sessions more engaging and motivating for employees.

Focus Your Attention

Focus Your Attention
• Is your attention span too short?

• Do you wish to improve your concentration?

• A focused mind enables you to carry out everything faster, more efficiently, and with fewer mistakes.

• Learn how to focus your mind and attention!

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Video: Joy (Mudita) Dharma Talk

“Live in joy, in love, even among those who hate. Live in joy, in health, even among the afflicted. Live in joy, in peace, even among the troubled. Look within, be still. Free from fear and attachment, know the sweet joy of the way.” —Buddha From suffering, greed, hatred, and fear we can shift our whole identity and find well-being, release, & freedom. This is possible for us and those around us.

For more teachings like this, please subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE.

This talk was originally livestreamed by Spirit Rock on 4/12/21.

The post Video: Joy (Mudita) Dharma Talk appeared first on Jack Kornfield.

Video: Joy (Mudita) Meditation

Let yourself think of someone you care about. Picture them, remember them, see them in your mind’s eye or hold them in your heart. Imagine their happiest moment as a child. Then begin to wish them well: “May you be joyful. May you remember that child of spirit that was born in you. May your joy increase. May the causes for happiness and joy grow stronger in your life.” Then imagine this person wishing the same for you.

For more teachings like this, please subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE.

This meditation was originally livestreamed by Spirit Rock on 4/12/21.

The post Video: Joy (Mudita) Meditation appeared first on Jack Kornfield.